review by Neo

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You light up my life...
First time director Derek Kwok, have not been the best of writers with past credits such as wholly bad Skyline Cruisers, the overly grossy Loving Me Loving You, but his latest effort in The Pye Dog is both promising and quite fulfilling. Its been a while, since Neo last reviewed a movie and as expected, the words just aren't flowing through. Luckily, this is a good flick and full credit must be given to the amount of effort that director Derek Kwok puts in as well as a career best performance from Eason Chan. A good movie by all means and most likely one of the surprise package of 2007.

Perhaps, it is the ability of the director to earn points in all three acts enabling the audience to relate to the characters, maintain their attention width for the entire duration. One of the most beautiful aspect of Kwok's work is his ability to create characters, raw, unique ones that enable the audience to understand the process and going with the flow. Adding to the mix is a brillant final act, where Kwok wonderfully incorporates one of Neo's favourite Westlife's remix, You Light Up My Life to enhance what is already a very good attempt at relating, raw and emotive cinema.

Without being a drag, the performance of Eason Chan can not be understated and perhaps his role is central to the success of The Pye Dog. As noted earlier, it is by far, Eason best ever performance and while he have shown glimpses of his ability in Joe Ma's Funeral March, carried the flick admirably in Crazy N the City, it is in The Pye Dog that Eason Chan have finally fullfilled his long awaited potential. In a scene where he confronts the kid, his eyes stretched and his face turns into anger, creates the mood and the impact of realism within the audience mind. An amirably performance in a difficult role is certainly the right direction, the new heavenly king of Canto Pop is heading.

Once again, the stream of talents in the kids department seems almost unlimitless with Wen Jun-Hui making a scene stealing debut. Sometimes you wonder, how these kids manage to act beyond their years, while oldies like Wong Jing can be so disappointing even in this day and age. Without forgeting, Neo's new favourite Gia Lin puts in a credible performance and the final scenes of Gia in a killer suit is just streamlessly hot to watch. A rising actress and one to take note of in the year ahead. Also, George Lam appears here and there without adding or minus-ing much to the precedings. In addition, Eric Tsang actually puts in quite a good effort in his relatively small role.

The Pye Dog is really an interesting movie, that explores the notion of friendship, different background, dark aspects of the society and childrens that grew up in abnormal circumstances. Director and writer Kwok does extremely well in his protrayal of this abnormal world and the way he filmed with such conviction is to be compilmented. A good movie to kick of Neo's cinema appetite for 2008 and like someone in Neo's mind at this very moment - You light up my life...

I rate it 9/10

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Year: 2007
Director: Derek Kwok Chi-Kin
Writer: Derek Kwok Chi-Kin, Long Man-Hong
Cast: Eason Chan Yik-Shun, Gia Lin, Wen Jun-Hui, Eric Tsang Chi-Wai, George Lam Chi-Cheung, Cheung Kwok-Keung, Siu Yam-Yam, Loletta Lee Lai-Chun, Billy Lau Nam-Kwong, Emily Kwan Bo-Wai, Li Ting-Fung

Trailer/Short Clip: