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The Princess Blade (JAPAN 2001)

Director : Shinsuke Sato
Action Director : Donnie Yen
Cast :  Hideaki Ito, Yumiko Shaku, Yoichi Numata, Kyusaka Shimada, Yoko Chosokabe, Yoko Maki and Naomasa Musaka.

Synopsis
In the near future, Japan is ruled once more by a monarchy. But, rebels opposed to this rule seek to overthrow the government. The House of Takemikazuchi, a band of assassins is hired by the government to suppress the rebels. As a conspiracy from within signals the shadowy organization’s impending demise, Yuki, the last of the Takemikazuchi bloodline befriends one of the rebels and seeks revenge against the group’s leader.

Review
by Edward Tang

Here’s a film that shows that even with good fight choreography, the film can still suck on account of plain boredom, and just horrible story telling. Being a fan of Donnie Yen, I do feel that he delivered on the side of action, but everything else in this film needed a tune up. The story was choppy, the acting was over dramatic and dull, and the music got on my last nerve. So does the action save the film? In a small way, it doesn’t make the film horrid to watch, but beware of any scene that isn’t action, it is your basic bore of a story, a bunch of pointless dialog mixed in with unbelievable connections between characters. I can’t recommend this film solely on the purpose, that it didn’t deliver anything to make it stand out. I got bored with this film quick, especially during a sequence in which Takashi and Yuki are chatting about some stupid feelings, something about having a rough life up until this point. I did see where they were going, but it was a hard journey to follow.

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Survive Style 5+ (JAPAN 2004)

Director : Gen Sekiguchii
Cast : Tadanobu Asano, Reika Hashimoto, Kyoko Koizumi, Hiroshi Abe, Ittoku Kichibe, Yumi Asou, Jai West, Kanji Tsuda, Yoshiyuki Morishita, Yoshiyoshi Awakawa, Vinnie Jones, & Sonny Chiba.

Synopsis
A man continually trying and failing to get his wife to stay dead; a self-absorbed ad agency creative director who comes up with one unworkably inane idea after another; an English hitman who only wants to know everyone’s function in life; and an unfortunate office worker and father whose brain is left scrambled after a stage hypnotist is murdered in mid-performance. Starting off as unrelated plot lines, they intertwine with each other as they continue on their respective ways.

Review
by Liz Brkljac

This extraordinary film is the first outing by director Gen Sekiguchi, and as such highly accomplished. As a label defying film this is a bizarre black comedy with strong elements of crime drama and action, and really quite unlike the usual representatives of any of these borrowed genres.

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Election II (2 Disc Special Edition) (Panorama)

DVD Information
Distributor : Panorama HK
Audio : DTS-ES 6.1, DD-EX 5.1, Dolby 2.0
Discs : 2 (DVD9 and DVD5)
Languages : Cantonese, Mandarin
Format : NTSC
Subtitles : Chinese, English
Running Time : 93mins (movie) / 56 mins (bonus)
Contents : 2 DVD, 1 color booklet
Screen Ratio : 2.35:1 (movie) / 4:3 (bonus)
Classification : III
Region : 0 / ALL
Others : -

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The Street Fighter’s Last Revenge (JAPAN 1974)

Director : Teruo Ishii
Cast : Sonny Chiba, Reiko Ike, Tatsuo Endo, Eizo Kitamura, Fuyuki Murakami, Yutaka Nakajima, Etsuko Shihomi and Akira Shioji.

Synopsis
Terry Sugury is hired to recover one of two tapes containing a formula for making heroin for a price of 200 dollars a pound.

Review
by Edward Tang

It’s awesome when a sequel is just as much fun as the first one. In this case, Street Fighter’s Last Revenge works well, it uses the magic of Sonny Chiba’s art of kickassery and mixes it with a silly plot and good action scenes. What was funny about this fucker was that it completely reminded me of a Mission:Impossible episode, get the stolen tape and along the way use masks to hide your identity. Yes, and I didn’t stutter, life-like masks that are simply pulled off when needed. The plot is it’s usual crappy self, it can be explained in a sentence: SONNY CHIBA KICKS ASS. There you go, and I think that sentence could be used to describe the entire series of Street Fighter films. The characters in this film were extremely bland, no Jesus-looking dudes here. But what makes you slip on the plot and acting, you can make up for with just have a fun time watching this film. There’s a bunch of fight scenes, some boning and everything in between that should satisfy most fans like me, those who likes boobies to go with his violence.

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The Host (KOREA 2006)

Director : Bong Joon-ho
Cast : Song Kang-Ho, Byun Hee-Bong, Bae Doo-Na, Park Hae-Il, Go Ah-Sung, Lee Jae-Eung, Kim Roi-Ha, Park No-Shik, Yoon Je-Moon, Im Pil-Sung

Synopsis
As it has done for ages, the Han River continues to pierce the very center of the capital city Seoul. But one day in the year 2000….Through an unfortunate incident, a creature of an obscure nature is conceived in the waters of the river. As the creature slowly starts to grow in the depths of the river, people fail to sense signs of an impending disaster, devoting themselves to the Korea-Japan World Cup soccer finals, the President elections and to their individual lives. Then one day in 2005, in front of countless citizens taking a stroll and enjoying the weekend on the banks of the Han River, the creature reveals itself in a shocking display of horror.

Review
by Jin Hien Lau

Infusing the high concept entertainment values of Jaws or Snakes On A Plane with Oscar worthy portrayal of humanity’s struggle for survival with a pinch of tongue in cheek anti-bureaucracy subtext. That’s the best I can describe Bong Joon Ho’s “The Host” (Goemul) .

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