Blog Archives

Call of Heroes (2016)

Feel the call of the hero. At least try — the movie really wants you to. Alas, the basic setup of Call of Heroes is a tense, action-packed opportunity gone begging. It’s not bad, just frustratingly less than it could have been.

We enter the story at ground level with teacher Miss Bai (Jiang Shu Ying), as she chaperones a group of children from the decimated Stone City to the town of Pucheng. Stopping at an inn, they witness a … (read more)

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Shaolin (2011)

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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)

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New Police Story (2004)

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See Jackie laugh! See Jackie cry! See Jackie get drunk and throw up in the gutter!

New Police Story opens in a very unconventional way: the camera pans slowly, in loving and almost surgical close-up, over the stubbly, tear-stained face of the waking Inspector Wong. We know straight away that this is not going to be a humorous waking. There’ll be no knuckles in the mouth, horrified memories of the night before: “Did I really strip down to my underwear … (read more)

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Moment of Romance (1990)

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This movie is one of the all-time classics of Hong Kong cinema. It’s a tragic urban love story that’s strong enough to make Romeo and Juliet pack up their bat and ball and go home. Andy Lau, as Wah Dee, the young triad member, showed here that he was more than just a matinee idol. Wu Sien Lien, as Jo Jo, is luminous and innocent.

Although the film shows its age in some of the earlier scenes, and things like … (read more)

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Heroic Duo (2003)

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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)

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