Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Popcorn time: Painted Skin II

Painted Skin: The Resurrection is the supposed sequel to Painted Skin (2008), while retaining most of the original lead casts Chen Kun, Zhao Wei and Zhou Xun (no Donnie Yen T-T) is another interpretation of Pu Songling's classic tale. 

The story:
According to demon lore, it takes hundreds of years to attain human form. Even then, lacking a human heart, a demon cannot experience the true pains and passion. However, there is a legend that if someone willingly offers his/her heart to a demon, it can become mortal.
Zhou Xun reprises her role as the fox demon Xiao Wei who is imprisoned in ice as a punishment for breaking laws in the demon realm. A sparrow demon (Yang Mi) was intrigued by the fox demon and freed her. 
In her quest to find a willing heart donor, Xiao Wei crosses paths with the disfigured Princess Jing (Vicki Zhao Wei), who hides her scars with a gold face mask (i still think she's beautiful despite the mask).
Xiao Wei offers the princess a deal: her heart for Xiao Wei's beauty; so the Jing can win the love of her childhood crush Huo Xin (Chen Kun), a general guarding the White Castle.
Other characters: Providing the laughs for the movie is Feng Shao Feng who plays a demon catcher (ghost buster); the wizard, played by Kris Phillips (Fei Xiang).
Princess Jing (Vicki Xhao Wei) looking uber cool in her warrior garments.

 Bewitching: Fox Demon Xiao Wei attempts to seduce Huo Xin with her seductive moves and black magic.

Huo Xin is played by the dashing Chen Kun

The wizard, played by Kris Phillips (Fei Xiang).

Princess Jing tries to win Huo Xin's heart (not literally).

 Two hot actresses bathing together, hot eh? You won't think so when you see the switcheroo+skin-peeling process that is bound to make one's skin scrawl.

Under that beautiful skin... : is the scary fox demon!

Behind the scenes:
This supernatural/fantasy flick is directed by Wuershan, produced by Chen Kuo Fu, and brought to you by Ning Xia Film Studio, Dinglongda (Beijing) International Culture Media Co. Ltd, Huayi Brothers Media Corporation and Kylin Network (Beijing) Maive & Culture Media Co. Ltd .
"The special cosmetic effects used in the movie is new in Chinese films, it took a team of close to 100 special effects makeup artistes on a 60-week hectic schedule just for the filming of the scene where fox demon Xiao Wei peels her skin. In enhancing the unique beauty of the fox demon character, makeup artist Xiao Jin suffered more than a month of restless nights for 3 pairs of custom-made contact lenses, and for Zhou Xun who return again as the role of fox demon "Xiao Wei", she had to sit still for 7 hours.
The director went to Korea to invite five IT experts to form a programming team, specialising in the program development, and the film was sent to Korea for the finishing, CG editing and touch ups."

Here's the trailer:
*information, trailer, and movie stills provided by RAM (Really About Movies) Entertainment.

The review:
I'm a fan of supernatural tales by Pu Songling so I enjoyed the movie.
The special effects are above expectations, thumbs up to the special f(x)  team! The fight scenes were realistic and well-choreographed.
Halfway through the movie, I felt like giving both Huo Xin and the princess a good shake; they are clearly in love with each other but the guy does not have the guts to admit it and the princess is too insecure to realise that he loves her.
No gripes about the acting, the three leads Zhao Wei, Zhou Xun, and Chen Kun brought their characters to life. Zhao and Zhou are two of my favourite China actresses (I love their voices too) and they sure did not disappoint. I do not like high-pitch voices but Yang Mi was really suitable for the role of the sparrow demon; the adorable actress was a doll.
I love the gorgeous clothes by the princess and Xiao Wei, including the Princess' bridal gown.
If you are a fan of fantasy and supernatural or of Pu's work, this is the movie for you.

*In the Malaysian version, there were several scenes censored (such as the love-making scenes). Biasalah.

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