Policeman Don Lee often works with informants but numerous too-close calls and failed missions cause him to see the world as one betrayal after another - then he meets Guy, and is given a new chance to change his views.
Professor Kim, a marine geologist, recognizes the impending danger of a mega tsunami headed straight for Haeundae, a popular vacation spot on the south coast of Korea. He desperately ... See full summary »
Where there is trouble, there is solution. This time, the troubles comes from two myth spirits that take the form of a human. Disguise in human skin and clothes, the two continues to take the heart of human to stay alive and young. But one of them leads to the wrong path and fall in love with a married man. What will happen to the live of this man and his wife after saving the her from the barbarians? Written by
Hong Kong's 2009 Academy Awards official submission to Foreign-Language Film category. See more »
All mail armor in this film is made with the the mail going vertically rather than sideways. This would make the armor less effective, as it spreads the ring pattern open, making it easier to penetrate. All historical examples of mail armor have the ring pattern going from side to side for this reason. See more »
Overall, a so-so retelling of a classic Chinese ghost story
"Hua Pi", or "Painted Skin", is one of the hundreds of stories in Pu Songling's 18th-century supernatural fantasy collection, but this 2008 version based on one of the collection's most famous piece is a very loose retelling. Even the main persons are changed: Gordon Chan switches the male protagonist from a scholar into a general and adds in two main/side characters in actors Donnie Yen and Sun Li, one a jilted ex-general, the other a demon buster.
Sadly, though Chan revised the story himself, he does not imbue the material with enough depth and resonance, with the result the horror-romance has a somewhat vacuous feel to it. The emotions examined sometimes can seem stock rather than refreshing. The editor too must take some blame for failing to put together the movie in an intriguing way. There is just too much distracting visual trickery along the way. Kudos to the art director, cinematographer and costume designer for giving an authentic, Han-dynasty feel to the narrative, yet though the characterizations may be fairly enjoyable maybe Gordon Chan is just not the person to helm this sort of project.
Gordon Chan is better known as an action director and by the looks of this film, should much better remain as one. He at present lacks the ability to tackle a period romance film. I grade "Hua Pi" just 5 stars despite it being aesthetically pleasing to look at. However alluring it looks (and it is entertaining in some ways), the movie tends to show its lack of depth, although it is by no means that terrible a movie. Strangely though this movie is Hong Kong's entry to the Foreign Language Oscars.
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