I think the biggest downfall behind this picture, despite all the pieces being there, is a combination of not diving deep enough into the story, and what exploration there is goes in the wrong direction. I liked the restraint, I liked the odd and sinister tone maintained throughout, but I feel the interesting parts of the story were ditched in pursuit of making some larger point that is not even there.
Perfectly lovely movie in which a couple of moderately talented filmmakers do their best BEFORE impression and throw in a monster. But it’s handled well, the well-worn “woman transforms into a man-eating monster” territory is subverted nicely, and it wound up become quite a charming, lovely film. This is not a world-changer by any means, but I ended up being wooed by the surprisingly low-key nature of this flick.
Stunning. This might be a 10 on another viewing just because it is so knotty and there’s no way I caught everything that is wonderful about this film. But I caught a lot. Best blocking of any film ever? Probably. Best sunglasses? Definitely. This is a goddam motion picture, folks. And please, my God, anyone who is planning to make a movie that makes use of space (every movie ever), please study how this film makes sure that we know exactly where everyone is in relation to everyone else at all times. Study that tailing scene in the streets! Study it!
[review of festival cut]
Suddenly not so angry that there are multiple cuts to this film as it is clearly a case of a really good movie struggling to be told. The shots are there, I think, but there is something off about how it is put together, rhythmically and otherwise. It wants to be about Ip Man, it wants to be about Gong Er, and revolutionary/civil war China, and the golden age of Chinese martial arts, but by doing…