Worth a Watch: Asia

Part 2 of my Worth a Watch series.

This time I explore modern (post 1988) Asian cinema that I’m familiar with, mostly action/crime films. Asian cinema has a lot more to offer than just martial arts and extreme films (although it’s well-known for them.) I picked 14 standouts from a few different countries.

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Hong Kong

Dip Huet Seung Hung [The Killer] (1989) & Lat Sau San Taam [Hard boiled] (1992)

White doves, dual Berettas, and Chow Yun-Fat; do action movies get any better than these? Well no, they don’t. These films are still the gold standard of action choreography, gunplay, and heroic bloodshed. Starting with Ying Hung Boon Sik [A Better Tomorrow] (1986), director John Woo defined a new genre of Asian action movies, one which focuses on stylistic gunplay rather than traditional martial arts. While The Killer is a much stronger film, both thematically and narratively, Hard Boiled is the pinnacle of action cinema. Every subsequent action scene out does the previous, culminating to one of the best single-take sequences ever filmed. Read more of this post

Worth a Watch: France

Part one of a (hopefully) multi-part Worth a Watch series.

Each segment will feature a few movies (some popular, others not) from a specific
country/region that I have seen and enjoyed.

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Nikita (1990) & Léon (1994)

1990’s awesomeness, style over substance, and teeming with violence; Luc Besson at his finest. Both are must watches for action fans and for those who think French cinema is all about art and surrealism (& cheese). Nikita spawned a forgettable Hollywood remake starring Bridget Fonda (Point of No Return). Léon features strong performances from Jean Reno, a young Natalie Portman, and a over-the-top (typical) Gary Oldman. Also reaffirms Jean Reno’s status as France’s resident BAMF. Read more of this post