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Open for business

Monkeying now has blogs. Why this happened is a long story, and one that I probably can’t discuss without A) boring the socks off people, B) divulging some protected secret, or C) embarrassing myself. But I’ll do it anyway. Starting now, this site has joined the multitude of me-first web publications touting the importance of our daily lives, which if you think about it mean absolutely nothing in the big picture. As such, I sometimes wonder why some of us go out of our way to make the experiences of others unpleasant and miserable. Isn’t it possible for a person to look out for themselves without hurting others in the process?

Probably not, but I digress. This blog isn’t supposed to be about interpersonal relationships or social issues. Anyway, it would be the height of irresponsibility to pretend that I know anything about those things because if I did, then I probably wouldn’t have spent a good portion of my early twenties watching Hong Kong movies on a 13-inch television, forsaking a New York City social life in favor of Jackie Chan, Stephen Chow, John Woo, Tsui Hark, Brigitte Lin, Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Chow Yun-Fat, and more people I will probably never meet in my lifetime. This despite the fact that I now live in Hong Kong and probably have the power to arrange interviews or meet-and-greets, with the caveat that I’ll print my experience on as some sort of psuedo-promotional swill. Oddly, despite having the chances to accomplish this, I find myself hesitant.

When I still wrote Life with Kozo, the self-indulgent fluff column I wrote back on the main LoveHKFilm site, I frequently used to talk about how life has changed for me since starting this bizarre enterprise. In the beginning, I did this for the hell of it. That really hasn’t changed, except now I wonder what the hell I was thinking. One only has to look back at October, when I went insane and decided to go to a local film festival and review nearly everything I saw (the lone exception was Rainbow Song, a Japanese film that LMFDean9 is reviewing instead). Honestly, I wonder how I was able to watch and review upwards of 15 films, plus host a visitor in HK for a weekend and plan on the implementation of these blogs. Given my usual grousing over lack of time and sleep, it’s a wonder I can even write this blog entry.

There’s a good question: how will I keep this blog going? Or will it simply die like Life with Kozo, The Kozo in Hong Kong Challenge, and the career of Ekin Cheng? Speaking of dying, do Ekin Cheng fans even notice and/or care anymore that we make fun of their idol? I’ve been doing it for five years straight, and they used to bother me every other week. Nowadays, nothing. It’s like we get a free pass. Either that, or he has no more fans.

In the beginning, was easy to run. That’s because it had no pictures, no website, no traffic, and no audience. It was a 3-ring binder that I assembled because I had too much time on my hands and enough words floating around in my head that I actually felt like putting them on paper. Nobody read it and nobody was meant to. The quality of writing was easily way below my current standard, which is still questionably worth the memory it takes up on my computer.

Here’s a look at the first version of Version 1.0
Total cost of the above: $4.63, excluding the Labelmaker rental

It All Goes To Hell…in print
Even back then, we used our crappy catchphrase.

One day we decided to put the 3-ring binder online, which was possible because we had just learned HTML. Six years later, HTML is still the full extent of our knowledge, and the site has suffered considerably. Witness as every website that comes along is equipped for Web 2.0, not to mention RSS, XHTML, and probably acronymns for some deadly form of virus. Regardless, everyone else’s site kicks ass, while is close to kicking the bucket.

Here’s a rundown of why we’re starting to suck:

  1. The site is old.
  2. The webmaster is old.
  3. Nobody can update the website besides the webmaster.
  4. We don’t have a fav icon.
  5. RSS? What’s that?
  6. XHTML? Even more of a mystery.
  7. The site’s only database is our ezBoard forum, which is a joke unto itself.
  8. We still like stars like Ekin Cheng and Sammi Cheng, who now have no relevance.
  9. We don’t care much for stars like Alex Fong Lik-Sun or Stephy Tang, who are now exceptionally relevant.
  10. Wong Jing makes fewer films, so we can’t lean on the “Wong Jing sucks” crutch.

Clearly, we’re in trouble, and very little can be done about any of the points above. That is, except Point 3. With the creation of blogs on, people who are not saddled with the other 9 problems above can update the site, providing new content, fresh opinions, and less of the tired gum-flapping from myself that passes for film criticism. Also, maybe we can do something around here besides just review movies.

Currently, we’re starting out with two bloggers. One is Kevin Ma, who reviews for the site under the name LMFDean9, and runs a blog called The Golden Rock. We’ve moved The Golden Rock here, so all his old content is now stored here, and all his new content will also be stored here. Funny how that works. Kevin’s take on Asian Entertainment is much more balanced than mine, plus he’s much younger than me so he won’t get cranky over stuff like swearing and nudity in films. He’s also learning to be a filmmaker, so we can have a ringside seat as he grows frustrated with his choice of profession.

Our other blogger is the awesome Sanney Leung, who many people may remember from HK Entertainment News in Review , which once upon a time ruled the online roost for Hong Kong entertainment news. Sadly, Sanney had to attend to some personal business, and he stopped updating his site, whereupon some cheesy online squatter snaked his domain name The same thing happened to and, as well as However, the guys who snaked that last name got sued, so I got it back. Anyway, I’m off topic. Sanney eventually returned online with a blog called The House Where Words Gather, and like The Golden Rock, we’ve moved all of Sanney’s previous content here, and provided a place for him to type up some new entries full of his trademark knowledge and wit. As Sanney is one of the people who originally inspired, words cannot express how glad I am to have him join us here.

The final blog being added is the only real new blog. It’s called Damn You, Kozo! because that’s what I started saying to myself when I realized that I would never, ever update Life with Kozo again - which isn’t a big deal, because the column was really quite self-indulgent and rather useless. The questions usually tackled in Life with Kozo were, “I’m tired. Maybe I should quit my website,” and “I’m thinking of quitting my website because I’m tired,” and “Man, what the hell am I doing! I should quit this website.” All that plus NBA references and bad jokes, which after a while can get old and tired. To make a long story short: it did get old and tired, and I stopped writing Life with Kozo because I realized that there’s more to life than just bitching.

Oddly, despite not posting a new entry for over a year, I still get email from people asking when I will update Life with Kozo again. The answer to that: never, though we now have Damn You, Kozo! to serve that questionable need. The goal this time is to stray from the useless self-indulgent topics and stick to strict reporting and hard-hitting opinions. From now on, I’m going to challenge the Hong Kong Entertainment institution and call out other online writers who don’t bother to spellcheck when they post on their websites and blogs. I’ll also avoid talking about my personal interests and stick to information and opinions that provoke thought, and perhaps change in the industry.

Just kidding. I won’t tackle serious topics or pretend that I’m some sort of Asian Entertainment authority, and I’ll probably still talk about wanting to quit once in a while. However, I swear on my NRA membership that I’ll keep it to a minimum and try at least 60% of the time to talk about stuff that interests people. One of the cool things about having a blog versus the old Life with Kozo format is that the interface is much easier to use, and I can now write shorter, less involved pieces instead of assembling massive diatribes simply to justify the effort in posting them online. Hopefully, that means that I’ll be less long-winded and manage to somehow be relevant and interesting. Anyone who knows me should realize: those things are not easy to come by around here.

So what will Damn You, Kozo! accomplish? Here’s what the blog can do for me, you, your friend, or that person down the hall who you don’t like:

1. I can use this as an opportunity to wean myself off of writing in the second or third person. A blog is given to the the first person, so my usual tactic of writing like an NBA superstar will have to be curtailed. This could be the greatest thing that this blog accomplishes.

The effects of 3rd person narration
This is what happens when you talk in the 3rd person too much

2. I can now dish about upcoming movies in production, just to prove that I actually stay informed. For example, Dante Lam is making a movie with Edison Chen, Huang Xiaoming, Richie Ren, and Bowie Lam. They carry guns.

Four cool guys in one likely bad movie
70% of this film’s budget was spent on sunglasses

3. I can bring back the Kozo in Hong Kong Challenge, and finally post the 10,000 pictures I’ve received in the last 4 years containing cool HK film locations.

Kozo in Exiled
Kozo in Exiled. Really.

Because comparison is required.

4. I can talk about new DVDs or stuff that I will likely not review. Probably the semi-regular DVD-hawking feature called Kozo’s Shopping Cart of Crap will move to this blog.

Fearless TV Show starring Chan Ho-Nam

Hey look! The Ekin-Cheng-Jordan Chan TV drama of Huo Yuanjia (AKA: Fearless) is coming to DVD with ENGLISH SUBTITLES. This drama will undoubtedly join the list of TV Dramas that I buy but don’t watch because I don’t have the time. This is a slam dunk anyway for, because it has Ekin Cheng and Jordan Chan. Together, the two may not be a quality guarantee, but nostaligia fixes don’t get much better than this.

5. I can talk about random Hong Kong Cinema related topics that just pop into my mind. For example, in reflection 1996 is now looking like one of the greatest years in Hong Kong Cinema history. This is a sampling of the movies that were released that year:

Young and Dangerous 1-3
Big Bullet
Comrades, Almost a Love Story
Feel 100%
Lost and Found
God of Gamblers 3: The Early Stage
First Strike
Forbidden City Cop
Ebola Syndrome
God of Cookery
Once Upon a Time in Triad Society 1-2
The Log
Viva Erotica!
Black Mask
Beyond Hypothermia

Also, 1996 was the year that Hell froze over, because that’s when Michael Wong was nominated for Best Actor.

6. I can discuss topics relating to the future of the Asian Film industry, such as how current fandom is helping to destroy their passion with that nasty thing called illegal download. Did you know that the most popular Asian Film sites online all offer illegal download? It explains why nobody goes here anymore.

Look out below!
Thanks to the fans, this is an illustration of the future of Hong Kong film

7. I can post pictures of my toy collection simply because I feel like it.

Anpanman with hair
Say hello to Custom Anpanman with Hair

8. A blog will provide a place for readers of Damn You, Kozo! to hobnob and leave feedback, thereby bringing interaction, understanding, and hopefully peace to the blogsphere. We hope that all 7 people who read take the time to leave a comment. However, this may be a better illustration of the expected turnout:

They’re all fans of Kozo
These are the people who miss Life with Kozo

9. Probably the best thing about this blog is that people who don’t like it have the ability to simply surf elsewhere and check something else out. That’s right, if you don’t like then you’re free to visit one of the 374 Asian film sites that went online just last week. And if you don’t like Damn You, Kozo!, you can visit one of the 7,834,873 blogs that went online just yesterday!

Those numbers represent actual statistics and were not just randomly made up on the spot. Really.

Kevin Garnett will own you in 2008!
Portrait of the typical Internet user

10. All the above can and will change if I suddenly decide that being lost in Hong Kong is preferable to blogging about it.

Kozo goes On the Edge
Kozo gets some perspective on his place in the world

Damn You, Kozo! is open. Maybe I’ll update it sometime in the next twelve months.

20 Responses to “Open for business”

  1. Dansk Says:

    And so, the blog comes to the rescue of yet another website (supposedly) in peril. Now there’s a relief

    P.S. Don’t ask me to name any other sites…

  2. glenn Says:


    I am impressed. Three more reasons why I don’t feel any energy to update my own blog, LOL.

    Glad Sanney is back, of course.

    Seriously, don’t knock your site’s lack of a database; The very fact that you have those PEOPLE pages with easy links to filmographies has helped me immeasurably over the past 6 years.

    My memory is going so I usually don’t watch anything for months, then crack open a handful of HK DVDs, and ask again: “Where else have I seen Jo Koo and why does it seem like she’s in every film this year?”

    Those filmographies are as good as a *real* database.

  3. Sam Says:

    your website is great! i check it out all the time and i am gald its still running! many of my friends have got into HK cinema through me and your site is the first thing i recommend! its easy to go through and the filmographies are great… anyways im glad kozo is back writing stuff again i missed life with kozo plus damn you kozo is even better

  4. Gabriel Says:

    You sound terribly jaded, Kozo. But I love LoveHKfilm & am glad it’s around. & now with blogs too. Thanks.

  5. kwong Says:

    obviously, damn you kozo rules all!!!!!!

  6. ChinoDevean Says:

    Finally, a good time for me to THANK for seriously changing my life. I grew up watching HK films, then suddenly a year ago I became movie-crazy and especially WKW-crazed. Then I discovered this site. The gratitude I felt when reading reviews which echo my feelings was as heart-wrenching as when Wang Jiazhi is singing in Lust, Caution. So…THANK YOU KOZO AND LOVEHKFILM.COM!!!

  7. Countess Says:

    Kozo, i love your modesty, but honestly, this site is something to be proud of. I wouldn’t be half the fan of HK films as I am today if i hadn’t been sucked in by your fanboyish rants about the industry and the past. You and your team are doing an awesome job, so thankyou :)
    Enjoy your well deserved holiday!

  8. John Says:

    This comment, I suppose, proves that you have more than seven readers. You have at least eight.

    I’m glad to see you writing again and that you obviously don’t abandon the site. Blogs helped me save two of my websites, but I’m still able to go a couple months without updating anything.

    Believe it or not, for some reason, this is the only Asian cinema site I check with any real regularity, aside from Variety Asia and the two blogs you just brought here. I’ll now be spending even more time around here. Thanks for the site.

  9. James Says:

    Honestly, I wouldn’t have been half of the Wong Kar Wai fan I am today if it wasn’t for Kozo’s inane rants on random topics and pretty colors. I have only the webmaster to thank for helping me rediscover my love of cinema, and most especially Ekin Cheng’s hairdo.

  10. Viktor Says:

    Dear Kozo,

    your website has greatly entertained me in recent weeks, and in fact it has “got me hooked” — from now on, I will be a HK cinema addict forever and ever (which could lead me to exclaim my very own “Damn you, Kozo” if it wasn’t so darn enjoyable).

    If you allow me to offer a word of advice: stick to shorter posts on your blogs. There are always times when you don’t know what to write, it will help you get through that if you “saved” some ideas earlier on (especially in the early days of your blogs, when you are full of initial ideas). That’s why I try and keep my posts short and to the point, and plan my posting schedule ahead.

    Looking forward to enjoying the three new blogs. Best wishes!


  11. Viktor Says:

    Forgot to say: THANK YOU for all your enthusiasm and hard work!!!

    (and seriously, you could made at least 5 posts out of that one)

  12. Teri Says:

    Like someone else commented above, this website totally changed my life (yes, I’ve also forsaken a social life at NYU in favor of watching HK/Pan-Asian films). The site’s layout is no-frills and so are the reviews. Thanks for all of the Johnnie To loving and Ekin Cheng bashing over the years. Keep up the fantastic work!


  13. Webmaster Kozo Says:

    Thanks to everyone who responded to this first of (hopefully) many blog posts. I’m hoping the blog gives me an outlet to talk about other Asian Entertainment-related things that I normally have no space for on No matter what, though, film reviews will always have priority.

    To John: Thanks for actually reading far enough into the blog entry to catch the part where I mention only seven readers might comment. You win a special prize!

    To Viktor: You’re right, I probably blew my wad with this first post, and I should have addressed my problem of writing far too much about subjects that don’t require it. Hopefully, the blog can help me learn to focus more on smaller topics. It can also create the illusion that I’m actually working harder.

    To Teri: Don’t forsake the NY social life! It can lead to years of regret and fewer places to crash at if you ever return for a visit. On a side note, do you visit Kim’s Video at all? It was where my Hong Kong film education really began.

  14. wongsaurus Says:

    Well, I’ll be damned. Another place for me to hang around.

    Picture #2 almost looks like Dante Lam is doing “Killers from Beijing.”

    Wanna work on your John’s Grill glass collection in the future?

  15. Anita Says:

    Hey, Kozo, never knew you’re that good-looking! Ahem! Enjoyed your writing. Keep it up!

  16. Ross Says:

    It is sure as sugar that my interest in Hong Kong, and indeed Asian cinema generally, is both richer and refined as a result of this website. I am sure the effort put in is as appreciated by the other users as it has been by myself.

    Blogs are fun so I shall be keeping up with what appears in these columns and I think Kozo posing in famous film locations should be a regular feature.

  17. Pantyhose Hero Says:

    Well damning you ain’t gonna stop Wong Jing from making movies.
    Let the good times roll and if you pray, You’ll get your shot at Sammi. Course that’ll happen when I get a date with Maggie Cheung but I can dream.

  18. Yin Says:

    Yay, new blog! Count me among those who missed the random wackiness of past (Life With Kozo, Sanjuro’s quickie marriage to Zhang Ziyi). Hopefully it’ll be more fun for you too, since it seems like the site went from being a labor of love to, well, you know… labor.

    Re: writing in 2nd/3rd person, I have the exact opposite problem. I find myself using the 1st person sometimes 3 or 4 times in a single sentence. i.e., “I think that I like this because I, blah, blah blah…”

  19. Amalia Says:

    ,,,,,,no fans of Ekin Cheng this far,,,,,


  20. ed Says:

    kozo, you’re a damn fine piece of gorgeous. and this is coming from a homosexual woman. Copyright © 2002-2021 Ross Chen