Archive for Hong Kong movies

Movie night review

Posted in Action/adventure, Movies, Science fiction with tags , on January 26, 2014 by Cara Marie

I Love Maria

‘The most transhumanist film I’ve ever seen.’ – L

If you’re a gang leader wanting to take over the city, what do you do?

  1. Build a moderately sized war robot – let’s see the cops fight that off!
  2. Build a humanoid robot – more subtle, also you can impress your girlfriend by creating it in her image
  3. Build a really fucking big robot, like big enough to squash people
  4. All of the above; also, turn yourself into a cyborg – the human body is fragile

The cops are incapable, so it’s up to a group of misfits to become heroes and save the day.

I’m struggling to think how I can describe this movie without going into overwhelming detail. So instead, I’m just going to put this trailer here.

Mandrill

The main thing I learnt during this film was that L and H are such HUGE GEEKS. I mean I knew this already, but WOW how much time can you spend discussing colour timing? In turns out that when you’re not especially engaged in a film, you can discuss colour timing a lot.

The main thing I learnt from this film is that the way to a woman’s heart (read, her pants) is to compliment her five weaknesses: her eyes, her hair, her mouth, her skin and her scent. ‘At least it’s not negging?’ we decided.

So, this movie is basically Batman if instead of becoming a caped crusader, Bruce Wayne became a bounty-hunter who modelled himself off James Bond (the movie has an in-universe equivalent).

Ok, actually, I’m doing Bruce Wayne a disservice – Bruce is motivated by a sense of injustice. Mandrill is all about the revenge. Which means that when he has the opportunity to kill the man who murdered his parents, he takes it. Even if it means breaking the heart of the woman he’s just fallen for.

I actually quite liked the love-interest-come-villain in this movie. Mandrill has been trying to seduce her (so he can get to her father, the parent-killer), but she’s not buying it. At least, not until he wins her over with SILLY DANCING. I think he’s meant to be harking back to a scene in the James-Bond-equivalent movies, which they are both giant geeks for.

After dancing, they gallavant about the city, laughing, and stealing alcohol even though she’s a casino-heiress who really ought to just pay for it, and finally making out. Then they go back to her room and have sex.

OH! I forgot that the previous night he killed/incapacitated a bunch of security guys so he could sneak into her room. I’m not sure why he was sneaking into her room, but he discovered that she had his mother’s locket, so he stood in the corner of her room and had a little cry, and then presumably left.

So, the day after they have sex, he kills her father in front of her. BANG! How rude. He feels really bad, because that’s the moment he decides he’s in love with her. But it’s too late; she puts on a slinky black dress and becomes evil.

She then:

  • sleeps with his uncle
  • manipulates him into killing said uncle
  • SHOOTS MANDRILL DEAD instead of letting herself be properly overcome by romantic feelings
  • collects the bounty on his head and drives off into the sunset.

It probably says something about unsympathetic a protagonist Mandrill was, that we found this a satisfying ending. And then they spoiled it. Because instead of our heroine checking  he was properly dead and putting him in the body bag herself, she let her lackey do it. So of course, when the bounty collector checks the bag (after she’s left), it turns out it’s the lackey in there, and not Mandrill at all. COP OUT.

I guess we were meant to want Mandrill survive. But he was an awful person, and so we didn’t.

Recent movie nights

Posted in Action/adventure, Crime, Horror, Movies with tags , on December 8, 2013 by Cara Marie

Kung-Fu Chefs

Two brothers, both excellent chefs, have a falling out that ends up with one never being able to cook again, and the other, played by Sammo Hung, getting kicked out of the family for serving a dish that made everyone sick.

Years later Hung starts cooking again, which causes his nephew to try and avenge his father’s honour by ruining Hung’s restaurant, beating everyone up, and also by hiring chefs that can defeat Hung’s protege in a reality TV show cooking contest.

Kung-Fu Chefs was hard to follow at times – not because the plot was especially convoluted, but because a bunch of connecting scenes seem to have been cut out, leaving you to wonder how people got from here to there, and why aren’t they in the refrigerator any more?

Despite that, it was a really fun film. The action scenes were enjoyable, and we all got really hungry while watching it. Which is really what you want out of a movie called Kung-Fu Chefs.

Also watched that night: Tai Chi Zero. Will leave talking about that until we’ve seen Tai Chi Hero as well.

Hard Boiled

It took a while to really get into this movie. I think it suffers from the two leads not actually meeting till quite a way into the movie. (It also suffers because after a certain point, you can’t help but compare it to another movie, which anything would suffer in comparison to.)

So: Chow Yun Fat plays Tequila, a cop driven to revenge after his partner dies in a horrific shoot-out in a bird cafe. (I mean, everyone seemed to have birds with them. I’m not sure what that was about.) Tequila is in trouble with his boss for killing the gangster they were after during the shoot-out; he’s going to be taken off the case altogether and that is not okay with Tequila.

Our other lead is played by Tony Leung (the character’s name is also Tony), and he’s a hitman being seduced into a rival gang. (I say seduced, because the rival gang boss expresses some rather romantic sentiments when he’s trying to convince Tony to join him. Maybe it was the translation, but S and I were both like, um.)

Chow Yun Fat and Tony Leung have great chemistry, and the film really picks up once the two of them are on screen together. (They’re both so young in this!) Sadly, it’s not for a while.

The action scenes are shocking and brutal, and some of the choreography is very impressive … but they go on too long. There’s a point where there’s been so much shooting you can’t tell why they’re just not all dead yet, and you’ve lost what the point of the scene was.

The final action sequence spices things up by forcing Chow Yun Fat to fight while carrying a baby, though, so I suppose I can forgive it for that ;)

Also watched that night: Tetsuo: The Iron Man. Experimental stop-motion metal-fetishist bizarrity. S told us there was no weird sex stuff. There turned out to be a lot of weird sex stuff. It was an experience.