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[Movie] review

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发表于 2006-12-22 16:04:52 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
http://www.kungfucinema.com/reviews
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Star Runner (2003)
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Premise: A moody kickboxer (Vaness Wu) with an ailing grandfather (David Chiang) falls for his Korean-language teacher (Kim Hyun-joo) while training with a series of martial arts masters in preparation for a free-forms championship.
# V! f, w! T* D/ n/ OReview: On the drawing board, Star Runner looks promising. An impressive array of notable past and present kung fu movie stars fill out a cast supporting newcomers Vaness Wu and Kim Hyun-joo in an indie-flavored film with semi-real martial arts and a romance that challenges cultural and student-teacher boundaries. Writer/director Daniel Lee scores points for the attempt to craft a well-rounded film, but fails to make the grade when it comes to execution. The story is formulaic, the characters are distant, action is cut to ribbons by awful editing, and the film ends up a gushy, feel-good retread that wastes considerable talent and potential. But it still contains a bit of nifty training and three Shaw Brothers legends all in one film which makes it at least worth glancing at. Pop star Vaness Wu in his first film is alarmingly similar to the unremarkable likes of other recent discoveries like Edison Chen and Daniel Wu who all need more acting lessons and substance. Vaness is about as emotive as a lump of cold oatmeal. As a kickboxer named Bond Cheng, he's emotionally detached, spends his days training slavishly or talking to his grandfather (David Chiang) who's been in a coma for two years, and sleeping through his school classes. In other words, he's a real charmer, or so the new Korean-language teacher thinks. Early on, Kim Mei-chiu (Kim Hyun-joo) is conveniently accosted by unruly youths after leaving school and it's Bond to the rescue. Despite talk among faculty and the efforts of Kim's homely male roommate to court her, love blossoms between Kim and Bond. Meanwhile, there's drama at the gym. A big, mixed-martial arts competition is coming up and Bond's kickboxing coach (Gordon Liu) makes a late decision to replace him as the fighter to take on the current champion. Bond angrily walks out and hooks up with a former fighter (Max Mok) who pairs him with masters of Wing Chun (Ti Lung) and Hung Kuen in order to prepare him for the competition. When a fair-weather former love of Kim's shows up, Bond must endure the possibility of life without her as he takes on Tank in the finals. Films centering around ring matches have the distinct disadvantage of generally having nothing new to offer that Rocky didn't provide back in 1976. Sure there's a wider variety of moves on display here, but it all comes down to the same scenario of two men beating the crap out of each other in a small square. Daniel Lee flubs the action half of the film, which is generally the only reason anyone reading this would bother to see it in the first place. Vaness has one street fight and it's awful. Vaness is no martial arts star, the choreography is sloppy  and the editing is choppy. The film begins to redeem itself slightly when he begins some outdoor training with two martial arts masters. It's a pure joy to see Ti Lung back in action, if only for a short, non-speaking role. He displays his real Wing Chun skills in sparring with a wooden dummy and later with Vaness. The other master is Father Sun, played by an unidentified aged gent who displays some very slick Hung Kuen forms. It should probably be stated at this point that David Chiang and Gordon Liu, the film's other two SB alumni are only in supporting dramatic roles. David only appears either in a coma or in flashbacks. The final thirty minutes is devoted to the martial arts competition and it's a thorough disappointment. The whole thing is shot like a manic montage with takes that get shorter and shorter, until literally every punch or kick is met with a new camera angle. It goes on and on and there's no sense of real tension or progress. It might as well be the nightly news running sports highlights, except that this is a lot more annoying. Chin Kar-lok directs the action and also appears in a supporting role as one of Vaness' former gym mates. The choreography is solid enough, but the way its edited and scripted ruins the flow. It's chaos, really. The other half of the film is devoted to the romantic and dramatic elements that are all disposable. The story is too broad and loose with excessive, rambling diversions related to the former life of Vaness' grandfather, Alfred Cheung's wooing of Kim that tries to play for laughs and fails, Vaness's broken relationship with his coach, and the chilly relationship between Andy On and Ken Lo who plays his brother and coach. This last item is seemingly an afterthought to "humanize" the lead antagonist. Daniel Lee plays around with too many different angles in the story and in the editing room. Star Runner is weak on just about every other level as well. It's like a rough cut or a first draft that is in desperate need of revision. Gordon Liu, David Chiang, and Ti Lung deserve better in their later years than to be marginalized in this mediocre martial arts film that plays lip service to the genre without having even a portion of the entertainment value of the trio's many great classics.
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( @8 I9 c6 ]8 f[ 本帖最后由 chenrui411 于 2006-12-26 15:57 编辑 ]
发表于 2006-12-22 16:33:37 | 显示全部楼层
Cute review! Is it your own works? I can't open any International web here in the dorm...0 r; n; Y+ N# W) s5 X* F6 A) \
my comment will be followed later/ F* x; u, k% o& j: t6 l

- v2 @+ a- Q6 p& e/ [; R9 X$ x[ 本帖最后由 gablelove 于 2006-12-22 17:08 编辑 ]
发表于 2006-12-22 16:53:11 | 显示全部楼层
gable, "will followed" ? future tense and past tense together?!1 P5 }* r5 C2 G" L7 T+ c. M5 B1 o' a, k

$ Y2 @6 ?* d/ {& v7 [" q. |& LThanks for bring the review here~
! D% a! I6 j! GI will leave my comment later~- O0 X2 R3 n/ m/ ^

+ P# z7 ?+ X7 g3 A7 k% eAlso please be careful about repeated thread.5 {2 v, M: K7 {# V

* q' ]4 L' H# Z( l[ 本帖最后由 小云 于 2006-12-22 16:59 编辑 ]
 楼主| 发表于 2006-12-22 17:05:11 | 显示全部楼层
原帖由 小云 于 2006-12-22 16:53 发表
$ I# ?, j. j" `4 V4 Xgable, "will followed" ? future tense and past tense together?!6 Q: {, b6 Q4 q" z. C% D6 r0 x1 I
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Thanks for bring the review here~. V3 b; m! P: b) z: l! E4 M
I will leave my comment later~
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, N1 {2 Z  N+ G$ Z3 KAlso please be careful about repeated thread.

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Thanks Xiao Yun for delete my duplicates post...
% N- Z4 Z; |. n  N6 C0 qI guess Lily (gable) wants to say:  will be followed once she is available ...
发表于 2006-12-22 17:07:10 | 显示全部楼层
will be followed!! I forgot the "be"... just a typing mistake...wuwuwu:'(
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