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Azumi (2003)
3/10
stupid fighting movie
2 February 2004
this is a very bad movie. the fighting is fake, the costume is cheap. if a 17 yrs old cute looking girl is what you are looking for in a movie, this might work for you. otherwise, avoid! i rated it 2 out of 10. the only thing that is authentic is that the Chinese characters are correctly spelled.
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Blush (1995)
5/10
nothing remarkable
20 July 2003
this is a petty ineffective love triangle story setting at 1950s china. there is virtually no achivement in any department of film making. you are only watching this for the sake of the historical context. otherwise, skip this and watch 'huo zhe' instead.

4 of 10, not recommended.
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1/10
total waste
20 July 2003
this movie is of very bad quality. there is no script ( director zhang yuan confessed that there was no script when he started filming ). the style is pretencious ( virtually every spoken line has the 'f**k' word ). this is not a true to life portrait of urban subculture. the director just uses this trick to get some shock value out of it, and to fool the western audience. this really sickens me.

i rate this movie 1 of 10, avoid.
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Hero (2002)
9/10
overdone effects is this movie's downfall
17 July 2003
i really hate the ludicrously over the top, redundant scenes and effects. the "million arrow" bombardment of zhao's city by qin troops and the execution of jet li were grossly overdone, as was the too-leafy encounter between zhang ziyi and maggie cheung.

on the upside, the use of colors. over all, 8 of 10, worth seeing.
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6/10
cheesy teen flick not to be taken seriously
13 July 2003
i don't hate it but it is just too cheesy. pay attention to one of the twins scream and two vampires do moon-dancing. jackie chan doesn't help this movie because he is a wrinkled butt.

5 of 10 not recommended.
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Nomad (1982)
10/10
hong kong new wave in the early 1980's
13 July 2003
this is the earliest and most representative hong kong new wave movie. directed by patrick tan, nomad is unfinished and with many questions left behind. screenplay is hesitating and irresolute and structure is broken. but up to now, not a single hong kong movie can be more successful in exploring the hong kong young people's nihilism. for those young people in the movie, youthfulness is for a kind of wasteful consumption, being a growth up is falling down into the hole of nonsense. this kind of relaxed, unconcerned, or even annoying attitude made leslie cheung the new sexual representational speaker for the chinese speaking community.
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Shark Busters (2002)
8/10
even cops have to make a living!
11 July 2003
the film is shot in a humorous, impertinent style. using its story of policemen in debt ( virtually every officer owes money to loan sharks ) to reflect upon hong kong's current economic malaise and the loss of moral values. danny lee heads an ensemble cast of fine supporting actors with brian ireland standing out as a white lawyer-turned-cop who works both sides of the fence. herman yau's witty direction underscores the fact that the current malaise affects all sectors of hong kong society.

9 of 10
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8/10
oddball whodunit
7 July 2003
shot on a relatively low budget ($250,000), The missing gun is an oddball whodunit set in a small si chuan town that gives twin peaks a good run for its money. police officer ma shan embarks on a frenzied quest to regain his vanished weapon, hot on the heels of a nightlong drinking binge. the lost weapon of the title amounts to a technique to afford a glimpse into the town's life, including some disturbing relationships, supposedly hilarious and quirky characters, and a couple of unscrupulous shenanigans. en route, ma shan learns more and more about his own existence and standing in society, slowly peeling away layers of encrusted routine, and even goes as far as almost rekindling his love for resident li xiaomeng. the plot thickens when li turns up murdered, shot with ma's stolen pistol.

the story tries to build up towards a critical finale, yet you'll find it difficult to become engrossed or even stay intrigued. many films bring humor and tragedy together - some beautifully, some a touch on the awkward side. The missing gun appears to have been unable to make up its mind which way to lean, resulting in wasted energy and an overall emptiness. although the opening is well executed, it is unfortunate that it does not manage to maintain a similar level of suspense throughout. a moving u2-like soundtrack helps improve its stock - and a global distribution deal with columbia pictures that has helped put billboard ads on the sides of every street - are unfortunately not enough to elevate The missing gun into classic-dom.
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10/10
bruce lee, the man and the legend [spoilers]
7 July 2003
Warning: Spoilers
this was made in hong kong by golden harvest. It starts off showing a lengthy 15 minutes of footage from bruce's funeral. showing the streets packed with thousands of mourning fans, basically everyone who knew bruce lee with the exception of run run shaw and betty ting pei is here, everyone bows to bruce in a bronze coffin, before his coffin is brought out. then after the funeral, we see bruce's house in kowloon tong, showing loads of bruce's possessions, like his stereo, paintings, weights and even his dog. then we see very rare pics (only seen on this documentary). followed by bruce's lee's former masters talking about bruce. later bruce himself is talking about the concepts of the movie: game of death. The best bit is where it shows loads of pics of bruce flexing all put together like an animation. He's bearded and topless and as always looks harder than steel. again, it shows pics of bruce in his cantonese period costumes. followed by some more film clips near the end.

must have documentary, 10 of 10.
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9/10
good character study
3 July 2003
Warning: Spoilers
mild spoilers herein.

i feel like to comment on this movie because the first commentator labeled it bad. this is not a bad movie, not even close to bad. it is 1996, a 17 years old japanese girl, leading a desperately lonely life. she spends considerable time looking at the sky and hoping for a ufo to take her away. this catch the eye of a middle aged man who accidentally drive pass the spot at which she used to look at the sky. he kidnapped her eventually. he confine her in his apartment but never the less take good care of her. it turns out that the man is also desperately lonely and falls for this girl and this is the reason that he has kidnapped her. day in and day out the girl is convinced that this life is better than her life before but she also realize that the relationship is illegal and hard to maintain. the movie viewer are treated with the expectation of the resolve of the situation. this is a rarely seen suspenseful situation in a drama. both of the two characters are painfully believable and realistic. the movie is adopted from a real story. the producer of this movie is a guy from the newspaper.

see this movie, which bring you deep down inside the psyche of asian people. i give it a 9.
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Feardotcom (2002)
9/10
better than se7ven and ringu, 9/10
25 May 2003
i think this movie is better than se7ven and ringu combined. the tone and atmosphere are like in se7en and ringu and the plot is remotely similar to ringu ( i saw ringu in china in 1998 and i know that ringu is banned in usa to protect the box office sales of the 2002 american remake called the ring, which is inferior to the original. ) i don't know why feardotcom is rated so low here. is it because feardotcom is produced in europe? again, feardotcom is unfavorably edited in usa to be not in conflict with the ring. two foreign movies were butchered to guarantee the success of an american film?

the special effects makes this film dark and gritty. the real life images were desaturated and hallucination sequences were heavily colorized. this film has surpassed both se7en and ringu in this department.

as for the total degree of thrill, this is also a winner. it is hard to find a horror movie that really scares you, taking for the recent "jason x" and "scary movie 2" for example. yet, my heart is pumping and blood is rushing to my nose while watching this film.

the only persons that i would not recommend this movie to are people with cardiovascular or neurological disorders. there might be a risk of life. other mature minds shall all go and see it.

9/10 and the missing one point is for the not so original plot. otherwise a perfect horror movie.
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9/10
cinderella in manhattan, 8/10
22 May 2003
you have seen the story before. poor girl meets rich boy. girl pretends to be somebody she is not. boy and girl fall in love. girl and boy are rudely ripped apart. boy and girl find one another again and live happily ever after. in this case it's lopez' marisa, a manhattan hotel maid, who pulls the wool over senate hopeful christopher marshall's eyes and earns his undying affection. he is attracted to her beauty and unaffected poise. she, in turn, swoons over his wit, respectful attentiveness and gentlemanly air. trouble awaits them, however. when the wealthy hotel guest gets wise to her dowdy doppelganger, she alerts the manager. marisa is, of course, promptly fired, and the ever-present paparazzi surrounding chris smell scandal. but popping flash bulbs and disparate bank balances are no match for true love. this is a perfect modern day cinderella story. also worth noting is that it is made known through marisa's conversations with her son that she either never married, is divorced or is separated from her son's father. the father's absence isn't lamented in any way other than in how it affects her son. thankfully, marisa does her best to insulate her son from the damage such a detached father can do while never insulting or berating the unseen man in front of the child. it is this kind of touch and depth which make this movie outstanding in its genre. in conclusion, the morals are solid. The acting is superb. the moments are touching. the sentiments are silky and sweet. for me, this is the best romance movie of 2002. my ratings for other 2002 romance movies i have seen are "life or something like it" 7/10, "sweet home alabama" 6/10 and "Two Weeks Notice" 5/10. highly recommended.
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Mago (2002)
5/10
disappointing low-budget art film, 5/10
15 May 2003
i saw this movie today one year after its public screening in Korea may 2002. i have to say that i am disappointed. this film is very badly made. as a result, i would not recommend other people to see this movie with that said, there are one thing that made this movie special, or should i say over hyped. it features 825 nude actors and actress, which is ground-breaking in Korea or even the world. it is classified as certificate 18, which is the same as the nc-17 in America or category 3 in hongkong.

this is a fantasy film about mago, the mother of the creation of universe . the story is about a look at the modern world that is speeding up towards destruction and recovery of womens sexuality using magos sexually as background at the beginning of the world. pretty boring on the first subject and somewhat interesting on the second you might think? uh, i figured that this is the prominent reason that people go to see this movie, including me. but the movie failed on both parts. i noticed bad make-up, completely lack of dialogue, ( dialogues are eliminated purposely and the message is delivered only by body language.) bad acting and bad editing. and worst of all, it is very hard to understand, even from my point of view. i think western viewers will have more frustration on that. a certain amount of subtlety is good but this movie is way over the top on that which doesn't help attract viewers overseas.

in summary, if you are desperate to see hundreds of nude korean people, go forward and dig this movie. otherwise, don't mind.

5 out of 10.
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Emmanuelle (1974)
9/10
unpretentious classic
13 May 2003
this is an erotic but unpretentious x movie. exotic locations, great music, beautiful costumes and the debut of then 22 years old sylvia krystel pursuing sex joy before the dawn of aids fear. need to say more? a real classic that has stand the test of time. no wonder it has been shown in french cinema for 10 years and still shown in film festivals. it is also exported to 86 countries, sold more copies than "titanic". just watch and admire. they don't make such decent x movie anymore.
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2/10
classic turned absurd, 2/10
11 May 2003
i finished watching the movie on the 4th attempt. during the first three times i found it unwatchable and shut the machine down. now after i finished it , i must say that there are a few moments in this movie that is worth watching but overall it is a failure.

to begin with, the borrowed plot no longs stands well. there are two things that could not happen in the 1990s. first, juliet's fake death shouldn't have fooled people around. with death a clearly defined in medical terms, juliet is in a coma , not death. second, the priest could have informed romeo by a variety of means other than a letter about the trick. he could use mobile phone, a pager, a computer or even a person. it is interesting to see that in the whole movie, there is no scene involving using cell phones, maybe to cover up the unconvincing plot? but there is a scene in which a postal service female clerk is using a computer. so the plot is inconsistent with modern times.

another issue which crippled the movie is that the romance between romeo and juliet is squeezed into very little time of the movie. there relationship is not seen developed in the movie, but forced forward in huge leaps. the net result is it feels that the thing between those two is nothing but youthful lust, not romantic love. in the other hand, the movie devoted major effort towards other things. all those things worked as an anti-climax to the story. some commentators say it is pathetic and i can't agree more. the only two scenes that are aesthetically pleasing are the moment when romeo first meet juliet and the moment when juliet is waking up but romeo has swallowed the real poison.

last i want to say something about the cast. the best delivering person in this movie is the priest, who actually feels like shakespears' character. then comes juliet. it is because of her that a fews moments of this movie shine. the maiden and juliet's fiance are also decent but the rest of characters ( including romeo, who smoke and do drugs ) are really annoying, to say the least.

i think that is about it, a failed attempt to exploit on shakespears' play. it is interesting to see that females under age of 18 are among the users that give the highest rating to this movie. so, i think i can finish off my comment with a sly smile on my face knowing that even movie as absurd as this one worked for teenagers. lol

2 out of 10.
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Showgirls (1995)
9/10
10/10
7 May 2003
i think this is a film about a female drifter who climbs the social ladder from a stripper to a showgirl only to find that being a showgirl is not as glamorous as she has imagined. during her quest for fame and success, she lost her innocence by doing drugs, tripping her competitor into injury and sleep with her boss to win the upper hand. by doing so she ruined all her effort of going to a new town and start a new life. she tried to maintain innocence by refusing to call herself a whore, refusing to have spontaneous sex. but at the end, she surrendered to the temptation of career success by leaving all her moral inhibitions behind. after a rape of her closest friend which served as a wake up call for her to end this insanity, she quits her job and move on to a new town to pursue her dream with bitter lessons learned! what a sad story this is!

for those who can't appreciate this movie: this is not an adult movie serving to entertain you. it is a movie that shows us the importance of morality. it makes you think about what is life all about.

as of the cast, elizabeth berkley portrayed her role perfectly, a small-town girl with a big ambition and little knowledge of the real world. she has, to say the least, very beautiful eyes and lips. gina gershon is a symbol of evil in this movie and she is purely disgusting and ugly, good job too. the other male characters are also real-life like, mean and pathetic, the way men bosses should be in las vegas.
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4/10
not horror but adult, 5/10
7 May 2003
i feel no horror watching this movie and it can't keep me focused on it. i kept thinking continuously about what other better thing i could be doing instead of watching this. overall this movie is a failure.

as of the value on the erotic aspect this movie is o.k.. the cinematography is good but this is degraded by some bad makeup effects. the storyline is thin and there are many fillers just to turn up a few more adult scenes.

p.s. the supporting male actor, harold pruett, died of drug overdose in 2002.
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6/10
very funny for a third, 7/10
1 May 2003
i saw this movie twice and the second time viewing improved my expression about this movie as i catch up with more jokes that i missed during the first time. i find this movie very enjoyable for the first 20 minutes and the last 20 minutes. things happen in the middle drag a little bit but they are bearable and dispersed with a few quality jokes. 7 out of 10. and i will wait to check out the next sequel as the last scene implies that the story of the main characters will be back.
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Scary Movie 2 (2001)
4/10
running out of ideas
30 April 2003
this film is utterly bad because of the worthless script. horror based on ghosts? come on, no one buys it any more. the major laughing points in this movie is still parody about sex and friendship ( which is an exploitation from the first movie ) plus some mimicry of other action movies. those are still funny but are seriously degraded. 4 out of 10, but for the final battle scene which is technically well done, i'd give it a final rating of 5.
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10/10
underrated gem, actually the best die hard !
29 April 2003
this movie get action and humor as the first die hard. but it also has surprise and film-noir ( don't miss the scene in which big corporate executives enjoy counting how many firemen are arriving to the exploded subway station ) which the first die hard doesn't have. and did i say the great plot in which john mcclane must go through till he realize what is really going on under the surface. this story is so brilliant and it makes the die hard 2 looks stupid. my rating of this movie is 9. i haven't seen anything like this in an action movie so filled with thriller elements. the first die hard deserves an 8 and die hard 2 only get 7 in my rating.
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Die Hard 2 (1990)
6/10
there is a scene that needs more work
29 April 2003
there is a scene when john mclane bailing out the military airplane exploded by a dozen grenades. the scene looks so fake. not only there is no snow flakes falling on john mclane but also you can see the edge of the picture of rotating john mclane in a chair ascending into the air, which does not fit in with the snowing background. except for that, this movie deserves a 7. but now, i give it a 6. it is still a very good action movie, especially the second half. two planes crash, both will passengers loaded, it can't be bad!
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Crossroads (I) (2002)
5/10
touching, enjoyable, good first effort, above average 7 out of 10!
24 April 2003
okey, i am not a britney spears fan coz i am of middle age. but britney's music tunes are really good and refreshing so i do listen to them when i have the opportunity. now on with the movie itself, above the appearant faults of this movie, i found myself enjoyed it and be touched. i think it comes from the right message this movie trying to deliver and the plot is convincely developed, including the rivalry with fellow pact girls, the love that build up on the road, coping with broken family, everything has an authentic feeling, it is what high school teens are concerned about. you can also feel that britney is seriously about this film making and has made good effort on it. also the supporting cast are all well devoted, although sometimes childish, but after all, this is a teen movie. they did that on purpose. that said, the movie itself well deserve a 6 out of 10 score. i 'd like to give one extra score for britney spear for her first movie, which is already above the average. i expect to see more britney spears. she has good promise to be a super-star. and i think britney has become more lovely to me because she has souls on top of body.
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