A taxi, bullet train, bus, plane, shuttle bus, and car ride later, I am home! Proper babble will come later (maybe, after the jetlag), but I wanted to log the movies I watched on this trip before I forget them all.1.
The Four/四大名捕: This is the one movie I watched on the plane to Taiwan, having for once in my life actually slept for most of the flight. The wiki
has a fairly un-spoilery summary, and a more coherent one than I can muster at the moment. I generally enjoy watching wuxia movies, and I am always in need of badass ladies, but the jealous love triangle aspect made it kind of meh. It was a fun watch at the time (long plane flights are good for fairly brainless entertainment!), but I wouldn't rewatch it if I had the opportunity.
[Technically The Return of the King should follow here, as I rewatched it with my cousins' kids on New Year's Day, but a) I'm almost positive all of you have seen it, b) all of the LOTR movies still leave me verklempt.]2.
Johnny English Reborn: The wiki
says this was a James Bond parody; I'm only surprised it's not called "Mr. Bean Does James Bond." I watched this one at my aunt's as well, though I missed the beginning. There are definitely elements (the Bond-ish and British Imperial elements, now I think of it) that bothered me when I watched it, but upon further reflection, using bumbling
Johnny English as a James Bond substitute is an interesting way to highlight those issues. In any case, Rowan Atkinson and his comedic genius made me cackle myself silly regardless.3.
The Thieves/도둑들 (wiki
): Part of the movie marathon I had on the flight home, and also it has replaced Ocean's Eleven as the heist movie OF MY HEART. I loved Ocean's for the teamness of it, but The Thieves has layers and layers of infighting and intriguing as well, which makes things so much more interesting! (And also much more practically self-interested.) All the characters are amazingly developed and flawed, and I especially appreciated that the ladies varied in age and outlook and skill-sets, and that none of them were ever primarily a love interest.4.
Painted Skin: Resurrection/畫皮II (wiki
, youtube: trailer
, youtube: Korean-subbed
): Wiki has a very short summary and the trailer is pretty spoilery, so I will just say that Vicky Zhao + Zhou Xun = FLAILY HANDS OF YAY!! Also, they have more chemistry together than Vicky Zhao does with her actual love interest in this movie, which I think is more awesome than it is a mistake. Heh. Sorry, actor dude.5.
Rurouni Kenshin (live action): I watched this without having consumed the manga or anime versions, and I liked it a lot! Went *____* at the fight scenes, and also Kenshin and Kaoru, who were adorable. Now I'll have to hunt down the rest, dammit. (Maybe before school starts up again? I don't have that much time to be fannish these days!)6.
Clash/Bẫy Rồng (IMDb
): Being a mob-type movie, this was distinctly more grim. Fight scenes were much dirtier (which comes with the territory), but also pretty fun to watch. I enjoyed Trinh being a boss, but am not so sure I enjoyed the movie as a whole- there is quite a bit of fridging, including ( spoilers (trigger warnings apply) )
Also, Clash is not nearly as character-driven as the other movies I watched on the flight home, and the plot was a little flat. I think these are flaws in most contemporary action films, though, so it would probably be unfair of me to single out this one.
Finally, just for the record: I want ALL THE FANWORKS for The Thieves and Painted Skin: Resurrection! (Tagging to remind myself to nominate them for Kaleidoscope.)