Monday, 26 March 2012

The Viral Factor

Hong Kong action at it's best!
Released March 29th on DVD/Blu-Ray

The Viral Factor
Action/Drama -  20 January 2012 (Hong Kong)
Director: Dante Lam
Writers: Dante Lam (screenplay), Candy Leung (story)Stars: Jay Chou, Nicholas Tse, Carl Ng and Bing Bai

This film came out in January and it could already be a contender for the best action film of the year! Dante Lam has created a non stop action, pull no punches thrill ride from start to finish which is hugely entertaining and a feast for the eyes.


A mission gone wrong leaves cop Jon (Jay Chou, Green Hornet/Initial D) with a bullet in his head, and the diagnosis of two weeks to live. His mother (Elaine Jin) confesses to Jon that he has an older brother that he knows nothing. In travelling to Kuala Lumpur to track down his father (Liu Kai-chi), Jon quickly crosses paths with this brother, Yeung (Nicholas Tse, Beast Stalker/Bodyguards and Assassins), a thief and single father.
Soon Jon and Yeung are both on the trail and in the cross hairs of Sean (Andy On), a corrupt government agent and former colleague of Jon’s working in cahoots with a billionaire and a legion of henchmen to develop a mutated strain of the smallpox virus, and its corresponding antidote, to create a panic and make a fortune in peddling the cure.

Anyone going into this expecting an Academy Award winning film will be disappointed. What The Viral Factor is, is an action film. Reminiscent of the great Hong Kong actions films of the 90s, The Viral Factor has explosions, car chases, fight scenes and gun shoot outs a plenty. This will keep you entertained for the 2 hour running time.

What'd you say bish?!

The Viral Factor has a big budget by Hong Kong standards, reportedly about $25 million USD. And it uses the budget very effectively. Filmed in stunning locations in  Hong Kong, Xi'an, Middle East, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Jordan and Singapore with the majority being in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Money is also spent on cars getting destroyed, tanks, choppers, big explosions and many many big gun fights.

Jay Chou plays the lead, most western audiences will recognise him from The Green Hornet but he is one of the biggest pop stars in Asia and has starred in many films like Initial D, Secret and Curse of the Golden Flower. He has came on greatly as an actor in this role and delivers his scenes better. Bit of sad news though, Jay Chou said this will be his last action role.

Nicholas Tse is the co-star and is very familiar to anyone who watches Hong Kong films. After acting in 40 films, Tse has came on a long way since his 90s roles were he reallied on his 'Idol' image and looks. Nicholas Tse is now one of the best actors in Hong Kong, so it's only right he has the hard and emotional scenes in this flick.

The Viral Factor has been in good hands with acclaimed director Dante Lam. Having directed films such as Beast Cops, Twins Effect and The Beast Stalker, Lam really knows how to direct a good action film. And he has really stepped up his game in delivering solid exciting action. Something that stood out about this film was the fight scenes were very realistic, very brutal looking and no wires or crazy unrealistic jumps in sight.

Initial D gone wrong!

However. The Viral Factor does have flaws. The storyline falls away mid way through the film and it focuses more on the relationship between brothers, only to be brought back at the very end. There is also a lot of movie convinces but it's a popcorn action film, so I'll allow it.

All in, I would recommend this film to all, especially people who miss the days of good old Hong Kong action. Western audiences would also enjoy this high octane action flick, some of which is even in English! Get the DVD at yesasia with English subtitles from March 29th.


Saturday, 24 March 2012

Will your kids enjoy Studio Ghibli as much as us adults?

I was having a browse on and I noticed they have a link to their kids aged 8 and 7 reviewing Porco Rosso, after looking through Vimeo I found they have reviewed some other Ghibli films. So check out these videos and see these fascinating films through their eyes.

*WARNING: Will contain spoilers!*

Some pretty interesting thoughts and views here from the children. Wonder if it was all them though or if their dad maybe helped them out before they started recording?
Regardless, it makes an interesting watch. And when I have kids one day I will definitely be showing them the Studio Ghibli collection.

All of the Studio Ghibli films are available from Amazon

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Upcoming Chinese films!

Some future and recent Chinese/Hong Kong releases that have caught my eye.

The Second Woman
Drama/Romance/Thriller - 8 March 2012 (China)

Director: Miu-suet Lai
Stars: Shu Chen, Mengmeng Niu, Qi Shu and Shawn Yue

Wei Bo (Shu Qi) and Nan (Shawn Yue), a longtime couple, are both stage drama actors rehearsing for a new play. When Wei Bo becomes severely ill right before the last show of the tour, it is feared that her failure to perform would destroy her career. Wei Bo's performance, however, totally blows everyone away and is highly acclaimed as her best performance ever. In actuality, Wei Bo's twin sister, Wei Xiang (Shu Qi) secretly substituted her older sister during the performance and took all the credit. Wei Bo is not only ungrateful for her sister's help, but she starts to grow envious and suspicious of her. Wei Bo finds that Wei Xiang, who is as beautiful as she is, yet more sweet and talented, is a threat to both her career and her relationship with Nan.

Lai Miu-Suet(The Third Eye) directs and it gets released on the 8th March across China. The film stars Shu Qi(Confession of Pain, The Transporter, Blood Brothers) and Shawn Yue(Infernal Affairs, Initial D, Dragon Tiger Gate).

2 Shu Qi's > 1 Shu Qi

I am a fan of both Shu Qi and Shawn Yue's work, with Yue really stepping up his game and delivering some more serious roles. If both actors are on their A game then this could be interesting! The Second Woman is a dark gritty thriller yet it looks extremely sharp and stylish from what we have seen. One to keep an eye on and I personally hope it delivers!


Ghost Bullets
Action/Thriller/Mystery - Summer 2012 (Hong Kong/China)
Director: Law Chi-Leung
Stars: Nicholas Tse, Lau Ching-Wan, Yang Mi

In an arsenal during the warlord era in China, a girl, accused of stealing bullets, is shot to death by the Boss.

Six months later, a series of murders occur. Policemen Bao and Guo investigate the case. But all the clues point to the dead girl! They then discover that "stealing bullets" is a cover-up for a conspiracy between the Boss and the Police Chief. The latter tries to have Bao and Guo killed, but that increases their determination to solve the mystery. Finally, they find the real murderer...

You know my methods, Watson.


Ghost Bullets looks to be an exciting Mystery detective film reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes. With it's costumes, sets and big action scenes this will definitely deliver as an entertaining movie. Directed by Law Chi-Leung(Koma and the excellent action thriller Double Tap) this looks to be a good return to form for him. And starring Nicholas Tse(Beast Stalker and Dragon Tiger Gate) who is one of the best young Hong Kong actors and the excellent Lau Ching-Wan(Mad Detective and Running Out of Time), this film also has the star power to be a success.

Check out the exciting trailer below


Time for some magic

The Great Magician
Drama/Mystery - 22 December 2011 (China)
Director:  Tung-Shing Yee
Writers: Tin Nam Chun (screenplay), Tung-Shing Yee (screenplay)
Stars: Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Ching Wan Lau and Xun Zhou
In 1916, China was in turmoil with warlords battling against each other and Japanese conspirators lurking in the dark. One day, a mysterious man named Zhang Xian (Tony Leung) takes the capital city by storm with his mesmerising magic tricks. He soon catches the attention of ruthless warlord Commander Lei (Lau Ching Wan), who is eager to please his seventh wife Liu Yin (Zhou Xun) by taking her to see Zhang's performance. Unbeknownst to Lei, his favourite concubine was once the fiancée of Zhang, and approaching him to earn his trust is just the first step in the vengeful illusionist's secret agenda...
Tony Leung looking suave as always

The Great Magician has me excited for a lot of reason, the first one being everyone loves magic! There has been a few great magician films coming out of Hollywood in the past few years, The Illusionist and The Prestige, I'm hoping Hong Kong can do just as well with this effort.

Starring Tony Leung(Infernal Affairs and Hero) and Zhou Xun(Confucius and True Legend) as the love interest, and the incredibly busy Lau Ching Wan(Ghost Bullets and Lost In Time) as the villain. It's in the hands of a brilliant director in Tung Shin Yee who has brought us modern Hong Kong classics like One Night In Mongkok, Protege and Shinjuku Incident. Surely one to watch.

If you can't wait for a worldwide release, the films has been released in China, get the DVD from Yesasia with English subtitles.

Good times for Hong Kong/Chinese Cinema!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

1911 Revolution Review 2011 China

1911 Revolution

Action, Adventure, Drama
23 September 2011 (China)
19 March (UK)

Directors:  Jackie Chan, Li Zhang
Stars: Jackie Chan, Bingbing Li, Winston Chao and Jaycee Chan

Marking Jackie Chan's 100th film (or 110 on IMDb... Maybe excluding his early bit part roles?) is 1911 Revolution. Jackie Chan not only stars but also co-directs this historical war drama which is based on the founding of the Republic of China when the Qing Dynasty was finally overthrown by the nationalist forces led by Sun Yat-sen

I have to be honest, I don't know a lot about Chinese history or the revolution. I wasn't even sure exactly what the Qing Dynasty was. But this film also acts as an educational documentary as I now understand the history a little better... Watching the film still left me slightly confused, as I am sure a lot of other Westerners will be.

Jackie Chan plays Huang Xing and shares the screen time with Winston Chao who plays Sun Yat-Sen. To explain it in a simple way, Sun Yat-Sen is the revolutionary leader, and Huang Xing is his military commander. He will lead the greatly outnumbered rebel army against the Emperors Royal Forces in a bloody battle that will change everything!

Rush Hour 4

Right from the start you realise this isn't like any other Chan film you have witnessed. A few minutes into the film and Jackie Chan almost loses 2 fingers and the scene that follows is just as brutal. The Battle scenes are realistic and bloody, they pull no punches on showing the casualties and result of war, bodies are shot and blown up frequently. If you don't like films with war violence then this isn't for you as the body count is high!

The costume designs and sets are extravagant, especially any of the scenes set with the Empress and the Qing Dynasty whose sets and costumes look historically accurate and lavish. 1911 looks impressive and you can immediately tell it has a big budget, which it does, $30 Million USD which is extremely high for a Chinese film. The money pays off with the glossy looks and high end cinematography.

Costumes are top notch!

The problem with 1911 Revolution for me is that there is too much going on! It's almost like 4 different stories put together to make one film which is full of action and drama. All of this makes it a little hard to take in and follow. However there is some other aspects to capture your attention and draw you in such as the love affair between Jackie Chan and Li Bing Bing's character. Jackie Chan also has 1 realistic fight scene in the film so the original Jackie Chan fans can be happy, it's also a nice break from the history lesson.

In conclusion, I think 1911 is an average film, but not as good as it could have been. It has many strengths and is definitely worth a watch. Strangely, this film seems like it's more likely to appeal to fans of historical documentaries rather than Jackie Chan fans, which maybe he was going for. I like the way Jackie Chan is taking his career and I'm enjoying these serious roles, I take my hat off to him for making this film, but I thought Little Big Soldier was a better film.


1911 Revolution is available everywhere now on DVD and Blu-Ray.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

The Ring goes..... 3D

Someone hold me...

Sadako 3D
Horror - 12 May 2012 (Japan)
Director: Tsutomu Hanabusa
Writers: Kôji Suzuki (novel), Yoshinobu Fujioka (screenplay)
Stars: Satomi Ishihara, Yusuke Yamamoto and Shôta Sometani

Akane is a high school teacher who hears a rumour from her students that there is actual footage on the Internet of someones suicide. The footage is said to drive anyone who sees it to also commit suicide. Akane does not believe the rumour at first, but when one of her female students dies after viewing the footage, she and her boyfriend Takanori are fatefully drawn into the horror that has been created by the man who appears in the suicide footage, Kashiwada. Kashiwada's intention is to create chaos in the world by bringing back Sadako and the power of her curse. Now Akane has to fight against Sadako and Kashiwada to save the lives of herself and Takanori.

Wow! Firstly, I'm not a fan of 3D, seems like a fad to sell more cinema tickets and make movies "better". But what I am a fan of, is J-Horror. And what kick started my love for it? Yes... The Ring. One of the scariest and best horrors of all time, so I'm really really looking forward to seeing the next one in the series. And for the record, I can kind of understand the 3D direction behind this.

Check below the teaser trailer for some newly released stills!

Some freaky shit.


Their class has a secret no one dares talk about...

Anime - 9 January 2012 (Japan)
Director: Tsutomu Mizushima
Production: P.A. WORKS, Team Another
Currently Airing Weekly

In a third year classroom of Yomiyama Kita Middle School in Japan, there was a girl student called Misaki. The girl was very popular with fellow students as she was good at sports and also an honours student. Misaki suddenly died and strangely her classmates carried on as if she was still alive until graduation. In the Spring of 1998 a new boy Kouichi Sakakibara gets transferred to the class. He realises there is a strange and fearful atmosphere in the classroom and among students, who all seem to be deeply afraid of something. One of the girls Mei Misaki seems to attract him but the closer he gets to her the more the mystery and horror unfold at the school.

"Another" is definitely an interesting and fresh new anime, not like any I have witnessed before. The horror mystery anime is based on a novel called "new masterpiece" and there is soon to be a live action version hitting Japan in the summer!

What do you call Anime Girls with only 1 eye? Anime Grls

I feel I should inform readers that this anime might not be for everyone. The story and visuals can be quite dark and graphic. With some of the scenes being a little shocking! But that's all part of the fun for people who like horror, and horror anime shouldn't be any different. The animation is nice with a lot of dark and moody colours to really capture the fear and darkness of the anime. The blood is often very striking and rich! And some of the deaths are nothing less than horrifying. Japan is often praised as a master of suspenseful horror and this also shows across the format of Anime.

The music for Another is actually fantastic! The musical score builds up suspense very well, it really helps with the eerie feel of the anime and it also helps deliver the scares! The opening theme is Kyomu Densen (Nightmare Contagion) by ALI PROJECT which suits this anime perfectly with it's sound, especially during the chorus. And the ending theme is Anamnesis by Annabel.
Wait to you see this result of carrying an umbrella!

Another is a thrill ride that sucks you in and leaves you wanting more as you try to solve the mystery for yourself and figure out what exactly is going on, and what their class secret is. Each episode unravels just enough to leave you wanting more! It's an anime that usually ends on a cliff hanger and leaves you 'dying' to see the next episode. Har-har. So give it a watch!

Another is available to stream at Anime Crazy or Watch Anime Online
Or if you prefer download then check out Nyaa

Monday, 19 March 2012

Upcoming Asian Films!

Thought I would talk about a couple of upcoming films I am excited for, I'll also share some trailers, pictures and news.

The Grandmasters (2012)
Action, Martial Arts, Drama - Chinese
Director: Kar Wai Wong
Writer: Kar Wai Wong
Stars: Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Ziyi Zhang and Chen Chang

Why am I excited?

The Grandmasters is a martial arts drama based on the life story of Wing Chun grandmaster Yip Man. The films is coming out of Hong Kong and will be directed by the excellent Wong Kar-Wai who has brought us such classics as Ashes of Time, In The Mood For Love and 2046. Film is getting a release in 2012, no date announced yet.
Zhang Ziyi back at what she does best!

And if that's not enough! It stars Tony Leung and the incredible Zhang Ziyi. The cast and director are enough to get me excited, but if it hasn't worked for you and you think we have seen enough films about Yip Man then watch the teaser below with an insane martial arts Matrix-esque fight scene in the rain and see if you change your mind!


Crows Zero (2007)
Action, Thriller - Japanese
Director: Takashi Miike
Writers: Hiroshi Takahashi (manga), Shôgo Mutô (screenplay)
Stars: Shun Oguri, Kyôsuke Yabe and Meisa Kuroki

Although this film was released in October 2007 in Japan, there was never a UK release for this film. But we are finally getting it on DVD on April 9th, 2012. This could be partly due to the success and acclaim of 13 Assassins. Crows Zero is based on a popular Japanese manga and is directed by Takashi Miike (13 Assassins, Ichi The Killer, DOA).

The film is set in Suzuran High School nicknamed "The School of Crows", a school in Japan for the lowest achieving or violent students or "Crows". The students battle each other in their opposing gangs and factions to dominate the school. But that could all be about to change.

I thought the gangs in my school were bad!

Apparently it's violent, stylish and almost like 'Fight Club' set in a high school. What's not to like? The film has had very decent reviews and it has high ratings on movie websites which can be rare for some of Takashi Miike's violent films.

I for one, can't wait! Bring it on!


Sunday, 18 March 2012

The Next Dragon?

Looks very interesting! Something to keep an eye on, could be a future star!

New Prince of Tennis

New Prince of Tennis

Anime - 4 January 2012  (Japan)
Director: Hideyo Yamamoto
Production: Bandai Visual, Marvelous AQL, NAS, Production I.G, Shueisha, TV Tokyo
Currently Airing Weekly

The first Anime I will be reviewing is The New Prince of Tennis or Prince of Tennis II according to some websites.

New Prince of Tennis picks up where the original series left off. The Seigaku Tennis club have won the Nationals and they get invited to train at the Japan Under 17 training camp. 50 middle schools have been invited including many familiar faces from the old series. Seigaku must compete against them and High School players to show that they are good enough for the team.

New Prince of Tennis is 11 episodes in and it has been thrilling so far! The excitement starts in the first episode with Ryoma coming back from America to join Seigaku and from then on, there are so many twists and turns you have no idea what will happen next. This anime is highly addictive.

The first thing that caught my attention was how good the animation was! The characters and backgrounds look incredibly sharp and with more detail. It looks much bigger budget than the previous series. Also, watching it in 1080p really shows how superb it looks.

Echizen needs reading glasses to read TemptAsian

The story revolves around all the main characters fighting for a place in the U-17 camp, however there is obviously too many characters, so some of which will have to be cut... Get your hankies at the ready. Some emotional moments in these first 11 episodes as teammates and friends are competing against each other with the loser being forced to leave the camp. However, it's PoT so all is not what is seems, and Ryoma is up to his old tricks of doing his own thing and getting himself into trouble.

The music is also great like the original Prince of Tennis. The musical score is similar and very exciting especially during the tennis matches. The opening song is by Norimasa Fujisawa and is called 'Mirai no Bokura e', a good song with quite a serious and powerful chorus. The closing song is a lot more fun and poppy, it's called "Enjoy" by Amikyuudanji. Enjoy is my favourite out of the 2 and it always makes me want to get up and start dancing when it plays. Both well suited songs which should please all you J-Pop fans, so check them out from the links.

These new uniforms are bitchin'

Check out New Prince of Tennis while it is still airing, it will give you something to look forward to each week! And it's always great fun to catch up with Ryoma, Tezuka, Momo, Kaidoh and the rest of the gang.

New Prince of Tennis is available to view on Crunchy Roll.
Can also be streamed on Anime Crazy or if you prefer downloads then Nyaa has your torrents.


Awesome new banner TemptAsian, where'd ya get it?

Thanks! I have been asked that question many times anonymous reader!
A good friend Andrew Letham Brand designed it for me. He is fantastic at graphics and all that good stuff. An all round good guy! Check out his blog.

Thanks dude!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Summer Time Machine Blues

Comedy | Sci-Fi - 3 September 2005 (Japan)
107 mins
Director: Katsuyuki Motohiro
Writer: Makoto Ueda
Stars: Eita, Yoshiaki Yoza and Daijiro Kawaoka

I would like to kick start this blog with one of my favourites. Not a recent film but a film that should be brought to the attention of everyone. This Japanese comedy is one of the most brilliantly written and intelligent sci-fi films I have ever witnessed. Which is why I personally believe it is at the top of the best Time Travel films of all time! That's correct, just as good as Back To The Future and slightly better than Bill & Ted.

Samâ taimu mashin burûsu or in English; Summer Time Machine Blues is a Sci-Fi film to come out of Japan in 2005. Yes, the film is 7 years old yet most people still haven't heard of or seen this excellent film. Why? Because for some reason unbeknownst to me, this film hasn't had an International DVD release.


Setting; An extremely hot summers day in Japan. A Sci-Fi club are indulging in a bit of Japan's favourite sport Baseball, while a member of the local Camera Club(who share the same building) are taking shots of their not so technically great game. When an accident between the members breaks their remote control for their air conditioner they seek their club tutor to fix it. However the extreme heat has everyone acting a bit loopy and the tutor is practically useless. Back at the club house they stumble upon a strange looking contraption, which turns out to be a time machine. Not knowing where it came from or who it belongs to they decide to try it out. The best use they can come up for the time machine? Go back to yesterday and save the air conditioning remote control from being broken!

Yes, the plot isn't the most intelligent outline for a time travelling film. But this film has so many surprises and tricks up it's sleeve. On first viewing you will often wonder why people are saying or doing certain things, but don't worry, everything will be answered in time.... almost!

The young cast are all fantastic in their roles. With Eita who was the star of the Water Boys TV show and Juri Ueno who was in Swing Girls playing the leads brilliantly. One of the characters who steals the film with his bit part is the manager of a B-Movie Sci-Fi Cinema who offers the group advice on time travel from the many hours of film he has watched. While wearing his Star Trek Next Generation uniform he explains the laws of time travel. This sets up one of the funniest scenes of the film when Professor Kohtaro Hozumi takes them all into his classroom to explain time travel and the consequences. The cinema manager and the Sci-Fi club member's reactions are hilarious to this scientific explanation of time travel... Which will actually leave the viewer with a deeper understanding of the laws of time travel.

Yes. I see what you did there.

Look out for references and part homages to other Sci-Fi films like Back To The Future and The Time Machine, it's easy to see what helped inspire this film, and it isn't afraid to show were it borrowed some ideas from.

Summer Time Machine Blues is relatively low budget with a small cast and most of the scenes being shot in the Sci-Fi club house. But the special effects are on par with Hollywood as they are used sparingly. Also, the camera is used brilliantly to capture the scorching heat to help you feel their desperation. The Director also uses a simple effect to show the parallel time line differences, split screen, simple but very effective and humorous.

This is one of those rare films you should really see at least twice to understand exactly what is going on and it will open up new perspectives and theories about the story, you will notice events and background details which you wouldn't bat an eyelid at on your first viewing. Even then, you will still be trying to decipher the time line paradox of the remote control... or where the time machine really came from in the first place?

Tomorrow is perfect to watch it! Or how about yesterday?

Summer Time Machine Blues can't be described in any more detail without ruining the ride you are in for. It's ironic that it's a comedy and it acknowledges it's own paradox, yet it stays true to science and logic and ends up being one of the most intelligent time travel films I have witnessed. And it's definitely the funniest. See it for yourself! For the full effect, watch it on a very hot day!


Friday, 16 March 2012

Enjoy the TemptAsian...

Welcome to my blog! I am Craig Nixon from Glasgow, Scotland. I'm an Asian film enthusiast and have always wanted to start a blog, and it looks like I finally got around to it.
In my blog I will be posting reviews of recent Asian film releases, as well as reviewing some of my favourites and classics. I will also be posting reviews of Anime too, although not as much because my main interest is film.
So bookmark or follow this blog and I will try and make it as interesting and fun as possible. Thanks.
Craig Nixon HG