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Damn You, Movie News! More Hong Kong movies that geeks don’t care about

Wow, I actually updated this blog four times this month. It’s all because The Golden Rock has been too busy to blog reguarly. Once he returns full time, I will disappear for at least a month.

In case anyone cares, The Golden Rock is busy because of this thing:

China is peaceful
Celebrate the Olympic spirit by letting
one of China’s mascots shoot you

Finally, Hong Kong movies are coming back to local cinemas, and like the gluttons for punishment that we are, will be there.

HK movies have been absent from local cinemas since the June 19th tag-team of City Without Baseball and Sparrow. Sure, there was Red Cliff and Kung Fu Hip-Hop, but neither were really Hong Kong movies. Hong Kong movies are movies starring local idols and character actors, and feature actual Hong Kong locations, Hong Kong-style pacing and wit, and probably some undue metaphor or existentialism. Donnie Yen is a plus, but he’s not a requirement.

Here’s Donnie talking to people who aren’t his mouth-breathing fans:

My eye hurts
“I’m legendary, I tell you! Legendary!
Why won’t you morons believe me?”

Anyway, the seven-week embargo on Hong Kong films finally ended with the release of La Lingerie, which fits all the above requirements except for the one with Donnie Yen. Actual Hong Kong Cinema releases are still quiet throughout August, with only one confirmed release looming its semi-ugly head. It’s Forgive and Forget, the latest from Patrick Kong, the crazy auteur behind L For Love, L For Lies, Love is Not All Around, and Marriage with a Fool.

Forgive and Forget
Scary hair never gets old

The movie stars the recently ubiquitous Andy On and Secret sweetheart Alice Tzeng, who is best described with the Zoolander phrase “She’s so hot right now.” Since it’s directed by Patrick Kong, it’s about relationships, and features melodrama and lots of crying. A twist ending is likely, too. Given the trailer, it also looks like it could be some sort of horror film - which makes it a wonder that the geek websites aren’t talking it up. Who knows, maybe it’ll be good enough for Tartan’s Asia Extreme line - that is, if Tartan were still around to have one.

You can check out the trailer here.

Patrick Kong isn’t through yet this year. It looks like he may have another film out, making it three for 2008. If so, that makes Patrick Kong the new Johnnie To - at least, as far as his output is concerned. Sadly, I just said that Patrick Kong is “the new Johnnie To”. I fully expect my quote to be taken out of context and placed on an Australian DVD release of Forgive and Forget. Of course, by then it’ll be retitled Bloody Twins or Follicles of Death or something like that. They’ll think of something.

Sadly, that’s the only Hong Kong film that I am certain will be released in August. There was some indication that Rebellion, the latest Herman Yau film starring Shawn “I appear in everything” Yue and Elanne “I will soon appear in everything” Kong, would also debut in August. However, that is, as yet, unconfirmed. At least, it’s been hard for me to confirm, what with my inability to read Chinese. Four years here and I can’t even ride the bus properly. It’s just sad.

Here’s Herman Yau leading a toast honoring Hong Kong film’s continuing survival:

“Yes! Hong Kong Cinema survives for one more day!”

If you need your Herman Yau fix now, there’s another option: pick up a copy of Chaos, which came out directly on DVD only a few days ago. I can’t tell you anything about this movie because I haven’t seen it, nor have I heard much about it. It stars former LoveHKFilm Award Winner Andrew Lin, plus Gordon Lam, Crystal Tin, and Charmaine Fong. It looks vaguely related to gangs and violence so we’ll watch it even if it’s a direct to DVD release. We would be insulting our geek credentials if we skipped a Hong Kong movie with gangs or violence. Hopefully it’ll be extreme.

Who knew about this film?

Also coming to DVD at the same time is Fate, one of those long-delayed Fortune Star HD films produced by Andrew Lau. Directed by Raymond Yip, who recently co-directed the Award-winning Warlords, the film stars Miki Yeung, Alan Kuo, and maybe one other guy whose name I can’t remember. This is a film that has been on the Fortune Star website since sometime in 2006, so who knows if it’s good or not?

I knew about this film,
but was not particularly looking forward to it

I’ll see it anyway because, well, it’s a Hong Kong movie, and as everyone knows, this site reviews Hong Kong movies. We do review films from other countries, but only because we have to feed the beast that is our Alexa ranking. That may not be enough motivation one day. Privately, I wonder when the site will have to shut down completely because there are no more Hong Kong films. Alternately, we could change our name to If China really does instruct it, I’ll gladly comply because it’s the legal and reasonable thing to do. The AK-47 pointed at my head will also help in my decision making.

Nobody here
In 2012, this will be Kozo in a Hong Kong cinema

That’s it for this installment of Damn You, Movie News. Next time I’ll dish about movies coming to cinemas in September - a group which includes new flicks with Louis Koo, Ekin Cheng, Sammi Cheng (maybe, not clear on this yet), and - wait for it - DONNIE YEN! Hong Kong Cinema will surely be back then.

In the meantime, please watch the Olympics. Really, there’s stuff there you should definitely see, like that Michael Phelps guy. Also, where else can you see a fifty foot-tall Andy Lau? I’m thinking he did this to himself to make it easier to play to the cheap seats.

Andy is huge
“I went Goliath for my fans!”

As long as Andy Lau is alive, Hong Kong film will never die.

15 Responses to “Damn You, Movie News! More Hong Kong movies that geeks don’t care about”

  1. glenn Says:

    Yes, I first consulted your site when I saw Chaos and Fate listed on YesAsia as they both have recognizable names. Not too jazzed about either one now despite Miki Yeung who is almost appealing.

    No further comments on the Sammi and Eason film? Did you see the trailer? I’m disappointed that her return to film is not in a comedy as I still think she’s better at comedy than drama. But Eason’s on a role right now and it looks decent — looks like a HK film at least.

  2. Webmaster Kozo Says:

    Hey Glenn,

    I bought both Chaos and Fate, and will probably watch them within the next two weeks. That is, if I don’t get sick - and there’s a high probability of that happening right about now. Just ask anyone who knows me.

    Actually, I didn’t see the trailer for the Sammi and Eason film, so I can’t really comment. Originally I heard it would be released on September 11th, but a peek at HK Headline reads somewhere in October, so I’m not totally sure. I really look forward to it.

  3. dante Says:

    Huh! whah? what’s happening to HK Cinema? I feel I’ve been out of the loop for quite some time… There was a time earlier this year when I was writing my Dissertation on Hong Kong Cinema and was regularly browsing new films to anaylse… but since I finished Uni, have no money, and a bad internet connection at home, I don’t have a clue on whats happening in the Hong Kong Film Industry (or any other film Industry for that matter)
    Is the lack of HK films around this time of year common?
    Or is China now having more influence on the HK industry and trying to push more “Co-Productions” which we all know and hate?
    Cheers for the blog too, my first comment and I had all of July and August to catch up on.


  4. quadshock Says:

    I do think knowing that Olympics were coming up had something to do with it. There might be more traveling, more parties, etc. to go to and less time to go to the movies. And HK’s industry’s in the crapper right now, revenue-wise.

    My cousin is studying film in HK right now, and he told me one of his professors said this: What Hong Kong really needs to save the industry is a new Wong Jing. There MUST be someone who is guaranteed box office success, regardless of the quality of the film. Only when there is money generated are people willing to take risks again, and we can return to the “old HK”

  5. David Harris Says:

    Hi there!

    Is that picture of you in the cinema (it is you isn’t it?) the same place we saw “The Moss” in??

    I saw “The Moss” again before I left at the Chinachem in TST East. Two of the four screens were out and the screen it was showing in had bamboo scaffolding down both aisles and was undergoing major renovation…..kinda added to the atmosphere actually! :)

  6. Munin Says:

    Chaos is actually a fun little diversion managing to evoke the style of Carpenter’s post-apocalyptic flicks in that it displays a believable, tense atmosphere of desolation despite obviously having been filmed on a shoestring budget in the producer’s backyard and the garage of his neighbour.

    The script is unfortunately marred by complete predictability and routine, but it’s a solid little flick and definitely worth buying, especially these days where HK cinema is as dead and devastated as the world presented in Chaos.

  7. MW Says:

    That picture of the single fan in the seats is from the Team Formerly Known As the Seattle Supersonics, who lost their basketball franchise. At least HK film industry is doing better than Supersonics fans.

  8. Webmaster Kozo Says:

    MW is correct, the picture is a Sonics fan in Key Arena, before the team was hijacked by Oklahoma City. What happened there was incredibly sad, and is, in my mind, the biggest black eye the NBA has had in years. Worse than the ref scandal of the numerous tales of players running into stands.

  9. MW Says:

    Given the situation and how everything turned out, the biggest black eye was how Commissioner Stern did a favor for a friend and agreed to hijack a historic franchise. I think this episode really taints Stern’s legacy. It’s been a great year with the NBA Finals and huge trades, and horrible year with the ref scandal and the Sonics thievery.

  10. Gabriel Says:

    How come nobody’s reviewed “Shiri” & “A Wondrous Bet” yet?

  11. achillesgirl Says:

    Kozo, please don’t be sad about the current situation! You seem despondent lately. When HK gives you lemons… Why not use your writing superpowers to review the many movies you said you were behind on?

    Or you could make clever, amusing lists for different types of people, like “top ten HK movies for people who like Anthony Wong” or “top ten movies for West Coast yuppie hipsters” or “my favorite toy’s favorite films”…

    Whatever you do, don’t get depressed and wither away. You are the bomb, so remember to always use your superpowers for good instead of evil.

    By the way, am I just too dumb to find your review of Red Cliff? I am dying to know if it’s epic goodness or not, and am afraid I’ll have to scour Chinatown to buy an early copy. Which I don’t want to do if it’s crappy, because then I’ll feel grumpy.

  12. achillesgirl Says:

    oh damn, never mind. I just found your review of Red Cliff. Whoops!

  13. Webmaster Kozo Says:


    Glad you found the review. Frankly, the search engine is the best way to find anything on the site. Google rules.

    I may update this blog one more time in the next week or so, but after that I’ll probably be knee-deep in new movies to review. I’m not sure I should go back to the movies I was behind on because we’re now a few months post-viewing and my memory may be shaky.

    I’ll try not to lose hope, though. This summer was bad, but things seem to be picking up.


    Shiri is a movie I saw way before I started this website, when I only took the time to jot down notes on HK movies. About A Wondrous Bet, I do have that lying around, but, uh, it’s A Wondrous Bet, and it was directed by Tony Leung Hung-Wah. Even looking at the DVD cover is a bit of a chore.

  14. Gabriel Says:

    Thanks Kozo. I mention “Shiri” because I’ve seen it on TV (in Sydney) a few times now, & also DVD. As for “A Wondrous Bet”, I struggled to watch it for 10 minutes on (a Mandarin-dubbed, unsubtitled) DV, & even so could still tell it wasn’t much good. So I was wondering what others thought about these two.

  15. the neophyte Says:

    As long as Andy Lau lives, Hong Kong film will never die. Well ****’n said.

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