Posts tagged "Andy Lau Tak-Wah"

Chasing the Dragon (Review)

Chasing the Dragon

aka 追龍 aka Chui Lung aka Zeoi Lung
Chasing the Dragon
2017
Written and directed by Wong Jing and Jason Kwan Chi-Yiu
Chasing the Dragon
A stellar performance from Donnie Yen elevates Chasing the Dragon to being a film that Hong Kong fans need to see. Yen gets to stretch his acting muscles underneath some early ridiculous wigs, and is joined by Andy Lau, who also spends some time doing actual acting while taking bribes and consolidating power. Wong Jing proves he can still put out some good stuff, and every time he does it just makes his bad movies even worse. If Wong Jing was consistent, he’d be the greatest filmmaker of all time. But then he wouldn’t really be Wong Jing, so I guess this will do.

Despite a slow start that fumbles around before it gets focused, Chasing the Dragon becomes a pretty good crime drama. Yen plays Crippled Ho, who is based on real gangster Ng Sek-ho (his story was previously told in 1991’s To Be Number One, of which this is a sort of remake, though I’m confused on if it is an actual official remake or just similar.) Andy Lau plays his Lee Rock character from the Lee Rock series (which was based on real life corrupt policeman Lui Lok), which makes this one of those weird films that is a remake but also a reboot but also based on real life. You know, something very easy to classify!

Crippled Ho begins as an illegal immigrant from the mainland who turns to fighting with street gangs for easy cash, and soon catches the eye of up and coming policeman Lee Rock. Fate binds them together through series of ups and downs of both characters as they begin flexing their muscles in controlling the various criminal elements in a very corrupt Hong Kong. Lee Rock has learned that just being the honest cop sort of sucks when everyone else is on the take, while Crippled Ho is forced towards crime by the same system that keeps the Hong Kong people down, Mainlanders even below them, and the corrupt and brutal British on top.
Chasing the Dragon
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - October 31, 2017 at 7:06 am

Categories: Movie Reviews   Tags: , , , , , , ,

Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame (Review)

Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame

aka Di Renjie

2010
Directed by Tsui Hark

What they say: This is Tsui Hark’s best film in years, it’s one of the best films of 2010, Tsui Hark, Tsui Hark, Tsui Hark!

What you really need to know: Andy Lau gets into a kung fu fight with CGI deer.

Do you like yo-yos? Yo-yos go up and down, and so does Detective Dee. Some sequences in Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame are awesome, but other parts of the film are embarrassing and make you wonder why people were lavishing praise upon it.


If you’ve read any book on Hong Kong cinema that came out in the 90’s (which is when most of the books started appearing in the US), then you remember every single one had chapters on Tsui Hark. Tsui Hark was one of the Hong Kong New Wave directors that shook the industry to the core, and helped modernize Hong Kong film. Many of his earlier films are classics, though he had a few misfires. But even as the industry changed, Tsui Hark has seemed incapable of making film that is watchable since the mid-90’s. Those Jean-Claude Van Damme films were terrible, the Zu Warriors redux was boredom, and Seven Swords is a film so long that no one has ever gotten to the end of it. Despite all the technological achievements, Tsui Hark just wasn’t making good films anymore, and no amount of technology can change that. While Detective Dee isn’t a great film, it is at least the most watchable Tsui film since Black Mask, and something you should eventually get around to watching. You know, when it’s raining outside or something.


With Tsui Hark in the director’s chair, we are at least assured the film will look good, and it does. The cinematography is top notch. Elaborate CGI effects are needed to create ancient Chinese cities, palaces, giant Buddha statues, and underground meeting places – some are more believable than others, but you always know you are looking at a bunch of 1’s and 0’s in picture form. We do give props to action director Sammo Hung, as the actions sequences are the best parts of the film.


The stylized elements Tsui loves sometimes help the film, and sometimes hurt. As the opening scrawl is stylized to appear and disappear in wisps of smoke (which is nice), but a problem is the crawl is Star Warsian in length. In fact, the long text openings of Reefer Madness and Alone in the Dark are brought to mind. We are forced to read like half a sentence at a time, and have to wait for each piece one by one. It is what I like to call “annoying”.

Detective Dee (Andy Lau Tak-Wah) – Detective Dee is based on the real Di Renjie, who is a famous official during the Tang Dynasty. There have been countless books and references to Di Renjie over the years in both the East and the West. You should probably look them up if you want more information, this is only a small character box. Andy Lau is in every movie ever made! Just click on the Andy Lau tag to see all we’ve done…
Empress Wu Zetian (Carina Lau Ka-Ling) – Empress Wu Zetian is another real historical person, China’s only Empress and legendary for her ruthlessness. Though supposedly Di Renjie helped calm her down some. Carina Lau is also a real historical person, being an actress who has been in the industry for over 25 years and is married to the Tony Leung who is not in this movie.
Shangguan Jing’er (Li Bing-Bing) – Shangguan Jing’er is a made-up version of Shangguan Wan’er, famous female poet. As events transpire you can see why they went with a fictitious person for this character to keep with the stunning historical accuracy of the rest of the film. Li Bing-Bing was here before with white hair in The Forbidden Kingdom.
Pei Donglai (Deng Chao) – It’s an albino who isn’t a depraved mutant torturer! Although he does threaten people with torture… Pei Donglai is an investigator in the case who assists Detective Dee and whose own boss has burst into flames. Deng Chao is primarily a television drama actor.
Shatuo (Tony Leung Ka-Fai) – A former buddy of Detective Dee who now works in building the giant Buddha statue. This is the Tony Leung who was in 1992’s The Lover, not the one who was in Lust, Caution. Keep them straight!
Donkey Wang (Richard Ng Yiu-Hon) – A famous doctor hiding in the Phantom Bazaar, probably to escape taunting schoolkids over having the name “Donkey Wang”! Please don’t reveal the shocking secret of Donkey Wang. It’s good to see Richard Ng working again, as he is at the point in his career when he doesn’t have to do anything he doesn’t want to and can live in semi-retirement. I am a big fan of his through much of his earlier work through the 80’s and 90’s, including when he pops up in Future Cops.


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Posted by Tars Tarkas - January 28, 2011 at 12:17 am

Categories: Movie Reviews, Ugly   Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Future X-Cops (Review)

Future X-Cops

aka Mei loi ging chaat

2010
Directed and written by Wong Jing

The background spinning enrages me!

Future X-Cops is a mixed bag, a film that is part-action, part-comedy, part-drama, part-romance. We got robot guys, time travel, yelling kids, loved ones dying, weird slapstick, a dude with a microwave on his head, a guy who is trapped in a TV, an insect cyborg gang, a giant industrial machine, a cyborg cat lady, and hundreds of cops murdered. It’s all part of Wong Jing’s strategy of throwing the whole buffet against the wall and hoping it turns into a Monet painting. But instead we get more of a Thomas Kinkade.

When Future X-Cops was first announced, it was announced as the title Future Cops, which instantly made everyone think it was a remake of Wong Jing’s Future Cops, especially since Wong Jing was writing and directing this one. But as more details came out, suddenly the film was titled Future X-Cops and bared little resemblance to Future Cops except ripping off the basic plot of cops from the future being sent back in time to protect someone from being killed by bad guys.

In the future, gas shortages lead to go-kart madness!

It has been nice seeing Hong Kong start to pump out some more SciFi movies, but between this and Kung Fu Cyborg we have a ways to go before Hong Kong becomes a SciFi action mainstay. But some day they’ll produce things on par with I Love Maria again!

Like recent movie Beauty on Duty, there are a bajillion production companies and a bajillion producers for this flick. At this point, anyone with a spare $5 can be a Hong Kong producer and you can just have your named added to the wall of text during the opening credits.

Originally I was going to write a short version of this review, but the more I kept watching, the more I kept getting confused and angry and weirdly entertained, but not at the parts I should be entertained at. Thus, the review now is pretty long. Feel free to skip reading it and just look at the pictures, I’m under no delusions that 90% of you don’t do just that anyway. This text is just for us cool 10%ers. You know, the ones who are awesome.

Every one of these characters miss

Kidd Zhao (Andy Lau Tak-Wah) – He’s a cop, he’s from the future, and he’s an x. Whatever that means. But it does mean he’s a Future X-Cop! He’s also a robot, which sorts of makes up for his awful name. Andy Lau was in Future Cops besides being in Future X-Cops, making him the expert of Wong Jing films involving cops and futures.
Holly Wang (Barbie Hsu Hsi-Yuan) – Holly Wang is a cop from the present who likes Kidd Zhao, but he can’t like her back because then history will change and JFK will marry Hitler or something. So instead Holly Wang has to just be sad and look pale. So, so pale.
Kalon (Fan Siu-Wong) – Kalon is a evil cyborg guy who used to have a whole gang of cyborgs until Kidd Zhao killed most of them. Kalon’s crab claw cyborg stuff are upgraded to wings, snake arms, and other goofy stuff. Fan Siu-Wong was just on TarsTarkas.NET in Beauty On Duty, but he just couldn’t stay away!
Fiona (Tang Yi-Fei) – Kalon’s girl is a cyborg cat lady! She also goes back in time with her man so when they’re defeated by Kidd Zhao they’ll die together. Tang Yi-Fei is having so much fun being an evil cyborg cat lady it’s awesome. Just enjoy her over-acting cat moves and ridiculous smile as she does her moves.
Kiki Zhao (Xu Jiao) – Hey, that boy from CJ7 is a girl now! Kidd Zhao brings his daughter back in time with him for some reason because I guess they don’t have laws against bringing your relatives into harm’s way in the future.
Millie (Fan Bing-Bing) – Speaking of relatives in harm’s way, Kidd Zhao’s wife was also a x-cop in the future. Notice how I used the past tense? That’s because she won’t make it past the 20 minute mark!
After The Dark Knight, there was nowhere for the franchise to go but down

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - August 27, 2010 at 9:34 pm

Categories: Movie Reviews, Ugly   Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Chinese What Women Want Coming to Read Your Mind

Gong Li will star in the Chinese version of What Women Want, that Mel Gibson comedy where he can hear womens’ thoughts. Andy Lau will be the guy who hears thoughts and Chen Daming is directing. Gong Li was brought on to kick Fan Bing Bing off of the project. Poor Fan Bingbing, no one loves you! Maybe you should learn to read minds to know What Producers Want.

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - June 1, 2010 at 9:20 pm

Categories: Movie News   Tags: , ,

Future Cop images

Here are a bunch of images of production stuff from the upcoming Future Cop movie starring Andy Lau, Fan Bing Bing, Barbie Hsu, Xu Jiao, Da S, Mike He, Liu Yang, and Luo Jia Ying (who cross-dresses) Directed by Wong Jing. The film is not to be confused with Future Cops from 1993, despite a similar premise of cops traveling back in time to protect someone who affects the future. In this one, Andy Lau plays a policeman who time-travels from year 2080 to present day to protect a professor who solves the energy crisis.
from various places across the web to your browser:
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Future Cops or EARMUFF COPS???
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - March 26, 2009 at 8:08 am

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Tang Yifei of Future Cop

Tang Yifei is one of the costars in the upcoming Andy Lau film Future Cop, and is doing some promo work. Asian Fanatics has a huge thread filled with Future Cop news, the movie is in post and will hopefully be out before the end of the year.

First up is a spread with movie director Wong Jing where the two play around:
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Next up is a magazine photoshoot:

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - March 9, 2009 at 1:10 pm

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