Movie Monday – Thanksgiving Holiday 2016 Movie Watch List

Starring: See Cast List Below

Rating: PG-13 to R for subject matter and violence

Running Time: Varies

Twinkies: 3 1/2 stars and up

Movie Thoughts: I usually do this post every year for the Thanksgiving holidays. If you are like me, I never do Thanksgiving Day shopping, not a fan of Black Friday, Saturday or general shopping during this holiday weekend at all. So, for those of you that plan to hang out at home and avoid the traffic, myriads of people, and the sheer craziness of shopping this weekend, here are some movies (Chinese, Korean, and even Indonesian) that I recommend to watch that are readily on Netflix, Amazon Prime and most likely every movie streaming site out there. As I am an action bunny first and foremost, this is the genre I’ll be featuring this holiday break!

War of the Arrows (2011)

War of the Arrows (2011)

Starring: Park Hae Il as Nam Yi, Ryu Seung Ryong as Jyu Shin Ta, Moon Chae Won as Ja In, and Kim Mu Yeol as Seo Goon

Running Time: 114 min

Synposis: Set during the second Manchu invasion of Korea, Nam-Yi (Park Hae-Il), the best archer in Korea, goes up against the Qing Dynasty to save his younger sister Ja-In (Moon Chae-Won) – who was dragged to their kingdom and held as a hostage.

Brief Musings: Good movie; no great movie! I cannot impress upon you anymore to watch this one. It was my first introduction to both Park Hae Il and Kim Mu Yeol. Ryu Seung Ryong as the evil Mongol Jyu Shin Ta is simply sensational and eerie at the same time. Though Moon Chae Won is top billing, her character is relegated to the damsel in distress mode, so don’t expect much from her. However, the men in this movie more than carry the weight and excellence of the movie!!

Trailer is available on on YouTube Website only.

Once Upon A Time In Shanghai (2013)

Once Upon A Time In Shanghai (2013)

Starring: Hung Sammo as Master Tie, Ng Philip as Ma Yong Zhen, On Andy as Long Qi, and Chen Kuan Tai as Baldy Bai

Running Time: 95 min

Synposis: In the early 20th century, labourers from all over the country were rushing to the flourishing city of Shanghai. Ma Yongzhen, a youthful man from Shangdong, arrived at this prosperous city working as a dock labourer. He moves to Shanghai in the hope of becoming rich. But ends up using his kungfu skills to survive and against the evil Japanese.

Brief Musings: This is definitely the movie with the justified R-rating. It is bloody and violent! Yes, I enjoyed it immensely. This was probably for first Ng Phillip experience and I’m not too sure I’ve seen much of his since but talk about taking you back to the Kung Fu flicks of the 70s?! This one definitely does as it is reminiscent of the Bruce Li days and the story line definitely follows the usual track! Not a movie for everyone but you won’t be bored for sure!

Trailer is available on on YouTube Website only.

Shaolin (2011)

Shaolin (2011)

Starring: Tse Nicholas as Cao Man, Lau Andy as Hou Jie, Yu Shao Qun as Jing Hai, Xing Yu as Ching Kung. and Chan Jackie as Wu Dao

Running Time: 130 min

Synposis: Set during the early years of the Chinese republic, when feuding warlords waged constant wars to expand their power, young army leader Hao Jie and his sworn brother Huo Lung find little resistance invading the township of Dengfeng. The nearby Shaolin Temple opens its doors to the wounded and disciples Jing Neng, Jing Kong and Jing become masked Robin Hoods at night to help the poor. The young and arrogant Hao Jie then challenges the Shaolin masters when he learns they are helping his enemies. Hao Jie wins his duel and becomes even more arrogant

Brief Musings: Again, a great example of quality movie filming of the Chinese film directors when it comes to this genre. The cinematography and the scenes were stunning! What a travelogue for the Chinese ancient culture and remaining artistry that wasn’t destroyed by war or political idiocy! And the acting? What can I say for an excellent cast from Tse Nicholas who plays evil so well and of course the consummate acting of Lau Andy! Jackie Chan takes a step back to the supporting/guest star in this movie but as usual his presence is seen and well appreciated. This is a great story on betrayal and seeking redemption.

Trailer is available on on YouTube Website only.

Assassination (2015)

Assassination (2015)

Starring: Jeon Ji Hyeon as Ahn Ok Yoon/Kang Mitsuko, Lee Jung Jae as Yeom Seok Jin, Ha Jeong Woo as “Hawaii Pistol”, Oh Dal Su as “Inspiration”. Jo Jin Woong as “Rapid-fire gun” Chu Sang Ok, and Choi Deok Moon as Hwang Deok Sam

Running Time: 140 min

Synposis: Set in the 1930’s, an assassination plot, intended to take out a pro-Japanese group, takes place. Assassins and agents from the Korean interim government gather together. Sniper An Ok-Yoon is the leader of the assassin group. She takes on this mission due to her strong desire to see Korea’s independence. Yeom Seok-Jin is an agent from the interim government. He plans out the assassination and gives orders to An Ok-Yoon’s group. Hawaii Pistol is a contract killer within the group.

Brief Musings: Clearly my favorite Jeon Ji Hyeon movie and with a supporting cast in which you will remember every character in detail! Besides a great story line which takes place during the Korea Independence movement period against the Japanese, the action is clearly a plus in this movie by all the characters! In addition, Jeon Ji Hyeon plays two characters to include the role of her twin sister who obviously always knew about the other sister. She did an excellent job in portraying two distinct characters! A great period film! Oh to see her really act again…. I’m waiting, Ji Hyeon!

Trailer is available on on YouTube Website only.

Hero (2002)

Hero (2002)

Starring: Li Jet as Nameless, Leung Tony as Broken Sword. Cheung Maggie as Flying Snow. Chen Daoming as Emperor Qin Shi Huang. Zhang Ziyi as Moon, and Yen Donnie as Sky

Running Time: 119 min

Synposis: Set in ancient China during the Warring States Period, a nameless prefect of a small jurisdiction arrives at the Qin state’s capital city to meet the king of Qin. The king has just survived an attempt on his life by three feared assassins (Long Sky, Flying Snow and Broken Sword), and has taken precautions to protect himself, including forbidding visitors to approach closer than 100 paces to his throne. Nameless claims that he had slain the three assassins and he displays their weapons before the king, who is impressed and allows Nameless to sit progressively closer to him and tell him his story.

Brief Musings: If the use of colors and stunning backdrops don’t get you, the well thought of and orchestrated fight scenes definitely will. For a 2002 movie, Hero continues to stand on its own as a beautiful love story, attractive settings and featuring Heroes of a time gone by. I miss these films tremendously. The days of less CGI and more choreographed fight scenes with less fantasy and more realism are pretty much gone now. Sure, we still see remnants of what made Chinese theater great but I will be glad when they return again. Fantasy is okay for awhile but for me it gets tired and old. Unlike this film whereby I can watch it again in 2016 and still feel the excitement as the first I watched it 10 years ago.

Trailer is available on on YouTube Website only.

The Golden Cane Warrior (2014)

The Golden Cane Warrior (2014)

Starring: Christine Hakim as Cempaka, Reza Rahadian as Biru, Tara Basro as Gerhana, Eva Celia as Dara, and Aria Kusumah as Angin

Running Time: 112 min

Synposis: When an aging martial arts master chooses two of her meeker students to be her successors, two older students steal her mystical cane and pursue their rivals.

Brief Musings: It is so rare for Netflix to feature Indonesian movies so when this popped up on my recommended list and it featured a female in a kick-butt role, I had to watch it. It did not disappoint me whatsoever! The actors were totally unknown to me but now I want to watch more and more of their film and hope we get to see more on Netflix in the future. The story isn’t new. Students of the master not believing in the choice of successor is definitely one you’ve seen before; however, to watch the two weaker students hone their skills and become great fighters is worth watching. Again, this is not a movie for everyone as it is not Korean and even Chinese. But it reminds me once again that there are great movies out there that are overlooked simply because. This was a good movie!

Trailer is available on on YouTube Website only.

Iā€™m available on Twitter. Thanks to all of you Twinkles out here who are taking the time to read! If you have a suggestion for a future review, just leave me a comment! I’m always happy to have movie suggestions.

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