Reviews by Country
After experiencing the boorish and juvenile jingoism of Wu Jing’s Wolf Warrior, I was looking forward to the new big budget HK movie, Helios… although I was a bit wary of the fact that its release date had been put back three times in the past six months. From directors Sunny Luk and Longman Leung (Cold War), Helios starts well but fades quickly.
The film opens with the theft of a South Korean manufactured nuclear dirty … (read more)
Days of Being Wild is one of the early films by renowned Hong Kong director Wong Kar-Wai. It has all the trademarks of Wong’s later works, such as Chungking Express and In the Mood for Love. But despite being less well-known in the West, Days of Being Wild is certainly no less impressive than any other film by Wong. It is a beautiful movie that features unforgettable characters played by some of Hong Kong’s best actors and actresses working … (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)
As I see it, there have only been two rolled gold masterpieces of the Cantonese cinema since the late 1980s: John Woo’s bloodstained Vietnam odyssey Bullet in the Head and Wong Ka-Wai’s Ashes of Time. Both were produced within three years of each other and are poles apart in content and style, but they remain shining examples of a film industry at its peak.
Ashes of Time is based on a popular Chinese martial arts novel The Eagle Shooting … (read more)
Apparently, this one was made in a break in the filming of Ashes of Time, with mostly the same cast, and mostly the same characters, but absolutely none of the same seriousness. It’s more wacky than a firkin* of very wacky things, and will make your brain revolve at speed.
There’s no way to adequately describe most of this, except to say that the costumes are lavishly satinned, the performances are lavishly over-the-top, and seeing this will possibly answer … (read more)
I really wasn’t looking forward to this. There had been passing rumours about some Chinese musical but little more than the name had permeated the most superficial levels of my consciousness. Besides which, a musical presenting itself as ‘Perhaps Love‘ is the kind of thing one tends to avoid when maintaining a macho exterior. Receiving it with an expectation of a review made me regard it as somewhat of a chore (despite my history of reviewing Rom Coms … (read more)
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)
There is no being objective in this review. Once Upon a Time in China was the first time I had ever come across Jet Li and well, here I am today. There is no understatement that without first catching this on SBS one night, I would not have learned the need to flip and kick like gravity was for lesser people. I would not see the nobility in virtue and righteousness. I would not see the heroic of cinema and … (read more)