Reviews by Country
Sequels, Prequels, Send-ups and Spin-offs: Director Wong Jing finds Chow Yun Fat a new tuxedo amongst his usual box of tricks.
The recent release of From Vegas to Macau harks back to Hong Kong’s gambling fad of the early 1990s. Wong Jing, director of the original God of Gamblers series, offers up a super-silly pastiche of recycled gags that should appeal to fans of classic Hong Kong gambling films. Unfortunately, this time Chow Yun Fat does not play suave gamesman … (read more)
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)
It might be safe to say that the late 80’s and the early 90’s was possibly the high point for Hong Kong crime cinema. Sure, there’s been a lot of brilliant flicks since then (Johnny To probably responsible for more than his fair share) but the hey day of John Woo and Ringo Lam just somehow stands out as some of the freshest, most electrifying cinema around. True, the fairly standard criminal betrayed revenge story Full Contact wasn’t the most … (read more)
Many moons ago, pro-exploitation producer-director Wong Jing and actor Chow Yun-fat hit box office and entertainment pay dirt when they teamed up for God of Gamblers. That film’s pulpy action comedy was a silly delight, and proved Wong, something of a Roger Corman for Hong Kong, had the ability to crank out popular hits that didn’t always involve jiggling boobies. It lightened up Chow’s image among niche viewers outside Hong Kong (he was best known to that point for … (read more)
This 2010 China-Hong Kong co-production finally makes it to Australia on DVD, which is surprising considering it was China’s highest grossing film for that year, a title it still holds despite tough opposition from the recent Christmas releases of Zhang Yimou’s wartime drama The Flowers of War and Tsui Hark’s 3D fest Flying Swords of Dragon Gate.
Let The Bullets Fly’s distribution history outside China was also worrying: it couldn’t find a distributor in Australia on its release … (read more)
The new Chinese drama Curse of the Golden Flower is a welcome return to form by director Zhang Yimou, and further proof that major Chinese stars Gong Li and Chow Yun-Fat do their best work on home ground.
In the past fifteen years Zhang has gone from being the bad boy of Chinese cinema (Ju Dou, Raise the Red Lantern) to the acceptable face of a cultured China with international hits like Hero and House of Flying … (read more)
There was a time in the mid-90s when everything coming out of Hong Kong was cool and exciting. Guns were blazing while gangsters oozed charm; supernatural heroes were flying for the sake of the world while others performed death-defying stunts merely for our sakes, and we were more than appreciative. Every local release was hired from the video store down the road followed by many a bruise and abrasion with the occasional sprain – though no bones were broken.
Looking … (read more)
It’s almost impossible to write about Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon without using words like “grandeur”, “breathtaking”, and suchlike. The scenery positively demands it, without even starting on the film itself. Sweeping vistas over mountainous regions, wreathed in mist and clothed in vivid green, offer the sort of territory that is probably quite foreign to most of us. Ancient Chinese towns and cities, likewise, do a great job of transporting us into another time and another world. Clearly this film did … (read more)