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About Sheng

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    Wudang Swordsman

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  1. I always admired Kar Lok, thought of him as the best AD working in HK in the last decade and a half or so, and I genuinely enjoy his acting presence as well. But in all honesty: despite a cast that made me run to see this , GOLDEN JOB is a total mess. Shockingly predictable plot, badly executed, poorly - no laughably - written and saddled with some of the worst FX in living memory (I mean, CG in Chinese language films did look a whole lot better recently than three or four years ago. And not just in OPERATION RED SEA or EXTRAORDINARY MISSION). Yes, I understand there must have been some tampering with the script to get the go-ahead of the ever more intrusive censorship hacks and maybe they had to fight with budget constraints (that would explain the dismal quality of the CG work), but the cookie cutter roles and incessant 'brotherhood' ramblings forced on all the acting talent assembled here sink the project even before the half-time mark. Final shootout is on par with what we saw in recent JOHN WICK movies ? Well, bodycount-wise maybe. But in terms of creativity, staging and inventiveness of the action, the JOHN WICK films are simply on a different level. Oh, and wanna see Jordan Chan in a great and fairly recent film? Go for TRIVISA, he's killing it!
  2. You're wrong. Witness the truly uncalculable impact that kung fu cinema had on black popular culture. Think 70's black street culture, the influence of, say, Venoms movies on early rap music, dress code, hell, even on breakdance moves ! (that beetle-on-the-back tavern fight in CRIPPLED AVENGERS was pure b-boy shit, yo!) Or think of the fu fever that swept Reggae & Dancehall culture in Jamaica in the late 70's / early 80's. Wasn't no niche business as it was in Germany or the UK, it was all over the place and all over the public imagination on Planet Reggae! Like, when you went to sound system dances and watch the girls modelling inna dem kung fu shoes, while screw-faced bredrin holding their Heinekens and spliffs talkin' 'bout the badman t'ing in relation of who did the wickedest killings in the latest fu flick they caught at the usually packed Majestic cinema in East-Kingston. (Leung Kar Yan, known a 'Brigadeer' in Jamaica, would have received a hero's welcome in those days!) Or by extension: dem times you'd walk into a cinema in North or South London when a kung fu picture was screening and it was like... bare yardies! And noisy and physically agitated ta raas! And going to cinemas in West Africa in the 80's and early 90's... most of the time you had to choose between an Indian melodrama or a kung fu movie. Those were the cinematic staples!
  3. Scottish Sikhs and Hasidic Jews from Borough Park, eh...? Well, no offense, but some of the responses here remind me of those vacuous slogans on 'answer t-shirts' to 'Black Lives Matter'... like 'White Lives Matter' or 'All Lives Matter', etc. Fact is that from the early 70's on Kung Fu had an infinitely stronger impact on black popular culture than on any other outside the place of its origin. If, like me, you grew up infatuated with African-American or Jamaican music, you'd eventually came across classic Kung Fu cinema and found it easy to develop a lasting relationship with its heroes - and probably even more so with its most notorious villains... 😅
  4. A "no"... for the first question, is that what you're sayin'? But how do you do "translations" then? Or do you mean you straighten out / correct existing but deeply flawed subs?
  5. Allow me two questions here: are you fluent in Cantonese (and in this particular case: in Putonghua) ? And... you're not that Markgway, or are you?
  6. Something of an ok movie, I agree. Not more, not less... and that's mainly because Chong is always an interesting writer (yep, with a knack to make his storys too convoluted) and obviously because of the superlative performances of the two leads. I didn't get over the screeching plot twist in the final reel, honestly (went to see the film again the next day coz I felt I was too jet-lagged and missed something... well, I didn't!) Nicky Li's action gets insanely OTT (as it did in EXTRAORDINARY MISSION), especially in the Golden Triangle shoot-out. Its a sequence that feels like a postcard from the golden days of HK cinema with Chow, double-gun-slingin' and dressed in white, mowing down scores of mu'fuckas running undauntedly into the muzzle fire of his heavy artillery. Nostalgic with a John Woo-ish touch (and certainly a lot better than anything Woo himself dished up in his pretty dismal MANHUNT), the whole set-up nevertheless lacked any semblence of believability and felt kinda out of place here. Yes, CG enhancement was certainly noticeable, but not as painfully distracting as in other recent HK/China co-ops.
  7. Sheng

    The Trough (2018)

    I got through watching THE TROUGH earlier last month, and what a bloody disconnected trainwreck of a superhero film this is. I mean, I do check for Cheung and thought that HUNGRY GHOST RITUAL wasn't half-bad as the actor-turned-director's debut feature, but this? Yes, the whole thing's a hoot, you might consider the colour-drained, rain-drenched look of the film as 'stylish' and who knows, THE TROUGH might even stand a chance to end up as one of those "so bad it's (almost) good' cult movies in the future (it proved to be a box office dud anywhere it played in the here & now!) The plot's going bonkers from the word go, storytelling continuity, cohesion and logic seem to be alian concepts, dialogues fluctuate between badass, bizarre and soppy and the more Cheung is playin' it straight as an undercover supercop, the less appealing his role gets. Still, despite all that being said, the plentiful action cartoon sequences of THE TROUGH do work for the most part, bordering on the ridiculously entertaining during the child hostage and the laundromat shoot-outs in particular (CG bloodspurts are as OTT-terrible as in, say, THE MOBFATHERS, but tonally they do fit better here given the unintentional hilarity of the proceedings). And that hardcore HK film geeks get to see a cast of familiar faces is a plus as well ! THE TROUGH even begins to get moderately engaging in its middle part, but then dips again when Xu Jinglei is revealed to be "the boss" and god-awful dialogue, predictability and pitiful green-sceen work take over. Its all capped off with an unctious say-no-to-drugs message Cheung delivers in a totally unrelated final scene in Thailand- as if the the film had anything to do with drug pedding, but who gives a fuck if you wanna coax the SARPPFT into passing your patchy, mutilated looking mess of a film.
  8. Sheng

    Three Milkyway movies on bluray!

    Three of To's best ever... and then only French subs.... aaargh!!! 😭
  9. You're kidding, right? Trailer looks as cringeworthy as the one they recently had for KUNG FU MONSTER... To put things into perspective though, this opens on the 5th of February in China, Lunar New Year, so its tailor-made for toddlers. Seems like they're trying to emulate the pattern of the MONSTER HUNT films, and those unfortunately had a huge BO.
  10. Sheng

    Line Walker 2

    D'accord, mark187, LINE WALKER was a pretty decent film and Kar-Lok's action - especially the extended Brazilian set-piece - was already worth the price of admission. Now, I won't file a missing person's report for Miss Sheh - she was merely ok in THE LEAKERS and ALWAYS BE WITH YOU - but the choice of Andrew Lau as director is definitely a reason to keep your expectations as low as possible. The man's been involved in some truly pitiful Mainland drivel lately; matter of fact, just last week I was going to check out his latest, KUNG FU MONSTER, and while standing in the queue at the cinema watching the film's trailer on the screen above the cashier, I changed my mind and went to see CREED II for the second time instead !
  11. Had a chance to catch this the other day in an empty Chinese cinema - the film bombed big time in the PRC ! - and was suitably impressed. A truly involving, well directed sequel with a uniformly great cast (Michael B. Jordan's totally commanding presence, Sly excelling once more as Creed's crumpled coach and even Ludgren - an actor I usually despise! - putting in a passable performance). Fights were remarkably well choreographed and dramaticallly shot and those beautifully composed and edited desert boot camp training sequences were a real treat !
  12. Sheng

    To Be Number One (1991)

    A re-mastered release of TO BE NO. 1 was long overdue since the old K & R blu ray was a piss-poor one - even by their own rock-bottom standards. I remember screaming at the telly back in 2011 when I picked it up because the subs were so badly translated and so insanely fast programmed that I constantly had to rewind or freeze the picture. And as OAB also pointed out in his review, large swathes of text remained untranslated, something that was even more distracting in Poon Man-Kit's (almost) equally engrossing LORD OF THE EAST CINA SEA films. Hell, the second part was almost incomprehensible if you didn't manage to read the long chinese intertiltles that explained major parts of the story. So, great news and let's hope Panorama can righten the wrongs. I'm sure we'll see a massive upgrade in PQ, as for better subs and full text translations... well, I remain sceptical.
  13. Sheng

    Ringo Lam R.I.P

    Ah, SCHOOL ON FIRE, one of the most gut-wrenching, hardest hitting HK films of all times... Imagine a company like Arrow scooping that one up and releasing it on BD with the cut scenes reinstated... Aiight, gettin' carried away here, flicks like that don't exactly look like obvious restoration jobs for L'Immagine Ritrovata, so it might never happen.
  14. Hmm... can't help it, but that is exactly what I expected this movie to be. Producers asking to approve reviews before posting 'em, what is this world coming to ? Producers or production companies approve promo texts or hype blurbs, not reviews. Thanks for not letting this BS pass without comment, Bob !
  15. Sheng

    Ringo Lam R.I.P

    Shocked when I read the news this morning. To me one of the master craftsmen of action cinema and one of the greatest filmmakers. Ever. Gone with just 63. Tragic. Dunno why, but as always when a personal icon passes whose private life and thoughts are little known, I found myself looking for clues in some of the contrite and sobering interviews he gave since his comeback in 2015. Like this one... https://www.scmp.com/culture/film-tv/article/2048285/audience-hong-kong-action-film-master-ringo-lam He appeared as a thoroughly depressed sounding man of his time, and a misfit in today's HK/China film universe. This millenium wasn't his, for sure. Time to go back to his classics, some of which are still only available as incredibly poor DVD's (if you ever find 'em, that is !). Think SCHOOL ON FIRE, THE SUSPECT or WILD SEARCH.