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Sean Tierney
Actor , Screenwriter , Musician , Comedian , Author
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Movie Review: Chocolate

Uma Thurman Ain't ShitI went to see Chocolate tonight. I haven't had this much fun in ages.

Years ago, these were the kinds of movies Jackie Chan and Michele Yeoh and a lot of other Hong Kong stars made. Not much plot, and not much need. Clear the decks and let the action begin.

In Thai movies, they still hit each other in fight scenes.

The most visceral part of this movie is the end credits, where you what the cast and crew went through to make this film. You have to respect that about them.

Yanin "Jeeja" Vismistananda is a remarkable presence.I think it's her hairdo in the movie. Her role as a muy thai savantdoesn't require much in the way of acting, but she plays it well.

Besides, I didn't see this movie to watch her act.

This movie reminds me why I fell in love with Hong Kong movies in the first place.

I know they're not really fighting, just like I know that studying movies for martial arts is like learning boxing by watching Rocky. But just like professional wrestling, you can say its fake, but 95% of the people in the world can't do it.

I am awed by her sheer physical capabilities. She, like her mentor Tony Jaa and all the Peking opera students who made Hong Kong cinema's name, make gravity seem voluntary. 

They make astounding grace and balance seem ordinary, and they can sometimes move faster than the human eye can see. I intend to buy this DVD simply because there are so many moments in this movie that I have to see again, just to make sure of what I saw. Yes, there's wire work, but the things that impressed me most were all her own doing.Luckily for Ms. Vismistananda, she never runs the risk of seeming anything less than absolutely female in the best sort of way.

Admittedly, being surround by a gaggle of transsexuals in the movie certainly helps (as does not having to wear the same God-awful 80s makeup Michele Yeoh got stuck with), but she is remarkably cute and lethal in equal measures. See?:Go see this movie. Don't watch it, just look at it. Sure, it dishes out genre expectations like bran muffins in a retirement home. But those moments of dullardry are necessary breaks to catch your breath before Yanin thumps another bunch of guys.

The plot may be simplistic, but it simply makes it easier for us to cheer louder the harder she beats people who richly deserve it. And she certainly does that.

I am happy to say that there is finally another person on a much-too short list whose films I will automatically go see because they remind me why I love movies in the first place.

I love watching people, not computer-generated images, do amazing, nearly impossible things. I know I can never do any of that stuff. I'm just very grateful someone can, and that we are lucky enough to watch them do it.

I'd let her kick me in my face and break my nose just so I could tell people she was the one who did it. And it would be worth it.The next time Jennifer Garner or some other dimwit claims that 8 weeks of shooting a comic book movie has taught them how to 'kick some ass,' I want you to think of Yanin. Then think of Yanin and Jennifer in a boxing ring.Hahahahahahahaaa...

over 13 years ago 0 likes  5 comments  0 shares
When she made Elektra she carried on like she was some sort of badass. Angie is pregnant and would still beat her like a stepchild. Besides, any H'wood 'chick power' dolt would do. Not against the idea, but let's not delude ourselves about our capacities. Donnie Yen is an unconscious parody of himself. The girl in the movie likes chocolate. Like I said, the realism for me was secondary, though this one is not too bad.
over 13 years ago
Yungyungyu 9f image
actually i saw some force and speed in her kicks. I think she did really well. When I saw the end extra of the movie, u can see that this girl is really going hard for it. Pain doesn't make her back off a bit. Now that is the spirit. Plus she is almost gymnatic for christ sake. I wish I can do those kind of moves. I've thought it'd be interesting to act in an action movie. ^^
over 13 years ago
Yungyungyu 9f image
I personally think Donnie is different from Yanin. Though I dunno what's her martial art back ground but Donnie is almost Jet Li kinda feel. He's like the choreographer for action movies in Hollywood for Christ sake. Yanin is a total fresh breeze in action films. dun u agree bison?
over 13 years ago
Donnie and Jet (and Wu Jing and Angie) are Wushu artists. Wushu is not a contact sport, and is not literally a martial art. But it translates very well to movies. Donnie has years of experience and can choreograph for the camera (and himself, of course). Yes, Yanin has power. And plenty of heart, as the NGs show. She is a Tae Kwon Do practitioner, so she is real. I wasn't intending chauvinism when I said she was still very female, I just meant that she breaks the stereotype in a very entertaining way. She reminds me of Angie (in real life); a smiling, petite woman who could also kick your teeth in before you can blink. Good thing for Sidney he learned Tae Kwon Do! People respected Michelle Yeoh for her skills, but I never hear people call her a beauty. Muy Thai doesn't always look powerful on screen, but it is! In terms of realism, I meant more the choreography and or fights. Ever watch UFC? Totally real, and grossly un-cinematic. Muy Thai movies are not as flashy because Muy Thai isn't, just like Wing Chun isn't used in HK movies. It's practical, not pretty. Yung Yung, you heal up first before you try action movies!
over 13 years ago


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April 1, 2008