Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Capsule Reviews 8/11/10
A quadruple feature today of films I saw on VCDs which I picked up in Chinatown for a buck. Three are crime films, one is an episode from a horror anthology series. The first two star one of my most favorite actors Anthony Wong who pretty much can do anything. They are of decidedly second or third tier films but enjoyable in a completely undemanding sort of way.
Typical (in a good way) crime comedy drama about the attempted theft of twin jewels. The film stars Anthony Wong as a cop in charge of the investigation who slightly bumbles his way through some of the events. I enjoyed it in a mindless "this is not going to stick to my memory" sort of way. Of course I do have to admit that on the night I watched this it was the last film of last night and I drifted in and out on it. Worth a shot whether you're sleepy or not.
Anthony Wong is a sweet shnook who walks the fine line between being honest and a crook often falling over. When he blunders through a robbery and is killed he comes back as a ghost haunting a cellphone repair guy, forcing him to help him get revenge. Amusing comedy isn't high art but is okay time killer. The problem is that just as you really warm to Wong the film shifts.and a new central character, less charming, takes center stage.
This one had subtitles but being able to understand what was going on wasn’t really a plus. (Sometimes its better not to know). The plot is a typical cops vs super crook plot line that’s been done to death especially in Hong Kong. Lots of chases and shoot outs and it all looks exactly like every other cop movie to come out of Hong Kong. The film is a generic as they come and is even more unimaginative then most of the program westerns that were cranked out of Hollywood in the 1930’s and 40’s in look. (At least the westerns had the excuse that there were only one or two towns they could use for a backdrop, but here they had a whole city and they used locations that seem to have been picked based on how often they had been used elsewhere. The film is not bad, its just that unless you’ve never seen a Hong Kong cop film, odds are you’ll have seen this one (or something that looks awfully like it).
CITY HORROR: EVIL SPIRIT
This is part of a TV series of hour long episodes (City Horror is the series name). This one has a woman returning to her home village to make a documentary and running into the spirit of a dead girl who was tormented when she was a kid. Good but wholly unremarkable tale seems to be better than the reputation of the series which I had heard was terrible. Worth a look if you see it, though a dollar for the single 50+ minute episode is about right