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Anything Else (2003)
Woody does it again! **Spoilers***
27 September 2003
Warning: Spoilers
I just finished viewing Anything Else. I did have an assumption before I viewed the movie. I read a lot of reviews saying that Woody is just repeating himself, but you know what? It doesn't matter.

What a lot of Woody Allen's films such as Manhattan, Annie Hall, and Hannah and Her sisters deal with neurotic couples doing many neurotic things. But in a sense we're all everyone is a little neurotic in life and that's what Woody is such a great filmmaker. His films are almost a slice of life and you just relate to them.

This film has the usual Woody trademarks such as Nazi bashing, a character is a writer of some sort, and the great one liners. There is a shades of Manhattan with Christina Ricci's character whom the main character played by Jason Biggs, dumps his previous happy relationship and starts a almost nutty relationship. Then of course there's the device where the main character talks directly to the camera just like Woody does in Annie Hall.

But with all these, it also felt new. Woody's character is more of the mentor type. It's almost like his character is talking to his younger self through Jason Biggs. Speaking of Jason Biggs, it fits the typical woody allen character without impersonating him like what Kenneth Branaugh did in Celebrity. The dialogue is classic woody and the cast is just fantastic to watch.

But yeah I really enjoyed this film. You really have to have a taste for Woody Allen to enjoy this. For example, Well I did see a couple of teenage girls that looked like they're from the "American Pie" crowd walk out of the theater after 20 minutes.
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Full Frontal (2002)
From an aspring filmmaker myself....I loved this film
7 August 2002
Personally I think this film is for film students and the movie buff type audience. Well I loved it. There wasn't much of a plot, it's kind of like watching a documentary. But I think what made this film enjoyable was the resolution, you can say that most of the film was just a big build up to the resolution. I guess it's how "Sex, Lies, and Videotape" was like, what made that film worthwhile was the resolution of everything. Overall the acting was good and realistic, I'm not much of a Julia Roberts fan, but her performance was satisfactory. But the character I think I love the most is of course Nicky Katt's character Hitler!

Now for my opinion for this film being shot with a Digital Video Camera. I remember reading Roger Ebert's review saying this film looked like a student film. Personally I don't care too much about the quality of the pic, yeah digtial video transferred to film does look like crap compared to 35mm. As you have a good story, good acting, and whatever you shoot it with, it can work. There are benefits of shooting in digital video, it's a lot cheaper and there's more of the run and gun style of filmmaking and the process if a lot faster. All I have to say is whatever works.

Soderbergh proves that you can make a film regardless on how you make it. Just as long as there is a good story, good acting, and good direction. Ebert called this a Student Film. If Soderbergh decided to direct a science fiction film in his backyard with his kids as the characters, then I would call that a student film.
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A very enjoyable Hong Kong action movie!
2 September 2001
Ever since John Woo, Tsui Hark, and Ringo Lam left Hong Kong for Hollywood, there's been other directors trying to fill their shoes (even though Hark and Lam came back to Hong Kong recently). Gordon Chan is one of the directors to fill in the shoes along with Wong Kar Wai to make Hong Kong films just as good as their predecessors.

I read an interesting article about Gordon Chan. It talked about the shooting a movie in Hong Kong is really quick and fast. A lot of the action movies would be heavy in action sequences but lacking in character development and story. For example Tsui Hark's "Time and Tide" and Benny Chan's "Gen X Cops". Chan wanted to bring back the slower approach of filmmaking that was done by John Woo. John Woo would take months compared to the other directors who would take a few weeks to direct a film. With the slower approach, there would be more depth in the story and the action scenes. This film is a good example of that.

The action scenes are incredible! The shootouts remind me of the shootout in Michael Mann's "Heat". The characters were very intriguing like Aaron Kwok's character Peter, who is introduced as a guy who doesn't seem to have direction in his life. Peter's computer company is failing, but doesn't seem to care because he spends his time playing video games and wasting his money. His older brother, Greg would look after him and from time to time give him money so Peter can get back on his feet again. Later in the story, Greg gets killed and you see the transition that Peter makes. He quickly grows up and becomes more responsible. What drives him is to found out who killed his brother and why. The other character I found intriguing was Francis Ng's character as a GSU agent. He's a cop with morals and has a lot of experience. The score really sets the mood of the movie and it reminds me a bit of "Heat". Overall very good performances by everyone.

The only flaws was the realism. I know it's a Hong Kong action flick but why does everyone seem to know Martial Arts in this movie? Peter who is suppose to be a computer programmer and how the hell does he know Kung Fu? The other thing that bugged me was it seem to be too many characters sometimes. It was a bit hard to follow what's going on but not as bad as "Time and Tide".

I really enjoyed "2000 AD" and I'm looking forward to watching Gordon Chan's "Beast Cops". I heard that it was better than this one. So I really can't wait. So if you wanna enjoy a solid Hong Kong action flick go watch this one.
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Gen-X Cops (1999)
Sometimes annoying but the action scenes save this movie from total disaster.
31 August 2001
I've seen Nicholas Tse recently in Tsui Hark's "Time and Tide" and was very impressed with his performance. He's one of the few Hong Kong pop actors that are making a fine transition into acting than compared to some others (IE. the horrible Ekin Cheng). I saw this movie a few days ago and I have mix reactions to this movie. This movie had a mixture of English, Japanese, and Cantonese. Oh this review is on both the dubbed and subtitled versions.

First, I'll go with the flaws. The story was too Hollywood for me. How many movies have we seen a group of criminals steal a nuclear bomb and it's up to the heroes to save the city from mass destruction? Way too many times. The dialogue was just so cliche. For example after a criminal betrays his own boss for money "It's about money right? It's part of the game, you know that!" Some of the actors are just really bad like Sam Lee's character Alien, you swear you'll start to think this man has soon too many Jim Carrey movies. Also there was too many episodic character developments like it jumped from a brother and brother, to a cop and a criminal with morals, a son of a criminal who wants revenge on another criminal...and so on. Still with me?

Now for the bright spots of the movie. The action sequences are just kinetic! Fast cuts, people diving and shooting at the same time, stand offs, Kung Fu scenes, and anything you can think of for a Hong Kong action movie. The women in the movie are some good eye candy, if you know what I'm saying. Nicholas Tse does a good job, not as good as he did in Time and Tide, but since this is his earlier work, you see his potential. The actor who played Akatora was impressive even sometimes his thick Japanese accent would make you miss some of his English words. In the musical note, there was this great Hong Kong punk song at the end of the credits that was pretty catchy.

So even with mix reactions, do I recommend this movie? Well it depends. If you're looking for a good popcorn movie this would be it. If you're looking for a smart action movie that reminds you of a John Woo movie? This wouldn't be it. So whatever you choose, just look for the amazing shootouts and a promising actor name Nicholas Tse.
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Time and Tide (2000)
A confusing Hong Kong action movie that works.
12 August 2001
Most people will say I'm crazy but I actually liked this movie. I think Tsui Hark is a very clever action director. I seen his American efforts with Van Damme, even though I hated both movies i did like some of the action sequences. Like in Knock Off I really liked the last shootout and in Double Team, when Van Damme's character escaped from that island.

As for this movie Tsui Hark is really given the chance to shine and this time with better actors. I thought Nicholas Tse and Wu Bai did a great job with they're roles as did Candy Lo. I was expecting more screen time with Cathy Liu's character. The acting is pretty good for a Hong Kong action movie. In other words it seem more naturalistic than compared to many other Hong Kong movies where a lot of the time the actors overact. I really liked how the movie was shot. There was this one shot where Wu bai's character jumps from the window of a apartment building and the camera follows him as he decends. It just makes me wonder how they did that.

Now for the flaws, there are a lot of characters that just show up. The plot gets confusing at times and what could of really made this movie better was a better script. I wished they could of build of the Tse and Liu's story a lot more. It was a good attention grabber in the beginning but then it gets ignored at the end and maybe more of Tse's narration of the movie. Despites all these flaws this movie was still good because of the stylish action scenes. So basically look for the action scenes and good performances by Tse, Wu Bai, Lo, and Liu. It's a good popcorn flick to just enjoy.
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Fallen Angels (1995)
One of the best hong kong movies.
12 August 2001
It's definitely on the top of my list of the best Hong Kong movies ever made. I never knew how great of a director Wong Kar Wai is. I have yet to see his other films like Chungking Express, Happy Together, In the Mood for Love, and the others, but this would be a great introduction movie to this director.

I really loved how the story was told. There are many French New Wave elements in this movie. Great cinematography that consists of handheld shots. Lots of voice overs to get into the thoughts of the characters in the movie is very effective. Also the three interelating stories work because it has so much emotion. I love the relationship between the Hitman and his agent and the Mute and his father. The acting was very good, especially for a Hong Kong movie. A lot of Hong Kong movie actors seem to overact. The actors in this movie are very naturalistic. There are even a few action scenes in this movie for you hardcore Hong Kong action movie lovers. One action scene consists of eerie Jamaican music and slow motion is very well done.

There isn't any flaws i can think of. So you're looking for a great film to watch, I recommend this movie.
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The Crow (1994)
The best Brandon Lee movie!
25 December 1999
Brandon Lee is one of my inspirations as a actor. He's commited, confident, dedicated, physical, and deeply moving in his acting. This movie clearly shows all these traits. Lee brilliantly becomes Eric Draven, a dead rock singer who is risen from the grave by a Crow exactly one year later to avenge his and his fiancee's murders. The scenes when he is a complete psycho, who is driven to the limits just blows you away. When he is deep he is just moving. Plus here's something for action fans. He is just a bad ass while taking care of a room full of baddies. Too bad Brandon had to die so young and when his career was taking off. Rest In Peace.
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What can I say? Brilliant Movie!
20 October 1999
This is one of my favorite films. It's action movie that actually moves you. Director Luc Besson and the star Jean Reno are the French versions of John Woo and Chow Yun Fat or viceversa. Woo and Besson both have great cinematography in their films, a compelling plot lines, and of course intense action scenes. Reno and Chow have that onscreen presence and charisma.

The movie is about a Italian hitman Leon (Jean Reno) takes a 12 year old girl Mathilda (my favorite actress Natalie Portman) under his wing after her family is killed by a corrupt DEA cops lead by Stansfield (Gary Oldman).

What was so compelling is the relationship between Mathilda and Leon. Besson shows Leon's search for light in his life while Mathilda is like Leon's anchor. Also Leon helping Mathilda cope with her loss and eventually he teaches Mathilda how to be a himan ("cleaner").

Besides the outstanding leads making the movie so rememorable is Gary Oldman's Stansfield. If you thought Oldman was psycho in Besson's "Fifth Element" you gonna look him in this movie. He's just being the favorite onscreen psychopath like Christopher Walken.

Okay I think I said enough. It's a great film. If you want something that is close to this movie I recommend another favorite of mine, John Woo's "The Killer" with just about the same similarities like this film.
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One of the last decent films of the Hong Kong film industry
3 August 1999
When I first watched this movie...I thought it was a total piece of s**t. But my friends keep bugging me that it was a great film. So I watched it again and I got say I was impressed after the second time watching it. I won't really explain the plot too much but it's sort of like a Chinese version of "Menace to Society" with a touch of "Goodfellas". Strong performance by Jordan Chan and the plot is pretty good for a Hong Kong flick nowadays. There is some action with a "A Better Tomorrow" flower pot shootout spoof where Jordan Chan tries to be Chow Yun Fat. Well that's all i gotta say. Watch the film.......8/10
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A Pretty good closure of the saga but with a lot of flaws.
2 July 1999
I am a big fan of the first two movies. This one I don't enjoy as much as the first two but there are great things and bad things of the film. I really liked Al Pacino's role as Michael, now in his latter years still haunted by his actions from his past...example ordering the murder of his brother Fredo. Andy Garcia played excellent as Sonny's Son Vincent who has so much similarities of the character James Caan played.

Now for what i hate about it. First of all the story isn't as compelling as the first two and the casting of Sophia Coppola the daughter of the director.

Overall score: 7/10
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The Crow (1994)
The Film that should of launched Brandon Lee's career.
31 May 1999
Since I was a fan of his father, I thought why not watch one of his son's films. So I went to my nearest video store and saw a copy of "The Crow". I heard like a few years before Brandon was killed accidentally on the site. When I went home and popped in the was a great film.

The story was great...which was based by the comic by James o'barr. The plot is Eric Draven (Brandon Lee)is a dead guy who comes back to life to get revenge from the gang that killed he and his girlfriend one year before. Later on he finds out he got these supernatural powers from a crow. I won't get too much on detail but here is what i liked about it. I loved the strong acting and the action sequence in the board room which was cool. The movie is basically made for goths but you can still enjoy the film because of the strong acting and the soundtrack. Too bad brandon died....he would of been up there just like his father was.
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City on Fire (1987)
the movie that influenced Quentin Taratino's Resevoir Dogs
7 December 1998
I have seen this movie and it really shows Chow Yun Fat's acting ability. The story is great and director Ringo Lam really shows how life is between opposite sides of the law.
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