As Good As It Gets
A film with more than the usual spoiler issues. Talking about it in any detail feels akin to handing you a gift-wrapped present and saying, "I hope you like it -- It's a thriller about a diabolical secret experiment."
The acting in this movie is really good.
This movie feels like it was made purely to piss off people who want good shows
Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan is a slow-moving character drama from the Shaw Brothers studio that nonetheless picks up in the second half with a series of murders that are in the grisly Shaw style. The story is set in and around a brothel in which one of the new girls, Ainu, refuses to have her spirit broken and decides to fight back against those who have wronged her. This sounds like one of Shaw's erotic movies although the nudity and sexual content is surprisingly kept to a minimum.Shaw star Yueh Hua plays the role of a visiting detective who takes part in the film's murder mystery sub-plot, but he's very much a minor character here. Lily Ho shines as the sympathetic Ainu, the story's protagonist, but the real star of the show is Betty Pei Ti as the cruel brothel madam. Director Chor Yuen keeps the atmosphere going, although this can be a slog to watch at times. At least it builds up to a fittingly gruesome climax which features some great deaths courtesy of the "yin and yang hands" style, and top melodrama.
Oh my god! This is, like, the perfect movie ever!! If you think that Kill Bill had style and class, it is just a jumped up lego building next to the Taj Mahal of classical kung fu madness, revenge and unbridled sexuality. This movie, made in 1972 - my god I was just 7 then - was years, no decades ahead of its time. It is a testament to the original director, writer, cast and crew that they were on the upper mast of a ship heading towards the new world of cinema and saw the infinite possibilities lying with in the dormant medium. And at the same time, it would be tantamount to lying to overlook the fact that in the last 30 odd years Hollywood has been treading water, left in the wake of that crew's ship.The sets are beautiful, the acting; just cheesy enough to be spot on; the plot twists are at once predictable and yet so in your face as to be satisfying. What a bonus to have sadistic laughter erupt on screen at just the same moment as the mirthless chuckle emerged from my own gut watching this titan!! To say that this was an great movie would be like saying that Moby Dick was a long story; the ultimate understatement.Look about you now. A computer screen, lights, your hands; the room your in. Imagine a new meaning to it all, insight, wit, fulfillment (of the cinematic variety at least) could be yours, simply by watching this gem of a movie. Almost on par with Hidden Tiger, Crouching Dragon this is a movie to be cherished by young and old alike. Find it, buy it, rent it, steal it, borrow it: just do your consciousness a favor and watch it - from beginning to end!! Did I say thumbs up yet? I'd see it again, almost any time.Plot synopsis: Who needs that kind of thing in the face of pure genius!! This movie is like a barrel of monkeys, each one with a different face, gesture, sound; but all coming from and ultimately going to the same happy hunting grounds.Really! To tell the plot line would just belittle the ultimate insight and profound joy (of a purely sadistic nature) that lies with in the heart of this amazing creature. However, in brief: girl is abused, fakes acceptance, kills people, people try to kill her; her weakness is exposed when she has the upper hand - no gyrations just death! - and she also dies. A fine ending to a fine movie. The only way it could have been better, is if the straggler of a detective had met his merry end as well! But in a sense, perhaps he does, if one cares to reflect on such things. Which is again the glory of this movie. No need for reflection afterwards, all is spelled out for the viewer, loose ends neatly tied in a bow.Stop reading this and rent it already!!
18 year old Ainu (Lily Ho) is kidnapped and sold to a brothel. Her good looks and wild personality make her very popular with the lustful clients, but also draws the lesbian attentions of brothel madam Betty Tei Pei. Betty teaches Ainu the ways of lust and the ways of kung fu, and Ainu becomes more and more similar to her captor. But rage at her treatment is still burning inside her.INTIMATE CONFESSIONS... ("Ainu" is the Chinese title) is another wu xia film from ace director Chor Yuen, but this time the exploitation angle often present in his films is brought right into centre stage. Chor Yuen seems to have been fascinated by lesbians, but this is the only film of his that I've seen where he gives them the starring roles. Both Lily Ho and Betty Tei Pei give sterling performances as the beautiful but vicious martial arts hookers, and they're joined by a cast of Shaws starlets in the nude to create a pre-Cat III film that balances action, intrigue and eroticism surprisingly well. The film is the acknowledged inspiration for Clarence Fok's NAKED KILLER, the ultimate Cat III classic.As with all Chor Yuen's films, AINU is filmed entirely on Shaw Brothers sound stages, and features his trademark opulent art direction and cinematography. The plot is less labyrinthine than in many of his wu xia works, probably because Gu Long was in no way involved. In fact, the plot is probably too straight forward - the film runs less than 90 minutes, and doesn't develop its characters or situations as much as I would have liked. It still has a certain amount of depth and sophistication that is exceptionally unusual in a film centred around sex.Yueh Hua has a small role as a hapless police officer, but it's undoubtedly the women that are the stars of the film. Even in the action scenes, which are not the main focus but are a pleasant bonus, it's Lily Ho and especially Betty Tei Pei that dominate. Given that neither of the ladies are martial artists they do a good job in the fights, with stunt doubles being noticable but not distracting. Ultimately its the characters and the situations that make the film interesting, and the art direction, cinematography and naked flesh that make it compelling. I enjoyed the film on a number of levels, and even my girlfriend was positively disposed towards it. I just wish it had been about 30 minutes longer, and spent a bit more time developing its story.Definitely recommended.
A woman learns martial arts to assassinate the men who raped her. She uses sexual wiles to get close to them. A memorable scene is where one of her victims is wary, having heard of the deaths of several colleagues. She reassures him that she cannot be the assassin. She takes off her clothes to show she is carrying no weapons. He fails to notice that her hair is held up by a large pin...