Posts tagged "Liao Fan"

Black Coal, Thin Ice (Review)

Black Coal, Thin Ice

aka 白日焰火 aka Bai Ri Yan Huo aka Daylight Fireworks
Black Coal Thin Ice 白日焰火
2014
Written and directed by Diao Yinan
Black Coal Thin Ice 白日焰火
In the bleak urban atmosphere of a rapidly industrializing China, body parts begin to appear at a coal processing plant mixed in with the incoming coal shipments. Those thought responsible are found, and after a bloody conclusion, things seemed solved. Years later a new crop of body parts appear, and things get darker from there. A disgraced cop who worked on the original case must put aside his own demons long enough to figure out the who-done-it before he becomes the next set of parts showing up in coal plants.

Diao Yinan’s Black Coal, Thin Ice paints a murder mystery backdropped by the new urban China, the landscape coated in layers of snow that mask the grit below. Glowing neon signs provide an aurora of human habitation among the snow, lighting many of the key locations. But the glow doesn’t show the warmth of humanity, it’s an unnatural presence that makes the night time illumination otherworldly. The inhabitants have their own secrets and shady lives, and who did what and why makes the mystery akin to peeling onions.
Black Coal Thin Ice 白日焰火
Officer Zhang Zili is an up and coming investigator with the police, though the first sign of trouble is his wife leaving him. The investigation around the body parts in the plant yields the name of the victim, the widow confused as to why her husband was targeted. Robbery suspects are located, but thanks to one of them being armed many of the characters of the first act get wiped out, Zhang only barely escaping death by killing them.

Years later, Zhang Zili lives in an alcohol-fueled state of minimal functionality. His reintroduction is him having his motorcycle stolen while he’s too drunk to give chase. He’s burned every bridge at work, where he is a walking joke kept on because of fading goodwill over surviving the shooting incident that capstoned the murder investigation.

But then more body parts are found in coal processing plants. Dun dun DUNNN!!!
Black Coal Thin Ice 白日焰火
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - August 3, 2015 at 7:51 am

Categories: Good, Movie Reviews   Tags: , , , , , , ,

Let the Bullets Fly (Review)

Let the Bullets Fly

aka 讓子彈飛 aka Rang zidan fei

2010
Written by Jiang Wen, Jue So-Chun, Shu Ping, Guo Jun-Li, and Wei Xiao
Directed by Jiang Wen

Let the Bullets Fly
An Eastern Western set during the 1920s warring states period of China, where greed, exploitation, and violence were all too common. But it is dark times as those where heroes emerge, heroes that don’t fit the spandex-wearing definition of the word, but heroes that are real people who come in to solve big problems. Let the Bullets Fly sets the hero loose, with his own set of morals and convictions, and he pushes back against those who would stand in the way of his freedom.
Let the Bullets Fly
Based on a book by Ma Shitu, Let the Bullets Fly features action, adventure, and revolutionary language. It is a minor power struggle against the backdrop of larger power struggles. We see how the struggles of life affect all levels, from important businessmen to government officials to the criminal underclass to the village peasants.
Let the Bullets Fly
After a train robbery, Pocky Zhang’s band of “noble” bandits con their way into an unsuspecting town posing as the new appointed governor. But the town is controlled by a ruthless businessman who is used to running things his way as the townspeople suffer. Zhang isn’t about to take crap from anyone, setting into motion a war between to different types of criminals with two radically different philosophies.
Let the Bullets Fly

“Pocky” Zhang Muzhi (Jiang Wen) – An outlaw gang leader with his own code of ethics. Pocky Zhang and his men rob only from the rich, and one such robbery sets in motion his impersonation of an appointed town governor. His gang consists of numbered members for easy signalling. Pocky’s image is of a pox-marked monster, but he’s really a handsome dude.
Boss Huang Silang (Chow Yun-Fat) – Arrogant Godfather of Goose Town who is too clever for his own good. Usually makes short work of the appointed governors, but Pocky Zhang proves to be unlike anyone he’s met before.
Governor Ma Bangde (Ge You) – The real appointed governor of Goose town, who bought the position using all the money he had. A sneaky fink who is out thought on both sides, his opponents more capable than his acts of deception.

Let the Bullets Fly
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - December 21, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Categories: Good, Movie Reviews   Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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