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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.

My Top Hong Kong Films of the 1990s

 LoveAndy

With the official LoveHKFilm.com reader poll on the Top Hong Kong Films of the 1990s now complete, I thought I might as well share my own top choices with everyone. The moment this poll was announced, I scribbled down what amounted to about  twenty-five or so 90s era Hong Kong films that I absolutely loved or really, really liked. After consulting our archive and recommendation lists to make sure a really wonderful movie hadn’t completely slipped my mind, I whittled the list down to twenty choices and sent them in to Kozo. Of course, there are so many films to choose from, so even personal faves like Lost and Found and Rave Fever got cut out in the process. Before I begin, let me be clear about one thing, I had ZERO desire to create a list that would be considered as “representative” of the decade. That’s a tactic  we often see in random magazine and website top ten lists (I’m looking at you, Entertainment Weekly), as a few “respectable choices” are mindlessly tacked on to add some air of legitimacy. Well, NONE of my choices were made because I thought I should fulfill somebody else’s expectations of what a top ten (or twenty in my case) list should look like. I went with my head, my heart, and my gut.

The last time I composed a top ten list, I chose to do a countdown. I did so for at least three reasons: 1) I was modeling it after current AICN and former CHUD.com critic, Jeremy “Mr. Beaks” Smith’s ambitious Top 100 Films of the Decade countdown, 2) a LoveHKFilm.com’s reader’s poll countdown was already under way, and I thought that readers might be interested to know if my picks coincided with their own, in anticipation of the final ten, and 3) it seemed like writing and posting about my choices in piecemeal fashion made a lot more sense than crafting an overlong and unwieldy blog post that nobody would want to read. Sounds logical enough, right?

Well, this time around, I’m going to do things a little differently. Not only is the 90s readers’ poll long over, but I just really don’t have a desire to write about every movie that I chose with the same level of depth. Instead of a countdown, I’m gonna just lay it all out here and then talk about some of the films in separate blog posts.

My choices:

1. Comrades, Almost a Love Story (1996)
2. Once Upon a Time in China 2 (1992)
3. Hard Boiled (1992)
4. Drunken Master 2 (1994)
5. Chungking Express (1994)
6. Police Story III: Supercop (1992)
7. Days of Being Wild (1990)
8. Fong Sai-Yuk (1993)
9. Fist of Legend (1994)
10. Swordsman 2 (1992)
11. Ashes of Time (1994)
12. The Tai-Chi Master (1992)
13. Once Upon a Time in China (1991)
14. The Bride With White Hair (1993)
15. The Mission (1999)
16. Chinese Odyssey 1 and 2 (1995)
17. King of Comedy (1999)
18. Happy Together (1997)
19. God of Cookery (1996)
20. Once Upon a Time in China III (1993)

As you can see Stephen Chow, the box office king of the 1990s, didn’t crack the top ten, but three of his films (four, depending on how you count) did make my list — I like ‘em, but I don’t have much to say about ‘em. Johnnie To’s The Mission ranks up there, although probably not as high To fanboys might think. And as far as The Bride with White Hair is concerned, well, my thoughts are summed up here in a review I wrote during my first year here at the site.

There are too many great movies from the 1990s to mention, as the Top 100 list clearly demonstrates. For the most part, I stand by my choices, although I do have one regret: I should have voted for Once Upon a Time in China V instead of Once Upon a Time in China III.

*     *     *

Part 1: Tian Mi Mi
Part 2: Once Upon a Time in the Cinema
Part 3: Jackie Chan, Man of Action
Part 4: A Cop Named Tequila
Part 5: WKW is A-OK
Part 6: Epilogue

5 Responses to “My Top Hong Kong Films of the 1990s”

  1. CeeFu Says:

    Ok, what’s up with the To fanboy stuff? Must one be a fanboy to like Johnnie To? What about the ladies? :)

  2. Sanjuro Says:

    Ok, fangirls, too! :-)

  3. laicheukpan Says:

    Fun read

  4. b3n1 Says:

    Agree with you Ronin, Jet Lee is the best in the 90’s. I missed all his works in the 90’s. In my opinion, Once Upon A Time in China 3 is better than 5, who else can replace Jet Lee as Wong Fei Hung?

  5. ray Says:

    yeah I agree with you on most of these choices…there are a few I haven’t seen. I agree, Jet Li was pretty awesome, and in the 90’s when I got “hard-core,” I was in middle school and high school so I even liked his “lesser” movies, like…High Risk hahaha! (I cant remember the name, there was one where he was paired with a little kid, and they did combo moves, like Jet would throw the kid like a yo-yo!)

    My personal list would definitly include more Stephen Chow, because after a while, his movies would always end up in my VCR. “Love on Delivery” and “From Beijing with Love” come immediately to mind.

    As for WKW, I did not get those at the time. I was all psyched as a teen to watch “Ashes of Time” as a teen, but I was so confused as to what was going on! I definitly need to rewatch those one day.

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