Blog Archives

Golden Job (2018)

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Chin Kar Lok is one of those hard yakka performers the Hong Kong and Chinese film industries have relied on over the years and I have a lot of time for his work. A stunt veteran and background character for much of the 80s and 90s (e.g. Millionaires Express) with an occasional lead role (e.g. The Scorpion King), for the last decade or so he has been more of a character actor (e.g. Cold War). He only … (read more)

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Chasing the Dragon (2017)

To begin, an admission. I have not seen many Wong Jing films. Not even some of his biggest hits, such as God of Gamblers. Some of his work has flickered across my retinas, but given the fellow’s torrential output over the decades I may as well have folded before even picking up the cards. I know him more by reputation; a film-maker chasing the broadest and basest of cinematic trends. Jackie Chan’s classics are hardly high-brow, but City Hunter(read more)

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Monk Comes Down the Mountain (2015)

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Want to see a movie where a bunch of stuff happens? You’ve come to the right place.

I really don’t know what to make of this one. I entertained a fancy of simply posting a series of screenshots to convey how discombobulating a viewing experience this film provides, but I’m going to try and describe it as best I can in words as well.

Imagine a meandering and often lovely-to-look-at indie film, with a main narrative thread broken up by … (read more)

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The Adventurers (2017)

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First of all, let’s clear up any possible confusion. The Adventurers (2017) is a light and breezy affair starring Andy Lau. The Adventurers (1995) is definitely not a light and breezy affair, although it still stars Andy Lau. Hey, it was directed by Ringo Lam in the middle of the 90s Hong Kong crime film boom. What ya gonna do? This most recent film to bear the name is directed by Stephen Fung and much more befitting of the adventure … (read more)

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Man of Tai Chi (2013)

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The history between this film’s two main actors goes back a fair way. Star Tiger Chen met Keanu Reeves while doing stunt work on The Matrix films and the two remain buddies, with Tiger briefly showing up in John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum to get a cringeworthy knife in the eyeball. The script for Man of Tai Chi apparently kicked around for years until eventually being made and we should be glad it did. 2013 was the beginning of … (read more)

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Triple Threat (2019)

I’ve been waiting to see Triple Threat for over two years. Seemingly caught up with distribution difficulties and generating little buzz, it nevertheless carries the potential to be an all-time action classic. Check that cast list. It’s absolutely stacked with talented action practitioners. Real ones, who know how to make fights look good. Even if not all the names are widely known, the sheer amount of experience there is mouth-watering for a dedicated action fan. Game on!

It’s always exciting … (read more)

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Rise of the Legend (2014)

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A title like this one could be seen as either portentous or incredibly bland and the one-sentence synopsis on the back of the box doesn’t give much away. The major point of interest in Rise of the Legend sounds like it’s Sammo Hung playing the big bad, but it turns out this is actually a gritty origin story for the legendary Wong Fei-hung.

At the time of this film’s release another notable folk hero, Wing Chun master Ip Man, … (read more)

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Lady Detective Shadow (2018)

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I love wuxia movies — unlike fantasy settings in other cinemas, Hollywood for example, it has been a prominent mainstay of Chinese cinema for decades. For the uninitiated, think back to Crouching Tiger or 90s Hong Kong: period Chinese setting, murky political intrigues, heroic figures battling for a higher cause… or perhaps just for supremacy. There’s something about these worlds that draws you in, whether it’s via the lyricism and allegory of King Hu’s films, or the labyrinthine intrigue and … (read more)

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