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Peace Hotel (HK 1995)

Director : Wai Ka Fai
Producer : John Woo
Screenplay : Wai Ka Fai
Cinematographer : Wong Wing Hang
Cast : Chow Yun Fat, Cecilia Yip, Chin Ho, Lau Shun, Annabelle Liew, Ng Sin Lin

Synopsis
The death of his wife provokes the ‘King of Killers’ to go on a killing spree. After murdering dozens of men single-handedly the Killer has an epiphany. He decides to open the ‘Peace Hotel’, a place where criminals fleeing for their lives can find a save-haven. The rule of the ‘Peace Hotel’ is observed by all including mobs and the local law-keepers– while under the roof of the Peace Hotel, any man or woman comes under the protection of The Killer. Ten years after the hotel first opened its doors, a young woman arrives who tries to hustle the occupants of the hotel. The Killer decides to throw her out, but when a lynch mob appears outside he has to decide whether to extend his protection to the troublemaker and risk endangering the lives of everyone living in the building, or to sacrifice her to the angry crowd
outside.

Review
by Martin Cleary

In his last Hong Kong role before disappearing to Hollywood, Chow Yun-Fat quite aptly takes the role of The Killer (sounds familiar!) a man who is searching for redemption after the death of his wife and his subsequent murdering of dozens of people. The film opens with a flashback sequence of carnage, images which later haunt the hotel like a ghost.

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On The Mountain of Tai Hang (CHINA 2005)

Director : Wei Lang, Shen Dong, Chen Jian
Cast : Zhang Lin, Alan Lau Tak Hoi, Wang Wu-Fu, Liu De-Kay, Tony Leung Ka-Fai

Synopsis
Set during the first three years of the Sino-Chinese war (1938-41), On The Mountain of Tai Hang tells the story of three separate groups of Chinese forces who managed to work together to defend a vulnerable Chinese province from a large Japanese Army. The film follows Commander-in-Chief Zhu De and his troops as they risk their lives to defend their country and how different classes of Chinese managed to unite for one common cause.

Review
by Martin Cleary

At its best On The Mountain of Tai Hang is an epic war film depicting the Chinese Red Army’s military defence of the Shanxi province of Tai Hang against Japanese invasion. The film’s battle scenes are truly impressive as what appears to be thousands of troops fight over a massive mountainous area. There’s some pretty good CG camera shot’s allowing the camera to fly through the air, through the cockpit of a plane and out of the otherside, as well as assisting in showing bodies being blown to bits through the air. Some of it is pretty gruesome – but of course this is a war film.

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Wheels On Meals (2 Disc Edition) (Hong Kong Legends)

DVD Information
Hong Kong Legends Release
Content : Two discs
Format: Widescreen 16:9
Languages: Cantonese, English
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, Mono
Subtitles: English, Dutch
Region: 2

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Yaowarat (THAI 2003)

Director : Namchoke Daengput
Cast : Shahkrit Yamnarm, Darawan Wilaingam, Suwannaparp, Suthida Harnwisej, Sattawat Dullayawijitt, Aadchara Luengsawat

Synopsis
In this explosive action thriller from Thailand set in Bangkok’s sizzling Yaowarat Chinatown district, the precarious truce between two mafia gangs. Yaowarat and Pahurad ended in violent gunfights when Kao, one of Pahurad’s hit man killed a Yaowarat member. In retaliation, Yaowarat enlists the help of Saleng, the best hit man in the business, to take Kao out.

Review
by Edward Tang

Hmm. Thailand gets another release via Tai Seng who usually bare bones it up for a decent film. On the cover is a guy holding two pistols ala God of Guns John Woo. I wonder if that interested me? Of course it did. “Yaowarat” tries to be a cool film and edgy, starting off with a gangster boss raping the shit out of one of his girls and follows with one boring film filled with nothing in between. There were some attempts at action, but they looked completely stupid. Take this out for example, one guy has one pistol, against four other guys with pistols. Now, how does this one guy kill two of them and still survive? The action-thriller promised in the synopsis is never really met, and what we are left with is something that resembles a gangster-drama-romance type story. So in the long run, the film isn’t that bad and for the most part I got enough out of it, but the editing and the annoying voice-overs left me wanting to go home.

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Wishing Stairs (KOREA 2003)

Director : Jae-yeon Yun
Cast : Ji-hyo Song, Han-byeol Park, An Jo, Ji-Yeon Park and Su-a Hong

Synopsis
A staircase leading to the dormitory of a remote boarding school usually has 28 stairs, but every so often there appears to be 29. When someone steps on the mysterious extra stair, the horror begins.

Review
by Edward Tang

This is the second Korean horror flick I’ve seen in a row (Acacia was the first) and I must say that they should concentrate on something else. This film is supposedly the third in a trilogy of “Ghost films”, after seeing this it seems that I probably won’t be visiting the other two films.

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