Loading....
Recent Article links:

Archive for August, 2007

The Assassin (HK 1993)

Director : Siu Hung Cheung
Cast : Rosamund Kwan, Siu Chung Mok (Max Mok), Zhang Fengyi

Synopsis
A poor farmer who loves a woman he is forbidden to associate with becomes a hardened mercenary, and is hired by a local warlord as a professional assassin. Years later, he runs into his old love and begins to question his violent past. 

Review
by Edward Tang

Finding this film on the shelf of some store, I wondered why I had never heard of it. Sure, it wasn’t a big production, didn’t really have any big name talent, and wasn’t the best film in the rack, but it had it’s moments that probably were brought on by the surge of bloody duels and an all around fun approach. You won’t find anything in this film that you might consider unique, other than a very gruesome scene which involves sewing a man’s eyes closed. But being a small budget flick that has only an 87 minute running time, I felt that they delivered what I wanted from something like this. Sure, the plot is sketchy because it moves so fast, and you might not know some characters, and none of them are really developed, but who cares? The fast pace also adds to the fun that this film delivers, whether or not making the plot more successful. I got everything they threw at me, but later heard that people had a trouble keeping up with it. 

Continue reading

Traces Of A Dragon (2003)

Director : Mabel Cheung
Producer : Willie Chan, Solon So
Cast : Jackie Chan, Chan Chi-Long
Narration : Ti Lung

Synopsis
Jackie Chan grew up thinking that he was an only child, only to discover later in life that he had two older sisters. This was followed by the revelation that he also had two older brothers. Upon finding out about his ‘secret’ family, Jackie asked his father about his these relations and his parents life in China. His father did not want to discuss it with him. Around 1999 Jackie’s mother became quite ill which led to Jackie’s father having a change of heart – he decided that he needed to tell Jackie the truth about his family history. Traces Of A Dragon tells this story.

Review
by Martin Cleary

In his autobiography – My Life In Action – Jackie Chan describes the fear that discovering that he had two older brothers and sisters gave him. He feared that he would find out that he was adopted or some similar terrible secret. The actual truth of Jackie’s parents backgrounds is just as – if not even more – amazing as Jackie’s own ‘rags to riches’ story. As they say, even Hollywood couldn’t write this. Traces Of A Dragon opens with Jackie’s father explaining that he didn’t want his secrets to die with him, so he finally decided to reveal to his son his own past. The documentary uses interviews with Chan Chi-Long (Jackie’s father), and other family members to tell their collective family history.

Continue reading

Tetsujin 28 (JAPAN 2005)

Director : Shin Togashi
Producer : Kanjiro Sakura
Cast : Shosuke Ikematsu, Yu Aoi, Yuko Nakazawa, Akiro Emoto

Synopsis
Based on the classic postwar manga anime series, TETSUJIN 28: THE MOVIE comes from the creator of GIANT ROBO. In the movie, Tokyo gets attacked by an enormous robot called the Black Ox. Powered by a cyber-terrorist with plans for revenge, the Black Ox is so strong even the whole Japanese police force can’t stand up to it. A savior comes in the most unlikely package of elementary school student Shotaro who, after receiving a mysterious phone call from an older man in possession of an even stronger killer robot, comes to the city’s rescue. But even with the Tetsujin 28 by his side, Shotaro may not be strong enough to defeat the Black Ox.  

Review
by Edmund Yeo

Based on an old cartoon series (known to the West as Gigantor) created by Mitsuteru Yokoyama, Tetsujin 28 is the first live-action feature I can think of that has actual mechas in it since the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers movie (ah, nostalgia!). Which is cool, since I do like my dose of anime giant robots (anything but Gundam, though, never recovered from the trauma I had after watching Gundam Wing back when I was a kid…).

Continue reading

Throwdown (HK 2004)

Director : Johnnie To
Cast : Aaron Kwok, Louis Koo, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Jordan Chan, Siu-Fai Cheung, Calvin Choi, Hoi-Pang Lo and Cherrie Ying.

Synopsis
A former judo champion quits the tournament circuit and runs a nightclub. However, when a new challenger appears as well as an old rival and a judo master in need of reviving his school, the young man must go back in training and prepare for the ultimate challenge.

Review
by Edward Tang

I read a review recently about Throw Down, which basically went into how this film was one of the worst he had ever seen. He so apply titled his review “Let Down”, which gave me a laugh for some odd reason. Now this is far from the worst Hong Kong flick ever created and there are a few shitty Aaron Kwok films that make this film look like masterpiece. Throw Down is directed by semi-great Johnnie To, a man who for the most part, delivers the goods when his flicks come out. All too recently, I had one hell of a time watching Fulltime Killer. But Throw Down goes into my pocket and basically rapes me with it’s beat-to-death story and worthless scenes of slow motion crap. Granted, this film is about Judo and the entire fight scenes include a bunch of rolling around on the floor, so I didn’t expect something great. But even though this film is short and to the point, it felt very long to me, mostly because I was bored. Johnnie throws in our direction, pointless characters whom really seem to be just reading their lines, rather than acting.

Continue reading

Tears of the Black Tiger (THAI 2000)

Director : Wisit Sasasanatieng
Cast : Stella Malucchi, Chartchai Ngamsan

Synopsis

When Dum, a young peasant boy, falls in love with Rumpoey, the daughter of a wealthy city family, they vow that, whatever happens, they will one day be together…Ten years on, Dum is the notorious gang member “Black Tiger”. When he is commanded to execute police captain Kumjorn, Kumjorn has one last request – that Dum explain to his fiancée how he died. Dum realises that Kumjorn’s fiancée is, in fact, Rumpoey and is unable to ruin what he believes is her happiness. His decision to release Kumjorn is what finally unites the childhood sweethearts.

Review
by Liz Brkljac

This film assaults the eye with stunning colour: Bright pinks, lurid greens, bold yellows, giving it a cartoon like appearance. The characters, drawn large and vibrantly alive. Brightly painted backdrops add to the bright, cartoon like appearance. Even the blood, which there is plenty of, is the reddest you will ever see. An early scene is a shootout, featuring an unlikely, but accurate, shot whose mad trajectory finally reaches its target. There is a pause and the writer asks of the audience …….“Did you catch that? If not we’ll play it again”. His message printed on the screen. It is at this point that you realise that this highly luminescent movie is not going to be your usual run of the mill experience.

Continue reading