Xmas movie wrap-up

0 CommentsPrint E-mail China Daily, December 23, 2009
Adjust font size:

A Simple Noodle Story

Zhang Yimou's first cinematic outing after his much-lauded Olympics Opening Ceremony show is a slapstick comedy.

Yes, the plot is licensed from Coen Brothers' "Blood Simple," but the noire tone is overwhelmed by a feverish pitch of swirling colors and rustic humor. The Coens are probably scratching their heads.

It has finally dawned on Zhang that spectacles, though crowd-pleasing, may not yield the best returns. A comedy featuring low-priced TV stars, on the other hand, could well be the best choice in terms of return on investment.

The movie is a kitschy smorgasbord of regional comedy routines; with a Bollywood-style number to go with the credits at the end (think "Slumdog Millionaire"); and a young transvestite man who has made stumbling and bumbling into an art form. No wonder it has turned out to be the most controversial film of the year.

Storm Warriors

A decade ago, the game-inspired "Storm Riders" wowed audiences in both Hong Kong and the mainland. The special effects were less than Hollywood elaborate, but everything else was good enough to congeal into a classic action fantasy.

Now, at the hands of the Pang brothers, the sequel has completely forsaken plot and character development and presents instead a slide show of heroic poses and lavish virtual sceneries. It is essentially a two-hour music video, for which you can press mute and watch while cleaning the house.

The last time a Chinese filmmaker got so fixated on special effects that he forgot about story-telling, Chen Kaige was lambasted and ridiculed. But "Storm Warriors" makes "The Promise" look like a masterpiece. "The Promise" is overblown, but it does have a plot.

I heard the second sequel is in pre-production. Who would want to put money into a film whose best use is to be a series of screen wallpapers?

   Previous   1   2   3   4   5   Next  

PrintE-mail Bookmark and Share


No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
Send your storiesGet more from China.org.cnMobileRSSNewsletter