Commentaries and/or supplemental reviews

Discussions on Asian cinemas: Japanese, Korean, Thai, ....

Commentaries and/or supplemental reviews

Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Tue Jun 10, 2008 4:49 pm

Share your reviews, comments and discussions of commentaries and/or supplemental materials for Asian movies.

In the spirit of organization and learning, I felt a new thread for this could be beneficial (well at least for me as I know where to find particular discussions).

I'll start by moving some thread material and notes I had elsewhere.
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Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Tue Jun 10, 2008 4:50 pm

Come Drink With Me (1966) Hong Kong commentary with Bey Logan and Cheng Pei Pei

[this is a normal Bey Logan commentary with much discussion on who people are, but not much on mise-en-scene or cinematic type discussion; more information is gleaned from the additional extras on the DD release; will post notes if anyone is interested on those]
"Big Drunken Hero" is Chinese title.
Talked about woman being lead, changed when Bruce Lee came [wrong; see Stephen Tao's book for better discussion of this]
Inspired by chambara [no kidding]
Sammo Hung was rumored to be action director, this is not true.
Shaw Brother's uses three shifts (morning, evening, night) for shoots.
One of the first fights in an Inn [I would really like to see if this is true]
Pei Pei constantly corrects Bey Logan's Cantonese speaking throughout the commentary [both Mandarin and Cantonese]
Cheng talks about having to buy bootleg to see this film [not complete story, see other extras for better explanation]
10 Days to shoot Inn scene, 50-60 days in total for whole shoot
[BL's knowledge of Shaw Brother's is a bit weak, he digresses too much]
Pei Pei's real hair in film.
Lots of talk about Clearwater Bay shots.
BL mentions Mars in beggar kids [his head is so noticeable even as a kid]
Pei Pei could not star in Dragon Inn because of Shaw contract.
King Hu talk actors about film, editing, packing bags.
Pei Pei is Buddist.
Always used real swords which caused injuries.
Pei Pei speculates that Run Run kept library so long for smart fiscal reasons.
Pei Pei cut actor around 50.25 in film (Chen Hung-Lieh)
Regina is English name her English teacher gave her. She used Frida for awhile but did not like it.
BL trying to get Painted Faces (1988) for Dragon Dynasty
BL, not a big fan of Critical analysis [that would explain your commentaries], then he goes over possible meanings of drunkenness in this film.
Pei Pei born 1931, came to HK in 1949, King Hu drank a lot, Pei Pei had to help carry him on her birthday because he was so inebriated [story wasn't fully told]
King Hu does not normally show romantic feelings in his film.
BL thinks this is his masterpiece.
Run Run wanted more girls fighting (got that at the end)
Pei Pei talks of missing fight footage in the penultimate fight scene.
BL states it is hard to get rights to the Taiwanese King Hu films.

More notes on Come Drink With Me Dragon Dynasty release:

14m English (subtitles are also available, which are a great feature for extras)
The King and I: Acclaimed Director Tsui Hark remembers King Hu
First time seen Wu Xia (like novels) on screen.
Tsui Hark worked with King Hu on Swordsman
Second half of CDWM different than first half; apparently Shaw had problems with the film and interfered.
Discussion of Cheng Pei Pei and how her type is different than females in Chang Cheh films.
Movie had Peking Opera influence.
Strong in Art Direction like Li Han-Hsiang [I don't think I've seen any film by this director]
King Hu was detail oriented especially in costume [many have stated this]
King Hu stated that he invented the term "Action choreographer"
Stated that King Hu helped Cheng Pei Pei how to fight.

16m English (subtitles are also available, which are a great feature for extras)
Come Speak with Me: Interview with Leading Lady Cheng Pei Pei

Born in Shanghai; she uses her real name; immigrated to HK in 61, started training with Shaw Brothers in 62; 1963 started 7-year contract.
Dance is her life; since 8 studying ballet and Chinese dance.
King Hu saw her dance; Han Yan Chieh (Han Ying-Chieh ) was her Sifu, also stunt double.
States that drum rhythm was more like jazz than traditional.
Talks about Simon Yuen Siu-Tin being Yuen Woo-ping's father [without the Simon].
States that new type of Martial art films follow CDWM [I really need to see the Chang Cheh films before this]
Talks how Yueh got hurt with CO2 pump doing Qi Gong.
The Kids belonged to two groups: Yuan Jia Ban, Tang Jia Ban.
Says she does not remember Jackie Chan in movie; states that King Hu says he was there [this is a weird statement]
Only did 1 film with King Hu because he went to Taiwan after; Run Run would not let her go. She was supposed to be the lead in Dragon Gate Inn instead of Polly Kuan (she uses Shang Guam Fingfeng name)
States King Hu was not happy with Shaw Brothers.
Shaws were not happy with her dress in film (nor lack of women; which is why 10 women were put in later).
She spent $35 to get bootleg of film in LA.

17m English (subtitles are also available, which are a great feature for extras)
A Retrospective with Hong Kong Cinema Expert Bey Logan

King Hu had fine art background in Beijing; also wrote articles; was actor and set designer. Mentions attention to detail [states this Ad Nausuem]
Peking Opera Influence
States Inn as microcosm of life
Cheng's cheekbones could cut glass [well so could Fung Hak-On]
Michelle Yeoh and Zhang Ziyi both have dance background which helps with martial arts.
Talks about King Hu wanting to make a movie depicting Chinese Migrant workers at beginning of 20th century.
States no one knows why KH left Shaw brothers [he is wrong on this].
"I actually believe art is born of constraint and dies of freedom." BL quote on why he feels this is his best film and the Taiwanese films were not as good.
Compares King Hu to Peckingpah and Sergio Leone – more because of smaller output.

17m English (subtitles are also available, which are a great feature for extras)
Return of the Drunken Master: An exclusive interview with leading man Yueh Hua

Grew up in Shanghai; 1962 moved to HK; 1963 joined Shaw Brothers.
No air conditioning; worked 12 hours per day.
First film as Monkey King [this is Princess Iron Fan (1966), but I noticed he did a few films before that in small roles aka The Warlord and the Actress (1964) and The Lark (1965), I have not seen these so I cannot comment on them]
King Hu used storyboards; one of the first (also one of the first to use trampolines). King Hu English was very good; King Hu had a hand in everything [seems like a true auteur].
His beard was not real.
King Hu kept telling him "No monkey, no monkey" when Yueh went into Monkey King mode.
King Hu used to work for Voice of America [would have been nice to hear more about this]
[possible mistake in subtitles stating this was Cantonese for a few words, sounds Mandarin]
This film made him famous (in Hong Kong).
Quick talk on how CO2 hurt his hands.
Quick talk on Rumble in the Bronx part.
Sir Run Run helped push to get him this part (initially King Hu wanted an older man to play this)
Last edited by Masterofoneinchpunch on Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Tue Jun 10, 2008 4:54 pm

PTU (2003: Dragon Dynasty)

Simon Yam Interview:
3 Years to film; film at night; To does not give scripts
Movie about Team Spirit
Maggie Siu came in over weight and was forced to lose weight to look more like she did earlier.
Compared Lam Suet to Eric Tsang [I was thinking this during the movie]
PTU reflects unity and spirit of Hong Kong
States his subtle style of acting is different than the style of years past in Hong Kong [so far I believe him on this, most of the style of acting has been theatre influenced ala Japanese style of acting]

Johnnie To Interview:
Discusses small history of PTU (the police tactical unit).
States that this film was made for showing Team Spirit and the Blue Curtain not because of Kurosawa's Stray Dog.
Made seven films during production of this film. Had a quota to meet with China Star, he had a small budget, but complete freedom.
Shot at night because crowds were less and because it was part of the story.
Shot in a similar style to Chinese painting; likes actors he has already worked with.
Actor who was slapped about 200 times by Simon Yam got 300 HK dollars [not a lot] and had to go to the doctor because of hearing damage. To had trouble hiring him again months later because of this (he did talk him into it though).
Movie was not about secrets, about "Blue Curtain".

Maggie Siu Interview:
She seems to contradict Yam's comments on the use of script [if anyone can clarify this who has read much on To, it would greatly be appreciated].
This interview is mostly laudatory comments on everyone.
States Lam is funnier than Sam [not much news here :D]
Her character had a backstory [not sure if she made it or To did]

Has anyone listened to the Bey Logan commentary of this?
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Postby Brian Thibodeau » Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:25 pm

Just a reminder that a lot of DVD extras for Hong Kong and other Asian movies have found their way to YouTube, for better or worse. ;)

Quite a few links in this thread (and hopefully more to come when I find the time)
http://hkmdb.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=47874

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Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Wed Jun 11, 2008 12:04 am

^ I know :D: Here's me taking notes again.

Heroes of the East (1978: Dragon Dynasty)

Actually the Gordon Liu interview is quite good. This had a lot of note-worthy material.

22m Cantonese/English
Hero of Shaolin: An Exclusive Interview With Leading Man Gordon Liu

Gordon's father did not want him to learn MA or music. Be businessman or office worker.
Father did not like guitar players or western stuff; Gordon had long hair that father cut and the dad broke his guitar.
Father finally acquiesced after he passed school courses while doing MA and music.
He was teaching Kung Fu at night during high school.
Worked in office 2 years after graduating high school; worked as an accountant.
Could have been a policeman but did not like short hair [funny his hair is still shaved for this interview :D]
Learned Hung Kuen from Lau Kar-Leung
quoted: "Bruce Lee doesn't need a script he is the hero."
mentions HK market went down after Bruce Lee died [a penny for everytime you have heard this]
"I was a lead actor in my first film, but I was a stuntman in my second." [the first film being Breakout from Oppression which is quite bad]
Says his peak was in the 80s though Jet Li was the focus.
It was Chua Lam's and Lau Kar-Leung's idea for this film because San Te character was getting stale.
[note: wearing license plate T-shirt and there is a background of spears on the wall: check against other Lau interviews in DD]
Says film is about love.
Film did not have live recording; he was speaking Cantonese while many were speaking Japanese. He worked out a system with Mizuno Yuko that he would know when she was done speaking her lines by her stating "Hai".
First film were he got married and first love story [First love scene I believe was Shaolin Drunken Monk (1982); that was awkward in that film]
(Yasuaki )Kurata-san stuntman for Shaw; Kurata helped recruit many of the Japanese actors.
"In a 90 minutes film you can't showcase the 18 Chinese weapons." [forgetting about Legendary Weapons of China (1982)]
His favorite weapons are the butterfly sword and sword.
Laments about kids today (damn kids know computers, CGI not martial arts) States that Uma Thurman trained for six months but HK actors have no time to train.
"Lau Kar-Leung is still my brother."
Mentions that fight scenes for Lau always have more than 15-20 actions. He states that Lau wanted the actors to do most of the fighting themselves.

26m English
Shaolin vs. Ninja (hmmm Robert Tai homage?): an exploration of the legendary martial art weapons forms of China and Japan


So-so exploration with Kea Wong as Host and Sifu Lok of Toyama as Japanese Iai-do Master, Sifu Chi-Kong as Hung Gar Weapons Master and Lai Sensei as Okinawan Bow Master.

EDIT (added 6/25/2008):
36m English w/English subtitles
Spotlight on a Legend: A tribute to celebrated martial arts Icon Lau Kar-Leung with Hong Kong cinema expert Bey Logan

He learned Hung Kuen (Hung Gar Kung Fu) from his father who was an actor. [Lau Cham – for those interested here is his filmography: http://hkmdb.com/db/people/view.mhtml?i ... ay_set=eng ]
Film partially inspired by Taming of the Shrew
No blood relationship between Gordon and Leung; they were like adopted brothers. [Bey has made the mistake of stating they were adopted before though]
Gordon shaved head for 36 Chamber of Shaolin; wore wig for this film.
DP Arthur Wong Ngok-Tai was martial artist.
Bey discussed Yasuaki Karuta and linear attack of Japanese martial arts.
Says Japanese sword has advantage over Jian (Chinese double-edged straight sword).
Says Ninjato has advantage over Dao (broadsword).
Made the Simon Yuen Hsiao-Tien Drunken Master connection (Beggar So) with appearance by Lau Kar-Leung.
Discussed the difference between the yari (Japanese spear) and Qiang (Chinese spear) [hint it is the red tassel on the Qiang]
His favorite character is guy with sai (Nakazaki Yasutaka) [looks a little like Richard Ng]
States that Huang Feihong: The Conqueror of the 'Sam-hong Gang' (1969) is one of the earlier HK films with Judo reference.
Talks about Japanese influence (chambara and ninja) in HK films.
Discusses kiba-dachi (horse stance)
The master who never fights is influenced by Gogen Yamaguchi [link: http://www.dragon-tsunami.org/Dtimes/Pages/articlej.htm ].
Says this is one of the greatest martial art films. [pretty damn good film]
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Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Fri Jul 11, 2008 12:24 am

me taking notes again (so you don't have to :D):

Dragon Heat aka Dragon Squad (2005) Dragon Dynasty extras:

The Making of Dragon Heat: 28m; Cantonese w/ English subs"
Sometimes it looked like a camera error. Zooming errors, panning out of range, or movements in an inappropriate time will provide the sensation of reality. That was what I adopted in shooting and editing throughout the film." – Daniel Lee [explains a bit about the film]
Wanted Eastern/Western mix for score.
[on gun battle scene] 1 scene, 5 buildings, 140 hours of footage, 800 apartments affected, 120,000 shots fired [completely overedited scene – priceless]
[kind of overedited, vacant making of documentary; short soundbites from cast members throughout]

Who Dares, Wins: An Interview with actor Lawrence Chou
10m; English w/English subs
Taiwanese singer started at age 18.
James Lam got Lawrence into film industry
Into Taoism, Tai Chi, DJ (like the director Daniel Lee)
Into Tai Kwon Do as a kid (written as Tai Chen Dao on subs)
Shot TV Series (Shaolin)
Knows Vanness Wu from HK (neighbor)
Speaks Mandarin; knows Eva Huang Sheng-Yi and Xia Yu
Took training course for guns (first time shooting)
Mentions lots of shooting; very little screen time compared to film.
States Lee put Wu Sha element into film [I didn't see much of that]

Illegal Alien: An interview ith actor Michael Biehn16m English w/ English subs
Bey Logan got him over to HK.
Rented Moonlight Express (1999, directed by Daniel Lee) to learn more about Lee's directing and liked it. He originally looked up Lee on IMDB.
Says Lee is now doing Three Kings [he means Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon (2008)]
Stated Daniel Lee spoke English [I'm not sure why I noted this]
Didn't understand the way the script was written [this should have been a sign]
Had trouble communicating with Korean actor [he means Jun-ho Heo]
Compared main action scene to Heat [oh really]; took a day and a half to film.
Talked about HK work ethic [18 hour day]
Could not tell what Daniel was doing [another sign]
Stated Maggie Q spoke good English [yes, they do speak that in Hawaii – where she was born and raised]
Stated Maggie is becoming a big star; doing Three Kings [I'm not sure why so much talk on Maggie]
Talks about love story angle for bad guy [actually an interesting part of the film; though it wasn't as realized as it could have been]
Wasn't aware of Chinese movies; always thought of Kung Fu films, says we're totally unaware over here [huh; many of triad/cop films are known over here ala John Woo]

Rare deleted Fight scene:3.34 m
Catch That Baby!
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Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Tue Jul 22, 2008 5:51 pm

me taking notes again (aka, me being a fanatic):

Flashpoint (Dragon Dynasty 2-Disc edition):

Behind the Scenes Gallery:

Collateral Damage: The Making of Flash Point (18m Cantonese w/English subs)
Character descriptions
Stunt Choreography discussion with MMA influence.
Collin Chou: Not a lot of rehersal.
Collin Chou: Left HK for several years [his last film in HK was Roaring Dragon Bluffing Tiger (2003); he was in Fearless (2006]; not used to HK filming pace since back.
Yu Xing (Tiger) had left eardrum punctured [this is explained in other documentary]
Louis Koo (Wilson) learned Judo in previous film [he's talking about Throw Down (2004)]
Lots of injuries on set.
Ray Lui Leung-Wai (Ja Ge) hurt hearing during shooting scene
Donnie Yen's philosophy for gun scene was to make sure you haven't seen this in a John Woo or other foreign films.
Wilson Yip: Louis Koo has matured since they last worked together (Bullets Over Summer (1999))
Donnie Yen: Did film with Collin Chou before he left for Matrix [this statement throws m off since they last worked together in Black City (1999) and Chou started the Matrix in 2003]

Flash Point Explored (28m Cantonese w/English subs)
The Good Guys
Explanation of characters (same interviews as previous extra; though more detail)
This time however you get to hear the Louis character (Kent Cheng Jak-Si) "I look exactly like a dummy"
The Bad Guys
Explanation of characters (same interviews as previous extra; though more detail)
Ha Ping plays mother who suffers from Alzheimer's [interesting, not directly mentioned in movie]
Mixed Martial Mayhem
Donnie Yen: always had stand-ins for MA scenes because of expected injuries.
[some repeated scenes from previous extra]
Fight scene between Yu Xing and Donnie took almost two weeks of full day work.
Yu Xing's eardrum ruptured because of German suplex; wires helped lift him up and helped with more force coming down [really looks painful every time I see it]
Collin Chou said this was his hardest psychological and physical role.
Donnie Yen's Sister-in-law speaks [nothing that interesting, I'm not even sure who she is]
The Point Man
Discussion from Wilson Yip
Yip sent three of his films to Collin Chou before filming [doesn't say which three dammit; hopefully one of them was Biozombie]
[a bit too laudatory on statements; don't learn much]
Donnie Yen hopes this film shows Chinese action movies are advancing.

Perpetual Motion (2:31m English w/English subs)
Donnie Yen: Father took him to Bruce Lee film; he wanted same feeling from this movie.
[was this a promo; not much to this; seems to be a bit wrong on what some of these people actually do]
quick mentions of Yen's crew: Kenji Tanigaki (actor/director) [says producer, but I cannot find any evidence of that]
John Salvittie (Ground MMA guy): [credited with stuntman on Flashpoint]
Yan Hua (weapons specialist): [credited with Assistant Action Director on Flashpoint]
Yuji Shimormura (action director) [credited as actor on Flashpoint; has directed one film: Death Trance (2005)]

Deleted Scenes:

There Men and A Little Lady (1:13m) – Interaction between Mom and sons; she is 80 on her birthday [I can see why they took this out; already explained in other scenes]
Nowhere to Run (48sec) – starts after Mom pukes in case, continues to end of chase scene where there is Louis character (Kent Cheng Jak-Si). [nothing really gained from this scene; just shows elder son Lui Leung-Wai caring for mom]
Dissention in the Ranks (1m) – Jun Ma in hospital; chased as murder suspect [I can't remember if he was actually mentioned as a murder suspect in the film]

The Ultimate Fighters:

Gladiators (3m; just music)
Basically a 3-min behind-the-scenes advertisement for the film.

M.M.A. on Display (7m English w/English subs)
Kea Wong [we just saw her in Heroes of the East extras; she seems to get to do all the learning] at Pemberton Sheung Wan in Hong Kong
15th Floor is DEF boxing (gym from opening scenes) [and just in case you want to drop in sometime]
MMA Discussion with Zen Berimbau
States that it is best to start with Muay Thai then grappling (either Brazilian Jujitsu or submission wrestling) for MMA training [Lyoto Machida would disagree]
Talks MMA History (starting with UFC 1; says Royce Gracie was 185 and Ken Shamrock was 250) [MMA is technically older than that; but popularity started with that event; completely wrong on weight; Royce was 180 and Ken was 205]
Zen shows two-leg takedown to mount [this is just hilarious with Kea; I'm glad they didn't do a triangle]
Guard to armbar (now using Alex Shum)
Kneebar demonstration
Kea vs. Alex [OK, this is even more silly; Kea actually says "Do you like that bitch!"]

Promotional Gallery:

Gala Premiere (2.5m Cantonese w/English subs)
Premiere Footage (hey there's Tarantino)
3 TV Spots
1 Original Theatrical Trailer
1 Original Theatrical teaser


On Deadly Ground: An exclusive interview with leading man and action director Donnie Yen (32m English w/English subs)
SPL -> Dragon Tiger Gate [which I need to see] -> DY wanted to make another contemporary picture.
Film was originally to start of in Macao, 1997, couldn't film in Macao; original story about underground fighting [thank goodness it didn't become a FATAL CONTACT clone]
Wilson Yip has tendency to change storyline during filming.
DY states many HK directors do this; he doesn't agree with this style of filmmaking.
States American film structure is more professional; it is Donnie's way.
Talks about collaboration efforts with Wilson; Wilson has basic structure, Donnie fills in the details.
Says his tone is reality in his films; states negative aspects of wirework since Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
"It's not a Jackie Chan film. You know he doesn’t run around hopping tables and not getting not getting things done. You know that's Jackie's style right?" [ha, ha I don't think he quite means what he has said; but it is funny]
He always wants to do something new; doesn't use set takes in fight scenes (different every take).
Wanted to quit after Flash Point because of so many injuries.
Was in so much pain with fight scene with Xing Yu that shook hands during movements.
Donnie didn't use wiring, maybe one scene [well Xing says one scene he did use wiring]
Didn't want too much action for Lous Koo because no Martial Art background [ha, ha]
Chases Xing Yu into Dai Pai Dong [I put this because I didn't know what his meant – it is an open-air food stall]
Ran out of time filming Xing Yu, so concentrated more on drama in their main fight scene. [pretty good fight scene though]
Bemoans "flying around" movies. [I like many of those]
Big fan of MMA; thinks Flash Point broke ground [I think so too]
Last edited by Masterofoneinchpunch on Thu Jul 24, 2008 9:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Brian Thibodeau » Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:51 pm

[OK, this is even more silly; Kea actually says "Do you like that bitch!"]


Check the credits for "Additional dialogue by Bey Logan." :lol:
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Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:00 pm

Brian Thibodeau wrote:
[OK, this is even more silly; Kea actually says "Do you like that bitch!"]


Check the credits for "Additional dialogue by Bey Logan." :lol:


to quote Sulu: "Oh my!".

Brian (or anyone else) have you listened to any commentaries lately (possibly the one for Flash Point?) Lately, I've been putting Logan commentaries off :D. I'm probably going to go through the PTU commentary next (commentary wise, not movie).
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Postby Brian Thibodeau » Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:37 pm

Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:to quote Sulu: "Oh my!".


To further quote Sulu: "Yes!"

It's not like Logan doesn't have an B-movie scribe's tin ear for dialogue that he thinks sounds cool. :D


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Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Thu Jul 24, 2008 9:55 pm

added On Deadly Ground: An exclusive interview with leading man and action director Donnie Yen in previous Flash Point post.
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Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Mon Aug 04, 2008 9:09 pm

Election (Tartan Asia Extreme R1)

Exclusive Interview with Director Johnnie To (29m Cantonese w/English subs)

The Creative Idea for "Election" [yes, normal quotes are used]
Why do you decide to make 'Election'? [yes, apostrophe quotes is used]
Election is about history and culture of Hong Kong.
History of triad traces back 400 years. Longer than both political parties. Talks about how triads could be patriotic.

Where did you find information on the triad society?
Used to live in Xing Zai, Sai Zi neighborhoods.
They were part of childhood; didn't like them, not part of their society though.

Why did you choose to film this story?
Wanted different perspective. The recent elections inspired film as well as the changeover. Election 2 explores where the triad society stands now.

Are the political implications in the film intentional?
Conflict between conservative and democratic still exist. People felt lost because of changover. "We are all hoping for a democracy." Though doesn't think society is mature enough for the freedoms of a democracy. [doesn't really answer question]

There is a Hong Kongness[sic] to this film
Election represents Hong Kong culture; To has a love for local film. "I feel we are falling behind in the movie business. This is because we are lost. We are [sic] always try to please others, as a result the Hong Kong film industry has become lifeless."
He doesn't want to be seen as a Martin Scorsese copycat. Does like his films though.

You have abandoned the flashy way of mise-en-scene. Why the change?
Wants emphasis on storyline and characters.

Four Scenes
The Killing by the Lake
Filmed two versions. The non-shown version was more foreshadowing of things to come. The monkeys in the scene was a man/beast analogy. Was fine with audience not happy with ending; wanted to show that scene was not premeditated.

The Rituals of the Triad Society
The ritual was 20minutes after editing (had to cut down to one minute).
Triads take rituals very seriously.

Drink Tea
Election (the triad act, not the film) still feudalistic.
Scene was based on personal experience.

The Cell in the Police Station
Shows "law is the greatest power after all."

Working with the Actors
Johnnie To's methods with the actors
Prefers actors to improvise instead of blindly following scripts.
Would only correct if performance was not wanted. [Hitchcock was the same; though Hitch did not like improvising]
Too much creativity from actors could affect production.
All actors have to worry about is current scene (did not feed them too much in advance)

Tony Leung Ka Fai and Simon Yam
Likes Tony's performance [funny that he said he possibly could have done it in a different way]
Yam needed a little guidance.

Lam Ka Tung [Kun]
Had some problems articulating the script; everything else good.

Wang Tianlin [aka Wong Tin-Lam]
[seems to be missing some subtitles at the beginning of this]
Could not always have him do much on the set because of his age/condition.

Wang Tianlin taught you many things when he was a director, what have you learned?
Movie career did not come from Wang; came from many sources, directors.
Wang tought him how to effectively use the lens, arrange the scene, get the shot done in difficult circumstances.
Wang came from film; To came from broadcasting and theater.

Tam Bing Man [Uncle Cocky]
Has ability to live up to character. First time on big screen with To.

Why did you use Lo Hoi Pang as narrator only this time?
[this statement confuses me a bit; not mentioned in HKMDB]
Has southern accent; used him out of intuition.

Louis Koo
Audience did not find his character satisifying. he is not main character, subordinate.
Says superb actor; still needs to open up more; held back with body language and dialog.

Film Festivals
Election is the first film in competiion at Cannes Film Festival, how do you feel?
Happy. "Breaking News" made I previously, would like to win like Wong Kar Wai.

-----------------

Exclusive Interview with Simon Yam (7m, Cantonese w/English subs)

Can you talk about your collaboration with Johnnie To?
Flexible director; full of surprised; freedom of acting.
Do you think that the character you played in Election is similar to that of PTU?
[no]Worst quality of character was slowly showing dark side to family.
Talked about importance of phone scene; how real power and authority show character.
Have you input anything into the character creatively?
[yes]This role more difficult than PTU.
You have made some Hollywood films before. What are the major differences with the Hong Kong films?
[Wake of Death: that was a stinker]
"(Hollywood) seems to lack vitality and cunning."
relaxing to collaborate with Hollywood; not as difficult [needs to work with Terry Gilliam]
Hollywood uses 10x as much film [forgets about Jackie Chan]
Which scene do you like best?
[rock scene] Also states killing not planned. Killing was in casual not ferocious way.

---------

Exclusive Interview with Wang Tianlin (8m, Cantonese w/English subs) [Wong Tin Lam on menu]
How do you feel when you were nominated for the Best Supporting Actor?
Won a few awards; feels that he is not well known. Won best director in Japan [I have no idea which award, nor film]
Won lifetime achievement award in Hong Kong [2002 Golden Bauhinia Awards]
Can you talk about the master apprentice relationship between you and Johnnie To?
There is none.
How did you join the film industry?
Started as sound assistant; become log keeper than assistant director.
You were a very creative director when you were young?[sic] What do you think of the young filmmakers now?
Can't compare older films with newer films.
Which one of your films that you like the most?
Sons and Daughters [I have no idea about this film; not in HKMDB or HKFA]
Not a fan of dramatic films; prefer natural and simple stories
Are there anyone who was very influential to you?
[no] "Life is the truth"
You have made over 300 films in less than 30 years. How do you maintain the high quality of your films?
Choose to direct based on script [simple advice that many could learn from]
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Election continued

Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:44 pm

Exclusive Interview with Tony Leung Ka Fai (16m, Cantonese w/English subs)
Can you talk about your collaboration with Johnnie To?
To will make changes to accommodate certain actor. To is flexible director
What are your inputs in the character creativity?
To will tell you where your character is from, not how to act.
Qun Wan? You Jim Wang? [see ? below]
The character in this film is quite similar to that of "Jianghu – The Triad Zone" (2000) and "Island of Greed" (1997), what exactly are the difference?
Both are cruel and coldhearted.
Island of Greed -> Zhou is methodical from Taiwan triad; huge ambitions.
Big D was not as smart and ambitions as Zhou – Big D not educated.
Jianhu, won lottery while in England; Big D was least ambitious of three characters.
Big D from Qun Wan [?; this was a mistake on the subs I'm not sure what part of Hong Kong this refers too; the same with You Jim Wang]
Have you done any research regarding the triad society?
Did not need to. Many childhood memories of Triads.
Can you talk about the last scene of the film?
Difficult; scene frightened him [frightened me]
His opinion was that Big D was saying a simple minded statement; not intending to be the boss.
You have been awarded for many times. Do you still find acting challenging?
Aside from money and fame; the life experiences – the experience is the most rewarding part. "I experience a lot of different lives through making movies."

---------

The Making of Election Documentary (7m; Cantonese w/English subs)
100,000 active triad members.
Johnnie To: The triads started off as good; values changed over time.
Johnnie To: Majority of gangs are for profit [no kidding]
Simon Yam and Leung Ka Fai talk about characters.
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Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Wed Sep 24, 2008 10:47 pm

Triad Election (aka Election 2) (Tartan Asia Extreme R1)

The Making of Triad Election (7m; Cantonese w/English subs)
Johnnie To: main theme lies in Part II: A new age, a new leadership. Would not have made Election if no handover. Election 1 was only the historical elements and circumstances [I still preferred the first film] Theme of Election 2, everyone must change with time. One of the changes is communication with Mainland. Chinese government is treating the bad guys nicely. HK used to hink they were superior, now Mainland does.

Interview with Lam Suet [a must have for cal] (17m; Cantonese w/English subs)
Rumors had it that the spoon eating scene in Election was your experience, is that true?
Yes. He then tells story of being drunk mouthing off.
Are there any scenes that you've played and deleted in Election 2? [These questions need better English translations]
Scene with Lam Kar Tun; his girlfriend dies, he has to have his genitals cut [I think he is probably glad this is deleted]
You are not a formerly trained actor, do you feel pressurized when you act with professional actors? How did Johnnie To guide you to your character?
Tries his best; does a variety of reactions for each take. This sometimes makes it difficult for director. [doesn't quite answer question]
Can you talk about how you became an actor and your acting debut?
Originally a crew member, watched other actors.
Asked director to act; scene with Lau Ching-Wan [Live Hard (1989) though HKMDB has Proud and Confident (1989) as his first role]. Still felt like an immigrant. Talked about improvisation with apple.
Rumours had it that you were very strict when you were working as a crew member, is that true?
Maybe? He said he would just obey orders completely and he was occasionally loud.
Can you talk about your most memorable acting experience ever?
Shooting Running Out Of Time 2 he stood on the 49th floor; shot scene for 2 [great can't quite read writing; I hope it isn't 7 days]
What is your relationship with director Johnnie To?
He is my mentor; he is strict though scolds with reason; outside work he is caring.

Interview with Lam Ka Tung (14m; Cantonese w/English subs)
How do you play Kun? Did the outfit help you? Did you do any research?
He played him calm; clothing reveled he was not ambitious. In real life he knew some gangsters around [this is the typical answer]; several were fake.
What is the most memorable scene for you in Election 1 and 2?
Same as Simon Yam's – the rock scene. Also talks about scene killing Mark Cheng.
Can you talk about your experience on shooting the action scene?
Got hurt on scene; knee swollen [you can see him limp a bit after the killing Mark Cheng scene]
There was a scene in the trailer where you were being executed? Can you talk about that scene? [scene not in film of course]
After Mark Cheng was killed, Kun left HK; someone had authority execute him.
What is the most signifigant change of Kun in the two films?
Newer gangsters more individualistic; Kung was a good example of these two different feelings: Election was loyal; 2 was more benefit-oriented person.
Can you talk about your collaboration with Jonnie To?
Doesn't have a script when shooting; everything is in his stomach [while pointing to head; this gaffe in subtitles is awesome]. Got role in Yesterday Once More (2004).
Johnnie To likes to improvise. How did you cope with the other actors when working with him?
Got used to it.
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Postby cal42 » Thu Sep 25, 2008 8:19 pm

Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:Interview with Lam Suet [a must have for cal]


:lol:

Quite scary that the spoon incident actually happened. That made me uneasy when it was faked.
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Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:04 am

Challenge of the Masters (1976) (Tokyo Shock R1)

[NOTE: he speaks both Mandarin and Cantonese; though his native language is Cantonese; I believe he is speaking Mandarin in these extras]
Challenging the Master: An Interview with Chen Kuan Tai (around 7m; Mandarin w/ English subs)

Was 30 playing 70 year old master [technically 32 he was born 2/16/2008]
Was sifu in real life
Stated Lau Kar-Leung's directorial style was like Chang Cheh because they worked earlier together.
He learned Tai Sing Pap Kar Moon style [yes this is a real style]
Really liked scene where he is attacked while holding book
Used real swords and spears [this tends to be normal for Lau Kar-Leung movies]

Chen Kuan Tai: Kung Fu Past and Present (Mandarin w/English subs)
States founder of Tai Sing Pap Kar Moon and grandpa were good friends. [I believe the founder is Ken Tak Hoi, but having trouble finding decent info on this]
Learned under master Chen Xiu-zhong [also written as Chan Sau Chung]
Wanted to be a firefighter and was for four years.
Quit to be in martial arts.
Won championship – Southeast Asia Martial Contest [he won this a few times]
Chang Cheh invited him to join Shaw Brothers the same year.
Hired by Lau Kar-Leung's company
Got to be MA choreographer.
"The Boxer from Shantung" was first role [not true; first film he was in was a few years earlier in Redress (1969); he means main role, this is mentioned in an interview with a link below]
Complains about not spending time at dorms anymore [it is interesting that several Shaw stars of the past talk about how much they miss the dorms; though it is also interesting all the hard times many went through there]
He had own room
Had Thai Fist training in Thailand before martial contests.
Experience there helped him be a director.
States no one should get hurt on set doing Kung Fu [tell Donnie Yen]
Ong Bak different from HK: "Ong Bak eschewed CGI and wires in favor of physical stunts for its outrageous powerful action sequences."
We have to find a way to surpass Thai movies.
Had not been in movie industry for ten years [not true]; hard to quit; just got back.
Mentions Dragon Tiger Gate (2006); would like to direct again; won't use CGI

[http://www.hkcinemagic.com/en/page.asp?aid=223&page=1]
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chan_Sau_Chung]
Last edited by Masterofoneinchpunch on Wed Oct 29, 2008 4:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby cal42 » Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:45 am

Is this the extras for Boxer from Shantung, Shawn? Good work. I didn't know if Chen Kuan-Tai was still around!
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Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Wed Oct 29, 2008 4:28 pm

cal42 wrote:Is this the extras for Boxer from Shantung, Shawn? Good work. I didn't know if Chen Kuan-Tai was still around!


Header has been fixed.

I was really tired yesterday when posting this. I forgot the title. No it is from the R1 Tokyo Shock "Challenge of the Masters" (1976). I am checking but I think the first interview is on another DVD too (these were made specifically for the media blasters releases with some of the questions prepared from the late Linn Haynes -- he gets credit on it).

All of the R1 Tokyo Shock's have Chen Kuan-Tai in them and several extras with him. I will go over the other ones again eventually, but the four releases have been quite good with very little problems (not counting the non-anamorphic release of The Master though mediablasters states that Celestial sent it that way) and the horrible smelling plastic cases they used on the first three.
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Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Sat Nov 15, 2008 1:00 am

Tai Chi Master (R1 Dragon Dynasty)

Nemesis: An exclusive interview with star Chin Siu-Ho (20m Cantonese w/English subs)
Born and raised in Hong Kong.
Learned martial arts when 10.
Learned from neighbor Monkey & Axe Hammer.
Sifu competed in 1973 Southeast Asian Competition – middleweight champion Sin Lam Yuk (Pomson Shi).
Competed when 14. Joined Shaw Brothers when young.
Has lots of praise for Chang Cheh.
"John Woo's films were significantly inspired by Chang Chen" [of course]
First movie was with Chang Cheh [he is talking about Ten Tigers of Kwantung (1979)]
Yuen Woo Ping saw him (to cast for this film) most likely in Chang Cheh movie or Mr. Vampire.
This was his first bad guy role.
Action was not difficult; process was because of heavy armor.
Ending took a month and a half to shoot.
Prefers applied MA like Bruce Lee [obviously talking about the MA in this film as being the opposite]
Shot on Lugou bridge, Beijing summertime.
1000 soldiers were booked from military.
Talks about Yuen Siu Tien.
"We don't need elaborate action like flying in the air."
Admires Lau Kar Leung and Sammo Hung.

The Birthplace of Tai-Chi: On location in Chen Village (15m English/Mandarin w/English subs)
Hosted by Winnie Wong
The art became known as Grand Ultimate Fist (Tai Chi Chuan)
Goes over personal history (like Chen Tsi-Kong)
Interesting Tai Chi demonstration (noticed a Judo throw in that; looked like Ippon Seoinage)
Demonstration of weapon forms.
Master states that martial morality is most important.

Meditations on the master: Brett Ratner & Elvis Mitchell discuss Yuen Woo-ping (14m English w/English subs)
BR: Yuen Woo-ping is God. Would like to work on one of his films. Loved work Jet did with Stanley Tong/Tsui Hark/Corey Yuen [notice BR doesn't mention movie names]
EM: [has not said a thing worthwhile yet] wait says Jackie Chan's nose is getting bigger and bigger.
BR: talks about dinner with Yuen Woo-ping.
[a large waste of time; but wait there is more…]

Twin Warriors: Brett Ratner & Elvis Mitchell Discuss Jet Li & Michelle Yeoh ([I have no idea on time; it just seemed to stop when this was going one], English w/English subs)
BR: First saw Jet Li in OUATIC; prince of martial arts.
EM: Jet is combination of Steve McQueen and Gene Kelly.
<<what the hell is Elvis talking about most of the time, let me give you a long example of him. This is word for word and an example of his blather.

EM: "I mean, again there's always that tradition in those movies of having to come to grips with oneself, and to do away with childish things, and to master discipline. But for Li, there's always that sense that that discipline is there. It’s a matter of him accepting, choosing if he's going to do it or not. And it's not like – That's what makes them kind of different. For him its like that old cliché of you know, Michelangelo looking a a piece of marble and seeing "David." I mean its always there in him. Its his decision of deciding how he's gonna exercise that. And as a result of that, sor of exercise that innate spirituality that he has. That kind of always extent in him. You know that, again, that sense of being separate. That sense of keeping one's own council. That sense of understanding who you are and deciding what you need from other people. Um, which makes him both kind of dangerous and lonely. And I think that's a big part of, uh, Tai Chi Master. It's that question of "Am I ready to understand and accept that this is part of me?"

[Yes, he said this. Does he get paid? At least later he mentioned Anthony Mann later on though I don't think it had anything to do with anything.]
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Postby mrblue » Tue Nov 18, 2008 7:37 pm

The Chin Siu-Ho interview was recycled (for the most part) on DD's Fist of Legend DVD.

The Elvis Mitchell and Brett Ratner segments are different, but they're obviously from the same session - and I agree with your puzzlement as to why they're on there.
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Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:38 pm

mrblue wrote:The Chin Siu-Ho interview was recycled (for the most part) on DD's Fist of Legend DVD.

The Elvis Mitchell and Brett Ratner segments are different, but they're obviously from the same session - and I agree with your puzzlement as to why they're on there.


Good to know (I was wondering about the Chin Siu-Ho interview). I just went over and made notes for the Gordon Chan interview (on FOL) and will get to the others later this week. Elvis says the most bizarre stuff (almost like he is writing for an Ed Wood film), I think they have him on there to make Brett look more coherent. It is scary that these guys get paid :D.
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Postby Brian Thibodeau » Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:39 am

Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:It is scary that these guys get paid :D.


Whenever and wherever I see a Dragon Dynasty title being praised without reservation, I have to assume at least two things: that the reviewer probably got a free screening copy; or that the reviewer knows just little enough about Hong Kong cinema to think that Ratner and Mitchell count as informed commentary on the form. Hiring these clownhats might speak to Bey Logan's cherished media cred, but hiring actual scholars and writers (as I've droned on about ad nauseam) would show infinitely more respect for the films. Although now that they're releasing ages-old Dimension edits of many titles, the writing appears to be on the wall . . .

Kudos to Shawn though for taking notes during these interviews and commentaries. You're saving me a lot of money. Without Ratner and Mitchell, I might be tempted to get these if I saw them for a steal, since the other interviews are not without merit, but as is, I'm happy with whatever I've already got!

EM: "I mean, again there's always that tradition in those movies of having to come to grips with oneself, and to do away with childish things, and to master discipline. But for Li, there's always that sense that that discipline is there. It’s a matter of him accepting, choosing if he's going to do it or not. And it's not like – That's what makes them kind of different. For him its like that old cliché of you know, Michelangelo looking a a piece of marble and seeing "David." I mean its always there in him. Its his decision of deciding how he's gonna exercise that. And as a result of that, sor of exercise that innate spirituality that he has. That kind of always extent in him. You know that, again, that sense of being separate. That sense of keeping one's own council. That sense of understanding who you are and deciding what you need from other people. Um, which makes him both kind of dangerous and lonely. And I think that's a big part of, uh, Tai Chi Master. It's that question of "Am I ready to understand and accept that this is part of me?"


I think I kinda get what Elvis is saying here, but if I'm right it's also such a common and unmistakable theme in martial arts/Hong Kong cinema that he literally has to couch it in a pretentious delivery to make you think he's on to something you might have missed. Does he move his hands around a lot when he talks? That would be icing on the cake.

By the way. Thanks a lot, Mr. Blue. Now I can't stop staring at your friggin' avatar. :lol:
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Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Thu Nov 20, 2008 5:53 pm

Brian Thibodeau wrote:
Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:It is scary that these guys get paid :D.


Whenever and wherever I see a Dragon Dynasty title being praised without reservation, I have to assume at least two things: that the reviewer probably got a free screening copy; or that the reviewer knows just little enough about Hong Kong cinema to think that Ratner and Mitchell count as informed commentary on the form. Hiring these clownhats might speak to Bey Logan's cherished media cred, but hiring actual scholars and writers (as I've droned on about ad nauseam) would show infinitely more respect for the films. Although now that they're releasing ages-old Dimension edits of many titles, the writing appears to be on the wall . . .

Kudos to Shawn though for taking notes during these interviews and commentaries. You're saving me a lot of money. Without Ratner and Mitchell, I might be tempted to get these if I saw them for a steal, since the other interviews are not without merit, but as is, I'm happy with whatever I've already got!

<<horrible quote of Elvis removed for your protection>>

I think I kinda get what Elvis is saying here, but if I'm right it's also such a common and unmistakable theme in martial arts/Hong Kong cinema that he literally has to couch it in a pretentious delivery to make you think he's on to something you might have missed. Does he move his hands around a lot when he talks? That would be icing on the cake.

By the way. Thanks a lot, Mr. Blue. Now I can't stop staring at your friggin' avatar. :lol:


Damn Mr. Blue's avatar.

Most of Elvis's blather is neither cohesive nor concise. It is actually quite fun to listen to, because he is not prepared (one of the reasons I get angry about his presentations) and tries to make himself seem more bright by elongating his prattle and making many references to important global and American cinema that do not necessarily connect to the statements he is trying to make. Sometimes he goes off topic, meanderings around and eventually comes back or they cut to Brent. It is funny that he tries to be pretentious without using any difficult diction but most often sounds quite confused. Having someone like Dave Kehr or Stephen Teo (and many others) would be a humongous improvement or truthfully many of us here. It is sad when people who love a topic like Hong Kong cinema and do it for free know more and have more respect for these movies than the self-appointed experts (now I know many of these fans do need to learn research and English skills :D, but the love is there).

I tend to be pragmatic when dealing with these releases, I appreciate where effort is, but I know when I see/hear dross or things that could be improved. I am a fan of cinema in general (jack of all genres master of none), but am steadily improving my HK knowledge -- one of the main reasons I enjoy taking notes. A side effect of this is you find more problems with past HK research. For example, how many books write that Gordon Liu(Lau Kar Fei) is an orphan (he was not adopted either, the confusion came when Lau Kar Leung talks about him as an adopted brother – in the sense of a martial art brother, not literally).
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Fist of Legend (DD part one)

Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:23 am

Fist of Legend (R1 Dragon Dynasty)

The Man Behind the Legend: An exclusive interview with director Gordon Chan (35m English w/English subs)
Remake started as joke; touch to do since Fist of Fury was one of his greatest works.
Did not want to imitate Bruce, wanted new character.
Fist of Fury story written by Ni Hung (means Ni Kuang); talked to him to make sure got blessing.
Who is Chen Zhen? Teacher was Huo Yuanjia [you should recognize the old picture displayed in the movie]
Jet Li was easy to work with; lots of compliments.
Wanted tribute to original film; "wire is not the answer; flying around is not the answer."
Japanese school scene fight – first day of shooting.
Nice story of window not breaking in stunt scene.
Shot on location in Shanghai and Tianjin
Wanted ceiling shown so audience would know no wire was used.
Bad habit: rewrite the day before the shoot.
Kurata-san talk: fighter with humor; talks about Kurata working Yuen Woo Ping before (probably talking about Legend of a Fighter (1982)), good Cantonese; knows HK shooting style; Kurata helped find other Japanese actors.
Chin Siu-Ho unlucky guy in film business [does not mention skirt incident]
Billy Chow champion in real life; talks about injuries on set.
Tell story of son having stomach surgery.
Fist of Legend did not do well in market; did not lose money though.
Jet Li told him it was one of the best films he made.
Thinks people at the time were tired of martial arts; was against Jurassic Park.
Laments that less and less action stars are coming out.
Film now has to be made in 60 days or less; used to have 120.
Talks about Jet Li telling him of dinner with Quentin Tarantino who knew every line of Fist of Legend.
Never looked at this film as a great work though.

Brother in Arms: An exclusive Interview with Kung Fu Impresario Chin Siu-Ho (23m Cantonese w/English subs)
<<beginning same as other interview in Tai-Chi Master>>
Talks about northern school influence of turns and flips.
First MA film watched was One-Armed Swordsman.
Gordon explained scenes to him, not how to act.
Worked more closely with Yuen Wo-ping on the film.
Praise for Jet Li, though says action in Shaolin Temple was pretentious for Li.
Took 4-5 days in fight scene against Li.
Sprained ankle before in Taiwan [probably The Beheaded 1000 (1994)]; was on set in bandages.
Doesn't want double when being hit; was really dizzy by Li kick.
Makes fun of wussy new actors afraid to get hit.
Fist of Fury is his all-time favorite.
Prefers original storyline to this film; says cinematic technique though looks better for this film.
Talks about use of longer shots (time wise) on older films.
Would like to combine old techniques (MA) with newer cinematic techniques.
Praise for Dion Lam and Yuen Wo-ping. Praise for Bruce Lee.
First saw this complete film at premiere.
Favorite scene was between Kurata and Jet Li.

The School of Hard Knocks: A screen fighting seminar at the celebrated Kurata action school [should be club] (26.30 English/Japanese/Cantonese w/English subs)
Host Kea Wong [which I do not think is stated]
In Shinjuku district of Tokyo, Japan.
Placing sword on right means you won't be drawing; sword on left means fight.
Don't look down while sheathing.
[Many demonstrations; lots of people hitting the wood floor]
[I could swear that Wong is speaking Cantonese, though the subtitles state she is speaking Japanese, technically she does say a few words in Japanese though]
Bow when enter and bow when leave.
When standing up, start with toes up, than right leg.
Don't step on the master's shadow.
Don't drink or smoke :D.
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Fist of Legend (DD part two)

Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:40 pm

The Way of the Warrior: An exclusive interview with Japanese Action Legend Kurata Yasuaki (30m Japanese w/English subs)
Born at Ibaraki Prefecture.
Father in Kenpo Karate; started karate at 8; high school learned Judo; college learned Aikido.
Prewsent rank is 5th dan; judo 3rd dan; aikido 2nd dan
Went to Nihon University and majored in art, than acting
1969, Run Run Shaw looked for karate experts who were cheap [ha ha]; audition at Imperial Hotel in Tokyo [Kurata has a sharp mind]
Two-week schedule for movies in Japan were suffocating him.
First Japanese actor ever to star in a HK action film [I have no idea if this is true]
First role was Angry Guest [they showed footage]
When the Japanese guy was defeated (him of course); the audience cheered [I think this upset him a bit]; played bad guy many more times.
Though Bruce Lee had three legs [apparently there was a three legged ad with Bruce Lee; must look into this]
Met Bruce Lee at Golden Harvest studios.
Returned to Japan after Bruce Lee's death and decline of MA films. [probably talking about between 1975 and 1977]
Made his own action school after bad encounter during filming [an extra on this DVD shows a bit of his class]
Did G-Men in 1975 Japan
JC, Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao were on location in Japan; made a 3 picture deal with Sammo Hung's company [First one was I think Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Stars (1985); he did 4 with Paragon]
Shows picture of Shanghai Express [aka Millionaires' Express (1986)]
[Not sure why they are showing inserts of Robin-B-Hood aka Rob-B-Hood aka film with pooping baby]
States that Jackie Chan has comical character, not cool while Jet Li has hit-man style.
Fist of Legend started when Jet Li created his HK company. [He's talking about Eastern Production Ltd which had four films the year before in 1993]
Jet Li chose Gordon Chan to direct.
He says this is one film he will value the rest of his life.
17 days to shoot that fighting scene between Jet Li.
Praise for Gordon Chan [showed picture of him with Bey Logan; had to get Bey in eh]
Chen uses wide master shot then close up/medium like Hollywood directors.
Chan is about the acting; Yuen Wo-ping is about the action.
When first got to do HK films, though they were morons [his words] no longer thinks that.
Says Japanese action films very simple; Karate very linear; Japanese too tense; however, he cannot be anything but Japanese.
Prefers filming in HK.

A Look at Fist of Legend with Brett Ratner & Elvis Mitchell (9:35 English w/English subs)
EM: FOL put Jet Li on map.
EM: Jet Li almost doesn't exist from the nose down on his face.
BR: Movie was very real.
EM: "I mean … And in so many Asian films, it's very much story point A, story point B, story point C."
EM: thinks racism is rare in these movies. [what the hell is he talking about, the Japanese angle was used over and over again]
BR: thinks this film is very fair to both Chinese and Japanese; knocks down the Bruce Lee version.
BR: stated that Yuen Wo-ping directed the first two Jackie Chan films [for a guy who talks to JC, he sure gets his information wrong see his commentary on the first Police Story]
EM: talked about how some people did not want Jet Li to become famous. [A bit generic on his statement, but true, probably with EM is that his statements are never concise.]

All the deleted scenes have burnt-in subtitles.
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Postby Brian Thibodeau » Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:18 pm

A Look at Fist of Legend with Brett Ratner & Elvis Mitchell (9:35 English w/English subs)
EM: Jet Li almost doesn't exist from the nose down on his face.


:? :?:
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Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:25 pm

Brian Thibodeau wrote:
A Look at Fist of Legend with Brett Ratner & Elvis Mitchell (9:35 English w/English subs)
EM: Jet Li almost doesn't exist from the nose down on his face.


:? :?:


His explanation was that all his emotion was in the eyes, but I found the way he stated it (like I wrote pretty much verbatim) to be quite hilarious.

I get so much unintentional laughter from these two (and/or wherever Ratner is).
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Postby cal42 » Thu Nov 27, 2008 7:48 pm

I've got the DD Fist of Legend on its way :) . I like Kurata Yasuaki, and I knew someone who'd met him a few times and he was supposed to be a really nice guy. He sure pepped up a couple of the Sister Street Fighter films, too. I saw him in Angry Guest and remembered being quite surprised at seeing him in something so old, but to me he looks young in anything pre-Heroes of the East!

Anyway, on topic, I thought I'd put a few things I'd written on Blu-ray extras all in all place (I didn't include them in reviews on HKMDB (where applicable) because I felt it was out of place).

Enter the Dragon

[size=100]The Blu-Ray disc from Warner shows us the film in HD, and it looks pretty damn good most of the time. The film looks remarkably good for its age and certain sequences, such as the banquet scene, reveal a lot more detail than standard definition versions. Williams’ flashback scene appears blurred in places, but I’m assuming the fault lies in the source material. Although there is no specific mention of it on the box, the version presented here is the same as the “uncut special editionâ€
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Postby Brian Thibodeau » Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:03 pm

Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:Brian (or anyone else) have you listened to any commentaries lately?


Months later, I have an answer: Yes!

I recently found an ex-rental Dragon Dynasty disc of KILL ZONE (shudder!) in a 2-for-1 sale at a video store in my old home town. I'd previously only borrowed it from someone and, in light of my recent 3/$10 haul of Dragon Dynasty titles at an FYE store in the states, I felt that $4 was an acceptable price to pay for something like this, especially considering I already own the HK edition. I mainly grabbed it for the interviews (great one with Donnie on that second disc - and no Bey schmoozing him!), but I came to work today minus my iPod and a small carry-case of other discs with commentaries to listen to, and this DVD was still in the car, so it was the only thing I had to get me through the day, so I figured why not take notes (which, of course, meant I had do this in spurts throughout the day and on breaks :lol: ).

Bey's commentary, as with most of the ones he's done, is reasonably well informed--to a point--and would be ideal for a beginner to Hong Kong cinema. Lots of actors ID'd with meagre biographical info, filming locations ID'd, etc. Much of this track is stuff you could find by coming here or visiting the IMDB, or scouring the web in general, or watching Hong Kong cinema for a few years, but it's delivered with the cadence of someone who's obviously lived in the city for long periods of time and worked within its industry in various capacities, but it's all rather surface-level. That's a charge that can be leveled at many Hong Kong movies themselves, but I do think Logan's tackling them--and disseminating information about them--at that level on one release after another doesn't do them justice. But hey, he's the expert! :lol:

That said, here's his talking points, a little more rambling than the notes provided by Shawn, but you'll get the picture.

SPL

- Had to be retitled because it would take a half-hour to explain the meaning of "SPL", then goes on to explain it perfectly well in less than 30 seconds.

- Abba Chan's production company supposedly sued by the Swedish pop group, but he proved he incorporated before they did, so gets to use the name.
- Opening beach = Lantau island: gives a brief overview
- discusses abandoned alternate opening
- praises Sammo's "makeover" as an actor
- more shooting location geography (this stuff is kinda useful, if brief)
- praises Simon Yam
- praises Lau Ching-lam (little girl)
- acknowledges Jacky Wu doesn't debut here
- film is a return to form for HK action dramas of its kind
- hospital is not a hospital - disused gov't building
- more geography
- doesn't know if "27" on Sammo's arm has meaning
- Sammo & Simon both golfers (over car smashing scene)
- Liu Kai-chi backgrounder: AKA "Uncle Chi" - primarily a TVB actor. Was in LINE OF DUTY 4 with Yen. Mentions award noms. Liu lost young son to cancer after movie wrapped.
- Ken Cheung backgrounder - always on the verge of breaking through, never seems to breaks through. Mentions a few other films (good info for newcomers)
- Vincent Sze backgrounder: has belts, collects jeans, did Christian flicks.
- Police station not police station (big surprise); another disused building
- Austing Wai backgrounder: name checks old Shaw appearances. Mentions "company leader" :? Tarantino remaking "Avenging Eagle" (not wise to say since Tarantino gets attached to tons of products
- More location geography
- Peter Chan thinks SPL is a "great movie"
- Scene cut: Vincent Sze calls Simon to rat out drug den
- Dragon Loaded a comedy series?
- Sammo's pad is a real "rich guys hangout" in China
- Addresses slow buildup, but thinks it helps drive home events in the climax (I strongly agree with him and hate it when critics think a Donnie Yen film should somehow be wall to wall action)
- Danny Summer backgrounder, with other appearances mentioned.
- Nice that cop team isn't just local pop idols.
- More geography
- Music composer name-check.
- Amassing of gangsters outside Sammo's club the biggest since Y&D days (doubtful). Some were real gangsters. Simon & Donnie respected by gangsters and cops, so no real troubles.
- Producer Abba Chan plays the older cop who first confronts the boys in the street (already in the DB)
- More geography = new territories
- Simon staring at wall of photos replaces abandoned opening
- Mentions future DD title "Undercover" uses the same building used here for the police station set. Sez other recent Andrew Lau "productions" will also be coming out on DD. Not likely.
- More praise for Simon Yam. Donnie learned from him. Yam has replaced 80's flamboyance with internalization.
- Yuen Biao is a golf nut too
- Lobby fight (filmed at Cyberport II): Sammo henchman (Chris Tsui, also Donnie's assistant and cousin to Donnie's Toronto-bred wife) in red Vince Carter Toronto Raptors jersey. Wrong for 1997 time period of film (I noticed this on first viewing, and don't even follow the sport!). Bey does credit someone else for passing along the info.
- Au Hin-wai backgrounder (ref. to Miriam Yeung)
- All major characters in the film get their "moments" so you care about them at the end. True if obvious
- More Austin Wai backgrounder; name checks more movies
- Home of Kenji Tanigaki is set in former Central Market, built in 1938 and one of two pieces of Bauhaus architecture in the city. Soon to be destroyed. :( Magic Kitchen also shot here.
- DP worked on previous Yip films; also directed Runaway Pistol, which featured Wilson Yip and Barbara Wong.
- Tanigaki wrote book about working in HK cinema, which inspired Mr. Moumantai. (No Problem)
- Donnie Yen backgrounder; took a long time to find his form. Yuen Woo-ping connection, Hollywood journey, return to Hong Kong to finally fulfill potential, etc. etc. Good info for the beginner.
- Thinks kung fu actors have a tendency to "do" rather than just react.
- Timmy Hung backgrounder; son of Sammo's Korean first wife.
- King of Fighters game not appropriate for the time period.
- Donnie suggested "Leather" as title for U.S. retitle, after his jacket. :?
- Cut backstory scenes establish Jacky Wu Jing as adopted son of Sammo's character.
- Suggested U.S. retitle: "Father's Day" :roll:
- Believes Yip wanted to bring more heart to the standard action movie tropes, which led to wider international appeal.
- Better blood in newer HK movies.
- Brief backgrounder on Sau Tung
- Wider divide in American movies for stuntmen who act.
- After wrap, presales were difficult because first edit didn't blend drama with action properly, so it looked like two separate films (I love it when some internet critics still insist on seeing it that way)
- Bey often points out incorrect English signage to production design people, but most tell him no one notices. Too bad.
- Revisits Ken Cheung. Hopes his SPL role would lead to other leads. Points out how Cheung, Wu Jing, Andy On were cast as leads and failed, then returned later as supporting players to try and build back up to lead roles.
- Backgrounder on Jacky Wu. Nothing you probably don't already know, but good for newcomers. First major role in contempo picture, big on Chinese TV, etc.
- Praises Donnie & Wilson some more
- Backgrounder of Maggie Poon, mostly name checking movies.
- Uncle Ba Suk appears in most of the movies he produces.
- Plaza with war memorial also visible in CITY ON FIRE.
- Death scenes of Liu Kai-chi and Danny Summer: talks more about the broad acting style of older Hong Kong movies no longer being necessary. At the time, he says, movies were deemed to be watched by largely uneducated people, so acting had to be over the top. However, TV shows still utilize overacting (I'll say! :lol:) so it's to the actors credit that they can adjust between the two worlds much more often than they used to.
- Wilson Yip backgrounder; mostly name-checking movies. Donnie finally brought out his full potential.
- More backgrounder on Simon Yam: U.S. movies. Trying out for Assayas' BOARDING GATE.
- Talks about roles of "senior cops" in HK movies (Austin Wai here), always conflicting with the heroes. Probably true in most cinemas.
- Wu Jing signed with Paco Wong's Gold Label, which is mostly pop singers.
- Sammo backgrounder: early villain roles, later shift, etc., etc.. Sez Sammo looks similar to how he did in SHANGHAI SHANGHAI (another "upcoming" DD release :roll:)
- Donnie Vs. Wu Jing fight analysis: these two the only two who could probably pull this off in current times; brief description of Donnie's weapon. More bio stuff on Wu Jing. Donnie's walk after this fight takes him from Kowloon to Guongzhou! More geography.
- Deleted scene of Donnie fighting more of Sammo's henchman (included elsewhere in the set)
- Donnie Vs. Sammo fight analysis: lots of fightwork within the frame with slow camera moves, fewer cuts than in the past (70's, 80's), as opposed to popular U.S. style that hides it with editing (weird that people still think this is a movie stuck in the past :?). Notes that the style of the action is very much contemporary Discusses inclusion of MMA and jujitsu in the movie and how it was integrated, and positive audience response. Donnie's shoes change throughout the sequence.
- basic moral: all bad things will be punished, etc.
- does "where are they now" for closing credits. Notes misepelling of Chris Tsui's name. Discusses "sequel". Praises sound by Kinson Tsang of MBS.
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Postby Masterofoneinchpunch » Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:19 am

Thanks Brian. That is in depth enough I will just listen to that commentary without taking notes :D.

This one is hilarious (though I heard it before):
- Donnie suggested "Leather" as title for U.S. retitle, after his jacket.

Lots of actors ID'd with meagre biographical info, filming locations ID'd, etc.


Oh does he overdo that :D.

- doesn't know if "27" on Sammo's arm has meaning
That has me curious.

-Vincent Sze backgrounder: has belts, collects jeans, did Christian flicks.
It would have been interesting if he stated how many and what color belts and jeans he had.

Thanks Brian (I will have more notes anon; have them on paper but haven't posted them yet).
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