Tag Archives: Zhang Ziyi

The Grandmaster is a delicate and deliberate work of art

19 Sep


Wong Kar-Wai is one of China’s most celebrated and respected directors because his aesthetic eye is unmatched, much like his the title of his latest film, The Grandmaster starring Tony Leung as Ip Man, the martial art champion of Wing Chun that has become a household name among Netflix audiences familiar with the Donnie Yen films. This interpretation easily replaces the previous versions. It chronicles his life before and after the Second Sino-Japanese war as a well-respected kung fu master selected to represent the Southern styles against the undefeated Northern Grandmaster. The film is beautifully shot and every single detail is accentuated by Wong Kar-Wai’s ability to make the familiar look strange. Tony Leung’s performance is equal to his character’s name and Zhang Ziyi’s (Gong Er) keeps the film from becoming a one-dimensional martial art film. Her presence and her character’s objective, as well as her obstacles deepens the story. The Grandmaster is a delicate and deliberate work of art.


Chuck’s Grade: A

Adam’s Grade: N/A

House of Flying Daggers is at the pinnacle of wuxia cinema

8 Nov

Director Zhang Yimou best known for his colossal accomplishments with the 2008 Olympic ceremonies and his movie Hero, creates a gorgeous masterpiece that places his film at the pinnacle of Chinese Wuxia cinema. The film’s Cinematographer Xiaoding Zhao captures every hue and tint of color in a way that makes an audience feel like they have fallen into another world.

The story follows the arrest and escape of Mei (Ziyi Zhang), a beautiful blind dancer/rebel that belongs to the House of Flying Daggers group. Ziyi Zhnag has become the most recognizable Chinese actress in America and this Zatoichi-like character is by far her best role because all of the action revolves around her movements. Chinese actor/singer and “Superstar” Andy Lau delivers another exceptional performance as the police captain (Liu) and his partner Takeshi Kaneshiro (Jin) is torn between loyalty and love. House of Flying Daggers is the one of the most complete and successful martial art films of all time.


Chuck’s Grade: A+

Adam’s Grade: B+

HERO meets his match

26 Aug

Hero is not your ordinary Chinese martial art film. It is a visual masterpiece that uses color to communicate the film’s emotion to audiences. Jet Li stars as the nameless hero that attempts to assassinate the King of Qin, but first he must figure out a way to get close enough to his target. The film is a series of flashbacks that reveal key episodes behind Li’s journey to the King’s Palace.

Director Zhang Yimou balances a worthy script with a beautiful design concept and some of the best kung fu ever seen on film.  The highly anticipated duel between Li and Donnie Yen does not disappoint the most rabid martial art fans, but the true power of the film comes from the trio of actors, Tony Leung, Zhang Ziyi, and Maggie Cheung creating and re-creating different levels of tension through a series of vignettes that ultimately reveals the Hero’s difficult decision.

My decision is easy. Its a great film.


Chuck’s Grade: A

Adam’s Grade: B+