Blog Archives

The Monkey King 2 (2016)

(from /, dir: )

Sun Wukong returns to the big screen in The Monkey King 2, the follow-up film to director Cheang Pou-soi’s 2014 Monkey King feature film. Right on time for Chinese New Year in the year of the monkey, it’s exactly what you want in a New Year film: big, broad, comfortably familiar and filled with with ample amounts of comedy and spectacle.

(If you’re not up on the Monkey King story — Aussies of a certain age should think Monkey (read more)

Comments Off on The Monkey King 2 (2016)

The Monkey King (2014)

(from /, dir: )

Well, this one’s been a long time coming! News that Soi Cheang was to direct a giant, IMAX 3D adaptation of part of the classical novel Journey To The West with a major action star in the lead hit the Web in early 2010, and there’s apparently been a sales stand with a poster at HK Filmart every year since then.

Now, all is revealed! After a couple of years of delays, The Monkey King is here in cinemas in … (read more)

Comments Off on The Monkey King (2014)

Cold War (2012)

From the outset, Cold War is an ambitious effort. Its big budget execution sets a bar that the narrative tries – and in some respects fails – to achieve with its high-scale intrigue and cast of dozens. For a non-Chinese speaking audience it’s not the easiest thriller to follow (I couldn’t even guess at what it’s like for the Chinese speaking one), which detracts a little from the overall enjoyment of the tense and tightly paced drama.

To set the … (read more)

Comments Off on Cold War (2012)

The Storm Riders (1998)

Well, there seems to a plethora of comic book based movies nowadays, with the ever-increasing ability of digital effects to recreate the comic book panel.  So whilst skimming over a cinema guide recently, my mind slowly drifted to one of the first comic book digital effects spectacles that I could remember: The Storm Riders.  It was convenient then that Pinnacle are about to do an Australian DVD release, meaning I get to revisit this 1998 ‘classic’.

Ah, nostalgia – … (read more)

Comments Off on The Storm Riders (1998)

Storm Warriors (2009)

(from , dir: )

It’s been a decade since Aaron Kwok and Ekin Cheng starred as Cloud and Wind respectively for Andrew Lau’s adaptation of Ma Wing-shing’s popular The Storm Riders (1998). Released on the cusp of the Hong Kong industry’s virtual collapse, it was a hit that set the digital standard for filmmaking in the SAR for years to come. It was also one of the last big, all-star epics from that period to find a cult following overseas.

So what’s changed, what’s … (read more)

Comments Off on Storm Warriors (2009)

Throw Down (2004)

(from , dir: )

Johnnie To is ever the genre-shifting shapechanger. You can’t get a hold on him; just when you think you’ve got a firm grasp on his style, he jinks around, unhooks your hold and throws you back to the mat. I mean that in a good way.

Throw Down sees To partially back in the quirky territory of previous Milkway Image productions like The Odd One Dies and Too Many Ways To Be Number One, but in a more good-hearted … (read more)

Comments Off on Throw Down (2004)

2000AD (2000)

(from , dir: )

2000 AD is one of a rash of relatively high-budget actioners that came out of Hong Kong over the last few years, but there are a few things that set this one a tad above most.

For starters, there’s the casting. Fairly attractive and high-profile leads in Aaron Kwok and Daniel Wu mean that the characters are reasonably well-executed, and provide sufficient eye candy. Both are also quite credible in the action department, being disgustingly fit and athletic.

Then there’s … (read more)

Comments Off on 2000AD (2000)