Posts tagged "Lam Suet"

The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake

The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake

aka 競雄女俠秋瑾 aka Jian hu nu xia Qiu Jin

2011
Written by Erica Li Man and Checkley Sin Kwok-Lam
Directed by Herman Yau Lai-To

The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake
To say that The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake was a disappointment would be a sad understatement. The biopic of famed femme revolutionary Qiu Jin is about a remarkable woman in a dangerous time, but the entire narrative suffers through flashbacks and a lack of establishing just what the heck is going on. I am familiar with the history of Qiu Jin because she’s interesting, but I still had trouble following the historical who’s who of revolutionaries, both real and consolidated/fake. Unfocused and scattered, The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake jumps from revolutionary speak to scenes trying to depict how women got it tough to speeches about Chinese patriotism to battle scenes involving people the audience has never met. The zig-zagging prevents a good narrative that we can follow, and the flashbacks serve no purpose and don’t correspond to what is happening in the present. It’s like they read about the narrative technique in a book and decided to do it just because it sounded cool. Herman Yau Lai-To has directed some cult classics in years gone by, but his extreme nature seems to have been neutered for bigger paychecks, and along with that, any attempts to do things creatively.

The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake is a very patriotic film. Most discussions on the ills of society end up running into the narrative that China is lead by weaklings, so that’s why everything sucks. And at this time, China was essentially carved up by foreign powers, humiliated, and reform attempts had just ended in disaster. But instead of showing how the failures justify the repeated revolution attempts (there were literally dozens over the years before they took), we just jump to the next problem of women not being able to travel due to children, or Japan restricting what students can say, or Qiu Jin’s husband being an entitled douche.
The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake
Beyond the script not following a story arc that makes it easy to follow, the individual scenes themselves are messes at times. The most notable is near the end of the film where there is an attempted assassination of a local governor. The setup and subsequent fight seems to last forever, and it’s filled with unknown people fighting unknown people. Worst of all, we all know the conclusion, because it was in the beginning of the film! This is like worrying if Obi-Won Kenobi is in any trouble in a Star Wars prequel.

Qiu Jin (Crystal Huang Yi) – Independent female who won’t be caged. Uses her skills at the brush to fight for freedom with essays and poems. Eventually becomes allied with ever more armed revolutionaries and is caught up in the fervor, and captured for execution as a traitor.
Li Zongyue (Anthony Wong Chau-Sang) – Qing official who is present during Qiu Jin’s trial and is an old family friend. Has to reluctantly go along with her downfall.
Xu Xilin (Dennis To Yue-Hong) – Historical revolutionary whose attempts to assassinate a local governor end with the government cracking down on his group with deadly force.

The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - December 27, 2012 at 12:39 am

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

Million Dollar Crocodile

Barbie Hsu is Million Dollar Crocodile! Looks like SyFy Channel is leaking again, and got some of their radioactive goo into China! And why is Million Dollar Crocodile always running? He’s like Forrest Gump during the time he was running around America for years, except he’s constantly eating while on the go. Guo Tao and Lam Suet also enjoy getting money to appear in films like this. And, yes, someone already bought the worldwide sales rights. Li Sheng Lin wrote and directed it. The plot:

Xiao Xing, a general little boy lives in little town, Mei Jia Wu, is his in grade four. He has a best friend named Amao, who is an eight-meters long crocodile. They get alone with each other, peacefully.
Many years, Amao has been living in a local crocodile farm ran by tough Bald Liu who caught Amao from Thailand. But this year, Bald Liu has to sell all the crocodiles cause the poor management. Unfortunately, the notorious tricky businessman Zhao Da Zui bought them all for developing a series crocodile meals. When the crocodiles are going to be killed by slaughters, Amao pulled apart the ropes angrily, and lead all crocodiles fighting for their lives and killed the chef and escaped.
This incident breaks the little town, Mei Jia Wu’s quiet and easy life. Xiao Xing and his father Da Wei Wang were all involved.

I like the concept of a juggernaut crocodile much better than that plot…
via @TheGoldenRock

Smiling Hand

The heck was this doing on Google Image Search? It's on here now, cause I can't afford a Million Dollar Crocodile. This is Dollar Menu Crocodile!

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - May 15, 2012 at 4:15 am

Categories: Movie News   Tags: , , , ,

The Sorcerer and the White Snake

The Legend of the White Snake lives again in movie form with the upcoming The Sorcerer and the White Snake (白蛇傳說), which hits theaters in China in September. The Legend of the White Snake is a story older than writing, and has been the basis for countless stories, books, operas, tv shows, and films. The version probably most familiar in the west is Tsui Hark’s 1993 Green Snake, with Maggie Cheung and Joey Wong. White Snake and Green Snake are two snakes that have taken human female form, and the basic story usually involves White Snake and a young scholar falling in love, until a monk comes along and throws White Snake into a well. Later versions sometimes change things to a more happy ending.

The Sorcerer and the White Snake has Jet Li as the Monk Fa Hai, and it will feature many martial arts battles. Eva Huang is White Snake, and Charlene Choi is Green Snake. The scholar Xu Xian is Raymond Lam, and the Monk’s understudy is played by Wen Zhang. Several others have been cast as various demon characters, including Jiang Wu as Turtle Devil, Vivian Hsu as Snow Goblin, Miriam Yeung as Rabbit Devil, Chapman To as Toad Monster and Lam Suet as Chicken Devil. So it will be a huge zoo of fairy monster people!

The Sorcerer and the White Snake has had a few English titles, originally Madame White Snake and then It’s Love. But It’s Love is a lame name, thus the distributor changed it to The Sorcerer and the White Snake to pull in Harry Potter fans. I’m kidding, they actually did it to get fans of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice franchise! But will it have the “mocha mocha” song? Because you need the “mocha mocha” song!

Ching Siu-tung (1987’s A Chinese Ghost Story) directs.

Trailer:

English subs trailer:

Effects work video:

Imagebomb:
Sorcerer and the White Snake
Sorcerer and the White Snake
Sorcerer and the White Snake Charlene Choi
Sorcerer and the White Snake
Sorcerer and the White Snake
Sorcerer and the White Snake
Sorcerer and the White Snake

via HKMDB

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - August 5, 2011 at 1:43 am

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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

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

Out of the Dark (Review)

Out of the Dark

aka Wui wan yeh

1995
Written and directed by Jeff Lau Chun-Wai
Out of the Dark
Stephen Chow is known as one of the funniest people to come out of the Hong Kong film industry. His films have become favorites around the globe and he has legions of fans. Chow’s mo lei tau films cross all sorts of genres, from spies to action to historical to gambling to sports. People argue over which of his films are the best. But one film that rarely is brought up is Out of the Dark, and here at TarsTarkas.NET we believe that is a crime. In fact, I’ve come to the conclusion that Out of the Dark is my favorite Stephen Chow film. But it isn’t a non-stop wacky film, it’s a comedy that’s also a pretty spooky ghost film with a very high body count. Most of the look, costumes, and even a few character names are ganked from Besson’s Leon: The Professional. Heck, there’s even a plant! Director Jeff Lau previously directed several ghost movies, and Chow in the Chinese Odyssey flicks. He moved on to Metallic Attraction: Kung Fu Cyborg among other films.
Out of the Dark
Out of the Dark doesn’t fit the mold of the normal mo lei tau films, it spends time transcending the genre of wackiness while simultaneously embracing it (yes, that’s possible!) Out of the Dark shows much of the genius later captured by Kung Fu Hustle as a mo lei tau that is more. But instead of following a hero arc, we instead follow a group of people caught up in the sins of an evil family and their revenges from beyond the grave. There are kids brandishing knives, creepy old ladies, possessions, and the one man crazy enough to not be scared of this crap. Someone’s gotta bust ghosts and take up where Lam Ching-Ying left off! So let’s get our Dark on!
Out of the Dark

Leon (Stephen Chow Sing-Chi) – He’s Leon, he’s nuts, he ain’t afraid of no ghosts! Leon can defeat the forces of darkness thanks to his superior will and superior insanity. Leon takes the security team under his wing, attempting to save them from the wrath of poltergeists.
Qun (Karen Mok Man-Wai) – A girl at the crossroads who stumbles across Leon and is instantly smitten. Qun has what it takes to follow Leon into the abyss. Qun is sometimes subtitled as Kwan. Karen Mok later dealt with ghosts in Haunted Office, and also appeared in Task Force.
Tieh Dan (Wong Yat-Fei ) – A suicidal security officer due to his wife running off during the beginning of the film. Spends most of the first 1/3rd trying to kill himself, and the last 2/3rd fighting for his life.
Lily (himself) – Leon’s flower that can see ghosts. This is not the first time a plant has gotten a credit in Roll Call.

Out of the Dark
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - May 30, 2011 at 2:20 am

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Hustle and Flow – Human Nature and Kung Fu Hustle

Hustle and Flow – Human Nature and Kung Fu Hustle

A review of Kung Fu Hustle aka Gong Fu

Fig. 1 – Title credit for Kung Fu Hustle

2004
Directed by Stephen Chow Sing-Chi
Action Directors Yuen Woo-Ping and Sammo Hung Kam-Bo

Fig. 2 – Axe Gang members dance in a downward triangle representing their subscribing to baser emotions

Abstract

Gong Fu (hereafter Kung Fu Hustle), is a perfect representation of human nature, complete with characters representing the ego, the super-ego, and the id. The setting and characters are mired in the secret world of Jiang Hu. Characters grow and evolve through the film, throwing off their layers of subterfuge and revealing their true selves.

Fig. 3 – Pig Sty Alley

Introduction

As the opening credits of Kung Fu Hustle play, a butterfly flutters through a canyon that is a winding, twisting maze. A pullback reveals the canyon forms the characters of the title of the film, Gong Fu/Kung Fu Hustle. The butterfly’s presence foreshadows the final act, subconsciously readying the viewers for the change they will see. The canyon walls becoming the title let the viewers know that everything we need to see is there, we just have to look in the proper way.

Kung Fu Hustle is a martial arts comedy. At time the action becomes deliberately cartoony and over the top, those instances serving both comedic elements and further exaggerating the underlying role of the nature of humanity. Kung Fu Hustle‘s cartoonishness comes partially from it being among the last of the mo lei tau films, Stephen Chow growing as an artist and expanding his films’ reach to use things beyond sheer ridiculousness to get points across.

Fig. 4 – Cartoonish violence stylizes Landlord’s cover of having no martial skills

Characters:

Sing (Stephen Chow Sing-Chi) – Sing is the protaganist who goes through a standard protaganist’s journey. He begins down on his luck and with major obstacles in life, only to overcome the odds and save the day as the Chosen One.
Sing’s Friend (Lam Tze-Chung) – Sing has a sidekick who follows him on his schemes. His friend is another good hearted person who can’t seem to do anything evil despite his numerous attempts.
Landlady (Yuen Qiu) – Owner of the Pig Sty Alley complex and secret martial arts master living undercover trying to escape his past. Landlady refers to herself as “The Little Dragon Maiden” in Cantonese, a character from Jin Yong’s Condor Trilogy of books.
Landlord (Yuen Wah) – Owner of the Pig Sty Alley complex and secret martial arts master living undercover trying to escape his past. Landlord refers to himself as “Yang Guo” in Cantonese, a character from Jin Yong’s Condor Trilogy of books.
Axe Gang (Danny Chan Kwok-Kwan, Tenky Tin Kai-Man, Lam Suet, and numerous others) – The Axe Gang controls the underworld of the city. They dress almost as sharp as the blades of their axes.
The Beast (Bruce Leung Siu-Lung) – The Beast takes his Chinese name – Dark God of the Fire Clouds – from books written by pulp novelist Liu Can Yang.
Fig. 5 – Sing traumatizes children subconsciously repeating his own tragic life-altering childhood

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - April 24, 2011 at 6:43 pm

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

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