Golgo 13 was (is) a long-running Japanese comic book aimed primarily at bitter guys in dead-end salaryman jobs who harbored daydreams of being tough-as-nails murderous sex machines but, in reality, were just nerdy guys reading a comic book on the train before they started a day full of kissing their boss’s ass and shouting out the company cheer.
Solar Adventure — in which nothing happens that would have anything to do with a solar adventure, other than to say that many of the events depicted in the cartoon do indeed occur in the sunlight — managed to remain unique in its own right among the quilt-work series of films of which it is a part.
This quartet of releases from Sublime Frequencies explores music from countries that have been traditionally off-limits — Myanmar, Shan Province, North Korea —or struggled with decades of oppression and violence—Cambodia.
Even in the realm of Joseph Lai movies, Space Thunder Kids stands out as exceedingly incompetent. Assembled willy-nilly from a bunch of other slapdash animated movies, it exists outsides the boundaries of film, film criticism, and human sanity.
Bat Without Wings takes the now familiar Chor Yuen wuxia trappings and injects an element of the horror film into them. Yuen’s style has always seemed somewhat informed by a combination of horror films and old mystery serials, packed as they are with sinister cults, trap doors, secret identities, and hidden chambers.
The underlying story — about a man discovering the world beyond the safe confines of his palace home, as well as discovering the sordid past of his otherwise heroic acting father — may take a back seat to all the chicken leg kungfu and lasers, but its presence at all makes Battle Wizard a cut above the usual fare.
Liking it may make me a horrible person. Still, it won’t prevent me from maintaining my regular program of affectionately patting all human beings under four feet tall on the head, slinging old ladies over my back two at a time to carry them across the street, and cooking elaborate meals for homeless people.