Dragon

discs going by

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Going by the Book When a new police chief arrives in the rural town of Sam-po, he decides his fastest way back to the city is to impress the locals and his higher-ups with something flashy and result-oriented. The town has seen a rash of bank robberies so he sets up a simulation involving his officers and the bank… one cop will play the role of robber, and the others will respond and arrest him. Unfortunately for him and his plans though he picks traffic cop Jung Do-man (Jung Jae-young) as the robber and orders him to do his best. And Jung’s best is apparently better than anything the police can throw at him. I like to think I’m pretty up on my Korean cinema, but this fantastic 2007 film has escaped my attention until now (so thanks to 5 Points Pictures for giving it a US release). This is a very funny movie with both situational comedy and some darker laughs including the best rape-related gag since Eric the Viking. Jung’s robbery turns into a standoff with police and manages all the ridiculousness of Dog Day Afternoon with only a fraction of the sweat and drama. You’d think that would lessen the suspense, but it doesn’t. The film also gets kudos as being the rare Korean movie to run under two hours. See it! [DVD extras: Making […]

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Come with me on a journey for a moment, back to when you were a youngin’ on the playground. There was a particular technique that seems to have been popular with just about every five year old around, in which the stronger of the two kids grabs the arm of his (or her, if the story is really embarrassing) opponent, hits them with their own arm and says, “Stop hitting yourself! Why do you keep hitting yourself?” It was a humiliation technique, meant to send the other kid running. And more times than not, it worked like a charm. In this clip from Dragon, the latest martial arts import from Radius TWC, we see the legendary Donnie Yen using a similar tactic on a foe. Allow me to set the scene: Takeshi Kaneshiro (Red Cliff, House of Flying Daggers) plays an investigator who has come to a rural village to look into a scruff between a local papermaker (Yen) and two ruffians who came to rob the general store. The simple papermaker remains, while the two wanted criminals, trained killers in their own right, lie dead on the ground. We see Kaneshiro’s character as he’s recounting what he believes happened in the general store, complete with some wicked fight choreography courtesy of star/action director Yen. See for yourself in this exclusive clip below.

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Donnie Yen in Dragon

If you’re going to put Donnie Yen in your movie, you better have him do what he does best. Luckily, Dragon (Wu Xia) director Peter Chan lets Yen’s fists fly as often as they can. The trailer (via Apple) shows off some sleek production design, transforming a village landscape into a suitable location for a slow-smoking noir. In the film, Yen plays a martial arts expert hiding away in a village who is being tracked down by a private investigator (Takeshi Kaneshiro) and his former master. The fight choreography looks gorgeous and aggressive, but it’s the story itself that adds to the excitement here. It doesn’t seem to be re-inventing the wheel, but it definitely shoves one genre firmly into another. Hopefully the movie gets both right and the result is a killer tale filled with faces getting punched by too-fast hands. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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