TL;DR This Week In Cinema: Shu Qi Slays As The Assassin, And The Verdict On The Best Of The Bunch
Welcome to the BRAG’s weekly rundown of what’s hot in the coming seven days of cinematic releases. Thing is, everyone's holding out for Boxing Day, so the release cup runneth under this week.
Nevertheless, a few leaps back and forth through time were all that was necessary to make up the week's quota. Got a problem with that? Fight me.
It won best director at Cannes, and has already made official selections in New York and Toronto - four months later, we finally get a glimpse of Taiwanese visionary Hsiao-Hsien Hou's epic martial arts masterpiece.
After falling prey to sentiment and showing mercy to a target, assassin Nie Yinniang (Shu Qi) is given the brutal task of killing the man to whom she was once betrothed, a powerful military governor.
It's a slow-burner, but its basis in wuxia (the genre that spawned Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and its jaw-dropping cinematography will surely smoulder in the memory.
tl;dr Never not swords moar swords pls nao
Look, until recently, Ryan Reynolds wasn't exactly an actor who attracted a lot of quality screenplays, but there's a charm there that's kept him afloat thus far. Pair him with the ever-reliable and ever-hopeless Aussie pseudo-scumbag Ben Mendelsohn and you've got a potential winner on your hands.
Critical response has been varied but most see this as a solid, retro-style road flick and an intriguing character study, if only for the boys. Poor Sienna Miller is once again left only the scraps.
tl;dr One more way for the Reynolds fans to kill time before Deadpool arrives.
This is my leap backwards for the week, as it was actually released on December 3. Am I behind the times? Well, so are you for failing to see what the critics are touting as one of the finest thrillers of the year.
Nelly Lenz (Nina Hoss) survives the Holocaust, but not unscathed - she's forced to have her face reconstructed after being shot. As she makes the journey to Palestine to make a new home, she is embroiled in the intrigues of people who no longer recognise her.
Sure, you may have to read some subtitles, but the only reason they distract you is because they remind you of what a racist you are.
tl;dr It's just a terrible case of mistaken identity.
Hoo, boy. Ain't nobody makes films harder than the Koreans. Inside Men dives deep into a sociopolitical structure poisoned by corruption, where a presidential candidate is nearly indistinguishable from the press he pays off and the thugs that pave his way.
Oh, and someone within the circle is hellbent on revenge. Did I mention this was a Korean film?
tl;dr Never, ever piss off anyone who's likely to have seen Oldboy.
This is our first Boxing Day spoiler, one of the few that I've had the chance to see thanks to its proliferous preview screenings. It's drawn significant criticism for potentially whitewashing the feminist origin story, but is still a powerful and excellently performed historical drama.
With progressive politics being as divisive as they are - and conservative responses as vehement as they tend to be - it was never going to be unanimously loved, but this story is a potent reminder that, for half the human race, the fight is not yet over.
tl;dr There were always going to be detractors...
And now for THE VERDICT - maybe you only get the chance to see one of these flicks on the big screen, and you don't wanna waste that night out. So, drum roll please...
Suffragette is an important, timely film and well worth your cinema dollars, but for sheer entertainment sake (and for a wildly different take on female empowerment), my vote would go to The Assassin.
Until next week!