Admin wrote:I have to admit I'm in a bit of a slump with HK/Chinese films at the moment. I will get over it, I'm sure, but I'm sick to death of massive epics with cool visual effects and heart-wrenching melodrama at the moment. It just makes me want to watch an old Hui brothers film. Simple tastes, me...
Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:Besides the fact that the Hui brothers are awesome. I know exactly how you feel. Here are some of those "epics" I have watched lately (and I watched several before it as well):
My advice: assuming you haven't anyways, cut back on the epic co-productions, the both of you!
They're not true
Hong Kong cinema anyways, though I do believe they must be included in any serious (or passive) study of the form. Now, I'm not saying don't buy 'em; just leave 'em for a few months (or years) after you do, and instead order up of the more localized productions the city has been cranking year after year in other genres. At some discussion forums and review sites, there has developed a distinct and dismaying tendency toward narrowcasting - paying mind almost exclusively to co-produced martial arts epics starring "known-in-the-west" entities, particularly Donnie Yen and co., and largely because those are the films that are constantly picked up -- regardless of quality -- by American DVD companies. I've no doubt some of these epic pictures are top drawer, albeit by comparatively narrow mainland standards, but the few I've seen lack considerably in the story department, among other areas, and all the flashy visuals, lavish sets and casts-of-thousands increasingly can't disguise it. CHEN ZHEN is a textbook example.
I do find it telling that many of Yen's recent pictures apparently don't live up to the standards set by the career-resuscitators of SPL and FLASH POINT, both largely Hong Kong productions (not to mention, I suspect, fluffier, localized fare like ALL'S WELL ENDS WELL). As a leading man, he really, really
needs to get involved post haste
with something that speaks more directly to the home market that spawned him, even if he has to once again cobble together a compromised cut for the mainland.
So anyways, put down that new DVD you ordered of LEGENDARY CHINESE FIST WARRIOR ASSASSIN DEFEATS ALL JAPANESE AND WHITE DEVILS 2 and check out some true
Hong Kong cinema. Goodness knows, there's enough of it being made these days, much of it still as far removed from nationalism, decoration and fights as it ever was. In fact, it might even be worth going back a few years -- and down several rungs on the production budget ladder -- to investigate some of the kicky no-budgeters in Mr. Waffle's most recent post (only one of which I've not seen. Hmmm . . . )
Masterofoneinchpunch wrote:And even Ip Man 2 was a dissapointment compared to the first. A strong first half and well Rocky 4 in the second half. I mean seriously why did they have to go that route.
Fancy that -- I just finished ROCKY IV before sitting down to read the updates to this thread! It has a robot in it. I think It's a metaphor or something. Oh yeah, and Rocky remembers the first three movies in quite some detail while driving his sports car and listening to an aerobicized hair rock anthem called "No Easy Way Out".
Further to that, here's my most recent batch of viewing experiences, courtesy of the Toronto Public Library:ROCKY
(1976) 9/10ROCKY II
(1979) 7/10ROCKY III
(1982) 6/10ROCKY IV
(1985) 6/10 (a very generous 6, I must admit. I'm guessing I can safely skip the last two entries)UNDERWORLD EVOLUTION
(2006) 7/10GET HIM TO THE GREEK
(2010) 5/10 KNIFE IN THE WATER
(Poland; 1962) 9/10A BRAND NEW LIFE
(Korea; 2009) 8/10BARBARELLA
(1968) 6/10(Saw this in pieces as a child; needed to revisit)CLASS
(1983) 5/10SKY HIGH
(Documentary; 2010) 8/10CONFESSIONS OF A SUPERHERO
(Documentary; 2007) 7/10SLEEPY HOLLOW