Double Feature: An Inspector Calls (2015) & A Home With A View (2019)


Our double features are back! Before Fantasia Festival back in end of June, we pretty much wrapped up the last round of Netflix “alphabet” rundown. This time is more of a random deal although coincidentally, I ended up picking a Herman Yau/Louis Koo double feature for two Hong Kong dark comedies.

Let’s check it out!

An Inspector Calls (2015)

an inspector calls

Director: Raymond Wong & Herman Yau

Cast: Louis Koo, Eric Tsang, Hans Zhang, Ka Tung Lam, Teresa Mo, Karena Ng, Liu Yan, Chrissie Chow

When Inspector Kau arrives at the Kau manor before a lavish engagement party, he brings news of a young woman’s suicide – and he has questions – Netflix

Adapted from the English play of the same name, An Inspector Calls is a slapstick dark comedy re-enacting the story set in a mansion of a bankrupted but pretending to be wealthy family and factory owner as the father tries to marry off his daughter to the son of a rich family. On the day of the marriage, an inspector barges in telling them of a young woman’s suicide and how unexpectedly, each of them are connected to it in one way or another. Well in the heart of slapstick humor that is quite dominant in Hong Kong cinema (when not doing action or thrillers), An Inspector Calls in its Hong Kong Cantonese adaptation captures the heart of the story as the intertwined society links to one another and different chains of this society will beat a person down unexpectedly. Each of these characters are suitably over the top in their performances, the story itself is quite entertaining as well as while I’ve heard of the story, I’ve never actually read the play that its based on.

An Inspector Calls is full of talented cast. With the father played by Eric Tsang, the mother played by Teresa Mo, the older son played by Ka-Tung Lam, the son-in-law by Han Zhang and the inspector played by Louis Koo. The daughter and the daughter-in-law to be being the young actress roles that I’m less familiar with. However, looking at this cast, Eric Tsang and Teresa Mo play once again a married couple (I had seen them as a couple in 2 Young) and here as a powerhouse duo that just steals away their scenes together and its probably why Netflix chooses their scene in their massive walk-in closet as they turn around running after each other as he catches her up on the inspector’s arrival and the chaos that he was causing. On the other hand, Louis Koo doesn’t do so many comedies anymore but he definitely has the skills for it and is a refreshing take from the recent years of making action and crime thrillers and such. Clad with popular Mainland China actor Han Zhang, who definitely does do well in this film as well.

As intriguing as the story is, especially for myself originally not too familiar with the premise, what caught my eye were all these great performances which was absurd and yet so hilarious, reminding me of the humor I missed from Stephen Chow’s films in the 90s.

A Home With A View (2019)

a home with a view

Director: Herman Yau

Cast: Francis Ng, Anita Yuen, Louis Koo, Tat-Ming Cheung, Jocelyn Choi, Siu-Hin Ng, Suet Lam, Anthony Wong

When a neighbor blocks their view of the city with a commercial billboard, a Hong Kong family resorts to drastic, imaginative measures to take it down. – Netflix

A Home With A View is a real breath of fresh air. Sure, it tackles this dark comedy in a rather absurd way. It also is adapted from a play written by fellow cast member Tat-Ming Cheung who portrays the grandfather role in the film who is renowned Hong Kong comedian. A feature of Hong Kong comedians is their desire to bring out the issues of the Hong Kong society through a very sarcastic way. In this case, he’s taken these characters for a glimpse of losing a slice of solace can cause especially in the expense of others who are in another dilemma trying to survive as well as the expense of commercialism and economic wealth of the city itself. What is a reality of Hong Kong since the 1997 handover followed by the financial crisis that took place over the past few decades and then the change of the economy and political status, is shown well here with the ineffectiveness of a lot of the society.

I’ve always been a fan of using humor to talk about the more important issues surrounding us and to myself, that type of dark/sarcastic humor is my cup of tea so suffice to say that a lot of this film lands well. I’ve never seen the original play or read it or anything but the adaptation into a film works really well and a lot has to do with some sharp writing and well-timed humor. Of course, a lot of credit has to go to the talented cast here that supports the younger cast who plays the daughter and son. Francis Ng and Anita Yuen paired together are very fun. At the same time, they are met with some supporting characters who appear in some cases like cameo and others to help push the story in a certain direction. A Home With A View is a witty sort of deal. There were some bits here and there that might fall short in its comedy but for the most part, its actually a very smart piece of cinema filled with great performances and well-paced throughout and sharp dialogue. I don’t watch as many Hong Kong comedy films than I used to in the 90s or even early 2000s but this one really revived some of that hope to seek up some more in this vein, maybe another Herman Yau one since he seems to direct comedy movies that I enjoyed.

That’s it for this double feature!
Both films are currently on Netflix Canada with pretty decent subtitles.

Infernal Affairs III (Director’s Cut) (2003)

We’re at the last part of the Infernal Affairs trilogy!

How are you feeling about it so far? I’d have to say that the first two was a decent run.  Obviously, nothing quite beats the genius in the first one but the second was surprisingly well done.  Lets move along to the third one.  I have nothing much to say about it.  Only that, when I saw it a few years back when it first came out, this one confused me so much to the point that I wasn’t too happy with it.  But with an open mind, I walked right back in fully positive that this time around I was going to understand what was going on. Lets see if that did happen 😉

**If you haven’t seen the first one, please stop right here if you intend to see these.  The description will have spoilers regarding the first one.**

infernal affairs 3Director: Wai-Keung Lau, Alan Mak

Cast: Andy Lau, Tony Leung, Leon Lai, Daoming Chen, Kelly Chen, Anthony Wong, Eric Tsang

Six months after the events of Infernal Affairs, Inspector Lau Kin Ming (Andy Lau) is finally finished the arduous investigation on the events that happened resulting in the deaths of Yan (Tony Leung) and the mole. Resuming his position in Internal Affairs, he catches news that there was 5 moles seeped in from Sam’s triad organization and in the past six months, they have been dying one by one.  It is suspected that Sam has another internal man who was asked to kill off all of them in case of his death.  Fearing for his life, Lau starts to suspect the Security unit chief, Inspector Yeung (Leon Lai). At the same time, the story flips back to Yan finally penetrating Sam’s triad and having his first mission with the Mainland China connections for their future illegal practices with their leader (Daoming Chen).

infernal affairs 3

First things first, I know you are all wondering the same thing: Did I get it this time? The answer is that: I kept myself very much awake and since my mom was watching this without watching the first one, she was all full of questions and after explaining things to her during the movie, it all clicked together. At least one goal was achieved.

Infernal Affairs 3

Now, the second thing  I have to talk about is how I felt.  I took a few days to sit back and let it sink in a little because this one is very confusing and for some, they even find its a pretty unnecessary addition.  If they had stopped it at the first one or even the second one, it would have been perfectly fine.  With that, I pretty much agree. If you watch the theatrical version, its even more confusing.  I think its because I watched the extended Director’s Cut that it adds in parts that link things together in a better way.

Infernal Affairs 3

The concept behind it was okay.  Its a follow-through with a nice twist at the end.  Its just that it kind of does raise some questions as in: why is the psychiatrist suddenly so trusting of Ming? If Sam was dead, why would someone still answer his orders to kill off the moles? And these sort of story flow questions keep coming up.  I can’t remember them all and I’m sure I’ll hit some spoiler territory. Honestly, I can’t get too detail with anything because I feel like it does lead to the big finale and that was the best part of the movie even if the pieces before it wasn’t all too memorable.

Infernal Affairs 3

However, there are some notable additions.  This one does add the guy up there: a very talented Chinese actor Daoming Chen.  I first saw this guy in a historical drama about one of the emperors and I’m not much of historical stuff but he was so awesome.  That gave Infernal Affairs 3 extra points. Although I honestly felt like his character was a bit fuzzy and could have been done better but the runtime is already pretty intense.  On the note of actors, in the second picture we have Leon Lai (who I don’t like very much) but surprisingly, I was pretty impressed with his whole act.  It kept me guessing whether he was a good or bad guy the whole way. Andy Lau delivers a fine performance and Tony Leung does well also.  Kelly Chen is still rather green as an actress as she is primarily a singer that went into acting.

Overall, Infernal Affairs 3 is unnecessary and confusing.  I didn’t get a chance to watch both director’s and theatrical to compare but since I did watch director’s cut this time, I’d suggest watching that so you get a better idea.  There are still all around notable performances from the original cast and the new additions along with some surprises.  The plot was a bit too much for its own good but they did give a really decent ending to pull everything together.  Its worth a watch if you’ve already gone through the first two but I wouldn’t say its necessary to rush to see it either.

Have you seen the Infernal Affairs trilogy? What do you think of it? Was this sequel necessary? 

Infernal Affairs II (2003)

For last month’s Genre Grandeur at MovieRob’s site, I revisited Infernal Affairs and showed how I have very deep appreciation for that one.  You can check it out HERE! That brought on my desire to continue watching the trilogy.  So thats what we’re going to do for the next few days 🙂 I believe Infernal Affairs 2 & 3 are not very popular outside of Hong Kong.  I’m not even sure if they were popular within Hong Kong. But it is in fact a trilogy and therefore, it just seems right to finish it off in style.

**A word of advice: If you HAVE NOT seen the first one, you might want to check it out before blindly moving into the following two.**

Let’s check it out!

infernal affairs 2 posterDirector: Wai-Keung Lau & Alan Mak

Cast: Eric Tsang, Anthony Wong, Carina Lau, Francis Ng, Shawn Yue, Edison Chen, Jun Hu

Rewinding back 12 years before the events of Infernal Affairs, Yan (Shawn Yue) is expelled from the police academy due to his family background.  Despite wanting to distance himself, to the point of using his mom’s last name, it still caused him have that result.  However, all is not lost, Superintendant Wong (Anthony Wong) offers him a chance to be an undercover and try to get involved with his family after the sudden murder of his father by helping out his half brother, Hau (Francis Ng). On the other hand, Sam (Eric Tsang) has sent in Ming (Edison Chen) to be the mole at the police department without knowing that his wife Mary (Carina Lau) had secretly asked him to take out Ngai, the big boss of the triad and also Hau’s father. As both the police and triad have been infiltrated with each other’s men, how long could their secrets be locked up?

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. We all climb towards heaven. We all fall towards hell. – Infernal Affairs 2

Infernal Affairs 2 starts with that quote up there before anything happens.  As the scene rolls in, it lets you know right away that we’ve turned back time to see how young Yan (Shawn Yue) and young Ming (Edison Chen) got to where they were in the first part.  All these events correlate in a certain way and if you paid enough attention in the first one, you’ll see the links.  I thought that was very well pieced together.

infernal affairs 2 yan and hau

Although, Shawn and Edison are both rather green actors when this movie came out, they were surrounded by a stellar cast.  Before I go and talk about the rest of the cast, I do believe that I think, despite them not having a whole lot of screen time (surprising for the purpose of this movie), their roles were enforced enough to make the story strong enough to make us understand how the events had spiraled into Infernal Affairs.  In the first one, even the grown up Yan and Ming are not particularly talkative but more analytical and therefore, they didn’t have much dialogue either.  Many times, silence can enhance the atmosphere of a movie, especially ones that keeps the audience guessing. I honestly think this was just to mask their lack of ability to act but it kind of did work decently.

Infernal Affairs 2

In the first Infernal Affairs, I already talked about the awesomeness with Eric Tsang as Sam and Anthony Wong as SP Wong. So I’m not going to be back to that.  With these two, the quality is always almost insured (at least I can’t remember anything bad from then right now).  However, the role of same did change a little as did their chemistry.  So I’m going to talk about Francis Ng, who plays the calm businessman type of triad leader Hau (some would compare him to Michael Corleone). He has a silent violent personality which we don’t quite see till the finale.  He knows how to get dirt on the people around him as he  has eyes everywhere. His story is the one that causes all the effects here by means creating subplots. So in this one, the chemistry between Anthony Wong’s SP Wong and his are the ones that spark some intense chemistry.

Infernal Affairs 2Another person worth mentioning is Carina Lau who plays Mary, the beautiful soft-spoken wife of Sam.  Her main goal is to help her husband move up from where he is and one day be the boss and not the minion to protect him.  With the help of young Ming, who she brought into the triad business, he has a certain dedication to her.  Her character is actually quite honorable and by far, one of my favorite roles that she’s been in.  Don’t get me wrong, Carina Lau is a wonderful actress and I’ve seen her across many genres but this role was really impressive.  The chemistry between her character Mary with Sam are limited as they have very little screen time together but in turn, we see her true colors in her interactions with the Young Ming.

Infernal Affairs 2 This is the second time I’m watching Infernal Affairs 2.  I watched this back in 2004 or so after the trilogy had been released.  Back then, I found this pretty good.  This time around, I found it still pretty good because it creates a nice vibe even though the purpose of the movie promoted wasn’t exactly what really happened as the focus was not on young Ming and Yan but rather on the people around them. However, it starts feeling really long when I started realizing how many subplots they had stuff in it.  I’m not saying its not necessary but at a certain point, it feels like it drags a little before it hits the big finale and things pick up a little again.

Overall, Infernal Affairs is worth a watch.  It gives some stellar performances and it does set up the partial backstage for what does happen in Infernal Affairs.  The audience gets an idea as to not only where young Ming and Yan come from but also the people around them who influenced them more in depth especially SP Wong, Sam and the additional characters with Ngai and Mary. Although the length is my biggest complaint, this one is worth a watch.  It sets up the stage for maybe the anticipation of the third movie.

Have you seen Infernal Affairs 2? Are you familiar with the actors/actresses in this one? 

Genre Grandeur – Infernal Affairs (2002)

Check out my review for Movierob’s May Genre Grandeur for Crime month of Infernal Affairs. Its one of my absolute favorite crime movies and this re-watch was long overdue. I’m going to be watching the next 2 also in the near future. Look forward to my reviews of those.

However, June’s Genre Grandeur is for Superhero/Comic book movies so if you have a favorite you’d like to write about, send it over to Rob. All the details are in the post before the review.

A huge thanks to Rob for putting this together. I had a lot of fun revisiting Infernal Affairs and now I’m all pumped up to rewatch the entire trilogy!


For my next guest post for this month’s Genre Grandeur – Crime, I present you with a review by Kim of Tranquil Dreams of Infernal Affairs (2002).  Her site is filled with movie reviews, photo challenges, travel posts, and of course very interesting recipes.  If you don’t already follow her site, I urge you to do so.

If there are any of you out there who still want to submit a post for this months genre – I am willing to give you a two day extension (until 27th May) to send me your review (  If you are planning on it (ERIC!!) :), please shoot me an email to let me know to look out for it.

Just a quick reminder that next month’s Genre, which was chosen by Zoe is Superhero/Comic book movies, so feel free to start sending those in too (

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Breaking Emotions Blogathon: Tears & Surprise

breaking emotions blogathon

Its the second week at Mettel Ray’s Breaking Emotions blogathon. Click on the banner above to check it out! Last week, it was Fear & Awkward.  I chose to do one emotion and showcased 5 awkward scenes.  If you’d like to check out that post, its right HERE! This week, our mission is to break Tears (aka sadness) and Surprise. For all the instructions and other entries, head over HERE.  Join in if you have some scenes to share, it’ll be lots of fun!

Initially, I had thought about doing only one emotion because I’m a sap and I cry at everything, but then I thought about it a bit deeper and dug deep in my mind to find scenes where I cry repeatedly, like the scene shows up and the waterworks start immediately.  These days, nothing really gets me as much as it used to (but thats also because I’m avoiding dramas in general).  However, the ones that made me shed tears or downright bawl were only a select few.

1) Les Miserables ending scene

A lot of people would say that Fantine’s solo I Dreamed a Dream would be the most emotional.  I’m not saying it isn’t.  I bawled for a good part of Les Miserables.  However, the part that touched me the most of was the ending scene.  Jean Valjean’s part where he has to reveal himself. To me, Jean Valjean’s story is a sad one and the ending he met may be a form of release for him but at the same time, his character is one that tugs at my heartstrings and makes me cry every single time.

2) 2 Young – Parent’s heart felt words

2 Young is a 2005 Hong Kong movie that I like a lot.  I reviewed it a month or two ago (you can find it HERE). As much as this movie is about a sweet young love and their struggles, its also brings in the parents and how they are coping with it.  Thats what makes this drama so good.  This scene is touching because one, we have an amazing actor in Eric Tsang being the father.  He expresses his sadness because of his failure to be a good father and a good husband because he couldn’t stop his son from going down his own path and in turn, not being able to make better choices for his life.  The scene by itself probably doesn’t mean much but to fully grasp it, you have to really watch the whole thing, which I urge you to do.

3) Quill: The Life of a Guide Dog -> Saying Goodbye

quill life of a guide dog

I watched Quill almost 10 years ago.  Quill is a Japanese story about the life of a guide dog called Quill: the bonds he builds in his training, his career and then till the very end.  I’m an animal lover so when you give me a story about the life of a dog and as a pet owner, I understand the pain of parting of them more than anything.  Hell, I’m still grieving over my last dog and its been recently 2 years.  This scene up there makes me burst into tears in buckets.  I was rewatching a part of the movie last night on YouTube and I was getting all teary even when seeing it in snippets.

Thats it for now, I had a few choices to make but one thing this did do was remind me of a lot of movies that I haven’t seen in a long time.  Another one that is kind of honorable mention was My Sister’s Keeper.  That movie was not a great adaptation of the novel but there was a few parts that was really tear-jerking,  at least for me.  Lets wrap this one up and move on to the next emotion!

Surprise is one that I don’t really want to go too much in depth about and struggled with whether I should do it.  Why? Because if it was a plot twist, I wouldn’t want to reveal it to all of you, thats in spoiler territory.  So instead of videos, I’ll just brush the surface on movies that surprised me the most when I first saw it. Not to mention there is only a very little amount of movies that I haven’t predicted the twist in advance to some degree.  An overactive and analytical mind will do that to you.  Lets give it a shot though.  Lets try and break SURPRISE!

1) The Mist – ending scene

the mist

I’ve heard lots of people praise The Mist and its “amazing” ending.  Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of the movie because of the ending but it is also one that surprised me the most.  I never saw that coming at all! This may be an adaptation from a Stephen King novel (it is, right?) but I haven’t read any of them. Shocking and surprising, I know, I need to get to it.  Still, that ending knocked me out and I was like WTF?!?!?!?

2) Re-cycle – plot twist

recycle 2006

Re-cycle is an Asian horror flick by the Pang brothers that I adore.  I’m a huge fan of their movies especially after my favorite horror flick, The Eye.  As much as this movie is going to give you a ripoff of Silent Hill at the beginning sort of vibe, the movie turns out to have this amazing twist.  I really don’t want to reveal it.  All I have to say is that the world’s meaning turns into something else and the scene where it all explains it really gives it a huge boost.  I couldn’t find even an obscure scene of the surprise moment I’d say this scene kind of links to it a bit. The clever build-up for the big reveal really makes this one of the most surprising moments (for me) till today. Obviously, I still have a lot of catching up to do, especially in terms of classics but this one definitely qualifies.

3) The Cabin in the Woods

the cabin in the woods

I went into The Cabin in the Woods knowing absolutely nothing so the ending is a shocking one that kind of gives the movie a purpose.  I don’t even know what I’m being all secretive, I’m sure most of you (if not all) have seen this movie.  Granted, I thought it was an absurd twist in a certain way but does give it this lasting memory in my mind.  My reaction to the ending, “Excuse me? Are you for reals?!?!?!?!?” Thats better than my boyfriend’s standing up and walking away calling it stupid.  I have to revisit this movie since I’ve gained this immense praise for Joss Whedon but still, it was quite the creative thought.  I gotta give the movie that much.  It definitely surprised the hell out of me.  

Its funny how my list is all horror movies.  LOL! What can I say? I’d put thrillers but I can see people pounding me for giving away those big twists even more.  Plus, a lot of thrillers, I really do have it figured out before the big reveal, I blame it on overuse of foreshadowing (or just bad promo work).  Either way, I’ve learnt better. The ones above, I watched them without knowing anything in advance.  Just to make it clear, since we’re looking at movie scenes, we’re talking about ending scenes for The Mist and

Here we go! Another week of Breaking Emotions blogathon! Remember to click on the banner or the link to check out other entries or get information to join in. 🙂

2 Young (2005)

2 Young is one of my most favorite recent Hong Kong movies.  To me, its a hidden gem because it does nothing to attract the audience in the first place but I like to root for the underdog and pick up weird movies.  This one features Jackie Chan‘s son Jaycee Chan and I’m completely interested in how his career has been.  This is not my first viewing but its been 2-3 years since I last saw it.

2 young posterDirector: Derek Yee

Cast: Jaycee Chan, Fiona Sit, Eric Tsang, Anthony Wong, Teresa Mo, On-On Yu

Fu (Jaycee Chan) is a young 18 year old in night school trying to complete his high school diploma while his family is not very well off.  Nam (Fiona Sit) is the complete opposite: She is a 16 year old private school student whose parents are known lawyers in Hong Kong who are rich and have no time for her.  Fu is attracted to her and looks for her outside her school every day from a distance until one time, Nam approaches him and asks him to take a chance to sneak in at the school’s annual Christmas party.  After that, when they went camping together on New Year’s, they decided to have sex and few months later realizes that she is pregnant.  Against both of their parents’s wishes, they run away and try to take care of themselves, be together and eventually take care of their future baby.  With no help, no education and no money, they are forced to take things as it comes.  Question is: will their young relationship be able to tough it out?

2 young 1

I’ve seen this movie since its release about 3-4 times.  Every time it impacts me as its the first time I’ve seen it.  Young, innocent, naive and reckless love happens all the time, so why does this impact me so much? 2 Young has a lot of pedigree.  First off, we have Derek Yee, who is an amazing director.  I haven’t reviewed much of his newer work but 10 years before this, he did Full Throttle and you can see the review HERE. He knows how to get the right shots and use the right tone.

2 young 3

Second of all, he has a great cast.  I’m going to start off with the more renowned supporting cast.  Eric Tsang is an Golden Horse Best Actor (Hong Kong equivalent of Oscars).  He’s is a phenomenal actor.  He is in the very famous Infernal Affairs, for example. This guy plays the father of Fu in this one.  A poor, uneducated but morally correct man who wants to just love his wife and take care and protect his family.  Playing opposite him is an actress who reappeared in the business with this movie, Teresa Mo used to be in a bunch of Stephen Chow’s movies and she does a great job and playing the common housewife and caring mother and supportive wife.  The two mesh so well together.  Then we come to an even more popular actor possibly: Anthony Wong.  He plays the restricting and overly controlling and protective father of Nam who really just loses how to be a father and a husband at the same time as being a successful lawyer.  Most of the time in the movie, I wanted to push him in the face to wake him up.  That means he did a good job because I think that stubborn act really came through perfectly.

2 young 4

Third point is the unexpected factor.  Back in 2005, Fiona Sit was cooling off a bit from her pretty successful pop star career and really I never expected much from her in this one but she has her charm. This was her first movie after a Hong Kong police drama.   Jaycee Chan is Jackie Chan’s son so a lot of people have their eyes on how his future will turn out.  He had already dipped his feet in a movie before (that I didn’t see) and also a bit into a singing career.  He was completely new to me.  What captured me was the storyline itself but these two had amazing chemistry and they acted the hell out of their roles.  Maybe its because they are also young and they can somewhat relate to the pain, suffering but bittersweet love.  They can feel their generation better so they fell right into the roles but they were downright amazing, tugged at my heartstrings and I loved them both so much.  Let me just saying, my respect for them grew quite a bit after this.

2 young 2

I’m definitely going to recommend this.  2 Young is directed well, has wonderful and believeable characters to reflect on a social issue of young love and its consequences that shows that its not only sweet but tough.  Its not only the view of the young ones but also parents. With a phenomenal cast from the young main actors and the renowned older ones as supporting roles, this movie successfully pulls the audience right in from the start and lets you experience a heartwarming and at times, heartbreaking journey.  Its a well-executed story about young and reckless love and whether they can learn to take care of themselves and support people they love.   As much as it seems like a romance, I’d say its more along the lines of coming of age story. If you ever come across it,  its well worth your time.