Urotsukidoji is the tawdry piece of pornographic trash you’ve heard it is; it’s also not all that fiendish or corrupting. It’s just silly. But it is a major milestone in the history of anime, so if you are the type who needs or wants to understand the evolution of anime, then you pretty much have to deal with Urotsukidoji.
Big battles, small conflicts. Terrifying wars, charming flirtation. It’s all told with a sweeping sense of romance and adventure. And at the center of events that changed the world, there is a simple tale of doomed love. Like all epics, Asoka has it’s flaws, but I would still place it without hesitation among the very best epics ever made, and among the very best Bollywood films I’ve ever seen.
As far as anything-goes martial arts mayhem may go, the Bastard Swordsman saga may lack the breakneck choreography of Jackie Chan and Ching Siu-tung, or the technical ambition of Tsui Hark, but none of these short-comings really matter in the long run, because Bastard Swordsman and Return of the Bastard Swordsman are still spectacularly fun wuxia fantasies.
Although people come for the weirdness and spectacle, Bastard Swordsman offers plenty of other elements that make it worth staying around. For starters, taking a note from Chu Yuan, Lu’s film is packed with complex, well-developed characters. Norman Chu makes a compelling and empathetic lead. We root for him when he’s the abused underdog, and we cheer for him once he begins to discover his true potential as a fighter.
The musical numbers are lame. The plot is full of holes so big that Commando could drive a truck covered in ninjas through them. Everything is slapdash and cheap looking. The special effects are horrible. But man, who gives a crap about any of that when you have a slightly out-of-shape Mithrun running around in a Michael Jackson vest, fighting a guy in a Captain Harlock jacket and facing off against backflipping ninjas?
Wading through the copious amounts of nonsense, bad comedy, and offbeat pacing is more than the average film fan will endure. If you watch a lot of Eurospy films, however, you’re a little bit better suited for watching Two Undercover Angels and enjoying it, because you’ll be accustomed to quirky spy films with crazy fashion and convoluted plots.
Satirical or not, what I definitely find The Face of Fu Manchu to be is a rollicking good adventure yarn, full of fist fights, car chases, exploding monasteries, underwater lairs, and fiendish traps.
I alluded earlier to this being he Bollywood equivalent of an Andy Sidaris movie without actual nudity, but that’s not being fair to Andy Sidaris. Boom wishes it could be as bad as an Andy Sidaris film, but it’s so much worse.
Of course that reserve goes out the window the second Rika and her girls throw on hot pants and go-go boots, break out their swords, and slice their way through a pop art club full of whimpering, worthless yakuza assholes. If Worthless to Confess lacks the nonstop insanity of many of the zanier entries in the world of pinky violence, it makes up for it with a finale that is off-the-charts awesome.
Above and beyond all else, kungfu films have always existed so that they can teach to us valuable life lessons. At their best, they are practically training manuals for how […]