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Skin Of Roses (1978)

Skin Of Roses (1978)

Depraved softcore romance porn with a story... only the Japanese could pull off something like this and still make it feel classy.

Ritsuko's beautiful, and that's part of why this is as good as it is! The story's about a gangster, and love, but in the end none of that really matters after all. Ritsuko matters. Though the story ultimately contributes an air of sadness that somehow just amplifies her beauty, and both the importance and the meaningless of it all... give it a watch, you'll understand.

It doesn't take long before she (and her closest friends) are all performing various pleasurable acts in artistic ways. They play with things. They express themselves. There's always intrigue too. Always ulterior motive. It's not all black and white or linear or square or anything in that over-exaggerated and saturated Westernized kind of way... not sure what I mean by that but: it feels right here, no matter how far they take it. There's always a reason. It's always redeeming.

It's the good stuff. Porn and poetry. Though maybe you can't really call it porn after all. Seems too crude. Poetry of the perverse? Art of the acts of... love? This is that. Worldly words don't capture the rapture.

Don't expect anything crazy, but sometimes simple really is more.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Debt Collectors (2020)

Debt Collectors (2020)

Here's a story of debt. And a duo - two dudes - who collect that debt.

Against their will I should add. For reasons. Watch the movie and all shall be revealed. And a lot of exileration shall be experienced over the gritty and well-choreographed fights herein.

I love the fights. The nitty gritty of it all. The charismatic and crazy main character combo that Scott Adkins and Louis Mandylor present (I'm seeing more and more of Mandylor lately - wonder why I haven't earlier), and the gangsters aren't bad either. They play their part. The shootouts get intense when they need to and everything comes full circle the right way.

The soundtrack though, it's great but... sometimes a movie really works better without one, and this feels like it just might be one of those movies. At the end I'd rather the engine rumble and the voices fade away. Don't need no Western.

Maybe the most emotional moments don't really come across as emotional as they could either, but it's still a really good movie. Keeps you at the edge of your seat all the way through, and has that dusty, authentic road trip kind of vibe to it that I do love so.

Reminds me a tiny bit of Gringo, but not really. It's something else.

Good watch.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Typhoon (2005)

Typhoon (2005)

How do they keep making so friggin' sad movies! Koreans...

It's a terrorist movie. A modern day pirate movie. And a tale of injustice and truth, starring two main characters - one good, one bad - on seperate sides of the law, that as they cross paths realize more and more that maybe they're really not so different.

The special effects are alright, Toto wasn't done justice, and the other guy who flew out of the cabin seems like a lost thread. Didn't he survive...?

But otherwise they capture the emotion so good. The storm so good. The boat has me thinking of RE: Dead Aim, and the atmosphere a bit of old action classics like The Rock. Needless to say that's good.

I love this. The culture's different, but just like the main characters could've been brothers were they born in a different time or place, so does the medium of movies seem to bridge that cultural divide between us.

Keep on rocking, never forgotten. Like a typhoon siege sweep us off our feet.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Fist Of Fury (1991)

Fist Of Fury (1991)

A mainlander comes to Hong Kong to find his cousin in this spinoff to the 1972 Bruce Lee classic.

The fight scenes may not be as polished as the Jet Li movie with the same name, or as authentic as the classic it's originally based upon, but the comedy's on another level! Re-occurring embarrassment and slapstick humor mixed in with a tale of vengeance and a fight to get places, a simple red thread that leads up to one final showdown and tragedy.

It's great. Don't let this one just live in the shadow of the former now. The fight scenes may be a bit more exaggerated but the choreography's as impressive as with any good HK movie flick. Better than average. Props Stephen Chow and Man Cheung and all the rest.

Great watch.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

5G Zombies (2020)

5G Zombies (2020)

The title says it all!

I love the theme, I love the symbolism and message, and the whirling hypnotic eyes and bit of Shungite advice weren't bad (not that Shungite water's enough to really keep you healthy) but the rest of it...

It's mostly just a collage of people ranting about 5G.

Almost like the director just asked people to freestyle on the theme from various individual locations, and then cut it all together, with a half-assed plot that overlaps at start and finish.

The idea's good but... such a crap movie.

Was hoping it'd be more on the level of Cell. If you haven't watched that it'd be better than seeing this. It might not have been made with the same intentions (I do applaud the intentions here) but you'll get it after all.

Technology: The potential for abuse is too high, and the health effects shouldn't be a compromise we don't mind making. We don't need 5G! Whether it turns us all to zombies or not, now's the time to stop it.

And never mind this movie.

 rated 1.5/5: almost decent

Assassinaut (2019)

Assassinaut (2019)

A group of teenagers get to meet the female president of the future on a space station orbiting a foreign but potentially inhabitable planet, shortly before the president is almost killed by a madman with a ticking time bomb inside him, and they all evacuate the ship in rescue pods, leaving the station to blow up with both madman and all hope of rescue; our cast stranded on this strange planet far from home.

That's mistake #1. The big one. The one that bothers me for the rest of the movie. Why didn't they just eject the bomb instead of themselves?

But of course it's this excuse of an initial premise that leads them into the strange territory within which the rest of the movie takes place. Into hostile territory, and darkness, as the teens are killed off by one by one, and their commanding officer gets taken over by an alien parasite.

There's a little hallucinogenic apple eating too, earlier on some dissecting a frog, some shooting an alien that in retrospect (I guess) was really a shot from the future...

It's not as confusing as it sounds, but a bit messy. Dark, too, did I mention?

They do build up a heavy kind of atmosphere, the filming's good, and it ends with maybe a subtle nod to... hidden agenda? I don't know what they meant there exactly but it's definitely something. Maybe something?

It's not a movie I'd watch again. In the end the incentive seems neither to be action nor meaning, nor love story, nor anything that really inspires me or opens my mind to new things, like I feel that maybe it's meant to.

It comes off feeling a bit self-censoring, a little off, and a little like they might've wanted to do a few different things with this but didn't do any particular one just right. Or maybe all it's meant to be is really, really abstract. And to seem like it might've been more than it was.

It's strange how when Asians do that I usually love it, yet this just feels just weird... props whomever was in the cigarette scene though. For some reason that one felt just perfect. And it's not a bad movie overall.

 rated 3/5: not bad

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