Archives for July 2013 | Varied Celluloid

Archive for July, 2013

New World

Posted by On July - 25 - 2013

New World (2013)
Director: Park Hoon-jung
Writers: Park Hoon-jung
Starring: Lee Jung-jae, Choi Min-sik, Hwang Jung-min, and Park Sung-woong

The Plot: New World is a South Korean gangster film that details a very tumultuous time in the history of Goldmoon, a legendary organized crime group. Similar to the yakuza in Japan, these gangsters are somewhere between legitimate enterprise and vicious crime outfit. When the head of this group is killed by way of a car accident, a war between factions seems like it may be on the rise. On one side there is the business-minded, but quite psychotic, Joong-gu (played by Park Sung-woong), and on the other there is Jung Chung (Hwang Jung-min) – a young man who enjoys only the finest things in life and isn’t afraid to be shallow. Stuck in between these two is Jung Chung’s right-hand-man, Ja-sung (Lee Jung-jae). Ja-sung is actually an undercover police officer, and after years of working within Goldmoon he is being set up to be second in command of the entire enterprise. However, Ja-sung no longer wants this life. With a child on the way, he hopes to finally leave this awful business behind him. Unfortunately, his commanding officer, Chief Kang (Choi Min-sik), refuses to allow it. He wants Ja-sung to continue until he is at the very top of the ladder. This is why he instigates a new operation, codenamed New World. Chief Kang believes that, by making the right moves, he can manipulate the organized crime business in Korea and have them obey his will. However, in this rugged and violent world, nothing falls together without blood being spilled.

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Tai Chi Hero

Posted by On July - 14 - 2013

Tai Chi Hero (2012)
Director: Stephen Fung
Writers: Chia-lu Chang, Kuo-fu Chen, and Hsiao-tse Cheng
Starring: Yuan Xiaochao, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Angelababy, and Eddie Pang

The Plot: Yang Lu Chan (Yuan Xiaochao), the protagonist from Tai Chi Zero, is back once again as he continues with his goal of learning the elusive Chen-style kung fu. After the events of the first movie, Lu Chan is in the process of marrying Yu Niang (Angelababy), but before the ceremony ends, a stranger from the past appears. Zai Yang (Feng Shaofeng) is a former member of the village who was once forced out by Master Chen Chang Xing (Tony Leung Ka Fai). Upon his return, he shows off a tremendous amount of physical prowess and a new understanding of kung fu. Zai Yang reminds the village of the ancient prophecy that told of the dangers that would befall Chen village if it were to teach any outsider their martial art. This puts Lu Chan right back to his starting point. Meanwhile, Zi Jing (Eddie Peng) finds himself recuperating from his defeat within the first film. Yet, his business partner Duke Fleming (Peter Stormare) refuses to let Zi Jing take a break from his battles, and instead helps lift him up in order to continue in his war against Chen village. So, Lu Chan must find someone in the village willing to teach him Chen-style kung fu, while also defending the village from these deadly external forces.

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Erotic Diary of an Office Lady

Posted by On July - 9 - 2013

Erotic Diary of an Office Lady (1977)
Director: Masaru Konuma
Starring: Asami Ogawa, Michio Hino, and Tatsuya Hamaguchi

The Plot: Asami is an office lady. This is of course a rather mundane work life, and unfortunately Asami’s social life doesn’t quite make up for it. Her on-again/off-again boss/boyfriend doesn’t seem to have a great deal of affection for her, yet she seems to have feelings for him. At the office, she keeps her eyes on Komako, the oldest girl on her floor, who has a reputation for sleeping with many of her male coworkers. Komako just wants to be loved, but she finds that within this male-dominated world, she is continually used and cast aside. When Asami finally has a sit-down conversation with Komako, she discovers that the woman is supposed to be celebrating her birthday the following day, so Asami invites her to her home to have dinner with she and her father. On this same day, Asami meets a very peculiar man walking down the street. He appears to be mentally slow, however, the strange young man comes close to attacking Asami, but he ultimately listens to her demands. As strange as it is, Asami and the young man become fast friends. Meanwhile, Komako is also becoming fast friends with Asami’s father. Asami ultimately finds herself torn between the affection that she has felt reciprocated with this stranger, and the feelings that she still has for her boss.

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Fairy in a Cage

Posted by On July - 5 - 2013

Fairy in a Cage (1977)
Director: Koyu Ohara
Writers: Oniroku Dan and Seiji Matsuoka
Starring: Naomi Tani, Hirokazu Inoue, and Rei Okamoto

The Plot: Fairy in a Cage takes place during the heightened period that came near the end of the second World War. Kimiko Shimishiza (Naomi Tani) is a very pretty housewife who is married to a famous jeweler within Japan. Perhaps feeling that his time in power is soon to be over, or simply overdosing on this power, Judge Murayama has taken his position as chief of the secret police to some very deranged levels. Murayama is a sadist and gets off on torturing women, and when he sees Kimiko – he can not help himself. He searches for any potential reason to imprison the young homemaker. Eventually, he does find a link between Kimiko and a student who has produced anti-government propaganda, and faster than you can say “misogyny,” Judge Murayama has Kimiko stripped nude and hanging upside down in his basement. What follows is a degrading trip into psychosis. Kimiko’s only hope for survival is the end of the war, or a break in rank within this tight-knit family of military leaders.

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