Film & TV

News, reviews and movie star interviews from the world of TV and film. 
  1. What is a martial arts film? Hong Kong martial arts films fall broadly into two categories, wuxia and kung fu. Wuxia films feature armed combat, usually swordplay, while kung fu films mainly feature unarmed combat. The two types of film are quite distinct, although kung fu films will sometimes feature a scene that includes fighting with poles (also called staffs), the favoured weapon of Shaolin monks, and the villains will often use weaponry.The word wuxia translates roughly as “martial heroes”…
  2. 3.5/5 starsIn Suk Suk, two closeted gay men on the verge of their twilight years cross paths and start a clandestine extramarital affair behind the backs of their conservative families – with quietly poignant results. Inspired by the 2014 non-fiction book Oral History of Older Gay Men in Hong Kong, this gentle and melancholic romance drama is the Chinese-language debut, and third feature overall, of writer-director Ray Yeung ( Front Cover ).Winner of the awards for best actor (Tai Bo) and best…
  3. With cinemas shuttered, productions halted and film festivals cancelled, the Covid-19 pandemic has decimated the movie industry. So there’s something truly heartening about We Are One: A Global Film Festival.Beginning on Friday, this unique online event features presentations from 21 of the most prestigious film festivals around the world, including Cannes, Venice and Toronto. Best of all, it’s streaming on YouTube for free.Just like a real festival, each film, talk or performance is scheduled…
  4. 2/5 starsEnglish and Chinese are not the only murder victims in this second feature by emerging Hong Kong filmmaker Lee Cheuk-pan. Visually striking yet narratively inept, The Fallen is a twisted and flagrantly unrealistic tale of sex, drugs and gratuitous violence, set around the mayhem engulfing leaders of a powerful international criminal syndicate.The film’s style echoes that of its director’s promising debut, G Affairs ; its manipulation of colour tones, incongruous use of classical music…
  5. While the cinemas in China are closed as part of government measures to contain the spread of coronavirus, films have been making a splash online.The Thousand Faces of Dunjia, a special-effects-laden film available online since March, has been viewed over 100 million times. Made on a budget of some 20 million yuan (US$2.8 million), the period fantasy, which features no recognisable stars, smashed the record for online revenue in China, earning the producers 50 million yuan after splitting…
  6. 2.5/5 starsWith fake news more prevalent than ever, and world leaders repeatedly exposed for lying to the public, Chang You-jeong’s Honest Candidate might seem the perfect tonic to restore our faith. Unfortunately, this comedy, about a female politician magically cursed to always tell the truth, lacks satirical bite.Adapted from a 2014 Brazilian film of the same name, Honest Candidate stars Ra Mi-ran as three-term congresswoman Joo Sang-sook, who has built her career on false promises and…
  7. He may be an embarrassingly low 17,369th on the killer-ranking list, but watch out, because, well … he’s a killer. He is Scissor Seven, a hit man, an assassin, a ferocious warrior with ambitions to propel himself up the league table of his profession, armed with a lethal weapon equal to any firearm or flashing blade: his shiny pair of scissors. Scissor Seven is the first Chinese animated series to be streamed as a Netflix Original – which is a mite confusing considering it was made by, and…
  8. An unusual entry in the swordplay genre, 1971 Hong Kong martial arts film Deaf and Mute Heroine has all the makings of a cult classic. Directed by the late Wu Ma, it features a tough, independent-minded heroine played by Helen Ma Hoi-lun, who takes on two gangs and a vengeful swordsman as she tries to hang on to a big bundle of stolen pearls. The big twist is that, as the title bluntly suggests, our heroine is a deaf and mute swordswoman whose mirrored wristbands enable her to see, rather than…
  9. This review contains major spoilers of early episodes.4.5/5 starsIn The World of the Married, the marriage of a middle-class couple in South Korea unravels in utterly spectacular fashion, the implosion of their relationship sweeping across the small town they call home. The bleak, yet engrossing drama series recorded the largest audience yet for a cable channel show in the country when its final episode aired on May 16 – despite its dwelling on the nastiest aspects of relationships.Adapted from…
  10. 2/5 starsThe romantic misadventures of a timid Bangkok bank clerk are again the focus in this disjointed, hyperactive sequel to the 2018 hit romcom Bikeman.This time out, the infatuation Sak (Pachara Chirathivat) has with colleague Jai (Sananthachat Thanapatpisal) is tested to breaking point when she begs him to pose as her boyfriend to appease her intimidating father, Sakda (Somchai Kemglad). She has kept their relationship platonic up to this point, but Sak hopes this latest contrivance might…