Capsule Comments – House of Fury, Breaking News, Twins Effect 2 and Sound of Colours

Been a little while since we have had some smaller capsule reviews on Things Fall Apart, so I thought I would give you an all Hong King Special.  Usual rules apply – sometimes the movies might be deserving of their own post later (although I know I have never followed up on that particular promise).

House of Fury

Add two of my favourite things (Anthony Wong and the TWINS girls)422px-Houseoffuryposter to a superior HK Action movie and you get a rather superior film.  Wong has a heap of fun as the single father of two children who refuse to believe he used to be a secret agent.  And of course when he gets kidnapped, it is up to his family to step up to the plate.  “House of Fury” won’t win any awards for originality, script or storyline.  However, the sheer fun, surprisingly high quality cinematography and more than decent action sequences elevate this little gem to a must see. 

The only downside – despite being on the cover of the DVD (not the picture you see here), my favourite Twin, Charlene Choi only factors in two or three scenes (and one of them is a little ‘odd’).  On the other hand, this is my second favourite Gillian Chung performance after “Beyond Our Ken”.

The final scene highlights the all round quality – the camera moves slowly around the family home, intruding into all the characters lives, showing how the experience has changed them.  Surprisingly effective.

Breaking News

This Johnnie To helmed film does things the other way around, by starting with a terrific seven minute single shot displaying a Police sting go down and go wrong.

Unfortunately, for me, “Breaking News” never quite hits the heightsBreakingnews of the opening shot.   I wonder if it takes on a little too much – we have Police Politics, some very interesting and sympathetic bad guys, an interesting idea about using the media and a dash on how hard it is for a woman to succeed.

I very much enjoyed Nick Cheung’s Die Hard-esque cop, especially as it was viewed from a slightly different perspective than usual – the maverick was not the main focus of the movie, encouraging us all to rail against authority.

Kelly Chen’s performance is unfortunately a little stilted, showing that you really cannot rely on being attractive to a camera lens.  This is a real shame, as her character is certainly the most interesting.

In the end, the Film is too short, and lacks heart.  With an additional 20 minutes, and little more exploration of its themes, it could have risen from “recommended” to “highly recommended”

However, it is recommended.

Twins Effect 2

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Mauris eu427px-TwinsEffect2_Poster fringilla dui. Curabitur tempor placerat velit ut suscipit. Ut ut purus lectus, a pulvinar lorem. “Twins Effect 2” faucibus mattis ipsum et semper. Donec libero metus, commodo in egestas et, varius in metus. Vivamus sit amet cursus sapien. Nullam at massa quis dui cursus egestas.

Vivamus iaculis, Gillian Chung et Charlene Choi eleifend, purus sapien bibendum nisl, non viverra dui ante quis purus. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Integer accumsan, tortor in accumsan posuere, tortor risus volutpat odio, ut dictum tortor mi eu ligula.

Sed id nunc in tortor ornare congue. Nullam ut dui nec ipsum rutrum elementum. Integer varius augue eget diam auctor vestibulum. Nam libero lorem, Jackie Chan’s son, Jaycee euismod a nunc. Aenean tristique eros id leo elementum nec elementum nunc dignissim. Sed porta blandit metus, sit amet mattis lectus ultricies ut. Proin sit amet sapien quam. Vestibulum ac diam mauris, eget ullamcorper felis. Donec felis sapien, posuere a faucibus vel, sollicitudin ut erat.

Utter Nonsense.

Sound of Colours

Regular readers will know how much I loved “Turn Left Turn Right”. soundofcolors This is another film based on a Jimmy Liao storybook, and whilst very enjoyable, does suffer in comparison.  “Sound of Colours” has an odd structure.  About 75% of the film centres around blind Hoi Yeuk (Miriam Yeung) romance with the somewhat roguish Ming (Tony Leung – as watchable as ever).  Ming runs an introduction agency, which is pretty clear that it is either a scam, or he is just not very good at it.  Hoi Yeuk is a very capable young woman, who does not let her disability stop her in any aspect of life, apart from the fact she does not have a boyfriend.  Now with the assistance of her Father and some Angels (yes, Angels), She approaches Ming to help her out.  Of course, they end up falling in love, but not before Ming is also struck down blind. 

I mentioned those Angels?  Well only because there is another storyline here, about two people who have suffered unrequited love for others, that are rather bizarrely bought together to find love on the Shanghai subway system.  And yes they are manipulated into finding each other by said Angels.  You cannot call it a parallel storyline, it is just there 25% of the time.  And it is very odd (I cannot believe the girl would not have run a mile once she discovered the extent of stalking involved), and whilst I have no doubt it was in the source material, it seems for too underplayed and frankly unnecessary.

**Things Fall Apart Newsflash**.  Apparently the second story is not in the source material, and is merely a showcase for the two Mainland Chinese actors.  I am afraid that is modern HK Cinema for you…..

I like Angels.  “Wings of Desire” is one of my favourite films.  I don’t even mind slightly camp ones.  What I do struggle with is an Angle who is able to cause and cure blindness with a point of the finger (or by using some magic candy), but has to basically pickpocket some letters to send a man 1,000’s of miles out of his way.

That is a minor quibble.  My major one is that everything bunches up at the end, the crisis between Hoi Yeuk and Ming is not evidenced until about 15 minutes from the end of the movie.  This means it is never given time to really become a big issue, and that the resolution is rushed.

However, lots to like here.  Both main leads are terrific, Yeung especially completely convinced me of her blindness.  There is also a lovely fantasy scene where we see how she views the world.  A fair bit of humour also, with a couple of belly laughs.  I loved the scene where Ming goes to the Blind Centre on Hoi Yeuk’s advice to have a newspaper or book read to him, and he turns up with a comic.  The conceit is silly, but the execution during the reading is fantastic.

There is just not quite enough of the good to outweigh the weaker storyline.  Again, recommended, but I will not be taking this movie to my heart in the same way as “Turn Left Turn Right”.

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