Love O2O (微微一笑很倾城) Review

Hi, I’m back for another review. This time I’m gonna review Love O2O. I have done reading the novel as well. I have also watched the drama version (up to certain extend which I feel, there’s no need to watch further).  I’m not gonna split movie-drama part but instead I’ll be reviewing it as a whole. Again, its just my opinion, you may choose to disagree.

— CONTAIN SPOILERS, PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK —

Looking from the novel perspective, I found that the novel is, just like others may have described it as romantic-fan service novel. Xiao Nai has always been described as devious, cool, popular, genius guy while Wei Wei is described as being a beauty, a bit tomboy-ish, smart. From the early episodes of the drama, hands down to the movie version of Wei Wei, as she is better for the role. Angelbaby played the role very well, portraying Wei Wei. She is a beauty, she is pretty quirky, a bit tomboy-ish, fits the definition as the 2nd beauty of her faculty. As for Xiao Nai, there is definitely a lot of debate in this matter. IMO, I prefer Jing Boran as Xiao Nai. A lot prefer Yang Yang (for the obvious reason). Being a gamers myself, I found that Jing Boran managed to show the gamers side better as compared to Yang Yang. I found that Jing Boran has that modesty in his word towards Wei Wei. In contrast, Yang Yang is pretty rigid while playing this character, with exception to certain parts, which seems to be natural for him- as in the smile, the kiss scene(?). I always felt that being number 1 player in the server, one would have such prideful, elegant sense. I remember the way Yi Xiao Nai He told off the Xiao Yu sisters. It was a bit too weak and does not possess such prideful aura. Though the devious side of Xiao Nai was not much being portrayed in the movie (due to time restriction I believe), but Jing Boran managed to show the prideful, devious, witty side of Xiao Nai as a gamer while he was playing the game (that is what gamers would do when they taunted someone, at least I would if I know I can win against someone).

love-o2o-2

Moving on to the next section, the supporting characters. Sorry, this might get a bit offensive, but I found that Er Xi in drama is much cuter and prettier than Wei Wei. Its almost as, are you sure Wei Wei is the 2nd beauty of her faculty? Then, what does that makes her friends? Xiao Ling in the movie seems much more tomboy-ish than Wei Wei, that I found myself wondering, perhaps she could play Wei Wei better. In the movie, it seems that they created a roommate that also plays the same game as Wei Wei. I have no qualms about that, she seems to be playing her character well. Moving to Xiao Nai’s roommates. Gotta admit, most would agree that drama version line ups were much better looking compared to the movie, otherwise its pretty subjective as well. But I found that the roommates in the movie represents the gamers community much better compared to the drama version (again, this is a view of a gamers). They seem to enjoy the game much more as compared to the drama version (you may refer the picture and compare with drama version pic- though picture may not shows everything eh?)

The main part for this kind of story is the CGI. Without saying, the movie has better CGI effect. The beauty of the game were shown very well. The mobs (non player character NPC version of enemies) were much better made. The world is much more realistic. While for the drama, I was disheartened the very first moment I watched the in game scene. If you call this the in game beauty, then you definitely didn’t do justice to many online games out there with extremely good graphic (Moonlight Blade Online, Revelation Online, XianXia 2 Online, Perfect World International Online etc) just to name a few. While I have no qualms about the game used on their laptops/pc shown inside the story, I gotta say that, its almost very rarely that a 2D games shown in the drama to have a control system that allows you to dodge and attack and do the manual control. Gamers use the term Action Combat/Hack and Slash for this kind of game, which almost completely absent in traditional 2D/3D games. In this case, I would say the movie picked the more realistic option to portray Dreams of Jianghu online.

Although most of my reviews are leaning towards movie, I gotta hands down the story line to the drama. It does follows the original novel (of course, with a slight change to make it more dramatic as in the involvement of game stealing, less bland and much more romantic). But of course, it was personally written by the author. The drama does not only follows the novel closely, it was also re-arranged according to the occurrence of events, which in the novel was written in flashback. Amazing work on that! The movie however, due to its only 2 hours air time, was only limited to certain period of events. With that limited amount of time, gotta admit, they did a good job delivering the story though there were changes in story (as in the event of Xiao Nai’s game got stolen by the company and he rebuilt a totally new game which is more futuristic).

I kinda think that while in the novel, Xiao Nai is portrayed as someone that seems oblivious to his surroundings but he actually paid close attention to it. Both version of Xiao Nai seems to pays attention of everything (Drama Xiao Nai paid attention to gossips while wedding march i.e, while movie Xiao Nai keeps looking over Wei Wei pulling her skirts while riding bikes. In the novel, I always portray Xiao Nai as the cool type that notices things but its never obvious that he notices. Short example I would imagine is the gossip part during the wedding march, I would imagine Xiao Nai to keep a straight face and keep marching without looking around as if he’s listening to it.  It would actually be much more realistic if he did not do that.

Aside from that, I would say that Yi Xiao Nai He from the drama is much closer to the novel version. It is described that Yi Xiao Nai He has black hair (which is true in the drama) while he got painted white for the movie. Its not a big deal since both are acceptable but if you are looking from the novel point of view, then you would be looking for the intersection points instead of how sweet it will get, how many kiss scenes were added etc (but of course it is indeed sweet in the novel and a lot of kiss scenes).

That being said, I notice from the novel, what the novel trying to show is while many people enjoys online gaming, nobody should take online gaming seriously. No matter what other said about you in game, it will never affect you in real life. No matter how much they hated you or curse you, in the end, they are just strangers in your life, when you are out of the games. I kinda like how in the movie Wei Wei asked each and everyone of them, why they love playing online games. Its some sort of reminding and telling the audience about the message that they are trying to relay.

Though Yang Yang played his character well but I can’t find the natural feeling of someone being a gamer in him. It is quite noticeable that he is kinda rigid in this drama (he was very good in The Lost Tomb regardless). Jing Boran managed to bring out Xiao Nai’s character in the movie and still leave everyone with the cool feeling of Xiao Nai. Angelbaby is of no doubt the better Wei Wei. She is very beautiful, she got the feelings as Wei Wei very well. As for Zheng Shuang, sorry just gotta say this, but I feel that she looks anorexia. The very first moment I saw her inside the game, I just thought to myself, this is not gonna be good. And the thoughts just remains throughout the story.

You can write a long story, but its gonna be a drag after certain period of times. If you got time to spare and have not yet read the novel, you may wanna spend almost 30 hours of your time to watch the drama worth 30 episodes. But if you ain’t got time, might as well go for the movie. Its pretty much summarise the whole story in 2 hours, without a drag and pretty much spot on.

Drama or Movie, for me, I choose movie.~

Advertisements

Time Raiders Review

Oh gosh, I just have to post this before I forgot the feeling.

So ya, following Mystic Nine, Time Raiders is another piece made from the same franchise of the Lost Tomb.

CONTAIN SPOILERS, CONTINUE AT YOUR OWN RISK~

There are actually so many things to review about this movie. Just. My. Thought. Everything is soooo wrong about this movie from the start. So this movie is kinda the first time Wu Xie jumped into grave robbing world (Riiiightt~). The story follows book 6 (english translation version) but not even close.

I’m gonna skip the review as much as the movie skips then. So apparently, they greet Ning Ke for the first time in this movie. The movie includes the character that was missing in The Lost Tomb – Big Kui. But that doesn’t make so much difference anyway.

Zhang Qilin met Wuxie for the first time and surely they talked about a lot of things. Zhang Qilin that normally doesn’t talk much and usually just dozed off during the journey turns into an alcoholic and drinks a lot, while talking about his past. (way to destroy Qilin). Zhang Qilin speaks english with Ning Ke (well, that was surprising, I never thought that Qilin could speak English. but that aside Jing Boran surely speaks good english).

It is sooo disturbing at how easy it is for them to break through the tomb (I thought they were taking a stroll inside a museum~). No traps, everything was so easy, when there are traps, nothing serious, its just a simple traps. Oh right, Wuxie can dance very well, and for a rookie grave robbers, he outwits trap with dance! (if you can dance, you can grave robbing now, its easy! just dance).

When all of them fell inside a trap, Wuxie just happened to be right behind Qilin and Qilin just happened to naturally helped him with the landing (Riiightt~~ Qilin sure got a lot of time to do such unnecessary things). Like come on guys, we know that Qilin has some sort of affection towards Wuxie (refer novel) but he only acts to protect Wuxie if its a life threatening event. Wuxie wont die from that and Qilin usually never cares of such things.

Not to mention they made Fatty such a useless character in the movie while he played amazing roles in the novel. And then the calls to Cox. Apparently Wu Xie made a “touching” remarks, that reverse the evil plot of Cox (amazingly, he did not even budge while he was in Changsha).

Then bla bla, story ended. Told ya, I’d skip just as much as the movie skips.

To sum the whole movie, it was very poorly made. The way I see it, the movie just simply forcing Bromance between Wu Xie and Qilin (Luhan and Jing Boran) to sell the movie. Since they picked Luhan as Wuxie, in my opinion, they are just trying to accommodate Luhan through that dance (THE dance to avoid trap–utterly ridiculous imo).

The best part of this movie if I have to choose is only Ning Ke. She really played the character as the femme fatale very well.

Mystic 9 (老九门) Drama Review

Hey guys!

Gonna do a quick review on Mystic Nine (老九门). Its a chinese drama series, said to be a prequel to the previous novel/drama The Lost Tomb (盗墓笔记). Truth be told, I am very fond of the drama The Lost Tomb previously (while I found it ridiculous sometimes). Which is why later on, I decided to read the novel instead of relying on just the drama.

PLEASE NOTE, THIS CONTAINS SPOILER. PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK~

Now, here we go. I jumped in pretty late as I only found out about Mystic 9 when it was already hitting over 20 episodes (still I managed to catch up). The beginning of the story was very well made in my opinion, considering they were supposed to reveal the history of the famous 9 Gates of Changsha Grave Robbers.

I was very much into it, having in mind that everything will be revealed by the end of the episode (Lost Tomb contains a lot of mysteries as well- which only later on be revealed). The excitement perks as they moved from the grave in Changsha to Bei Ping in pursuit of Yatou’s miraculous medicine. The sky lantern was the best part, reminded me of the scene in The Lost Tomb where Wu Xie unknowingly did the same.

As the story progresses, I have heard the name of the 9 Gates mentioned throughout the story. But I was wondering, where are they? It has always been Zhang Qi Shan, Er Yue Hong, Qi Ba Ye, Jiu Ye. And of course the Si Ye, which appeared for a brief period, just to die in the hand of Chen Pi. Huo Sanniang was also revealed around the same time. The rest of the gates were kept hidden until the end of Changsha turmoils.

That just kept me wondering, what are their contribution? Everything seems to fall in the hand of Fo Ye (Zhang Qi Shan) and his sidekicks. Lets not mention the Ryouko Tanaka, which serves no purpose (except making that “supposedly” evil face). I found that her character is the most unnecessary addition. So, at the end of Changsha turmoils, suddenly all 9 Gates gather for the first, and they were all squeezed in for 6 more episodes. There were no character progression for them and little did we know about the remaining (unless if you do some reading).

Honestly, I am much more interested to relate what happened in the past with the future (Lost Tomb). I was looking forward to find out what sparks the relation between Wu Xie and Zhang Qi Lin. When the story revealed Dongbei Zhang, I know its gonna be the legendary Zhang lineage. The story however, was vague, disconnected, fragmented. Some parts are left hanging without answers. Its as if again, Nan Pai San Shu (the author) is teasing the audience exactly how he left everyone hanging 11 years ago with his final 盗墓笔记 novel.

 When all the turmoils subsided at ep 42, I was wondering how will they end the story. Will they reveal what was not? I was disappointed. The last 6 episodes of Mystic 9 were horrendous, that’s the way I describe it. So apparently after a year of peace in Changsha:

  1. suddenly a disease just spread (okay, fine).
  2. Suddenly they are pursuing the japanese, again trying to create bio-weapon using the disease (okay, fine).

It was as if they are trying to bring in new storyline and try to solve it within 6 episodes. The result?

  1. Eh Fo Ye was put inside a campfire sort of thing to cure his frozen – skips – suddenly they are riding motorbike in the morning and Er Ye said “what you did last night was an eye opener, dongbei zhang is really something”. — Excuse me, what the hell did he do? Does sitting inside a campfire to cure frozen an eye opener? Also do note, in the morning, Er Ye cloth got torn when it was perfectly fine at night. He must have gotten it torn while riding a motorbike i suppose eh.
  2. They got caught by Chen Pi, sent inside a tomb/dungeon (so everywhere in Changsha is a tomb, great!), met some writing whatsoever – skips – escaped. Suddenly the villagers said, “thank you for saving us from the beast.”  — What beast? I only remember him walking out happily.
  3. They encountered Chen Pi again and here comes, Yatou talk again. Then the villagers came and managed to repel the vicious Chen Pi with just simple whack. Surprising indeed.
  4. The villagers that saved them said about “that night” incident and Fo Ye and Er Ye being able to fight so many people. — Again, which night? =_=;;
  5. Then suddenly armies came in from Changsha led by Lt Zhang and suddenly Chen Pi got caught and he escaped. They mentioned the japanese was neutralised. — Riiight~
  6. Bla bla bla, Fo Ye and Xin Yue scene, Er Ye lovesick
  7. Then they planned to capture Chen Pi which was affected by the disease, led by Xin Yue they led him inside a tomb — again a tomb, I suppose everywhere will leads to a tomb in this story
  8. Attack by the japanese was supposed to be such amazing and emotional scene — so much disappointment that even this couldn’t help

To sum up about this drama, it had such a great start. But they failed to keep the momentum going. I would actually name it Yatou instead of Mystic 9 because there are just lacking of Mystic 9 elements. Let’s be frank, its totally about Yatou from the beginning till the end. I was fine with it at first, but grew tired of it. Certain scenes are unnecessary and they actually spend so much time on it. I.e: Er Ye lovesick scene, too much detail on it. That includes Chen Pi. (oh I forgot, its Yatou’s story, sorry). Several things are left unresolved until the end, like what’s the deal about that train and the grave inside? what is it with Fo Ye and his encounter with Qilin inside the tomb? What about the roar inside the meteorite world? What was the secret to Fo Ye’s moving out from Zhang family? Where did Lt Zhang came from? etc etc.

For a layman, my questions and reviews may seems unreasonable but if you read the book, this is the kind of answers you would be looking for. Ofc its never a must for a prequel to relate to the future. But the story itself left so much to be desired with so many parts left hanging.

P.S: what with the Wuxie teasing in between the story line? I was hoping to find out who is that and will he be the new Wu Xie for next season of Lost Tomb.