Da'ud Bob's Movie Review
I must say, I find it interesting that there are so very many foreign-made
historical movies available out there. Don’t get me wrong; this is not a
complaint! I love watching foreign films set in the time frame of the
European middle ages and Renaissance. I’m just a bit surprised at how many
of them there are. Just run through the list of “Foreign Films” available on
Netflix, for example, and see how many Indian, Korean, Chinese, and Japanese
films are available for you to watch. (I, of course, have it easier than
that. Anna Sue has our home’s Netflix account, and as she looks through the
current offerings to see which ones she would like to see herself, or that
she thinks we should watch together, she is also looking for movies that I
should review for you, and adds them into a separate Watch List just for me.
So I don’t have to look for such movies myself; she’s already done it.)
Anyway, this is in part a long way of telling you how I happened to stumble
across this month’s movie: it’s a Chinese-made historical movie set during
the last century of the Ming Dynasty; specifically, in the years from 1557
to 1561. It involves Japanese invaders, entrenched Chinese government
bureaucrats, issues like logistics and tactics, and a rising star Chinese
general who must fight both the Japanese and his own country’s bureaucracy.
And so it is that this month Da’ud Bob reviews for you the 2017 film, God
Starring Wenzhuo Zhao as General Qi Jiguang, Sammo Kam-Bo Hung as General Yu
Dayou, Regina Wan as Madame Qi, Keisuke Koide as Yamagawa, Yasuaki Kurata as
Kumasawa, Wei Hu as Zhao Dahe, Timmy Hung as Chen Dacheng, and Kazuharu
Kimoto as Kashiwabara, the overall plot is described as: During the 16th
century, Japanese pirates proliferate along the Chinese coastline. In 1557,
the pirates take over Cengang in Zhejiang. After months of futile advances,
Commander Yu finally defeats them under the leadership of newly promoted
General Qi. The pirates, however, manage to escape. In 1561, the pirates
regroup and once again attack the coastal cities of China. With both the
cities of Xinhe and Taizhou under attack, Qi's army is caught between two
fires. Even though most family members of his soldiers are located in Xinhe,
Qi makes the tough decision to go to Taizhou and leaves his wife in charge
of the fight against the pirates in Xinhe, knowing that the defeat of the
pirates at Taizhou will bring lasting peace to the coastal cities.
Good points: The movie had a “Historical Consultant”. The shields. The
armor. The costuming in general. The staff fight choreography. The climactic
fight between the Chinese general and the leader of the Japanese
choreography. Training the “new army”.
Bad points: There is a lot of death and blood. The first half of the
film seemed to be trying to go in too many directions, and some of those
storylines are pretty much dropped through the second half. A little more
focus in the first half would probably have left the whole film feeling a
little more unified and cohesive.
Zero breasts. Five gallons of blood. 217 dead bodies. Musket fu. Arrow fu.
Staff fu. Kung fu. Hand cannon fu. Sword fu. Katana fu. Langxian (literally
translated as “wolf brush”) fu. (It’s a branched, multi-tipped spear
with blades attached to the branches.) Heads roll. Gratuitous arm wrestling.
Gratuitous Ming bureaucratic wrangling. Academy Award nomination to Wenzhuo
Zhao as General Qi Jiguang for, in a quiet moment with his wife that seems
designed to help humanize them both, telling Madame Qi that she is
“invincible”. A 97 on the Vomit Meter. 2½ stars. Da’ud Bob says, “It’s not
quite another Red Cliff, but then, what is? Check it out!”
movies and miniseries to watch for!
July 24, 2020
|To save her father from death in the army, a young maiden
secretly goes in his place and becomes one of China's greatest
heroines in the process. A live-action feature film based on
Disney's animated Mulan, starring Yifei Liu, Donnie Yen,
Jet Li, Li Gong, Jason Scott Lee.
December 25, 2020 (limited release) and
January 8, 2021 (wide release)
in 14th century France, King Charles VI declares that Knight
Jean de Carrouges settle his dispute with his squire by
challenging him to a duel. Directed by Ridley Scott, from a
screenplay written by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. Starring
Matt Damon, Adam Driver, and Jodie Comer.
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