Must sees – Red Cliff (2009) and Race to Witch Mountain (2009)

Two films I’m busting to see:

>> RED CLIFF (2009) <<

Angry Asian Man wrote about it back in July 2008, but I’ve only just stumbled across some pics and reviews of it (including this light one on LJ – half-naked Tony Leung? *books ticket*). I love a historical costume-drama, and when it’s an epic Chinese one, odds are it’ll get watched in my household.

John Woo directs and, while I’m not a big Woo fan, his association means it’ll be a slick flick with great production values. That’s all I want from it, really. Simple, yeah? A quick skim around on google images confirms that the movie looks gorgeous.

Oh, you want to know what it’s about? Well, ok, this Wiki entry gives you more info about the film than you’ll want/need to know. I didn’t even make it through the whole Wiki entry so chances are not good that I would ever read The Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms (the historical text, not the war game!). If there’s a choice of meticulous, long historical document OR swashbuckling big-screen rendition? I would say that’s not really a choice…

Screen shot from Red Cliff – At least we know who gets the remote…

I feel guilty every so often that I haven’t got a clue about many of the Chinese literary classics. I know some titles, and I know some authors, but I’ve never read anything in the ‘canon’ and don’t intend to. Perhaps it’s the ‘never intend to’ aspect that brings forth the guilt, rather than the ‘haven’t got around to it yet.’ Why do I feel the guilty need to know about ‘my culture’, especially when my entire professional life is based on challenging essentialist assumptions about cultural attributes? Good question…

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>> RACE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN (2009) <<

[Wiki entry that fills you in on plot, if you’re into that kind of thing…]

There are only two words to describe why I’m so keen to see this Disney movie:

Dwayne Johnson.

For those who haven’t caught up with recent naming changes, another two words might be necessary:

The Rock.

I’m a huge Dwayne movie fan. I can easily trace this to his turn in The Scorpion King (2002), which is a Class A cheesy fare.

From The Scorpion King: Leather-clad Akkadian The Rock (aka Dwayne Johnson, on left)
and Michael Clarke Duncan sporting blue eye-shadow as a tribal king (of course).

I’ve seen just about all Dwayne’s movies and none of his stints on WWF. I think this is a good thing with wanting to take him semi-seriously as an actor. His filmic vehicles are all blockbustery action and comedy (I think he can do good comedy), and exactly the kind of bubblegum I’m after with big Hollywood fixes. He’s chosen his films quite well and made memorable cameo ‘character’ roles (e.g. in Be Cool). Even though folks are always ready to trash someone who comes from a WWF background (which is precisely part of his cheesy appeal), I don’t think he’s ever let a movie down (oh, I know, I know; how earnest am I, eh?).

I always feel as if I have to justify why I like him so much.

I mean, really, what’s not to like?
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2 thoughts on “Must sees – Red Cliff (2009) and Race to Witch Mountain (2009)

  1. scp 02/04/2009 / 7:14 am

    >i feel i have to know about the 3 kingdoms (got as far as buying a children’s edition of the story in v. simple Chinese – back when I could read Chinese)…because living here in Australia, that’s my niche.But also I guess part of me thinks, oh if i travel back in a time machine to my favourite period in history – Elizbethan england…well I just couldn’t. Not that I could if I were English since they have such poor hygeine…but I digress…I know a lot about other people’s history, and I feel that if I know so much about that – I should know a bit about my own history. Gawd…now I feel really guilty.Might go rent out Hero 😉 I have no idea what period that is set in…oh btw decided to visit your blog for some inspiration as I try to write essay 1.

  2. tseen 02/04/2009 / 9:29 am

    >See, I would probably read a children’s abridged version of 3 Kingdoms, told as a comic book… (this is how I’ve read a big whack of ‘classic’ literature, including Jack London, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Victor Hugo)!Hero is the kind of movie where it doesn’t really matter when it’s set. I like it mostly for the pretty, and there’s a LOT of that!

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