Asian | Varied Celluloid - Page 5


Posted by Josh Samford On June - 5 - 2013

Nightfall (2012)
Director: Roy Chow
Writers: Christine To
Starring: Nick Cheung, Simon Yam, Janice Man, Kay Tse, and Michael Wong

The Plot: Nightfall is a recent Hong Kong thriller focusing on Wong Yuen-yeung (Nick Cheung), a man who has recently been released from prison after serving twenty years for murder. Wong was arrested at the age of 19 for strangling and murdering a young girl who he was apparently quite infatuated with. Once released from jail, Wong begins to immediately stalk Zoe, the younger adopted sister of his previous victim. Zoe is a prodigious pianist, and that seems to make sense because her father Han Tsui (played by Michael Wong) is a well known musician that is respected throughout the world. What most do not realize, however, is that Han Tsui is abusive and seems to have a bizarre infatuation with Zoe as well. As Wong’s stalking continues, he is spotted following Zoe, so Han Tsui’s grip on Zoe begins to tighten further. Soon enough though, Han Tsui’s body turns up on the beach with his face completely smashed in. Inspector Lam (Simon Yam) is placed on the case, but he is having his own family problems and has had trouble understanding why his wife committed suicide and left him to look after their daughter on his own. While everything seems like it should be quite open-and-shut, in the wake of his wife’s death, Lam has become obsessed with digging deeper into his cases. As he does, he finds that this story truly isn’t as clear-cut as it first appears.

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Sadako 3D

Posted by Josh Samford On June - 2 - 2013

Sadako 3D (2012)
Director: Tsutomu Hanabusa
Writers: Satomi Ishihara, Koji Suzuki, and Tsutomu Takahashi
Starring: Satomi Ishihara, Koji Seto, Yusuke Yamamoto, and Ai Hashimoto

The Plot: Sadako 3D is a continuation of the original Ringu series and takes place thirteen years after the events of the first film. Our story begins with two mysterious suicides, one involving a man at a bus station and another involving a schoolgirl. Although neither seems to have any evidence of foul play, Detective Koiso (Ryosei Tayama) and his partner both suspect something strange is afoot. It appears that both victims do have a link between their deaths, they each watched a video online that ended with an eerie voice saying “you’re not the one.” It seems that this video is gaining notoriety as a cursed video, and everyone who seems to watch it ends up dead shortly after viewing it. In the video, it is said that online video artist Kashiwada Seiji (Yusuke Yamamoto) can be seen being murdered/committing suicide, but the only people who have actually seen the video have all met a grizzly demise at this point. Soon the audience is introduced to Akane Ayukawa (Satomi Ishihara), a very young school teacher who taught the young girl who died from the video. As Akane begins her own investigation into this savage online video, she finds that it may very well be tied to Sadako, the ghostly apparition from the original Ringu. Will she find a way to stop this viral catastrophe, or will it continue to take the lives of all her students?

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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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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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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.