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shu-fen

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120 reviews in total 
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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Brightened, thanks!, 11 January 2009

Enough! Enough incontinent funeral-like reportage on the finance page, the front page, enough dreadful warnings of prospective unemployment, enough.

At this time of credit crunch and financial tsunami, we need an anti-climax in cinema, in art, in church to cheer us up. I give my 100% tight hugs to Poppy and Mike Leigh. We had lots of plans in mind: mortgage, children, work, retirement and now? Because of Poppy, I feel so happy to think about this Bible verse directly from the mouth of Jesus, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Let's enjoy today, no matter what as life runs on whether you smile or sob.

Cape No. 7 (2008)
2 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Thanks for the variety..., 9 December 2008
7/10

I don't know Taiwanese, I didn't know the foul word "LP" actually means testicles. But I am surprised that Hengchun can be a beauty through the camera and thought of the director. I am 100% delighted by the life of this quiet coastal town. And I am also made astonished that Japanese people would be there to have jobs and shows. Thanks to this movie, I otherwise got to know all these about this small place of Taiwan.

I have forgotten since when from day to night and dusk to dawn, the word "globalization" is like the charm of a chanting medium, a witch, that hypnotises the entire world. Now the laureate crowns on Cape No. 7 (Bollywood movies, Korean films too) bring in a sheer fact that slaps the face of it: people prefer "localization". Local peculiar taste, regional special savour rather than the showy astronomically figured Hollywood mega-production. The unified globalization equals a boring formula without any varieties. What's the word of Obama's Campaign this year: CHANGE.

5 out of 21 people found the following review useful:
"What's the big deal?" Hong Kong jeered., 3 December 2008
7/10

The lament of the Marlys can never strike any resonance in Hong Kong. We live in constant construction and demolition. Old houses? Old vases? Old painting? No one cares about them unless they sell well with good money return. Embracing the new (mostly technology and money), living the moment, forgetting the past, pulling down the old buildings for new glassy-window high rise (= money, money, money), dumping all those used once…, our usual behaviour. Past is past, never mind. Out of sight, out of mind, no regret of its disappearance, no matter that's people, object, time or whatever. Sorry, sorry, in a city of super fast pace, no time and no need and no habit to think about history, to study history. Today, nostalgia, heritage are too expensive to a place where people only live "this absolute right moment", so, don't ask me to plan for the next and don't ask me to reflect the past. We only look forward and forget all that has happened.

A 100% correct decision of the brothers and sisters: send every "valuable" object to the museum because today, no one, normal people, intends to live in a museum.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Happy? Well..., 4 March 2008
6/10

A philosophical question and a very western idea that human beings are perpetually in pursuit of happiness. Frankly speaking, happiness is not the final goal of life, rather, "joy" is more profound psychologically and physically.

Really, work hard and persist and American Dream will come true is what many US citizens believe in. Yet, there are too many cases of disillusionment, he succeeded and congratulations to him, but that's not about every one. I gather that the happiness (or happiness) here means that he is out of monetary plight. My more serious question: has his wife returned to stay with him and the kid? Personally I don't want to be any Chris Gardner because happiness is so difficult, so cruel to obtain. In my own experience (I did had hardship/difficult time in life), after so much hard time, I don't feel especially "happy" when the hardship's gone or when what I wanted came to me, the only feeling was, and always was "tired" and "exhausted" but not happy.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Politics and Religion, 7 November 2007

A spirit-uplifting story with many efforts on research and script writing, besides, acting in Brit film seldom disappoints. Only that the century-old hymn "Amazing Grace" and its birth appear to be a supporting team. The focus, the beef is on W Wilberforce's decade-long political ordeal. We want an antecedent, a film about how the popular hymn was created by John Newton. There is little to do with religion but more on politics in this movie.

For most period film, costume and make-up always steal the limelight, true here too. One awesome work about the movie is the make-up. The maturing process of William Pitt is well-exhibited as the course of time runs by. His face was from young clean to older with senile lentigo and at last the wretched face on death bed. It makes the viewers wonder the true ages of the actors.

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Healing as time runs on, 28 September 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The attraction of indie to me is the feeling of "living" and quietness, the subtle human sentiments and emotions reeked from the ordinary stories in normal daily living. Mega-multi-million productions are stunning in many ways but they are too "drama", not living. We need indie as antidote.

Since the 1990s, the world movie industry doesn't seem to produce many female directors and how happy we have Kawase, whose works mostly shot with Nara as backdrop. In the peaceful quietness, she is able to capture the meticulous subtlety of human touch and warmth.

Young Machiko and old Shigeki are both bereaved with great sadness. One day they have an outing in the countryside and bad weather suddenly comes. Their journey is journey of healing as Shigeki is looking for the burial location of his wife Mako who passed away 33 years old. He wants to return to her as a means to cease his mourning. To me, the most touching episode is when they wade through the small brook which is suddenly flooded by rain water. The long-silent Shigeki, just like the abrupt influx rain-water, suddenly tells Machiko that the running water will not return to its source. It is a condolence and advice to this young woman whose baby has died: let bygones be bygones, people died, they died without any return. The speedy running brook and her fast running tears are important symbols of healing: they wash away her pain.

The natural beauty of Nara is exhibited superbly with the actors' natural performance. By the way, it is the very first appearance of the 61-year-old amateur Shigeki Uda. Naomi Kawase just got to know him for very short time somewhere at her hometown while she was preparing for the shooting.

4 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
No matter what path you take, life does not stop., 19 September 2007

Tom Twyker's "Run Lola Run", Peter Howitt's "Sliding Doors", Lord Dunsany's play "If", Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life" and O Henry's short story "Roads of Destiny" are in the family members of this Polish flick. The structure is a beloved one of keen story-tellers as they can twist and turn of their story in uncountable ways with the same beginning or backdrop or development or ending. Viewers also love this genre because it satisfies, at least some parts of our imagination or extension. What matters the most for this structure is the content and the plot of the story. I just wonder why such a juicy flick has not been shown in the movie-house (well, perhaps I missed that before... anyway). A kiss to the VCD distributor.

It takes much courage to release "Przypadek" under the ex-communist regime of Poland. What can one do in a totalitarian state? Though you may still have choice, politics-wise, the philosophy of "If you can't beat them, join them." doesn't seem to be effective for the first two scenarios. Whether to join or to beat, suffering is expecting you. Thinking that one can escape from the extreme duality to abstain? Sorry, sorry, one may circumvent the political troubles but not the uncertainty of life: the plane explodes in the air! The seemingly peaceful life of the doctor in the third scenario was diverted by a small ignition of fire.

No matter what life path you prefer, there is consequence. So, take it easy, just live on according to, well, your liking or conscience or preference or whatever you believe. Life goes on.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Too macho to be gay..., 17 September 2007

Lately, Germany is enjoying good economy so in market we have more German DVDs with either screen works or TV productions perched inside. And from time to time, their good quality surprises me.

Latest news (at least to myself): German people also know humour! The Brits have to de-monopolize it now. The comedy is a common and ordinary one with lots of hilarious visual vehicles. I can't help laughing my head off when seeing a Jan Sosniok in sassy and saucy unfit female outfit. Very true that he is a handsome guy but is facial lines are too coarse and masculine to be a homosexual! It is helped out by his effeminate demeanor like the breathy, lispy voice.

It's my first Edzard Onneken work and I have no clue where he was educated, maybe the States because the story, the backdrop and even the props used more or less remind me the gang flicks shot in Beverly Hill or somewhere in the posh and snobbish area of Hollywood.

More interesting productions should be coming out. Worth watching and waiting.

1 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Something missed..., 17 September 2007

Unresolved pain, harboured grudge and hatred leading to bloody revenge is most destructively tragic. Hei even takes harming/killing his wife as a last resort to fulfil his eye-for-eye, tooth-for-tooth dark plan on his father-in-law who exterminated his family twenty-five years ago.

A "well-taken-care-of" work with who did it is known, how it was did is also known, and viewers chase and chase the line to know why he did that. Every area is fine but something missed... it lacks "power", some more energy and intensity is desired. The film is too "quiet", we need at least one exploding/imploding point to exhibit the tension. In addition, Fiona Sit should take the role of that that Shu-qi occupies here as the girl here is a dotty one. Shu-qi has long passed that playful age. Her talent is not developed her. Wrong choice of actress. And, Kaneshiro is not quite himself, I find no clue why.

When the flame of hatred and pain keeps burning, the fire of vengeance grows stronger and hotter that even the entire furnace falls apart.

Protégé (2007)
4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
It's just a matter of demand and supply., 17 September 2007

Ordinary development, good research on today's drug-dealing, satisfactory (only) acting, a just so-so plot plus a perfunctorily didactic story, nevertheless, I still recommend this as a light Sunday afternoon amuse-bouche.

We are living in a world of mixed, confusing values. What is right? What is wrong? Lin Quin is an extremely careful businessman. He has a clean family and clean life (he doesn't even smoke, not to mention drug). He is very clear-minded to the point of having a frozen heart without much feeling for the others. He knows, very rationally, all the tricks and danger of drug and drug-dealing. He knows, super-sensibly, the wants and behaviour of the drug consumers. Trafficking drug to him is only a means of accumulating wealth regardless whether it is harmful or evil. He even makes an analogy between cigarette and drug. According to the world system and world values, he is correct: as there is a demand, I supply. As the buyers (drug users) get what they want and I get what (the money) I want, we are both happy. Isn't that the world we are living in? Nick's remark at the opening and closing of the film somehow is a futile didactic statement. "For long, I didn't understand why people take drug.... actually it's all because of emptiness (loneliness). And, which is more horrible? Loneliness or drug? I really can't tell." No philosophy class but loneliness kills more, for sure, more destructive than drugs.

What touches my heart is the ending. Nick promises to continue his duty as a special agent (undercover). When loneliness comes, he also intends to take drug but at last his salvation is brought by "innocence" (personified by Jane's little daughter) who dumps the syringe for him. Only when we come to purity and innocence, goodness and kindness can we have a way out from evil.


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