Couch Potato

I Like to Watch (Instantly): Ashes of Time Redux, Death Trance

Notable martial arts titles from the Netflix Watch Instantly world

()

Directed by Kar Wai Wong

Cast: Brigitte Lin, Leslie Cheung, Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Jacky Cheung, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Li Bai, Carina Lau, Charlie Yeung

Ashes of Time Redux
Ashes of Time Redux

Hong Kong director Wong Kar-Wai takes another crack at his mostly misunderstood new wave martial arts film from 1994. Jacky Cheung, Leslie Cheung and Maggie Cheung (no relation) star in this ultra-stylized story of a brokenhearted hit man who lives in a desert and uses skilled swordsmen to carry out his contract killings. Wong's editorial tinkering (five or so minutes worth of cuts) attempts to alter what was already a radical condensation of Louis Cha's classic wuxia novel The Eagle-Shooting Heroes. But it's still a gorgeous film and deserves a second look. HD Available.

()

Directed by Yuji Shimomura

Cast: Kentaro Seagal, Ben Hiura, Tak Sakaguchi, Osamu Takahashi, Yûki Takeuchi, Yoko Fujita, Hiroko Yashiki, Takamasa Suga

Death Trance
Death Trance

From many of the same people who brought you the insane gangsters-against-zombies flick Versus comes this equally over-the-top-and-back-again action flick straight outta Japan. In an unknown (possibly post-apocalyptic) time and place, a badass wandering samurai (Tak Sakaguchi) steals a mystical coffin from a monastery. Whatever's inside the coffin is supposed to grant your greatest wish. But it actually contains the imprisoned spirit of the Goddess of Destruction. Naturally, it wouldn't be a good thing for this particular item to be opened. The sole surviving monk sets out on a quest to stop our super samurai. Don't try too hard to figure out the plot. Just sit in slack-jawed amazement watching samurais with motorcycles and ninjas with machine guns go to town on one another! In Japanese with English subtitles.