Reviews by Country
I keep on coming back to one particular word when describing the 2014 mainland drama Dearest — and that word is unsettling. There’s also a subversive thread running through this movie which subtly but resolutely questions the ability of China’s government to comprehend and to act on very complicated legal and emotional issues. Dearest is about child-stealing and is based on a case which caught the public’s attention in 2009.
The film’s director, Peter Chan, is one of a small … (read more)
Wu Xia is billed as a martial arts murder mystery, and one needs to wonder whether there are many more genre mash-ups still left to be made (of course making that thought is sufficient for some unknown combination to come forth). That, of course, is the central premise of Wu Xia: that Jinxi’s (Donnie Yen) intervention in a robbery draws the attention of magistrate Baijiu (Takeshi Kaneshiro) who is convinced that Jinxi’s good deed was only possible through the … (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)
The brief for the segments included in the original Three (three countries, three directors, three films, geddit?) was simply that it be something to do with ghosts. The Korean and Thai segments both took this literally, and crafted straighforward ghost films. Peter Chan Ho Sun, however, took this opportunity to create a multi-layered offering combining ghost movie, thriller, medical drama, love story, and tragedy, all wrapped together in a beautiful Chris Doyle package. Don’t just take my word for it, … (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)
Far too many punters insert the word “action” after “Hong Kong”, and only define the territory’s output by flying kicks and boiling lead; while many mainstream filmgoers might turn their nose up at Hong Kong films for exactly the same reason. Peter Chan’s romance Comrades: Almost a Love Story bucks all such trends, being equal to the greatest dramas from any country.
Maggie Cheung and Leon Lai feature as mainlanders who have come to Hong Kong; she wants to get … (read more)
He’s A Woman, She’s A Man is a classic. 8 years ago, I saw this in a packed session at the Mercury Cinema in Adelaide [back when they used to show the latest HK movies], and grandmas and rutgrats were jostling each other to get a seat. I tried jostling too but they were too tough for me those venerable grandmothers and tenacious kids.
Upon my second viewing last night without the need for jostling or extended family audience, I … (read more)