Chin Kar Lok is one of those hard yakka performers the Hong Kong and Chinese film industries have relied on over the years and I have a lot of time for his work. A stunt veteran and background character for much of the 80s and 90s (e.g. Millionaires Express) with an occasional lead role (e.g. The Scorpion King), for the last decade or so he has been more of a character actor (e.g. Cold War). He only … (read more)
First of all, let’s clear up any possible confusion. The Adventurers (2017) is a light and breezy affair starring Andy Lau. The Adventurers (1995) is definitely not a light and breezy affair, although it still stars Andy Lau. Hey, it was directed by Ringo Lam in the middle of the 90s Hong Kong crime film boom. What ya gonna do? This most recent film to bear the name is directed by Stephen Fung and much more befitting of the adventure … (read more)
Before watching the new Mainland release, A Better Tomorrow 2018, I was wondering why the world of cinema needed such a remake. I was still asking myself the same question after seeing this movie last week.
Film remakes are problematic at the best of times, and Hollywood is an industry leader at producing the best in bad remakes. My recent favourite titles in this sub-genre are Tony Scott’s Taking of Pelham 1,2,3, and Simon West’s The Mechanic. … (read more)
One of this year’s biggest Chinese New Year film releases has belatedly arrived in Melbourne’s Chinatown Cinema for a short season. Well, better late than never I suppose. A successful Chinese New Year movie will nearly always have the following ingredients: it must be family oriented, have big name stars, countless celebrity cameos and story-lines guaranteed not to tax the intellect.
An Inspector Calls is a strange choice for a Hong Kong movie, let alone a major Chinese New Year … (read more)
I knew very little about Bodyguards and Assassins going into the theatre. I had heard a basic plot outline that could be described as ‘16 Blocks with a team of kung-fu fighters instead of Bruce Willis’. Having now seen the film I think that sentence does a disservice to the film.
B&A is set in 1906, British ruled, Hong Kong. Revolution is in the air with student protests and rebel groups finding their footing. With police and other forces … (read more)
So let’s get some levels of expectation for Treasure Hunter out of the way first of all. Whilst I thought Jay Chou was fine in both Initial D and Curse of the Golden Flower, his performance in both instances was such a blank slate, it was just a masterstroke casting decision to give him characters that were similarly bland. So certainly not a fanboy of the man. Have probably heard a song or two of his but certainly don’t … (read more)
The second collaboration between Pen-ek Ratanaruang, cinematographer Chris Doyle, script writer Prabda Yoon and actor Tadanobu Asano after Last Life in the Universe is in my opinion an even better work, regardless of its technical faults, jarring changes in plot direction and stilted performances.
Simply as an extremely raw mood piece with astonishingly drawn out sequences devoid of elaborate fantasy, Invisible Waves was for me thoroughly captivating. When I think of it now, some months after viewing it for the … (read more)