A World Without Thieves (2004)
A World Without Thieves is a highly entertaining adventure movie that features effective style, engaging characters, workable tension, and surprisingly likable commercial sensibilities.
The film begins with a feud between a pair of career thieves, Bo Wang and Li Wang, who meet Xa Gen, a young country bumpkin, who believes that all men are inherently good and that there are no thieves in this world. Xa Gen is heading back to his hometown to get married. He is carrying his life's earnings and loudly challenges any thief to steal his money. Li Wang wants to protect him from all thieves. On the other hand, Wang Bo wants to teach him a lesson, namely: "Thieves are everywhere!" Xa Gen becomes the aim of other thieves and a war among these thieves ensues. The unexpected end is that Bo Wang sacrifices his life to protect Xa Gen and verifies his belief that this is a world without thieves.
This is an interesting movie, including action, romance, and fun. It also leaves the audience with a lot of food for thought.
This movie is available in Mandarin and Cantonese (HK) with English subtitles.
Director: Xiaogang Feng
Run time: 100 mins.
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Xi-zao is rich in humanity, humor, plot and acting. Though very little known in the U.S, it has won top awards in international film festivals at Rotterdam, San Francisco, and Toronto. The film opens with a young businessman taking a shower in a booth in a modern southern city. Not unlike an automatic car wash, the shower is complete with jetting water, liquid detergent, rotating brush, drying mechanism, and spot massage. A technology wonder to the Chinese. The story revolves around this young man, who struggles between following his own ambition and seeking new fortune in a new world, or returning home to help his retarded younger brother take care of the family’s traditional bath house. His personal struggle reflects, in a much larger sense, the conflict between the old China and the new ideas threatening to destroy it.
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House of Flying Daggers
Director: Yimou Zhang. (2005)
Run time: 119 minutes
This spectacular film was nominated for three Academy Awards in 2005: Best Cinematography, Best Actress (Ziyi Zhang), and Best Foreign Language Film. The story takes place in China near the end of the Tang Dynasty. Jin (Takeshi Kaneshiro) and Leo (Andy Lau) are police deputies who suspect that a dancer named Mei (Ziyi Zhang) has ties to the House of Flying Daggers, a revolutionary group. When they finally capture her, they are overcome by her beauty and lose sight of their professional objective. The situation becomes quite complicated, and the viewer cannot always be sure which side any of the protagonists are on. All of this drama is played out against a stunning visual backdrop and in the midst of incredible displays of martial arts.
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