Posts tagged "Waise Lee Chi-Hung"

An Inaccurate Memoir

An Inaccurate Memoir

aka 匹夫 aka Pi Fu
An Inaccurate Memoir
2012
Written by Leon Yang Shu-Peng and Zhang Xiao-Bei
Directed by Leon Yang Shu-Peng

An Inaccurate Memoir
Wow, did I get An Inaccurate Memoir wrong! Here I thought it looked cool and would be entertaining, but instead it just ends up being boring and making me wonder why I’m wasting time on it when I have a thousand other films to watch. A sad end, because An Inaccurate Memoir looked strong, taking place during the Japanese invasion of China and featuring bandits and resistant fighters in a near-lawless setting.
An Inaccurate Memoir
It’s not all bad, there is some awesome cinematography of wide open spaces indicative of Westerns that so many of these Eastern/Occupied China films emulate. There is some cool imagery, if you are patient enough to wait around for it. Most striking is the occupying Japanese soldiers playing soccer with a skull. The Japanese are dehumanized in most scenes, especially the raid on the bandit base by gas mask wearing Japanese troops that look like monstrous invaders.
An Inaccurate Memoir
The action sequences are too sparse, and when under way, are done with an intense energy, like every move and shot is done with great pain and heroic struggle. Think everyone acting like screaming Spartans from 300 except without all the stylized effects around them and just in a real firefight, and it begins to look ridiculous. I’m all for stylizing action films, but here it is just a mess of struggle. Sure, some characters it can be advantageous to show the heroic struggle…if used in moderation, not filled so much the seams are bursting.
An Inaccurate Memoir
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - September 16, 2013 at 8:22 am

Categories: Movie Reviews, Ugly   Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The Four

The Four

aka 四大名捕

2012
Script by Gordon Chan Ka-Seung, Frankie Tam Gong-Yuen, and Maria Wong Si-Man
Directed by Gordon Chan Ka-Seung and Janet Chun Siu-Jan

Emotionless spends 99% of the film looking at people like this

What if X-Men was a confusing mess with too many characters, little character development, and an over-reliance on visual effects vs. telling a good story? Besides X-Men 3, you’d also get The Four! Gordon Chan trades mutant powers for qigong skills in this big budget production that follows the trend of Mainland cinema relying far too much on visual effects to carry weak scripts and bland characters. While The Four does deliver some nice looking sequences, overall it fails to achieve its goal of being entertaining, and even fails to wrap up any plot lines in the film. The Four seems to go out of its way to make sure nothing happens.

Don’t worry, the obligatory scene where all the main characters fight for no reason still happens.

The latest update of prolific (and troubled) Malaysian writer Wen Ruian’s work, The Four has been adapted numerous times for television in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mainland China. Featuring four male detectives with special powers who work directly for the Emperor and solve problems, this version is distinct for two reasons: It is the first big budget film adaptation, and one of the male characters has been made female. Even China is changing characters around to try to attract broader demographics! In general, I have no problem with that practice. But this specific case causes some problems, as discussed below.

I’ll show them, I’ll build a real clockwork orange!

Emotionless (Liu Yi-Fei) – Emotionless can read minds/souls, has telekinesis, in a wheelchair…but she’s not a Roman numeral professor or anything! The most powerful and smart member of the Divine Constabulary, but also has handicaps because why else would there need to be three more of them? In the original stories, Emotionless is a man.
Cold Blood (Deng Chao) – Cold Blood has a demon trapped inside him that comes out when he’s angry and a sword that glows green, but he’s totally not a rip off of the Hulk. Don’t think like that! Cold Blood has legendary sword skills, and legendary puppy finding skills. He worked for Department Six Constabulary until he was fired and then got a job with Divine Constabulary, but he still reports to his old Department Six Constabulary boss.
Iron Hand (Ngai Sing) – Despite the fact he’s named Iron Hand, he seems to be a bit closer to stark copy of a Marvel hero, thanks to his great ability to built things in the forge. Electrical powered things. Including wheelshairs. In ancient China.
Life Snatcher (Ronald Cheng Chung-Kei) – A bounty hunter who specializes in tracking down people who have debts for a price. He gets mixed up in the mess in the beginning of the film, but Zhengwo recognizes his skills and offers him a job. He’s reluctant at first to join up due to it interferring with his criminal underworld connections, but ends up becoming one of their best agents (he is one of The Four, after all!)
Zhuge Zhengwo (Anthony Wong Chau-Sang) – Leader of Divine Constabulary working directly under the Emperor. His unorthodox working styles is often criticized for not showing the proper respect, usually by stuffy-shirt nobles who are up to no good. It is sort of funny to see the star of films such as Ebola Syndrome given the wise and respected leader role.
Ji Yaohua (Jiang Yi-Yan) – The leader of a new crew of female constables that were hired by Division Six Constabulary. She starts crap from the moment of her introduction, and is working for the bad guy. A Penglai kung fu master with questionable loyalties… aka she’s evil!
I’ve heard of the Bride with White Hair, but this is ridiculous!

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - September 11, 2012 at 1:01 am

Categories: Movie Reviews, Ugly   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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