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]

Odd, jilted-lover revenge flick starring Gillian Chung, Daniel Wu and some other chick I don't know. The plot seems simple. Daniel Wu is a jerk and posted nude pictures of former girlfriend Gillian Chung online, and then the latter enlists his current girlfriend to help her retrieve them from his computer.

The problem is, nothing much happens. There are random sex scenes that reveal nothing, a chase scene that isn't all that exciting, and lots of scenes of the girls making eyes at one another. The ending was a little too contrived for my liking, and not entirely believable. Also, I hate when people purposely destroy electronics. In the pro column, there's some really cool French Italian music throughout, and tbh my first thought afterwards was hmm, I might save this for the music.

Then I said, nah.

Mood blahMood blah
Music Hilcrhyme – LAMP LIGHT
Tags: daniel wu, drama, gillian chung
Raito [userpic]

I know I said I probably wouldn't post much about dramas, but I just finished watching this one, after spending a good couple of months on it. It's wuxia, of course, mainly what I watch, and furthermore, wuxia based on a story by Gu Long. Amazingly this one didn't end in a bloodbath.

The top-billed actors were probably Nicholas Tse and Gillian Chung, but it wasn't all about them, as is usually the case with dramas like this. Essentially the story was that a man from Paradise (Japan) comes over to China to look for a bunch of divine swords. This being the last will of his master. However, it's obviously not that easy, and his quest quickly falls by the wayside of the plot. Because the truth is, his teacher killed his dad, and his mom and dad were both betrayed by his mom's dad, and she was forced to marry someone else, and then had another kid. Meanwhile, the guy she married's brother was interested in her, but she rejected him, and in a semi-ridiculous scene, the former two jump off a cliff and are presumed dead for the rest of the story.

Whew. And that's the least complicated plot point. The main thing I didn't like right away was how they brought the backstory in before you gave a crap about the characters. It would have worked better told in flashbacks. It also made it too easy to guess that the mom was indeed still alive. But other than that, it started out with lots of fighting and Dazang (Nicholas Tse) being portrayed as somewhat of a bad guy. After all, he's presumed to be Japanese. After killing his grandfather and angering his half-brother, he somehow picks up Gillian Chung's character, Pearl, after sort of rescuing her from a smarmy guy, but really, he just seems to like killing people.

Pearl is also his half-brother's (Baoyu) childhood friend, so he has another reason to hate him. It's not too hard to keep track at first. A war between several sects is brewing, and all the major characters initially end up on opposite sides, and it's hard to tell who's good and who's bad.

The biggest betrayal of all comes about a good halfway through, maybe even later, i can't remember. And then the whole story becomes about the Imperial Court trying to stamp out the jianghu (martial arts world), and a complicated love triangle that ends up being a paper tiger the whole time. In fact, much of the conflict in this story is classic paper tiger. The only character who never lies to anyone is Dazang. The rest lie and keep secrets from each other the whole show, and create rather unnecessary conflicts by doing so.

But anyway, I'll stop giving stuff away and focus on other things. Firstly, the music was terrible. And when I say terrible, I mean, it has to be the worst soundtrack I've ever heard in anything ever. It was like elevator music and some of the themes were played at the most inappropriate times. I liked the opening song by Nicholas Tse, but purely as a song in its own right. It didn't go with the series, other than adding to the crappy choice of music for everything.

The acting was fine for the most part. Nicholas Tse plays brooding characters pretty well, but this one was perhaps the broodiest of all. He had almost zero impishness, and also, lost his interestingness about halfway through. Once the story was no longer about his quest and him pissing off the jianghu, it got decidedly less interesting. Then the story became more about Baoyu, who is one of the most annoying characters ever.

The first half of the show was pretty great. Lots of fighting and plotting and such. But the second half was pretty filled with melodrama and too much Baoyu emoing over one thing or another. I did think it was pretty funny though how the Dazang character seemed to be modeled off of Kenshin.

The end was also kinda gay, other than the deaths of two major characters, which was fairly expected, but at the same time, handled quite well. It's hard to say whether this kind of thing is preferable or higher body-count series like Da Ren Wu and Handsome Siblings. Maybe I'm just bitter about Dazang's awesome sword getting broken.

Mood blahMood blah
Music 劉德華 – 分开不要在雨天
Tags: dramas, gillian chung, nicholas tse, wuxia
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