The story follows Chen Mo, the bar owner and 'ferryman', as he is slowly facing his own traumatic past, whilst helping the people around him, including his co-partner Guan Chun, the singer Ma Li and the neighbor Xiao Yu.
Tony Chiu-Wai Leung,
From World War, to revolution and ultimately rebirth, Forever Young is the story of four generations spanning a hundred years of modern Chinese history. Each generation faces its own unique... See full summary »
just like what director woo did to his "red cliff", an absolutely long and dreary movie that had to be divided into two parts, this pathetic movie, "the crossing", was inevitably piled up into two parts. i often thought that if a director got enough conscience, even he got lot of money from the investors/producers, he would never waste so much money on those totally unnecessary scenes. we often thought a movie that good or bad was totally relied on the director, but actually it's not, the fundamentally important necessity coming first for a good or a bad movie is from the 'screenplay' that would forecast the success or failure of a movie. then, the second important factor to the movie is the work of the director who served as a good editor like what a publisher provided the author to fine tuned the novel before printing, working with the screenplay writer(s), point out the blind spots, the mistakes, the ridiculous storyline/scenarios, the illogic plots, those areas where the writers might not have noticed during the writing, and demand them to be corrected, omitted, deleted and to be rewritten. by the length of the 'red cliff' and 'the crossing', woo obviously not only didn't do anything of the above-mentioned necessity as a good editor titled as a 'director', he might even have asked the screenplay writers to lengthen and to prolong the movie manuscript since he got too much production budget to spend. if the screenplay is too concentrate and has been squeezed into a tighter one, then he lose the opportunity to spend it all, or even worse, to ask for more money to complete a well-ballooned project.
based upon such premises, we then clearly see why these two movies had turned out to be such a long and diluted products. unnecessary scenes of battles, banquets, dancing, crowded interior and exterior segments, unnecessary teasing, flirting or hostile close-up or pan-out scenes between or among the main characters, expensive settings and costumes.....and all of them actually could be omitted, yet a self-indulgent director, on the contrary, would not have the least intention to do the opposite. therefore, just like some of the self-important pompous western directors who often generated more animosity with the movie production companies and the producers, woo did it again and again in such extravaganza formula and style.
an international well-known director, when asked the casting agency to call up some hot actors to participate his new project, most of them if not with on-going projects, would never like to lose the opportunity to jump on the money train to do the stunts. so what we got here are bunch of renown actors signed up with woo to benefit both for each other. yet this unhealthily swollen film only made these actors become shallow puppets in this film, doing a lot of ridiculously unnecessary scenes that in the first place, should be cut or omitted. they just kept changing custom-made new costumes like models on the runway of a fashion show, appeared in so many unnecessary parts of this diluted film to become part of the generic medicine prescribed by the director.
trying so hard to imitate the epic movie 'titanic' with the Chinese turmoil time of Japanese invasion, the insurgent Chinese communists controlled, manipulated by the soviet communist party from Russia, the struggling nationalist party's army that did the actually battles against the Japanese invasion forces, then came up a backdrop of a ship of fools trying to run away from the dangers and migrate to an island, then sunken to the bottom of the strait. a movie based upon a sunken vessel full of war-torn refugees who were then used as the fictitious ingredients of an absolutely no-big-deal, totally unimportant and pointless so-called historical saga, forcing the audiences to waste almost 5 hours in darkness facing a silver screen, well, is not what a well-paid-and-well-rewarded satisfying experience, unless they are die-hard fans of those actresses and actors; otherwise, it's a torture.
when the pointless first battle was over, the Chinese soldier lit up a big cigar and puffed it....can you believe it?! a Chinese soldier smoking a cigar? in the 1940s? on the Chinese battlefield? mr. woo, are you kidding me? this is a Chinese movie, not a American western movie, not a gunslinger like clint eastwood did after a gun battle. be serious, will you?
what i'd like to add are the review titles from IMDb's reviewers of some other movies that usually turned out to be so shallow, so ridiculous, so laughable and so pointless:
"All style and no substance" "Action movie, not "realistic" "Garbage movie - designed to make money for (both director and leading actors)" "Waste of time and money" "Movies today are money, not quality, acting, directing, dialog, story & plots are all in the toilet, past the septic tank and into the weeping bed. Movies today simply suck. "
that's about it.
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