I watched Gravity tonight and it completely took me out of my day. It took me out of the bad week I was having before the Friday night. Without spoiling much, Gravity is a story of two astronauts trying to go home after a space debris storm destroyed their ship. I am not sure if it was the ominous music or the first-person perspectives, but I was totally sucked into the film after the first ten minutes. Cuaron's metaphors are blatant, but still beautifully shot. It's a story of fear, loneliness, desperation, strength, and most of all hope. And it was done with only two actors! Totally love this film. I'm raising my vodka flask for this one.
This movie was an hour too long. It's from a best selling novel from Lee Child, and I felt that the writers just wanted to jam some of the original lines into the movie. A typical bar fight could've used less lines and moved with a quicker pace. The car chase would've been great for a video game - where you played the driver - but as a viewer, it was just uninteresting.
A better crime thriller would have been Collateral. A better court room movie would have been A Few Good Men. A better drifter movie would have been Drive. I'd say skip this one if you're not a fan of the books.
So now we have three major HK actors playing: Donnie Yen, Tony Leung, and now Anthony Wong. While the first two played the younger ready-to-fight Wing Tsun master, Wong's Ip Man is an older martial artist that displays airs of wisdom and gentility.
His journey through as an immigrant to Hong Kong in the 1950's shows the tumultuous era, full with labor strikes, corrupt cops, and emerging technology. Fights are bound to happen, but Anthony Wong's Ip Man tries his best to avoid it if possible. The movie even shows his literary side.
The movie shows the difficulty of being a teacher to students who are too eager to use what they have learned. In some ways, it's also an exercise of training new actors, as Anthony Wong patiently gives much screen time to younger stars. But we all know that Wong has the toughest job, especially with the Fo-Shan accent.
The movie is beautifully shot. The camera pans softly and in HD, highlights all the little details of the 1950's apartments in Hong Kong. They even tried to recreate Kowloon City, the most dense living project of its time - rife with crime of course.
The Final Fight is slow at times, but I appreciated it. I don't see it as an action film, but more of a biography or historical film. It's great to see the sets and the outfits of the time. Just don't expect jump kicks all day in this one.
What makes us revisit our past accomplishments? In my times of despair, I like to play through old video-games. Role playing games like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest were my go-to's, and I'd spend hours on the couch leveling up characters and killing monsters. I was a hero in those games, and I came out on top. That's the feeling that we want to latch onto, the limitless and euphoric feeling of the epic win.
In the World's End, Gary King lives in only one day: the day he and his best friends tried to do an epic pub crawl through his hometown. It's fossilized in his mind. 20 years later, he still clutches onto that fateful day where possibilities were endless. His friends moved on, and so did the world. Gary didn't.
This movie is a hilarious comedy, but there's more going on in it. It's a hyperbole about the part of us that wants to rekindle old triumphs. There's a part of Gary in all of us, don't you think? Nostalgia is dangerous phial, but how great it is to drink from it. Just a bit. Cheers.