All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
Come Drink with Me
Cheng Pei-pei plays Golden Swallow, a fighter-for-hire who has been contracted by the local government to retrieve the governor's kidnapped son. Holding him is a group of rebels who are demanding that their leader be released from prison in return for the captured son. After a brief encounter with the gang at a local restaurant, Golden Swallow is joined by an inebriated wanderer Drunken Cat (Yueh Hua) who aids her in her mission.
The best wuxia pic from King Hu. Those of you looking for blood won't be disappointed. This is one tough and ruthless film. But it also contains a certain kind of grace, thanks to Hu's mastery of spacial dynamics during the action sequences. Hu's said that he deliberately chose a ballet dancer (Cheng Pei Pei) for the lead role and it's easy to see why. Thankfully, Hu's doesn't undermine her skills with rapid-fire editing like a novice would. Many of the action shots are longer than what we've become accustomed to watching and contain much more beautifully choreographed movements. And unlike some of his other films such as Touch of Zen, Hu doesn't burden the narrative. Everything is crisp and there's no extra fat. A masterpiece!
The action staging is to die for. The whole universe zings and hums in the long takes as they clank by in incendiary bursts. The feel of it is perfect: graceful slashes of motion, perfect pure flashes of cinema/music/poetry.
Golden Swallow is incredible. Not only does King Hu grant us a iron tough female warrior with a scowl that could peel the flesh off faces, but he grants us a small army of woman warriors. I find this so incredible. We've seen such a push for diverse representation in media in recent years, it's stunning and a bit of a cuff to the collective ear to beam Cheng Pei Pei from '66 into now. THIS.…
King Hu's first martial arts film, and his first great success (it broke box-office records in Asia), this Ming Dynasty thriller drew on "Japanese samurai epics and Chinese Opera traditions to create a new kind of action movie in which battle is a form of mythic ballet. The scenario and characters are delineated in quick, deft strokes: a band of comically menacing kidnappers faces off against larger-than-life heroine Golden Swallow (the great Zheng Peipei), whose mesmerizing stare cuts almost as deep as her sword, and her mysterious ally, a drunken minstrel with a shadowy past and unexpected powers. The fight scenes, choreographed by opera veteran Han Yingjie, are masterpieces of pacing, moments of silent tension exploding into a flurry of flashing blades and furious percussion. Hu's inventive editing and camera movements and his idiosyncratic narrative style—veering from swordplay to song, comedy to revelation—create an intoxicating sensation of unpredictable motion." (Juliet Clark)
Another great wuxia flick from Hu. It seems pretty obvious to say that the best action directors are the ones that have a real sense of spatial dynamics, but it ought to be emphasised in Hu's case. It's noticeable, especially in the inn scenes towards the start, that he had 'deliberately chosen a ballet dancer for the lead female role', Cheng Pei-pei is brilliant, such bold yet graceful movements met with the rapid-fire editing cutting to and from faces and swords clashing in an almost ruthless dance of metal. Narratively, this hardly flows as smoothly as Touch of Zen but that has nearly three hours to sort everything out; this manages to set-up a story of politics, kidnapping, and Kung Fu in about half the time and does so pretty nicely too. One or two false endings make the real finale seem all the more claustrophobic and bloody, I mean, really bloody. Ruthless, indeed.
I can't say it better than Claire did (where are you come back), but I would add my voice to hers (and so many others). It has what I want from action films (clear, graceful action), and it has what I want from films (beautiful visuals, bright scenery, long takes, dynamics). It has bags of style (look at how Sparrow and her companions dress, holy shit I am jealous). It feels epic despite being a normal length film (the classic 90ish minutes), because everything that happens has grandeur to it, drawn out in costumes, landscapes, and extended shots.
It's a simple tale but not a bad one; characters have their own stories and these weave into one tight little narrative.…
There's the ending, and then the ending after the ending. And then there's the ending after the ending that undermines the other two endings by trying to play the moral of the film both ways by espousing the rejection of bloody vengeance, but giving the audience the violent thrill anyway. This is the central theme of the era of the genre this film initiated: the conflict between the moral imperative for forgiveness and the just demand for revenge, oft-dramatized as a conflict between Confucian filial piety (respect for one's father/master/family demands vengeance on their behalf) and the Buddhist and Taoist belief in the cyclical nature of violence, that only by withdrawing from worldly concerns can the circle be broken. The moral and the bloody, the spiritual and the earthly, the desire to enlighten and the need to entertain.
A female fighter-for-hire is contracted to retrieve a governor's missing son. I've got to say I'm a bit disappointed in this film. In terms of a Wuxia Pan film, this film kicks major ass. The fight scenes are choreographed beautifully, and King Hu shoots them with an agile, impeccable ease.
And while these fight scenes are incredible, they're not enough to make up for the meandering, senseless plot. I know it's unfair to judge a film that emphasizes martial arts for a lack of plot, but I need at least a little something to hook me like the "Ip Man" series did or "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon" did. Otherwise, I may just as well watch a montage video on YouTube…
Come Drink With Me is seen as something of a classic film in The Shaw Brothers catalogue and while I did enjoy it, I feel a lot of it’s love does come from the fact that it came so early. Thing’s start off really well, with a strong female in the lead. The fight scenes are good and surprisingly bloody for a film in the mid 60’s. But then the action scenes get a little few and far between and the story kind of looses it’s way.
A male character gets introduced and the story shifts over to him a little and we loose focus of Golden Swallow. I just wished we would have stayed solely with her for the entire duration of the film rather than loose her half way through. With a few more fight scenes thrown in too, it would have been the classic film that many already see it as.
The most remarkable thing about this "aciton" film is how "cohesive" it feels even when there's lots of movement on screen. Hu's rarely utilizes fast-editing or speeds up footage for thrills. His widescreen photography captures this strategy brilliantly. Cheng Pei-Pei is as effortlessly graceful as the rest of the movie.
Simple story but a great kung fu film. The action is fun and flows so well.
Hu's widescreen compositions are truly breathtaking, utilising both space and location for maximum visceral impact (although at times I felt that the speeding up of footage combined with the quick-cutting could confuse things), each and every confrontation here a cinematic game of slowly escalating tension exacerbated by both blocking and camera. A pretty perfect example of effective narrative economy as well, immediately investing us within the film's simplistic stakes before complicating things through the deepening of already familiar characters. And my god does Cheng Pei-pei have screen presence (I love the fact that the female warriors are the most effective throughout the film), every expression hitting that perfect middle-ground between enigmatic and genuine. Graceful filmmaking.
Really not my taste, but it has a number of things going for it: great, fluid camerawork and terrific visual compositions, a strong sense of setting, and handful of memorable characters. But for me, this really went in one ear and out the other, with a plot that dragged and sputtered, at one point devolving into a series of stilted but dramatic conversations. There are some really great visual ideas in the action scenes here, like the beautifully choreographed bodies and the cool use of blurred lights to show motion in the climax. And for the first half, COME DRINK WITH ME is like 75% action, which is great. However, the longer it goes, the more it seems to lose steam, and it ends up a decent but fleeting movie with some nice fights and characters.
SAW IT AT FANTASTIC FEST 2015
One of the early Shaw Brothers classic. The kung fu in the movie is a little slower than the more modern martial arts movie. The cinematography in this movie is beautiful, many of the shots look like out of a painting.
An awesome 35mm film screening of a Shaw Brothers classic I had never seen before. The film is beautiful and stars one of the most badass female protagonists I've ever seen in a kung fu film... so it was a bit of a bummer that she gets a little sidelined towards the end. But this is an awesome entry in the old school kung fu repertoire.
Opening battle - using editing tricks to show swords running through bodies, hands cut off at the wrist. Is this creativity in the service of obscenity, or honesty in bloody entertainment (as opposed to the bloodlessness of PG-13 carnage)? The older I get, the more I lean to (and respect) the latter.
That inn scene. Dadgum. I made an involuntary noise of awed appreciation at that pullback through the bodies surrounding Golden Swallow.
It occurred to me watching the inn scene how much it influenced Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. But it wasn’t until a grimace from Golden Swallow later when she’s injured for me to realize, “Oh! That’s Jade Fox!”
Really interesting rhythm to most of the fight scenes here.…
List made from the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. This list just from the 2015 edition,…