To save the only child of the Zhao Family, whose entire clan was massacred at the hands of a nefarious minister, a doctor sacrifices his own son; after the Zhao child grows up, the doctor becomes intent on seeking his vengeance.
The story begins on a bus, when white-collar worker Ye refuses to give up her seat to a senior citizen. Her defiance is videotaped by a journalist intern and played during a news show. The ... See full summary »
Not far from Shanghai, in a country twon stands the palatial home of the Pang family. Old Master Pang is an addict who brings up his beautiful daughter Ruyi on opium smoke. Her older ... See full summary »
A biological weapon is smuggled aboard a high tech battleship named Aegis. Militants are determined to unleash it on Japan. But a brave Chief Petty Officer has other ideas. He and an undercover agent attempt to stop them.
When the world was young, laid a Kingdom between the Land of Snow and the Barbarian Territory where gods and men lived side by side and promises were lies. When the poor and starving orphaned girl Qingcheng meets the Goddess Manshen, she accepts to become the wealthy beauty of beauties with the curse that she would lose every man she loves, unless three things happen: snow falls in the spring, time moves backwards and the dead comes back to life. Years later, the slave Kunlun helps the Great General Master of the Crimson Armor Guangming to defeat a barbarian army with almost seven times more warriors, and Kunlun becomes his slave. When Guangming is wounded, he asks Kunlun to wear his armor and save the king from the cruel Duke of the North Wuhuan that put the Imperial City under siege with his army. However, Kunlun kills the king to save Princess Qingcheng and promises her to never let her die. Princess Qingcheng falls in love for the man of the crimson armor that she believes is ... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
in the midst of carnage on a battlefield, a desperately hungry girl makes a Faustian bargain with a Chinese goddess and lives lavishly thereafter to regret it
I think that this is a very good film, in spite of what many people on this board have said. It is, however, a very different kind of film altogether; it is almost a pure transposition of folk tale to film, with all of the magic and illogic and quirky plotting that such tales involve. Films that attempt to transpose/translate comic books to film do so best when they manage to get the 'tone' of the comic onto the screen and recreate as much as possible the graphic and narrative style of the comic. _The Promise_ does this effectively for folk-tale/myth.
I should probably add that I also like _Operetta Tanuki Goten_, by Suzuki Seijun, which is also working the same territory, albeit in a very different way. Chen's film also references highly formalistic genres like Beijing Opera, hence the acting styles are sometimes very far from the boring "realism" of most contemporary film. Viewers who complain of a lack of realism or believable emotion in films like these should try to climb Rapunzel's hair, and stick to "classic" fare like _Red Sorghum_ and _Farewell My Concubine_, which, brilliant though they are, work in the very familiar idiom of 'Art Film', and provide no difficulty for the kind of viewer who used to say, "I don't watch TV, but I really like _Masterpiece Theatre_".
Yimou and Kaige, with their latest films, are pushing Chinese film, and therefore international film, in new directions altogether, and part of that push is clearly an attempt to escape the heavy yoke of the 'European Art Film' tradition, the 'quirky-Indie-imitation-thereof' tradition, and the narrow confines of the various 'martial arts film' traditions as well. I say, good on them, and shame to those who won't celebrate creative development because it betrays their deeply conservative and traditionalist expectations. As to the suggestion that their recent work betrays a kind of "Hollywood-ification", all I can say is, "huh?"
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