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High Ice (1980)
An eye opener for Chinese audience, and movie industry
This movie was one of the first few US movies authorized to be shown in China after the establishment of foreign diplomatic relationship between the People's Republic of China and the United States in 1979, after a three-decade long hostility between the two countries.
The movie was really an eye-opener for the Chinese audience, as well as the Chinese movie industry, mainly because of the way some scenes were shot. In particular, the scene where the characters were falling down was filmed in the way that it appears the filming crew was falling with the characters, thus creating a realistic impression of point of view from the characters themselves. As a result, there was a few Chinese audience with heart problems had to be carried out from movie theaters after they passed out, resulting from seeing these tense falling scenes. After several incidents like this occurred when this film was shown in China, some Chinese theaters banned patients with known heart problems from seeing this film, for fearing that they might have heart attack again.
Jin bi hui huang (2007)
Many actual incidents occurred in real life
Though the story is fictional, the event described in this movie is real, and many cases actually happened in real life in China. In most of these cases, the blackmailers were caught and sentenced to serve times in jail, while at the same time, many families also broke up due to the affairs the lonely wives left behind.
What is not described in the movie is another tragedy of this (illegal) immigration: even when the wives left behind was finally able to go abroad to unite with their husbands, the marriage is already damaged and ended in divorce. Divorce in foreign land with unfamiliar custom took further tolls on the people involved
Ai Zhu (1985)
obvious example of censorship
This movie is made in the early era of Chinese reform that first started around 1980, when China was far less open and free as it is today, despite the fact that it was on the right track of development and reform.
By that time, the traditional hardline communist influence was still extremely strong, and the conservative commies were extremely unhappy with the way China was going, such as the welcome of western influence in the cultural, economical, social, and even political arena, and the hardline commies are trying to halt, or at least, to slow down the trend. One of the most obvious example is in the media censorship, an area hardline commies still had strong influence, and this movie is the reflection of their futile struggle to reverse the trend.
Intimate Sessions (1998)
Typical Cinemax late night
This is a television series that was aired on Cinemax late night with each episode lasting half an hour.
Do not even bother to try find a story line because there is not any, what else can you expect for half an hour? This television series is very similar to others of its kind, such as Beverly Hills Bordello, Pleasure Zone, Thrills, Hotline, Compromising situation, and Passive Cove, just to name a few. All of them are in the Playboy TV class due to the federal and local legislation, such as that of FCC, but for most of the time, girls in these series still lags behind those of Playboy TV, but not much, though.
better than most in its class
This is a soft core television series that is aired late night on Cinemax.
Due to the federal and local legislation, such as that of FCC, there are restrictions on what the performers can expose, so if you are looking for something like Savanah, you will be greatly disappointed, guys.
However, the girls in this television series are not that bad, and they are still worth to take a look at with what they can and do expose. This television series is mainly written by men, so it may have more appealing to male audience.
The Best Sex Ever (2002)
Something rated R
This television series is something that should be rated R due to its strong erotic contents, however, you would be disappointed if you are expecting something hard core.
Due to the federal and local law, there are restrictions imposed on cable television programming, where this television series is aired, namely, late night on Cinemax.
The girls appear in this television series are fine, and offer everything they can, yet the same does not apply for men, a rather peculiar fine line defined by FCC. The same rule also applies to Playboy channel, so it's might be better suited for female audience who loves erotica.
This is a soft core erotica television series that is aired late night on Cinemax.
Like other typical late night soft core erotica aired on HBO, Showtime, or Cinemax, each episode of this television series also last exactly half an hour.
The girls appeared in this television series are not that bad, but of course, they are still lagging behind a little in comparison to those girls on the Playboy channel. Due to the federal and local laws, this television series cannot be as explicit as adult films, and thus put it at disadvantage with its competitors in the same class, namely, Playboy TV.
Real Sex (1990)
This one is Okay
Actually, this series is much better than other so-called documentaries such as Cathouse series, and G-string diva series, of course, comparatively speaking.
In comparison to other so-called documentary series that are totally waste of time, such as the Cathouse and G-string diva series, this TV series is much better, directly, honestly, and bravely facing something explicit, which results in making this TV series rated NC-17 instead of the R-rated Cathouse series and G-string diva series.
But don't get too excited because not every episode is NC-17, so do not expect this is ordinary adult video.
No better than the first one
No wonder user rate averages at 5.2 out of 10, a failing grade. This second one is no better than the first one.
Like the first one, the Cathouse, the same groups of films makers appeared to be incapable of learning for their past mistakes, because they had unsuccessfully tried to make this second one also a documentary, on the same topic about the same brothel. Just like the first failure, this sequel is also unsuccessful, and instead of like a true documentary or a true hardcore erotica, this second one ends up just like the first, something like Playboy but not as good as Playboy. Switch to Playboy channel instead.
The Marilyn Kagen Show (1995)
Very good day time talk show
This is a very good day time talk show, much better than other shows such as Jenny Jones, Ricki Lakes, etc.
The reason it is so great is because it is the female equivalent of Dr. Phil. In this show, there is no directors, no lines to memorize, guests are talking about their true feelings while Ms. Marily Kegan, a licensed therapist, giving advice and consultation.
It is not a complete copy of Dr. Phil because unlike Dr. Phil who give out consultation on every show, this show does not, just letting guests to get something out so that would feel better.
Too bad this show only runs for a very short period of time and then got canceled. I wish this show would last longer.
Ai qin jia (1929)
Box office failure, relatively speaking
The literal translation of the title of this movie is: the master of love.
This silent flick is among the earliest films in China, and it is obvious from its name, it belongs to the category of love and romance, one of the two main categories of movies available in China of that time.
Like all other films in this love and romance category, this movie did not perform as well as other movies of the other category back then, because China in the 1920's were still very conservative and traditional, and open depiction of love was not widely accepted.
A Tan nei zhuan (1988)
As bad as the original play
This movie is based on the play with the same name.
The only thing good about this movie is that it keeps the originality of the play, but sadly, keeping the originality of the play is a very bad thing to do.
The reason is that the original play written a few years earlier is a complete failure. The plot was unclear, and when it was first performed, the audience thought it was a comedy and laughed when the performers on the stage were crying, and at that particular instance, it was a tragic moment and audience was supposed to feel sad if not crying with the performers.
However, the unexpected failure of the original intend made the play a financial success: relatively speaking, the play was a box office hit in comparison to other plays at the time.
Mo li hua kai (2004)
Story is OK, though not perfect, the setting is not OK
The literal translation of the title of this movie is: Jasmine blossoms The story is fine, but the setting is rather unsatisfactory, due to the recent rapid development in China: Most of the old building was demolished to make room for the development and as a result, the buildings that were necessary for the particular time segments in this movie are extremely difficult to find. The film makers appeared to lack the financial resource to build a set to duplicate the buildings of past era, and it is very obvious to those who visited Shanghai that although the story was about the nineteen thirties, nineteen sixties, and nineteen eighties, the buildings are those newly built/remodeled in the late nineteen nineties.
Shao lin gao tu (1974)
Typical Kung Fu flicks made in 1970's Hong Kong
Obviously, this is one of the typical Kung Fu movies made in the 1970's Hong Kong.
This movie is made purely for the commercial purposes, and it is only an entertainment.
The actors are obviously not professional martial arts masters, and the fights are carefully choreographed.
One thing that did reflect some realistic martial arts moves was that the fights are mostly based on southern Shao Lin style, which uses arms far more than legs.
Some actors did appear to have some type of training.
Chuang wang li zi cheng (1980)
So-So, for Hong Kong Kung Fu flick
The movie mix the romance and kung-fu, and our hero had to fight the evil guys who always had power, like in most kung-fu flicks, and of course, our hero finally saves the day.
Do not expect this martial arts flick is in the same category of that of Shao Lin Tzu, made one year earlier, with cooperation with China, because unlike Shao Lin Tzu, this martial arts flick is mostly filmed in Hong Kong, where land is expensive, so you cannot expect the real grand scale of scenery like in Shao Lin Tzu, but if the film makers can afford to have the high rental price for the land and that of the special effect, then they should be afford to film in China where everything was cheaper (and still is), and everything was real.
Qixuan wang yu Zhong Wu Yan (2004)
Political censorship is still very obvious
Do not take the television series serious, treat it as a purely entertainment only, because the folklore reflects the historical facts much more honestly than the television series due to political censorship.
In reality, the King of Qi (Qi Xuan Wang) reigned around 7th century B.C., the Zhou dynasty. The King of Zhou divided China into two hundred of so small kingdoms, and the Qi Xuan King ruled the Kingdom of Qi, made it the strongest one of two hundred kingdoms.
China was still a slavery society, and all women were treated as slaves. Even for those women who were free, their status is no different than those who weren't because the so-called "free" women belong to their husbands after they married, and they were treated as merely the properties of their husbands. Before their marriage, they belong to their families, in effect, they are the properties of their families.
What King of Qi Xuan did was that in the first time in the Chinese history, he enabled Chinese women to have the choice to have a little freedom and independence, but this was done in a rather bad way:
Because of soldiers' biological needs, Kingdom of Qi established the legal brothel system that purely served the military, a first in China, and probably the first in the world. Under this system, women who served in these legal brothels have the equal status of men, because they are merchants just like other male businessmen who sells commodities like food and furniture.
Obviously, under the current communist regime in China, this historical fact can never been allowed to be realistically reflected in TV or movies, or any other forms of publications or entertainments. The film crew must make up some fake stories to accommodates the plot and therefore, this production is purely entertainment, not a docudrama told in a comical way.
Bitka na Neretvi (1969)
Rare gem among the communist films
What is so great about this movie is its near matter-of-fact portray of the reality of the war, namely, the bloody defeats and suffering of the partisan army. This honest portray of what really happened in the past history is often taken for granted in movies made in west, but it is extremely rare in the eastern blocks, including the former-Yugoslavia, that is until this movie was made.
The movie was based on the historical facts of German attack on the Yugoslavian Communist bases, including inflicting great casualties on the partisan army, and in addition, the logistic parts of the partisan army, such as the central hospital, and heavy equipment, such as artillery and vehicles, were completely lost. However, German failed their original objective of eliminating the partisan army once for all in one decisive blow, despite the fact wiping out every partisan base and inflicting significant casualties on partisans:
Tito narrowly escaped the German spear head of the assault, and successfully planned and lead the remaining forces to break out, opening new fronts in Bosnia after escaping, and eventually establishing a new base there. For this reason, this battle was considered a victory by partisans because they escaped the total annihilation, and with the tiny surviving force, they eventually recovered and fight to their final victory.
This movie is an relatively accurate portrait of the extremely difficult breaking out attempts and the eventual success of the partisan army, a technical defeat but a strategic victory. In comparison to other war flicks made in communist countries, such as that of former-USSR, Romania, Vietnam, and North Korea, this movie presented the facts that most communist regime would rather not want to talk about: the heavy casualties of communist army and its cause: the inabilities of the commanders to make the best decision at the right moment at the place.
In the war flicks made in the other communist countries listed above, the heroes never dies, and their commanders never makes mistakes, and the enemy was always stupid and incapable. This movie honestly admits that the enemy is not only better equipped, but is equally capable if not better Tito's commanders. The German war fighting capabilities were given proper credit.
In this sense, this movie is the Yugoslavian equivalent of The Longest Day, made in USA, in which Germans were treated as they were -- human beings and professional soldiers who did their job despite the failure of their high command. Although there are still obvious one-sided scenes due to obvious political reasons, such as the world is bleeding when a partisan was killed, the movie is far better than any others made in the communist countries and for its honest description of the history, it deserves a perfect ten.
Frequent Flyer (1996)
What happened to the three wives in the real life?
This movie is loosely based on the true story of a cargo pilot whose name I could not remember, and therefore could not do any follow ups as I wished.
This movie is similar to The Man with Three Wives made three years earlier in 1993, which was also based on the true story, with exception that the man was played by Beau Bridges. In real life, the man in that movie was a doctor, and don't know the effect of Mr. Jack Wagner playing the role, since he played a doctor in Melrose Place. For the doctor's story, the three wives of his in the real life ending up suing each other for the money the guy had.
This movie painted a much nicer ending for the pilot, because he was simply dumped by the three wives. Is this what happened in the real life for the pilot?
Can anyone provide the name of the cargo pilot in real life, and what really happened to his three wives (or more precisely, three ex-wives)?
Tian long ba bu (2003)
Based on the famous martial arts novel
The literal translation of the title of this movie is: Celestial Dragon Eight Parts.
This movie is based on the famous contemporary martial arts novel written by the most popular Hong Kong (and possibly, for the China and Taiwan as well) martial arts Author, Mr. Yong Jin, and many of his work, including this one, was also made into cartoons, TV series as well.
Moreover, some of his popular martial arts novels were made into movies and televisions for more than once. For example, the same novel was made into movies three times, respectively in Hong Kong, Taiwan and China.
The Wedding Race (2003)
First Chinese Reality Show shot outside China
The scenery is beautiful, meaning for Australia, that is. Perhaps that this is one of the reason the TV series is shot here in Australia instead China.
The problem is that the pollution is so bad in China that you can hardly find any undisturbed beautiful beauty in China other than national parks or natural reserves. Even the sky is gray for most of time of the year, and there is certainly not any place that you can find where you can both enjoy the beautiful natural scenery and owing a home at the same time.
This brings a fundamental question: if the dream house is located in the area that is heavily polluted, why bother? But then again, the high price of the house may just be the symbol of status like an apartment in the high rise of New York.
worst movies on this topic
Based on 'Journey to the West', one of the three famous ancient Chinese novel written in the Ming dynasty, this movie is definitely not good as other.
In fact, it is the worst, mostly because of time. Obviously, the movie cannot be several hours long, but each single episode in the ancient novel can be made into a movie of two hours.
The film crew tries to cover as much episodes/chapters as possible, while in reality, such attempt if futile, and as a result, the quality obviously suffered greatly, and when compared with other movies that only describe a single chapter in the novel, the failure of this movie is obvious.
Ben yüe (2003)
The literal translation of the title of this movie is: Flying to the Moon.
This movie is made for entertainment purposes only, and contrary to what is claimed in the plot summary, this movie is not based on the traditional folklore, but rather, some series of Hong Kong cartoons that is based on martial arts novels.
The only thing that remotely links the this movie and the popular traditional folklore is that the original martial arts novels did included the folklore, but that is it. For example, the emperor was the seventh emperor of Han Dynasty, around 150 B.C, but the protagonists in folklore actually lived in Xia dynasty, around 2100 B.C.
Tou du (2002)
Reflection of the illegal immigrants
The actual literal translation of the title of this movie is: Human Smuggling.
This movie give some sort of reflection of the lives of the illegal Chinese immigrants, but it is not completely honest. The obvious problem is that the movie is trying to make excuses for everyone by blaming everything on the smuggle organizers.
In reality, however, that is not the case. For example, majority of the time, the illegal immigrants' debt was not from the smuggle organizers, but their own family members, who put up money, and these are the ones who the illegal immigrants must pay back.
Zhima jie (1998)
Excellent introduction to American culture
The literal translation of the title of this movie is: Sesame Street.
This television series is the American television series Sesame Street first aired in 1969. It is a direct translation of the original aired in China.
This television series is a masterpiece of introducing American culture to China, and namely, to Chinese kids who mostly get their idea about American culture only from the things such as McDonald's and Coca-Cola.
Great masterpiece like this should be created and introduced to other countries much more frequently.
Yi tian tu long ji (1986)
Good scenery, which no longer exists.
The actual literal translation of the title of this movie is: The Slaying of the Dragon by the Heavenly (Sword).
When this television was shot, it was among one of the earliest cooperation between China and Hong Kong in the post-Cultural Revolutionary era.
The scenery nearly twenty years ago was beautiful, but very unfortunately, the site no longer existed because due to excessive animal husbandry, the vegetation was gone and the place turned into a desert now.
This television series has an unexpected effect of reminding people the harsh reality of environmental disaster.