Xuejian Li

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The Emperor and the Assassin Review


Excellent
The Emperor and the Assassin sets a new standard for quality of production. The story, costumes, sets, music, and performances all have such a powerful authenticity that after watching it, I felt like I had just lived through a two-thousand year old episode of Chinese history. Director Chen Kaige's (Yellow Earth, Temptress Moon) film lives up to its billing and is a worthwhile success (not to mention the most expensive Asian film ever produced).

Set in third century B.C., The Emperor and the Assassin is the story of Ying Zheng (Li Xuejian), leader of the Kingdom of Qin, whose goal is to conquer the six other kingdoms of China and merge them into one unified land. To accomplish this objective, he embarks upon a horrific reign of terror and brutality against all who stand between him and his destiny.

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Happy Times Review


Good
I could see someone doing an American remake of Happy Times, a Chinese film about an older man who's trying to woo a widow into his arms, and ends up having to care for her blind stepdaughter. He goes to outrageous lengths to deceiver her into thinking she's been given a job as a masseuse, while trying to hide the fact that he's unemployed from the widow. (To give you a taste of this film's sense of humor: He ends up opening a "mobile hotel" on a renovated bus and renting it out to couples by the hour.) Jack Nicholson and Scarlet Johansson: What do you say? Wryly funny and often sweet, though the simple premise is often over-explained.

Continue reading: Happy Times Review

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