Bad Boys for Life
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The fighting scene between Jet Li and Yasuaki Kurata is one of the best scenes in martial art movies. Both represent different generations of actors as well as different school of martial arts.
I am curious about the history of the founder of Wudang (Butong) School, Reverend Thio Sam Hong. I thought the film would answer my curiosity. Unfortunately, this film gave me no enlightenment at all.
Indeed Yuen Woo Ping is one of the best martial arts choreographer, but he does not bring any satisfying historical track concerning the birth of Wudang School through this film.
Jet Li's play is amazing in this film, but this does not cure my disappointment. One thing that I adore in this film is the scene when Junbao (Jet Li) finally managed to invent and arrange the basic of Tai Chi. Thanks to the the epic theme song. It is matched well with the Tai Chi.
Although this film is based on the life of FBI agent Joe Pistone during his planted duty in the Bonanno Mafia clan, some incorrect events are found, such as the death of Nicholas Santora (Nicky/ Played by Bruno Kirby). Nobody killed Santora during Joe Pistone's disguise as Donnie Brasco. Perhaps, the Director Mike Newell just wanted to dramatize certain events in order to make it more thrilling.
The role as a plainclothes officer was not new for Depp since he played as undercover officer in the TV series: 21 Jump Street. The difference is that Donnie Brasco looks more realistic and tells the risk of a job as a law enforcement officer infiltrated to a Mafia organization.
I think this film is worth seeing for those studying police science, crriminology as well as fans of police movies. Everyone will agree that Joe Pistone is the "real Vidocq" of modern time: the real "master of disguise". Johny Depp has succeesfully reenacted him.
I saw this film with my late grandfather who was a veteran. He was an infantryman with a decorated background and I had always been enthusiastic to discuss a war movie everytime after we saw it. He said SPR was really realistic and this film recalled the days when M-1 Garand was his most trustworthy friend.
Personally, I think Captain (USMC Ret) Dale Dye as the military advisor for the production had successfully turned the actors into infantrymen.
I am amazed with Barry Pepper. His role as the sniper was better than Tom Berenger in "Sniper" or even Raymond Cruz in "Clear and Present Danger".
The close quarter combat is very realistic and this put Rambo's scene as matters for laughing (sorry for saying this).
Also, the landing scene at Omaha beach is realistic and this is again attributed to the experience of Capt. Dale Dye as a Marine.
In the movie, Dye even played as a Colonel assigned as an ADC.
Last but not least, one message that we can learn from SPR is that war will always be a theatre to prove how military trainings produce nothing, but deep sadness and loss.
Then, this film is a good reference for those who call themselves as conscientious objectors to violence.
I think this is the best of Ben Kingsley and Attenborough. They succeeded to interpret the biography of Gandhi into movie. On the other hand, one thing that I did not see enough from this film was how Islamic philosophy also influenced Gandhi's struggle. I read from several sources that Gandhi learned a lot about Islamic teaching from the Koran (Al Qur'an). I think this is one thing that should be explored if there is another version of film about Mahatma Gandhi.