‘Yo, Jimbo! Get back here with my arm!’ Yes, this is the famous story set in the Chinese version of Hick America. Based on some Shakespeare book it is also black and white and in a strange language. I want to go to the movies and see stuff blow up, and watch people get shot in FULL COLOURS. I mean, how realistic can black and white be. I understand that people were poor in the olden days, well then they should have just waited until they invented colour before making films because these are just too unbelievable. I find it difficult to relate to people when they are speaking funny words I don’t be understanding, and especially when they’re a different colour. I don’t mean that in a racistphobe way, I just can’t take anything seriously when it comes from a grey mouth. But, alas I was forced to watch this my girlfriend as she said it was Clint Eastwood’s favourite film so it might be okay.
The film is set in some sort of shanty town where dogs eat each other’s arms and everyone lives in boxes. There are two different Kings and they hate each other. The each own half the village, but each want to take over completely. For the people caught in between, all they see is fighting and death and just want to be at peace. We see brothers fighting each others, families and neighbours, and friendships torn apart by this separation. This is of course a major them of every Shakespeare book- dualisticism. Where there is a man, there is a similar but different woman etc. Of course we know from school that Shakespeare lived through the British Civil War and saw his own family split up (Romeo and Julius is based on his childhood romance with the girl next door and most of his other books are affected by this). Pretty boring so far. Into this mix comes a mysterious stranger with no name called Jimbo. He sees this as a good chance to make some monies and get some free sake and a bit of a kip, so he pretends to joining both sides and make them fight more. Eventually he gets bored and kills everyone except the coffin maker who becomes a millionaire. He walks off into the night leaving the ghosts to mourn their foolish mistakes and realise they should have looked after each other and worried about this immigrant instead. This leaves us with many questions- was he really God? Was he really a devil? Was he just a mental? Why did that woman keep smiling? For all the people that were killed it’s all a bit rubbish and we don’t see any blood and the whole thing lacks excitements. Perhaps if someone was to remake this film with colour and lots of action and fights it would be good. All the issues like morals and foreigners wrecking the place, and war and jealousy are all the more important nowadays. This may be Clint’s favourite movie, but just imagine if he had been in a remake of it, with guns instead of swords. That would have been great.
Best Scene: When Jimbo is hiding from all the townspeople and he crawls underneath the boardwalk and the people’s house so they don’t see him. He hides under one bedroom and sees a young women stripping and getting washed. He watches every slip of clothing fall off slowly, sees the nubile young thing step into the steaming tub and all the moisture drip over her aching body. We then see her step out, pad herself softly with a silky cloth and get into bed, naked and sleep. This was the beginning of a new genre of Asian movies- good ones!