Dynasty Warriors (2021) [REVIEW] | Wuxia Warriors Of The Three Kingdoms

One last review to end this year’s Musou May (and yes i want to make this a regular column) proper, and it couldn’t be anything else than the Dynasty Warriors live-action film that came out last year in Chinese territories and has landed on Netflix pretty much everywhere. In 2021.

I genuinely did not knew it arrived last summer, and somehow Netflix forgot to tell me they even had it, shocking given my cronology, and due to me genuinely looking forward more to the movie than to mainline Dynasty Warriors games, as i’ve lamented before.

Though it’s one that both leaves you with a lot and very little to talk about, at least in terms of plot, since the series it’s one of the many adaptations of the Romance Of The Three Kingdoms novel, and despite their over the top nature, the games stayed fairly loyal to the source material in terms of characters and events, heck, even on stuff like the sparing supernatural-magic elements.

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[EXPRESSO] Tutankhamun: The Last Exhibition (2022) | Here Comes The Centhury Boy

Docufilm time!

This one is an italian production directed by Ernesto Pagano, with some narration by Manuel Agnelli in the original italian release, and by Iggy Pop in the english/international one.

The documentary goes into the early discovery of the tomb of pharaoh Tutankhamun in 1922 by english aristocrat Howard Carver, talking about the impact on western popular culture the discovery had (including popularizing the “pharaoh’s curse” in various medias) and showing the preparations made for a London based exhibition that started in 2019 to put on the display the many treasures and relics found inside.

All with commentaries by various “talking heads” from the egyptian, italian and british side of things.

It’s not a bad documentary, necessarily, but it’s one that feels like it has to appeal to everyone, so it doesn’t quite committ to a certain direction nor goes into any detail. For example, in a docufilm about Tutankhamun you don’t learn much that wasn’t already common knowledge, you’d think they took the opportunity to actually go further and try to depict who this young pharaoh was a person (more than in a couple of passing lines, anyway), his lineage, the historical background he lived in…

Heck, i would have preferred some more footage of the exhibition itself (since due to COVID pandemic the tour stopped and Egypt decided not to move the artifacts out of the Giza museum), but nope, we have a cool narrating voice trying to fashion some kind of fictionalized “epic” scenes… only to then move to scenes of people slowly misuring, cataloguing and inspecting the artifacts.

It’s not “offensive” nor a complete bore, and it’s short, just 80 minutes long, but that exacerbates the feel this was made just to have something out celebrating the 100th anniversary of “King Tut”’s tomb being discovered.

Paripi Koumei / Ya Boy Kongming! (2022) [ANIME FIRST IMPRESSIONS]

(Impressions based upon the first 3 episodes)

I stumbled by chance into this new anime, and i feel it was meant to be, given my love for Romance Of The Three Kingdoms i’m not gonna skim over a new anime with good ol’ Zhuge Liang (AKA Kongming) as the protagonist, especially since it’s not a historical tale, but a sort of isekai-ish story where, after his death by illness in the Wuzhang Plains, sees him reincarnated as his young self in modern Shibuya during Halloween.

He gets drunk as a skunk and enjoys the party life that night, then the next day he’s helped by a young girl, an aspiring singer called Eiko, realizes what actually happened to him, and decides to help her back by serving as her “career strategist”, but first he needs a job to secure some “war funds”.

Luckily Eiko works and sings at a club run by a huge ROTTK nerd, so “ya boy” Kongming is hired as a barman.

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[EXPRESSO] The Last Duel (2021) | Power Jousting

Ridley Scott is back with a tale of “chivalry rivalry”, based on a book of the same name by Eric Juager, and set in medieval France between two squires, as Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon) challenges his friend and equal Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver) to a judicial duel after Carrougues’ wife, Marguerite De Thibouville, accuses him of having raped her.

So she waits as the outcome of the duel will decide her fate as well, as she could be labeled a liar and burned alive.

As many fellow reviewers, i’m quite sorrowful at the fact basically no one it’s seeing this movie or its even aware it’s out in theathers, but i guess there isn’t much audience for a non-fantasy historical medieval drama that it’s really all about the court’ power struggles and characters, with some battles thrown into the mix but clearly not the focus of the film, which it’s quite bleak, grotesque, and brutal without even mentioning the realistically messy campal battles and the duel itself.

The major reason that might have irked people right away is the subject, in a fear of having a movie trying to retrofit modern stances and angles on the subject of rape into a medieval drama… it doesn’t, it obviously tackling the issue with a modern view of the subject, but it’s handled in a realistic fashion to the time period, and it definitely doesn’t pull any punches or “plays favorites” in a tale about injustice and how truth doesn’t really matter to power and those who hold it.

Not that i need to explain much of this fairly obvious theme of “might makes right” and what it entails,, as the movie doesn’t really go for a subtle approach, nor it needed to.

A bit long, but overall pretty dang good.