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Archive for the ‘Movie News’ Category

Asian guys in Hollywood, or everyone gets to be a ninja

Yay, Asian actors are working in Hollywood! It’s so awesome that Snake Eyes wants to shoot someone.

Snake Eyes
“………..”

Just a week ago, Korean actor Lee Byung-Hun made his Hollywood debut in G..I JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA. In celebration of Lee Byung-Hun - or LBH as we like to call him in these parts - joining an exclusive club including Ken Watanabe, Hiroyuki Sanada, Chow Yun-Fat, Donnie Yen, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Daniel Henney, Rain and Park Jung-Hoon (You all saw THE TRUTH ABOUT CHARLIE, right?), I’m going to talk about G.I. JOE. Well, Lee Byung-Hun’s part in it anyway.

Jackie Chan supports Lee Byung-Hun:

1_jackie_lbh.jpg
“This guy makes an awesome ninja!”

(more…)

Mid-year Hong Kong Cinema Top 10, or a list of half the movies released in 2009

Wong Cho-Lam believes that we can save Hong Kong Cinema:

Hello American people!
“Hong Kong Cinema fans, yes we can!”

If it’s not clear from his outfit and slightly darkened skin, that’s Wong Cho-Lam doing an Obama impression. Score another one against Political Correctness. I found myself so offended by the above that I immediately went to see TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN.

 Twins
Setting the art of cinema back two decades.

(more…)

Filmmaking is fun

So last Wednesday I was walking down the street in Tsimshatsui and I happened upon this scene:

Set
There’s always a crowd in front of 7-11

Hey, they were shooting a film! I was genuinely surprised and hung around to snap some photos. Hanging out near the film set resulted in me being 75 minutes late for a date with a girl, but she understood. Unfortunately, I have been unable to confirm her understanding because she won’t return my phone calls.

I’m sure Nick Cheung would have done the same thing:

Nick
“I totally make women wait!
They are powerless to resist my debonair charm.”

(more…)

2008 Wrap-up delayed indefinitely

Completely minor announcement: there will be no “End of 2008″ post on this blog anytime soon, and barring another self-serving edition of Kozo’s Mailbag, I’ll probably be stepping away from this blog for a few more weeks.

Someone is already unhappy about the news:

I’m so unhappy
“Whaddya mean no ‘End of 2008′ post?
What am I supposed to do now?”

(more…)

Bye-bye, HKAFF

Aaaaaaaad, we’re back. These toys in my living room say “Hi”:

Chopper and Friends
Clearly, my toy collection kicks ass

Anyway, the Hong Kong Asian Film Festival is now over. During that 17-day period I consumed 18 movies, 5 short films, 2 regular theatrical releases and plenty of bad food. Amazingly, I did not get sick, though I do recall nodding off during my screening of 881.

 Sleeping kitty
Hokkien musicals put this cat to sleep, too

(more…)

Yotsuba meets Batman, plus more Random Crap

Damn You, Kozo briefly returns from the dead. In celebration, Yotsuba says “Hi.”

Yotusba waves
“You’re still reading this blog? Poor saps.”

It’s a new month, but I doubt I’ll be able to spend much time on Damn You, Kozo. That’s because the Hong Kong Asian Film Festival is occurring in just one week’s time, and before then I still have to write a review for PAINTED SKIN and maybe BUTTERFLY LOVERS. We’ll see how it goes. If I can I’ll squeeze in one or two entries between screenings.

(more…)

The Best Laid Plans…

While writing this mini blog entry, I’m checking out the el-cheapo Chinese DVD of RED CLIFF (only HK$20 in Shamsuipo!). It’s the scene where Tony and Takeshi have their homosexual sex scene stringed instrument duel. It’s a pivotal scene because it demonstrates that they’re passionate soulmates natural comrades-in-arms who will regard each other with the utmost desire respect, even if one day they break up find themselves on opposing sides. It’s probably the cheesiest and most effective scene in RED CLIFF. John Woo, you are a master.

My instrument can read your heart
“I make love with this instrument.”

Anyway, we’re going dark for a while at Damn You, Kozo. Despite attempting to keep up some sort of weird schedule with this blog and the regular website updates, we’ve been upended by those one or two surprise circumstances that life occasionally throws at you. In this case, all my issues relate to my job, so they’re unavoidable. I would drop one of my other pastimes, but unfortunately, there’s not much left to do away with besides Damn You, Kozo! or LoveHKFilm.com. Despite the fact that I can get all self-absorbed on this blog, I consider LoveHKFilm.com more important, so it’s Damn You, Kozo! that has to take a powder. Them’s the breaks.

Recently, I’ve become so exhausted that I literally fall asleep at my computer or in front of the television. The latter reason is why I have yet to review either FATE or CHAOS, the two direct-to-video Hong Kong movies I talked about in my last blog entry. Nothing gets in the way of reviewing a film better than narcolepsy in front of the TV. The worst part about collapsing into sleep is that my air conditioning, television, or computer is usually left on, which means that my electric bill at the end of the month will be a staggering amount. As LoveHKFilm.com income has slowed considerably, I now regret not fighting for kickbacks from the Hong Kong film industry.

Not that the pursuit of cash has ever been my main concern. Recently, this site ran advertisements for THE MUMMY: TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR. You probably saw them if you frequented LoveHKFilm.com sometime in the past month - and if you reside somewhere in North America. The ads are geo-targeted to the U.S. and Canada, and since I live in Hong Kong, I could never see them. I only remembered that the ads were running when I saw a screen capture from a U.S. IP address a few days ago.

This concerns me because shortly after MUMMY came out, I published a review that absolutely eviscerated the film, pretty much calling it the worst thing I’ve seen all year. Well, maybe it’s not the worst thing I’ve seen all year, but in terms of dollars spent by the filmmakers it’s easily the biggest waste. I wonder if I would have done anything differently if I had been able to see the advertisement all the time. If Brendan Fraser and Jet Li had been staring at me every time I loaded up LoveHKFilm.com, would I have been nicer to the film? Postponed my review? Neglected to review it entirely? I’d like to think that the $$$$ wouldn’t have made me compromise, but frankly, we’ll never know.

Brendan is pissed
“Fight me if you want that commission check!”

I imagine this dilemma must pose a bigger problem to more popular movie fansites, namely the ones that rely on industry connection, “scoops”, and spoilers. Those sites are primarily Hollywood-oriented, but that same sort of pseudo-journalism  has found its way to Asian Cinema too. Asian movies are a far different beast than they were ten years ago. The Internet was still the best way for English-speaking audiences to get information, but back then it was word of mouth and translated news reports that drove interest.

Nowadays, we have hype sites and selective coverage that can possibly skew perceptions of Asian Cinema. Hong Kong movies, in particular, get reduced to genre pictures or anything that has a “name” attached. These names, however, are only the names that have been made popular by film fests and geek sites, meaning Francis Ng, Donnie Yen, and Japanese pornstars are money. However, people like Alex Fong, Stephy Tang, or hell, even Gillian Chung don’t deserve a mention. Oddly, the hype sites do pay attention to Edison Chen. I wonder why.

Stephy
“Why doesn’t anyone talk about me?”

Anyway, my original goal in writing an entry - any entry - was simply to talk about upcoming Hong Kong movies. As I doubt I’ll get to any blog entries in September, I’ll blow my wad via a handy list of dates and pictures:

Opening September 4th

THE LUCKIEST MAN
Director: Lam Chi-Chung
Starring: Chan Bak-Cheung, Bosco Wong, Yuen Qiu, Pinky Cheung, Monica Chan, Lam Chi-Chung, Chan Kwok-Kwan, plus lots of other people

Luckiest Man
“Yesss!!! Still employed!”

Lam Chi-Chung directs a cast of B and C-listers in this return to the Lunar New Year movie formula. Except, it’s September and not Lunar New Year. As this movie stars Chan Bak-Cheung, skepticism is a must.

 

RULE NO. 1
Director: Kelvin Tong
Starring: Shawn Yue, Ekin Cheng, Stephanie Che

Rule No. 1
“Don’t be depressed, kid. Your career can’t
possibly end up worse than mine!”

Ekin Cheng and Shawn Yue co-star in this horror-thriller about cops who fight ghosts. Or something. Directed by Singapore director Kelvin Tong, this film is only now getting Hong Kong play despite being released elsewhere as early as March 2008. You can find a review here.

 

A DECADE OF LOVE
Director: Too many people to mention
Starring: Also too many people to mention

Decade of Love
I wish my bike-riding lessons were like this

One film, ten directors, and it was already reviewed. Sending you to the review saves us some typing effort.

 

September 11th

OCEAN FLAME
Director: Liu Fendou
Producer: Simon Yam
Starring: Liao Fan, Monica Mok, Simon Yam, Lam Suet

Ocean Flame
“Keep digging or we’ll make you wear a mask.”

I apparently liked this movie a lot more than everyone else - and I didn’t even like it that much. Truthfully, I can’t really recommend it unless you love pretentious movies that think intended depth equals quality. However, it’s pretty and the girl gets naked. That’s all anyone needs to know, I’m sure. We reviewed it here.

 

September 25th:

CONNECTED
Director: Benny Chan Muk-Sing
Starring: Louis Koo, Liu Ye, Barbie Hsu, Nick Cheung

Connected
“Operator? I’m looking for the nearest In-and-Out Burger!”

Some “in the know” people have recommended this film to me, so I eagerly await it. It’s a remake of the Hollywood film CELLULAR, which I unfortunately never saw. Benny Chan directs, so it should be an entertaining ride, if not a deep and insightful examination of man’s slavery to technology. I predict that Louis Koo will overact.

 

PAINTED SKIN
Director: Gordan Chan Car-Seung
Starring: Donnie Yen, Zhou Xun, Vicki Zhao, Aloys Chen

Painted Skin
He even overacts in photos

Who cares about plot? PAINTED SKIN stars the legend that is DONNNNIEEEE, plus some other random people. On the geek meter, this is easily the #1 Hong Kong film of September.

 

OVERLOOKED:

Previously, I neglected to alert the rest of the world to THE PRETTY WOMEN, a Hong Kong film directed by Jon Hau that got theatrical play at like 2 screens sometime between the releases of RED CLIFF and LA LINGERIE. It stars Cecilia Yip and Ray Lui, and is about, um, some pretty women. Our good friend Tim Youngs was kind enough to point this out to us.

 Pretty Woman
The sleeper hit of the year

By the way, it’s already available on a HK$20 China DVD in Shamsuipo. According to Time Out Magazine, the film made HK$90 on opening day. That’s less than 15 US dollars.

As for when I’ll be getting to these movies: A DECADE OF LOVE and OCEAN FLAME were already reviewed, and if I’m lucky I’ll manage to write RULE NO. 1 and THE LUCKIEST MAN reviews soon. I was also thinking of writing a much longer blog entry bitching about the sorry state of Hong Kong Cinema - that is, the business portion of it - while specifically calling out the pathetic release of RULE NO. 1, a movie starring Ekin Cheng and Shawn Yue that can’t even get proper theatrical play. The movie is on a handful of screens, is playing with English, Chinese AND Malaysian subtitles, and was obviously considered a flop before it even entered theaters. Really, the climate for Hong Kong Cinema is THAT bad. Frankly, the arrival of a film starring Donnie Yen is a godsend, if only because it might generate a foreign sale or two. RULE NO. 1 has no such luck; with Tartan’s Asian Extreme line shutting its doors, one wonders if there are any takers for the umpteenth variation on the pale, long-haired Asian ghost.

If I actually get to that blog entry, I expect a reaction like this:

Chow
“He still wants to keep up his blog? God, I hope not!”

Sometime in September, I’ll also be seeing the new Lawrence Lau film BALLISTIC, a Taiwan-set political police thriller starring Simon Yam, Taiwanese actor Joseph Chang, and Alice Tzeng from FORGIVE AND FORGET and SECRET. BALLISTIC is playing at the Hong Kong Summer International Film Festival, and in total I caught 5 films there. That’s nothing like the 22 I attempted at this spring’s HKIFF, not to mention the possible 30 I will attempt at the upcoming Hong Kong Asian Film Festival. If you visit the Broadway Cinematheque in October and see someone sleeping in a seat, there’s a 75% chance that it’ll be me. The other 25% is reserved for loiterers or vagrants.

In the meantime, I suggest you catch up on all the Asian movie news over at The Golden Rock, which has finally been freed following those pesky Olympics. As usual Kevin is much more up to date with what’s going on, plus he has the energy and enthusiasm that this old, aging movie watcher lacks. I think if I were ten years younger like Kevin, I’d probably be focused on turning LoveHKFilm.com into the Greatest Asian Cinema WebsiteTM ever or, at least, a consistently updated one. If I become independently wealthy, I’ll get right on it.

As always, we’ll end with a photo:

Charlene stinks
Hopefully it’s not Charlene that stinks

Thanks again, Apple Daily. See you all sometime later.

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, LoveHKFilm.com 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:

Rebellion
“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.

Chaos
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?

Fate
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 LoveChinaFilmBecauseChinaInstructsIt.com. 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.

Buried Alive

It’s been a while.

Running LoveHKFilm.com and its associated businesses, subsidiaries, and licensed properties can sometimes be quite a chore. Even when I ignore its main product - film reviews - I’m usually dealing with a related commitment, be it a favor or freelance job acquired through the site, emails in relation to the site, or personal meetings having something to do with the site. Since I now live and work in Hong Kong because of the site, I can now count almost everything I do every day as something having to do with the site. When you put it in those terms, the whole thing can feel slightly alarming.

Back to the main point: I owe LoveHKFilm.com some new reviews soon, which is no big deal because that’s the way the site works. Without new reviews, LoveHKFilm.com would become a shadow of its former self, a 35 year-old statue guarding the lane while speedy guards blow past me for an easy layup. That’s right, just like Shaquille O’Neal.

I’m big and slow
“I am the greatest! Well…I was about six years ago.”

However, since the inception of Damn You, Kozo! I have gained a new responsibility: I now owe this blog some posts, which is more difficult to handle than I first thought. There are two reasons for this. 1) I have lots of ideas, but lack the time and energy for proper execution, and 2) I have yet to master the art of the short blog post. If I could somehow satisfy myself with a 200-word blog post I’m sure I could become ultra-prolific.

I also seem to enjoy putting lots of pictures on my posts. If I simply broke that habit I’m sure I could double or triple my output.

Then again, how can I resist posting photos like these:

Daniel loves Edison
“Edison is so dreamy…except his skin is dull
and fatigued. He should use L’OREAL Hydra
Energetic moisturizing gel cream to hydrate
and reduce his skin’s natural pastiness.
Because he’s worth it.”

Speaking of Daniel Wu’s pitchman abilities, they’ve apparently claimed another victim. Just a week or so ago, I celebrated my latest birthday, and someone - after getting a load of this blog post - saw fit to present me with my own can of L’OREAL Hydra Energetic moisturizing gel cream, so I too can tighten, hydrate, and, uh, anti-dull my skin.

My skin is saved
The first step towards meterosexuality

I think the above qualifies as a Sign of the Apocalypse.

My birthday is only the most recent thing that’s eaten up time. There was also an ill-timed bout of sickness, and your usual things such as work, weather, and Sexy Photos Gate, which has been covered respectably by our sister blog, The House Where Words Gather. I commend Sanney’s ability to dissect the issue intelligently and without active bias. I have the ability to do neither, because when I see the Sexy Photos Gate-related photos that Apple Daily has seen fit to unearth, I can’t help but make jokes about them.

By the way, did you know that Edison recently survived an assassination attempt?


The assassin (right) almost got the drop on Edison Chen (center),
but the grey-suited bodyguard (left) intervened quickly,
using his Index Finger of Death (TM) to strike the assassin
in the throat, instantly rendering him mute, unconscious,
and unable to participate in any future karaoke activity.

Apple Daily is a treasure trove of fab celebrity photos. They’ve outdone themselves with their coverage of Sexy Photos Gate, but there are plenty of non-Edison pictures available in their fine daily postings, too. Frankly, I have so many fun photos saved up by now that I have no idea when or how to use them.

Here are a few examples:

She’s so very pink
Zhang Ziyi’s pink dress also doubles as a personal space protector

They’re really brothers
Upon meeting, the two Wongs
discovered that their individual
filmographies share many similarities.

This looks bad
Media Asia boss Peter Lam, Johnnie To, Shu Qi, and Miriam Yeung.
There’s a real story behind this photo but it’s more fun
to look at it and make up your own. It can be a contest.

Apple Daily rules.

Anyway, time for some navel gazing.

Everybody loves navels
Lee Hyo-Lee.
Or is it Lee Hyolee or Lee Hyori?
Inconsistent romanization only
makes Google Image Search more difficult.

Fourteen months ago, I started LoveHKFilm.com’s current update schedule, which is known as “Whenever I feel like it.” Originally, that was done to prevent the grind of the two-week update, but it actually caused me to update the site far more than I originally used to. What I discovered was that site updates were not dependent on a fixed time interval or even my mood, but only upon the movies that I see.

Recently, LoveHKFilm.com has gone three weeks without new reviews, which is pretty unusual. That’s all because the movies I’ve seen all fall into one of two categories: A) movies that already have reviews on LoveHKFilm.com and B) movies that shouldn’t be reviewed by LoveHKFilm.com. Here’s what I saw recently:

Movies that already have reviews on LoveHKFilm.com:
Blood Brothers (dir. Chang Cheh, 1973)
Bullet and Brain (dir. Keung Kwok-Man, 2007)

Movies that shouldn’t be reviewed by LoveHKFilm.com:
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (dir. Julian Schnabel, 2007)
Sweeney Todd (dir. Tim Burton, 2007)
Enchanted (dir. Kevin Lima, 2007)
Vantage Point (dir. Pete Travis, 2008)

So to assuage the three people who are wondering why the site has been so quiet, that’s the reason why: because I’m not seeing anything that I need to review. Not to worry; soon Empress and the Warriors, Playboy Cops, Shamo, and Fatal Move will get released, which means I’ll have some new movies to eviscerate review. March also sees the release of L for Love, L for Lies, the new travesty effort from Patrick Kong, auteur of twin terrors delights Marriage with a Fool and Love is Not All Around. It’s going to be a busy month.

However, it’ll also be a busy month for another reason: the Hong Kong International Film Festival. This year marks my fourth year in Hong Kong, but this will be the first year I go insane and check out 21 films at the HKIFF, a number that guarantees to send me straight to hell.

If you’re curious, here’s the lineup:

3/18 Candy Rain (7:15pm)
3/18 Drifting Flowers (9:30pm)
3/20 I Just Didn’t Do It (6:45pm)
3/21 Winds of September - Taiwan (7:15pm)
3/21 Winds of September - China (9:45pm)
3/22 City Without Baseball (6pm)
3/22 Besieged City (9pm)
3/23 Home Song Stories (12:30pm)
3/23 Run Papa Run (6pm)
3/23 A Decade of Love (8:45pm)
3/24 Kabei (3pm)
3/26 In Love We Trust (7:15pm)
3/27 The Way We Are (7:15pm)
3/29 First Born Unicorn (9pm)
3/30 Soul of a Demon (12:30pm)
3/30 Sex is No Laughing Matter (6pm)
4/2 Winds of September - Hong Kong (7:15pm)
4/4 Love is Elsewhere (6pm)
4/6 Coffee or Tea (6pm)
4/12 A Brighter Summer Day (7pm)
4/13 Mahjong (5pm)

You can read all about the movies here.

All of the above are Asian films without reviews on LoveHKFilm.com. Quite obviously, this means two things:

1) If you want to kick my ass, now you know where I’ll be and when. I couldn’t make this any easier for you.

2) I may have to resort to the “800 words or less per review” rule I instituted during last fall’s Hong Kong Asian Film Festival. Hell, I may do that one better and go for a “600 words or less per review” rule, because there will be regular Hong Kong movies coming out alongside the above 21 movies. Who knows if I’ll survive the experience. If I do, that means more reviews for everyone. If not, that means I’ll have given up and the Internet will have one less self-proclaimed, questionably-qualified film reviewer. I see winners in either eventuality.

Regardless, I look forward to the fest, because seeing movies without expectations is much more enjoyable than seeing a film after being inundated with print and television advertising. Admittedly, I haven’t seen a lot of advertising yet for Playboy Cops, but the poster doesn’t inspire me with much confidence:

Yeah! We fight crime AND have fun!
They kick ass AND have fun. What could be better?

Managing expectations is the key to enjoying modern cinema. That didn’t help me much at Kung Fu Dunk, but everyone who I’ve talked to about the film enjoyed it a lot more than I did, with some of them actually saying, “After listening to you, I expected the worst, but it wasn’t that bad!” I’ve also had similar responses after lending people my copy of D-War. It could be our new tagline:

LoveHKFilm Banner
Lowering Expectations Since 2002

Anyway, we’ll see if we can handle our March-April workload. If we can, I’d consider it an achievement. In the meantime, I’ll attempt to perfect the art of shorter blog posts, in order to keep this thing going on a semi-weekly to bi-weekly basis. And if worst comes to worst, I’ll just post funny pictures. I have tons of those.

Damn you, Edison!
“Dammit, Edison! I told you to exfoliate and hydrate
every other day! Now your skin is oily and improperly
balanced! You’ll never get rid of that shine now!”

Two down, two to go…plus a couple of holidays and other random crap

Happy Lunar New Year!

You should see their other photos
Former softcore pin-up girl with current hardcore pin-up guy

Oh wait, the above photo has THAT GUY in it! You know, the one who’s at the center of Hong Kong’s bizarre media circus that needs its own Wong Jing parody film. Frankly, the “thing involving the pictures that resemble people who’ve worked with Charlene Choi” is all anyone can talk about over here. I would add to the constant buzzing in your ears, but it’s still not over and it seems that I change my mind about it every single day. Maybe I’ll say something afterwards.

A week or so ago, I said I wouldn’t make fun of it because it involved criminal activity and frankly, I was tired of the media coverage. I’m still tired of it, but now the whole thing has escalated to the point where I have to make fun of it simply because it’s the only way I can deal with the constant barrage of news and gossip related to He Who Shall Not Be Named.

No, not Voldemort. I’m talking about this guy again.

He’s livin’ large.
“I’m a good person!”

Um…no, you’re not.

At this point, everyone will come out of this debacle looking bad, including the participants, the victims, the media, the police, and the overexcited and frankly overjudgmental public. I’d give everyone a giant raspberry, but it’s so cold that I feel drained of the required energy to complete such an action. Instead, I’m providing this picture to illustrate how I see the entire mess:

FIGHT!!!
I’m betting on the kangaroo.

Sudden subject change: some weeks ago, I blogged briefly about my Andy Lau concert experience. Basically, it consisted of me marveling at the man’s endless energy, willingness to put himself in danger, and his unparalleled pitchman abilities. The concert was fun, because Andy Lau was Andy Lau. Accept no substitutes.

You won’t find any pictures of me!
“Thanks, Kozo!”

However, Andy Lau’s concert was only the second I’ve attended in my three years since moving to Hong Kong. The first one was Sammi Cheng’s back in May. Actually, I’ve seen her in concert twice before in the states, so basically this latest Sammi concert I attended was just like old home week. The fact that Sammi and I have both aged adds to the metaphor.

I actually wrote a Life with Kozo column about my Sammi Cheng Hong Kong concert experience back in May 2007, but it never saw print because I never got around to posting it. It’s buried somewhere on my hard drive along with some, uh, pictures I don’t want anyone to see.

Ed the Player
These pants no longer contain any mysteries

Thankfully, I attended my third concert just recently. I lucked into a ticket to one of Jacky Cheung’s remaining concerts here in Hong Kong. Here are some shots from Yahoo HK:

Jacky Cheung sings
“This one’s for you people in the crappy seats!”

Jacky and two others
Only Jacky is allowed to wear a jacket.

 

Jacky said during the concert that the dancers were all masked in order to make him look better. Personally speaking, I don’t think Jacky is all that bad looking, though someone I once knew had him classified in the “ugly guy, good singer” category, the implication being that there’s a category called “pretty guy, bad singer.” You can figure out who goes into that category yourself.

But I enjoyed Jacky’s concert a bit more than Andy Lau’s, to be honest. Andy is pure entertainment, but as a singer, Jacky clearly wins. Also, I sat in the cheap seats so I had no choice but to appreciate Jacky for his vocal range and ability to act effeminate without ever threatening his manhood. The man is multi-talented.

A sample of my perspective that evening:

Where I sat
The lightsabers were free

Sadly, Jacky did not have a guest performer - which really sucked because I was expecting something like this:

Jacky and Jacky 2
The number of people in this photo also attended Nick Cheung’s last concert

Now that I’ve seen Jacky Cheung, I’ve officially attended concerts for two of the Sky Kings. That’s two down, and two to go. Who are the remaining two? Well, there’s this guy:

Leon drinking
He’s been at this all morning

And this guy:

Aaron and pal
Aaron Kwok and a, uh, Golden Horse

I’m actually betting that Mr. Golden Horse will be the next one I see. After all, Aaron Kwok does have a concert going on right now in Hong Kong. Maybe I’ll luck into some tickets, and hopefully he won’t wear something like this:

Greatest Photo Ever
Insert your own caption here

By the way, we just had Valentine’s Day here in Hong Kong. Two years ago on Valentine’s Day, I went and hung out with a friend - who we’ll call Mr. G - in Lan Kwai Fong. We went to a party attended by other single people who had no Valentine’s Day dates. I actually didn’t want to go, but I went as his wingman. I still paid for my own drinks.

The highlight of the evening came when he introduced me to a pretty girl who worked in Central. Mr. G said to her, “This guy runs a famous website! It’s all about Hong Kong movies!”

“Really,” she said. “About Hong Kong movies?”

“Yep,” was my reply. My beer was warm.

She arched an eyebrow. “But Hong Kong movies are shit.”

Kenichi Matsuyama will tell you how I felt:

You suck!
“You suck, Kozo.”

Being single is tough.

A final dating tip for all the guys. If you want to do well with the ladies, you need one of these:

Edison’s Tool of choice

Just learn how to repair it yourself.

Photo credits: Yahoo HK, Apple Daily, a borrowed digital camera, and my hard drive.

 
 
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