The Assassin directed by Hou Hsiao- Hsien is a deeply transporting film that follows the journey of Nie Yinniang who has been trained to kill. When she was younger her family betrayed her and as a result she has been raised by a nun. The film which is set in seventh century China is a piece of beautiful cinema that uses techniques to show the astonishing views that the country has to offer which has a pro founding effect on you.
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All of these stories take place in Manhattan, with only one or two brief forays into other boroughs, and they all centre around relatively well-off people, mainly white or Asian. They're also quite serious and emotional, with only brief moments of humour dotted here and there, although some make us smile more than others. Each is about a male-female relationship--marriages, brief encounters, possibilities, life-long companionship. Most have a somewhat gimmicky twist, and a few are intriguingly oblique.
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Shu Qi and Asia Argento - Shu Qi, Robin Wright Penn, Hanif Kureishi, Lee Chang-Dong, Asia Argento, Sharmila Tagore, Isabelle Huppert, Nuri Bilge Ceylan and James Gray Cannes, France - 2009 Cannes International Film Festival - Day 12 - 'Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky' - Premiere Sunday 24th May 2009
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.
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May is a skittish and high-strung mom, a worrier. She has trouble mixing with the other yuppie housewives and looks to a birthday party for her neighbor's daughter as a way to break the ice. Fat chance. At the rooftop party, she watches Chi Lo disappear over the parapet. The weird thing: He doesn't fall. He is grabbed and pulled. When the police look for a splattered corpse at ground level they find nothing.
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The first section, titled "A Time for Love," concerns Chen (Chang Chen), a soldier who silently plays pool on leave and writes love letters to pool-hall girls while he is away. When he returns from leave, he finds that the last girl has been replaced by May (Shu Qi), a breathtaking woman in a flower dress. They say very few words, but he promises to write her while away. When he returns and she has been replaced, he searches through several small towns just to spend one night next to her.
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Catching the tale end of their performance and the inevitable bar brawl that ensues is Michael (Daniel Yu), a poor little rich kid and well-known pop star from Hong Kong who's in town to learn Mandarin and hide out from the Hong Kong press, which wants to learn more about pending criminal charges against him.
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Vicky's biggest problem: her no-good boyfriend Hao-Hao (Chun-Hao Tuan). Unemployed, strung out on drinks, drugs, and an endless supply of cigarettes (this may be the ultimate smoker's movie), Hao-Hao spends most of his time in the couple's tiny apartment practicing to be a DJ and working himself up into jealous rages. When Vicky arrives home after a night on the town with the girls, he smells her neck and then goes through her handbag looking for receipts and phone cards that might implicate her in some kind of deception. A female narrator tells us that Vicky leaves Hao-Hao all the time, but she always comes back "as if hypnotized."
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Artfully orchestrating the action is legendary Hong Kong director Cory Yuen, who shows no signs of tiring with this, his 34th directing job in 21 years (in addition to his 32 gigs as an action choreographer). Yuen, whose credits include most of Jet Li's best films, including High Risk and The Enforcer, has more recently entertained Western audiences with The Transporter (also starring Qi Shu). A genius in his cinematic genre, Yuen knows how to make screen action look fantastic, with just the right pacing and skillful editing. His films are visual feasts, even if the plots sometimes fall by the wayside.
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The plot of The Transporter never extends beyond the borders of a video game story. Basically, if you need something - or someone - transported from one place to another, you drop a call to Ex-Special Forces operator Frank Martin (Jason Statham) and his "tricked-out" BMW to deliver the goods. But, remember - before you hire Mr. Frank for one of your mysterious and sometimes dangerous tasks - you must remember his three golden rules.
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Adrenaline-fueled and mirthfully over-the-top, "The Transporter" is the kind of action movie that winks at the audience in a "we know this is stupid, just have fun" way that big, dumb stunts-and-guns summer blockbusters like "XXX" are sorely lacking.
In "XXX," star Vin Diesel seems to think he's genuinely cooler than cool and director Rob Cohen treats his video-game-fodder plot with laughable seriousness.
But in this kaplewy-and-kung-fu fun-ride, equally tough but tongue-in-cheek star Jason Statham ("Snatch," "The One") and martial arts choreographer-turned director Cory Yuen so clearly revel in their picture's excesses that you can imagine Yuen hollering "Cut," and Statham smiling back at him like a kid on a roller coaster, saying "Let's do that again!"
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The Assassin directed by Hou Hsiao- Hsien is a deeply transporting film that follows the...
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What's a girl to do? Nothing seems to be going right for the young and...
They're beautiful sisters. They're high-heeled hackers. They're ruthless assassins. What more do you need to...
With the goofiest title of the year so far - The Transporter is a prime...