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Andy Lau and "A Battle of Wits"

Ha!  It's been ages since I posted anything in my journal.  Now I feel the need to blabber again.  So here it goes--I hazard to say this is so inconsequential that it would only be of interest to me:

Most recently, I saw the Chinese (Hong Kong) movie "A Battle of Wits" (Chinese: 墨攻, Pronounce: Muk Gong, or Mò Gōng, Literally: "Mohist Attack"). The movie refreshed my interest in my favorite Chinese actor Andy Lau (劉德華).  So I went online to read up on his recent projects. Among a slew of pictures, two caught my attention:  one is  the movie poster, the other is a recent picture of the star:


  
 
How bad am I that my first thought upon seeing his picture was:  "OMG!  He has Lee's hair!"  *squee* (My obsession of Lee and Battlestar Galactica just keeps creeping up!)
 
Back to the movie--I actually liked it!  I found out later it was based on a Cartoon (Manga 漫画)  series of the same title by Japanese author Ken'ichi Sakemi (酒見 賢一).  I'm not dwelling on the merit (or the lack thereof) of Japanese authors telling Chinese historical tales.  I expected the story to veer off on historical facts.  I was merely satisfied it had a coherent plot line.  As bad as it may sound, I find such thing is a rarity among Hong Kong films in recent years.

The backdrop of the movie is the ancient China during the time of warring states, roughly 2,300 years ago, before it was unified by the First Emperor.  The story centers on a small city-state that was under siege by an overwhelming force from one of the superior states.  As such, the movie has many requisite battles scenes, and this is where I'm most impressed with the movie.  In particular, I really like the style in which the movie depicts one of the most bloody battle:  instead of the state of art computer generated fighting sequence, the scene "freezes" and transforms into a series of "oil paintings" illustrating the bloody battle in several still frames.  The result is strangely compelling I think.  Heh, I could never before imagine a dynamic scene can be effectively portrayed using inanimate stills.  The trick I reckon lays in giving these stills the "oil painting" appearance--very cool and original IMHO!

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Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Aug. 31st, 2007 04:10 pm (UTC)
I like the movie too
Thanks for getting me to watch the film. What's great about the movie is its almost too realistic depiction of the darkness of human nature. People fight over petty things all the time. So it should not be difficult to understand why the king and the generals reacted the way they did when they felt their ultimate status were threatened.
xwacky
Sep. 20th, 2007 06:10 am (UTC)
Re: I like the movie too
You are welcome! Glad you enjoyed it. ;)

What's great about the movie is its almost too realistic depiction of the darkness of human nature.

Yes, we humans can be rather destructive to ourselves, can't we? Even during a crisis when everyone should get along, ego and greed eventually got in the way and screwed everything up.

Another aspect of the movie I enjoyed is it's depiction of causality--how the decisions and actions of certain characters resulted in the final outcomes: i.e. the general's "cleverly" digged tunnels became the means for his final defeat, the man Ge-Li saved out of kindness turned into the savior for Ge-Li, and ultimately, besides defeating the enemies, Ge-Li's deadly strategy also "killed" the girl he loved...
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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