Reviews by Country
Before watching the new Mainland release, A Better Tomorrow 2018, I was wondering why the world of cinema needed such a remake. I was still asking myself the same question after seeing this movie last week.
Film remakes are problematic at the best of times, and Hollywood is an industry leader at producing the best in bad remakes. My recent favourite titles in this sub-genre are Tony Scott’s Taking of Pelham 1,2,3, and Simon West’s The Mechanic. … (read more)
One of this year’s biggest Chinese New Year film releases has belatedly arrived in Melbourne’s Chinatown Cinema for a short season. Well, better late than never I suppose. A successful Chinese New Year movie will nearly always have the following ingredients: it must be family oriented, have big name stars, countless celebrity cameos and story-lines guaranteed not to tax the intellect.
An Inspector Calls is a strange choice for a Hong Kong movie, let alone a major Chinese New Year … (read more)
I knew very little about Bodyguards and Assassins going into the theatre. I had heard a basic plot outline that could be described as ‘16 Blocks with a team of kung-fu fighters instead of Bruce Willis’. Having now seen the film I think that sentence does a disservice to the film.
B&A is set in 1906, British ruled, Hong Kong. Revolution is in the air with student protests and rebel groups finding their footing. With police and other forces … (read more)
So let’s get some levels of expectation for Treasure Hunter out of the way first of all. Whilst I thought Jay Chou was fine in both Initial D and Curse of the Golden Flower, his performance in both instances was such a blank slate, it was just a masterstroke casting decision to give him characters that were similarly bland. So certainly not a fanboy of the man. Have probably heard a song or two of his but certainly don’t … (read more)
The second collaboration between Pen-ek Ratanaruang, cinematographer Chris Doyle, script writer Prabda Yoon and actor Tadanobu Asano after Last Life in the Universe is in my opinion an even better work, regardless of its technical faults, jarring changes in plot direction and stilted performances.
Simply as an extremely raw mood piece with astonishingly drawn out sequences devoid of elaborate fantasy, Invisible Waves was for me thoroughly captivating. When I think of it now, some months after viewing it for the … (read more)
Back in my wayward youth – not all that dissimilar to my wayward adulthood – I recall watching numerous horror anthology films on late night Saturday TV. Those were the days. Corkers like the original Tales from the Crypt with Peter Cushing and, um, Joan Collins, and Trilogy of Terror, the well known trio of films all starring Karen Black, one of which featured a particularly nasty African Zuni fetish doll that comes to life and wreaks merry havoc.… (read more)
The brief for the segments included in the original Three (three countries, three directors, three films, geddit?) was simply that it be something to do with ghosts. The Korean and Thai segments both took this literally, and crafted straighforward ghost films. Peter Chan Ho Sun, however, took this opportunity to create a multi-layered offering combining ghost movie, thriller, medical drama, love story, and tragedy, all wrapped together in a beautiful Chris Doyle package. Don’t just take my word for it, … (read more)