When the Dragon Swallowed the Sun – DVD Review

When the Dragon Swallowed the Sun

I’ve moaned before about finding reviewing documentaries difficult. So let’s break this down and make things easy on myself.

What is the film about?
The film focusses on China’s occupation of Tibet, the Dalai Lama’s Middle Way Policy, and the Tibetan people’s conflict between wanting to follow their religious leaders and the desire to do all they can to free their homeland.

Did you actually get that from the film or is that from Google?
Admittedly some of that wasn’t completely apparent to me while I watched the film.

Is this because you were wrapping presents at the same time?
No comment.

Why did the film fail to completely hold your interest?
For me the film was far too long. The running time was nearing the two-hour mark and perhaps had it been shorter the message might have been clearer.

Do you think the film was balanced?
As balanced as the film can be. We did see Chinese citizens reactions to the Free Tibet protests but with the way media is managed in China you’re never sure if you can believe what you are seeing.

Did you learn something from the film?
Definitely! My knowledge of world events is poor at best and while I have heard the phrase “Free Tibet” many a time this is the first time I have properly understood just why Tibet needs freeing.

Did anyone at any point compare China to Nazi Germany?
Yes, yes they did.

And how did that make you feel?
A little uncomfortable if I’m honest. The suggestion that genocide was just round the corner seemed a little unfounded. But then I could be wrong.

Was there any thing jarring about the film?
The music! It was so incredibly overwrought and overpowering. Thankfully I don’t seem to be alone in this view. Philip Glass has done much better.

So in summary was the film successful?
It certainly educated me but at the same time bored and confused me. Definitely worth a watch if you are as ignorant about the issues at hand as I am but don’t let yourself get distracted.

How many stars would you give it?

I take it the film is out on DVD?
You know where to find it.

Out Now – 16th August 2013

Kick Planes 2

Kick-Ass 2
I remember when I first saw Kick-Ass (with my less than impressed sister) and thought it was amazing. It even gave me “shivers down my spine” apparently. What a nerd. I remember the second time I saw Kick Ass and suddenly remembered all the bits I didn’t like so much; the masturbation heavy intro, Aaron Johnson’s voice, and other things I fail to remember now. Anyway… it’s sequel time! Which would be more exciting if the reviews weren’t so mediocre and I hadn’t seen Kick-Ass that second disappointing time. Still, I bet Chloe Moretz is her usual amazing self.

If you asked me what Pixar’s weakest original film was I would reply, “Cars… please get out of my house”. If you asked me what Pixar’s worst film of all time was I would reply, “Cars 2. The police are on their way.” Planes is a spin-off from Cars that was originally going to go straight to DVD and was made by Disney Studios rather than Disney Pixar. SOUNDS LIKE A WINNER!!!*

2 Guns
Good grief. It is one of those weeks. The constantly perplexed Mark Wahlberg stars alongside the constantly sassy(!?) Denzel Washington as two undercover agents on the run after they both infiltrate a drug ring without knowing the other was a secret agent. The title is a bit baffling. In the poster both Denzel and Wahlberg are holding guns so by this logic the drug cartel have no guns? Piece of cake!

When the Dragon Swallowed the Sun (limited release)
A documentary about the Chinese invasion of Tibet is no place for jokes from someone with no real idea of what is happening over there.

The Big City (limited release)
The BFI are re-releasing this 1963 Indian drama about a housewife getting her first job as a saleswoman. Let’s face it if the BFI are involved it must be worth a watch. I love the BFI. The BFI are great. I am in no way currently waiting for them to give me press accreditation for the London Film Festival.

Call Girl (limited release)
That caught your attention didn’t it? And will possibly bring us some colourful Google hits too. This Swedish drama explores the real life 70s scandal in which teenage girls were recruited as prostitutes for the upper echelons of society. Contains strong sex but in an artistically justified way.

Kuma (limited release)
Come on Peccadillo Pictures, pull your fingers out. Is it really that hard to submit a synopsis to IMDb? I’ve had to go all the way to your official website and have become tired and cranky and don’t feel like explaining to our readers that your film is a Turkish drama about a 19-year-old who is married off to be the second wife of the father of the man she thought she was marrying.

Bachelorette (limited release)
A comedy about a group of women who are bridesmaids. Like in the film Bridesmaids. Starring Rebel Wilson (from the film Bridesmaids), Kirsten Dunst (last seen literally wandering through The Bling Ring), Lizzy Caplan (not quite Zooey Deschanel), and Isla Fisher (from Home and Away).

Aftershock (limited release)
An earthquake in Chile leaves a group of people, including Eli Roth, trapped underground. As they fight to get to the surface all manner of things go wrong in an 18 certificate fashion.

*I haven’t had much sleep and have just had some Red Bull. Go figure.