雜記

評湯漢斯新作:《雷霆戰艦:獵犬號》

Tom Hanks 1

湯漢斯自編自演的新片《雷霆戰艦:獵犬號》,因為武漢肺炎而取消在戲院公映,改為在AppleTV播放。看trailer,特技出色,戰爭場面也甚可觀,心想:這麼一套大製作,放在網上播豈不浪費?幸好之前買iPad,附送一年AppleTV,可以免費欣賞,看過後,我明白發行商為何願意放棄戲院上映了,畢竟像《阿凡達》續集及新一套《星球大戰》等大片,也只是推遲一年上映,而不會改在網上播。投資者有信心,又怎會放棄圖利的機會?

以下含劇透,但看無妨,因為電影本身也沒有甚麼劇情可言。一開場,湯漢斯就跟老婆說接獲通知,被委任為驅逐艦獵犬號的艦長,將要執行一項護航任務,老婆聞言鼓勵,說艦隊深慶得人。鏡頭一轉(只不過三分鐘),湯漢斯已在海上,處理一宗艦上打鬥案,期間發現敵人,湯漢斯馬上丟下他們(同樣,也只有三分鐘),走出艦橋指揮攻擊……看到這裡,不禁要問,湯漢斯的老婆究竟扮演甚麼角色?導演安排那場公審戲,又想表達甚麼?

電影全長個半小時,絕大部份是獵犬號跟U boats的糾纏,一如我在開首所講,特技是出色的,戰爭場面也是可觀,但由頭打到尾,無劇情無背景無戰術,簡單來說,就是沒有起、承、轉、合,就像一套功夫片,一開波就打大佬,一直打到尾,就算打得再精采,也不會好看吧?

戰爭片要拍得好看,不能只重特技,還要有劇情配合,例如湯漢斯的舊作《雷霆救兵》(《雷霆戰艦》這個譯名,是否想食《雷霆救兵》的老本?),一開始是諾曼第登陸,角度寛廣,戰場宏大,單是這個開場已經是經典。然後鏡頭聚焦一隊拯救小隊,深入敵陣拯救同袍。每個隊員各司其職,性格鮮明,沒有一個是多餘,特別是不起眼的文書兵,瘦弱怕死,但因懂德語而被招入隊。途中他們補獲一名德軍戰俘,因一念之慈而將之放生,種下結尾的悲劇,而文書兵跟戰俘的互動,又構成全片其中一個高潮,這就叫起、承、轉、合!

《雷霆戰艦》呢?文戲跟戰爭場面是一比九十九,比例上嚴重失衡,劇情沒有任何變化(因為根本沒有劇情),更談不上氣氛層層遞進,而湯漢斯扮演的艦長,也不見得足智多謀(相比《異形海戰》的艦長,至少想出漂移此一奇招對付外星人),只是不斷下令左轉右轉躲避魚雷(這只是艦長的最基本職責)。觀眾看畢全片,既不覺得艦長神勇,也不知道所謂「雷霆戰艦」究竟有多厲害(觀其譯名,有此預期,也是合理的,英文是reasonable expectation),而對戰爭的來龍去脈,更是一頭霧水。

「咁叻,你嚟拍吖笨!」我當然不懂拍電影,但拍戲一如作文,題材先決,故仔好,才能拍(作)得好。《雷霆戰艦》的背景,只是尋常的護航任務,途中有驚險,但談不上峰迴路轉,簡單來說,就是不夠戲劇性。若真要拍同類題材,我想起PQ-17這隊護航船隊,堪稱二戰中最慘烈(應該說是最失敗)的護航任務……

1942年6月27日,由三十三艘貨船組成的PQ-17運輸船隊,在二十多艘驅逐艦、巡洋艦及潛艇等組成的艦隊護航下,從冰島出發駛往蘇聯,以支援紅軍抵抗納粹入侵。把這一役搬上銀幕的原因,是過程完美體現起、承、轉、合此一黃金定律。首先,護航艦隊規模龐大,由驅逐艦貼身保護,再由巡洋艦擔任中距離掩護,而英國的本土艦隊(包括最具戰鬥力的戰列艦及航空母艦)更在附近游戈,充當外圍警戒,實力十足,予人足夠信心,任務理應可以順利完成(反觀《雷霆戰艦》,只得兩三艘孤艦護航,實在顯得寒酸)。這就是「起」。

有「起」則有「承」。船隊起航後不久,即遭納粹U型潛艇及He-111魚雷轟炸機的連番伏擊,但都被護航艦隊一一擊退。據歷史記載,過程中發生了一段小插曲:其中一架魚雷機遭炮火擊落,另一架魚雷機慢條斯理地(魚雷機的特色是不夠快、無速度、飛得慢)穿越護航艦隊的炮火,斯斯然降落在墜機位置救出隊員(我fact check過,此款魚雷機體型較大,的確有空位可以救人),然後奇蹟地再次穿越火網飛走。PQ-17的一艘護航艦中尉看得兩眼發呆,咕嚕地說:「真他媽的不可思議!」這段小插曲見諸於電影,能起抒緩緊張氣氛之效,即最近經常聽到的「張弛有度」。

此一起承,再次營造樂觀氣氛,勝利彷彿就在眼前。但在7月4日卻出現了命運的逆轉。當晚船隊收到英國海軍部連續發出的三封急電:

「十萬火急!巡洋艦隊全速向西撤退!」

「十萬火急!敵方主力艦迫近,船隊解散,各自前往蘇聯港口!」

「十萬火急!護航艦隊馬上解散、撤退!」

護航艦隊的任務不就是護航嗎?怎麼會遇到敵人就輕言撤退?況且,之前不是有過把來犯者擊退的經歷嗎?原來今次的敵人不是等閒之輩,而是納粹海軍最強大(也是大西洋戰區最強大)的鐵必制號戰列艦,也就是傳奇戰艦俾斯麥號的姊妹艦,莫說PQ-17的護航艦隊無法匹敵,就連英國的本土艦隊也要忌其三分。英國海軍部一收到納粹出動鐵必制號的情報,就知道PQ-17玩完了,護航艦隊無必要陪葬,撤退是避免更大的損失。

電影最緊要有戲劇性,戰爭電影尤甚,劇情發展到這一步,扣人心弦,原先積聚的底氣及希望一下子化為烏有,只要導演正正常常,必能拍出懾人的張力,保證觀眾就算急到瀨屎,也不會離開座位半步。那主角呢?我認為非PQ-17的船長John Dowding莫屬(不要搞錯,船隊有船長,艦隊有艦長,前者是負責PQ-17的航程及維持各貨船的隊形,而後者則負責保護PQ-17的安全),導演不妨多花一點鏡頭描繪Dowding在遭到艦隊拋棄後的失望、憤怒及恐懼,同時在後來遭到納粹海空夾擊下,他仍勇敢帶領貨船避開攻擊,以盡可能減低傷亡及損失,令觀眾更投入角色。

PQ-17最後無被全殲,但也差不多了,三十三艘貨船中,總共被擊沉了二十二艘,死者百餘人,貨物損失最為慘重,包括二百多架戰機、四百多輛坦克、三千多輛軍用汽車,以及十萬噸物資,足夠裝備一個軍團。而更要命的是,後來調查發現,英國海軍部情報有誤,鐵必制號並非其估計的「迫在眉睫」,而是在距離船隊三百海哩外,同時由於擔心皇家海軍的航空母艦,並無放膽出擊。換言之,攻擊PQ-17的主要是潛艇及轟炸機,如果護航艦隊沒有解散,以其實力應該有力一戰。但歷史沒有如果,PQ-17的悲劇,除了令皇家海軍負上背信棄義臨陣逃脫的惡名,也令同盟國出現內訌──美國怪責英國護航不力(PQ-17主要是美國貨船),要求將美艦調回太平洋,不再參與英國的聯合行動,而蘇聯的史太林更加火滾,指責英軍藉詞推搪,令其獨力對抗納粹。雖然裂縫日後得以修補,但PQ-17的悲劇,也著實影響了之後的戰爭發展,稱得上是二戰史上舉足輕重的一役。

想一想,若將PQ-17搬上大銀幕,豈不會賣過滿堂紅,又怎會屈就在AppleTV的串流平台上苟且偷生呢?

English Practice

Carrie Lam’s Love

I’ve come across this article and found it worthsharing to the world.
嘴裡說疫情,心裡想選情,像極了愛情 – 劉偉程

If there is any inconsistency between the Chinese and English versions of this article, the Chinese version shall apply and prevail. Incase of copyright infringement, please let me know and I will delete this translation.

Title: Talking about the Pandemic, Thinking about the Poll, like love.

Carrie The Mom said at a press conference last Friday about the Legislative Council delay:

“I live with the epidemic every day, and I don’t have time to care about the election." (Carrie, 2020)

Believe her, she didn’t lie. In the past few days, from the view point on how CCP central government granted all requests of the Hong Kong government, how resources are contributed by them, how our mother country loves Hong Kong people as herself, sending the best experts to help us, blah blah blah, it can be read as that the government has made up its mind to convert the pandemic to vote for the Pro-Beijing camp. Handling the COVID-19 is the same as handling the election, so why bother to distinguish?

Remember the SARS in 2003? The catastrophe that claimed 299 lives. Trace back to the source and we can see, it was CCP government’s delay in reporting the epidemic. Even after the diagnosed entered Hong Kong and spreaded the virus, Hong Kong could not respond immediately. By the time there was an outbreak in the community, everything was too late. From then, no matter how tough our citizens were and how committed our medical and nursing staff were, there left a bloodstain in Hong Kong’s history.

Years passed, when it comes to SARS, see what is the official comment?官方的輿輪風向是甚麼?

“In 2003 SARS, the central government quickly delivered medical supplies. The care and concern of the central government moved us very much." (Tong Jianhua, who was the chief executive during the SARS epidemic and is now the vice chairman of the CPPCC National Committee, 2017)

Does it look like a husband with gambling debts? It made the whole family restless, and he is still telling his wife, “Hey, honey, remember at that time the creditor came to the door? I tried to go out to block it! How brave was I!"

It’s like love.

Now, this dear friend is performing the same trick again.

The severeness of the pandemic in Hong Kong is a fact. However, the 500 hospital beds in the community treatment facilities of the Hospital Authority are already in place. If the government is willing to help, it is absolutely feasible to add reverse triage facilities. The current 500 hospital beds are prepared by the Hospital Authority. What did the government do? You don’t know, I don’t know, nobody knows.

All I know is that the government will have a line in the future. Carrie may sneer and say, “Oh, the 500 beds provided by the HA will be overloaded. I’m more than familiar with it. Let me tell you this: “We cannot rely on HA to make more. Luckily we have strong support from the central government, so two temporary hospitals will be set up!"

In fact, based on various media reports, the location and scale of the two temporary hospitals have been determined. The CCP party is so efficient.

Temporary hospital, why? There is news again. Member in the government said that we must be careful and prepared for the fourth wave of epidemics and winter flu. Therefore, instead of taking precautions about preventing the epidemic, such as preparing for how to operate the social protocol, how to work flexibly, how to arrange online operations, they are building a temporary hospital and wait for the outbreak.

Not to mention the winter flu, more than ample studies have shown that when people have hign awareness of infection prevention, the outbreak of the flu season will be greatly curbed.

In other words, when the number of flu surged every year in the past, why didn’t the government set up a temporary hospital? Such government is either extremely stupid, or it treats the people as extremely stupid. It is not difficult to imagine that in a few years, Carrie will be interviewed, and will be like TUNG before. Oh, how difficult we were back then, fortunately we have all support from the central government!

Don’t forget the national COVID-19 testing. Experts said wholeheartedly that at this point the national testing results are of limited reference value. However, the government didn’t listen at all. Two days ago, “Wen Wei Po", a pro-Beijing newspaper, said the whole population should be tested. Then today news is the government is looking for a place to build a laboratory.

Does this farce sound familar to you? Have you ever experienced that your boyfriend bought you a gift and you didn’t like it, then he lost his temper?

He did not want to please you. What he wanted is him offering and you receving, like charity.

I am not here to deny all support. Increasing the amount of testing is great. With the procedures and standards guaranteed, it can alleviate the burden on Department of Health’s laboratories. What I want to emphasise is that national testing is not necessary. Adding temporary hospitals is a good idea, if it’s under the leadership of the Hospital Authority. It is also suggested to expand the reverse triage. However, does Carrie Lam or CCP need to “speak up" each time for these to come true?

One drama after another, seems this is nothing more than paving the way to rewrite HK’s future history, to turn the sadist into offeror, and to win over some people who don’t know the truth, and the votes will naturally be in favour of the Pro-Beijing camp.

What’s more if next year’s election prediction is not as they wished, sure there will be more tactics yet to come.

The pandemic and political situation have paining Hong Kong people to the bone. Nevertheless, what hurt us the most is that there exists such a regime that distorted the truth and used the pandemic for their own good. And she would claim it is you who conspire and politicized matter.

Do you think it looks like love?
P.S. “像極了愛情" “Very similar to love" is a Sino quote, and a meme, aimed to teach people how to write so-called poetry.

當年今日 · 臥薪嘗膽 · 雜記 · 政治 · 時事評論 · 每年今日

反送中一周年──假如我是通識科老師

經典戰爭片《碧血長天》,英文戲名是the longest day,套用今日的香港,可稱為the longest year;過去一年,驚心動魄,也不知我們香港人是怎麼捱過來──百萬人大遊行、警民大衝突、721恐襲、831懸案、黎明行動、大學攻防戰、數千人被捕……一波未平一波又起,示威稍息,武肺襲來,之前出盡奶力也未竟全功的三罷,鄰國幫你完成任務,但換來的卻是一夜蕭條。這一年,香港人活得很苦呀!

前事不忘,後事之師。假如我是通識老師,我會怎樣跟學生細說事件的來龍去脈?無錯,我有立場,但老師也是人,有立場好正常,正所謂黃藍是政見,黑白是良知,教學生明辨是非黑白,是老師的責任。而不論立場,只講對錯,就要看老師的功架了。

首先,示威者有無失控?無可否認,的確有,馬鞍山撻人著火事件,是整場運動其中一個最大的污點(那可是違反了「武力對等」的原則,龍門不能隨意搬),另一個不幸是上水阿伯遭磚頭掟死,相比前者,後者是一個意外,而類似的「意外」,也發生在很多手足身上。這些事原本是不應該發生,也無理由會發生,發生了,對大家都沒有好處。

那警察有無濫暴?come on James!黑白是良知,如果你覺得警察沒有濫暴,要麼你是一級港豬,極度無知,要麼你是深藍,超級無良!

今日的亂局,大家有目共睹,但亂局背後,雙方為何會失控,則是一個值得深究的問題。單單聚焦暴力畫面,空談甚麼香港淪亡,無異於井底之蛙。

但凡群眾運動,本來就容易失控,因為責任分散(此即社會心理學所謂的diffusion of responsibility),當大家都有責任時,大家都不會覺得自己有需要去承擔責任,故容易做出平時不敢做的事來(同樣適用於警暴)。而政府的責任,就是避免這個情況發生,因為一旦發生了,就好難收科。

怎樣避免?極權政府慣用高壓手段,以武力鎮壓,套用中共的術語,是「消滅於萌芽狀態」,所以網上流傳這樣的笑話:「有這麼一個國家,一上訪,就是瘋子;一上街,就是鬧事;一揭露,就是造謠;一理論,就是誹謗;一提議,就是煽動;一批評,就是顛覆……」

文明社會(我不說民主社會,因為沒有民主的社會也可以好文明,例如港英年代)又怎樣呢?不外乎兩招:聽取民意和疏導民怨。水能載舟,亦能覆舟,不論政府是否民選,也不能視民意如無物,除非你狠下心腸,與民為敵。

以反送中為例,政府一開始便惺惺作態,說要把罪犯(陳同佳)繩之於法,但以條訂逃犯條例為手段,卻迂迴曲折,捨易取難,令人懷疑此舉另有不可告人之目的。及後台灣表明不接受港府的做法,後者卻仍以此為由,強推送中,那便是司馬昭之心了。

姑勿論政府的意圖是甚麼,民意倒是清晰的,就是全港一致反送中,因為大陸一向以政治凌駕法律,三權合作,無法無天,送中猶如送死,所以莫講泛民及小市民,就連大商家、大教授、大律師,甚至本應中立的法官,都站出來反對。偏偏政府態度傲慢,一意孤行,甚至直斥反對意見為「垃圾」,彷彿全世界都不懂法律,只有林奠一干人等才懂,你叫市民怎能服氣?

理論上,法例有爭議,政府應該想辦法釋除市民疑慮,而非強硬立法,但政府可能貪勝不知輸,之前DQ了多位泛民議員,以為夠票就可通過,不惜違反程序,繞過內會直上大會表決,「過咗海就係神仙」,此舉觸怒全港市民,the rest is history。

問題是,反送中為何會一發不可收拾?那就是香港多年來累積的恐共情緒的大爆發。共產黨是甚麼東西,毋須多言,就算改革開放後,經濟發展一日千里,但極權依舊,而科技進步,亦助長中共對人民的監控,以言入罪無日無之。中國是進步了,同樣也是退步了,兩者互不排斥,視乎你怎樣看。

民無信不立。倪匡講過:「妓女猶可信,中共絕不可信。」送中的問題,在於一個「信」字,如何確保送中不會令洗頭艇合法化?又如何確保疑犯在送中後會得到公平合理的審訊?政府的解釋十分牽強,一是法官把關,另一是特首把關。但法官的職責是審案,不是查案,法官只能根據現有的證據來審,但證據來自大陸,講到尾,還是一個「信」字。至於所謂特首把關,跟共產黨是甚麼東西一樣,也是毋須多言了。

更可笑的是,律政司曾說,不同意送中可以上訴,但要返大陸,OMG,那是尋釁滋事呀!

當政府失信於民,便會滋生各種各樣的陰謀論,不一定對,但也不會是全無根據,例如單程證是換血、普教中是推普滅粵、國民教育是洗腦、新界東北發展是中港溶合、23條是打壓人民自由、國安法是終結一國兩制……你可能不認同,你敢說大陸的教育沒有洗腦成份?你敢說大陸沒有以言入罪?你看近年中共拆十字架燒聖經封教堂,你敢說大陸有宗教自由?新疆「再教育營」(中共用語)關押無數維族人,你敢說中共沒有違反人權?

當然,過去一年的動亂,送中只是導火線,歸根究柢,是持續多年的中港矛盾。不要跟恐共情緒混為一談,恐共一直存在,但中港矛盾卻是近年的事。回想08年汶川地震,香港各界踴躍捐輸,因為大家都相信血濃於水,中共不好,人民是無辜的。其後京奧大捷,香港人與有榮焉,哪來甚麼中港矛盾?

轉捩點在09年出現。該年,陸續有報道說給汶川的捐款被不當挪用,市民的血汗錢,都跑進貪官的肚裏;然後發現災區倒塌的都是學校及民房,政府大樓卻屹立不倒;那些死了孩子的父母上訪申冤,卻反被政府打壓,維權律師則被控以尋釁滋事……香港人開始醒覺,這是一個甚麼樣的國家?

同年,政府推出一簽多行,將自由行推上頂峰,小小一個香港,每年接待數千萬遊客,當中自由行佔大半,試問怎麼吃得消?而自由行衍生水貨客,他們集中在靠近邊境的市鎮如上水、元朗、屯門等地搵食,一日走幾轉,把日用品搶購一空,同時也把這些地區的租金搶貴了,一街都係藥房,一地都係垃圾,一車都係大陸人,民生大受影響,加上雙非童驟增,學位供不應求,迫得本地學童要跨區上學,這不是雀巢鳩佔是甚麼?

平情而論,政府也不是無所作為,例如限奶令、禁雙非,以近年港府的施政來說,也算是德政,但對解決問題完全沒有幫助,至少,問題的徵結依然存在,那就是失控的自由行扭曲了香港的經濟,也令昔日的東方之珠黯然失色。與此同時,高官及商界卻一味叫市民包容,甚麼「過門都係客」,難聽過粗口;而自由行以恩主自居,「沒有我們來消費,你們食屎了」,也徒添民怨。

當然,要數自由行最大的問題,莫過於搶貴樓價。由09年起,樓價就升過不停,當年一棟三百萬的樓,現在要賣一千萬,人工根本追不上。牽一髮而動全身,買樓關乎成家立室,也直接影響退休後的生活質素,上車無望,等於失去前途。原本,買樓租樓各有利弊,但在香港的畸型環境下,只有業主才能坐享資產價格上升帶來的好處,令貧富懸殊變得更為嚴重。由此可見,自由行不止扭曲經濟,連香港人的一生,也扭曲了。

雖說自由行源於03年沙士,對當年百業蕭條的香港,確有起死回生之效,但經濟成果是要共享,否則便沒有意義。香港已經是發達城市,不需要靠旅遊收益(包括水貨收益)支撐經濟,而自由行帶來的繁榮,只惠及小部份人,主要是老闆及業主,其次是零售業僱員,但後者只是打份工,薪金不見得比其他行業高(售賣奢侈品除外)。

凡事過猶不及,失控的自由行,除會影響民生,也養大了商家的胃口,使其自動配合政府(包括中共)施政,形成利益共同體,這也是上述陰謀論的背景──市民覺得中共借經濟滲透干預香港。政治上,perception is reality,政府除一貫否認外(不忘叫市民包容),卻沒有相應的行動配合,市民要「自己社區自己救」,自然更加令各種陰謀論不脛而走。

還有一點,04年的佔中爭普選,是香港人對《基本法》的最後期望,但人大831決議,令一切希望成泡影,所謂港人自治,只是一場戲,而後來的連串DQ事件(重點是「連串」二字,而非單指起初的「梁游事件」),更令港人醒覺,議會政治已不能有效制衡政府。

當社會矛盾變成中港矛盾,恐共變成反共,修訂送犯條例,也就成為壓垮駱駝的最後一根蘆葦,而69百萬大遊行,或許是「止暴制亂」的最後機會,卻被政府無視,那個於當晚十一時發出的「如期恢復二讀」聲明,令一切都不能挽回了。