Blog Archives

Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen (2010)

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The role of Chen Zhen is a storied one in Hong Kong film. First played by Bruce Lee in (arguably his best film) Fist of Fury, the fictional vengeful student of real-life martial artist Huo Yuan Jia has been played by Jet Li (in Fist of Legend, also a classic), and in television adaptations by Donnie Yen, Bruce Leung and Jordan Chan. Fist of Fury’s original director Lo Wei also went on to make a sequel, 1976’s … (read more)

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Confession of Pain (2006)

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The word ‘confession’ carries a great deal of weight in Western culture; in religion, it goes hand in hand with the concept of sin; in the secular world, it’s generally accompanied by legal action. It comes in as many shapes and forms as there are people to make it – from Okay, yeah I ate the last piece of cake to I’m having an affair with your boss and worse. It can ruin lives and relationships, damage trust, hurt others … (read more)

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Initial D – The Movie (2005)

In the opening minutes of Initial D, we watch as a street legal sports car “drifts” down a narrow mountain road – the driver accelerating into the tight corners, then gliding around the glasslike hairpin bends. All shot under moonlight, this short sequence captures the sublime and surreal beauty of pure auto power.

Initial D was originally slated for Tsui Hark to direct, but early in the production he left the project and was replaced by Infernal Affairs directing … (read more)

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Infernal Affairs III (2003)

My expectations for Infernal Affairs 3 were not high. Infernal Affairs 2 had proved to be little more than a lazy attempt to ‘cash in’ on the (deserved) success of the first film by inexplicably substituting the original’s too-cool style for some bland direction and stupid story choices, and there seemed little reason to think IA 3 would be any different.

Well, at least this time Andrew Lau and Alan Mak have made something that can be described as a … (read more)

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Infernal Affairs II (2003)

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Infernal Affairs 2, as the second act of the trilogy, starts the race with a handicap. Second acts are traditionally more down beat and less popular they either the first or third acts. Also, it follows up the enormously popular first part of the series, starring two of Hong Kong’s most popular A list actors. Nonetheless, it’s still a good film in its own right.

This is partly because the cast includes some seriously good dramatic actors, such as … (read more)

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Infernal Affairs (2002)

Andrew Lau, director/cinematographer of this film, has previously brought us such classics as the Young And Dangerous series, and the special effects fest Stormriders. However, he should also be held responsible for films such as the confusing Bullets Of Love (which I can’t help thinking of as “Bullets Urve Lurrrrve”) and the utterly tosspottish Wesley’s Mysterious File, in which the only mystery was how such a respectable cast were persuaded to show their faces in such drivel.

So … (read more)

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Legend of Speed (1999)

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Fine mindless action entertainment. You’ve got Ekin and his hair, with the extra treat of long legs swathed in leather pants. You’ve got Kelly Lin in teeny tiny shorts. You’ve got Simon Yam being a suave triad boss and Moses Chan being the doofus brother. There’s lots of car racing, some angst, Blackie Ko as the long-lost father, and Patrick Tam doing a damn fine turn as the stammering mechanic. Turn your brain off and make “vroom vroom” noises and … (read more)

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Women From Mars (2002)

If you’ve been waiting for years to see three men looking into their boxers and screaming, then wait no longer: Women From Mars can fill that very specific need. If, like me, you’d managed to get this far in life without being bothered by such odd cravings, then you might still get a bit of a laugh.

For starters, it might satisfy your desire to see some sexist blokes get their just desserts. And while losing their willies might seem … (read more)

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