Movies Movies Movies!!


 

Check out the Yozora No Mukou title tune...SMAPS wa yeeeeaay!!!
This page is just a short review of some of the movies that are kind of Asian related or have some foxy asian birds in them. If anybody else knows of any movies not mentioned in here, please feel free to contribute. 5 stars = A fine way to spend an evening, 1 star = garbage-bin filler.


Contents

Reviews by Me:
James Bond
Come See the Paradise
The Beach
Karate Kid 2
The Pillow Book
Red Corner
Big Trouble in Little China
Rising Sun
Emperor of the Sun
The Smell of Green Papaya
Farewell my Concubine
One Night Stand
Shogun the Movie
Black Rain
????
Blindness

Reviews by James:
Chungking Express
The Beach
The Pillow Book
China Girl
Lone Wolf and Cub
The Hunted
The Kitchen
Like Grains of Sand
Rhapsody in August
Tokyo Raiders

Reviews by Oscar:

Rashomon
Jigokuhen
Shall we Dance?
Swallowtail
Love is a Many Splendored Thing
The Barbarian and The Geisha
Rampo (not to be confused with Rambo..)
Tokyo no Kyujitsu


Other Contributions welcome!! - anyone seen any others not on here, like Snowfall on Cedars or Indochine? Write it up my good men!!

(James Bond) You Only Live Twice ****

(1967, Directed by Lewis Gilbert, Starring Sean Connery, Donald Pleasence, Akiko Wakabayashi, Tetsuro Tamba, Mie Hama, Bernard Lee, Desmond Llewelyn, Lois Maxwell)
You only have to read through this site to guess how much I love Bond movies. Of course, they're pure idealogical fantasy, and even if you could come up with the best chat-up line in the world, no way would you get laid in real life as quickly and as frequently as Bond seems to. But like many others, Bond appeals to the child-like dream inside of me of being 'the perfect man', who never makes mistakes, is fiercely intelligent, and is a charming bastard to boot. Every woman adores him, despite the fact that he goes through them like toilet-paper - such is his effect on them, and they yearn for him when he's not around, twisting and turning in angst whispering my name in their sleep..'Kris....Krisssss...'

Hang on..I am like that..

Seriously though, this is the movie where Bond (Connery in his getting-on stages) is sent on a mission to discover who's behind a serious of rocket launch espionages that have occured just outside the Earth. The British government locate the cause to be coming of the terrorism to be somewhere in the Japan region, and so our lad Bond is sent out to track down the bad guy, and naturally, pull a few stunners in the process.

The movie isn't the best of the Bond series, but does have some lovely looking females in it, which Bond duly humps for England like a good little spy. Notable is the first one, Japanese babe Akiko Wakabayashi.. yo she daaang fiiine.. too bad she isn't it any other movies.
The soundtrack's also pretty good, a Nancy Sinatra number, although Moonraker's was far superior, with diva Shirley Bassey (Goldfinger was an over-rated title tune IMHO).

The script was written by none other than Roald Dahl believe it or not, and after watching you'll be left some moments being glad he doesn't often deviate from writing kids books. Okay it's not that the movies bad, it's generally very entertaining, like most Bond flicks - but it does have it's moments of 'suckness' - I bet Japanese viewer's pissed themselves watching it first time round as you get to the part where Tiger Tanaka (I know...don't ask) introduces Bond to his group of 'Ninja Spies'...not to mention where Bond has to actually in-effect 'become' Japanese as to not be recognised in a small village. All that happens is his hair is dyed black, and he has his chest hair removed..and you're supposed to believe that all these tiny Japanese couldn't tell he was a foreigner, even though he's 6ft 4, big as a brick, with a Scottish accent? Oh yes, very authentic.
Still a good watch though if you can live through it without commiting seppuku. I think in a comic version of a Bond movie in Japan, you could have Bond going down Roppongi for a night on the piss.."M here Bond. A strange thing has been happening in Japan - yes, sit down 007 - a strange event has been happening in a place called Roppongi, Tokyo, all the women seem to have a skin-colouration problem, and somehow cannot resist shagging foreigners. We've given them the morbid title of ko-gyaru, yes, call girls Bond... Infiltrate Gas-Panic and find out the bloody hell's going on 007 - Christ, even Q got laid there last night! Q here has managed to hook up a little gadget called the 'Kitty-Chan', it's supposedly used to induce Japanese women into states of hysterics when shown, so only use it in a case of emergencies Bond. Out"
One ironic thing is that the dude who plays Bond's arch-enemy Blofeld in later movies is actually Bonds buddy in the beginning of this one. That was a bit trippy. Anyway, apparently whilst filming, Sean Connery began to hate the Japanese as he'd get mobbed by tons and tons of fans whenever he left his hotel room. Not that he didn't get that anywhere else I suppose, but apparently in Japan they went completely mental over him. A million beautiful Japanese women going crazy for him everywhere, oh yes, you poor thing Mr.Connery. BTW, did anybody else know the Desmond Llewellyn (Q) was from Bexhill, near my old town Hastings. Yeah, I used to see how pottering around all the time. Till he died..

Come See The Paradise **

(1967, Directed by Alan Parker, Starring Dennis Quaid,Tamlyn Tomita, Micheal York)
This one was made in the late eighties by Alan Parker. It's basically Dennis Quaid is this guy working in a cinema owned by a Japanese guy. Quaid starts fancying the guys daughter played by Tamyln Tomita (the ugly bird from Karate Kid II), and then goes on to marry her and they have a kid, even though her pops hates the idea of her doing it with a 'gaijin'. This is just before WWII, and as soon as the Japanese hit Pearl Harbour, all the Nikkei-jin (second generation Japanese) are put in camps to stop them spying for their families back home. This includes Quaids wife and kid, and the rest of her family. The movie continues just a to be load of sentimental poop about Quaid trying to get rights for his wife and her family, and trying to get her father to accept him as her husband, and not the enemy. You'll cry with Quaid, you'll shout and rave with him, you'll really feel the anguish..No you won't, you'll fall asleep and wake up 30 minutes after the movies ended, woken up by the automatic rewind on the video.
Well, the movie's watchable, but, as usual, there is the over-acting of Dennis Quaid to put up with - an actor that just doesn't suit this kind of movie to be honest, and is better off sticking to cheap action flicks. I don't know, there are worse people who could have been in this movie though (like his brother Randy Quaid, now there's a guy who can't act). His wife isn't so foxy in that you really feel she should be let out of the camp anyway -- the saviour babe of this flick is her sister, who is stunning, so it's worth watching just for the scenes she's in, daft as it may be to waste 2.50 to do that... Apart from that..it's nothing special really. Just your typical Hollywood cack about Nikke-jin anguishing over whether their loyalties are to American where they were born or Japan where they descended. Have a look if you like this kind of thing.

Blindness *

The movie so famous I couldn't even find it's date of creation on the net!! (sarcasm).I honestly will never figure out what made me hire out this movie one night - well, actually, it was someone's face on the cover, namely a Miss Vivian Wu, girl of my dreams. Yep, the cover design of the movie looked tacky, the plot read as though it would suck, and I'd never even heard of any of the other actors, but as soon as I saw Wu with her lusty, shining black eyes staring back at me from the cover..I just knew that The Truman Show would have to wait for another night.
Well, I should have just followed my first instincts..was the movie good? Does Lois Lane ever put out?? Nope it wasn't and nope she doesn't. From the very first scene, I knew that I was watching shit in it's purest celluloid form. Bad lighting, set design, acting, you name it. As for the plot - it's about two fathers (USA and Chinese) who've shared a healthy business until one of them is killed mysteriously. The son of the father is blamed and so goes on the run, but comes back secretly to accuse the son of the Chinese businessman of being the actual culprit. The Chinese businessman is married to Wu, who really actually loves the gaijin and always had, and...oh bugger this, why am I wasting my breath? DOES WU GET SHAGGED? YES. So who cares about the plot? Trust me, this movie is not gonna break any Box Office records, and further explanation of the plot would only waste up web-space, so I'm not gonna bother.
This movie is soo, soo bad, and Wu acts even more woodenly in this movie than in the Pillow Book (review below). What's worse is that she doesn't look half as good as in the Pillow Book either. All make-up dudes. If Blindness was any more badly made, it would fit into the realms of movies like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Withnail and I, with the exception that the named two are actually classics despite their shoddy budgets. The only reason Blindness even gets one star is because at least Wu is in the movie, otherwise it would be on the - scale.

Empire of the Sun ***

(1987, Directed by Steven Spielberg, Starring Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson, Nigel Havers, Joe Pantoliano, Leslie Phillips)
You'd think Spielberg was a secret paedophile with the amount of movies he makes about kids, and of course, this one's no exeption. Another Spielberg fetish about a young boy (who grew up to be Christian Bale from American Pyscho), who's a Brit living in China with his family, when the Japanese invade and he gets chucked into a POW camp with a bunch of Yanks and other Brits. His mum and pops are nowhere to be seen so he's kind of left to irritate the rest of the POW's and do good deeds and stuff, whilst searching for his family wherever the group takes him. The movie's full of all the kind of moralistic crap you could imagine Spielberg could conjure, with the little kid undertaking all kinds of risky undertakings, and trades between parties that the Westerners and the Japanese in the camp both start to love the young boy wide-eyed and yet mature view of life. The Brits are as stiff as they come, and he ends up hanging around with the 'cooler' Americans, lead by John Malkovich (who in true Spielberg watering-down-style, is just a regular Joe, whereas in the book of the same name he was a drag-queen child-molester). Spielberg's movie never fail to please though, despite my whinging. It's all soo family orientated though, but he's getting into my winning books with titles like Saving Private Ryan, which is excellent by all means.
The most impressive thing about this movie that always sticks into my mind was Christian Bales performance, and especially little things like his Japanese, the pronounciation was bloody good, I'd dare say perfect. Well, he is British so it's no wonder he was so good..aaaaaahhhhh...hahahahah..Anyway, no babes in this movie, and of course, it has a fairly predictable ending where the kid gets back to his parents (spoilt it for you, suckers!).
"It's all rather enjoyable old boy", as Bale's father would say about this movie. I mean, it is Steven Spielberg after all, who is a guy who could turn shit into sugar movie-wise. And anyone who say's they hate Indiana Jones are probably the types you see rooted to the screen when it comes on every other Bank Holiday Monday.

Shogun ****

(1981, Directed by Jerry London, Starring Richard Chamberlin, Yoko Shimada, Toshiro Mifune, John Rhys-Davies)
Basically a rough stringing together of the 10 hour mini-series into a full-length feature film, Shogun stars Richard Chamberlain as the butch Anjin-san (Ship pilot) John Blackthorne, in a story adapted from the best-selling, Emmy award winning James Clavell (who, like myself, was educated in Portsmouth, even though he's actually an Aussie and I'm British). Everybody knows Shogun, if one movie is the most famous gaijin-asian love story it's gotta be this one. Who wasn't just a little cut-up when poor Mariko was killed by the door crushing her, just after Blackthorne and her had truly fallen in love. A lot of people think the story is fiction, but actually is loosely related to the true story of Will Adams, the first western gaijin ever to officially marry a Japanese (I didn't say shag!!) and become a 'gaijin samurai' (much, much cooler than being 'knighted'). And he was a British bloke..yeah, don't take it from me, check it out The story of Will Adams..Anyway, Chamberlain lands in feudal Japan and is captured, but the Shogun of Japan soon discovers Anjin-sans great knowledge of ship building amongst other foreign techniques, and so is eventually to become the Shogun's right hand man.
Now, although this movie is very good, if you've read the book beforehand, you may be slightly dissapointed, as many of the books finer points are lost in the translation. Despite that, the director did a good job. Another fact is, alhtough Richard Chamberlain is supposed to be potraying some tough guy, he's actually a great flaming homosexual in real life, which, ummm, makes it a little less beliable, even though he's a fine actor. "Now there's a waste of a handsome-looking man..", my old dear used to say.
As usual, the dude from Rashomon (Toshiro Mifune) as Tokugawa is excellent and always looks like a tough b*stard in any movie he's in (anyone he reckons there's no 'real' men in Japan only has to look at this bloke in action to change their mind). The movie is well worth a viewing regardless of whether or not you did actually read the book, and in the end it's still highly entertaining - almost a classic in some people's minds.
At least it's well-researched compared to other movies I won't mention..oh, excuse me I'm gonna sneeze..aaaaacCHOOO RISING SUN OOOO...bless me.

Black Rain ***

">(1981, Directed by Ridley Scott, Starring Micheal Douglas, Andy Garcia, Ken Takakura, Kate Capshaw)
With Micheal Douglas and Andy Garcia, this a wicked little watch about two cops who've been sent to Tokyo to track down a Japanese gangster, assisted by some old Japanese Ugly Dude, who I can't remember the name of, but always seemed to be in every crappy Japanese drama I watched when I was over there. I enjoy this movie every time I see it. It's got a few unlikely bits, like Micheal Douglas opting for the ugly foreign bird over a room full of sexy Japanese ones...poor sucker..and, oh, well, that's all I can criticise about it really. The movie's good bro! - especially cool is watching Andy Garcia getting his ugly mug chopped off by some Yakuza (probably for his sukebe comment about 'getting some geisha girls' earlier). That'll teach him. Also, the way Japanese underground is portrayed seems kind of mysterious and exciting. And Douglas does play the grouchy cop very well, you have to give it to him. Actually I can't remember the ending come to think of it, is this the one with the two Japanese businessmen who die at the end..I think so..who cares?? shit hot movie dudes!! Read all about it's making..

????? (we think Violent Cop) *****+

I'm gonna have a crack at this even though I can't remember the title (someone fill it in please??!!!), as this was probably the best Japanese gangster movie I've ever seen so far. Starring Kitano Takeshi (he looks like a twat on TV but boy can he act a hard-man when he wants to) as a copper chasing a Yakuza all over Tokyo. Takeshi's got this daughter (or is it his sister) who's hooked on crack given to her by the Yaksters, who make her pay for it by repeatedly raping her (submissive Japanese woman rape scenes anybody? anyone??). Kitano's made quite a few of these hard-bastard against hard-bastard movies, and this one's the golden crust on top of the pile of shit let me tell you. The scenes are what makes this movie, like, the one where Kitano chases the big boss guy into the street, only to be stabbed up by the bad guy. Well, Kitano's like holding onto the knife so that it doesn't go any deeper, whilst his hands getting cut to crap, and then he nuts the bad guy. So the bad guy's on the floor trying to pull out his gun, whilst these two innocent O.L's are watching the whole thing in shock. Kitano run's over and kicks the gun just in time out of his range, which only results in one of the O.L's getting her head blown off..That scene was just so wicked and hard-hitting, you see this O.L screaming her head off at her mate on the floor in a pool of blood with bits of brain and stuff hanging out..dude, and what about this scene if that hasn't tickled your fancy. Kitano's younger copper buddy and some other's go to this crim's house to nick him, and when they get there, the crim's still humping his girlfriend and is half-naked when they kick his door in, so naturally, the coppers think they're gonna batter him easily, so they all go for him one on one. You think they're beating him down, but all of a sudden he has a come-back and starts actually kicking them all in, before dashing out the window. Shocked, the young copper runs after him, judo-throws him to the ground, but get's knocked down himself. As the cops getting up, the villain picks up a baseball bat and SMACK, dude, you see the cops head just CRACK right open..I was staring at the screen for 5 minutes after, like, where has this movie been all my life?? needless to say, the other pissed off copper's chase after the criminal and crush him against the wall with their car at full speed..the whole film's like that from start to finish. Like Pulp Fiction but without the comedic element. Oh and you just gotta see what Kitano does to himself and his daughter at the end!!..
Do yourself a favour and seek this movie out, it can't be that hard to find. You'll worship Beat Takeshi after this movie, despite himself making a prick of himself every night on J-TV. The movie's amazing, honestly, and anyway, it'll improve the way you usually say "Get that f*king piece of shit and kill him!!" in Japanese eh?? good one to try in your Japanese class next time!!

The Pillow Book ****

Well, well, this is the one that gave many a normal man yellow fever after watching it. It's one of those slightly surrealistic movies done by the guy who did The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover - Peter Greenaway. It stars Ewen McGregor and Vivian Wu, and it's just one of those movies that you'll love or you'll hate. Ask yourself this, did you watch and enjoy the movie Brazil?? No?? skip this then. If the answer was a yes, you'll probably enjoy this slightly queer little number. I don't suppose many watch this for the plot, but rather the visual hit the extremely delicious Vivian Wu give's off as the star. The movies extremely beautiful and aesthetically please - in some ways more like a working piece of art than a film. Dudes, if any of you out there like Asian girls, Vivian Wu is the one to look out for. You'll be hating Ewan McGregor for the rest of your life after watching him get her into the sack in what looks like a 'very' realistic sex scene. The Wuster looks so damn good in this movie that's it hard for me to recall another movie which features such a good looking asian babe. To top that, the character she plays is about as mysterious and as erotically sensual as it gets. I swear, if you were only slightly AAA before, you'll be fully assimilated after watching the Pillow Book. Besides I like Ewan McGregor, and I see alot of myself in him, so he his interesting character does the movie good..it's just too bad that Wu's acting sure does suck , as the movie would be much more enjoyable if she'd only played out some of the scenes with a little more emotion, esp when Jerome dies, and she's supposed to have loved him and all that. I'll just cut out the plot from somewhere else off the net, okay, here you go. The film is inspired by the text of a traditional pillow book (the Japanese equivalent of a diary) written at the end of the tenth century by a female courtier who recorded all her sensual reminiscences. One thousand years later, Nagiko (Vivian Wu), a beautiful young model whose mother once read to her from the erotic manuscript decides to write her own pillow book. She, however, has a peculiar fetish--she likes her lovers to use her skin as writing paper. After a succession of compliant bedmates, Nagiko meets Jerome (Ewan McGregor), a bisexual English translator who suggests that she invoke her literary muse by using his body as a scroll. When she changes from being the paper to the pen, Nagiko embarks on a passionate but fatal collaboration with Jerome. The end result is a bizarre love triangle in which Nagiko and her older gay publisher (Yoshi Oida), who seduced her father when he was a child, compete for the affections of the amorous Brit.
Messed up eh??..you definately wonder what the script-writer was thinking when Ewan leaves Nagiko to go and get rectum-rimmed by the dirty old Japanese guy, but it sure makes this movie less run-of-the-mill. Just stop reading this and watch it!! or if you already have it then send me a copy!! assholes!!

Tokyo Raiders *****(Review by James)

One of the big Hong Kong crowd pleasers released during the Chinese New Year, Tokyo Raiders is an excellent James Bond style chase through the streets of Japan's capital city. It starts with HK babe Macy (Kelly Chen) being left waiting at the altar when her Japanese groom Takahashi doesn't show up. Worried that he's in some sort of trouble, she goes to his strangely empty apartment only to find an irritating interior designer (Ekin Cheng) waiting for his payment. The two team up and head off to Tokyo in search of Takahashi and along the way meet up with a private eye (Tony Leung) and his gang of sexy Japanese assistants who are also looking for the mysterious man. It doesn't end there though, also in search of Takahashi are the Japanese Mafia and American CIA with everyone using Macy to get to him first. In the midst of so much pursuing and running, this movie manages to pack more twists and turns than a hundred flights of spiral stairs yet it's a great action packed film. With guns, car chases, kung fu and a collection of babes (both Japanese and Chinese), Tokyo Raiders is a perfect example of how Hong Kong cinema is often superior to its western counterparts (IMHO).

The Pillow Book *****(Review by James)

Back in the old days when I was just starting to see the light and getting a taste for Asian women, long before the AAA and Young Dudes, I came across this film at my local video store. It was in those usually tacky bargain bin deals but seeing a sexy oriental woman with a westerner on the cover made me think that this film had potential and oh boy was I right! I'm not going to explain the plot, Kris already does a good job at that with his review but I am going to confirm what he said, if you were only slightly AAA before, you'll never look back after watching The Pillow Book. Your going to be green with envy after seeing what Ewan McGregor gets to do with the stunning Vivian Wu (yes they do look realistic) and you'll be cursing him for days when he gets stuck into that old man's ass instead. Wu seems to look sexy every second that she's on screen and her accent is, well just you wait and see. If there was ever a perfect woman then Wu's portrayal of Nagiko is probably it. On top of that the film is also a visual treat and your eyes are going to enjoy the ride, I'd say it's a bit of an art house film but don't let that put you off. The next day after seeing this film I plucked up the courage to ask out my first Chinese girlfriend and it was this film that convinced me that the path of the AAA was for me. Show it to your friends and it'll probably convert them to the cause, it really is probably the best film for the AAA.

The Karate Kid II *

I'm not gonna bother reviewing this...oh God, alright then. Well, Daniel LaRuso goes with old Miyagi-san to Japan, after Miyagi finds out his pop's is just about to kick the bucket. Then it's just the same cack as KK 1, where he falls for a girl (cept this time she's Japanese), and has to scrap with a martial arts master in the middle of a Japanese festival. Utter, utter shit, I used this video to keep my door from slamming shut for six months before I even bothered to watch it. Plus the girl should be barking instead of talking with a face like hers. Plus Daniels such a whinging pussy during the movie that you'd wanna kick him in too if he lived in your street, or shout "Laruso, hey, do you wanna learn Kung Fu? Yeah, that's right, mow lawn, clean dishes, goood.." And you know that Miyagi-san's only a Nikkei-jin and not a real Japanese, as I've seen him in enough movies with a full on American accent. That dudes a dud. And I hate that sound-track 'I'll be the man who will fight for your honour'--blahblah...As an irate Frenchman once said to me 'I sheet on zis movie!!'..Still, nothing could ever be as painful as watching a double bill of Dawson's Creek.

Red Corner ****

The movie that inspired China What the Hell??..all about a gaijin who, after porking a rather stunning Chinese flower, is then framed by the killers and sentenced to death by the unfair Chinese legal system. Henceforth the movie then becomes one of those court/legal battle type's with excellent speeches and intimate conversations between Richard Gere (the defendant) and his Chinese attorney, who he ends up falling for, but who never leaves with him even after he's freed (always the way). The movie's good actually, well directed and acted, I really enjoyed it. The model girl that Gere goes for in the beginning is a majora baborous - I'd love to see her in a few more movies. There's not much else to say, it's well worthwhile watching - but nothing radical, nothing new. Just A Few Good Men done in a different time zone. Yeah, enjoyable, but it won't hit you like the Pillow Book.

The Smell of Green Papaya *

Oh man!! Do not watch this movie!!. When I rented this out for the first time I read on the front. Cannes Award 1998. So naturally, I was rubbing my hands in glee thinking this was gonna be some top AAA material. Expecting to be fully entertained I turned it on, and after a slow start in the beginning, I began to wait until it got good, still rubbing my hands. And I waited, and waited, and then the movie ended. The movie was in fact, shit. Damn, not just that, but there were no babes dude!! Rule no.1 of Hollywood states spefically that if the scripts sucks, hire babes. Why do you think people watch Baywatch? For the tense action scenes and RADA style acting?...damn, I'm not even gonna bother explaining the pathetic plot of TSMOGP to you guys..just don't bother watching this because it's so bad that you would be better off spending those 2 hours taking a dump. Buy it for your worst enemy.

Farewell My Concubine *****

Wow, there I was still reeling from the shitty feeling in my bowels given off by The Smell of Green Papaya, when I came across this little beauty. Just when I thought Asian movies couldn't get any worse, then along came this one -- and I was right!! they couldn't get any worse!! this was bloody marvellous!! Probably the best-scripted AAA movie I have seen, this ones about two young Chinese lads who grow up studying to be actors in the Chinese Circus. They always re-hearse this one play about a King and his lover, who, in the act of trying to save her beloved, ends up killing herself with his sword, so that the King can escape, leaving her behind. The twist in this movie is that one of the actors (who plays the girl) really is a poof, and is in love with his screen-partner, who is 100% straight-lace. Well, the King gets married with some hooker who pressures him into it, and it creates a huge rift between gay guy and the King, which ends up with the gay guy 'really' topping himself in the style of the play towards the end. Man, this honestly is the finest example of Chinese movies in the 90's. It literally drips quality from the very first opening, and I was thinking about that final scene for hours after I'd watched it, which I had to watch again the very next day. Okay, Pillow Book has the finest looking woman, but Farewell My Concubine has the finest everything else. Remember how after watching Deer Hunter, you were thinking about Christopher Walken topping himself in the Russian Roulette match, and feeling all emotional about it and stuff??? well, FMC does that to you. Bloody good movie old boy, top marks.

Rashomon ***** (Review by Oscar)

(1950, Directed by Akira Kurosawa, Starring Toshiro Mifune, Machiko Kyo)
You cannot pretend to be a Japanophile without watching this classic just once. The movie is old and it has been copied ad nauseam, so the plot will not be fresh for most of you. This is a movie by the man who made the Seven Samurai (remade in Hollywood as the Magnificent Seven) and Yojimbo (Bad guy: "So go ahead and kill me!" Good guy: "It's gonna hurt" *SLICE!*). Rashomon is set in medieval Japan so you will see a lot of funny costumes. Machiko Kyo is a blast. This movie was released in 1950, so the rape scene is mostly suggested and not shown. But the close up of Machiko Kyo's eyes as it is happening is so erotic it kills you. You wonder how she does it from under the heavy medieval makeup. I am a big Kurosawa fan and I recommend just about any movie directed by him. I think the best ones are Yojimbo, Sanjuro (tops!), Seven Samurai, the Hidden Fortress (famous as the inspiration for Star Wars), High and Low (great!) and The Bad Sleep Well (what a lousy translation!). Kurosawa movies are mostly about guys so they really are not very good for checking out the chicks. Watch them anyway. They are good movies.

Seppuku ***** (Review by Oscar)

(a.k.a. "Harakiri" 1962, Directed by Masaki Kobayashi. Starring Tatsuya Nakadai, Tetsuro Tamba)
This is the movie that put the word "harakiri" into the English vocabulary and also won Tetsuro Tamba a role in "007: You Only Live Twice" as Tiger, the Japanese agent. (Kris - oh really?? Can that guy actually speak English that well or is he just reading cues..must be like how you speak in real life Oscar me old chum).
As the title implies, the movie is about ritual suicide. In the early 17th century, feudal Japan had finally been united under the banner of a single shogun and peace was attained. It was bad news for the warriors, many of whom were now unemployed. One particularly honorable warrior, rather than to die miserably in poverty, knocked on the door of an nobleman's house to request a formal suicide. The nobleman was taken by his story and decided to employ him for a cushy salary. The rumor spread and soon every starving warrior in town was knocking on doors to request formal suicides. Nobody could afford to hire so many vagrants, so most houses paid them petty cash and drove them away. This only brought more starving warriors who threatened to slit their stomachs outside the gates if they were not allowed in. It was now an epidemic of blackmail. One noble house, that prided itself on its honor and integrity, was determined not to be blackmailed. The samurais of the house decide t! hat the only way to protect the go od name of the house is to allow the next warrior who came in to actually commit the ritual suicide that he requested, which they duly do. The wrong one, as it turns out. The movie starts when the second warrior comes to the same house, also asking for a ritual suicide, and then proceeds in flashbacks. The officers of the house give stern warnings about blackmail and recounts the story of what happened to the last warrior. The second warrior assures them that he really intends to die and even asks for his head to be chopped off when he slits his stomach. But wait! Where are the noble masters who are supposed to chop off his head? It is a tense, tight and suspenseful movie with great sword play and a surprise ending. Definitely worth watching ..... if you can find it.

Love is a Many-Splendored Thing ** (Review by Oscar)

(1955. Directed by Henry King. Starring, William Holden, Jennifer Jones)
Yes, this is a classic. Yes, the main theme is so famous everyone has heard it. Yes, within the genre of Asian-gaijin romances this movie is the most famous bar none. //..fans of the King And I might disagree with you Oscar..Evil. And yes, I give it only two stars.
The story hardly needs to be recounted. Newsman Mark Elliott (William Holden) is an American war correspondent temporarily staying in Hong Kong during the Korean War. While there he meets and pursues a beautiful Chinese-English Doctor (Jennifer Jones). But when they begin to fall in love, their friends and families pressure them to stop the cross cultural relationship. Classically acted and directed, the romance is credible. The "cross cultural" is not. Jennifer Jones, with all due respect, is not convincing as being "more Chinese than English". The "cross cultural" part is only a gimmick to put a little frill to the story. Also, the story is much too slow. You can stand up in the middle of the movie to buy Coke, Popcorn and a full course dinner and come back and still follow the story because nothing has happened while you were gone. I suppose these lengthy lapses were deliberately infused so that the audience could spend some time smooching, which tells us much more about ! the pace of courtship during the 1 950s than the whole movie tells us about cross cultural relationships. One interesting bit is that Holden's character is a married man who claims he cannot divorce his wife. The fact that whole generations of viewers have bought his story is testament to how far such bullshit can go.
It is difficult for me to imagine anybody under the age of fifty who can put up with the glacial pace with which this movie progresses. But still, a lot of old folks love this movie. One useful application may be to show it to any elderly relative who has issues with your fixation with Asian women. I am sure no one over the age of fifty will object to Jennifer Jones.

The Barbarian and the Geisha ** (Review by Oscar)

Tokyo no Kyujitsu ** (Review by Oscar)

(1991, Directed by Naoki Nagao, Starring Kaori Kawamura, Eddie Constantine)
I would not have even thought of reviewing this movie if Kris had not told us to review *gaijin* movies. Well, this forgotten stinker is the only Japanese movie I know which was filmed almost entirely in English. It also features the oddest Asian-Gaijin duo in the history of film. An English speaking Japanese teenage girl and an American septuagenarian. The girl is played by Kaori Kawamura, who is half Japanese and half Russian and speaks fluent Russian as well as English. She is short but she is really cute and has great tits. The only time she speaks Japanese in the whole movie is when she is talking to herself, and she talks to herself in *poetry*! The old man is played by Eddie Constantine.
Eddie Constantine, in case you want to know (and normal people do not), appeared in a lot of worthless movies (at last count 91) most notablly the cult junk-a-piece "Broadway Jungle" (1955) which can be summarized as "Phil Tucker does Ed Wood". If you do not know what that means, it means "Moron does Dickhead", "Incompetent movie director does Brainless same", "Tasteless does Revolting", "Shemp does Moe" .... He also starred in "Passport to Shame" whose only notable feature was that it was banned in Finland. (Why did they bother?) Also "SOS Pacific", "It lives Again" (aka "It's Alive II"), "The Long Good Friday" and "Alphaville". In short, this man has been in the Twilight Zone of cult genres all his life.
The plot is so stupid it is not even worth mentioning. An old robber-baron in a stretch limo driven by a punk guy with pink Mohawk hair, is prowling the streets of Tokyo in search of "Tokyo no Kyujitsu", or "Tokyo Holiday", which is said to be the next big thing in the world of designer drugs. (The title is a play on "The Roman Holiday") He has come all the way from New York on the strength of a story in a tabloid full of reports on UFO sightings and such. Unable to find his way around Tokyo, he enlists the help of a lonely displaced girl with whom he forms something of a bond.
There is utterly no action throughout. The story gets nowhere. The ending is pointless ... or is it?
You would be bored to death with this movie until you realize that the point of this movie is not to tell any story, but to stream the MTVesque picture-scape. The nightlife of bored Tokyo teens was never more surreal or real. This is not a movie to sit and watch. This is something to keep on the TV screen as visual background music when you are doing something else. This is an Objet d'Art to have around in your apartment when you are feeling as lonely and displaced as Kawamura or Constantine. When Japan around you is a MTVesque picture-scape just streaming away.
All told, this movie fits in the mold (or the non-mold) of an Eddie Constantine movie. Here is something someone said about one of his movies somewhere else on the internet. "If one had to use just one word to sum up this movie that word would have to be weird. It is a film that constantly challenges our preconceptions, our expectations, and, as a result, manages to be both deeply disturbing and very funny at the same time." That, of course, is just about the definition of a cult movie and the discription fits just about every Constantine movie, including this one.
All Gaijin-Asian romance movies are exercises in artistic wierdness. (ex. The Pillow Book, Hiroshima mon Amour) But this movie challenges our preconceptions of the already anti-mainstream genre. It is a lousy movie and a pain to sit through, but just for pulling the rug from under my feet, I give it a charitable two stars. //p.s. I still don't believe you're a 'real' Japanese with English like that Oscar..

Jigokuhen **** (Review by Oscar)

(1969, Directed by Shiro Toyoda, Starring Yoko Naito, Tatsuya Nakadai, Kinnosuke Nakamura)
Another old movie set in medieval Japan. It is based on a story written by the same guy who wrote the original story of Rashomon. If you are into such things, you should immediately know that I am talking about Ryunosuke Akutagawa. Not an entry level Japanese movie, though I think it can be enjoyed on many levels. You would not understand many of the silent sequences if you were not into Meiji era Japanese literature. Still, the main plot is relatively easy to follow. A big ass aristocrat who thinks he can push anybody around hires an artist genius who is as proud and rebellious as Michelangello and as crazy as Van Gogh to paint a mural on his palace wall. The peer wants a painting of paradise because that's what he thinks his rule is. The artist who has seen the reality beyond the palace walls and the silent anxiety among the docile aristocrats demands to be allowed to paint a portrait of hell. A deal is struck when the peer commissions, not a mural, but a large screen with! a portrait of hell, on the streng th of which it will be decided whether the palace wall will be decorated with a picture of paradise or inferno. From there the movie gets weirder and weirder. In the middle, the peer takes away the painter's beautiful daughter as his sex slave. Again, nothing explicit is actually shown, but even then you wonder how this creepy movie ever got through screen test in 1969! Yoko Naito is beautiful as the tragic sex slave. Hope you can find the video!

Rampo **** (Review by Oscar)

(1994, Directed by Rintaro Mayuzumi. Starring Masahiro Motoki, Naoto Takenaka)
Edogawa Rampo actually lived and wrote creepy stories shortly before WWII. He was a best selling writer but he was edited heavily by the puritanical censors of the military government and it took a toll on his mental health. He was William Burroughs of Japan before his time. This is one of many movies to come out of his legend. This is also probably the only movie in which you can see Michiko Hada in the nude. If you like search-for-your-subconscious movies like Angel Heart, the Sixth Sense and the Fight Club, you will love this movie.

Shall We Dance? **** (Review by Oscar)

(1996, Directed by Masayuki Suo. Starring Koji Yakusho, Tamiyo Kusakari, Naoto Takenaka) This is an intelligent, subdued, Woody Allen type of comedy about life in Japan. If you like squishy little comedies like Brass and the Full Monty, I guess this movie is for you. Tamiyo Kusakari is very beautiful and Naoto Takenaka steals the show as the comic co-star. I have met a lot of gaijins who loved this movie but may not be quite "Young Dudes".

Swallowtail **** (Review by Oscar)

(1996, Directed by Shunji Iwai. Starring Chara, Mickey Curtis, Yoriko Douguchi)
Now this is more like it! Check out the chicks in this movie! Show me one AAA who will look at the likes of Nene Otsuka, Ayumi Ito and Tomoko Yamaguchi and say that they are dogs! The main plot too, is somewhat gaijin oriented. Here is somebody's recount of the movie ripped off from somewhere else on the net: "While I'm particularly fond of Japanese films, I must admit quite a few of them are enjoyable only because of their unique style, not because of their actual content. Films like Shark Skin Man And Peach Hip Girl are fun to watch, but that's all there is to them. Yentown (Swallowtail's original title), on the other hand, is a prime example of Japanese cinema at it's finest. Combining music and politics, drama and action, social commentary and humor, art film and popular film, Yentown is a true post-modern experience, rich both in style and in content. The film takes place in the Tokyo of near future, in a ghetto inhabited by immigrants from all over Asia. The status of immigrants is a touchy subject in Japan, and it has been widely covered in many of the recent Japanese films. What separates Yentown from them is that it uses the ghetto only as a starting point, and although the hardships of the immigrants (and outsiders in general) are a major theme, it is only one of the numerous subjects the film explores. Basically, Yentown is about dreams. The story revolves around a group of poverty-stricken immigrants, to whom a sudden twist of fate gives the opportunity to literally make money and thus realize their dreams. Unfortunately, their luck is not without it's consequences, and even if they get what they've always dreamed of, they may realize they've chosen the wrong dream. This may not be the most original of ideas, but the story is told with such energy and originality, and with such sympathetic characters, that the viewer soon forgets the familiarity of the basic plot. Yentown is a type of film that gets even better on multiple viewings. The story is told in a non-linear way which can make the film seem a bit confusing, at least when seen for the first time. There are elements (and even characters) in Yentown used mainly as metaphors, and to careless viewer it may appear that the film doesn't quite properly tie up it's threads. But if the viewer has the courage and patience to watch a film quite different from our Western tradition, Yentown will reward him/her with an unique blend of emotion, wit and beauty. "

Chungking Express ****(Review by James)

If there was ever a movie that was made for single guys then this is it (and maybe Tokyo Soapland Adventures). The film is actually two separate yet similar stories about two Hong Kong police officers who have both recently rejoined the bachelor world after being dropped out of their respective long term relationships. The first story revolves around a plainclothes police officer (Takeshi Kaneshiro) bumping into a mysterious woman and instantly falling for her big time. He spends his days trying to get back with his old girlfriends (I'm sure we've all tried that before) and his nights desperately trying to find out who the mysterious woman of his affection is. The second story is again about a police officer (Tony Leung) whose air stewardess girlfriend walks out on him while he's at work. She leaves the apartment keys and a Dear John letter with the girl behind the counter of a local takeaway on the basis that she'll give them to the police officer when he next calls in for lunch. The problem is that the girl (Hong Kong singer Faye Wong) has developed a crush on the police officer and using the keys, she gets inside his apartment to move things around and cause general mischief in the hope of bringing some excitement back into his life. Both stories wrap up quite nicely leaving you with a smile on your face and a good feeling inside. It's a bloody good film partly because we can all relate to it, we've all been there before and your going to be nodding your head in agreement with some of the things these guys do. Had an argument with the wife? Broken up with your girlfriend? Without a date for the weekend? Then get Chungking Express, I guarantee it'll make you feel better and it's the perfect cure for a broken heart.

The Hunted ****(Review by James)

Hands up those of you who have ever dreamed of getting involved with a beautiful woman and a ninja assassination plot while on a trip to Japan. This typical Young Dudes fantasy is brought to reality by Christopher Lambert, who while on a business trip in Japan, meets a mysterious Japanese woman (ironically played by Chinese actress Joan Chen) and ends up spending the night in the hot tub with her. After getting some sweet n' sour loving he does the normal thing of walking out while she's sleeping (so true) but returns after forgetting his keys (or something like that). Unknown to Lambert, the Japanese woman has been marked for death by a ninja clan and he returns just in time to witness her execution before fleeing from the ninja assassins. What follows is a chase through the streets of Japan with the ninjas killing anyone and everyone who gets in their way of killing Lambert before he can reveal the identity of the clan leader. Luckily help comes in the form of a martial arts instructor (and samurai clan leader, must look good on his CV) and his wife who use Lambert to lure the ninjas to their island fortress where the final battle can take place. No great acting or an Oscar winning script but it does have some great action sequences and turns out to be a great film anyway, probably because we've all wanted to be in the same place as Lambert some time or another.

Like Grains of Sand **(Review by James)

This is a pretty interesting Japanese film about the pain of thwarted adolescent love and the after effects on relationships amongst a group of high school students. The main character is Ito, a quiet guy who has a crush on his best friend Yoshida, who in case you haven't figured, is also a guy. One day the jocks of the class pick up on the fact that Ito may not be one of the lads and after provoking him for awhile he finally comes out and declares his affection for Yoshida. Yoshida on the other hand is a little oblivious to the whole thing and just thinks Ito's gone a bit baka, he is more interested in Aihara, the new weird girl in class. Sometime through the film Ito and Aihara form an easy friendship and after sharing their personal secrets, Aihara becomes a twisted matchmaker who tries to bring the two boys together. I don't know if I can recommend this film because its nothing really special and the ending is pretty twisted, it leaves too many unanswered questions for my liking. The story is a bit slow and there are those long silent pauses that seem so common in Japanese films. I suppose if there is nothing better in the video store and you want to see a load of sexy Japanese school girls (a damn good point because this film is full of them!) then you should give it a try, if not then get The Pillow Book instead.

The Kitchen **(Review by James)

Make sure your sitting comfortably boys and girls because we're going to enter the wonderful weird world of Asian art house films, please leave your brain at the door and enjoy the flight. It's been awhile since I've seen this film so excuse the lack of exact plot details and character names for the review, it shouldn't really matter that much anyway, as long as you get a the basics. The Kitchen is about a young girl (she's played by a sexy Japanese model but I can't remember her name) whose been living a sheltered life with her grandmother since she was a child. When the grandmother dies the girl somehow ends up living with a boy and his transsexual mother. The mother (or should that be father?) and son combo are a pretty dysfunctional family, always arguing and bickering at each other and this causes the girl to becomes a recluse to the world around her. Any attempt made by the boy or his mother to talk to the girl fail miserably until one day she cooks them a meal in the apartment kitchen. This seems to bring them all together, its like they've been lacking any good homely social contact for years and the three of them start to become a family. Though it doesn't end there, the boy, even though he has a very sexy girlfriend, takes a liking to the girl and she does to him but never really admits it. But this being Japan, its impossible to have a normal relationship and the girl runs away to become a world class cook in Europe, I guess she just wasn't content to working behind the counter in Burger King or something. Back in Japan mother/father is killed when she/he confesses to her/his boyfriend that she was once a man and son, now with nothing going for him, tries to track down the girl in the hope of sorting out their feelings for each other. I know they find each other in a stinking hotel somewhere but I can't remember how it ends, sorry guys you'll just have to rent it yourselves.

The Beach ****(Review by James)

Is this really an AAA film? Well it is set in Thailand but the main reason I'm reviewing it is because of the premise behind the story. A young American, not ready to join normal mainstream society and the responsibilities it brings, travels to Bangkok in a bid to escape and discovers that he is not the only one to possess these feelings. Does it sound familiar already? How many of us thought the same thing when we went to Japan for the first time? While staying at a hotel he finds a map, left by his whacked-out and suicidal neighbour, which supposedly points the way to a mysteriously hidden island where some other wayward souls have settled. After making the dangerous journey with some of his fellow travellers, he arrives at the beach, an exotic paradise for the lost and the adventurous. They are gradually accepted into the local community but all is not what it seems in this Lord Of The Flies for the new millennium. The Beach is the type of story that you'd read in adventure comics when you were a kid. The ones that would keep you awake at night and make you late for school the next morning but you'd still be thinking about them in class, great stuff.

The Beach ****

Ack, pipped at the post by my friend James here, but I was in fact going to review this one myself..Never mind, anyway, here are just some of my own private thoughts on the movie if you're interested. The thing that sets this movie aside, is that it appeals to the traveller inside every one of us. I guess a lot of people who read Young Dudes think that this site sprung up as a kind of a dedication to The Beach, but no, Young Dudes was up way before it came out. The only difference was, Sapporo was my Beach, full of interesting foreigners, that were all starting a new life in a relatively unpopulated place (gaijin wise). So that's why a shiver of deja-vu went straight up my spine as I watched that movie in the cinema, munching my popcorn. Even in the first scene, it was just spelled out what this movie was about:

"Hey, you wanna drink snake blood??"
"No thanks"
"Just like another god-damn traveller, all the same.."
Pause. "Okay, did you say 'snake blood?'...alright then"
People, this is the essence of Young Dudes. I was like, bloody hell, here is Di Caprio, playing a character exactly like myself, a traveller who spits on 'packaged holidays' and has never bought a fixed-date return ticket in his life, would rather risk his balls going to places no man has seen before and sleeping wherever it don't stink than live the lap of luxury in a 4 Star hotel, only to be back in the office 2 weeks later, whinging heart-breaking crap like 'Oh it was so fantastic, I'd love to live there, well, Tenerife next eh?'..Oh hell no, Di Caprio's character heard about 'a mysterious beach few have ever seen' and he was on it like a shot. Screw going back.
Okay, so the movies not AAA, like James said, but Young Dudes is quintessentially a travel site, else why the hell would I write about going to Amsterdam and the USA. Hell, I even liked the music in the Beach. Here's some facts about it BTW. The book was pretty different in the way, that A. Di Caprio doesn't end up with the girl at all, B. There's other scenes like one were Di Caprio is trapped under a rock alcove and ends up surfacing in a gas bubble.(not interesting). C. Di Caprio was a Brit, in fact, the book was written and directed by Brits. D. The leader of the group was an American. E. The book is pretty whacky, with references to comparing life to Streetfighter, and Mario (yeah I can relate to that).

Lone Wolf and Cub Series (aka Baby Cart Series)***** (Review by James)

Japanese girls and samurai moves sort of go hand in hand, you really can't like one without liking the other and most of you should enjoy this series of films. There are 6 films in total (and a television series in Japan) but I'm not going into detail about each one, I'll just do an overview of the whole series. The series is about Ogami Itto, the one time executioner for the Shogun who is framed for treason by the evil Yagyu clan and is declared an outlaw. Together with his infant son he sets out as a mercenary on a blood-soaked journey across Japan to seek revenge against the Yagyu clan that robbed him of his good name. What makes this series so different from other samurai films is that a more simplistic plot has replaced the common deep storyline and the long drawn out fights have now become action packed bloody duels. These films are definitely in the quick fix category and I'd say that they are more hardcore action than traditional Japanese samurai films. Loads of fighting, loads of women and a baby cart filled with more secret weapons than the Batmobile, what more could you want?

China Girl * (Review by James)

This straight to video release is a modern day version of the popular Shakespeare classic Romeo & Juliet, though the poor guy would be turning in his grave if he saw this shoddy adaptation. I only got around to watching it because my (then) Chinese girlfriend thought that it would be 'sweet'. Set in some seedy area of New York (or is that just the whole of New York?), the film is about an Italian boy and a Chinese girl who become lovers, causing a tragic conflict between ethnic gangs. I lost interest within the first 20 minuets so maybe I should give this film another chance, but then again first impressions always count.

Rhapsody In August **** (Review by James)

A sentimental film about an elderly Japanese woman living in Nagasaki, who takes care of her four teenage grandchildren for their summer vacation. During that time the children learn about life, each other and the atomic bomb that fell in 1945 and how it killed their Grandfather. We also get to see how some of the communities cope and towards the end Richard Gere guest stars as an American nephew of the elderly woman, bringing in the western view to the after affects of the bombing of Nagasaki. While this film may be a little slow for some of you, I found it to be a remarkable journey towards the understanding of human nature surrounding such a disastrous event in history. This is one of those films that will leave a lasting impression in your head long after the end and that's something we all need a bit more often.

One Night Stand ***

If ever a movie was indirectly aimed at relationships between races then this is one. Basically it's about Wesley Snipes (who is as black as it can get) in a slightly stale relationship with his wife, who is Chinese/American (kind of cute). However, on a business adventure, he bumps into Natasha Kinski (Russian), who he then protects from getting mugged one night as they're walking to the car. Natasha's still shocked from the event, and begs him to stay in the hotel with her that night, as she keeps seeing the mugging over and over again in her head, and obviously starts to fancy Snipes, even though she's aware he's married. Obviously, the inevitable happens and they end up in the sack. After the One Night Stand they don't see eachother again for 6 months or so, and then Wesley does business with this white dude, who, Wesley finds out, is actually married to Kinski. Henceforth the rest of the movie is about Wesley and Kinski's ongoing affair, only to find out in the end that Wesser's Chinese bit is having it off with Kinski's bloke all the time anyway. The movie ends with a twist, when the couples are all having dinner, and after finished, you expect Wesser's to get into the car with his Chinese bird, but has in fact divorced her and married Kinski. Okay, and now what I thought of it. It's quite an interesting movie, I enjoyed it, but it's not one of those "Hot damn it's on the shelf!! GRAB IT!!" kind of movies. It's a little tame, and you don't blame Snipes for cheating on his wife, because she's an obnoxious bitch from the start, and more Linda Liu than Gong Li. The acting's good and everything, you know, I like Wesser's especially when he's fighting in movies and that, but the movie's just nothing special - plus the ending is obvious too, despite the twist that's supposed to fool everybody. This movie wouldn't even be AAA if it wasn't for the wife, who's quite sexy (but American/Chinese so does it count??)..anwayz...next..

Big Trouble In Little China ****

Yowza!!I just watched this the other night, and I thought 'How the hell could I forget all about this one?'..all complete fantasy about Kurt Russell as a truck-driver who thinks he can kick anyones ass, up against these Chinese Triad Gangs and trying to help his Chinster mate rescuing this incredibly foxy green-eyed Chinese bird (well, green contacts anyhow). I think most people over the age of 25 will hate this movie, and it's funny, because when I was a kid I used to worship it. It came on the TV and I thought, nah, it's gonna be crap now that I'm all 'grown up'..but I swear, I still enjoyed the film immensily, and I still think it's got a lot of 'character'. Only difference nowadays is that I was watching it for the babes, more than the monsters. And there are two foxy babes in this movie, one being Kim Catrall who I've always thought was hot, despite being a white girl (she does look sexy dressed in geisha gear though!!!), and the Chinese bird with green eyes, who I reckon is probably half-Yank or something actually..she only looks kinda Chinese. Honestly, half of you will watch this movie and think, 'What the hell is Kris on about? This sucks!!'..I mean, this is just an action movie, and has a lot of sentiment value for me. It's total fiction from beginning to start, Russell just drives into China town in San Francisco, and suddenly there's a hundred Chinsters waving meat-cleavers and machine guns and attacking some other Chinsters dressed in white..Also, you can't deny that the game Mortal Kombat hugely ripped off this movie, I mean, there's Raiden who's a Storm God and fires electricity, in the exact same way as the guy in this movie, and even the bad guy, Lopan is exactly the same as the big-baddie in MK, and even 'floats' the same way as in the movie. Still a top game that though. I like fantasy movies, I still feel that Legend by Ridley Scott is one of the most beautifully made movies out there, and BTILC is just a wicked little way to fill in an hour and a half.

Rising Sun **

Rising Sun was one of those movies that caused a hell of a lot of controversy between Nikkei-jin (second generation Japsters) and the producers. The plot goes with Wesley Snipes (again) being sent into Japan Town somewhere (probably San Francisco again), to find out who murdered a hooker during some high-powered business event. To catch the crim, he teams up with our old favourite Sean Connery, who is supposedly the know-all of everything Japanese, and is practically Japanese himself..well, Sean, you sure made a dick out of yourself for us people who know a little bit more about Japan than the script-writers of Rising Sun..Anyway, the rest of the plot goes that the two who initially hate each-other (because Connery's a wannabe Japster and Wes is, well, black and acts black) end up trying to find the killer through interviews and checking the video-tapes from the camera's that recorded the incident. This involves trying to get information out of the Japanese businessmen and getting Sean's bird (foxy Tia Carrera) to do some digital work on the camera pictures..anyway, after that, they find out the killer is this American brown-tongue guy with a bee-hive haircut, who works for the boss of the Japanese company, who then legs it off and falls into some semi-hardened concrete, thus becoming a statue of an American with a bee-hive haircut.
AAA members who can speak Japanese will piss yourselves laughing at some of the scenes and pronounciation by poor monkey sempai Connery. I nearly choked down my Kentucky when there was the scene with Snipes talking to Connery who's just been duped and Connery replies "I am very....OKOTTA!!!"...OOHAHAHA..good research into how Japanese talk when they're pissed off, not. I really lost respect for the guy who wrote this (Micheal Crichton, Jurassic Park, ER, other crappy famous movies). He must have done a total of 2 hours research on the Japanese, as this movie really paints them out to be snide, vicious, sneaky little bastards (which is actually the Chinese..JOKE!!!), and as all us dudes know, they're not. In fact, the book was even more rascist and condescending towards our lovely Japanese buddy's. Just goes to show that even if you do have a medical degree like Crichton does, doesn't mean you can suddenly start pretending to be a know-all in a culture that's 100% different to your own in the space of the few months it takes to write a book. The movie had several production problems, as heaps of Nikkei-jin who'd read the book placed protests that prevented smooth filming. Even the Nikkei-jin actors began to join in by the end. This is a tragedy of a movie if you know even a little about Japanese culture, but it's fun to watch if you don't. What I'm interested in knowing is that will Spielberg make the same kind of screw up in the forth-coming Memoirs of a Geisha, which is based completely in 16th century Japan, but, knowing Hollywood will undoubtably pull some American influence into the script, which will piss me off to no end. (Just to remind you contributors - I know that I'm guilty of this myself though - not too much of the stricly 'Japanese/Chinese/Asian' movies okay? this is more of a 'gaijin' movie site, so the movie should have a bit of foreign influence, be it in the actors, or directors or whatever, Red Corner is a prime example, a gaijin in China..Evil)

Back to the Main page