Jeff Lau

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Ashes Of Time Redux Review


Excellent
Six months after he went all gooey over America in My Blueberry Nights, Wong Kar-Wai returns packing a re-tooled cut of his indecipherable 1994 martial-arts whatsit Ashes of Time, now provocatively titled Ashes of Time Redux. The missing link between the buzzed buffoonery of the Chinese filmmaker's first two films and the intoxicating hysteria of Chungking Express and Fallen Angels now finds itself aligned more with the latter stylized works of an auteur rather than the baby steps of a confused film school graduate.

Not much clearer for the digital colorization, edits, and a new score by Yo Yo Ma, the rushing surge of the film's narrative strands might remain perplexing unless you're equipped with the film's press notes. Focused mainly on the hazy remembrances of Ouyang Feng (Leslie Cheung), Kar-Wai facilitates a whirling, desert-set phantasma where swordsmen brood like Goethe when they aren't doing battle with thieves... and their women are simultaneously incapable of forgetting or remembering their lovers.

Continue reading: Ashes Of Time Redux Review

So Close Review


Very Good
They're beautiful sisters. They're high-heeled hackers. They're ruthless assassins. What more do you need to know? In So Close, Lynn (Qi Shu) and Sue (Vicki Zhao) kick serious ass all over Hong Kong while the equally gorgeous (though somewhat mannish) cop Hong (Karen Mok) tries to track them down before they strike again. Whether they're bringing down a global network of banking computers, shooting two dozen black-suited security goons, or poisoning a corrupt CEO with a pair of cyanide-emitting sunglasses, Lynn and Sue are big trouble. Either one of them could easily dispatch all three of Charlie's Angels before breakfast.

Artfully orchestrating the action is legendary Hong Kong director Cory Yuen, who shows no signs of tiring with this, his 34th directing job in 21 years (in addition to his 32 gigs as an action choreographer). Yuen, whose credits include most of Jet Li's best films, including High Risk and The Enforcer, has more recently entertained Western audiences with The Transporter (also starring Qi Shu). A genius in his cinematic genre, Yuen knows how to make screen action look fantastic, with just the right pacing and skillful editing. His films are visual feasts, even if the plots sometimes fall by the wayside.

Continue reading: So Close Review

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Jeff Lau Movies

Ashes Of Time Redux Movie Review

Ashes Of Time Redux Movie Review

Six months after he went all gooey over America in My Blueberry Nights, Wong Kar-Wai...

So Close Movie Review

So Close Movie Review

They're beautiful sisters. They're high-heeled hackers. They're ruthless assassins. What more do you need to...

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