評《決戰中途島》

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荷里活已經好久沒有拍過二戰片,有的也只是陸軍為主,因為容易聚焦主角,空軍次之,海軍則絕無僅有。對上一套海戰片(嚴格來說是空戰),是2001年的《珍珠港》,但因為劇情太過情情塔塔,不夠剛陽味,以致票房失收,劣評如潮。

戰艦迷苦等十幾年,終於等到《珍珠港》的「續集」《中途島》上映(翻拍七十年代的同名作),可以過足戲癮,不料望穿秋水,還是失望而回。

何以說中途島是珍珠港的「續集」?稍為補充一點歷史背景。當年日軍偷襲珍珠港,是要重創太平洋艦隊,嚇窒美軍,迫其和談,以收速戰速決之效。但進攻當日,原本駐守珍珠港的三艘航空母艦「剛巧」出巡,避過一劫。需知二戰時航母已成海戰的主角,沒有把美軍的航空幹掉,偷襲難言大勝。加上其後美國報服,用航母派陸軍轟炸機空襲日本本土,令後者斷定美軍航母一日不滅,大東亞共榮圈絕難實現,故才有中途島一役之發生。地理上,中途島在日本及美國西岸中間,也是珍珠港的前哨,日軍打算佯攻該島,引誘美軍航母出動決一死戰。

中途島戰役的勝負,扭轉了太平洋戰爭的局勢。電影如何交代?導演具細無遺,由珍珠港受襲開始,然後美軍還拖,先是空襲馬紹爾群島,繼而杜立德突襲,兩軍再上演中途島前哨戰,即珊瑚海海戰,一場接一場,已經花了電影接近一半的時間,然後入正題,講美軍如何破解密碼、尼米茲走馬上任、Halsey因病避戰,中間加插男主角(轟炸機機師)和老婆的插科打諢,令餘下的一半又沒了一半,是為電影最大的敗筆。

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不是說前因不重要,但從劇情舖排來說,則可省則省,或以文字交代(最old school的手法,是拍攝報館印刷廠的機器高速運作,再以分鏡打出報章的頭條交代局勢)。敢問導演,既然Halsey因病避戰,為何還要留那麼多戲份給他?觀眾對Halsey的戲份有何感想?不就是一個成日「r痕」的老粗嗎?對劇情舖排有甚麼幫助?完全不提也無礙觀賞呀!至於男主角和老婆的所謂「感情戲」,更加無聊透頂!相信導演是吸取了《珍珠港》及舊版《中途島》的失敗教訓,把「感情戲」縮到最少,但又擔心完全省略會令主角失焦,變成一套沒有主角的電影(這也是海戰片遠較陸戰和空戰片為少的原因),結果兩頭唔到岸,既浪費了電影有限的篇幅,又無法塑造主角的立體感和吸引力。

有得必有失。當你一味講無關痛癢的事,重要的事就無法暢所欲言,其中之一是日軍的部署。中途島一戰之敗,不在於美軍的情報(得以及早部署,設伏待之),而在於日軍的失策。明明日軍佔盡優勢,不論戰艦數目、武器質素、機師水平等,均遠遠在美軍之上,就算美軍得悉日軍來犯,也無法有效抵擋,更遑論取勝。但日軍為了擾敵,兵分五路,由南到北,延綿數百海哩,而主力艦隊(以大和號為首的戰列艦)竟然刻意和負責突擊的航母艦隊保持距離,原因不明,一說是怕美軍見彼此實力太懸殊而避戰,另一說是深受巨艦大炮主義影響的日軍太重視戰列艦,擔心萬一有甚麼損傷會愧對天皇,打算待航母(機動部隊)戰勝後,再由主力艦隊補上幾炮拿尾彩。後果是,當日軍航母被美軍連番空襲時,戰列艦無法以密集的防空炮火為其掩護。

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換言之,與其說美軍英明是戰勝的主因,不如說日軍愚蠢是戰敗的關鍵。但導演只講美軍成功破解日軍密碼,卻對日軍失策隻字不提,不懂歷史的觀眾看畢全片,也只會對該戰一知半解。

當然,電影跟紀錄片是兩回事,不一定要詳細交代勝負的來龍去脈,但明明有些事情若能講清講楚,能增加觀眾的投入感,何樂而不為呢?這不是觀點與角度的問題,而是明眼人一看就知。情形一如功夫片,以前較著重拜師學藝,從中介紹各門派的招式要訣,最後才打大佬。但今日的功夫片一來就砌(床上或擂台上),你看《葉問》,除了那句「入佢中路」,還有甚麼?何解詠春可以打贏空手道西洋拳?不是格食格,純粹因為宇宙最強甄子丹!這樣的功夫片有甚麼好看?

另一個問題。此戰雖以日軍慘敗作結,過程中卻是互有攻守,但電影只見美軍不斷空襲,日軍航母相繼中彈,而美軍的約克鎮號被日軍擊沉,只是輕輕帶過。就像一場足球比賽,只看精彩的入球片段,便會錯過了之前是如何轉守為攻。而飾演飛龍號艦長山口多聞少將的淺野忠信,表情呆滯兩眼無神,完全無法演活足智多謀行動果斷的山口少將。

至於特技。此片不乏大場面,由珍珠港一直炸到中途島,純講官能刺激,是交足貨了。但細心一看,部份特技場面略嫌粗糙,不夠逼真,可能是預算問題,此片資金只有一億美元,不算少,但肯定談不上大製作(相比《復仇者聯盟終局之戰》的三億五千萬美元製作費),而CG每個鏡頭都係燒銀紙,導演只能避重就輕,有些情節落重本,另一些就偷工減料。全片最扣人心弦是美軍轟炸機迎著密密麻麻的防空炮火俯衝投彈,真夠刺激!順帶一提,電影也有一些穿崩位,例如戲中出現的鸚鵡螺號,字幕竟說是核動力!?如果中途島(1942年)已經有核動力,那麼美軍就不用等到1945年才投原子彈吧?那個不懂歷史的翻譯應該是搞錯了於1954年服役的第六代鸚鵡螺號、全球第一艘核動力潛艇吧!

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還有,網上出現一張截圖,指日本艦隊竟然同時出現五艘大和級戰列艦!現實上只有兩艘,而第二艘武藏號在中途島戰役爆發時還未服役!我沒有留意這一幕,待日後出碟買回家重看時再留意。

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如果我是導演,會怎樣拍呢?我會花大量篇幅解釋日軍的部署,再重現聯合艦隊傾巢而出的盛況,先是機動部隊的四艘精銳航母,然後是主力艦隊的雄姿,配合上空列隊飛過的護航戰機,「艋艟八百、海鷲三千」,營造決戰時刻、黑雲壓城城欲摧的張力。舊時的套路不就是這樣嗎?先講背景,繼而部署,營造張力,最後開戰,氣氛一層一層遞進,觀眾才會投入。這是old school的做法,老土,但work!

所以你明白,《虎!虎!虎!》能夠成為經典,是有原因的。

Visionbody – Definitely a SCAM


Visionbody official website

Yeah, I knew I am stupid.
Just wanna share everything for the world to avoid this SCAM /fraud (Betrug) again.

Abstract:
I ordered an EMS wireless suit from the official shop on May 2, 2019 and paid by credit card on the same day. I got the email notice and even a website to login to check my account and see the order processing. Without getting the product for months, I cancelled it on Oct 3 and requested for a full refund. Then of course, no refund. The customer service kept on stalling. I tried to reach the CEO Henri Schmidt by emailing him, posting in facebook and reached him in Linkedin. He simply blocked me in facebook and ignored me in Linkedin.

What should be done is simply a refund. I can’t speak German but they surely did understand what I am asking.

Details:

On May 2, 2019 I ordered a EMS wireless suit from the shop of their official web site link.

Everything seems so normal, email confirmation received.

And the amount shown in my credit card statement:

Then the SCAM began:
On May 28 this email came.

I waited and asked them again on Jun 30.
Nico Tsintzas — Visionbody replied:

30 Jun 2019

Good evening,

Thank you for your message.

Normally, you should have received an automatic message from production that we have a delay by the delivery.
Due to the quality of the last batch, which did not meet our requirements, this situation has come up.

We want to say sorry for this situation.
The delivery will therefore be delayed until the week of 8th july.

Have a nice evening!

Nico Tsintzas — Visionbody

13 Sep 2019

Good day,

Thank you for your message and excuse the long wait for your system.
We can send you the technical components (the heart of the system) on Tuesday.

The suit has unfortunately not yet come out of production.
After consultation with the management, the suit will arrive in the next 10 days.

Would this be ok for you?

I wish you a nice weekend!

After some mails like these, I knew it’s a SCAM.

On Oct 3:
Jess Ho
10月3日 週四 上午8:36
寄給 Visionbody、 support

I would like to request for a full refund as the suit never arrived.

Regards,
Jess

Nico Tsintzas — Visionbody

04 Oct 2019

Good day Jess,

thanks for your message.
Sorry for the long waiting time for your product. We can understand you and will make the full refund in the next 10 days.

Have a nice weekend.

Again, nothing happened~

On Oct 21 I wrote:
Full refund demanded for order #22045

Jess Ho
10月21日 週一 下午12:29
寄給 info、 Visionbody

My order was placed on 2, May 2019 and I don’t want to wait any longer.

Please make full refund to my credit card as promised.

Thank you.

On the same day I’ve received:
Visionbody Vertriebs GmbH
10月21日 週一 下午4:13

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,

Ihr Auftrag Nr. 18620321 vom 02.05.2019 wurde soeben aus unserem System storniert.

Bereits bezahltes Auftragsguthaben erstatten wir Ihnen in den nächsten Tagen auf dem gleichen Weg (Bank, Paypal, Kreditkarte, etc.) Ihrer Zahlung zurück.

Sollten Daten für die Zahlung fehlen, wird ein Sachbearbeiter mit Ihnen Kontakt aufnehmen.

Vielen Dank.

Ihr Visionbody Vertriebs GmbH Team

I really did think I’m done and they are a normal company… for a while.

Then the story continued. This is so time wasting. If I know any american lawyer, I will claim for all of my pshycial time loss, psychological burden, a lost of trust in Germans… no time to endeavour in the HK protest, no new iPhone,… sorry going to far.

they still have the online ticket for this

From Jess Ho on Nov 4
Hi Mr. H. Schmidt,

This is the 3rd time I am asking for the refund of order #22045. A
one-month order which took over half year that I had to cancel.

I am really disappointed about your company’s service.
I orderd the product in May, and you said it takes 1 month for delivery.
When I aked for the delivery, I was stalled each time, for months, weeks,
then days…
Now, I don’t want to wait any longer.
You know, I do order globally, but never did refunds take more than 48
hours.

You are stalling again.

2 weeks passed and no refund from you.
I am really stupid and don’t know much about commercial crimes in Germany.
Or is your company really a registered company in Germany?
Germans are trustworthy race to me.

1 more week I shall wait.
Or I guess I should take other actions.

Please, don’t make me write again.

From Jess Ho on Nov 11
It’s over a month. i tried every method to reach your company. What you do is block me in facebook.

Diandra Bohnes11/11/2019 08:25
Hello, I am very sorry but I have forwarded your cancellation to the responsible department and unfortunately I can not do more for you as I have no authority to refund. But I’ll point out urgency again so you can finally get your money.

From Jess Ho on Nov 24
Who is responsible for the refund?

Diandra Bohnes answered on 25/11/2019 09:51
H.Schmidt@vision-body.com

End of the emails~
I tried facebook, and now they deleted my post and I cannot leave new comment.

I tried Linkedin

https://www.linkedin.com/in/henri-schmidt-92a2946a/

I even asked in Quora and got some answer.

Although I cannot walk into the local police precinct (Polizeirevier) and file a police report (Strafanzeige), I have reported online, no response from the police yet.

I will contact the credit card company and have the charge reversed anyway.

Since I googled many times and still see nobody file any complain against this company, I wondered if it is only me who have bad luck. To refund or lot, this Henri Schmidt owed me an answer. This VISIONBODY is totally a SCAM to me. Beware of online shopping, folks.

I still see their app in app store. Anybody please tell me it’s simply a misunderstanding and I can get back my cash. And I will delete this post and appologize gladly.

評《古典音樂那些事》

book

Norman Lebrecht是著名樂評人,學識淵博,信手沾來自成文章,同時也極具爭議,因為他口沒遮攔,尖酸刻薄(想起蕭伯納),得罪過不少樂壇前輩,雖則粉絲無數,haters也不少。我算不上前者,也肯定不是後者,但每見有中譯出版,例必捧讀,他的成名作《誰殺了古典音樂》,我更為文大加推薦。不是因為他說的都是事實,剛剛相反,其誇張失實「有口皆碑」,但借用大教授張五常的話:「寧可錯得來有啟發性,也不要對得來平平無奇」,Lebrecht的吸引之處,就在這裏。

去年到深圳一遊,在書店見其新作《古典音樂那些事》,粗略翻看但覺有趣,便買回港細讀,估不到這個「細讀」足足讀了一年有多,不是因為誨澀難懂,此書只是散文結集,認真看,一星期便看完,只是近年心散,閱讀量大減,由高峰期一年三十本,跌至近年的一兩本,真是慘不忍睹。

言歸正傳。此書大部份內容輕鬆有趣,其餘則過於嚴肅、冷門,如「音樂與猶太人那些事」這一章,我便悶出隻鳥來。整體而言,此書是Lebrecht典型的嘻笑怒罵,資料是否絕對準確不重要,若能從中得到一點啟發,便已值回書價了。

我舉一例。

每當談論古典音樂,言必及貝多芬莫扎特,彷彿他們二人是古典音樂的代言人,但莫扎特真的可以跟樂聖相提並論嗎?Lebrecht大唱反調:

「莫扎特是一股倒退的力量,對音樂發展毫無貢獻;音樂史上的創造者和推動者是巴哈、海頓、貝多芬、華格納、馬勒、勛伯格,其他都是娛樂……莫扎特並沒有推進任何音樂形式的疆域。他墨守成規到極點,創作非常保守。加分的部份是他為人類文明貢獻了兩打作品──幾首小夜曲和未完成的《安魂曲》。」(38-39頁)

寫到這裏,莫粉恐怕已怒不可遏,我明,我真係明,雖然莫扎特的音樂不算是我杯茶(經常聽的作品莫說兩打,連一打也沒有,只有第25、40和41交響曲、第23鋼琴協奏曲、第3小提琴協奏曲,還有幾首忘記了第幾的piano sonatas),我依然經常籠統地稱他為神童、天才,推崇不已。但經Lebrecht這麼一說,我猛然醒覺,莫扎特除了多產,對音樂史有甚麼貢獻呢?真的想破腦袋也想不出來。

海頓的音樂雖然平淡,沒有莫扎特的靈氣,但至少他是「交響曲之父」。論承先,巴哈把複音音樂推到極限,前無古人後無來者;論啟後,貝多芬一步跨進浪漫時期,《第九交響曲》更是震古爍今的頂峰之作,啟發了日後的馬勒進一步把人聲和管弦樂團結合起來……沒有這些大師,音樂的發展會變得不一樣,但沒有了莫扎特呢?可能媽媽不知道該找甚麼音樂給寶寶伴睡了。

我這樣說,不是要詆譭莫扎特,但評分要有準則,保特是百米飛人,但跟我玩長跑,我有機會贏。同樣道理,Lebrecht以創新論英雄,莫扎特輸足九條街!無錯,他是神童,更可能是古今第一神童,但神童何其多,單靠這一點不足以名垂千古。莫扎特的音樂動聽,美如天籟,不食人間煙火,個別作品的個別章節,也有創意,但整體而言,還是傾向保守,對後世沒有甚麼啟發。

音樂一定要有創意嗎?沒有創意的音樂就不是好的音樂?不一定,若用其他準則,莫扎特差不多都拿滿分,這就是Lebrecht招人忌(或惹人厭)之處了,只拿事情的一面誇誇其談,引人注目,對喜歡「持平公正」的讀者來說,是極大的冒犯。問題是,有些時候你不突出這一面,這一面就很容易會被淹沒;當全世界都把莫扎特推上神枱,Lebrecht就要把他拉下來,讓出空位予神一般的對手。

當然,針無兩頭利,Lebrecht選擇走這條孤芳自賞的路,筆鋒難免會過於偏激,像「其他都是娛樂」一說,難道布拉姆斯的交響曲(或稱安眠曲,視乎閣下的年齡)也算是「娛樂」?老柴的芭蕾舞曲或許是,但其《悲愴交響曲》,應該是同類型音樂之最吧!要知道,創意跟內涵是兩回事,而內涵有很多種,不一定是傷春悲秋,也不一定要探求人生意義這樣的大課題,像莫扎特,在絕境中保持樂觀,在規範中表達自我,人世間的恩怨情仇,只是過眼雲煙,唯獨純潔的音樂才是永恆。聽莫扎特一如聽巴哈,我看見了天國!