Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Son of Three Films Make A Post

Ong bak 2 (2008): Despite a troubled production history and a certain stubborn resistance of the film against involving its viewers emotionally, Tony Jaa's & Panna Rittikrai's nominal sequel to the film that brought Thai martial arts cinema into the view of a Western mainstream audience delivers an infectious flow of truly awesome action sequences. People fearful of abrupt, open endings which ask the viewer to pray for a film's protagonist should probably beware, though. But if you like your martial arts films as physical experiences, this is not to be missed.


Rider of Revenge (1971): Quite a few people - among them house favorite Polly (Shan) Kuan as morally upright swordswoman and always dependable Tien Peng - are after the rather fearful murderer Ting after he has been broken out of jail. Some of them want his hidden loot to pay for their hundreds of henchmen, some of them to finance disaster relief (no, really), while Polly of course only seeks justice and Tien Peng is on a ma-related mission Bollywood would approve of. While all of this probably won't rock your world, fine acting and solid fighting still make for an entertaining Taiwanese wuxia.


Zinda Laash (1967): A Pakistani version of Horror of Dracula, with some striking black and white photography that reminds me of expressionist silent movies. Interestingly, the film is set in contemporary Pakistan, quite unlike most of its Western brethren's fixation on the Victorian era. It even culminates in a car chase. Only the needle-dropped soundtrack lets the film down sometimes: a jazz version of "La Cucaracha" does not for an ominous mood make. The musical numbers are fine, though.


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