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Archive for August, 2007

The Promise (CHINA 2005)

Director / Writer : Chen Kaige
Producer : Chen Kaige, Chen Hong
Cinematography : Peter Pau
Art Direction : Tim Yip
Action Director : Tung Wai, Dion Lam
Costume : Masago Kimiya
Cast : Jang Dong-Kun, Cecilia Cheung, Hiroyuki Sanada, Liu Ye, Nicholas Tse, Chen Hong, Cheng Qian

Synopsis
An epic fantasy about a love triangle between a general, a princess and a slave in ancient China. Empowered by the love of a slave, a royal concubine is given the chance to make an extraordinary decision. Its an epic story about “promise, betrayal, nations and love”. Can Love Change Destiny?

Review
by Gary Cheah

WARNING : Might contain Spoilers

Despite all the “negative” reviews on the net, it does not stop me from watching The Promise on the big silver screen. I went into the cinema with minimal expectation on the film, but in the end -it’s quite satisfactory i would say…

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The Tai Chi Master (HK 1993)

Director : Yuen Woo Ping
Cast : Jet Li, Michelle Yeoh, Siu-hou Chin, Fennie Yuen, Cheung-Yan Yuen, Shun Lau and Hai Yu.

Synopsis
Jet Li was a monk in Shaolin. In a friendly competition for a higher place in Shaolin, he was betrayed and framed for using weapons (which cannot be used in the competition). He and his friend got kicked out of the Shaolin. They met rebellions at that time of China. His friend betrayed Jet Li and his rebellion friends for money from the China government. Jet Li went crazy and discovered the art of Tai Chi at the recover period. Revenge seem to the only thing he is going to do.

Review
by Edward Tang

I bought a Jet Li pack that was sent out by Dimension a few years back. It included most of his classics, butchered and without the original language track. For the most part, these “versions” were pretty decent with good picture, but basically fuckin’ up what the film was, cutting scenes and replacing the dialog. But “Tai Chi Master” or as it’s known here “Twin Warriors” still remained my favorite Jet Li flick, just because it had great fight scenes, and good characters for one thing. Michelle Yeoh is a great presence (for what she is given in her short role), and made movies like Police Story 3 and Tomorrow Never Dies worth seeing, and in this as well. Yuen Wo-Ping directed this flick, and you can tell, the fight scenes are some of my favorite, not because they standout like your Jackie Chan/Benny “The Jet” style, but they just are loads of fun. The story is average but the characters are pretty damn cool, I especially thought that Siu-hou Chin (Chin Bo) had a great transition to the main villain of the film. But this film remains as one of my favorites, for the sheer fact that it never gets old. Plus you get to see Jet Li act like a crazy and talk to ducks.

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The Princess Blade (JAPAN 2001)

Director : Shinsuke Sato
Action Director : Donnie Yen
Cast :  Hideaki Ito, Yumiko Shaku, Yoichi Numata, Kyusaka Shimada, Yoko Chosokabe, Yoko Maki and Naomasa Musaka.

Synopsis
In the near future, Japan is ruled once more by a monarchy. But, rebels opposed to this rule seek to overthrow the government. The House of Takemikazuchi, a band of assassins is hired by the government to suppress the rebels. As a conspiracy from within signals the shadowy organization’s impending demise, Yuki, the last of the Takemikazuchi bloodline befriends one of the rebels and seeks revenge against the group’s leader.

Review
by Edward Tang

Here’s a film that shows that even with good fight choreography, the film can still suck on account of plain boredom, and just horrible story telling. Being a fan of Donnie Yen, I do feel that he delivered on the side of action, but everything else in this film needed a tune up. The story was choppy, the acting was over dramatic and dull, and the music got on my last nerve. So does the action save the film? In a small way, it doesn’t make the film horrid to watch, but beware of any scene that isn’t action, it is your basic bore of a story, a bunch of pointless dialog mixed in with unbelievable connections between characters. I can’t recommend this film solely on the purpose, that it didn’t deliver anything to make it stand out. I got bored with this film quick, especially during a sequence in which Takashi and Yuki are chatting about some stupid feelings, something about having a rough life up until this point. I did see where they were going, but it was a hard journey to follow.

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Survive Style 5+ (JAPAN 2004)

Director : Gen Sekiguchii
Cast : Tadanobu Asano, Reika Hashimoto, Kyoko Koizumi, Hiroshi Abe, Ittoku Kichibe, Yumi Asou, Jai West, Kanji Tsuda, Yoshiyuki Morishita, Yoshiyoshi Awakawa, Vinnie Jones, & Sonny Chiba.

Synopsis
A man continually trying and failing to get his wife to stay dead; a self-absorbed ad agency creative director who comes up with one unworkably inane idea after another; an English hitman who only wants to know everyone’s function in life; and an unfortunate office worker and father whose brain is left scrambled after a stage hypnotist is murdered in mid-performance. Starting off as unrelated plot lines, they intertwine with each other as they continue on their respective ways.

Review
by Liz Brkljac

This extraordinary film is the first outing by director Gen Sekiguchi, and as such highly accomplished. As a label defying film this is a bizarre black comedy with strong elements of crime drama and action, and really quite unlike the usual representatives of any of these borrowed genres.

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Election II (2 Disc Special Edition) (Panorama)

DVD Information
Distributor : Panorama HK
Audio : DTS-ES 6.1, DD-EX 5.1, Dolby 2.0
Discs : 2 (DVD9 and DVD5)
Languages : Cantonese, Mandarin
Format : NTSC
Subtitles : Chinese, English
Running Time : 93mins (movie) / 56 mins (bonus)
Contents : 2 DVD, 1 color booklet
Screen Ratio : 2.35:1 (movie) / 4:3 (bonus)
Classification : III
Region : 0 / ALL
Others : -

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