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Musings from the Edge of Forever

Note: This blog expresses only the opinions of the blog owner,
and does not represent the opinion of any organization or blog
that is associated with RONIN ON EMPTY.

Archive for the ‘Francis Ng’ Category

The Good, The Lazy, N’ The Crazy


I was gonna make a new feature called “ Time Machine,” but seeing as how pretty much every Hong Kong film I talk about in this blog is going to be something that’s already on DVD, I decided to scrap the idea altogether. Besides, I’ve got enough new features every week on this now almost-daily updated blog, so why bother adding  a category that isn’t necessary?

The inaugural Time Machine post was going to focus on Crazy N’ the City, so here it is sans categorization.

Crazy N’ the City did not make my top list of Hong Kong Films of the 2000s, but with good reason — I hadn’t seen it. I know I’m a movie reviewer by trade, but some films simply slip through the cracks, especially stuff that comes out in another country altogether. The year Crazy N’ the City came out, I’m pretty sure I was regularly watching Korean romantic comedies and horror films (don’t ask) instead of my beloved Hong Kong cinema. Well, I finally saw the film awhile back, and I can now say that I totally understand why Kozo and the Readers ranked it so high. I don’t know where I’d rate it, but I really liked it, all the same.


Laugh Riot Encore: Herman Yau’s TURNING POINT

Turning Ppint

What is the point of a prequel? Is it meant to flesh out the backstory of a popular character in order to understand how he or she came to be the hero or villain audiences have come to love? Or is it merely a crassly commercial move made to capitalize on the success of a character or series that has probably run its course, but just might have enough juice left to make a few bucks at the box office? I don’t think it’s necessarily an either/or proposition.

Still, there’s a tendency to roll one’s eyes at the mere mention of a prequel (a film trend that is already being supplanted in Hollywood by the reboot — see the back-to-basics Spider-Man 4 for evidence of that). Let’s call it “prequel fatigue.” After all, the most anticipated prequels, if not films of all time were Star Wars: Episodes I-III, which after all that fanfare, ended up disappointing both die-hard and casual fans alike. Of course, not all prequels are bad, but for every one Infernal Affairs 2, there are dozens of shoddy “origin” flicks like Hannibal Rising (Lecter was a samurai!) and Butch and Sundance: The Early Days (Who needs Newman and Redford? We got the Greatest American Hero and the Substitute!).

Why do prequels often suck? Well, sometimes they tell us a story we already know, so there’s no dramatic tension. We’re basically just watching a movie go through the motions to reach a predetermined outcome. At least with Star Wars, there was a central mystery to be uncovered — what made Anakin Skywalker  turn to the Dark Side and become Darth Vader? And as we all found out, it was something we never anticipated: yep, mass genocide was a direct result of everybody calling him “Annie” all the time. But I digress. The point I’m trying to make here is that sometimes prequels just can’t live up to the originals.

(more…) Copyright © 2002-2023 Ross Chen