Sunday, October 25, 2015

752. Do Ma Daan/Peking Opera Blues (1986)

Running Time: 104 minutes
Directed By: Tsui Hark
Written By: Wai To Kwok
Main Cast: Brigitte Lin, Cherle Chung, Sally Yeh, Kenneth Tsang, Wu Ma
Click here to view the trailer


So I've done a little refiguring and if I'm willing to put in a little overtime, I could conceivably be watching number 1001 on Thursday night. Also, my wife has promised me that if I'm writing the last review on Friday afternoon, she'll let me take a one night break from my diet for a celebratory pizza - so you can bet your balls I'll be putting in the overtime.

Hey, guess what? I have no idea what this movie was about. Okay, okay...not true, I have some idea. But maybe it was because I was so tired or it could have had something to do with the fact that my subtitles seemed a bit shady - either way, Peking Opera Blues was a little confusing. The film revolved around three women: the daughter of a General, Tsao Wan (Lin), who is secretly a guerrilla who opposes him; Sheung Hung (Chung), a thief who is in search of her missing loot and Bai Niu (Yeh), a wannabe actress whose father is the opera director of an all male stage. The three unlikely end up together, trying their best to oppose the General, without him finding out that his daughter is the leader of the guerrilla's who are actively trying to dismantle his regime. THE BOOK notes that the whole movie is a nice blend of slapsticky comedy, martial arts & spy thriller and it's hard to argue THE BOOK'S point. However, I personally had a hard time losing myself in this and that proverbial umbilical cord that should've attached me to these characters and this story, never showed up.

I won't chastise anyone who likes this (I wouldn't anyway), but I found it difficult to follow. Was it just me or did Sally Yeh and Cherle Chung look an awful lot alike and NO, I'm not being racist. For the first thirty or forty minutes I thought the girl who wanted to be in her father's play and the girl looking for the box of jewels was the same girl, until they appeared together and I put two and two together. Call it a culture clash or call it me just continuing to be a curmudgeon, but I found this film not very good and something THE BOOK simply picked in order to seem even more obscure. However, I think there's definitely an audience for this and if you haven't seen it, it's worth a shot to see if it fits your tastes.

RATING: 3.5/10  I'll take the full blame on this one, as I feel like I should have liked this a lot more than I did. Perhaps a revisit someday down the road.


October 25, 2015  10:34pm


  1. This is all very worthy stuff, but I'm afraid I have to agree .. the culture gap wast a bit too wide. We miss too many references, too many established norms to stand any chance of fully 'getting' this.. Shame .. I sort of felt I wanted to get this one .. but failed. (And yes, I know it sounds like a terrible cliche .. but I ask almost all of us who watched this if any could REALLY tell all the characters apart and who they were?
    Oh dear .. and here we are .. heading for the finish, and a bit of a run of 'non event' films. OK, I will alter that .. films I've not really that much to say about.

    1. If I had been planning ahead, when I started moving in random order, back in 2010, I would've - from the get go - set aside 75 - 100 films to be the grand finale. I REALLY wish I had done that. Oh well...we'll end it with Monty Python, as I've planned for a month or so now.


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