films seen
average score
China - 45 years old
Alive and kicking
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A Writer's Odyssey

by Yang Lu
Ci Sha Xiao Shuo Jia
2021 / 130m - China
Fantasy, Adventure
A Writer's Odyssey poster

An exciting blend of urban and high fantasy. A Writer's Odyssey is an exemplary fantasy film, unburdened by decades of cultural baggage, where every character and setting is as much an exploration for the audience as it is for the lead characters. There is no lack of visual splendor, technical excellence and epic proportions here. The biggest difference with Hollywood blockbusters is that this actually feels fresh and contemporary, rather than stale and expected. A standard for global blockbusters.

Brotherhood of Blades II: The Infernal Battlefield

by Yang Lu
Xiu Chun Dao II: Xiu Luo Zhan Chang
2017 / 120m - China
Action, Drama
Brotherhood of Blades II: The Infernal Battlefield poster

Brotherhood of Blades

by Yang Lu
Bu Zai Chen Shui
2014 / 111m - China
Brotherhood of Blades poster

The Sacrifice

Jingang Chuan
2020 / 122m - China
The Sacrifice poster

It seems China has discovered the perks of war cinema. It's a match made in heaven really, as it allows them to be over-the-top nationalistic without straying too far from accepted genre expectations. Let that be one of the main reasons why I'm not such a big fan of the genre, even when some well-respected directors take a shot at it.

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The Sacrifice focuses on one minor event in the Korean War and makes it the centerpiece of the entire war. The Chinese are trying to cross a bridge which the Americans keeps bombing to smithereens. Cue some very heroic actions and yes, sacrifices. And guess who comes out the winner in the end ...

It's all way too blasé for my liking, but at least Frant Gwo, Hu Guan and Yang Lu know how to produce a big spectacle. There's a little timeline wizardry going on and the battles are pretty intense, which makes it at least entertaining enough to watch. But looking at the talent involved, this is still somewhat of a disappointment.