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CompleteMartialArts.com - Sex and Zen & A Bullet in the Head: The Essential Guide to Hong Kong's Mind-bending Films

Sex and Zen & A Bullet in the Head: The Essential Guide to Hong Kong's Mind-bending Films
List Price: $12.00
Our Price: $3.89
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Manufacturer: Fireside
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 3.5/5Average rating of 3.5/5Average rating of 3.5/5Average rating of 3.5/5Average rating of 3.5/5

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Binding: Paperback
Dewey Decimal Number: 791.4375095125
EAN: 9780684803418
ISBN: 0684803410
Label: Fireside
Manufacturer: Fireside
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 272
Publication Date: 1996-08-19
Publisher: Fireside
Studio: Fireside

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Editorial Reviews:

Far from the orbit of Planet Hollywood, the new cinema of Hong Kong beckons.

Gone are the flying pigtails and contrived fist-thuds of your father's favorite chopsockies. These are punch-straight entertainers, movies juddering with the excitement that put the "motion" in motion pictures. Dodge a thousand bullets as you contemplate the heroic gangster-knights of Master Director John Woo. Watch international superstar Jackie Chan perform action-comedy on the edge of peril. Wrap your imagination in the fantasy of director Tsui Hark, who proffers comely ghosts floating on silk, otherworldly romance, and no-joke witches and demons. And there's much more! Fighting femme flicks featuring fatales hiking up their designer dresses and bouncing spike heels off the bad guy's forehead. Stylish tragedies rivaling the best of Hollywood noir. Brain-boiling monster weirdies to delight the grindhouse faithful. Subtitles that mangle the English language into fabulous new mutations.


Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5
Summary: Buy the book - No Need To See The Movies1
Comment: I just dont get the appeal of this book, I'm sorry. For the most part, all it contains is a bunch of detailed plot information (yes Virginia, including key plot twists and endings) and very little information as to if the movies were any good! Yes, he has some special lists ("movies that rip"), but just not enough. I wanted this book as a reference to all of the HK movies out there, so I could see what was good before plunking down my cash on them - after reading about a few movies, I felt I no longer needed to buy them because I had already seen them. There are much better options.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: A good enthusiastic intro to Hong Kong movies!
Comment: This is an excellent book for someone just getting into HK movies- it's populist and unpretentious, but it doesn't just dismiss the movies as 'fun trash.' It covers most of the classics, like Peking Opera Blues, The Bride with White Hair, Chungking Express, etc. and includes capsule reviews of slightly more obscure movies. There's also a good glossary explaining the durian (among other things) and compilations of choice bad subtitles. My main qualm about it is that it more or less neglects HK comedies- the authors even warn non-Cantonese speakers not to see them, because they won't understand 'em. This is NOT TRUE. But buy the book anyway and seek information about HK comedies elsewhere.^^

Customer Rating: Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5
Summary: A look at the cult side of HK films
Comment: This book is only helpful for those with little knowledge of Hong Kong films. It's more playful than artistic, yet there are some helpful film reviews included. Some of the information is outdated: Web sites, where to buy HK films, etc..., but if your new to HK films and are interested in the pop culture gems that come out of Hong Kong, then check this book out. For those interested in a more in-depth look at Hong Kong films, I recommend City on Fire, by Lisa Stokes and Micheal Hoover.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: a fun introduction of Hong Kong cinema
Comment: Memo to the reader from Denver: did you read the same book I did? Yeah, I'll admit that I wish the authors hadn't gone into quite so much detail about the plots, but how can you say they didn't review any of the films? The authors' enthusiasm for this exhilarating subsection of filmdom permeates every sentence herein; everything they write is filtered through their opinions, which are mostly positive, because, as they explain in the intro, they put the spotlight on the films they loved the most. With the exception of the informative sidebars, there's nothing BUT reviews here.

I love this book. It's not meant to be an HK film encyclopedia, just a feet-wetting introduction to an unjustly overlooked body of work. As that, it's nearly perfect.


Customer Rating: Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5
Summary: Useless guide
Comment: This has got to be the most useless movie guide on the planet. Basically, all it is a bunch of plot synopses of HK movies. They are not reviews, just summaries of all the plots, BEGINNING TO END. Half of the them don't even tell you if they are good or not! What on earth could possibly be the use for this? If I haven't seen the movie, I don't want to know EVERY SINGLE THING that happens in it before I see it. And if I have seen it, just reading the plot over is pretty useless too. Basically, the authors watched a ton of HK movies and decided that they should get paid for it, so they whipped up a book as fast as they could, without any consideration for how useful it might be, and put it on the market. Make them earn their dough like everyone else. Don't buy this book.


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