Some of you may know this, but in case you didn't, you should be aware that I'm a bit of a movie hound. I have a collection of films that would make rental stores weep, and film critics whisper about me in secret, like I'm some sort of legend. My affinity for filmic narrative runs so deep that I spent four years (and many, many, many dollars) at film schools developing my skills, and further growing my passion for the artform.
It pleases me to say, that today I officially own a film that I've wanted for quite some time: A film that was fairly hard to get a hold of back in the day (especially before the internet), and one that I hold in the highest regard. It's known as the greatest action film of all-time, and thanks to Dragon Dynasty, as of today there's finally a solid, quality transfer readily available in North America. I speak, of course, of John Woo's 'Dip Huet Seung Hung'. It literally translates to 'Bloodshed of Two Heroes', but film nerds all around the world simply refer to it as 'The Killer'.
Chow Yun Fat plays an assassin who is on one last assignment, until things go terribly wrong (as they do in every quality action film!). On the outside, it sounds like normal action film mumbo-jumbo, right? What makes The Killer so good isn't the plot, and it isn't just the action scenes (which are arguably the most beautiful acts of controlled chaos put on film), but the sense that the violence, and the situations our characters are in, are substantial. There's actual complexity to the people we see, and instead of seeing people used as only meatshields and bullet fodder, you come to appreciate the values and virtues of the main cast.
There's reasoning behind the madness, but that's not to say that the violence isn't a blast to watch. If you've seen (or heard) of Hard Boiled, or played the action-crazed Stranglehold, you'll know that John Woo is a master of his craft. His business is shootin' dudes in the most radnormous ways, and business is good. Bullet spray, debris breaking apart in slow motion, doves flying around, it's all here. It's Grade-A 'woah' material, and definitely a feast for the senses. I'm really urging you, dear reader, to go find this film, and partake in the onslaught of awesome that accompanies it: You won't be disappointed. Hell, it has an ending so emotionally satisfying, so good, you can't be disappointed.
To celebrate the North American release of The Killer, I've planned a special event for tonight: Stranglehold Live! I'll be playing Stranglehold on the Playstation 3 tonight in a late-night gaming marathon on Nitrobeard's official UStream page, so be sure to drop in and catch the chaos! If you can't make it to the live show, no worries, as it'll be saved to our archive, so you can scratch that gunplay itch at any time!