Killer Imports: All About Women

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Killer Imports is a regular feature on Film Junk where we explore foreign-language films from around the world that haven’t yet had their chance to shine.

Tsui Hark, “the Steven Spielberg of Asia,” is a legendary figure in Asian cinema. He is a multi-talented individual who has produced, directed, written, and acted. He was involved with the A Better Tomorrow series with John Woo and Chow Yun-Fat. He was involved with the Once Upon a Time series with Jet Li. He was one of the Asian directors who failed to make Jean-Claude Van Damme a superstar. His recent work hasn’t gotten the acclaim of his earlier stuff, but I enjoyed Time and Tide and Seven Swords, somewhat.

All About Women is a comedy, a genre that Hark hasn’t been involved with for quite a while. I have not seen his earlier movies, but I was willing to give him a chance with this movie. He is credited as a director, producer and writer for this film. Unfortunately, this film won’t be restoring his legendary status.

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Treknobabble #59: Top 10 Inventions That Star Trek Failed to Foresee

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Treknobabble is a continuing series of columns written by uber-Trekkie Reed Farrington in anticipation of the upcoming J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie.

Anachronism. This is a word we apply to something that doesn’t belong in a given time period. Usually, we spot anachronisms when we watch historical movies and notice something in a scene that had not been invented in the time period being recreated. In the case of creating a future world, inevitably there will be cases where either a lack of imagination or resources will result in something being shown that ultimately doesn’t belong because it will have been superseded by a more pervasive technology. I’m not sure if the word anachronism applies to the future case, but I will be directing your attention to these instances in Star Trek’s Original Series.

The prequel series Enterprise opted to design its look in accordance with all the new technology that had been developed since the time the Original Series had been produced. Because of the longer time span between the Original Series and now, we’ve had more of a chance to come up with new technology, so I won’t be dealing with the later, more contemporary series in this article.

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Killer Imports: The Machine Girl

Killer Imports is a regular feature on Film Junk where we explore foreign-language films from around the world that haven’t yet had their chance to shine.

The Machine Girl sounds like a bad translation for The Bionic Woman. The literal translation for the title of this Japanese movie is “The One-Armed Machine Girl,” which sounds like a female Terminator with one-arm torn off. A more accurate title for this movie would be “The Girl with the Machine Gun Arm,” or if alliteration is desired, “The Girl with the Gatling Gun Arm.” But I guess one look at the DVD cover would clear up the confusion.

I suppose this review continues my trend of reviewing movies with female protagonists. To be honest, I had not heard about this movie before I saw it at the DVD store. The DVD cover with a Japanese girl in her Sailor Moon school uniform and an arm replaced by a Gatling gun was too intriguing to pass by. There was another DVD with Japanese girls in bathing suits on the cover. The title was Attack Girls’ Swim Team Versus the Undead. I was looking for a movie that might be of interest to Film Junk readers. I settled upon The Machine Girl because the cover design was the nicest, and it sounded classier.

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Treknobabble #58: I Have a Mouth and I Must Sue

Treknobabble is a continuing series of columns written by uber-Trekkie Reed Farrington in anticipation of the upcoming J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie.

Harlan Ellison writes stories with words that I find require the use of a dictionary. And even when I understand the words, I often find that his sentences take a moment of reflection in order for me to understand who the subject is, what action the subject is performing, and who or what is receiving the action. And when I finish a paragraph, I often don’t understand the connection between the sentences. Perhaps after reading several paragraphs, I would be able to understand what a story is about. But after I read the last sentence of one of his stories, I am always left scratching my head, which is an unimaginative English cliché that Mr. Ellison would shake his head at, another cliché.

More likely, Mr. Ellison would scorn my ineptness at writing, and utter a scathing remark to belittle my existence. In reality, though, he wouldn’t waste his time on a peon like me. Despite my inability to understand his writing, he is considered to be an excellent writer by science fiction readers. He writes stories with social relevance and contemporary issues, but in the mainstream, I don’t think he has managed to escape the ghetto reputation of being a science fiction writer. If this article was about his writing, I would randomly choose one of his stories and perform a deconstruction to illustrate what I said in the opening paragraph, but this article isn’t about his writing.

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Killer Imports: Bandidas

Killer Imports is a regular feature on Film Junk where we explore foreign-language films from around the world that haven’t yet had their chance to shine.

Bandidas is a France / Mexico / USA co-production, so I wasn’t sure it qualified as a film to be reviewed under the Killer Import heading, but Sean gave me the go ahead to review it (at the risk of being ridiculed). When I purchased the Bandidas DVD, I didn’t realize that it wasn’t a Hollywood film, so I wasn’t even considering it as a possible candidate for a Killer Import review. I admit that I was feeling somewhat guilty for only reviewing Asian cinema. Being able to sing the praises of this non-Asian film is a relief. (I know. People are going to say I can’t sing.)

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Treknobabble #57: Top 10 Recent Must-Have Star Trek Products

Treknobabble is a continuing series of columns written by uber-Trekkie Reed Farrington in anticipation of the upcoming J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie.

I fully admit that my habit of collecting anything with the word Star Trek on it is a psychological condition that I should be cured of. With the plethora of Star Trek product coming out this year, I am happy to say that I have already resisted purchasing a framed print commemorating the Original Series, some Star Trek model kits (one in a collectible tin!), Star Trek: Deep Space Nine action figures, Star Trek Tyco flying ships, Star Trek Scene It!, and Star Trek Easter chocolate. (However, if I see any of the aforementioned items later marked down in price, then I’m not sure I’ll be able to resist.)

There have been several products announced that I must have. If I don’t have them, I might as well not go on living. Okay, I’m being overly dramatic, but I need something to make living worthwhile. I’m not sure how readily available these products will be in Canada or even across the border. Sometimes these products will not be shipped to Canada because sellers can’t be bothered with the hassle of dealing with shipping across the border. But I suppose you can get anything through eBay. I have never bought anything through eBay, yet.

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Killer Imports: Ip Man

Killer Imports is a regular feature on Film Junk where we explore foreign-language films from around the world that haven’t yet had their chance to shine.

Ip Man is a martial arts movie based on a real person. Previously, I had only known Ip Man as Bruce Lee’s Wing Chun instructor. I had not known how renowned a figure he is in China. I don’t even really know how much of the movie is factual. One only has to view Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story to see how filmmakers can distort the events in someone’s life.

Wing Chun is a martial art that has not been given much exposure in Western films even though Bruce Lee was a practitioner who extended some of the concepts for his own martial art. I must admit that my limited knowledge is based on having my brother demonstrate the techniques on me. The techniques are so unusual that if you were to implement them in a one-on-one bar fight, I’m sure you could pummel any bar patron not familiar with the techniques.

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Treknobabble #56: It’s Not a Small World After All

Treknobabble is a continuing series of columns written by uber-Trekkie Reed Farrington in anticipation of the upcoming J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie.

Star Trek is not an international phenomenon. It is not as popular as I have been led to believe. I suppose there are isolated pockets of Star Trek fans around the world with concentrations in America, the UK, and Germany. All the Star Trek Internet traffic is probably being generated by every Trekkie out there since all Trekkies are assumedly tech-savvy. So there are no backwards tribes on some Pacific island secretly worshipping Captain Picard’s bald pate. What I’m trying to say is that the apparent popularity of Star Trek is being generated by a vocal few.

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Killer Imports: Chocolate

Killer Imports is a regular feature on Film Junk where we explore foreign-language films from around the world that haven’t yet had their chance to shine.

Don’t be fooled by the unassuming, unusually reserved title of this film. Chocolate is a martial arts genre film. Thankfully, the DVD cover shows a bruised young woman with a steely glare and holding an eastern sword to alert us to the nature of this film. On the reverse is a photo of the young woman looking into the camera while doing a reverse back kick. The cover photos were enough for me to take a chance on purchasing this film.

Only recently have I discovered that there is a subset of men that enjoy watching women beating up men. I don’t mean to sound perverse, but I think I fall into this category of men. I like to think that the reason for my predilection is that I have empathy for the downtrodden. The treatment of women through the ages has been deplorable although I realize that women were revered as goddesses by some cultures at certain times in history.

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Treknobabble #55: Top 10 Star Trek Inventions Yet To Be Invented

People are probably bored by my Star Trek invention lists by now, but I suppose I should complete the ones I intended to do. This list has the inventions that haven’t been invented, yet. So far, this invention list was the hardest one to narrow down to ten choices. At the end, I decided to write a bit about my honorable mentions, because I had some things I wanted to say about them.

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Treknobabble #54: Lack of Promotion for Star Trek Movie

Treknobabble is a continuing series of columns written by uber-Trekkie Reed Farrington in anticipation of the upcoming J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie.

As I write this, there are about 80 days before J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek is released in theatres. With the movie’s production budget of approximately 150 million, it was obvious that executives had high hopes for this film, especially after an earlier scheduled Christmas opening was moved. Its release was being primed as a summer blockbuster. Early signs indicated that this movie would not be neglected by the marketing department.

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Killer Imports: Painted Skin

Killer Imports is a regular feature on Film Junk where we explore foreign-language films from around the world that haven’t yet had their chance to shine.

When I first saw the DVD for Painted Skin, Donnie Yen’s prominence as the main star caught my attention. I have never really been a big fan of his, but I’ve enjoyed the movies he has been in. Most Westerners will probably know Donnie Yen from Iron Monkey which Quentin Tarantino brought to North American audiences after the success of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I was disappointed by Iron Monkey. Beyond his prowess at fighting, I’ve wondered if he can emote.

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