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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 ‘Tsui Hark’ Category

Great Moments in Hong Kong Cinema #2: The Final Gun Battle in A BETTER TOMORROW 2

ABT2

Periodically, Ronin on Empty will be taking a look back at some Hong Kong cinema classics, albeit with a specific emphasis on “Great Moments” — i.e. classic scenes that no Hong Kong cinema fan (old or new) should miss. Of course, “classic” will not only entail super-cool, gobsmacking moments, but also the downright ridiculous stuff, too. The numbers — #1, #2, etc. — are not indicators of ranking, but merely a way to keep a running tally of how many “great moments” we can list here. Readers are welcome to send in their own fave scenes as well.

A Better Tomorrow 2 is not exactly a great film. Aside from Chow Yun-Fat’s “EAT THE RICE!” scene (itself a candidate for a “Great Moment” retrospective), there’s not many memorable moments in the film’s first half. For the most part, A Better Tomorrow 2 seems like a dud, as it doesn’t quite live up to the dizzying heights of its illustrious predecessor. But thankfully, that initial disappointment evaporates the moment the film enters the climax. Almost immediately, director John Woo and producer Tsui Hark are pretty much forgiven for what came before.

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The Best of the Rest, The Best of the Worst

Compiling a top ten list of the decade’s best movies is tough work. There are a ton of great Hong Kong films out there, and some just couldn’t make the cut on so short a list. To compensate for any perceived oversights, I’ve decided to list choices #11-#25. I’m certain that some of my picks might be a little unorthodox or downright surprising, but I’m just going to have to follow my gut here, folks — critical or reader consensus against me be damned.

BEST OF THE REST

Timeandtide

11. Time and Tide (2000) — I unabashedly love this movie, and it came very close to making the top ten. Whatever hesitancy I had in embracing Nicholas Tse as a leading man disappeared completely thanks to this movie, as his little brother/big brother chemistry with rugged rock n’ roller Wu Bai (who provides a killer soundtrack) is just part of what makes this movie so good. The other part is the action — in particular, that breathless, suspense-filled sequence that makes up a good chunk of the film’s second half. I’m hard pressed to forget that pulse-pounding tenement assault or the decidedly unconventional baby delivery sequence that caps the film. Time and Tide is an action fan’s dream, and, the last great Tsui Hark movie (so far) – and yeah, I saw Seven Swords.

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