Blog Archives

Battle of Wits (2006)

About half way through Battle of Wits I put the movie on pause, tottered over to the kitchen, put on the kettle and idly set my thoughts to punning on the title. (For the record, I came up with Rattle of Zits, Cattle of Nits, and Tattle of Gits. Nervously Noel Coward brilliance, I do not think …) Cup of tea in hand, I sat outside on the balcony and read for a while.

You get the gist, dear reader: … (read more)

Comments Off on Battle of Wits (2006)

Island of Greed (1997)

(from , dir: )

The producer/director team of Johnny and Michael Mak have been responsible for some of Hong Kong’s best known and roughest crime movies. Titles like The Long Arm of the Law and To Be Number One were often based on actual people and events. The sexploitation classic Sex and Zen was also a Mak release.

In Island of Greed, the Mak brothers turn their cameras towards crime and corruption in Taiwan, with a factional retelling of the 1995 general election … (read more)

Comments Off on Island of Greed (1997)

The Three Swordsmen (1994)

(from , dir: )

Terrible. Just terrible. Impossible to understand, unless you think the massive conspiracy mentioned in the synopsis sabotaged the film-making. Even for a fan of Brigitte and Andy and Elvis, this one was really hard-going. Don’t risk it.… (read more)

Comments Off on The Three Swordsmen (1994)

Love on a Diet (2001)

(from , dir: )

How will your loved one[s] react if you suddenly put on 200 pounds? Will they love you any less? Does being beautiful = thin? What sort of message is this film trying to send? These questions whizzed through my head as I watched Love on A Diet, Johnnie To’s latest offering, with HK’s ├╝ber popstars, Sammi Cheng and Andy Lau [suffering for their art by packing on heavy sumo suits]. These human insecurities form the basis for the premise of … (read more)

Comments Off on Love on a Diet (2001)

The Last Blood (1991)

(from , dir: )

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)

Comments Off on The Last Blood (1991)

Infernal Affairs III (2003)

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)

Comments Off on Infernal Affairs III (2003)

House of Flying Daggers (2004)

(from , dir: )

I have to admit that when I first saw House of Flying Daggers, I felt somewhat ambivalent about it. I had somewhat decent expectations for the film since it was a Zhang Yimou film, the man who brought us Hero, and had a solid enough cast of Takeshi Kaneshiro, Andy Lau and Zhang Ziyi. Yet, while the performances were strong and set pieces impressive, the story was lacking and a great deal of the fighting lacked a certain … (read more)

Comments Off on House of Flying Daggers (2004)

Fulltime Killer (2001)

(from , dir: )

It seems being a housekeeper in HK comes with a few hazards. If you’re like Chin (Kelly Lin) you can end up being love target between not one but two of Asia’s top professional killers, O (Takashi Sorimachi) and Tok (Andy Lau). [Depending on how you look at it, it may not be a bad thing!] O is Asia’s top assassin and Tok would like to see himself wear that title instead. Chin, O’s housekeeper/cleaner becomes an unwitting (this point … (read more)

Comments Off on Fulltime Killer (2001)