Saturday, July 24, 2010

Three Films Make A Post: In Bloody Panic Color

Hard Gun (1996): This story of a one-upmanship competition in vengeance between a cop and a gangster seems to me to be quite typical of that era of Thai cinema , at least as far as I understand it, and not only because Panna Rittikrai action directs and Tony Jaa has one of his early minor roles.

The film features some cheap yet fine action and does the mandatory clichéd melodrama well, yet permanently undermines its own strengths by an incessant barrage of comic relief of the most painful sort that never seems to know when to stop (which would preferably be before it even begins). How much enjoyment one will get from the movie will certainly depend on one's ability to just ignore those parts of the film. I found them terribly difficult to sit through.

 

Guys in Ghost Hand (1991): No, I don't have the faintest idea what the title is supposed to mean.

This Taiwanese (or HK?, things are a bit unclear) fantasy horror ghost movie thing about the ghost of a raped and later beheaded woman taking vengeance on the descendents of her tormentors starts out very weak, with seemingly hours and hours of uninvolving dialogue scenes between characters without any character and pointless guest roles by people like Wu Ma and Alex Fong. Whenever the silly supernatural menace strikes, or Kara Hui and Ku Feng appear as the squabbling pair of Taoists who are our heroes of the evening, the film becomes instantly entertaining, only to fall back into drabness soon enough.

After about an hour of this, the plot suddenly becomes jumpy like a frightened kitten. Of course, nothing in the film's last half hour makes much sense, but at least everything is very colourful and completely bonkers, which is what I want from a film like this.

 

Clash of the Titans (2010): I could live with the fact that director Louis Leterrrier's film doesn't manage to capture the (often naive) charm of the film he is supposedly remaking and turns it into something that seems to be more based on the God of War videogames than the original.

I can't live with the fact that said videogames are a lot less dumb and a lot more fun than this movie is, or with the fact that Leterrier just has no talent at all for making action scenes exciting or visceral. No film with rideable scorpions has any right to feel this drab.

 

2 comments:

Pauline said...

Could not agree with you more regarding Clash of the Titans. Horrid. Really, I enjoyed The Lightening Thief alot more. But then I'm a fan of Riordan's books thanks to my kids so... Where was I going with this?

houseinrlyeh said...

Far away from the neo-Clash, I suppose?