Friday, April 07, 2006

good night and good luck

watched this last night.

i liked the way they immersed you in the environment immediately.
it looked great - stunning black and white cinematography!
[which is not as simple as you may think to pull off...]

there were a couple issues i had with it, including some almost subversive subtexts with regards to morality in the time frame this was set in. i can't tell just how transparent [or apparent] they wanted this to appear, but i picked it up easily.

i also noticed in one scene a very deliberate glance from murrow looking at the ray wise character, and i immediately thought "he's going to kill himself". it was just held a few frames too many to be as subtle as i think they intended.

overall i found it very well made, pretty well acted [especially murrow's character], but also a little shallow and obvious, and perhaps a bit too self concious for its own good. i would recommend it, but it's not a film that blew me away or showed me anything i didn't already know. a double bill with "the front" makes a nice pair, if rather an obvious one.

wu ji [the promise]

just watched this two nights ago.
the "critics" are really trashing this one.
i will agree that the CGI is awful in many parts, but not ALL the effects are bad, and some of the work near the beginning with the water are quite stunning.

and just because a plot may be hard to explain in writing, does not mean that it's overly convoluted or confusing; just that it can't be summed up in a sentence doesn't make it bad. in context it was quite easy to follow, and never felt forced or convoluted at all.

it seems like the "critics" are looking for a clone of "hidden tiger" and are comparing the two every chance they get. that's like comparing every black and white film to "casablanca" - not a relevant comparison. [i over-generalize this intentionally].

it may be that "hidden tiger" and "hero" and "flying daggers" are the only asian films they have seen, and again, this is not a reasonable comparison.

i found this film to be a great and valid epic, flawed by some quite lame CGI in parts, but not enough to make the film bad in my eyes. i watch a film for other reasons than just quality CGI, and i am sure it was made for other reasons also...

it's not for everyone, but both the wife and i enjoyed this, and when it was over we both said it was a good one. we have seen at least a couple hundred "hong kong" movies, and this would likely be in our top 30 or so.