Posted in Chinese film, Taiwanese film

THE ASSASSIN (2015)

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A film by Hsiao-Hsien Hou

Cast: Chen Chang, Qi Shu, Yun Zhou

The film centers on Nie Yinniang (played by Shu Qi), an assassin who is directed to slay corrupt government officials by her master, Jiaxin, a nun who raised her from the age of ten.

Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-Hsien has been away for eight years. He is back with this gorgeously picturesque film The assassin. This film and I will give you a warning it is for a certain type of people. This is not your typical martial film it has drama in it and it is done differently than any other film. It is a cultural film here I am going to try to explain it as much as I can.

Two women are seated at a table with red pomegranates on it. Behind them is a screen painting of a pine tree. The season was autumn I know this because of the pomegranates are in season in autumn.Takasago is the name of a city, the two pine trees represent a long marital relationship.The pomegranate represents keeping  the title or rank from generation to generation in the same family.The peony symbolizes beauty, higher social status, and luxury.The film is actually about one particularly famous assassin.The Tang Dynasty (618-907) was the golden age of Chinese culture.Nie Yinniang was trained by a nun beginning at age ten in The Biography of Nie Yinniang. At the time a nun was the political power behind the assassin (that is what I discover). In this film we have a former princess who is passing judgment and using her pupil as an executioner. The teacher of martial art here is a nun that’s what the director wanted instead to be a male figure to make this story exceptional or less ordinary. Shu brings a sad and resourceful beauty to a role as athletic as it is melancholy. Hsiao-Hsien Hou paid attention to the detail of the costumes as well the decor and the colors are exceptional here. You will have to see this film one or two more time to get its meaning. It is a story that is been redone so many times before. The film’s pacing is very slow, and the actions of characters are very simple and straight to the point. Hsiao-Hsien Hou has won for best director at Cannes. No surprise there.

Main The Assassin

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Posted in Taiwanese film

CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON (2000)

A film by Ang lee.
Cast: Yun-Fat Chow, Michelle Yeoh, Ziyi Zhang
The disappearance of a magical jade sword spurs a breathtaking quest for the missing treasure. Li is embittered by the loss of his jade sword, and his unrequited pursuit of Yu is further complicated by the mysterious intrusion of an assassin. The identity of the assassin is gradually unveiled as another poignant tale of love begins to ravel with that of Li and Yu against the backdrop of Western China’s magnificent landscape.
The best martial arts movies have nothing to do with fighting and everything to do with personal excellence. In this film the characters transcend Gravity, the limitations of the body and the fears of the mind. I love the first scene in the movie the sequence near the beginning of the film involving a chase over rooftops, and as the characters run up the sides of walls and leap impossibly from one house to another They are running catching up to each other and fight then run on the side of the wall and fight some more. They are doing it with such grace in their movement it is like a ballet. It is hard to do for the actors and it takes hours of practice for months. The choreography of the action scenes in “Crouching Tiger” was designed by Yuen Wo-Ping, whose credits include “The Matrix,”.There is an other scene in the wood where the actors are in the I think bamboo trees That is very cool to see an lee said Everything we see is real, Computers were used only to remove the safety wires that held the actors. They were the actors who did their own stunts.The film stars Chow Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh, veteran martial arts stars who have extraordinary athletic abilities. Beautiful cinematography In this film.

Posted in Taiwanese film

LIFE OF PIE (2012)

A film by Ang Lee.
Cast: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Adil Hussain.
In Canada, a writer visits the Indian storyteller Pi Patel and asks him to tell his life story. Pi tells the story of his childhood in Pondicherry, India, and the origin of his nickname. One day, his father, a zoo owner, explains that the municipality is no longer supporting the zoo and he has hence decided to move to Canada, where the animals the family owns would also be sold. They board on a Japanese cargo ship with the animals and out of the blue, there is a storm, followed by a shipwrecking. Pi survives in a lifeboat with a zebra, an orangutan, a hyena and a male Bengal tiger nicknamed Richard Parker. They are adrift in the Pacific Ocean, with aggressive hyena and Rickard Parker getting hungry. Pi needs to find a way to survive.

Ang lee as mastered visually what writers assumed that was unfilmable and he has done a great job. It was a little dangerous because lee wanted scene with a real tiger for 23 frames and the rest was done CGI. The boat scene was done in the thank and the actor did his own stunt.
A crucial early scene at the zoo shows that wild animals are indeed wild and indeed animals, and it serves as a caution for children in the audience, who must not make the mistake of thinking this is a Disney tiger. The heart of the film focuses on the sea journey, during which the human demonstrates that he can think with great ingenuity and the tiger shows that it can learn. The young actor Suraj Sharma contributes a remarkable performance,for a first time actor. the script is well written and the story flows. This is the best film of the year 2012 so far, and will become a classic. The cinematography is superb.


Posted in Taiwanese film

THE PROTECTOR (2005)

A film by Prachya Pinkaew.
Cast: Tony Jaa, Nathan Jones, Petchtai Wongkamlao.
In Bangkok, the young Kham was raised by his father in the jungle with elephants as members of their family. When his old elephant and the baby Kern are stolen by criminals, Kham finds that the animals were sent to Sidney. He travels to Australia, where he locates the baby elephant in a restaurant owned by the evil Madame Rose, the leader of an international Thai mafia. With the support of the efficient Thai sergeant Mark, who was involved in a conspiracy, Kham fights to rescue the animal from the mobsters.
In this movie all the stunt were perform by the actors themselves , no wire, CGI. great stunt The actor Tony Jaa was a stunt man before turned actor. fun movie to watch and yes I love this one.

Posted in Taiwanese film

ONG-BAK (2003)

A film by Prachya Pinkaew.
Cast: Tony Jaa, Petchtai Wongkamlao, Pumwaree Yodkamol.
Booting lives in a small and peaceful village. One day a sacred Buddha statuette called Ong Bak is stolen from the village by a immoral businessman who sells it for exorbitant profits. It soon becomes the task of a young man, Boonting (Phanom Yeeram), to track the thief down to Bangkok voluntarily and reclaim the religious treasure. Along the way, Boonting uses his astonishing athleticism and traditional Muay Thai skills to combat his adversaries.
No stunt doubles. No computer graphics.No computer graphics. No strings attached. and I am not kidding when I said that. one of the few Thai film to break through in the martial arts market I think. I have seen behind the scene on the other martial film and you will see stunt double actors on wires showing how the actor is flowed and I have seen computer generated graphics. But not in this movie check out the bonus feature on the DVD It is awesome. Yes, they do a lot with camera angles and editing tricks. With the right lens and angle and slow-motion, you can make it look like an actor is defying gravity, when in fact he is simply making a big jump from a trampoline. But some of the shots cannot easily be faked. The movie stars Tony Jaa, a young actor who is an accomplished stunt man and expert in Muay Thai boxing. You will see stunt like people Falling from a tall tree, a chase on foot thought the streets, running on top of people over cars and sliding under a pick up (with a 3″ lift kit of course), and going trough a loop of barb wire all in one movie and it took a year of training to do all that and the fighting scene add to that injuries. Fun! fun! fun!. Ong-Bak even uses that old Bruce Lee strategy of repeating shots of each stunt from two or three angles. Yes I did enjoy this film A must see.

Posted in Taiwanese film

RAGING PHOENIX (2009)

A film by Rashane Limtrakul
Cast: JeeJa Yanin, Kazu Patrick Tang, Nui Saendaeng.
JeeJa Yanin’s original film (“Chocolate”). In this one she is doing a great job of it . the role is very physical and demanding and she pulled it off with flying colors. A violent gang is abducting and killing women around Thailand. Sanim and his friends, having had loved ones abducted, have joined together to break the gang of kidnappers. In a botched kidnap attempt, Deu is saved by Sanim’s crew. After learning their unique martial arts style, Deu helps lure the gang into an epic battle to save the women across Thailand. The thing of it is Sanim’s gang practice a certain martial arts that require to be drunk and sad the more you are drunk and sad the better you can fight. Dude I found the perfect martial arts for me I can drink a lot of wine and fight awesome!