Blog Archives

The Eye 2 (2004)

Another entrant in the done-to-death ‘I see ghosts’ sub-genre of Asian horror, and it faces some tough obstacles. We’ve already been bombarded by so many films of this kind that, by now, the appearance of a pallid presence evokes nothing more than a yawn. Oh, yeah, another dead person. Where’s the fun in that?

And there have been some fine films in this genre, such as the original The Eye, the tense Thai film Shutter, and the lavishly … (read more)

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Three Times (2005)

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More accurately translated as ‘The Best of Times’, the latest picture from the most highly regarded formalist in world cinema is a delightfully structured and incredibly focused effort that breathes life into three very different moments in Taiwan’s past and present.

Three separate chapters bear the names of the broad topics that Hou pursues throughout the film: Love, Freedom and Youth. A lyrical romantic odyssey among smokey pool halls precedes a refined observation of national trauma as it is embodied … (read more)

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So Close (2002)

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Okay film-goers, let’s get going. I’ll keep this snappy, because I’m here to give you the low down on one snap-p-py piece of cinema — So Close.

Pop quiz; which HK director is responsible for this film? If your answer’s not Corey Yuen, you deserve to be beaten repeatedly with a pair of rollerblades by Zhao Wei, because his name’s right there under the title, but in the mean time, here’s a selected Corey Yuen filmography…

1993 — Fong (read more)

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Wesley’s Mysterious File (2002)

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A more appropriate title for this would be “Aliens Ate My Scriptwriter”. Honestly, I’d hoped for more from this: after all, the poster showed Andy in tight black clothing, accompanied by Hsu Chi and Rosamund Kwan. But alas, I was to be sadly disappointed. The science was of such a level of 1950s sophistication as to make the fluffy pseudo-science of For Bad Boys Only look as respectable as particle physics. I kept expecting one of the characters to say … (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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Viva Erotica (1996)

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This film starts with a bang. Literally. It’s the most enthusiastic bonking scene I’ve ever witnessed: Leslie Cheung and Karen Mok going at it with a fervour that, let’s say, is more suited to a sprint than a marathon. And a fine couple they make too: Karen Mok, she of the endless legs, with Leslie Cheung, who’s so entirely delectable that he’s probably a sex-poppet for all creatures chordate (that is, possessing a spinal cord, basically. I draw the line … (read more)

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Looking for Mr Perfect (2003)

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Must go to Malaysia.

Must visit Malaysia as a tourist and spend money there.

Lots and lots of money.

Blargh. Excuse while I just slap my head a few times. Just have to work off that subliminal marketing ploy that just tried to pass itself off as a movie. Oh, who am I kidding, there was nothing subliminal about it. Every second shot was of the wonderful Malaysian backdrops (which do look quite wonderful) and the kind of Malaysian … (read more)

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