Thursday, July 15, 2004

Too many movies to talk about!!

So many movies, so little time! It has been a while since the last update. So brace yourself for quite a few reviews:
1) PTU (Police Tactical Unit) by Johnny To – This Hong Kong movie will surely be remade into a Hollywood version.  It came highly recommended to me but I found it disappointing.  The story is simply enough – a cop loses his gun one night through his own fault.  The cop’s friend in the PTU agrees to help him find his gun until dawn, and after that this incident would have to be reported.  What follows is a glimpse into the night life underbelly of Hong Kong – the mafia, the tensions/distrust between the Police, the CID and the PTU.  One thing is for clear – anyone out on the street at 4 am is a member of the Mafia, the Police or a petty thief. 
2) Double Vision by Kuo-fu Chen – This movie starts off really well.  A series of mysterious deaths puzzle the local police – a man is found dead on the 17th floor of his office building, his body is frozen and the autopsy indicates he was drowned, yet he never left his office; a woman is found burned in her apartment but nothing else is damaged. The story has all the elements of an X-File, and even has David Morse playing an FBI agent flown into Hong Kong to help unlock the case.  Where this movie fails is in the last 20 minutes – the mysterious deaths, the cultish story could have been a good material but the ending, argh!!! The ending ruined everything.
3) Love Actually – I didn’t mind this sugar coated candy at all.  What made it worth watching was the single scene of the British Prime Minister standing up to the American President. Good show, jolly chap.
4) Infernal Affairs by Wai Keung Lau & Sui Fai Mak – That is not a typo, it is Infernal not Internal.  This Hong Kong movie is being remade by Hollywood, and that comes as no surprise.  I am sure some Hollywood exec sold this movie as ‘Donnie Brasco meets Heat’.  We have seen moles in Mafia gang stories, we have seen criminals hidden within the police force.  But this movie combines these two elements – there is a mole in the police force and one in the Mafia.  And both the Mafia head and Police Chief come to the conclusion at the same time during a face to face meeting.  They take it as a challenge and plan to continue their regular business while trying to sniff the mole out.  What follows is a cat and mouse game.  And the person who guesses wrong, dies.  The movie was highly successful in Hong Kong and has led to two Sequels.  It is worth the watch.

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