The Grandmaster is a biopic that does what most biopic cannot do, become compelling cinema. It is director Wong Kar Wai’s return to the screen in six-year, his return to Chinese cinema in nine years, and his return to form in thirteen years. It is the story of Ip Man, famed martial artist of Wing Chun, and his journey from practitioner to teacher over the course of thirty years. The title The Grandmaster refers to Ip Man, but it could easily reflect some of the talent in front of and behind the camera. Writer/director Wong Kar Wai is master of Chinese cinema, helping to bring international attention to Chinese cinema with Days of Being Wild, Chungking Express, and In The Mood For Love. Tony Leung, himself a master actor, can convey more information and emotion with a simple look from his eyes than most can with an entire page of dialog. Zhang Ziyi has been at home in these martial arts films for years, and when given a chance, she too can transform into a beautiful and understated actress. Throw in martial arts choreography from the Yuen Woo Ping, and you got yourself one heck of a lot of masters.
Devil’s Pass – Fifty years ago, nine people froze to death while hiking in the Ural Mountains. Now, a group of idiotic twenty-somethings is going to recreate that hike just to prove that man can conquer the elements. Or because they have nothing better to do. At first things go well, it always does, then something happens, and things don’t go so well. They always do. Someone tries to kill them, first by avalanche, then by gun, but once they find a long abandoned bunker with some sort of zombie-demon inhabitants, they are doomed for sure. Happens to me all … Continue reading Movie Beat – 08.23.13