Sunday, May 14, 2017

Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster 葉問 2: 宗師傳奇

 Released Year: 2010
Directed by 叶伟信 Wilson Yip

Casted by:
甄子丹 Donnie Yen as 葉問 Ip Man
洪金寶 Sammo Hung as 洪震南 Nam
黃曉明 Huang Xiao Ming as 黃梁 Leung
熊黛林 Lynn Hung as  張永成 Sing
任達華 Simon Yam as 周清泉 Chuen
樊少皇 Louis Fan as 金山找 Chau
鄭則仕 Kent Cheng as 肥波 Fatso
Darren Shahlavi as Taylor Miller "Twister"
Charles Mayer as 華萊士警司 Wallace
Wing Chun master Ip Man and his family move to Hong Kong in the mid-1940s after their escape from Japanese-occupied Foshan. There, Ip desires to open a school to propagate his art, as well as make a living during the difficult times, but he has difficulty attracting students due to his lack of reputation in the city. One day, a young man named Wong Leung appears and promptly challenges Ip to a fight, but is easily defeated. Wong leaves humiliated, only to return with some friends to gang up on him. Ip beats them as well. Stunned and impressed by his skills, Wong and his friends become Ip's first students, bringing more disciples to help the school thrive.

Wong is later caught posting promotional posters for the school by some Hung Ga students. One of them challenges Wong to a fight and loses, but his friends take Wong hostage in revenge and demand a ransom from Ip. Ip goes to the local wet market as directed, but the meeting ends in a confrontation with a growing mob of Hung Ga students. Ip and Wong fight their way outside to meet Jin Shanzhao, a martial artist and former bandit, who comes to their rescue with his own gang. The students' master and head of the coalition of Hong Kong martial arts clubs, Hung Chun-nam, arrives to break up the fight. Ip introduces himself, and Hung informs him that before setting up a school, he needs to attend a special fighting ceremony to test his worth. Ip, Wong and Jin are subsequently arrested by Officer Fatso for disturbing the peace but are later released on bail. Hung and Fatso are then shown to be acting as reluctant collectors for the martial arts schools (including Hung's) as part of a protection racket headed by Superintendent Wallace, a corrupt officer in the Hong Kong police.

Ip attends the ceremony and defeats his first challengers, before striking a draw with the last challenger, Hung. Ip is allowed to keep running his school on the condition that he pay his monthly protection fees, but he declines. Hung thus has his students loiter in front of the Wing Chun School and harass anyone interested, causing a street brawl between them and Ip's disciples. Ip is thus forced to close up and move the school nearer to home. Ip soon confronts Hung, who blames him since he wouldn't pay his protection fees, whereas Ip criticizes Hung's management of his students. Hung insists that he is doing what he must and also insists they finish their fight, but during this encounter, Ip stops Hung from accidentally kicking his son as he suddenly appears, earning respect from him. Ip leaves, and the next day, Hung invites him to a British boxing match he has helped to set up, quietly coming to terms with him.

The boxing competition allows for a demonstration by the various martial arts schools to help promote themselves and their Chinese culture. However, the event's star boxer, Taylor "The Twister" Miller, an arrogant, racist and brutal man, openly insults and attacks the students, causing chaos as the masters try to restore order. Hung accepts Twister's challenge to a fight so that he can defend his culture. Although Hung has the upper hand at first due to his wider range of skills, in the second round he suffers a devastating blow that severely disorientates him. As he fights on, he begins to weaken from his asthma and is eventually beaten to death by Twister, as he refuses to concede and allow the man to insult his culture and people. News of Hung's death rapidly spreads throughout the enraged Chinese populace, causing a scandal that spurs Wallace to hold a press conference where he lies that Hung's death was an accident and that he was a weakling who died after a few punches. Twister announces that in order to clear his name he will accept any challenge from the Chinese to participate in a fair, public boxing match, but proceeds to proclaim that he could kill every Chinese boxer in Hong Kong and that he doubts any of the Chinese are brave enough to fight him. Ip Man has already arrived to challenge Twister to a fight.

As his wife goes into labor, Ip finishes training and begins his fight with Twister. Ip exchanges blows with the boxer and seems overwhelmed by the westerner's sheer muscle at first, but begins to make a comeback using his more diverse techniques and great speed. He receives an illegal punch from Twister after the second round's bell, and is also told that kicks would not be allowed due to the judges changing the rules during the match. When it looks like the end, Ip remembers Hung's patriotic spirit and is spurred to go on. He changes his strategy and attacks the boxer's arms to disable him. The fight is brought to a climactic finish as Ip Man rains blow after blow into the knocked-down Twister's face, with flashbacks reflecting the latter's killing of Master Hung. While the Chinese celebrate, Wallace is arrested by his superiors for corruption, as Fatso has secretly reported him. Ip then gives a speech to the audience, stating that despite the differences between their race and culture, he wishes for everyone to respect each other regardless of their status. Both the Western and Chinese audience give him a standing ovation while Twister's manager walks away, unhappy at the defeat. Ip goes home and reunites with his family, including his newborn second son, Ip Ching.

A final scene shows Ip being introduced to a boy named Bruce Lee who wishes to study Wing Chun in order to "beat up people [he does not] like". Ip smiles and simply tells the boy to "come back when [he has] grown up".
 L² Scored: 9/10

L² Comment:
Comparing to the first movie, this time the rival change from Asian to Caucasian. Both Karate & Boxing master has loss to the ultimate Wing Chun. Lol, it might be true or it has been make it up, but this definitely has make a strong impression on Bruce Lee, Ip Man's apprentice, and all his movie was toward this kind of storyline.

Hiroyuki Ikeuchi & Gordon Lam are out from this second movie, replacing by strong and good acting Sammo Hung, Huang Xiao Ming & Kent Cheng; while Darren Shahlavi is a British Persian actor who is actually an expert in Judo. *Note: Darren Shahlavi has passed away in 2015 at his age of 42yo by a fatal heart attack, RIP.

Same comment I'm gonna give since the first movie's review, both Simon Yam & Lynn Hung should be out from the picture as their character is useless and I believe paying them are not cheap as well. I can understand Lynn's character is a continuous, but Simon? He appear less than 3 minutes in the whole film, but maybe he is on a guest appearance form, who knows?

Friday, May 12, 2017

Sara 雛妓

Released Year: 2015
Directed by 邱礼涛 Herman Yau

Casted by:
蔡卓妍 Charlene Choi as 何玉玲 Sara
任達華 Simon Yam as 甘浩賢 Yin
柳俊江 Ryan Lau as Raymond
Sunadcha Tadrabiab as Dok-My
孫佳君 Pauline Sun as 湯媚 May
何華超 Tony Ho as 郭華 Wah
Sara was sexually abused by her stepfather, Wah during her teenager time and her mother, May kept silence and did not rescue her. Sara runs away from home, earns her own keep and spends her nights in various location with other young girls, including country parks and fast-food joints that stay open 24 hours. While hanging around the Tsim Sha Tsui East promenade late one evening, she meets the gentlemanly, middle-aged Yin. Sara offered Yin a blowjob in terms that Yin has to get her into a good school and a new life she wanted to have.

Both Sara & Yin started this complicated relationship which was well hidden in the society as Yin is a politician and he is married as well. They were together for many years and the relationship has transformed into some sort of love which Yin started to jealous of Sara communicating with other younger guy in her university; Sara not happy that Yin only visit her just for sex... Sara beg Yin to attend her graduation day, while arriving at the university, Yin saw Sara talking to the younger guy and angrily left without Sara noticing, But actually during that time Sara was rejecting the guy and saying that she has a boyfriend whom she love very much. Sara is not happy that Yin did not attend and confronted with him and argument happens...

Sara started her working adult life as a reporter. Year later, she was attached with Raymond but found out he betrayed her on work. Angrily, Sara flew to Chiangmai by herself and met Dok-My who is a prostitute. Sara pity Dok-My and paid her some money for telling her story so that Sara can write an article on it. Sara was surprised when Yin came to look for her but ends up telling her that he is on the final stage of cancer and ask her not to attend his funeral because others might discover their relationship and hurt her instead. Feeling sad on the news but happy to know that Yin still loves her and care about her, she attends Yin's funeral in the end.

Dok-My went to look for Sara in her hotel and realize she has cut her wrist and soaked inside the bath tub. Dok-My safe Sara by getting her to hospital and both girls bond closer to each other. Sara tried to buy Dok-My from the gangster but ends up running from getting kill.  Raymond came all the way from Hong Kong to get Sara back, Sara bid goodbye to Dok-My and received a kiss from Dok-My. Sara proposed her points to the magazine director in writing an article of prostitution and get full support on it. Wah came looking for Sara and tell her that May will be passed away soon. Sara went hospital to look for May; May apologize for not being a good mother and did not protect her during the rape. Sara forgive her and May finally close her eyes forever...

Sara went back to Chiangmai to look for Dok-My but she was no where to be found. Missing Dok-My, Sara went to Dok-My's hometown in Maesai and realized there's a lot of young girls who will be facing the same destiny like her and Dok-My...
L² Scored: 8/10

L² Comment
A good movie and first time ever, Charlene shows that she can act. Frankly speaking, I ain't saint, main motive of watching this movie in the first place is for the sex scenes of Charlene & Simon, coz i heard that its damn hot. Well, the sex scenes are ok, but just that it might be Charlene's first time, but it is nothing too spicy about; but the storyline is great as the story was written by 李敏 Erica Li, a famous HK novelist. This movie also won both Charlene & Simon as the best actress/actor in Macau International Movie Festival.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

 Released Year: 2017
Directed by James Gunn

Casted by:
Chris Pratt as Peter Quill / Star-Lord
Zoe Saldana as Gamora
Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer
Bradley Cooper as Rocket
Vin Diesel as Baby Groot
Michael Rooker as Yondu Udonta
Kurt Russell as Ego
Karen Gillan as Nebula
Pom Klementieff as Mantis
Elizabeth Debicki as Ayesha
Chris Sullivan as Taserface
Sylvester Stallone as Stakar Ogord
Michelle Yeoh as Aleta Ogord
In 2014, Peter Quill, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, and Baby Groot are renowned as the Guardians of the Galaxy. Ayesha, leader of the Sovereign race, has the Guardians protect valuable batteries from an inter-dimensional monster in exchange for Gamora's estranged sister Nebula, who was caught attempting to steal the batteries. After Rocket steals some for himself, the Sovereign attacks the Guardians' ship with a fleet of drones. The drones are destroyed by a mysterious figure, but the Guardians are forced to crash-land on a nearby planet. The figure reveals himself as Quill's father, Ego. He invites Quill, who is accompanied by Gamora and Drax, to his home planet, while Rocket and Groot remain behind to repair the ship and guard Nebula.

Meanwhile, Ayesha hires Yondu Udonta and his crew, who have been exiled from the greater Ravager community for child trafficking, to recapture the Guardians. They capture Rocket, but when Yondu shows reluctance to turn over Quill, his lieutenant Taserface leads a mutiny with help from Nebula. Taserface imprisons Rocket and Yondu aboard Yondu's ship and executes his loyalists while Nebula leaves to track down and kill Gamora, whom she blames for all the torture inflicted on her by their father, Thanos. While imprisoned, Rocket and Yondu bond. Groot, together with Yondu's loyalist Kraglin, frees Rocket and Yondu and they destroy the ship and its crew as they escape, though not before Taserface tips off the Sovereign fleet.

Ego explains he is a god-like Celestial, an immortal consciousness that manipulated the matter around it to form the planet with itself at the core. Forming a human guise, he traveled the universe to escape his loneliness and discover a purpose, eventually falling in love with Quill's mother Meredith. Ego hired Yondu to collect the young Quill after Meredith's death, but the boy was never delivered and Ego had been searching for his son ever since. He teaches Quill to manipulate their Celestial power. Nebula arrives at Ego's planet and tries to kill Gamora, but fails and the pair reach an uneasy alliance when they discover caverns filled with skeletal remains. Ego reveals to Quill that in his travels he planted seedlings upon thousands of worlds which can terraform them into new extensions of himself, but they can only be activated by the combined power of two Celestials. To that end, he impregnated countless women and hired Yondu to collect the children; Ego killed them all when they failed to access the Celestial power. Ego forcefully uses Quill to activate the seedlings, which begin to consume every world. Quill fights back after Ego reveals that he deliberately caused Meredith's death, as his love for her distracted him from his purpose.

Ego's pet empath, Mantis, grows close to Drax and warns him, Gamora, and Nebula of Ego's plan just as Rocket, Yondu, Groot, and Kraglin arrive. The reunited Guardians reach Ego's brain at the planet's core, and fight the Sovereign's arriving drones. Rocket makes a bomb out of the stolen batteries that Groot plants on Ego's brain, while Quill battles Ego with his newfound Celestial powers to allow the other Guardians to escape. The bomb explodes, killing Ego and causing the planet to disintegrate. Yondu sacrifices himself to save Quill, who now realizes Yondu did not deliver him to Ego in order to spare him from the fate of Ego's other progeny, and that Yondu was Quill's true "daddy". Having reconciled with Gamora, Nebula still chooses to set out and attempt to kill Thanos. The Guardians hold a funeral for Yondu, which is attended by dozens of Ravager ships, acknowledging Yondu's sacrifice and accepting him again as a Ravager.

In a series of mid- and post-credit scenes, Kraglin takes up Yondu's telekinetic arrow and control fin; Ravager leader Stakar Ogord, inspired by Yondu's sacrifice, reunites with his ex-teammates; Groot starts growing back to normal size, exhibiting typical teenage behavior in the process; Ayesha creates a new artificial being with whom she plans to destroy the Guardians, naming him Adam; and a group of uninterested Watchers listen to their informant discuss several experiences on Earth.
 L² Scored: 8.5/10

L² Comment:
Wow, I remembered when I watch the vol.1 movie in the cinema, it is awful and I slept most of the time. When I know that the vol.2 is on the big screen, I was like "whatever" and rather wait for Alien instead. But luckily i went to watch the vol.2 in the cinema as well, and kapow, this is so much better than the first movie.

Beside the usual fighting in action scene, the movie has the comedy element in it as well. The whole movie is a bit draggy still, but at least not that boring anymore. Hopefully a pretty well vol.3 will ome out soon~