Since my birthday is so close to Christmas, the volume of presents received is usually drastically diminished – replaced by simply money, vouchers… or, if they decided to get a slightly bigger present Christmas, nothing. That’s cool – my more materialistic younger self came to terms with this arrangement years ago, but it set up a tradition almost where I would then just take myself shopping around my birthday and picky myself up something.
This year, along with Series 3 of Bleach (which is awesome, by the way. Everyone should go buy it now), I picked up an additional three Blu-rays to add to my collection: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, The Warlords and Freddy vs. Jason. It was mainly Scott Pilgrim I wanted, as it had been highly recommended to me, but the last two were going cheap and I used to own F v J a long time ago, but I lost the DVD somehow. Anyway, over the weekend I had Blu-ray marathon… mainly because I was ill.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World was really good, very enjoyable. Freddy vs. Jason was just as wonderfully naff as I remember it, I also watched Iron Man 2 – also fairly good. The Warlords… well, it was ever so slightly depressing. I mean, I have a lot of time for eastern films. I was a bit of a martial arts buff growing up, and this particular one had Jet Li and Andy Lau in it, two actors I quite like. But this film… on the surface, it seems to be a slightly typical period action-movie about great people and great deeds, but it quickly turns into a film about the realities of war and politics associated with 19th Century China. I guess I’m just not used to seeing Jet Li playing an ass-hole.
I mean, he’s been ‘evil’ before – his western debut in Lethal Weapon 4, his ‘other self’ in The One… he’s been a bad guy, but for some reason in The Warlords I really ended up hating him and what he was doing. To be fair, his character was a little bit confusing – starting the film as the sole survivor of a massacre (because he played dead), he sort of falls in the with Andy Lau and his ‘bandits’, before convincing them to join the Qing army. Then, not even before he even gets a uniform, he turns into some war-mongering general who’s only goal is to win win win. That, and it turns out he’s having an illicit relationship with Lau’s wife. Not cool.
And then, after all that – all the back stabbing, the revenge killings, the needless so-called ‘necessities’ of the situation, Jet Li ends up being assassinated by the people who hired him in the first place. It was all so futile. General Pang Qing-yun’s (Jet Li) assassination is actually a true event – and one of the “great” unsolved crimes of the era apparently. I’m not sure how much of the rest of it is true – Pang’s success through the Taiping Rebellion, the brotherhood etc… but you can assume there’s a lot of artistic license.
It was an ok film. Not the best impulse purchase I’ve made, but still far farrr better than Outlaw – which I only got because of Sean Bean (terrible movie) and Slither – which had Nathan Fillion in it. This is why I should be careful when picking up films on a whim – you never know what you might get.
Until next time.