Tuesday, September 25, 2007

John Woo's A Better Tomorrow

A classic John Woo film. This means no one runs out of bullets unless it leads to a scene where two people are pointing guns at each other's heads. I do enjoy actor Chow Yun-Fat. He always seems at the appropriate level of intensity. I was watching this movie and wondering if my own screenplay was too long. So I took notes and concluded that the film is made up of about sixty fragments.

Whatever that means. I write by touch and feel and imagining the entire thing in my head. The final page count will be telling enough.

The conflicts in A Better Tomorrow are better than most action movies. Lots of decisions and consequences with no right answers. Characters are presented with obvious conflicts between family, friendship, and job loyalty. But the gender roles are terrible. The housewife character was atrocious. Weak and needy. None of the mobsters were female. Also this image from the opening montage almost undoes the praise I had for the film's subtleties.

Sometimes I cannot believe that this is the one world we've got.

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