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Detective Dee movie


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#1 JohnD

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 01:45 AM

There is a new movie called Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame opening the end of September. Anyone interested in this? Looks like it's going to be a wuxia/mystery combination. More info here:

Wikipedia entry:

http://en.wikipedia....e_Phantom_Flame

New article talking about the film:
http://life.globalti...-09/573517.html

This film was premiered at the Venice Film Festival.

Edited by JohnD, 16 September 2010 - 01:46 AM.


#2 ophelia

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 03:42 AM

I've seen it at the Venice Film Festival (where it won a prize for best special effects)... I found it very gripping, the combination of wuxia and mystery is winning, the actors are all outstanding and the choreographies (by the great Sammo Hung) are really something. The only thing is, the beginning is a bit slow, but then the movie is visually outstanding, and the story is really something.
If you have seen other Detective Dee stories, this one will surprise you because the character is quite different from its traditional characterization.

I strongly recommend it! ;)

BTW: here's a review in English from Venice: http://www.movieline...tective-dee.php
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#3 JohnD

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 04:02 AM

I've seen it at the Venice Film Festival (where it won a prize for best special effects)... I found it very gripping, the combination of wuxia and mystery is winning, the actors are all outstanding and the choreographies (by the great Sammo Hung) are really something. The only thing is, the beginning is a bit slow, but then the movie is visually outstanding, and the story is really something.
If you have seen other Detective Dee stories, this one will surprise you because the character is quite different from its traditional characterization.

I strongly recommend it! ;)

BTW: here's a review in English from Venice: http://www.movieline...tective-dee.php


I'm definitely going to see it. Man, that review is depressing, but I imagine that's about what most Western reviews will be. Reviewer doesn't seem like she even cares about understanding what's going on. She gave up on the subtitles? Sigh. Oh well, I guess you can't expect the average person to understand foreign movies, but at least make some effort. I get the feeling the reviewer merely sees this film as a curiosity and doesn't regard it as a film to be taken seriously.

#4 ophelia

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 06:08 AM

I'm definitely going to see it. Man, that review is depressing, but I imagine that's about what most Western reviews will be. Reviewer doesn't seem like she even cares about understanding what's going on. She gave up on the subtitles? Sigh. Oh well, I guess you can't expect the average person to understand foreign movies, but at least make some effort. I get the feeling the reviewer merely sees this film as a curiosity and doesn't regard it as a film to be taken seriously.

And do you want to hear more? This is THE BEST review in English (or any other Western language I understan) I've found so far. This is indeed depressing. In fact, I found the story really interesting, but there are a lot of references to Chinese history, to Confucianism and Chinese culture. Plus the characters have all Chinese names, which really confuses the average westerner. As you said, unfortunately Western audiences never make an effort to understand foreign films, especially Asian ones which are deeply grounded in a very different culture and set of values.


When I saw the movie in Venice, the Chinese audience was amused and ecstatic, while some westerners left the theatre, fell asleep or as the one who wrote this review didn't quite understand the whole thing. That's really depressing!
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#5 ghostexorcist

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 04:13 PM

[...]

BTW: here's a review in English from Venice: http://www.movieline...tective-dee.php

That is the worst review I have ever read! The person admitted to giving up reading the subtitles in favor of watching the pretty pictures.

#6 ophelia

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 03:04 AM

That is the worst review I have ever read! The person admitted to giving up reading the subtitles in favor of watching the pretty pictures.

Yeah, well, and that's the best I could find in English so far....so you can imagine how the others go!

There's a good one in Italian though, but I don't believe many of you understand the language :closedeyes:
http://www.cinecland...sez=43&art=6098
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#7 General_Zhaoyun

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 12:11 AM

Just watched the movie yesterday.. I would say it's a great movie. I highly recommend you to watch it.

Have to say it's an incredible Wuxia and detective-type of movie. It's the equivalent of Sherlock Homes and Special effect are great. The plot is fascinating. This is the best Chinese movie I've watched sofar this year.

Hong Kong movies are making a big return to the scene after almost a decade of stagnation.






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#8 mohistManiac

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 03:51 PM

Anyone care to explain the title? I just know that his name is Di Ren Jie.
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#9 General_Zhaoyun

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 11:53 PM

Anyone care to explain the title? I just know that his name is Di Ren Jie.



狄仁傑之通天帝國

- Literally translated as "The heaven-reaching Empire of Di Ren Jie". But "通天 tong-tian" means "you know almost everything" (it means able to communicate with the heaven and even know their secrets). It's a way of exaggerating Di Ren Jie (Detective Dee) who seems to know everything.
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One should seek serenity to cultivate the body, thriftiness to cultivate the morals. If you are not simple and frugal, your ambition will not sparkle. If you are not calm and cool, you will not reach far. - Zhugeliang

#10 JohnD

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Posted 16 October 2010 - 02:37 AM

I just watched this movie, and basically I have the opposite opinion of GZ. I thought it was a terrible movie. It's not really a wuxia movie, yet all the characters, except the empress, know kung-fu. The plot itself is ridiculous, and only gets more ridiculous the further the movie plods along. None of the characters are interesting, Di Renjie has no vulnerabilities (he's always right, which is the point, but isn't very interesting), bad CGI (bad because it doesn't blend well with the real life scenes, very much like Chen Kaige's The Promise), over-the-top wire work that is completely unnecessary, and too many extraneous scenes. This is a two hour movie that felt like four hours and only should have been 90 minutes. The acting is all right, but unfortunately the characters aren't deep enough to give the actors much to work with.

The movie is worth seeing once, just to see it, but it's not worth seeing twice. The feel of the movie was similar to Tsui Hark's Seven Swords, which I found atrocious and was only able to make it halfway through. If you liked Seven Swords, you'll probably like Detective Dee. It can't compare to the excellent Reign of Assassins, however, which is superior to this film in every way.

So yeah, I am the yin to GZ's yang when it comes to Detective Dee.

#11 Gan

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 02:54 AM

I watched part of the movie, stop halfway because I fell asleep (ok, let me explain, I was streaming the movie, so it's not like I got bored of it, but rather I was watching it at bedtime).

Here's my advice; don't really pay attention to any movie reviews, whether they be by paid critics or regular movie watchers...I've learned that the only reviews worth considering are those that are short and straight to the point, not the ones in great detail or immature (like that one who gave up on the subtitles).

I knew it was fantasy, but it felt a little uncomfortable in the beginning where you had that Roman guy visiting the statue, like even within a fantasy world, the timeline and cultures seem too out of place. I know that for sure was meant to attract Western audiences. Later on there was the talking deer, and I stopped at Di Ren Jie fighting to get out of his chains. Maybe I'll finish it later.

#12 Gan

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 03:02 AM

On top of that, let me add in a personal gripe. I really think Chinese movies should just shake off the need to appeal and emulate to the international audience (more like a certain segment of the international audience) and just make movies that entertain themselves. Screw the critics and those who claim that the arts suffered under Communist authority, and just be yourselves.

Hong Kong entertainment of the past were extremely popular, and pretty much what they did was be themselves. Later on, they started adopting this emo-reality theme which was good in some cases, but it seem too tired out, like over-used. Comedy themes seem to be getting more and more weird, like the producers were probably on drugs or something.

#13 mohistManiac

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 05:36 PM

I watched part of the movie, stop halfway because I fell asleep (ok, let me explain, I was streaming the movie, so it's not like I got bored of it, but rather I was watching it at bedtime).

Here's my advice; don't really pay attention to any movie reviews, whether they be by paid critics or regular movie watchers...I've learned that the only reviews worth considering are those that are short and straight to the point, not the ones in great detail or immature (like that one who gave up on the subtitles).

I knew it was fantasy, but it felt a little uncomfortable in the beginning where you had that Roman guy visiting the statue, like even within a fantasy world, the timeline and cultures seem too out of place. I know that for sure was meant to attract Western audiences. Later on there was the talking deer, and I stopped at Di Ren Jie fighting to get out of his chains. Maybe I'll finish it later.


I saw the movie yesterday on youtube. The subtitles say that the Roman guy was not actually Roman but a Umayyad dynasty fellow. I looked up Aspar the great of the Umayyad dynasty and he exists! He was speaking Spanish since it seems he was from Spain even though Islamic Spain.
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#14 Gan

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 06:07 PM

I saw the movie yesterday on youtube. The subtitles say that the Roman guy was not actually Roman but a Umayyad dynasty fellow. I looked up Aspar the great of the Umayyad dynasty and he exists! He was speaking Spanish since it seems he was from Spain even though Islamic Spain.


I guess it wouldn't matter in the whole sense (since it's a movie), but shouldn't he be speaking in Arabic or some non-latin language? Cause I seemed to recalled that the languages and dialects during that period was still in a period of transformation, nothing clear cut was formed until later. Latin as spoken by the Romans was limited to a few circles, that's sort of why other than that, the only other language options which were well developed in terms of structure were the Semitic languages.

Unless I was seriously mis-looking, the clothing itself seem out of place, especially if it really was Moorish Spain. In addition to Moorish clothing, this would be the period where we would see fashion similar to the infamous medieval images we see of knights and squires. I'm just guessing here.

#15 mohistManiac

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 07:36 PM

I guess it wouldn't matter in the whole sense (since it's a movie), but shouldn't he be speaking in Arabic or some non-latin language? Cause I seemed to recalled that the languages and dialects during that period was still in a period of transformation, nothing clear cut was formed until later. Latin as spoken by the Romans was limited to a few circles, that's sort of why other than that, the only other language options which were well developed in terms of structure were the Semitic languages.

Unless I was seriously mis-looking, the clothing itself seem out of place, especially if it really was Moorish Spain. In addition to Moorish clothing, this would be the period where we would see fashion similar to the infamous medieval images we see of knights and squires. I'm just guessing here.


Also the buildings. Have you seen Hero, The Emperor and the Assassin, 13 Blades and there must have been many other movies which featured the large production sets seen pretty much identically in all these movies. They just change the color or move a beam or two around to make it seem different but a person having watched all these movies would know it's the same overall set especially when the main three tier roof building gets depicted from the front in the same exact camera angle over and over. So it just brings to mind how in the world a set made for during the Qin dynasty gets transported into the Tang and Ming dynasties?
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