A Better Tomorrow (2010)

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Sundowner

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I don't really see much discussion over John Woo's heroic bloodshed films on the boards but I wanted to recommend a really good film.


A Better Tomorrow, a Korean remake of the Chinese 1986 John Woo film starring Chow Yun Fat. The film stays pretty true to the original only having minor differences. The film's backdrop was updated to North and South Korea to make it a more modern. Without giving too much away, the movie follows two brothers that are North Korean defectors that are on opposite sides of the law. One brother being able to flee North Korea while the other brother was captured and imprisoned. The brother who was successful in fleeing, became a high ranking mobster with Korean mob's black market weapons trading with the Thai mob. When the imprisoned brother is set free, its not exactly a celebration between the two as the imprisoned brother joins the police force. Honor and vengeance thrown in the mix make this an awesome update on Woo's heroic bloodshed genre.
 
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CB2001

Master Member
Wait... It was remade? I like both the original and its sequel (I had to watch them for my Chinese Cinema class back at FSU). But I can't imagine a remake having been done. Weird. :/
 

Sundowner

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I really enjoyed the original and its sequel but not really the 3rd so much (side note the 3rd A Better Tomorrow is a prequel and wasn't done by John Woo due to direction difficulties with Tsui Hark. So Woo made "Bullet in The Head" which was suppose to be the ABT III) Back to the movie huh lol. I didn't really have too high hopes for it but it turned out to be really really good! I'd highly recommend it having enjoyed the original.
 

CB2001

Master Member
I really enjoyed the original and its sequel but not really the 3rd so much (side note the 3rd A Better Tomorrow is a prequel and wasn't done by John Woo due to direction difficulties with Tsui Hark. So Woo made "Bullet in The Head" which was suppose to be the ABT III) Back to the movie huh lol. I didn't really have too high hopes for it but it turned out to be really really good! I'd highly recommend it having enjoyed the original.
I've heard of Bullet to the Head, but haven't seen it. I happen to know about it because of the Hong Kong Cinema book Sex and Zen & A Bullet to the Head: The Essential Guide to Hong Kong's Mind-Bending Films by Stefan Hammond. It's a great book, in fact it got me into watching some of the other Hong Kong action films such as The Bride with White Hair (both Part 1 and Part 2), Dragon Inn (aka Green Dragon Inn) and another John Woo classic, The Killer. I actually watched quite a few of them before I went into Chinese Cinema class, which introduced me to other Chinese films such as Red Sorghum, The Goddess, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, Suzhou River, The Emperor and the Assassin and Chungking Express. Now, I'm into a wide variety of Chinese films, as well as some other variety of cinema including Korean, Japanese, Italian, French and a bit of German films too.

Sorry for the wild tangent. Back to topic.
 

Sundowner

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I'm going to definitely check out that book and that class sounds awesome. I really love Chinese films I just wish I knew Mandarin or Cantonese because I'm sure I miss plenty in the translation.
 

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CB2001

Master Member
I'm going to definitely check out that book and that class sounds awesome. I really love Chinese films I just wish I knew Mandarin or Cantonese because I'm sure I miss plenty in the translation.
The books is definitely a good reference book, if anything, on some of the interesting films from the Chinese Cinema. The class was awesome (honestly, all of the film classes I took at FSU were pretty awesome to me). Even got a chance to see To Live and Farewell My Concubine because of Chinese Film class as well, two films I heard about before that. I know what you mean about wishing to know the language. I've thought the same way in any of the foreign film classes I took (including Italian and French Cinema).

I'm sorry, we've gone off topic again. :p
 

MFP 2020

Sr Member
Thanks for the heads-up. Korea has been making some spectacular movies in the past few years (which, of course, owe a lot to early-90s HK action movies).
 

Sundowner

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The Killer and Hard-Boiled are fantastic movies! Especially Hard-Boiled's elevator action scene in the hospital where the camera never breaks, just one long non stop action scene. FN amazing!
 

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CB2001

Master Member
The Killer and Hard-Boiled are fantastic movies! Especially Hard-Boiled's elevator action scene in the hospital where the camera never breaks, just one long non stop action scene. FN amazing!
I can't say I've seen Hard-Boiled, but I know the entire premise of Shoot 'Em Up was inspired by the movie poster.
 

Sundowner

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I highly recommend Hard-Boiled, but Shoot em Up was the only movie I felt the need to not only stop the DVD mid way but actually take it to the garbage and toss it in.
 

CB2001

Master Member
I highly recommend Hard-Boiled, but Shoot em Up was the only movie I felt the need to not only stop the DVD mid way but actually take it to the garbage and toss it in.
I will admit, I have Shoot 'Em Up in my DVD collection. I know many here have heard me complain how Hollywood fails to make films with solid stories and likable characters, but I only like Shoot 'Em Up for some of the gunfight sequences (except for the free-fall one, that was WAY too far out).

That hallway scene you posted is pretty awesome. Seriously, Hong Kong action movies are amazing sometimes. I've even found a chainsaw scene that even tops the one in Phantasm II.
 

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Sundowner

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
On the topic of chow I was shocked to see how similar City on Fire ('87) is to Reservoir Dogs ('92)
 

MFP 2020

Sr Member
I'd read about the "controversy" after I'd seen RD but before I'd seen CoF, and I think there were scene-by-scene comparisons done, but the only scene that jumped out at me as being a straight lift (or homage) was Keitel's spicy-handed cop-shooting scene. YMMV.
 

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