Black coal, thin ice

Black coal, thin ice

Downloadable Video - 2014 | Chinese
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Two former cops start investigating the series of murders that tanked their careers when the killings begin again.
Publisher: [United States] : Well Go USA : Made available through hoopla, 2014.
Branch Call Number: eVideo hoopla
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 video file (ca. 107 min.)) : sd., col.


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May 18, 2018

This movie had won over 20 awards from top film festivals. It is a detective film that an Ex-police official tried to investigate the murder cases with his partner. The story was complicated with mystery.

Mar 10, 2018

I am mystified how this dark movie thriller won any awards at all! Way too violent and too unrealistic! The way police detectives behave and get shot is so unrealistic, that it is almost laughable! The female lead was annoying to watch! A complicated, strange, yet, creative story! Still, not a movie I cared about or would recommend!

Jan 28, 2018

A gruesome dismemberment murder is believed solved in the opening sequence, but not before a young detective named Zhang is shot and forced off the job because of the resulting disability. Five years later, he's an alcoholic security guard who just hit bottom when more body parts start showing up in and he's given a reason to live. He's not a professional private eye, just a man obsessed.
Parts of the film are very sylized. We become aware of the third wall several times, though it is never really broken, per se. The cinematography is creative and inventive, often taking the point of view of someone in the story. The resulting slow reveal when this happens makes for so, so much suspense. There are also times, especially in the beginning, when it's just hysterically funny even though the murder they are investigating is lurid and macabre. It feels almost like a sitcom at times, though it does not make jokes. It's hard to explain, but as a result, all of the characters are highly developed and sympathetic. I was rooting for it the whole way.
Zhang is not obsessed in a dangerous way. Comical at times, sure, but he's a committed, talented detective who has the commendable kind of patience needed to finish the job. Murder mystery buffs will love the way Zhang peels away the layers of the onion. I thought it was solved so many times, but then it goes deeper and deeper.
By the final scene, I couldn't help shouting at the screen how perfect it was. "Cut. Print. Take my money!" were my exact words, and then it went even deeper. I imagined myself as a producer or investor. Whereas Yinan's Night Train that I reviewed the other day was a terribly boring disappointment, this time I started wondering about how good an American remake might be. I feel like I just can't rave enough about it.

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Dec 06, 2017

You know I watch this movie I enjoyed it . I guest it was okay not great I guest I would recommend it.

Dec 13, 2016

You see all those awards on the cover (and back) of the DVD? This film won them for good reason. This isn't a film for those just seeking to be entertained. But if you're a fan of the GREAT filmmaking that's come out of post-Mao China, this one's for you. A really excellent work, from the Italian neo-realist locations and actors, to the literally freezing vibe that pervades the whole film.

Nov 25, 2015

Terrible movie, would not watch for free knowing what I know now. Its overly artsy, pretentious, with underdeveloped characters. Watch Se7en, Memories of Murder instead


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