American lawyer Jack Moore is in Beijing on what looks to be a successful business trip for his company to enter into a film and television distribution deal with the Chinese government, their main competitor for that distribution deal being HoffCo Telecom out of Germany. Before Jack's boss David McAndrews and the Chinese government sign on the dotted line of the contract, Jack is implicated in a murder, the victim who was discovered in his hotel room. The police were alerted to an incident in his hotel room based on the report of hearing a scream emanating from his room, such a scream which Jack, asleep in the room when the police entered, did not hear. Jack being charged with murder quashes the distribution deal, which instead is awarded to HoffCo. The situation is made all the worse for Jack due to the known connections between the victim and people within high places in China, who may try to manipulate the situation to see Jack sentenced to death for the murder. Jack also has ...Written by
In order to heighten the film's sense of reality, director Jon Avnet, actress Bai Ling, and co-producer Martin Huberty traveled to Beijing for a week of "guerilla" shooting, without the knowledge or permission of the Chinese government, to capture the first-ever 35mm film of the city to appear in a Hollywood film. See more »
Jack Moore returns to his hotel suite with his legal brief and gets her to stand outside in the corridor to prove that screams from inside could not have been heard by anyone outside, to counter the allegations that screams were heard coming from his room. No-one said where the listeners were. Presumably there are rooms above and below so noises could have been heard through the ceiling or floor, which would be one layer as opposed to multiple closed doors. See more »
When I was a child I would come to this park and play, and my grandmother would tell me why the bamboo was here. She said, it is waiting for the wind to touch it. It is filled with emotion. Listen to the sound, and you can feel that.
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The opening title is first displayed in Chinese "letters" (called hanzi) which then change into English. See more »
Video clip of "Fever"
Performed by Madonna
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records, Inc. See more »
Underrated Political/Courtroom Drama
For about a dozen years, it was hard to find too many films Richard Gere made which weren't interesting and well-made. This was no exception. Once again, he "delivers the goods" and is involved in an interesting story.
Gere, a follower, I believe, of the Dalai Lama whom the Communists forced out of Tibet, uses this film to get his shots in at his mentor's enemy. Anyone who thinks this is just a coincidence is pretty naive. Nonetheless, the facts support the film's stark, brutal portrayal of Communist China's leadership. At the very least, it shows a regime unwilling to hear both sides of a story. (Hollywood has often given the same treatment to the U.S. government, showing it more often in a corrupt light, which is ludicrous compared to restrictive Communist China.)
Anyway, Gere really dominates this film, being in almost every scene. This is your basic frame-up-then-prove-your-innocence-in-court story. It keeps your attention throughout although I thought the ending was a bit confusing because things happened almost too fast for the viewer to take in. At two hours, the film could have been trimmed a tad but the lulls in here were not much.
Overall, an underrated film and unjustly criticized by the national critics, most of whom don't like it when communism is bashed.
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