Monday, July 29, 2013

The Heroic Sisterhood Website

Well guys, I can finally tell you why I've been away from this blog for so long:

Ninja Squid and I started a website.

We feature many elegant and delightful repasts for the discerning viewer, so head over there and say hi!  

(p.s. - I won't be blogging here anymore.  Please visit our site for new articles, photo galleries, art and other cool stuff.)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Wang Lung Wei Points - Lovers Blades

It's been a long while since I did a Wang Lung Wei movie review.  I've felt so empty inside and I'm sure you have too.  Triumphant return, blah blah.  

Click to make it big, bros.
Many thanks to my friend Louis Perez for the gift of cinema.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Flash Future Kung Fu - The Prologue Translation

"打擂台 / Flash Future Kung Fu" is a 1983 futuristic kung fu movie directed by Kirk Wong Ji Keung.  Wang Lung Wei stars here in, as far as I know) his only leading hero role.  That's a big fucking deal in my personal universe.  Ray Lui Leung Wai and Eddy Ko Hung are his co-stars and the natural phenomenon called Elvis Tsui makes an amazing appearance. 

I'm not going to discuss why "Flash Future Kung Fu" is beloved to me.  I'll just say it holds a special place in my heart for many reasons, most of which are not "good" in the traditional sense of the word.  Wopsploitation wrote about its many wonders here and Chopsticks on Fire has fun with it here.  I may write about it later.  

I like the "Blade Runner"-inspired sets.

Anyway, on to the point of my post.  There seems to be only one version available - the Ocean Shores dvd you can pick up super cheap on Amazon.  It is dubbed, cropped, faded and cut, rendering this already wild and unruly film impossibly awful to watch.  While I highly don't recommend this version, it is probably the one you are going to end up with so please keep the detracting qualities in mind while you view it. 

There is another version which, as far as I know, is not at all available for purchase - this is the Ocean Shores Cantonese print (without subtitles).  Yes, I have seen it because I was bestowed this heavenly gift by a special person who must remain anonymous in case you seige his/her castle with requests. Sorry.

The print quality is much, much better.  The image below is something I never even noticed in the dubbed version.  

This moment might be stylish and dramatic on the big screen

Sadly, the Cantonese version is still cropped, which means we experience intimate emotional moments with the cheekbones of Ko Hung and Wang Lung Wei:

wtf Ocean Shores, where my boyz at?

Here are some title cards you don't see on the crappy Ocean Shores English dub copy.

Kirk Wong's future world has Nazi symbols for a reason I am still unable to grasp.


And here is the production company information card for movie nerd friends. Do with it what you will.

And here is the final card:  

It doesn't say "The End" in Chinese; it says "There will be more...".  kinda like "To Be Continued..."  I wish.  A sequel would have been fucking awesome.

Okay, so now here's the final real reason for my post. 

In both versions there are two prologue cards cut into the opening sequence.  This prologue is not subtitled or narrated.  Once I got serious about "Flash Future Kung Fu" and wanted to go steady with it, I was not able to sleep until I knew what this says.  I had to try to translate it for myself and for the millions who also love this film. The translation below is a rough approximate.  I beg you to correct my errors. 

In the early part of the next century there was enormous advancement in science and technology.  This created extreme sluggishness (in people).  Civilization experienced complete destruction; society collapsed; industry and commerce ground to a halt.  People became decadent; without goals their strength collapsed.  They began to build stamina through exercise and became engrossed in underground boxing matches.  The world of martial clubs became young people's only home.  

At the edge of this martial club world, the "Jing [Upright] Martial Club" upheld their mighty task of developing orthodox martial virtues. Many were trained under their strict, sincere rules.  The background for the sudden rise of the "Culture Society" is unclear. Members were trained with science and pharmaceuticals, and a decadent lifestyle was used to attract the new generations.  Their power rapidly expanded.

Welp, not a whole lot you hadn't already figured out.  I was hoping for an explanation for stuff like the Nazi symbols but there is none.

At this point, having seen "Flash Future Kung Fu" at least seven happy, happy times, I come to the conclusion that the Ocean Shores version has been cut (edited for content).  Why?  Because the villain is missing.  The story is a typical "old versus new/east versus west" revenge flick. They never just leave the villain out of a movie. That is simply not Hong Kong style.  Cutting also explains the non-sequitur plot implosions. Until we have evidence to the contrary, don't judge too harshly Kirk Wong Ji Keung's cropped, dubbed, cut, faded movie.  

I am throwing my arm in front of "Flash Future Kung Fu" just like Wang Lung Wei does for Lam Hoi Ling.  

Until next time, joi gin!  

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Geungsi vs. War Chicken

The more people like The Heroic Sisterhood - The Ladies' Asian Action Cinema Appreciation Society, the more I feel like a stranger on my own page.  

I started the page a couple years ago as a place for women to express their perspectives on Asian Action Cinema.  The Sisterhood is a pretty wonderful team consisting of  Ninjasquid, Deb Martin and Meredith Lewis (with an occasional visit from Barbara Guillard and Marla Mize).  I thank these women, and the other ladies and gents who make it special, for their input, creativity and endurance.  Without them I am nothing.  

The page kinda snowballed a while back and now people from all over the world look at the page, comment and post photos.  I feel weird because I don't know them.  

I feel just like a geungsi running away from a horde of miniature war chickens.
I'm sure you know that feeling.

I never thought the page would reach past my own friends. Now almost everybody I "talk to" is a stranger. 

Some days I avoid the page. Some days I post weird pictures and write a lot of cuss words and crazy stuff. Maybe to test their reactions, maybe to rebel.  Maybe because I'm an asshole who deals with morbid, innate shyness by throwing obnoxious tantrums. Or maybe just because I like to cuss a lot.  

Part of me wants those strangers to go away.  But they don't.  They just keep coming like a relentless horde of miniature war chickens. 

I'd happily take a war chicken-immunity pill if there was one. But there isn't, so I don't know what to do.  Until a cure for war chickens is found, I'll be in my Happy Hong Kong Movie Hermit Cave watching movies with my dogs.

I thank my page sisters for holding down the fort when I get grumpy. And I thank all my friends for dropping by to share their photos, jokes and good conversation, and for putting up with my moody crap. You guys are all saints.  

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The tragic deaths of Yuen Lo Po

Sometimes Yuen Cheung Yan plays a Lo Po (Granny) in the Yuen Clan movies.

Yuen Lo Po has appeared in several fun films, so she's a fairly developed character. 

Here is her death scene in 鬼馬天師 Taoism Drunkard (1984).

See the look on Yuen Yat Cho's face?
That's how I feel when Lo Po dies onscreen.

I practically cry every time I see her get her head drilled in 奇門遁甲 Miracle Fighters (1982).

She's such a cool and sympathetic character.  A super kung fu master with tiny, vulnerable embroidered slippers, she is wise and secretly kind underneath a crusty exterior.  I guess only a monster would not feel distressed watching this lovely 80-year-old woman being beaten to death by a creepy villain.

Lo Po, you had me at "sei baat po".

This blogpost is dedicated to my dear FB pal Hana Yahaki, the biggest Yuen Cheung Yan fan of them all.  :)  

Well, back to the hermit cave to watch more movies....  

Saturday, September 15, 2012

One Armed Podcast Episode - Dragon Lives Again

I'm stoked to introduce as co-host my long time friend and co-conspirator Steve Hardy from Chopsticks On Fire.  We make some hooting and chirping noises on our new podcast episode about the amazing Bruceploitation film Dragon Lives Again.  Oh yeaaah.  What a great movie.  

I'm going to be brutally honest (surprise!) and say I think a lot of people do not understand this movie very much at all.  In the podcast we discuss stuff that will hopefully help you understand a bit more about just what the hell you are watching.  There's also some 60's music and nunchuk sound effects.  If that doesn't entice you then I give up.  

As usual, the podcast episode has a supplemental blogpost with movie posters and links.  At the time of writing this post, the HKCinemagic site is still down, so make sure to revisit the blogpost later for links to very good interviews with Leungs Siu Lung and Siu Hung 'n' stuff.  We also link some cool movie-related stuff that's been going on in the interwebs.

The next episode of One Armed Podcast, which will cover Leung Kar Yan's delightfully terrible film Profile In Anger, is so chock full of cool stuff that I have to make a list.  

- My partner in crime Amber, who appeared on the first podcast episode, will make a star appearance with another drink segment (and maybe something else but no promises).  

- We have a round table discussion with Paul Taggart from Chanbara Spurt; my own Heroic Sisterhood sister-in-arms and film expert Deb Martin; and Podcast On Fire Network mogul Ken Brorsson. Let the Bullshit Fly.

- A segment on Western film influences by Brian from Cool Ass Cinema

- Another segment of "Learn Movie Cantonese!" with translator and film expert Frank Djeng.   

- And maybe a couple other cool segments from other cool people.  

Subscribe to so you don't miss the next episode.  Yeah, that'd be good.  

It's simplier "Bogus Cops"

All my buds have watched Leung Kar Yan's hot mess Bogus Cops (1993) so of course I wanted to see it too.  I desperately need to belong and I also actually believed it was not possible for Leung to make a movie worse than Profile In Anger.  I misunderestimated him.  And right now I'm feeling confused about who I am as a person.  I mean, what the hell is wrong with me that I think it's awesome to spend my time watching such bad movies?  But I probably don't feel as bad about myself as this guy:   

"I'm Wang Lung Wei and I approve this message."  

So of course I had to drop absolutely everything I was doing the moment I saw this dialogue between Leung Kar Yan and his doctor Paul Chun Pui.  Because I'm a turbo-nerd and bad subtitles never stop being funny to me.  


Me neither.

Best. Word. Ever.
Bogus Cops redeemed.  
And my life choices too.

Thanks to Hong Kong Movie Database (hkmdb) for the Bogus Cops Wang Lung Wei screencap.