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-   -   Shinjuku Incident (http://forums.animesuki.com/showthread.php?t=80723)

kenjiharima 2009-04-20 13:16

Shinjuku Incident
 
Looks like a great movie to look forward too.

More explanation of the movie with an interview with Jackie Chan.


Hs Vi Germania 2009-04-20 13:17

Could be interesting. Jackie doen't get old, huh? :D

kenjiharima 2009-04-20 13:36

Yeah he doesn't :heh:

Though it shows on the face when he's not using botoks. :heh: But non the less he still has his agility and speed, though he's more fragile now for his age. But Iam still glad he still does films like this one.

Shadow Kira01 2009-04-20 16:06

Considering that the male lead is Jackie Chan and the story is about illegal Chinese immigrants in Shinjuku, I am going have to assume that this is another piece of propaganda before even watching it.

holyalexander 2009-04-20 17:59

i really watch any movie that jackie chan does.. cause his so great doing stunts on his own..

Nosauz 2009-04-20 18:30

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shadow Minato (Post 2352508)
Considering that the male lead is Jackie Chan and the story is about illegal Chinese immigrants in Shinjuku, I am going have to assume that this is another piece of propaganda before even watching it.

really dude? Name some more of his propganda films, i bet shanghai noon was one of them, rumble in the bronx, rush hour, and the list goes on, oh for shame.

the only propaganda that he pushes is that martial arts can be funny as hell.

Lathdrinor 2009-04-20 18:30

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shadow Minato (Post 2352508)
Considering that the male lead is Jackie Chan and the story is about illegal Chinese immigrants in Shinjuku, I am going have to assume that this is another piece of propaganda before even watching it.

No more so than, say, the vast majority of American war films, I suspect.

I also suspect that despite this film casting the Japanese yakuza (I think?) as the villains, I don't think the portrayal of Japan will be terribly bad. The true propaganda films are produced in China, not Hong Kong. In fact, according to Wikipedia: "[Shinjuku Incident] is banned in China for its unflattering portrayal of illegal Chinese immigrants and for its violence."

TinyRedLeaf 2009-04-21 00:07

I had meant to post a review here after watching this movie a couple of weeks ago but, well, life (and the lack of motivation) got in the way.

Considering the "surprise" result of the Definitive and Legendary Battle of Awesomeness and Manliness, I figured that if people truly want to see a movie of Jackie Chan in gritty action, Shinjuku Incident would be it.

For a start, Western audiences who are more familiar with Chan's action or comedic roles will find none of that low-brow nonsense here. This is Jackie Chan being "real", instead of being typecast by Hollywood into slapstick roles. As he said in the interview posted by the kenjiharima, Chan wanted to show he could be a serious actor and, by and large, I think he succeeded here, although I certainly wouldn't call it an award-winning performance. But what's on screen still comes out very effectively, and that's already quite an achievement in my view.

A short synopsis
Jackie Chan plays "Steelhead", a Chinese peasant from the frigid north-eastern region of China (the specific location was never mentioned in the film, but I assume it's somewhere in Manchuria) during the 1990s, when China's present economic boom had not yet taken root. Life was very harsh and money hard to come by. This was a time when many Chinese used various ways and means to sneak into richer neighbouring countries, such as Japan, to eke a living.

One year, Steelhead's childhood sweetheart also decided to leave for Japan, because she already had an aunt there who could pull strings to bring her over. Although reluctant to see her leave, Steelhead told her to pursue her dreams.

Years later, he abrubtly loses touch with her. According to his cousin — Jie (Daniel Wu), who was already residing, illegally, in Japan — she suddenly disappeared after her aunt passed away. Anxious to find out what happened, Steelhead decided to sneak into Japan as an illegal immigrant. The ship he sailed on sank off the coast and he barely escaped capture to make it to Tokyo, where he found refuge with Jie, who was living in a dormitory with other illegal immigrants from all parts of China.

The movie then goes on to portray the life of illegal immigrants during 1990s Tokyo. It's quite an eye-opener and fairly well-researched, I believe. Shinjuku Incident shows the culture clash between the Chinese and Japanese with a good amount of sensitivity, and seldom lapses into the usual stereotypes of bad guys/good guys.

The Chinese immigrants — who speak in authentic dialects, by the way; you'd hear a mix of Cantonese, Hokkien as well as Mandarin being spoken throughout the film — lead a scrappy life filled with petty crime (this is unusual for a Chinese-language film, which is what Beijing is very unhappy about). They seize every little opportunity to make whatever money they can. In one scene, for example, one of Steelhead and Jie's dormitory mates brazenly shoplifts fruits and even a set of golf clubs from Japanese shops, in plain sight and much to Steelhead's shock. Jie had to explain to him, matter-of-factly, that the Japanese were being foolish by leaving their wares unattended. They may trust their fellow Japanese not steal from them, but the Chinese had no such scruples.

Nonetheless, Steelhead attempted, at first, to stick to the straight and narrow, even though the others could immediately sense his talent and latent ambition. He stuck to low-paying menial jobs he picked up here and there, while searching constantly for his lost sweetheart. Along the way, he befriends a Japanese cop (the affable Naoto Takenaka, who played Streissman in the live-action version of Nodame Cantible), who would latwe play a crucial role.

This being a story about illegal immigrants working in the slummiest parts of Tokyo, Steelhead inevitably becomes embroiled with the Japanese yakuza. And, just as director Derek Yee had done with the Chinese immigrants, the gangsters are portrayed as equal parts good and bad. There are the honourable ones as well as the malicious ones. Nonetheless, they all share the same desire for power and an almost fanatical respect for Japanese tradition (which basically translates into an irrational hatred for the Chinese intruders).

In the end, the movie shows that it's not always easy to tell who's the bad guy or good guy. Very often, people are driven by circumstances, and in a dog-eat-dog world, only those with ambition and power — together with a willingness to use that power — would get ahead.

And that's what happens to Steelhead — circumstances eventually pushed him into a life of crime, in collusion with one faction of the Tokyo yakuza. Through his ingenuity and strength of character, Steelhead managed to unite several illegal Chinese immigrants and successfully seized de facto control of Shinjuku.

From then on, though, karma started catching up with both the protagonists and antagonists, Chinese and Japanese alike. It may or may not be a happy ending, depending on your point of view.

=======

In short, if you're a fan of mafia movies like The Godfather and The Godfather II, I highly recommend Shinjuku Incident, which follows in the same mould. It provides an inside peek at how organised crime may work in Japan, without necessarily glamorising it.

By the way, this is hardly the first "gritty" movie that Chan has done. There is also New Police Story, where Chan played an alcoholic cop looking for redemption. If he keeps it up, Chan may yet prove that he is a serious actor. In any case, he's already a highly respected figure in Chinese communities throughout the world, despite his most recent caustic (but honest) remarks against his own people.

Spectacular_Insanity 2009-04-21 00:42

From the synopsis, sounds like a great movie. I can't wait to see it.

kenjiharima 2009-04-21 01:52

This is something new for Jackie, that's why Iam looking forward for this film. It's not your regular Police Story or the comedic Rush Hour series. It's about something that affects the culture of both nations in the late 70's and early 80's.

jagass 2009-04-21 02:05

Can't wait to see this...

Nosauz 2009-04-21 06:34

Really I don't get why Chan is taking so much flak, his statements were crass, and down right incencitive, but he really was commenting on the capitilist greed that lead to the death of those hundreds of infants that drank that tainted milk. The "lawlessness" and the greed that afflicts china as everybody is desperately trying to make the biggest buck by cutting corners. Yes his statement makes him sound like a moron but really he has a point that democracy isn't shoehorned into a country as the U.S. likes to believe.

I'm glad hes made a good movie, I'll be definitely on the look out for this.

kenjiharima 2009-04-21 11:46

It's what I call conflict...In the interview and the movie itself. Pretty much this will be a great movie as seen in the trailer. Thanks to the interview we've gotten more deph to this movie than just another Jackie Chan action film.

Nerroth 2009-04-21 13:07

Does this movie show any of the divides in the Japanese side of things, such as depicting the Buraku minority, also?

It would be interesting to see the kind of stereotypes that they also have to face be challenged, along with those of immigrant Chinese in Japan...

TinyRedLeaf 2009-04-21 13:39

^ No. To be sure, including side plots about Japanese minority groups would have fragmented the narrative unnecessarily. The story is told mostly from the Chinese perspective, although the various factions of the yakuza do get their fair share of air time to flesh out their motivations. Unlike many Hong Kong action flicks, the "villains" of Shinjuku Incident aren't your typical cardboard bad guys, so it's quite a refreshing change. In fact, your good guys aren't actually that "good" either — it's all very grey.

Basically, the movie shows that when people get desperate, anything goes. Ethics and morality are luxuries for the well fed. When you're at the bottom of the heap, with nowhere else to go but up, you'd do whatever you have to do to climb up to the next rung.

Nosauz 2009-04-21 13:41

I'm guessing its in cantonese? why cant hk's movies be in mandarin...because the interview was in cantonese, but there was mandarin... gah i'm confused. Also why does every movie out of hk have to be in cantonese... i mean infernal affairs i can understand but once upon time in china I just cant.

TinyRedLeaf 2009-04-21 13:48

I wouldn't know. It screens in Mandarin over here. But it ultimately depends, I think, on which part of the Chinese diaspora the movie would be shown.

Throughout the movie, the various Chinese speak in their native dialects, and not just Mandarin. Steelhead and Jie speak in Mandarin, true, but their accents are Taiwanese rather than the northern accent that they should actually have (that means, of course, that their scripts have obviously been dubbed for Singaporean audiences).

Bear in mind also that Jackie Chan has long since broken into the mainland market in a big way, so I wouldn't be surprised if the "main" screening language would be the official Mandarin. It'll probably screen in Cantonese only in Hong Kong and other predominantly Cantonese communities in the rest of the world.

By the way, the Japanese speak in Japanese. Their conversations are fully subtitled.

Nosauz 2009-04-21 13:59

Not worried about the japanese, just worried about cantonese, because its hard enough just to keep up with japanese, chinese, and english. I mean I know if i tried I could pick up the cantonese but man its just a pain when i wanna watch chinese cinema.

Nerroth 2009-04-21 16:01

Quote:

Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf (Post 2354188)
^ No. To be sure, including side plots about Japanese minority groups would have fragmented the narrative unnecessarily. The story is told mostly from the Chinese perspective, although the various factions of the yakuza do get their fair share of air time to flesh out their motivations. Unlike many Hong Kong action flicks, the "villains" of Shinjuku Incident aren't your typical cardboard bad guys, so it's quite a refreshing change. In fact, your good guys aren't actually that "good" either — it's all very grey.


I see - though given that one of the stereotypes that the burakumin face is that they are alleged to be overly involved in the yakuza - which might in part stem from the overly-disproportionate level of yakuza membership indicated here - it would have been useful to explore that angle, too.


(That said, maybe that could be part of the point - that the burakumin are such an invisible problem to most outsiders that the Chinese involved don't even notice it?)

d' airscapez 2009-04-22 03:31

Finally a more serious role from Jackie Chan although there Is nothing wrong with comical martial arts just gets a bit boring, can't wait to watch It.


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