The Promise (Review)

The Promise

aka Wu ji

Jang Dong-Kun as Kunlun
Hiroyuki Sanada as General Guangming
Cecilia Cheung as Princess Qingcheng
Nicholas Tse as Duke Wuhuan
Liu Ye as Snow Wolf (Ghost Wolf)
Chen Hong as Goddess Manshen
Qian Cheng as The Emperor
Directed by Chen Kaige

Chen Kaige brings you the most expensive film in Chinese history, with a budget of 282,572,490 Yuan ($35 Million.) Does this increase in budget bring us a film far superior to many to exit China? The answer is sadly no. What should be an outstanding film with beautiful images instead becomes an example in mediocrity, a living example that more money does not make a better film, something that Hollywood should be learning for the past 10 years, but somehow isn’t picking up. The Promise reminds me of the lyrics of Linkin Park’s In The End: “I tried so hard and got so far, but in the end it doesn’t even matter.” Now before I scare all of you off with more Linkin Park lyrics, let me explain myself. This movie tries to be a great Chinese epic, and tries to be a beautiful film, and tries to be an international success. But in the end, all of that is for naught, because the film isn’t well written. The main weakness is with the story, and following that, the special effects the story tried to portray. I’m used to bad CGI in films, but in something that’s supposed to be a beautiful epic the results are jarring, looking cartoonish and pulling you out of the fantasy element into the world of Bugs Bunny.

Continue reading

2009: Lost Memories

2009: Lost Memories

2009: Lost Memories
Dong-Kun Jang as Masayuki Sakamoto
Tooru Nakamura as Shojiro Saiko

Japan is the reigning Asian Power after controlling Korea and China since the early 20th century. How did this come to pass? Well, in 1909, the Assassination of Chosun Governor Ito Hirobumi by Cheong-Kun Ahn was prevented. And that lead to greater Japanese dominance of the entire region. Suddenly history is different:

1910 Takeover of Chosun (Korean Penninsula)
1919 Illegal gathering in Pagoda Park dispearsed
1921 Second Governor of Chosun appointed (Inoeu)
1932 BG Yoon killed in Honxiao Park, Shanghai
1936 Japan and US soldiers fight as allies in WW2 (wait a min…)
1943 Japan takes over Manchuria
1946 Atomic bombs dropped over Berlin ends WW2 (Now WAIT a min!)
1960 Japan accepted in the UN as a permanent member of the Security Council
1965 Sakura I satellite goes into orbit
1988 Olympic games in Nagoya
2002 Soccer World Cup held in Japan

Hey, sort of slanted against South Korea’s accomplishments at the end there…

2009: Lost Memories
Continue reading