Thursday, 15 July 2010

Axis of War – Parts 1 and 2

Today is the first day of my Summer holidays ... well it should be a Professional Development Day, but we have been given time of in lieu of the extra twilight training session we have done this year.

I used my time wisely, although I doubt that my wife would agree that I did! After doing the usual early morning chores that have to be done each Thursday (taking the full rubbish bins out for emptying etc.), I paid an expensive visit to the local type fitters to have four new tyres fitted to my Mazda Tribute 4 x 4 (I say expensive, but what they charged for the tyres, wheel balancing, and fitting plus VAT was less than any other local tyre fitters were willing to quote me just for the tyres less the VAT). I then did a few odd jobs that needed to be done, including getting the majority of the work for my business accounts ready for the end of the company's financial year on 31st July.

Despite the fact that the Test Match between Pakistan and Australia was on, I decided to finish watching the DVD entitled AXIS OF WAR - PART ONE - THE FIRST OF AUGUST that I bought some time ago.

For some reason best know to itself, the DVD player refused to fast-forward through the first half of the film, and in the end I watched it from beginning to end. It tells the story of the break between the Chinese Communist Party and the Kuomintang and the subsequent fighting in Nanchang that started on 1st of August, 1927. The film was made by a major Chinese film maker that seems to be an offshoot of the Chinese People's Liberation Army and no expense has been spared in its making. The sheer scale of the battle scenes must have required literally thousands of extras, as well huge amounts of real or replica military equipment. There did appear to be a few anachronisms, but these did not detract from the film.

The style of the film does take a bit of getting used to, and it represents the main characters in a rather over-the-top heroic way. My DVD did not come with anything other than subtitles, and these sometimes appear to be rather literal in their translation. That said, I did enjoy watching the film because of the battle scenes.

I then decided to watch the second part of the trilogy, AXIS OF WAR - PART TWO - MY LONG MARCH.

As the title suggests, this film deals with the Long March, and concentrates on the role of one family within the Communist-led Red Army. Chairman Mao also appears, and he is portrayed very sympathetically.

The battles scenes in this film are also well staged and quite impressive, although I preferred the way this was done in the former film. This film also only had subtitles rather than being dubbed into English and the characters were still portrayed in a rather stylised way. I did, however, enjoy watching this film, and I will look out for the final part of the trilogy when it is released.

PS. The covers of both DVDs are a little misleading in that the air attack shown on the cover of AXIS OF WAR - PART ONE - THE FIRST OF AUGUST takes place at the beginning of AXIS OF WAR - PART TWO - MY LONG MARCH, and the troops who assault the bridge in the second film are not wearing American-supplied uniforms!

4 comments:

  1. Bob,

    Another relatively unknown movie to look for is Tae Guk Gi, a Korean-made movie about the Korean War. The storyline, acting, equipment, and special effects are uniformly incredible. The movie was made not too long ago, and should be obtainable without too much trouble. Definitely worth the money. I have watched it several times!

    Best regards,

    Chris

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  2. Chris J,

    Thanks for letting me know about this Korean film. I will certainly look for it in the foreign films section when I am next in one of the big DVD retailers.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  3. Bob,
    I checked eBay to see if the movie is available--indeed it is, for as little as $1! (I assume the prices in your neck of the woods are comparable.) That's incredible! It makes me want to buy about 50 copies and send one to every person I know in the hobby--it's that good.

    Best regards,
    Chris

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  4. Chris J,

    I have checked out what is available on eBay, but there are no versions that I can find that will work on a Region 2 (i.e. UK and Europe) DVD player.

    I have looked on Amazon UK and have found a Region 2 version listed under its English title - Brotherhood - and priced at £3.99 so I am going to buy it.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete