Seven years after the apparent death of Chen Zhen, who was shot after discovering who was responsible for his teacher's death (Huo Yuanjia) in Japanese-occupied Shanghai. A mysterious ... See full summary »
Chinese steampunk martial arts blockbuster about the early years of Tai chi master Yang Luchan, the man who founded in the 19th century what has now become the most popular Tai Chi style in... See full summary »
A story centered on Tang Sanzang, a Buddhist trying to protect a village from three demons, his emerging feelings for Miss Duan, the demon hunter who helps him repeatedly, and Sanzang's transformative encounter with the Monkey King.
Three friends from the sticks go to Shanghai and become gangsters in around the Paradise club. As time goes on and they climb up the ladder they find their relationships tested.
Replace Shanghai with Chicago or New York and you'd have an Oscar nominated film for the art direction and costuming. This is a great looking 1930's gangster film moved to China and its a joy to behold. Its one of those movies you'd like to use as a moving piece of art on the wall.
Unfortunately the script is really lacking. Dialog is sparse and not very colorful. Its almost bland retread dialog and it takes the edge off things. the characters are less then thrilling. The look the part but they don't have much beyond the look to carry them. Worse is the plot line which is a tad been there done that, but also really lacks any real action. yes there are some beatings and shootings but nothing really large scale until the final half hour, or rather the final shoot out. There is no real action to lift these characters up and put them into a a heroic or anti-heroic pantheon- there is nothing that makes them larger than life. It could be argued that the film that looks this good, opulent and often epic, but is ultimately a small scale story over inflated. had this been filmed less grandly it would have played differently-probably better-since we would not have been waiting for something epic to happen. This isn't to diminish the final shoot out which has a very high level of "Hong Kong Cool" its just that the 90 minutes that proceed it are undeserving of the pay off.
Worth a look on cable or as a borrow, but not something I'd search out (or watch again) (Just a question-how many Chinese films over the last decade or so all are called Blood Brothers in English?)
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