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 a remake and sadly, never gets much past that.  Louis Koo stars as a demon hunter who has a crisis of faith at some point when he befriends a female demon.  Later, that same female demon seduces a  young scholar and the two are pursued by both Koo and the Tree Demon, who is the ultimate baddie of the story.  It's not really all that funny, like previous versions, and it's not terribly scary either.  Koo plays his part with a sort of wry indifference that makes him seem almost as bored as I was watching it.

The best part of this movie was probably a couple of great sword fights and the SFX, which seem to be really improving over there.  That might impress people addicted to Hollywood, but it doesn't impress me.  I watch Chinese movies because they have great stories, but this movie and the other one I watched last night, were heavy on the visuals and thin on the story.  That's too bad, because Mural did both and did it well.

I can't really recommend this, but at the same time, it was mildly entertaining and looked good, so just have some popcorn with it or something.
  Actually what it makes me want to do is watch the old one with Tony Leung and Jacky Cheung.

Mood awakeMood awake
Tags: fantasy, louis koo
Raito [userpic]

Frequently blurring the line between reality and fantasy, Mural seems to be trying to be an allegory at times, but much of the lesson is either lost in translation or confused in the fantasy-adventure.  Basically the movie starts with Deng Chao as a scholar and his servant taking refuge in a temple along with a swordsman of dubious morals.  Eric Tsang is there as the resident monk.  Deng Chao finds himself staring at a mural and it comes to life.  Eventually the three men end up in a fantastical place populated by fairy women only, oh and an eyebrowless Andy On who is a bodyguard or something for the queen.  Men are forbidden in the place, so you can kind of imagine what ensues.

The interesting thing is how it ends.  It sort of leaves it up to the viewer to decide if any of it was even real or if it was a Chronicles of Narina thing where the person comes back to the exact time they left.  The other part that was interesting to me is how the queen initially asked her subjects if either she or they were beautiful, I can't recall, but at the end, the new queen asks them if they are happy. 

It was enjoyable though.  Good fantasy sfx not just for a Chinese movie, but period. I'm looking forward to the idea of more of this type of thing in Chinese cinema.

Mood calmMood calm
Music Agitato – BUBBLE
Tags: andy on, deng chao, eric tsang, fantasy
Raito [userpic]

I just realized that I've posted a long line of sub-par movies.  For some reason I'm more motivated to write reviews of BAD movies, lol.  Nevertheless, here's a rundown of some other recent viewings.

A Crowd of Three (2010) - Unfortunately this movie wasn't very good either.  Three vastly unlikable characters go on a roadtrip to visit one of the characters pedo brother who's in prison.  I'm not entirely sure what they hoped to find out from him, I think the brother thought he'd break him out, but that didn't work out.  Even Matsuda Shota can't save this too-long unpleasant film.

The Great Magician (2011) - My viewing of this movie was somewhat tainted by subs that kept garbling up in probably-important places.  As great as it is to see Tony Leung on-screen again, his performance was rather bland, as though he was just trying to pick up a paycheck while waiting for Grandmasters to finally come out.  Zhou Xun was fun and Lau Ching Wan was a riot, but I really can't remember much about the plot, which admittedly, could have to do with the subs.  Oh well, it was nice to look at and the soundtrack was fantastic.

Love On Credit (2011) - Ok, now this movie I actually enjoyed.  Starring Lin Chi-Ling playing twin sisters with man problems, it was beautifully shot and had a good soundtrack as well.  It's somewhat of a romcom, as in, it was occasionally funny, but generally quirky.  What stood out most to me was Lin's excellent acting.  I see her getting ragged on quite a bit and I haven't seen her in much, but she was great in this.  I actually did not realize that both of the sisters were her until the end.  Chen Kun played one of the boyfriends and he was great as usual, but I would have liked to see him more. *cough*

Mood blahMood blah
Music 马天宇 – 那些花儿
Tags: chen kun, driveby, fantasy, jmovie, lau ching wan, lin chi-ling, romance, romcoms, tony leung, zhou xun
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