Well… since I’ve been “on Sabbatical” it’s been a miserably chilly damp last month here at “La Casa de Neko”, but finally it seems we’re going to get some well deserved warm weather for a change. Yay for that! 😉 Along with that burst of warmth, my sweetie and I have started getting out more for walks and the like as part of Carolyn’s plans to drive away those nasty “blaaahhhs” I’ve been saddled with lately. So it was no surprise that she decided we needed a proper trip to the movies for a change of pace. What to watch? Well, this time out it was my turn to learn one of my dear Carolyn’s childhood secrets… You see, way back in the day all the while lil’ Miyuki was busy playing “Jungle Explorer” or “Kung Fu Princess” she, on the other hand, was secretly smitten with Linda Carter and her own girlish dreams of being a certain Butt-kicking Amazon Princess. 😉
Oh yes… you’d never guess it, seeing her now, but it seems my adorably well grounded, very straight-laced, very sensible and no-nonsense Carolyn apparently had a few of her own silly girlish fantasies waaay back in the day. Unlike goofy lil’ me, she usually kept all that really quiet around most people, but one thing that grabbed her imagination and wouldn’t let go was the old TV series, “The Adventures of Wonder Woman”. According to Carolyn when she was 5 or 6 she spent several Halloween’s dressed up in her very own red, yellow, and blue costume complete with a long black wig, little tiara, and “magical” golden lasso (actually a length of bright neon yellow plastic clothesline she swiped from a neighbor’s backyard…) collecting her candy and dreaming of deflecting bullets with her bracelets and soundly whomping the living snot out of Nazi thugs and the like. OMG!! How I soooooo wish she’d saved some pictures of from back then!!
Given that, even if Superheroes really aren’t usually my thing, there really was no question of choice when we decided upon a nice Saturday afternoon matinée together. Afterall… this lil’ Catgirl is all about Female Empowerment and indulging in a little nostalgic game of “remember when” with my special angel is just the icing on the cake. 😉
So… how was it? Did it bring back and fond memories for my loving wife, maybe reawaken her desires to be an Amazon warrior all over again? Guess you’ll have to “Read On” and find out, now won’t you? 😉 Psst! This way for more!
Our February “Martial Arts Mayhem: Fighting Femmes Festival – 2016″ continues! This time out how about some feisty stick fighting Hindi women out to kick butt and protect and empower the poor, exploited, and downtrodden women of rural India… by ganging up and beating the living beejeebits outta some slimy guys and battling corrupt government officials with both ballots and sticks? Ummm, yep, that’s definitely the sorta movie we’re looking for this month… 😉
Our synopsis? Ok, try this: “A fearless peasant heroine named Rajjo creates a sanctuary village where abandoned and abused girls and women are taught to read and make a life for themselves making baskets, grinding spices, and weaving beautiful pink saris to sell. Together they grow strong and fight social injustice while battling a crooked politician out to trick the poor rural people for her own wicked enrichment.”
Well… While it’s fair to say it’s not exactly a Martial Art film, nonetheless this one oozes lots of action, drama, and “female empowerment”… and from the trailer, it looks like we’ll certainly get our fill of crazy stick fighting lady action. I’m thinking it’s a good pick for our theme this month. Wanna find out if it’s a good match for our festival? Then hurry on up and “Read On”… 🙂
Time for another of our February festival reviews for our “Martial Arts Mayhem: Fighting Femmes Festival – 2016″, and this time one of those classics I told you I had on tap, 1985’s Hong Kong action fav, “Yes, Madam!” featuring the dynamic pairing of Michele Yeoh and Cynthia Rothrock.
Our synopsis? “Investigating the murder of a rich Westerner, tough Hong Kong Senior Inspector Ng is forced to team up with equally tough Scotland Yard Inspector Carrie Morris to track down secret microfilm evidence that contains complete details of a triad boss and his gang’s illegal activities, evidence which has fallen into the hands of a trio of hapless bumbling thieves. Bullets flying, fists and kicks exploding, it’s a race to the finish to see who will find the microfilm first with the lives of those low level crooks always hanging in the balance.”
This one’s an old movie from waaay back in the day, and probably the inspiration for the torrent of “Tough Lady Cop” movies that ruled the late 80’s and early 90’s HK movie scene. Yours truly caught it back when I was in college as part of the wave of HK action films that began showing up here in the US. While maybe not the best of them, it most certainly made it’s mark and cemented the careers of both Michele Yeoh and her co-star Cynthia Rothrock as the ruling queens of HK action cinema. Been some time since I gave it a watch, so with our current theme festival underway, I dug my old Mei Ah Region 3 release out and decided it was time to see it again. Wanna share my cinematic memories? Then, by all means, “Read On” o’ Gentle Visitors! 😉
Time for another entry in February’s “Martial Arts Mayhem: Fighting Femmes Festival – 2016”, and this time out we have 2015’s Chinese period Martial Art drama “The Assassin”.
The synopsis reads as follows: “Tang Dynasty China. 10-year-old general’s daughter Nie Yinniang is abducted by a nun who initiates her into the martial arts, transforming her into an exceptional assassin charged with eliminating cruel and corrupt local governors. One day, having failed in her task, she is sent back by her mistress to the land of her birth, with orders to kill the man to whom she was promised – a cousin who now leads the largest military region in North China. After 13 years of exile, the young woman must confront her parents, her memories and her long-repressed feelings. A slave to the orders of her mistress, Nie Yinniang must choose: sacrifice the man she loves or break forever with the sacred way of the righteous assassins.”
OK… Pretty young girl raised to become the deadliest assassin in ancient China… sounds like we’ve got a promising selection for our current theme, but naturally, the only way to know for certain if this one is gonna satisfy your Favorite Catgirl’s thirst for oodles of “Female Empowerment” is to give it a watch, right? So let’s not waste any more time and get right to it then shall we? 😉
Time for another installment of our February “Martial Arts Mayhem: Fighting Femmes Festival – 2016”. This time out? Well how about some “female empowerment” from a somewhat unexpected source, the country of Brunei, with a look at director Siti Kamaluddin’s 2014 “Yasmine”.
Our synopsis goes like this: “Living alone with her strict father, Yasmine is a free-spirited girl, sometimes unruly and even rebellious. When her father tells her she’s been refused a school loan and must study far from her friends, at a grim public college, she takes the news very poorly. To top it off, Adi, her old school’s silat prodigy with whom Yasmine is hopelessly in love, now has his eye instead on her rival Dewi, also a practitioner of that same martial art. So she joins the humble silat club at her new college, building a friendship with her teammates Ali and Nadia. Soon she convinces them to join her in signing up for the same intercollegiate silat competition that Dewi and Adi are participating in, with hopes winning Adi’s affections once more. Yasmine is forced to undertake her training in secrecy, because her father harbors an unexplained contempt for the sport and forbids her any involvement with it. As the first round of the competition approaches, Yasmine is driven to excel at all cost, possibly even the loss of her newfound friends. Eventually, her unbridled ambition, her single minded vendetta with Dewi, and her fixation on Adi will soon push Yasmine to learn the secret why her father wants nothing to do with silat.”
Sound a little like “The Karate Kid”? Well… yes… but being a film from Brunei, I was certainly expecting something a wee bit different. Trust me… Brunei is definitely not a place I really associated with “female empowerment”. Nope. So was I surprised or disappointed with what was on hand? Guess you’ll have to “Read On” and find out, won’t you? 😉
February is here at last and with it the first featured Review of this month’s “Martial Arts Mayhem: Fighting Femmes Festival – 2016”. First up? Well how about some “old school” Shaw Brothers style period piece Martial Arts storytelling by way of Indonesia with a look at 2014″s “Pendekar Tongkat Emas” aka “The Golden Cane Warrior”?
Our synopsis is as follows: “The Golden Cane: a relic of incomparable force, coveted by all. And with it, the training of a technique so unrivaled, it vanquishes all who dare oppose its power. As Master Cempaka and her four disciples – orphans of her enemies, now heirs to the Cane – prepare for the new warrior guardian to ascend, an act of villainous betrayal from within threatens to destroy the clan and destabilize the realm. Their only hope to restore order lies in finding the elusive White Dragon, the only remaining pupil still equipped to unlock the mysteries of the Golden Cane.”
Let’s see… we’ve got a nifty mystical weapon… a devastatingly deadly unstoppable “secret technique”… the classic old “aging Master passing the torch to his most worthy successor” plot idea… along with some good old fashioned jealous skulduggery by the stereotypical evil disciples trying to steal away the glory from the worthy one and give us the excuse for some serious “chop-socky” action. Yep, certainly sounds like all the classic old bits are in place.
Ooooohhh!!! Did Neko forget to mention that our movie’s modest, shy, brave, and truly worthy potential successor is a girl? But of course… that’s just how we gonna roll this month, Hehehehe!! 😉
So watcha’ all waitin’ for? Grab your popcorn, prepare for some Kung-Fu the way they used to make em’ back in the good ol’ days… and, of course, by all means “Read On” for all the details. 😉
January is soooo almost gone, and it strikes this wee lady that I’m still being a big ol’ lazy slug when it comes to being active here at the ol’ Litterbox. Sigh…
I’m almost back to my perky, quirky, downright silly self for the most part, so I guess I don’t really have any good excuses for my continued lack of attention to things. Plenty of healthy exercise this month and a renewed effort to get back to my Tai Chi swordplay regimen regularly have me back to the kind of physical shape I ought to be in. OK, then… You know what that means, right? No more excuses, Miyuki!! Time to rally this wee Catgirl’s “Warrior Spirit”, take a deep breath, and plunge back into things with everything I’ve got.
With that in mind, I’m dedicating the month of February to yet another go at a theme Review Festival… and this time out it’s gonna be movies all about us feisty ladies kicking serious butt. So…. get yourselves ready o’ Gentle Visitors, for “Martial Arts Mayhem: Fighting Femmes Festival – 2016”. 😉
I’ve got a whole pile of recent Martial Arts female centric films on hand, and I’m definitely gonna spice it up with a look at a couple of old classics I’ve been itching to watch again. Just the kind of thing to get the ball rolling around here again.
Oooohhh! And to get ya in the mood for the kind of action this wee lady’s talkin’ about, o’ Gentle Visitors, how about a little video taste of things to come…Watch out! Every Lady is Kung-Fu Fighting!! 😉
So.. our “Thrilling Adventures!!” March 2015 Movie Review Festival is officially underway, and in the spirit of all Globe-Trotting Adventurers, we head waaaay waaaay to the other side of Terra Incognito. Well… Russia actually… for our first cinematic adventure gem. It’s 2007’s “Tomb Raider” wannabe “Skalolazka and the Last of the Seventh Cradle”. Neko’s been on the prowl for this one for quite a while. Russian film can be remarkably stubborn when it comes to getting any kind of English friendly DVD release, and this one is no exception. In fact… the only release outside of the Russian Region 5 unsubtitled one is… weirdly enough… a French Region 2 that came with no subtitles at all… and no Russian audio language track either! Yep. It was a straight “dubbed into French” release that was about as worthless for this wee kitten as you might get. D’ohh!!
Synopsis? Sketchy at best, but here goes: “An exciting story about incredible adventures of Alena Ovchinnikova a female rock climber, expert in ancient languages who comes into possession of an ancient artifact of enormous unknown power and by the fate’s will, becomes the savior of human civilization.”
Yep. It took a bit of prowling about to locate some Russian subtitles… in Cyrillic script… that yours truly could work her obsessive Catgirl magic upon to give me some reasonably workable English translated ones to make watching this one possible. Whew!! Yep… my lovely “dorogaya” thinks I’m crazy… and maybe she’s right. 😉 The only way you’ll know for certain is to “Read On” o’ Gentle Visitors and see for yourself…
Seems that I’m still on a Martial Arts kick here at the ol’ Litterbox… so this time out it’s a look at the 2014 Korean “Charlie’s Angles” inspired period Action/ Comedy, “The Huntresses”. Fierce, pretty, and totally spunky ladies playing at Martial Arts and bounty hunting in Josean Korea? Yeah… I’m definitely up for some of that. My assumption is that there are probably a lot of you regular Gentle Visitors who might just agree…. 😉
Our synopsis goes like this here: “Three intelligent and talented beauties, the amazing swords-woman Jin-ok, housewife and deadly fighter Hong-dan, and the rebellious young tomboy Ga-bi, are the 17th century Joseon dynasty’s top bounty hunters, and they never fail to capture a target, no matter the criminal or the crime. Together, they set out on a secret mission commissioned by the king of Korea to search for the stauroscope, and in doing so, prevent a dastardly group from gaining absolute power and overturning the royal family on behalf of the evil minions of the Qing Emperor of China.”
OK then… sounds pretty straightforward. Warrior Princess Neko is always up for almost any movie featuring plucky Martial Art heroines whupping the snot out of slimy villainous bad guys and saving the day for Truth, Justice and Love so it’s fairly certain from the Trailer that I’m probably exactly the audience they were shooting for with this one. 😉 So… hey… without any further adieu, Gentle Visitors, let’s frolic off to 17th century Korea and check out all the fun.
Well… it’s finally here. The Region 2 UK DVD release for the 2013 Vietnamese swordplay adventure “Mỹ Nhân Kế 3D” aka “The Lady Assassin”that I’ve been waiting for anxiously for like what seems forever!! I know this one was supposed to be another “shared review” with Stephen from Gweilo Ramblings but seeing as he’s already covered this one over at the Asian cinema blog Easternkicks.com, I can’t see making him repeat himself all over again so instead I thought I’d go ahead and do one of my own and not bug him again quite so soon. (Pssst! No worries Stephen… we’ll get the chance next month if you like when the Vietnamese horror goodie“House in the Alley” comes out on Region 1 DVD… 😉
Our synopsis for this one goes along these lines: “In the remote Duong Son Tavern, the beautiful and mysterious landlady Kieu Thi along with the help of her three gorgeous hostesses lures weary travelers, bandits and officials into her establishment for what they promise will be an unforgettable time. But rather than selling their bodies, the women rob and murder their guests, hording a growing pile of gold for a rainy day. Their latest haul reveals a coffin which conceals a beautiful young noblewoman – the bound and desperate Linh Lan. She begs them to spare her life and train her in their martial art style, to become an assassin, so she can kill evil general Quan Du, who she claims murdered her family. Kieu Thi agrees, and takes Linh Lan under her wing, but it soon transpires that not everyone at Duong Son Tavern is who they originally claimed to be.”
Pretty Vietnamese girls with deadly Kung Fu skills… plenty of slimy evil bastards that truly need killing… some sweet love and romance for spice… (maybe a little subtle lesbian subtext too if I’ve learned anything about exploitation film-making… )…and… wait for it…. some anachronistic beach volleyball! Yep… seems a certain wannabe Wuxia Princess is gonna have all the bases covered with this one and then some… 😉
An insatiably curious lil' kitten with admittedly odd tastes in film and music, addicted to spicy food and berry wine coolers.... generally playful but with a surprising fierceness when annoyed. But don't worry... she's had all her shots!