Posts tagged "Eric Tsang Chi-Wai"

Shy Spirit (Review)

Shy Spirit

aka 九月初九之重見天日 aka Shyly Spirit aka Pa xiu gui
Shy Spirit
1991
Written by Jeng Man-Wa
Directed by Chong Yan-Gin

Shy Spirit
Shy Spirit is about one thing, which is a nude ghost girl. The film then sets up a nice and ridiculous scenario to get the nude ghost girl, who is nude far less than you would expect for this being a movie about a nude ghost girl. Despite the nude ghost girl being the draw, Shy Spirit is not one of those smutty Cat III ghost films. Though it’s a spooky comedy, like many Hong Kong films the tone will jump around, daring to become suddenly serious or becoming a well-choreographed action film before jerking right back to the comedy.

Shy Spirit also isn’t very good. It takes too long to set up the complicated plot, which then rambles around a while. Large portions of the film focus on Long-Life like he’s supposed to be the hero, even though he does all sorts of bad things like inadvertently kill Hsio, turning her into the “shy spirit” of the title. Sing ends up becoming the hero, though he
Shy Spirit
Shy Spirit features rival families and innocent people who are caught in the crossfire. The Wang family and the Ko family are rivals, dating back to when both patriarchs were chasing after the same girl as youth, Mrs. Hu. She ended up choosing neither of those idiots, instead picking a sickly guy. All three families have kids at the same time, Mr. Wang celebrates the birth of his son Sing, Mr. Ko celebrates the birth of his son Long-Life, and Mrs. Hu celebrates the birth of her daughter, Hsio. This means another generation of the rivalry. Not only that, but it’s time to tell the fortunes of the three babies, thanks to a traveling priest and his hopping assistant. The priest is Lam Ching-Ying essentially playing his one-eyebrow priest character from the Mr. Vampire movies, and the fortune for Long-Life is more of a misfortune – he’ll age rapidly and probably die at age 23. But if he doesn’t, he’ll live a long life. Also he’ll be weak during the full moon. Does that make him a were-weakling? Strangely, he gets the bad fortune, even though other bad stuff happens.
Shy Spirit
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - March 23, 2015 at 7:58 am

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Princess & Seven Kung Fu Masters (笑功震武林) is pure Wong Jing


Wong Jing is back again for the 100th time (okay, okay, 93rd time…) with Princess & Seven Kung Fu Masters (笑功震武林), a sort of kung fu Snow White but not really but also wacky weird stuff. With Sammo Hung as Sammo Hung, and also Sandra Ng Kwun-Yu, Ronald Cheng Chung-Kei, Eric Tsang Chi-Wai, Rose Chan Ka-Wun, Timmy Hung Tin-Ming, Natalie Meng Yao, Xie Na, Yuen Wah, Bruce Leung Siu-Lung, Wong Cho-Lam, and many more. It looks totally, totally…something. And because everything Hong Kong is Chinese now, it’s in Mandarin. Yeah.

The plot:

During the early years of the Republic era, in the North-East region of China, the people are suffering from the power struggle among the local Warlords, bandits, and Japanese invaders. Warlord Lam (Sammo Hung), is not a leader of great vision, but stands firm in his own beliefs. The only paradise within the region is ‘Lucky Town’, the one place where no one dared to attack as it was protected by the seven kung fu masters who have resided there. When young patriots, Yan Fang (Rose Chan) who disguised herself as a man, and Howard Luo (Dennis To), infiltrate Tiger’s Den at night trying to steal the code book fail in their mission and tries to run, only Yan survives and is rescued by Cheryl. Mistaking Yan as a man, Cheryl falls for Yan. She then brings Yan to Lucky Town and begs the Seven Masters to cure Yan. Cheryl and the Seven Masters are then told of the secret plan by the Japanese, and together, they resolve to fight against Tiger Den and save Warlord Lam.

Natalie Meng Yao

How dare you!

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - January 31, 2013 at 10:52 pm

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Mural (Review)

Mural

aka 畫壁

2011
Written by Gordon Chan Ka-Seung, Lau Ho-Leung, Frankie Tam Gong-Yuen, and Maria Wong Si-Man
Directed by Gordon Chan Ka-Seung and Danny Go Lam-Paau

Mural
Mural is another attempt from China to make bigger Hollywood-style pictures, which is both a good and a bad thing. It is good that money is being brought into make epic films. It is bad because the films being produced are all generic garbage. And as the money flows away from Hong Kong into the pack of upstart Mainland production companies, things are changing rapidly in both Hong Kong and Chinese cinema. But this review isn’t about that, it’s about Mural, a story about a guy who goes into a painting full of fairy women.
Mural
While Mural certainly looks nice, the story doesn’t hold up to the visuals and things become very bland. The visuals of creatures and monsters make good spectacles, even if the CGI isn’t up to par with Western films yet. Monsters and beauties are the two main attractions to Mural, there is enough of both you can let some things slide. Some good scenes and creativity in monster design help make certain points more memorable, but the underlying uninteresting characters and the obvious conclusion of the main love story cause things to not be so much a journey as just a trip through a museum.
Mural
Like Gordan Chan’s prior film Painted Skin, it is a tale from Pu Songling’s story collection Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio. The tomb contains nearly 500 tales, and has been the basis for dozens of films and tv series, including the Chinese Ghost Story films.

There are far too many of the models/actresses/singers playing the fariy women to list them all in the Roll Call, but I should name drop a few, like model-actress Monica Mok Xiao-Qi, Xia Yi-Yao, and Bao Wen-Jing. And now we will never mention them again! Even Eric Tsang Chi-Wai shows up with ear extensions as a goofy monk.
Mural

Zhu Xiaolian (Deng Chao) – A scholar studying for government exams at the capital who runs into adventure while on his journey there. Zhu likes to speak big talk of responsibility and becoming a good person, his sense of justice propelling part of the plot. Deng Chao is also in Detective Dee.
Meng Longtan (Ngai Sing) – A thief who is caught trying to rob Zhu and his servant. Ends up joining him on his trip into the painting and marrying a good chunk of the fairies.
Hou Xia (Bao Bei-Er) – Zhu’s servant who spends most of the film following Zhu around like a puppy, though he does manage to grow a tad as a character.
Queen (Yan Ni) – The nameless vain Queen of the fairy realm. Her rants against men hint at a greater insanity and bitterness, living in a world of her own creation for years. Her dress is reminiscent of evil queens from Disney films. Yan Ni is also in All’s Well Ends Well 2011.
Shaoyao (Betty Sun Li) – The Queen’s main servant, who is disliked by the rest of the fairies due to her closeness with the Queen. Suffers from self-esteem issues. Betty Sun Li can also be seen in Kung Fu Cyborg.
Mudan (Zheng Shuang) – Carefree childish fairy who travels to the human world briefly and encounters Zhu, and is then punished for what she did. Zheng Shuang is a Mainland newcomer to film who graduated from the Beijing Film Academy in 2011. Since 2009, she has starred in several tv series and has been releasing albums.
Yunmei (Ada Liu Yan) – Fairy lady who both dates Rock Monsters and is married 2 times to Meng and then Hou Xia, both really without her consent. Ada Liu Yan (主播柳岩) is a tv hostess turned actress/singer who will look completely different if you find some of her old pageant photos, and is one of the few actresses honest about it.
Cuizhu (Xie Nan) – Mudan’s best friend and a carefree spirit, Zhu pretends marriage to her in order to stay in the fairy world and find out what happened to Mudan. Xie Nan is a TV host and anchorwoman turn Mandopop singer who debuted in 2010. She’s briefly in All’s Well Ends Well 2011
Golden Warrior (Andy On Chi-Kit) – Golden Warrior is the only male-looking character allowed in the fairy world, he transforms from a bronze owl to defend the realm. Has a longing for Shaoyao that is not reciprocated. Totally isn’t He-Man.

Mural
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - February 15, 2012 at 4:18 pm

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Men Suddenly In Love

Men Suddenly in Love

aka 猛男滾死隊

2011
Written and directed by Wong Jing

Ever get tired of the non-stop sugar sweetness of the Hong Kong New Years comedies where everyone gets married and lives happily ever after? Well, don’t worry, because Wong Jing is here to throw a dose of jaded bitterness all over the institution of marriage with Men Suddenly in Love! Cheating, seduction, treachery, plotting, conspiracies, the game of thrones that is marriage in Wong Jing land is all laid bare before you. And despite the bad message, the film has some entertaining parts, but not enough to keep me happy.

The title references the similarly toned Men Suddenly In Black (2003), though where In Black shines in it’s unique portrait of marriage, In Love seems like a hollow copy, half-hearted in its conspiracies, too focused on setting up random scenarios than coalescing everything into a major narrative. Though probably done to get around the filming schedules of the stars, there are few scenes where everyone is together. It’s more like a series of stories that randomly intersect.

If you love films where hot lang mo models want to get with old old dudes, then you will love Men Suddenly In Love. If you aren’t an old dude, then you probably are rolling your eyes (if you are an old dude, you are probably combing your hair, anticipating hot models to come wandering in your room any moment!) The irony of these new models is some of the wives they are replacing were once considered the hotties of the Hong Kong cinema world, though said hotties were less likely to be strutting around in a bikini or bras for their films.

The main characters are a group of guys who over the years were students of a teacher named Master Jude, who reunite to celebrate the 80th birthday of Master Jude. Each guy has gone on to a life of success thanks to the teachings of Master Jude, and though they are married, the marriages have their own flaws and levels of dissatisfaction. These different men of different ages and different class years at school are also portrayed as deep friends solely due to their bond with Master Jude, though it is not explained why they hang out together despite the large age differences..

Master Jude (Richard Ng Yiu-Hon) – A great teacher and inspiration for the young males at his school, Master Jude’s greatest students get together to celebrate his 80th birthday. Dies in the first third of the film, but don’t worry, he’s soon back as Master Jude the White. On his deathbed, makes the students present promise that when they have sex with the models to call out his name.
York Ng (Eric Tsang Chi-Wai) – A reactionary politician. His wife is Hillary Lau (Maggie Cheung Hoh-Yee), a busy lawyer, she has no time for sex, and York must fill out application for time. Has an affair with Tina Ma (Chrissie Chau Sau-Na)
Claude Cheung (Jim Chim Sui-Man) – A dedicated actor, immerses himself in his craft. His latest flick is Ip Man vs Haunted Echoes of the Rainbow Has to pretend that his wife Sze (Harriet Yeung Sze-Man) is his cousin for professional reason. Has an affair with Audrey Or (Jessica Xu/Jessica Tsui)
Sam Fu (Wong Jing) – A gyneologist who tries to be good. His wife is Nana Lam (Monica Chan Fat-Yung), who is too busy watching tv or complaining about itchy beards Has an affair with Peril Ngai (Caroline Chu Yulin/Caroline Zhu)
Keith Szeto (Chapman To Man-Chat) – A medium, psychic, ghostbuster, fung shui master, all that jazz. So is his wife, who is even more famous than him, Du-Gu Ling Ling (played by famous Hong Kong medium Mak Ling-Ling). There is never an astrological suitable day to have sex! Has an affair with Jeanne (Carol Yeung Tsz-Yiu)
Charlie Lam (Det Di Yee-Tat) – Runs a dance studio. His wife Nancy Chan (Jacqueline Chong Si-Man) is a jealous gangster girl who also has her gangster brother staying in their bedroom at the foot of the bed criticizing their lovemaking technique. Has an affair with Eleven (Betrys Kong Yi)


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Posted by Tars Tarkas - August 10, 2011 at 12:08 pm

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I Love Hong Kong

I Love Hong Kong

aka Ngo oi Heung Gong: Hoi sum man seoi aka 我愛香港

2011
Directed by Chung Shu-Kai and Eric Tsang Chi-Wai
I Love Hong Kong
I Love Hong Kong is another Shaw/TVB backed Lunar New Year comedy coming on the heals of 2010’s 72 Tenants of Prosperity. It is also deeply tied to Hong Kong nostalgia, and growing up in Hong Kong. Thus, a lot of the charm of the film does not translate well to overseas markets. And while parts of the film are funny and interesting, it feels like you are at your roommate’s family reunion. This isn’t to say that I Love Hong Kong is a bad film, but if you didn’t spend time living in Hong Kong, it is probably impossible to fully appreciate it. And I say that as someone who’s never lived in Hong Kong.
I Love Hong Kong
During the Lunar New Year in Hong Kong, it has become tradition for the studios to release comedy films. And that tradition dates back to 1937’s Bloom and Prosper, a film that doesn’t exist any more. Lunar New Year’s films generally have huge casts bursting to the brims with everyone famous they can cram in, wacky plots, romance, and lampooning cultural targets. And while the modern age may have lessened the impact of the box office, the tradition is alive and well. Besides starring a whole host of people, I Love Hong Kong has two directors, three script writers (Chung Shu-Kai, Heiward Mak Hei-Yan, Wong Yeung-Tat), and is based on an original story by 8 people (Eric Tsang, Chung Shu Kai, Heiward Mak, Wong Yeung Tat, Manho Mok, Chan Cheuk Wah, Ming Wong, and Louis Ng)! That’s almost as many people as who write the average terrible Hollywood blockbuster. Some of the cameos include Tenky Tin Kai-Man, Michelle Lo Mik-Suet, and even Maggie Cheung!

The theme song repeats the “I Love Hong Kong” phrase a lot, and by the end of the song you are reassured that everyone on the planet loves Hong Kong. So get with the program! There are several other songs in the films, usually during flashback sequences, and they are classic songs well enough known that my wife was singing along.
I Love Hong Kong

Ng Shun (Tony Leung Ka-Fai) – The former owner of a toy factory out of work when the factory is forced to close. Moves his whole family (illegally) into his father’s apartment, where he grew up, and reconnects with the residents he left behind. played by Bosco Wong in flashbacks.
Shun So (Sandra Ng Kwun-Yu) – Forced to take an old job at a beautician’s office, but is treated like crap by her former coworker and friend. In another hilarious scene, she acts as a stunt double for a tv series. Her youngest daughter is Ng King (Chan Wing Lam). Sandra Ng is also in Mr. and Mrs. Incredible, The Eight Hilarious Gods, and Beauty on Duty.
Ng Tung (Stanley Fung Sui-Fan) – Shun’s dad and grandfather to the three kids. Lives in the Hong Kong apartment complex all his life, and now has to deal with his grown son returning with his whole family. Is fully integrated in the complex and never wants to leave. Also his birthday is July 14th, and that’s the day I finished writing this review. Coincidence?? I think not!!!! Stanley Fung has been in over 100 films, so odds are you’ve seen him in something.
Ng Ming (Aarif Lee Chi-Ting) – The son of the Ng family. Is FEHD (Food and Environmental Hygiene Department), but his job is going after street vendors, which is bad because where he just moved into is filled with the people he’ll be busting! Aarif Lee is one of the new Hong Kong heartthrob guys you will probably hear a lot of soon. They even reference one of his earlier roles as Bruce Lee in this film.
Ng Chee (Mag Lam Yan-Tung) – The Ng’s older daughter, who works as a promotions model while going to college. Is shy and not wanting to bare her body like the famous E Cup Baby. Mag Lam won the reality show The Voice 2 and was quickly snatched up to a four year deal by EEG. This is her first film.
Tok Shui Lung (Eric Tsang Chi-Wai) – After some rough goings when he first comes back, Tok Shui Ling and Ng Shun return to being best of buds. Tok knows a lot about everything and is good at getting Shun to go along with his schemes to get into trouble. But there is more to Tok Shui Lung than we, and Ng Shun, know. Tok is played by Wong Cho-lam in flashbacks, where we watch as his girlfriend becomes Miss Hong Kong and dumps him. Eric Tsang is also on TarsTarkas.NET in Kung Fu Cyborg and Task Force.

I Love Hong Kong
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - July 15, 2011 at 12:00 pm

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Kung Fu Cyborg (Review)

Kung Fu Cyborg

aka Kei hei hup aka Kung Fu Cyborg: Metallic Attraction

2009
Directed by Jeffery Lau

Jeffery Lau declared he wanted to do Chinese Transformers, and have his robots be “the incarnation of Oriental wisdom and strength.” Okay. Lau is no stranger to science fiction, as anyone who has seen A Chinese Tall Story can testify. Kung Fu Cyborg was originally titled Robot, then the title was turned into the easier to remember Metallic Attraction: Kung Fu Cyborg. Except for when it was called Kung Fu Cyborg: Metallic Attraction! Or just Kung Fu Cyborg. D’Oh! So we’ll just call it Kung Fu Cyborg when we refer to it, even if we slip up later. Just ignore the slip ups. They are not the droids you are looking for.

But in any event, here are a bunch of cool posters for Kung Fu Cyborg.

This is a long movie, approaching Korean standard of length. One could easily trim 30 minutes and it would do nothing but help the film along. The length is because it seems like two movies smooshed together, an origin story and a second story. Unfortunately, that means things will be dragging. And dragging. And lots of side plots happen. And it takes forever for the freaking robots to do their robot thing. Which is sort of why I watched the movie in the first place. Before this introduction gets as long as the pre-robot fight scenes in Kung Fu Cyborg, let’s just get to the Roll Call!


Xu Dachun (Hu Jun) – Xu Dachun is a tough cop who wants to get out of his small town and be a famous big town cop. Instead, he has to babysit a robot who moves in on the girl he loves. Then he dies and gets robotted himself. Tough break.
K-1 (Alex Fong Lik-Sun) – K-1 is just your average robot cyborg disguised as a normal human sent undercover to work as a police officer while secretly using his powers in very obvious ways that should blow his cover 5 times a day. But they never do because everyone in the film is crazy. Good for the film. Alex Fong Lik-Sun was on the 2000 Olympics swimming team and is a singer. Don’t confuse him with Alex Fong Chung-Sun, who I now realize I have seen almost 2 dozen of his films.
Zhou Sumei (Betty Sun Li) – A police officer in the small town who takes a shine to K-1. But Dachun likes her already, thus leading to a love triangle. Further love triangle problems are because K-1 is not allowed to love. Basically, lots of love problems, none of which is resolved by giant robot fights. I didn’t realize I knew who Betty Sun Li was until I remembered she was in a music video with Rain that my wife has watched 1000 times on Youtube. She rescues animals and wrote a book called Take Me Home: The Stories of I and Stray Animals.
K-88 (Wu Jing) – aka Chen Long, a rogue robot who will give the few lines of philosophical mumbo-jumbo the film tries to pass off as in depth commentary on man’s place in the universe. And he fights, thus we get action!
Xiao Jiang (Ronald Cheng Chung-Kei) – A local teacher and computer expert who has a crush on Sumei. Ronald Cheng is pretty famous considering his smaller role.
Zhou Suqing (Gan Wei) – Sumei’s sister who was off in college and thus not in part of the film. Spends most of the film with her hair covering her face. This is Gan Wei’s first acting role, but she did marketing work on films like CJ7, Warlords, and Red Cliff 2. Gan Wei also rescues animals like Betty Sun Li.
Lin Xiang (Eric Tsang Chi-Wai) – Eric Tsang spends most of his scenes looking like he is a millisecond from crying, which is an odd acting choice. Okay. Lin Xiang is the dude who invents all the robots for the government and in charged with making sure they don’t go all Skynet on the general population.


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Posted by Tars Tarkas - November 1, 2009 at 1:58 am

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

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