Archives for November 2007 | Varied Celluloid

Archive for November, 2007

Beast of the Yellow Night

Posted by JoshSamford On November - 7 - 2007

Originally written by Prof. Aglaophotis

Plot Outline: Joseph Langdon was a very mean SOB who killed, raped, tortured, and betrayed his way through various situations in his regiment… until he was found escaping from his crimes in the Philippines and was shot at upon discovery. Before dying however, he ran across a native fellow surrounded by an odd yellow fog who promised him everlasting life so long as he remained under his servitude. Well, as it turns out the native was actually Satan himself and being under Big S’ servitude for Langdon means bringing out the worst in the people around him by being his usual bad-ass self. He accomplishes this task by taking over the body of Philip Rogers who has recovered from some serious factory injuries only to walk away in a handsome skin with a bad heart. But Langdon isn’t as bad as Satan discovers so in order to keep Langdon in line, Satan has Philip transform into a blood thirsty creature of the night once Langdon tries to find his humanity. Between doing good and bad for the people around him (and being immortal), Langdon finds himself torn and without hope until he runs into a blind old man who might know how to help him.

The Review: Sometimes I feel that regardless of the passing of time and the changing of cinema, there will always be a glimmering spark of classical movies that will ignite our gas-soaked attention and have us sink in awe at what’s on the screen. Though I wasn’t completely ‘sinking in awe’, I was somewhat pleased to watch Beast of the Yellow Night because it retained a classical feeling (emitted by the favorite theme of personal struggle) that almost felt similar to elements from earlier horror movies. This classical feeling can of course feel like a cliché at many moments while watching the film, but clichés can be avoided by originality and the Yellow Night feels a lot like a little cliché and an original plot altogether due to the aforementioned classic monster movie feeling. Some of this feeling also comes from the creature make-up as the beast that Langdon transforms in to highly resemble Lon Cheney Jr. in The Werewolf due to the concept of a loony flesh eating monster in a button up shirt and slacks on the run. I have heard much criticism about the gore in the movie, saying that it’s too cheap to be forgivable, but I’ll admit that for what little it had, it still offered fairly decent blood and gore effects for a low budget.

The cinematography isn’t a lot to brag about; though it does show most of the scenes in great lucidity, the original 35mm footage tends to make various scenes seem unconnected as they continually change from tint to tint for ever shot and day-for-night shots are rather questionable. With this in mind, the opening scene appeared somewhat inebriated as it traveled between two points with different tints for each cut. This however does not last forever as the editing of scenes at first seems rather confusing, but throughout the rest of the movie, the scenes fit in nicely and raise few continuity errors. The real cohesiveness for the opening scene to the movie was one expositive scene that occurred later in the movie and the beginning dialogue between Langdon and Satan that basically sets up the beginning plot device which really demands your full attention if you hope to understand what’s transpiring. The sound had an even amount of fairness to its merit as it offers great ambience and well applied average noises such as canes knocking around, doors closing, bones snapping and gunshots, but other noises were just far too Foley to be recognizable, like the slapping meat-slammer noise for slashes and punches, flamethrowers making gunshot noises instead of a streams of flaming gas being sprayed out. There were also a few missing noises as well, particularly the bending of iron bars that the demonic Langdon does in order to get out of one room (not only is he more powerful than the average man, but he’s also whisper quiet when it comes to getting out of a room in usually noisy ways, apparently). The music certainly contributed to its classical feeling of evident struggles, the old-timey location, re-establishing romances, and a killer beast on the prowl as a rather well orchestrated tune hits our ears with a soft yet chaotic violin stringing for the opening drama, and a touching flute tune for the personal struggles. Though the soundtrack hit a few repetitive notes such as the climactic opening for the romance theme, the music matched the content pretty well for the most part. The acting was a little mixed as various actors brought differing levels of charisma in the film. It’s a given that late rockabilly actor John Ashley would bring a smooth and cool air to the screen, with his easy flowing dialogue, greased up pompadour, and angular looks and Diaz was pretty good as a sly, chubby, smooth and cruel talking version of Satan. Many of the native Filipino actors like Garcia and Salcedo presented their characters believably (and with good dialogue, too! I love it when no dubbing is required) as they investigated the Langdon case, while other actors almost treated the film like it was an Anthony Cardoza rip off simply with their dialogue or appearances (wait, did I really type Cardoza? Dammit, I did it again). The use of most of the props in the movie are pretty fitting, though the bag full of limbs and flesh that Satan brings to Langdon is a little too modern of a design that contrasts with his starting native costume.

I’ve heard some negative remarks regarding the gore in the movie, but personally, I thought that the gore in Yellow Night wasn’t all that bad. True, there is one gut eating scene in which we see some silicone rolled bright pink bits of gut that contrasts with what real intestinal tracks may look like, but it was convincing for the scene because the bits of intestine shown were being munched/chewed up by a supposedly stronger than human monster-man. The rest of the gore mostly consisted of one broken arm, quick throat slashing and gnawing effects that fit in pretty well. Speaking of effects, the ‘creature’ himself was fair in design in the sense that John Ashley got his hands and face covered with a beyond charred layer of skin, fangs and a wig, but you could spot a few parts of Ashley that wasn’t covered by the make up as some brief flesh tones would appear above his shirt collar. Something I thought was interesting in the line of effects was the implication of the color yellow. Now seeing that the movie was filmed in the Philippines, I’m not sure whether yellow is the social sign of danger as red is to Latin America and black is here in the US, but I feel that the yellow fog that constantly rolls in whenever Satan has a scene to talk in, it works on different levels, especially for a movie of this caliber. This is partly due to the fact that when someone thinks of a color to represent Hell, chances are he’s are going to use the color red because of the idea that Hell is a big ol’ inferno. The problem is obvious that if Hell is a place of hot, constant fires, then why are there never RED FLAMES? See? By using yellow fog, the scene is warmed up in a thick, hazy atmosphere that comes closer to representing a Hellish presence because fires are always yellow and orange (depending on the fire of course, you could end up with a hint of blue or white, but never red. The only kind of red fire you’ll see is from a colored flare or stars that are really far away from Earth). Aside from those previously listed, there were very few other notable effects, aside from a seemingly half a minute long all red copulation/love making scene in the fore ground with a groovy red close up of Langdon & Julia kissing in the background (I say groovy because it’s VERY sixties [and I feel the need to add at this point that actress Mary Wilcox might not be much to look at, but she fills-in a number of sixties style tunics very nicely in the film, so that’s a plus).

There was some drama involved in the movie as well, almost more so than violence, though the contrast is evened out between each scene. However, there seems to be a something missing in the deliverance of the dramatic scenes; I don’t mean to say that they were badly acted, especially not when Langdon starts to PHYSICALLY thank Julia for being so faithful to him while he’s acting odd (at that point I was sure that the film was going to take a brief turn into soft-core porn style cinematography, but it didn’t), but for the most part, I think there was a part of me that slightly cared about what the characters were going through between each other. Looking back on it now though, I realize that I ended up setting most of my focus on how Ashley’s character was going to treat his life, the people he interacted with and how their words would influence/possibly help him (or if the cops were figuring things out on their own, then I’d focus my attention on that), but once it shifted to a different character that Langdon talked to, I slowly began losing interest. The one scene that pops into my mind regarding this issue is when Earl and Julia are talking about Philip’s recently weird behavior that made him try and push Julia onto Earl and how these two characters suddenly started developing something between each other. For Philip’s only known brother, Earl really doesn’t seem like a good bro when it comes to insuring that your wigged out brother/pal ends up okay and being more worried about his brother’s wife’s mental stability; disconnected, vague, dumb sounding and biologically inaccurate in comparison to his damned brother… yeah, the one character that brought the movie down with his appearance, lines and infidelity was Phil’s brother Earl who right from the start I knew he had something for Phil’s wife. Geez, what a worm. I will admit that given the pros and cons, Beast of the Yellow Night is an interesting low-budget killer monster on the run film that might not be recognized for anything other than John Ashley, but it’s a unique popcorn Drive-In style movie that works as a kick-back/relaxing visual treat. With the given details plus its own, Beast of the Yellow Night has also got a little bit of classic material to its structure while still being somewhat original; if you like the gory results of a man turned flesh eating wombat monster from Hell trying to find his faith and solidity, then this is a pretty good selection.

Obsession, An

Posted by On November - 7 - 2007

Plot Outline: A reworking of the plot for Akira Kurosawa’s “Stray Dog”, this Shinji Aoyama film tells a far more disturbing and dark story. Saga (Ryo Ishabashi) is a police detective who is set to watch over a big wig due to assassination attempts – but something goes wrong and the man ends up dead. Saga and his partner chase the culprit, who then shoots Saga under a dark bridge. Saga bleeds while his partner chases the shooter, but alone under this dark bridge is another. A man with wooden sandals, who ends up taking Saga’s pistol. When he wakes up in the hospital, Saga’s wife has left him, his pistol is missing and eventually – murder is committed. Saga, though retired now, vows to find his gun and set his life straight. Standing in his way is a slightly offbeat young man named Shimano, suffering from life threatening Leukemia; he seems to have no fear of death, and a strange taste for wooden sandals

The Review: It seems to me, just seeing the name Ryo Ishibashi during the credits for just about any film is enough to garner my attention these days. He may not always know you off your seat, but nine times out of ten, you can almost be guaranteed the project is good and that he will deliver a strong performance one way or another. Seeing Shinji Aoyama, brilliant director of “Wild Life” credited as the man in charge… well, good things are pretty much destined to happen. With the slightly macabre F. Scott Fitzgerald quote that opens the film, “Of course all life is process of breaking down, but…”, One can almost touch the ambiguity. I am always thankful every time Artsmagic sends me one of these discs to review, films not many of us would get to see otherwise, and even whole collections from obscure foreign directors such as this one. I hate to sound like such an infomercial for the company, but the prospect of checking these difficult to find and wholly original films fills me with excitement and I can’t help but want to say thanks. Within the film, quite unlike any of Aoyama’s other work that I have witnessed, there is a switching of gears from possible-supernatural thriller to tightly handled character drama, and that chaos helps give the work even more life. Interestingly enough, An Obsession doesn’t really seem to indicate that is an Aoyama film right off the bat. Visually I could see it at times, but much of that offbeat quirkiness (not to mention his… well, quirky characters) that generally adds to the delight of his movies is nowhere to be found. This is both something to be celebrate on one level, as change is always good, but also helps the film feel like it’s something less than what it could have or should have been.

If anything I’d say the film plays like an early Kiyoshi Kurosawa directed picture, which shouldn’t be surprising since Aoyama studied under this new ‘master of suspense’, by way of the dark and ugly. Aoyama proves himself quite adept at the world of creepy cinema during the many just downright spine tingling moments during this film’s running time. Which is of course quite odd that this sort of movie should have such moments, but that is Aoyama for you. Mixing genre expectations into something different altogether is just what I’ve come to expect from his work. What An Obsession does though is entirely different from what I’ve seen before. It’s as if he took the average police drama and crossed it with a supernatural thriller (though this isn’t a supernatural film), and made it as serious as those two genres are within themselves, something I just did not expect from such an often highly humorous director. That doesn’t really take away from An Obsession which is a delightfully dark work from this director, I know, odd to say after my complaints so far, but I was very happy to see Aoyama spread his wings even further and branch out into different fields. It’s certainly different from his other work and may not be the most indicative of his style, but An Obsession shows him successful in more than just a self-aware, post-modern setting. I imagine this sort of film helped prepare for the likes of EM Embalming, and in my opinion Aoyama shows a real eye for tension and how to sustain it. At times, the soundtrack alone was enough to genuinely creep you out, the use of an industrialized soundscape, slowly amplified, is inspiring in how effective it is. What can I say, it works.

There’s a point in An Obsession where it becomes seemingly difficult to keep an understanding of where the plot is going, and this could have been from the early subtitles attached with my original screener copy of the film or simply my own dim-wittedness, but character motivation becomes clouded at times and being that the film is so ambiguous it’s easy to look over because by the end you’ll have many question to roll around in your head due to all the symbolism and odd questions put forward about the nature of love and its mystery. The film, on the outside seems as if it will be your average “one step ahead of you” thriller, but it’s so much more than that. To the point where that title doesn’t even seem remotely applicable. That’s not to say this film is completely without fault or I cannot criticize it because no matter how interesting it is to see the director go this route, there’s still not much of a comparison between this direction he has taken and that of his other work. It might simply be a preference matter, thus making me biased, but I am not as blown away by this more “serious” work – though you would expect it to be more powerful. Although it certainly carries a lot of weight, I don’t see it as memorable as Wild Life or EM Embalming. That would be my highest complaint, possibly also my cheapest I have written, but there just seems to be wasted opportunity here. I’m not sure, but I just know Aoyama’s darker humor would have eased the film along, or at least to have felt that light hope usually so vibrant in his films. Not that this film is bleak or hopeless, maybe had it been more thoroughly dark and upsetting I could have at least commended it for taking the road to it’s limit – but overall, it just feels like Aoyama ‘trying’ something rather than actually following it the whole way through. Never the less, the film is what it is and even if it did have that zaniness to it, there’s no way the final scene would have had the power that it does on a visceral level. So, it’s hard to be too upset. The visuals of the film, while expertly shot and featuring many interesting uses of lighting along with the city-scenery; it didn’t have as much of a free-roaming atmosphere with the long takes and complex coordination that we are used to in this director’s work. Kind of feels cheap to say ‘used to’ having seen so few of his films, but as a viewer you still feel certain bonds with the director. All of this really isn’t much of a complain though since I don’t know how well that would fit this story, a camera diving around all over the place, and the cinematography as it is sure doesn’t leave a whole lot to be left down by. It is a beautiful film of dark nights and days of blue contrast. There’s certainly an immediate atmosphere to the entire film. The performances are all of great quality, and Ryo Ishibashi who is about as classy as they come as an actor of course puts in a standout performance as our confused leading man. Some of the actors, who were new faces to me, I feel guilty for not knowing their names, but I found many of these performances to be absolutely brilliant in quality as well. I’ll make sure to copy the faces down in memory, as I’m sure I’ll run into many later.

As I’ve made the point, An Obsession isn’t a perfect film, but it is a highly enjoyable one – and if you have seen and liked and of the director’s previous work, you all but HAVE to see this film as well. Highly recommended and another noteworthy inclusion to Shinji Aoyama’s library of films. A man who’s name is going to mean a whole in the coming years I suspect, and I highly look forward to as many offerings of his work as I can get my grubby little hands on.


Just Another Day at the Office

Posted by On November - 1 - 2007

Hey everybody! Hope you all had a happy Halloween. I myself had a fairly routine one, but overall a night of playing Fight Night Round 3 on xbox (ain’t got the money for one of them thar newfangled 360 mashines) can never be too bad. So, I’ve been cranking out some new material this month, unfortunately not enough time to add any of the old stuff to this update – but it’s coming, don’t worry. All the pesky formatting is just a pain.
So, new stuff for this update…


Running Out of Time – Another classic Johnny To action/crime film, perfect pairing for the previously reviewed The Mission and just overall great stuff.

SPL: Sha Po Lang – MMA + Kung Fu Filmmaking + Donny Yen + Sammo Hung = one of the best martial arts films I have seen in years.

Flash Point – A kind of sequel/prequel to SPL, equally as amazing in its own way. I am loving this stuff, could watch Yen choreograph fight sequences like this for the rest of my days and die a happy man.


Wednesday – Not technically an article, but currently it’s the best way I can think to seperate it from my other reviews. This is an indie film sent to me for Rogue Cinema and it was actually quite touching. Very beautiful filmmaking.

Top 20 Gore Films of All Time – Now this one nearly killed me. 4000 words and I barely said a thing. Please check it out, hopefully you guys like it. Written for Rogue Cinema and really it’s probably my favorite bit of writing I’ve done in a while, doesn’t mean it wasn’t hard – and lord knows by tomorrow chances are my opinion on this list will be COMPLETELY different.

Anyway, Happy Halloween and hope everyone is safe! Hope you enjoy the content and I hope I win a million dollars!



Running Out of Time

Posted by On November - 1 - 2007
Plot Outline: Police officer Ho is above everyone in his department in terms of talent and police knowledge, he regularly teaches his own bosses lessons in detective work and is generall the figure head of the station. At his polar opposite, somewhere in the city, Cheung is a criminal mastermind who was brought up in a life of crime. Cheung is left with nothing left to fear after being told he has only a short amount of time left to live. With this knowledge, Cheung sets out for one last big heist and one last game with the one man who can match his own intellect. Cheung and Ho are about to collide in a deadly game of deception and trickery, and through the course of events, the two will find their perfect nemesis.

The Review: As I discussed in my earlier review of The Mission, I have been more than a little late in coming around to the work of one Mr. Johnny To. That doesn’t mean I can’t make up for it by watching as many flicks of his as I can in a row! After being enthralled by The Mission, I set my sights on “Running Out of Time” – a film that has always been reccomended to me alongside The Mission. Although the two films couldn’t be any more different in terms of plot and accomplishments; the two films show the diversity and character traits of the director in action. Running Out of Time shows that same wit and love for a twisting plot that catches the audience off guard and putting them into place. His love of the “thriller” is excellently displayed, and along for the ride is To’s apparent love for the slightly over the top “cool” characters. This isn’t a henderance to the film like it would be for some films, although To’s characters are all but superhuman – they find a way to remain grounded. To show their human side. That doesn’t stop them from still being pretty friggin’ cool.

There is a particular genre of crime thriller that I believe Johnny To seems to excel at making. Films like this one or the mission would sit comfortably alongside the likes of Heat on any given day. There are influences abound in his films. From Michael Mann and Scorsese to John Woo and Quinton Tarantino. Johnny To packs in the “cool” characters like Tarantino and Woo; but they’re not the grungey-realistic type you might find in a Tarantino picture; nor are they the classy buy highly emotional gentlemen that John Woo crafted. To takes bits and pieces of everything around him and creates archetypical characters with few flaws – but give them obsessions and emotions that lift them above simply being cowboys running around the old west with no limits or boundaries. Such is the case with the leading man in Running Out of Time, he is the perfect cop. Going so far as to chastising his own supervisors for constantly getting in the way of his procedures. Similar in fact to Kevin Spacey’s character in The Negotiator; which could have also helped to inspire the film. Although our leading man here doesn’t have to worry about his bosses playing on the opposite field. They are simply inept in comparison to his unearthly street knowledge and policeman abilities. He is accompanied by his arch rival who shows he is just as swift in the game, if not more so than he even is. The characters become infatuated with one another not totally unlike the characters in John Woo’s The Killer – but only without the slightly romantic undertones of that film and the general melodrama that Woo tends to enjoy. I point out the references and I compare Johnny To’s films to others not simply as a base of reference – but to clue in those, who have not had the pleasure to witness any of his films, as to just the sort of director he is and is not. I’m not meaning to degrade any film or filmmaker referenced; all are great but have drastically different styles. Johnny To is simply in a category unto himself; much like the previously mentioned filmmakers.

The visual style of Running Out of Time is similar to The Mission, the visual pallete is toned down in subtle blue and grays during interior moments and bright and lush during the outside shots. To’s films catch the eye, however what draws the viewer in isn’t simply flashy visuals or a highly exciting visual style – but the director’s handling and fast intense delivery of very detailed story. With Infernal Affairs catching on, and Hollywood desperately searching HK for the next flick they can remake – expect To’s filmography to be raided and I suspect films like this one will at some point find their way into the Hollywood pre-production pool. Although all films of this sort won’t have the luck to be placed under the watchful eyes of Scorsese; no matter how bad any remakes might be – the air of class and authenticity of character found in Johnny To’s work will not be budged. Who knows what may come, but I urge those of you who are as late to the tea party as I have been on this fabulous director’s body of work – get out there and pick up a few of these films. Fulltime Killer, The Mission and Running Out of Time have cemented Johnny To in my top ten list of Asian filmmakers – which is a list I’m sure he was dying to be found on (please note my self depricating sarcasm); but regardless of how miniscule my opinion may be it doesn’t change the fact that Johnny To is one fantastic filmmaker and Running Out of Time is a testament to just that very fact. I’m giving it a four of five score, due to the inward comparison I have to live with after seeing The Mission first and knowing just how great tight To’s scripts can be. Running Out of Time can at times be somewhat wandering; and there is a love interest in the film that possibly should have either been included more in the film in my opinion – or possibly worked out of it altogether. That however, is very debatable since To does make decent work of tying it into the finale. Still, simple personal opinions keep it from being as great as The Mission or Fulltime Killer and more along the lines of The Big Heat. Regardless; I would definitely reccomend all those who are interested to pick up all three films and watch them in the order that they were made to truly grow and appreciate To’s style of filmmaking. In conclusion: WATCH THE MOVIES! Can’t get any more out in the open than that one!


Flash Point

Posted by On November - 1 - 2007
The Plot: Donnie Yen is back with Wilson Yip as director in this continuation of the style of martial arts/hard boiled detective genre first formed in their previous work SPL. This time around, Donnie Yen is a detective working on a major case against a local triad gang that has developed into a massive powerhouse in his home city. Yen’s close friend Wilson has taken the unenviable job of being an undercover agent within this crime family, and has routine checkups with Yen’s character. However, as the gang grows suspicious, Wilson’s life is put into danger and Donnie is forced to sit back and do so little to protect his friend. Before long, something has to break, because secrets are impossible to keep.

The Review: As I explained in great detail when writing on SPL, I am a massive fan of the sport Mixed Martial Arts. I went into detail with the history and explination of what that exactly is in my review for that film, so skip on over and check it out, but if you’ve already been there or have the knowledge – I’ll just go on to say I am almost what you would call a Super Fan. Following events overseas, making heroes of my favorite champions, etc. so what Donnie Yen has done with this series speaks directly to me as both a Kung Fu movie geek – AND an MMA geek; so what I am getting at is if you are as big of a nerd as I am, these films may give you a complete geek-gasm. In Flash Point Yen and Yip once again combine a very well thought out, well paced script – with mind blowing MMA inspired fight sequences. Combing the speed and flashiness of traditional Kung Fu cinema and incorporating these various styles otherwise never seen – these films create something unique and breathtaking. Flash Point even expounds on the previous film with even more crossover styles being used. Most notably Muay Thai and some flashier Jiu-Jitsu, such techniques like the flying armbar and at least one very slick triangle choke. Throw in a few explosions, some run and gun sequences and you have one exciting and fresh take on the action genre. The question I suppose, is does it top or add onto the excellence of SPL? Well, that’s a tall order to fill in terms of being better than; but does it add onto the depth of SPL? I believe so, and I think the films compliment each other very well. Flash Point deals with Yen’s situation in an environment he is familiar with and less of a fish out of water. His character in this film shows great honor and loyalty, traits that were found in SPL but not expounded upon. Flash Point takes it’s time to get to the action, much the same as SPL, however Flash Point is relieved of the burden of introducing the audience of this new form of martial arts in film and thus the fight scenes are a little less sporadic and this might turn some viewers off to a degree – but believe me, the final fight sequence MORE than makes up for any length of time between fight sequences.

Isn’t that where the true heart of a martial arts films comes to shine however? Final fight sequences are the bread and butter of Hong Kong martial arts cinema and in my opinion the final twenty or so minutes of Flash Point easily has made it into my top ten with one easy leap. If you’re into the film just for the goods, well, don’t give up faith if you have to sit through all that “plot” and “character development” horse-hockey, because this final sequence will blow your socks out your mouth. I can’t even imagine how that is physically possible, but it will and can happen. That is all I can realistically say without giving away “spoilers”, so you’ll just have to settle for that. However, for those of you let down that there were no shootouts a la John Woo in SPL, you will probably walk away even happier in Flash Point. However, all this time I spend hyping the action may all but come back and bite me in the rear end, because as I’ve tried to make clear, Flash Point is very determined in giving reason behind the climactic battles that are waged. Essentially, I’m afraid those who might take my suggestion may go into this film expecting nonstop action from start to finish – but that simply isn’t Flash Point, nor SPL. These films have very intricate and detailed scripts that lead into all of this. Much the way newer Kung Fu fans may go back and watch Five Deadly Venoms and wonder why there isn’t a fight scene every ten minutes. People do not simply challenge each other on the street in Kung Fu battles, quite unfortunately, but Yip and Yen have created films that can be taken serious and both really do deliver beautifully scripted plots and characters. Flash Point however does have the ability to drag at times, and is diminished somewhat for that. There are moments that simply feel like filler at times, and could have been removed in my opinion to help jog things along. However, there is very little in the way of excess that could be removed from the film and have it make a great ton of sense in terms of logic, so it is forgivable. Flash Point certainly is no perfect film, but it succeeds on many of the levels that the previous SPL does and thankfully falls from out of the pitholes one might have expected it to follow; such as having action for action’s sake.

The cast and crew all excuse themselves well, and there are few weak links. Although the acting is not on a master level, this is an action film afterall and the high drama is mostly dealt out with violence by the conclusion of the film anyhow. Regardless, there are no cringe worthy moments to be wary of. Something else that strikes me, though the script dealing with undercover cops in the triad may seem at first to be a bit similar to the Infernal Affairs series – and truthfully when the film first began heading into that direction I started to feel a bit uneasy – Yip keeps the film narrow and within it’s own little world. The only reason I bring something like that up, is due to how these films have similar styles and structure as Johnny To’s work or the Infernal Affairs trilogy… or really a whole laundry list of films coming out of Hong Kong right now. I just wanted to get that out there, and so to summarize: Flash Point may have it’s troubles every now and then and may have a hard time living up to the absolutely amazing SPL – it is by no means a letdown and is still one of the best martial art films to come out in a very long time. So, I suggest you all get out there and check it out: PRONTO!




1 2 3 4 5 art asian asian 4 blaxplo blaxpo contrib euro explo giallo hor kungfu pink pinky rev spag

WP Cumulus Flash tag cloud by Roy Tanck requires Flash Player 9 or better.


About Me

Varied Celluloid is a film website intent on delivering views on movies from all genres. Started in 2003, the website has been steadfast in its goal and features a database of over 500 lengthy reviews. If you would like to contact us about writing for the website or sending screeners, please visit the about page located here.