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Sean Tierney
Actor , Screenwriter , Musician , Comedian , Author
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Movie Review: Happy Funeral/My Wife is a Gambling Maestro

I saw two movies yesterday.

After the second movie, I saw two cockroaches, too.

Both movies AND THE COCKROACHES were better thanThe Forbidden Kingdom.

Ahhh, that felt good.

Now, on to the matter at hand.

Happy Funeralis an interesting film.

Maybe being a 42 year oldgweilohas something to do with the fact that I found the characters utterly unlikeable, stupid and shallow. I am glad I don't know any real 20-something HK people like that.

But that doesn't mean I didn't like the movie; I did. It was often funny, though frequently unintentionally. It also managed toalmostintegrate contractually obligated cameos pretty well.

I also think that Tian Yuen deserves the Andrew Lin/Heavenly KingsOnly Actor Actually Required to Act in the Movieaward.

Maybe the others tried but failed, but I got the impression they just refused. I wish Suicide Poem Girl had followed the bag...

The woman who plays Suzy deserves a mention too, since old people playing old people who die has got to be a bit sobering.

And she reminds me of the woman across the hall in my estate who is so batty that all she ever says is a repetition of "dang" or "kip" to the melody of 'Jingle Bells':

"kip kip kip, kip kip kip, kip kip kip kip kip..."

I also should give the film a nod for having the fairly common Incongruous Appearance of a Black Person, but thankfully avoiding the usual horrifically racist humor.

This is a better movie thanWonder Women, but that ain't saying nothing, is it?

Ahhhhhh, but on to the evening's highlight: You'd think that getting my head between Meng Yao's legs would elicit a smile... I'm just looking at all the locals staring at thegweiloin front of the local film poster. Oh, and FWIW, even I will admit I don't look like a fat f@#$ in this photo. Thank you, Rick!

My Wife is a Gambling Maestrois classic Wong Jing; cheap, juvenile, underacted, and intentionally hilarious (most of the time). It's GREAT.

It had a few humor booby traps, jokes that come out of nowhere and kneecap you. I am glad that my nascent Cantonese allowed me to get the joke about the bad guy wanting to watch football while he played mahjong (against a woman big enough to play rubgy).

Meng Yao is dubbed, but it doesn't matter. She acquits herself well in the action scenes, and as a fellow viewer noted, she is burly enough that her MALE stunt double is nearly indistinguishable from the actress. But she gamely does the best she can with what she is given (that is not a cleavage joke), and does all right.

I take a lot of grief for being an avid Nick Cheung Kar Fai fan, but so what? He turns in a funny performance and adds some edges and corners to what I am sure was a flatly written character.

Besides, this is a Wong Jing movie, so this kind of stuff is unnecessary. You know, plot, logic, character development. Get that sh*t out of here!

Only in a Wong Jing movie can 8 guys have a fight in a Women's bathroom and not only is there no explanation, none is expected or necessary.

I say that because this fight scene is better than anything inForbidden Kingdom, which never bothers to explain why everyone in ancient China suddenly starts speaking English like the lone white kid, rather than have the f@#$ing visitor speak Chinese.

But I digress...

What I love about Wong Jing is that you either like it or you don't, and he has no lofty aspirations that only add height to the failure's plummet. That's not an indictment of the other movie I saw yesterday. But it could be, I think.

Itisdefinitely a stab atBlood BrothersandThe Drummer. I'd rather watch Stupid succeed than Artsy fail.

Which can be an allegory for my life, and probably is.

over 13 years ago 0 likes  3 comments  0 shares
I don't know if I should be flattered or offended... Kinda like the 'love scenes' in Forbidden Kingdom ;P
over 13 years ago


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Hong Kong
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April 1, 2008