- This week in cinemas: 'When Marnie Was There' (Japan)
- This week in cinemas: 'Helios' (Hong Kong)
- This week in cinemas: 'Wolf Warrior' (China)
- First teaser for SPL 2!
- This week in cinemas: 'Detective K: Secret of the Lost Island' (South Korea)
- Melbourne: ACMI screens Zhang Yimou and Gong Li's films
- This week in cinemas: 'Gangnam Blues' (South Korea)
Reviews by Country
Sequels, Prequels, Send-ups and Spin-offs: Director Wong Jing finds Chow Yun Fat a new tuxedo amongst his usual box of tricks.
The recent release of From Vegas to Macau harks back to Hong Kong’s gambling fad of the early 1990s. Wong Jing, director of the original God of Gamblers series, offers up a super-silly pastiche of recycled gags that should appeal to fans of classic Hong Kong gambling films. Unfortunately, this time Chow Yun Fat does not play suave gamesman … (read more)
Many moons ago, pro-exploitation producer-director Wong Jing and actor Chow Yun-fat hit box office and entertainment pay dirt when they teamed up for God of Gamblers. That film’s pulpy action comedy was a silly delight, and proved Wong, something of a Roger Corman for Hong Kong, had the ability to crank out popular hits that didn’t always involve jiggling boobies. It lightened up Chow’s image among niche viewers outside Hong Kong (he was best known to that point for … (read more)
Fairly ordinary action piece with a less than credible premise, made more interesting by the presence of Andy Lau. Director Wong Jing does some terrible things to young Andy, including throwing him through a plate glass window, blowing things up near him, and generally treating him as he oughtn’ta be treated. Worth it for curiosity value only.… (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)
Jet Li left the Once Upon A Time In China series after part three, but in Last Hero In China (his next film) he was imaginatively cast as Wong Fei Hung again. It begins like another episode of the series, but it doesn’t take long for Wong Jing’s signature stupidity to kick in. The film doesn’t really flow; it’s just a series of extended set pieces loosely tied together. The best of these by far is the strikingly surreal rope … (read more)
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)
This is a pretty enjoyable Jet Li action vehicle as handled by Wong “I’ll do anything to entertain you” Jing. Because of the Wong factor, Li’s usual heroics are placed alongside various lowbrow comic set pieces (it’s just not a Wong Jing film without a fart gag), left field craziness (the villain drives a Chinese batmobile) and borrowed ideas: it steals liberally from Lone Wolf and Cub and other Li films like Fong Sai Yuk and Once Upon A Time … (read more)
Love is a Many Stupid Thing is a reasonable parody of HK smash Infernal Affairs that is marred by the inclusion of some truly stupid material that makes the mistake of deviating from an otherwise successful spoof formula.
Music, locations, and even actors are ripped right out of IA, while entire scenes are reproduced shot-for-shot with only the smallest of changes — usually just enough to make them look ridiculous (yeah, subtlety in a Wong Jing film — who’da … (read more)