Blog Archives

Porco Rosso (1992)

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Yes, I know what you’re thinking, is this yet another review that waxes lyrical about the genius of Hayao Miyazaki?
Well, guess what, you win a million dollars!
Well, you would if I had the money in the first place!

But how could I not? Porco Rosso is one of my favourite Miyazaki films and worth every damn cent you didn’t get from me. A spirited film that surprises and fills you with a sense of elation each time you … (read more)

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Only Yesterday (1991)

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This is indeed a surprise – a Ghibli film that is underwhelming. However it is not necessarily a bad thing. Let me explain. When I watched the first two thirds of this film, I found it sufficiently compelling but strangely uninspiring. Dull even, something I don’t associate with Ghibli films. However the last 40 minutes turned it around for me. Undoubtedly the Ghibli magic has worked its charm again, but how? I suspect the leisurely pace of Only Yesterday is … (read more)

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My Neighbours the Yamadas (1999)

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I always know that I’m in for an anime treat if I’m seeing a Studio Ghibli [that’s Ghi-bu-ri] film but even I was completely taken by surprise by My Neighbours the Yamadas. The quality of work here still abides by the high achievement previously set by awe-inspiring films such as Princess Mononoke, Nausicaa, My Neighbour Totoro just to name a few.

OK, the first surprise is the look of the film – simple, yet warm aquarelle/ watercolour … (read more)

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Love on a Diet (2001)

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How will your loved one[s] react if you suddenly put on 200 pounds? Will they love you any less? Does being beautiful = thin? What sort of message is this film trying to send? These questions whizzed through my head as I watched Love on A Diet, Johnnie To’s latest offering, with HK’s über popstars, Sammi Cheng and Andy Lau [suffering for their art by packing on heavy sumo suits]. These human insecurities form the basis for the premise of … (read more)

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Kung Fu Hustle (2004)

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Hai-yah!!! If I was 10 and watched this film I would have high-kicked my way out of the cinema. But as a, *ahem*, mature and none-too-lithe adult… I just made do with imagining I was high-kicking.

Although I didn’t kick and punch my way out of the cinema, I can understand how Stephen Chow felt when he saw his first Bruce Lee film. If this was the feeling he was trying to recreate for his audience, his effort is not … (read more)

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Happy Times (2002)

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Has anyone noticed leading actresses in Zhang Yi Mou’s films have been getting younger and younger?!

OK, small digression — let’s get back to Happy Times. When I think back to Zhang Yi Mou films, the word that I invariably end up using to describe his work is “intense” — the experience for the audience, the film itself, the landscape, the music — unforgettable. His older films had a lot of urgency, tension, you could feel the blood, sweat … (read more)

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Fulltime Killer (2001)

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It seems being a housekeeper in HK comes with a few hazards. If you’re like Chin (Kelly Lin) you can end up being love target between not one but two of Asia’s top professional killers, O (Takashi Sorimachi) and Tok (Andy Lau). [Depending on how you look at it, it may not be a bad thing!] O is Asia’s top assassin and Tok would like to see himself wear that title instead. Chin, O’s housekeeper/cleaner becomes an unwitting (this point … (read more)

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The Eye (2002)

Two words. Angelica Lee. She carried this film. I hear Hsu Chi is in the sequel but the only thing you can be sure of is her hair will look great in it. Anyways I’m digressing. So what is the film like? Well, very creepy indeed — in the goosebumps-raising, arm-chair gripping, eyes-rivetted and teeth-grinding way. And the ocassional jump [if you’re a wuss like me]. In short, it’s good.

Mun [Angelica Lee] has been blind since young and after … (read more)

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