Then again, we’ve got just over a day to go and just under $3,000 to raise, so I’m trying hard to get the word out and get people on board for flying spin kicks and assorted bad-assery in Ancient Egypt.
You can support Nefertiti Overdrive here.
I haven’t written about the Grandmaster, the new movie about Ip Man directed by Wong Kar Wai. I watched it, I loved it, and I really want to see it again because I watched it on a seat-back monitor on the flight back to Canada from South Korea. Watching it at that size is absolutely sub-optimal – and that’s being generous.
Even on the tiny little monitor – I think it was smaller than the screen on my 10″ tablet – the beauty of the scene compositions was obvious. The cast – Tony Leung as Ip Man and Zhang Ziyi as Gong Er, the daughter of the “Northern Master,” were the two most notable – was great and the fight choreography was by Yuen Woo-ping, perhaps the greatest working fight choreographer on the planet. Excuse the hyperbole, but dude really is tight.
I was asked if this was as good as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, definitely the most famous wuxia movie worldwide. It gave me pause and led me to reflect on the strengths of the two movies and the two directors.
Yuen Woo-ping choreographed both movies, and I think the fight scenes were certainly comparable. The Grandmaster might have a slight leg up just because Yuen Woo-ping has had to bring something new to the table with each new movie, so I think he worked harder giving the Grandmaster action and moves not previously seen.
I think Ang Lee, the director of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, is a better director of actors, and I think the performances he directed are superior to those in the Grandmaster. Wong Kar Wai, in my opinion, is a better visualist, and I believe the Grandmaster is a much more beautiful movie than CT:HD. That is not to say that the Grandmaster has bad acting or that CT:HD isn’t beautiful, because both statements are provably wrong, however each movie has a strength and for the Grandmaster, that is the visuals.
If you dig kung-fu fighting and want to see a pretty moving, gorgeously wrought motion picture, I recommend the Grandmaster. I give it 4.5 fists in rain out of 5.
You can learn more about the Grandmaster here.
You can learn more about Crouching Tiger: Hidden Dragon here.
About the only good thing about Windows 8 in my opinion is the XBox Music app that is included with it. It basically allows one to search for music and listen to it as long as one is on-line. I’ve got a few playlists through XBox Music, and I even purchased the Man of Steel soundtrack through it, although I stopped purchasing songs through it as while I appreciate the ability to listen to music free, XBox Music is more expensive than iTunes, so that’s where I’m purchasing music. If XBox Music has competitive pricing, I’d be buying all my music through it.
The downside? As I write this, I’m listen to the Frozen Soundtrack. Better than Celine Dion, which my girls unfortunately demand on a continuous basis. If Frozen is the price I pay for avoiding Celine Dion, I am totally okay with that.
During my trip, I’ve had a chance to view some movies I otherwise likely wouldn’t have. One of those was an old pilot from way back called the Archer: Fugitive from the Empire. It was an attempt to do a sword & sorcery TV series, but it failed mightily.
It pretty much failed on every level.
The story is something about an exiled prince seeking a legendary sorcerer with a thief hanging around for no good reason and a hot sorceress who – of course – loves the hero but is working at cross-purposes.
Now, the lead actor and the hot sorceress both left me cold. They really didn’t deliver on anything other than generic good looks, the thief was played as a stereotypical Mediterranean-type, which was kind of racist in that ignorant way TV had with such things in the 1970s, but at least the actor had some charisma and made the character fun.
The supposedly super-cool magical longbow was okay in concept. It basically turned a bow into a cross between and anti-material rifle with explosive ammo and a rocket launcher. Yeah, cool, but the bow from the Ranger in the D&D cartoon was still cooler.
The story wasn’t incomprehensible, so it wasn’t a complete waste of time – as a counter-example, I tried to watch 1979′s Starcrash and gave up after about 20 minutes. It had precious little inspiration to offer. Maybe back in the late 1970s, if you had just started playing D&D, this might have offered some ideas, but there’s a lot of bad fantasy movies that have come since that are more interesting and better inspiration.
If you, like me, remembered this pilot from when it first aired (yes, I am old enough to remember the dinosaurs walked the Earth), do yourself a favour and avoid trying to see if this lives up to your memories. Unless your memories were that this was a tedious waste of time, the reality likely won’t live up to them.
I give the Archer: Fugitive from the Empire 2 bazooka arrows out of 5.
You can find out more about the D&D cartoon here.