Saturday, 15 December 2012

Wee Korea Film Group Glasgow, Scotland

I recently attended the first WeeKorea Film night in Glasgow, and it was a brilliant way to start the group!

Finding people in a city such as Glasgow with interests in Asian cinema can be quite rare. It can be even rarer to get the chance to see an Asian film in a cinema or at a public showing. I was quite surprised to stumble upon the WeeKorea Film group on facebook but was delighted and intrigued about the idea of watching and discussing Korean films with like minded people.

WeeKorea film is the brain child of Trent Kim, a hard working young man who wants to bring a slice of Korean culture to the people of Scotland bimonthly. The event was supported by the Glasgow School of Art and the screening was in the Glasgow School of Art Student Union. It's a great and handy location because it also has a reasonably priced bar with food available too.

The film of the night was 'Where is Ronny?' by Sang Kook, Sim. An excellent, funny and thought provoking film which I will be reviewing shortly. And rather than sitting through trailers and adverts, we were shown a short film to start the night 'Merry Christmas' by Yang Joon, Choi. Another classic little gem to come out of South Korea, and this one was actually subtitled by Trent Kim himself for us... What a guy!

Members of WeeKorea Film enjoying the movie Where is Ronny... Nice hats guys.

For all information about the WeeKorea film group and to join, check out the facebook page here

The next night is going to be held on Tuesday the 19th of February 2013 at 7pm at the Glasgow School of Art Student Union. Hoping to see you all there!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

The Top 10 Asian Horror Films

Happy Halloween!

I do LOVE a good horror flick, and the best time to watch them is Halloween! So if like me you want to kick back on All Hallows' Eve with some good horrors, then here is some recommendations.

10)The Doll Master (2004/South Korea)

The Doll Master... The scariest doll since Chucky!

The story follows a group of students who are invited to a museum in the middle of nowhere for a private doll gallery and the promise of dolls to be made in their image. You guessed it. The dolls start killing people!

Brought to life by a vengeful spirit the doll starts killing off the guests one by one, as they try to figure out what is going on and how to stop it!

There is a lot more to this film with clever twists and turns! All is not as simple as it seems. And if you wait patiently through the slow burning story you are in for a treat. Great story and ending. Well worth the wait.


9)R-Point (2004/South Korea)

R-Point stands out from a lot of other Asian horrors because of the fact it's a horror/war film.

Set during the Vietnam War. After a platoon of South Koreans go missing in Romeo Point, Lieutenant Choi takes a platoon to search for them. Upon arriving on the island and finding a grave site and abandoned building, they discover that one of the men in their platoon is actually one of the missing men they are trying to find... Brilliant! The film is full of shocking twists like this which make it more of a psychological and atmospheric horror!

Now queue all the soldiers distrust for each other and we end up with a classic Asian horror!

8)Noroi (2005/Japan)
Japan does "found footage" horror. And does it very, very well!

The film is 2 hours long, slow paced and can take a while for you to really get where it's going. But if you have the patience to sit through it then you will be rewarded!

Noroi is filmed as a documentary and it really feels like you are watching a real documentary at times. A very creepy documentary with some subtle yet terrifying images that will be stuck in your head.

The story is pasted together with found footage, documentary, home video and video clips from TV game shows. This keeps it fresh and interesting and helps it flow better and takes away limitations you would have from other found footage films.

This is one to watch without knowing too much about, so i'll leave it at that. Check it out especially if you are a fan of handheld films, or were before the over saturation.


7)One Missed Call (2003/Japan)
The first film on the list to be directed by Takasahi Miike! And the first film on the list to have an American remake. Avoid the remake and stick to the original!

Part Horror, part Mystery. People are recieving missed phone calls from an unknown number, the voice mail is oddly made from two days in the future... And is from yourself screaming in terror and agony. Two days later... you die!

Of course the message then gets passed on to your contact list so all your friends are next! It takes one girl and guy to team up to investigate where these phone calls are coming from and try and stop it, while they race against time before they recieve the call!

Sounds like a typical J-Horror, nothing too original here, but very fun and scary! Also has a really creepy ring tone that I used for a while on my own phone. Eeek!


6)Three Extremes(2004/Hong Kong/South Korea/Japan)

3 short stories told by 3 brilliant directors from across Asia! These are very versatile and intriguing horror films which go from weird, to weirder to weirdest.

Dumplings directed by Fruit Chan is a slow burning, sick and twisted film. Not scary but disturbing.

Cut directed by Park Chan-Wook is a confusing and sophisticated  torture flick. Very well made!

The Box directed by Takashi Miike is the scariest out of the bunch. Weird imagery and dream sequences with lots of what the hell moments.

A good 3 movies in 1 horror film which has something to please everyone.


5)Ju-On(The Grudge)(2002/Japan)

The curse of one who dies in the grip of a powerful rage.

One of the best films I have ever witnessed for creating an unsettling atmosphere.

A home-care worker goes to work in a house occupised by an old lady who is bed-ridden and terrified of something in the house. After exploring the house the home-care worker discovers a door shut with duct tape... In which hides a little boy and his cat.

Queue some of the creepiest and scariest scenes ever recorded for film. It's great at suspense and building up the scares, it will have you jumping all over the places and hiding your face. But, it also has a great story which is told very well.



Kiri Kiri Kiri

This is Takashi Miike's masterpiece!
A widower takes an offer to screen girls at a special movie audition, arranged for him by a friend to secretly find him a new wife. The one he fancies is not who she appears to be after all.

Over an hour of this film is essentially a drama. It has a long, dramatic and interesting build up to the horror you are about to see! And boy is there a lot of! The last half hour is outstanding and really makes the film come together.

Audition also helped inspire the American film Hostel... But don't hold that against it! Check it out.


3)Tale Of Two Sisters(2003/South Korea)

This has had the Hollywood remake treatment. I forgot the name of it, but avoid it and watch this very intelligent, very frighting original!

Two sisters return home to stay with their father and cruel stepmother.. after spending time in a mental institution! Once there, in addition to dealing with their stepmother's obsessive and unbalanced ways, they are
haunted by the tragedies of deaths from within the family.

This is very well told. There are some very good scares in this one. But it's the story and characters that really grab your attention. It's a rollercoaster full of twists and turns! And one that as soon as it ends, you will want to rewatch it again. Awesome mind blowing ending!



What?! The Ring isn't number 1?

The fight for first and second place was a tough one! Very tough. Thought about it for a long time but I just honestly feel that number 1 on the list scared me more! Don't get me wrong though, Ringu is a masterpiece.

The story centres around a videotape. If you watch it you die in seven days! A TV journalist teams with her ex-husband and investigates the death of two teenage girls. She discovers a lot more than she bargined for.... Sadako!

The image and look of Sadako is very well known by now. It's been used it countless other films and even spoofed in comedies. But most people will know her from the US remake... Which was actually a pretty decent remake!

This film terrified me when I first seen it, and the brilliant ending was planted in my brain and made me scared of my own TV for a long time. It's that good!



Would you like to meet a ghost?

Yes.You guessed the number 1 film on the list... well probably not actually.

Japanese university students investigate a series of suicides linked to an Internet Webcam that promises visitors the chance to interact with the dead.

Nothing to unfamiliar for a J-Horror, almost like the Ring in a way. Set on the internet it's something we can all relate to, otherwise how are you reading this blog? The internet can be a scary unfamiliar place as we see in this nearly incomprehensible horror tale.

Pulse has a very lonely dark setting and atmosphere. It's a gore free chilling film which will leave you thinking long after the credits have finished. Don't worry if it takes you a few watches to know what's going on as it can be truly baffling. A real horror masterpiece in the genre which must be seen by everyone!


There you have it! My top 10! It was a very tough job narrowing it down to 10 and putting it into order. Still a few films I might have got in the wrong order but i'll leave it at that.

I hope you all have a good Halloween and watch some good horrors! These are some suggestions that shouldn't leave anyone disappointed. Did I miss anything out? Let me know!

Trick or Treat?!


Monday, 22 October 2012

Sadako 3D Review (The Ring 3D)

Sadako 3D

96 min - Horror - 12 May 2012 (Japan)

Director: Tsutomu Hanabusa
Writers: Kôji Suzuki (novel) & Yoshinobu Fujioka (screenplay)
Stars: Satomi Ishihara, Kôji Seto and Tsutomu Takahash

Firstly let me get this out of the way, I didn't get to see this film in 3D. I'm not really a fan of 3D. But Sadako 3D really needs to be seen in 3D if you get the option! I will touch on that more later.

Sadako 3D is in The Ring series of films, although many probably won't acknowledge it with the original trilogy. Sadako 3D is directed by Tsutomu Hanabusa and is based on the novel 'S' by the creator of Ring, Koji Suzuki. There a few similarities and many, many differences.
Akane is a high school teacher who hears a rumor from her students that there is actual footage on the Internet of someone's suicide. The footage is said to drive anyone who sees it to also commit suicide. Akane does not believe the rumor at first, but when one of her female students dies after viewing the footage, she and her boyfriend Takanori are fatefully drawn into the horror that has been created by the man who appears in the suicide footage, Kashiwada. Kashiwada's intention is to create chaos in the world by bringing back Sadako and the power of her curse. Now Akane has to fight against Sadako and Kashiwada to save the lives of herself and Takanori.
... I'm really scared.

Sadako 3D is a completely different style of Horror flick from the previous Ring films. The story telling is different, the style is different, the pacing is different and the scares are very different.
While the original Ringu films were scary in a slow suspenseful way, like most Japanese horrors. Sadako 3D tends to lean more towards the Hollywood style surprise scares. And it is full of them! I will honestly say this film made me jump on quite a few occasions.

Can you remember the ending to the original Ringu film? Of course you can, it's one of the most iconic horror endings and images of all time. Sadako 3D tends to run with that and over use it by having Sadako come out of every screen possible, phone/laptop/TVs. Nothing is safe. Even the giant plasma screens you see around the busy streets of Tokyo aren't safe from Sadako and her long hair and gruesome hands.

This is were the film would look good in 3D. It's really shot for 3D with lots of hands stretching out straight to touch you and objects flying directly towards you. Seeing it in 3D could really add to the scares! A gimmick, yes. But if used correctly it can be a clever gimmick.

However, this outing is also extremly flawed. It doesn't have the same atmospheric feel as the other Ring films. It's more aimed at the teenage audience with their "idols/popstar" cast. Even Sadako looks like some kind of Japanese popstar when you see her as a normal girl. Watching the trailer, it never gives you the chills once that pop song kicks in! However this has obviously worked in terms of the box office, Sakdako 3D has done very well with 1,500,000,000 Yen ($19,228,500 USD), more than half of the box office was made up of teenagers, and a sequel has been announced for Summer 2013.

The other big flaw is after Sadako comes out of the screen and is in the real world. Without ruining it for anyone, they have changed her look drastically. And it kills the momentum of the film. After this point, any credit or scariness Sadako 3D had is pretty much gone. The creepy Sadako we all remember is gone, and is replaced with something that just looks stupid!

So, see Sadako 3D if you enjoy horrors. But don't expect a classic. And don't expect it to live up to the other Ringu films in the series, because it doesn't. However, I think this will still entertain most J-Horror fans, flaws and all.


Trailer below, with English subtitles:


Now for some light hearted fun. Japan might not do horrors like they used to... But something they do brilliantly is promotion for films! Check out some of these photos of live promotions going around Tokyo for Sadako 3D.


Friday, 19 October 2012

Tom Yum Goong 2 news! Tony Jaa is back!

Tom Yum Goong 2

After some production delays, Tom Yum Goong 2(The Warrior King 2/The Protector 2) is getting released in Thailand in May 2013. It officially went into production August 2011.

This is the first time since 2005's Tom Yum Goong that the director Prachya Pinkaew has been reunited with Tony Jaa and Panna Rittikrai! It's a solid team! Here's hoping that the script is good and we end up with a better effort than Ong Bak 3.

Also exciting news about this film is it also stars Jija Yanin from Chocolate and Raging Phoenix. She is possibly the best female martial arts star of all time and she has all the potential in the world! Looking forward to seeing these two team up, and this film is sure to put her on the map!

No idea why this is being shot in 3D. But who really cares as long as the film lives up to the potential we all expect! Bring it on!

For those unfamiliar with Tony Jaa, check out this video to see some of his awesome fight scenes and stunts!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

70 Free Korean Films On Youtube!

Do you like free films?

Do you like Korean films?
Of course!

Do you want to watch 70 classic Korean films for free?
...... Come again?!

Every now and again something brilliant gets uploaded to youtube, like Bed Intruder or Gangnam Style. But something even more interesting is The Korean Film Archive which has uploaded 70 full length Korean films from 1949-1996! Completely free to watch, and completely legal! So check them out!

Full List Of Movies And Length:

A Hometown in Heart (1:17)

The Hand of Destiny (1:30)
The Widow (1:15)
Yang san Province (1:30)
Piagol (1:48)
Holiday in Seoul (1:31)
The Wedding Day (1:17)
Madame Freedom (2:05)
Hyperbolae of Youth (1:34)
The Money (2:03)
The Love of Marriage (1:34)
The Bell Tower (1:36)
The Flower in Hell (1:26)
Nameless Stars (1:46)

A Romantic Papa (2:11)
Mr. Park (2:18)
A Drifting Story (2:04)
Soil (1:41)
Five Marines (1:58)
A Bonanza (2:07)
A Dream of Fortune (1:55)
A Coachman (1:38)
Mother and a Guest (1:42)
A Petty Middle Manager (1:45)
Evergreen Tree (2:23)
Under the Sky of Seoul (2:03)
Seong Chun-hyang (1:59)
Princess Yeonsan (2:15)
Aimless Bullet (1:48)
The Sea Knows (1:48)
Kinship (1:22)
The Barefooted Young (1:57)
The Seaside Village (1:33)
Horse-year Bride (1:33)
Early Rain (1:40)
Flame in the Valley (1:19)
Love Me Once Again (1:28)
The General’s Mustache (1:40)

Woman of Fire (1:40)
The Midnight Sun (1:40)
An Iron Man (1:33)
Yeong-Ja’s Heydays (1:47)
Devil! Take the Train to Hell (1:34)
Leoh Island (1:51)
A Woman After a Killer Butterfly (1:57)

Good Windy Day (1:58)
Does Cuckoo Cry At Night (2:00)
The Ball Shot By A Midget (1:42)
Parrot Cries With Its Body (2:02)
People of Ko-bang Neighborhood (1:51)
The Woman of Fire 82 (2:01)
Spinning the Tales of Cruelty Towards Women (1:44)
Carnivorous Animal (1:50)
The Oldest Son (1:48)
Mulberry (1:51)
Eoh Wu-dong (1:55)
Hwang jin-ie (1:59)
Our Joyful Young Days (2:04)
Gagman (2:03)
Chil-su and Man-su (1:48)

Black Republic (1:41)
The General’s Son (1:48)
Portrait of the Days of Youth (2:14)
The Road To Race Track (2:20)
The Marriage Life (1:37)
Sopyonje (1:53)
Rosy Life (1:34)
The Tae Baek Mountains (2:44)
The Day A Pig Fell Into A Well (1:56)
Festival (1:46)

If you watch any good ones or can recommend any then let me know, as I doubt I will be able to watch all 70!

Monday, 15 October 2012

A 'Young And Dangerous' Remake In The Works! Young And Dangerous Reloaded

I'm back with a bang!
Young And Dangerous: Reloaded
Shocking (and exciting?) news! Wong Jing is doing a reboot of the popular 90's Triad movie franchise! Except no Andrew Lau directing this time.

For those not up to scratch. In 1995 Andrew Lau directed, and Wong Jing produced a film called Young and Dangerous. Y&D follows a group of young gangsters in the Triad Society in Hong Kong through their adventures, success and dangers. This film made many stars including Ekin Cheng who played the main character Chan Ho Nam, and Jordan Chan who played his best friend Chicken. It also starred many Hong Kong house hold names such as Francis Ng and Simon Yam.

This proved to be very popular in Hong Kong. So much so that it generated a long line of sequels, prequels and spin offs. To my count, 6 main films and 7 spin offs... although some are just obvious cash ins... And don't have a lot to do with the series. These films were among the ones I first started watching when I got into Asian Cinema and they really inspired my love for Triad flicks.

Original... and best?

If you haven't seen these films I would highly recommend it! The main films are all worth while, ranging from good to great, and can be picked up in a complete box set on websites like ebay for about £20-£30.

Anyway... On to the reboot! Wong Jing looks like he has cast Triads who go to the gym more often than the originals. I don't know which one is more realistic for modern Triads, but the original looks more like what I imagine. Or what I see hanging around China Town looking a bit dodgy! In Reloaded, Him Law is portraying Ekin Chen's role of Chan Ho Nam, and Jordan Chan's role of Chicken with be potryated by Oscar Leung. Wong Jing has also promised audiences that he will provide more sex and violence to give the audience what they want. This looks more obviously true now after Oscar Leung shot a bed scene with 2 hot models... on the first day of filming! Wow, fast mover.

Chicken back on the streets in Hong Kong... Lock up your daughters

News and videos have already started coming out from the set and filming locations. On October the 13th a night time fight scene was filmed in Mongkok, HK. Chicken(Oscar Leung) was fighting with a rival gangster Philip Ng for one of the scenes in which he takes a bit of a beating, including getting hit with his own trouser suspenders 20 times! Ouch! Which left him visibly bruised and red.

Sounds pretty badass to me! Check out the video below for some of the filming and action...

Personally I think this looks promising!

Well this is definitely one to keep your eye on! I will post more news and updates as I hear/see them.
But in the mean time check out the original series! You won't be disappointed!

TemptAsian is back...

After a long hiatus I decided to bring this blog back for the good of Asian Cinema fans everywhere!
I was recently on holiday in Japan. Until I post my first new blog, I'll leave you with this snap from the vacation.

Stay tuned! I'll be posting real soon!

 P.S. I am the white guy.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Ip Man 3 with Donnie Yen

It's official Donnie Yen will return for the 3rd Ip Man film. This sequel will continue the story of Ip Man focusing on his relationship with Bruce Lee. The film will be directed by Wilson Yip and is written by Edmond Wong with a budget of $36 million. And for some reason will be shot in 3D...

I highly recommend the first 2 films, both great in their own way, but I slightly prefer the first for the fight scenes and realism. In the first 2 films Ip Man fought the Japanese in China then when he moved to Hong Kong he fought with the British and kung fu schools. Ip Man 2 ends with a young Bruce Lee making an appearance so this instalment looks like it continues right where it finished off.

The producers are said to be searching for an actor with martial art skills to play a grown up Bruce Lee. Lynn Hung is returning for this instalment and Simon Yam is currently in talks.

Watch this space.

The real Bruce Lee and Ip Man

Friday, 25 May 2012

Switch - Andy Lau stars in Chinese Mission Impossible style epic!

Action, martial arts, fast cars, big stunts, gun fights, hot girls, stunning locations, Andy Lau. What more do you want?

I haven't actually heard too much about this film except it stars Andy Lau and he is trying to save a Chinese painting "Dwelling in the Fuchun Moutains".

The trailer was recently shown at Cannes film festival, and it looks stunning. Brilliant cinematography, sleek and stylish. One to keep your eye on!


Sunday, 20 May 2012

From Up On Poppy Hill - New Studio Ghibli film coming soon!

The latest Studio Ghibli film 'From Up on Poppy Hill' was released across Japan on July 16th 2011. It is the second film from Hayao Miyazaki's son Gorō Miyazaki, who also directed Tales From Earthsea. While Earthsea opened to pretty mixed reviews, Poppy Hill is getting much more favourable ones. It also won the Animation of the Year at the 35th Japan Academy Awards.

It's Yokohama, 1963. Each morning a girl on a high hilltop hoists signal flags to greet the ships in the bay below. She is Umi Matsuzaka, a sensible, responsible girl, who disapproves of the antics of the boys in her school. She especially disapproves of their bold ringleader, Shun, when he inadvertently embarrasses her. Nonetheless, Umi is drawn into the boys' campaign to preserve a dilapidated club house and finds herself warming to Shun, sensing a strength of character like her own. But their friendship and save-the-clubhouse campaign will be severely tested, in ways to make Umi and Shun question who they are…

From Up On Poppy Hill will be released on DVD/Blu-Ray across Japan on 20th June 2012, it will be available on most DVD sites including our favourite Yes Asia. Ghibli films usually open in the UK a year after Japan, so hopefully From Up On Poppy Hill will be out here in the summer. If you can't wait, the Japanese DVD will come with English subtitles. Good times!

Trailer below:

Friday, 18 May 2012

Takeshi Kitano delivers "Outrage Beyond" in October!

Fans of Takeshi Kitano and Yakuza films in general will have been impressed with his return to the violent crime films that propelled him to stardom in Outrage. It was a brilliant Yakuza drama and also pretty brutal! The film must have been a success as Kitano is making a sequel, Outrage Beyond, which will be released across Japan in October and continue from where the original left off. Takeshi will again be starring in and directing the flick.

"We need them to swing across that river on a rope and try to stick to the Velcro wall"

Sanno-kai—the major yakuza organisation within the Kanto region and the main focus of the first film—butts heads with Hanabishi-kai from the Kansai region as police try to take them all down. Kitano returns as crew boss and all-around dirty-job-doer Otomo.

Hmm interesting... If you have seen the first film you will know why this synopsis is intriguing. If not, then go watch it! It's available everywhere on DVD on also to stream on US Netflix!

Teaser below:

Monday, 14 May 2012

Another - Live Action Remake - Trailer and Stills

Looks like Another is the latest anime to get the live action treatment. For those not familiar with the anime, I reviewed it while it was airing, link.


 In 1972, a very popular honor student named Misaki died partway through the school year in Yomiyama Middle School’s class 3-3. His peers, devastated by the unexpected loss, decided to carry on as if the student were still alive, going so far as to keep the desk in place and bringing it to the graduation ceremony. Yet no one could explain why the dead classmate was present on the graduation photo.
In spring 1998, 15-year-old student Kōichi Sakakibara arrives from Tokyo in Yomiyama, to stay with his grandparents while his father works in India. He transfers into class 3-3 but misses the first few weeks as a pneumothorax keeps him hospitalised. While in the hospital, he receives a visit from his classmates and meets a mysterious girl wearing his school’s uniform called Mei Misaki, who seems to be visiting the morgue.
Once recovered, Kōichi goes to school and tries to adapt. His aunt, a teacher at Yomiyama North, gives him a few pointers but, like his peers, remains evasive when it comes to their behaviour towards Mei, who is treated by all as if she did not exist. Kōichi is further confounded by the air of mystery around class 3-3 and the fact that it is isolated from other classes, even practising P.E. separately.
Things go from bad to worse when a classmate, Yukari Sakuragi, slips while running down the stairs and dies, impaled on the sharp end of her umbrella. This is one of many deaths related to Class 3-3 which have Kōichi and his friends Mei, Naoya Teshigawara, Tomohiko Kazami, and Yūya Mochizuki, trying to unravel the mystery of 1972’s Misaki and the “calamity” that has struck Class 3-3 ever since.

Cosplay Island?

I'm looking forward to this going by what I have seen from the trailer. Also, knowing Japan is brilliant with horror and suspense, this could work out very well! On the other hand, Live Action adaptions of anime are usually hit or miss, with the majority being miss!

Another gets a theatrical release across Japan on August 4th 2012. No news of an international release yet, so watch the trailer below over and over to keep you going! Or watch the anime!



Thursday, 10 May 2012

War of The Arrows

The Korean House of Flying Daggers?

War of The Arrows (2011)
Choi-jong-byeong-gi Hwal (original title)
122 min - Action/History
Director: Han-min Kim
Writer: Han-min Kim (screenplay)
Stars: Hae-il Park, Seung-yong Ryoo and Chae-won Moon

Set in 1636, the second Manchurian invasion of Korea rages chaos, as villages are attacked by overpowering Manchurian soldiers. The Manchurians kidnap childhood sweethearts, Ja-in and Seo-Goon on their wedding day. In an effort to save his sister, Ja-in's brother Nam-Yi sets out to defeat the enemy and save his sister and other Korean victims with only 1 bow.

After not hearing much about this film I was very surprised to see just how great it was! After a bit of research I discovered it was the 2nd highest grossing film in South Korea in 2011. Not only was it a financial success, it also won numerous awards, including Best Actor for Park Hae-il and Best New Actress for Moon Chae-won at the Grand Bell Awards (Korean equivalent of the Academy Awards). I think this film deserves all the success it has achieved.

The great thing about War of The Arrows compared to a lot of the other recent Asian period films is you don't have to know anything about the history. The history is there, but all that matters is the Manchurians have captured Nam-Yi's sister, and he will do anything to get her back. One of the Qing warriors Jyu Shin-Ta has an elite troop which are trying to hunt down Nam-Yi to stop him from doing anymore damage. Can Nam-Yi rescue his sister before she becomes a slave?

I have heard War of The Arrows being compared to House of Flying Daggers and The Hunger Games... WTF? I actually noticed some similarities with this and HoFD, some of the scenery and cinematography, the arrows and daggers, and the ending is also a little reminiscent. No idea were The Hunger Games comparisons came from...

The film looks stunning! Some of the projectiles of the arrows are excellent, the way the camera follows them and the realism really makes this film! There is hardly any hand to hand combat but plenty of weapon fights with spears and arrows to keep you entertained. The characters are all very like able especially the lead. Occasionally the action takes a back seat for some character development, but it's all relevant and interesting, and gives you a breather until the next epic fight scene. The film being just over 2 hours flies by and you will be entertained start to finish.

I recommend this film to all! Especially for fans of period action films like Hero, House of Flying Daggers, etc. War of The Arrows got released on Monday 7th across the UK on DVD and Blu-Ray. And it is also available on US Netflix for immediate streaming.

Trailer below:

Will The Raid be shown in your local cinema?

Occasionally a world cinema film gets released in theatres that we desperately want to see. But you have to wait till it comes out to see if your local cinema is even showing it. And usually it ends up getting a very limited screening(... London!). Damn.
But this pretty cool, very useful website Total Fan Hub has a listing of all the cinemas that will be showing it. Glasgow is on the list! Oh yes!

In case you have missed all the reviews and press, The Raid is getting a very good reputation, with many calling it one of the best action films ever made!

8 days everyone!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Sadako throws opening pitch at baseball game!

Yip. The girl from The Ring throws the first pitch at a Japanese baseball game! WTF!


We all know Baseball is the biggest sport in Japan, well looks like Sadako knows that as well! Here she is at the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters Vs Chiba Lotte Marines game from the Japanese baseball league, throwing the opening pitch to promote the new film in the Ringu series "Sadako 3D".

Sadako 3D opens across Japan on May 12th. No word yet if it will get a worldwide cinema release, just need to keep our fingers crossed!

Until then, here is the full length trailer:

Saturday, 5 May 2012

For Your Height Only

By far my favourite film about a midget Filipino James Bond!

For Y'ur Height Only (1981)
(For Your Height Only)
Action/Comedy - (Philippines)
Director: Eddie Nicart
Writer: Cora Caballes

Stars: Weng Weng, Yehlen Catral and Carmi Martin

Firstly, we need to start with a brief history lesson. During the 60s, 70s and early 80s, American Drive in Theatres and Grindhouse Cinemas were looking for the craziest and wildest films they could get their hands on! Hollywood directors and producers discovered they could film in the Philippines for a fraction of the cost, they would get new exotic locations and cheap labour. This in turn allowed them to release hundreds of films quickly and for a fraction of the cost for crazy action and horror film double bills.

We got movies about crazy vixens in jungle prisons, bloody revenge stories, gory horror flicks, violent war films and of course, Kung Fu action with midgets!

Mr. Giant has kidnapped the brilliant Dr. Van Kohler and is planning to use the Doctor's invention, the N-bomb, to hold the world hostage. The only one who can foil Mr. Giant's evil scheme is Agent 00(Weng Weng), a 3-foot-tall Filipino martial arts master, expert marksman, top-class romancer and all-around super spy. Can Agent 00 rescue Dr. Kohler before it's too late?

"The name's Weng... Weng Weng"

I saw clips for this movie while watching a documentary about Filipino exploitation films called Machete Maidens Unleashed. I knew instantly this was a film for me! But I also know this film isn't for everyone. It's one of those low budget, crazy B-Movies that you either love or hate.

For Your Height Only doesn't have the best transfer, it looks quite bad and could really do with a remaster. But what really works in this films favour is the dub, which is undoubtedly the worst dub I have ever heard! There are a whole bunch of weird accents from British to Mexican which don't match any of the characters and the dialogue is terrible. Some of the classic lines you will hear are "The forces of good are our sworn enemy, and I repeat, they must be exterminated. And I mean lethally!" and the love interest comparing Weng Weng to a potato... in an affectionate way!

Weng Weng makes this film brilliant! He actually has star power which will leave you wanting to see the rest of his filmography. His Kung Fu skills are actually pretty decent! He was said to have studied many styles of Martial Arts including Jeet Kune Do! The fights scenes play out well, although not on par with classic Hong Kong Jackie Chan films, but very good for a B-Movie. Weng is known as the shortest ever lead in an action film standing at  2'9".

Midget Jet pack!

For Your Height Only is obviously a Bond rip off and it has all the classic ingredients! He's a womaniser, kissing every girl he can. He has plenty of gun shoot outs, some of which are actually pretty exciting! And of course, the gadgets! An Anti-Poison Ring which changes color when it is placed in proximity to poison. A deadly Remote-Control Hat which also had a blade edge. A Quick-Assembly, Small-Scale Machine Gun. And of course for the big finale, a Tiny Jet pack, Wow!

This was one of the films that propelled Weng Weng into super stardom and he went on to star in 11 feature films. Including an Agent 00 sequel called "The Impossible Kid" and a western called "D'Wild Wild Weng". Unfortunately, roles for Weng Weng dried up in the late 80s and according to some sources he started drinking heavily, he sadly passed away in 1992 from a heart attack at the young age of 34.

You will know straight away from watching this trailer if you will like this film or not! Hopefully you will, and I would also recommend the sequel The Impossible Kid which is also just as good!


Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Hara-Kiri coming to UK DVD, Blu-Ray and.... Cinema??

The latest film from one of the hardest working directors in Japan, Takashi Miike, is getting a limited UK cinema release of the 4th May and will be available to purchase on DVD and Blu-Ray on the 7th May. The film is entitled Hara-Kiri: Death Of A Samurai and is a remake of Misaki Kobayashi's classic from 1962.

Poverty stricken samurai Hanshiro Tsukumo (Ebizo Ichikawa) requests to commit ritual suicide at the House of Ii, run by obstinate Lord - Kageyu Saito (Koji Yakusho), in a desperate attempt for a honourable end. In an effort to persuade Hanshiro to rethink his request, Kageyu tells the tragic story of a similar plea from young ronin Motome (Eita). Hanshiro is stunned by the horrifying details of Motome's fate, but insists on dying with honour. With his final breath, Hanshiro makes a last request which results in the shocking revelation of a bittersweet tale of vengeance against the house of a feudal lord.

You want me to do WHAT with the sword?!

Hara-Kiri was highly talked about because it was the first 3D film to be shown at Canne film festival. Bearing in mind, Miike's earlier gory films, one would expect blood and guts to be flying out the screen in 3D. But Hara-Kiri is more of a well made, slow paced, period drama. And the 3D is used more subtly to show scenery, sets and costumes like thread on kimonos, trees with autumn leaves and snow flakes falling. However, there is enough sword play to keep Miike's fans and Samurai film fans happy! The movie has received pretty positive reviews and is sitting with a 7.1 on iMDB and 80% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Hara-Kiri is getting a limited release so check your local cinema listings to see if you are getting it. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like Glasgow is! Unless GFT gives it a small run. DVDs and Blu-Ray are available to pre-order from the usual places like Amazon and Play. And if you need something to keep you going until then, I highly recommend his last Samurai epic "13 Assassins" which was one of my favourite films of 2011.