Category Archives: HK Neo Reviews Awards

3rd Korean Film Festival in Australia (KOFFIA) – HK Neo Reviews Special Awards 2012

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@KOFFIA 2012
Judged by: Andrew Chan FCCA AACTA
For full festival coverage of KOFFIA2012 with reviews.

Best Film

The Frontline (2011)

Best Director

Kang Hyeong-cheol (“Sunny”)

Best Actor

Ryoo Seung-ryong (“All About My Wife”)

Best Actress

Yoon Yeo-jeong (“The Taste of Money”)

Most Gulity Pleasure

War of Arrows (2011)

The 8th HK Neo Reviews Film Awards (2011 Hong Kong Releases)

Reccommended Films of 2011 (No Order):

Big Blue Lake 大藍湖
A Simple Life 桃姐
Flying Swords of Dragon Gate 3D 龍門飛甲
Magic To Win 開心魔法
The Law of Attraction 萬有引力
Life Without Principle 奪命金
The Fortune Buddies 劲抽福禄寿
Lan Kwai Fong 喜愛夜蒲
Love in Space 全球熱戀
The Way We Were 算吧啦,老豆!

Best Film

Winner: Flying Swords of Dragon Gate 3D 龍門飛甲

All in all, it is probably an understatement to call Tsui Hark a genius, but just when all his Hollywood count parts fails to understand 3D technology, Hark steps up and above his peers and deliver a sucker punch of a movie. Flying Swords of Dragon Gate is not just a good movie, but it is a great movie on all levels. It is what you call a unique movie experience that brings in the world of Wuxia to the maximum effect. I am proud of Tsui Hark’s achievements and after watching Flying Swords of Dragon Gate, he too should be proud of himself. Simply the film to beat in 2011…

Best Director

Winner: Ann Hui-On Wah (A Simple Life 桃姐)

All in all, A Simple Life is a Hong Kong movie and more importantly a movie that takes us along the ride, respects those around us and allows the audience to reflect upon their own lives. Movies like these only comes along once in a generation and while this may not be Hui’s best work, but in terms of balancing the needs of the Hong Kong people and her own vision, it is certainly the most accessible of her works. A fine piece of cinematic experience…

Best Actor

Winner: Andy Lau(A Simple Life 桃姐)

As mentioned before, Ip’s characters work so well because there is an underlying chemistry between Andy Lau and her. Lau puts in an underrated performance that doesn’t allow him to overshadow the main character. It is a compliment that it is because of the understated manner Lau manages to approach his character that allows Deanie Ip’s the spotlight and attention

Best Actress
Winner: Deanie Ip (A Simple Life 桃姐)

Deanie Ip puts in a career defining performance and as she puts it, acting as an old lady is not difficult at all, as she is just playing herself. The manner she manages to make the audience enjoy her character the Chinese servant of Hong Kong family for 3 generations is impressive to say the least. Life is never easy and sometimes, we just tend to forget those people who work their life within behind the scene, with heart, soul and pure dedication. These are people who gave up on having a family of their own and instead spend their whole life raising other people’s families. Nowadays, the loyalty and the servant and master relationships are a lot more different.

Best Supporting Actor

Winner: Alloys Chen 陳坤 (Flying Swords of Dragon Gate 3D 龍門飛甲)

Chen Kun once again impresses in a duo role

Best Supporting Actress

Winner: Zhou Xun 周迅 (Flying Swords of Dragon Gate 3D 龍門飛甲)

Zhou Xun impresses in a role that requires little, but crucial to the movie.

Most Improved Actor/Actress

Winner: Leila Tong (Big Blue Lake 大藍湖)

Leila Tong have improved leaps and bounds as an actress, her ability to bring a rather dull character to life is nothing short of amazing to endure. In the end, Tong is able to strike a chord with the audience and pretty much carry the film from start to finish. It will be great to see Tong in a bigger production and more juicy character in the future

Best New Artist
Winner: Jojo Goh (The Loan Shark 大耳窿)

As for female lead, I am quite impressed with newcomer Jojo Goh as she handles her internal turmoil extremely well and considering this is probably the most difficult role in the film as well. She is definitely one rising star to watch for the future.

Most Underrated Movie
The Way We Were 算吧啦,老豆!

At the end of the day, this is an interesting and easily missed little film that works. The Way We Were may not make a single cent at the box office, but it is certainly the most underrated Hong Kong film of the year…

Most Underrated Performance
Liu Kai Chi (The Way We Were 算吧啦,老豆!)

Liu Kai Chi impresses as the guy who never gives up on his dream and at the same time dealing with the fact that he is a failed father.

Best New Director Winner: Jessey Tsang (Big Blue Lake 大藍湖)

Director Jessey Tsang, being a true local of the country town, depicts the town in minute details and the result is an easing film that just eases through like life. It is never easy to direct a film that does not have much of a plot, story or attractions, but Tsang on this occasion succeeded in creating that atmosphere and making this film as close to life as possible. Basically, Big Blue Lake is a good film that deals with everyday issues, some more important than others, but nonetheless all important. While we do not know much about the characters, the film manages to engage the audience through dealing with issues like old age, forgiveness, memories, regrets and to certain extend – dreams. With a shoe-string budget, solid casting, acute direction and effective production values, Big Blue Lake is easily one of the best independent films of the year…

2012 Golden Koala Film Festival – HK Neo Reviews Award

Its been a great pleasure to be able to attend the 2012 Golden Koala Film Festival in Sydney. Meeting actors, directors, producers and cinematographers have been great fun. Like we did at the 15th Japanese Film Festival, its time for me to present some awards that I deem worthy.

Best Film
Gallants 打擂台 (2010) – Hong Kong

” It is a rare kind of Hong Kong cinema that allows the audience to laugh out loud, embrace the past and present and perhaps cry a little in the whole process along the way. It is a uniquely Hong Kong film and for that alone, director Clement Cheng have a fine future ahead. A must see film for all Hong Kong cinema lovers…”

Best Director
Tapu Chen 陳大璞 – Pick the Youth 皮克青春 (2011) – Taiwan

“All in all, Pick the Youth is a highly underrated film from a director who wanted to share an extremely personal story about father and son and the notion of what is best for them. It is a complicated dilemma that will face most parents in the past, present and future. What is so great about this film is that it doesn’t try to manufacture emotions and uses music as a medium to explain and show one’s passion. Rebellious youth will forever be a topic of interest in coming of age youth cinema, but director Tapu Chen (陳大璞) is able to show a different side. Pick the Youth could well have been just another well-meaning art house flick, but it is more than that, because once you are hooked, you are unlikely to leave your seat.”

Best Actor
Teddy Robin 泰迪羅賓 – Merry-Go-Round 東風破 (2010) – Hong Kong

“2010 is the year of reborn for Teddy Robin, although he won the Best Supporting Actor for Gallants, to me, this is by far the better performance. As Teddy noted, in Gallants, he was basically playing himself, but here, he is playing a role that he has never tackled and the result is quite stunning. There is no doubt that Teddy despite his miniature looks has wonderful screen presence and with age, he has improved his dramatic range through years of experience in life.”

Best Actress


Ella Koon 官恩娜 – Merry-Go-Round 東風破 (2010) – Hong Kong

“Together with Ella Koon who also put in a career best display, both lifts the film above the direction and carries the film on their broad shoulders. It is a commendable effort from both.”

Best Supporting Actor

Ko Yue-Lun 柯宇綸 – Jump! Ashin 翻滚吧!阿信 (2011) – Taiwan

“Likewise Ko Yue-Lun simply steals the show as Ashin’s sidekick. His conflicted emotions in display as well as being a drug addict further enhance his ability as an actor in probably the most difficult role in the film.”

Best Supporting Actress


Zaizai Lin 林辰唏 – Jump! Ashin 翻滚吧!阿信 (2011) – Taiwan

“Although, Zaizai Lin’s screen time is kept to a minimal, but Lin was simply iresistably sweet and the manner she manages to extend from her page thin role, just goes to show the potential of her acting ability. Another actress to stay in touch with and certainly can do so much more in a meatier role.”

If you are any of the above and is in Sydney, feel free to contact me @, to receive your award.

Looking forward to next year’s festival!

15th Japanese Film Festival – HK Neo Reviews Award 2011

After watching a string of 9 films within the space of a week: I have decided to do some novelty by presenting a few awards for the JFF. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the JFF organisers for allowing me to review this year’s impressive line-up of films. Let the drum rolls begin:

HK Neo Reviews Awards – 15th Japanese Film Festival in Sydney


Best Film:
A Boy and His Samurai ちょんまげぷりん (2010)

Best Director
Hideyuki Hirayama (Shinsan: A Serenade in a Coalmine Town 信さん・炭坑町のセレナーデ – 2011)

Best Actor:
Shun Oguri (Peak: The Rescuers 岳-ガク- 2011)

Best Actress:
Nanami Sakuraba (The Last Ronin 最後の忠臣蔵 – 2010)

So that’s it for this year JFF – I certainly had a loads of fun! I look forward to next years JFF!
If any of you are in Melbourne the JFF begins tomorrow from 29th November to 6 December 2011. So join in the fun.

As for any of the above award recipents and you happen to come across this site and read this and you are in Sydney. Feel free to contact me @ and I will present you with the HK Neo Reviews Award – JFF edition.