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The Warlords (HK 2007)

Director : Peter Chan Ho-Sun
Cast : Andy Lau, Jet Li, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Xu JingLei

The nineteenth century was an era of conflict: the Franco-Prussian War and the establishment of the German Empire in Europe; the Civil War in America; the Meiji Restoration in Japan; the Opium War in China followed by the Taiping Rebellion in Nanjing… all critical events that shaped the world today. At times of chaos, heroes are born yet innocence is forever lost…

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PTU (HK 2003)

Director : Johnny To
Cast :  Simon Yam, Suet Lam, Ruby Wong, Maggie Siu, Eddy Ko, Hoi-Pang Lo, Ho-Yin Wong, Jerome Fung and Frank Michael Liu.

Over the course of one night, a team of cops frantically search for their colleague’s missing gun.

by Edward Tang

The first time I saw PTU was in a room full of 35 people, a small screening of some type. I don’t really remember. Anyways, I remember walking out and feeling that the film was basically 90 minutes of nothing, just a bunch of standing around and nothing to show for it. For sure I wasn’t going to give it a second glance, why should I? But of course, I got a Christmas gift from some relative, he heard that I liked Asian flicks. He bought me about 20. Included in such was PTU, and I thought I’d never watch it again. But hell, why not? Surely the film could have some redeeming qualities in it, and I was glad that I did give it a second chance. Johnnie To is a master at his craft, showing the seedy underbelly of the night, and being able to actually see the characters for once. (rather than in some flicks that have night scenes and you see a bunch of rumbling and tumbling). Simom Yam leads the cast of PTU as they search as it seems, endlessly into the night for Lo’s gun. I must admit that I was expecting a bunch of action and shootouts after watching To’s other vehicle “The Mission”. The story is simple in structure and the acting follows that suit, but something about the direction and how the story moves along, gives us a hope that something might just occur that we don’t expect.

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Province 77 (THAI 2002)

Province 77 (Thai 2002)

Director : Smith Timsawat
Cast : Prinya Itachai, Matinee Kingpoyom, Erik Markus Schuetz and Pete Tongchua.

A recently immigrated Thai family struggles to survive in Los Angeles’ fast-paced consumerist culture, while still maintaining traditional values. The identity struggle affects Pat, a good boy tempted by a life of crime, and his sister.

by Edward Tang

Well, I truly don’t know where to begin. Province 77 is billed as another version of real GANGSTA life in the likes of Better Luck Tomorrow and Boyz n the Hood. So in other words, sorry to those films for getting an unlucky comparison to a lousy film. Well I was going to try and not insult the film up front, but frankly it stinks of cliched moments and annoying characters that got older as the film went along. Granted, this film is based upon how a Thai family struggles to survive in their new environment but why is that interesting?

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Fearless Hyena Boxset (Fortune Star)

DVD Information
Distributor : Fortune Star
Audio : DD 5.1, DTS, DD 2.0
Discs : 2
Languages : Cantonese, Mandarin
Format : NTSC
Subtitles : Chinese, English
Running Time : 96 mins and 91 mins
Contents : 2 DVDs
Screen Ratio : 2.35:1
Classification : -
Region : 3
Others : -

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Prison On Fire (HK 1987)

Director : Ringo Lam
Cast : Chow Yun Fatt, Tony Leung Kar Fai, Roy Cheung, William Ho, Tommy Wong

After being framed for a murder and sentenced to an anarchic prison ruled by a brutal guard, a naive businessman finds an ally in the ever-honorable Mad Dog in this brutal but touching action drama from master director Ringo Lam.

Lo Ka Yiu (Tony Leung) is the new “fish” at a prison run by the nefarious “Scarface” Hung (Roy Cheung), who rules the institution with an iron fist and a perpetual sneer. Lo immediately starts off on the wrong foot by demonstrating both anxiety and a stiff, by-the-rules attitude that alienates both the corrupt guard and the entrenched Triad hierarchy. Meanwhile, “Mad Dog” (Chow Yun Fatt), an easy going veteran convict, takes Lo under his wing and protect him. Prison on Fire is a not just a typical HK prison movie, but a much truly great HK flick in the 80s. Its a tense, understated melodrama  that’s Hong Kong’s answer to Cool Hand Luke.Ringo Lam won Best Director at the Hong Kong Film Awards for this movie which followed by another fairly good sequel, Prison on Fire II.

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