Blog Archives

Project A: Part II (1987)

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Project A is a highlight of Jackie Chan’s filmography, and the movie I use to introduce those unfamiliar with Hong Kong cinema to the many and varied delights it delivers. However, Project A: Part II is my favourite Jackie Chan movie. It is perhaps one of the purest displays of Jackie’s talent for creating intricate action and comedy scenes, displayed so clearly that the skill behind their construction is almost invisible.

As if as a reminder of the high bar … (read more)

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Millionaires Express (1986)

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This movie is ridiculous. I mean that in the best sense of the word, as in over-the-top silliness, expertly crafted to make you grin with glee or cringe with incredulity depending on your familiarity with Hong Kong’s special filmic sauce — equal parts broad visual gags, verbal comedy that doesn’t quite translate, kinetic action and a pinch or two of political incorrectness, all boiling down to a bubbling broth of good old fashioned fun.

Just look at that cast list! … (read more)

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Once Upon a Time in China 2 (1992)

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In light of the Hong Kong box office success of Once Upon a Time in China (which was the 8th highest earner in 1991, making HK$29,672,278.00 over its 56 day run), it was only a matter of course before at least one sequel would get spawned. This being a Film Workshop baby, one could also justly expect the ante to be upped in the second work of what turned out to be a six movie series. The appointment of Yuen … (read more)

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Wesley’s Mysterious File (2002)

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A more appropriate title for this would be “Aliens Ate My Scriptwriter”. Honestly, I’d hoped for more from this: after all, the poster showed Andy in tight black clothing, accompanied by Hsu Chi and Rosamund Kwan. But alas, I was to be sadly disappointed. The science was of such a level of 1950s sophistication as to make the fluffy pseudo-science of For Bad Boys Only look as respectable as particle physics. I kept expecting one of the characters to say … (read more)

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Big Shot’s Funeral (2001)

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What I thought about the film. Ahem.

Well, let’s start with what expectations I had coming into the film. Well I hadn’t seen the trailer though a number of my friends had raved about it during Japanime 02 and it was Rosamund Kwan (whom I hadn’t seen since the Once Upon a Time in China series) with a dead Donald Sutherland. So automatically, one thinks an East meets West scenario. And it is. There’s no denying it. However, normally these … (read more)

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Dr Wai in the Scripture With No Words (1995)

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This is a delight, as you’d expect from Ching Siu Tung, the director of Swordsman 2 and all three Chinese Ghost Story films.

The film is neatly split between fantasy and reality. In the real world, pulp writer Chau (Jet Li) is morose at his impending divorce with Monica (Rosamund Kwan). His idea box is empty, but he has a deadline to finish the latest thrilling instalment of Doc Wai, the Adventure King. He writes for a bit, but gives … (read more)

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Armour Of God (1987)

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Famous not only as a box-office smash, but also for containing a misfired stunt that smashed open Jackie Chan’s skull, Armour of God is a bare bones action-adventure yarn that displays oodles of JC’s superb athleticism and wily comic talents. This is a movie that barely makes sense, is often borderline politically incorrect, and is firmly rooted in childish entertainment — in short, it’s an energetic and accomplished plot-driven B-movie that aficionados of finer martial action or breakneck comedy may … (read more)

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Once Upon a Time in China (1991)

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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)

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