I’ve seen two movies over the past two weeks. I don’t really have enough to say about them both to write a full mini-movie review, so I thought I’d just talk briefly about them in a single post. Unlike some other content that I’ve drafted (but may never see the light of day), this post isn’t really scholarly or high-brow. It’s just me talking about movies that I’ve seen recently.
This is a movie that came on PBS during my 2nd year in college at U. T. Knoxville, but I wasn’t able to see through to the end because it would have went past 12:00 am and I had a ton of library books (UTK Library) due and I would have been hit with a massive fine. So I begrudgingly left the movie in the middle and didn’t get to see the resolution to go and turn in the books. Well, I finally got to see it through to the end a couple of weeks ago. I was looking for something to watch on Amazon Prime a couple of weeks ago and I saw that this movie was available for streaming, so I decided to watch (& finish) it this time. It is a stirring as I remember and it also does a a great job of adapting Shakespeare’s words and works to the screen. I like the narrator of the piece and his contemporary dress along with the way he sets the stage, but of course the showstopper is Kenneth Branagh, and his performance is amazing in this film. I’m glad that I was finally able to complete my viewing of the film as it was as good as I remembered it to be as I was watching it.
After watching the “drama” that was Henry V, I wanted something a little lighter for the next movie, so I went to my old standby–a martial arts movie. While these can sometimes be serious, usually they tend to be, if not downright comedic, a little on the lighter side with a combination of outrageous action combined with a storyline that (for the most part) is played seriously and not for laughs. I consider martial arts movies as “ligther” fare for the most part, however.
I couldn’t decide on what to watch, so I just chose one (mostly) at random: 14 Blades. What I didn’t realize that it was an early work (I think) of Donnie Yen, one of my favorite martial artists outside of Jackie Chan. Donnie Yen is a more “serious” martial actor than Jackie Chan is (and that just means that Donnie tends to go for more “dramatic” roles than “comedic” roles). I like them both, just for different reasons. I’ve “seen” more movies that Jackie has done (nearly all of his old collection), but I “own” more of Donnie’s movies (all of the Ip Man movies and Kung Fu Killer).
I enjoyed the movie–it was a standard martial arts movie. There were places were it was very good and there places where the storytelling was too “on-the-nose,” but overall I liked it, and the fact that I got to see a performance by Donnie Yen was just a great bonus. It took its subject fairly seriously (maybe a little more serious than I was wanting), but still it was a fun ride and I really enjoyed watching it.
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