After experiencing the boorish and juvenile jingoism of Wu Jing’s Wolf Warrior, I was looking forward to the new big budget HK movie, Helios… although I was a bit wary of the fact that its release date had been put back three times in the past six months. From directors Sunny Luk and Longman Leung (Cold War), Helios starts well but fades quickly.
The film opens with the theft of a South Korean manufactured nuclear dirty … (read more)
Wong Yuen Yeung (Nick Cheung) gets a get-outta-jail card after doing 20 years for the rape and murder of a teenage girl called Yi Wan. He comes across Tsui Suet (Janice Man), a classical pianist who looks the spit of Yi Wan, and, like wow, crazy, she has the same father, Tsui Hon Lam (Michael Wong). So naturally Yeung follows her to her luxury home in the hills she shares with her parents and goes all creepily stalker, spying on … (read more)
With this sequel to the excellent 2005 film Election, Hong Kong director Johnnie To adds yet another great film to his long and impressive list of work. Few other directors have managed to make so many movies and maintain the same high standards in one film after another. Election 2 sees the return of all the characters (at least those who managed to survive) from Election, and guess what; it’s time for another triad election.
It’s been two … (read more)
After following reckless and ruthless triad bosses across Hong Kong and China in Election and its sequel, Johnnie To returns to the perspective of the heroic underling as well as to the celebrated story dimension of 1999’s The Mission, one of the major highlights of his prolific career.
Exiled is neither a direct sequel or prequel to The Mission, but rather an interplay of similarities and divergences from the earlier film’s plot, themes, characters and stylistic approach. … (read more)
Johnnie To confuses me. I have never been able to satisfactorily account for why I enjoy his films so much, and I don’t like that. It has always seemed to me that he strikes a very uneasy balance between visual style and dramatic substance; those devices (plot and character-related) To employs to lend weight to the emotional side of his films are usually very conventional, but somehow he always manages to obscure this until I think about it afterwards, which … (read more)
Someone apparently thought that spraying Andy Lau’s hair silver would make him look old. Sorry, matey, but it just ain’t workin’. Lau Tak Wah looks totally delectable as ever, and just a smidge more elegant with a silver coiffure, if such is possible. And although the annoyingly wide-eyed Athena Chu scoffs at one point “You shouldn’t smoke too much. You’re getting old”, our Andy still retains sufficient sex appeal to engage Athena’s character in one of the better love scenes … (read more)
When one comes across a film like Shiver I’m never sure whether we’re catching the tail end of a fad for ghost stories or serial killings or whether we have movie studios throwing all the components of what was ‘in’ in the hope that they can create something new and exciting.
Of course, it is rare that this happens but then there is the analogy about the amount of manure and needed to grow a flower. That’s not to say … (read more)