Asian Cinema,

The Establishing Shot: Cine Asia Hong Kong Legends Q4 Releases

Monday, September 26, 2011 Craig Grobler 0 Comments

Cine-Asia Hong Kong LegendsI don't usually blog about upcoming home releases - unless I'm really excited about them and, well even though I have a lot of film related news The Establishing Shot it is a blog about my experiences not just another portal for film news.

But Cine-Asia have been good to me and they have an astounding catalogue of Eastern films including one of my recent favourites Detective Dee: Mystery of the Phantom Flame, which plays like an Eastern Sherlock Holmes crossed with the visual epicness of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon extravaganza with lots of Kung Fu.

Detective Dee: Mystery of the Phantom Flame Trailer

They also have almost every martial arts film worth seeing of late like (off the top of my head); Confucius, Empress and the Warriors, Fist of Legend, ICHI THE KILLER, Ip Man & Ip Man 2 as well as a huge back catalogue of classic Easterns including both Bruce Lee and Jet Li's films some of which they are re-releasing in mind blowing High Definition Blu-Ray.
From 1999 to 2006, Hong Kong Legends brought the biggest films of Asian cinema to DVD in the UK. Now, Cine-Asia the UK’s leading Asian action cinema label is reissuing them under the ‘CINE-ASIA presents HKL’ banner, bringing together the two greatest catalogues of Asian cinema under one ultimate label!
It looks like Cine-Asia are only going from strength to strength with their Hong Kong Legends 2011 final quarter release slate. It is a humdinger! With titles like; Iron Monkey, The Grudge & The Grudge 2, Legend of Fong Sai Yuk, Tai Chi Master, Bang Rajan, Brotherhood and John Woo’s Heroes Shed No Tears.

Below is Cine-Asia’s upcoming slate as well as my recommendations:

Iron Monkey
For this breathtaking epic adventure set in the late Ching dynasty, acclaimed action directorYuen Woo- ping combines incredible dynamic, high-flying fight-action and stunning cinematography with a classic story of courage, honour and sacrifice. International action superstars Donnie Yen (Shanghai Knights Blade 2, Hero) and Yu Rong-kwong(Shanghai Noon, The Warrior)

Iron Monkey is not one of my favourite Easterns. I still have the original on DVD and maintain it is OK! The new version is a lot more polished, slicker and visually astounding and has a super talented martial arts team behind including being written by Hark Tsui and stars Donnie Yen but I found the cohesiveness between the action and emotion lacking a little.

Iron Monkey is available on DVD from 26th September 2011

Iron Monkey Trailer

Iron Monkey (Siu nin Wong Fei Hung ji: Tit Ma Lau)
A doctor fights the corrupt authorities as a masked Robin Hood hero, even while another martial artist/doctor is forced to hunt for him.

Director: Woo-ping Yuen
Writers: Hark Tsui, Tai-Muk Lau
Stars: Rongguang Yu, Donnie Yen and Jean Wang

The Grudge
Based on the famous Japanese Legend of the Ju-On (a curse generated by someone who dies in the grip of powerful anger), this disturbing psychological horror follows the chilling exploits of five young women terrorized by a powerful and vengeful spirit.

From acclaimed filmmaker, Shimizu Takashi, comes one of the most unique and horrifying cinematic experiences of recent times. Matchless visual theatre and genuinely terrifying content have made 'The Grudge' one of the talked-about horror films of the year!

The Grudge phenomenon has inspired a Hollywood re-make, produced by Spiderman director Sam Raimi, and starring Buffy icon, Sarah Michelle Gellar. Now experience the celebrated, terrifying, original inspiration for yourself!

If you have not seen the The Grudge yet I highly recommend it. It is as scary as they come. Made by the same team that brought us the most original and chilling horror film in years The Ring, they bring all their skills to the fore in another Eastern shocker of note.

The Grudge is available on DVD from 3rd October 2011

The Grudge Trailer

The Grudge (Ju-on)
A mysterious and vengeful spirit marks and pursues anybody who dares enter the house in which it resides.

Director: Takashi Shimizu
Writer: Takashi Shimizu
Stars: Megumi Okina, Misaki Itô and Misa Uehara

The Grudge 2
When the cast and crew of a paranormal TV show film on location at the Ju-On house, they immediately get the chills and the eerie feeling that something or someone is watching them. As they depart from the shoot, strange things begin to happen...

Acclaimed filmmaker Shimizu Takashi returns with the original Japanese sequel to Ju-On: The Grudge (a curse born of a grudge held by someone who dies in the grip of powerful anger).

This psychological horror is more disturbing than ever and will take your fear to new heights as the curse renews itself with one blood-curdling vignette after another.

The sequel uses many of the same tricks as the original as well as some new ones to terrify. The largely ignored sequel to The Grudge is just as creepy.

Available on DVD from 3rd October 2011

The Grudge 2 Trailer

Ju-on: The Grudge 2
While driving , the pregnant horror-movie actress Kyôko Harase and her fiancé are in a car crash caused by the Toshio's friend...

Director: Takashi Shimizu
Writer: Takashi Shimizu
Stars: Noriko Sakai, Chiharu Niiyama and Kei Horie

Legend of Fong Sai Yuk - Blu-Ray
Set in China's Ching Dynasty, The Legend of Fong Sai-yuk tells the story of a ruthless emperor who enslaves his people, and persecutes a courageous revolutionary group that is mobilizing to destroy his powerful regime. When young folk hero Fong Sai-yuk (Jet Li) discovers that his own father is a freedom fighter who has been targeted for retribution, he embarks on a heroic quest for justice that will unite his people and create a legend that will never be forgotten. Experience Jet Li in the movie event the New York Times describes as "breathtaking", and delivers "absolutely spectacular action sequences (IGN)".

I am a huge Jet Li fan and anything that is about Fong Sai-yuk is instantly watchable to me. Fong Sai-yuk is a legendary character in a similar vein as Robin Hood or Batman. Not just in character traits but more in terms of durability. They have spun off other characters as well as pop up every now and then in some form or other. And having Jet Li back as Fong Sai-yuk is always a pleasure. He embodies Fong Sai-yuk for me and every film with him in it is watchable even more so when he is Fong Sai-yuk.

Available Now on DVD, Available on Blu Ray from 17th October

The Legend of Fong Sai-Yuk Trailer

The Legend of Fong Sai-Yuk
This Hong Kong martial-arts extravaganza tells of evil emperors and true love. The secret Red Lotus Flower Society is committed to the overthrow of the evil Manchu Emperor and his minions...

Director: Corey Yuen
Writers: Kung-Yung Chai, Kin Chung Chan
Stars: Jet Li, Lung Chan and Sung Young Chen

Tai Chi Master - Blu-Ray
Action superstars Jet Li (Fearless, The Forbidden Kingdom) and Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) team up with celebrated action-director, Yuen Woo-ping (The Matrix Trilogy), to deliver one of the most kinetic and inventive martial arts adventures of all time. Two orphans are raised in the legendary Shaolin Temple, and grow to become the greatest fighters of their generation

As a barbaric regime tightens its grip on the empire, each will choose a different path. One, played by Jet Li, will fight for the freedom of his people; the other, played by Chin Siu-ho (Fist of Legend), will exercise ruthless ambition on his barbaric rise to power. When a fearless female freedom-fighter (Michelle Yeoh) is captured and condemned to death, the two men will meet on the battlefield for one last life-or-death confrontation.

Showcasing his trademark speed, agility and explosive power, Jet Li is a true force of nature in this matchless movie event that delivers scene after scene of truly spectacular martial arts combat.

If you are a fan of martial arts films or Eastern Cinema, Tai Chi Master is a must see. Its sets the bar for these type of films.

Available Now on DVD, Available on Blu Ray from 17th October

Tai-Chi Master (Tai ji: Zhang San Feng)
Jet Li was a monk in Shaolin. In a friendly competition for a higher place in Shaolin, his childhood...

Director: Woo-ping Yuen
Writer: Kwong Kim Yip (screenplay)
Stars: Jet Li, Michelle Yeoh and Siu-hou Chin

Bang Rajan
Winner of an unprecedented 11 top accolades at the Thai Film Awards including 'Best Picture' & 'Best Director'

Inspired by an amazing true story from the Siamese War, Bang Rajan is an epic cinematic masterpiece, which celebrates the legendary courage, sacrifice and ingenuity of a single group of village warriors who stood up to the imperial might of the invading Burmese army in 1765.

Partly The Alamo, partly The Seven Samurai, Bang Rajan is simultaneously heart rending, savage and inspirational: a true glowing testament to the timeless resilience of the human spirit. Now, discover the truth behind one of the greatest true legends of all time on this feature-packed special edition DVD.

Bang Rajan had limited release in US cinemas where it was presented by Oliver Stone, coming on like an army of Ong Baks - Bang Rajan goes old school Thai fight style.

Bang Rajan is available on DVD from 24th October 2011

Bang Rajan (Bangrajan)
Set right before the fall of Thailand's old capital, Ayuttaya, Bang Rajan draws on the legend of a village of fighters who bravely fended off the Burmese armies...

Director: Tanit Jitnukul
Writers: Tanit Jitnukul, Buinthin Thuaykaew
Stars: Jaran Ngamdee, Winai Kraibutr and Theerayut Pratyabamrung

Early, one Sunday morning, in late June of 1950, began a bloody conflict that would tear a people apart. A world, weary from war, looked on in desperation. Thousands were killed or wounded, but the greatest casualty was the unity of a nation. Korea, still haunted by ghosts from a guilty past, remains divided to this day.

Told through the eyes of two brothers, who have seen their family torn apart by the Korean war, Brotherhood is an epic and heart-wrenching story, which heralds the triumph of the human spirit in the midst of overwhelming suffering and sacrifice. Truly epic battle sequences, on the scale of Saving Private Ryan, and cinematography that echoes the brilliance of David Lean and Ridley Scott, all combine to deliver one of the most accomplished, poignant and uncompromising cinematic visions of the year.

Brotherhood is available on DVD from 24th October 2011

Brotherhood (Taegukgi hwinalrimyeo)
A drama about the fate of brothers forced to fight in the Korean War.

Director: Je-gyu Kang
Writers: Je-gyu Kang, Sang-don Kim
Stars: Dong-gun Jang, Bin Won and Eun-ju Lee

Heroes Shed No Tears
From John Woo, the director of Hong Kong movie classics including Bullet in the Head and The Killer comes his ferocious war movie Heroes Shed No Tears.

Eddy Ko stars as Chinese mercenary Chan Chung who is hired to kidnap an infamous Thai drug baron and bring him to justice. On the trail they conflict with a Vietnamese general and from that point on find themselves fighting on two increasingly vicious fronts with more yet to come!

Anyone tiring of the formulaic 'Hollywood' John Woo will revel in this, his first slo-mo gunfest of gory glory, where an eye for an eye is played out in unforgettable flesh tearing action. This is John Woo at his most brutal and with an arsenal of explosive mayhem, he pulls out all the stops to show the true hell of war: John Woo style!

A must see for any John Woo fans or completists. Heroes Shed No Tears is John Woos first contemporary action film, gritty and bit long winded but demonstrates the seeds of John Woo's trademark style and cinematic techniques.

Heroes Shed No Tears will be available on DVD from 24th October 2011

Heroes Shed No Tears (Ying xiong wu lei)
Thai government hires group of Chinese mercenaries to capture powerful druglord from Golden Triangle. The mercenaries manage to capture the druglord, but his men are trying to set him free.

Director: John Woo
Writer: John Woo
Stars: Yuet Sang Chin, Doo Hee Jang and Ho Kon Kim

Cine-Asia are currently having a mega sale in selected high street stores, supermarkets and also online and you can acquire some of their great titles at a ridiculously reduced price. So keep an eye out in/on; HMV, Blockbuster, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Tesco, Zavi, Extra-Vision, and

The Establishing Shot: Cine Asia Hong Kong Legends Q4 Releases