Come Drink With Me – Film Review

By B. Taka

Come Drink With Me, aka The Drunken Cat in Chinese, and The Golden Swallow in French, is another fascinating and thrilling film that King Hu assisting in directing. Although it may not have turned out to be a perfect King Hu film from beginning to end, it is an excellent portrayal of King Hu’s amazing work in comparison to the directing of another. Observing King Hu’s career and challenges that were occurring during the time he was working on this film is just so interesting because as you watch this film, you get a sense of realness of what it is like to be a filmmaker. Come Drink With Me really is a significant film when observing King Hu’s career because it is his first martial arts film.

My first thoughts going into this film was how great the music is; it just works well with the tone of the story and place. My next thought was that Golden Swallow does not look nor speak like a man at all, and how can they say that the men cannot tell that she is a woman. Although this was far from believable for me, I really like the idea that they were going for and I’m really glad they casted Cheng Pei-pei because she really is a stunning woman and played the part very well as she resembles a total badass in the film.

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This film also showed the characters running up the wall and on the rooftops, with was fine because it goes with the Kung Fu genre, but also kind of funny and unexpected at first. The special effects in the scenes where they played the film backwards and reversed the actions worked really well for the genre and did not seem obvious. I also liked the anticipation that came with the fight scenes in this film because there are a lot of slow/fast/slow movements, which keep viewers engaged and wondering what will happen next.

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I really didn’t care for the idea of showing the youth monk get killed, although this does assist in portraying how evil the bad guys in the story are supposed to be. Not to mention the costume and make up for Jade Tiger was also perfect in resembling the ruthlessness of this character. On another note, Drunken Cat was just the perfect character and is really what makes the story great. Although he seems to be just a side character at first and is portrayed as a poor drunk guy, we see that there is a humble and hidden badass in his character as well. They did great at casting this character as well.

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By the time we find out that Drunken Cat is a badass is when I felt the most interested in the story. However, this is also around the same part of the film where it is quite obvious that the director has changed. At this point, King Hu was clearly done with being mistreated and loss passion for finishing this film with style. The ending was unclear and messy. All of a sudden there are ten Golden Swallow women but they all get killed and didn’t have much meaning to the story. I feel like this could have been interesting, but they were introduced way too late in the story and was just way too rushed to make sense of their appearance. I believe this could have been a really great movie if King Hu had not been mistreated to the point of losing passion for his work in this film.

 

 

 

Sons of Good Earth – Film Review

By B. Taka

Today my class watched a very intriguing film by the legendary Chinese filmmaker, King Hu. This was King Hu’s first film and was made back when he went by the name “King Chuan.” Sons of Good Earth was a very impressive first film due to many elements. By looking at the actors King Hu chose to play as the protagonists, you can tell that he was a fairly respectable and a very wise filmmaker. Peter Chen Ho and Betty Lo Ti, two very popular Chinese actors, agreed to play in this film.

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King Hu was probably able to pull this off because he actually acted with these two before. For some people like me, this alone would make me interested in seeing the film. Even the fact that he chose to do the film in Mandarin, even though many of his actors were Cantonese speakers, shows that it was important to him to extend the story out to a wider group of audience.

Another thing that I admire from this film is the fact that King Hu was able to incorporate his painting with the story. It doesn’t seem like he just threw the idea in there because he is an experienced painter; it actually has a very relevant part to the story and he uses it to express emotion of the people at that place and time. I think it is really wonderful when a person is able to combine two of their talents together. Also observing how much detail was put into the scenes shot in the studio is just amazing. Maybe it was a typical Chinese studio but I thought it was excellent and felt very realistic as if I were there in their shoes.

What makes this film even better is that we get to see King Hu himself act as such a strong role. King Hu plays the police captain in this film, who then leads the guerrillas to finally fight back after too many wrongdoings have been done to them. This role says a lot about King Hu’s passion for making this film.

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The film, of course, is not completely happy because it is not supposed to be. Yes, the main couple is reunited once again in the end, but it is important that we witness the loss of his dear friend who has been with him since the beginning. Although many people may have disapproved of this film, it is important to realize the elements of truth that may come from the story King Hu was so passionate to tell of from such a difficult time in a place they call home. Kudos to King Hu for taking such a great risk with his first film in order to share a story that was very meaningful to him.