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Lost in Hong Kong (2015)

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I will admit to not having been in a big hurry to see this film, as I had recently watched Lost in Thailand, the second entry in this loosely-connected series. I can only describe that feature as being interminably long and totally unfunny — not good descriptions for a comedy. Also, I wasn’t a fan of mainland star and director Xu Zheng, but I do like Zhao Wei and her recent films have been so varied (Dearest, Hollywood (read more)

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Beast Cops (1998)

Modern cop drama with Anthony Wong playing the mildly corrupt cop who keeps a lid on things, Michael Wong as the uptight straight cop who’ll gun down a criminal regardless of the danger to the hostage, and Sam Lee as the skinny cop who always gets the goss. Most of Beast Cops is concerned with the interaction between the three cops, and the conflict between their way of walking the beat. Roy Cheung plays the local Big Brother who has … (read more)

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The Longest Summer (1998)

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As with Cantonese director Fruit Chan’s previous film Made in Hong Kong, this is again set on the mean streets of Hong Kong. It’s a fascinating, Altmanesque view of the pivotal months surrounding the HK hand over to China during 1997.

The Longest Summer follows the plight of a recently disbanded Chinese unit of the British Army, whose members find life in civvy street to be a demeaning and frustrating existence. Their unusual talents soon ensnare them in a … (read more)

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Horror Hotline: Big Head Monster (2001)

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Horror Hotline’s big head monster is a deformed infant, abandoned at birth, described in the dialogue as having seven or eight eyes, a head as big as a rubbish bin and a body the size of a three year-old boy! Unfortunately, we never get to verify this information. The monster appears just once, and then only in the form of an apparition: imagine the ‘floating-foetus’ image from the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey but enlarge the shape of … (read more)

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Visible Secret (2001)

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Visible Secret was among the vanguard of the “My left eye sees ghosts” sub-sub-genre of films to come out of Hong Kong recently. And it’s a pretty good one, I must admit.

It’s an extremely visual film, not surprisingly. The colour palette is striking: lush, deep, drenched colours, lots of night-time settings, and dramatic lighting make it beautiful to look at. Some might also say that Hsu Qi makes it beautiful to look at, although I’m not in a glandular … (read more)

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2002 (2001)

This film stinks and I hate it. You know why? Not because of the completely incoherent plot. Not because the performances exist in an emotional vacuum. Not even because the soundtrack (ironically featuring a song entitled “Let Me Die”) made me want to kill myself. No, I hate 2002 because I want to be a magic cop. (Actually, I really want to be a magical-realist cop, but I’d happily settle for the plain old magic version.) If I was a … (read more)

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Dragon Loaded 2003 (2003)

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Dragon Loaded 2003 is the most morally repugnant film I have seen this year. It features, among other things, scenes of a rascist, sexist and blasphemous nature, scenes of violence involving a minor, organ piracy, police vigilantism, sexual deviancy, full-frontal male nudity, substance abuse and nastiness with a bear trap. But… it’s funny.

Dragon Loaded wants to be a Stephen Chow film. It’s about half way there … it has no brains, sure, but it also has no Stephen Chow. … (read more)

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