Triple Feature: Look Out, Officer! & Doubles Cause Troubles & The Mad Monk

We’ve been doing double features for a while and I just couldn’t figure out how to break up these three films so I decided to keep them together. Welcome to the very long ago but finally revisited for now Triple Feature. A long description for just a sporadic segment to say the least. However, Stephen Chow and 80s/90s Hong Kong Comedy is what I like. It had a lot of charm and is witty and fun for the most part. Other than Look Out, Officer!, the other two are first time viewings. All of them can be found on Netflix (Canada), if you have another version of Netflix then you will have to see if its there.

Its a longer post so let’s check it out!

Look Out, Officer (1990)

look out officer

Director: Sze Yu Lau

Cast: Stephen Chow, Bill Tung, Stanley Sui-Fan Fung, Vivian Chen, Kong Fong, Siu-Wai Mui

After police officer Biao is murdered, his soul cannot be at rest for his murder has been written off as a suicide. Therefore the heavens send him back to Earth as a spirit to find his ‘savior’ who will help him clear his name. Sing, a rookie officer, is the savior and in return for finding Biao’s killer, Biao must get him a girlfriend and a promotion. – IMDB

Look Out Officer is one of the earlier films in Stephen Chow’s filmography coming right after 1989’s Saint of Gamblers that gave him the main character and revealing that he was able to be funny. This is one of the rare few movies where he carries the movie with other comedic actors instead of his partner of crime, Man-Tat Ng. However, it delivers so well. In some ways, its absolutely absurd and silly but there are some great moments that land well. Plus, it adds in a supernatural and crime element to the story. The effects are pretty much dated and fairly laughable but being a comedy, it just adds in to the great moments. To be honest, I actually forgot about some of the supporting and cameo roles here and how they were part of this movie but has gone through the years to bigger and better things in different areas of entertainment.

Perhaps because this was one of the handful of Stephen Chow movies that I watched when I was young that there is a nostalgic love that I have for it. However, something here works well although it does merge itself well with having a decent knowledge of the Hong Kong society especially with their emphasis on the crimes and the undercover part. Its not a perfect movie but a truly entertaining one as it works something like the spirit helping him, Biao is something like the genie to Aladdin who has the ability to destroy his plans if he so wishes. Bill Tung and Stanley Fung are both incredible actors on their own and both have a decent career so their presence definitely adds onto the overall success of the film to help some of the jokes here land and for Stephen Chow to work together with.

Doubles Cause Troubles (1989)

doubles cause troubles

Director (and writer): Jing Wong

Cast: Carol DoDo Cheng, Maggie Cheung, Wilson Lam, Pak-Cheung Chan

When the tenant in their flat dies under suspicious circumstances, two bickering cousins are forced to navigate both sides of the law. – Netflix

Before Maggie Cheung got all serious with her acting role choices, she did a lot of comedic acting roles in the 80s and 90s films. On the topic of Stephen Chow from before, she did actually play a love interest for Stephen Chow in All’s Well That Ends Well. In Doubles Cause Troubles, we have Maggie Cheung playing opposite talented actress Dodo Cheng who honestly is known for her humor and her overall empowering presence. Both of these ladies held their own as they played cousins bickering and eventually having to work together, realizing that they have a pretty good connection. In all the random silliness they get caught into for this, the focus here may be the crime elements and the other characters all hilarious to watch as well, especially Pak-Cheung Chan, however, they are the stars here as their presence is undeniable. They are the show.

Doubles Cause Troubles is a little over the top but the movie is a typical Jing Wong with a lot of signature comedic style that Stephen Chow films have also. His writing and directing is incredibly on point. There are so many familiar faces in this film, especially if you are familiar with the Hong Kong film industry. Especially Wilson Lam, who I’ve heard has been recently spotted coming back out of the woodwork to acting again. He was the non-comedic element that kept the film grounded in the crime element. The plot is a little everywhere as it masks the bickering for love and the crime elements of who is trustworthy. Its saving grace is how easily its two leading ladies can deliver all the jokes and make it an overall enjoyable experience packed with laugh out loud moments.

The Mad Monk (1993)

the mad monk

Director: Siu-Tung Ching & Johnnie To

Cast: Stephen Chow, Maggie Cheung, Man-Tat Ng, Anita Mui, Michael Wai-Man Chan

Internationally proclaimed comic genius Stephen Chow must change the lives of radiant prostitute Maggie Cheung Man-yuk, filthy beggar Anthony Wong, and a killer in this heavenly comedy directed by masterful new wave filmmaker Johnnie To. – IMDB

A double feature for Stephen Chow and Maggie Cheung in this segment, what are the chances, right? Suffice to say that I’m a big fan of Stephen Chow but even he has films that I don’t quite like so much and The Mad Monk definitely falls into that one. Its not exactly the jokes or the acting that I don’t like but rather the overall sillier and dumber approach here that gives off this off-hilter humor that I’m not a big fan of. There are some too over the top moments than preferred. The Mad Monk lacks in terms of being more unique.

I feel bad saying that mostly because the talented Siu-Tung Ching and Johnnie To paired up to co-direct this film. Siu-Tung Ching comes off making 3 movies each for The Swordsman and A Chinese Ghost Story, which I have a little memory of but have never revisited. While Johnnie To had come off of working on Justice My Foot with Stephen Chow, which happens to be one of my faves as well, its shocking to think that maybe this film might have worked if I was younger or discovered it when I was younger. It does have some strong cast here aside from the ones mentioned before like Anthony Wong who played one of the three people he need to save. Anthony Wong can be a funny man but he has some dramatic roles as well and is a very well-rounded actor.

Its hard to fault anything here because I think the movie delivered as it had wanted to. Everything fit together except my mindset and comedy preference and that usually is the most subjective element to making comedies.

Sunday List: Stephen Chow Films, Ranked [updated regularly]

Stephen Chow was possibly the first actor to spark my love for cinema in general. Hong Kong cinema has changed quite a bit but most people associate it with action films from the likes of Jackie Chan and Jet Li for starters. There is an entire world of cinema to explore here. With that said, I have many actors and actresses that I’d love to explore.

Stephen Chow is the first up and honestly, in his extended filmography, I still have a long way to make this a complete list and will update it as I catch up and rewatch more of his films, both as an actor and/or director and some titles might even be rearranged. A few of the titles have been too many years since I’ve actually seen it and probably remember it and feel differently about it now. I’ll expand on the descriptions of the films to be updated gradually as well. Remember to check back for more Stephen Chow goodness!

1.Tricky Brains (1991)

tricky brains

My love for Tricky Brains runs very deep. There are a lot of absurd humor here. In fact, the star power behind this movie definitely brings together a culmination of what defines Stephen Chow’s career in the 90s. There is his comedic partner Man-Tat Ng who they have many fun and hilarious scenes together but also the incredibly talented Andy Lau joins in here. The ladies include many talents in the 90s which aren’t around much nowadays in the Hong Kong film industry but were familiar faces back then. Its a movie about hiring someone to do pranks in mostly a bad way to waiver the view of someone. Of course, pranks, no matter how they are will misfire or succeed and those are the best and most fun moments of Tricky Brains.

You can read my review here.

2.God of Gamblers II (1990)

god of gamblers 2

What happened to God of Gamblers, you ask? God of Gamblers is the sequel to what started out as a Chow Yun-Fat role. In fact, some would actually recognize God of Gamblers II as Knight of Gamblers which focuses on the talented Andy Lau who returns to Hong Kong  in secret after training with God of Gambler as we saw in the first movie. Their goal is to set up a charity casino however the revenge from the going on in the first movie is what causes him to be caught up. Stephen Chow reprises his role here from All for the Winner which started up as a parody film of God of Gamblers and earned him the title of Saint of Gamblers which he carries into this film and teams up with Andy Lau while of course still having Man-Tat Ng as his uncle. When the magical powers and the actually skilled gambling powers combine, hilarity ensues.

I will be reviewing the God of Gamblers franchise here very soon.

3.Justice, My Foot (1992)

justice my foot

Justice, My Foot! boasts a fantastic cast. As usual, he is partnered up with Man-Tat Ng however, this time, they play as opposing forces where he impersonates a talented lawyer and Man-Tat Ng, plays as a judge. Along with this pairing which comes up with some hilarious moments even as they investigate a murder, the material is very light-hearted here. Anita Mui plays his wife. This Hong Kong super diva plays very well into this comedic role who is both a strong and convincing lady. This movie was on Netflix for a while last year but unfortunately  has left it as this posts goes up.

4.All For The Winner (1990)

all for the winner

Pretty lady, Sharla Cheung and funny woman, Sandra Ng act together in this film that starts off as something of a parody film for Stephen Chow which gets his character the title of Saint of Gamblers and has special powers that he soon discovers can win him some big money as long as he follows the hidden rules. They try to exploit them as he reunites with his uncle in Hong Kong. There are some barriers to entry to this one mostly because it plays on the difference of Mainland Chinese versus Hong Kong Chinese and the etiquette and mannerism differences between the before 97 handover when Hong Kong was still a British colony. It also plays on a lot of puns and Chinese sayings that could get lost in translation or just lose its effectiveness in translation. However, this film was enough of a success to earn him a role that entered him for God of Gamblers 2 (which is #2 on this list).

5.All’s Well Ends Well (1992)

all's well ends well

All’s Well Ends Well is an entertaining film to say the list. It was released as a Chinese New Year celebration movie. Rightfully so, as it is a comedic affair that also does something of a parody film like reenacting scenes in famous Hollywood movies. You’ll recognize films like Ghost, Terminator and Pretty Woman for starters. Does it gain it a better entrance to a Western audience? Perhaps it can, mostly because there are a lot of unspoken humor just with its talented cast and their over the top reactions and expressions in each scene that makes the humor work. For myself, this is a movie I watched a child and still holds up incredibly well.

6.From Beijing With Love (1994)
7.The Mermaid (2016) Review
8.Look Out, Officer (1990)
9.Love on Delivery (1994)
10.Shaolin Soccer (2001)
11.Flirting Scholar (1993)
12.Royal Tramp (1992)
13.Hail the Judge (1994)
14.God of Cookery (1996) Review
15.Fight Back to School (1991)
16.God of Gamblers III (1991)
17.Forbidden City Cop (1996)
18.A Chinese Odyssey Part I: Pandora’s Box (1995)
19.A Chinese Odyssey Part II: Cinderella (1995)
20.The Tricky Master (1999)
21.Kung Fu Hustle (2004)
22.The Lucky Guy (1998)
23.King of Beggars (1992)
24.Sixty Million Dollar Man (1995)
25.Lawyer Lawyer (1997)
26.Mad Monk (1993)
27.CJ7 (2008)
28.King of Comedy (1999)

Not seen:

  • Bo fung hon ji (1988)
  • Faithfully Yours (1988)
  • Dragon Fight (1989)
  • Just Heroes (1989)
  • Liu Mang Chai Po (1989)
  • Love is Love (1990)
  • Lung Fung Restaurant (1990)
  • The Unmatchable Match (1990)
  • Curry & Pepper (1990)
  • Sleazy Dizzy (1990)
  • When Fortune Smiles (1990)
  • Triad Story (1990)
  • Yi Ben Man Hua: Chuang Tian Ya (1990)
  • Legend of the Dragon (1991)
  • Fists of Fury 1991
  • The Magnificent Scoundrels (1991)
  • Fists of Fury 1991 II (1992)
  • Fight Back to School 2 (1992)
  • Fight Back to School 3 (1993)
  • Out of the Dark (1995)
  • All’s Well, Ends Well (1997)

Do you know Stephen Chow? 
What other actors do you want me to rank their filmography?

God of Cookery (original title: 食神, 1996)

Back in the 2018 opening post, I talked about injecting more foreign films with a particular focus to catching up and revisiting Hong Kong cinema. I’ve been thinking about a Foreign Friday segment for a good while (years probably) but never found the motivation. We just passed our 7th blogiversary here and its a fine time to embrace what I truly love. Hong Kong cinema was what started my journey into movies and so it makes sense to make it a much bigger presence here. With that said, the rigidness of when to post on a particular day is still on the back of my mind but maybe I’ll get that going once I get back into a groove of reviewing Hong Kong cinema.

To kick things off (and mostly because, I had a chat about it with AC Film Club HERE) is 1996 comedy by Stephen Chow, God of Cookery.

God of Cookery (1996)

god of cookery

Director: Stephen Chow

Cast: Stephen Chow, Karen Mok,  Vincent Kok, Man-Tat Ng, Stephen Au, Nancy Sit, Kar-Ying Law, Suet Lam

The most renowned and feared chef in the world loses his title of God of Cookery because of his pompous attitude. Humbled, he sets out to reclaim his title. – IMDB

God of Cookery happens somewhere in the middle of Stephen Chow’s successful 90’s career. I would call him the Jim Carey of Hong Kong because his humor is very much in line with how Jim Carey would be. Its absurd and nonsensical and the foundations of what is called “mo lei tau comedy”. However, Stephen Chow’s humor might be lost in translation at times however he excels at making up for it with his comical expressions. Coming from myself who grew up with Stephen Chow and speak Cantonese rather fluently, I can definitely appreciate his humor more than the Western world however, as we’ve seen with both Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle, he’s a talented comedic actor and while those films differ slightly from his Hong Kong career, it definitely should be ones that will give you an entry point to look at his older works and see if you can find the appreciation for it that I have. The God of Cookery is a nice place to start. He shows off his love for Hong Kong, combines elements of food and martial arts and shows off his successful pairing with Man-Tat Ng who is a partner in crime for many of his 90’s movies. At the same time, you see the likes of Karen Mok and for those more familiar with the older Hong Kong movies, some other talents sneak in there both as cameos and supporting roles.

god of cookery

I’m not going to lie that God of Cookery did take a second viewing to love it more. There is a lot of silliness here and it does get very over the top. Just take for example that the the arrogant cook that starts off the movie has some incredibly insensitive comments meant as humor followed by a rough treatment of the people around him. However, it also emphasizes the character here, also called Stephen Chow. However, the God of Cookery does get dethroned by his arrogance and picks himself back up with a nonsensical product called Pissing Beef Balls and a ragtag group of Temple Street vendors which are funny and awkward in each of their own ways. Alongside of that,there are some funny cameos from some known names in the Hong Kong industry like Nancy Sit and Kar Ying Law who have been around for a while that take on a nice comedic character.

However, the charm of the film does go to the God of Cookery himself and his female counterpart, Turkey (played by Karen Mok). The friendship that started it off and how he realizes her admiration from him and his distaste towards her because of her disfigured face does make for some over the top humor here. Of course, there is a decent superficial element to this as while Stephen Chow does fall for the character eventually, the added bonus is that she has made herself pretty in a turn of events. However, the quirky character that Turkey is makes for some fun bits as she bursts out in a familiar Cantonese song that talks about loyalty, friendship and comraderie, A lot of Stephen Chow’s movie humor is within his dialogue and his puns that will get lost with the western audience unfamiliar with language however, there is also a decent bit of unspoken humor just through his funny reactions and expressions.

god of cookery

Odd, quirky, absurdity and over the top humor is what Stephen Chow movies are about. It captures both the characters and has a rather light-hearted journey of redemption in many cases. The creativity and the dialogue is actually quite vulgar however it also hits a lot of the essence of the Cantonese language and its crafty and clever use. Stephen Chow and Karen Mok are fantastic is this. While I do have to say that even as a fan, it took me a second viewing to fully appreciate it, there is quite a bit to love and enjoy if this is a type of humor that appeals to you. As I always say, humor and comedy is very different for everyone so it really depends on what you like.

Podcast: Guest on Asian Cinema Film Club for God of Cookery

Its with great pleasure that I get invited onto my Game Warp co-hosts other podcast project with Stephen of Eastern Kicks to talk about 1996’s Stephen Chow comedy God of Cookery. While its probably not my favorite of Stephen Chow movies, our discussion was a fun one as we got to share our love for his work and what works for this movie and why this might be a good entry point for many that shows off who Stephen Chow is at his best before his outstanding directorial and/or acting roles in Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle as well as 2016’s The Mermaid.

As I figure out a great way to introduce Hong Kong cinema into my blog, guest duties on Asian Cinema Film Club definitely made me feel all great about it because Stephen Chow was my entry into film initially.

Since embedding Podomatic players don’t exactly work here (or I haven’t figured it out yet), here’s the link:

Thanks for listening!
If you love all kinds of Asian Cinema, remember to check out the AC Film Club’s other episodes!

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.


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?

The Mermaid/Mei Ren Yu (2016)

Look at me! Back to back new movies! Because I’ve being frequenting the theatres more this week, today’s Netflix A-Z is postponed to next Tuesday.  I don’t go see movies with my mom a lot, mostly because she falls asleep when she goes into a dark space like a theatre but she was really interested in seeing The Mermaid once she knew one of the theatres here was showing it.  For those who don’t know, The Mermaid is currently the highest grossing movie of China.  It is directed and produced by Stephen Chow and boasts one of the most captivating mermaid depictions. Hearing this, you know, I can’t exactly skip it over. 😉

The Mermaid (2016)

the mermaid poster

Director: Stephen Chow

Cast: Chao Deng, Yun Lin, Show Luo, Yuqi Zhang, Ivan Kotik, Hark Tsui

The Mermaid (aka Mei Ren Yu) is story about rich real estate developer, Liu Xuan (Chao Deng) who buys the entire Green Gulf to open his biggest resort. However, to do this, he places a sonar in the water to repell and drive away all the sea animals living there. One of these species are the merfolks. In an act to revenge and stop him, they send their young beauty Shan (Yun Lin) to kill him. In a turn of events, they fall in love but not without divulging the existence of mermaids and their home.  How will he choose: Love or money?

In interviews, Stephen Chow has explained his love for fairy tales and this how he does this one. The Mermaid is an ultimate fairy tale that spans through being a comedy, romance, fantasy and action. How many people can say that they can make it work? Not a lot. But he did. The Mermaid is well deserved to be the highest grossing movie in China. The imagination, passion and details in this are impeccable. Stephen Chow may be my ultimate hero ever in movies but I have reservations on some of his previous directorial pieces but this one was entertaining, fun, and thrilling. Especially so if you know his filmography well because there are nods to some of his previous work and the style is Classic Stephen Chow.  What works well is that the story is simple and yet the script is done so well to bring a lot of his classic absurd humor but still bring out the love for the characters he brings alive on screen, making it incredibly fun to watch.

The Mermaid

I’m not as familiar with China movie industry as I am with Hong Kong.  I know the division shouldn’t be there but the quality of movies have always had a distance.  However, when the production is done together, it usually does boast a certain level of quality. With this one, the leading actress Yun Lin is a young actress and this is her first movie.  This is a good choice because she brings out a level of innocence that mermaids unknown to the humans on land have.  There’s a naivety and simpleness to her that makes her funny when met with the incredibly sly Liu Xuan.  While I am unfamiliar to the industry, I have seen Chao Deng before.  Where? I can’t remember exactly but he’s been in the business for some time as well.  He carries a style and he can carry the pretty and sly playboy real estate developer that is ambitious and ruthless and really doesn’t care for much but money.  The chemistry that builds between Liu Xuan and Yun Lin may be awkward and over the top but highly entertaining to watch.

the mermaid

Other than him, we have cameos from a few actors that you will be familiar with if you’ve seen Kung Fu Hustle or Shaolin Soccer.  There’s a little bit of Tsui Hark that does a small role in The Mermaid.  The evil jealous rich lady here is pretty good also and man, does she look all sorts of villainous. Stephen Chow also got huge acting veteran Adam Cheng and a singer/actress (who was in God of Cookery) to do one of the theme songs for a quite renowned Cantonese song.

What was surprising to me was the addition of Taiwanese pop star/TV drama superstar, Show Luo.  I remember a few years back when I was watching Taiwanese TV series that he was so great and some of my favorite ones till today are with him part of the cast.  Its refreshing to see him being his silly self and excelling at it even more than before.  He grasps the role of being the octopus so well. He is absolutely comedic insert here.  I’d have to say that 80% of his parts are purely roll on the floor laughing quality.

I’ve mentioned over and over again that humor and comedies are hard to achieve because different people have different types of comedy that they enjoy.  For me, Stephen Chow and his style works the best for me.  I call it absurd but I believe what some would call slapstick.  Although I can’t say for sure because I understood the film in its original language, but many of the humor is in reactions and not in words and that helps transcend through language which I think shouldn’t be a problem (even if the subtitles have their little translation problems here and there). I’m sure another review will shed on the effectiveness of the humor.

The Mermaid

I could talk about The Mermaid forever from production design to cast to humor to characters to just about anything, but The Mermaid has so much merit for being simple, fun and taking you  into a fairy tale.  This production video is in Chinese but it shows a lot of how it was constructed and whatnot. It talks about the 3D challenges and the meticulous detail and standards and also the dedication Stephen Chow had about getting this exactly how he envisioned it.

Overall, The Mermaid is a must-see.  I’d be surprised if it didn’t land on my Top 5 by the end of the year (if I did one of those). Stephen Chow’s direction and vision is definitely one of his best.  The Mermaid is done so well.  The story is a simple fairy tale and its a ton of fun to watch with a huge amount of hilarious moments. I love it so much. Talking about it gives me the desire to see it a second time.

Have you seen The Mermaid? 

April Fools 2014: Tranquil Dreams

Check out my entry on the April Fools Blogathon over at Silver Screen Serenade. We had to choose 5 lovable idiots from movies or TV. I vouched for movies and it was tough to narrow it down in the end but here’s i the final list. In my mind, lovable idiots seem to all have a good heart and pure intentions, they just don’t really have the right mindset to do it, if not something else.
Drop by and see what other bloggers have chosen also. I’ve seen some pretty amazing lists 🙂
Huge thanks to Cara for putting this together and thinking up this April Fools Blogathon. It was so much fun 🙂

Silver Screen Serenade


Another day, another round of idiots! This set of April Fools is brought to you by the lovely Kim of Tranquil Dreams. Kim’s blog is super cool with a whole variety of stuff–movie reviews, awesome travel photos, recipes, and much more. Be sure to go give it a looksee! Now let’s see what fools Kim picked…

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Breaking Emotions Blogathon: Smiles & Thrills

breaking emotions blogathon

We’re now on the third week of Mettel Ray’s Breaking Emotions Blogathon.  I had a lot of fun with the last two weeks breaking awkward and then breaking tears and surprise.  This week, our mission is to break smiles & thrills.  You can check out the post HERE for more info! I have to admit right from the get go I already had two (one each) that popped in my head.  The rest I’ll have to skim my movie collection and see which really brought out some smiles and thrills.


1) My Neighbor Totoro – Meeting Totoro

This was only part of the scene but its the best that I could find on Youtube.  A lot about Miyazaki makes me smile.  Totoro is my all-time favorite and its all kinds of smiles and laughter for me.  Its cute and especially that scene where Mei meets Totoro.  Its heartwarming and adorable and that brings on lots of smiles.  At least one type of smile 🙂

2) The Holiday – If You Were A Melody

This was really between this and Pride and Prejudice but then that had a million scenes I could’ve but in The Holiday this one with Jack Black and Kate Winslet makes me all giddy and happy.  Maybe its the whole musical background I have but it doesn’t make you stop loving it every single time.  This scene is one of those feel-good scenes that brings smiles to my face all the time!

3) Tricky BrainsStephen Chow‘s awesomeness

Stephen Chow is my comedian hero.  I’ve watched him since I was really young, maybe 8 years old and I’ve been hooked.  Tricky Brains is one of the many that I know by heart all the dialogue and this segment makes me laugh every time (along with the rest of the movie) but I could’ve picked tons of scenes from this and other movies but Stephen Chow has to be part of any list that contributes to my smiles.  Its not romance-y or cute smiles but its just all the humor, wit, absurdity that he brings to his scenes.  Its just epic!

Next up is the hard part.  I almost didn’t want to do BREAKING THRILLS.  Why? Because I can’t remember enough to do this.  I had one and then I stood in front of my movie collection for a few times in the evening before figuring it out.

1) Fast Five-Final Ending Car Chase/Heist

When I think thrills, a few scenes from Fast and Furious come to my mind.  The 4th one had a few scenes but nothing beats the thrills from watching the final heist and car chase down Rio de Janeiro streets.  Its awesome, fun and just SO exciting! I’m a fan so maybe if you’re not, you won’t love this over the top heist (but then what could beat the crazy long runway from Fast Six, right?

2) New Police Story – Bus Scene

I’m pretty sure most of you have witnessed Jackie Chan‘s stunts.  The man is amazing at what he does from his Project A days till now.  New Police Story was an awesome movie with ridiculously thrilling stunts from not only him but well, my own personal fave, Nicholas Tse.  This makes this movie, especially this scene (which had the front part not included) completely intense.  Its a long chase that somehow turns into a crazy bus scene.  Jackie Chan’s stunts at his very best are unpredictable so they make every scene a thrill to watch.

3) Journey to the Centre of the Earth – Infinite Fall (among the many)

Journey to the Center of the Earth was possibly the first movie that I saw with the whole 3D effect as their main purpose.  The experience was enhanced by the 3D effects.  Among the many scenes that were really exciting including the finale, although with some jokes the infinite falling part was crazy thrilling.  We don`t know whats at the bottom of the drop and on top of that as the movie progresses, it only gets more amazing with more adventures and more unknown factors thrown at them.

Now that I went searching, my mind had a hard time actually choosing scenes. So many choices! Both breaking smiles and thrills has brought back a lot of movie scenes.

What scenes do you think of that make you smile and laugh or brings you sitting edge of the seat thrills?

Full Throttle (1995)

Okay..just to clarify.  My boyfriend and I are working on the not seen pile because its getting ridiculously high and coincidentally that includes a bunch of Hong Kong flicks so foreign films will be a bit more frequent.  At least I have another review coming up shortly.  We’ve been working hard in the last 2 weeks, that pile has decreased quite a bit.  I have one tower instead of two on my shelf.  Actually for this movie Full Throttle, I saw it when I was very young.  I remember a bit of the story but its a crossover of racing and drama with the fantastic Andy Lau in his beginning of his red hot days in the Hong Kong film industry.  He’s still red hot now especially after Infernal Affairs and winning the Best Actor in the Asian equivalent of Academy Awards a few years back.

full throttle posterDirector: Derek Yee

Cast: Andy Lau, David Wu, Gigi Leung, Paul Chun, Kar Lok Chin

Joe (Andy Lau) is known to be Hong Kong’s top motorcycle racers.  However, as his father Paul (Paul Chun), who owns the best official racing team in the industry, he has banned Joe from being near his bikes.  This lead him to rebel and eventually this caused him to lose his license for 7 years.  Regardless of that factor, he still joins in illegal underground street races and has proven that he is still at par.  One night, he meets a young racer David (David Wu) who has just returned from America and wants to make a name for himself.  When things turn sour, David joins Paul’s team while Joe and his best friend Jimmy (Kar Lok Chin) decide to challenge them and he ends up in an accident.  As his health slowly improves and his girlfriend Annie is by his side convincing him to not do this anymore, he has to question what is important in his life and reevaluate his path. Should he challenge David for the top racer and fight his fears? Is racing what defines him? Is this worth losing his relationship over?



I feel like I’ve said too much in the synopsis but to be fair, this is a drama more than action.  There are a few race scenes but its a lot about Joe finding his path.  The story is pretty good however, with the many movies that has come out in between 1995 to today in Hollywood, you will be able to figure out most of what happens.  I stay true that the characters in this story, especially Joe’s character is very well-developed.  Plus, they have quite the top supporting cast for this flick and it earned a really good reputation. Although, some characters were on the annoying side.

Joe reevaluating his life

Joe reevaluating his life

Andy Lau was a pretty decent actor back in the 90s (not just nowadays).  He did some pretty remarkable movies and in fact, I own and rewatch a lot of them regularly.  Some is because he did them with Stephen Chow and as the years went by, he tackled all the movie genres and developed himself into a great actor.  He is a respectable actor as well and back then, he worked hard.  He was one of the least annoying parts of this movie.  For the most part, I found his character development to be very full as we watch him fall, get up and fall again and then stand back up to find himself and  in between make tough decisions. I was totally convinced me that he was going through a bad time.

Joe (Andy Lau) and Jimmy (Kar Lok Chin)

Joe (Andy Lau) and Jimmy (Kar Lok Chin)

I can’t say the same for some of the other actors because they aren’t as good.  However, I blame the dialogue and the characters they were given.  For the most part, Gigi Leung’s Annie drove me absolutely crazy frustrated most of the time because I found her bordering annoying.  However, I love Gigi Leung not mostly as an actress but more a singer.  Kar Lok Chin does his usual roles of being the jealous lesser person who has too much pride to admit that and ends up in bad spots.  However, he does do those roles really well so for the new viewers who don’t expect it, he will be convincing and if I`m not mistaken, he is more of a stunts guy.

full throttle scene

One of the best supporting actors is Paul Chun who plays Joe’s father.  Paul Chun is one of the respectable older actors.  When he was younger, (according to my mom) he was cast as handsome main actor roles and I may not see the handsome part but he definitely has the acting thing down really solid.  He has an engaging role where you will hate but question his motives for how he treats Joe. I have been watching this guy in TV drama and movies since forever, so he is awesome!

I really enjoy this movie.  Its a nice action drama and Andy Lau is really good.  The story is decent and for the most part, it shows a lot of Hong Kong streets and life back in the 90s.  Hong Kong changes too much for it to stay the same but I mean, the road designs and structure do stay the same.  Maybe you’ll enjoy the difference of the filming style to Hollywood.  Its definitely worth a watch if you get a chance!

Chinese New Year Movie: All’s Well That Ends Well 2011 (2011)

I know Chinese New Year was yesterday but at my house it ends 7 days later, because my mom told me that on the 7th day its called people’s day, which means its everyone’s birthday. Still, how could I not take the opportunity and review a Hong Kong movie? Plus, this one is one of the longest ones going on. They’ve been making one for Chinese New Year since 2009.  In 2009, it was rebooted from its original starring Stephen Chow back in 1992.  The 1992 version still stands as one of my favorites but when they rebooted it in 2009 it took similar characters and gave it a connection and it helped that movie get really popular.  But as you see, I’m not reviewing the 2009 one or the 1992 one (yet) but I’m reviewing the 2011 one.  That one was good fun because it had Donnie Yen and he was not doing martial arts…

all's well that ends well 2011Director: Hing-Ka Chan, Janet Chun

Cast: Louis Koo, Cecilia Cheung, Donnie Yen, Carina Lau, Chapman To, Bak-Ming Wong

This is a romantic comedy which is something like the cross of Valentine’s Day (many interlinked storylines) with Scary Movie (mocking/implementing snippets of multiple movies concepts).  Here’s how the storyline goes: Sammy (Louis Koo) is a straight guy who pretends to be a gay make up artist in order to thrive in his industry.  He is very popular and always has to appear in TV shows and events, etc.  When a Chinese oil tycoon (Bak-Ming Wong) decides to buy a growing entire beauty products company called Beauty for his girlfriend Dream who doesn’t know anything about running a business, and because of that Sammy gets tricked into being hired as the CEO. He is then assigned to have a clumsy, chatterbox assistant called Claire (Cecilia Cheung) who in an photo shoot attracts the attention of a rich guy, Slippery who is scared of women because he’s always tricked by women for his money.  Its there, Sammy tries to set up Claire with Slippery.  At the same time, Sammy also hires Keung (Donnie Yen), who is also a make-up artist who isn’t doing as well but understands what women want and how to transform them into extreme beauty, and has him work in the most expensive and popular make-up counter in Hong Kong to serve rich ladies to help promote Beauty.  The side story here is Keung is actually in love with his first girlfriend, Moni (Carina Lau) who is now just a good friend who is an author who writes under someone else’s name and always pretends to be someone else.  A Cinderella story happens with Slippery and Claire, while an unrequited love happens with Keung and Moni, at the same time, the oil tycoon wants to make sure that Dream will be not leave him and decides to do anything for her with the help of Sammy to get into shape and to make himself more attractive.  However, the main character is Sammy who learns how to become himself and be confident that being himself he can still have great accomplishments both in career and love.

awtew keung moni

This is a few love stories all mashed together with a lot of funny slapstick humour.  Is it my favorite among all the All’s Well that Ends Well? That it is not but this one has a lot of funny moments that keeps me watching it all the time.  Plus, you know, the selling point is Donnie Yen not doing martial arts and believe me, he can a funny man.  This was just the first one where he does a comedy because he’s also in All’s Well That Ends Well 2012.  But I mean, who doesn’t like Donnie Yen? He’s just complete awesomeness, especially when Carina Lau (Moni) makes fun of Ip Man.  If you have seen Louis Koo in Flashpoint, (also a Donnie Yen action film), you won’t ever imagine him doing this role but fact of the matter is, Louis Koo has been in the business for a long time so his acting skills are fantastic.  They have a great cast to support it.  Also, one face you will recognize if you’ve seen Infernal Affairs is Chapman To.  He is a very good comedic actor in Hong Kong so they threw him in here and it helps out the movie quite a bit.

awtew 1

There isn’t really much to say.  It has a strong cast and offers an entertaining time. Its a funny movie that celebrates and always ends with a happy ending and almost always has a shot similar to this with the cast wishing everyone a Happy Chinese New Year!

To end it off, here is the trailer: