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The third and final installment in the “Overheard” franchise boasts a timely, intriguing subject: the corruption and controversy surrounding the real-estate development of Hong Kong’s New Territories. With their skillful dialogue and direction, “Infernal Affairs” writers Felix Chong and Alan Mak keep individual scenes strikingly vital and engrossing throughout. But the venality and betrayal on display here become so predictably ubiquitous — and the characters so numerous, intertwined and underdeveloped — that the twists eventually lose their dramatic impact, and the film its forward momentum. A blockbuster at home, “Overheard 3” may remain a cult item outside Asia.
No familiarity with the two previous “Overheard” films is needed to appreciate the third: Aside from an emphasis on surveillance, the universality of greed and malfeasance, and the presence of star thesps Louis Koo, Sean Lau and Daniel Wu (playing completely different roles from film to film), nothing narratively links the three installments. »
- Ronnie Scheib
Having achieved cinematic success both separately and as a team, Alan Mak and Felix Chong came to the New York Asian Film Festival to introduce their latest codirecting collaboration, the cyber-surveillance thriller, Overheard 3. I sat down for a chat with the men responsible for Confession of Pain, The Silent War and my all-time favourite Hong Kong film, Infernal Affairs.The Lady Miz Diva: You're here to present Overheard 3. What was the inspiration behind the Overheard series?Alan Mak: Over six years ago, we started our own production company and then we wrote the story of Overheard 1, but at that time in Hong Kong, there was no one to invest in good movies, so we picked another comedy. No one wanted to invest. And then...
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2012's The Raid came with a flurry of fanfare following a series of festival screenings touting it as a masterpiece of action cinema. Written and directed by Gareth Evans the film no doubt featured some impressive action choreography, but the story was non-existent to the point of boredom. That said, to say my expectations for The Raid 2 were limited is an understatement. When I saw it runs two-and-a-half hours my interest dwindled even more, expecting to see it, if ever, on Blu-ray. Well, I did and I'm very glad I did, proving expectations can sometimes cause you to miss something great. The immediate comparison here is to say The Raid 2 is to The Raid what Infernal Affairs 2 is to Infernal Affairs, but that's to give The Raid too much credit. The comparison to Infernal Affairs 2 alone, however, is apt. The two films follow somewhat similar storylines, »
- Brad Brevet
Cinelicious Pics has acquired North American rights to director/writer/producer Anurag Kashyaps' ambitious Indian crime epic "Gangs of Wasseypur," hailed as the "Infernal Affairs," "Godfather" and "City of God" of India. The film is produced by "The Lunchbox"'s Guneet Monga. Here's the synopsis of this brutal, anti-Bollywood film, which currently has 100% on the Tomatometer: Gangs Of Wasseypur is Anurag Kashyap’s ambitious and extraordinary blood-and-bullets fueled crime saga that charts seventy years in the lives – and spectacular deaths – of two mafia-like families fighting for control of the coal-mining town of Wasseypur, India. Inspired by the real-life exploits of local gangs and beginning with the bandit-like career of Shahid Khan (Jaideep Ahlawat) in the 1940s, the film follows the ruthless rise of his son Sardar (a brilliant Manoj Bajpayee) and his offspring, the surreally-named Danish, Perpendicular and Definitive Khans and »
- Ryan Lattanzio
It's time for another of Madman's massive giveaway competitions, and this month we have three prize packs for you to get your hands on! They are:1) Berserk Prize Pack: Berserk trilogy on DVD or Blu-ray (pictured above)2) Andy Lau Prize Pack: Firestorm and Infernal Affairs trilogy on DVD (pictured below)3) Sci-fi/Fantasy Prize Pack: Enemy, Angel-a, Real and 009-1: The End of the Beginning on DVD (pictured below)For each of the prize packs, all you have to do is follow these two steps:1) Tell me in 25 words or less, which of the movies in the prize pack you want to see the most and why, and 2) Email to me at: hugo[at]twitchfilm.net- Your answer- Your name- Your postal address- And your choice of DVD or Blu-ray...
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★★☆☆☆From Andrew Lau, the renowned director of Infernal Affairs (2002), comes The Guillotines (2012), an erratic wuxia epic that struggles to conjoin the steampunk weapon-play of its elaborate and explosive overture, with the theatrically tedious staging of the historical epic which follows. Set during China's Manchurian-ruled Qing Dynasty, the visual spectacle of The Guillotines frantic opening soon gives way to a tale of brotherhood and the societal consequences of China's shift from traditionalism to modernity. An incredibly stylish introduction sees sparks fly and heads roll as the eponymous assassins demonstrate the ferocity of their serrated blades and decapitating metallic discs.
- CineVue UK
Nyaff 2014 runs June 27-July 14 in New York City, and The White Storm plays today (6/29) at 2:50 pm at Walter Reade Theater. Tin (Lau Ching-wan) and Wai (Nick Cheung) are detectives in the Hong Kong police’s narcotics department, and after years of investigation they’re about to make a major arrest. Just as they’re busting in the doors though they get word from above to halt the operation as the opportunity to nab a much bigger fish has become available. The cops are understandably frustrated, but none more so than Chow (Louis Koo) who’s been undercover in the criminal organization for two years and desperately wants to return to his wife. He’s coerced into staying on the job through a combination of duty and guilt-tripping, and soon the new investigation leads them to Thailand and their new target, a man named Eight-faced Buddha (Lo Hoi-pang) who’s far more cautious and dangerous than they »
- Rob Hunter
Director: Andrew Lau
Running Time: 108 Minutes
The director of the phenomenal Infernal Affairs brings us The Guillotines, a kind of true story which mixes action, unbearable conflict, and social commentary. Actually scratch that, it doesn’t so much mix them as it does just clump it all together in a frustratingly uneven film that continuously changes pace and purpose.
The Guillotines tells the tale of the eponymous assassins controlled by the emperor. With times a changing the group are sent on a mission, only to find themselves the prey for greater hunters once they are betrayed by those they once trusted. It’s the usual story of betrayal, and it’s something that could have actually been quite powerful, were it not for the fact that characters are indistinguishable from one another. »
- Luke Ryan Baldock
In today's world of studio movie making, let's face it, it's all about franchising. It's all about the sequels. In fact, this weekend we have two sequels hitting theaters in 22 Jump Street and How to Train Your Dragon 2. The first is a comedy sequel and it's receiving great reviews, despite the fact comedies rarely have good sequels. The second has the potential to be one of the biggest movies of the summer and perhaps the biggest animated movie of 2014. Whyc Sequels sell and if they're good they sell even more. That said, last week I started considering the sequels that were actually better than the original film in any given franchise. This isn't a question of what are the best sequelsc (I've already made that list.) Instead, what sequels managed to exceed the quality and entertainment of the film(s) that came before them. In this sense I have »
- Brad Brevet
The $30m Chinese-language film will star Bai Baihe (Personal Tailor), Kai Ko (You Are The Apple Of My Eye) and Jiang Wu (A Touch of Sin).
Based on the supernatural classic Strange Tales From A Chinese Studio, the film will feature Woba, a CGI protagonist who is the last of the monster kings embroiled in a war with humans that has lasted generations. His quest is to bring unity to the two races with the help of characters played by Bai and Ko.
“We give this classic tale a new spin by reducing the horror element and reinventing it with family-friendly fantastical characters and settings in an epic style,” said Hui.
- email@example.com (Jean Noh)
Based on a story from supernatural collection “Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio,” the film is budgeted at $30 million and backed by Hong Kong’s Edko Films.
Set in a fictional world where humans have raged war against monster for generations, the story begins with the birth of Woba, the last royal bloodline of the monster king, and centers on his quest to bring unity to the two races. “We give this classic tale a new spin by reducing the horror element and reinventing it with family-friendly fantastical characters and settings in an epic style,” said Hui at a press event in Beijing.
While the central character Woba will be entirely CGI, the human cast includes Bai Baihe (“Personal Tailor”) and Kai »
- Patrick Frater
Overheard 3 is the latest thriller from Alan Mak and Felix Chong, the directing duo that brought us the first two Overheard films and (together with Andrew Lau) the Infernal Affairs trilogy. Like the previous two films in the franchise, Overheard 3 again stars Lau Ching Wan, Louis Koo and Daniel Wu. It is due to be released in Australian cinemas on May 29, and thanks to its distributor Magnum Films, we have Five double passes to give away. For a chance to win, all you have to do is to follow these two steps:1) Like the Magnum Film Facebook page, and2) Email your name and postal address to me at: hugo[at]twitchfilm.netThe competition will close at 3pm on May 27. -- Good luck!You can find out more...
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I didn't have time to write a review, but if you've watched this week's Firewall & Iceberg video show, you know I like Fox's "Gang Related." "Gang Related" comes on strong with a confidence that you don't expect to see from a show premiering a week after the network upfront season. The pilot, written by Chris Morgan and directed by Allen Hughes, is brash, explosive and features a strong cast ably chewing scenery. It is, in short, like a summer movie only on TV. As often happens with the transition from pilots to series, subsequent episodes maybe don't have quite the same scale, but they still offer tight pacing, terrific use of La locations and an interestingly twisty narrative focusing on Ryan Lopez (Ramon Rodriguez), a cop torn between his gang task force and the gang family (fronted by Cliff Curtis' Javier Acosta) that raised him. With most of Morgan's »
- Daniel Fienberg
John Chong co-founded Media Asia in 1994 and during his 18-year tenure produced such Hong Kong classics as The Infernal Affairs trilogy (the basis for Martin Scorsese’s The Departed), Initial D and the Wachowski siblings’ Cloud Atlas. He left in 2012 to join veteran producer Raymond Wong’s Pegasus Motion Pictures as CEO. An avid reader and hiker, the 55-year-old Chong — who recently published a collection of essays on the film industry in Hong Kong and China titled The Way of Light and Shadow — opened up to THR about Pegasus’ venture into the exhibition business
- Karen Chu
See Channing Tatum go rogue this Saturday on Reelz
It's exciting to watch TV shows and movies where the police officers doggedly pursue every lead and put together a by-the-book, airtight case to bring the bad guys to justice. But, it's often far more thrilling to watch the exploits of cops who toss the book out the window and go rogue in pursuit of justice. Sometimes cops go rogue because they work in a corrupt department, but usually they're just guys who know that they can't get the job done by playing by the rules.
What we want to know is which movie has the best rogue cop. Turn on your police scanner, grab a donut and help us choose the movie cops who make going rogue look good. For more rogue-cop action, be sure to watch Son of No One starring Channing Tatum Saturday on Reelz at 8p Et/ 5p Pt. »
- BJSprecher Sprecher
Hong Kong producer to be the recipient of the Best Independent Producer Award.
The 67th Locarno Film Festival (August 6-16) is to pay tribute to Hong Kong producer Nansun Shi, as the recipient of the Premio Raimondo Rezzonico for Best Independent Producer.
A key player on the Asian film scene for more than three decades, Nansun Shi has contributed to the international success of Hong Kong cinema through her work with the Cinema City studio and subsequently with the Film Workshop, which she co-founded with producer and director Tsui Hark in 1984.
“Following Margaret Ménégoz, we are delighted to pay tribute to the career of another female producer, an independent, persistent and courageous personality,” said Carlo Chatrian, the festival’s artistic director.
“Nansun Shi had the ability to shepherd the careers of a wide range of directors, and to pursue a personal trajectory within the constantly changing world of Hong Kong cinema.”
The most significant »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
Stars: Paul Walker, David Belle, RZA, Gouchy Boy, Catalina Denis, Ayisha Issa, Carlo Rota, Andreas Apergis, Richard Zeman, Robert Maillet, Bruce Ramsay | Written by Luc Besson, Bibi Naceri | Directed by Camille Delamarre
Hollywood remaking a foreign film is far from a new phenomenon, and adaption in this manner has yielded some truly great films. We have seen such successes like Seven Samurai transformed into The Magnificent Seven, and Infernal Affairs altered into The Departed.
On the other hand, there are movies like Brick Mansions. This remake of the Luc Besson / Pierre Morel French parkour action fest District B13 has much in common with the original including plot structure, action sequences, and even shares one of the co-leads. What it lacks is energy, craftsmanship, and originality. Fans of the original have little reason to examine this new take, and those coming in fresh will also find it difficult enjoy this tired dud of an action movie. »
- Dan Clark
Rome — Celebrated Hong Kong producer Nansun Shi is to be given the Raimondo Rezzonico Prize by the Locarno Film Festival in August this year.
The festival (Aug 6-16, 2014) described Shi as a “key player on the Asian film scene for over three decades” and said that it will play a selection of her films.
Her best-known credits include the “Once Upon a Time in China” (1991-1997) series, John Woo’s “A Better Tomorrow” (1986), “Detective Dee: Mystery of the Phantom Flame” (2010) “Flying Swords of Dragon Gate” (2011)– both with husband Tsui Hark (pictured right) — and the “Infernal Affairs” trilogy.
“Nansun Shi has made a decisive contribution to the international success of Hong Kong cinema through her work with the Cinema City studio and subsequently with the Film Workshop, which she co-founded with producer and director Tsui Hark in 1984,” the festival said.
Unusually, Shi has also sat on both the Cannes and Berlin main competition juries. »
- Patrick Frater
“3D Naked Ambition” is the stuff of male fantasy: A wussy Hong Kong man stumbles into Japan’s adult video (Av) industry and becomes a superstar. Yet, even with a crew of bona fide porn actresses strutting around, helmer Lee Kung-lok’s sex farce is more of a flamboyant floorshow for comedian Chapman To to hone his simpatico-sleazebag persona than anything hardcore or even erotic, serving up a spoof of Av conventions spiced with smutty schoolboy humor and film/pop-culture references. Local B.O. continues to firm up after the pic raked in $1.5 million in 11 days, despite being rated Category III (for audiences over 18). Festivals and Asian fanboys may be aroused by this curio, notwithstanding some sexist, racist undertones.
- Maggie Lee
Hollywood likes nothing better than to do its own version of Asian movies. But occasionally it happens the other way around
There's a long history of Hollywood plundering Asian cinema and churning out an English-language remake. Occasionally it's a process that will produce a classic such as The Magnificent Seven (based on Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai) or at least something as interesting as Martin Scorsese's The Departed (based on Hong Kong cop thriller Infernal Affairs). More often than not, though, it's an unsatisfying cinematic experience such as Spike Lee's recent take on the cult Korean revenge thriller Oldboy, Nic Cage's Bangkok Dangerous, or the endless stream of not-quite-as-scary horrors including Dark Water, The Eye, The Ring or The Grudge.
And it's nearly always a one-way street probably because Hollywood blockbusters have reasonable global distribution, so there's a good chance that audiences around the world will have already seen them, »
- Richard Vine
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