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Musings from the Edge of Forever

Note: This blog expresses only the opinions of the blog owner,
and does not represent the opinion of any organization or blog
that is associated with RONIN ON EMPTY.

Archive for the ‘Donnie Yen’ Category

The Occasionally Magnificent Seven

Seven Swords Leon Lai

Despite my professed love for Hong Kong cinema, sometimes a movie slips through the cracks. For some odd reason, I never got around to watching Tsui Hark’s 2005 wuxia epic, Seven Swords, even though I’ve owned the movie since it was first released on DVD quite a few years ago. I gave the movie a try one weekend when I lived in Hawaii, but I seem to remember being somehow vaguely put off by the look of the film (or, more likely, the running time of 2.5 hours when I had a master’s project to finish) and moved on to other Hong Kong movies that had captured my interest in a way Seven Swords didn’t.

Recently, I had a chance to finally watch Seven Swords, and in retrospect, I wish I hadn’t waited so long, as Hark delivers a mostly entertaining, if overstuffed swordplay epic. It’s not one of Tsui’s best, but it’s a film that’s rousing in small passages, coasting on a handful of intriguing characters and some stellar wuxia iconography that it never quite capitalizes upon.

You can read Kozo’s full critique of the film here, while I share my thoughts below.

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Ip Man 2 (AKA: White People Are Eeeevil!!)

 Ip Man 2

I know Rocky IV. Rocky IV is a guilty pleasure of mine. And Ip Man 2 is no Rocky IV. Oh, it certainly tries to be. As Kozo said in his review, the second half of Wilson Yip’s 2010 film “is basically a blow-by-blow retread” of the fourth installment of the Balboa legend. Remember when Apollo Creed told Rocky not to throw in the towel? Remember when Apollo went ahead and got killed by the Russian, Ivan Drago? And remember when Rocky beat Drago, won the Russian crowd over, and gave a speech about cross-cultural understanding, which the announcer translated for a no longer hostile audience? Yeah, well, so did Wilson Yip. Except he didn’t do it half as well as Sly.

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