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]

I was actually really looking forward to this movie when the info about it came out last year I think it was.  But, in all honesty, it was disappointing.  Not straight up bad like the previous movie I reviewed, just not...that gripping. 

The plot is basically somewhere between Marvel comics and wuxia.  A superhero movie in the Qing Dynasty.  Now, reading that, you'd probably think this could be really awesome or really atrocious.  But sadly, it's neither.  It  Louis Koo and Sandra Ng are the titular superheros, and as the movie starts, you don't really know that, but gradually it becomes apparent that they've retired.  Eventually there's a flashback of what they did and how they met, then there's the part where they realize they're bored and want a child, but they can't because they're too boring.  So, naturally some drama ensues and eventually a martial arts tournament and a very ill-conceived baddie, and yeah, it's just not very interesting, ultimately.

It was occasionally funny at times, but not enough for me to want to see it again or even recommend it.  There was a lot that COULD have been done, but really, it was a wasted idea and a waste of the two stars' considerable comedic talent.  The other thing, is Louis Koo's way of speaking was EXTREMELY distracting.  I'm not sure what he was trying to do, if he was trying to mimic that one voice of Stephen Chow's where he sounds all tired and put-upon, I can't think of an example right now, but anyway, it was not working.  It was amusing at first, but then it just became really distracting, took me out of the movie.

It's funny, a similar silly movie, Future X-Cops, was actually a lot more enjoyable than this one.

Mood hungryMood hungry
Music 버즈 – Monologues
Tags: comedies, louis koo, sandra ng, wuxia
Raito [userpic]

I now feel absolutely fine with having not watched any of the All's Well Ends Well series that doesn't contain Stephen Chow. I hadn't watched a movie in awhile, so last night I made the mistake of trying the 2011 version of the aforementioned movie. Despite Louis Koo's sort of hilarious gay act, the novel concept of Donnie Yen playing a cosmetic salesmen and my fangirly love for Cecilia Cheung, the movie was interminably boring and it wasn't long before I didn't care what happened. I think that was about an hour into it.

In all honesty, I'm not sure I can even recount the plot, because there really wasn't one. It was more of a loose collection of largely unfunny skits. And these are talented people too. It's a pretty amazing thing when a director/writer can waste that much talent in one movie. Amazing, and headache-inducing.

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
Raito [userpic]

I guess Hong Kong loves these kind of movies. The undercover cop gets too close to the gangster boss and ends up conflicted in his duty. That's sort of how this one went down. Louis Koo plays the undercover, Andy Lau plays the boss, and a very slimy Patrick Tam plays the villain. Oh and produced, but not directed, by Wong Jing.

Andy Lau plays Fei-lone, who is an ex-boss of the gang, Hung Hing. He's gone straight and has legitimate business ventures. But, as always happens, his Triad buddies are constantly hanging around trying to start trouble and get him back into it. Louis Koo plays Sing, who is an undercover, apparently assigned to Fei by a superior who has some kind of grudge against Fei, despite Sing telling him that Fei is straight.

Enter Chun (Patrick Tam). He's the son of the current boss (Pao, played by Anthony Wong) of Hung Hing. You can sort of tell he's up to no good right away, and when Pao is critically injured, he starts putting his slimy plans in motion. Those plans being that he wants to take over Hung Hing, but he also wants all Fei's money and he wants Fei to take the rap for all his killing that he does to get there.

Andy Lau, is, as usual, great as the guy nobody wants to mess with, and even when they do, you can sort of tell that he's going to get them all back eventually. I especially liked the sequence when Cole (Sing's asshole superior) is blocking him and his people from going to see the injured Pao. Fei initially is genteel and persuasive, but when Cole gets more and more belligerent, Fei's eyes suddenly harden and he gives him this kind of glare that would make anyone step back. Andy Lau is just so effective at stuff like that, lol.

Sing just kind of lurks, but always seems to show up at the right time to make things right. In the end, he's being held and questioned by his douchebag of a superior, while Fei-lone and his family are captured by Tam and his gang. Somewhere around there was an excellent sequence wherein Fei-lone's wife and Sing's drunk hooker girlfriend chop and explode their way out of a holding pen created by some guys of Tam's, intending to keep them captured.

Amazingly enough, this wasn't a film where everyone dies. Well, ok, a lot of people do, but the people you want LEAST to die, amazingly don't. Basically Louis Koo's film characters are like the Terminator. They can take lots of shots, but still keep you from shooting the bad guy. The ending was rather open-ended, but it fit.

I thought this movie was pretty good, actually. It was nearly two hours long and it was a very capable Triad action film. Plenty of violence, posturing and sadistic plots. Basically, all the good stuff. And it still managed to entertain and end ok.

Mood okayMood okay
Tags: action, andy lau, louis koo, triads
Raito [userpic]

Ahhhh I see, I see, this was just a vehicle for Donnie Yen to have a long, drawn-out, and bordering on boring fight scene at the end. I don't like Donnie Yen at all, he's a terrible actor and he kinda looks like Adam Sandler. I don't like his martial arts either. But anyway, I didn't watch it for him. It sounded interesting and also starred Louis Koo and Fan Bingbing, two of my favorites.

Ahh the story. There was one. Kinda. There's these three Vietnamese brothers who run a gang. Tiger, Archer and Tony. Tiger's the punk that likes to brutally beat people up, Tony's the martial artist psychopath, and Archer's the more normal, business-like guy. Pretty much all tried-and-true Triad character sketches. So Louis Koo is the undercover cop, trying to bring these guys down. Donnie Yen is his partner, who is apparently always in trouble for beating the crap out of people. Eventually Louis Koo is discovered and things go all to pot. And Louis Koo gets the crap beaten out of HIM multiple times. This leads to the ending sequence where Donnie Yen attempts to get Koo and his girlfriend (Fan Bingbing) out of the bad guy's clutches using Archer as bait.

It sorta works. But not really. Cue long sequence of gun chases, random beatings, Louis Koo should be dead, but like the Terminator, he keeps going, and finally a final fight between Donnie Yen and Tony. The latter is played by Collin Chou who actually turned in a pretty damn convincing performance as the sadistic gang leader. The fight was interesting the first five minutes or so. But then it went the way of bad guy beats good guy until he's half dead but then good guy gets really angry and some new reserves of energy and proceeds to beat the crap out of the bad guy.

It was almost as boring as the Muay Thai fight at the end of A Fighter's Blues. Say what you want about Wing Chung, but it looks WAY better on screen. However, as I was watching the fight, I came to the conclusion that Collin Chou really is a martial artist. I can usually tell. And I just proved myself right by looking him up. He is indeed.

Anyway, this was a pretty decent action flick. Nothing I'd watch again, but good for one viewing. Or maybe I was just really angry and needed the release, Idk.

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