|Index||9 reviews in total|
Seriously, who can possibly resist the temptation of the flawless and
seductive display from the ever-wonderful Zhou Xun, a much improved
performance from Zhao Wei (after her dismal role in last year's
"Mulan") and of course the insanely cute portrayal by Mini Yang. Like
the 2008 prequel, "Painted Skin", to truly embrace the experience, the
audience needs to slip into the film like a dream and suspend all
beliefs. The more you escape from reality and believe into the world of
"Painted Skin: The Resurrection", the more you will end up enjoying the
experience. It is one of those special films that require the audience
to just go with the flow, enjoy the scenery, the on-screen beauties on
display, over the top action sequences, some truly wonderful acting and
along with the stunning bright visuals on display.
Zhou Xun is simply flawless in her display as the "spirit" that wants to be more human than human. However, while this film shares the same issue as Ridley Scott's classic "Bladerunner", the issue of wanting to be more human is only given a superficial flick of a dice. Still, Zhou is able to carry the film and the manner in which she seductively graces the screen is nothing short of amazing. In particular her noticeable dance to seduce the General (played by Chen Kun) is certainly a highlight. It should also be noted that when the Zhou is required to switch roles with Zhao Wei, it is Zhou who is able to seamlessly step into the shoes of the princess character. It's been a while since Zhou's winning performance in "Perhaps Love", and while she may not win this year, another nomination is only just around the corner.
In terms of Zhao Wei, one must say that she gets better with age. This does not mean that she is aging well in terms of beauty, but rather the improvement comes in the form of her acting. After the disappointing "Mulan" where the fault lies more in the director and the script, rather than her ability in question, Zhao stands shoulder to shoulder in the role of a princess who values beauty and exterior, over the need of being a human. Her character is a direct contrast to Zhou Xun and she performs particularly well until the two switches bodies. There is a sadness in her eyes that allows the audience to always sympathize with her. It is a natural ability that cannot be taught and in many ways, she was always like this. Think back to "Shaolin Soccer" days, the tears in her eyes when she made the noodles still stands firmly on the back of my mind. While she did not exceed Zhou in terms of acting, there is no doubt that Zhao is finally coming of age.
After first catching my eye in "All's Well, Ends Well 2012" as the swimsuit babe, tackling a relatively difficult and engaging role in "Love in the Buff" and then meeting her in person at the same movie premiere, it is unreservedly that Mini Yang is the latest "it" girl to win my heart. What impressed me in this role is how versatile Yang is. Yang is constantly cute and perhaps the one character in the film that can link more to reality at a human level. Her giggles, laughs, cute-eyed look and comic timing is all at show here. While on surface, it seems like an easy role to play, it should not be underestimated, as it is a kind of role that can so easily go the route of being outright annoying and a waste of space. Instead Yang is able to glue the audience to the screen and turn her small role into a scene stealing performance. Putting aside my personal bias, Yang is still an actress to watch for years to come.
It must be said that one cannot stop being disappointed in the lack of a need for 3D or perhaps for the film not making most of the technology on hand. While "Painted Skin: The Resurrection" is beautiful to look at and at times the bright contrast and use of colours in the scenery and backdrop is breathtaking to endure. On the other hand, in the battle scene where the shooting of thousands of arrows is disappointing to say the least, despite obviously taking a page out of Zhang Yimou's infamous "Hero" scene. While Yimou did not have the same technology back in 2002, "Skin" fails to stretch the 3D technology and the result lacks the outcome of Yimou's earlier work. The film always lacks the vital ingredient of fight sequences, this may be due to the departure of Donnie Yen, but for the few fights that is included, almost all of them are well-choreographed. However, sometimes, less is not more, when the film could have done with at least a few more elaborated staged fights.
All in all, "Painted Skin: The Resurrection" is easily a crowd pleaser and in many ways more of the same as the 2008's original. What I really enjoy about these kinds of fantasy films are the manner in which it allows you to escape into another world. Imagine having a dream which compose of the seductiveness of Zhou Xun, the sympathetic looks of Zhao Wei and the cute-eyed Mini Yang. For me, it is more like a dream come true. Still, "Skin" is by no means a perfect movie and as with most dreams there are numerous plot holes, flaws and unrealistic moments, but if one is able to totally suspend your beliefs, then one can truly enjoy the experience. At the end of the day, sometimes when watching a film like "Painted Skin: The Resurrection" it is all about entertainment and for me, just thinking of the trio of actresses, I am already finding it hard to resist. Most certainly a dream-like experience (Neo, 2012)
Neo rates it 8/10
- www. thehkneo.com/blog
I have just watched Painted Skin 2 - The Resurrection yesterday. What a
movie! I don't usually write reviews for movies (to much
time-consuming), but to this movie I feel the urge to do that, because
it is totally worth it.
Firstly, I would like to stress the fact that this kind of fantasy movie is not just for anyone. Being in a country closely related to China in terms of culture, custom, and even language, I feel sorry for viewers from Western countries as well as many others as it's impossible for them to understand the story well. The concept of demons under the skin of a beauty, seducing men for their hearts is not new, in fact, it's a fantasy tale that has been spread among Asia for thousands of years. Hence, the movie itself leaves a very mysterious and beautifully thrilling impression to people who are familiar to the tale.
Opening the movie is the scene of the fox demon being imprisoned under the deadly cold ice. Such was the demon's beauty that a demon bird was attracted, freeing her from the ice. Then her journey of devouring human's hearts began, with the aim of finding a human who would voluntarily offer his heart so that she can become a true human, which leads her to the fateful meeting with the strong on-the-outside-yet-weak-on-the-inside, disfigured Jing princess and her love interest - the damaged hero Huo Xin.
The CGI scenes, which might look badly done and painfully fake to a lot of people, is one of the important factors attracting me. Just let yourself be, forget the reality and get into that fantasy mysterious world. The characters are typical of what people look like at that time - long-haired tough soldiers, beauty with big attractive eyes, fair skin and hair so long that it can touch the floor, flying all over the places beautifully when the wind comes. The movie is totally a feast to the eyes. Stunning visual everywhere, from the landscape to the people.
And the most important thing that contribute to the success of the movie: the actors. Zhou Xun (the demon) is simply flawless. Whether it's her look, or her acting, it's simply perfect. Her role is definitely the highlight of the movie. Whatever she does, no one can hate her. I can feel the pain in her eyes, the sadness hiding behind the mask of a evil demon. That is what I call a true actress. But that doesn't mean Zhao Wei (the princess) did a bad job. She played her role very well. There's no room for complaint. The reason why I love Zhou Xun so much is probably because her character of the demon in the movie is kind of more complicated and interesting to me. Comparing with those 2 actresses, Chen Kun falls a little bit flat. His role is very well played, it's just ... flat. However to combine all the 3 we made a powerful trio, making the mission to conquer all the box offices in China possible.
The plot, although I have to say doesn't have much originality, is still interesting enough to keep my eyes on the screen. The movie is a heart-breaking love story, dealing with the issue of true beauty.
Although we all claim that the true beauty is what people possess inside, isn't it true that everybody is attracted to a beautiful face in some way?
Gordon Chan's Painted Skin back in 2008 had Singapore's Raintree
Pictures as a production partner, with China born actor Qi Yuwu in one
of his many overseas film forays, but the follow up film is a purely
all-China affair, showing off what the Chinese film companies can do in
terms of storytelling and effects, In all honesty, I prefer Painted
Skin II over its predecessor precisely because it took its time to tell
a proper story, contrary to the treatment of many mainstream China made
films in the similar genre that had overemphasized less than stellar CG
effects and sacrificed story along the way.
This is not a sequel, nor is it a prequel to the 2008 film, despite having to share the same title both in English and Mandarin. Most of the primary cast returned, and played totally new characters, where you can speak of this as if it's a spiritual companion to the first film, challenging the same cast in having to portray different characters in what would structurally almost be the same film, except with new themes and characters thrown into the mix, complete with breathtaking landscapes that only Western China could offer.
In this story, the power trio of Zhou Xun, Vicky Zhao and Chen Kun return. Zhou Xun reprises the role where she's the temptress foxy spirit Xiao Wei and the primary antagonist of sorts in this story, ripping out the hearts of man to devour and maintain her mortal looks. Being cursed and needing to fend off her icy prison, she got rescued by Zhao Wei's Princess, a royalty with an incredibly strong heart and a partially masked face, pining for the love of Chen Kun's General, who's at the frontiers to ward off the kingdom's enemies, which also serves as a refuge to hide his true feelings for the woman he believes he cannot deserve after being indirectly responsible for the mishap which led to her disfigurement.
Most of the screen time and plot development went to these three, and the camera just gorgeously captures them all in their romantic dalliances, especially when Xiao Wei becomes the de facto spanner in both the Princess and the General's love life no thanks to a little mesmerizing black magic that's cast to help Xiao Wei in her cause to obtain the Princess' heart, and become human. Sure it's a merry-go-round manner, but we learn certain rules of the game, where a transformation can only take place should a heart be willingly given up, as opposed to forcefully obtained by the demon. And in fact this issue is central and broached more than once in the film.
It revolves around the themes of unrequited love, sacrifice, and the long held belief that we are attracted to beautiful, flawless things, even if it's something a superficial as a woman's looks. The characters go back and forth in dealing with their emotions, and thankfully this served as sufficient back story to their individual characters, allowing a multi-faceted dimension to them, which of course worked wonders for its running time of over two hours. This in addition to the wonderful deliberate visuals that director Wuershan had given this film that the first one didn't possess.
Zhou Xun plays it cool this time round as the scheming Xiao Wei who would discover that being human isn't all that easy given that she has had powers easily taken for granted. Zhao Wei continues in her roles as warrior princesses from Red Cliff and Mulan, and plays to perfection the role of a woman willing to give up anything to be with the man she truly likes. And with two strong female leads playing opposite him, Chen Kun could well be regarded as the current Mr Popular with real acting ability, given license to brood most of the time as the conflicted General who isn't too aware that his eyes were stamped and cursed, leading him away from, and providing him reason enough to stray. The performances of these three together can go on forever.
Granted though with the increase in time dedicated for a special effects showcase, and an unwavering focus on characters, what had to give was the martial arts and fight scenes, which pale in scenes if compared to the first film. The martial arts practitioners were clearly reduced, and the antagonists in the form of the Wolf clan's Shaman (Kris Philips) and Queen (Chen Tingjia) didn't quite provide any real threat save for their sheer numbers of faceless army goons they bring to the fray. Their objective though brings the story full circle, with Mini Yang and Feng Shao-Feng's characters as Xiao Wei's bird companion, and a bumbling demon-slayer respectively, were in just to add to star power and for minor comic relief, being in tangent sub-plots that serve little to the main story.
Still, Painted Skin: The Resurrection actually revived some hopes that the Chinese film industry is capable of coming up with visually attractive, action-adventures that tap on the Liao Zhai sources, if elements in the film were well balanced with an adequate story, backed by solid cast members. And having some really sensual scenes in the film didn't hurt it at all given enough of them to highlight the man-demon transformation which was almost extreme Face-Off like, but in a sexier fashion. Recommended!
Life has been good but at times it gets to be mundane, and boring. So I
need to escape from reality and get lost in another world. Many films,
such as 'Pan's Labyrinth' and 'Kwaidan', offer me a channel to another
world for a couple of hours. 'Painted Skin II' does an equally good job
in this regard with its dose of fox demons (the good kind), a princess
I watched the film on a BluRay disc. The colour, the imagery, the landscape, the costumes, the feminine sexuality - all visually stunning and often poetic. There are also two love stories in there too, and these are no conventional love stories - they are the very complicated kind. The action sequences, often done in slow-mo, are satisfying. Acting is great, especially by the two leading ladies. This film offers all I need from a fantasy story.
It appears that not many in the North America are aware of this film or have seen it. That is indeed a pity. I hope director Wuershan will move on to do Painted Skin III. Something I very much would look forward to.
I watched this movie. From the opening scene, the quality of the images. I knew this was going to be different movie from the start. What excellent story telling. It was beautiful. The tears shed throughout, had me stringing along emotionally. I have never seen anything so beautiful. I was ready to give my heart willingly to almost all the characters in this movie. Well done! Beautiful cast! Beautiful people! I can't wait to see what's next. I'm afraid that I won't see something as wonderful as this film for a very long time. But I shall await patiently. I saw this on netflix. Tonight I get to share it with my family. I know they will all agree that this is a wonderful film.
This movie had me teetering on wanting to say it was excellent in the vein of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon/Hero or feeling like it wasn't quite up to par. Visually many of the scene were art in motion (a la Hero), but then they have shoddy computer animation (the bear that attacks the Princess and the bird played by Mini Yang). As for a love story it is one of those long suffering epics that sort of grabs and tears your heart. The Princess has a lifetime never ending love for the Warrior and would do anything for him, even "sell her soul to the devil". The Warrior, because of his honorable service to her denies his own love for her. When demons get involved everything is twisted and complicated. My buddy & I gave it a "thumbs up" after watching it.
Painted Skin: The Resurrection plot is better left not summarize into a
simple a sentence.
It's an experience that requires the audience to suspend all disbelief in order to enjoy it.
It contains an interesting lore on demons, a captivating love story involving demons, and enough set pieces to ravel any major blockbuster. What makes this romance story interesting as it unfold is how it shot. Breathtaking photography is always on screen making one visually mesmerizing experience. The attention to detail on the sets as well the costumes are worth noting.
It helped me become immerse in the movie in such way I was taken out of my reality.
The special effects are well done and it's nice to see CG not used as a mean for explosions or giant robots. The acting is spotless from all of it actors. I particularly enjoyed Xun Zhou who manages to be seductive as a demon without resorting to nudity.
I do have a minor complain about some of the actors being underused. My favorite being the very funny Ming Yang who didn't have a major role in the movie, but that's just a small complaint. The great production values and effort put into this film far outweighs any negatives one would have with this fantasy film.
Painted Skin: The Resurrection is an interesting as a romance story can get in the fantasy genre. It offers beautiful visuals to go along with an great plot that will have anyone hook on it.
I came across this flick because it was sold new on 3D for only 5
Euro's and not having any problems with Asian flicks and liking the
story I was eager to watch it. I'm glad I did because I liked it.
I knew from before that this was going to be a pure Chinese flick, in which I mean acting, story and score. That said that means that a lot of fantasy geeks will leave this for what it is because they can't catch up with the Chinese/Asian feeling.
The CGI used was also a problem for many but again I didn't had any trouble with it. I agree that some CGI really looked cheap but it fits perfectly in this slow moving love story. But the fight scene's make it watchable and the erotic feeling between the princess and the demon in the bath also makes it watchable. There's no nudity to spot but the scene does give it an lesbian, erotic touch. Not only that, the acting also is sublime what makes this more watchable.
But at the end, if you can't understand Asian horror or fantasy then leave this for what it is but if you are open minded for some melodrama then this is your stuff, no go eat those azaleas...
Gore 0/5 Nudity 0/5 Effects 4/5 Story 3,5/5 Comedy 0/5
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Though I come here to read reviews quite often, I have never bothered
with a review until this particular movie. We stumbled across this
movie and decided to watch it on a whim. I had never heard of it before
yesterday, nor its predecessor, and I normally shy away from Chinese
fantasy that isn't big box office, yet there was something in the
synopsis that caught my attention. Figuring we could always switch it
off if it proved truly awful, we decided to take a chance. I'm quite
happy we did.
First the bad side. The choreography for the fight scenes doesn't make sense half the time in the beginning (a man flipping and twirling off his horse because he was sliced by a sword? What?), and the graphics are definitely low budget (the green-screen scene by the lake toward the middle of the movie was just wretched). The plot gets so over dramatic at times that it takes away from the story itself (the eye thing toward the end was just too much x.x), though upon reflection it does make more sense than most fantasy movies these days (yes George, even one arrow in the shoulder can freaking HURT, thank you). The make-up could have been a bit better, and I was honestly expecting to see more vulpine qualities in the demon, if you know what I mean.
Redemption time: I feel this movie is such wonderful proof that there are times when the acting and the plot can make up for a whole world of sin. Even when some of the short-comings were a distraction, it was still easy to get drawn right back into the story. The choreography for the fighting definitely improves (the scarred princess has amazing moments for this o.o), and the choreography for the dancing is exquisite. The acting between the demon fox and scarred princess is stunning at times, especially toward the most crucial parts where most actors tend to drop the ball (not going to give away spoilers here. You'll see what I mean when you get there). The singing of the demon fox is haunting and beautiful, and the demon bird is so much what this movie needed. I also didn't even think about it until toward the end just how much subtle symbolism there is.
Down two stars because of how much the movie lacked, but if you can get your hands on it and forgive its short-comings, this movie is definitely worth the watch. Now to find the first one!
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