Hong Kong Cinema Links & Reviews
[Legacy of Rage]
Bishonen review is up - major spoilers towards the end.
Hot War review is up - am I the only one who noticed that they killed off all the female characters halfway through the film?
Gen-X Cops review is up - making it the second "Alien" film
Final Romance (aka Wishing Tree) review is up.
Why "Two Degrees of Anthony Wong"?
Initially, I was planning on linking all movies back to Anthony Wong in two links or less, "borrowing" the idea from that delightful Kevin Bacon game. Once I got started, I realized the same could be done with any number of Hong Kong actors (Ekin Cheng, Sam Lee...), so I dropped the idea. The name sort of stuck.
Where did you get your "popular" actors & titles information?
Purely off the number of hits on the individual pages on my website. Since there are hundreds of Chow Yun-Fat pages out there and not many Amanda Strang pages, I'll get most of the web traffic. To be taken with a grain of salt.
(or: Is Amanda Strang really more popular than Chow Yun-Fat?)
What does "romantically linked" mean?
It means that the couple in question may have - in the past or present - dated. Or that the Hong Kong gossip columns have speculated that they've dated. Or that they'd make a good couple if they decided to date. No offense is meant. Since I'm female, I kind of get a kick out of this stuff.
Where can I find Hong Kong movies in New York City?
Stop in Chinatown and head over to the intersection of Bowery & Canal. TMC Asian Music at 151 Canal Street sells 6 VCD movies (including karaoke videos and anime) for $18.95, organized by actor (Chinese only). They also have a fairly extensive DVD & music section. Start walking up Bowery towards midtown, past a Chinese grocery store and you'll find Lai Ying Music at 89 Bowery Street and another DVD/VCD store at 99 Bowery. You can pick up DVD's at all three places for around $9-12.
I'm a cheap bastard.
What's the difference between VCD & DVD?
VCD's are equivalent to VHS in quality, have no layers to them, and only fit 70 or so minutes on a disk (a movie is broken into two disks). Hong Kong VCDs generally have Mandarin on one speaker and Cantonese on another, and are subtitled in Chinese & English at the bottom of the screen.
DVD's hold a complete movie (and then some) and have different layers (i.e. Cantonese/Mandarin/English sound options; Chinese Simplified/Traditional or English as the subtitles). The DVD quality is better and the price is higher. VCDs will play on your computer; both VCDs and DVDs should play on a regular DVD player.
Which is the Cantonese and Mandarin track on the VCD?
For us non-speakers of either language, obviously. If you know what an actor sounds like, switch between the left & right speaker until you find their voice. If that doesn't work, check the lips and see if they match up. If all else fails, Mandarin (to me) sounds more formal and curved (xie xie); Cantonese sounds more laid-back and relaxed (m'goi).
Why did you include Chinese on your pages?
I'm teaching myself to read Chinese characters and I thought it would be good practice. Also, you can cut & paste the Chinese characters into Google and expand your search on the title/actor. But it's mostly because I'm pretentious.
What are your favorite Hong Kong & Japanese movies?
- Hard Boiled, for the sheer joy, action and adrenaline;
- Heroic Trio for the mythology and potential
- Battle Royale (Japanese) for the mind-altering violence and fantastic characters.
What are some fun Hong Kong films?
- 2002, for the HK ghost lore and the joy of watching an evil Stephen Fung try to kill Nicholas Tse;
- Bullets of Love, for the kick-ass female assassin and because I do so love a good bad guy;
- Metade Fumaca for the scenes of Hong Kong, the fantastic flashback, and the numerous cameos;
- Rave Fever for the triple-tiered storyline;
- My Schoolmate, the Barbarian, for the video-game style fightings.
What are some good Canto-Pop soundtrack films?
What's up with the Hong Kong comic covers?
When I was in college, I worked at a comic book store for a year. During that time, I collected Hong Kong comics from our discount bin, mainly for the fantastic artwork. While I couldn't read any of the Chinese, I could still follow the plots slightly (lots of extremely muscular men fighting on logs - very macho), and became enamored with them. Turns out, this affection towards Hong Kong comics stood me in good stead for such movies as Comic King, Storm Riders and the Young & Dangerous series. It's out of nostalgia for my college days and for the fantastic cover artwork that I include the comics here.
How did you make these pages?
Glad you asked! I set up three relational databases in Filemaker Pro, linking on their file name. Added all relevant information, created an HTML field combining the fields, and exported the individual HTML fields using ExportFM, renaming all the files using SomeWare's Namo. Presto! Instant HTML pages.
I hate frames. Is there a fast way out?
Sure - click on any picture on any page to kick yourself out of the frame.