pien tagged posts

The Assassins (2012)

The Assassins - DVD coverDirector: Zhao Lin Shan

Cast: Chow Yun-Fat, Liu Yi-Fei, Qui Xin-shi Alec Su, Hiroshi Tamaki

Cert: 15

Running time: 103mins

Year: 2012

The lowdown: Lavishly presented historical epic in the Curse of the Golden Flower tradition, charting the dying moments of the Han Dynasty which spanned 200 BC – 200 AD. Chow Yun-Fat is Chancellor Cao Cao, a warlord who has vanquished enemies threatening Alec Su’s foppish Emperor Xian. But, power plays in the Emperor’s court plus assassins targeting Cao Cao for death continue to threaten the nation’s peace. Low-key despite sumptuous visuals and beautiful costumes, this is still compelling historical drama.

The Assassins - Chow Yun Fat, Alec SuThe Assassins - Liu Yifei

The full verdict: Zhao Lin Shan makes a confident directorial debut with this drama about one of China’s (many) turbulent eras.

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Ashes of Time Redux

Ashes of Time quadDirector: Wong Kar-wai

Cast: Leslie Cheung, Tony Leung Ka-Fai, Brigitte Lin, Jacky Cheung, Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Maggie Cheung, Charlie Yeung

Cert: 15

Running time: 93mins

Year: 1994 / 2008 (redux version)

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The lowdown: Wong Kar-wai’s stunning 1994 film is (in)famous for its troubled gestation. Taking over two years to reach the screen, Wong made his international breakthrough movie, ‘Chungking Express’, as a breather from this when editing spiraled out of control. Assembling a who’s-who of New Wave Hong Kong action cinema, Wong’s meditation on love and loss, memory and chivalry is as majestic in this slightly adjusted Redux as it was back in 1994, and is a colourful, enigmatic and energetic precursor to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hero and his own The Grandmaster.

AOT - Leung, horsemen AOT - Leung Ka-fai

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