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Chasing the Dragon II: Wild Wild Bunch (2019)
Co-directors Wong Jing and Jason Kwan punched out this thematic, but otherwise unconnected, sequel to their 2017 historical crime drama Chasing the Dragon in two years. It’s not the same breakneck pace of the helter skelter Hong Kong heyday, when Casino Tycoon and its sequel blazed into cinemas in the same year, but for contemporary big budget Chinese blockbusters like this it’s still a quick turnaround.
A couple of clips from Chasing the Dragon, tweaked to look like archival … (read more)
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SPL II: A Time for Consequences (2015)
Ten years ago in 2005, Hong Kong action film SPL arrived, suggesting a triumphant return to the sort of film that Hong Kong has always done better than pretty much any industry on the planet; beautifully cheoreographed and edited hard-action cinema, the sort that’s only possible when you have a cast of martial artists and an experienced crew that knows how to shoot them to maximum effect.
In the intro to my write up back then, I called it:
A … (read more)
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An Inspector Calls (2015)
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)
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Overheard 3 (2014)
By way of full disclosure: When Overheard 3 arrived in Australian cinemas and distributor Magnum Films were kind enough to send me a ticket for review, I was worried. I hadn’t seen the first two films, and this is generally a recipe for incomprehensibility as far as the third is concerned. I saw the first installment on iTunes as prep, and then discovered that I needn’t have worried: writer/director duo Alan Mak and Felix Chong have crafted a series of … (read more)
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Drug War (2012)
In just under twelve months, I’ve had the good fortune to have watched three superb new release Asian crime movies. In my opinion, they mark a turning point in their respective film cultures. The films are: from India, Gangs of Wasseypur, a very un-Bollywood-like crime saga which chronicles a century long blood feud; the Chinese feature Lethal Hostage from wannabe auteur Cheng Er; and Johnnie To’s first mainland produced and financed cop drama, Drug War. More on the … (read more)
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Milkyway Image Films latest Hong Kong release is the classiest and most intelligent film to come from Hong Kong so far this year. Lead actor Louis Koo (Overheard) gives a brilliant performance in Accident and is quickly becoming one of the best screen actors in Asia.
In his debut feature for Milkyway Films, director Soi Cheang (Dog Bite Dog) has tempered his usually dark, violent cinema visions and created a wholly satisfying cerebral crime drama, very … (read more)
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