Eric Tsang

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After This Our Exile Review


Very Good
It's always interesting to see what kinds of films win the big awards beyond America's borders. Over in Asia, it was the clunkily named After This Our Exile that racked up an impressive series of honors during the 2007 Asian awards season. A feverish drama about a down-on-his-luck dad and his suffering son (which, by the way, was more sensibly named Father and Son in Asian markets), it's a sad glimpse at the tough lives of some working class ethnic Chinese Malays, but it's tedious at times and coughs up too many melodramatic moments.

Helmed by celebrated director Patrick Tam after a 17-year sabbatical, one can't help but wonder if he was a bit rusty as he brought this story to life. We intrude on the unhappy family of Chow (Aaron Kwok), a small-town stir-fry chef with a gambling problem who has trouble providing for his common-law wife Ling (Charlie Young) and their ten-year old son Boy (King-to Ng). In fact, Ling is packing to leave as the film begins, and when Chow catches her he gives her a bit of a beating to whip her back into shape. Boy is suitably traumatized and longs only for a calm home.

Continue reading: After This Our Exile Review

Infernal Affairs Review


Good
A twisted pretzel of secrecy and betrayal that always seems on the verge of exploding into an inferno of gunfire, Infernal Affairs strives to be the end-all, be-all of undercover cop movies and comes so close to achieving its goal that one feels petty for registering any complaints. Instead of setting up the standard cop/criminal dichotomy, this film tries to turn genre expectations on their head, blending shades of black and white morality into a foggy gray from the get-go and undermining audiences even further with an almost comically complex plot. This is a film where you can be convinced of one thing only, that you won't know where things stand until the absolute last scene, if then - whether or not some will have mentally checked out by that point is another question.

In its clever introduction, Infernal Affairs presents a triad boss who assembles a band of kids from his gang to infiltrate the Hong Kong police academy - this is a criminal with an unusually long-range vision. Years later, the principals come into focus: there's the undercover cop, Yan (Tony Leung), struggling with his identity after so many years as a fake criminal, and the highly-placed internal affairs officer, Ming (Andy Lau), who turns out to be one of the triad moles. Throwing another loop into the plot is the fact that the triad Yan has infiltrated is the same one Ming is working for, each one knowing that there is a double agent on the opposite side (which is actually their side), whom they have been assigned by their respective bosses to root out.

Continue reading: Infernal Affairs Review

The Accidental Spy Review


OK
Jackie Chan, bless his 48-year-old heart, has finally slowed down his breakneck pace of filmmaking, which would sometimes reach up to five chopsocky flicks in a year.

Aside from Rush Hour 2, The Accidental Spy is Chan's only film from 2001, and while the star is slowing down, so are his films. The tepid Rush Hour series notwithstanding, Chan's action scenes are a little less extreme than in the past, with longer exposition sequences between them, and with fewer gags to break the tedium. Squirting lotion in a bad guy's face is about as funny as it gets here.

Continue reading: The Accidental Spy Review

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Eric Tsang Movies

Infernal Affairs Movie Review

Infernal Affairs Movie Review

A twisted pretzel of secrecy and betrayal that always seems on the verge of exploding...

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