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The Grandmaster Trailer


Ip Man is a legend in the field of martial arts, best known for teaching Chinese actor and fight Bruce Lee. Born into a prosperous family in Foshan, Southern China, his enthusiasm for his art leads him to the well-known brothel, the Gold Pavilion, which becomes the spot where Gong Baosen renounces his title as Grandmaster in Northern China. Ip is challenged to a fight in order to usurp the Grandmaster title, though against Gong's daughter Gong Er, who is worthy to take up the title? Between the continued threats of Japanese occupation of China, Gong Baosen finds himself amidst a brutal betrayal leading Gong Er on a mission of vengeance. As both Ip's and Gong's personal toils wear on, their futures become uncertain - Ip's only goal is to become China's greatest grandmaster and to teach his disciples the magnificence of his life's passion.

Continue: The Grandmaster Trailer

The Grandmaster Trailer


Ip Man was a martial arts legend famous for tutoring the actor and Jeet Kune Do founder Bruce Lee. This movie tells the story of how Northern China's best martial artist Gong Yutian renounces his grandmaster title and challenges Ip (who was picked as the representative of Southern China) to a fight. However, following his dignified win, Gong's daughter Gong Err seeks to restore her family's honour with another challenge. Later, though, their lives are interrupted by the Second Sino-Japanese War and Ip's family is thrust into poverty while Gong Err is forced on a mission of vengeance when her father is brutally killed. Both must choose a new path for themselves to follow - though Ip struggles to make much of a life for himself; standing out against the other fighting talent of Hong Kong proves to be difficult and he must use all his ability to become a great Grandmaster.

Continue: The Grandmaster Trailer

Blood Brothers Review


OK
John Woo turns up as a producer of Blood Brothers, and it's not too surprising since the film is a reimagining of an earlier Woo effort, Bullet in the Head, which has a similar setup and plot points. Both films track the adventures of three friends from the boonies who seek to make it in the big and dangerous outside world but get much more excitement than they bargained for.

While Bullet in the Head is set in Vietnam during the war, Blood Brothers takes us back to the glamorous nightclubs of Shanghai in the '30s. Feng (Daniel Wu), Kang (Liu Ye), and Kang's brother Hu (Tony Yang) decide to leave their poor village and venture into town to see what they can make of themselves. It's rough going at first, with the guys taking on menial and humiliating jobs such as rickshaw pulling, but Hu lucks out by landing work as a waiter at the gorgeous Paradise Club, where all of haute Shanghai comes to party and to pay homage to the crime bosses who run it. The star of the show: Lulu (Shi Qi), who's the plaything of the big boss but is secretly in love with Mark (Chang Chen), one of his bodyguards.

Continue reading: Blood Brothers Review

Silk Review


OK
No matter how many Asian ghost stories I watch -- and I've watched a lot -- I can never get a handle on what it is exactly that Asian ghosts want. Some are sad, some are lonely, some have unfinished business, some are stuck between worlds, and some want bloody revenge.

While the Taiwanese thriller Silk doesn't come close to providing a definitive answer about ghosts' motivations, it does take the question very seriously and even suggests that ghosts have a kind of enviable existence, in part because "they don't have to look for parking spaces anymore."

Continue reading: Silk Review

Happy Together Review


Grim
Wong Kar Wai is up to his old tricks -- using various film stocks and camera speeds, using in-and-out-of-focus shots, mixing color and black-and-white -- only this time he's not enhancing the grittiness of his tale, he's hiding its defects. Happy Together is at first an interesting look at an extremely dysfunctional relationship between two Hong Kong men now living in Argentina (no idea what inspired that one...), but its histrionics eventually grow wearisome. The study of contrasting lives and lifestyles is hardly unique save for its inexplicably original setting. Terribly conceited and almost unbearably padded.

Continue reading: Happy Together Review

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Review


Excellent
If you thought the only real place for gravity-defying fight scenes was The Matrix, think again. One of today's most diverse directors, Ang Lee (Sense and Sensibility, The Ice Storm), has not only found the perfect venue for such combat - the classic samurai movie - but has injected his action with poetry and meaning. In Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, stars like Chow Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh gracefully zip through the air in this breathtaking Chinese fable about love, loyalty, and destiny.

It's tough not to get a kick out of this operatic movie. There's fateful romance, legendary themes of honor and determination, strong heroines, and, oh yeah, that butt-kicking action.

Continue reading: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Review

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