Reviews by Country
By way of full disclosure: When Overheard 3 arrived in Australian cinemas and distributor Magnum Films were kind enough to send me a ticket for review, I was worried. I hadn’t seen the first two films, and this is generally a recipe for incomprehensibility as far as the third is concerned. I saw the first installment on iTunes as prep, and then discovered that I needn’t have worried: writer/director duo Alan Mak and Felix Chong have crafted a series of … (read more)
So, a month or so after Tai Chi 0 hit cinemas, its sequel has arrived: Tai Chi Hero, filmed back-to-back with its predecessor on a shared budget. Accordingly, most of what Rhys says in his review of the first film holds true for this one: it’s a 3D action-comedy-adventure film with a steampunk feel to the art direction, solid action choreography from action legend Sammo Hung, and some modern CGI crammed in for today’s effects-hungry audience.… (read more)
Sometimes I wonder if I read film titles too literally. Take Inseparable by Chinese-American director Dayyan Eng (Waiting Alone, Bus 44) for example. Who is inseparable? What is? Is Eng talking about the couple in the film, or the main character and his new and slightly loopy friend? Or maybe he means to imply that the main character is inseparable from the experiences that make him human, or that all of us are inseparable from the systems within … (read more)
You might not think a lot can happen in one night, but then maybe you’ve never been to Mongkok, Hong Kong’s most densely populated area. At the heart of Derek Yee’s 2004 film One Nite in Mongkok is a city that never sleeps, that has so many streets and alleys and lanes and buildings and people, it might be more prudent to think that everything can happen. In an interesting departure from type, the director builds a suspenseful and refreshingly … (read more)
See Jackie laugh! See Jackie cry! See Jackie get drunk and throw up in the gutter!
New Police Story opens in a very unconventional way: the camera pans slowly, in loving and almost surgical close-up, over the stubbly, tear-stained face of the waking Inspector Wong. We know straight away that this is not going to be a humorous waking. There’ll be no knuckles in the mouth, horrified memories of the night before: “Did I really strip down to my underwear … (read more)
If the idea of one of those ponderous European romantic dramas – only Asian! – appeals to you, then look no further than Stanley Kwan’s disappointing latest effort. A woman leads her life (which is, naturally, only ever defined in terms of her relationships with men) set against the background of this event and that event; and if it sounds like I am failing to pay proper respect to the impact of World War 2 and the Cultural Revolution on … (read more)
Of all sequels, this is the one that should never have been made. The original Twins publicity vehicle, The Twins Effect, was not a strong enough film to warrant a sequel, which is probably why the film-makers decided to use a completely different story. Bad move. Exceedingly bad move.
The story is complicated, but not well-thought out. It doesn’t hang together, and helps to make the whole film look rather like an undergraduate effort: full of grand ideas rendered … (read more)
I caught this 2002 Miriam Yeung vehicle early this year, then her third collaboration with Joe Ma, and was pleasantly surprised by how charming it was. Since then the duo has teamed up to make Sound of Colours, and a sequel to this one, Love Undercover 2. Joe Ma is now planning on a third installment to the adventures of bumbling police officer Fong Lai Kuen — in animated form!
The first installment details the (mis)adventures of Fong … (read more)