favorite Chinese language movies
Let the Bullets Fly
A comic western legend
Set in China during the Warlords Period of the1920s, notorious bandit chief Zhang descends upon a remote provincial town posing as its new mayor, an identity that he had hijacked from Old Tang, himself a small-time imposter. Hell-bent on making a fast buck, Zhang soon meets his match in the tyrannical local gentry Huang as a deadly battle of wit and brutality ensues.
Loud, incoherent, and violent in an unpleasant, not fun way, Let the Bullets Fly has some fun moments but at 134 minutes it also has far too many not fun moments to recommend.
The witty dialogue flies at you fast and furious in this black comedy / action movie. I don't believe I've ever seen anything quite like it. The principal cast is excellent in it, but Wen Jiang steals the show for me.
Jiang Wen's Miller's Crossing.
Not sure if I caught this the first time around or not, but the musical theme to this is a screwball variation on the martial theme from Seven Samurai, which is entirely appropriate.
I had to go back and adjust my top 10 of 2010 for this one.
Watching a foreign comedy can be a tricky prospect since comedy is often difficult to translate. Most Hong Kong comedies I've seen have been largely slapstick, so this isn't really an issue, but Let the Bullets Fly is a lot more sophisticated, with wordplay and satire and presumably a bunch of historical and cultural references that flew over my dumb head.
It's still pretty entertaining though - especially fun is Chow Yun-Fat as a grinning villain. Also the action scenes were pretty cool (although you could make the argument that there wasn't enough of them).
Fun Chinese western pitting honorable bandits against a mobster to frequent comic effect and accompanied by some great action sequences. At times the plot, with its use of multiple false identities, twists, and turns, feels almost Shakespearean. It's got a great set, some nice direction, and solid acting throughout. I really can't complain about a single thing.
Did not finish (thus no full review) but a fun film. As always, Chow Yun-fat is a dream boat!!
Confusa y pesada fabula de artes marciales, tiros y dialogos interminables sobre un ladron que suplanta al govertnador para poder robar a un mafioso de villa Ganso... Mucho dialogo para quien busca una pelicula de acción y poco mas. Pese a lo espetacular de algunas escenas resulta soporifera.
An exciting action-comedy, delivered at slapstick speeds.
Charismatic performances by Ge You and Chow Yun Fat make film worth it. Wen Jiang, the director and co-star; has a strange unique style of filming conservations with rapid cross-cutting editing, but it gets a little old after a while. Ge You and Chow Yun Fat have these wierd lengthy conversations where they flatter each other but it is not clear how it fits into their scheming; they each know the other is on to their plotting.
I really appreciate how goofy this was, but it's frenetic to a fault in the screenplay and the cinematography. Wen Jiang's performance sells the story though. He's charismatic, sexy, mysterious, intimidating, and funny. With him in almost every scene it's very easy to watch, but when you look elsewhere there's not that much to be seen.
Part gangster film, part martial arts. This movie set in 1920s China feels like a Chinese history lesson taught by Quentin Tarantino. It's uneven and shift dramatically from farce to serious drama in the final act.
Epic period genre hotpot <gag>, Jiang Wen's Let The Bullets Fly barely has space to breathe before careening off into the next action set piece (film's title is invoked twice in dialogue before big shootouts), OTT physical comedy moment (scene involving a man being kicked like soccer ball into a huge ceremonial drum could've been penned by Stephen Kung Fu Hustle Chow), or elaborately layered satirical jape. Bullets mirrors messy 1920s China which witnessed much socio-political change, mirrored in turn by the three key protagonists: Master Huang (Chow Yun Fat) the urbane villain representing the new 'Western' mode of life, Councillor Tang (Ge You) wannabe politico of fiscally motivated loyalty representing the old Imperial mode, and 'Pocky' Zhang (Ziang Wen) the bandito become mayoral imposter representing a mix of both the Western and Imperial modes. Bullets
[Reposted from NZIFF 2011 coverage on TVNZ message boards.]
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