As I see it, there have only been two rolled gold masterpieces of the Cantonese cinema since the late 1980s: John Woo’s bloodstained Vietnam odyssey Bullet in the Head and Wong Ka-Wai’s Ashes of Time. Both were produced within three years of each other and are poles apart in content and style, but they remain shining examples of a film industry at its peak.
Ashes of Time is based on a popular Chinese martial arts novel The Eagle Shooting … (read more)
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)
They say you can’t have it all and in Ming Dynasty China the eunuchs certainly didn’t! OK, I must apologise for that lapse in comedic judgement. But the ball is in my court. Oh, please make me stop. Anyway this lack of a certain, um, something may explain why they were mad for power and painted Evil Eyebrows on their noggins to give them that extra mad-as-a-cut-snake villain look. Certainly works here for Donnie Yen’s character!
Yen is part of … (read more)
The Bride With White Hair is one of the guaranteed classics of Asian cinema. The Bride With White Hair 2, alas, is not.
I soooo wanted to be able to say something good about this. Really. But there’s precious little good to say. All the glories of the first film have turned to dust and ashes and second-rate burlesque here. The sweeping epic beauty of the original, which could make us forgive the occasional scenery-chewing (such as Francis’ star … (read more)
This is simply one of the finest films ever made, in my not so humble opinion. Read on, and I’ll tell you why.
First up, the director and producer were both determined that this would be a special swordplay movie, unlike the usual genre fare. Raymond Wong’s Mandarin Pictures is known for turning out well-crafted films, and this one was lovingly tended by all those working on it. No time or expense was to be spared in bringing this novel … (read more)
Police Story has been called the greatest action film of all time. That’s making a big claim, and I’m not certain it’s true, but I am certain that this film is a fine example of Jackie doing what Jackie does best: taking a beating from bad guys, good guys, cars, furniture, and assorted household items.
The film opens with a stakeout leading to a spectacular chase down the side of a mountain, smashing through a shanty town on the slope. … (read more)