All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
Come Drink with Me
Cheng Pei-pei plays Golden Swallow, a fighter-for-hire who has been contracted by the local government to retrieve the governor's kidnapped son. Holding him is a group of rebels who are demanding that their leader be released from prison in return for the captured son. After a brief encounter with the gang at a local restaurant, Golden Swallow is joined by an inebriated wanderer Drunken Cat (Yueh Hua) who aids her in her mission.
The action staging is to die for. The whole universe zings and hums in the long takes as they clank by in incendiary bursts. The feel of it is perfect: graceful slashes of motion, perfect pure flashes of cinema/music/poetry.
Golden Swallow is incredible. Not only does King Hu grant us a iron tough female warrior with a scowl that could peel the flesh off faces, but he grants us a small army of woman warriors. I find this so incredible. We've seen such a push for diverse representation in media in recent years, it's stunning and a bit of a cuff to the collective ear to beam Cheng Pei Pei from '66 into now. THIS.…
The best wuxia pic from King Hu. Those of you looking for blood won't be disappointed. This is one tough and ruthless film. But it also contains a certain kind of grace, thanks to Hu's mastery of spacial dynamics during the action sequences. Hu's said that he deliberately chose a ballet dancer (Cheng Pei Pei) for the lead role and it's easy to see why. Thankfully, Hu's doesn't undermine her skills with rapid-fire editing like a novice would. Many of the action shots are longer than what we've become accustomed to watching and contain much more beautifully choreographed movements. And unlike some of his other films such as Touch of Zen, Hu doesn't burden the narrative. Everything is crisp and there's no extra fat. A masterpiece!
classic kung fu movies are a huge blind spot for me, so watching this was kind of like dorothy stepping into oz for the first time.
I can't say it better than Claire did (where are you come back), but I would add my voice to hers (and so many others). It has what I want from action films (clear, graceful action), and it has what I want from films (beautiful visuals, bright scenery, long takes, dynamics). It has bags of style (look at how Sparrow and her companions dress, holy shit I am jealous). It feels epic despite being a normal length film (the classic 90ish minutes), because everything that happens has grandeur to it, drawn out in costumes, landscapes, and extended shots.
It's a simple tale but not a bad one; characters have their own stories and these weave into one tight little narrative.…
Another great wuxia flick from Hu. It seems pretty obvious to say that the best action directors are the ones that have a real sense of spatial dynamics, but it ought to be emphasised in Hu's case. It's noticeable, especially in the inn scenes towards the start, that he had 'deliberately chosen a ballet dancer for the lead female role', Cheng Pei-pei is brilliant, such bold yet graceful movements met with the rapid-fire editing cutting to and from faces and swords clashing in an almost ruthless dance of metal. Narratively, this hardly flows as smoothly as Touch of Zen but that has nearly three hours to sort everything out; this manages to set-up a story of politics, kidnapping, and Kung Fu in about half the time and does so pretty nicely too. One or two false endings make the real finale seem all the more claustrophobic and bloody, I mean, really bloody. Ruthless, indeed.
There's the ending, and then the ending after the ending. And then there's the ending after the ending that undermines the other two endings by trying to play the moral of the film both ways by espousing the rejection of bloody vengeance, but giving the audience the violent thrill anyway. This is the central theme of the era of the genre this film initiated: the conflict between the moral imperative for forgiveness and the just demand for revenge, oft-dramatized as a conflict between Confucian filial piety (respect for one's father/master/family demands vengeance on their behalf) and the Buddhist and Taoist belief in the cyclical nature of violence, that only by withdrawing from worldly concerns can the circle be broken. The moral and the bloody, the spiritual and the earthly, the desire to enlighten and the need to entertain.
An influential martial arts movie form the Shaw Bros, not least because it had a strong female protagonist at the center of the story. Indeed, viewers may have to suspend disbelief in the opening scenes as various opponents mistake kung-fu expert Golden Swallow for a man, despite the fact she is clearly a young, beautiful woman. Cheng Pei-Pei was chosen for the role due to her background in ballet and her graceful movements add a real elegance to the fight scenes as she glides around beating the shit out of clumsy expendable opponents. So it's all a bit of a shame that half way through the film, the plot demands she suffers the indignity of being rescued by a man…
Come Drink with Me is a really entertaining 90 minute Hong Kong wuxia film. It has bags of intrigue, in its fairly complex plot, while the balletic action scenes are an absolute joy. It may not have the otherworldly brilliance of King Hu's later masterpieces, but it is a striking film. It is precisely captured, with a focus on action you can actually see. The sets are really cool, while Cheng Pei-pei is superb in the lead role. A really solid, well-crafted film.
It's a real bummer that the third act is almost completely derailed by the male sidekick's arc, because I was totally down with watching a young woman wreck bad dudes to free her brother.
Plot is slight but the action is wonderfully choreographed. Characters and objects bob in and out of the frame with dance-like rhythm and staging, every cut to another shot lucidly creating a sense of the fighters' martial prowess. In other words, this is what most action films today wish they could achieve: the illusion that the fantastical action onscreen is happening for real. Good action films engage the audience with its abundant visual imagination. Bad action films do not feel imagined at all, but sloppily cobbled together in all aspects. Oddly enough, King Hu's action films, with their emphasis on precisely imaginative framing and editing over Jackie Chan-seque acrobatic feats, are the mothertexts for both good and bad action films today.
For a movie with a climax full of gushing arterial spray, this was pretty charming. I'll be honest, the date lulled me into a false sense of security (oh the 1960s..bet this won't be that violent) little did I know King Hu was the Sam Peckinpah of Hong Kong, as the opening battle featured violence that wasn't explicit by contemporary standards, but it sure wasn't tame, either. (My favorite was the bearded guy who was THRILLED to have chopped off a bandit's hand). Once the violence settled down and we got into the story proper, it was fairly straightforward. Bandit Leader in prison. Colleagues kidnap the Governor's son to force a trade. Governor's son's sister (Errr, the Governor's daughter) decides…
Apparently, Come Drink with Me is considered to be a martial arts classic. I'm clearly out of touch, because I have no idea what it is about this frustrating, oddly-paced movie that people respond to.
I don't want to make it sound as though there's nothing good about this film. Both the male and female protagonists (Drunk Cat and Golden Swallow, respectively) have a measure of charisma and some of the comedic beats work well, for example. I also found the set design to be really beautiful, and the choreography is occasionally good, too.
Unfortunately, the script treats its characters as secondary. There's precious little in the way of development. Drunk Cat at least gets a (bland) backstory, but it's…
Great wu xia action film. Pei Pei Cheng steals the show and it's a shame she becomes less important as the film progresses - that early-mid section that climaxes with the Buddhist temple battle is solid gold. I had a lot less patience for Drunken Cat and his arc.
Some of the edits and effects are amateurish (my favourite bit being a stone wall that wobbles when someone bumps into it), but that was probably less noticeable when you weren't watching it in HD on a 32" telly. It was also a lot of fun playing "Recognise the Shaw Brothers set" as I'm pretty sure every scene in this film uses something from the 36th Chamber trilogy.
Remarkably innovative. It's surprising that the unique pacing, editing, and visual techniques of Come Drink with Me were not heavily adopted by other Shaw Bros films down the line. I guess it just shows that King Hu was a singular director, which makes me very excited for Criterion's release of A Touch of Zen this summer.
The fights play out much differently than anything else I've seen in the Shaw cannon. There are long delays as combatants slowly advance, retreat, and encircle their opponent. In a flash, there is a swift jolt of action, the whisp of of a sleeve, and blood is shed. It's almost invisible. The editing works hand in hand with the choreography to enhance the sensation…
Cheng Pei-Pei rocks in this rough around the edges but often awesome martial arts film landmark.
Quentin Tarantino's favorite films based on the internet pulled from multiple sources.
The Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film is handed out annually by the U.S.-based Academy of Motion Picture Arts…