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[Review] Wesley's Mysterious File & Princess D

Old 06-10-02, 02:32 AM
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[Review] Wesley's Mysterious File & Princess D

Wesley's Mysterious File

Oh god - what a piece of crap. Andy Lau and Shu Qi star in this high talent low quality film. It's about Wesley (played by Andy Lau) who is like a cross between Fox Mulder and Will Smith from Men in Black. He works for this secret government organization that tracks and polices aliens from outer space. The rest of the plot is too stupid to even further explain. It's so convoluted that I think I pulled an eye muscle from rolling my eyes so much. Also, despite having ending after ending (meaning points in the movie where they could've rolled credits and be done with it) nothing ever really happens it seems like. The movie runs just shy of 90 minutes and still it felt like an eternity.

The acting was some of the worst I've ever seen. It was supposed to take place in San Francisco and alot of bad English was spoken. It shouldn't have been. Worse than Gen Y Cops in this respect. Flagrant waste of talent across the board... director, actors, and CGI team. The effects were unremarkable and unfinished. They borrowed from everything - from Resident Evil the video game to Men in Black to Terminator 2 to Ghost in the Shell. What they didn't borrow, they made up and what they made up was really weak. The sets were cheap and unimaginative, the story went nowhere and the characters had no motivation or depth. It is one of the worst movies I've seen come out of HK in the past 5 years.

The DVD is nice. Mei Ah did a real nice transfer. The subtitles are good this time. The DD5.1 track is nice, but they screwed up the DTS track (now that they took over China Star, there's always going to be something wrong with Mei Ah DVDs apparently). I give this and suggest you stay far far away from this piece of sh**. Complete waste of time. 2/10

Princess D

This was mildly entertaining. Daniel Wu stars as computer game designer who crosses paths with the perfect girl in his search for inspiration. He decides to make this girl the subject of his next video game against the will of the company he works for. He quits his job and goes about it on his own. The girl is plagued with problems of her own in her personal life. Daniel tries to save her in a sense by giving her strength to succeed in life... or whatever... blah.

It's a semi-sappy slice of life with some bad CGI thrown in. There's a bit of a romance here, but you have to look hard to find it. It's overly dramatic to be honest. Another film where they spent too much money on effects and not enough attention to the story and the development of the characters. The acting is overall competent, but I've noticed that even thought Daniel Wu is given diverse characters to play he always seems to be playing himself and I'm starting to find it somewhat annoying. I liked him better in Purple Storm than most of his recent flicks. Born Wild was good though.

The cover of the DVD would have you believe the CGI is close to that of Final Fantasy the movie, but it's closer to Final Fantasy the video game and is not really all that impressive. The Mega Star DVD is very nice. DTS sound and an Anamorphic transfer. I didn't find any flaws in the presentation worth mentioning. Overall, I'd rate the film a 6/10 and if I had to give it a thumb rating, I'd give it an but it's close. It may not be worth the time to watch. Certainly you could watch something else instead, but this one isn't the worst film ever. No real target audience to recommend it to. Maybe girls who think Daniel Wu is hot?
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Old 06-10-02, 11:06 AM
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Eek! I'd better go drop an email and have Wesley's Mysterious Poo removed from my order.
Thanks,
Gabe
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Old 06-10-02, 11:15 AM
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Hurry! As fast as you can!
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Old 06-10-02, 01:28 PM
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Originally posted by Trigger
Hurry! As fast as you can!
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Old 06-11-02, 02:07 PM
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Got it removed from my order, whew!
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Old 06-13-02, 08:55 PM
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Originally posted by gabegarwick
Got it removed from my order, whew!
Good work. I thought I'd post a copy of some reviews posted at www.hkmdb.com which will further prove my point. 7 bad reviews and one "good" review that is actually a bad review in disguise.

Reviewed by: magic-8
Date: 06/06/2002
Summary: So Bad It's Funny

What do you say about a movie where the second-rate American actors do better than the movie's stars? Andrew Lau Wai-Keung's "The Wesley's Mysterious Story" can be an amusing way to spend 88 minutes if you strip away the laughably bad dialogue, the terrible acting, the grade school plot devices, the heavy-handed exposition and the use of English by Chinese actors. The only other way to enjoy this film is to view it with a bunch of friends and tear away at it unmercifully, sniping at every little thing. But, since we can't take the aforementioned pieces out of the whole, we must suffer through the film's stench.

Following "The Legend of Wisely," "Bury Me High" and "The Seventh Curse," Andrew Lau Wai-Keung's "The Wesley's Mysterious Story" is the weakest and most embarrassing Wisely story to appear on film. I must admit that I tried to watch this movie intently, but whenever a character opened up his or her mouth, out spewed crap. The experience proved to be too painful. The only way to describe this movie is to sit through an Ed Wood festival, where it's so bad it's funny.



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Reviewed by: snookie_1
Date: 05/30/2002
Summary: aiya........

wow....when i rented this...i was expecting a mildly amusing sotyr..but this really took me by suprise...cuz...it..was...just...so.... BAD!!!!omg....a snorefest...heh...i got to laugh at their bad english...HA! and really none of these people seemed to fit w/the story...rosamund kwan didn't look pretty wif that hair...andy lau looked..uhh...w/his glasses...and shu qi...heh...who's character is supposed to only wear white...guess what...SHE WORE BLACK!!!...heh...how sad...wat a bad re-telling of the novels...the shots of frisco were great tho...when did they shoot this?...how come i wasn't notified??hmmm...2/10



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Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 05/30/2002
Summary: Bad

Oh this is bad, yes it really is. A Wisley adventure for 2002, and now he's high-tech! It's certainly not like his adventurer days. This new 'story' is extreamly dull, and the whole concept to be quite honest wore out several years ago.

Both Andy Lau and Rosamund Kwan are wasted in this, and although Shu Qi is more suited to this type of film, even she looks stupid. The CGI looks impressive enough, but it just doesn't look right for Wisley! Did Indiana Jones ever go to fight aliens? No, so why should Wisley. What else would you expect from Wong Jing!

Not a lot to keep you interested, avoid this one.

Rating: 2/5



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Reviewed by: Stardust
Date: 05/29/2002
Summary: What the Heck is This?

For a movie about a well-known fictional character and a cast consisting of Andy Lau and Rosamund Kwan, one would think that this is a promising movie that can't be too bad to watch. For me, it was definitely on my "movies that I want to watch" list. Boy, was I ever wrong.

After watching this movie, I can conclude that this is the worst movie that was on my list. Forget the fact that the storyline was altered almost completely compared to the original story (I was expecting that anyway), I cannot understand why the film-makers would let so many problems exist in this movie.

Firstly, whats with the english dialogue? All the oriental actors suck at english, especially Shu Qi. Her chinese already sucks, and now they're making her speak another language? She sounded like she was constipated. So does making a chinese movie with lots of english dialogue make everything look smarter and better? If so, then we Asians have a problem: our chinese language is degrading us.

Secondly, whats with the sex scene? Very awkward and unrealistic if you ask me.

Thirdly, What was Rosamund thinking when she agreed to do this movie? I haven't seen her in a long time, so to me, this was a disappointing return for her.

Fourthly...man, I can go on and on so I'm just gonna stop here.

Overall, FORGET IT. As appealing as the cast may seem, or even if you're a huge Wisely fan, DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME!!!

Rating: 0/10



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Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 05/15/2002
Summary: Yikes!! What a waste

What a waste of talent. Movie with little plot but good use of CGI. I think the bad guys were just too strong in this and the ending was a bit much. You think this was another MEN IN BLACK but no unfortunately. I dont have anything good to say about this movie but i guess you'll have to see it for yourself to see what a waste of money!!

I feel generous giving this

3/10



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Reviewed by: annelam
Date: 05/01/2002
Summary: Skip this unless....

Skip this unless you are a big fan of Andy Lau. Gosh, this whole movie seems to be banging into your head with messages like " Andy is cool! Andy is great! Andy is handsome! Andy has style! Andy has taste!" Oh... my poor head! The filmmakers were too preoccupied glorifying Andy Lau in his superiority that everything else becomes secondary especially in the scenes where he was fighting the aliens. It was such a show-off for Andy that it made me feel terrible for the next hour of the movie. Another major disappointment was the dialogue in English. All of them spoke a language which phonologically didn't sound like English at all. I only managed to understand what they were desperately trying to mouth out after the first few sentences. I guess I needed a little time to tune my ears into listening this kind of English. Another funny thing which my cousin pointed out to me was "Hey! I didn't know aliens were Chinese!" hahahaha Oh, and by the way, this is one typical HK movie which seems to have this rule which states that the hero must end up sleeping with all the lead actresses. Once again, my advice, SKIP this! A mark for their effort in making a Science fiction + a mark for getting the BIG STARS (Andy Lau, Shu Qi, Rosamund Kwan) = 2/10



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Reviewed by: Akina86
Date: 04/24/2002
Summary: Not for everyone

This movie just is too boring i was expecting a lot since andy lau, rosamund kwan, shu qi are good actors and have done great jobs in the past but this movie didn't work out, they've tried some kind of experiment with mixing chinese people with american and special effects and the result is just disappointing, you have a weak story about wesley looking for some blue blooded alien (rosamund kwan) which later on they fall in love and shu qi a special agent of fbi. The movie is too slow and boring.



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Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 04/05/2002
Summary: This may be the only positive review the movie will ever receive

Now I'll admit that as a person I'm easily annoyed... but in the grand pantheon of aggravations there are few things that annoy me as much as the gleeful "disappointment" everybody likes to express whenever Andrew Lau & Wong Jing make a movie together. Disappoint must imply that you were expecting something you did not receive... and if after all this time you expect Andrew Lau & Wong Jing to have suddenly developed a fine appreciation of characterisation, narrative or subtlety then you've only got yourself to blame. In a time when lack of originality is often cried as the greatest sin in the world, the fact that the producer/director duo have produced a string of completely unique movies seems to go absolutely un-applauded.

That said, in a string of movies that might fairly be described as grandly conceived but roughly executed, Wesley's File does stand out as being remarkably badly made. This is basically the fault of the script, which is best summarised as "stupid" I think. Kind of like Men In Black meets Starman, but obviously the product of muddled brains (or a complete lack of effort). Characterisation suffers as a result - it's largely non-existent - and the pacing of the story quite adeptly destroys any sense of tension that the story could/should have developed. There's some very bad acting all round - though I thought the main gweilo character carried himself quite well (compared to the history of the western actor in HK movies at least). Even Andy, who I am normally an admirer of, has quite a few embarrassing moments.

But fine, if you want to criticise then WESLEY'S will give you ample opportunity to do so. Even the most generous of reviewers (which may in this case be me) can't deny its faults. But does it have charms to compensate? Yes, it does.

Chief virtue is eye candy. 90% of the movie is shot in San Francisco, and Andrew Lau's cinematography makes the city look far more beautiful and interesting than it seems whenever I go into it :-/ It's pretty cool for me seeing Andy Lau, Rosamund Kwan & Shu Qi hanging about on streets I know quite well. Kept looking for myself in the background, but I suspect that principle photography was completed way before I moved here. The sets, costumes, general cinematography & editing are all top notch - a visually very slick movie... for the most part. The movie does suffer from some really badly done CGI, which is particularly disappointing after the relatively ground-breaking effects work in AVENGING FIST. There are some nice effects and cool creature designs, but mostly they are very poorly integrated with the real-life shots. Still, the effects do give the movie a unique feel and allows the makers to explore visual and narrative areas that Hong Kong movies have never touched on before.

The next main virtue is Rosamund Kwan. There seems to be quite a spell of actresses who had been quiet for the past few years coming back to prominence lately, and Rosamund shares with other examples a definite sense of maturity and confidence that allows her to shine even in a poorly defined role. She looks damn fine here too, remarkable for 40! It's pretty hard to still draw the male eye when sharing screen time with Shu Qi... and to be honest Rosamund still doesn't quite manage it in the few scenes where they are together... but when she gets the screen to herself she certainly commanded my full attention

The other main virtues are... ummm, a pretty interesting storyline (not script) that is quite unlike anything that Hong Kong has attempted before. There's some quite profound messages contained in there somewhere, albeit crudely fumbled in Lau/Jing's hands, but I left the theatre vaguely and briefly feeling that perhaps I should try and be a less evil person from time to time. I admire them for actually saying what most of the world only secretly thinks about America too ) If the US location & prominent American cast was an attempt to appeal to US audiences, then there's a few lines that they misjudged .

There is quite a lot of English spoken in the movie, and like other attempts from HK to use the language, it's mostly pretty bad. There's some really awful performances from the numerous American C grade actors that they employed (always the case when the director can't guide them on delivery) - though like I said, the main gweilo FBI XX head was quite good, in a C grade actor kind of way. The English spoken by Andy, Shu Qi and Roy Cheung is a whole different level of bad, however - but I didn't mind this. It was consistent with their characters that their English would be unnatural, and unlike Johnnie To's recent movies, the characters only speak English when they have to - when they're speaking to Americans. When talking to each other, they speak a natural Cantonese... except for Andy Lau, who seems to have been dubbed by somebody else for quite a portion of his lines, and hence doesn't sound too natural . I didn't find the use of English here to be as embarrassing as I did in FULLTIME KILLER or ROOT2 though - in fact I was even glad it was there.

It's probably clear that I'm trying too hard to defend a movie which by any reasonable assessment is badly made... but I genuinely did enjoy it, even if more of the laughs were unintentional than should have been the case. The movie certainly could have been a whole lot better, and taken out of Andrew Lau and Wong Jing's hands it almost certainly would have been. But who else but Andrew Lau and Wong Jing would have the balls to make such a movie these days? Ultimately it's not that the duo do things particularly well that makes me love them like I do, but the fact that they have the guts to try and do them at all. I'll still be looking out for their next CGI-tastic efforts anyway .

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Old 06-14-02, 01:18 PM
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Princess d

hmmm.... sounds like a mediocre review for Princess D, but I've heard nothing but good reviews on it from asiandvdtalk
some even calling it the best of the year, etc. so......... what gives? but a lot of people liked Shiri and i thought that was prety boring. I'll have to watch this one and found out.
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Old 06-15-02, 02:26 AM
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Re: Princess d

Originally posted by IC_Freeze
hmmm.... sounds like a mediocre review for Princess D, but I've heard nothing but good reviews on it from asiandvdtalk
some even calling it the best of the year, etc. so......... what gives? but a lot of people liked Shiri and i thought that was prety boring. I'll have to watch this one and found out.
The three of us that watched it together all found it to be fairly mediocre. We all said "it's okay..." but none of us were really all that impressed with it. It had some good moments, but overall avoidable.
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Old 06-28-02, 05:19 AM
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Roseart - I noticed in a previous thread that you had Wesley's Mysterious File on your list to order... I hope this review came in time to spare you from making that mistake. Was I too late?
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