You haven’t the faintest idea who GU LONG is? Well, that’s bad.
Avid followers of the Martial Arts or Wu Xia kingdom would surely know.
GU LONG is the glorious kingpin who kicked off the WU XIA craze way back in the 70s, his numerous scripts were bought and made into box-office blockbusters under the SHAW BROTHERS banner.
I was one of his myriad of fans. His stories have never fail to mesmerize me.
” The Four – 四大名捕” feature film trilogy is significantly “Gu-longish” in nature. You can feel his raw touch of zen and mysticism here and there. You have to watch to believe.
This Review focuses on SEQUEL THREE (finale, the deadly showdown), where there are more thrills, spins, dazzling fireworks and stupendous effects. It’s overwhelming!
This two-hour long Wuxia feature follows the exploits of the Four constables once again. The Constables are Emotionless, Iron Hands, Life Snatcher and Cold Blood.
They have pledged their martial arts skills to their leader, Master Zhuge, to solve heinous crimes and apprehend lawless criminals.
The movie is set during the reign of Emperor Huizong, during the period of the Northern Song Dynasty.
The author of this fascinating trilogy is Malaysian’s writer Woon Swee Oan.
“THE FOUR 3″ PRESS REVIEW
四大名捕 3 (2014)
The previous sequel promises a cliffhanger, so here you are, the grand finale has arrived for the melt-down.
“THE FOUR 3″ again, is everything what an intriguing thriller should be, for die-hard fans of WU XIA whodunits.
The mood-and-tone of “THE FOUR 3″ highlights a mixed bag of Asian sleuthing along the fine line of the fictional GU LONG with his imaginary stable of fantasy heroes.
The four constables are established with strange names, such as: Emotionless (Crystal Liu Yifei), Iron Hands (Collin Chou) Life Snatcher (Ronald Cheng) and ColdBlood (Deng Chao).
Each is trained in his own school of super power.
When the four constables of the Divine Constabulary investigate a series of assassinations in the suburbs, they unexpectedly stumble on clues leading to the murder of Emotionless’s family 15 years ago.
While covering the case, these constables stumble upon facts about their own hideous pasts and secrets they want hidden.
Because by delving deep, they would have to choose between past grudges affecting their new lives at the Divine Constabulary.
An endless stream of bloody butchery confronts them as the story unfolds.
And even if they are able to survive this storm, you bet, there will be another looming over the horizon.
The Four will come to fight it out with An Yun Shan, a villainous kung fu master who can easily absorb the power of enemies he defeats.
The film is an implosive wuxia drama and the Final Chapter that explores the merciless kill-or-be-killed world of the wuxia world.
“THE FOUR 3″ is a high energy thriller by director Gordon Chan that delivers from start to finish.
Aside the splendid cinematography and glorious CGI effects, this is one swordplay plot that keeps you guessing right to the end, as to who really, is the mysterious mastermind.
The movie script is meticulously plotted.
Gordon Chan has produced an ancient masterpiece that grips you from start to finish.
RATING: 4 out of 5
Local Distributor: GSC MOVIES
AS WITH THE REST OF THE TWO SEQUELS, DO NOT MISS OUT ON THE GRAND FINALE.
HERE’s the GHASTLY POSTER that sends SHIVERS DOWN YOUR SPINE!
RELISH THE DARKNESS
Darker-than-DARK Secrets bring on THE CREEPS
HE is SCREAMING in TERROR
SHE is pictured HERE, against a gloomy ENVIRONMENT of DOOM
ARTY FARTY Shot depicting the CALM before the STORM
THE WAX EFFIGY comes CRASHING down, SIGNIFYING a death WARNING.
This pretty SINGER is crooning SENSUALLY … not realizing SHE has been EARMARKED for DEATH.
“Dear FATHER, what on earth is HAPPENING here?”
WHEN DEATH COMES A-CALLING …..
INSIDE THE WAX EFFIGY, it is all HOLLOW ….
YOU see LINES OF CRACKS running all over the WAX MANNEQUINS’ bodies.
“HONG HOON” (2014) THAI HORROR FILM
WAX MANNEQUINS, PAPER EFFIGIES, whatever. In movies, they relate to the same thing.
In Thailand, they are given the glam treatment, as you can observe in HONG HOON.
But in Hong Kong where ghost films are churned out a dime a dozen, paper effigies are strictly burnt as peace offerings, where superstitious believers rely on these “paper dolls” to appease the spirits.
Be informed that this Reviewer has a disdain for anything “effigy-ish”. They create goose bumps, he asserts.
Two years ago, he collaborated with a Chinese film director who wanted the script finale to end with fleeing effigies scrambling from a haunted bus. So thrilling, isn’t it?
This Reviewer stupidly fought against the idea, citing that the whole idea was preposterous.
But isn’t this what a ghost movie should be all about? I lost the argument.
Yeah … folk, do bring on the chills!
The still photography of HONG HOON artistically renders the Poster with a macabre touch. There is a cracked line running through the mannequin’s body indicating that this is a wax object, but will the content be just as intriguing?
Revealing too much of the plot is liken to debating a family trade secret in the open.
The film director is the KANTANA GROUP’s scion known as KULP KALJARUEK who is reviving his aunt’s popular radio drama of the yester years onto the big screen. Famous in Thailand, KULP in his 20s is not a known name out of Thailand except for foreign film units who patronize his film company’s excellent post-production services.
This new HONG HOON is an adaptation of a popular radio classic horror that centers on two living humans.
The male lead is Nop (ANANDA EVERINGHAM) and the female actress is Ploy (RATTANARAT AURTHAVEEKUL). You’d label them as pretty couple.
In the film, their loved ones die under unusual circumstances, as soon as each of them receive an effigy replica of themselves moulded in wax.
Is there a devious killer looming in the mist? Or is it a haunting curse?
Together these young investigators try to fathom out the reality behind the mystery, but with disastrous results.
Thai superstition warns that wax figurines of oneself should never be made until after one’s death. Of course there are rare exceptions, otherwise this film would never have been made.
Out of Thailand, Asian people observe traditions differently. Mannequin-like wax or paper effigies are not something to reckon with. They bring about doom, if not bad luck.
In the movie version of HONG HOON, Nop is investigating the death of his sister. He soon discovers that the cause of death is linked to a wax figurine that looks exactly like her.
About the same time, he encounters Ploy, a woman who initially believes she loses her father in an accident.
She soon discovers that her father’s death was no accident. It’s also connected to the wax mannequin he ordered for himself, before his death.
Unity is strength, so Nop and Ploy join forces to fight the lurking evil, but to their horror, they soon discover that there are also, mannequin-like wax effigies being crafted after them.
It is obvious, therefore that someone is plotting their demise. Who wants them dead?
Creepy effigies and mysterious deaths occur now and then in this creepy feature-film. You can take into account a nightclub singer and her snoopy friends whose days are numbered. Relax, you are assured of loads of thrills, spins, whatever.
First time director KULP KALJAREUK, believes he has done his best. For all purpose and intent he has created an avant garde movie that delves into a world of despair and gloom.
No production expense is spared to create a foreboding mood throughout, what with all the darkness engulfing you, waiting to pounce.
ANANDA EVERINGHAM runs around wearing a pained look most of the time, hollering in the storm. He is a good ASIAN star, one of the best in Thailand.
He has my utmost respect as he is an unassuming actor who adores art and he is more than willing to explore overseas challenges.
His counterpart is Ploy (RATTANARAT) who is trying to keep up with this celebrity man.
In this dark tale, everyone will eventually congregate, along with Ploy’s cousin Pond (ORLEE SODTHIVANVONG) and friend Korn (BARIWATR YUTOH), at the mannequin maker’s shadowy villa. What will happen here?
Don’t ask too many questions, you are made to understand. Or you might perish prematurely and gets converted into a waxed mannequin.
Oh la la!
HONG HOON by all accounts, is an avant garde horror film that will shatter your senses and leave you speechless.
It is a decent piece of work crafted with brutal fascination.
ANANDA EVERINGHAM ‘s performance as an angry man is mesmerizing.
As the camera zooms in for facial shots, it is clear that time has taken its toil on the senior actors. You see the deep lines on their foreheads and the tell-tale wrinkles burrowed around their eyes.
Metaphorically, our ageing heroes are battling off the ravages of bygone years.
Back to”THE EXPENDABLES 3″.
It has little to offer in terms of plot and content. The same shoot-shoot-bang-bang with loads of loud explosions in accompaniment are all back. You’ll be treated to pure nonsensical action all the way!
The plot is a mishmash of the previous chapter.
There’s little you can do in terms of dangerous stunts where the old heroes are not up to it. Body doubles and stuntmen, what.
Stallone (Barney Ross) and his mercenaries, including Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, are back with a vengeance.
To stage a prison break for one of their founding members, Doctor Death (Wesley Snipes).
A CIA biggie (Harrison Ford) suggests to Stallone (Barney Ross) to acquire and train a young energetic team in the likes of Kellan Lutz, Glen Powell, boxer Victor Ortiz and mixed martial artist Ronda Rousey. Point taken.
The movie’s hilarious moments come from Wesley Snipes, who takes a dig at his tax-evasion sentence, and a sour-faced Mel Gibson, soaking in his role as chief villain.
Antonio Banderas who still maintains a certain charm and youthfulness tries too hard to be a practical joker.
And as for Jet Li, this Chinese martial-arts star has about a dozen words of dialogue.
The movie is directed by Aussie Patrick Hughes.
In THE EXPENDABLES 3, Barney (Stallone), Christmas (Statham) and the rest of the team come face-to-face with Conrad Stonebanks (Gibson), who years ago co-founded the Expendables with Barney.
Stonebanks subsequently became a ruthless arms trader, is someone being marked for Barney’s death list.
He eluded death once before, is now having devious plans to end the Expendables members.
Barney decides that he has to fight old blood with new blood, and brings in a new era of Expendables team members, recruiting individuals who are younger, faster and more tech-savvy.
And how do I rate the movie?
Not my genre of entertainment, but to be fair, there are some amazing stuff if you just go for the entertainment and don’t dig dirt.
A well-worn plot with a cast that has depth and credibility with an air of dainty ruthlessness. Old stars have to act like big unforgotten stars of yester years.
Yon call it a ZHANG YIMOU film, hence the furore, shouldn’t it be so?
I am not an avid follower of his big scale productions.
However, I do relish his less ambiguous works of the grassroots era and humbler as they were, they were the ones that really shone. At least for me.
In HOMECOMING I adore the simplicity and purity of the narrative form. ZHANG knows how to weave an arresting film into your heart.
He highlights the complexity the actors have to struggle with, displaying raw emotions and motives required of the screen characters. These elements are admirably harnessed. This is a difficult project to embark upon, given whatever period restrictions.
You can feel the presence of ZHANG YIMOU always, pulling us closer through the realm of history, making the journey poignant, substantial and real.
From this we know that he is still the master craftsman of the grassroots genre. And HOMECOMING is his film.
Let us start with an interesting insight:
On 27th March, 2014,Taiwan born American film director ANG LEE was generous in showering praises for Chinese mainland director ZHANG YIMOU.
ZHANG has temporarily shed his colossal scale image in his new film HOMECOMING 歸來. Never say never, I think.
The two filmmakers happily shared boisterous views on the highs and lows of gregarious film making, in a “talk shop manner”, courtesy of the New York University on March 27, 2014.
ZHANG pointed out that he has fallen back to his grassroots yard, as you can observe in his latest delivery.
This change may have been brought about by personal, creative or commercial reasons, because some of his latest huge budget films have tanked at the box office. Not a good sign, especially when there are scores of younger directors scrambling to break in.
This latest venture has been inspired by author Yang Geling’s novel “The Criminal Lu Yanshi”.
HOMECOMING bags an emotive love story that spans over seven decades of an upright man’s tortuous incarceration and a forceful separation from his family, during the madness of the Cultural Revolution.
In this film, you will be swarmed with the intense pacing of anguish, pain, rage and sorrow gushing through your veins as though you were there in every scene, living the situation.
My fellow colleague who was with me at this preview bawled. Big men don’t cry? Guess this notion is proven wrong now.
I can identify with writer Brian Jacques when he admonishes us to express ourselves: “Don’t be ashamed to weep, it’s right to grieve. Tears are only water, and flowers, trees and fruits cannot grow without water. But there must be sunlight also. A wounded heart will heal in time, and when it does, the memory and devotion of our beloved ones sealed inside will surface to welcome us.”
Metaphorically, HOMECOMING is one movie that resonates with the vivid colors of spring and the gloom of autumn, aside the superb acting of the two leads.
No spoilers to mar the plot? I will try.
COMING HOME reunites director ZHANG and actress GONG LI since their last collaboration on the opulent period piece Curse Of The Golden Flower (2006). And this time again, ZHANG still able to draw an award winning performance from his iconic muse.
Observe her confused reaction when the couple meets again for the first time in years.
When her husband (LU YAN SHI) did finally arrive home, her calm misdemeanor baffles everyone, in contrast to everyone’s expectations.
There is no joy, no embrace, just quiet contentment. The wife is in the throes of amnesia.
This is a tragedy of a family torn apart by the madness of the Cultural Revolution.
Extraordinarily, the tragic conclusion will definitely linger against a lilting piano piece, in the minds of the audience. long after they step out of the cinema.
Ending scene: The amnesiac wife strikes a lonesome figure, standing forlornly at the Station, waiting for the imaginary return of the husband.