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Blackhat Review


Good

Michael Mann doesn't make standard frantic-pace thrillers (see Heat and Public Enemies); he prefers to work at a more controlled stride, so while this hacking adventure-mystery is intriguing it also feels a bit plodding. Yes, the film erupts now and then into a viscerally exhilarating action sequence, including a couple of astonishing shootouts, but over the course of two and a quarter hours it barely builds up a head of steam. And it's further frustrating that the intriguing characters never quite emerge as real people.

It opens with a cyberattack on a Chinese nuclear power plant, after which Captain Chen (Wang Leehom) heads to America to consult with FBI Agent Barrett (Viola Davis), urging her to get the one man who can solve this case: Chen's former MIT roommate Nick (Chris Hemsworth), now serving 13 years in prison for hacking. On supervised release, Nick heads to Hong Kong with Chen and Barrett, plus a minder (Holt McCallany) and Chen's computer-whiz sister Lien (Tang Wei), who immediately catches Nick's eye. As they secretly begin falling for each other, Nick indulges in a lot of illicit computer work to trace the attack to ruthless thug Kassar (Ritchie Coster) and his shadowy boss Sadak (Yorick van Wageningen). But they're based in Jakarta, and the FBI has no jurisdiction there.

Aside from some cheesy inside-the-computer animation, Mann makes the film look sleek and stylish, dropping clues into each scene to fill in the bigger picture about what is happening. And when an action set-piece breaks out, the film becomes urgent and gritty, with handheld camerawork and a breathless sense of peril that suggests that no one is safe. On the other hand, the script asks us to believe that Hemsworth's imprisoned computer geek can suddenly become a full-on action man, with astonishing gun-handling skills, the muscly precision of a Hollywood stunt man and the ability to out-strategise both spies and super-villains in a massive climactic showdown in a crowded city square.

Continue reading: Blackhat Review

Blackhat - Cyber Hacking Featurette


For the production of 'Blackhat', writer/director Michael Mann had to brush up on his knowledge of hacking in order to put together a film on the subject. Actor Chris Hemsworth had to undergo a master class on hacking and the use of computers. Mann also discusses how terrifying the idea of a cyber-criminal being able steal whatever they please from anywhere in the world at any time. 

'Blackhat' follows the story of a hacker that can target anywhere in the world, stealing money and amassing wealth before causing a string of terrorist attacks upon the world. The US and China form a specialist taskforce to discover the identity of the hacker and find him before he is able to strike again. When they find themselves unable to trace the source, they turn to Nicholas Hathaway (Hemsworth), a convicted hacker serving jail time for hacking. If Hathaway is able to find and expose the mysterious hacker before it's too late, he will be free to live his life. 'Blackhat' is due to be released in the US on 16th January 2015, with a UK theatrical release following on 20th January in the same year. 

 

Blackhat Trailer


When an unnamed hacker begins to steal money from wherever he wants, he turns his attention on acts of terror. After the destruction of a Chinese power plant, a collaboration of American and Chinese agencies begin trying to find just who this person is. They finally hit on the idea of bringing convicted hacker Nicholas Hathaway (Chris Hemsworth) out of his 15-year-jail time, in order to help them track down the illusive boogieman. But as he is always one step ahead of them, it seems that even Hathaway's help will not result in them catching their crook. 

Continue: Blackhat Trailer

Blackhat Trailer


When an anonymous hacker is able to disrupt the files for three major banks around the world, it the US government find themselves unable to stop the mysterious cybercriminal. After beginning a joint operation with China, they turn to Nicholas Hathaway (Chris Hemsworth), a hacker serving a fifteen year sentence for his crimes. In exchange for his freedom, Hathaway agrees to help the combined force track down and stop the hacker. But when his cyber-attacks turn into acts of terrorism, Hathaway discovers that he is facing an enemy not motivated by money or politics. An enemy that exists everywhere at every time, and can strike out against whoever he pleases. 

Continue: Blackhat Trailer

Lust, Caution Review


Good
Halfway through Lust, Caution, Ang Lee's follow-up to Brokeback Mountain, Mr. Yee, a collaborator with the Japanese in WWII Shanghai, throws the flirtatious wife of a businessman onto a bed and proceeds to have sex with her, precariously straddling the fence between rough sex and rape. Mr. Yee (the inimitable Tony Leung) and the woman, Wang (Tang Wei), will go on to have a dark and detailed set of trysts, each more carnal and sweatier than the last. Lee's camera doesn't show a hint of timidity as it sways around every curve and canal of each lover's body, at times so penetrating that one wonders if Lee's precursor was Michael Winterbottom's Nine Songs. It's not Ledger spitting in his hand before he gives it to Gyllenhaal, but it's not far off.

But before we ever get to see these thrashing entanglements, we are plummeted into the early rumblings of the Chinese resistance to the Japanese occupation. Little does Yee know that the woman he is tossing around the bedroom would love nothing more than to feel his blood splatter all over her in the middle of one of their sessions. See, Wang was once a schoolgirl with aspirations in acting, sparked by collegiate cutie Kuang (Wang Leehom), a director who wrote (terrible) plays about the damages of the war and subsequent occupation on the normal Chinese family. While discussing politics in a theater balcony, Kuang and his actors turned from thespians into resistance fighters, planning the assassination of the traitorous Yee.

Continue reading: Lust, Caution Review

Moon Child Review


OK
If you're a 14-year-old Japanese girl, Moon Child will be without a doubt the best movie you've ever seen. But even if you're not, this teenage yakuza vampire thriller/melodrama starring two of Japan's dreamiest androgynous male pop stars has enough going for it to hold your interest. As a window into current Japanese pop culture, it can't be beat.

We find ourselves in an "Asian special economic zone" called Mallepa, a teeming city-state where for some unexplained reason, the Japanese population has been marginalized and turned into refugees and criminals. The year is 2014.

Continue reading: Moon Child Review

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Wang Leehom Movies

Blackhat Movie Review

Blackhat Movie Review

Michael Mann doesn't make standard frantic-pace thrillers (see Heat and Public Enemies); he prefers to...

Blackhat - Cyber Hacking Featurette Trailer

Blackhat - Cyber Hacking Featurette Trailer

For the production of 'Blackhat', writer/director Michael Mann had to brush up on his knowledge...

Blackhat Trailer

Blackhat Trailer

When an unnamed hacker begins to steal money from wherever he wants, he turns his...

Blackhat Trailer

Blackhat Trailer

When an anonymous hacker is able to disrupt the files for three major banks around...

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Lust Caution, Trailer Trailer

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Lust, Caution Movie Review

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