Blog Archives

Sleepless Town (1998)

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A modern film noir, with all the squalor and seediness that the pleasure district of Tokyo – the infamous Kabuki-cho – can bring to bear, Sleepless Town is a dark, moody thriller of ambitious proportions.

The culturally diverse cast and crew – Takeshi Kaneshiro as Keniichi Ryuu, a half blood Japanese Taiwanese, Eric Tsang as Cantonese crime lord Yuan and Lung Si-Hung as Kenichi’s adopted father and Taiwanese mob boss just to name a few – almost literally reflect the … (read more)

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Infernal Affairs III (2003)

My expectations for Infernal Affairs 3 were not high. Infernal Affairs 2 had proved to be little more than a lazy attempt to ‘cash in’ on the (deserved) success of the first film by inexplicably substituting the original’s too-cool style for some bland direction and stupid story choices, and there seemed little reason to think IA 3 would be any different.

Well, at least this time Andrew Lau and Alan Mak have made something that can be described as a … (read more)

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Infernal Affairs II (2003)

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Infernal Affairs 2, as the second act of the trilogy, starts the race with a handicap. Second acts are traditionally more down beat and less popular they either the first or third acts. Also, it follows up the enormously popular first part of the series, starring two of Hong Kong’s most popular A list actors. Nonetheless, it’s still a good film in its own right.

This is partly because the cast includes some seriously good dramatic actors, such as … (read more)

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Wo Hu (Operation Undercover) (2006)

Once more we find outselves at the shady underbelly of Hong Kong society with the Triads that inhabit them. The stalwarts of Eric Tsang, Francis Ng, Jordan Chan and Shawn Yu populate this world of crime and violence as once again Hong Kong produces another film about the neverending battle between the police and the triads.

In the most cynical of modes, this is no doubt a cash-in upon recent quality productions more deserving of the spotlight, but it nonetheless … (read more)

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Men Suddenly In Black (2003)

Men Suddenly in Black is a one-joke yet consistently funny spoof of Hong Kong gangster movies. I should probably make it clear from the outset that I have virtually no standards when it comes to the send-up comedy genre, as I find the jokes that don’t work frequently funnier than the ones that do. So if you load your movie with transparently stupid references to other movies and genre conventions, you’re unlikely to get an entirely bad review out of … (read more)

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Infernal Affairs (2002)

Andrew Lau, director/cinematographer of this film, has previously brought us such classics as the Young And Dangerous series, and the special effects fest Stormriders. However, he should also be held responsible for films such as the confusing Bullets Of Love (which I can’t help thinking of as “Bullets Urve Lurrrrve”) and the utterly tosspottish Wesley’s Mysterious File, in which the only mystery was how such a respectable cast were persuaded to show their faces in such drivel.

So … (read more)

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Love is a Many Stupid Thing (2004)

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Love is a Many Stupid Thing is a reasonable parody of HK smash Infernal Affairs that is marred by the inclusion of some truly stupid material that makes the mistake of deviating from an otherwise successful spoof formula.

Music, locations, and even actors are ripped right out of IA, while entire scenes are reproduced shot-for-shot with only the smallest of changes — usually just enough to make them look ridiculous (yeah, subtlety in a Wong Jing film — who’da … (read more)

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Jiang Hu (2004)

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There’s a certain amount of cynicism involved with walking into a film like Jiang Hu. There’s the niggling doubt in the back of your mind that, with the recent success of the Infernal Affairs films, Jiang Hu is a quick attempt to cash in on a fashionable trend. I mean you look at the cast and there’s the majority of the core cast of the Infernal Affairs films (which, OK, isn’t all THAT exciting for a very local industry) … (read more)

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