Sky on Fire 冲天火 (2016) – Hong Kong

[NeoFilmShop.com] Sky on Fire 冲天火 (2016) – Hong Kong

Shop now at NeoFilmShop.com

Hong Kong veteran director Ringo Lam used to make gritty and brutal films that hits you right in the guts and point blank range. However in Sky on Fire, the story is filled with incoherent plot holes, unattractive premises and action more reliant on CGI than anything else. It lacks the intensity of his former films and the science fiction element does not help the cause either. Daniel Wu remains rather wooden, despite fresh off the successful US TV series Into the Badlands. Joseph Chang shamefully overacts and simply overreacts at all time, making his over protection of his sister (played by Amber Kuo) rather cheesy and annoying. Zhang Jingchu usually shines in these kind of roles, is almost unrecognisable with the manner how she dies remain the film greatest moment. All in all, this is a terrible example of how a big action blockbuster goes wrong and Ringo Lam would be disappointed himself.

I rated it 2/5

Shop now at NeoFilmShop.com

All the latest Asian/Martial Arts DVD and Blu Ray!

Hard Boiled 辣手神探 (1992) – Hong Kong

[NeoFilmShop.com] Hard Boiled (1992) – Hong Kong

Shop now at NeoFilmShop.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Billed as director John Woo’s final Hong Kong action film before embarking his Hollywood journey in the early 1990s, Hard Boiled is filled with extravagant and over the top gun fights and explosions. Famous for unlimited guns blazing without the need for reloading and Chow Yun Fat holding a baby with a shot gun. This is the ultimate action blockbuster local production that we will most probably never witness again.

Chow Yun Fat plays the hard boiled cop who is out to avenge the death of his mate at the tea house shoot out. Hot on the heels of the villainous crime boss played by Anthony Wong, Chow eventually teams up with undercover cop Tony Leung Chiu Wai. Leung lifts his game above genre conventions and his conflicted emotions is beautifully captured in the scene where Wong forced him to kill his former boss. Loyalty and police duty as well as constantly living in the darkness are inner emotions that Leung ended up displaying. He will later reprise a similar award winning role in Infernal Affairs.
However, the star attraction is clearly Chow Yun Fat and his on screen charisma which translate through extremely well especially in the final extended hospital shoot out. A film without white dove flying around is not a true John Woo film and we get plenty. Hard Boiled is one of those all time cult classic that is not only review proofed, but a step above anything the genre have tried to give us. Woo showed the world what can be accomplished with creative freedom. Hong Kong used to make this kind of films and we should be proud of it.

I rated it 5/5

Reviewed by Andrew Chan

All the latest Asian/Martial Arts DVD and Blu Ray!

Shop now at NeoFilmShop.com

Shanghai Knights (2003) – USA

[NeoFilmShop.com] Shanghai Knights (2003) – USA

Shop Now at NeoFilmShop.com


Shanghai Knights is one of those sequel that the fans actually wanted. The comic timing and chemistry between Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson is simply electrifying. The added bonus of this episode set in the good old town of London allows the film to play with a sense of time. Including Sherlock Holmes and other prominent characters of the respective era. We also get to see Donnie Yen weave his way through the fireworks and fight Chan. Singaporean actress Fann Wong gracefully embrace the action heroin role and Chan’s sister mantle. All in all, this is a fun and action filled ride that once you are on the journey you will most probably ignore the plot holes along the way. Enjoy while it last.

I rated it 3.5/5

All the latest Asian/Martial Arts DVD and Blu Ray!

Shop Now at NeoFilmShop.com

XxX: Return of Xander Cage (2016) – USA

[NeoFilmShop.com] XxX: Return of Xander Cage (2016) – USA

Shop now at NeoFilmShop.com

This is a largely entertaining affair uplifted by a beastly role from Donnie Yen. Yen steals the show in many scenes and his physical presence is a breathe of fresh air to the franchise. The stunts are impressive as always and the action never stops. Tony Jaa shows some nice moves and Kris Wu makes his Hollywood debut in DJ style. The non stop action and fast pace will please most genre fans. Vin Diesel once again shows how to headline an action franchise. All in all, the latest XxX presses all the right buttons for an action packed blockbuster and the tightly knitted pulse and heart beat is probably good enough for me.

I rated it 3.5/5

Reviewed by Andrew Chan

Out on DVD and Blu Ray
Shop now at NeoFilmShop.com

Free Shipping Worldwide!

All the latest Asian/Martial Arts DVD and Blu Ray!

Kung Fu Yoga 功夫瑜伽 (2017) – China / India

[NeoFilmShop.com] Kung Fu Yoga (2017) – China / India

Out on Blu Ray and DVD at NeoFilmShop.com

The biggest problem with recent Jackie Chan movies is mainly the lack of fun element. If the fun and physical comedic is not there especially for a film like Kung Fu Yoga, most viewers are bounded to be disappointed. Similar in the line of The Myth and CZ12, Chan goes on an Indiana Jones style ride, but this time he ends up in the middle of India. The opening sequences of CGI effects and army fights involved a young CGI Jackie Chan which is more laughable than anything. Adding to the mix is fellow Hong Kong actor Aarif Rahman whose martial arts ability is surprisingly effective on screen. Indian actors Sonu Sood seems disinterested, while Disha Patani shows up as the eye candy in another paper thin role. There is really not much to like and enjoy about this film where laughs are far and in between. We have seen better days from director Stanley Tong who previously made Rumble in the Bronx, the film that kickstarted Chan’s comeback to Hollywood and the action packed Police Story 3 and 4. As for Chan, it’s been too long since he made something worth smiling for and the long wait continues.
I rated it 2.5/5

Reviewed by Andrew Chan

All the latest Asian/Martial Arts DVD and Blu Ray!

Out on Blu Ray and DVD at NeoFilmShop.com

Writing about Asian and World cinema since 2004 (Member of Film Critic Circle of Australia and Australian Academy Cinema Television Arts)