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post #13606 of 16402

I haven't finished this yet. But as we are on the topic, I may as well post this

 

Asian War Films are a guilty pleasure of mine. And there have been many that I have taken a great pleasure in loving. This is that list.

 

These films are not ranked in order of how good they are. They are mearley in the order I remember.

 

  1. Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)

  2. Assembly (2007)

  3. The Founding of the Republic (2009)

  4. Welcome to Dongmakgol (2005)

  5. Taegukgi: Brotherhood of war (2004)

  6. 71 Into the Fire (2010)

  7. My Way (2011)

  8. Red Cliff (2009)

  9. Flowers of War (2011)

  10. City of Life and Death (2009)

 

I will not give a full synopsis for each movie but I will mearley attempt to explain why I loved it and what was so great about it. I have not seen some in over a year so please bear with me.

 

--

Bias, the need, and the monster:

Bias is a many headed beast here and in the world. One person’s views on the world, on a specific topic, and on anything really can be changed due to their life experiences and teachings. Bias should generally be avoided, but another point is that sometimes we need to accentuate and make some things biased. The population of the world is generally apathetic to many topics that one may find interesting otherwise. They may not care about particle smashers or new electrostatic headphones. And thus it is my belief that one would sometimes need bias and sensationalism to promote a topic or side of that topic that would otherwise be left forgotten.

I will say it right here that I am a native born of the People’s Republic of China. I currently live in the U.S.A. I have experienced the views of my homeland and also of the states.

My view on the world is quite neutral. However, with Asian war films I try to be pro underdog. There is enough known on the U.S side of things, but these films all carry a point of view that isn’t generally spoken of in the U.S and that is why they were so commendable to me. And so, my explanations will include a more biased and sensationalist tone in it to exemplify the other side of the story.

 

--


 

Letters from Iwo Jima:

My mouth is left open as I finish this film. The only thought that goes through my mind at that time is “how the hell he could have directed this?”. Clint Eastwood directed the movie for his two part movie feature. I knew little about him except that he was an action star in Old West movies long ago. Looking at him, he was what I thought was the average American who was ignorant about policies, culture, and events in Asia. I would stare at his IMDB and Wiki page many times wondering how he could have made a film that would show the other side. The movie was beautiful. It didn’t undermine the Japanese as authoritarian wraiths which happens quite often subconciously or on purpose. The human side of the soldiers and of the events unfold extremely well in this movie. What was duty and the human condition was also well developed. Beautiful acting by Ken Watanabe sealed this film

 

Assembly:

Propaganda Red China. That is what many think of. A thought that comes from decades of media consumption and adults who have been taught that. Media from the PRC can never be truthful thought they. Well, this movie proved that to be wrong. This movie seemed to have been inspired by Saving Private Ryan. Where a constant theme was on the humans in each soldier. Not the country they belonged to, not the insignia on their uniforms, or by the actions they did. But by the fact that they were people in a hellish war. Assembly is one of the few internationally recognized films in the world that prominently feature soldiers from the PLA. This was what got me interested in the film. My family has history in the PLA. I wonder how they lived, how they fought, the organization or lack thereof they experienced, and just everything there was to be about them. This film conveyed a sense of nationalism to me. The hero’s of my country fighting for the homeland. But that was not to be. Orders, humanitarianism, death, and duty to country and comrade played a bigger role in the movie. On how they were just soldiers there to defend. The people they killed may have been cousin’s, they may have been brothers, they may have been strangers. This film was great in that it follows the leader of the group, Gu Zidi, through his life as he leads his men and finally searches for them. It conveys longing of how comrades would quickly be found and lost and on the situation of brotherhood during this time.

 

The Founding of the Republic:

Prominently displayed everywhere along this film is the title of a Communist state sponsored movie. A realisation of just how hateful media can be. Viewers are biased already before they even begin it if they ever do.

This movie is sensationalist yes. The highly organized nature of events, of people being nationalistic is too un real. But then again, this would and does happen to many movies. Where beginning an uprising on film was a bit too un realisitc. Some terms and rising action moments do yell nationalism. But that is what this film is about. The founding of the nation is just as controversial as the founding of America. But it is also a thing one must always remember. China was divided for hundreds of years. The Manchurians took over, the Mongols took over, the West took over, Japan took over, and American backed leaders took over. But the people still referred to themselves as the people of the middle kingdom with the upmost pride. They were the people of Han. No leader or represenative could take that away from them. They were labeled as Manchurians for a while, but to them, they were Han, they were Chinese. The Republic of China was the closest dream there was to being their own people until American, and Japanese interests tore the country apart. Against all odds, the Communist Party of China secured the loyalty of the world’s largest population and finally on October 1, 1949. After hundreds of years, after 20-30 million people died since WW2, after ousting outside powers. The people of the middle kingdom finally got their name back. This movie perfectly delivers the feeling that the founders felt as they formed this nation. The last scene of this movie was what ultimately sealed the entire movie into my memory. Chairman Mao entered into the capital to inspect the troops on the morning of the founding of the country. Hundreds of thousands of well organized troops are lined up. But what was really the crowning point was the representative of the group that stood before the Chairman. He stood before the chairman with the entire weight of his existense in a military upright stand. He trembled as his eyes lay unflinching upon the Chairman. He didn’t speak to the Chairman. He yelled his words. That was the only way he would get the feelings of all his comrades and countrymen across into his Chairman. He trembled with every word as he stared into the Chairman. He is filled with the pride of the entire nation of which has lost over 20 million people already. Today was the day that his nation was to be founded. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I watched that scene. It was a magnificent day as I watched the Founding of a nation on my computer screen. But it wasn’t just any nation, it was my nation, it was my identity.

post #13607 of 16402
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post

I haven't finished this yet. But as we are on the topic, I may as well post this

 

Asian War Films are a guilty pleasure of mine. And there have been many that I have taken a great pleasure in loving. This is that list.

 

These films are not ranked in order of how good they are. They are mearley in the order I remember.

 

  1. Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)

  2. Assembly (2007)

  3. The Founding of the Republic (2009)

  4. Welcome to Dongmakgol (2005)

  5. Taegukgi: Brotherhood of war (2004)

  6. 71 Into the Fire (2010)

  7. My Way (2011)

  8. Red Cliff (2009)

  9. Flowers of War (2011)

  10. City of Life and Death (2009)

 

 

 

Watched "Welcome to Dongmakgol" a few days ago...  7.9/10

post #13608 of 16402
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnnyhi View Post

Watched "Welcome to Dongmakgol" a few days ago...  7.9/10

Entertaining film for sure.

 

It's themes and underlying message was quite nice, whilst it still held good comedy and action.

post #13609 of 16402
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post

I haven't finished this yet. But as we are on the topic, I may as well post this

 

Asian War Films are a guilty pleasure of mine. And there have been many that I have taken a great pleasure in loving. This is that list.

 

These films are not ranked in order of how good they are. They are mearley in the order I remember.

 

  1. Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)

  2. Assembly (2007)

  3. The Founding of the Republic (2009)

  4. Welcome to Dongmakgol (2005)

  5. Taegukgi: Brotherhood of war (2004)

  6. 71 Into the Fire (2010)

  7. My Way (2011)

  8. Red Cliff (2009)

  9. Flowers of War (2011)

  10. City of Life and Death (2009)

 

I've only seen the ones in bold here. "City of Life and Death" is really some sort of weird masterpiece, but I don't care to see it ever again. It wasn't depressing for me but very sad. I also have the Dongmakgol movie in some huge boxed set. The case looks like it's in the shape of a TV. I got it back when South Korean films were actually cheap.

 

Two other films worth seeing are "Silmido" (with Sol Kyung-gu) and "Peppermint Candy". The last one isn't really a war movie but close enough. I'd say it's in my top 10 list of favorite foreign films. I don't think Lee Chang-dong has directed a bad movie yet! I'm avoiding "Secret Sunshine" because it looks too depressing.

 

My #1 favorite war movie from asia though is "The Human Condition" directed by Masaki Kobayashi (Samurai Rebellion). It's around 10 hours and I couldn't stop thinking about it for like a month.

 

I'm trying to find WWII movies told from the Japanese side/view, but it's really tough. I watched "Battle of Okinawa" but it was kind of offensive. I was thinking there was no way American soldiers could do such horrible things, but then the more I read up on the subject the more I realized it may be true. It's possible the movie is based on the book of the same name but I'm not sure.

 

One movie i'm trying to hunt down is "Fires on the Plains". It's based on the book and about the conditions of Japanese soldiers during WWII. There were cases of them being so starving that they turned to cannibalism.

 

The director also made "The Burmese Harp", but it's kind of sugar-coated. Still worth watching. I even read the book about 3 times and the movie is fairly accurate.

 

My recent favorite is "Admiral Yamamoto" or "The Admiral". That movie seems to have too many names.

 

I watched the Japanese film "Yamato"  last night about the Battleship Yamato but it's excessively melodramatic and pretty awful. It's good for somewhat of a history lesson though.

post #13610 of 16402
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post

 

I've only seen the ones in bold here. "City of Life and Death" is really some sort of weird masterpiece, but I don't care to see it ever again. It wasn't depressing for me but very sad. I also have the Dongmakgol movie in some huge boxed set. The case looks like it's in the shape of a TV. I got it back when South Korean films were actually cheap.

 

Two other films worth seeing are "Silmido" (with Sol Kyung-gu) and "Peppermint Candy". The last one isn't really a war movie but close enough. I'd say it's in my top 10 list of favorite foreign films. I don't think Lee Chang-dong has directed a bad movie yet! I'm avoiding "Secret Sunshine" because it looks too depressing.

 

My #1 favorite war movie from asia though is "The Human Condition" directed by Masaki Kobayashi (Samurai Rebellion). It's around 10 hours and I couldn't stop thinking about it for like a month.

 

I'm trying to find WWII movies told from the Japanese side/view, but it's really tough. I watched "Battle of Okinawa" but it was kind of offensive. I was thinking there was no way American soldiers could do such horrible things, but then the more I read up on the subject the more I realized it may be true. It's possible the movie is based on the book of the same name but I'm not sure.

 

One movie i'm trying to hunt down is "Fires on the Plains". It's based on the book and about the conditions of Japanese soldiers during WWII. There were cases of them being so starving that they turned to cannibalism.

 

The director also made "The Burmese Harp", but it's kind of sugar-coated. Still worth watching. I even read the book about 3 times and the movie is fairly accurate.

 

My recent favorite is "Admiral Yamamoto" or "The Admiral". That movie seems to have too many names.

 

I watched the Japanese film "Yamato"  last night about the Battleship Yamato but it's excessively melodramatic and pretty awful. It's good for somewhat of a history lesson though.

Nice list of ones you have seen.

 

Yep, City of Life and Death is not action, is not a tear jerker. It does not try to overly change and antagonize the Japanese. It does not create Chinese hero's, it does not yell propaganda, and it does not yell drama. 

 

It is a historical documentary in a major movie format. The characters were far and many, but their life story, is written on their faces. Their gritty realisim in the timeline of how people were back then, their emotions, and what they were thinking about at the times. 

 

Truly amazing. The grayscale format they used was also TREMENDOUSLY fantastic. 

 

I have Slimido on my list.

 

I have yet to really dig down into films like The Human Condition. It looks good though. But I think I get your feeling. I've been watching what can be herald as one of the greatest anime ever made. Legend of the Galactic Hero's. It's 2420 minutes of pure footage(not including OP,ED,commercials) or 40.33 hours of pure animation. And is truly amazing. It speaks of the human condition in general, politics, different forms of governmetns, and just about everything. 

 

I watch movies nowadays with an open mind. My first paragraph on Bias, the need and monster is taken heavilly into account. When watching Hollywood films, I take stuff I see with a grain of salt due to the amount of propaganda in it. HOWEVER. Letters from Iwo Jima....was truly amazing. 

 

In the end. Assembly and The Founding of a Republic gave me the most 'feels' whilst City of Life and Death was the most mentally and artistically stimulating with its message, and the rest as good war films to watch. 

post #13611 of 16402

The Wolverine - probably give around 6.5. It wasn't bad but certainly not great...

post #13612 of 16402
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

 

I wanted to watch this movie, but the reviews weren't very encouraging.


Yeah, but I'm always pleasantly surprised by movies like this; I heard almost the entire audience left during the screening at an indi film fest; same thing happened with a few other cult favorites loved.I HAVE NOT seen this yet but cant wait to.

post #13613 of 16402
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post


Asian War Films are a guilty pleasure of mine. And there have been many that I have taken a great pleasure in loving. This is that list.

 

Seen 13 Assassins? I watched it last week and I really liked it.

post #13614 of 16402
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjinh View Post

 

Seen 13 Assassins? I watched it last week and I really liked it.

Yes I have seen it, although not a favorite of mine.

post #13615 of 16402

This was the AppleTV/iTunes movie of the week recently, so once I saw the cast listing it was a no-brainer. I honestly had no idea that Linda Cardellini (sp?) was this strong of an actor. My frame of reference for her was Grandma's Boy lol. Add that to the excellent Michael Shannon and you've got some pretty capable talent on board to carry out this film. If you're looking for something light and funny on a Friday night, pass this one by. If a character driven, deliberately paced drama that isn't afraid to examine some darker themes of life and the struggle to fit square pegs into round holes is more up your alley, give it a go. 

 

"Return" - 8.2/10

 

 

post #13616 of 16402
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowei006 View Post

Yes I have seen it, although not a favorite of mine.

 

I loved it until the director went all stupid and turned it into a bloodbath towards the end. Somehow I expected that from the director.

 

BTW watch "I Wish" which is free if you have Amazon Prime. Loved that one and wish I could find similar movies.

 

It's directed by Hirokazu Koreeda who made "Nobody Knows". I also loved "Tokyo Sonata".

 

They don't have enough new Japanese movies released in the USA for some reason. You'd think they could at least make some money from VOD versions.

post #13617 of 16402
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post

 

I loved it until the director went all stupid and turned it into a bloodbath towards the end. Somehow I expected that from the director.

 

BTW watch "I Wish" which is free if you have Amazon Prime. Loved that one and wish I could find similar movies.

 

It's directed by Hirokazu Koreeda who made "Nobody Knows". I also loved "Tokyo Sonata".

 

They don't have enough new Japanese movies released in the USA for some reason. You'd think they could at least make some money from VOD versions.

Nobody Knows...i liked that movie...8.5/10 

 

The ost brings back memories...


Edited by Johnnyhi - 7/30/13 at 11:41pm
post #13618 of 16402
Man, its gotta be my 20th time watching inception. 10/10 my favourite movie ever, took me a while to realize what's going on at first but when I did, wow didnt sleep for the whole night
post #13619 of 16402
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post

 

I loved it until the director went all stupid and turned it into a bloodbath towards the end. Somehow I expected that from the director.

 

BTW watch "I Wish" which is free if you have Amazon Prime. Loved that one and wish I could find similar movies.

 

It's directed by Hirokazu Koreeda who made "Nobody Knows". I also loved "Tokyo Sonata".

 

They don't have enough new Japanese movies released in the USA for some reason. You'd think they could at least make some money from VOD versions.

Now that you mention it, yeah, the bloodbath was fun to watch, but crticially made it a bit worse.

 

Just looked into that movie, it seems quite nice actually. Reminds me of the Korean film Harmony :)

 

I enjoyed watching Harmony, but the little extra stuff they added as a sort of emotional packed way to change ones political views in Korea was deeply upsetting to me. 

post #13620 of 16402
Quote:
Originally Posted by Focker View Post

If a character driven, deliberately paced drama that isn't afraid to examine some darker themes of life and the struggle to fit square pegs into round holes is more up your alley, give it a go. 
"Return" - 8.2/10

You are too kind to this movie.
I rather enjoyed M.Shannon in Shotgun Stories.
I watched Return in the early afternoon and it was like an overdose of afternoon soap opera.

Sufferin' Succotash said Sylvester after watching Before Midnight , I would say it was down there with that one - both were equally depressing.

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