I promised regular programming yesterday and here it is! A double feature! These are actually getting a little hard to put together because I’ve been watching TV series more than movies. Although there is The Edge of Seventeen, Miss Sloane, Macbeth and Southpaw sitting in my movie queue lately, so I need to work on those very soon. It helps that double features are a lot easier to put together and I like this new structure a lot.
Anyways, enough side tracking. One new watch and a repeat one in this double feature!
Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997)
Director: Jan de Bont
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Jason Patric, Willem Dafoe
A computer hacker breaks into the computer system of the Seabourn Legend cruise liner and sets it speeding on a collision course into a gigantic oil tanker. – IMDB
I love Speed. Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock. A great team, perfect action and so very tense to watch. Even recently, when I revisited it, I still had tons of fun. Funnily, my love for the movie didn’t bring me to watch Speed 2: Cruise Control until recently. Its the bad reviews and lack of Keanu Reeves and really not seeing anything interesting about this one. Instincts are a great thing and I sometimes forget to trust it and that is how I end up watching Speed 2 in three sittings, almost giving up after halfway through the second one but deciding to tough it out. I had seen Jason Patric in a more recent film coincidentally for My Sister’s Keeper which I reviewed for Medicine in the Movies Blogathon.
Why didn’t I like this other than the fact that Keanu Reeves isn’t there? Well, when you bring back a sequel and use the lady of the previous movie, she should be more of a center. Now, if Sandra Bullock was doing all the action, maybe it would have worked better and more entertaining. Its hard to follow a character that really isn’t too compelling to watch, plus you have Willem Dafoe playing the villain with crazy eyes here. At the end of the day, when you look back at Speed 2, it takes the formula of Speed, puts it on a cruise ship, switches up the cast and setting and adds some even less probable and reasonable events and we get this.
To be absolutely honest, I did enjoy the final parts of the movie mostly because there was a ton of guilty pleasure action moments that worked for me. However, to have to sit through a good portion of the beginning to get there isn’t exactly something I plan on doing again.
Perhaps Love (2005)
Director: Peter Chan
Cast: Jacky Cheung, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Xun Zhou, Jin-hee Ji, Eric Tsang, Sandra Kwan Yue Ng
A love triangle develops during the making of a musical in mainland China. – IMDB
Perhaps Love is one of those movies that never really made it internationally however, within their own circles had its own merit. Chinese film industry at that point hadn’t really done a lot of modern musicals. I’m not talking any form of Cantonese or Peking Opera which are really live performances. I am talking about a theatrical musical and this one did that. It roped in a phenomenal singer from the 90s who still has the pipes, like Jacky Cheung in a supporting role who sings a whole bunch here and then adds a famous actor like Takeshi Kaneshiro who is in fact earned his fame in the Hong Kong film industry and then mixes in famous Chinese actress Xun Zhou. Along with smaller roles from Eric Tsang and Sandra Kwan Yue Ng, and the change between mandarin and cantonese dialogue, this musical has a lot of great elements although being influenced and feeling like some Hollywood musicals: Moulin Rouge and Singin’ in the Rain, mostly comes to mind, along with a scene that looks exactly like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Nine (the musical).
Regardless of whatever inspirations or influences to this film, Perhaps Love is a very solid entry. Sure, there are a few spots that get a little dramatic but also expected in a lot of romantic dramas. What is very cool is how they tackle this relationship and slip between the past and present but also give this fantastical feeling to it, meshing reality with what is going on in the movie that these characters are brought together for. It has this movie in a movie sort of thing and that works very well especially because the music is beautiful and the director does a great job at setting up his shots. The costumes are really nice and just everything is done really well.
I’m not much for Chinese romance or dramas. I find that they sometimes get lost in the overdramatic phase but this one handles it all along with using it as a personal journey to overcome whatever these characters have to overcome and comes to terms with, making them each have their own layers. Rewatching now, and seeing all the inspirations, still makes me like this one a lot. Plus, Jacky Cheung is one of my favorite singers. Maybe not such a polished actor but he carries a lot of the great singing sequences here and it fits really well. While back in the early 2000s, Xun Zhou really had a good deal of fame and was offered lots of roles and in that phase, she grew on me as she picked up more complex roles in different genres. And well, Takeshi Kaneshiro is a great actor in general and its shows how much he’s grown since he has been in the acting business for a long time. Great cast, great set, beautiful music and this all pulls together into a must-see if you are into musicals and foreign films.
Have you seen Speed 2 or Perhaps Love? What did you think of it?