Go Back   SFX > SFX > Movies

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 30-04-2012, 08:51 PM
trollface's Avatar
trollface trollface is offline
Eternal Champion
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Erinsborough
Posts: 23,814
Default Chocolate

So, anyone like martial arts? Anyone feeling a Tony Jaa-shaped hole in their life? Well, try on Yanin "Jeeja" Vismitananda for size. I've only watched one of her films so far, the titular Chocolate, but she's fantastic. Especially considering that at the time of filming, she was only 13 years old. Check out this tribute made of clips from the film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1-_JL5kWwg

And don't think that's all the fighting there in that clip, there's 4-5 fight scenes in the first hour, and then the last half hour is just one, long, fight. The film itself is pretty good, aside from the fighting. It's certainly a plot I've not seen done before. Jeeja plays "Zen", the autistic daughter of a gangster and an enforcer. When she became involved with the gangster, the enforcer's boss told them that if they ever saw each other again, he'd kill them both. The gangster goes back to Japan and the now-pregnant enforcer retires. That is until Zen is 13 and Zin (the enforcer) is found to have cancer with no money to pay for the treatment. Neighbour and friend to Zen Moom finds Zin's book of debtors and taken Zen off to get them to pay up - and fighting ensues, as Zen has the savant-like ability to copy martial arts styles just by watching them.

But it's not just a mostly original premise which makes the film good, but there's a certain subtlety to most of the human side of the story (until the melodramatic finale, at least), and the film doesn't spoon-feed you the plot, instead assuming that you're intelligent enough to figure some things out for yourself.

The only shame about this film is that it's necessarily edited. As part of the plot revolves around Zen learning martial arts by watching them, there are fights in different styles. However, once the film had been made, it proved impossible to gain the license to pay for the Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan clips. This means that not only do those clips not feature in the film but the fight copying Bruce Lee and the fight copying Jackie Chan had to be edited down to remove any moves which were too obviously copying those performers. I mean, you'll be under no illusions as to which fights they are (and there's an entire sequence lifted verbatim from Rumble In The Bronx which seems to have slipped through the net), and the fights don't feel like they've had anything cut out, but it'd still be better to see them as originally intended.

So, yeah, if you like bone-crunching martial arts (some of the fights are brutal in a Tony Jaa-type way), then definitely check it out. I'm about to see how much else of her back catalogue is available on Netflix and do some catching up.
__________________
Gorgeous Georgia
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 30-04-2012, 11:39 PM
Fricky's Avatar
Fricky Fricky is offline
Eternal Champion
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Glasgow
Posts: 5,001
Default Re: Chocolate

Yep, it's a fantastic action film with a unique premise and some heart, as well as some nice little touches, like the Yakuza/Thai mob starcrossed love story thing, Ladyboy henchpeople, though
Quote:
Originally Posted by trollface View Post
Especially considering that at the time of filming, she was only 13 years old.
According to wiki, she was born in 1984, and first discovered in 2003, so that mathematically doesn't add up.

It may interest you to know Yanin will be co-starring with Tony Jaa in the shot in 3D sequel to Tom Yum Goong(aka Warrior King aka The Protector aka Tony Jaa runs around Sidney yelling"Where's My Elephant?" While Throw People Off Balconies and Kicking Them Through Windows).
__________________
"As of now I'm a vegetarian. And this is Bat-cow."

Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-05-2012, 09:11 AM
trollface's Avatar
trollface trollface is offline
Eternal Champion
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Erinsborough
Posts: 23,814
Default Re: Chocolate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fricky View Post
According to wiki, she was born in 1984, and first discovered in 2003, so that mathematically doesn't add up.
The film was made in 2007/2008. Oh, hang on a minute, I'm failing at basic maths, aren't I? 23, then. I was very tired last night...

Quote:
It may interest you to know Yanin will be co-starring with Tony Jaa in the shot in 3D sequel to Tom Yum Goong(aka Warrior King aka The Protector aka Tony Jaa runs around Sidney yelling"Where's My Elephant?" While Throw People Off Balconies and Kicking Them Through Windows).
Has Jaa stopped being a monk now, then? Should be interesting, although I don't think any of his other films lived up to Ong Bak.

Anyway, last night I watched Raging Phoenix, which I didn't think was anywhere near as good. It started off as a lot of fun, but got progressively less frivolous as the film went on, making it harder to take the ludicrous plot seriously, and the fights relied more and more on obvious wirework which, for me, is less fun. I still enjoyed it, and I think that Jeeja had obviously improved as an on-screen martial artist but, had I watched it first, I don't think I'd have been as impressed with her, or as keen to seek out her other films.
__________________
Gorgeous Georgia
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-05-2012, 12:26 PM
MDY MDY is offline
God Of The Stratosphere
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Leeds
Posts: 289
Default Re: Chocolate

Not a Jaa or Yanin film, but martial arts fans should check out The Raid/The Raid: Redemption which is currently playing festivals and a few independent cinemas, but should get a wider release in a couple of weeks time..

It should hopefully do for Indonesian cinema what Ong Bak etc. did for Thailand..

It's about a team of rookie police who are sent to raid a tower block criminal stronghold and capture the crime boss within.
The director is actually from Wales - Gareth Edwards and this is his second ever film after them excellent Merantau - this one has gained far wider acclaim winning several festival awards and hyped reviews, touting it as the best action film in years...
Saw it last weekend and it's excellent and brutally action-packed from start to end. Plus the plot is actually decent enough to keep things moving too..

Trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1yd44EFFpw
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-05-2012, 10:59 AM
count_libido's Avatar
count_libido count_libido is offline
Eternal Champion
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: He rides across the nation, a thoroughbred of sin!
Posts: 32,635
Default Re: Chocolate

I wonder if anyone has rented this and got it confused with the Johnny Depp film, Chocolat?

It could happen. I remember being in Blockbuster one time and hearing a mother admit to the staff that she'd got a film for her daughter's sleepover and confused the romcom 50 First Dates with 51st State starring Sammy L Jackson.
__________________
Goggles on my hat,
My airship takes to the sky.
Anyone for tea?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-05-2012, 05:57 PM
jumpin' jellybean's Avatar
jumpin' jellybean jumpin' jellybean is offline
Eternal Champion
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: East Sussex
Posts: 29,556
Default Re: Chocolate

I once had to stage a swift intervention when my very sweet, very conservative mum wanted to watch The Aristocrats, thinking it was The AristoCATS.
__________________
The dirtiest laugh in Off-topicaTM | All Hail THE Colin Baker (ketchup be upon him)
The Babble On Project - the podcast for fans of B5 and bad puns!

The Harry Potter Book Club Join us!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-05-2012, 10:12 AM
count_libido's Avatar
count_libido count_libido is offline
Eternal Champion
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: He rides across the nation, a thoroughbred of sin!
Posts: 32,635
Default Re: Chocolate

Quote:
Originally Posted by jumpin' jellybean View Post
I once had to stage a swift intervention when my very sweet, very conservative mum wanted to watch The Aristocrats, thinking it was The AristoCATS.
Wow. I hadn't heard of this film but just looked it up.
__________________
Goggles on my hat,
My airship takes to the sky.
Anyone for tea?
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-05-2012, 07:18 PM
Fricky's Avatar
Fricky Fricky is offline
Eternal Champion
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Glasgow
Posts: 5,001
Default Re: Chocolate

Quote:
Originally Posted by trollface View Post
Anyway, last night I watched Raging Phoenix, which I didn't think was anywhere near as good. It started off as a lot of fun, but got progressively less frivolous as the film went on, making it harder to take the ludicrous plot seriously, and the fights relied more and more on obvious wirework which, for me, is less fun. I still enjoyed it, and I think that Jeeja had obviously improved as an on-screen martial artist but, had I watched it first, I don't think I'd have been as impressed with her, or as keen to seek out her other films.
Yeah, the enjoyment I got from it was undermined by the melodrama of it all. "Born to Fight" has some melodrama, but at the end of the day, it's still got some kickarse, ridiculous action scenes(athletes and villagers rise up against terrorists holding a village hostage. So the footballer for instance kicks a big fruit at a bad guy's head, and the Gymnast uses a fence as a beam to do some Gymkata on).
Bangkok Knockout (or just Knockout over here) though has incredible action and stunt work, but a story and characters that are so insufferable it almost makes the film not worth watching.

Really looking forward to The Raid too. Did you know there's already been an american remake greenlit?
__________________
"As of now I'm a vegetarian. And this is Bat-cow."

Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-05-2012, 10:22 PM
trollface's Avatar
trollface trollface is offline
Eternal Champion
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Erinsborough
Posts: 23,814
Default Re: Chocolate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fricky View Post
"Born to Fight" has some melodrama, but at the end of the day, it's still got some kickarse, ridiculous action scenes(athletes and villagers rise up against terrorists holding a village hostage. So the footballer for instance kicks a big fruit at a bad guy's head, and the Gymnast uses a fence as a beam to do some Gymkata on).
Born To Fight is awesome. I've bigged it up on here and urged people to watch it a couple of times over the years. The weird thing about it is that the trailer shows 2 tiny stunt sequences which are then truncated in the film proper - so you're left with the strange situation of two of the painful moves actually being more impressive in the trailer than in the finished film.

Definitely the film I've watched where a stuntman came noticeably the closest to death (the one who falls down between the two lorries. Just watch how close his head comes to going under the wheels). And what makes me laugh is that the first 10 minutes are an action scene, then it's all plot for 20 minutes, then the next hour is 1 solid action sequence. And yet it never gets boring at any point.

Quote:
Really looking forward to The Raid too. Did you know there's already been an american remake greenlit?
Radio 1 film reviewer Rihanna mentioned this today, saying that she loved how violent it was, but said that it was good in a "so bad it's good" type of way, comparing it to the latest Jason Statham film which she said was one of those films that takes itself completely seriously but which actually ends up being a comedy just because of how it is. It'll be interesting to see where it really falls. The trailer certainly looks violent, but is mostly people shooting each other, rather than hitting each other in artistic and improbable ways with parts of their bodies or weapons. And I much prefer the latter, be it balletic and completely unrealistic, or stunt-man hospitalising and credible, or anywhere inbetween.
__________________
Gorgeous Georgia
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-05-2012, 09:33 AM
MDY MDY is offline
God Of The Stratosphere
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Leeds
Posts: 289
Default Re: Chocolate

Quote:
Originally Posted by trollface View Post
Radio 1 film reviewer Rihanna mentioned this today, saying that she loved how violent it was, but said that it was good in a "so bad it's good" type of way, comparing it to the latest Jason Statham film which she said was one of those films that takes itself completely seriously but which actually ends up being a comedy just because of how it is. It'll be interesting to see where it really falls. The trailer certainly looks violent, but is mostly people shooting each other, rather than hitting each other in artistic and improbable ways with parts of their bodies or weapons. And I much prefer the latter, be it balletic and completely unrealistic, or stunt-man hospitalising and credible, or anywhere inbetween.
Don't worry - it's definitely more martial arts than shooting - the team comes in armed but runs out of bullets fairly quickly.. and it's very full-on stuntman bruising stuff..
I'd take issue with the so-bad-it's-good thing - it's an outstanding action film whichever way you look at it.
It's a tiny budget production compared to any American film of course, but doesn't look cheap and while the story is simple, there's enough that you easily get who the characters are without tons of dialogue..
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.