Blog Archives

Eye In The Sky (2007)

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I sat down to watch Eye in the Sky at the 2007 Sydney Film Festival and overheard a conversation behind me from two older ladies, who’d evidently set up base camp in the State Theatre and were watching their way through the entire Festival program. “Where’s this one from?”, one asked. “Hong Kong.” “Oh, so there’ll be lots of flying around, then?”

Sigh. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon has a lot to answer for. There’s no flying around at all(read more)

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Kung Fu Hustle (2004)

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Hai-yah!!! If I was 10 and watched this film I would have high-kicked my way out of the cinema. But as a, *ahem*, mature and none-too-lithe adult… I just made do with imagining I was high-kicking.

Although I didn’t kick and punch my way out of the cinema, I can understand how Stephen Chow felt when he saw his first Bruce Lee film. If this was the feeling he was trying to recreate for his audience, his effort is not … (read more)

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The Mission (1999)

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There’s really nothing one can say that will adequately describe this film. I keep trying, but my tongue tangles with superfluous superlatives: excellent, great, superb, marvellous, impossibly good. I feel like I’ve regressed to my teen years, abandoning the maturity which I’m supposed to have gained by now.

Okay, then, I’ll give it a try. First up, this is one of director To’s best films. It exemplifies all of To’s strong points: visually stunning scenes, minimal dialogue, strongly defined characters, … (read more)

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Men Suddenly In Black (2003)

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)

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Running Out of Time 2 (2001)

If you liked Running Out of Time as much as I did then you’d have been hanging out to see this sequel by Johnnie To.

First off, the good news — Lau Ching Wan returns as the likeable, determined smarty-pants cop Inspector Ho Seung Sang. Other regulars from the first film such as Lam Suet, Ruby Wong and Hui Sui-Hong also returns (Lam Suet in a break from continuity tradition returns as a different character just to mess with our … (read more)

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PTU (2003)

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Johnnie To Kei Fung has been working on PTU for around two years, in between other projects, and so the film has gained a degree of notoriety purely for that reason. As a result, To was a trifle anxious as to how this pet project would be received: speaking briefly before the opening night screening, he expressed a hope that the audience would forget The Mission, and give PTU its own chance.

Well, it’s not The Mission. It … (read more)

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Love Undercover 2: Love Mission (2003)

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About 20 mins into this harebrained Canto comedy, Miriam Yeung shrugs her shoulders and says “I’m a goof!” Daniel Wu asks her to be serious; she looks at him firmly and says slowly, “I… am… a… goof…”.

That pretty much sums up why it is hard to take her or the film seriously; she’s just goofing around. The flick has its moments, mostly at the start, with a couple of nifty sequences which show how she was demoted after her … (read more)

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