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Everything posted by LawrenceA

  1. The Boxer's Omen (1983) Hong Kong/Dir: Chih-Hung Kuei - Bizarre horror/action/fantasy starring Phillip Ko as a Hong Kong gangster who vows revenge after his professional fighter brother is permanently paralyzed in a match against vicious Thai opponent Mr. Ba Bo (musclebound Bolo Yeung). However, his quest takes an unexpected turn when our hero begins getting visitations from a ghostly Buddhist monk who enlists him to do battle against a black magic priest. This totally off-the-wall wonder is both cheap-looking and wildly imaginative. The effects are often primitive yet memorable. Ther
  2. The Night of the Hunter Winter Light Diary of a Country Priest More recently Calvary, Silence, and First Reformed.
  3. Angel's Egg (1985) Japan/Dir: Mamoru Oshii - Strange animated tale about a young girl in a post-apocalyptic wasteland who wanders around looking for supplies, while also protecting a large egg. This brief (70 minutes) science fiction story is deliberately vague, relying on striking visuals and little plot. I found it a mixed bag, but it has a fervent fanbase. (6/10) Star Virgin (1988) Japan/Dir: Ichiro Omomo - Science fiction/action comedy about a modest young woman (Eiko Kuroki) who, in times of stress, can transform into the title character, equipped with a high-te
  4. The Sound of Music Mary Poppins Love Story Cleopatra (1963) The Jazz Singer (any version) I agree with the negative regard for Auntie Mame, as well. I wouldn't say I hate them, but I was never crazy about Some Like It Hot or The Apartment. Same with It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad World. I was also never a fan of the Three Stooges, and their ubiquity on TV has made me loathe them even more. On a more recent note, all of the Transformers movies are garbage. Armageddon was abysmal. And while I'm a fan of many of Clint Eastwood's films, some of
  5. Prey (2021) Germany/Dir: Thomas Sieben - Five friends go on a hiking trip through a remote forest where they become the target of a sniper. Weak characterizations, poor pacing and an unimaginative script make this a dud. (4/10)
  6. Angel Dust (1994) Japan/Dir: Gakuryu Ishii - After a series of bizarre murders occurring on crowded trains, the police enlist profiler Dr. Suma (Kaho Minami) to try and catch the culprit. The investigation leads to Suma's old mentor, controversial psychiatrist Dr. Aku (Takeshi Wakamatsu) and his cutting-edge "reverse brainwashing" techniques used to deprogram former cult members. The overly-familiar subject matter is enlivened a bit by stylish cinematic techniques, although some of those (like a repeated audio clip) can be more distracting than illuminating. (6/10)
  7. Alien 2: On Earth (1980) Italy/Dir: Ciro Ippolito - Unauthorized sequel-in-name-only that concerns a fallen meteorite, actually an alien egg, that is carried into a deep cavern by a group of vacationing spelunkers. Eventually the "egg" hatches and chaos ensues. Writer-producer-director Ippolito decided to make this dumb rip-off after the success of Lucio Fulci's Zombie (aka Zombi 2), an unauthorized "sequel" to Dawn of the Dead. That movie was pretty good, though, while this cheapjack waste of time is slow, poorly acted, badly edited and just plain terrible. I did like some of the sco
  8. Brutal Sorcery (1983) Hong Kong/Thailand/Dir: Pang Ling - Outrageous supernatural horror concerning a cab driver who gets possessed by evil spirits after unknowingly giving a ride to two ghosts. The cab driver and his family seek help from the medical community as well as various spiritualists. This fast-paced phantasmagoria is filled with unusual imagery and shocking moments. Unfortunately, the characterizations are thin and the plot is near incoherent. There's also music lifted from the 1980 Flash Gordon. (5/10)
  9. I've been on the lookout for that one for a while. It's on the "101 Best War Movies" list.
  10. Mr. Vampire (1985) Hong Kong/Dir: Ricky Lau - The venerable Master Gau (Lam Ching-Ying), assisted by two young goofballs ( Ricky Hui & Chin Siu-Ho), tries to thwart a Chinese "hopping vampire" (Yuen Wah). With Moon Lee, Wong Siu-Fung, and Billy Lau. This was a massive hit, and kickstarted a huge wave of horror-comedy hybrid films all over Asia. This film in particular had a half-dozen or more sequels in the following few years. That being said, I wasn't a huge fan, as this sort of Chinese comedy doesn't really work for me. The action scenes are well choreographed, and the producti
  11. Looks like I picked the right time to stop watching TCM two years ago.
  12. The Seventh Curse (1986) Hong Kong/Dir: Ngai Choi Lam - Fantasy/action/horror hybrid starring Chin Siu-Ho as the dashing Dr. Yuan, a medical doctor, martial artist, and playboy. He's also afflicted with a curse that could prove deadly unless he returns to Thailand, where he received the malady, and defeats the evil High Priest of the Worm Cult (Elvis Tsui). Dr. Yuan gets assistance from a plucky young reporter (Maggie Cheung), and his mentor (Chow Yun-Fat). This is one of the craziest Hong Kong films that I've ever seen. Opening with a police-vs-terrorists hostage stand-off that would
  13. The Kid with the Golden Arm (1979) Hong Kong/Dir: Cheh Chang - Ridiculous yet entertaining martial arts flick from the makers of Five Deadly Venoms. The emperor assigns Iron Feet (Sun Chien) and his men to escort a shipment of gold to a famine-stricken area. The evil Chia Shia gang, which includes Golden Arm (Lo Mang), Silver Spear (Lu Feng), Iron Robe (Wang Lung Wei), and Brass Head (Yang Hsiung), plots to steal it. The character names should clue you in to what kind of affair you're in for here. It's very silly but never boring, and the fights are a bit bloodier than the norm. (7/1
  14. Clan of the White Lotus (1980) Hong Kong/Dir: Lo Lieh - Martial arts film that's the third part in a trilogy, following Executioners from Shaolin (1978) and A Slice of Death (1979). The brutal priest known as White Lotus (director Lo Lieh) seeks revenge on Shaolin monk Hung Wen-Ting (Gordon Liu) for killing his brother in the previous film. Hung must practice his techniques in order to defeat the more powerful White Lotus, and he receives some aid from widow Mei-Hsiao (Kara Wai). The overly-choreographed fight scenes become a sort of performance art, heavily laden with humor. Liu and
  15. Deerskin (2019) France/Dir: Quentin Dupieux - Oddball black comedy with Jean Dujardin as an amiable drifter who arrives in a small town after purchasing a vintage fringe leather jacket and a video camera. He presents himself as a filmmaker, and recruits an ambitious waitress (Adele Haenel) to help him make his movie. This short (77 minutes) feature is strange, low-key and a slow burn, but I found it humorous and engaging. Dujardin and Haenel are both good, and I was never quite sure where things were headed. (7/10)
  16. Cure (1997) Japan/Dir: Kiyoshi Kurosawa - A troubled police detective (Koji Yakusho) investigates a series of gruesome murders, each committed by seemingly normal, non-violent person. Things are further complicated when a strange amnesiac (Masato Hagiwara) arrives on the scene. This is a generally well thought of thriller, but I found it a tad disappointing, more than a little dull and drawn out. The acting is good, and there is some unsettling atmosphere, but it all added up to not much. (6/10)
  17. I was notified that this was a quote of mine. It does seem like something I would say.
  18. Hitch-Hike (1977) Italy/Dir: Pasquale Festa Campanile - Franco Nero and Corinne Clery star as a bickering Italian couple on vacation in California. They pick up hitchhiker David Hess (from Last House on the Left), who ends up being a murderous crook on the run after a robbery. It's unusual to see a film set in the U.S. where every character speaks Italian. Of course it wasn't actually filmed in the States, but some of the set design intended to make it look American made me chuckle, like a life-size cardboard standee of Col. Sanders in a roadside diner. Nero gets to play a rather unp
  19. Under the Blossoming Cherry Trees (1975) Japan/Dir: Masahiro Shinoda - Set during the feudal era, a mountain bandit (Tomisaburo Wakayama) kidnaps a beautiful woman (Shima Iwashita) and takes her to his secluded hideout. She begins to make increasingly outlandish demands of the bandit, which he reluctantly agrees to in order to win her favor. This blackly-comic tale is outrageous at times, with some unexpected developments and grisly details. The acting is good, especially by the two leads, and the production values are high. (7/10)
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