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)
Anyone with an interest in contemporary Hong Kong cinema has seen a film with Felix Chong’s screenwriter-fingerprints all over it, from this year’s Donnie Yen action spectacular (well, one of them!) The Lost Bladesman to the much-lauded Infernal Affairs trilogy. Usually, he works alongside Alan Mak, with whom he shares most of his writing credits, and often it seems that director Andrew Lau’s involved as well.
Not so for Once a Gangster, Chong’s first film as solo director. Years … (read more)
In the opening minutes of Initial D, we watch as a street legal sports car “drifts” down a narrow mountain road – the driver accelerating into the tight corners, then gliding around the glasslike hairpin bends. All shot under moonlight, this short sequence captures the sublime and surreal beauty of pure auto power.
Once more we find outselves at the shady underbelly of Hong Kong society with the Triads that inhabit them. The stalwarts of Eric Tsang, Francis Ng, Jordan Chan and Shawn Yu populate this world of crime and violence as once again Hong Kong produces another film about the neverending battle between the police and the triads.
In the most cynical of modes, this is no doubt a cash-in upon recent quality productions more deserving of the spotlight, but it nonetheless … (read more)
Men Suddenly in Black is a one-joke yet consistently funny spoof of Hong Kong gangster movies. I should probably make it clear from the outset that I have virtually no standards when it comes to the send-up comedy genre, as I find the jokes that don’t work frequently funnier than the ones that do. So if you load your movie with transparently stupid references to other movies and genre conventions, you’re unlikely to get an entirely bad review out of … (read more)
The porcine connection in the title refers to “Porkchop”, a HK slang given to a someone deemed ugly or unattractive and is equally reviled by both sexes alike.
Mo (Michelle Reis) has a serious bald patch and permanently wears a hat to cover it up, So Mei (Karen Mok) is abnormally hairy due to a hormonal imbalance, Pao (Suki Kwan) has small eyes and buck teeth and Panda (Kelly Lin) has a birthmark on half her face.
Mo and her … (read more)