Infernal Affairs
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Infernal Affairs
Hello, you've reached Raito's movie review blog. Most of what you'll find here is reviews of Chinese movies, because that's pretty much all I watch. :'D

November 2012
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Raito [userpic]

This is your basic gilded idol vehicle starring Wu Chun, Han Geng and Barbie Hsu.  The costumes, set and soundtrack were fantastic, but overall, it wasn't enough to save the movie from mediocre acting and a thin, stretched plot.  At the start of the movie, a boy's whole family is executed in front of him.  He is spared because he sings a bit of opera and a boy apprentice asks his master to save him.

The two "brothers" are, of course, Han Geng and Wu Chun.  But first, the latter's master has his special  plaque taken from him in a duel with another master and they retreat to the mountains to learn to be "opera warriors".  When they grow up and come back to Shanghai, Barbie Hsu is the apprentice of that other master and they want to fight him to take back the plaque.  So that happens and they get all famous and stuff, then suddenly Han Geng wants to go back and kill the people responsible for his family's death.

There's really not much more to it than that, if I said more, it would give away what excuse for a plot twist there even is.  I suppose the plot was thin to accommodate the mediocre acting talents of the male leads.  Han Geng was completely unbuyable as his vengeful character and neither one of them did anything to convince me that they were as close as brothers.  So the inevitable betrayal or whatever you want to call it got no real reaction from me.  More like, an, oh, is that so.

The one bright spot was that Barbie hit it out of the park with the sad script she was handed.  Her character had a wide range of motivations and emotions and even though her story was just as thin, she actually put life into it.  That's acting, boys.

So yeah, mediocre movie.  Watch it for the stars or the pretty, but not the plot or acting.

Mood awakeMood awake
Tags: barbie hsu, historical, wu chun
Raito [userpic]

So then. I read nothing but bad reviews about this, from mostly American movie fans re:the special effects. And that, to me, just illustrates what the crap is wrong with both the fans and the industry. THERE WAS NOTHING GLARINGLY WRONG WITH THE SFX. Srsly. A few bits might have been a bit unconvincing, but otherwise, um, they mostly did what they were supposed to do. GOD. This makes me feel old, because that's what I hate about video games these days too. That's all people freakin' care about.

Ok, rant aside. It was an entertaining enough movie for an hour and a half. I'm sure if Hollywood did such a thing, it'd be at least 30 minutes longer and with more car chases. *insert eye roll here* Yes, this might be my most sarcastic review ever. I think I'm mostly irked that people thought it was so horrible for stupid reasons. I'm still ranting, ok then, lemme stop.

Basically, there's some cyborg people and...actually I'm not sure what they're trying to do. Kill some doctor perhaps. But they're thwarted, so they go back in time. And Andy Lau (he's the hero) goes back to stop them, or locate the kid version of the doctor, I'm not sure. But there's some funny stuff, and some action bits, and Mike He was really hot. Anyway, so there you go, the bigger problem was the lack of plot, not the sfx. But oh yeah, I forget, American movie fans don't care about plots anyway. *coughavatarcough*

Honestly, I'm more concerned that I didn't spot Wong Jing. He always makes a cameo.

Raito [userpic]

I guess the standard plot vehicle of hilarious wuxia is the deposition of an Emperor. Previously Cat and Mouse and The Duel did the same thing. The main point is a love story of sorts, but it's told against the backdrop of a coup d'etat.

This one stars Louis Koo and Barbie Hsu and there plenty of glimpses of other funny people that usually show up in these kind of movies, which, btw, is directed by Wong Jing, purveyor of the ridiculous. Essentially Louis Koo plays Royal Dog, an absent minded professor who wears Aretha Franklin bow hats in the tub. He's in love with Barbie Hsu's character, but she doesn't think he really is, so she starts trying to test him. All it does is make him cry though, lol. At first he thinks she's fallen for a handsome guy (Brad Pitt in the subs), but the guy is actually a girl.

Meanwhile, one of the other royal guards has a thing for the princess. But the ridiculous emperor has a bunch of princes coming in from out of town to woo her. Naturally they're replaced by fake ones by the plotters. Which is basically the Empress's brother. Just like Cat and Mouse in fact, lol. However, during the IQ test part, Royal Dog somehow makes himself most wanted on the Princess's list.

That's about the gist of the plot, with a lot of ridiculousness thrown in. To say that's it's not funny is far from the truth, unless you lack a sense of humor entirely. Nevertheless, most of the hilarity is ridiculous and might be helped along if you've had a few drinks.

Mood creativeMood creative
Music Lady GaGa – Telephone (feat. Beyoncé)
Tags: barbie hsu, comedies, louis koo, wuxia
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