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Showing posts from March, 2012

#41 City on Fire

From Blogger

Recently, I stumbled upon this list of the 100 Greatest Hong Kong Films. I've been a fan of Hong Kong cinema since the mid-1980s, when I discovered the section of martial arts movies at my local video store where I was dazzled by the films of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. In the last few years, I've again been watching the movies that are made in the Hong Kong industry and many of my very favorite filmmakers have multiple films on the above linked list. And while I've seen many films from Johnny To, John Woo, Yuen Woo-Ping, Stephen Chow, Tsui Hark, and Wong Kar Wei there are still several of their films that I still haven't taken the time to watch. In addition, I still haven't seen much at all by Fruit Chan or very many HK movies that aren't genre films. So, I plan to use this list as a guide to try to broaden my knowledge of Chinese cinema.

We started with City on Fire, the film from Ringo Lam that was the inspiration for Reservoir Dogs. Ko Chow (Chow …

Chronicle

My immediate reaction to Chronicle was amazement that I couldn't figure out how to concisely describe the film as it refuses to fit neatly into a familiar genre. This was totally unexpected since Chronicle was written by Max Landis, son of John Landis, best known for making An American Werewolf in London, but while one can draw comparisons with Carrie, I hesitate to call Chronicle a horror movie. It could also be superhero origin story, but while the teens do acquire superhuman powers, it also ultimately skeptical of heroism, so the tone definitely keeps it outside of the superhero genre. Ultimately, Chronicle functions as a modern morality play, a cautionary story that warns of the corrupting properties of power.

Chronicle is a found footage movie, popularized in numerous horror movies, presenting the story from the viewpoint of Andrew (Dane DeHaan), as he is documents his life with a video camera and at the beginning, we get a first glimpse of his home life when his father interr…