IP Man (Movie)

IP Man is a Hong Kong movie released in December of 2008, so it’s been out for a while.  I recognize Donnie Yen, the main guy, from Blade II and Hero.  The version I watched was Chinese dialogue with English subtitles.

I think it stands out among the Hong Kung flicks I’ve seen because it’s a (loose) take on a real life historical figure in a historical period during Japan’s invasion of China in WWII.  The plot kept my interest fastened and the overall message left me feeling as though any person in the film Ip Man’s position would have done the same.  The fight choreography was really well done while blending well into the plot.

Feel free to discuss with spoilers in the comments if the urge comes to you.

Hitman (Movie)

The movie was entertaining, but not worth bringing home for over $5.00. It’s your typical shoot-em’-up action flick like The Transporter or xXx. The writers swap plot with a seemingly chaotic play by play progression of events that gives our bald nameless assassin plenty of opportunity to shoot, explode, and kung fu whoever he feels like. If you’re entertained by this kind of movie you wont regret seeing The Hitman. It dishes out plenty of extortion, out-smarting ‘bad guys’, and quirky lines. Then to complete genre there are British and Russian officials competing to find this man. The CIA is passively involved. The man himself, known only as 47, spares a Ukrainian slave girl who he was charged to kill. Then one morning she’s not afraid of him or his methodical ‘I kill people’ lifestyle. In fact she gets kind of bored. So doing what every slave girl does when bored, she takes off all her cloths and tries to seduce the leading man. He refuses politely. Repeatedly. It was kind of amusing the ways he swatted off her sporadic acts of naturalism. All in all they did a good job of making a typical action movie, I was never reminded that this character, and possibly plot, came from a video game.

Golden Compass (Movie)

Quick and sweet:
I liked it. Dakota Blue Richards played Lyra perfectly, imo. The plot came at you rapid fire, the fictional technology was fascinating.  Armored warrior polar bears, gypsies out for revenge, cute animals, and a wise old cowboy pilot with a sixshooter. Just remember that it’s a fantasy and you’ll sink right in.

Long winded and chewy:
First off, I read the first part of Golden Compass… I stopped reading between page 75 and 100 because it was just too slow and I get distracted easily. But from the small bit of the story I gleaned from the book I’d say the movie did a pretty good job of telling the part I knew. And unlike the book, the movie is very fast paced. The same rapid pace I felt when watching Arthur and the Minimoys/Invisibles. I think this aspect actually did the book credit in my eyes; now I want to take another stab at reading it so I can fill the in-betweens.

As I said above, Dakota Blue Richards played Lyra perfectly in my opinion. In the book I found it hard to believe how Lyra’s lies and stories got through to anyone, children included. Dakota showed it to me. I actually like her character more now. Pam, her daemon, was also portrayed well.

My biggest disappointment when comparing the book to the movie was Lord Asriel portrayed by Mr. Bond, Daniel Craig. I thought he basically played his bond character. Warm and witty. Outwardly a well-shaven fellow with something to hide. One can easily tell that he’s on the good side. Reading the book I envisioned someone similar to Arthas from Warcraft III. Larger than life, intimidating, ruthless and on a mission. He’s on his own side, but you don’t know much more than that. Off his wide shoulders drape fur hides making him look even bigger. He’s short tempered with a cold demeanor. No one dared cross him to his face, including Lyra. Lyra feared and respected him profoundly. She also cared deeply for his well being and for her standing in his eyes. I noticed the movie’s portrayal because his character is my favorite so far. I look forward to reading about him and Stelmaria later in the books. Speaking of which his daemon, Stelmaria, was not as intimidating in the movie as I remember from the book either. Luckily his character doesn’t show up much in the plot so a watered down interpretation doesn’t break anything. All in all I think I see why the change helped this flick in the end based on a certain family secret. Describing further may be a spoiler to some. Read comments for further explanation.

Everyone liked the warrior polar bears. Even people who didn’t like the movie as a whole enjoyed the bears. They were awesome. I wont go too in depth about them because it would be hard to not ruin some great moments. Worth waiting to see, definitely.

Something I was in-awe by that others may not have noticed was the technology. The zeppelins and other floating ships were propelled by some kind of booster engines with gyroscopes. They(the engines) looked mostly a bronze/copper color so they had kind of a steampunkish feel about them. The body of main zeppelin was a regal red color. I love floating ships. They also had bronze/copper wind up bugs and of course the golden compass with twirling gears. Cool cool cool.

The daemon animation and portrayal was pretty cool too. Pam, Lyra’s daemon, would shape shift in the blink of an eye. A cat, a lynx, a mouse, a sparrow, a gull, a ferret to name a few of the shapes. Way cool. In the book he turns into a dragon to scare off a gypsy boys daemon. “No imagination,” he says smugly. The movie didn’t show that, unfortunately.

I may add more later if anything comes to mind, but I recommend seeing this one. I don’t think the big screen really added to the experience though.