大追捕

18 02 2017

English title: Nightfall
Rating: PG13
Running time: 108 minutes
Now out on DVD and Blu-ray!

Some info:
1) Wikipedia
2) IMDB Profile

For those who are able to read the Chinese title, then one may be expecting some big manhunt for someone/group of people. While it does turn out to be a cop and thief movie in essence, the kind of presentation and process was something different from what I had in mind. Not saying it’s a bad thing, just that it was differing in certain details from what I was expecting.

Given its total duration, it is not surprise that the movie goes into the main topic soon enough with the victim being found and hence the investigation commencing to find the culprit behind a seemingly brutal murder. The movie then spends quite a significant amount of time on the core part – investigation which led to revelation of various possible links to past events and the suspects list is narrowed down. Sounds like a pretty standard procedure, but the nice part is the process of this investigation and trying to find conclusive evidence to pinpoint the real culprit(s) behind the entire incident.

When the truth is revealed, one would see that the entire thing is a pretty simple event but the way it panned out and also the performance by the cast in general really did help to make the movie not become one of those standard formula with disappointing act to go along with it. Of course apart from the main case, there are also other subtle subelements which help to flesh out certain characters’ personality better but remains as that without delving too much in those areas in case it distracts the viewers from the core plot at hand.

Overall, while being a short movie, I think it has been able to accomplish in presenting all their key ideas properly and together with a cast that performed well, the movie was a pretty entertaining watch despite it not being exactly cheerful or anything of the sort. My take: 6.5/10

p.s. Seems like I’ve been on a Chinese movie spree lately (well, not sure if the actual publication will reflect this trend though)





关云长

17 02 2017

English title: The Lost Bladesman
Rating: PG
Running time: 107 minutes
Now out on DVD and Blu-ray!

Some info:
1) Wikipedia
2) IMDB Profile

Centred around one of the important names in the 3 Kingdoms, this movie focuses not so much on the huge scale battles like we have seen in movies like Red Cliff, but rather really a solo journey of Guan Yu. As I am not familiar with all these events, I actually didn’t know anything on where the movie’s main plot came from prior to watching.

The movie will clearly show each phase of this part of the journey in a fairly detailed fashion, or rather in a pace slow enough for anyone to be able to absorb and understand what is going on in the story even if one has very little knowledge of the events that happened before the setting of this movie. On many occasions of the movie, I feel that the pace is intentionally made slow to ‘soak’ into the more drama aspects rather than focusing merely on action, battles and the likes.

While the main lead has enough skills to pull off the action sequences in the movie, I think for the other aspects of the character, it doesn’t seem to impress me all that much. Or perhaps the way the movie intended to portray him here doesn’t suit the actor’s actual performance, or maybe it’s just due to my poor interpretation of everything. Trying to be more emotional (and the struggles) about the things but not being able to match the feel of it that I felt. In some ways, the supporting cast sometimes perform better in those areas, and that’s not what you want when you have such a specific main character that you are supposed to showcase.

Now that I have watched the movie, I can understand why I saw some of the not so encouraging remarks regarding this show’s performance. While I can’t possibly classify this as a *bad* movie, it certainly is still a notable distance away from being a good one, much less a masterpiece of any sort. Perhaps I have expected too much from a supposed remarkable character. My take: 6/10





The Dark Knight Rises

16 02 2017

Rating: PG
Running time: 165 minutes
Now out on DVD and Blu-ray!

Some info:
1) Wikipedia
2) IMDB Profile
3) MovieMistakes Profile
4) Official Site (English)

Probably one of the most anticipated movies of 2012, but it’s no surprise considering the success of its prequel – The Dark Knight. As I have heard some of the shortcomings from friends etc, I figured it probably wouldn’t be an epic masterpiece like some might have been expecting so I suppose my expectations ‘bar’ was not raised too high. As such, the movie still manages to come out as indeed one of the better movies of the year, at least for those which I have watched (thus far).

The state of Gotham continues from the previous movie and the style of directing and visual presentation continues in similar fashion as well. Visuals wise, can see that much efforts were put into many of the scenes which required quite a bit of post production, probably for the 3D and whatnot though I didn’t catch this in its 3D version. Don’t think I’m missing out a lot on that aspect though. Scenes were planned and they certainly did not scrimp on the number of extras needed for some of those scenes. It looked really crowded at some points. Lol.

As for the main plot of the movie, I wouldn’t want to spoil it here (assuming there are still people who have not caught this), but I would say that the main villain is not as convincing as Joker, nor is able to strike the fearful atmosphere/feel that should be a part of it considering its another state crisis which forces Batman to return to the front lines to deal with such villains. No doubt the villain may be violent and merciless to his underlings, but somehow towards the common people he lacks some kind brutality/cruelty which can bring out the ugliness of human nature. Perhaps in some sense, I’m influenced by the prequel in these aspects since I was hoping to at least have a villain which has at least a similar level of impact (ideally higher) in this movie which is meant to round up the series.

While the movie is meant to be the final installment of the series, the way the series ended *can* be made into further spinoffs/sequels for future productions but I think if this is really meant to be the last of the director’s intention for the time being, perhaps it will really remain so until someone else (perhaps) decides to make their own adaptation for this popular DC character. Overall, in my opinion it does not go one up over its prequel, it is still a pretty fine movie. My take: 7/10

p.s. I like the subtle humour/jokes from time to time. Heh