A Better Tomorrow (2010)

Discussion in 'Entertainment and Movie Talk' started by Sundowner, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. Sundowner

    Sundowner Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    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.
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    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.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2011
  2. CB2001

    CB2001 Master Member

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    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. :/
     
  3. Sundowner

    Sundowner Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    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.
     
  4. CB2001

    CB2001 Master Member

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    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.
     
  5. Sundowner

    Sundowner Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    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.
     
  6. CB2001

    CB2001 Master Member

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    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
     
  7. MFP 2020

    MFP 2020 Sr Member

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    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).
     
  8. Stansfield

    Stansfield Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Woo's The Killer and Hard Boiled are two of my favorite films of all time
     
  9. MFP 2020

    MFP 2020 Sr Member

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    "Hard-Boiled" is, IMO, the finest example of HK action ever committed to film. It changed my life. :)
     
  10. Sundowner

    Sundowner Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    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!
     
  11. CB2001

    CB2001 Master Member

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    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.
     
  12. Sundowner

    Sundowner Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    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.
     
  13. Sundowner

    Sundowner Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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  14. CB2001

    CB2001 Master Member

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    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.
     
  15. Sundowner

    Sundowner Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Wow that chainsaw fight was awesome! Then Chow to the rescue lol
     
  16. MFP 2020

    MFP 2020 Sr Member

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    But Stihl! :)

    I've wondered for a long time why I'll give John Woo's "infinite ammo" a pass, but I won't tolerate it from anyone else.

    On the opposite end of the realism scale, there's my favorite American shootout: Best Shootouts - Vol. 2 - The Way of the Gun - YouTube
     
  17. Sundowner

    Sundowner Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    ^This, lol
     
  18. Sundowner

    Sundowner Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    On the topic of chow I was shocked to see how similar City on Fire ('87) is to Reservoir Dogs ('92)
     
  19. MFP 2020

    MFP 2020 Sr Member

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    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.
     
  20. Wolfie138

    Wolfie138 Well-Known Member

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    i'd say you could take the "HK" out of that sentence.
     
  21. Kt Templar

    Kt Templar Well-Known Member

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    OMG! I knew that Torchwood scene rang some bells! Wow, I never would have imagined that RTD would reference a CYF movie.

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    ABT 3 is a odd creature. I really like it and it has a bitter sweet feel, the female star who was a huge pop star (sort of the equivalent of Madonna in the 80's) died of cancer in December 2003

    ABT 1&2 are high up on my favourite movie lists, they were just astonishingly refreshing for their time. The younger brother 'Kit' Leslie Chung (also a huge pop star) killed himself by jumping off one of those huge high rises in HK (Mandarin Oriental Hotel says google). On April the 1st 2003.

    I tried to watch the Korean remake, but didn't get far into it. I had heard that they were trying to get a HK remake off the ground around then, but don't think it happened.
     
  22. Sundowner

    Sundowner Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Ya I was bummed when I found out the actor that played Kit committed suicide. It was a sad story.

    I like the Torchwood side by side thats funny. Anyone ever notice how big that baby is on the HB poster?!
     
  23. CB2001

    CB2001 Master Member

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    He was a good performer. I thought he did a pretty good job in The Bride with White Hair and was impressive in Farewell My Concubine.
     
  24. MFP 2020

    MFP 2020 Sr Member

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    I regret that I squandered the opportunity to get a picture like that with my son. I wanted to... :cry
     
  25. Sundowner

    Sundowner Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    That would have been awesome lol
     
  26. Sundowner

    Sundowner Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Just fyi, A Better Tomorrow is available on netflix streaming!
     
  27. tgreco

    tgreco Sr Member

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    always loved the original,
    caught the remake on Netflix after reading this thread

    incredible remake

    highly recommended
     
  28. Sundowner

    Sundowner Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I watched it again and enjoyed it even more. Maybe it's because I really have to pay attention to read the sub titles.
     
  29. kell

    kell Well-Known Member

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    O.k. picked it up. Was let down big time. I thought the characters were a little flat. Original fleshed
    out the characters, and Chow yun fat stole the show. His character was so awesome they had to bring him back for ABT2..
     
  30. Sundowner

    Sundowner Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I loved ABT but I thought ABT2 was kind of hokey to have "oh wait but he has a twin brother!" now granted I did like ABT2 just that angle kind of bothered me.
     
  31. kell

    kell Well-Known Member

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    Twin brother was the only way to bring back a guy who had been shot that many times. The sequel probably would not have happened with out Chow. I agree with you, hokey, but cool.
     
  32. Sundowner

    Sundowner Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I agree ABT2 would have probably been a flop without Chow
     

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