REVIEW: 旺角卡門 [Wong gok ka moon] [As Tears Go By] [1988]

“I found that glass” Writer/Director Kar Wai Wong hit the scene in 1988 with gangster drama 旺角卡門 [Wong gok ka moon] [As Tears Go By] in a way that many compare to Martin Scorsese‘s debut splash Mean Streets. It’s a gritty look at the streets of Hong Kong populated by men who are nothing without their fearsome reputations. “Guts” are what sustain them, keeping them alive within this cutthroat underground of tough guys bluffing in the hopes loud threats prove enough to stay at the top and crazy psychopaths calling…

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TIFF14 REVIEW: Sanlúnche fu [Tricycle Thief] [2014]

“Patience. Everything is fine.” With a title like Sanlúnche fu [Tricycle Thief], Maxim Bessmertnyi‘s film could go two ways. Is it about someone who steals a tricycle or about a thief that rides one? There is also a third option: a hybrid of both. This is the direction the writer/director chooses with his Macau-set tale of a desperate man about to be evicted from his home. He lives in a city rich and vibrant with mainlanders coming in all the time to win big and leave with smiles on their…

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NYAFF14 REVIEW: 風暴 [Fung bou] [Firestorm] [2013]

“Do you have evidence?” For fifty minutes—minus one crazy hand-to-hand combat fight on top of a fallen metal gate suspended over two adjacent buildings’ fire escapes in midair—writer/director Alan Yuen‘s 風暴 [Fung bou] [Firestorm] is a fast paced actioner that fearlessly goes to the darkest corners Hollywood never would. After it crosses that threshold of time, however, the film goes off the rails like an out of control locomotive crashing into everything along its path until it culminates in an epic street shootout with enough destruction to rival Man of…

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REVIEW: 無間道 [Infernal Affairs] vs. The Departed [2002 & 2006]

“I can’t finish the novel, I don’t know whether he’s good or bad” This is a question posed to Andy Lau’s character, by his live-in girlfriend, in the brilliant Cantonese film 無間道 [Infernal Affairs]. She is a writer plodding through the plot of her new novel, which eerily mirrors the double life lived by her significant other. A small detail like this helped create characters that live and breathe with a history behind them. Unfortunately, while adding almost an hour of length, Martin Scorsese’s new remake, The Departed, fails to…

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