|Rei Dan 檀れい as Kayo|
Monday, 3 November 2008
Wednesday, 22 October 2008
|Kelly Chen: What the fuck movie have you cast me in?|
Bad news on the doorstep:Firstly, do not be fooled by the artwork – this isn't your run-of-the-mill war epic. It isn't an expanded TVB kungfu drama either. If anythin, the clumsily titled An Empress And The Warriors a.k.a. 江山美人 is an MTV soap with Leon Lai and Kelly Chen playin mismatched lovebirds - and poor ones at that! You'd say: at least Donnie Yen kept his shirt on, sparin us the muscleman theatrics that tortured us for more than an hour in Flash Point. However, as war epics go, you wouldn't be spared the bionic, one-man-kill-all Oriental heroism that oozes out of Donnie's terracotta-type costume. Kelly Chen, on the other hand, is still poutin like a Chinese version of Emmanuelle Beart, despite having had so many opportunities since the Infernal Affairs movies to beef up her actin chops. It is peculiar to see the songstress shout at men like Maximus in Gladiator, only to manja up to Leon Lai in the next scene like a giggly schoolgirl. Together, they could hardly convince anybody that they are in Ancient China, let alone that they're in love.
Tuesday, 21 October 2008
|Tae Kimura 木村多江|
Perennial wonderment:Why do Asian horror films always have to be about haunted objects? Forget the rings, wigs, grudges et cetera. Kaidan works on many levels, offerin a variety of rewards for every type of viewer. It's perhaps best described as an excellent introduction to classical Japanese period horror for those in this generation of cinema who only know the post-modern era made commercially viable by success stories like Ringu (1998) and such.
Here are some stills from the movie plus a couple of neat photos from the set.
|You must watch this movie.|
Monday, 20 October 2008
Most brand it as essential Chinese New Year viewin. Expectations for Stephen Chow Sing Chi’s CJ7 (2008) are high, not only because it’s been some time since Kung Fu Hustle (2004) but because the marketin strategy drivin the movie has been aggressive. The Hong Kong funnyman has gone from strength to strength since bein introduced to Western audiences. The resultin concern for fans of Chow is that he is now under undue pressure to deliver to those markets. Notice how Shaolin Soccer (2001) marked a departure into less dialogue-heavy filmmakin and Kung Fu Hustle was more style over substance. Older fans of Stephen Chow would know that this is certainly not his forte. It is his exaggerated absurdist humour and precise comic timin that make the man. In CJ7, Chow’s direction is no longer in doubt – he has abandoned the idiosyncratic Canto-specific comedy that brought down houses in movies like Justice, My Foot! (1992) and Flirting Scholar (1993). Look at that stupid green dog alien thing. Stephen Chow is now officially Hollywood savvy.
Reportedly made on a US$20 million budget that probably went mostly to the CG, the concept behind CJ7 is cut from the same cloth as movies such as E.T. (1982) and Free Willy (1993), while Chow still finds time to combine his trademark elements of cruel humiliation and impossible surprises. However, the celebrated exaggeration and deadpan expressions we have come to love about Chow are now very much gone. This is where the older generation of Chow’s fans will be severely disappointed. Special effects aside, the responsibility to carry CJ7 seems to rest purely on the small shoulders of the young girl actress (Xu Jiao, who plays Chow’s son) and the alien elements of the movie. She does an admirable job but sadly, her talent just about makes the highlight of the film. Other peripheral characters like Kitty Zhang's school teacher and that fat guy in Kung Fu Hustle hardly do anythin. Chow himself isn’t prominent in the film.
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?
Seein Chow as the disciplinarian coolie father who puts his son in the best school while starvin on the construction site is interestin. However, the story is too short for any real message other than the bite-sized morality lectures. It comes off like a well-designed kiddie movie meant to appeal to as many people as possible across the world. So we’re left to make the best out of the experience. CJ7 will undeniably push Chow’s name on more foreign fronts. The rest of us, especially the older ones, will be left to rue the good old days when Stephen Chow and Ng Man Tat were still talkin to each other. ★★