Lawrence Chou

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Dream Home Review


Good
Supposedly based on a true story, this film feels more like an extended joke, complete with a punch line that comes after 90 minutes of outrageous grisliness. At least it's blackly funny. And eerily relevant.Since she was a child, Sheung (Ho) has been incensed by the injustice of the Hong Kong property market, which has only become worse over the years. After a tall block is built in front of her harbour view, she vows to buy a flat in the new building. But even working two full-time jobs isn't enough. With her father in need of expensive medical treatment, she decides to take matters into her own hands, even if it means murder.This story is told out of sequence and crosscut with Sheung's grisly rampage of murder as she moves through a series of apartments killing people in hideous ways. We're not sure why she's doing this until the the final piece of the story falls into place. And the problem with this structure is that we can't sympathise without knowing her motivation, so the film becomes merely a display of exceptionally effective horror make-up effects.Since we haven't a clue what's happening or why, we never feel like we know Sheung, which leaves Ho's performance feeling rather empty. Still, her physicality is impressive as she gets out of dangerous situations by focussing her inner rage on whoever's in front of her. As the body count climbs, we hope someone stops her. And even the scenes from previous years don't really help, confusing the narrative since they feel so random.Along the way there are constant discussions about housing and finance.

Everyone's talking about the high cost of property, government collusion with developers and, underlying it all, the unfaithfulness of men. All of these things have an impact on the story, but the real point of the film is to show a lot of horrible ways to die with as much blood and gore as possible. And while director Pang shoots it with a lot of visual panache, just a bit more pathos would have made all the difference.

The Eye (2002) Review


Weak
Of all the horror films that spring to mind while watching the Pang brothers' stylish if only sporadically frightening The Eye, none is more amusing than Body Parts. That moronic vehicle for B-movie heartthrob Jeff Fahey concerned a man whose decapitated arm is replaced by the appendage of a serial killer on death row, and which eventually turns out to still be controlled by said killer, who wants his arm back! It was one of the 1990s' most inane "it's so awful that it's come back around to being good again" guilty pleasures, and features a truly inspired performance by Fahey's arm, which flails about wildly under the possessed guidance of its original owner. Even in some quarters today, unexpectedly smacking someone next to you can easily be explained by the simple phrase, "Sorry, it was my serial killer arm."

But I digress. Like Fahey's insipidly entertaining film, The Eye is about transplanted body parts that can't seem to shake the influence of their former hosts. Mun (Angelica Lee) has been blind since the age of two, but a recent cornea transplant has miraculously given her the gift of sight. The only problem is that, along with sight, Mun seems to have gained a "second sight" as well: She can see sinewy, indistinct figures (apparently death's bureaucratic minions) taking people away right before they die, and even sees a mysterious stranger's face when she looks in the mirror. This prescience is confounding and terrifying for Mun, and she seeks the counsel of a psychotherapist named Dr. Wah (Lawrence Chou) to help her escape this terrible curse. In typical ghost story fashion, what both learn is that these spirits are hanging around their former haunts because they have unfinished business in the real world, and that it's up to Mun to help them complete their last earthly tasks and send them safely on their way to happy dead-person land.

Continue reading: The Eye (2002) Review

The Eye Review


Weak
Of all the horror films that spring to mind while watching the Pang brothers' stylish if only sporadically frightening The Eye, none is more amusing than Body Parts. That moronic vehicle for B-movie heartthrob Jeff Fahey concerned a man whose decapitated arm is replaced by the appendage of a serial killer on death row, and which eventually turns out to still be controlled by said killer, who wants his arm back! It was one of the 1990s' most inane "it's so awful that it's come back around to being good again" guilty pleasures, and features a truly inspired performance by Fahey's arm, which flails about wildly under the possessed guidance of its original owner. Even in some quarters today, unexpectedly smacking someone next to you can easily be explained by the simple phrase, "Sorry, it was my serial killer arm."

But I digress. Like Fahey's insipidly entertaining film, The Eye is about transplanted body parts that can't seem to shake the influence of their former hosts. Mun (Angelica Lee) has been blind since the age of two, but a recent cornea transplant has miraculously given her the gift of sight. The only problem is that, along with sight, Mun seems to have gained a "second sight" as well: She can see sinewy, indistinct figures (apparently death's bureaucratic minions) taking people away right before they die, and even sees a mysterious stranger's face when she looks in the mirror. This prescience is confounding and terrifying for Mun, and she seeks the counsel of a psychotherapist named Dr. Wah (Lawrence Chou) to help her escape this terrible curse. In typical ghost story fashion, what both learn is that these spirits are hanging around their former haunts because they have unfinished business in the real world, and that it's up to Mun to help them complete their last earthly tasks and send them safely on their way to happy dead-person land.

Continue reading: The Eye Review

The Eye Review


OK

After miracle corneal-transplant surgery at age 20, a shy Hong Kong woman who has been blind since age two is suddenly thrust into sensory overload by her new fifth sense.

With her mind overwhelmed by the flow of visual input, she's so confused and disoriented that at first she doesn't realize that some of what she's seeing in her new world isn't of this world. Along with her reborn fifth sense has come a "Sixth Sense"-like sixth sense -- through the dead organ donor's corneas, she sees dead people.

"The Eye" is a film by the creative, Thai-born Pang Brothers, whose darkly moody 2001 action-drama "Bangkok Dangerous" also featured a hero with a disability -- a deaf-mute assassin. This new effort is a bona fide goosepimpler in which poor Mun (Lee Sin-Je) can't get away from the ghosts because she sees them everywhere.

Continue reading: The Eye Review

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Lawrence Chou Movies

Dream Home Movie Review

Dream Home Movie Review

Supposedly based on a true story, this film feels more like an extended joke, complete...

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The Eye Movie Review

The Eye Movie Review

After miracle corneal-transplant surgery at age 20, a shy Hong Kong woman who has been...

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