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"Season's Beatings: A Christmas in Hong Kong" HK Film Series Starts On 12/24/15 At L.A.'s Cinefamily w/ "Enter The Dragon"

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I'm interested in seeing some of these HK movies, but some of the showtimes are too late at night.

 

For the Jackie Chan double feature, I wish it could show "Project A" or "Armour of God 2", instead of "City Hunter".  It also seems that "Knockabout" would've been a better choice for a Yuen Biao HK movie, than "Dreadnaught".

 

One of the good things, though, is that all of these HK movies will be shown in 35mm, so I'm still interested in going to this film series:

 

http://www.cinefamily.org/films/seasons-beatings-a-christmas-in-hong-kong/#seasons-beatings-a-christmas-in-hong-kong-sammo-sunday-double-feature-pedicab-driver-blade-of-fury

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Holy crap! Thanks so much for posting this. I'm planning on going to either the Jackie Chan double feature (12/26) or the Sammo double feature (12/27). It's been really hard deciding what to go to. I've never actually seen Blade of Fury,  but I've heard it's really good. The thing is I've heard it's Category III. Can anyone verify? Why Cat III? I'm also kinda afraid that the New Bev is going to show the same movies in the near future. Tickets for the Cinefamily are $14, while the New Bev is $8.

 

@wackiechan Which movies are you playing on going to see? I'm thinking Pedicab Driver.

Edited by KenHashibe

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I've never actually seen Blade of Fury,  but I've heard it's really good. The thing is I've heard it's Category III. Can anyone verify? Why Cat III?

I can't explain the why, but yes 'Blade of Fury' is a Category III movie, as confirmed by hkmdb - 

http://hkmdb.com/db/movies/view.mhtml?id=7622&display_set=eng

 

It'll be most likely for the violence, over time Category III became known as a kind of  genre within itself for western audiences, usually referring to HK softcore sex movies like 'Sex & Zen', 'A Chinese Torture Chamber' and alike.  However it's important to remember that in Hong Kong it is just a rating, equivalent to an R in the states.

 

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I'm thinking that I'm most likely going to go to the Jackie Chan double feature. Both movies are a lot of fun. City Hunter is kind of "love-it-or-hate-it" kind of movie, but I think it's amazing. Just emailed Cinefamily asking what languages the films will be in.

I can't explain the why, but yes 'Blade of Fury' is a Category III movie, as confirmed by hkmdb - 

http://hkmdb.com/db/movies/view.mhtml?id=7622&display_set=eng

 

It'll be most likely for the violence, over time Category III became known as a kind of  genre within itself for western audiences, usually referring to HK softcore sex movies like 'Sex & Zen', 'A Chinese Torture Chamber' and alike.  However it's important to remember that in Hong Kong it is just a rating, equivalent to an R in the states.

I often consider Category III equivalent to an R or an NC-17 (especially a movie like Riki-Oh). Category III also means "my mom's not going to like this movie." Have you seen Blade of Fury? How does the content compare to a movie like Five Element Ninjas or The Blade?

 

From seeing the trailers and clips from Blade of Fury, I find it hard to believe that it'd be Cat III. There are a few movies where I don't think they should be Cat III; like Fist of Fury 1991Flirting Scholar, and Crime Story (I think those last two have been re-rated to Cat II).

 

But still, thanks for the info.

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Have you seen Blade of Fury? How does the content compare to a movie like Five Element Ninjas or The Blade?

Yes I've seen it, I'm not sure I'd compare it to either 'Five Element Ninjas' or 'The Blade' (nor would I choose to compare those 2 movies to each other), however there's definitely some imaginative violence on display in 'Blade of Fury', with one particular death scene really sticking out as a 'whoa!' moment (I won't spoil it for you).  I wouldn't hesitate to go and see this one, it's a lot of fun.

 

There are a few movies where I don't think they should be Cat III; like Fist of Fury 1991Flirting Scholar, and Crime Story (I think those last two have been re-rated to Cat II).

You have to also consider that any movie which features the use of triad-related language or triad themes, at least depicted realistically, will also automatically get a Cat III rating, regardless of violence or sexual content.  I think I recall reading an article once which stated that 'Fist of Fury 1991' had one scene which uses a triad related gesture or expression, hence it got slapped with the Cat III label.

Edited by One Armed Boxer

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Yes I've seen it, I'm not sure I'd compare it to either 'Five Element Ninjas' or 'The Blade' (nor would I choose to compare those 2 movies to each other), however there's definitely some imaginative violence on display in 'Blade of Fury', with one particular death scene really sticking out as a 'whoa!' moment (I won't spoil it for you).  I wouldn't hesitate to go and see this one, it's a lot of fun.

I was wondering how they compare content-wise. Five Element Ninjas is extremely violent and isn't Category III. I was wondering if Blade of Fury was more/less violent (if such a thing is measurable). Is it really deserving of being Cat III, more inappropriate than FEN?

 

BTW Is that "whoa!" moment in the trailer, because there were quite a few "whoa!" moments in it (especially in the last minute):

 

But still, I think I'm siding more with the Jackie Chan double feature. I think both movies in that double feature will be a blast with an audience. I might catch Pedicab Driver/Blade of Fury if it makes its way to the New Bev.

You have to also consider that any movie which features the use of triad-related language or triad themes, at least depicted realistically, will also automatically get a Cat III rating, regardless of violence or sexual content.  I think I recall reading an article once which stated that 'Fist of Fury 1991' had one scene which uses a triad related gesture or expression, hence it got slapped with the Cat III label.

Crime Story has a lot of tirad themes, but somehow it's been re-rated for its Blu-ray release (now it's Cat II).

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BTW Is that "whoa!" moment in the trailer, because there were quite a few "whoa!" moments in it (especially in the last minute)

Ha ha, yeah the trailer gives you a good taste of what you can expect, but thankfully no - the 'whoa!' moment I was referring to isn't in the trailer.

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Ha ha, yeah the trailer gives you a good taste of what you can expect, but thankfully no - the 'whoa!' moment I was referring to isn't in the trailer.

Really? Four men getting their heads chopped off in a row and a horse getting thrown off a cliff aren't the "whoa!" moments you're talking about? Yeah, my mom's not gonna like this movie. :P

 

My mom likes JC though. I'm planning on inviting a friend to go with us who hasn't seen any Hong Kong movies. I'm impatiently awaiting their reactions to City Hunter. ;)

 

Thanks OAB.

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Was CAT III a rating when 5EN was made?  I'm not very familiar with HK ratings.  I never payed attention to it.  

 

I'd like to see Dreadnaught on the big screen just to see the fight between Leung Kar Yan and Yuen Shun Yi, one of the craziest most awesome scenes ever filmed.  And a good movie to play in a double feature with Dreadnaught would be Forbidden City Cop.  

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I'd like to see Dreadnaught on the big screen just to see the fight between Leung Kar Yan and Yuen Shun Yi, one of the craziest most awesome scenes ever filmed.  And a good movie to play in a double feature with Dreadnaught would be Forbidden City Cop.  

That'd definitely be a great double feature. Since Dreadnaught isn't being shown as a double feature, I don't think I'll be going to it. I'd rather pay $14 for a double feature than $12 for one movie. I'm hoping that the New Bev will do a Yuen Biao double feature next month with The Prodigal Son and Dreadnaught.

 

I'm thinking that I'm very likely going to go to the Jackie Chan double feature on the 26th. I'm planning on bringing a friend with me who hasn't watched any Hong Kong movies before. He'll be watching Rumble in the Bronx which is a great introduction to JC movies followed by City Hunter which is probably the worst introduction to JC movies. I'm anxiously awaiting his reactions to both. This should be fun.

According to what I found, they began the ratings systems in 1988. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hong_Kong_motion_picture_rating_system

I've heard that A Better Tomorrow was one of the main reasons why their rating system exists in the first place. The people who made the rating system didn't want kids to watch the movie and be influenced to become triads. But most movies pre-1988 have been re-rated since then (IIRC, FEN is Cat II).

Edited by KenHashibe

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That'd definitely be a great double feature. Since Dreadnaught isn't being shown as a double feature, I don't think I'll be going to it. I'd rather pay $14 for a double feature than $12 for one movie. I'm hoping that the New Bev will do a Yuen Biao double feature next month with The Prodigal Son and Dreadnaught.

 

I'm thinking that I'm very likely going to go to the Jackie Chan double feature on the 26th. I'm planning on bringing a friend with me who hasn't watched any Hong Kong movies before. He'll be watching Rumble in the Bronx which is a great introduction to JC movies followed by City Hunter which is probably the worst introduction to JC movies. I'm anxiously awaiting his reactions to both. This should be fun.

I've heard that A Better Tomorrow was one of the main reasons why their rating system exists in the first place. The people who made the rating system didn't want kids to watch the movie and be influenced to become triads. But most movies pre-1988 have been re-rated since then (IIRC, FEN is Cat II).

Hey Ken, after you've seen it could you please let us know the specs of the print of Rumble in the Bronx they show (cut status, language etc)? Judging from the films they're showing I believe it'll be the uncut print in the original language, but I'm just curious to know.

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Hey Ken, after you've seen it could you please let us know the specs of the print of Rumble in the Bronx they show (cut status, language etc)? Judging from the films they're showing I believe it'll be the uncut print in the original language, but I'm just curious to know.

Of course. I was actually curious myself (it says the runtime is 97-minute on the website). I contacted Cinefamily and they said that no one there knows for sure which version it is yet. But still, I'll let you know when I get to see it.

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... I've heard that A Better Tomorrow was one of the main reasons why their rating system exists in the first place. The people who made the rating system didn't want kids to watch the movie and be influenced to become triads. But most movies pre-1988 have been re-rated since then (IIRC, FEN is Cat II).

That wiki article is quite lacking and sometimes just plain wrong. It's seems weird that it picks on A Better Tomorrow as the point of "public perception." (I'm going to do some more research on this point)  Which just seems ludicrous given some of the nasty films that preceded (going back into the 70s; just check out the Shaw's horror films of that time).  Films did not have strict guidelines* (with some exceptions which were enforced sometimes willy-nilly) which is why ultimately a ratings system was needed (explained in the link before.)  A rating system does two major things: first it (supposed to) keeps children in age appropriate movies, second it allows more "adult" oriented films to be made.  A side benefit to this was that controversial foreign films like The Last Temptation of Christ could be shown (from Planet Hong Kong).*  But it is important to note that they could refuse a film if it possibly offended other nations (this was the case pre-1988 as well where they generally outlawed films critical of China). 

Film Classification in Hong Kong (this gives some good information on the topic; this is a pdf)

* Nothing compared to say China today.

** this also helped created a huge market at the time for softcore (cat III) films.

Edited by masterofoneinchpunch

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Of course. I was actually curious myself (it says the runtime is 97-minute on the website). I contacted Cinefamily and they said that no one there knows for sure which version it is yet. But still, I'll let you know when I get to see it.

Much appreciated!

97 minutes? Interesting because the U.S. cut is about 85-90 from memory and the HK cut is about 105. Could be speed differences (or a simple mistake) but that seems like an odd running time.

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That wiki article is quite lacking and sometimes just plain wrong. It's seems weird that it picks on A Better Tomorrow as the point of "public perception." (I'm going to do some more research on this point)  Which just seems ludicrous given some of the nasty films that preceded (going back into the 70s; just check out the Shaw's horror films of that time).  Films did not have strict guidelines* (with some exceptions which were enforced sometimes willy-nilly) which is why ultimately a ratings system was needed (explained in the link before.)  A rating system does two major things: first it (supposed to) keeps children in age appropriate movies, second it allows more "adult" oriented films to be made.  A side benefit to this was that controversial foreign films like The Last Temptation of Christ could be shown (from Planet Hong Kong).*  But it is important to note that they could refuse a film if it possibly offended other nations (this was the case pre-1988 as well where they generally outlawed films critical of China). 
Film Classification in Hong Kong (this gives some good information on the topic; this is a pdf)

Thanks for the info, MOTOIP. Yeah, I usually believe anything I hear on Wikipedia.

Much appreciated!

97 minutes? Interesting because the U.S. cut is about 85-90 from memory and the HK cut is about 105. Could be speed differences (or a simple mistake) but that seems like an odd running time.

I was thinking that the "97 minute runtime" was just a typo (since the runtime according to IMDb is 87 minutes), but I've asked one of the programmers who said that no one knows for sure which version it is. He said that we'll all find out together at the screening.

Edited by KenHashibe

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The JC double feature starts tonight at 9:30 and I can't wait. It should be a lot of fun. Cinefamily posted on Facebook that they'll have a poster gallery too and I'll make sure to take pictures. I've never been to the Cinefamily before and I'm hoping I'll have a good time.

 

I'll let you guys know how it goes. I'm especially looking forward to the audience's reactions to City Hunter. Should be fun.

 

Also, it seems that Blade of Fury will be shown in DCP, not 35mm.

Edited by KenHashibe

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Hope you had a blast, Ken!

I did. And I'll write an in-depth post about it on the blog on Tuesday.

 

But since that's a long while to wait, I won't keep you in suspense too long. The version of Rumble in the Bronx that was shown was uncut...and dubbed. Believe it or not, we ended up seeing the English-dubbed version made before New Line Cinema got their hands on it. Every scene was intact and it had the original music score, but it was dubbed into English and not by Jackie. I didn't know this version even existed and it was a big surprise to all of us, even the guy who programmed these screenings. I won't say how watching the dub affected the experience until I write the post.

Edited by KenHashibe

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I did. And I'll write an in-depth post about it on the blog on Tuesday.

 

But since that's a long while to wait, I won't keep you in suspense too long. The version of Rumble in the Bronx that was shown was uncut...and dubbed. Believe it or not, we ended up seeing the English-dubbed version made before New Line Cinema got their hands on it. Every scene was intact and it had the original music score, but it was dubbed into English and not by Jackie. I didn't know this version even existed and it was a big surprise to all of us, even the guy who programmed these screenings. I won't say how watching the dub affected the experience until I write the post.

Thanks for that, Ken! Very interesting. Never heard of that specific version either but as you said, it must be a version Golden Harvest prepared for export before New Line Cinema acquired it. Interesting to think that it could have become the version we're all familiar with but then I suppose without New Line's involvement, Rumble in the Bronx may not have been as widely seen as it became. 

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I made a post about the experience on the blog:

 

http://hapahero.weebly.com/blog/movie-screenings-rumble-in-the-bronx-1995-city-hunter-1993 

Thanks for that, Ken! Very interesting. Never heard of that specific version either but as you said, it must be a version Golden Harvest prepared for export before New Line Cinema acquired it. Interesting to think that it could have become the version we're all familiar with but then I suppose without New Line's involvement, Rumble in the Bronx may not have been as widely seen as it became. 

Yeah, the dubbing for this version is pretty awful. I highly doubt that this version would've become very popular at all. The New Line version is much more lighthearted and is more fitting for an American audience. But still, now I can say that I've seen a version of Rumble that most people haven't.

 

Does anyone know this version has ever been released to home video? I think it'd be great to use this particular print for future releases of the film. Very little remastering would be needed and it's uncut.  But hopefully a Cantonese track w/ English subs would be included too.

Edited by KenHashibe

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I made a post about the experience on the blog:

 

http://hapahero.weebly.com/blog/movie-screenings-rumble-in-the-bronx-1995-city-hunter-1993 

Yeah, the dubbing for this version is pretty awful. I highly doubt that this version would've become very popular at all. The New Line version is much more lighthearted and is more fitting for an American audience. But still, now I can say that I've seen a version of Rumble that most people haven't.

 

Does anyone know this version has ever been released to home video? I think it'd be great to use this particular print for future releases of the film. Very little remastering would be needed and it's uncut.  But hopefully a Cantonese track w/ English subs would be included too.

I wonder if it's got any of the usual Golden Harvest dubbers from that period on it.

I would think not. Do you remember any specific details about the print?

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I wonder if it's got any of the usual Golden Harvest dubbers from that period on it.

I would think not. Do you remember any specific details about the print?

I believe it does have the same people who usually dubbed Golden Harvest films at the time. I definitely know it's the same guy who usually dubs for Jackie Chan though. I can recognize his voice easily.

 

To answer your question, I'm just gonna quote myself from the post I wrote for the blog:

It was uncut and it had the same music as the HK version...The Golden Harvest logo appeared [at the beginning]...The scene in which Uncle Bill and his wife sing a traditional Chinese song during their wedding was in Cantonese with English subtitles. The theme song that plays during the end credits was also the original theme song sung by Jackie Chan in Cantonese. Other than that, there’s not one bit of Cantonese dialogue in the whole thing. The entire movie was dubbed into English by different voice actors. Also, instead of Keung, Jackie’s character is named Ken. Apparently Keung is too hard of a name for Americans to pronounce.

If you have more questions, feel free to ask. I found this version very interesting to watch.

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I believe it does have the same people who usually dubbed Golden Harvest films at the time. I definitely know it's the same guy who usually dubs for Jackie Chan though. I can recognize his voice easily.

 

To answer your question, I'm just gonna quote myself from the post I wrote for the blog:

If you have more questions, feel free to ask. I found this version very interesting to watch.

Thanks for that information, Ken. I'll check your blog post out.

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On 1/2/2016 at 9:57 PM, KenHashibe said:
 

I believe it does have the same people who usually dubbed Golden Harvest films at the time. I definitely know it's the same guy who usually dubs for Jackie Chan though. I can recognize his voice easily.

 

To answer your question, I'm just gonna quote myself from the post I wrote for the blog:

If you have more questions, feel free to ask. I found this version very interesting to watch.

I am a little confused.  I was able to talk to the assistant manager of Cinefamily, and I asked about their screening of "Rumble ITB".  The asst manager said he's pretty sure it was the uncut 1995 HK version that was shown.  He said that even Warner Archives didn't know what was given to WA.  I still kind of remember seeing the HK version at the Kuo Hwa Theatre, in San Gabriel, CA on Chinese New Year 1995.  Didn't the '95 HK release have both English language in some scenes, and Cantonese w/ Eng subtitles in other scenes?  Are you very sure, Ken, that the Cinefamily did not show the original '95 release?

 

There only seems to be two different versions, not three, of "Rumble ITB".  That would be, of course, the one from HK and the one from New Line.

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