Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
I Outgrew Aliens: The Blog of Spike Marshall
#36
Great blog post. I've written before about my love of the 'heroic bloodshed' films of the 80s and early 90s in HK and the collaboration between Woo and CYF. I feel that recent HK cinema has not really been able to hold my attention (I cite the influence of the Chi-Coms since the turn over) the way, say, A BETTER TOMORROW 2 could, and for me ONG BAK was like a breath of fresh air. It's scrappy, like you say, earnest and delightfully brutal. Maybe it's totally evil of me, but I love that the third world can bring us spectacle that Hollywood will never be able to safety standards for stuntpeople. So many of the hits in Jaa's movies are just shockingly violent and obviously dangerous

Anyway, I just added Sha Po Lang (AKA KILL ZONE) to my queue and will return with thoughts once I've seen it!
Reply
#37
Quote:

Originally Posted by Spike Marshall
View Post
As a litmus test I'd suggest watching Hard Boiled, Project A, Fist of Legend, House of Flying Daggers and Infernal Affairs.

That should give you an idea of the tonality of HK cinema, if you like any of those get back to me and I should be able to work from their.

One of the proudest moments of my life came from purchasing IF sight unseen from a shop in NYC China Town in like 2003. I was psyched that I was able to pick out such an awesome movie just based upon my familiarity with the non western cast of cool people like Leung and Lao.

It kind of sucked though because then I got super bitter about the DEPARTED and hated Scorsese for a few months
Reply
#38
Nick's not a fan of Infernal Affairs, but it and it's sequel are probably in top 100 films of the aughts.

I still liked The Departed though, it's got a different tonality and style and the two compliment each other rather than eclipsing each other.
Reply
#39
In which I bitch about Serialised TV and how LOST has been ruined by people who PAID too much attention
Reply
#40
Some good points there mate. I think you might cop some flack from the guys in the Lost thread however

Having said that I totally see where you are coming from, people build a show like lost up in their minds and expect the answers to be far more amazing than they ever could be.
Reply
#41
Shit, you're probably right. This is probably why I don't have a good reputation around here, I tend to write and let my subconcious take over without actually THINKING about what I'm writing or how insulting it is.
Reply
#42
It wasn't meant as a dig, more of a joke actually.
Reply
#43
Spike,

I saw KILL ZONE a few nights ago and wanted to offer up my thoughts.

I liked it well enough, it was not terrible, but it was far from a return to the glory days of HK cinema (IMHO). There was not a single frame of the film that matched the drama of A BETTER TOMORROW (despite frequent attempts at tear jerking) and as pleasent a fellow as he might be, Mr Yen can't hold a candle to the incandescent charisma of Chow Yun Fat. As for the action, while Mr Yen is a technically proficient martial artist, his stunts pale in comparison to the sheer visceral impact of those performed by Mr Jaa. I'm sorry, but watching someone body slam a fat suit dummy through fake glass tables is not terribly thrilling to me. Plus, how on earth can you introduce a concept as awesome as the "Retard Punch" (where Yen supposedly punched someone so hard he caused mental retardation) and then not have Donny Yen retard punch anyone? It boggles my mind!

Anyway, I'm glad I saw it and it was cool to check in on the current state of HK cinema but I think I'm going to stick with my Mei Ah and Media Asia DVDs of the classics for the time being
Reply
#44
Glad you gave it a try Kate. The thing I took from the film more than anything else was how down to earth and gritty the fighting was (aside from the suplex into the drinks cabinet, which is just odd). Donnie Yen vs. Wing Ju has a visceral quality to it because they're essentially sparring, only certain moves were choreographed and they just went for it for the majority of the scene. The Yen/Sammo fight is great because it shows HK filmmakers trying to think outside the box.

Before you give up on HK cinema totally I'd suggest watching a Johnnie To movie. He's not an action director, but in terms of style he's a heir apparent to John Woo. If you wanna see some of his stuff check out Breaking News, Election or Exiled. Election and Exiled in particular feel like natural extensions of the Woo asthetic.

There's also a movie called Time and Tide by Tsui Hark (who produced A Better Tomorrow and The Killer) which may be one of my favourite action films of the 00s.
Reply
#45
Quote:

Originally Posted by Spike Marshall
View Post
Glad you gave it a try Kate. .

Me too, glad I could participate in you blog, Spike
Quote:

Originally Posted by Spike Marshall
View Post
The thing I took from the film more than anything else was how down to earth and gritty the fighting was (aside from the suplex into the drinks cabinet, which is just odd). Donnie Yen vs. Wing Ju has a visceral quality to it because they're essentially sparring, only certain moves were choreographed and they just went for it for the majority of the scene. .

There were definitely some cool moves on display and some of it was fun, but all in all I just think that Jaa is my martial artist du jour. His style and personality really get me revved up. I know you criticize his approach to on set safety, but it's hard for me not to find the obvious peril of the combatants in his films pretty exciting
Quote:

Originally Posted by Spike Marshall
View Post
The Yen/Sammo fight is great because it shows HK filmmakers trying to think outside the box.

.


Haha, I'll take your word for it
Quote:

Originally Posted by Spike Marshall
View Post
Before you give up on HK cinema totally I'd suggest watching a Johnnie To movie. He's not an action director, but in terms of style he's a heir apparent to John Woo. If you wanna see some of his stuff check out Breaking News, Election or Exiled. Election and Exiled in particular feel like natural extensions of the Woo asthetic.

There's also a movie called Time and Tide by Tsui Hark (who produced A Better Tomorrow and The Killer) which may be one of my favourite action films of the 00s.

I will have to check those out some time! Thanks for the suggestions.

PS If you have not seen it, I really enjoy TIGER ON BEAT (also Jet Li's BLACK MASK is completely nuts and tons of fun. I made everyone in film club watch it once back in highschool)
Reply
#46
My problem with Jaa isn't so much the lack of concern for stunt artists as much as his lack of finesse. He needs to work OUTSIDE of Thai cinema so that his presence and style can be used by decent directors. Whilst I appreciate the visceral thrills of stuff like the chase in Ong Bak and the Restaurant attack/40 Man Beat Down in Tom Yum Goong the films just feel kind of lifeless outside of those scenes and don't really give much context to the fight scenes.

You could watch Tony Jaa beat the hell out of people on youtube and it'd be visceral and thrilling, because those fight scenes don't really belong as part of the overall film

In fact my remark about stuntman safety was more of a parallel to the Martial Arts films from HK in the 70s and 80s (one of the more famous scenes in Jackie Chan's Police Story isn't even a stunt, it's just his stunt crew being involved in an accident which looked good).

I love Tiger On Beat (CHAINSAW FIGHT!), but never particularly liked Black Mask. If you liked Black Mask you should check out K20. It's a Japanese Steam Punk/Western which feels a little like a tonal sequel to Black Mask.
Reply
#47
This is the first of a three part retrospective on THE NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET series

I'm hoping to get the next two parts up within the week.
Reply
#48
Quote:

I have a theory that you can divide most horror geeks of a certain age into three separate camps. Those who love NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET series, those who love the HALLOWEEN films and those who are fans of the FRIDAY THE 13TH films. Of course there can be overlap, but I think most people gravitate towards one of the of big three series.

I think this works only if you are looking at them from the perspective of franchises. But I think you'd find ample amounts of overlap amongst horror fans when it comes to just the original films that spawned those franchises. Well, perhaps not in the case of Friday the 13th where I think fans might point to a later entry as being better than the first film. But at this point, I have little interest in these as franchises. I regard two of the Nightmare films as genuinely good films. The Craven original being a true horror classic and Dream Warriors being a fun, imaginative dark fantasy ride. I've soured a bit on New Nightmare after rewatching it recently. There is only one Halloween film. And I'm amused with Fridays 4 and 6, but can't say that they offer up anything other than the feeling of hopping into a time machine and heading back to the mid eighties.
Reply
#49
I really need to check out DREAM WARRIORS. I haven't seen much of Chuck Russell's earlier work, but I remember his BLOB being a worthy revision of the McQueen original.
Reply
#50
Frank Darabont is another aspect in Dream Warriors favor.
Reply
#51
Athough I'm not a huge horror fan that still made for interesting reading. And dispite that your blog has made me want to check out 2 as it's the only one of the series I havent seen.
Reply
#52
Thanks for the feedback gents.

Abbot: You don't think Horror fans tend to be a little lenient towards the films in their chosen franchises, or at least tend to be way more interested in that franchise than others. Like how Devin is a Friday the 13th Guy.

Anyways, here is part 2 of 3. I should hopefully have part 3 up by the weekend, I went and bought Freddy vs. Jason on Blu Ray to give it a rewatch so I need to do that first.

http://chud.com/articles/blogs/2619/...rt-2-of-3.html
Reply
#53
Quote:

Originally Posted by Spike Marshall
View Post
Abbot: You don't think Horror fans tend to be a little lenient towards the films in their chosen franchises, or at least tend to be way more interested in that franchise than others. Like how Devin is a Friday the 13th Guy.

Sure, but as I said, I think you'll find that divide when looking at these only from the perspective of franchises, but I'd think there is far more reconciliation of opinion amongst horror fans ,or fans of film in general, when it comes to say the original Halloween and Nightmare on Elm St.

ETA: Devin may be Friday the 13th guy when it comes to horror franchises but would he classify any of those films as being better than Carpenter's Halloween? I'd say I prefer the Nightmare films since I find them to be a far more interesting and imaginative franchise, even the failures, than the Friday and Halloween series, but Halloween's a classic. I'd say the same about the original Nightmare but it still comes in second to Carpenter's film.
Reply
#54
Here's the third part, if anyone's interested, that deals with Freddy's Dead and New Nightmare

http://chud.com/articles/blogs/2671/...rt-3-of-3.html
Reply
#55
Quote:

Originally Posted by Spike Marshall
View Post
Here's the third part, if anyone's interested, that deals with Freddy's Dead and New Nightmare

http://chud.com/articles/blogs/2671/...rt-3-of-3.html

I definitely am (just earlier today I was wondering when this was coming back.)
Reply
#56
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bobby Bear
View Post
I definitely am (just earlier today I was wondering when this was coming back.)

16000 words of History essays hit me over the end of May...and then Red Dead Redemption. Going to try and get this back to being weekly (at least).
Reply
#57
Sweet! Life's ability to get in the way definitely isn't lost on me, but you've got a blog of real quality and it's good to know it isn't going away.
Reply
#58
Just read over yer NIGHTMARE stuff. Was very interesting to read someone else's take on the whole series after having written about the whole thing myself. In particular I found it interesting that you feel most people like NEW NIGHTMARE, whereas I've always gotten the impression most disliked it. Just shows what a varied world we live in, even in these little horror pockets.

Good stuff.
Reply
#59
Great stuff as always Spike, keep up the good work.
Reply
#60
A quick rant about why I really hate Tories

http://chud.com/articles/blogs/2762/...Like-This.html
Reply
#61
Well said Spike, well said.

I hadn't heard about the abolition of the UK film council that's kind of shocking, I suspect the new UK Space Agency won't be far behind.

But It's all your own fault, you should have voted for me.
Reply
#62
Don't think this blog isn't missed, Spike... 'cos it is.

High-time for a return, if ya ask me.
Reply
#63
I think most people couldn't care less about my opinion. I've had a few ideas, might slink back and post some more stuff for people to be violently non-plussed by.
Reply
#64
Well I liked your blog anyway.
Reply
#65
Quote:

Originally Posted by Spike Marshall
View Post
I think most people couldn't care less about my opinion. I've had a few ideas, might slink back and post some more stuff for people to be violently non-plussed by.

I don't know where you're getting that from, looking back at the amount of posters from the thread's first page, buddy. A lot of whom are respected, too.

A disappointing amount of comments can certainly feel like a lack of interest, but the two aren't always connected. A lot of CHUD bloggers have an informal style that's very conducive to lots of conversation between threads. However, the scope of your Nightmare series alone suggests a different beast. I think sometimes people are just loathe to comment on something more film-centric if it just amounts to "I agree" or "I love/hate this flick" or "nice job." They don't think it warrants posting or something. You shouldn't take it so personally, 'cos you've got the goods.

If you choose to get back on the horse and display said goods, I'll be there.
Reply
#66
By the way, my recent Blu-ray viewing of the director's cut of Aliens (wow) calls into question this thread's title anew.
Reply
#67
This one's for Bobby and Rain Dog

http://chud.com/articles/blogs/3051/...Australia.html
Reply
#68
Also, I have no idea how to UNBLACK the big about Australian hip-hop. Keep going back to the edit page to no avail.

Managed to sort it, in the source code.
Reply
#69
Great blog man, glad to have you back.
Reply
#70
Quote:

Originally Posted by Spike Marshall
View Post
This one's for Bobby and Rain Dog

Wonderful to have you back, mate.

I seem to remember ads for The Loved Ones doing the rounds recently and I didn't really pay them any mind. This, however, has me wanting to check it out. What can I say? I'm a sucker for high school horror movies.

Also, as someone who made the following remark about spiders during the week:

"I saw one in Maine that'd turn you WHITE!"...

I found the arachno-humour particularly enjoyable.

Quote:

As someone who isn’t particularly squeamish I found myself becoming increasingly disturbed by the numerous ways that face flesh was assaulted by shotguns, baseball bats and other non-face friendly implements.

Glorious!
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)