At first glance, Last Tycoon is a movie that seems custom-made for me and based entirely on some of my favorite obsessions: Shanghai during the 20s and 30s, old-time fashion, Jazz Age decadence, shidaiqu, a title stolen from an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel, and Chow Yun-fat in a cool suit blowing suckers away. Pretty perfect set of ingredients, right?
It was inevitable, perhaps, that Cuneyt Arkin would one day cross paths with Bolo Yeung — even if it was only in the editing room of notorious hack movie makers Godfrey Ho and Thomas Tang
Nothing celebrated speed, style and technology like the James Bond films, so it made sense for Cantonese filmmakers to adapt the conventions of those films to their audience.
After a stormy start, the two become closer, eventually even falling in love — which would be sweet if Hsiao-Chien didn’t turn out to be a ghost, her well-appointed villa an illusion covering a decrepit haunted house, and her mistress a demanding old ghoul with a taste for souls.
Lam Ching-Ying made a whole slew of vampire comedies. The most interesting aspect of Vampire vs. Vampire is the fact that it pits Lam’s character against a Western style vampire
Old Hong Kong movies use the presence of a Taoist priest as a license to print crazy, despite the real world practice of Taoism’s emphasis on quiet contemplation and equilibrium with nature.
In such an environment, it’s not surprising that A Chinese Ghost Story: The Animation, despite being a fun movie, sparked no interest in the pursuit of a Chinese animation renaissance. Animation is just too hard. It’s too labor intensive. And the Hong Kong industry had been totally gutted.
I should point out that in this movie, Jackie Chan attempts to outdo is formerly sometimes nude female co-star by featuring prolonged exposure of his own bare ass. Longtime fans of Jackie Chan films are, of course, already acquainted with his bare ass, which if I recall correctly made its film debut in Project A. I think this might be its longest appearance yet.
When it grinds to a halt at the end with an instance of painfully unfunny sexual comedy, you really see this made plain. The moment jars not because it is the film’s most outrageous (it probably isn’t), but because it occurs at a moment when the film has finally stopped to take a breath, thus giving you the opportunity to savor just how stank it is.
This isn’t really a Donnie Yen movie in the way Donnie Yen has been presenting himself in the last five or ten years. There is nary an open shirt, motorcycle jacket or MMA throwdown in sight.