Tag Archives: Zhou Xun

The Great Magician is a tired act

20 Aug


The best trick this film pulls off is getting critically acclaimed actor, Tony Leung Chui Wai (Chang Hsien) to agree to do this turn of this turn of the century farce about love, magic, and China’s strained relationship with imperial Japan. I kept hoping several of the main characters would simply disappear because the acting was so atrocious that it made it difficult to get through the film in one viewing. Actor Lau Ching-wan (Bully Lei) is supposed to be Leung’s rival for Zhou Xun’s (Yin) affection, but I did not see the appeal for such a buffoon of a character. The rest of the cast is equally unsatisfying and really unnecessary for most of the film. Director Derek Yee is a veteran artist of Hong Kong cinema and has written and directed some very good films recently (Protege, Shinjuku Incident, and Triple Tap) but he had nothing up his sleeve this time. The Great Magician is a tired act.


Chuck’s Grade: F

Adam’s Grade: N/A

Painted Skin 2: The Resurrection comes to life when it counts

23 Jan


Usually, sequels are not very good compared to the original, but Painted Skin 2: The Resurrection holds up well against its predecessor. This installment has the original cast minus action star Donnie Yen. I like this story better because it does not flip-flop back and forth between fantasy and horror. Xiaowei is a fox demon trapped in a beautiful body that must live on a human heart to survive, but if she finds someone who will freely offer her a heart, then she can become a human being.The Resurrection is a fantasy film with a romance about forbidden love. The deception in this film is subtle and the love triangle relationship between actresses, Zhao Wei and Zhou Xun, and actor Chen Kun carries audiences through to the end. There are some consistency problems when it comes to the visual aesthetics and the film is much too long for the story being told, but it does comes to life when it counts.


Chuck’s Grade: B

Adam’s Grade: N/A