18 movies I’ve watched since the holidays

Yes, Eighteen(!), mostly due to I've an almost empty drama plate and a long list of movies I finally have time to watch.   I have no idea what got into me, but somehow they can be paired up by my whim:

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy + SH2 the movie: what if…. brain-bursted fr hotness shallow fangirl suddenly yearns for substance?
I love almost every actor in them, but I also slept through them both.  I have no tolerance for mindless action and as a fiend of bromance in general, when it's as showy, shallow, gaudy spitting in my face slashy 'porn' as SH2, it bugs me, I am turned off by the cheesy excess.  Hot men aside, my mind shut off from caring, because this stop being any fun being so far fr the original Sherlock Holmes.  TTSS is much better a movie,  I haven't read this Le Carre and it has my dreamiest, loveliest list of hot men.  And yet, I still fell asleep and because of the falling asleep unbeknownst till I snapped out of my dozing, I didn't know the exact reason why, and oddly I can still follow the narration.  By deduction, is movie not pacy enough?! Though I can safely, honestly say the parts I didn't pass out, very solidly good. 

Warhorse and Hugo: I will buy Hugo's dvd in a heartbeat and rewatch it with willing children till they get sick of toys. Warhorse, opposite of that.
Hugo has lovely storytelling.  Good solid work all around and maybe my favorite Scorsese (my least his pooping on Infernal Affair). Movies I can rewatch forever are always the PG-rated for all ages.  Warhorse, OTOH is a harmless, draggy, plodding, mind-numbing B Disney movie that should be st to blueray if not for it's charming hero-horse, sweeping scenery and Spielberg's attachment. I'm pretty sure the whole theater openly wept more than once, but I walked out of it dry-eyed and unaffected. I may have witnessed the first animal best actor winner.  It's shot in Dartmoor, very pretty and glossy, and I wonder if they just grab BC off his SH set of Hounds for his meager cameo. Hiddleston is PRETTY in his <5 min screen time.  I know I'm a heartless bitch for saying, but this is just another MarySue romance hiding under the veil of a children's tale set in WW1, with the MsMarySue being the horsey. :X

This picture almost makes up for the meh:

Flying Swords Dragon Gates tete a tete White Vengeance butting with Shaolin:

I basically checked these 3 out around the same time because of the pretty, I know better to not expect anything nutritious in the storytelling.
FSDG is my Cmovie art porn, and in that regard the non-existing story is playing to its advantage.  The CGIs r so much more simple and seamless than Tsui Hark's (dotingly nicked Tsui Old Weirdo by C cinephile) last soiree Detective Dee, to my relief.  I've quit watching an Old Weirdo's movie for plot for a decade+, there will be none, and if there is some, u will walk out wanting a lobotomy of ur exploding head (eg Det Dee),  I'm able to enjoy the beauty without any distraction.  The pretty is how the picture is framed, its artistry.  The costumes r top-notch, the embroidery and accessory r so lavishly sickeningly pretty.  If we r talking about breathing and pretty there is ChenKun, lovingly nicked as 厂花 /Beauty of the 'Court' by his manic fandom.  Any random fanvid fr FSDG has been the prettiest I've seen.
This is a taste…and thing is, this is really not that far fr how gorgeous he REALLY looks on screen:

If this MV tickles any of your fancies (ie u r a kinky Mane of Glory lover), I guarantee u'll like ChenKun in FSDG:

Bromance has a massive fandom, but how about girllove?! Have an MV of the girlgirl CP in FSDG, spoilerish and extremely gorgeous:

I love listening to Sutra, and when such a talented hottie sang one of the most amazing version of it, I can only enslave myself forever to his fandom:

White Vengeance has lots more happening, but it's done with much more substanceless flashiness, the chore of the tension is nowhere to be found with Leon sleepwalking in fugly costumes thro his titular LiuBang. FSF is surprisingly holding his own, but still I only see him as a lovesickpuppyPrince8 with mane galore and furry coats.  In a gist, this is a shoujo-fied puppylove story of XY and ConsortYu (there's fake pink petals! falling while they die! oh so romantic *puke!*) and multitudes of bromance couples for your picking.
Shaolin…I stopped at 15 min. I can't: Andy Lau, POSING!!!!! and the 'I'm too good for my role or acting in general' miasma of posturing/pretending to act spreads to everyone sharing his screen.  I knew I'll have a problem with him as always, but this amazing fanvid of one of his best singing job is hard to refuse:
*warning: Don't be tempted if u r not a hardcore AndyLau/NickyTse fan.  It's very pretty, very spoilerish, very lovely song and lyrics, IMPOSSIBLE  to not WANT! movie, and movie is sadly, turd.*

The Skin I Live In and Chloe: that awkwardness of unknowingly watching exploitative porn with your brother!
Who doesn't think Almodovor and Egoyan r amazingballs?!  I know their deals, I am always left with vivid, memorable sweeping swarms of thoughts and emotions.  Not here in their recent offerings.  I'm a bit more disappointed with Skin, with my much higher expectation.  This is the first time I felt Almodovor going too over the top and being too cocky, too sure of himself with his calculated shock factor. It comes off very clinical, very perfectly controlled lab experiment when I'm begging to feel his verve. I'm not perturbed by the gory twist, I WISH.  Somehow with the excess of unbelievability, I cease to care about anything happening to the characters, as well acted as they are. But oh, how I miss a darker Banderas! I miss this man and Tie me Up! Tie me Down!  Chloe is Egoyan stopped caring about substance and his edge. It's a pity, Julianne Moore is still amazing, giving her all in this tepid softporn.

Blue Valentine and Crazy Stupid Love: Fulfilling things I did for Ryan Gosling
Blue Valentine is unique, it felt as if the 4th wall is off and docu-like it creeps under my skin, esp in its later, harder to watch parts.  I'm watching love helplessly gone bad *sob*.  It's the first time I've seen Ryan Gosling opposite of hot!sexy!beast!!  And I love it, I think it's an awesome, thought provoking movie on the complexity of love/marriage. So to compensate: Crazy Stupid Love.  It's crazily dumbing, you'll feel stupid yet there are bits of it you will love, namely Ryan Gosling and at times Ryan Gosling with Emma Stone, but mostly Ryan Gosling…naked (and bits of Marisa Tomei).

Tron + Star TrekHe did his hubby duties, my turn.
Tron is a D movie. C++ according to hubs and he thinks he's funny. <_<
Star Trek, now please explain to me why *spoiler* Spock meets future Spock in Black Hole when I think Black Hole = death by poof!  Hubs and other nerds I've asked can't really rem that specific plot clear enough, or I'm not using their language hence retelling it wrong, or so they say, and I fear he'll suggest rewatching it, so I let it drop.  But I need to know!

Love Is Not Blind 失戀33天 vs Apple in my Eye
Love is Not Blind is not perfect, but I feel every bit of heart and dedication pouring in making it work as an attempt of a successful Chinese contemporary romance.  It's couple twists and turns ripping off My Best Friend's Wedding. The team working for Love is Not Blind almost made it clicking and I have to applaud just on the daring step forward towards a genre that literally is a breath of fresh air in a vacuum.
Apple in my Eye is SO NOT IN MINE!  It is easily the most disappointing waste of time the lot.  I'm shockingly bored to tears minutes in and I'm usually extremely good with slow but rewarding arthouse. The story is so plain and thin and the characters are mostly stupid.  Being young doesn't equate stupidity.  I guess I do not have a personal experience of falling for someone hard without any feasible reason.  I'm the opposite of a hopeless romantic since birth in RL.  But still! I don't see the romantic, and I don't see the freaking big deal AT ALL. I can't believe I sat through the whole thing. 

ETA: I gave Apple a second chance after chatting with a friend. Now I take it all back, I must've had too much coldmeds in system when I watched it.  It's still extremely overrated, but it's watchable, and harmless.  It's touching, but can be done with more finesse.

Hard Boiled + A City of Sorrow
What dirthole was I wandering off when I first watched Hard Boiled in cinema?!?!?!??!?!?!??! It's sooooo kickass awesome!!!!!!!!!!! and it's 20 years old.  What the heck is WRONG with you John Woo for freefalling doing all your crappy crap since?!?!?!??!  Gosh Tony is soo killing me with every scene.  That very first library scene, I'm the face of that flailing fangirl librarian.  When he's in so much mental pain killing off ppl, I'm the face of that flailing fangirl librarian. When he's in UNIFORM instead of the one size too big MiamiVice outfits, I'm the face of that flailing fangirl librarian.  When he got shot and bleeding and in physical pain….I trust u get my face.
My newish dvd player can't display my City of Sorrow subs, but that's not stopping me.  Tony is still as I remembered, not his usual I can't help it but be CHARMING sizzling eyesex self.  It's a whole different person, a mute little bro you want to hug, but so not the usual way you wanna hug Tony Leung (and do other things to him while at it).

JinLing 13 Chai/War of Flowers
I rambled all this word diarrhea because I thought my thoughts would have gathered and I'll be brave enough to finally write down everything I desperately need to write about this movie, and hope I'll get that dense lump of heaviness off my chest.  But I still can't write anything cohesive about it being too overwhelmed, devastated yet empowered as a woman.  My every thought is taken over by this movie since I watched it last wkend. I have pocket tissues around me all the time because I will sob suddenly when triggered by most random stimuli. 
This is my 'best' movie of 2011. This is my 'best' Cmovie, maybe of all time.  This is as affecting a cinematic experience on WW2 as Schindler's List for me and in many aspects even more so…because it's much more personal as a woman and as a third generation of Pacific war victims. I feel the urgent duty to watch and rewatch because if this story (and I'm absolutely convinced even with strokes of dramatization the heart of it is hallowingly true) is never told and not made a record, it'll be lost and forgotten in another generation, forever.  I feel responsible, I feel an urgent need, even if it'll traumatize me all over again to write my hearts out on it.  I just need to gather my broken pieces.  I'm not there yet.

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23 thoughts on “18 movies I’ve watched since the holidays

  1. wow, 13 movies, that’s a lot haha..I also thought hard boiled is an awesome action movie of JW. Tony is indeed a great actor, i’ve read a lot of good words from Kyo about Tony as a person.

    Have a great weekend , mookie!

    1. I have this disturbing thought in my head for a while, but then most of the time if I put it out here, I’ll ‘jinx’ it into not happening. I have a feeling WKW is capable of cutting out Kyo. He’s done that before. Do you have any idea who Kyo’s character is dear?

      Have a great wkend yourself! Muakkk

      1. Kyo ‘s character in the movie is Ip man’s wife. I think she has a small role in the movie comparing other Ip man and that WKW might cut some of the her scenes, it’s a big chance for that but he can’t cut all of her scenes as i think the wife role is a big part of his life. But then, who knows? Its WKW.

          1. After he cut out Brigitte’s AMAZING singing scene in ChungKing Express, the more we know of any actress’ role in his stuff, the more concerned we should be.

            haha I’m usu very wrong when it comes to speculation of WKW and what the heck he’s doing with his ‘material’

  2. Go Gosling go! He’s had a great year in 2011. I’m ashamed to admit that yup, I’m one of those people who’ve seen The Notebook at least five times and cry buckets every time. But OMG is he ripped in Crazy Stupid Love. That muscle HAD to be photoshopped, or CGI-ed! I’m too scared to watch Blue Valentine, my brother watched it and said it made him lose faith in relationship and humanity for a little while (he’s sometimes prone to exaggeration).

    I’ve read TTSS, and for the life of me I can’t imagine how they manage to make that into a movie. A lot of it is people sitting around talking, having meetings, being debriefed, reading documents. le Carre is such a good writer, it’s never boring as written words, but not very visually-appealing, probably. (Except for the hot, hot Brits, of course 🙂 Mr Darcy and Sherlock in one movie? The screen might explode from the hotness overload). Is it boring, the movie?

    I have such a soft spot for Amanda Seyfried I was rooting for Julianne Moore to leave her husband. Sure, she’s a psychotic stalker with boundary issues, but look at her! She loves you!!!

    1. I’m certain TTSS is a very good movie, a friend is a satisfied book and movie fan. It’s more I’ve driven an hour in traffic to see it after a work day and didn’t have the stamina and functioning head to concentrate. Now my dilemma is, should I read the book first before rewatching?! It’s Darcy, Sherlock, Dracula, Caligula/JohnHurt, Mr. Knightley fr KBeckinsale’s Emma, Al Capone fr BoardWalk, hottie fr Tudors, Eames/TomHardy…and that’s just all the delicious men that got an ‘ooohhh!’ out of the not dozing off me.

      To an extent, that’s what Blue Valentine set out to ‘critique’ on the lofty romantic faith we have in the intangibles. I have a pet peeve of knowing as little of a movie I will be interested in watching as possible, going in clean slate. A bit spoilerish: there is a hint on the disturbing undercurrent of them being too naive and rash in the falling as sweet, spontaneous and organic as it is. But who isn’t?!

      I dunno, Amanda must be a sweet kind soul in RL, esp when she’s next to her insanely lovely dog. But she’s forever typecast as a meangirl. At least after Mama Mia! Dear john/diary, Letters to J. I still can’t unsee her as a meanie. I think she did ok in Chloe, but I’m certain there is a better young actress out there that can give me more nuances and keep me a bit longer in the ‘suspense’. And it’s a shame Liam Neeson is so flaccid in it.

      1. She’s not the greatest actress around, but I’ve always loved seeing her on screen. My girl-crush, along with Marion Cotillard, heh. I’m LOL’ing at flaccid! I’m very meh on Neeson, he just seems very disinterested,like he doesn’t really give a fig in most movies I’ve seen him in.

        I’ve seen reviews that complain that it’s not a surprise who the mole is in TTSS because he’s the only suspect among the four who is given more than just a few lines of dialogue. In the book, the suspects are described mostly through backstory, Smiley reading a case file and reminiscing about Bill Haydon, reading another case file and reminiscing about Toby Esterhase and so on. So we do get a good sense of who these people are. Maybe that’s hard to show in a two-hour movie.In the present day of the book, they don’t really do much except have a few meetings and talk a little with Smiley or Guillam. How is BC as Peter Guillam?

        1. Really?! I didn’t notice the wt of lines favoring the mole at all! And I have no complaints on how it’s steadily revealed in a marvelous job by Mole actor, ok there may be a convo or two of just a few words extra in the beginning that you can’t help but notice, but other than that, I don’t feel cheated on the chase. Also I’m most surprised actually with how sparse and opposite of verbose the script is. It’s handled with a lot of restraint and long lingering shots to build up the tension.

          I was expecting BC to be the very prominent scene stealing left hand man to Gary’s Smiley, but he’s mostly devoured by Oldman in their scenes. It crosses my mind he overacts the jittery and greenness of his inexperienced agent, I presume. It’s not spelled out in movie he’s green/inexperienced, but he’s so insanely young and jarringly blond next to Smiley. I really wished they didn’t overdo the blondness of hair color, as minor as it is. When matched with his eccentric look, he’s almost too loud to be a Carre’s spy (or is it written so in book?) It may just be the disparity of expectation vs reality, I have no real complaints of any acting at all. Oldman is absolutely fantastic imo. Tom Hardy is scene stealing as Tarr, Mark Strong’s Prideaux is even better than I expected of Strong. Percy, Toby and Roy (I just realized he’s the latest Dumbeledore!) are all fab. Tbh I know so embarrassingly little about the story and I deliberately keep myself fr reading anything once I knew it’s my must see, I thought the 5 were all moles!

          Marion blew my socks away as Edith Piaf. My o my, she’s doing what I thought only Meryl Streep is capable of and more.

          1. I went straight to google image to see this blond BC. Hihihi. Kinda cute, but really weird. And yup, he looks really young, even younger than Sherlock Holmes. I don’t remember if Guillam is blond in the book, he’s older though, in his forties, Smiley and the rest in their fifties, I think (except Tarr, he’s not their contemporaries). The movie probably made Guillam younger so it’s not a movie about a bunch of middle-age guys, LOL. I’m so sad for Prideaux, betrayed by his close friend and possibly lover (the book is pretty coy about that second point, just people insinuating things, but Bill Haydon was definitely sleeping with men AND women. Is the relationship between Haydon and Prideux spelled out clearly in the movie?) The betrayal I’m most mad about though is Haydon seducing Smiley’s wife, and then spreading the news all over the Circus, just to distract Smiley because Karla told him Ann is Smiley’s only weakness. Very low, Mr Haydon, very low.

            1. O my… I tried very hard to shrug it off as my delusional bromance/slash-filled mind playing tricks on me. I saw a lot of more than friends/work partners lingering glances btn them. What I saw in the movie, there is nth coy about Prideaux and Haydon, they are definitely exchanging very intimate angsty glances as plot thickens. There’s one very controlled extremely painful lovelorn yearning wince Prideaux gave Haydon after he’s absolutely sure Haydon is the mole at the party, and the way Haydon eyes his ‘so long, my love/killer’ when he’s shot by Prideaux. Strong is my surprise, Colin is also amazing when he’s letting us see the weasly Haydon, but I think he’s slightly trapped in his own acting rhythm. Hmmm, now I read Guillam is portrayed as a homosexual in the movie but written as heterosexual, I didn’t pick up on it at all and I wonder why it’s necessary, either I missed it entirely, or BC is doing not as decent a job as my first glance.

              Are you planning on watching the movie? I have a feeling it’s written with the knowledgeable audience in mind. My first order of business is to read the book after doomday tmr post Sherlock.

              1. Guillam is gay in the movie?? Why? They could have just made the relationship between Haydon and Prideux more explicit than in the book. I don’t see the point of switching it to another character. He’s a bit of a womanizer in the book, with a taste for much younger women. I’m still not sure about watching it, I have such a strong mental image of Smiley, Guillam, Haydon, Prideaux, I’m scared it will be a disappointment. But I probably will see it, if only so I can rant and rail about how unfair it is Gary Oldman doesn’t win an Oscar. I keep reading people calling it a great but quiet and unshowy performance, and that’s bad news for award purposes, I think.

                1. oh nonono, sorry I didnt put it right.

                  In the movie, Haydon and Prideaux certainly r sharing some lovelorn lingering smoldering stares btn them, esp Prideaux -> Haydon. BUT it’s never explicitly said they were lovers. I thought it’s my silly mind seeing slash out of nth much, but now you are telling me they really have a homosexual innuendo or more.

                  I just read on IMBd Guillam is also gay in the movie and not so in the book. I didn’t catch any drift of it watching the movie, either I blink/doze off or BC is not doing enough of a job conveying that and now I wonder why the alteration.

                  I would be ragey if Oldman didn’t at least get an Oscar nom. He’s flawlessly perfect as Smiley. Carre did a cameo in it, and Smiley the character must be based on some super spy he had high respect for back in his MI5/MI6 days and I bet he’ll be very proud of Gary’s job. It’s almost his one man show.

                  1. Finally read a review mentioning PG’s homosexuality – apparently it’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it scene. Smiley told Guillam to clean up his affairs because their personal lives will be scrutinized, Guillam went home and told a guy to move out, and that’s basically it. Iskk, iskk, seems very pointless to me. If what the movie wanted to explore is homosexuality among the Circus officers, why the heck don’t they just clearly spell out the relationship between Haydon and Prideaux as lovers, instead of leaving it ambiguous? It would be more poignant considering what happens between these two guys later. Gilliam and his random lover don’t really bring anything poignant to the story. But in the good news front, I don’t think we can blame BC for not passing the gaydar since it’s such a throwaway scene (he’s probably supposed to be closeted as well).

                    1. Ok, now I remember that scene in passing. Can’t agree more this is quite pointless. I mean unless to bring out the inner turmoil of being in his line of work where he’s outwardly a womanizer with a wandering eye and a closeted gay? Is Tarr in any way his subordinate? and he’ll be more ‘convincing’ with his affair with the Russian-defector married woman? But see the more I think about it, in a sense both BC and Colin r playing men that have a ‘fluidity’ with their sexuality, but Colin is delivering the point better with his scene seducing Smiley’s wife combined with those with Prideaux.

                      I love how they handle Haydon-Prideaux, the whole movie is done with no excess and dir. Alferdson did a wonderful, succinct job in conveying the complexity with barely any words. Thanks to Strong, I totally get the ‘unfulfilled’ yearning for Haydon in every glance, sometimes stolen, sometimes skull-piercing Prideaux cast Haydon’s direction. It’s gloriously unspoken, but absolutely heart-breaking to watch their ‘last soiree’ by only expressive stares in their pivotal end scene.

                    2. I definitely have to see the movie now, to see the yearnful glances between Mark Strong and Colin Firth! Because of the time period the story is set in, I sorta wonder if the womanizing is a sign of fluid sexuality, or merely a cover for the homosexuality? In Haydon’s case though, the way he’s described in the book, I’d go for the fluid sexuality. In addition to seducing Smiley’s wife and the did-they-or-didn’t-they thing with Prideaux, he also had a girlfriend and a baby set up in a house, and a sailor boyfriend in another apartment. Busy bee, this Haydon guy.

  3. Magician was major fail.

    I really don’t want to spoil, but Mookie better not watch the Great Magician. I fear for you as a Tony/Sean fan (as I am sighs), you will cringe from beginning to the end. Silly writing, acting surprisingly disappointing, chemistry there but unfortunately, nothing else watchable. *headdesks* Why why why did Tony, Sean or even Er Dong Sheng make such a movie? o_0

    Re: Shaolin

    I actually loved the movie a lot. Andy is no Tony, but I thought he gave a very good performance in here. Nuanced at the right moments, flashy at some but still could live with it. His portrayal of the evil-turned-enlightened monk worked well for the story and moved me heart.

    1. Re: Magician was major fail.

      Oh, not spoiling coz I know the clusterfuck already, it’s inescapable fr the interweb. I’m still determined to watch it no matter what. At the end of my abuse to cousin, she leaked out hint: 東成西就1993. Now I’m most curious what backstage machinations were pulled to get everyone on board working on an apparent movie ponzi?….or are they active member OF the scam?!?!? THAT will break my heart.

      That said, I’ve rewatched 東成西就1993 a few times over the years, I grew very fond of it as a scrapbook of the quintessential HK slapstick of a bygone era. I’m oddly ok with lots of things once I get over the initial shock and the always present conundrum of expectation vs RL.

      I’m firmly on boat Andy can no longer do Nuance, anything till DoMD85, I am still rabidly fangirling. He really is God in the greater CN populace, and I will fly back and vote for him as CEO/President of HK IF we ever gotta vote democratically. He’s no Tony and Tony can never touch his CN mass popularity, we can safely say 80% of the sino world is fan of Andy. I LOVE Andy as a person, every single time I see J Chan as mascot of HKG, I have to do a switcheroo in head with Andy to not puke in mouth. He’s exactly the unanimous ideal of what a HK role model should embody. His work ethics, his superhuman strive, his handsomeness, his intellect, his EQ, how always charming and apropos he carries himself in every occasion.

      To me, what Andy is doing on screen is a very skilled, well-honed methodization of expressions after rehearsing through out the years to close-perfection..but it’s just not acting. I see him screaming the perfect Andy Lau roleplaying. He’s programmed in his own droning rhythm, extremely consistent but I no longer see any risk-taking, any creativity or any organic spark, or whimsy or spontaneity of the unexpected, awe-inspiring magic, the OMFG! in anything he does concerning his ‘art’. I see move after calculated move both in his acting and singing to nurture the AndyLauBrandTM and I’m just plain bored sitting through and giving him grades of 8/10 for decades now.

      I see Andy as the equivalent of the extremely well done pirated LV everyone is toting, so good it’s much more functional and satisfying than the original art form. It’s cool and popular and we’re proud to don it.

  4. Flying Swords was more like Flying Monkeys to me

    I had really high expectations for Tsui Hark’s 3D effects a la Avatar-style and boisterous story-telling flair in Flying Swords of Dragon Gate. But truth to be told, I kinda felt the 3D effects was over-the-top and took the shine off Jet Li’s natural martial arts moves. Chen Kun was heart-stopping amazing, definitely! But the plot was pretty messy! The twist on Mavis Fan’s pregnant maid character at the end didn’t make sense and just went down with a whimper. I much prefer Detective Dee and the Phantom Flame – that was one awesome movie and had a superb female character in Li Bing Bing’s Shangguan Jing’Er. Zhou Xun has fab acting chops, but her character here doesn’t have the memorable WOW factor that Li Bing Bing’s had. Such a pity – great cast, but plot is kinda too messed up.

    1. Re: Flying Swords was more like Flying Monkeys to me

      oh…I absolutely HATE Avatar with a passion of a thousand burning sun. I almost walked out of the 3D Imax whatever fancy schmancy theatre. So I dunno, I would hate to compare this to Avatar. Out of all medium, I still love books the most and so threadbare story with extravagant visuals, no matter how ‘spectacular’ peeves me to no end. I didn’t expect ANYTHING last decade fr anything Tsui Hark, I don’t regard him any good in cohesive story telling, I’d rather have Peter Chan, in that dept alone. Det. Dee has a ‘fuller’ story, but it irked me so bad in the numerous holes every time I think about the plot, I don’t think it’s making that much more sense fr the very beginning scene onwards, and it has much more happening and hence much more logic fail for me.

      Jet Li is totally wasted here. I have never regard him as a terrific actor, but a charismatic martial art star, so when he’s given little to flex his art form in exchange of the 3D visuals, it’s his job to milk every sec he has, esp when Old Weirdo loves his head shots and flourishes. He’s not a master of using every facial nuance to captivate instantaneously no matter how empty in substance the scene is, and in a Tsui Hark, there’s lots of larger than life posing involved, Chen Kun successfully use every ounce of his allure here with every determined flick of hair or pleated silk and glances and stole the movie squarely, confirming he’s a Star, ready and on his way to fill a bit of the massive Leslie Cheung’s void.

      I find the story threadbare and quite predictable, I expected Mavis’ twist before it happens, (it’s rumored to have a longer version come the original’s anni, and it’ll fill in the detail of *spoiler* Mavis and CK’s romance and she’s with his child. IMO she did a surprisingly nuanced powerful job, stealing it fr ZX resembling what CK did to Jet to a much lesser degree, so it didn’t come across as not making sense in particular. If we have to properly critique: the whole story is not making a tonnes of sense as with all Tsui Hark since 2000, tbh.

  5. Wow, I feel inspired to watch 13 Flowers now. It was under pretty heavy criticism on Rotten Tomatoes though. But that’s just the Western media’s viewpoint. I mean they can even say Flying Swords was “good”? I’ll watch 13 Flowers and form my own independent opinion.

    1. Oh watch watch watch!!! It’s only in theaters one wk in 3 selected cities here to be qualified for the awards, only a fraction of the critics watched, I’m only interested in Ebert’s thoughts on it and anyone thinking Hero is one of ZYM’s greats is immediately irrelevant in my bk, so I don’t really pay much attention. I airquoted the ‘best’ because while watching it I’m seriously in no rational mind being a flailing sobbing mess to process whether it’s ‘good’ or ‘bad’, it doesn’t matter, I was sooo affected by the movie and there are scenes still haunting me. This movie experience will stay with me for a longggggg while.

      I am usu very fine with the Western/Eastern different pov, actually, I welcome it. Eg I can totally see why the Western audience love Red Cliff but it does pissed me off JW did it for the Western audience alone and totally did me, a passionate aficionado as JW is proclaiming he is *rolleyes*, a cinema-rapey disservice. it’s very understandable, but I’m outraged fr any whisper of it being biased and didn’t attempt to shy a ‘balanced’ light on the J occupation. And this is melodramatic sensationalized ‘soap’. It only shows the commentators own ignorant. I felt ZYM did a fantastic, marvelously restraint job in controlled any excess, allowing the scene to speak for itself. I didn’t expect how understated, quiet and poignant some crucial scenes are, esp fr his hands.

  6. Re: Magician was magical!

    kekeke, actually my cousin loves it as well and thinks I’ll adore it. I honestly lol watching 東成西就1993 in theaters when the 99.9999% of the audience r swearing their hearts out. I still haven’t see any sound of it showing here and I can’t do myself the disservice of watching a lousy pirated scrn recorded version…the one I can find now.

    I dunno what you ladies r talking about Tony lacking onscreen romances, you really can’t fault him acting for 2 or 3 peeps and a horse combined in RC when he’s to bounce of a mannequin/LCL, and another mannequin who thinks he’s funny/Takeshi and….the horse in labor. He’s marvelous in so many good old OTPs.

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