Reviews by Country
Many moons ago, pro-exploitation producer-director Wong Jing and actor Chow Yun-fat hit box office and entertainment pay dirt when they teamed up for God of Gamblers. That film’s pulpy action comedy was a silly delight, and proved Wong, something of a Roger Corman for Hong Kong, had the ability to crank out popular hits that didn’t always involve jiggling boobies. It lightened up Chow’s image among niche viewers outside Hong Kong (he was best known to that point for … (read more)
After following reckless and ruthless triad bosses across Hong Kong and China in Election and its sequel, Johnnie To returns to the perspective of the heroic underling as well as to the celebrated story dimension of 1999’s The Mission, one of the major highlights of his prolific career.
Exiled is neither a direct sequel or prequel to The Mission, but rather an interplay of similarities and divergences from the earlier film’s plot, themes, characters and stylistic approach. … (read more)
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)
This is simply one of the finest films ever made, in my not so humble opinion. Read on, and I’ll tell you why.
First up, the director and producer were both determined that this would be a special swordplay movie, unlike the usual genre fare. Raymond Wong’s Mandarin Pictures is known for turning out well-crafted films, and this one was lovingly tended by all those working on it. No time or expense was to be spared in bringing this novel … (read more)
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)
There’s really nothing one can say that will adequately describe this film. I keep trying, but my tongue tangles with superfluous superlatives: excellent, great, superb, marvellous, impossibly good. I feel like I’ve regressed to my teen years, abandoning the maturity which I’m supposed to have gained by now.
Okay, then, I’ll give it a try. First up, this is one of director To’s best films. It exemplifies all of To’s strong points: visually stunning scenes, minimal dialogue, strongly defined characters, … (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)
Horror Hotline’s big head monster is a deformed infant, abandoned at birth, described in the dialogue as having seven or eight eyes, a head as big as a rubbish bin and a body the size of a three year-old boy! Unfortunately, we never get to verify this information. The monster appears just once, and then only in the form of an apparition: imagine the ‘floating-foetus’ image from the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey but enlarge the shape of … (read more)