State theatre by tvol
While on a quest to find something different than the same old thing, I stumbled across Asian Cinema. With many of the same categories as American movies, including comedy, horror, romance, and of course warrior epics, these films have a distinctive flair totally unlike your average Hollywood flick.
Like many other fans, I am a total sucker for the Kung Fu punching, samurai sword-slashing, zombie-stomping, kick-butt action in many of these films. One of my prerequisites for Asian films is they must include at least one unusual, non-American item such as sword fighting, Yakuza gangs, folklore and supernatural elements, martial arts action and traditional oriental clothing.
My favorites are the horror films, which often combine bits of humor with their gruesome fare. This laugh factor adds unpredictability to the film and leaves you amused and bewildered. Recently I saw the outrageously gory and fantastically frightening Machine Girl. Here a young high school girl finds herself bereft and alone after bullies kill her younger brother. With an explosive starting sequence, this movie is a total bloodbath – especially after Ami is injured during her journey for revenge and has her left arm replaced with a machine gun. The low-budget effects and over-the-top murder scenes add a touch of humor to the otherwise violent tone of the film.
Along with other great movies such as Death Trance, Azumi I and II, Sky High and Versus, many of these films forgo dialogue and character background to focus on stylish poses, cool clothes, and of course the odd rock music soundtrack to electrify the fight scenes. But that’s what I enjoy about these movies so much. Too often, movies take themselves much too seriously. I want to be entertained when I see a movie. I don’t overanalyze the details or nitpick flaws and errors. I just enjoy a good story, cool heroes and amazing action scenes.
Yes, I am a big Ryuhei Kitamura fan, as well as the super-cool Tak Sakaguchi. It is often hard to find good recommendations for foreign films, as all of us have different tastes, and what one may love, another can thoroughly dislike. You may want to check out some of the various Asian film review web sites, such as Kung Fu Cult Cinema, Love Asian Film, and Asian Movie Web to get started. Be sure to stop by Blockbuster for cheap previewed foreign films, as well as Best Buy for brand-new movies you can’t find anywhere else. Enjoy!