Ultimate 2000s Blogathon: The Twins Effect (2003) – Asian Cinema Film Club [Podcast]

Kicking off Week 3 of Ultimate 2000s Blogathon is the Asian Cinema Film Club hosted by Elwood and Stephen. AC Film Club is a monthly podcast that takes a look at  different Asian films ranging from Chinese, Korean, Japanese and other films. It doesn’t stop there as you can follow their blog to see monthly mixtapes for a variety of Asian music as well as reviews and essays, etc. You should give them a follow and join them as they are about to pass their 25th episode milestone. For their choice for the Ultimate 2000s Blogathon, they are sharing their podcast of 2003’s Hong Kong vampire action horror film, The Twins Effect.


The Twins Effect

The Twins Effect (2003)

Elwood and Stephen kick off 2019 looking at “The Twins Effect” a wonderfully random mash up of vampires, romantic comedy and special friendly appearances?
On this episode, they dive into this star-studded movie vehicle for Cantopop duo “Twins” while also looking at the many scandals which rocked the various cast members.
Stephen has another tale from the dark side of Asian cinema, this time looking at the actress Bai Jing, plus podcast recommendations, 2019 releases much more!!

Further Viewing

Mr. Vampire
Rigor Mortis
Diary
Beyond Our Ken

Shoutouts

The Feminine Critique
Cinema Recall
Forgotten Filmcast
Exploding Helicopter
Simplistic reviews
French Toast Sunday
Blade Licking Thieves
That’s Weird
Debatable

Listen To The Show

Itunes
Podomatic
Spotify
That Moment In


Thanks to Asian Cinema Film Club for joining us with this fun choice! Be sure to check out their podcast every month to see which films they choose to review and expand your knowledge of Asian Cinema! Remember to give them a follow and check out their other episodes

To see the full list of blogathon entries, you can find it HERE.

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Netflix Double Feature: The Avenging Fist (2001) & N.Y.C. Underground (2013)

I’m in a bit of a pickle these days as I run out of space to add more movies to my queue list on Netflix so that means, I need to get cracking on some of those movies that I added in without thinking much about it and has overflowed. I wish that Netflix had a way to organize movies that have been added in there for too long. Anyways, maybe one day, right? Seeing as we no longer rank movies by stars but by the familiar system of thumbs up and down. Regardless, the mission to get through the mountains of movies is here. I almost wanted to name this Burning Through My List but then it doesn’t highlight the double feature aspect or triple feature. I’m a complete post on the movie if say, I actually hit a winner. Expect a few more of these to pop up. Also, if you do want to see what movies I’m watching lately, you can always find me on Letterboxd as tranquildreams where I’m using to track movies to easily follow how many movies I’ve watched this year.

Today’s double feature is 2001 Hong Kong action fantasy flick heavily influenced by video game Tekken, The Avenging Fist and 2013’s direct to video N.Y.C Underground also called Brooklyn to Manhattan.

Let’s check it out!

The Avenging Fist (2001)

The Avenging Fist

Director: Andrew Lau

Cast: Leehom Wang, Stephen Fung, Gigi Leung, Biao Yuen, Kristy Yang, Sammo Hung, Kar Lok Chin, Roy Cheung, Cecilia Yip, Ekin Cheng

Special gloves [Power Gloves] that yield an unimaginable power [the ability to tap into unused mental power] are stolen by an agent who subsequently disappears. Decades later, he reemerges to rule the world – Netflix

The Avenging Fist was Hong Kong’s first Dolby Digital Surround Film. It is supposed to be a big deal. Forget about the really bad graphics for a while and forgive it because this movie is 15 years old and we’ve been pampered with better, there is no reason for this film to be as disappointing as it is. Andrew Lau is the director. Remember the guy who brought us the Infernal Affairs trilogy, which did happen after this one. Still, he has a lot of memorable movies under his belt including the Young and Dangerous which is probably why he uses Kar Lok Chin and Ekin Cheng in here. What makes this film disappointing is also the fact that it is trying to tell Tekken but then it seems they don’t have the license so they can’t and have to add in the end credits about how it has nothing to do with the famous video game franchise. You don’t ever want to be the first of something but become a movie that reminds you of something else and this one did that, despite its cast which back in the early 2000s was a big deal. Future Cops launched back in 1993 and put live action and humor and a ton of charm with a great cast bringing to life Street Fighter. While it is incredibly underrated and not a lot of people remember it, there is something there that grabs the audience. Not to mention, Roy Cheung and Ekin Cheng were also part of that movie. You can see my review of it HERE.

Possibly the worse part of this which probably won’t bother non-Chinese speaking audience was the fact that Leehom Wang’s Cantonese dub was okay but yet so awkward with how he reacted at times. Leehom Wang is a great singer and the fact that he is jumping into movies is exciting and the best part of this movie is the fact that there’s some great songs he’s done that’s put on the soundtrack. However, there isn’t much here. The fight scenes are a tad ridiculous and that’s coming from myself who likes a lot of over the top action. The cast was what made me continue like Kristy Yang (who hasn’t been around for a while), Gigi Leung, Stephen Fung (who does some behind the scenes stuff now, I believe). There’s of course Sammo Hung who still proves that age is only a number when it comes to martial arts and acting and to not get fooled by his physical appearance and the fantastic Biao Yuen.

This quick review is turning to be way too long already. Point is, while there is a decent cast, the execution of this movie is rather flawed and just not very good. It reinforces why I don’t watch movies for the cast anymore.

NYC Underground (2013)

nyc underground

Director: Jessy Terrero

Cast: Clayne Crawford, Arielle Kebbel, Sean Faris, Dania Ramirez, Rob Mayes, Evan Ross, Craig Walker, Matt Servitto

Four people run for their lives in the Brooklyn subway tunnels after a botched drug deal.- IMDB

Oh, boy. *shakes head* You know, its hard to not shake your head when you know that some of this cast can be good. It feels a little like Cloverfield, without the found footage angle, you know before things went down the drain. Its funny because Sean Faris has done some decent movies and he was alright in Pretty Little Liars. Arielle Kebbel has proved that she’s decent as well in various TV properties and even the main bad dude played by Clayne Crawford was alright. Deal is, this one wasn’t appealing in the execution. There wasn’t any tense build-up. It was really silly in many parts and there was lot of overacting and whining and screaming. When a movie tries to sell stupid lack of common sense like yelping in an echoing subway tunnel and creating some pretty unappealing chracters that you can’t cheer for, its hard. Plus, it added on the assaulting my eardrums factor and I’m not particularly a happy camper. The fact that I finished this one is already a miracle.

However, its easy to hate on a movie. And I don’t want to do it. If there was one good thing in this movie and that is two of the characters, despite at that point being too far to care too much about them. really lifted the movie up by their growth and finding the courage to move on in a smarter although riskier way. To be honest, those two characters were the stronger characters and that is Sean Faris’s character who plays the older brother dragged into this situation and the supporting girl played by Dania Ramirez.

Overall…

I think I gave both of these movies 2 stars (out of 5). They both weren’t good. Both had their own faults and very little that pushed me to finish and honestly, at this point, I remember The Avenging Fist just a tad more than NYC Underground. The Hong Kong films was going through an odd change in action and humor in that timeframe and I remember not being a huge fan of it so I had stopped watching a lot of Chinese movies at that point which is probably why I didn’t see The Avenging Fist earlier despite being a die-hard fan of Ekin Cheng and he only had a very small role.

Music Obsessions [January 2017]

Welcome to 2017’s first Music Obsessions! 

Its only been 2 weeks since the Christmas Special and music has been a little slow. I have to say that Duck Tales Theme with the new cast is still a huge obsession of mine. If you missed it, you can find it in the post HERE. That also has given me some odd feeling of revisiting older songs that I used to like a lot, which means some Hong Kong Pop. It probably isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but it made up a lot of time in my life plus, it also shows a nostalgic thing I have going for some Hong Kong movies that I’ve been missing a lot of late. Some I do own but others, I really need to find, like do a huge Young and Dangerous movie marathon when I compile all of them.  Or like a Nicholas Tse movie marathon.

Let’s check it out!

戰無不勝 – Jordan Chan
(from Young and Dangerous 4)

友情歲月 – Ekin Cheng
(from Young and Dangerous)

前前後後左左右右 – Nicholas Tse
(from Young and Dangerous prequel)

Young and Dangerous is a huge franchise in Hong Kong movies. Its rather violent but focuses on this incredibly loyalty and friendship. It also brought out some of the most iconic roles from Ekin Cheng and Jordan Chan along with their friends, Jerry Lam and Michael Tse. I have yet to see all of them but I’ve watched a few of the spinoffs. I just love Ekin and Jordan so much, even though now, they aren’t quite on the scene anymore. Trust me, when I get all the movies, that Young and Dangerous marathon is happening. And while Nicholas Tse might be more behind the scenes these days, and was considered the “bad boy” of the industry back in the early days of his career, I still loved him quite a bit. In fact, I still love him a lot now. And that is why the remaining two songs are also his, also in movies that he’s done.

You Can’t Stop Me – Nicholas Tse, Stephen Fung & Sam Lee
(from Gen-X Cops)

潛龍勿用 – Nicholas Tse
(from Heroes in Love)

It is funny how researching for Music Obsessions sometimes is a ton of fun as I look at how some of these people have changed in the recent years. For example, I didn’t know that Sam Lee is actually part of LMF which is a rap group in Hong Kong. No one assumes that Hong Kong and rap go together and they are the rare one which is pretty behind the scenes now as well but they  have some good stuff that raps about life and politics and things that matter in Hong Kong mostly, while at times uses some vulgar language, I do enjoy listening to as well. Maybe I’ll show some of that later this year. Also, how I own Heroes in Love but never actually watched it yet, which is a anthology of sort with three short stories about love and obsession. Oh yeah, and Gen-X Cops is really fun and good plus it has the cameo of Jackie Chan in there.

A much more talky Music Obsessions than normal but these are also more upbeat Hong Kong Pop. Hope you enjoyed it!
Have you seen any of these movies? Do you know the Young and Dangerous franchise?

What have you been listening to?

Genre Grandeur – Young and Dangerous (1995)

Check out my review on Young and Dangerous for MovieRob’s Genre Grandeur in the month of June. This time, our genre is comic book or superhero movies. Since everyone already had their share of superheros review, I figured I’d go a little different and share one that may not be the best in quality but its great to me because this series has been such a success. Maybe I’ll do as I did for Infernal Affairs and have a little marathon once I gather all the movies ;).

Remember to check out the other reviews from other bloggers for this genre and next month’s genre will be on alien. If you have any review you’d like to share, remember to send it to Rob. I know I’ll think something up 🙂

Thanks to Rob for putting this together. As usual, I had a lot of fun revisiting this one.

MovieRob

For the next review for this month’s Genre Grandeur – Comic book / superhero movies, here is Kim from Tranquil Dreams with a review of Young and Dangerous (1995).  If you don’t currently follow Kim’s site, I strongly recommend that you do so. Her site features great movie reviews, awesome travel stories, new recipes and photo challenges

If anyone still is planning on sending me a submission for this month’s genre, please do so by tomorrow.

Next month’s Genre (chosen by Cara) will be alien movies – so start sending me your reviews for Alien genre movies to aliens@movierob.net

Without further ado…here’s Kim’s review

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young and dangerous posterYoung and Dangerous (1995)

Director: Andrew Wai-Keung Lau

Cast: Ekin Cheng, Francis Ng, Jordan Chan, Gigi Lai, Michael Tse, Chi Hung Ng, Simon Yam

Based on a popular Chinese graphic novel called Teddy Boy, Young and Dangerous is a low budget movie showing the…

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