Tag Archives: japan

Movie Review: The Grandmasters

***Spoiler Alert***


Another movie about Ip Man.

This one jumps back and forth from other characters who are somehow related to Ip Man.

The movie starts out with his beating 20-30 people in the rain for no reason at all except to show you that he can.

The leader of the martial arts organization is stepping down and he is looking for someone to take his spot in the Southern region.

Ip Man takes up to the challenge but he must battle other martial arts master’s to prove his worth.  When he finally reaches the grandmaster, they duke it out and Ip Man wins.

The grandmaster’s daughters wants to avenge her father’s loss and challenges Ip Man.  They duke it out and she wins.

Through the exchange of fists, they both have fallen for each other.

Before anything can happen, the Japanese invade China and Ip Man is thrown into poverty.

Meanwhile, the grandmaster is betrayed by his top student and is killed.  The grandmaster’s daughter seeks revenge.  She finds him and avenges her father but at the cost of losing all her martial arts ability.

Ip Man then travels to Hong Kong, sets up a new martial arts school, and meets up with the grandmaster’s daughter for one last time.

She dies and the movie ends shortly after.

Final Thoughts:

Of all the Ip Man movie out there, this one is the most artistic.  The fight scenes are well choreographed and it seems more like a chess match being played out.

The fight scenes in here are comparable to Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon or Jet Li’s Hero, where fights aren’t all about blood spilling, bone-crunching, and brutal violence.  The fight scenes here focuses on details, beautiful music, and scenery.

This movie also uses an actor who has few, if any, martial arts movie background.  Tony Leung is known for his dramatic/charismatic demeanor on screen if anything at all.  They do a convincing job of portraying him as a martial arts master.

There is definitely more emphasis in story telling then action, so if you came for action only, you may be disappointed.



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Movie Review: GI Joe 2 “Retaliation”

***Spoiler Alert***


The G.I. Joes are betrayed by someone from within.  They find out it’s a member of  Cobra that has disguised himself as the President.

The Joes escape with only three members and quickly investigate the secret plans of the Cobra organization.

Meanwhile, Snakeyes (good ninja) seeks out StormShadow (bad ninja).  They have a epic fight and Snakeyes successfully brings StormShadow back to Japan where he is interrogated.

We find out that the only reason StormShadow was cast away as a traitor was because he was framed by the same guy who is impersonating the President.

Even though StormShadow works for Cobra, he puts his allegiance aside to help the Joes in order to exact revenge on the man that framed him.

Joes find out that the fake president plans on using Project Zeus to threaten the world leaders into succumbing to Cobra.  Project Zeus is a satellite that can send nuclear waves to destroy any city.

Joes crash into the World Leaders meeting, retain the suitcase that controls the Project Zeus, but only after Cobra has made a clean escape.

Final Thoughts:

The story is entertaining and more action-packed compared to the first one.

I definitely liked it more than the first.

The ninja fights between StormShadow and SnakeEyes on top of the mountain was epic.  Never really quite since ninja fights like that before.

Still managed to squeeze in a few comedic laughs here and there for good measure.



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Movie Review: Fighter in the Wind

***Spoiler Alert***


Korean movie based on true events of karate master Choi Yeung-Eui.

Korean immigrant dreams of flying in Japanese army soon realizes that Koreans aren’t very welcomed in Japan.

While trying to make a life for himself, he meets his old mentor Bum-soo who is a martial arts expert.

Choi begs Bum-soo to be his mentor and learns martial arts.

His master gets killed by a group of gang members which throws Choi into complete chaos.  Choi runs into the mountain to train independently vowing to never to lose a figh again.

After his strenuous training, he returns from the mountain and challenges all the Japanese dojo.  He beats them all until one day he is challenged by a swordsman and kills the swordsman.

Feeling extreme regret, he travels to the swordsman family house to ask for forgiveness.  The family resents him but eventually welcomes him because they know he is sincere with his apology.

In the end, the head master of the Japanese Karate Association challenges Choi.  Choi defeats them all.

Final Thoughts:

This story resemble many other martial arts movie, where the main character runs around challenging all the dojos.

This always results in trouble finding him.

And eventually he rises above the trouble.

Their’s a romantic plot in the movie which I found depressing in regards to the female character.

Choi seeking forgiveness from the family was also a humbling experience.  It showed he isn’t just bent on endless violence and domination.

The movie definitely picks up immediately after his training because that’s when he starts kicking butt non-stop.



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Movie Review: 2009 Lost Memories

***Spoiler Alert***


Set in a fictitious time period where Japan has taken control of Korea.

A korean terrorist group called the Hureisenjin is bent on over-throwing the Japanese government.

The japanese police squad is headed by a japanese officer Shojiro and a korean officer Masayuki.

Masayuki is bent on discovering why the Hureisenjin group is consistently attacking the Inoue Foundation.

He finds out the Inoue Foundation has stolen some korean relics that allow for time travel.

They have sent back a Japanese agent to infiltrate and stop an assassination that was supposed to happen and lead to Korea being free from Japan.

The Hureisenjin group is poised to go back in time to correct the events but the Inoue won’t let them go so easily.

In the end, each group has one member sent into the past, both who are friends.

Masayuki succeeds and destroys the Korean relics to prevent future time travel.

Final Thoughts:

Plenty of action, but it took a while to get to the point.

I was annoyed of the female lead, because I didn’t find her attractive at her.  Perhaps I’m being too superficial.

Masayuki and Shojiro friendship is confusing because initially they are tight, but out of no where Shojiro turns on Masayuki.

Some of the gun fights are repeated, meaning they use the same tactics/moves over and over.

It gets old really quick.

Entertaining movie if you are a big fan of time travel.  If not for the time travel which is part of the twist in the plot, I would only given this money 2 stars.



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Foreign Movie Review: Rurouni Kenshin

Foreign Movie Review: Rurouni Kenshin

***Spoiler Alert***

Synopsis: Blood thirsty assassin samurai trying to find a new path of life now that the war is over and the army no longer needs his services anymore.

He shows he is ready to leave the past behind by carrying a reverse-blade sword, which is incapable of killing anyone since the front of the sword is blunt.

Kenshin quickly makes new friends and with the help of his friends he establishes a peaceful new life.

But his dark past follows him wherever he goes and threatens to sabotage his new future.

There is also an evil force of greed that threatens to take away the dojo he has called home and all his new friends that now reside their.

In the end, he and his new friends battle it out with swords, fists, and heart.

Final Thoughts: For a movie that is based on an anime. This is well done.

I have watched the anime and have to applaud the director/writer for staying true to the anime and bringing to life what we have seen before through animation.

Characters, dialogue, and story line all are mashed together beautifully leaving behind no questions as to why they did the things they did.

Even if you have not seen the anime, I’m sure you will enjoy the action sequences, solid storyline, and the exotic background of Japan.

The main reason why I didn’t give it a 5/5 is because I felt like some of the characters were left out like Yahiko and Mrs. Kauro.

Also the anime was known to be somewhat silly and humorous. That part was definitely left out in the live-action movie version.

Rating: 4/5

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