Reviews written by Les
Her Fatal Ways (Joy Sales Version) (Hong Kong Version)
Her Fatal Ways (Joy Sales Version) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region All(2)Our Price: US$10.991 people found this review helpful
August 24, 2006 Mainland Cousin, You Are Great
Very funny movie made before the return of HK to the PRC. Carol DoDo Cheng has got all the mannerisms and body language of the mainlanders down pat. You would not believe she is the sophisticated lady that she really is after seeing her doing the mainland, party indoctrinated, public security officer role. The dialog is hilarious; she speaks a lot of different Chinese dialects. Her "bad" singing of Chinese country songs will have you falling down laughing. Even when she is undercover as a modern HK hostess, her walking is a giveaway of her PRC roots. Her handguns have red scarves attached to them, the way Chinese revolutionary operas decorate firearms. Many of the jokes and comedic situations are about her political & cultural clash with modern Hong Kong society and former KMT soldiers. This is a surprisingly good natured and intelligent comedy playing on the anxiety of the HK people's impending reunion with the mainland. A must see movie.
China's 50th National Day Parade
China's 50th National Day Parade DVD Region AllOur Price: US$10.99August 11, 2006 October 1, 1999
10/01/99 was the 50th anniversay of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) and Chinese national TV preserved their broadcast of that occasion as a documentary film of the military & civilian parade in Beijing. Lots of images of marching units, military equipment, floats, party & PLA dignitaries and happy Chinese people. Of course there is a propaganda element present but this is still an impressive film. The march past of the "Flowers of Beijing Militia" -- a women's para-military contingent dressed in red uniforms and armed with submachine guns is stunning. The camera dwells on them lovingly Historians & film scholars will analyze this movie critically and compare it to the notorious 'Triumph of the Will.' The DVD also includes archival footage from a number previous National Day parades from the past. Because this is a record of a live TV broadcast, not all the camera work is as perfectly executed as it could have been but this is still an important and dramatic visual document. Long Live China, Comrade.
The Shopaholics (US Version)March 20, 2006 Lightweight Entertainment
This was a fun movie. Lots of slapstick & breezy comedy. A shopaholic behavioral disorder can be a serious disability but this film uses it as the premise for a lot of silliness. The jumbled engagement & wedding plans and the multiple layers of reverse psychology & social pressure about the matchmaking and nuptials made for a lot of wacky situations.
Miss Du Shi Niang (US Version)1 people found this review helpful
January 26, 2006 Money or Love?
A modern retelling of the Ming Dynasty legend of Du Shi Niang. The tragedy of the prostitute's suicide has been down-played and re-imagined as an attempted suicide only -- it failed. The gorgeous Michelle Reis tries to drown herself but comes back (older and wiser?) to take up her old profession and end the film on a musical number. This movie is eye candy and lite escapist entertainment -- it could have been a dark comedy or tragic love story. Daniel Wu is his usual stiff and wooden self. There are a few good Cantonese lines & snappy dialogue. The best part was to see and hear the filthy profanity pouring forth from Michelle's beauty mouth. Who would have thought a lovely woman like her can swear like that.
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon Original SoundtrackDecember 6, 2005 Beautiful Music from Tan Dun
YoYo Ma and Coco Lee's stellar performances owe thanks to the work of the composer Tan Dun, who truly deserved winning an Academy Award for his original film score. The Chinese lyrics to the song "Moonlight Lovers" is available on the Coco Lee karaoke/music video "All My Coco." Tne English lyrics were written by James Schamus. The song itself was a collaboration between Tan Dun & Jorge Calandrelli but did not win an Oscar though. This soundtrack is very evocative and vivid. Just listening to this CD will enable you to relive the entire movie in your mind's eye without even viewing the movie. If you loved the film you will also love this soundtrack album.
White Christmas (CD+DVD) (Deluxe Edition)December 5, 2005 All I Want for Xmas is the 12 Girls Band
Very entertaining MV & CD. Another fine performance by the 12GB after Romantic Energy and the Third Anniversary Concert! The bonus Christmas card and the video holiday greetings was a sweet surprise! The girls looked absolutely lovely too! They were naughty and nice -- drinking their champagne with beaming smiles. Not only do they perform some jazzed up and quiet traditional favorites -- they also play some very modern Western & Japanese christmas season songs. After seeing them during their North American Tour this was a wonderful holiday gift to wrap up the year. All 12GB fans must buy this album!
One Nite In Mongkok (US Version)November 5, 2005 Excellent Hong Kong Film Noir
This is a depressing & gritty film noir about a hitman & a prostitute and their misadventures in Mongkok. Various incidents involving venal vices & sins lead to violent & mean encounters among the ordinary denizens and the police. All these streams of human existence merge together inexorably into a multi-layered tragedy played out in the dead of night. Even if a person does not pay with their life, no one escapes physically or emotionally unscarred on this Christmas Eve in Mongkok. A tragic movie with tiny momemts of tenderness and humanity but also big gulps of human ugliness & cruelty. Fine performances by a great cast. Very convincing with lots of atmospheric locations. A Must See film.
Breaking News (DTS Version)November 3, 2005 Uneven Story
Lots of suspension of disbelief is required in order to buy into this movie. Several major plot holes occur and detract from what could have been a very suspenseful story. Some of the gunplay was quite ridiculous & unbelievable. Also as with many other HK movies, the level of police tactics, training & cooperation is unprofessional & near incompent -- insubordination & renegade techniques are frequently present. The use of grenades as boobytraps was poorly done as they were all obviously inert dummies because the fuze handles were blue color. They could not have been used as a threat against the hostages either. The theme of media as a determining factor in how a crime in progress plays out was not satisfactorily explored. It was good to see reliable actor Simon Yam. Kelly Chen was in over her head. Nick Cheung was his usual goofy self. Passable entertainment for just killing time. No great climatic pay off at the end.
Hard Boiled (DTS Version) (US Version)October 11, 2005 One of Chow & Woo's Greatest Films
Absolutely first-class action thriller. A must-see and must-own HK movie. Humor, drama, tragedy, action, its all there. Top-notch performances by the entire cast. Besides the Tokarevs from the mainland there are lots of other interesting guns such as bullpups, AKs, & UZIs. John Woo's cameo was decent for a change. Chow remembering his partner at the Jazz Club was a poignant scene with a nice fade-out image. Chow's scene with Saliva Sammy extinguishing his burning trousers was pretty funny. Chow's teahouse scene was all out gun fight fury. His shotgun work in the warehouse and the hospital were awesome. The shotgun blasts were stunning. Tony Leung & Anthony Wong were also both already showing their future greatness as actors.
Naked Weapon (Hong Kong Version)October 7, 2005 It's Only Entertainment
Naked Weapon has really got the viewing public polarized in its ratings. Hey, this is just cheap entertainment and its a Wong Jing production so what do you expect? Even big names celebrity actors and a big name action director isn't going to turn this into high-brow material. Was it stupid - yes. Was there some decent action - yes. Were the babes hot-looking - yes. Was there lots of bad content - yes. Were you somewhat entertained on some level whether it amused you or annoyed you? It's not that bad!
Fat Choi Spirit (DVD) (US Version)1 people found this review helpful
September 30, 2005 Easy Entertainment
This was harmless mindless entertainment -- generally a decent crowd pleaser, especially if you are a MJ addict. Of course the characters were caricatures and there was a bunch of preachy stuff about good sportsmanship and how MJ has some meaning related to the philosophy of life and human relatonships. Light comedy that will bring a smile to your face.
I Love MariaSeptember 29, 2005 I Love Maria Too!
Very entertaining live-action comic book/cartoon featuring nasty Gangsters, inept Cops, Dork-Nerd Heroes, & Robots! Sally Yeh plays both the evil gang-moll & the good sexy robot. She does the robotics quite well. A young & almost unrecognizable Tony Leung Chiu-Wai early in his career plays a bumbling reporter -- you would never believe that he would mature as an actor of stature in 2046 and Infernal Affairs. Film great Tsui Hark plays a washed-up drunk gangster/inventor. Even John Woo even has a cameo! This is Terminator/Robocop done as a Hong Kong style superhero pic -- low budget props & effects but lots of genuine film-making enthusiasm. An archetypical 80's action movie that's fun and everyone can enjoy. Amusing B-movie camp with a lot of energy.
Mr. Vampire (DVD) (Digitally Remastered) (Hong Kong Version)
Mr. Vampire (DVD) (Digitally Remastered) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region All(4)Our Price: US$10.991 people found this review helpful
September 29, 2005 Great Horror -Comedy that Defines a Genre
The one & only original that created the hopping ghost genre, established a horror-comedy forumula by which all other HK vampire movies are judged. A lot of Chinese vampire lore is defined in this movie. Absolute must see of HK film. Not only is there a vampire plot, there is also a spirit girl subplot with the underrated Pauline Wong Siu-fung (1985 HK Film Awards Best Actress)as the ghostly lover. This movie is not frighteningly scary but it has thrills and suspense, great action, good comedy & slapstick, terrific incendiary effects and a damn evil & ugly vampire. This film will whet your appetite for more hopping ghost action.
Ebola SyndromeSeptember 27, 2005 If You Liked Human Pork Puns the Untold Story
Another guilty pleasure Wong Jing/Herman Yau creation! Anthony Wong portrays another psycho more despicable than the one in Untold Story. As usual he does it very well. This film is fairly revolting stuff but once you get past the nauseau it is pretty entertaining and funny in a sick kind of way. There is an odd sort of paranthetical social commentary about racism and prejudice that runs through the film in some attempt to give it some socially redeeming quality but this is ultimately lost along the way. As a psychological portrait of a criminal mind it really doesn't say much except to make the viewer mutter "can you believe this! "its barf bag time!" or "what will the crazy do next?" This Grand Guignol style horror-shock theater is definitely not for the kiddies.
The Fruit Is SwellingSeptember 8, 2005 A Swell Movie
This is a guilty pleasure -- very funny, sweetly charming & soft-core lewd. It precariously approaches the line that defines kiddie porn & pedophilia but thankfully stops short. It also has incestuous lesbian contact thrown in for titillation. The film is a both an oddball fantasy & comedy fable complete with Shu Qi's ambivalent, teasing moralizing introduction & conclusion as bookends to the story. As Peach, Chung Chen turns in a tasteful performance and Elvis Tsui is his usual over-the-top character as the horny father lusting after every female in sight. This film is full of typical Chinese humor, ribaldry and irony. The little girl who plays Peach at 8 years old is a real scene stealer. It would have been interesting if this movie was made to consistently tell the story from her point of view. SAI-LOR MOON! Definitely recommended for Adults only.
From Beijing With Love (1994) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
From Beijing With Love (1994) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region All(12)Our Price: US$10.99August 25, 2005 Laughter Royale - Nobody Does It Better!
Stephen Chow does it again! He will break your funny bone with this Hong Kong parody of the world of Double-Oh Seven. I won't explain the humor in this review - you have to just go out and get this movie now! The whole cast is great including crossdresser fool Lee Kin-Yan and the late Pauline Chan in supporting roles. Granted some of the stuff is silly, juvenile & crazy. Also some of the movie is crudely done but hey it was very entertaining!
A Better Tomorrow IIAugust 24, 2005 Could Have Been Better
A disappointing sequel to ABT1 made just to capitalize on the huge success of the first film. ABT2 has a few decent moments of humor, drama & acting but a lot of it was also mediocre or overdone. There are some gigantic plot holes & logic flaws. Moderately entertaining but its all been seen before. Doesn't hold up too well with the passage of time. Chow Yun Fat's rice eating lecture to the mafia thugs was hilarious though.
A Better Tomorrow IIIAugust 16, 2005 Could Be Better -- Could Be Worse
This is not as bad a movie as some say. In some ways it is an improvement with Tsui Hark directing instead of John Woo. It's too bad they aren't friends anymore after ABTII. This prequel is still entertaining with a great cast & a decent story. Anita plays one tough triad mobster girl and Chow is his usual charismatic & self-sacrificing tough guy with a good heart. The gun play is not bad & Chow does a two-gun M16 number this time. We also learn that he really learned to shoot from Anita. Tsui Hark really plays up the corruption in the S. Vietnamese government & military, probably based on first-hand experience.
2005 Journey to Silk Road Concert Live In Taiwan (2CD+DVD) (Taiwan Special Edition)(3)Our Price: US$23.79August 11, 2005 Bravo Bravo Bravo!
The 12 Girls Band just keeps getting better & better. Their musicianship is simply stunning. The Maiden of Daban cut was great. If I had a quibble with this concert it is with some of the production design -- the stage lighting was a little overdone & at times unflattering to their natural beauty...some of the camera angles were awkward -- the director chose to make some cuts to different cameras with poor timing, their costuming can improve. Also some girls got too much camera attention than others. I didn't get to admire Yin Yan or Zhang Shuang enough this time. This is minor stuff -- I'm looking forward to their next release and in the meantime will keep watching their older material.
The Eye (DTS Version)August 10, 2005 Eye of the Beholder
This is more of a suspense drama about the paranormal than a true horror film . Unlike most other Chinese "horror" movies it does not mix a lot of silly humor in to spoil the story. This film is not great a supernatural thriller but was entertaining. It is uncomfortable to contemplate the possibility of visually perceiving the unsettled spirits that walk amongst us.