A BETTER TOMORROW | 1986 ‧ Acción/Crimen ‧ 2h 3m



Hay fenómenos que de repente cruzan el mar de lo desconocido para adentrarse en el océano de las obras más populares del cine. Un verano de 1986 se estrenaba un pequeño remake oriental llamado A Better Tomorrow en inglés y que finalmente tuvo el mismo título en nuestro país, que contaba con un director llamado John Woo, un actor de nombre Chow Yun Fat y un productor conocido como Tsui Hark. En aquel 1986 eran totalmente 3 nombres desconocidos para nosotros y para el cine de acción occidental. 3 meses después, A Better Tomorrow fue capaz de cambiar el estilo de filmar la acción en Hollywood convirtiéndose en una de las películas de acción oriental claves de la historia del cine. Hoy CINEMATTE FLIX la trae totalmente gratis para todos vosotros...







MÁS PELÍCULAS DISPONIBLES EN LA SECCIÓN CINE DE ACCIÓN: AQUÍ






LA PELÍCULA QUE LO CAMBIÓ TODO

John Woo era por aquel entonces un director con buena mano para las comedias y el kung fu que no atravesaba un buen momento de ánimo. Una llamada le situaba delante de un vulgar cinta de acción como otras muchas que se rodaban en Hong Kong. Como protagonista iba a recibir un actor que tenía fama de gafe y que no conseguía despegar su carrera a base de fallidos proyectos. Todo pintaba a una película más... hasta que A better of Tomorrow llegó a los cines y de repente, se convirtió en la cinta más taquillera de la historia de Hong Kong. El milagro había ocurrido.


De la noche a la mañana el fenómeno se extendió por todos los rincones: las gafas que lucía Chow Yun Fat (de la marca propiedad de Alain Delon) pasaron a agotarse, las gabardinas largas se pusieron de moda e incluso se llamaban “Abrigo Mark” en referencia al nombre del personaje, y para colmo, las autoridades acusaban a Tsui Hark y John Woo de haber dulcificado la imagen de las temibles Triadas, haciéndolas atractivas para el gran público.
Esto último era de gran importancia porque la cinta retrataba a sus gangsters protagonistas como hombres de honor a los que la vida les hacía sobrevivir en un mundo en el que ni los demás mafiosos ni la policía parecían ser compañías muy recomendables (Hark pidió que los gangsters fueran falsificadores de moneda en lugar de narcotraficantes porque así serían todavía más simpáticos a los espectadores).
Pensad que hoy día esto sería inviable lo que convierte a A Better Tomorrow en una de esas película irrepetibles que pertenecen a una época perdida ubicada en un marco fantasmal.

Pero, la historia no había acabado. Oriente se había rendido a esta historia pero el éxito real llegaría cuando occidente decidió de repente rendirse también ante la propuesta de Woo. En aquellos años las masas no eran borregos gobernadas a palo y zanahoria por los influencers y redes sociales. Los éxitos de aquellos años no estaban ideados sino que surgían de forma natural y eso pasó tanto en USA como en Europa.


De repente el despliegue de la puesta en escena de la cinta, con sus cámaras lentas, el lirismo de sus momentos musicales, sus personajes apuntándose en círculos, sus repeticiones desde diferentes ángulos de cámara o las mil y una argucias para hacer los efectos especiales más imposibles (no debió quedar conversación de videoclub ni fanzine fotocopiado donde no se contara que el efecto por el que Yun Fat echaba chorros de sangre por la nariz se debía a que, aguantando la respiración, mantenía una mezcla de mermelada y sangre artificial dentro de la fosa nasal, expulsándola de golpe en el momento exacto de la toma) fue tomado en occidente como algo totalmente rompedor y por eso, el público quería más así que los dueños de estas películas tocaron el cielo al ver como con semejante éxito en los cines se creó (o se resucitó, mejor dicho) un género policiaco con títulos como God of Gamblers, City of Fire, Prisión en llamas, Una bala en la cabeza, Hervidero o por supuesto, The Killer, la cumbre del estilo Woo y su carta de amor a Hollywood (a donde emigraría en 1992).

La película, como era de esperar, tuvo dos continuaciones llamadas Honor, Plomo y Sangre (en la que director y productor acabaron como el Rosario de la Aurora) y A Better Tomorrow 3, una precuela que acabó dirigiendo el propio Hark una vez Woo no quiso volver a saber del tema. Más recientemente ha existido un remake piratón (Aaatish: Feel the Fire) hecho en India en 1994 y uno de pleno derecho, estrenado en 2010 y ambientado en el mundo de la mafia surcoreana.

En Occidente, muchas de estas películas empezaban a desfilar por festivales europeos en los que se hablaban maravillas de sus hallazgos visuales y el concepto “coreografía” volvía a protagonizar los ensayos más sesudos, en los que se comparaba su puesta en escena con la de los musicales de Hollywood. En Estados Unidos, toda una generación de cineastas encabezados por Quentin Tarantino y Robert Rodriguez, supieron reciclar las enseñanzas de Hong Kong, siendo el más claro ejemplo el de Reservoir Dogs, cuya trama emanaba en parte del City on Fire de Ringo Lam. Aquí no nos mantuvimos al margen y Manga Films diseñó un sello llamado Made in Hong Kong para distribuir las películas, Canal+ creó una especie de programa doble formado por Hervidero y Una bala en la cabeza y las librerías para inmigrantes chinos, un lugar donde los occidentales no solían entrar, se llenaban de chavales buscando los clásicos VideoCDs asiáticos con películas.

Hoy día todo esto ya es pasado muy pasado y sería prácticamente imposible volver a participar en un fenómeno tal. La distribución y la comunicación ha cambiado de tal manera que el deseo de lo imposible ya no posee la fuerza que poseía en aquellos años aún así, la película sigue despertando un algo especial en todo público que se acerca a ella por primera vez y de ahí que para Cinematte Flix sea un orgullo poder ofrecer una cinta que tantos ríos de tinta ocupó en los fanzines de finales de los años 80s.


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CINEMATTE FLIX abre sus puertas a lo que es el primer videoclub gratuito de películas completas en Youtube.


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Bueno ya que todos aquellos que viven en latino america estabas ansiosos por escuchar algo de DBE con las voces de Carlos Segundo y Mario Castañeda les pongo este spot


Entrevista al reparto y equipo de DBE

En movie blog Ugo han publicado un extenso reportaje sobre DBE, no esta traducida





Spoiler:

Dragonball Evolution - Set Visit and Interviews
One would not imagine a factory that manufactures jeans would serve as the ideal place to film a major motion picture. But here I am standing inside an abandoned one in the middle of windy Durango, Mexico on the set of Twentieth Century Fox’s upcoming live action adaptation of Akira Toriyama’s crazily popular Japanese manga Dragonball. The story centers on Goku, a seemingly ordinary eighteen-year-old who is brought under the tutelage of one Master Roshi to track down seven mysterious and powerful dragonballs. Goku soon becomes a warrior and finds himself in a race against the evil Lord Piccolo for possession of said balls for protection of the Earth.

The sets are impressive, to say the least. Highly detailed and intricate, they actually make you forget you’re in high desert south of the border. We’re led through the Tre San temple, where Master Roshi instructs Goku and then the Genesis chamber, where Lord Piccolo creates Ful Lums, nasty little creatures with a tendency towards violence. Then we’re taken outside to some even larger sets; a volcano pit of black rock and large slabs of electric green (presumably for special effects, at least that’s what I hope they’re for), and the Dragon Temple, where Goku and Lord Piccolo will have their final balls out, fisticuffs mano to mano climactic fight to retain the final dragonball.

International badass Chow Yun-Fat is here today (incidentally, his last day on the movie), shooting some second unit footage. The first involves a stage entirely dressed in blue screen, with the actor seated in what can best be described as a truncated airstream trailer mated with Ben Hur’s chariot. The actor leans back as the trailer is rocked steadily by grips and looks wistfully out at… well, nothing. We’re told this is some kind of vision Goku has when he stares into one of the Dragonballs. Guess we have to take their word for it. Whatever, that’s the KILLER sitting in that thing over there! Sweet!

This is followed by another second unit scene with Mr. Chow, but this time in the Tre San Temple. Here the Crouching Tiger star ominously (although said tone is lessened slightly by the actor’s loud Hawaiian shirt, apparently a staple of the live-action Roshi) tells the slowly tracking camera that “Seven Dragonballs must be found.” Okay, not wildly off-the-wall exciting, but at least a lot more explanatory than the airstream thing.

And finally, we’re brought in to witness a portion of the final fight between Goku and Piccolo—hey, there’s Justin Chatwin and James Marsters! The scene is set outside in the Dragon Temple, and whatever impression we had of a manufactured movie stage in the daylight evaporates instantly. Echoing Tatooine with its desert rocks, lit up and smoky, the place no longer feels like a set, but somewhere lightyears from our universe. Steam bellows threateningly off rock formations that look way too real to be fake. Marsters, decked out in full-on bald-headed ghostly alien makeup rolls up on Chadwin, whose telltale arms and martial arts gi have him looking just enough like the anime Goku to retain the character (but not too much to make him look stupid). Chatwin, I mean Goku, kneels over his dead master (a stand-in for Chow, lying inert in the dirt) and spits game at Lord Piccolo (the actor formerly known as James Marsters is completely invisible in the makeup), telling him, “If there’s one thing my grandfather taught me, the first rule is, there are no rules.” ‘Nuff said. He charges. Piccolo, never one to wuss from a fight, rushes forward to meet his foe. Goku swings a piledriver punch. Piccolo blocks it. And-- “cut!” director James Wong yells from behind pair of monitors. Everything stops. I hate it when they do that.

Chow Yun-Fat


He fires two guns simultaneously better than any other actor living or deceased. He’s fought on paper-thin branches in the lush forests of QING China. He’s danced with Jodie Foster while commanding his own kingdom. And now international superstar Chow Yun-Fat takes on his what is perhaps his most diverse challenge yet; Master Roshi, mentor to Earth-saving hero Goku in the upcoming film version of the wildly successful Japanese mangas Dragonball.

Chow was not familiar with the Dragonball series until the role in the film was brought to his attention. At the time of the manga release, the actor says, “I was so busy doing all of John Woo’s movies, I didn’t see it when it first came out.” But a number of elements in the script appealed to him; the action, the humor, the mythology, but most of all, the relationship between Roshi and his student Goku (played by Justin Chatwin). Their dynamic was key to the actor in both his decision to take the role and how he played the part. “It’s not a traditional master and student relationship, it’s more like a friendship,” he says.

In the manga, Roshi’s character is portrayed as something of a dirty old man. But Chow explains how the character has been toned down, “The way it is now is very appropriate for my character.” He then expounds, “Master Roshi is a very funny guy with a sense of humor.” says Chow . “I never have played this kind of character and for me it’s very brand new; comedy, drama, action, all the CGI.” Having done comedy in his native Hong Kong films before, Western comedy is something the actor was quite new to. He found this to be the most challenging aspect of his role. Speaking of comedy, he says, “It’s very cultural. It’s not easy. (Writer/Director) James Wong gave me a lot of room to create Master Roshi,” he says. “All the time I’m over the top and he’s telling me, Mr. Chow, too much, too much.” Compared to his previous work, the actor explains, “Action is more physical, comedy is difficult for every actor, except Jim Carrey. I try and I hope that (people) like it.”

And while the actor is very used to squibs and heavy physical stunts, CGI is something he’s relatively new to. “I did some wire work in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, but not like in this movie. This movie is like forty to fifty percent CGI.” He describes the process of acting against a blue or green screen as quite demanding, or more specifically, like “Acting to the air.”

Chow also cites the opportunity for diversity that Dragonball affords him. He mentions the limited amount of roles Hollywood typically affords Asian actors. Usually, he says he’ll be a “Gangster, a waiter, a drug dealer. This is a great opportunity to let an audience see the other side of Chow Yun-Fat. They can see the guy in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, or maybe they see the King of Siam. I want more different directions for my characters.” And his ideal role? “A character who doesn’t speak a word.” Then he adds with a laugh, “I wouldn’t need a dialogue coach at all.”

James Marsters

“I’d been a fan for five years and had seen ninety-eight percent of the Dragonball episodes before I got the role,” says James Marsters who plays Big Bad Piccolo, archnemesis of Goku in Twentieth Century Fox’s upcoming live action adaptation of the immensely popular Japanses manga. Then he adds, “I’ve got a son who will kill me if I get this wrong.”

Marsters, best known for his infamous role as Spike, the seductively nefarious vampire in Buffy the Vampire Slayer is in full makeup (a four hour ordeal) waiting for a climactic battle scene to be lit on the set of the film in Durango, Mexico. “When I first got cast, I thought that I was not right for Piccolo,” Marsters continues. “I have to give it to (screenwriter/director) Jim Wong, I understand why he cast me now, now I feel like there’s not another human being who can do the role.”

Marsters doesn’t consider his character to be a villain in the traditional sense. “Piccolo was working with the Mystics. He did one thing the Mystics didn’t agree with, and instead of talking about it, they threw him in jail. And it was not a nice a jail, it was like where no molecule in your body moves for two thousand years. I don’t think Piccolo’s evil, he’s just really mad.” The actor expounds by comparing this aspect of the film to literary classics. “In Shakespeare, there really are no villains or heroes, there would just be people behaving in a villainous manner or a heroic manner; it depends on what chapter of their life that you happened to climb in on. And I think Dragonball has the same kind of universe where people start really evil and get redeemed in a fairly realistic way. I think that takes it away from white hats and black hats stapled on characters.”
Marsters also took on the role for personal reasons. When speaking of both the film and the manga, Marsters comments, “I’m a fan because it helped me raise my son to understand his aggression and his anger is not a bad thing. It’s a dragon you have to ride. You can’t kill your own dragon, but at the same time, you can’t let your dragon run you out of control. Dragonball helps to teach young boys that being a real man is being a goofy man sometimes. Being a kind man, being a gentle man. And that has nothing to do with being weak. That is a good role model and it’s helped me explain to my son how to be a man.”

Knowing what magnitude Piccolo holds in the story, Marsters has put his own unique stamp on the role. “I really wanted the character to be hungry, old, decrepit and ugly. And for that to work for me, I had to look in the mirror and think myself ugly and decrepit. I wanted a makeup that my girlfriend would not want to kiss.” Then he pauses and comments, “Which I got, and which is really frustrating.”

Writer and Director James Wong

Taking a break from the genre he’s most known for (see Final Destinations 1 and 3 and the X-Files for more on this), writer/director James Wong turns his talents to adapting Akira Toriyama’s hugely popular manga Dragonball to the big screen in a tentpole film larger in scope than anything the filmmaker has undertaken before.

Wong was not all that familiar with the series before he began work on the movie. “Except through my kids, who were watching Dragonball Z, I didn’t really know too much about it. When I heard about it, I thought ‘wow,’ I don’t know what to do with this thing, it’s so crazy.” But that was enough to spark his interest. “I looked at the mangas and it gave me a whole different perspective of what this movie could be. So I read the books and I was totally enthralled by them. They’re really charming and fun.”

Wong found himself dealing with the challenge of staying faithful to his source material and adapting the work so it can be enjoyed by all audiences, not just diehard fans of the original. “There’s eighteen books, so there’s an incredible amount of story that can be put into one movie.” He explains further, “I also wanted to age up Goku, because in the mangas he’s only about twelve years old and it’s not until the end that he becomes a teenager. So we wanted to start him on his eighteenth birthday, and that changes a lot. But I think the most important thing in the movie is to capture the tone and the fun that Dragonball is. It was a matter of trying to figure out the journey for Goku, how he comes to realize who he is.”

Adapting a work of such fantastical depths was another pressing aspect of putting the film together. “We obviously had to take out parts that we could do. The mangas are so fantastic, there are so many different places you can go.” The filmmaker’s goal is to take Goku from relatability into this otherworldly universe. Wong explains, “As he goes on his adventure, things that he visits and environments that he’s in become much more fantastic. We wanted to bring in people who don’t know Dragonball into the world and hopefully (that) allows them to go out, look back at the Manga and get caught up in it the same way like I did.”

Another aspect of the picture Wong is looking to make an impression with are the fight sequences. He says, “One of the things Fox asked was, ‘how is this gonna look different and feel from other martial arts movies that we’ve seen?’” From this question, the filmmakers responded with two different approaches. The first involved the use of state-of-the-art high-tech tiny cameras—so small they can actually be fitted directly onto an actor. Wong explains, “Our visual effects supervisor suggested you can have actually a “fist-cam.” To which he demonstrates by indicating an area on his arm he’d mount the camera and then throwing a slow-motion punch. The other approach involved shutter speed. Wong says, “(Director of photography) Robert McLachlan showed me this thing on YouTube where a scientist poked a hole in a balloon shot at a thousand frames per second. And when the pin hit the balloon, the balloon broke apart immediately, but the water retained the shape (of the balloon), and then it started cascading down. We thought that was a really interesting look, and we thought how can we employ this technology, this camera within our fight sequences. We built some moments around this incredible device.”

Ultimately, Wong speaks of his greatest hope in making Dragonball, the live action film. “If we can get this movie to get people excited and have them read mangas, that would be the greatest thing, to introduce this world of Dragonball to the public and if they get into it, they’ll really get into the whole saga. So I think this is a really special project and I’m really excited to be doing it.”

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