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King of Comedy (1999) – Her Review November 26, 2006

Posted by Eury in Action, Comedy, Movies.

King of Boring

Orig. title Hei kek ji wong
Dir. Stephen Chow, Lik-Chi Lee

Starring Stephen Chow, Karen Mok, Cecilia Cheung etc.

We watched this movie about a month ago, and honestly, I already don’t remember that much of it. I guess it was just not that memorable. What I do remember is that it’s about this out-of-work actor that tries to do everything he can to break into movies. He is very confident that he’s the next big super star but actually he’s just not very good, not even in this movie. He gets a break at one point to be the leading actor in a film but that doesn’t work out and it seems fitting. Sometimes you watch a movie and when someone is down on their luck you feel for them, even in a comedy, but that just didn’t happen here.

This movie was a bit of a let down. I guess I was expecting more. Nothing really stuck out as being really good or exceptional. There were a couple laughs but they were few and far between.

This is Her review, you can read His review here.

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The King of Comedy (1999) – His Review November 26, 2006

Posted by Jinx in Action, Comedy, Movies.


Orig. title Hei kek ji wong
Dir. Stephen Chow, Lik-Chi Lee

Starring Stephen Chow, Karen Mok, Cecilia Cheung etc.

Wan Tin-sau (Chow) is an unemployed actor trying to get work in Hong Kong movies. He’s well read, but also well bad. This is where the fun ends.

Before the excellent Shaolin Soccer and the reasonably good follow-up Kung-Fu Hustle, Stephen Chow made a name for himself with similarly styled, but lower budget kung-fu/comedy movies. This is not a big secret of course, everyone comes from somewhere. I hadn’t seen any of his earlier stuff though, and what I found most surprising was the very low quality.

Low quality meaning bad movie – more specifically bad acting, bad action sequences, completely incomprehensible characters, and just plain stupid dialogue.

I want to like Chow, i really do. But this makes me think Shaolin Soccer was a fluke more than anything, and that the not-as-good Kung-Fu Hustle was a step backwards. The weirdness that permeates King of Comedy may come from referencing Hong Kong popular culture, something I’m not that keen on researching, or it may just be his unpolished brand of humour. Either way, I didn’t find it funny, which doesn’t mean it’s not. It just means it’s not my cuppa.

I’ll wait for Kung-Fu Hustle 2 instead of watching more of Chow’s old stuff.

This is His review, you can read Her review here.

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The Storm Riders (1998) – His Review August 25, 2006

Posted by Jinx in Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Movies.
1 comment so far

Der Sturm Ritter ja aber bitte

Dir. Wai Keung Lau
Starring Aaron Kwok, Ekin Cheng, Sonny Chiba, Kristy Yang, Qi Shu, Michel Tse

If you know nothing, or next to nothing about Hong Kong movies – that is to say movies made with traditional HK cinema sentiments – let me give you a few hints. If you want to skip it, scroll down to the review. Let’s call it..

A short list of rules for HK cinema.

The characters are often named after their main character trait, so you instantly know who they are. For example someone who is fat generally has no other traits, and is called Fatty or something similar. The sister of the main hero can be named Sister, just to clear things up. If a guy is brooding, then Cloud is a good name, since there’s a dark cloud permanently above him.

The story consists of minor events that are interlinked, and seldom referenced in the rest of the movie, with the exclusion of the beginning and the end – you are often given the setup for the end of the movie right at the start. An example would be: Hero-type-person is face to face with his foe, just about to do battle. He has a cool looking sword. Then there’s a flashback or similar, in which Hero goes on a complicated quest. Then we get to the end, forget all that happened in between and just continue from the prologue. What happened to all the stu-uff? Nevermind.

The effects can be very cheesy. Now, this is of course subjective to your taste, but HK cinema is over-the-top cheesy. While, in a hollywood movie you may sneer at a fake looking dinosaur texture, here you are so overwhelmed by the audacity of the FX-makers and fight choreographers that it just becomes genius. It’s OK to have a Poser-rendering as your main effects shot. It’s totally fine to throw apples at Newton, and have people falling diagonally.

And yes, yes you can steal entire plots from other movies. If you think the Hollywood remake jungle is thick, then Hong Kong is.. well, thicker. With foliage and vines and junk. It’s very hard to be original when the style demands otherwise. Think of it more in terms of homages, or clichés, and you won’t choke when you see the same thing happen in yet another movie.

That probably won’t explain the genre (yes, I’m calling the entire HK movie output one genre, bite me), but it may give you a solid starting point.

On to the review:

The Storm Riders is in some ways the end of an era. After this movie, big-budget HK cinema has become more and more polished (bigger budgets presumably). You get the regular storyline, the usual protagonists, and probably one of the best attempts at live-action anime ever, all with an apparent lack of constraints on the imagination. Suspending your disbelief is impossible, to become engrossed in this story you would have to be dead. The stunts and effects, and even the story, is just so freaky that you have to smile.

This is the movie that made Qi Shu (Chi Hsu / Qi Hsu / Shu Qi / Kei Shu / Qui Shu / Kei Su) a star, reached a new box office record, and it’s got a fire monkey in it. A Fire Monkey!

So yeah, you can go see it now.

This is His review, you can read Her review here

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The Storm Riders (1998) – Her Review August 24, 2006

Posted by Eury in Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Movies.
1 comment so far

Let me give you a hand.. I mean arm!

Dir. Wai Keung Lau
Starring Aaron Kwok, Ekin Cheng, Sonny Chiba, Kristy Yang, Qi Shu, Michel Tse
Click for larger poster>>

Conquer is the leader of a clan and wants to be the best in all the World of Martial Arts. A prophet, Mud Buddha tells him he cannot foretell his complete future but he does say that it depends on two young children, Wind (Ekin Cheng) and Cloud (Aaron Kwok). After murdering the children’s parents, he raises the boys as his own. The story continues 10 years later when the boys have grown up. Wind is quite calm and Cloud is very stormy and unpredictable.

I wish I had seen this movie before seeing Hero (Xing xiong) which totally blew me away with it’s storyline, music and imagery. I just couldn’t help but compare them to the detriment of “The Storm Riders”, (Fung wan: Hung ba tin ha) I ‘m not saying this was a bad movie, per se… just that it seems lacking to me when I had just recently seen the other and was so thoroughly impressed with it.

I also kept looking at the principal players and found that they made me think of living manga characters and there seemed to be so many different people involved, and often for short spurts of time that I often was left wondering if this was written after some book or legend and I was missing some of the information needed. The first part of the story was confusing to me, but mid-point I did feel the pieces did come together and I finally understood.. maybe it was the coffee break that helped 😉 .

Although it did come together, there were things that simply distracted me… a box called the Ice Vigor (I won’t say what it is) but to me it looked like it was out of paper maché and another place it seemed like the rocks were made out of chipped styrofoam. Stupid details that shouldn’t be important, like dresses that, at times, I found looked too modern for the story, or a costume that should look old and torn, but looked somehow like it was cut with scissors. I know this sounds insignificant but often the finesse and wonderfulness of a movie are in those little details that just make everything flow so wonderfully when they are perfect. Now, I ‘m not saying it was really bad … but if I’m distracted enough to see these things, then at that moment, I’m not engrossed in the story, now am I?

If you are a fan of martial arts action, there is plenty of it in this movie; if you like special effects, there are even more. It is very fantastical and the stuff of superheroes. Think bigger, faster, more grandiose … not pretty like in the movie Hero, (see my review here) but it still works and some of the effects are quite spectacular and very cool looking.

This is Her review, you can read His review here

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Keywords July 26, 2006

Posted by Eury in .
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