Quick Cuts 2007
Quick Cuts: Many movie fans/web surfers visiting Happy Fortune Screening Room have e-mailed me about my feelings on a number of the more popular titles of Hong Kong Cinema that, until now, have been excluded in the programming sections. There are only so many ways to praise a film, and many of the more popular titles have been covered quite well in a good number of places. O.K., here we go.
Director John Woo is Hong Kong's greatest export of the 1980's. His film, A Better Tomorrow, is his best film and is one of the seminal works of the decade. It's my favorite "Woo", one of my most favorite movies of all-time. His film, The Killer, is his best film and is one of the seminal works of the decade. It's my favorite "Woo", one of my most favorite movies of all-time. I'm repeating myself, I know. The two films are truly remarkable works of art. If you put a gun to my head [in the purest action movie sense of the phrase], I'd have to rate The Killer over A Better Tomorrow.
Undeniably, John Woo is quite popular with web surfers. Along with Chow Yun-Fat, he dominated the local cinemas for almost a decade. Hollywood called; Woo and Chow answered. Before they left, they made Hard Boiled. Many viewers like this movie for many valid reasons. I think it's excessive, overblown, and over-hyped. Like the other 2 movies, I saw Hard Boiled in a cinema. Not the Music Palace in Chinatown, mind you, but at the Cinema Village uptown with the so-called cinema cognoscenti. I felt like Woo was mocking me, it gave me a headache and I've never had the desire to revisit the film on DVD. The promotional image of Chow and the baby is the best thing about the film.
With his first movie, Wai Ka-Fai steps up and leaves a big, muddy cowboy boot footprint on the stage of world cinema. With the help of John Woo and Chow Yun-Fat, Wai created a narcissistic allegory about the state of the Hong Kong movie business since those two guys gave the world A Better Tomorrow ten years earlier. I liked Peace Hotel quite a bit in 1995. The director later hooked up with Johnnie To to collaborate on several films, some of which I failed to appreciate.