Reviews by Country
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)
Anyone with an interest in contemporary Hong Kong cinema has seen a film with Felix Chong’s screenwriter-fingerprints all over it, from this year’s Donnie Yen action spectacular (well, one of them!) The Lost Bladesman to the much-lauded Infernal Affairs trilogy. Usually, he works alongside Alan Mak, with whom he shares most of his writing credits, and often it seems that director Andrew Lau’s involved as well.
Not so for Once a Gangster, Chong’s first film as solo director. Years … (read more)
There are levels of disappointment in this world. We all should know this by now. Finding out your latest crush is not at all like you thought is somewhere around the level of a mild case of indigestion. Not getting that pay rise you’d hoped for registers somewhere around that punch-to-the-gut level. Discovering the last Tim Tam is gone is upping the ante somewhat to the equivalent of a great gaping hole in existence, worse if it directly follows the … (read more)
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)
Dead funky computer animation during the credit sequence promises that Heroic Duo will be one helluva film. The remaining 101 minutes delivers on that promise. A solid cast, tight direction, and production values through the roof work together to make a tense, intriguing film.
The story begins with Ekin Cheng essaying a tense cop investigating a colleague who claims to have been hypnotised, shortly before blowing his brains out. Cheng seeks out a jailed hypnotist, played by Leon Lai, for … (read more)
This is nothing more nor less than a promotional effort for The Twins, that ebullient Cantopop duo made up of Gillian Cheung and Charlene Choi. But for all that, it’s not a bad piece of froth, provided you disengage your brain while you watch.
One of the highlights, for cinema aficionados, is the presence of the consummate actor Anthony Wong. Although he has a reputation for sleepwalking through roles which fail to engage his interest, here he adds sparkle as … (read more)
If you liked Running Out of Time as much as I did then you’d have been hanging out to see this sequel by Johnnie To.
First off, the good news — Lau Ching Wan returns as the likeable, determined smarty-pants cop Inspector Ho Seung Sang. Other regulars from the first film such as Lam Suet, Ruby Wong and Hui Sui-Hong also returns (Lam Suet in a break from continuity tradition returns as a different character just to mess with our … (read more)
Fine mindless action entertainment. You’ve got Ekin and his hair, with the extra treat of long legs swathed in leather pants. You’ve got Kelly Lin in teeny tiny shorts. You’ve got Simon Yam being a suave triad boss and Moses Chan being the doofus brother. There’s lots of car racing, some angst, Blackie Ko as the long-lost father, and Patrick Tam doing a damn fine turn as the stammering mechanic. Turn your brain off and make “vroom vroom” noises and … (read more)