Asian Cinema Thread

Discussion in 'Entertainment, Culture, and Sports' started by Mr Herbert, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. CaJx

    CaJx Active Member

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    Goemon, recent Japanese blockbuster after hollywood renovation, really the story is as pathetic as the shallowest of hollywood popcorn flicks, but it's got over-the-top custume designs and CGIed ninja-samurai fighting, makes anything you've seen about martial arts action like joke (coming from a Chinese who grew up watching martial arts films, that says a lot, in another word, Chinese martial arts films should take a lesson or two from this).

    Can't say I completely disagree, since I don't watch any martial arts movies at all and it doesn't appeal to me (including those 70/80's Shaw Brothers). Yet I can't really imagine to see something like "Drunken Master" (one of the few I really liked) kung fu in the style of Azumi (I don't really know much of Japanese martial arts movies either) and vice versa, you know.
     


  2. superfans124

    superfans124 Senior member

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    Can't say I completely disagree, since I don't watch any martial arts movies at all and it doesn't appeal to me (including those 70/80's Shaw Brothers). Yet I can't really imagine to see something like "Drunken Master" (one of the few I really liked) kung fu in the style of Azumi (I don't really know much of Japanese martial arts movies either) and vice versa, you know.

    I'm sorry I was being confusing, cuz I wasn't even sure the subject specifically of what I was trying to pin at, had to google it to find the right word, now I know...Since you don't watch much Martial Art movies, I guess what I'll have to explain will only sound more confusing, but here it goes.

    When I made that comment about how Chinese Martial Arts films are a joke, I was refering specifically to a subgenre of Martial arts films--- WuXia. WuXia style different from Martial Arts in that, the characters poccess superhuman abilities, think DC comic/Marvel superheroes, but not that other-worldly, just superhuman enough to "leap over 5 story buildings", "run for miles without breaking a sweat", "one seemingly harmless blow to the stomach that decimate all internal organs" that sort (what was the one in Kill Bill v.2? 5 steps heart blows up? something like that, it appears comical in Kill Bill, but super serious in WuXia)...whereas Martial Arts, Drunken Master, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, KungFu and etc. only the best, but still humanly stuff (lol).

    You might not have seen it, but you probably have heard movie critics describe these mesmorizing scenes in Crouching Tiger, where Chow yan-fat and Zhang ZiYi's characters bounce between bamboo tops all butterflyly, that's WuXia style. In Hero, where some guy performs Jesus-like water-walking ability by tapping and leaping on water surface, that's WuXia. You mention Azumi, I think of Ninja Scroll and likes, very much in vein with Wuxia. Simply put, whenver character poccesses abilities not possiblity achievable in this world not even with performance enhancing drugs, that sets beyond martial arts or kungfu, but into a fantasy genre, WuXia (I think Japanese have their own words to describe it, but I don't know about that).

    WuXia genre used to be the bread and butter of HongKong cinema once upon a time, even til this day the genre is still extremely popular here, because of its Star Wars-like cultural relevence in Chinese territories. The absolute most popular WuXia novelist, Jin Yong/Louis Cha and his 14 WuXia novels. I'll bet money that if you ask 9 out of 10 Chinese (at least the ones greatly influenced by chinese culture) they've had read or heard about some of stories, and the last person can at least identify a handful of characters names from his novels, that is cultural relevence. Tons of his (and others) novels have been adapted to films and television series and influenced greatly on HK WuXia film genre, but none are satisfactory, because I think it's technology (or lack of thereafter), without CGI you can't vividly reinvent those crazily wild and beautiful fighting styles described in words to motion picture. So all the WuXia films illustrate martial art techniques when characters engage in close combat, that's why all WuXia films are tagged Martial Arts to western audience, just saves a whole lot of explanation.

    What I'm trying to say is, how I feel about Chinese WuXia films is like, say, after you've read the Star Wars in novel first, then saw the film where the characters whield swords instead of lightsabers, disapointing? A gross understatement. So when you watch all those butterflyly dancing on tree tops and hopping over water scenes, when you know those moves should've been executed with cutthroat strength and speed, how can you be satisfied? can you imagine spiderman and superman fight like that?

    So no disrespect to the martial artists, oriental or western, who dedicated their lives to fine-craft the form, and that respective movie genre. But for Chinese WuXia films, it's time to step up, with technology. That was the first thing came to mind when watching Goemon "FUCK! this is how it's supposed be done!"

    WOW~longest reply I've typed in a long time~[​IMG]
     


  3. pronxs

    pronxs Senior member

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    i absolutely love god of gamblers. no joke.
     


  4. CaJx

    CaJx Active Member

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    Ohhhwww, wuxia. Didn't think of that. Makes sense, those movies do lack excitement and rely more in a beautiful atmosphere. I can only stand so much of the "flying backwards while a sword is pointed at them" move while the Japanese counterpart is a gory mess of violence (both not my thing).
    WOW~longest reply I've typed in a long time~[​IMG]
    Better than having nothing to say [​IMG] Edit: Just saw the trailer for Goemon. The CGI is to excessive for my taste, feels like I need a game controller XD
     


  5. Mr Herbert

    Mr Herbert Senior member

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    i love wuxia for the fantasy aspect but will definitely be checking out Goeman

    thanks for the suggestions - keep them coming.
     


  6. thats.mana

    thats.mana Senior member

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    I remember my parents going to the Lao store as a kid and coming back with a complete season of a wuxia show, like 20 video tapes in poorly dubbed Thai.
     


  7. laughwithm3

    laughwithm3 Senior member

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    That was the first thing came to mind when watching Goemon "FUCK! this is how it's supposed be done!" [​IMG][/I]
    That's definitely not what wuxia is about. Have you read any of jinrong's or gulong's work? The bamboo scene in Crouching tiger actually reflected the world of Wuxia quite accurately. at least the highest art of wugong. The highest level of "martial art" in wuxia novels are the ones which you pick up a flower or a branch and use them as swords. It's about exerting enormous strength while looking like you are doing almost nothing. It's elegant, it suppose to look easy, peaceful and beautiful. There are no crazy graphical descriptions in any of jinrong and gulong's novels. Neigong/Neili cannot be seen, it should not be portrayed by flashing colorful lights around the characters. Goemon is very similar to FengYun, they are both comic-like. In a way, wuxia novels aren't suppose to be translated onto the big screen, because that destroys the beauty of imaginations. now people like you think when GuoJing uses XiangLongShiBaZhang, a dragon actually comes out of his palm.
     


  8. Toiletduck

    Toiletduck Senior member

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    Early Stephen Chow movies. (but you'd have to understand quite a bit of canto to understand fully)

    Hero.
    God of Gamblers.
    Infernal Affairs.
     


  9. gamblor

    gamblor Senior member

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  10. superfans124

    superfans124 Senior member

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    That's definitely not what wuxia is about. Have you read any of jinrong's or gulong's work?
    The bamboo scene in Crouching tiger actually reflected the world of Wuxia quite accurately. at least the highest art of wugong. The highest level of "martial art" in wuxia novels are the ones which you pick up a flower or a branch and use them as swords. It's about exerting enormous strength while looking like you are doing almost nothing. It's elegant, it suppose to look easy, peaceful and beautiful.
    There are no crazy graphical descriptions in any of jinrong and gulong's novels. Neigong/Neili cannot be seen, it should not be portrayed by flashing colorful lights around the characters. Goemon is very similar to FengYun, they are both comic-like. In a way, wuxia novels aren't suppose to be translated onto the big screen, because that destroys the beauty of imaginations. now people like you think when GuoJing uses XiangLongShiBaZhang, a dragon actually comes out of his palm.


    You are absolutely right on the cheap glowing effect and flying dragon stuff, lol. That's not what I'm suggesting (or trying to suggest), though you have to admit, the short coming of WuXia films is that they employ real Martial Arts techniques to illustrate fantasy Martial Arts techniques. The Wuxia fighting styles (as according to the collective understanding of Wuxia style from novels) are inhumanly beautiful, complex and distinguishly different from each other, no matter how hard you ask the real martial arts practioners to try, they all end up like ordinary fight forms, and guess what? they all fight alike on film. Regular martial arts plus stunt-machine that hangs characters mid air, is that what JinYong and GuLong had in mind when they inked the words? I don't think so.

    It's easy to complain, and I only have the hintest ideas of what I'd like to do if *GASP* a director would hired me or simply asked me for counselting, I'd change a few things completely with CGI effect.

    It's the way of deliverying the content, you mentioned XiangLongShiBaZhang, dragon in form of "energy" flying out of anyone's palm would be cheesy beyond the lowest grade, it's definitely not streetfighters nor dragonballs, but you can't just have some actor swings his arms in some pretentious gestures and expect the viewer to believes that is THE single most powerful ZhangFa in all WuXia universe's ZhangFas, to me that's not cheesy, that's pathetic. CGI when used right can enhance all the imaginable (and unimaginable) details to bring out the magnitude and make-believe.

    All in all, it's just my wet dream, I wonder at times what would WuXia look like on film led by a real visionary director. Tsui Hark on tons of crack might do it, lol, it's got to be the turbocharged version of anything anyone has ever done with wuxia on film. A budget for the Matrix-like team of effect specialists is a must. Anything in Wuxia when fully realized can top that bullet dodging stunt, it'd be unheard of stunts after unheard of stunts, that require shuttle buses between hospital and movie theater dedicated to all the unhinged jaws.

    I just pissed myself a little when typing those last few words, ooops[​IMG]
     


  11. slumdawgbillionaire

    slumdawgbillionaire Well-Known Member

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    1.IP man
    2. Iron Monkey
    3. Ninja Assassins, freaking feel like playing ninja gaiden for the xbox.
    4. Kungfu hustla
    5. Red Cliff
    6. Once upon a time in China
     


  12. baseball_guy

    baseball_guy Senior member

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    1.IP man
    2. Iron Monkey
    3. Ninja Assassins, freaking feel like playing ninja gaiden for the xbox.
    4. Kungfu hustla
    5. Red Cliff
    6. Once upon a time in China


    I've heard Once Upon A Time In China is good but I have not seen it. I'll order it the next time I need something from Amazon.
     


  13. asobu

    asobu Senior member

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    In fact, who are THE film makers in Japan these days? I've seen a lot of populist fare listed here (and GREAT populist fare at that, don't get me wrong) but I haven't seen a lot of cinemalist cinema, if you catch my drift. Who are the new film makers making people think and feel, in other words.

    I'd like to know this too. As for currently working directors/film makers, Koreeda Hirokazu is a favorite of mine, and not only amongst japanese directors. Maboroshi no hikari is one of my favorite movies ever, and I loved After Life, Nobody Knows and Still Walking as well.

    I've also enjoyed the few movies I've seen by Naomi Kawase (Moe no suzaku, The Mourning Forest).
     


  14. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    Where can one get the full version of Red Cliff on Blu-Ray? They only released the cut-down version in the cinema here?
     


  15. laughwithm3

    laughwithm3 Senior member

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    red cliff is terrible on so many levels, don't bother
     


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