This movie is actually a dud to waste your time. All the characters in it are just a bunch of good-for-nothing young people who can't find purpose in life, so they just waste their lives like zombies sucking each other's time and energy even money to kill the time without any purpose. They are more like a bunch of ghosts roaming in and out of their daily lives. There's actually nothing worth watching in this movie. If you watch this hollow movie, you are just like one of them to kill your time. Do you get anything meaningful out of this movie? No, absolutely nada! This is a completely pointless movie.
When the Chinese TV series could do things differently
The anwser is NEVER. After so many years, the Chinese TV series could never break itself out of the formulaic and contrite shortcomings by throwing in huge budget on settings, costumes, make-up...and so on. They've never contributed more money on anything else except the aforementioned superfluous materialism and pretentiousness. Ancient storyline mixed up with fantasy and always with modern fashions to ridicule almost every TV drama looked funny and childish, only a few looked normal and mature.
This TV series is no exception, only for the younger generation to chase their idols and to become even more serious die-hard fans. This series is not for the matured adults, only for the teenagers or underaged.
When the young lust faded, the sexual appealing disappeared day by day, day after day, facial features sagged, legs turned weak even limping started mysteriously, all the joints hurts, wrinkles all over the face, the neck skin loosened, flipped and flopped like a turkey, arms and thighs muscles shrunk and dingling like hollow balloons without air, hairs lost and dropped everywhere, teeth ached and gum disease deteriorating, eyesights became fuzzy and blurry. A couple lived together over 50 years, what else would be used as an interesting conversation? Communication with what? Without sex, life simply lost the maintaining power to go on. Sex desires distinguished by enlarged prostate, tunnel dried up after menopause. If windows not opened every morning, bedroom smelled like death, not just old fart smelly odor. Cat or no cat, that's not the excuse. Everyday to old farts is nothing but unbearable torture. Heart attack is welcome since it just happens without premotion, drop dead right on the spot is actually a blessing. Swallow sleeping pills is another way out, just gulp them down with enough tap water or bottled water. When you become old enough, awaiting death is an impatient yearning like buying lottery, you never know when you hit the jackpot to bow out.
Lot of horses were shot and killed to make them not rideable and ran away with the Indians. I've never seen so many horses being shot and killed in a movie like this one. Then again, many tortured scenes done by the rebel Apache Indians including debowels, burns, cuts and deforms by the Indians to the Whites. The scenes of those shots and kills of the running horses scenes and the riders tumbling and throwing off the shot horses were top-notched stunts perfectly performed and looked so real in this not quite traditional western movie. B. Lancaster was 58 years old when he played the old scout role, a dying and phased out character in this western movie. He looked a bit too old, tired and overweighted and the screenplay made him to die in the Arizona wildness. Once you did finish watching this movie, you'd know the once so popular western genre era was gradually faded into the movie history.
You can play a total different tune with old costumes
Maybe the 1983 'Trading Places' got the inspiration from this 1977 movie with a touch of histroical background, but the similarity was just about the same, only the costumes and characters involved looked different. Switching social standings and entitlements between the all-have and the nothing-have, then throwing some Murphy Law additives into it, then you could make a complete new stuff to market. This movie is not a bad one since it'd show you a lot of known screen faces in just one dose. Quite fun if you don't feel it a bit outdated.
And very bad acting by most of the actors. Leading actor with bad exaggerated performance, playing a role with unlikable skinny fiancee. This is a terrible B-movie quality and completely unnecessary production. American expatriates lived on the British soil and turned killing machines for the corporate, and bad apple in Britan's anti-terrorist SAS/MI5/MI6 or whatever organizations, such a highly unlikely crappy screenplay has been used again and again.
Don't be fooled by those who tried to tell you it's a good thriller, give it a try. Just don't.
All of the other awards available in any existing Movie Festivals. Best actor, best supporting actress, best screenplay, best director, best.... If all the mentioned not won in this year's BESTs, then it only proves that the Oscar has a serious 'Demetia' problem, just a worthless nomination farce, period.
Of course, there're still some good productions this past year, but none of them could be that better than this one.
Reminder: Hopkins had already played a similar role, a college professor, who got developed dementia in "Proof (2005)". That movie is also very very good to give you a fantastic viewing experience by his great acting and at the same time, with a great screenplay, two great young actor and actress, one great director, and all of the necessary ingredients for a great movie.
The screenplay, scenario, plot, casting, directing, acting, editing, soundtrack...all well crafted and done. Every character got plenty of time to portray him or her self and well balanced. There are few similar movies related to the similar storyline and outcome, this one is exactly it should be. Another Leo Tolstoy's "Happy families and Unhappy ones" story told in modern day fashion.
First of all, the movie title is not a properly named one, especially in its English title. The movie title in Chinese is trying to use the Fuchun River as the backbone of the storyline, but when titled it in English, the movie producers just ludicrously borrowed an old Chinese painting title and changed the Fuchun River to Fuchun Mountain. It got nothing to do whatsoever with the mountain at all but a bunch of people who live by the river in all miserable and hopeless conditions.
Leo Tolstoy wrote in his "Anna Karenina": 'All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.' Writer/Director Gu Xiaogang has used his own last name to create a family with the same last name, with a widow mother and four sons. None of them was happy or success, all struggling with their own difficulties but with the same dilemma when their mother got a heart attack/stroke then became senile.
The problems of this movie are many, but some were just too obviously: 1) All the characters in this movie were supposedly to be borned and grown up along the River, in the same prefecture, same city, same province of China, yet they didn't have the same local accent. There were even some obvious actors from Taiwan, I think, with even completely different accent. 2) The dialog sometimes just felt a bit awkward and unrealistic, especially the conversation between the eldest son's daughter, a kindergarten teacher, with her local boyfriend walking along the Riverg. They got two different accents but not the local one. Then the fourth son who met the young woman at the same time on the riverside, neither of them talked with the similar local accent. 3) The actress who played the Kindergarten teacher got a very long and pointed unnatural plastic chin. She looked just too out-of-place weird.
This movie inevitably forced me to think a bit cynically: Why I need to know these peoples' miserable lives, lifestyles, their daily struggles, difficulties and dilemmas, don't I have my own, too many and too much already? Same questions could be applied to: Why I need to watch those movies full of lowlifes, junkies, murderers, serial killers, prisoners, drifters, grifters, criminals, con men, losers or people with dimentia or Alzheimer's disease? Do I need to know more about these kind of people to affirm how lucky that I am not one of them or not yet to become one?
This movie is just too tidbits, overly common and nothing special to the 1.4 billion Chinese minus the CCP members. I'd rather watch a documentary purely about this Fuchun River or Fuchun Mountain itself without any made-up or true story focused on the PEOPLE who live by the river or in the mountain. Then I'll deal with my own problems afterwards.
The running-arouind double-meaning clueless and cynical dialog would drive you crazy but in a good funny way so ridiculously out of control messy and wisecracking unlimitedly. Every scene, conversation and arrangement simply kept twisting around non-stop, almost covered everything to the WWII era, brainlessly mixed like a cocktail with so many ingredients. Funny as it was, but would also tire you out pretty soon. Call it a comedy or a farce or just a drama played from all the settings readily available in the Hollywood studio instead of the real San Franciso, chain-smoking and binge drinking. Hilarious but you'd feel quite tiresome after awhile. Can't give this movie a higher mark over 5 but nor can give it too low, cos it actually quite smoothly scripted, directed and acted by so many familiar good actors and actresses. Just watch it as you watch the "Saturday Night Live" and don't take it too seriously except those mockery satires about Trump's 4 years craziness.
A huge garbage dump piled up with $70 Million Dollars waste
Why wasted and threw away seventy million dollars on this completely worthless crap? Why not used this budget to help the 60,000 homeless people in LaLaLand? Why didn't use the money to feed the hungry children? Why not used this money to buy lottery?
We really don't need Super Heroes or Super Heroines to save the world, cos without CGI's help, they are just powerless as we salarymen or the unemployed, and without computerized CGI techniques, the green screen and the cable/wire, these so-called Marvel Super Heroes would not exist except on animated cartoon magazines.
An earthlin Batman who could only jump from a building to another, who could only drive around in a gasolin powered sportscar in Gotham city streets, would have the power to kill the Superman, a guy who could push the Earth back to its normal orbit around the Sun? Yeah, right, only in animated cartoon might be possible, stupid. And, don't forget to push out your garbage cans a day before the garbage collecting day.
One more thing to be added: Why all these cartoon caricatures need masks and funny costumes to get superpower? Why they can't just wear plain normal clothes to play superheroes? Why?
So annoying, so irrelevant the music bombarded all through this mediocre movie and won Best Music, Scoring Award? Jesus, give me a mercy break, will you?! Also, the dialog was so contrite and so unnecessary in many scenes, just kept blabbering out of several outdated cartoon-like characters and one of them won Best Actor in a Supporting Role Award?! The stagecoach driver, my God, another cartoon-like ridiculous cast, kept blah blah blah all the way like nuts, just can't keep his mouth shut. The ridiculous screenplay just assembled so many unlikable characters into a stagecoach and jammed them together. We have a movie called "Ship of Fools", but this one we should call "Stagecoach of Clowns and Jerks", only Dallas and the Ringo Kid looked sane and normal.
This western, in my opinion, is one of the worst ever western genre movies that I've watched, and I've watched so many western movies, so I think that I am entitled to give this bad movie a below level score 4/10, and it's already too generous. In regard to such lousy movie could have won two Oscar Awards, it only showed how worthless the Oscar sometimes really shows its value.
Has become one of the best Chinese actors from H.K. He matured perfectly and finally evolved into a completely believable and convincing actor who likes all the great famous actors with house known faces, but the characters he or she played, their images would evolve into those roles they played, no matter their faces so familiar to us, the characters they played became the virtually believable persons on the screen. Andy Lau finally became such actor, he aged well and matured perfectly.
This movie is perhaps one of the very best suspenseful cop thrillers I've ever seen so far. Screenplay, directing, cast, editing, CGI effects, stunt, choreography, montage...and best of all, the voices in Mandarin are so good, almost in impeccable level. The romance between the two main characters was so well performed and profound. No unnecessary sexual scenes, only embraces and one last kiss.
The female leading actor, a truly talented natural performer I rarely found in Chinese movies, a great future star ensured.
If I have to find a flaw, it would be the make-up of the terrorist leader, bleached snow white long hairs, white jacket...Jesus, no terrorists, especially the leader would dress and look so outstandingly and so ridiculously obvious; a very bad cartoon character that you don't find he's evil enough.
This movie is like ride on a roller coaster, not even one moment dull or lax, from the very beginning to the final climax. Absolutely well done! A milestone and the highest standard that might not be easy to transcend in the coming years for movie production.
Highly recommended. So why still scored 9/10? Nothing is perfect, but this one is a near perfect one.
What a lame and bore-you-to-death police investigation story! The whole 6 episodes actually could be condensed to a total 1 hour long TV drama, but they used a lot of walked into office, walked to the pier, sat in the car, drove the car, sat at dinning table, held each other's hands, long trance in the office, contemplated the case, married daughter still craved her father's love and care, resented him so much....blah, blah, and blah, all these scenes just repeated themselves again and again, especially the back of the head of the police chief detective; the camera seemed to have a compulsory habit to shoot his back, or his head in trance. One of his detective kept eating non-stop but just did office boy's errand, and kept eating snacks in the office meetings or outside waiting results. The chief police got two dogs to walk at night. The victim's parent got one old dog....The chief detective didn't look a bit like a veteran cop but more like a college professor, a charity volunteer, or just a philosopher. The most pathetic guys were those divers who got to dive in and out of the cold sea so many times. Jesus, what a dud!
The terrible soundtrack, the music score that was so irrelevant to the scenes, so contrite, uninspired, so unrelated in those most critical moments: The chase on the snowy mountain, the attack on the clinic, and almost every moment that should have more proper music to portray what happened at that specific moment. But the trademark 007 music was so stupidly used to those moments, such a stupid arrangement. The music score was finally matched appropriately when James Bond held his newly wed wife died in his arms, that music was right and not annoying at all. The trademark 007 music was outdated even in this movie, albeit still stupidly used in the recent 007 movies. It should be thrown away long time ago.
All the flashbacks were too vague to be clearly separated from the present
And there's big flaw that bothered us a lot:
The younger Madam Lin seemed to be too tall when compared her height to the present her. I simply couldn't persuade myself that the present old Lin lost her height due to serious Osteoporosis that had turned her old self into a midget like short woman. There were so many flashbacks with her younger images, but they just failed to link her as the 70yr old present self. So the young Lin was definitely a huge miscast. Also, the mistress of the dead husband was also a bit too young and too tall. Maybe it's an arrangement to purposefully put contrast to these two women?
Also, the youngest sister gave us a very negative impression, quite unlikable from the very beginning. If she took over her mother's restaurant business, why she didn't go to the fish market early in the morning and still forced her mother to do the regular daily purchase? She's a bit like spoiled brat who usually be the youngest. The dialog between and among the sisters just felt awkward, raw and no sisterhood feelings at all.
But other than what I've mentioned and pointed out as the above, this movie is such a decent and matured one that rarely came out of Taiwanese movie producers. It has transcended in every section that only a great movie could have achieved. The montage of the camera operated, the sounds and the subtle soundtrack in and out so appropriately, the acting of most of the actors involved, especially the great performance of Ms. Shu-Fang Chen, an absolutely Oscar worthy actress who's like a vintage wine matured so perfectly in a bottle. There were stories for everyone involved and well balanced throughout the whole story line structure. The directing was absolutely superb! But of course, all the achievements should be sincerely counted on a fantastic screenplay. This movie has convinced me that Taiwan movie industries still got hope to jump to the higher international standard level.
Why this movie had to be shot in Genoa, Italy? Having some production budget didn't give you guys the right to waste it abroad and had a vacation sponsored by the movie company's investors. Besides, to create a deadly traffic accident by a stupid youngster who throughout all the movie not a bit likable, but a low IQ teen was another huge letdown of this boring movie. There were so many unnecessary scenes that should be cut and edited out, but if cut them all, what this hollow movie would have left? Life to the elder sister seemed to be so boring until she got a foreign romance? The father seemed to take everything for granted, only with a numb attitude and lukewarm pretension to everybody around him. The Genoa scenes only gave us a pathetic viewing impression how this tourist-trap city sucked big time. Nothing ever interested happened in this turkey and worthwhile watching.
We've tried to watch this movie for about 30 minutes and decided to quit. What another lousy Chinese CGI crap! The costumes and make-up not only over-the-top ridiculous, it's even looked more like a Japanese fantasy and horror movie. The screenplay, a big joke; the dialog, so pretentious and hollow; the make-up, Jesus....Don't know why Chinese movies have degenerated to such a low level without any substance but superfluously shallow. They just got huge budget to spend and didn't even give a damn to what they were making, all they did was to throw big money to make them look cool like Emperor's Gown with nothing underneath, not even an underpants, it's completely naked without nothing worth seeing. Korean's movies usually got 6/10 at least in rating, but in fact, most of the movies from Korea, generally got over 7.8.9/10. If you take a look at the Chinese movies, most were under 22.214.171.124.1/10 and most were unwatchable. This one is no exception, I gave it 1/10 score. If I could give 0/10, I'd be more satisfied.
"Dans la vengeance et en amour, la femme est plus barbareque l'homme."
Arthur Schopenhauer on Women's Love & Hate:
~In revenge and in love, the woman is more barbaric than the man.
~When a woman loves, a man should be afraid: because she sacrifices everything at this time, and she considers everything else worthless.
This movie was exactly like what Schopenhauer said: When a woman loves, a man should be afraid, and he shall scare to death if she hates you. You may fool her once but her revenge will be served cold.
I think the Chinese cartoon makers have indulged themselves into the same stinking armpit of over-the-top formulaic creations. Their recent productions were all alike in this pathetic form: Weird characters designs, horrible exaggerated and pretentious voices to mimic those cartoon characters, mess-up to ridicule the Chinese historical or the legendary figures in Chinese myths. Their only achievement is successfully driving the majority Chinese younger generations to become more shallow and more easier to be manipulated by twisting all the facts and/or legends into a more farce like mess, and in the meantime, cash in from the box office like Mulan, Na Zha(Cha), Wu Kong, The Monkey King or whatever. They were all disgusting cartoon animation trash, there's no beauty in them at all.
Well, I was fooled by a reviewer who reviewed "Penguin Bloom" by saying it was good but behind "The Dry". So I seeked out the movie he highly recommended, but was shocked to find it's a big Australian turkey from its head to its tail! It's actually one of the worst Aussie movies I've ever encountered. So I just found out that perhaps the Australian movie viewers and the reviewers following up writing reviews afterwards are generally too generous to their movie industries and their productions.
"The Dry" movie actually was more dry than what it showed about the dry and barren wildness in it. There's nothing worth you investing 1 hr 57 min of your life to watch, there's nothing there but on and on Bana either walking or driving around in endless patched-up flashbacks with hollow dialog, deadbeat supporting acting by all of the boring characters, poor editing, albeit going-nowhere directing. You Aussies are all too kind to your own movies down under. Your high ratings are on par with those fake high ratings of most movies produced by the British in last 20 years, barely one or two were above-level decent or actually watchable. It seems that your two commonwealth brothers suffered the same bore-to-death creation blocks.
Comparing this dry movie to Penguin Bloom, the latter is almost like a miracle out of the blue. The distance between these two movies are about the distance from Australia to Enland. Forget about those high rating reviews of this pathetic movie, go watch "Penguin Bloom" couple of times to clean out the stinking bore from this one. I rest my case.
This movie is so great that even after we have finished watching, we couldn't stop our praises to the movie, the screenplay writers, the original story writers, the director, Naomi Watts and of course, that crazily adorable Australian magpie! We don't even know how this movie was possibly made with a bird actor, unless it's a CGI creation, we just don't know. But one thing is so certain and assured: This is one of the Very Best movies that we've ever watched. There're moments we were deeply moved by the story and couldn't hold our tears. That's how great this movie is, so realistic and so emotionally to watch.
Beautiful montage, every scene was great! A near perfect movie!
The 800 Chinese fighters had absolutely got nothing to do with CCP and its current China. There are so many evidences had been proved that the Chinese Communist army or soldiers hadn't involved in any of the Chinese 8 years long struggle and fighting against the Japanese invasion armies. But the CCP now has tried everyway to deny their treacherous and treasonous acts that had caused the then Chinese government lost more Chinese people in the war against the Japs. They are now trying so hard to brainwash its 1.4 billion enslaved citizens to believe they were the main force that did the most of the fights against the Japs, the then KMT army did nothing but retreats from every battle. It's they who won every one of them and it was their monopoly achievement, while all the lost battles against the Japs were caused by the corrupt KMT armies, including these 800 soldiers left behind to fight against the 100 X greater Japanese army. But no matter, CCP got to give some credit to those brave 800 KMT soldiers and has to paint them as the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for Chinese motherland.
The CCP has created so many winning battles against the Japanese invader armies to whitewash their done-nothing against the Japs history, so not only they have created so many fake winning battles, they now also included KMT soldiers as their own. Since they are the winner who'd created a so-called New China and liberated the Chinese from the corrupt KMT regime after 1949, winner takes all, including rewriting the Chinese history, to fool their newer generations, the foreign countries and most of all, themselves.
The CCP is really trying so hard in making this movie to be their solely achievement, in the meantime, they didn't let go of any opportunity to describe how cruel the KMT army to treat their own soldiers and common citizens. It's the Chinese Communist Party who had LIBERATED China and the Chinese from the viciously corrupted KMT government and their heartless and coward army, so the whole movie got to be made in non-stop screaming and yelling, shouting, cursing to show how KMT army was just a bunch of lame ducks to fight against the Japanese, a typical way how the CCP trying to do a historical mop-up and, this is one of their brainwash projects.
Had made this movie with great cast become so unbearably boring. We love Michelle Pfeiffer, she's a great talented actress, but the screenplay forced her to blabbering all the time and too much. The screenplay was not crafted concisely enough, the directing too textbook traditional and boring. It's just feel so outdated when we tried to watch in the 2021.
If you're not the husband who made your wife pregnant, do you want to spent 30 minutes of your life to watch a child bearing process? This is not a documentary movie about how a woman tried to do a natural birth and then lost her baby, this is a movie about the effect when a woman lost her baby, the unbearable painful aftermath of the baby's death.
We can't deny how the leading actress' great performance, but forced us to spend over 30 minutes to watch her acting is just too much to go on. There are many unnecessary scenes from the very start to the end. The husband yelled at someone at the opening scene, then buying the van, then lot of unnecessary scenes and dialog. I really don't know how these scenes and dialog are necessary.
The 7.1/10 high rating is another myth to me, but I just couldn't care less.