Archives for May 2013 | Varied Celluloid

Archive for May, 2013

Back to 1942

Posted by Josh Samford On May - 30 - 2013

Back to 1942 (2012)
Director: Feng Xiaogang
Writers: Liu Zhenyun
Starring: Zhang Guoli, Chen Daoming, Li Xuejian, Tim Robbins, and Adrien Brody



The Plot: Back to 1942 details a broad overview of the Chinese famine of 1942 that devastated the province of Henan. Our story begins when the famine is only first starting to take hold. We are introduced to Master Fan (Zhang Guoli), a wealthy landlord who seems as if he will have the least amount of trouble with the famine. However, things are turned upside down for Fan when his village is robbed by a wandering group of bandits. After this, he and his family begin a long and dangerous walk to find food and shelter. As they wander, with the aggressive Japanese on one side and the indifferent Chinese on the other, they go on a journey that will test the very limits of their humanity. While this famine destroys everything around them, American journalist Theodore H. White (Adrien Brody) shows up to investigate these happenings. What he finds leaves him shaken to the core. He goes back to the Chinese leaders, who have tried to ignore Henan in order to avoid having to disburse rations, and eventually forces them to do something. However, the officials in China are far too corrupt to do the right thing, and unfortunately those who survive this famine will do so on their own.


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Assassin’s Blade, The

Posted by Josh Samford On May - 28 - 2013

The Assassin’s Blade (2008)
Director: Jingle Ma
Writers: Chan Po-chun, Jingle Ma, Ng Ka-keung, Yeung Sin-ling, and Wong Nga-man
Starring: Wu Chun, Charlene Choi, Hu Ge, and Ti Lung



The Plot: The Assassin’s Blade is a modern retelling of the popular legend best known as The Butterfly Lovers. In this story, Zhu Yanzhi (Charlene Choi) is a beautiful young woman who must dress herself as a man in order to be trained within the Soul Ease Clan. Yanzhi wants to become proficient in the martial arts so that she can protect her family. Luckily, wearing men’s clothing proves to be more than enough to fool everyone who surrounds her, so Yanzhi quickly establishes herself within this clan of martial artists. While here, she meets Brother Shan (Wu Chun) who quickly scoops Yanzhi up under his wing. He starts to protect Yanzhi and they develop a very close relationship. It is inevitably revealed to Shan that Yanzhi is indeed a beautiful woman, and their relationship begins to further develop into a romance. However, problems arise when Brother Ma (Hu Ge), a childhood friend of Yanzhi, shows up at Soul Ease and lies to Yanzhi in order to bring her home. When she arrives back at her home, she discovers that her parents have given her away in an arranged marriage. She is supposed to marry Ma, but her heart still belongs to Shan. Will true love prevail or will Yanzhi be forced to bend to her family’s wishes?


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Not Suitable for Children

Posted by Josh Samford On May - 22 - 2013

Not Suitable for Children (2012)
Director: Peter Templeman
Writers: Michael Lucas and Peter Templeman
Starring: Ryan Kwanten, Sarah Snook, Ryan Corr, and Bojana Novakovic



The Plot: Jonah (Ryan Kwanten) is an average 20-something. He parties with his friends every weekend, has a complicated relationship with his on/off girlfriend, and is very sexually active. His life is turned upside down, however, when in the process of having a one-night-stand with a random girl at one of his parties, she notices he has a lump on his testicles. Very quickly, Jonah discovers that the lump is a tumor and he does indeed have testicular cancer. The doctors want to immediately schedule surgery to remove one of his testes, but when they take a sample of his sperm, it indicates that his ejaculate will not endure the freezing process needed to sustain his DNA. So, Jonah, who has never thought much about having kids, finds himself in a rush to spread his seed. Jonah has only one month to find a woman who will have a child with him, and with his reputation, that is going to prove to be quite difficult.


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Bohachi Bushido: Code of the Forgotten Eight

Posted by Josh Samford On May - 15 - 2013

Bohachi Bushido: Code of the Forgotten Eight (1973)
Director: Teruo Ishii
Writers: San Kaji (screenplay), Kazuo Koike & Goseki Kojima (manga)
Starring: Tetsuro Tanba, Yuriko Hishimi, Goro Ibuki, and Kyoichi Sato.



The Plot: Bohachi Bushido tells a heartwarming story about forced prostitution, extreme violence, and cult activities. It begins in the Edo period where we find The Bohachi, a group that lives by a very distasteful code. They regularly track down women and then molest them until they no longer have regular desires or emotions. The group uses these brainwashed women for both financial and political gain, and when they save the wandering assassin Shino (Tetsuro Tanba), they assume that they now have the muscle needed in order to bring their group to a higher level. However, Shino is a man who takes orders from no one. When this group presses him to join their ranks, they quickly develop an enemy that they are unprepared for.


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Four, The

Posted by Josh Samford On May - 6 - 2013

The Four (2012)
Director: Gordon Chan and Janet Chun
Writers: Gordon Chan, Maria Wong, and Frankie Tam
Starring: Deng Chao, Liu Yifei, Collin Chou, Anthony Wong



The Plot: The Four is a period tale that focuses on a town that is being threatened by counterfeit money. There are two units that are initially tasked with finding the culprits behind this illegal operation. The two groups, The Divine Constabulary and Department Six, are completely different from one another in every way. Department Six is a very covert unit that works within the shadows and they are much more in tune with the general bureaucracy found in government. The Divine Constabulary, however, is much more ethical in general. This group is very special, and not just because they have a nice sense of social ethics, but all members seem to have mastered their martial art to such a degree that they now harness supernatural powers. Reading minds and shooting projectiles are simply everyday activities within the Divine Constabulary clubhouse. Lengxue (Deng Chao) is a member of Department Six, but he is asked by their leader to go undercover within the Divine Constabulary. After a very public firing, Lengxue is eventually welcomed into The Divine Constabulary, and he befriends all who are involved. As you have maybe guessed, he will have a very difficult decision to make in the near future (which side will he choose!?), but along the way he must help take down this counterfeiting operation and bring justice to those who would fight against it.


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