Thursday, December 23, 2010

Fmovie - Batanes (2007)

Synopsis - Wiki
Photos - Google

Pam (Iza Calzado) meets Rico (Joem Bascon) an Ivatan, and decides to leave her stressful life in the city to follow him to Batanes to meet his parents Boy and Lydia (Bembol Roco and Daria Ramirez, respectively) and marry him. Pam tries to adapt to the Ivatan way of life but hates the sea that Rico loves so much. Her hatred for the sea intensifies when her husband Rico dies in a fishing accident. Pam is devastated and decides to go back to Manila. But when she sensed that the sea was laughing at her failure, she chose to stay in Batanes to be with Rico's family. In one of her trips to the sea, she accidentally meets Kao Ken Chu, a Taiwanese, whom she rescues during a storm. As they spend time together, the two eventually fall for each other despite language barriers and cultural differences.

One of my Pinay friends have been sending me a few Filipino films to watch. Although I did enjoy Moments of Love and Eternity, Batanes fell a little short.

The beginning was really fast paced but it fell though after the exit of Rico. Afterwards, it was slow and looked like it was shot on a very low budget. I applaud the director for capturing the gorgeousness of the island of Batanes. However,I wanted to see a tighter direction.

The storyline is not bad. It's a case of two people who fall in love who speak different languages. Both had a hurtful past and could relate to each other.

Since the other two Filipino films I've seen starred the lovely Iza Calzado, I didn't mind watching Batanes. I think she can be cute, gorgeous, hot, sexy, all that. She is a good actress. She plays the heartbroken Pam who still loves her deceased husband but finds love with Kao.

The actor who played Rico is good looking! Too bad he had a short role! He plays the husband of Pam. I had to look him up. He is Joem Bascom. I wouldn't mind seeing more of his movies! He is definitely eye candy! I like! Need to see more!

Ken Chu plays Kao. The Taiwanese man who wonders on Batanes and eventually falls for the Filipino beauty, Pam. Ken is a well-known Taiwanese actor/singer.

Worth it only to see how adorable Joem Bascon is. Oh yeah, for Iza Calzado too, she's always great to see!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cmovie - Devil Face Angel Heart (2002)

Synopsis - IMDB
Photos - Google

Lon is an assassin who is deformed. The only man he can trust is his brother, Kwan. When Lon kills a police officer, the officer's partner tries to go after him, but lets him go after seeing his face. Meanwhile, Lon falls for Wendy, the girlfriend of Lon's sadistic boss, Dragon. When Lon agrees to kill Dragon for Wendy, it's a setup. After the kill, Lon is hit by a car and plunges into the river. A year passes by. A new man named Michael arrives, working for Wendy. Meanwhile, the partner of the cop Lon killed is still on the case. He notices a resemblance of the new man to Lon. Is Michael the same person as Lon? If so, what is the motive?

The movie title is Devil Face Angel Heart because even though Lon's face is scary, he has the heart of an angel. There were several times that he was assigned to kill someone but he let them go because of his guilty conscious.

I am a huge fan of Stephen Fung and Daniel Wu after House of Fury. So I was able to hunt down another movie with the two of them together. This time, Daniel has the lead role while Stephen was supporting.

For me personally, I find Daniel one of the best young actors in Hong Kong cinema. I simply love his versality in his roles.

The movie is focus on Daniel Wu who plays Lon, a guy born with a disfigured face. He is tortured and talked down from everyone except his "brother," Kwan.

He doesn't have a double role in the movie at all. He undergoes through plastic surgery in the movie. Therefore, he is looking like his usual, fine self!

Stephen Fung was my first Hong Kong crush. I've always been a fan of martial arts movies but started to watch more within the past few years. I am hunting down to find all his movies!

He really doesn't have much to do in Devil Face Angel Heart but look cute...and that he does very well :) He plays a cop.

Gotta be an evil person and mastermind and it's no other than Wendy played by Gigi Lai. She is good!

There were a lot of sexual scenes and very graphic and explicit too. If you are bashful and usually shy away from even kisses, stay away from this movie!

Otherwise, worth a watch. I wasn't sure how I really feel about it though. I don't know if it's those types of movies for re-watchings or recommendating to others.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cmovie - Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen (2010)


A continuation of the 1995 television series Fist of Fury, Donnie Yen reprises his role as Chen Zhen, a role made famous by Bruce Lee in "Fist Of Fury" (1972). The film is set seven years after the apparent death of Chen Zhen, who was shot after discovering who was responsible for his teacher's death in Japanese-occupied Shanghai. A mysterious stranger arrives from overseas and befriends a local mafia boss. That man is a disguised Chen Zhen, who intends to infiltrate the mob when they form an alliance with the Japanese. Disguising himself as a caped fighter by night, Chen intends to take out everyone involved as well as get his hands on an assassination list prepared by the Japanese.

I freaking looooooooove Donnie Yen!!
This man is so underrated.
He is the main reason for my love of the movie.
While some people may compare the fighting style to Ip Man/Ip Man 2. What do you expect????
Chen Zen is Bruce Lee!

Some people are bashing this movie saying that Donnie Yen is too old or he doesn't fit the role or it's too much like Ip Man. Whatever man. Some people don't know how to separate the movie from the actor.

Or maybe I'm a loyal fan. I love kick-ass guys. No wonder I love South Indian films where one guy takes it all. There's a pattern there, right? Uh-hum.

I was extremely ecstatic when I found out the heroine is Shu Qi. She's my favorite HK actress. She reminds me of the the Asian Angelina Jolie, an actress who can act, look sexy and kickass.

I am a huuuuuuge Bruce Lee fan so I am biase on this since Donnie Yen and Shu Qi are both in the movie.
Take it or leave it but I love the movie.

In addition, adding the superhero made me love it more. Go Kato! And on top of that, the outfit that Donnie wears at the end, presenting a bit of Bruce Lee....and pulling out the nunchucks! This made my day!

Oh yeah, not to mention that Anthony Wong is also in the movie. That man is awesome!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cmovie - Mad Detective (2007)

Detective Bun (Lau Ching Wan) was recognised as a talented criminal profiler until he sliced off his right ear to offer as a gift at his chief’s farewell party. Branded as ‘mad’ and discharged from the force, he has lived in seclusion with his beloved wife May (Kelly Lin) ever since. Strangely, Bun has the ability to ‘see’ a person’s inner personality, their subconscious desires, emotions, and mental state. When a missing police gun is linked to several heists and murders, hotshot Inspector Ho (Andy On) calls on the valuable skills of his former mentor Bun to help unlock the killer’s identity. However, Bun’s unorthodox methods point to a fellow detective and take a schizophrenic turn for the worse…

I haven't been this impressed with a movie in a long time! Seriously. I love it! It's the type of movie that you have to pay attention to what's going on. At first, you would be confused but then you eventually start to follow it. Because I enjoyed it so much, I watched it several times again, I saw all that was unclear to me and focused on the "inner personalies" more. You have to watch it through both Ho and Bun's point of views.

Usually I watch Hong Kong cinema for the martial arts action. I've been trying to be more open-minded in watching more genres from Hong Kong. I'm not a fan of their romantic comedies or horrors. Most of the "dramas" I've seen left me disappointed.

Even movies like SPL or Invisible Target had some drama in it but was mixed with slick, martial arts. I need to focus more on Johnnie To's movies. He is a well-known director and producer.

I am really looking forward to Election and Exiled, which have been both recommended to me from so many people.

Besides the storyline and the direction, the editing is superb. A much watch! If you like Hollywood movies like Fight Club, then Mad Detective is worth a watch!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thai horror films

Late in posting, I know!!!! I watched a string of Asian horror films and haven't blogged about it!!

I think I watched way too many and I'm not scared at all!

Now it's time for the Thai horrors I've seen and will post the other languages at another time.

Dorm (2006)

In Thailand, the young Ton Chatree is sent to a boarding school by his father to study harder and have less entertainment with television. Once in the school, Ton feels outcast and misses his family and friends. He becomes scared with the ghost stories his new schoolmates tell about a boy that died in the swimming pool and a young pregnant woman that committed suicide.

He becomes a close friend of the also lonely boy Vichien, and later Ton realizes that Vichien is the boy that drowned in the swimming pool, and his death repeats every night. Ton tries to find a way to help his friend to rest in piece.

My Thoughts

Overall, it is a good film with an interesting storyline. However, it's not really horror, to me. There's a sense of horror from the beginning but the ghost isn't trying scare or kill anyone, just a few haunting, chilling moments. For example, being alone and you hear noises, only to see nothing. There is a ghost but all he needs is to rest in peace. The message behind the film is what separates it from the typical horror films.

Sisters (2004)

A group of teen musicians check into a hotel after a night of performance outside of Bangkok, not knowing that the room they are staying in harbors a deadly secret. They must set out to solve the mystery behind a prostitute’s murder in that very room to save their lives.

My Thoughts

Beginning is interested but then the storyline went nowhere! I've read on several Internet websites that this movie is based from a true story but nothing to confirm it. I felt the direction was out of place and lacked a good screenplay, looked like it was shot from a very low budget with weak lens and poor cameras. The best parts were the beginning with the ghost's image trying to scare the band members. But it didn't conclude well and there were too many loose holes and unanswered questions.

Unborn (2003)

Por is beaten up by her drug dealer and wakes up in a hospital to discover that she is pregnant. While there, she is haunted by a female spirit. While she is at first very frightened by the ghost, she later believes that the dead woman just wants her help. Together with a friend, she sets out to solve the mystery behind the woman’s death.

My Thoughts

Interesting from beginning to end. However, the pace is a bit slow. There were creepy moments with glances of a ghost. The storyline is good and a bit twisty, which concluded very well to tie all everyone together.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Korean horror films

Late in posting, I know!!!! I watched a string of Asian horror films and haven't blogged about it!!
I think I watched way too many and I'm not scared at all!

Right now, I'm just listing the Korean horrors I've seen and will post the other languages at another time.

ACACIA (20003)

Unable to have children of their own, married couple Mi-sook and Do-il adopt a young boy named Lee Jin-seong. His name soon gets changed to Kim Jin-seong when he moves with Mi-sook and Do-il. The boy is drawn to an acacia tree in his new home’s backyard, believing it to be his mother, and it soon becomes the focal point for an increasing number of strange occurrences when Jin-seong appears to have run away.

Jin-seong befriends an older girl named Min-jee. She tells Jin-seong that she cannot go to school as she has lost a lot of blood. After she kisses Jin-seong, he becomes even more aggressive and violent. He turns even worse as Mi-sook becomes pregnant and has a new baby named Hae-sung. Jin-seong, experiencing many emotional difficulties, becomes more withdrawn and confused. He starts to develop an anger towards his adopted family, so much so that he tries to smother the new baby. Mi-sook gets so frustrated with Jin-Seong’s actions and obsession towards the acacia tree that she decides to chop the tree down, which results in Jin-Seong allegedly running away.

After Jin-Seong runs away, the previously dying tree starts to bloom with spectacular life. Min-jee starts changing as well, becoming more obsessed with the acacia tree. She starts claiming to hear Jin-Seong’s voice coming from inside the tree, witnessing paranormal experiences occurring around the tree, flowers and ants attacking the people in Jin-Seong’s family.

My thoughts
Overall, I think it was a good movie with great direction and gorgeous cinematography. I love the suspense of what is going to happen next and what I predicted, I was totally wrong! The movie was more on the thriller side than horror but I love how everything unfolds itself.

FACE (2004)

Hyun-min works for the police, reconstructing faces by examining and interpreting their skulls. His daughter undergoes a heart transplant, and as her condition deteriorates, he loses his interest in his job. Hyun-min suspects that his daughter's illness after the operation is caused by the heart, although her doctor, Dr. Yoon, tell him that his daughter is experiencing only minor complications.

Distraught, Hyun-min quits his job to care for his daughter full time. Meanwhile, the police are dealing with a series of bizarre murder cases, where the victim has had all their flesh dissolved away with acid, leaving only the bones behind. Sun-young (Song Yoon-ah) brings the skull of the fourth victim to Hyun-min, hoping that he'll be able to reconstruct the face. With the skull in their house, his daughter begins to experience visions of a distraught woman in a white robe.

Hyun-min reconstructs the face of the victim, and it soon transpires that they all suffered from a (fictitious) affliction known as 'beta-allergy'. Tests reveal that Hyun-min's daughter has the condition, meaning that she has received the heart of someone who did. Romance blossoms between Hynu-min and Sun-young, and as they investigate, they uncover an organ transplant conspiracy: The murder victims were killed for their body parts, and it becomes apparent that Dr. Yoon knows more than he's letting on.

My thoughts
Overall, the movie was entertaining. Not only with the ghost thrills, but also the story was very interesting. I love watching crime tv shows and this movie had it all for me, which made me curious about the job portrayed by the main character of Shin Hyeon Jun.

Hidden Floor (2006)

Min-young moves onto the fifth floor of a new studio apartment with her six-year-old daughter, Joo-hee. She’s concerned when her downstairs neighbor, HAN Chang-soo, says that he cannot tolerate the noise above him, even though the two women live tranquilly. Furthermore, she is anxious about other residents’ strange behaviors – never mind the mysterious deaths. Min-young hardens herself mentally after the move into the new house, largely because of her daughter’s unprecedented odd behavior and continual run-ins with a bizarre woman. Convinced that Joo-hee has fallen sick and perturbed by the mysterious events around the studio apartment, Min-young looks to disclose the truth by herself…

My thoughtsThe movie is a mixture of the two Japanese movies - The Grudge & Deep Water. I'm not a huge fan of Japanese horrors. I know in the USA, Japanese horrors are popular and being remade. But with that sad, I enjoyed Hidden Floor a lot. I like the direction used in Korean movies. It still kept me entertain and the uses of flashbacks were well-done.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Detective (2007)

Photos - Google
Synopsis - YesAsia

Holding shop from a small dinky office, near-sighted, debt-ridden private detective Tam (Aaron Kwok) talks big, but does small business. He gets an interesting new job when hard-drinking friend Lung (Shing Fui Oi) shows up one day with the picture of a woman whom he claims is trying to kill him. Unable to locate the woman, Tam starts looking up her acquaintances, but he seems to always be in the wrong place at the right time. At his first stop, he walks into a man hanging from the ceiling, the first of many dead bodies he stumbles upon. Tam becomes increasingly obsessed with finding the truth behind the mysterious deaths, but digging too deep could have dangerous consequences.

The Detective also known as C+ is a fast-paced thriller. From the first scene to the very end, it kept you on the tip of your seat for you to see what's going to happen. It had a few haunting moments but overall, it's an awesome thriller. You kept wondering where this killer was...or if it was really who the movie makes you think it is.

Aaron Kwok is a good looking, underrated actor.  I look forward to more of his filmography. Aaron has definitely improved within the past few films I've seen of his.

Definitely worth watching!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Vmovie - The Rebel (2007)

Synopsis - Wikipedia
Photos - Google

Vietnam in 1922 is under colonial French ruling, and anti-French rebellions by peasants have emerged all over the country. In response, the French have activated units of Vietnamese secret agents to track and destroy the rebels. One agent is Le Van Cuong. Although branded with a perfect track record, Cuong's inner conscience is troubled by the sea of Vietnamese blood he has spilled. Following an assassination of a high ranking French official, Cuong is assigned to seek and kill the notorious leader of the resistance. Cuong encounters Vo Thanh Thuy, a relentless revolutionary fighter and the daughter of the rebel leader. She is captured and imprisoned by Cuong's cruel superior, Sy. Cuong suspects that Sy knew about the attack on the French official before it happened, and could have prevented it. Suspicious, he warns Thuy that her organization has a mole, helps break her out of prison and becomes a fugitive himself. Her fiery patriotism inspires Cuong, and he develops feelings for the young woman as well. Meanwhile, Sy is tracking Cuong and Thuy, knowing the pair will lead him to Thuy's father.

I have never seen a Viet movie before. However, Johnny Nguyen made it worth while.

A familar face is Dustin Ngyuen who I have seen from the popular tv show in the 90s, 21 Jumpstreet, with Johnny Depp.

Take the hot stud, a familar face, and a fearless female, you get a big hit!

I love the martial arts scenes a lot. The backstory was good and had inspiration too.

A must watch!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Kmovie - The Good The Bad The Weird (2008)

Source - Yahoo
Photos - Google

Set in the 1930s Manchurian desert where lawlessness rules and many different ethnic groups clash, three Korean men fatefully meet each other on a train. The train's diverse passengers and imminent danger with guns and knives everywhere serves as a microcosm of the turbulent times. Do-won is a bounty hunter who tracks down any criminals with rewards on their heads. Chang-yi is the leader of a group of tough-as-nails bandits. He cannot stand to be the second best. Tae-goo is a train robber with nine lives. The three strangers engage in a chase across Manchuria to take possession of a map Tae-goo discovers while robbing the train. Also on the hunt for the mysterious map are the Japanese army and Asian bandits. In this unpredictable, escalating battle for the map, who will stand in the end as the winner?

Korean cowboy style! That's what I thought when I first saw previews. I'm not a Western cowboys type of movie person. I passed when I first heard about it.

So what made me change my mind???


That man is so gorgeous!. Total hotness.

Lee Byun Hun is my fave Korean actor. He can act and is sooo irresitably hot as the villian. He was a badass, don't-mess-with-me pain but so good at it.

Even though I looooooooved LBH in the movie, it was Song Kang Ho all the way. The movie should've been titled, "The Weird The Bad The Good." I love his silliness!!

Jung Woo Sung does well in his part but is a little underappreciated because of LBH & SKH. He was more of the cool, calm guy.

Must see, just for Lee Byun Hun. The action scenes were good. However, I like more physical contact. It's hard for me to explain but in a lot of Korean movies, the action are done very well, especially the gun shooting scenes.

But when it comes to the physical fight scenes, those are not done well. It's almost cartoonish. For example, the hero and villian will be fighting, you see the hero pull out a sword to stab the villian. You won't actually see the sword go through the villian. Instead you will see hero with the sword, then the villian with the sword wound. I want to see it all!

I know, that's just my pet peeve. Otherwise, the movie is pure fun!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cmovie - New Police Story (2004)

Synopsis - IMDB
Photos - Google

Inspector Wing of the Hong Kong Police Force has become the victim of a gang, led by the evil Joe. When his entire team is killed, Wing becomes a hapless drunk, feeling guilty for the deaths of his team. A young man with a troubled past pretends to be a police officer working on the case with Wing, to get him back on his feet and begin an adventure to get revenge on the evil Joe and his Gang of Five, especially when it becomes personal.

First of all, OMFG, I looooooved it! I watched it several times already. The first time I watched it was by myself. The second time was with my daughter. The third with the rest of the family. Every one of us looooved it! Yes, it is that good!

I've seen Jackie Chan's Police Story and Police Story 2 a while ago but re-watched them again. New Police Story is a reboot version, meaning that it doesn't follow the trilogy, first three parts. However, it still has the same formula but you get more emotionally involved and the martial arts action was even better! Add in my other Hong Kong crushes -- Nicholas Tse & Daniel Wu!!! No disappointment at all!

My son asked me how come in a lot of modern martial arts action, the heroes are usually cops. I never thought about that, but he is right! A lot of law enforcements are seen in Hong Kong action, whether or not they do martial arts. Either that or gangsters. Or maybe it's the movies that I watch? If I like a certain star, I will try my best to watch their full filmography.

I've always been a fan of Jackie Chan from his 70s movies to modern. That man got a lot of talent. He doesn't even look like he's aging at all!

Nicholas Tse is my latest Hong Kong crush. Before him, it was Stephen Fung. I've seen Nicholas in numerous movies before but he got me...finally! I still adore Stephen Fung but his choice of films aren't as great as Nicholas. I think Stephen is taking a break from acting and focusing on directing instead now.

Daniel Wu is a hottie too. I always thought he was good looking but he is probably my favorite actor, for the most diverse acting. His spoken English is really good, no accent. Then I read more about him and learn that he grew up in the USA.

Charlie Yeung who plays Jackie's love interest is so gorgeous! I love her hairstyle and color. I didn't realize she was the same girl in After This Our Exile with Aaron Kwok. She's wonderful!

The girl villian, Coco Chiang, my daughter loves her style. She even had some kickass action scenes!

The only downfall is Charlene Choi who I found a bit annoying (and I like her a lot!) She does *not* look good in short hair! I didn't find the significant of her part until later on in the movie. She didn't even fit the role of a police officer and was a bit kiddish.

Yes, do watch it!!

If you enjoyed Jackie's other Police Story series, you won't be disappointed at all! This is just a modern version of his previous work, with hot, happening stars!