Reviews by Country
A mysterious man tells a group of scholars at a remote historical site the story of two generals, once friends and allies, who wrestled for control of the throne in a long and bloody game of chess — literally and figuratively — during the last days of the Qin Dynasty.
To try and sort out the convoluted plot of Dante Lam’s Fire of Conscience would take more space than this website has bandwidth. Just thinking about the gratuitous twists and turns in the narrative is enough to prompt a migraine. To that end, Lam was probably going for more of the cops and robbers action vibe Hong Kong did so well in the ‘80s and ’90s — and that Lam evoked so effectively in last year’s Sniper and 2008’s surprising … (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)
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)
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)
What can I say about City Hunter that hasn’t already been said? It stars Jackie Chan, although he’s forced by Wong Jing to be rather more of a buffoon than is strictly necessary. There’s Chingamy Yau, Joey Wong, and a couple of other glamorous babes, as should be expected in a Wong Jing flick. There’s a cruise ship, lots of rich people, and Richard Norton leading a posse of bad white guys (well, mostly white). Leon Lai Ming shows up … (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)
Would I be alone in thinking there’s something amiss about the idea of Chapman To pimping out Leon Lai on the streets of Tokyo? If the answer was yes, then Moonlight in Tokyo is the answer to this singular eccentricity of yours.
If the answer was no … well I won’t have to call for the big guys with the padded van.
Disturbing as the central premise sounds, Moonlight in Tokyo is a surprisingly enjoyable film that looks at the … (read more)