12 posts categorized "Chinese Cinema"

April 22, 2022

DRAGON INN — THE CRITERION COLLECTION

 

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

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Actor turned writer/director King Hu opened a new chapter of action cinema when he moved from Hong Kong to Taiwan in 1967 to make Dragon Inn, a groundbreaking wuxia film that retains its stunning vitality to this day.

“The carriage, the boat, the road, the inn; you cannot escape these things without getting murdered.”

Screen Shot 2022-04-22 at 12.00.18 PM

You can see traces of Dragon Inn in Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight.

King Hu’s influence extends to Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon.

Hu contrasts traditions of Chinese opera with Japanese action Cinema, think of Kan Shimozawa’s phenomenal Zatoichi franchise, to form a stylistic foundation upon which to layer his arsenal of cinematic tricks. The carefully choreographed swordplay is believably deadly. 

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Fluid camera work and Kin Hu’s innovative action techniques elevate beautifully edited sequences acted out with impressive gymnastic skill by Hu’s amazing actors.

Dragon Inn is a classic martial arts film by all standards. This is an exquisite movie you will not soon forget.

Not Rated. 111 mins.

5 Stars

Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon

March 14, 2022

THE CHINESE BOXER

Screen Shot 2022-03-14 at 5.04.49 PMChinese Cinema's signature anti-Japanese racism is on full disturbing display in this bloody death-bath.

Bloody missing eye-balls.

The filmmakers put the dubious mindset directly into the text of a film that views Japanese Karate as a brutal style of fighting developed for its power to maim and kill opponents. 

That's its excuse.

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Grand scale fight sequences give way to a mano y mano battle royale climax that provides for some heavy blood-spewing visuals.

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Who needs 3D with this kind of fight action.

That wasn't a question.

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Take "The Chinese Boxer" for what it is, racist propaganda with a toxic sense of self-hatred as filtered through stylized martial arts fighting.

Well and thoroughly fucked.   

Rated R. 90 mins. 

1 Star

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon. Thanks a lot pal!

Cole Smithey on Patreon

March 07, 2022

THROW DOWN — THE CRITERION COLLECTION

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon. Thanks a lot pal! Your generosity keeps the reviews coming!

Cole Smithey on Patreon

ColeSmithey.comNo matter how hard he fronts; Johnnie To is no Kurosawa. 

Pitched as an homage to Akira Kurosawa's first film "Sanshiro Sugata," this film starts off promisingly enough before derailing into clichés. 

Indeed, it's cool to see Judo getting the spotlight but To's storyline splinters and melts.

ColeSmithey.com

"Throw Down" is a beautifully lit film with some lovely compositions but it collapses under its own contrivances.

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Disappointment takes over well before the last fight finally arrives.

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Boo hoo. 

Not Rated. 95 mins. 

1 Star

Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon

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