I am looking for a movie reference for something I'm writing that meets a few qualifications:

1. Romantic. Must strongly feature a heterosexual romance which is played straight, as it were. The movie can be dark/cynical/ironic in general, but the romance has to be taken seriously. I'm looking for the kind of grand, lush quality as Bride with White Hair or Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.

2. Not fantasy, not wuxia, not science fiction, and NOT A WAR MOVIE. Ideally, it would be contemporary, but historical might be OK.

3. Must feature action or violence, ideally involving guns. Ideally involving lots of guns. No movies where all the action is traditional martial arts.

4. Must have a noticeably awesome soundtrack. Ideally this would largely consist of songs rather than being orchestral. But not a musical. That is, the characters shouldn't be singing.

To get a sense of what I mean by this, most Quentin Tarantino movies, The Godfather, and Blade Runner fit the "noticeably awesome soundtrack" requirement. It's not that the songs themselves need to be brilliant works of heartbreaking genius, but they need to be used well/interestingly/memorably within the movie. People who liked the movie should include the awesomeness of the music in their post-movie discussion.

5. No old mainstream classics like Casablanca.

Optional but this would be nice: Protagonist should be Asian or Asian-American.

Also optional but nice: A quirky/indie/offbeat vibe.

I miiiight drop the "action" qualification for a quirky Asian movie that fits all the other criteria.

Tarantino has several movies that almost fit, and I might end up going with one of his if I don't find something better.

I feel like the movie I'm looking for was probably directed by Tsui Hark, Wong Kar-Wai, or John Woo, and the right one just isn't coming to mind. The main things I'm stuck on are that I can't recall which movies have good soundtracks or made interesting use of music. Did John Woo ever direct a movie where the actual main emotional relationship was a straight romance rather than a relationship between men?
Tags:
ide_cyan: (Default)

From: [personal profile] ide_cyan


Something by Tom Tykwer, maybe? The Princess and the Warrior, or Heaven, might fit the bill.
ide_cyan: (Default)

From: [personal profile] ide_cyan


(He also directed Run, Lola, Run, which is known for its soundtrack, but where the romance seems less a part of the plot, though it's Lola's motivation.)
boxofdelights: (Default)

From: [personal profile] boxofdelights


Out of Sight has a smokin star-crossed romance between Jennifer Lopez and George Clooney. Contemporary. Not fantasy, not wuxia, not science fiction, and not a war movie. Too much stupid Hollywood gun violence. No martial arts. Interesting Motown-influenced soundtrack.
meara: (Default)

From: [personal profile] meara


Out of Sight is an amazing movie...totally not what you would think given "Jennifer Lopez" and "George Clooney". It probably helps that it's based on an Elmore Leonard novel.
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)

From: [personal profile] oyceter


This may be a little off, but Batman Returns? I totally ship Batman/Catwoman. Not Anton of guns, but definitely more action-movie violence than martial arts. I don't remember the music, but the score is by Danny Elfman, who I usually love. Not sure about songs with lyrics though... And may be too fantasyish? I can never tell with superhero stuff

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oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)

From: [personal profile] oyceter


More!

(or: in which I have seen way more 90s action movies than I thought)

Mission: Impossible 2: John Woo gunplay galore! Alas, I haven't seen it since high school, so I don't remember if the romance is any good now... all I remember is being completely entranced by Thandie Newton at the time. Also no idea re: music.

Casino Royale: Don't know how overt the romance is, but I remember you talking about the shower scene. No idea re: the score, but there of course is the obligatory Bond song.

The Crow: Arguably too fantasy, but big on the romance. Even if it is a romance that just takes place in flashback. Also don't remember the score (I think high school me wasn't too big on movie scores), though I think it was very hard rock/punk?

Desperado: Don't remember how big the romance between Salma Hayek and Antonio Banderas' characters was, but I remember they were hot. Wiki says the soundtrack has Chicano rock and traditional Ranchera music.

The Saint: Lighter and fluffier instead of grand and lush, but I remember thinking the romance was cute. Of course, this was back in high school when I had a crush on Val Kilmer... I suspect the soundtrack is less distinctive than the ones listed above.

The Mask of Zorro: Also cuter romance as opposed to grand, and historical with swords and older guns.

The World Is Not Enough: Stockholm-syndrome villain romance? I imprinted pretty heavily on the Sophie Marceau scenes with Bond though. Also, I love the title song.

The Terminator: Okay, I am cheating b/c it is sci-fi. But the gunfights are very much modern action movie! And it has one of my favorite movie themes, music-wise.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith: I really like the romance, hot sex in a broken house, lots and lots of guns, no idea re: the music.

Asian movies TBD... I think the non-wuxia, non-martial-arts action ones I've seen I can count on one hand, so it will probably be more quirky indie stuff.
ironed_orchid: pin up girl reading kant (Default)

From: [personal profile] ironed_orchid


Romeo Must Die with Jet Li and Aaliyah is the one that springs to mind. I don't remember how convincing the romantic chemistry was, but it was certain taken seriously by the writers. I can't remember the music, but apparently there is a soundtrack by Aaliyah.


From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


I thought of that one, but it's so non-actiony. Does it have a great soundtrack? I've seen it but I don't remember.

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From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


Definitely no wuxia or films where the action is traditional martial arts, sorry!

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From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com

I killed the president of Paraguay with a fork


I thought of that one! I'm not sure the romance quite works for what I'm going for, though.

There are several John Cusack movies that almost fit. I also thought of Say Anything and High Fidelity.

It won't be a boring soup!

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From: [identity profile] vom-marlowe.livejournal.com


I haven't seen it, but I think Mr and Mrs Smith might qualify. Angelina Jolie and Brad, guns, sexy times, but not martial arts per se, but I don't know about the soundtrack.

I flipped through my early John Woo mental movie list, but all of them were buddy films.

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


Hmm. That might be it. I think I'll re-watch and pay attention to the soundtrack.

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From: [identity profile] coyotegoth.livejournal.com


Might I suggest Tony Scott's True Romance? (I wouldn't usually suggest a Tony Scott film; this one, with a script by Tarantino, is exceptionally critically well-regarded.) *Very* dark/ironic, with with true, err, romance; contemporary in setting; no martial arts, but quite a bit of violence; a soundtrack that may not be the very greatest for a Tarantino project, but is still far from a kick in the teeth; release date of 1993, so not an ols classic. Neither of the leads is Asian/Asian/American, alas, but there *is* Val Kilmer as the ghost of Elvis :)

From: [identity profile] telophase.livejournal.com


From Toby, who pays way more attention to movie soundtracks than I do (also he took a break and went through the DVD collection):
True Romance and Natural Born Killers might fit the bill, but I’ve never seen them - just going off what I remember people saying.

Off the top of my head from my catalog, The Replacement Killers _might_ fit the bill. Stars Chow Yun-Fat and Mira Sorvino, but the romance is more oblique or tacit than she probably wants. Lots of gunplay. Score by Harry Gregson-Williams, with a track by The Crystal Method and one by Tricky. Executive produced by John Woo.
Also (ranging further afield as we go down the list):

The Bourne Trilogy (though the romance comes late in the first movie, and well without spoiling things is also late in the third) I enjoyed the soundtrack, but I notice them more than some.
Payback - Plenty of gunplay, but again the romance isn’t the focus. AWESOME soundtrack. I prefer the original, but the Director’s Cut is fine too.
Hudson Hawk - Downright silly, and not too many guns. But I thought Bruce Willis and Andie MacDowell had some chemistry.

And for just an oddball that stuck me while perusing our collection:

Run Lola Run - I’m not sure if it classifies as “romance”, but the plot’s pretty much driven by Lola’s need to save her boyfriend from thugs. A soundtrack so awesome I bought it (after hearing the MP3s) before even watching the film. IIRC some guns, but not much.

From: [identity profile] fadethecat.livejournal.com


Hm. I seem to recall there was gunplay in Romeo Must Die, but I honestly can't remember what the soundtrack was like, which suggests it's not going to qualify for #4. (On the other hand, now that I've been reminded of it, I should go watch it again.)

From: [identity profile] fiveandfour.livejournal.com


Dang, this is hard!

My brain is all...
The Fifth Element - nope, science fiction
The Last of the Mohicans - nope, war movie
Pirates of the Carribean - hmm...not quite

I didn't see it, so can't say for sure, but maybe RED qualifies? Similarly, maybe The Bourne Identity? They can't really be described as "lush" though.
larryhammer: a low-fidelity picture of a man, label: "some guy" (Default)

From: [personal profile] larryhammer


*makes notes*

I watch far more wuxia than heroic bloodshed/gun fu, but really ought to bone up on the latter. Especially if it has a good romance.

---L.

From: [identity profile] helenraven.livejournal.com


How about Out of Sight with George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez? It's a heist movie in which he's a bank robber and she's a Federal Marshal. It's been a while since I saw it and I can't remember much about the level of action (or the soundtrack), but the chemistry between them truly was memorable.

From: [identity profile] f4f3.livejournal.com


RED pretty much fits except I have no idea what the soundtrack is like... Hmm, good but not great.

From: [identity profile] jorrie-spencer.livejournal.com


I was going to say The Bourne Identity, though the sequel is best not watched if you're super invested in the romance. Otherwise I'm coming up blank. Also, no idea about the soundtrack.
seajules: (gojira matinee)

From: [personal profile] seajules


Brick might either be the perfect suggestion for this or a complete miscalculation; hardboiled high school noir starring Joseph Gordon Levitt. There's not really a romance, since the main character is actually trying to find out who killed his former girlfriend, but lots of violence of the fists and guns variety, and a whole lot of quirk, right down to everybody's delivery of the blackly parodic script. I'm not sure the soundtrack's really there, though.

Benny and Joon has no guns, minimal violence, and no Asian lead, but it knocks the rest of the criteria out of the park.

Romeo+Juliet?

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


Ohh, Romeo + Juliet might be it. Guns, totally non-ironic romance, great soundtrack, quirky indie vibe, I don't think anyone's Asian but at least it's not an all-white cast. It would also make for a really funny conversation. Thank you!

I've been meaning to see Brick. I only heard of it recently.

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From: [identity profile] nihilistic-kid.livejournal.com


Chungking Express.
Hmm, not enough guns, actually...
Edited Date: 2014-06-11 12:44 am (UTC)
sovay: (Claude Rains)

From: [personal profile] sovay


Optional but this would be nice: Protagonist should be Asian or Asian-American.

Would you accept movies set during war that are not "war movies" (i.e., characterized by combat or the home front)? If so, Ang Lee's Lust, Caution (2007) comes to mind. The thumbnail sketch is: during the Japanese occupation of Shanghai, a student cell determines to assassinate a high-profile collaborator; one of their own is selected to pose as a woman of his social class and political sympathies and seduce him, but something goes wrong. In the classic Hollywood noir which this premise resembles, they'd fall in love. Here everything is messier, emotionally and sexually, but it has terrific sex scenes and one of the clumsiest onscreen murders since Torn Curtain (1966) and complicated loyalties and about as much martial arts as a bunch of drama students in 1938 would be likely to know and I remember the score as being orchestral and interesting. Make sure to rent the original version, not the one that was censored down to an R rating; the sex is important to the plot. I can't remember if it was the first Ang Lee I saw. I think so. It introduced me to Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, anyway.

[edit] Okay, it's not very quirky and you wanted a soundtrack with songs. I saw "romance" and "violence" and "Asian" and my brain flashed on Lust, Caution. I'll keep thinking.

Okay, so I haven't seen this movie, but Jim Jarmusch's Mystery Train (1989) has been on my list of movies-to-track-down ever since I heard about it: the plot is three stories braided around a hotel in Memphis all on the same night and I know one of them stars a pair of Japanese teenagers on a quest for the blues and another involves idiots with guns and the third is an Italian widow stranded for the night when the ghost of Elvis makes an appearance, so I really feel it should contain all of the elements you're looking for, if not necessarily in the same streamlined package.
Edited Date: 2014-06-11 01:27 am (UTC)

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


Even if I don't use Lust, Caution, now I definitely want to see it.

From: [identity profile] lorataprose.livejournal.com


The only other one that comes to mind is Library Wars, though being Japanese, there's no actual making out onscreen. There is a hug, though, and the romance is definitely part of it.

From: [identity profile] anglerfish07.livejournal.com


I was going to suggest Casino Royale (the recent James Bond one, not the horrible old parody), seeing how it has a heterosexual romance, tons of action, and a wonderful soundtrack (although it isn't quirky)...but Romeo and Juliet fits the criteria much better. :)
athenejen: iAthena (athena)

From: [personal profile] athenejen


Fallen Angels by Wong Kar-wai might work? It depends on how... successful you need the romance to be. There are essentially two storylines, both heterosexual, both with one person infatuated with another; neither are exactly reciprocated, and neither end well, though one's ending is much more violent than the other's (unsurprisingly, it's the one that features the hitman and his logistics-support business partner). The emotions are yearning and intense-yet-detached in that characteristic, mesmerizing Wong Kar-wai way, and the soundtrack is awesome, and IIRC it does even feature a few actual songs used in memorable ways. I don't know that I'd call it truly action-y, but it definitely has violent elements, including a beautifully-shot hit involving guns. And it absolutely fulfills your Asian protagonists, contemporary setting, and quirky/indie/offbeat vibe asks.

From: [identity profile] somebraveapollo.livejournal.com


OOOOH. How about Romeo Must Die? It has all the things and is also a cinematic underdog (ie. not liked by critics).

From: [identity profile] redrockgirl.livejournal.com


Desperado fits all your requirements--love story; semi-contemporary; so. many. guns; awesome soundtrack; quirky, indy vibe (hi Steve Buscemi!)... Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek so not Asian or Asian American, but otherwise a good fit?

I came to your LJ through Sharyn November, btw...sorry if it's weird for me to comment here (couldn't resist the question!)

Julie
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