Monday, January 2, 2012

In Which Tsui Hark Confuses The Hell Out Of Me. In 3D.

I'll happily admit that I lost track a tiny bit of who-was-who in Tsui Hark's Flying Swords Of Dragon Gate (2011) but that didn't diminish the pleasures of the film, which are many.

Sometimes it's enough to see Jet Li flying out of the screen at you in 3D. I had to mentally pinch myself to remember that I was actually in Hong Kong watching a current Tsui Hark film with Jet Li.

Sure, I'd rather have been here watching The Chinese Feast in 1995 but I don't have a time machine, so...

As I've been suffering from Hong Kong cinema burnout a tiny bit, that moment early on in this film did a lot to jolt my inner fanboy back into life.

A sprawling picture, Flying Swords of Dragon Gate (2011) is not so much a remake of, or sequel to, the director's earlier Dragon Inn (1992) as it is a thematic cousin. A tale of intrigue in the Ming Dynasty, the picture details the exploits of Jet Li's band of warriors who fight the corrupt forces of the eunuchs of the court.

Zhou Xun was great in this. Frankly, this could be her best performance to date. Modulating her style a bit, she's a trifle ruthless here but still human. Just a stunning turn from the actress that recalls earlier, similar roles by Brigitte Lin and Cheng Pei-Pei, the difference being Zhou Xun's swordswoman's mix of arrogance and vulnerability.

Pop singer Mavis Fan turns in a good performance as well, and Shaw Brothers legend Gordon Liu is in this too.

Jet Li is, oddly, a bit underused despite that electrifying opening sequence.

I started the day with breakfast at another Hokkaido milk place...


Not bad but a tiny bit more pricey than Toast Box; Still reasonable, though...

Not every MTR stop is packed with people...

New Dante Lam-directed thriller with Nic Tse opens in time for Lunar New Year...

This historical drama from director Derek Yee stars Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Zhou Xun, and Lau Ching-Wan. Not buying the mustache, though...

Can I just pay to see the pod race and Darth Maul bits in 3D? I don't want Jar Jar in 2D or 3D...

Steve Rogers looks to the future. The Avengers (2012) opens here in April!