My Favorite Asian Gangster Movies
It's been a while since I have enjoyed so much a gangster movie from Hong Kong. For a long while, I have avoided watching Shinjuku Incident thinking that it was a political film about the Chinese and the Japanese and I wasn't keen on a Jackie Chan's movie. But I did watch it tonight and wow, it got more and more exciting even though he didn't fight in it in real. It's a movie about illegal Chinese who tried to eek out a living in Japan and the typical rise of a gangster. The beauty of this film is that it has so many differnt gangs in it. The Taiwanese, the Japanese, and the mix of different dialects of Chinese. It was so fun to hear the different tongue and all very good actors. Daniel Wu did very well in this film, from being a coward to a maniac druggie. Great transformation!!! It's worth the time to watch this movie. Traier here.
Can't say the same of Plastic City by Anthony Wong and Jo Odagiri in which they spoke Portuguese and Mandarin as they sell pirated goods in Brazil. A very strange movie all in all. Pretty as Jo Odagiri is, and no matter how fun it was to hear Anthony Wong speak Portuguese, it's a very uneven movie. Trailer here.
Posted October 4, 2011:
Indeed,Shouvik, I have watched A Bittersweet Life and the sweep kick from Lee Byung Hung in the first scene was incredibly impressive. But the story thereafter fizzled out. Ah...why did it have to about him falling in love with the boss' wife. I wish it was something more hardcore. On the other hand, I have rewatched Friends of Jang Dong Gun. I got to say I like him even more as a gangster now that I have a good fair share of Korean gangsters. To have such a good looking gangster around the block, OMG....long live the gangster then. Hahahaha....But the plot of Friends is top notch and Jang Dong Gun's portrayal of the new ruthless right hand man is dazzling, never mind his beauty. It's very hard for a pretty face to pull off arrogance and snottiness but he did it perfectly. On the other hand, Joo Jin Moo in A Love just fell flat as a gangster by comparison. In the Korean remake of A Better Tomorrow, of the two, Song Seung Hun made a much better gangster.
Comment from this thread:
You should watch "A Bittersweet Life"Shouvik Bej at October 3, 2011 05:49 AM comment
Posted January 20, 2007:
Since I'm writing about movies, I might as well do a list for the most watchable gangster movies.
1. Infernal Affairs I, II.
Infernal Affairs I got to be my favorite of all gangster related movie. No one could act as well as Tony Leung as an undercover. Infernal Affairs II is just as good with Francis Ng and Eric Tsang! No. 3 is a wash. There are too many actors to showcase and the plot got more and more convoluted. No thanks.
2. Jiang Hu by Andy Lau and Jacky Cheung
Many viewers don't like this movie but I think it has a class of its own. I have never seen Jacky in braids as such before. I certainly think the story is stylishly played out and the ending was unexpected.
3. Century of the Dragon by Andy Lau and Louis Koo
This was my introduction to Louis Koo and oh man, as a right hand man to Andy, he was so good. Such a powerful role. *faint* Okay, the story is sloppy and predictable, but it's watching Louis Koo with Andy Lau that makes it up.
4. Sleepless Town by Takeshi Kaneshiro
Despite the fact that I have a huge Takeshi section, there are not many films that I rewatch of Takeshi's because his movie choice stinks most of the time. This is a Japanese production and for once, I watched it a second time to examine again who's killing who and who's framing who. For those who likes a bit of passion, there's plenty of it in this movie. Nude, frontal, back, on top, under...etc.... But I like watching Takeshi in a pony tail and the first time he sported some sort of a moustache.
5. The Longest Nite by Tony Leung and Sean Lau
It's a terrible movie but I have never seen Tony being a mean and corrupted cop before. His standoff in the cell against a bald headed Sean Lau is worth replaying 20 times.
6. The Young and Dangerous Series
I watched all six plus the finishing piece Goodbye Mr. Cool by Ekin Cheng. Hmmm...at that time when I was really into Ekin, I thought it was great, but I can't bear to even think that I once liked the series. It's so crappy to be honest, just people shouting and shoving each other around. I gave them all away except Young and Dangerous II which I thought was the best one of the series. The prequel by Nic Tse, Sam Lee and Daniel Wu was very good too. Ekin has many other gangster related movies before this and I've watched everyone of them...and yep, I gave them all away too.
7. Heroic Duo by Francis Ng, Leon Lai and Ekin Cheng
This is one movie of Ekin Cheng's that I kept, because for once, he is a cop! And Francis the triad member is as psychotic as usual, beautifully psychotic!!! Leon Lai...well...he shouldn't be in this movie. Period. hahaha...
8. Bullets in the Head by Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Jacky Cheung
This is about 3 friends trying to make it in life and went smuggling in Vietnam. Very hard to watch because it's so sad, but very good movie. I still remember many scenes!! Very haunting images of being tortured by the Vietnamese soldiers. My husband couldn't stand it because it reminds him so much of his life back then.
9. A Better Tomorrow 3 by Anita Mui and Chow Yun Fat
This again has a Vietnamese backdrop. I like the fact that they let the late Anita Mui be the heroine of the movie.
10. Metade Fumaca by Eric Tsang, Nicholas Tse, Stephen Fung, Shu Qi
This is about Eric, a former hitman, returning to Hong Kong and secured a young guy's help to find his ultimate enemy, a gangster, who stole his love. Not totally a gangster and cop movie but Nic Tse is so good in this movie. He delivers food to his mother everyday who as a prostitute, tries to remember who fathered her son. Gosh...this got to be the most touching movie of Eric Tsang's that I have seen, and Nic Tse is superb!!! It was from this movie onwards that I started paying attention to Nic Tse's movies, which to date, have been disappointing since.
There are some Japanese yakuza films that my husband watches but I only remember fingers being cut and tattooed men steeping themselves in hot tubs. Korea has a couple of gangster films. Jang Dong Gun was in Nowhere to Hide, Friends...but nah....even though I like Jang Dong Gun, I don't recommend them. They put too much slow motion and music in it.
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