Sunday Lists: Nicholas Tse Roles, Ranked

nicholas tse

Nicholas Tse is one of my personal favorite Hong Kong celebrities. While he has moved into the mainland China space to expand his diverse talents, he is one that has definitely grown since the start of his career in the last 90s until now. Being renowned for having multiple talents, his musical talent being the one that lead my path to cross with his career. He has been in TV series and as you will see, many movies which starts off being more the bad boy/high school student roles but eventually falling into more and more action crime thriller variety with roles that have more and more depth and set in a variety of time periods and backdrops, making his work almost as diverse as his talents and titles.

This list will be updated gradually as I catch up with the movies that I haven’t seen.

Guo Zhui – The Bullet Vanishes (2012) Review

the bullet vanishes

Senior Station Officer – Ho Wing-Sam – As The Lights Goes Out (2014)

As the Light Goes Out

Ah Si – Bodyguards and Assassins (2009)

Bodyguards and Assassins

Jack – Gen-X Cops (1998)

gen-x cops

Man Yeung – The Viral Factor (2012)

The Viral Factor

Tong Fei – Beast Stalker (2008)

beast stalker

Detective Chan Chun – Invisible Target (2007)

Invisible Target

Frank Cheng Siu-fung – New Police Story (2004)

New Police Story

Stone – My Schoolmate the Barbarian (2001)

My Schoolmate the Barbarian

Chiu – 2002 (2001)

2002

Smokey – Half Cigarette (1999)
Sword Hua – A Man Called Hero (1999)
Knife/Ho Nam – Comic King (2001)
Tiger Wong – Dragon Tiger Gate (2006)
Maojie – Goddess of Mercy (2003)
Cheung Wai-Kit – Moving Targets (2004)
Tsao Man – Shaolin (2011)
Fred/Howard – Old Master Qi 2001 (2001)
Chan Ho-Nam – Young & Dangerous: The Prequel (1998)
Tyler – Time & Tide (2000)
McDull,the Alumni (2006)
Chang Ho Fung – Demi-Haunted (2002)
Cock Head – Enter the Phoenix (2004)

Can’t Remember or Haven’t Seen

Xiao Ming – Mirror (1999)
Shao Nu Dang (1999)
Ferrari – Da Ying Jia (2000)
Kit – 12 Nights (2000)
Fung – Tiramisu (2002)
Waiter – The Medallion (2003)
Wuhuan – The Promise (2005)
Tripitaka – A Chinese Tall Story (2005)
Nicholas – Rob-B-Hood (2006)
Bu Jing-Yun (voice) – Storm Rider Clash of the Evils (2008)
Heart – The Storm Warriors (2009)
Ah Wai – Hot Summer Days (2010)
Ghost Jr. – Stool Pigeon (2010)
Young Master – Treasure Inn (2011)
Nicholas Tse – The Midas Touch (2013)
Zhao Yongyuan – But Always (2014)
Ma Chi-kin – 12 Golden Ducks (2015)
Hu Yan Dazang – The Spirit of Swords (2015)
I Love That Crazy Little Thing (2016)
John Ma – Heartfall Arises (2016)
Gao Tian Ci – Cook Up a Storm (2017)
Lei Tao – Air Strike (2018)

Have you seen any films of Nicholas Tse?
If so, which do you like?
Share them in the comments below.

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Sunday Lists: Hayao Miyazaki, Directed Films Ranked

Hayao Miyazaki List

January 5th marked the 78th birthday of one of the best Japanese animator and filmmaker, Hayao Miyazaki. I don’t watch a lot of Japanese stuff in general but I grew up with Studio Ghibli films so some of these hold very close to my heart. There is this fantastic magical and fantasy world that he manages to create.

With that said, there is no better way than to kick off this year’s first Sunday Lists with a list of Hayao Miyazaki’s Directed Films ranked from what I think is the best to the the not so great ones, because lets be honest, there is no worst. Even the last choice here wasn’t a bad film just didn’t execute as well as the others or connect as well with me.

There are a few films not seen yet. The list will be updated over time.

*Only full feature animated films DIRECTED by Hayao Miyazaki has been included here*

1. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

my neighbor totoro

My first Miyazaki film in my memory is My Neighbor Totoro and it has never stopped being my favorite. I know the movie almost by heart, the Cantonese dubbed version dialogue almost all memorized. Its about family and its charming. The little girls are adorable and the Totoro super cute. There are some heartwarming moments and some hilarious ones as well. It balances light-hearted and heartbreaking moments. Its cute and serious in equal measures. Plus, how do you beat a CatBus? You just can’t!

2. Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)

kiki's delivery service

I love cats and witches. Kiki’s Delivery Service is a well-rounded film as well. I remember there was a phase in the early stages when I had some crappy blogging server somewhere that I had used Kiki has my name. Watching this one when I was a kid was a ride for sure. Witches weren’t evil, they were nice and helpful. This one is  fun little trip full of charm whether its the people that Kiki meets on her deliveries or her learning how to be independent.

3. Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

howl's moving castle

Howl’s Moving Castle is based on a children’s novel which actually diverts quite far from its source material a fair bit especially when interpreting Howl’s character. However, maybe it has to do with this being the first Miyazaki film that I saw in theatres and the enchantment that comes from the big screen but this is one film that I love watching over and over again. Because of that, this film is filled with charm. It does get a tad dark and scary here and there but its so magical as well.

4. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

nausicaa

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind that makes me think about how Miyazaki is quite before his time in story telling as you can see how this film set the bar for his career, whether its the female characters he uses or the world that he creates. At the heart of it all, Nausicaa is about a world that has fallen apart environmentally and Nausicaa is trying to find a way to revive it while at the same time, nature has revolted in an unexpected way and she needs to find a way to solve the mystery of what happened. Its such a beautiful film. The only reason its placed lower is because its one that took me a second or third viewing when I was older to fully appreciate its message and its story.

5. Spirited Away (2001)

spirited away

Spirited Away is what put Miyazaki on the map along with Studio Ghibli. Its quite a feat when we think about it. In fact, there is so much to love here. I like this one a lot also. It has dragons and fantastical creatures and some pretty hilarious moments intertwined with a story about reuniting family, gluttony and life in general. Its colorful and beautiful and there are such charming array of characters wrapped up in this one story.

6. Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986)

laputa castle in the sky

I know a lot of people who would put Laputa really high up or even consider this one their favorite Miyazaki film. I don’t disagree with that at all. Laputa: Castle in the Sky is beautiful, especially once we arrive at the castle in the sky and all the events that happen from there on out.  It has a cast of silly bandits and a gentle robot and the castle design itself is so detailed and intricate. The only deal is that I’ve never been prone to watch this one a lot but I always enjoyed it whenever someone puts it on.

7. The Castle of Cagliostro (1979)

castle of cagliostro

I saw The Castle of Cagliostro because of a blogathon a few years back when it was looking at a debut of a director. I always thought Miyazaki started out his career with Nausicaa but before the existence of Studio Ghibli, he had created The Castle of Cagliostro adapted/based on the Japanese manga Lupin III. Its crime and comedy mixed together for this film and boy is it an adventure. The debut of Miyazaki is a fine start. There are its flaws with this one in terms of storytelling and pacing but there is still a ton of heart and charm.

8. Ponyo (2008)

ponyo

Ponyo is something like Miyazaki’s version of The Little Mermaid fairy tale story which takes a little fish girl who becomes human and meets a little boy. Its so adorable and imaginative. It takes this angle of making the creative angle of the tsunami and then links the whole story together. It is actually quite clever.

9. The Wind Rises (2013)

the wind rises

I saw the premiere of The Wind Rises at TIFF a few years back, the same year that Miyazaki announced his retirement in 2013 (of course, now we know that he has decided to not retire and is working on his next film). Putting aside the ridiculous couple next to me who sobbed the entire movie from start to finish who was incredibly annoying, The Wind Rises is a passion project of  Miyazaki’s and you can see it by the subject he chooses to take as he tells the story of World War II engineer who designs the fighter aircraft. His love for aircrafts and his country and his admiration for Jiro Horikoshi is all highly visible in his work. My issue here is that I don’t share the same admiration and for that, the story falls a little short of what I liked. Its not a bad film in any means because the animation, the visuals, the character designs and the music all work well. I just failed to connect with it but that is the risk of making a passion project film.

Not Seen or Can’t Remember

Conan The Future Boy: The Big Giant Robot’s Ressurrection (1984)
Porco Rosso (1992)
Princess Mononoke (1997)

How would you rank Hayao Miyazaki’s film?
Which one of his directed feature films is your fave?

Three Movies I’ve Been Rewatching [July 2016]

Welcome to *hopefully* a new segment! I’ve been trying to figure out a list format for movies since a few years back but never really came up with anything. I know this idea isn’t anything novel and maybe one of my blogging friends even do it. But, I realize that a lot of times things are slow around here because I’m busy and when I multitask, I put on movies I’ve seen before all the time. Some of them, I haven’t reviewed and some I have. I will get around to reviewing those I haven’t that show up on the list but I thought it’d also be nice to be able to go back to share of my older reviews that some of you might not have seen, especially since the blogging scene has changed quite a bit! 🙂

I’m hoping this is going to be a monthly segment which will always be a monthly wrap-up format. What do you think? I might change the list around and theme it differently, who knows. My ideas churning in my head always change.

THREE MOVIES I’VE BEEN REWATCHING THIS JULY

The AristoCats (1970)

The AristoCats

The review for this one is coming up for the Baking Through Disney project. I know its ridiculous and slowed down but I’m going to be making it really soon!

The AristoCats is my go-to animated Disney movie. For one, I love cats and second, it has some adorable and fun songs. Three, ITS DISNEY! I think that pretty much answers everything. It holds a special place in my heart ever since I first saw years and years ago. My favorite character are the kittens, of course! They are so silly. And definitely Scat Cat and his band.

Justice, My Foot! (1992)

Justice My Foot

Also no review for this one! I haven’t done a review on a Stephen Chow classic in a while so I’m going to get on that really soon.

I love Stephen Chow! He is literally the definition of humor to me. I guess if you read my The Mermaid review (or God of Gamblers 2 or Tricky Brains), you get a good idea of how much he’s influenced me and my appreciation for humor. As stupid and absurd as it is sometimes, its actually all very smart and even more so when I speak Cantonese and understand it well so it doesn’t even get lost in translation and I wish everyone could get it like I did. Justice, My Foot! isn’t one I watched frequently but it also reminds me of the talent the Hong Kong industry has lost over the years, notably Anita Mui here and how Mimi Chu hasn’t done any movies in ages and she’s fantastic.

Mean Girls (2004)

mean girls

I swore I reviewed it but apparently I didn’t yet! Regardless, Mean Girls is possibly the first teen movie that I saw which totally converted me. You know, the days when I thought Lindsay Lohan was fantastic in her teen comedies (Just like Amanda Byne and She’s the Man). That said, Mean Girls is pretty awesome. It is pretty funny and saw the beginning careers of Rachel McAdam which shows how far she’s gone looking at last year’s performance in Spotlight (which I reviewed HERE) and Lizzy Caplan (whether its in Cloverfield or Bachelorette). Of course, we also can’t forget Amanda Seyfried (who I liked in Mamma Mia! and Letters to Juliet). Back to the movie, Mean Girls is 12 years old! I cannot believe it! It packs in a lot of humor and silliness and its plain ridiculous in parts but still so very enjoyable.

Honorable Mention: Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong (2015)

I know this is a new movie and I just had my review go up for The Timely  Blogathon earlier in July but I’ve rewatched it at least three times since then.

That’s my list!
What have you been rewatching?

5 Books That Should Be Movies!

A shoutout to Jordan and Eddie (The Movie Guys) who I got this list idea from and who graciously let me borrow it for this post 🙂  Except I’m only doing 5 and I’m bad with choosing dream directors so I went the go big route 😉

As most of you know, I read quite a bit and well, I watch even more movies in comparison.  Over the years, after I’ve graduated from university, its something of a hidden goal to catch up on as much reading as I possibly can.  I’m very happy to see that a lot of books I enjoyed have been made into movies especially as of late, even if I haven’t had the chance to see them.  However, there are tons of books that deserve to be movies and I think maybe they are a little bit too independent for it to get enough exposure.  Still, the selections are endless so lets see if I can put together this list.

This is in not specific order but rather just how I remembered the titles.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern 

Night Circus

A mysterious circus. A duel between young magicians placed by their mentors. A young love that grows from what cannot be. And finding a way out of a deadly situation. The Night Circus is fantasy, imagination, adventure, thrilling all at the same time.  I loved every minute of reading the book and when I closed it, I kept hoping for it to be turned into a movie.  I do believe that in the hands of a right director and someone who could organize the script to flow well without being convoluted, this could be better than The Prestige or all those magic movies you see out there.

Dream director: Guillermo del Toro

The Water Rat of Wanchai (Ava Lee Series) by Ian Hamilton

The Water Rat of Wanchai

This is just the first book in a series and this series is kicking some series ass.  I’m a few books behind from being fully caught up but after 5 books in, this series is really strong.  Ava Lee is our main girl here and she is a sexy, smart and literally kick ass girl in her late 20s or early 30s (I can’t remember exactly).  I think I wrote it before on one of the reviews.  I can see some young Asian actress doing great in this role like Maggie Q.  I’m not a huge fan of hers but I can totally see her as Ava Lee. The only barrier here would be that Ava Lee is not into boys. Although that doesn’t bother me, I do think it might be an issue for something for the big screen.  Although her love life is rather in the background a lot until the later books.  As a mystery thriller, this would be great.  Its like Mission Impossible mixed with Sherlock Holmes or something.

Dream director: Martin Scorsese

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

sharp objects

Gone Girl was a hit and Dark Places a flop.  I was never a fan of Dark Places because its not ripe for the big screen and with a director that doesn’t have the experience and touch like David Fincher. Dark Places had no other expected result even with the fully charged cast.  Gillian Flynn wrote another book between these two and its Sharp Objects.  This book is powerful and messed up just like the other two.  The main girl has issues (as with all of Gillian Flynn’s lady characters).  Sharp Objects could carry a great cast and this dark story. You already know who I think should be the director.

Dream director: David Fincher

I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

I am Number Four

Let us forget that I am Number Four happened with Michael Bay.  That was uber garbage.  The idea of I am Number Four was not about the explosions, okay? I am Number Four is a YA novel but its also a strong series with a great premise about aliens on Earth.  They aren’t here to takeover, but to stay alive and to find the right opportunity to go back to Lorien and just keep their bloodline going while being chased by the enemy alien race that sought to destroy them. These are the Gardes and their Cepans (like mentors and guardians) as they grew up. I’m not saying I am Number Four doesn’t have explosions because it does at the finale scene and maybe that’s the part that Michael Bay gets right in that movie but there’s so much more to it. The movie could’ve taken a completely different angle.  This stuff is ripe for something on CW but as a movie series, it could definitely work and I wished there was another director that would tackle it and make it into something worthwhile.

Dream director: Stephen Spielberg

The Dinner by Herman Koch

The Dinner

The Dinner would be a really hard movie to put on screen.  It would be mostly focused on one setting between two couples as they reflect.  If this were to be something, it would be someone who would focus on small reactions, details in movements and flashbacks and whatnot. Its a pretty dark story and the characters are extremely ugly and twisted.  It would make for a fantastic psychological thriller because in the end, they are two couples dancing around a secret that slowly unveils itself and touches some questionable themes and topics.

Dream director: Christopher Nolan

What books should be a movie? Who would you like to direct it?