Qing tai (2008) Poster


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Not much of anything
dbborroughs2 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
The title of the film refers to the low life dwellers of streets (cops, prostitutes, crooks) who cling on to the edges of society. Set in a city slum the film deals with a less then clean cop and the people he comes in contact with including a prostitute and a young girl, who dreams of being rescued by a prince. Striving to be something deep and meaningful the film fell flat for me. The rapid fire, hand held style may have kept things moving and allowed for the film to be shot in close quarters but at the same time the camera moves so much and the cuts are so rapid that its hard to get a handle on what your watching, or in some cases I wasn't sure who was who with most of the characters blending together (not because they look the same more that we never really get a good look at some of them). I really didn't care about anyone and it made getting through this film a real chore. Its not a bad film as such, but its the first film in a long while where I feel that it wasn't worth the effort to see it or to pick it up (or even review it). In a weird way its kind of like the title lichen, something that dwells in the corner and isn't worth your attention.
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The Moss Review: I liked it
ninjaalexs25 September 2009
Warning: Spoilers
The Moss seems to have attracted mixed reviews; some have praised its cinematography, others have put down its violent nature and derivative nature. The storyline involves a corrupt cop who has his hand in the pockets of the criminal underworld. After a raid on a brothel a fat man farts an emerald out (seriously) which is collected by an under-age girl trying to make money and escape poverty by working in a brothel, another prostitute goes on the run with her. The fat man is murdered by another prostitute and his body hidden. The cops are then involved in a shoot-out with a Pakistani gang and things follow from there really.

The cinematography is great capturing the grit and dirt of the street. The camera movements can be distracting and sometimes it is hard to tell what happened (during the fight scenes) as some of it is so quick. Blink and you miss it. Other than that can't complain. The sound design is crisp and varied. The acting by the main characters is spot on. Some of the bit players do tend to either overdo it or not really stand out but it can be overlooked.

The film has been criticised for its violence. Bloody shootings, brutal beating, impalements: it's all here. Another factor which may put people off is its unsympathetic nature; I would say it is nihilistic in tone. This is a current trend in film and can be seen a lot in horror and thrillers but I like my films a little darker.

Summary: Recommended for fans of gritty HK cop/gangster films. Should be avoided by fans of nice films. It offers nothing new to the genre but there's enough to recommend it.

DVD: (Mei-Ah HK Version 2-Discer) Good clean picture quality with sharp contrast (what you would expect from a recentish film); Sound: on my system crisp sound levels with good balance the bass sounds were particularly good. The subtitles were hit and miss, some spelling mistakes and accuracy mistakes but they were good enough to be understood. Disc 2 has a making of extra. Disc 1 is just the film.

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