Mark’s GBW for 2008

The GoodThe Eighth Wonder of the World

This is actually a short tourist doco presented shown at the Terracotta Warriors Museum in Xi’an, China. Partly for the century-spanning plot from crazed despot who wanted to be buried with an army of life-sized soldiers right through to the accidental farmers who dug a well in 1974 and hit terracotta paydirt; partly because it’s in CIRCLE VISION, which means you stand in a big round room and the warring armies run *right past you*, which everyone knows is just cool; but mostly because I was in China, and standing right next to a Terracotta Warrior and glimpsing the original man as rendered in clay moved me in the way that seeing Once Upon a Time in China for the first time did, and then some.

The BadThe Good, the Bad and the Weird

Yes, it inspired our categories this year, but it gets no love from me. A favourite director (Bittersweet Life! Tale of Two Sisters!) tackles a favourite genre (Westerns!) and turns in a meandering, pointless, dusty, confusing mess o’ beans. I’d shoot a gun at this movie just to watch it die.

The Weird/Sukiyaki Western Django

Miike’s mad-arse Japanese Western succeeds where the Korean Western failed; larger than life, colour-drenched, ridiculous and hilarious. It’s not fit to drink at the bar alongside a true Leone Western, and in the Eastern-Western sub genre it’s slower on the draw than Peace Hotel, but it’s a lively comic book cliche that’s faker than fakey fake fake.

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