John Woo films

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thl
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John Woo films

Post by thl » Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:00 pm

Probably one of the most recognisable director that graced both the Hong Kong and American film industry.

I was first introduced to his early martial arts films titled Countdown in Kung Fu (released as The Hand of Death in the West) which also starred the young Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung. It was then followed by his swordplay film Last Hurrah For Chivalry that provided some decent fight choreography. Even though these films were less successful at the box office, it did had that cult following afterwards.

It wasn't until the mid 1980s that became very prominent for John Woo. After getting fed up with comedy, he decided to look at other alternatives by introducing gunplay action that became somewhat of a trademark for himself. Since the release of A Better Tomorow, it completely defined the genre known as heroic bloodshed and what can you expect from it? Bullets. Explosions. Blood. You name it all.

My favourite films from Hong Kong are:

A Better Tomorrow - This is were it all began.

A Better Tomorrow II - Brilliant sequel that has a great carnage scene at the mansion near the end.

Bullet in the Head - Very compelling piece that took place in the Vietnam War.

Hard Boiled - Lots of explosive gun sequences, especially in the teahouse, warehouse and the hospital. A must-see film.

The Killer - Brilliant storyline with good use of film noir and thematic motifs. Also the cinematography was well captured.

As for the ones he made in America, Face/Off gets my vote as both John Travolta and Nicolas Cage were exceptional in that leading role and the performance was brilliant. Definitely worth watching.

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thevulture
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Re: John Woo films

Post by thevulture » Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:19 pm

Hard Boiled was THE film that got me into Hong Kong cinema and along with Bullet In The Head are 2 of my all time favs.

Only John woo film i came away dissapointed from so far? the WW2 film, Windtalkers, where Cage basically wins WW2 in his theature by himself.

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Mire Mare
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Re: John Woo films

Post by Mire Mare » Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:18 pm

I think Woo did some great films, particularly when working with Chow Yun-Fat. I enjoyed all the films you mentioned, thl, and would add 'Once a Thief' to those. While it's not as good as Hard Boiled etc it's still a glossy and enjoyable film.

Latterly, I thought Mission:Impossible 2 was atrocious! It would have been 30 mins shorter in length, and possibly better, if Woo hadn't over used slow motion.

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JazzFunk
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Re: John Woo films

Post by JazzFunk » Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:40 pm

Loved A Better Tomorrow, Hard Boiled and The Killer but never got around to seeing Bullet In The Head (which sounded interesting).

Got to second the love for Face Off, originally saw it at the cinema and it blew my socks off, a really fun, exciting violent action romp. Hard Target was very decent, too, also saw that at the cinema and really enjoyed it.

I *do* remember something he did with Dolph Lundgren, 'Black Jack', I think? That, uh, that was pretty munt.

Stopped following his stuff as he went into making bigger budget, less adult-themed movies, kind of just blurred into being a good but generic Hollywood action director.

thl
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Re: John Woo films

Post by thl » Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:55 pm

Mire Mare wrote:I think Woo did some great films, particularly when working with Chow Yun-Fat.
Especially how he came up with the idea for Chow Yun Fat's character, in which was inspired by Alain Delon.
Mire Mare wrote:I enjoyed all the films you mentioned, thl, and would add 'Once a Thief' to those. While it's not as good as Hard Boiled etc it's still a glossy and enjoyable film.
I almost forgot about Once a Thief as it seem overlooked by other films. Yet might have to watch it again as it's been a while now.

thl
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Re: John Woo films

Post by thl » Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:58 pm

JazzFunk wrote:I *do* remember something he did with Dolph Lundgren, 'Black Jack', I think? That, uh, that was pretty munt.
That's the one. It was originally supposed to be a TV series, but made into a feature length film instead.

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JazzFunk
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Re: John Woo films

Post by JazzFunk » Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:31 am

^I paid a quid rental for it, back in 1990-whatever, when a quid was quite a hefty sacrifice to one of pauper stock.

It failed. I want my quid back.

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resident paul
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Re: John Woo films

Post by resident paul » Thu Jun 23, 2011 1:31 pm

You can tell it is a John Woo film is the leading character in slow motion flying through the air with a pistol in each hand firing continuously.
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Re: John Woo films

Post by James A » Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:21 pm

The Warehouse shoot out in Hard Boiled where Chow Yun Fat drops in from the roof i still rate as one of the best shoot outs of all time. The bit where the bad guy jumps through the car as it detonates all around him is just simply awesome.

Hard boiled was the film that got me into HK Cinema as well. I remeber there was a piece about it in the Daily Mail (another ban this sick filth film). That evening i went to my local video store and quite amazingly for there, there was a copy. I think i watched it twice in one evening :D The second time getting a few of my mates round who where equally amazed.

After that i managed to get hold of copies of The Killer & A Better Tommorow which all blew me away especially the Killer which has one of the best endings to a film ever.

Sadly after seeing those films though both John Woo and Chow Yun Fat haven't done anything nearly as good in Hollywood.

Wasn't there a rumour of them doing Hard Boiled 2 or was that what Stranglehold turned into?
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thevulture
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Re: John Woo films

Post by thevulture » Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:33 pm

resident paul wrote:You can tell it is a John Woo film is the leading character in slow motion flying through the air with a pistol in each hand firing continuously.
:lol: Don't forget the Doves, oil drums stacked up, cars exploding as if they'd been transporting Semtex prior to being shot to pieces etc

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mrbungle
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Re: John Woo films

Post by mrbungle » Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:21 pm

Loved all of his early stuff but its disheartening to have seen all the j's go downhill once they hit Hollywood :( John Woo, Jet li and Jackie Chan's best work all seemed to have been on their own home turf.
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thl
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Re: John Woo films

Post by thl » Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:38 pm

James A wrote:The Warehouse shoot out in Hard Boiled where Chow Yun Fat drops in from the roof i still rate as one of the best shoot outs of all time. The bit where the bad guy jumps through the car as it detonates all around him is just simply awesome.
Brilliant scene it was as it started with the gang raiding the warehouse. As for Tony Leung who jumped through the explosion of the car, he was very lucky to survive it as he pulled off an incredible stunt.
James A wrote:Wasn't there a rumour of them doing Hard Boiled 2 or was that what Stranglehold turned into?
Stranglehold is a direct sequel to Hard Boiled in which Chow Yun-Fat reprise his role as Tequilla.

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felgekarp
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Re: John Woo films

Post by felgekarp » Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:19 pm

I was never that fond of The Killer, I think it's because I found the end bit a bit stupid, Hard Boiled though is one of the best films I've ever seen, Hard Targets pretty damn good as well.
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Re: John Woo films

Post by pratty » Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:38 pm

I've been a fan of John Woo for a while, though not a fan of every film. Of course I liked the "Heroic Bloodshed" movies he made with Chow Yun Fat that others have mentioned. I also liked Last Hurrah for Chivalry (one of my favourite film titles ever) and more recently Redcliff.
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BennyTheGreek
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Re: John Woo films

Post by BennyTheGreek » Mon Aug 22, 2011 3:03 pm

Surprised no one has mentioned Broken Arrow....

A very under rated film imo

I really enjoyed Stranglehold (I did only pay a fiver for it though)

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