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  • Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin

    Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin

    ★★★½

    More like Ursula K. Le GOAT.

  • I Love Maria

    I Love Maria

    ★★★

    Took me like 15 minutes to recognize Tony Leung in this just because he was wearing glasses.

    I imagine the only reason this movie exists is that late one night Tsui Hark watched Metropolis and thought it would be fun to make a robot movie.

    Probably should have written a script for it though.

  • The Blonde Fury

    The Blonde Fury

    ★★★

    Cynthia Rothrock vehicle that's kind of a showcase for Sammo Hung's late 80s stock company. Mang Hoi directs. Normally an action director and supporting actor, maybe most recognizable as one of Sammo's buddies in Pedicab Driver, this is his second of only two directorial credits. He does the choreography along with Corey Yuen, and the plot is more or less a rehash of Yuen's Righting Wrongs, with Rothrock as an American cop sent undercover to Hong Kong to bust a…

  • The Player

    The Player

    ★★★★½

    I’ve seen this so many times but only now noticed that Tim Robbins orders a different brand of bottled water in almost every scene and never drinks any of it.

  • The Haunted Cop Shop

    The Haunted Cop Shop

    ★★½

    Jeffrey Lau-directed and Wong Kar-wai-written mash-up/parody of the Chinese vampire and girls with guns genres. The vampires are more Western though (with a backstory about the Japanese occupation to satisfy the critics) and the GWG stuff is mostly just Jacky Cheung and Ricky Lau harassing Kitty Chan. She only made a couple more movies after this, the last being Haunted Cop Shop 2. It’s not hard to see why. 

    I suppose it’s a kind of missing link between classic Hui…

  • Presumed Innocent

    Presumed Innocent

    ★★★★½

    This blew me away when I was 15 and I'm happy to see it holds up as a near perfect courtroom drama/mystery.

    Harrison Ford's hair is so bad but it makes his character. Raul Julia is perfect.

  • Sex and Zen

    Sex and Zen

    ★★★½

    What goes around, comes around.

  • Dream Home

    Dream Home

    ★★★½

    Extremely brutal and gory black black comedy about one woman’s obsessive pursuit of an apartment with a view of the sea. The grotesqueries are beautifully shot by regular Jia Zhangke cinematographer Yu Lik-wai. 

    The most disturbing thing about it though was that my cat seemed to be super interested in all the most violent parts. Hope he’s not getting any ideas.

  • Special Actors

    Special Actors

    ★★½

    Wrote about this for InReview Online's coverage of Japan Cuts:

    Shinichiro Ueda’s debut feature One Cut of the Dead was a sensation both in Japan and abroad when it came out a few years ago. A clever riff on the indie film production comedy that unfolded over three different layers of reality (a single-take zombie film, a film about the pre-production of that zombie film, and then a what happened during the production of that film), with each layer becoming…

  • New Blood

    New Blood

    ★★★★

    Extremely spooky low-budget ghost story about one half of a double suicide haunting the three people who donated blood and thus saved the life of the other half. Like an extremely fucked up remix of Rouge.

    Aside from the obvious craft, this may be most interesting as a kind of dark foreshadowing of director Soi Cheang's SPL2, both revolving around donation (blood, organs) as a literal connective tissue between otherwise isolated and lonely people, disrupted and twisted into evil by a lack of consent on the part of the donator (SPL2) or the donee (New Blood).

  • Where's Officer Tuba?

    Where's Officer Tuba?

    ★★★

    Sammo Hung in his meek, cowardly character is a cop in the police band who witnesses the dying words of supercop David Chiang and agrees to get revenge for him. But when he backtracks on his pledge, Chiang haunts him, mostly by screwing up his attempts to woo Joey Wang (inexplicably interested in Officer Tuba).

    A pretty good fight sequence at the end (Yuen Wah is one of the bad guys, but doesn't do much), and its nice to see…

  • Jackie Chan: My Stunts

    Jackie Chan: My Stunts

    ★★★½

    "Some things are a trick, some things are ability. This is ability."

    "He stages the biggest explosion possible, then runs away from it very fast while the cameras roll."