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    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2009
    None of these are new really, but if you like Takashi Miike and enjoy singing zombies I would definately recomend The Happiness of The Katakuris. Also Branded to Kill is a bit of a winner - a 60s gangster film with a definate psychadelic feeling.

    Hong Kong: I second anything by Wong kar-wai - even 2046 is gorgeous. City on Fire is good, if you can get hold of it. It's also the name of one of the most entertaining text books on film I've ever read - really worth looking at.

    Taiwanese films are worth a look and there's a big exchange of actors, directors and crews between Taiwan, China and Hong Kong at the moment which makes things a bit interesting. Lust, Caution's a good example of this.
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2009 edited
    @Exploder Chris Doyle is a bit of a genius, I think I'd watch a three hour film of paint drying if he was the cinematographer. He has synesthesia - colours have to have exactly the right sound - he sees film as a score. He's also worked on films for Fruit Chan and Zhang Yimou.
  1.  (5975.43)
    I'm weak in Chinese films, but Shower is modern and very, very good. Straight-forward comedy-drama (a change from everything else on this page), but entrancing for being so deeply-steeped in cultural commentary and homage.

    Ang Lee's Lust, Caution is a fine film in the overly well-manicured Ang Lee vein. It is like Crouching Tiger but with explicit sex in place of bungee fight scenes (also, the story, from a semi-autobiographical novel, is vastly more interesting in of itself). This is on Netflix Instant Watch.
    • CommentAuthorsacredchao
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2009
    @Exploder - Chris Doyle does indeed rock. He's also worked on several Gus Van Sant films, including Paranoid Park and the Psycho remake. I love his use of fluorescent lights - most DP's won't use them because of the flicker, but I guess he figured out some way around that.

    As for Oldboy, which everyone keeps bringing up, I really just thought it was OK. The first half was amazing, but the second...not so much. It got a bit silly, in my opinion.
    • CommentAuthormanglr
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2009
    @Cassandra -

    Regarding The Happiness of The's a remake of the Korean movie, 'The Quiet Family'...I've not seen Miike's take on it yet, as the Korean version is actually a rather charming little comedy of errors farce with lots of murders thrown in...but nothing TRUELY off the deep end.
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2009
    Did not know this existed until an hour ago and have not seen it but I'm guessing it should be on this list:


    • CommentAuthorUrbanAngel
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2009
    Magic Sword - I think you mean "Tales from Earthsea" which is the latest Hayao Miyazaki film, based on Ursula Le Guin's books. It is indeed a children's book which is very famous in the UK. Not seen it but enjoyed the books.
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2009 edited
    Here's some more, starting at the saner end of the spectrum:

    Infernal Affairs the first of which was adapted for the US as the Departed and has 2 sequels

    Murder Take One is a satire/ cop drama involving a camera crew following detectives.

    The Mad detective is what it ses on the tin, but interestingly so.

    Sharkskin Suit Man and Peach Hip Girl is kind of a Japanese take on the Tarintino's Pulp Fiction, quirky gangsters and a damsel in distress. I really like this one.

    Party 7 is similar and a lot more surreal.

    20th Century Boys is a manga adaption, I think there's a part 2.

    If you like Kung Fu Hustle then you should really check out Steven Chow's other movies; God of Cookery (think Iron Chef neets martial arts) and Forbidden City Cop ( Wuxia meets Pulp Fiction) are both hilarious and the humour's pretty accessible.

    One of my guilty pleasures is the Twins movies. They're a canton pop girl duo who make a lot of movies, most so-so.
    A Chinese Tall Story is like they thought Journey to the West wasn't epic enough so stuffed Phantom Menace into the middle.
    Protege De La Rose Noir about the Twins becoming sidekicks to a man hating ex-superheroine is worth watching for their complete disregard of Batman's copyright (and answers the question 'would Robin's costume protect him from a castration robot'?). Silly but fun.

    The Sword of Many Loves is one of those martial arts fantasies that doesn't make a whole lot of sense to us, but has lots of mad energy. Tunneling spiked midgets, Poison witches and Shaolin Monkesses. I love it.

    And Electric Dragon 80,000 Volt is as insane as was mentioned above. It's like pcp being dripped into your ear by lizard people. That's a good thing. Honest.

    Lastly, here's a clip from one coming out that I really want to see, even though I know it'll be half crap. I have high hopes for the other half:

  2.  (5975.49)
    No, he means Ponyo on a Cliff. It's not out over here yet. And Tales from Earthsea was directed by Goro Miyazaki, Hayao's son and it wasn't all that great. Especially for a Ghibli film.
    • CommentAuthorradian
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2009
    Yes!! Electric Dragon 80,000 Volt is the best thing I watched last month.

    Wild Zero is brilliant if you like zombies & over the top Rock'n'Roll. (and who doesn't?)
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2009
    I'm a Studio Ghibli fanatic, and I gotta agree Tales From Earthsea was a weak effort. I turned it off pretty early on, in fact - think of every classic swords/dragons anime RPG you ever played on the 8-bit consoles. This is that storyline.

    As far as Ponyo on a Cliff being a children's film (I've not seen it), a big part of the beauty and magic of Ghibli films is the detail and artistry of the backgrounds. Honestly some of them I couldn't care less what is actually going on in the plot, I'm just sitting there enthralled by the sumptuous colours and textures of the scenery. I want to walk down the street that Gutiokopan Bakery from Kiki is situated on. I want to sit on the grassy hill overlooking the Cat Kingdom. I want to ride the train across the flooded fields of Spirited Away. That's the appeal of those films, to me.
  3.  (5975.52)
    Ditto on Tales: very ho hum for a Ghibli flick.

    Ponyo is entirely hand-drawn, so as for the detail and artistry of backgrounds, it might come off a bit different (potentially even more amazing than usual). Haven't seen it either, but I do know Miyazaki was really interested in getting back to the roots of his cartooning method.
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2009
    @Magicsword-- Ponyo is pretty much as your friend described it. it's a version of The Little Mermaid, closer in spirit to the original legend than the Disney version (Ponyo drinks blood!) and retold in a Japanese style. children like it because they can latch on to the cute characters, while adults generally end up scratching their heads. part of the problem is that in the Western fairy tale, a mermaid woman falls in love with a human man. the romantic aspect feels kinda weird and ooky when it's transposed onto 5-year-old kids.
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2009
    There's a bunch of low budget teen films I like -

    Waterboys and Swing Girls ... and a love for films that reference weird stuff from my youth like Dororo ...

    People mentioned Red Cliff part 1 which should be obtainable at any local Japanese Video rental shop ... the story is from the 'Romance of the Three Kingdoms' that have been a staple among Japanese video games ...
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2009
    I must chime in to praise Survive Style 5+ too. It's one of my favorite films of any language, any genre. Just a real treat for the eyes and a lot of silly fun.
    • CommentAuthorReymar
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2009
    Oldboy rocked me, excellent film.

    Some others I didn't see mentioned worth watching are Cashern (slow moving future sci-fi with some incredibly beautiful scenes), The Returner (sort of like Terminator but better IMHO), Born to Fight (Tony Jaa martial arts flick, worth it just for the little girl kicking butt scenes), So Close (action/martial arts featuring three of hong kongs hottest women), Myth (Jackie Chan almost no humor, future meets olden days without time travel!! VERY good flick) Princess Blade (low budget action flick).

    Some others I have but can't recall the names of...
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2009
    Red Cliff has it's UK theatrical release soon. I don't think it's just part one as it was in Hong Kong, cause it seems to have a longer running time here. Which means they most likely did what the rumours said they were going to do and cut the two parts together into a single film for the western market.

    So, if they have done that, then there'll be about two hours of footage missing.

    The two part Hong Kong edition can be got on region free Blu-Ray if you want to see the longer version. It does meander a bit, so the western edit is probably pretty decent, but if you're familiar with the Three Kingdoms then you might prefer the longer one.
    • CommentAuthorUrbanAngel
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2009
    Sorry for the mis-info about Tales from Earthsea!

    I just bought a secondhand DVD called Isola (JP film) which looks intruiging. Has anyone seen it?

    "When a woman, able to read the thoughts of others, comes to help survivors of the 1995 Kobe earthquake, she encounters a girl with Multiple Personality Disorder whose dangerous 13th personality, Isola, must be stopped."
    • CommentAuthoroga
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2009
    Isola is pretty good, but I wouldn't really want to watch it more than once.
    • CommentTimeJun 1st 2009
    Just watched Invisible Target, pretty decent action flick.

    Also picked up 13 Challenges, haven't watched it yet but it looks sort of Old Boy territory; protagonist is offered money to take on 13 tests that get get progressively darker and morally dubious as they go on. Looks interesting at least.