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Look, I'm going to swear in this episode
Buckle up
I've been agonizing over how to properly convey the terribleness of this movie
And I think I got it
I'm going to show you one verse
Of its theme song...
"Into Into Into Showbiz"
"Biz Biz"
"Biz Biz Biz Biz"
"Biz Biz Biz Biz Biz Biz"
"Biz Biz Biz Biz Biz Biz Biz Biz"
"Biz Biz Biz Biz Biz Biz Biz Biz Biz Biz"
"Biz Biz Biz Biz Biz Biz Biz Biz Biz Biz Biz Biz"
The whole f**king song is like this!
For those of you who are unaware
Pure Hearts: Into Chinese Showbiz is widely regarded as one of the worst Chinese movies
To ever grace the silver screen
Of nearly 88,000 votes on Chinese review site, Douban
96% of them gave this movie a one star rating
It has a 1 star out of 10 on IMDb!
Look at that damn poster!!
Needless to say, this movie became an Internet sensation in China
Not in a "so-bad-it's-good" sort of way
"Anyway, how's your sex life"
But rather, everyone despises this movie
From the film itself
To the drama behind the scene
And everything it stands for
But I don't want to just make fun of this movie
Plenty of channels already did that
And comedy is not why you are here
You want a video essay
So I'm gonna dig into this pile of sh*t with my bare hands
To show you how and why this movie is so bad
And so offensive
Welcome, to the worst Chinese movie ever made
Let's start with the writing...
If you can call it writing
Pure Hearts: Into Chinese Showbiz tells the story of a class in an acting school
And everyone's struggles and sacrifices in the pursuit of their dream career
And by everyone, I mean EVERYONE!
The film has whooping 11 plotlines
One minute we see this girl
Whom I'll name "Purity" (you'll know why later)
Having a crush on his teacher
"I have never fallen in love with anybody"
"But it so happens"
"That I seem to have a strange feeling on Mr. Wen"
Next minute, we are looking at these two "Chads"
Walking around, hitting on girls
That's all we know about them, by the way
No, as in, for the rest of the movie
And a minute later, two "Stacys" show up
And start talking about how they date older rich men
To get ahead in life
Not to mention the dance sequences
Yeah, dance sequence
Uncomfortable yet?
The movie has no structure
Summarizing it is practically impossible
But I'm going to try anyway
The main story, I think...
Is about the teacher
Played by the writer-director--
(Are you f**king surprised?)
His girlfriend leaves him one night
Because he's a failed artist and poor
"Also, that's actually not my home"
"Only a leased apartment"
To gain back her love
The teacher decides to, what else, make a movie with his students
In the process of funding his project
Multiple of his students were sexually harassed and assaulted
By perverted directors and producers
...Of course
So it's pretty much a story of him saving his students
Sprinkled with unrelated plotlines
Like this "Pretty Boy" getting into a relationship with a sugar mama
Or this "Good Boy" losing his legs in a car accident
And that's it, that's the entire character arc
He shows up twice in the movie
Once to establish him as a lone son in a poor single parent household
Then he comes back later in the movie to lose his legs
Trust me, there is just about as much info in my narration
As in the movie
Because, let's get to the heart of the problem here
The movie is just a quick amalgamation of tropes
Forbidden love between a teacher and a student
Sexual bribery
The starving artist
The Tragedy
Sugar mama
Perverted Director
Perverted Producers
These are not stories
They are sh*t that the director finds fascinating
And inserted into the movie with no care whatsoever
The movie has no interest in further exploring these topics
The forbidden love bothers no one whatsoever
The sexual bribery takes Stacey zero seconds to make the commitment
Suicide comes and goes with no ill effects on the characters
The director has nothing to say about any of these things
How could he?
There are overused tropes from popular media
Digested versions of stories from other films and TV shows
It is not the director's personal experience
As a result, the characters and events are detached from reality
The film has no nuance or genuine emotion
It doesn't want to ask the hard questions
It is not interested in the substance of good movies
It just wants to... LOOK like other good movies
All it wants
Is to keep up an image
Keep that in mind as we go forward
When a movie is recognized as bad
It's more often than not aesthetically bad
And that's the fun part
I mean, how do you come to the conclusion that this looks good?
But if we take what we learn from our discussion on the film's writing
Suddenly, this film's questionable aesthetic choices
Make a lot more sense
Let's start with the title screen
And diamond...
Hmm... I wonder what joke I'm goin--
"We were inspired by the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles"
That's how I'd describe this movie's aesthetic
From the John Wick inspired typography
To the tacky variety show chapter screens
This movie is again, a buffet of--
Wait, what the f**k?
Despite the film's focus on troubled artists
And the half-hearted lesson on not taking shortcuts in the road to success
"Put it back on"
The movie is hellbent on putting up a "wealthy" display
From the landscape drone shots
To the boats, wines and babes
To race cars
To the inclusion of a skydiving scene at the end of the movie that serves no purpose
Other than to blow the budget, I guess
Even though the story tells us we are in a sleazy area
The camera is practically licking this sexy DJ
In other words, the film doesn't even believe in its own message
It wants to look rich
And it's taking every shortcut to do so
And if you are still unconvinced
In the end credits, you can see the movie flaunts its expensive production
Race cars
Pop stars
Jackie is proud of his stunts
That's what you see in his movie end credits
Stephen Chow is proud of his characters and jokes
That's what you see
This movie doesn't want to show you the acting
All it cares about is looking expensive
Keeping up the appearance
Now, we know how is this movie bad
It's one big buffet of tropes
But the real question is, "why"?
First, why is this bad?
Well, obviously, it's lazy
But then, why is laziness so bad?
Well, let's take a closer look:
Purity here has no character arc
Her entire point in the story is to be saved by the teacher
From being sexually assaulted
Her purity and virginity become the most valuable and characteristic aspect of her
"I guess you are still a virgin?"
The Pretty Boy decides to leave his Sugar Mama
Not because of his conscience
As he was using the Sugar Mama's money
But to pursue another girl
He leaves, because he is under too much pressure from cheating
"I'm stressed out everyday"
His mistake almost kills his teacher
And his regret is enough to gain back the love of his girlfriend
And the teacher's love interest
She is not a real character
She exists as a roadblock and a reward
She has no ambition
Her only ambition is for the teacher to git gut
So that she can marry him
And have a good life
"What I need is a real home"
"And a real man I can rely on"
Because when the director is too lazy to think about his story
Unintentional messages begin to emerge
It's all because acting schools are said to be a world of pretty girls"
Often, they are problematic views
Internalized by a director who's unwilling to challenge himself
"Plump as she may be"
"I really like her so much"
In this case, it's misogyny
Manifested on, practically every single female character in this movie
When your desire in life isn't to pursue the substance
When you only want to keep up the image
Your worst qualities will never go away
And they will manifest
"And this suit of clothes cost 8,000 yuan"
But there is one character that's flawless
Who does no wrong
"Mr. Wen is pretty young"
"But he is very talented too."
Played by the writer-director
The teacher's love interest is widely considered to be the most photogenic of all the actresses
Coincidentally, they are the only couple to have a kissing scene
All actors in this film are alledgedly unpaid volunteers
Most of them, at the time of filming, were still students
They were frequently overworked
9 actors chose to leave the production because of this
Actors were given extra duties unrelated to the film
The night before Chinese New Year
The director called and gathered them up for group activities
After only 3 hours of sleep
The director woke everyone up
To participate in the flag ceremony
Behind the scene dramas are numerous in this production
That's why the film is so notorious
"I feel like that's not a music video"
"It's an album for future blackmailing"
When pre-release reviews were released
With quote-unquote "experts" giving hollow, non-specific compliments
"The chapter titles are very well done"
Chinese audience understandably gets suspicious
A short investigation reveals that the film festival this movie was shown in
Is nothing more than an award farm
Finally, as soon as the film is released to the public
The reviews show the film as what it truly is
A piece of sh*t
Instead of accepting the criticism
The director sue the review site for suppressing review scores
This movie isn't just bad
It is offensive
A narcissistic director
With delusion of grandeur
Who refuse to accept criticism
And fails to see his moral failure
And I don't just hate the movie
I hate what it stands for
Searching had a budget of 880,000 dollars
Halloween, 325,000
The Following, 6000
This movie cost over 3 million!
And they can't even find a font that works properly
Half of the characters reverted back to the default font
Somehow, even the attempt at keeping up the appearance is half-assed
Just really shows you how much the director cares about this vanity project
Then again, what do you expect from an artist who's too lazy to challenge himself
At this point, I'm fairly confident that I put more thought into this movie
Than the director
And possibly any other human beings on Earth
So, I'm going to call it
I'm gonna leave you with this scene
Where the movie attempts to wrap up all 11 plotlines
With a "graduation drama"
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The Worst Chinese Movie Ever Made | Video Essay

335 Folder Collection
Harry Huang published on February 1, 2020
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