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I am a big fan of Asian cinema in particular, and I am quite fond of especially South Korean and Hong Kong movies.
My favorite genre is, and always have been, horror, with a preference to anything with zombies in it.
I believe that every movie should be given the chance of being seen - a belief that has lead me to watch many a questionable movies.
The Unbelievable (2009)
Hoaxes and scams makes for adequate entertainment...
While the 2009 Hong Kong movie here is listed as horror, it felt more like watching a documentary. So in a way I suppose this was nicely achieved by director Tat-Nin Chan.
It should be said that if you sit down to watch "The Unbelievable" with the intention of watching an actual horror movie, then this movie might not be the best of choices. As I mentioned earlier, it feels more like a documentary than an actual movie.
They use a lot of stock footage of accidents and dead people in the beginning, so there might be some viewers that may be offended or otherwise upset by what is on the screen. Definitely not the most squeamish of viewers.
One thing that I don't understand is if this was supposed to pass as a TV show that had been running for 12 years, why would they have two ladies in the lead that were so squeamish and jumpy, screaming at the slightest figment of their imagination, passing out, puking, etc. at the smallest of things? It was just making no sense at all.
I actually enjoyed watching "The Unbelievable", especially since you get to see some Thai ceremonies in the more occult end of the aspect. So that was definitely interesting.
But of course, as with all such traditional ceremonies and religions, it is all hoax and con artists. But it was interesting to see the length some people would stoop to in order to make a buck. And yeah, some were indeed very convincing, but when it comes to it, religious ceremonies are just a hoax. And I do love the Ouija board concept, but it is unbelievable that people are dumb enough to believe in it; if there were such a thing as ghosts and spirits, why would there be a need for people to physically touch the object that has to move. So a spirit cannot move it by itself? Of course it is one of the participants, if not all, that moves the object around. And if a spirit needed people to move it, wouldn't it require a possession in order to make it move around? It just baffles me that people seriously buy into these scams.
"The Unbelievable" is a movie for people with an interest in the occult, first and foremost. And for me it was an interesting enough delve into the Asian concepts of shamanism, spirits, ghosts, possessions and what have you. But it is all just staged.
My rating of "The Unbelievable" lands on a mediocre five out of ten stars, as there wasn't anything particularly outstanding to be witnessed here.
A movie just like the rest of the movies set in feudal Japan...
I was given the chance to sit down to watch the 1986 Japanese movie "Death Shadows" (aka "Jittemai") in 2021. And I hadn't even heard about the movie prior to now as I sat down to watch it. So I didn't know what I was in for, nor did I have any expectations to the movie. So in a sense, you might say that writers Motomu Furuta and Hideo Gosha had every chance to impress me.
And while "Death Shadows" definitely was a watchable movie, it just failed to present itself as an outstanding movie. I doubt that this is a movie that I will ever pick up and watch again. The storyline was just a bit too generic and mundane here.
For a movie set in this particular period of feudal Japan, then "Death Shadows" just felt like a dime a dozen movie; you know, a movie just like every other movie set in the same era. Good news is that if you enjoy those type of movies, then you will definitely enjoy "Death Shadows", but if you don't then this 1986 movie offers nothing grand.
The movie is filmed nicely enough, though the props and sets were a bit on the cheaper end of the scale. And as for the fight scenes, well, let's just say that you can definitely tell that they are staged and choreographed.
"Death Shadows" was not a movie that bedazzled me in any way. And my rating of director Hideo Gosha's 1986 movie lands on a mediocre five out of ten stars.
Lung joi bin yuen (1999)
More than just another undercover cop in the Triads movie...
Oddly enough with my fascination and love for the Hong Kong cinema, then I never heard about "Century of the Dragon" (aka "Lung joi bin yuen") before now in 2021 as I sat down to watch it.
One might argue for or against "Century of the Dragon" being just another triad and undercover police movie, but there is just something to the storyline that sets "Century of the Dragon" aside from the myriad of similar movies that flooded the Hong Kong cinema during the 1990s.
The storyline was pretty good, although it essentially was just another undercover police officer sent into the Triads movie. But the pacing of the story from writer Jing Wong in the hands of director Clarence Fok made it work out quite well, and saved it from slumping into being just another undercover cop in the Triads movie. Thankfully it didn't end up that way.
And I will say that the storyline does have enough turns along the way to remain interesting and thus preventing from becoming a generic and predictable one. So thumbs up to writer Jing Wong for that. There is a great combination of action, drama and suspense to the storyline to add variation to the movie as you watch it.
Something that definitely helped "Century of the Dragon" stand out was the cast ensemble, which included Hong Kong heavy weight actors Andy Lau, Louis Koo and Anthony Chau-Sang Wong. I must say that I really think Anthony Chau-Sang Wong is so well-cast for movies as this, just a shame that his character didn't have more on-screen time.
If you enjoy the undercover cops and Triads movies, then I can warmly recommend that you sit down to watch "Century of the Dragon", especially if you enjoy Hong Kong movies.
My rating of "Century of the Dragon" settles on a six out of ten stars. Definitely well-worth a watch.
Batman: Soul of the Dragon (2021)
Hardly felt like a "Batman" animated movie...
Right, well I had the chance to sit down to watch the 2021 animated DC movie "Batman: Soul of the Dragon", but I wasn't sure what to expect from it. Normally I am not overly keen on superhero movies or animated movies, but I still do watch them when given the chance.
And as chance would have it, then "Batman: Soul of the Dragon" was a swing and a miss, especially in comparison with some of the older DC animated "Batman" movies out there. Why? Well, because this particular animated movie felt more like a 1970s action cartoon with hippies more than it felt like a Batman story.
The art and animation style in "Batman: Soul of the Dragon" was actually good enough, but the storyline was just serving as a hindrance around the ankle of the movie, holding it back.
What does work well enough in favor of the animated movie is the voice acting cast ensemble, which includes the likes of Mark Dacascos, Kelly Hu, Michael Jai White, James Hong, Jamie Chung and Grey Griffin. Just a terrible shame that they were fighting an uphill battle against the atrocious storyline which utterly lacked that particular "Batman" feel to it.
I wasn't impressed with this 2021 animated movie, but managed to sit through it with my son, whom wanted to watch it. But this is not an animated movie that I will recommend you waste your time, money or effort on.
My rating of "Batman: Soul of the Dragon" lands on a mere three out of ten stars. This was definitely a swing and a miss from writer Jeremy Adams and director Sam Liu.
Fairly bland and generic martial arts movie...
Well, given the fact that this was a 1977 Hong Kong martial arts movie and that it had Sammo Hung in it, I assumed that the movie would prove to be an entertaining one. Especially so, since other movies from that same time turned out to be rather enjoyable.
But "The Iron-Fisted Monk" (aka "San De huo shang yu Chong Mi Liu") didn't turn out to be as interesting or entertaining as I had hoped for. Sure, it was still a watchable movie, but the storyline was just way too mundane, almost bordering on being boring actually.
The action and martial arts sequences were good enough, though the fighting definitely felt staged and you could sense the choreography throughout the fights, as the performers took odd breaks in between moves. It made for a less than natural feel to the fighting sequences.
As for this being a director debut for Sammo Hung, well it wasn't really all that great. I am sure, though, that back in 1977 then this was a fantastic movie. But having sat down to watch it for the first time ever now in 2021, it wasn't a movie that had withstood the test of time particularly well or gracefully.
Sure, "The Iron-Fisted Monk" is a movie that has an appeal to hardcore fans of the martial arts genre. But if you look at the movie objectively in terms of entertainment value, then it just didn't stand out.
My rating of "The Iron-Fisted Monk" is a less than mediocre four out of ten stars. While it was watchable, it is hardly a movie that will ever find its way back to my screen.
Bu san (2003)
What a snoozefest...
First of all, I must say that I wasn't sure as to what I was getting into when I sat down to watch the 2003 movie "Goodbye, Dragon Inn" (aka "Bu san"). I knew it was a Taiwanese drama, but that was essentially it. So director Ming-liang Tsai had every possible shot at impressing me with this movie.
So I sat down here in 2021 to watch "Goodbye, Dragon Inn" without ever having heard about it. And the result was atrocious. Oh dear lord, this movie was unfathomably slow paced and uneventful. It was without a doubt one of the most boring and pointless movies I have ever watched and sat through.
The storyline told in "Goodbye, Dragon Inn" was simple enough, but the fact that virtually nothing happened throughout the course of the entire movie was just beyond me. Sure, this is alledgedly artsy and all, but come on. I don't sit down to watch a movie to watch absolutely nothing on the screen.
Every scene and segment in this movie was prolonged to the point where it became painstakingly boring and a battle to sit through. I even dozed off two or three times along the way. Good thing that "Goodbye, Dragon Inn" is the type of movie where you can leave at any time and come back and pick up the story without having missed a single beat. In fact, you can leave shortly after the movie starts, then come back for the ending, and you will be up to speed with the storyline.
I am not familiar with the actors and actresses in the movie, though it was a very small cast. And keep in mind that the dialogue was minimal, a whole staggering single sentence was uttered I think. I will say, though, that actress Shiang-chyi Chen was actually the one standing out as the best performance in the movie.
While I managed to sit through the entire ordeal that is "Goodbye, Dragon Inn", then I was by no means entertained, and this is by no means a movie that I will return to watch a second time. Nor is it a movie that I will recommend to anyone to sit down and watch.
My rating of "Goodbye, Dragon Inn" lands on a one out of ten stars. This was seriously the most boring and pointless movie I have ever stumbled upon.
Hidden Figures (2016)
A fairly good movie...
I was recommended to sit down and watch "Hidden Figures", and I was told that it was a very emotional movie. So I tracked down a copy of this 2016 movie from writers Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi and sat down to watch it. Initially I hadn't even heard about this movie.
And I will say that "Hidden Figures" definitely is a good movie, but it wasn't as spectacular as I was led to believe it to be. Now, don't get me wrong here, because this is definitely a good and entertaining movie, while at the same time it is a historical movie that definitely is a big part of the history of our world. But the movie just didn't blow me away.
I was really impressed with the cast ensemble they had managed to get together for this movie, and there were some really good acting performances being delivered here. I mean, the movie had the likes of Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons and Mahershala Ali on the cast list.
It should be said that the three lead actresses - Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe - really carried the movie quite phenomenally. And while Jim Parsons is by no means a poor actor, then it was just difficult to put his role as Sheldon from "Big Bang Theory" aside and see him in a new light. Just like Daniel Radcliff is always stuck as being Harry Potter, then Jim Parsons will always be stuck as Sheldon.
The story told in "Hidden Figures" is a good story, especially because of the historical importance that there was to the stories of Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson and all the other ladies in the same situation back in the 1960s. So there on that account alone, then "Hidden Figures" is actually a movie that is well worth watching.
One can't help but shake one's head in disbelief because of the racial segregation that were taking place in the USA back in the 1960s. It is just so far out there that people could have been so narrowminded. But that is how it was back then, and it is portrayed with impact in the movie, thanks to director Theodore Melfi.
My rating of "Hidden Figures" lands on a six out of ten stars. What was holding the movie back from getting a higher rating from me, was the fact that the contents and events in the storyline just weren't all that appealing to me, the movie lacked momentum and drive. Sure, this is a historical important event, but for entertainment purposes, it was a bit stale.
Late 1980s classic martial arts movie...
Well, the 1988 "Bloodsport" movie has always been one of my favorites, even since it came out and I was 13 years old. And I have revisited the movie a couple of times over the years since then, and the movie still keeps to be as entertaining as it was back then.
Sure, the storyline told in "Bloodsport", as written by Sheldon Lettich, Christopher Cosby and Mel Friedman is pretty cheesy and campy. But that is part of the charm of the movie actually. It is a very predictable movie, of course, especially given the simplicity of the storyline. But it is the action that carries the movie, no doubt about it. And that action still holds up in 2021.
The acting in "Bloodsport" is fairly shoddy, from most people involved in the movie. I mean, even Jean Claude Van Damme, the lead actor in the movie, he is not putting on a particularly convincing performance with his acting - though luckily, he has improved on his acting skills over the years. But his fighting, his dexterity and on-screen charisma makes it worthwhile and takes away focus from the inadequate acting performance.
And needless to say the fact that the movie takes place in Hong Kong is also a great appeal to me.
If you look at the action sequences and the various performers here, then there were actually a good handful of rather interesting fighters and martial arts performers in the movie. Lots of different styles being pitched against each other, and that is what works so well for the movie.
The movie also have an interesting assembly of actors, which includes the likes of Jean Claude Van Damme, Forest Whitaker, Roy Chiao, Philip Chan, Donald Gibb and Bolo Yeung. I must say that Bolo Yeung is really so perfectly cast for the villain in the movie, and his performance is also rather memorable.
"Bloodsport" is one of those iconic and memorable action movies that managed to stand out in the late 1980s, and the movie that put Jean Claude Van Damme on the map for me.
I am rating this martial arts classic a well-deserved seven out of ten stars, as it is truly an entertaining movie, and one that has withstood the test of time quite well.
Yee dam hung seon (1988)
It was just one of those a dime a dozen movies...
Oddly enough, then I hadn't heard about "City War" (aka "Yee dam hung seon") before now in 2021, as I had the chance to sit down to watch it. And with it being a Hong Kong movie that I hadn't already seen, of course I jumped at the chance to watch it.
And with it being watched now, I must admit that "City War" was a fairly typical movie in the Hong Kong action genre. Sure, if you are new to these movies, then "City War" will prove to be quite interesting. But if you are familiar with the genre and have seen more than your share of the movies, then chances are that you will find "City War" to be just another generic run-of-the-mill action movie that are found in great abundance in this period of the Hong Kong cinema.
For me, it was the somewhat stale storyline that was holding the movie back, because the action sequences in the movie were definitely good, and there was quite a bit of action throughout the course of the movie. But the storyline was just a bit too generic and mundane to properly entertain me. Now, don't get me wrong here, because "City War" is certainly a watchable movie, it just wasn't and outstanding movie.
The movie did have some good lead actors to portray the main characters, those being Yun-Fat Chow and Lung Ti.
Writers Lu Tung, Wai Ting Leung and Kai-Cheung Chung just seemed to put their money on the safe bet and go for something that everyone else was doing at that time in the Hong Kong action cinema. And that made for a somewhat mundane addition to the genre.
My rating of "City War" lands on a mediocre five out of ten stars. If you enjoy Yun-Fat Chow movies, then there are far better action movies with him in the lead role.
Red Sun Rising (1994)
Watchable, albeit rather generic martial arts action movie...
Having sat down in 2021 to watch the 1994 action movie "Red Sun Rising", I can honestly say that this movie from writers Robert Easter, Neva Friedenn and Paul Maslak was a very generic and archetypical mid-1990s martial arts action movie.
So why I hadn't I ever heard about "Red Sun Rising" before now 27 years after it was released? Well, I suppose because it was an martial arts action movie that didn't have any of the really noticeable of 1990s action movie stars in it. Sure, it had Don "The Dragon" Wilson in the lead, but he was a niche star, not widely known or recognized amidst the likes of Steven Seagal, Jean Claude Van Damme, etc.
The storyline in "Red Sun Rising" was actually not too shabby, but it was just a bit too generic. I mean, you could have left the movie for a prolonged period and returned later on, only to be able to pick up and get right back into the movie. Nothing outstanding to this movie from director Francis Megahy.
Aside from having Don "The Dragon" Wilson on the cast list, the movie also had familiar 1990s faces of Michael Ironside, Mako and Soon-Tek Oh on the cast list.
The action sequences in "Red Sun Rising" were actually adequate. Sure, this was not groundbreaking choreography or anything, but it provided adequate enough entertainment for a single viewing.
My rating of "Red Sun Rising" lands on a mediocre five out of ten stars. This was hardly among the best of action movies from the mid-1990s.
Quite an enlightening documentary...
The 2019 documentary "Ten Mistakes that Sank the Titanic" was actually a good documentary. Sure, it repeated lots of information already disclosed in many other documentaries, but it also managed to shed some new light on some issues for me.
I think that "Ten Mistakes that Sank the Titanic" was constructed in a good way, especially because it provided a good narrative and definitely presented the material in a good and enlightening manner.
For me, it was new information with the fact that rockets and flares back in 1912 weren't considered an universal distress signaling method. So it was a surprise to find out that it was perceived as being festive fireworks being set off, while the ship was in dire distress. And also the fact with the passengers opening portholes and not closing them when called to the deck, thus allowing water to flood into the ship faster. These were some rather interesting facts to learn about the Titanic sinking, for sure.
"Ten Mistakes that Sank the Titanic" was a very good and watchable documentary about the sinking of the ship. And if you have an interest in the events that happened during the sinking, the events leading up to the demise and the journey leading to that fateful moment, then "Ten Mistakes that Sank the Titanic" is definitely well worth the watch.
My rating of "Ten Mistakes that Sank the Titanic" is a well-deserved six out of ten stars.
Aap wong (2015)
A pointless sleaze fest...
Yeah, that's going to be a no. Just no.
When I sat down to watch the 2015 Hong Kong movie "The Gigolo" (aka "Aap wong"), I was under the impression that it was a a romantic comedy/drama, as that is what it was listed as here on IMDb. Little did I know that I was in for what was essentially a pointless movie of sleazy softcore porn.
Yeah, that is exactly what this movie turned out to be. And had I known that prior to watching it, I would most likely have skipped it. But hey, there is an audience out there for movies such as this, I just wasn't in that audience.
Needless to say that you will not find any Hong Kong celebrity names on the cast list for a movie such as this. And I have seen quite a lot of Hong Kong movies in my time, but I wasn't familiar with a single of the actors or actresses on the cast list in this movie, aside from Elena Kong. But she isn't really a major name in the Hong Kong cinema.
The storyline in "The Gigolo" is about a young student whom is apparently so well-endowed that animals would be envious of him, and as he drops out of school he has to resort to working as a gigolo in order to support his mother and himself.
Sure, the storyline could just as easily have been a romantic comedy, but it just went overboard and became tacky, sleazy softcore porn. And I wasn't impressed. In fact, I managed to sit through 49 minutes of the ordeal, then I was ready to claw my eyes out. I got up and turned off the movie, never to return to watch the rest of it, much less actually sit down to watch part II.
I was not entertained in any way by this movie, although I am rating it a three out of ten stars, and that is solely because of the production level of the movie. The movie definitely had that working in its favor.
Huong Ga (2014)
This was rather mundane and boring...
I must admit that I had expected quite a bit more of entertainment from the 2014 Vietname movie "Rise" (aka "Huong Ga"). Sure, I hadn't even heard about it prior to sitting down to watch it here in 2021. But I read the synopsis for the movie and found it to be sounding interesting. So of course I gave the movie a chance.
And it turns out that "Rise" was an unfathomably slow paced movie with a storyline that held little appeal to me. And I must admit that I was growing more and more bored with the movie up to the point where I got up and turned it off at 45 minutes into the ordeal. I just couldn't sit through the movie any longer at that point, as it felt like director Cuong Ngo was just making things up as the movie was filmed. It all felt way too cluttered and random.
I will say that the the acting by lead actress Truong Ngoc Anh was actually okay, though she could only do so much to salvage the movie given its lack of interesting script and storyline.
And the fact that the characters in the movie had the broad appeal of wet cardboard just didn't help to sell the movie either. I mean, the characters in the movie were just lacking distinctive personalities, quirks and such. They all just felt mundane and bland, with little to offer the audience, much less contribute to an otherwise stale storyline.
"Rise" was a swing and a miss, and writers Minh Ngoc Nguyen and Dinh Tu Nguyen just failed to deliver a script that had much of any appeal.
My rating of "Rise" lands on a mere three out of ten stars. This movie was definitely in my liking. And I can honestly say that I have no interest in returning to watch the rest of the movie at any time, as it just failed to capture my interest.
Oversize Cops (2017)
But where was the comedy?...
As I sat down to watch the 2017 Thai comedy titled "Oversize Cops", I must admit that I wasn't sure what I was getting into there, as I hadn't heard about the movie prior to sitting down to watch it here in 2021.
But I must admit that writers Phuwanit Pholdee and Phuvarith Phuapairoch failed to come up with a storyline and script that entertained me. I am sure that the draft for "Oversize Cops" might have worked out well enough in concept idea and on paper, but the transition to the screen at the hands of directors Phuwanit Pholdee and Chanon Yingyong just left much to be wanted.
First and foremost, more comedy and laughs would have been a nice thing to have had in the movie. For a comedy then "Oversize Cops" was frightfully devoid of funny situations and actually failed to make me laugh, much less smile. No, "Oversize Cops" was a swing and a miss. Perhaps it was because the comedy - or lack thereof - in the movie was something that didn't appeal to me at all.
The acting in the movie was adequate enough, taking into consideration the massive restrictions a lack of proper storyline and contents to the script imposed on the actors and actresses in the movie.
If you enjoy Thai comedies, then there are far, far better choices readily available out there in a great abundance. I wouldn't personally recommend anyone to sit down to watch "Oversize Cops". It just was too devoid of anything funny.
My rating of "Oversize Cops" is a generous three out of ten stars.
A very mediocre and bland crime action...
Well, first of all I must say that "PTU File: Death Trap" (aka "PTU lui ging: Ngau yin haam ging") is your fairly average, although generic, crime action movie. So if you enjoy these kinds of movies, then this 2005 movie might be right up your alley.
When I sat down to watch "PTU File: Death Trap" I didn't even know what it was about. I hadn't even heard about it before now in 2021, as I had the chance to sit down to watch it. And since it was a Hong Kong movie that I hadn't already seen, of course I found the time to do so.
Well, the storyline in "PTU File: Death Trap" was just a tad too generic for me. It felt like writer and director Hung-Wah Leung was playing it very safe and following the how-to-make-a-crime-action-movie booklet to the letter. Everything here was scripted and predictable, which was something that the movie suffered from.
The movie didn't boast an impressive array of cast members. In fact, it was actually only Michael Wong that I was familiar with here. And let's just face it, he is not exactly among the top of Hong Kong performers. But I will say, for the most parts, that the acting in the movie was actually good enough, though the actors and actresses were somewhat hindered by a tame and generic script.
Now, it wasn't all mediocre stuff though. I did like the way that the story was constructed and built, with it starting at the ending and then rewinding and leading up to the start of the movie. That was actually a nice touch from writer and director Hung-Wah Leung.
However, all in all, "PTU File: Death Trap" is ultimately suffering from being one of those types of crime action movies that you've seen many times before and that come out every year in an abundance. And when you've seen one, you've pretty much seen them all. This results in a mediocre five out of ten stars rating from me.
Pee Nak 2 (2020)
Not as good as the predecessor...
Now, I was enjoying the 2019 "Pee Nak" movie quite a bit, given it had elements of horror and comedy in a great abundance, and the fact that it was an entertaining movie, so I was definitely looking forward to watching this 2020 sequel titled "Pee Nak 2".
However, director Phontharis Chotkijsadarsopon just failed to deliver a movie that was up to par with the predecessor. Whereas the first movie was a blast to watch, then "Pee Nak 2" turned out to be a movie with less comedy to it. And the fact that the storyline in this 2020 sequel was less than mediocre didn't really help to sell the movie.
Sure, it was nice to see the the cast from the first movie - Phiravich Attachitsataporn, Timethai Plangsilp and Paisarnkulwong Vachiravit - return to reprise the roles from the first movie. But they were fighting an uphill battle against a pretty bad script and storyline.
The laughs in "Pee Nak 2" were few and far between, which was something that took away so much from the overall enjoyment of the movie.
While I managed to sit through the entire movie to the end, I will not say that I was impressed or overly entertained. "Pee Nak 2" is watchable, but it dwarves in comparison to the 2019 first movie "Pee Nak".
My rating of "Pee Nak 2" lands on a less than mediocre four out of ten stars.
Du Lala sheng zhi ji (2010)
Just another generic romantic comedy...
I had the chance in 2021 to sit down and watch the 2010 Chinese romantic comedy movie "Go Lala Go" (aka "Du Lala sheng zhi ji"). And of course I sat down to watch it, as it is a Chinese movie and one that I haven't already seen before.
As I hadn't even heard about this movie prior to sitting down to watch it, I had no idea what the movie was about, nor did I know who was on the cast list. So I didn't really have much of any expectations for "Go Lala Go". So on that account writers Yun Wang, Jinglei Xu and Meng Zhao had every chance to bedazzle and impress me with this 2010 movie.
And while "Go Lala Go" was watchable, it wasn't really an outstanding movie. It was, actually, just another run-of-the-mill romantic comedy movie. And director Jinglei Xu didn't manage to lift the movie out of the generic and stereotypical runt that romantic comedies tend to slump into. And that was also the case for the 2010 "Go Lala Go". It offered nothing that hadn't already been seen in other romantic comedies similar to this one.
Lead actress, writer and director Jinglei Xu is one that I wasn't familiar with, but she did a good enough acting performance in the movie, though it was weighed down by a mediocre and generic script. I was, however, very surprised to see Karen Mok in the movie, and she really spruced up an otherwise stale movie. Just a shame that she didn't have a larger role to play in the movie.
If you enjoy these generic romantic comedy type of movies, then I am sure that you will find some enjoyment in "Go Lala Go". But if you are looking for a romantic comedy that offers more than just your average run-of-the-mill romantic comedy, then this is hardly the best of choices.
While I managed to sit through the entire course of "Go Lala Go", this was not a movie experience that had me impressed. My rating of the 2010 romantic comedy settles on a very mediocre five out of ten stars.
Pee Nak (2019)
Thai horror comedy done right...
I had the chance to sit down and watch the 2019 Thai horror comedy titled "Pee Nak". And granted, I hadn't even heard about the movie before now in 2021 as I sat down to watch it. But it being a horror comedy from the Thai cinema, then chances were high that the movie would be an enjoyable one.
And it was.
"Pee Nak" from writer Kimhant Kanjanasomjai and director Phontharis Chotkijsadarsopon manages to combine horror and comedy in a very enjoyable and entertaining manner; something that the Thai cinema is rather excellent at doing. So if you enjoy the Thai horror comedy genre, then you should definitely take the time to sit down and watch "Pee Nak".
The storyline is good, mixing horror and comedy well into the formula. And I quickly got submerged into the storyline, and I took a liking to the characters in the storyline from the very beginning. There are heaps of funny moments throughout the movie, which had me laughing.
Now, I will say that the first and final thirds of the movie was heavy on comedy, whereas the middle part of the movie was more heavy on the horror aspects. So expect a change in pace throughout the course of the movie.
The special effects in "Pee Nak" were good, and they definitely added an enjoyable element to the movie.
All in all, "Pee Nak" is a very enjoyable and watchable movie. I am rating it a well-deserved six out of ten stars. It is more certainly worth taking the time to sit down and watch.
Nah, this was not an outstanding movie...
Right, well as I sat down to watch the 2015 movie "Illusions", I had checked it out on IMDb, as I wasn't familiar with the movie at all prior to getting to watch it. And it being a horror thriller definitely had my interest peaked. So of course I took a chance and sat down to watch "Illusions".
But just to break any illusions of this being an outstanding movie, take heed, because this is by no account a grand movie. It felt amateurish at best, like something you could make yourself with a proper HD camera at hand. So yeah, I was sorely disappointed with this movie.
I didn't find much of any enjoyment in the storyline, as it was just too stale and slow paced, with little of any much interest happening as the storyline trotted on in a monotonous pace.
As for the acting in "Illusions", well... Let's just say that you are not in for a grand spectacle of award-nominating performances here. I am sure that the actors and actresses in the movie were putting on good enough performances, but given the limitations of the script and directing, then it wasn't a memorable array of performances.
I found "Illusions" to be way too mundane and bland, offering virtually no entertainment or enjoyment for me. And for a horror thriller, then "Illusions" was just a swing and a miss. There are far better movies out there in the horror thriller genre. Trust me.
My rating of the 2015 movie "Illusions" lands on a generous three out of ten stars.
Psycho Goreman (2020)
Hilarious horror comedy...
After having seen the trailer for the 2020 movie "Psycho Goreman", I must admit that I was definitely looking forward to watching this movie. Why? Well, because it seemed like a fun horror comedy that paid heavy homage to the horror movies of the 1980s, the movies that I grew up watching.
And when I had the chance to sit down to watch "Psycho Goreman", I jumped at that chance immediately. And I must say that writer and director Steven Kostanski didn't fail to deliver. This movie was exactly as I had hoped from what I saw in the trailer.
Yup, an over-the-top and hilarious horror comedy that felt very much like something you'd see in the 1980s. Even the costumes and props felt like something from way back then, and it worked out so nicely for the movie.
The storyline was pretty straight forward, but the creature that become known as Psycho Goreman was really the star of the movie, as he was just brilliant. I mean, taking a galactic evil overlord with the power to annihilate planets and put him at the mercy at pre-teenagers, it was just a blast. There were so many funny scenes throughout the course of this movie.
Visually then "Psycho Goreman" was also a walk down memory lane, back to the glory days of the 1980s. Lots of practical effects made like back in the day, so it was pure nostalgia. But it worked well for the movie, and added a great and unique touch to the movie as a whole.
Now, I will say that younger audiences might not particularly find enjoyment in Steven Kostanski's "Psycho Goreman". But if you grew up on 1980s horror movies and enjoyed those, then "Psycho Goreman" is definitely right up your alley.
I was more than genuinely entertained by this movie, and it was a great and fun movie to watch. I can warmly recommend that you take the time to sit down to watch the 2020 movie "Psycho Goreman".
My rating of "Psycho Goreman" lands on a well-deserved six out of ten stars.
Hello, Love, Goodbye (2019)
What a nice surprise of a movie...
Right, well I didn't really know what I was getting into here when I sat down to watch the 2019 Tagalog movie that was filmed in Hong Kong. Initially I thought it was a Chinese movie, but upon seeing the names of the cast, I looked on IMDb and saw that it was a Tagalog (Philippines) movie and not a Cantonese (Hong Kong) movie. And given my fascination with Asian movie, of course I sat down to watch "Hello, Love, Goodbye".
And I must definitely say that writers Carmi Raymundo, Cathy Garcia-Molina and Ronalisa A. Co came up with a rather enthralling storyline; one that definitely provided as much of entertainment and enjoyment, as it was a movie that was very watchable and likeable.
The storyline is one that easily sways away the audience, because it is wholehearted and nicely told storyline. And milling about in the storyline are some nicely detailed and interesting characters. So a big thumbs up to the writers on this accomplishment.
I will say that the acting in the movie was good. Now, I am not overly familiar with Tagalog cinema, but my wife told me that there were some rather famous Tagalog actresses and actors in the movie. Nevertheless, I think the acting performances were spot on.
At the same time, with providing a good story and good entertainment, "Hello, Love, Goodbye" really brought me back to my four years of living and working in Hong Kong. This movie stoked so many memories and definitely spurred a desire to return to Hong Kong to revisit that fabulous place.
If you like romantic movies, then I strongly believe that the 2019 movie "Hello, Love, Goodbye" from director Cathy Garcia-Molina is a movie that you will thoroughly enjoy. I was more than genuinely entertained by this movie, and it is a movie that I can warmly recommend you sit down to watch.
My rating of "Hello, Love, Goodbye" lands on a well-deserved seven out of ten stars.
What a surprise this turned out to be...
I hadn't even heard about the 2017 Indonesian superhero movie titled "Valentine" before now in 2021, when I had the chance to sit down to watch it. In fact, as I sat down to watch it, I didn't even know it was an Indonesian movie.
Let me just be the first to say that I was more than genuinely entertained and surprised with the movie from writers Sarjono Sutrisno, Beby Hasibuan and Aswin Siregar. This was actually a rather impressive movie and a very enjoyable movie to watch.
The storyline told in "Valentine" was a good and entertaining one, though it felt like an Indonesian version of "The Phantom" somehow. But it worked out quite well, because the story was one that picks you up and immerse you into the action. I was genuinely entertained by this movie from start to end.
As for the acting in the movie, well I was impressed, and I found that the actors and actresses were doing good jobs. I wasn't familiar with the cast here, as I haven't seen all that many Indonesian movies. But I was more than genuinely impressed with lead actress Estelle Linden, she really can fight. And I really hope that she will put out more action and martial arts movies in the future.
It should also be said that the costume department working on the movie really did a phenomenal job. I liked the costumes quite a bit, especially on the entourage that followed Shadow (the villain) around; they really had colorful and impressive outfits.
Unfortunately I had the misfortune to sit down to watch a version that was fully dubbed into English. It was atrocious to listen to, and I loathe dubbed movies. But still, the storyline and the action in "Valentine" was so entertaining that I bit the apple and endured the horrible dubbing.
"Valentine" is a movie that I can strongly recommend that you sit down to watch. While it is not a super-hero movie per se, as Valentine has no super powers, it is a hero movie nonetheless. My rating of "Valentine" is a well-deserved seven out of ten stars.
Bland and boring...
If you enjoy horror movies about witchcraft and such, then the 2008 movie "Witch House: The Legend of Petronel Haxley" from director Mike McCarthy might not be the best of choices you can select for watching.
I sat down to watch "Witch House: The Legend of Petronel Haxley" in 2021, without ever having heard about it, nor knowing what it was about, save it was something about witchery and witchcraft. Plus, the fact that it was a horror movie that I hadn't already seen, also helped to win me over.
And let me just be the first to say that this movie wasn't good, nor interesting, or particularly enjoyable or entertaining. It was, in fact, so unappealing that I gave up on the movie about 45 minutes into it. It was just horribly boring and uneventful. The storyline just had absolutely no drive to it, which made for a very bland and boring movie.
"Witch House: The Legend of Petronel Haxley" felt like a home movie project, which was also an aspect to why the movie failed to enthrall me in any way.
The acting in the movie was fairly adequate, taking into consideration the production of the movie and the type of movie that it was. I can't pinpoint any particular outstanding acting performances in the movie though.
I have no intention of returning to watch the rest of this movie. And my rating of the 2008 movie "Witch House: The Legend of Petronel Haxley" lands on a generous three out of ten stars.
Foo gwai lip che (1986)
A rather enjoyable action comedy...
"The Millionaires Express" from 1986 is a movie that I hadn't even heard about prior to 2021, when I was given the chance to sit down and watch it. And with it being a Hong Kong movie, of course I needed no persuasion to sit down to do so.
I will say that "The Millionaires Express" (aka "Foo gwai lip che") is definitely an archetypical mid-1980s Hong Kong action comedy. So if you have seen movies from the Hong Kong cinema from around that time, then you know what you are in for here. And it should be said that writers Sammo Kam-Bo Hung and Keith Wong definitely delivered a good script, and director Sammo Kam-Bo Hung brought it quite nicely to life on the screen.
The storyline told in "The Millionaires Express" is actually one that grasps multiple storylines and interweaving them nicely together for a wholesome movie. There is the story of the thief stealing from Russians, the story of three robbers, the lawmen of the town, some Kung Fu gangs, and of course the foreign soldiers, to mention a few. While it might seem like quite a handful to handle, it is actually done in a very satisfactory manner.
Now, what really impressed me about "The Millionaires Express" was the impressive ensemble of actors and actresses that were in this movie, which included the likes of Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, Biao Yuen, Eric Tsang, Richard Ng, Wah Yuen, Kenny Bee and Rosamund Kwan, to mention but the most recognizable of faces and names, if you are familiar with the Hong Kong cinema.
"The Millionaires Express" is a good combination of story, action and interesting characters, and it is nicely spruced up with a good amount of comedy as well.
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, and it was definitely a nice surprise of a movie. And it is a movie that I will warmly recommend that you sit down to watch, if you find yourself given the chance.
My rating of the 1986 movie "The Millionaires Express" is a six out of ten stars.
Hoi sam gwai (1984)
A fun and wholehearted ghostly comedy...
The 1984 movie "The Happy Ghost" (aka "Hoi sam gwai") is one of those lighthearted comedies that has a broad appeal, and thus is a movie that is very easily watched and enjoyed.
I happened to watch the 1985 sequel before watching this 1984 first movie, so I had a general idea of what I was in for as I sat down to watch the 1984 movie from writers Clifton Ko, Joe Ma and Bing-cheung Mak.
The storyline in "The Happy Ghost" is an enjoyable one. It is a storyline that has different types of comedy, so there is a good chance of there being something for you to enjoy. But at the same time, the movie actually also has a heart and soul, and a nice enough story to tell. So it is not just all goofy silliness and laughs.
Raymond Pak-Ming Wong plays the role of the happy ghost and he does so quite nicely, because he has that boyish charm to him, while he also have the capabilities of acting and navigating without the comedy genre.
I found "The Happy Ghost" to be a wholeheartedly enjoyable early 1980s comedy. If you are familiar with the Hong Kong cinema from that time, then you know what you are in for here. And "The Happy Ghost" does deliver on that quite well.
My rating of the 1984 "The Happy Ghost" is a six out of ten stars.