Benny Chan

NYAFF

NYAFF 2014 runs June 27-July 14 in New York City. Follow all of our coverage here. Tin (Lau Ching-wan) and Wai (Nick Cheung) are detectives in the Hong Kong police’s narcotics department, and after years of investigation they’re about to make a major arrest. Just as they’re busting in the doors though they get word from above to halt the operation as the opportunity to nab a much bigger fish has become available. The cops are understandably frustrated, but none more so than Chow (Louis Koo) who’s been undercover in the criminal organization for two years and desperately wants to return to his wife. He’s coerced into staying on the job through a combination of duty and guilt-tripping, and soon the new investigation leads them to Thailand and their new target, a man named Eight-faced Buddha (Lo Hoi-pang) who’s far more cautious and dangerous than they anticipated. A meet is arranged, but it goes horribly awry leaving the three cops — best friends since childhood — in a violently fractured state. Director Benny Chan‘s The White Storm will initially feel familiar to fans of films like Infernal Affairs or South Korea’s New World, but the story moves beyond that setup into some dramatically different directions. It’s a story of brotherhood, friendship and honor, and if you think those themes in a Hong Kong film automatically mean it will include some cheesy melodrama, well, you’re right. But it’s kept somewhat to a minimum here, and even better? It’s overshadowed by some truly spectacular gun […]

read more...

China in the early twentieth century is a land of strife, starvation and feuding warlords. Hao Jie (Andy Lau) is one of the strongest and most ruthless among them, even going so far as to kill an enemy within the walls of the sacred Shaolin temple. Together with his right-hand man, Tsao Man (Nicholas Tse), he murders and maims his way across the country with impunity. But his greed reaches its limit when bloodthirsty ambition combined with an act of betrayal destroys his family and leaves him for dead. Wounded and emotionally devastated, Hao takes refuge with the only people that will have him… the Shaolin monks. He can’t hide from his past forever though, and soon the new man he claims to be is forced to face the world of bloodshed he once called his own. Joining Hao in the fight are the honorable, ass-kicking monks and a wise-cracking cook (Jackie Chan), but will they be enough to defeat the new warlord hellbent on their destruction?

read more...

These days when people think of monks the image that comes to mind invariably falls into one of two categories. Some imagine docile men in robes chanting Gregorian tunes, and others probably picture Tony Shalhoub washing his hands. But once upon a time monks did far more than sell millions of cds and/or solve crimes. Once upon a time they used their meditative, agricultural, and martial arts skills to stand up against tyranny. Or maybe they didn’t. I have no clue in the matter, but if the trailer for the recent blockbuster, Shaolin, has any truth to it these men were bad ass mothers when push came to shove. The film is set in the 1920’s after China’s last imperial Dynasty has come to an end. Warlords control the land, and none are more ruthless than Hoe Jie (Andy Lau), but when he’s betrayed by one of his own and left with nothing he’s forced to seek solace and redemption at the legendary Shaolin Temple. He learns a new attitude and appreciation for both life and the living, but when his enemies return to finish the job they started he’ll stand with the monks in the most important battle they’ve ever faced. Check out the new trailer below for CineAsia’s upcoming release of Shaolin.

read more...

If movies have taught us anything it’s that not enough filmmakers title their work as an homage to the venerable and beloved Police Academy film series. But they’ve also taught us that it’s never a good thing when military types and scientists collaborate. Yes, even Asian ones. City Under Siege opens in an underground bunker during WWII as a group of frightened men are led into an observation room. Also in the room? A mutated and muscle-laden man who proceeds to kill each and every one of them. Cut to the present day and we’re introduced to Sunny (Aaron Kwok), a clown at the local circus who imagines himself as a legendary knife thrower. But Zhang (Collin Chou) and his cronies are the circus’ real stars, and they treat Sunny like a second-class citizen. Which is still better than clowns deserve to be treated. The group goes treasure hunting in the hills and accidentally get spritzed by a chemical which begins to mutate them all in painful ways but which also gives them superhuman powers. Imbued with abilities to match their attitudes they leave Sunny for dead and head into the city to wreak havoc, rob armored trucks, and cause mayhem wherever possible. Sunny’s alive of course, and as the only mutant with a sense of right and wrong he heads into town to square off against his former c0-workers. Toss in an engaged couple brought in to investigate supernatural crimes (the extremely talented Wu Jing and Zhang Jingchu), a […]

read more...

Ever wonder why there are so few remakes of American films by foreign filmmakers? Hollywood churns out five remakes per week, but the favor is rarely returned. Are the rights too expensive? Is it a judgment call on the quality of our homegrown films? Are they taking a moral stand against remakes in general? I don’t know the answers here people, but it’s interesting to think about nonetheless. Not coincidentally, here’s a look at a new DVD release for Benny Chan’s Connected! It’s a Hong Kong action film based on the 2004 Chris Evans/Kim Basinger thriller Cellular. That film was arguably better than its pedigree and plot would suggest, and that trend continues here. Director/co-writer Chan has made some minor changes and improvements in character and events, but the core story about a woman in need of a hero and the stranger forced into the role stays the same.

read more...
Twitter button
Facebook button
Google+ button
RSS feed

published: 10.30.2014
B-
published: 10.29.2014
D+
published: 10.27.2014
C-
published: 10.24.2014
C-


Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Fantastic Fest 2014
6 Filmmaking Tips: James Gunn
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3