When I launched the What’s Sanney Watching? feature just before the Lunar New Year, I figured that it would be easy to maintain. Just write my brief comments in a text widget then cut and paste old entries onto an archive page when I write new entries. Well, it turns out that there are some annoying formatting issues with WordPress and maintaining the feature as I originally envisioned was more trouble than Cherie Chung in AN AUTUMN’S TALE. As I am, like Krusty the Clown, a “lazy, lazy man”, I’m turning What’s Sanney Watching? blurbs into blog entries with their own blog category.
Back when I did my old site, I resisted such automated archiving but that was when I had youthful vigour fueled by pills and cheap cocaine. Now, I’m just an old fart who doesn’t care if automated archiving brings society one step closer to Judgment Day and Skynet taking over humanity.
Here is the latest addition to What’s Sanney Watching? followed by the previous entries (in the future, you can access the feature by clicking on its blog category link):
March 4th, 2009: RUN PAPA RUN
A decent middle sandwiched in between an awkward opening and a highly questionable ending. I wonder if the film would have been better served if Sylvia Chang kept a consistent tone by either playing it straight or going totally surreal a la MEMORIES OF MATSUKO. The film requires some good will on the part of the audience so it’s probably only for fans of Sylvia Chang/Louis Koo/Rene Liu. General audiences may be put off by the offbeat opening and the muddled climax.
Nice to see veterans like Nora Miao, Max Mok Siu-Chung and Kent Cheng Jut-Si make appearances.
HKFA Watch: Louis Koo gives a nice performance but Nick Cheung is still, for me, the leader in the clubhouse for the Best Actor prize. We’ll see if he can hold on after I watch Donnie Yen in IP MAN later this week.
(SPOILER WARNING: Skip this section if you don’t want the ending of the movie spoiled.) Clearly, the silly, ambiguous, frou-frou ending was tacked on to appease Mainland censors and their “crime doesn’t pay” edict. If you’re going to go to such lengths to imply a happy ending, why not go a little further and have a scene where Rene Liu’s character gets a SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION-like blank postcard from some Thai beach town. Wouldn’t a hint like that offer a more satisfying conclusion than the “vision bestowed by God someplace, sometime, somewhere” ending? In both cases, you’re strongly implying a happy ending without explicitly showing it.
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February 28th, 2009: LEVERAGE Season 1, Episode 1 “The Nigerian Job”
A fun “honourable thieves” show that features amusing cons and capers. It has a very likeable cast that includes Gina “Crazy Jane” Bellman from COUPLING. This first episode has one of the best premise establishing lines I’ve heard in a while: “People like that, corporations like that, they have all the money, they have all the power. And they use it to make people like you go away. Right now, you’re suffering under an enormous weight. We provide leverage.”
A big thanks to reader Alex L. who recommended this show to me and generously sent me his DVD recordings of the first eight episodes because I mentioned previously that I liked BBC’s HUSTLE.
February 16th, 2009: TRUE WOMAN FOR SALE
While it has a smaller budget and a less glamourous cast than its predecessor WHISPERS AND MOANS, TRUE WOMAN FOR SALE is also less preachy and more enjoyable. Unlike the first film, it effectively shines a spotlight on some HK social issues without going overboard and making the audience feel like they are attending a lecture instead of watching a movie.
If I was the benevolent dictator of the HKFA, I would have nominated it for Best Film instead of CJ7. After all, the film is actually about HK so you think you might want to show it some love at the HONG KONG Film Awards. But then, you might not get Stephen Chow to show up for the ceremony.
February 15th, 2009: THE AMAZING RACE Season 14, Episode 1 “Don’t Let A Cheese Hit Me”
My favourite reality show is back for another season with a cast that seems mostly likeable. Based solely on the first episode, I think I’ll be cheering for the Asian-American brother-sister lawyer team, the stuntmen brothers and — because I’m a “mature” heterosexual male — the “mature” blonde flight attendants.
February 3rd, 2009: THE WRESTLER
I outgrew following professional wrestling long ago but, like a health conscious person who indulges in an occasional visit to Burger King, I’ll still watch WWE once in a while. After seeing this film, I think I’m done. With its brutal depiction of what the business does to its stars (I had to turn away from the screen a couple of times during the hardcore match sequence), the movie gives you insight on why so many wrestlers have died way before their time.
Mickey Rourke gives a good performance but it doesn’t feel like an outstanding, blow-your-mind, award-winning type of performance. If he wins the Oscar, it’ll probably be because of his “comeback” story more than anything he did in his portrayal of Randy The Ram.
February 2nd, 2009: ROLE MODELS
Saw this for $3 at the second-run theatre. Amusing comedy. Not as good as THE 40 YEAR-OLD VIRGIN or SUPERBAD but it still offered some laughs and, for the guys, some eye candy. A decent salve for the emptiness caused by the NFL season concluding with yesterday’s Super Bowl.
January 23rd, 2009: THE WAY WE ARE
Wonderful, wonderful film. I hope this picks up a bunch of hardware in April though God forbid the Hong Kong Film Awards recognize a film that’s actually about Hong Kong. I’ll probably be writing a post about this movie as the awards approach.
January 16th, 2009: FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS Season 3, Episode 1 “I Knew You When”
Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose! FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS is back without the murders and Guatemalan home care nurses that marred the second season. It’s great to see Coach and Mrs. Coach again. Go Panthers! Let’s go to State!
January 9th, 2009: HUSTLE Series 5, Episode 1 “Return of the Prodigal”
Mickey Bricks is back in London and the con is on once again. Kelly Adams is H-O-T and, to my great surprise, making me forget all about Jaime Murray/Stacie Monroe. Though I miss seeing Marc Warren/Danny Blue, the two new members of the crew are an improvement over Billy who served basically to just reverse the Danny-Mickey dynamic.
January 2nd, 2009: THROWDOWN
I had this on my “to watch” pile back in 2004-2005 but I got sick so I didn’t get around to watching it until now. What a treat. I wished that I would have seen this great movie about having a positive attitude in life (積極人生) before my cancer. Hearing Paula Tsui Siu-Fung belt out that theme song from SUGATA SANSHIRO again brought back some fond memories and had me going through my late Uncle Kwok-Hung’s old tapes looking for it.