Viewing Rumble in the Bronx today is a strange experience. On release it was Jackie’s successful comeback to the American movie market, a Golden Harvest production that finally showcased what Jackie could do, the Hong Kong way. Nowadays it feels very dated, and it’s hard to believe this film did well enough to trigger Jackie’s rise to Hollywood stardom. Ostensibly set in New York City, failing to disguise being filmed in Vancouver, Canada and very Hong Kong in style and … (read more)
Miracles was Jackie Chan’s answer in 1989 to the criticism that Hong Kong cinema wasn’t capable of doing more than low-budget action films, limited to genre pictures and nothing more. This film had an enormous budget for its time, took nine months to shoot and was made with a great deal of care and attention to detail. The sets are enormous and detailed. The costumes are great. There are tracking shots and other complicated camerawork everywhere. And, as always in … (read more)
My copy of this film has no subtitles, but it doesn’t really matter. Leslie and Anita have two of the most expressive faces in the acting biz, and two of the best voices as well, both singing and speaking. So the drama and the emotion come through achingly clearly without understanding the dialogue.
Of course, having already seen it I know what the story is, which does help. But it’s a fairly simple story, albeit one drenched with emotion. Anita … (read more)
Karaoke comedy. It’s a new genre. That’s not necessarily a good thing, but it’s damn amusing to anyone who’s ever been trapped in an interminable karaoke party, which, judging by the laffs from the audience when I checked this number, is pretty much everyone in Hong Kong.
The story and the jokes in Let’s Sing Along are both standard. Nerdy office worker Chu Wai Tak (Anita Mui) has the talent to be the Queen of Karaoke, but is too nervous … (read more)
Ann Hui’s July Rhapsody, translated literally as Man 40 from Cantonese, is not so much a film about a mid life crisis as it is about life itself. This film, through the strength and believability of the characters and the value the director places in narrative pace, speaks most strongly about matters of the heart and the choices we make for good or ill, and the things seemingly beyond our control. But it also manages to illuminate value within … (read more)
Andy Lau conceived this film as an antidote to the general spiritual malaise that swept the world in the wake of the World Trade Centre bombings: it went together fast, and was intended to make people in Hong Kong smile and feel good again. Andy himself was stuck in Toronto, having gone there with Johnnie To to promote Fulltime Killer, and didn’t make it to Australia in time for the Melbourne concert to which I had a damn good … (read more)