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Archive for the ‘Top Hong Kong Films of the 90s’ Category

Top 50 Hong Kong Movies of the Nineties - Voting now open!

Happy Lunar New Year! This photo is from last year, but Stephy Tang wants to wish you a great Year of the Ox Tiger.

“This year, I want to play a smart person!”

She can do it! You go, Stephy!

Anyway, there’s a lot coming up for Hong Kong movies and this year, but we’ll start by partying like it’s 1999. Late last year, we completed a reader vote for the Top 50 Hong Kong Films of the Aughts. Even though it’s only February 2010, we’re going to be running yet another reader vote.

“Really, again? Can’t you try
something a little more original?”

We pretty much like to run things into the ground around here. Sorry, Fiona.

In the second of’s intermittent, poorly scheduled reader votes we’re asking for site readers to help select the Top 50 Hong Kong Films of the Nineties. By readers, we mean everyone: teenagers, sixty year-old retirees, single mothers, agoraphobic technophiles, and even Donnie Yen. You all have an equal say.

Tony China
“You’re going to vote for all my movies, right?
Don’t forget about COME FLY THE DRAGON!”

We’ll run this vote in a much more relaxed fashion than the last one, as timeliness is not an issue. It’s not like the nineties are going anywhere. To participate, please follow these handy rules:

  1. Use the Contact Form to send a list of your top films from the years 1990-1999.
  2. You may list either 10 or 20 films* on your vote, and order them with #1 being the top-rated film and #10 or #20 being at back of the pack.
  3. Please print in the subject line of your email “TOP 90s MOVIES”.
  4. It’s optional, but you can write a few sentences or words about your faves. We may end up using them when the results are published.
  5. Send in your votes by end of day on February 28th. I’m not pushing the whole GMT, PST, EST thing so there’s some leeway. As long as I don’t get your vote on March 2nd, you’l be fine.

*The big asterisk is here to explain why we’re letting you rank 10 or 20 films for your list. Simply put, a ton of movies came out during the nineties, and people may want to list more than just 10. If that’s your deal, go ahead and list 20.

However, please note that this WILL make a difference for the points that your films get. If you vote for only 10, then #1 gets 10 points and #10 gets 1 point. However, if you vote for 20 films, then #1 gets 10 points, #2 gets 9.5 points, and so on. To illustrate, a #10 film gets 5.5 points, and #20 gets 0.5 points. Voting for 20 films means 1/2 point steps between each films, as opposed to the 1 point step between each film.

Are you getting this? Probably not, but rest assured it’s all being done to make this vote even more complex for me to run. I’m all about doing things the hard way.

“I know you’re voting for my films,
so I won’t even act like I care. I shouldn’t
even bother to make movies. Just hand me cash
and we can cut out the middleman.”

Now, which films qualify? During the last vote, the question “What is a Hong Kong film?” was quite tricky. There were foreign co-productions, Pan-Asian casts, movies with Jude Law, etc. It got kind of messy.

However, identifying qualifying films is much easier for this vote as the nineties were a simpler time. Aside from more appearances by Michael Wong and Chingmy Yau, few if any films from the nineties qualified as foreign co-productions. Here are the simplified rules:

  1. The film has to be from Hong Kong and released theatrically during the years 1990-1999.
  2. Not a single Zhang Yimou film qualifies for this vote. Sorry.
  3. If Chen Kaige is your 5th generation director of choice, you may only vote for TEMPRESS MOON.
  4. RUSH HOUR, THE REPLACEMENT KILLERS, and any John Woo film after 1992 do not count.
  5. Is Jean-Claude Van Damme in the movie? Then it doesn’t count.
  6. All series can only be voted for via their individual entries, e.g. the YOUNG AND DANGEROUS movies do not count as a vote. You have to vote for YOUNG AND DANGEROUS, YOUNG AND DANGEROUS 2, and SEXY AND DANGEROUS as separate films. The exception: CHINESE ODYSSEY 1 and CHINESE ODYSSEY 2 can count as a single film.
  7. If you’re curious if a film qualifies or not, feel free to ask in the blog comments. I’ll say “yes”, “no” or “nice try, buddy.”

There, totally simple. The most important rule is this one, though: HAVE FUN. You don’t have to select the most award-worthy or acclaimed films - you can just choose movies that you enjoy. As such, I expect to see appearances on this vote from BOYS ARE EASY, SATAN RETURNS, I’M YOUR BIRTHDAY CAKE and, of course, GIRLS UNBUTTON. Loletta Lee fans, this is your time.

Loletta Lee
This is the only Loletta Lee picture on my
hard drive where she’s wearing clothes.

If you can’t figure out what movies came out when, uh, sorry. There are some online resources that you can use, however, including a downloadable PDF from the Hong Kong Film Archive which lists every film up to 2006. The nineties comprise 99 out of 749 pages, so happy reading. Thanks to Tim Youngs and Kevin Ma for pointing me in its direction!

Alternately, you can use the Awards Archives on to jog your memory of films released during the nineties. Also, you can visit the handy database at Hong Kong Cinemagic, where you can sort by year to figure out what came out when.

Results will be up sometime in March! I’m hoping for a similar turnout to last time. However, if the results are as diverse as I hope they are, I may expand this whole Top 50 thing to a full Top 100.  As usual, tell your friends and enemies to participate to make it this a more comprehensive, interesting and/or exciting vote. Hopefully, the results will better introduce people to recommended films than the incredible denseness of the site review archive. That would be nice anyway.

Vote early to support nineties-era Ekin!

Ekin Bunny
During the nineties, Ekin Cheng was
more popular than this stuffed bunny.
Now the reverse is true. Copyright © 2002-2021 Ross Chen