Thursday, 19 January 2017

LOCH 2017 commentaries for Eps 5-8

The fearsome Temujin-led Mongolians

Click this link for the iQIYI viewing of LOCH 2017. iQIYI has asked YouTube to remove unauthorised LOCH 2017 videos, hence it’s difficult to view it from YT now.  Still, please view it at iQIYI If possible, for it will help the rating. The show is at rating #3 now as per 19 January (thanks to Don Yu of SPCNet for the rating screen shot below the break). Some quotes about Ouyang Ke is at the end of the post, between some cute photos of Michael Miu as Yeung Hong (!).


Episode 5

This episode covers the Temujin vs Jamukha battle; Temujin was a very cool Khan. Amazing strategy as Mandred Skavenslayer in SPCNet said, and amazing battle scenes. Jebe of course stood out for me, as well as Temujin himself, and Tolui, whose long hair made him look cool, almost like a Native (First Nation) American.

It was touching to see Temujin (Genghis Khan) actually closed his eyes and then, with glassy eyes, shot his own brother. Like, he wished that he didn't have to do that, but he had to, under those circumstances.


 
Rating per 18 Jan 2017 (courtesy of Don Yu, SPCNet)

GK betrothed his daughter Huazheng to GJ. GJ and Li Ping politely refused, stating that GJ needed to avenge Guo Pa first. Temujin let GJ go back to Jiang Nan with his teachers. Ending with GJ and Seven Freaks went back to Jiang Nan and GJ meeting the filthy beggar Huang Rong in Jiang Nan.

Oh, and if you want to see why Jebe was at odds with Genghis Khan before Jebe met little Guo Jing, watch this link. It’s a 4 min very important scene which was deleted, but should have not been deleted, for it provides a lot of information. Plus, we can see Jebe doing a really cool stuff with his bow which was parked on top of his horse. Jebe, the Divine Archer indeed!



Episode 6

Yang Kang (Chen Xingxu) grabbed Mu Nianci's (Meng Ziyi) shoe

This episode is very important for we see Mu Nianci and Yang Kang for the first time here, and this is where they met for the first time as well.  

I begin to think that the Seven Freaks of Jiang Nan can’t really fight. Their fighting scene with Ouyang Ke’s useless concubines were again infused with slow-mo, although not as extensive as their first fight against Qiu Chuji. This scene marred my enjoyment after watching GJ fighting some goons (one of them was WYHL’s man). That scene was great, very limited slow-mo, and good use of wire-fu (not flying, but swirling). GJ was captured but I got to see a good fight. And HR rescued him later, which was fine. Luna in SPCNet said that the scene where GJ gave HR his red horse was touching and built well, such that we understand why HR was captivated with his kind heart. I understand that too, despite the absence of subtitles. Would love to re-watch it with subtitle… But can I ask for GJ’s lipstick to be… less obvious? His lipstick is very bright pink…

The fight between the monk and the other guy who wanted Mu Nianci was cool, very little slow-mo.  The sudden appearance of Yang Kang was good for me, for it took everyone on stage, and certainly MNC by surprise. But what’s with the sudden red screen with the avi label?? It came just as Yang Kang flew (oh yes, flew, not somersaulted) to the stage… But I forgive him… for afterwards YK kicked the two contenders with efficient moves (though yes, still with a bit of slow-mo). And he actually sniffed MNC’s shoe like in the novel! I like!

LOVE the background music used during the YK vs GJ fight. And their moves were seriously good, the only slow mo was when GJ crashed against a pole.

Oh, and I like it that we saw some ladies in the audience in tribal clothing (as in, non-Han dresses). Very nice.

Love the scene when Bao Xiruo arrived in the palanquin. Sad to see Yang Tiexin (Mu Yi) looking at the palanquin like he saw a ghost (cos he saw a glimpse of BXR’s face).

This YK wasn’t shown to dote his mum like Michael Miu’s Yeung Hong did (as in, Michael’s Yeung Hong was seen as truly scared that Mum will rebuke him, cos he loved her so much)… but I’ll give CXX’s YK another chance. And I like it that, before he left MNC, YK actually looked for a few seconds at MNC with something like, “she’s pretty… but I’m a prince and she’s not…” It’s a mixture of admiration and regret. Then of course his arrogant smirk appearead again and he left with his mum.

Anyone like Wang Chuyi better than Qiu Chuji? Cos I do…

I also talked to Hannah about Yang Kang sniffing MNC's shoe. I sent her part of Chapter 7 (Joust to Find a Spouse) which contains that scene as well:

Losing patience, the girl directed a kick in the direction of the solar plexus of her adversary, trying to make him release her. He indeed released his right arm, parried the blow and caught the foot immediately; his qinna [grabbing and holding] technique was perfectly timed and he could seize anything he wanted. The girl panicked, and sought to release her foot by pulling with force. She at last succeeded, but in doing so she lost her small shoe which was embroidered with red flowers. She sat down on the ground, head lowered and flushed with shame, holding her foot covered by a white fabric sock. The young aristocrat smiled unsteadily, moved the embroidered shoe to his nose and sniffed it. In this situation, the hooligans were obviously not going to let this action pass without comment. “Bet that smells good!” they shouted in chorus. [Women’s feet were considered erotic in ancient China, hence her embarrassment.]

So the scene, down to MNC hiding her socked-but-unshoed foot was faithful to the novel. Okay, her shoes were not red in the novel; her shoes were adorned with red flowers. But that’s fine.

MNC listening to Adopted Father Yang Tiexin telling the story about BXR



Episode 7

This episode covers GJ and Wang Chuyi being invited to the Zhao Palace, then Master Wang was injured. Then we see HR dressed as a girl for the first time for GJ. Also we see Ouyang Ke (Liu Zhiyang) for the first time, and then HR and GJ went to the Zhao Palace to search for the cure for Wang Chuyi.


The first proper meeting was definitely handled well by William Yang and Li Yitong...


Very nice first meeting of HR and GJ with HR as a girl. I like GJ’s stunned expressions, and that he was mesmerised with her beauty… but that William Yang also didn’t overdo GJ’s stunned expression. I like it. It was like, “gosh, this girl … is a girl, and she’s so pretty…”

Back to Yang Kang. I like (and hate it) when he broke the poor rabbit’s leg just to win his mum’s heart again. It is indeed in the novel that YK did that, and I appreciate the production staying faithful, but poor animal, I hope it’s not real…

I’m perhaps the only person, or one of the very few, who like this version of Ouyang Ke. He was indeed a lascivious person, but that is OYK indeed as described in the novel. He still has that charm as a flamboyant lascivious person, and l like his chuckles and smirks. I’m disappointed that he lost against First Freak, he is supposed to be better than the Seven Freaks. (See quote of Ch 11 below; OYK was apparently once hit by Ke Zheng'E the First Freak).

I won’t fight you if you don’t like this OYK. It’s everyone’s right for their opinion. This 2017 OYK, he's not the 2008 OYK, Li Jie was amazing. Li Jie’s 2008 OYK he portrayed the transition from bad to good admirably. LJ's OYK was the YK in 1983 who regretted his way of life and repented before he died (unlike the 1983 Michael Miu YK who only repented once he was about to die – and I wish he was given the second chance...). This 2017 OYK, I think he will remain bad, and I like it too.

Don Yu from SPCNet noted that HR broke the arm/palm of a servant in the Zhao Palace to get some information. That was cruel, breaking arm like that, but that is exactly who HR is. She became better because of GJ, but in the beginning, she can be very cruel, like her father Huang Yaoshi.



Episode 8

We see HR vs OYK here; GJ got his strength from the snake, Yang Tiexin realised that GJ was the son of his sworn brother, and YTX realised that the Zhao Huang Fei was indeed Bao Xiruo.

Very nice moves of HR vs YK’s men and OYK in this episode. Some wires were used, the annoying flying existed, but the nice somersaults and backflips of HR made up for it. Again I have no prob with OYK here, I actually enjoy his presence. One moment of palm/face when HR’s palms touched OYK’s stomach, but then I’m fine again. Of course I enjoy HR’s complete disgust at OYK, I just like it that he managed to stay a charming bastard while also being a disgusting pervert. Oh, and OYK’s hands were tied during the contest with HR just like in the novel.


Maybe Liu Zhiyang's OYK is not photogenic. He definitely is more charming in motion than in screen caps.


Love it that we have the three cups competition, again a nod to the novel. CMIIW, but I think they’re even doing that down to (Book 1 Chapter 9):

Hou Tonghai's cheeks flushed red, “Try that again!”

Huang Rong laughed and touched her cheek with a finger and said, “Now, now, aren't you ashamed?”

YTX realising that GJ was Guo Xiaotian’s son was very touching. Poor YTX… Also, YTX meeting his wife again was so touching, particularly because BXR hasn’t realised that it was her long-lost, thought-to-be-dead husband.

GJ vs the snake guy, GJ demonstrated a nice judo move (or whatever is the equivalent of judo in China) and slammed the snake guy. Very neat, particularly cos you can see William Yang doing that.

And these are some shots of CXX's Yang Kang in purple robe, which reminds me of Michael Miu's Yeung Hong purple robe...





I know you're cute, Yeung Hong, but please don't smile like that... my poor heart...

Also, I wonder if they are going with the short route (as in, true to novel) for YTX and BXR? Cos in the novel, the star-crossed lovers only met for one more night in the Palace before they died on WYHL’s hands. That’s unlike the 1983 ver where they had time to live together with GJ, HR and MNC (remember Wong Yung’s bird-shooting scene, followed by her being sulky?). Also in 2008, YTX and BXR found it difficult to emotionally rekindled their love, while YK tried to understand his dad. I like it that YTX and BXR had some moments for themselves, particularly how Michael’s Yeung Hong knelt to bid his parents goodbyes as they left the palace through a secret route.

Having said that, I’m okay with the novel route, as long as it’s well-executed…

Back to Ouyang Ke. The reason why I’m glad that I like this OYK version is because I want a good sparring partner for GJ, and an enjoyable experience when GJ and OYK fought for HR’s hand in marriage in the Peach Blossom Island. I mean, for God sake, we will have Michael Miu’s Huang Yaoshi there as the judge, I don’t want a whimpering boyband to act as a suitor for HR!

So far, I’m happy that the possibility of that fear come true is negligible.

Below are some quotes about Ouyang Ke from LOCH novel just for your reference. If you finish reading them, you'll get some more photos of Michael Miu as Yeung Hong!


Chapter 8 of Book 1 LOCH

Wang Chuyi knew that all the men were of frightening ability. He had experienced the pressure of Ouyang Ke's hand and had displayed internal energy by no means inferior to his own, though it contained a strange viciousness.

If dialogue turned out to be impossible and it became a fight, he was not even sure of being able to beat Ouyang Ke.

/…/

Ouyang Ke heard the sarcasm in Sha Tongtian’s words and knew that he was still sore at him for interrupting his hits earlier. He thought hard about what to display so as to make Sha Tongtian admire him. At that moment, the servants brought in four types of dessert and replaced the used chopsticks with clean ones. Ouyang Ke snatched up the used chopsticks and, with a wave of his hand, twenty chopsticks flew out at the same time, stuck into the snow and neatly formed four flower shapes. To throw a chopstick and stick it into the snow with a wave of the hand is child’s play, but to neatly form the shape of a flower using twenty chopsticks was more difficult. This skill was deep and complex, so much so that Guo Jing and Wanyan Kang were not able to comprehend it fully; but people such as Wang Chuyi and Sha Tongtian secretly praised him.


Chapter 9, Book 1

Ouyang Ke's kung fu was high and with the support of his Shifu's younger brother, he was able to run amuck in the western region for many years. His lascivious nature caused him to spend all those years collecting beautiful women from different places and turning them into his concubines. To occupy their time, these concubines also studied kung fu and therefore, they were also his female disciples. When Prince Zhao summoned him to Yanjing, he brought twenty-four of them with him, dressing them up in white robes and mounting them on white camels. Because the concubines were many, they took turns riding while the others walked. Eight of them encountered the Six Freaks of Jiangnan on the road talking with Guo Jing. They heard Zhu Cong speak of the precious Han Xie [Blood-Sweating] horse's origin and intended to steal it and give it to Ouyang Ke as a gift; but they failed in their attempt.

Ouyang Ke was very proud of his collection of concubines and knew that they were the most beautiful women in the world. Not even the ladies of the imperial palaces of the Jin and Song Dynasties could compare with them. How could he have thought that he would meet a beauty like Huang Rong in the Zhao Palace? He saw that her eyes were bright, her cheeks tender and though still very young, her body was graceful. Her beauty was unsurpassed and none of his numerous mistresses could compare to her. When she displayed her exquisite martial arts skills, his heart fluttered. Now, as he listened to her friendly voice and the soft and gentle words, he felt his heart burn and his bones going soft. He could not say a word.

Chapter 11, Book 2

After parting with Guo Jing at the inn, the Freaks had tailed the eight girls from White Camel Mountain. When they discovered that Ouyang Ke was leading his concubines to abduct innocent girls at night, they fought him there and then. After all, how could the Six Freaks of Jiang Nan sit by and do nothing while such atrocities were being committed? Although Ouyang Ke was highly-skilled, the Six Freaks had spent more than a decade in the desert working hard and had improved significantly since they left the Central Plains. Surrounded by six fighters, Ouyang Ke was hit by Ke Zheng’E’s mace and subsequently had his left little finger dislocated, courtesy of Zhu Cong’s Bone Dislocation technique. Left with no choice, Ouyang Ke was forced to leave the abducted girls behind and flee. The two concubines that had accompanied Ouyang Ke for the mission, however, were killed by Nan Xi Ren and Quan Jin Fa.

Then OYK paid back the score:

Chapter 11 Book 2

Moving forward, Ouyang Ke struck out his right palm. Ke Zheng’E roused the end of his staff to meet the strike but caught nothing, only the sound of wind brushing past his right ear. Instead, the real attack came from the left with Ouyang Ke’s reverse left palm flying towards him. Ke Zheng’E dipped his head to avoid being struck, then used the “Diamond Guard” staff technique and fiercely attacked forward, but by this time, Ouyang Ke was already embroiled with Nan Xi Ren. Skillfully weaving his way through, Ouyang Ke had already attempted fatal blows on all 6 Freaks within a short period of time.




Right... so that's Ouyang Ke.


Now, since you've read the quotes (or it's okay if you just scroll down), these are some more photos of Michael as Yeung Hong/Yang Kang:


Super cute Yeung Hong

Calculating Yeung Hong


Charming Yeung Hong





3 comments:

Ha Nguyen said...

Icha,

Great blog review. I love reading your reviews. They are so entertaining. Some of your remarks just has me belly laughing. I originally had very low expectations of Liu Zhiyang's OYK, infast to be honest, I didn't even like his look. BUT after seeing him in motion, I DO like him. I think he played OYK pretty well so far. It was a very pleasant surprise. (Li Jie is still the far more handsome OYK btw)Thanks for adding the book description on OYK also. I love that.

Love HR's scene with the kungfu masters in the palace (from the novel). Shows how truly smart she is to play on her charms and child like innocence. Which she does and doesnt have.

AND I must add, CXX's Yang Kang vs M's Yang Kang. M is way more handsome. Not feeling much of CXX for now...maybe that will change with a few more expisodes.

I totally agree with you Icha that the Freaks really shouldnt have gotten any hit on OYK. ( other episode ) because his kungfu was really more superior than the freaks.

Again love your reviews. They are as always too enjoyable not to read!


Icha said...

Thanks a lot, Hannah for the visit and comments!

I also detested Liu Zhiyang's OYK, and I still think this character is not photogenic. But his actions are very good so far, befits a pervert flamboyant person!

Of course Michael's YK still wins me big time! But CXX knows he has laaaarge shoes to fill in, and he seems to be okay with that (it's from the press conference interview, though I don't understand what he said). It seems he knows he won't surpass Michael's YK, but he'll try anyway, and I applaud him for that.

Oh, and I've added three MM YK photos after the OYK quotes for us to enjoy! Thanks a lot, and I hope I have time to make an MB post this weekend...

Icha said...

"I also detested Liu Zhiyang's OYK, and I still think this character is not photogenic."

What I meant by this is that, when the official shots were out, I screamed cos that's not how I see Ouyang Ke. But then after watching LZY's OYK, I'm actually happy with his performance. So that's why I think he's not photogenic in the sense that the photos didn't convey the character well. But I'm happy that he looks good in action.