Reviews by Country
As I see it, the new Chinese film, I Am Not Madame Bovary, from director Feng Xiaogang is his best film to date, and easily the best new release I saw in 2016. There’s not a moment in this movie which I didn’t fully enjoy, and to watch Sino actress Fan Bingbing in, possibly, the role of her career — well, that was a pure delight.
This Mandarin language film was ignored by Australia’s mainstream media on its theatrical … (read more)
China’s big summer release for 2014 is The White Haired Witch of Lunar Kingdom, based on the popular 1950s tome Baifa Monu Zhan written by Liang Yusheng. Its most recent and most favoured screen version is the 1993 Hong Kong pic The Bride With White Hair, directed by Ronny Yu and starring Brigitte Lin and Leslie Cheung in a beautifully lensed tale of romantic obsession amidst the clan wars during the Ming Dynasty. Like the mystical flower of … (read more)
Our first Chinese film release in Australian cinemas this year is Benny Chan’s Shaolin, a big-budget action film packed full of stars and showcasing Shaolin kungfu and philosophy with an official seal of approval from the Shaolin Temple itself.
Straight off the back of his starring role in Detective Dee, Andy Lau stars as warlord Hao Jie, a calculating general who delights in ravaging across the countryside, capturing cities and amassing a serious retirement nest-egg. His most recent … (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)
Jackie Chan has been making forays into more dramatic acting in the last few years — there were early attempts like Crime Story and Thunderbolt, and in the last few years we’ve had New Police Story and The Myth as well. But these have still been identifiably Jackie Chan movies — grueling stunts, inventive high-impact fight choreography, Jackie front-and-centre as the hero.
I didn’t think it very likely that we’d get one of those from director Derek Yee, though. … (read more)
The long-awaited sequel to the excellent 2005 crime-action drama Sha Po Lang (SPL) has finally been released – and what a truly disappointing film it turns out to be. Flash Point is one of the cinema’s low points for 2007.
Flash Point is a lazy and unoriginal movie with routine performances from major HK stars and a storyline culled from recent Chinese crime flicks. Plus the near unbelievable fact that this high budget thriller was filmed on digital video. The … (read more)
About half way through Battle of Wits I put the movie on pause, tottered over to the kitchen, put on the kettle and idly set my thoughts to punning on the title. (For the record, I came up with Rattle of Zits, Cattle of Nits, and Tattle of Gits. Nervously Noel Coward brilliance, I do not think …) Cup of tea in hand, I sat outside on the balcony and read for a while.
You get the gist, dear reader: … (read more)