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 Recently Watched Movie Thread 
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Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:38 pm
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Rocky (1976) - The story will remain a classic forever, even for its' simplicity. Great characterization, depth, set-ups. The boxing match at the end was just ok, it came off redundant after a while seeing Rocky receive hits very often before attacking and countering back. I guess that has pretty much been the style of the choreography in the series, which is understandable. Rating: 10/10

Rocky II (1979) - Good continuation on Rocky going back to the life he lived before the title shot, showing a great deal of depth of how he handles fame whilst struggling to get other things done and maintained. Things are balanced well and there's nothing rushed or unneeded, which is important for movie sequels. The rematch bout was like that of the first movie. Except more intense, shot more complexly and a bit longer. I think Stallone did a good job capitalizing the premise of the first movie by upping the ante a bit. Rating: 7.5/10

Rocky III (1983) - This was a new turn for the series as the focus is on Rocky being changed as a person since his victory and the fame that carries him from there. Another thing that drastically changed since the previous movies is the use of antagonists and the training scenes; with Mr. T delivering that premise and resulting in the best boxing match in the whole series technically and in general. The story itself also turned over a new leaf and made things more dramatic for the better (Mikey's refusing to train Rocky any more and his health problem, Adrian being more supportive). Rating: 8.5/10

Rocky IV (1985) - Not alot happens here but instead builds up the match-ups with Apollo Creed and Rocky against Ivan Drago and showcasing the villain in new ways. But you can't go wrong with the entrancing music that plays throughout the movie. That's also one of the best things about the Rocky series, and it was (like Survivor's "Eye Of The Tiger" did with Part 3) elevated here whilst featuring the classic scores from the first movie. Rating: 7/10

Rocky V (1990) - The reputation I can understand, and I actually think the trainer/rookie relationship - where loyalty is quickly rubbed off by greed and self dignity - rather gave the series something different. Still, the movie ended disastrous and broke the tradition of having disputes taken place in the ring by having Rocky vs Gunn fight turned into a street fight (nice choreography at least but out of place still). Rating: 6/10

Rocky Balboa (2006) - Stallone is back showing Rocky living his life some 10-15 years later, now running his own restaurant and being a widower (shame Shire couldn't appear in the movie). The movie went back to the roots and there were lots of touching moments that nicely represented what the two earlier movies were all about. The premise is simple: aging people still having the edge/will to do what they once used to do. Stallone, being 60 at the time, seemed do wanna prove that he could still do demanding movies and that what he was capitalizing on here (and with the action movies that came out afterward). The boxing match was the same old multiplied-hits-on-face/beast-out-in-the-right-moments concept, but at least it kept close to what Stallone had in mind in the first place. Rating: 8.5/10


No doubt the whole series is awesome.. 8-)


Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:31 pm
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Post Re: Recently Watched Movie Thread
New World

Entertaining Korean gangster flick but nothing groundbreaking.
I felt the movie needed some more back story especially about the undercover cop and also his relation with his girlfriend. Some scenes could have been worked out more dramatically. Now it just looked like it was there to get from one scene to the other but without the impact to the ones involved. Some more action would have been nice but this doesn't mean the movie was boring, the pace was good but with only one big fight I felt they could have been some more bits of action.
Overall entertaining but nothing we haven't seen really before.


Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:42 pm
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Post Re: Recently Watched Movie Thread
The Burning (1981)

Pretty standard slasher set in a summercamp. Nice to see a young and slim George Costanza with hair. There's also Fisher Stevens and a blink-and-you'll miss appearence by Holly Hunter. Another interesting trivia tidbit is that the movie was created, written and produced by Harvey Weinstein.

Still, there is a raft sequence in the movie that's pretty good :)

6,5/10


Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:35 pm
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Post Re: Recently Watched Movie Thread
The World's End
I honestly can't remember the last time I enjoyed a movie this much. It perfectly matched my sense of humour, I liked the characters and style, and I even really liked the fights. Brad Allan and co have done a great job with the action.

I've heard some more negative reviews, but for me this was easily the most enjoyable time I've had at the cinema in years.


Tue Aug 13, 2013 1:19 pm
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Post Re: Recently Watched Movie Thread
The Library Wars

Japanese manga / anime live action adaption, wasn't really for me a bit boring towards the end. But it does have a decent final fight. Okada Junichi already showed his skills in the SP series and movies but here he has his best fight to date, showing he is becoming the new action star of Japan.


Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:02 am
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Post Re: Recently Watched Movie Thread
Cold Eyes

Nice Korean remake of Eyes in the Sky. It's basically the same plot only more action driven.
The young actress here does a good job just like Kate Tsui in the original ( she was the one who carried that movie for me) here it's the Tony Leung character who really get's to shine. He is played here as a more cold blooded killer and get's to demonstrate this also in a few killings.
The only disappointment here it was also the thing I didn't like about the original, there is no real confrontation at the end between the leads. They do have a bit of a confrontation here at the end, they are the ones who take the villain out but I would have liked to see them fight it out a bit especially the girl and the villain.
But beside that is still a good movie they also leave the door open for a sequel at the end with Simon Yam having a cameo at the end.


Sat Sep 07, 2013 11:36 am
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Post Re: Recently Watched Movie Thread
Fists of Legend

Decent Korean mma flick but nothing special really. The story isn't something we haven't seen before and the fights are entertaining but at the same time nothing special. There are no memorable fights and no real end fight that was a bit of a let down. At 2hours also a bit long for a simple action movie...


Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:34 am
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Post Re: Recently Watched Movie Thread
Why are all Korean films 2 hours long? At least!

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Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:11 pm
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Post Re: Recently Watched Movie Thread
Blind Detective

Andy Lau this isn't your year..... After the terrible Switch he brings us an other movie that's just as bad! Movie makes no sense, acting is just terrible and the worst part the so called comedy that never get's funny at all!


Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:56 pm
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The Kings of Summer

Watched it last week and fell in love with it. It's the story of three boys who decide to flee from their family, go live in the woods and build a cabin duing the summertime. Great performances (especially the main character's dad who's also hilarious) all over, touching story and authentic emotions. I loved it. Watch it if you enjoyed Stand by Me or Last American Virgin.

9.5/10


Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:10 am
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Post Re: Recently Watched Movie Thread
I picked up a few classics while in HK last week to fill some gaps in my collection. Got a few laughs and comments to the effect of "I can't believe he's looking for this" when asking for specific movies :-)

So far I've watched the following, with "Millionaire's Express" and "Peace Hotel" still to come.

Angry Ranger
I remember Eric talking about this all the time back in the day, and I never managed to find a copy here in Australia.

It's a fun but obviously low-budget 90s kickboxing movie. Pretty much everything about the movie except the fighting is super awkward, especially the "romantic" scenes at the disco and on the beach.

The main character, Peter, is kind of a jerk, but he does basically live up to the title's promise that he would be "Angry". I don't really know why he's a "Ranger", but whatever. The story is inconsequential, but good enough to get you through to the fights.

The fights are solid, classic, 90s goodness. They're fast and violent, like a Jackie Chan film with fewer stunts and no sense of humour.

Other than that, there's not much to say. It's pretty much what you should expect from an early 90s HK film. Rubbish movie, solid action, I had fun.

Tiger Cage 2
Pretty much everything that I said about Angry Ranger can be applied to this movie. It has a plot that feels like they were making it up as they went along, full of underdeveloped characters who magically fall in love or declare themselves best friends for no apparent reason.

The action is solid, though. Donnie Yen is in top form, Robin Shou has never moved better, and David Wu is doubled unabashedly, so at least his character gets some good action in.


Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:49 am
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Post Re: Recently Watched Movie Thread
Ninja 2

Scott Adkins skills are insane and there are some awesome fights in this. The fights with Tim Man and Kane Kosugi are inspiring.

Non-stop fights one after another in this film, MUST WATCH !!!!


Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:17 am
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Post Re: Recently Watched Movie Thread
Police Story 2013

This movie is a disgrace to belong to the Police Story franchise. It's really no good movie at all. They want to make you think this is a different Jackie Chan movie with a more serious theme, but right from the start you know it won't be like that when he takes the cigarette from his daughter mouth and put's his typical preachy face on, from there on you know it will be him trying to move on from his old image but at the same time he doesn't want to let go! The movie tricks you by showing him doing things you wouldn't expect but every time it turns out you were watching a what if scenario after the second time it get's pretty old and it doesn't help the pace of the movie also.
Action wise there isn't really much good going on you have 2 ok fights, one brief fight against a guy with white hair and the 2nd being also the best moment in the movie in a cage inside a bar. The underground fight scene is nothing special and the fighting is cut every time with them talking ( being a flashback.)

TYG 2

Tony Jaa using wires in his fights and not one fight that stands out with boring choreography must be a new low point for Jaa! I hope Skin Trade and SPL 2 put you back on the map can't say I care about FF7 other wise it game over for him.


Sun Jan 26, 2014 2:59 pm
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Post Re: Recently Watched Movie Thread
TYG 2

This is BAD !!! Really bad. I was cringing as I saw Tony Jaa using wires and the use of the CGI was horrendous. Really disappointing performance from Tony Jaa. Since his spell in the wilderness he does not seem to be the same person that we fell in love with in Ong Bak and TYG 1.


Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:48 pm
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Post Re: Recently Watched Movie Thread
TYG 2:

Some people are forgetting that Tony Jaa vs Marrese Crump was fucking ridiculous...besides that, this movie was stupid. At least it isn't a film that takes itself too seriously.

Police Story 2013:

This movie is a bad movie that takes itself seriously. This really is a bad movie. Jackie Chan's ACTING is the best part of the movie. I wonder if it could be cut and redubbed into something better.


Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:49 am
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Post Re: Recently Watched Movie Thread
Firestorrm

Decent movie and good to see Andy Lau in something that isn't totally crap like his last couple of recent movies. But this movie is a must see just for the action it's been a while that I haven't seen such a big scale of action scenes in a HK movie. The action looks really good the CGI are done well also something you normally don't see in a HK flick with some great pyrotechnics on display here especially at the end when Central get's blown to pieces! Chin Kar Lok is the men to go for urban action he really knows how to get the raw action style on screen. He already showed he had skills with one of the best shootout that I have seen in Fire of Conscience. This movie has all kind of action explosions, shootouts, vehicle stunts and a decent brief fight with some nice falls. Must see for action junkies!


Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:12 pm
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Post Re: Recently Watched Movie Thread
White Storm

Benny Chan goes Heroic Bloodshed and nails it all the way to the end! I loved this movie from start to finish. Benny Chan proofs once again that he understands action and together with Dante Lam are the ones who are keeping the HK action cinema alive.
The story could have been a bit better here and there especially with a mayor plot scene that happens to one of the leads. It takes to long to explain what happened there, it only makes you wonder how can this be. If they had explained right away it wouldn't take you out of the movie some what. But the pace and plot are decent.
Action looks good also with some really entertaining action scenes. Overall entertaining movie.


Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:55 pm
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Post Re: Recently Watched Movie Thread
Kungfu Fighter

Total crap this one! The lead has no charisma at all, he does know how to fight but the fights never get interesting and only have some nice moves here and there.
Worst of all the story is just so lame one of the more laughable moment is when he tells the brother of the man he killed in the ring he didn't hear the bell and he didn't mean to kill him. Doesn't matter if you heard the bell or not it was a hit to the BACK of the head! The guy was walking away and the lead hits him from the back and then they expect we have sympathy with him…. But that wasn't the worst plot line in the movie noooo China just doesn't get tired of the same shit of evil gweilo who looks down on the Chinese and feels he is stronger then them. Come on we are sick already with this plot line in their movies that are set in ancient time but this takes place in this period. No logic at all!!


Sat Feb 22, 2014 1:37 am
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Post Re: Recently Watched Movie Thread
thing is there is no actual kung fu in kung fu fighter


Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:21 pm
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Post Re: Recently Watched Movie Thread
Here's a movie that I would say truly cements Dante Lam as one of the leading Hong Kong filmmakers at the moment and that will push his filming skills further if he's given the right material and the ideas to succeed again. What he has done here was creating a story that is put together and emphasized in a way he's never done before and thereby outdoing his previous works, including his break-out movie The Beast Stalker.

One might be more interested in the MMA aspect surrounding the movie. But if anything, it's the story and character chemistries between the main characters that make this movie very successful. From Nick Cheung's interaction with rookie Eddie Peng, and trainer/best friend Philip Keung to traumatized mother Mei Ting and her kid girl Crystal Lee. Then you also have a subplot involving Eddie Peng and his father Jack Kao, as well as the mother jeopardizing herself to get institutionalized and separated from her only kid she has left due to her depression to boost the emotional aspect of the character development and it works. This is Nick Cheung's show though. The guy has come a long way and has recently proven to be a fine leading man in his own right and keeps going forward and getting better at his game. The character development between him and the mother/kid was the strongest part of the dramatic side of the movie. I'd go my way and say that without this, the movie would've been another sports movie with conventional everything that has become the norm nowadays. Also kudos to Mei Ting and especially child actress Crystal Lee for conveying their acting performances so exceptionally well.

Action-wise, I liked what they did with the MMA although it wasn't overwhelming nor something new as far as MMA onscreen goes. Lots of techniques, details, logic etc that indicates that Lam has done his research on the sport. On the other hand, I think there were some moments of flashy movements that made me think "shouldn't there be little flash and more authenticity as far as MMA goes?". Plus the camerawork and editing - while being creative and fresh at times - was also a bit bugging as you can't really see or imagine what's going on due to odd angles and alignment of each shots. It's not surprising though, given the fact that the action was staged by Ling Chi-Wah, who regularly works as an action choreographer in Yuen Woo Ping's stunt team. Nevertheless, they deliver in the action department featuring entertaining training sequences and fight scenes. Andy On's moments were the highlight to me, and I can see why they keep hiring him for upcoming action movies. The downside to On's role is that his character shows up toward the second half as the random champion of Macau. This to me didn't serve much to the story and makes his character the weakest out of all other ones.

Verdict: Everyone who likes good touchy stories/character mash-ups with entertaining action sprinkled in between should definitely see this. I'd say it's up there with Drug War as one of the best Hong Kong movies made in 2013. Highly recommended!

Rating: 9/10


Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:31 pm
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Post Re: Recently Watched Movie Thread
Knockabout (1979)

Some decent comedy, good fights and a great finale.

3/5

The Gambling Ghost (1991)

Far between the fights, which weren't anything special. Seeing three Sammos in the same room was kind of fun though. :)

2/5

License to Steal (1990)

Not that exciting film, but the parking garage fight between Yuen Biao and Billy Chow was top notch!

2/5

Paper Marriage (1988)

Fun and cute with good fights. Especially loved the kickboxing fight.

3/5

Hong Kong Godfather (1985)

Pretty slow until the awesome chaotic finale.

2/5

Run and Kill (1993)

Nice and violent, but the woman I saw the film with was almost devastated at the end. 8-)

3/5

Dragon Fight (1989)

Dick Wei is totally badass in this one. Best Jet Li fights since the Shaolin Temple trilogy :geek:

3/5

Bloody Brotherhood (1989)

Andy Lau was great in this one. Good story, decent finale.

3/5

Tiger Cage 2 (1990)

Happy fun anything goes all out actioner which is entertaining all the way through. :-D

4/5


Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:48 pm
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Post Re: Recently Watched Movie Thread
Surprised you rate TC2 higher than Knockabout. I can't get enough monkey style.

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Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:57 am
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Post Re: Recently Watched Movie Thread
Android Cop:
Was better then expected(wasn't expecting much at all), but was hoping for more. Very very very little fighting(kinda expected). MJW does like 2 quick fights(approx. like 10 seconds combined) and that is all the fighting.

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Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:00 am
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Post Re: Recently Watched Movie Thread
stuntpeople wrote:
Surprised you rate TC2 higher than Knockabout. I can't get enough monkey style.
I'm a sucker for contemporary action films I guess :)


Sat Mar 01, 2014 3:52 pm
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Post Re: Recently Watched Movie Thread
The Monkey King (2014)

First things first, I'm not familiar with the JOURNEY TO THE WEST novel nor am a fan of the screen adaptations. So whether the movie is faithful to the novel or not I can't comment on unfortunately. But as a standalone movie, THE MONKEY KING is very entertaining. Adapting novels and what not onscreen is something I no longer take for granted because the whole point from filmmakers' views is that you loosely create a base around the original material and then intentionally mixing in your own ideas and thoughts to put together something different. This is what I got from watching the movie as well; being a loose adaptation that is not intended to be matched to its' original source material step-by-step. I think when filmmakers made this movie, they already knew to aim the movie for a specific audience: families. Imagine a sci-fi movie with all kinds of talking animals (including bears, turtles, giant killer fish, proboscis monkeys etc) and creatures all in G-rating vibe and aiding CGI in the mix, and you'll get my point. While I'm not usually fond of family-oriented versions of movies of opposite nature, I was honestly appreciating what I saw all the way through.

Now, people have not only criticized the unfaithfulness of the overall content but also pointed out how bad the filmmakers used CGI for characters and background. Sure, it may pale in comparison to Hollywood productions. But all in all it's actually pretty good for Hong Kong standards, especially when there's cheap CGI-filled Hong Kong movies existing like THE STORM RIDERS and THE LEGEND OF ZU. Something I also found remarkable was how well the Hollywood team did a great job mashing up the CGI with the actors' in motion, which I can't say about many 3D Hong Kong/Chinese movies made today. However, I still think CGI is one area China/Hong Kong can greatly improve on considering how much finance they have to invest on. I would love to see how they change this in the future, and how this can make them compete with Hollywood as a whole.

The cast includes many Hong Kong as well as Mainland talents. Despite this, the movie centers mainly around Sun Wukong (played by Donnie Yen) as well as Jade Warlord (Chow Yun-Fat), Bull Demon King (Aaron Kwok), Puti (Hai Yitian), and Erlangshen (Peter Ho). Chow Yun-Fat carries his version of Jade Warlord with calm coolness and channels charisma by not even seemingly trying (not a bad thing I'd say). Likewise for Aaron Kwok, who plays his role with great menace and to great effect and having his own agenda during his long-lasting feud with Jade Warlord. If anything though, this is Donnie Yen's show as it's his interpretation of Sun Wukong that simply makes the whole movie. Donnie throws in all kinds of expressions and emotions that will have you marveled at his dedication and efforts in breathing new life to the classic Sun Wukong character, something apparently very demanding and tough for him. I now regard this movie as one of his best achievements in terms of acting. I'm also aware that comparisons have been made between Donnie and previous actors portraying Sun Wukong after its' initial release. Again, this is something I can't comment on because I have only seen Stephen Chow and Jet Li's take on Sun Wukong. But I will say this: If most people highly praise Donnie's acting performance then it must mean something significant. Regardless, this shows that Donnie has now become part in the big league of great Hong Kong acting leads and continues to improve greatly.

What about the action scenes? Since this is a Donnie Yen vehicle, people surely expect great action scenes from him as well. Knowing Donnie's choreography style and his strive to put new and different stuff in each of his movies, I think this is once again a successful attempt for him; this time he mixes up an unusual empty-handed fighting (or should I say unconventional monkey kung fu) style, traditional staff techniques with 3D technology and wirework. While I really enjoy all the action scenes (ranging from one-on-one duels and magical gimmick duels to large-scale war battles), I don't think this will sit well with those that hate CGI/wirework only wanting the authentic/real physical aspect of action choreography. This is a fantasy movie after all so these fictional elements are required anyway.

Verdict: Some things (like most reviews have pointed out) needed alot of work because they were unpolished and amateurish. But overall, I'm very impressed with how the movie was put together and wouldn't mind seeing Donnie Yen return as Sun Wukong for the sequel (begins production this fall).

Rating: 8/10


Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:00 pm
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