ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – C – Curse of the Golden Flower (2006)

Director: Yimou Zhang

Writer: Zhihong Bian, Nan Wu, Yimou Zhang (Screenplay) Yu Cao (Play)

Starring: Chow Yun-Fat, Li Gong, Jay Chou, Ye Liu, Dahong Ni

 

Plot: During China’s Tang dynasty the emperor has taken the princess of a neighboring province as wife. She has borne him two sons and raised his eldest. Now his control over his dominion is complete, including the royal family itself.


Tagline – Unspeakable secrets are hidden within the Forbidden City.

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Visually Beautiful

 

Story: Curse of the Golden Flower starts in China, Later Tang Dynasty, 10th Century. On the eve of the Chong Yang Festival, golden flowers fill the Imperial Palace. The Emperor (Chow Yun Fat) returns unexpectedly with his second son, Prince Jai (Jay Chou). His pretext is to celebrate the holiday with his family, but given the chilled relations between the Emperor and the ailing Empress (Gong Li), this seems disingenuous. For many years, the Empress and Crown Prince Wan (Liu Ye), her stepson, have had an illicit liaison. Feeling trapped, Prince Wan dreams of escaping the palace with his secret love Chan (Li Man), the Imperial Doctor’s daughter. Meanwhile, Prince Jai, the faithful son, grows worried over the Empress’s health and her obsession with golden chrysanthemums. Could she be headed down an ominous path? The Emperor harbors equally clandestine plans; the Imperial Doctor (Ni Dahong) is the only one privy to his machinations. When the Emperor senses a looming threat, he relocates the doctor’s family from the Palace to a remote area. While they are en route, mysterious assassins attack them. Chan and her mother, Jiang Shi (Chen Jin) are forced back to the palace. Their return sets off a tumultuous sequence of dark surprises. Amid the glamour and grandeur of the festival, ugly secrets are revealed. As the Imperial Family continues its elaborate charade in a palatial setting, thousands of golden armored warriors charge the palace. Who is behind this brutal rebellion? Where do Prince Jai’s loyalties lie? Between love and desire, is there a final winner? Against a moonlit night, thousands of chrysanthemum blossoms are trampled as blood spills across the Imperial Palace.

 Man cheng jin dai huang jin jia (2006)

Thoughts on Curse of the Golden Flower

 

Final ThoughtsI am going to be honest, I couldn’t get into this movie at all, I found it hard to follow the story and description above is just copied of the IMDB. What I did like the visuals, the sets are fantastic, colourful and so easy on the eye, you just want to make screen savers out of them. The costumes a beautiful, authentic and stunning too. The performances from the cast are good throughout too, and the action sequences and romantic moments all check off the boxes well, it is only the story I didn’t like really, which is the main thing you need to be able to follow.

 

Overall: Visual treat on the eyes

Rating

 

 

 

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Now You See Me 2 (2016)

 now

Director: Jon M Chu

Writer: Ed Solomon (Screenplay) Boaz Yakin, Edward Ricourt (Characters)

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Daniel Radcliffe, Lizzy Caplan, Jay Chou, Sanaa Lathan, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman

 

Plot: The Four Horsemen resurface and are forcibly recruited by a tech genius to pull off their most impossible heist yet.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Sequel

 

Story: Now You See Me 2 starts by going all Ocean’s Twelve on us by having Thaddeus Bradley (Freeman) wanting revenge on the Four Horsemen Daniel (Eisenberg), Merritt (Harrelson), Jack (Franco) and Lula (Caplan). Dylan (Ruffalo) brings the Horsemen back for their next job as they look to expose a new technology that will be stealing information.

With the Horseman being played and exposed they find themselves being handled by the puppet master Walter Mabry (Radcliffe) who wants the Horseman to steal a technology he helped create to make up for the money he had stolen by the Horseman a year before.

Now You See Me 2 gives us the sequel that plays out very much like Ocean’s Twelve where the robbed characters want revenge on the people that took their money. This plays out like something that has lost the elements of surprise which the first film had because the twist in the first film defines how clever the concept was but this time we lack that side of everything. This is easy to watch but in the end just doesn’t reach the full potential required in the film.

 

Overall: This is an unnecessary sequel to a fun film

Rating51

 

 

The Green Hornet (2011)

loggoDirector: Michel Gondry

Writer: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg (Screenplay) George W. Trendle (Radio Series)

Starring: Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Cameron Diaz, Tom Wilkinson, Christoph Waltz, David Harbour, Edward James Olmos

 

Plot: Playboy Britt Reid (Seth Rogen) becomes the new publisher of Los Angeles’ “The Daily Sentinel” after the sudden death of his father. Britt’s party life is about to change when he and his driver and kung fu expert, Kato (Jay Chou), stop a robbery. With the help of Kato, Britt starts a new career of fighting crime as the masked superhero “The Green Hornet”.

 

Verdict: TV Show Returns

 

Story: With all the action superhero films out there, this actually comes of refreshing in the world where one man tries to fight back against crime. Mixing elements of a Batman type action film into not taking itself too serious and adding a hint of comedy. Granted the overall story is not original, it is just fun, it plays to every stars strength and is often over criticised unfairly. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Seth Rogen: Britt Reid/ The Green Hornet the playboy son who decides to go and start fighting crime with his new friend Kato, while using his family’s newspaper to make his Hornet’s reputation rise. This is bread and butter for Rogen you know what you will get and he enters the action world with his comedy well. (7/10)

 seth

Jay Chou:  Kato the family mechanic who also makes a great cup of coffee, he uses his combat skills to help fight crime but is only ever considered the sidekick to the loud mouth Britt. Good performance who usually steals all the scenes he is in. (8/10)

kato

Cameron Diaz: Lenore the new secretary for Britt at the paper who has the skills that knows how to do the reporting and research Britt is too lazy to do. Good supporting performance and works well in the anti-romantic interest role. (7/10)

 cameron

Christoph Waltz: Chudnofsky the ruthless criminal boss who has control on the city but no one considers him scary, which gets on his nerves leading to his trigger finger to start killing. Good villain performance making the criminal question his motives and change to adapt to a new opponent.(8/10)

 cristoph

Director Review: Michel Gondry – Creates a fun non–serious comic book film that entertains. (7/10)

 

Action: The action scenes are all well put together given Kato some great fight sequences. (8/10)

Comedy: Light comedy throughout making fun at how other comic partnerships always seem to work so smoothly. (6/10)

Settings: Simple settings for the genre with nothing really adding too much to the story. (4/10)
Special Effects
: Good special effects for the slow motion fighting scenes, but otherwise not need. (6/10)

Suggestion: This is one to try, if you are a fan of Rogen you will enjoy it but otherwise this may be too silly for you. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Kato first fight.

Worst Part: Too much Rogen comedy.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final Showdown.

Funniest Scene: Kato and Britt fight.

Kill Of The Film: Chudnofsky

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Not with the box office and it got bad reviews.

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Super

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $227,817,248

Budget: $120 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

Tagline: Protect the law by breaking it.

 

Overall: Fun Comic book film

Rating 70