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]

Woman Knight of Mirror Lake (2011) - A historical film about revolutionary Qiu Jin, I liked it for the most part.  The fighting was really fantastic.  Some of the best choreographed kung-fu I've seen in awhile.  However, on the other hand, the constant fighting distracted somewhat from the story, which had its own distraction problems in the way that it was told, jumping all over the place in time.  Huang Yi did a fantastic job though.

City Under Siege (2010) - On the other hand, this movie could have used more fighting and less attempts to make an already fairly silly premise into something sillier by adding drama to it.  The story is about some people in a circus, including hapless Aaron Kwok who wants to be Flying Dagger, but sucks at it.  They dig up some random Japanese bunker and get hit with mutant powder.  For some reason, Kwok's character gets all the powers but none of the bad looks.  Then there's the recently-fired news gal, Shu Qi, whose main job is to look amazing and the buttkicking team of Zhang Jingchu and Wu Jing.  Again, if this had just been loads of fights, it would have been quite entertaining, but the attempts to make it into something more fell pretty flat.

Shaolin (2011) - Another quasi-historical piece about an arrogant general who is overthrown by the inferior that he treats like crap.  He then learns the error of his ways by falling in with the monks of Shaolin.  It's a pretty obvious redemption story, but with some fantastic scenery-chewing by Andy Lau and Nic Tse.  You could almost see the sparks when they were in the same scene together.  Jackie Chan has a sorta brief turn as a Shaolin cook and demonstrates random crazy kung-fu.  Fan Bingbing is somewhat of a flower vase, but still has some good parts.  This was actually a really riveting movie so don't let the driveby status fool you, I'm just feeling lazy right now.

Raito [userpic]

A "sort of" sci-fi Korean film revolving around an alternate history plot.  I like that kind of thing, as well as Jang Dong-gun from The Promise, which is what prompted me to check it out.  The basic plot is that a pivotal assassination did not take place, thus making Japan a huge superpower with Korea still in its clutches.  So, in the future/present, a group of Korean rebels are attempting to get back and get the time back to rights.

Enter Jang's character, a police special forces kinda guy who happens to be Korean, but has a Japanese name.  His partner is actually Japanese.  They show up to stop a massacre at the Inoue Foundation at the start of the film.

Now, this could have been a good film.  However, it wallows in melodrama for most of its inflated 2 hour + running time.  Lots of slow motion shots of people getting shot and taking a long time to die and it gets pretty ridiculous.  It also has a not-so-subtle anti-Japanese rhetoric going on, as it essentially portrays them as soulless monsters where even the main guy's partner goes at one point:  "I've never thought of you as Korean", then later proceeds to do exactly that.

In spite of all the attempts to wring emotion out of you, like most films that do that, it falls pretty flat.  None of the characters are fleshed out and even the battle between the partners is never convincing or moves past thin caricature.

I haven't watched many Korean films, but I'm beginning to lose hope that there are good ones as the ones I have seen have this problem with excessive melodrama and thin plots.

Mood blahMood blah
Music 马天宇 – 天雨
Tags: korean, sci-fi
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.

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