|Chungking Express [VHS]
|List Price: $9.99
Our Price: $9.00
You Save: $0.99 (10%)
Chungking Express tells two stories loosely connected by a Hong Kong snack bar. In one story, a cop who's been recently dumped by his girlfriend becomes obsessed with the expiration dates on cans of pineapple; he's constantly distracted as he tries to track down a drug dealer in a blond wig (played by Brigitte Lin, best known from Swordsman II and The Bride with White Hair). Meanwhile, another cop who's recently been dumped by his girlfriend (Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, from John Woo's Hard-Boiled and A Bullet in the Head) mopes around his apartment, talking to his sponge and other domestic objects. He catches the eye of a shop girl (Hong Kong pop star Faye Wang) who secretly breaks in and cleans his apartment. If you're beginning to suspect that neither of these stories has a conventional plot, you're correct. What Chungking Express does have is loads of energy and a gorgeous visual style that never gets in the way of engaging with the charming characters. The movie was shot on the fly by hip director Wong Kar-Wai (Happy Together, Ashes of Time), using only available lighting and found locations. The movie's loose, improvisational feel is closer to Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless than any recent film--and that's high praise. Quirky, funny, and extremely engaging, Chungking Express manages to be experimental and completely accessible at the same time. --Bret Fetzer
Tasty take-out isn't the only thing served hot at this little fast food place -- the lives and loves of its colorful customers also criss-cross over the counter! From a lovesick cop and a mysterious blonde to a free-spirited girl pursuing a secret love, spicy romance is the specialty of the house! For deliciously crowd-pleasing romance and fun, CHUNGKING EXPRESS delivers!
- Love and Laughter
It's easy to see why this film catapulted Wong Kar Wai's status and is considedered one of the best films of the nineties. Not being a fan the first time through, the blu ray resparked my interest for this film so I decided to give it another chance. Lucky for me I made that choice.
The first half of the film is rather funny dealing with a heart broken cop who runs into a blond wig wearing woman whom he falls for exactly 57 hours later. This is great stuff. The comedic timing of Kaneshiro and Lin are spot on. The smooth transition from the first story to the next is also marvelous. Wong's direction of this film is fresh and invigorating and gives a new meaning to say chick flicks. I prefer the first part over the second however many will tell you they like the second story which deals with a cop who, you can tell is pretty good at picking up women, but the one that interests him now catches him off gaurd so to say. Either way you look at it both stories are great and you get a little bit of everything which makes this a very special film. The blu ray release is perfect and I'm sure it's pretty much exactly how Wong Kar Wai would want anyone to see this film. Picture quality 5/5 Audio quality 4.5/5 ...more info
- Why did the ditz take off like that?
I am always suspicious when I come across a movie that others are calling the greatest film of all time.
I'm also suspicious when others are praising the behind-the-scenes production, the camera work.
I have a very straightforward response to movies. Either they reach me or they don't. This one was somewhere in the middle. I did enjoy watching it, but it just went in circles and didn't get anywhere, and some of the actions taken by the characters were incomprehensible, not really human at all.
The main action that stands out as incomprehensible is the woman who left, just left, rather than claim the man she had been in love with. What is that about? It seems that the only constant in this movie is that boy doesn't get girl.
Why did she get on a plane, when her idol, her obsession, the man whose house she had been sneaking into while he was away, was ripe for the picking? Don't tell me that's the reason, that she didn't want reality to intrude on her fantasies. Sorry, but that doesn't fly with me. Even Amelie eventually kissed the boy she loved.
There were two love stories in the film. I've described the second one. In the first one, a man has just lost a longtime girlfriend, he gives her a month to return to him, he collects a month's worth of cans of pineapple slices and eats them on the last day of that month (his birthday), and then he tries to pick up a woman who is a drug dealer/smuggler/killer. She seems nice enough, actually. She is completely uninterested in him, and falls asleep in a hotel room next to him. The end. Nothing happens between them, and apparently nothing will.
So nothing happens in either story, and I was confused about the connections between the characters throughout the film. There are two different cops going to the same deli? They are both heartbroken? At first I didn't realize that they were two different people. I didn't realize that what I had here was two films, not one, and that I wasn't supposed to tie it all together.
Now for the strengths of the film. Some of the characters are excellent. I could really feel for the heartbroken man counting off 30 days for his beloved to return. I enjoyed the character of the female drug dealer. She was very interesting to watch. The one character I had a problem with was the ditz who played California Dreamin' constantly on her boom box, kept sneaking into the apartment of a man she had a crush on, rebuffed his friendly advances, and took off without him at the end. Try talking to a wall. She made no sense to me.
One other problem I had with the film is that it kept bothering me with California Dreamin'. I never liked that song. I still don't. I can see the concept of dreaming of a better place to be, escaping the northeast and its cold weather and businesslike atmosphere. I have no problem with the lyrics. But I hate the music. It was a number one record way back when, and the radio played it every half hour. That's too much punishment to take....more info
This is one of the best movies I ever seen. It fulfills all criteria needed in order to make a movie good. First - scenario is well written, second - it's very well played, third - soundtrack is perfectly tied to the action, fourth - this movie forces you to think after you see it....more info
- Off-beat and exhilerating
I saw this film on cable, twice in one day, and liked it more the second time. CK Express is about the desire of men and women to connect with each other and the loneliness that everyone goes through in the process. Faye Wang, who plays the counter girl at the food shop, is very funny and gives a genuinely affecting performance. Please don't be discouraged in the beginning by the less than conventional "plot" or other quirkiness in the film. It will reward those who stay with it. Like a few other reviewers' comments, the film makes me yearn to revisit HK, the place where I was born but have not been to for too long. I highly recommend this to anyone who is looking for something other than the by-the-numbers Hollywood productions....more info
- One of the best movies of the nineties.
Gotta be honest. I love Amelie to tears, but this movie did the fanciful young girl romance earlier and maybe even better. That's not for me to say though. Check it out on your own....more info
- A perfect screenplay and my favorite Film
Chungking Express will always be my favorite film of all time. It includes my favorite actor, Takeshi Kaneshiro, and Faye Wong, who has a very successful career as a pop star. But, this film I originally watched in Cantonese subtitled. It is about Two differet police officers, and two woman who all work during the evening in Kong Kong. The special thing about this movie is, it tends to be a drama, not an adventure. It is like reading a book and wanting the characters to do something you want them to do, and feeling what they feel in their hearts. And yet, you are constantly suprised and happy with the plot. It realistically depicts people who are in unusual situations, and you suddenly feel very close to the actors, like you look inside their life and know their secret. If you buy this DvD, you will not watch it just once. You will watch it many times over, and the ending has the best dramatical scenario I have ever seen in any film....more info
- A contrary opinion
Everybody I know loves this film. In today's environment, when WKW is being hailed as the premier director from Asia, and one of the world's best, I don't know how many really actually love the film, and how many don't have the courage to state a contrary opinion. Make no mistake, I think WKW is one of the greatest directors I have ever watched - how can somebody who makes a movie like "In The Mood For Love" (ITMFL) not be? Actually, his greatness lies not just in his ability to make a movie like ITMFL, but in his versatility. It is almost impossible to conceive that the same person made both ITMFL and Chungking. Well, his greatness notwithstanding, I can't stand this film. And no, I can't sit, lie, or do anything else with it either.
So what is it about this movie which gets my goat? The directorial style, and the cinematography. Actually, I think parts of the latter are great, and the parts I don't like are influenced by the former, so let me just talk about the former. WKW uses a particular style which extends across most of his other films, including "Happy Together" and "Fallen Angels" (yes, I've seen all of them, and hate almost all of them uniformly). The hallmark of this style is a very modern, staccato, piecemeal approach, stringing together relatively disparate ideas, scenes, or action sequences (almost reminiscent of Godard's "Breathless", as the editorial review says here, though not quite). His style is further marked by characteristic filming styles - for example, the slow shutter speed effect. Actually, this is one of his peeves, which even spills over to ITMFL, where it oh-so-doesn't-fit-and-stands-out-like-a-sore-thumb. Having watched nearly all his films, and having seen the wide array of situations across which is deploys this mechanism, and having spent hours analyzing the potential connecting theme, I can assure you that there is absolutely no uniformity and sense to its usage. It gets used for dream-like sequences, for grounded reality; for sentimental togetherness, for aloofness; for tears, for laughter; for thoughts, for action; the list goes on. WKW similarly uses other weapons in his vast director's repertoire to some bizarre effects, taking improvisation to an extreme where it stops being laudatory.
The above notwithstanding, let me round off by saying that if the kind of style I have delineated above appeals to you, then you should definitely watch this film, for outside of his jarring style, WKW has pieced together a great story and actors. As for myself, I will continue to watch every one of his films, living in the suspense of what this genius will do next - make me fall in love, or hate.
- This snoozer is a loser!
For those of you deciding whether or not to rent this movie and are reading these comments for personal insight, I can help you with these four words: Don't waste your time!
"Chungking Express" was shoddily filmed, slapped together quickly, and gives one the impression the plot could have been conceived by someone standing in line at a Hong Kong Burger King. I can't recall ever watching a film with such an insipid collection of characters! I almost dozed off several times as I watched the one-dimensional cast plod their way through the mundane script.
This embarrassment is an absurd effort with philosophically ridiculous dialogue (a man wanders into his flooded apartment and offers the stunning revelation that "tears can be dried with a tissue, but water takes time to mop up.) The same character is also seen carrying on a deep, meaningful rapport with his towels, soap, stuffed animals, dirty laundry, etc. The shaky, wandering, hand-held camerawork was another annoying feature I could have done without, but the most unbearable part of this artistic disaster is a long, drawn-out sequence where "California Dreaming" by the Mamas and Pappas is played over and over ad nauseam.
Quentin Tarantino was responsible for bringing this loser to America through his Rolling Thunder Productions company, though I can't for the life of me figure out why a man with his vision would bother. He was known to have remarked, "I'm happy to love a movie this much." A lot of us, though, hope he will concentrate on making his audiences happy with more worthy discoveries in the future....more info
- Connecting across 0.1 of a cm
"Chungking Express" is one of my favorite Wong Kar-Wai movies. It is lighter than "In the Mood for Love" and more accessible than "Ashes of Time". At the same time, it captures beautifully the cramped, frenetic nature of life in the city that never sleeps and in particular the wierdly compelling Chungking Mansions which function as the backdrop and unacknowledged co-star of the movie. The action moves back and forth between Kowloon and the Central district of Hongkong Island and this ping-ponging backwards and forwards sets up one of the movies interesting modalities. Another interesting contrast is between exteriors and interiors. In fact, much of the movie is shot inside buildings. For non-Hongkies this is a good introduction to just how much life in HK goes on inside, this is partly because there isn't much outside to be in particularly in Kowloon and on the island, and partly because so many of Hongkong's shops and restaurants are located inside neon-lit arcades and shopping centers.
The original Cantonese title "Chungking Forest" actually gives a better sense of the closeness of the buildings and of the ways in which people bump up against one another and then interact or don't interact. Cop 223's (Takeshi Kaneshiro) opening monologue sets the stage for one of the movie's main ideas: the importance of random chance and the way in which characters are caught in webs of habit or mind which prevent them from connecting with others. The physical landscape: dense, crowded and disorienting then becomes a metaphor for the disconnection of the human inhabitants of Hong Kong. A couple of interesting reviews that help to place the movie more explicitly within the Hong Kong landscape can be found on the websites LoveHKfilm and HKcinemagic.ifrance
In addition to the backdrop, this film provides layers and layers of small details that add to the sense of place. One of the best examples is the Indian kitchen-staff of the inaptly-named Midnight Express (I'm guessing there is a film insider's joke here) take-away joint who provide a subtle chorus to Faye Wong's eccentricities. It's this kind of attention to detail (another would be the incredibly sexy performance given by Valerie Chow as Cop 663's errant flight attendant girl friend), that distinguishes Wong Kar-Wai as one of the masters of atmosphere in modern cinema.
For me, the thing that makes this movie so engaging is the way in which the women are so much more interesting than the men, and yet so opaque as well (perhaps part of the attraction?). Brigitte Lin's blond-wigged female gangster has the least to say of the four main leads and yet she is magnetically forceful from behind her perpetual sunglasses. Even when asleep she commands attention and her character has the only body-count in the film.
So much has been said about Faye Wong's amazing and charismatic performance as Fay, the counter-help at the Midnight Express, that it seems superfluous to repeat them. Wong is luminously beautiful, funny and alarmingly odd in equal measure. Forget the superficial similarities with Audrey Tautou's fairly pedestrian performance in Amelie. If you want any comparison, I would say that Fay resonates most strongly with the other great, semi-benign home invader in Asian film: the stellar Jae Hee in Kim Ki-Duk's 3 Iron.
Both Lin and Wong play women who are extremely hard to read. Their actions are unexplained, their faces remote. Even as they both act on powerful emotions (betrayl and fear in one, obsession and fear in the other), they do so in a way that keeps the emotions themselves well below the surface. These women are seemingly not tortured or unsure of themselves and in this regard they are far more self-possesed than the men in the film. I'm reminded a little of the way in which Ang Lee's female characters (pre Broke Back of course) always seemed to be the more intriguing and fully-developed than the male ones.
The way beyond the surfaces and the failure to connect, Wong seems to be saying, is through courage. Andy Leung's wonderfully rendered Cop 663 is unable to face the reality of the situations he finds himself in, until he begins moving toward his own authentic life. Rather than continue to spin his wheels like Cop 223, he quits the force and reinvents himself. It's not until he's done this himself that he's able to take Fay up on her offer to fly off and see the world together.
This is a good-humored, beautifully executed and decent-hearted movie. It deserves a much greater following outside Asia than it currently has. If American audiences ever learn to bust out beyond kungfu and cop films, this is the best introduction to intelligent, adept and perceptive Hongkong film for thinking adults you could ever hope to have.
- Does anything happen in this movie?
So this movie is made of 2 stories. The first one is quick and involves Takeshi Kaneshiro and Brigitte Lin. Both have their stories and I actually found Kaneshiro more interesting. So this thing ends and the movie should have also. It should have been a 30 minute movie. So for the next hour or so we get to watch Tony Leung Chiu Wai sit around his apartment in his nothing but a white tank top and his briefs. Wow, what a movie. The only positive to the second story is the girl who listens to the same song all day. She was fun to watch but I still wish I wouldn't have seen this dumb movie. ...more info
Wong Kar Wai has been claimed to be the biggest romantic of modern cinema. That`s of course a matter of an opinion, but his impact on the western cinema is undisputably. His way to study and follow the life of individuals, most often young and lost dreamers, trought beautifully colorful cinematography by Christopher Doyle and with some moody pop-music, has been an obvious inspiration for Sofia Coppola in her latest work Lost In Translation.
Wong Kar Wai is a really unique filmmaker. As auteurs like Lars Von Trier also Wong Kar Wai tends to tell the same story over and over again. But like Trier he also manages to find a new approach each time. So instead of "when you`ve seen one, you`ve seen them all" the second part goes more like "you HAVE to see them all"....more info
- Romance with a soda fountain!
A great film for fans of "Lost In Translation". The DVD transfer looks pretty good. Check out the second part to this film "Fallen Angels" for a darker, neon-lit romance....more info
- inapropiate apropiation
chung king express is the work of a filmmaker who has a bold grasp on himself and his characters. Wong Kar-waiw has in all possible ways superceded Q Tarentino's own abilities and range as a filmmaker. it is disturbing to me that the packaging for this dvd makes it feel as if chung king express was mr. tarentinos film. this film is worth owning and watching from time to time, precisely because it is not a Tarentino movie....more info
- Not your typical HK flick....
This movie (directed by Wong Kar-wai) tells two separate stories. In the first one, a lonely cop who has just been left out in the cold by his girl-friend May, buys and eats expired cans of pineapple and meets a woman who turns out to be a ruthless heroin dealer (Brigitte Lin) who wears a blonde wig. In the second story, a cop who has been dumped by his girlfriend is really unhappy, moping round his apartment all day. Then he meets the waitress at the local fast food joint (Faye Wong), who dreams of going to California.
I really liked watching this film. The imagery and camerawork is stunning, and it is amusing and sad in equal parts, telling the story of how lonely the people are. Another striking thing is the inventive use of music within the stories which is used to illustrate certain points - listen out for songs like "What A Difference A Day Makes" and the Mamas and the Papas classic hit "California Dreamin`". I didn`t expect to hear English songs in a Hong Kong movie.
I think it's a nice change to see another type of Asian movie, one which isn`t all shooting or kung-fu. It has an experimental style, lots of energy, and is not afraid to be different.
I highly recommend this tape to people who want to check out a different sort of HK film. If you pass it up, you`re missing out on a gem....more info
- ChungKing Express
One of the most interesting films I have ever seen. Never was a big sub- title movie person, but this movie takes off from the begining,and soars throughout. Truly a fantastic, well directed film . ...more info
- I loved this movie
Brigitte Lin is great in this film, and Faye Wong added a great deal of beauty to it. There just aren't enough movies like this one. The second time I watched it was just as good as the first -- it is just so full of life. The film was quite seductive also, with bit of danger, but not enough to take away from the rest of the movie....more info
- The Blu-ray version is AWESOME!!!
I really love this film. "CHUNGKING EXPRESS" is the ultimate pop art film that won a lot hearts when it was first released and continues to this day. And not only has the film jumpstarted the film careers of Wong Kar-wai, Christopher Doyle, Takeshi Kaneshiro and Faye Wong (despite having an awesome music career), "CHUNGKING EXPRESS" is one of those non-action Asian films that has continued to become a fan favorite for fans all over the world.
This film is now part of the Criterion Collection and when Criterion's name is on a film release, you know that you're going to get a quality release.
So, what did Criterion do for this release?
VIDEO & AUDIO:
Criterion is known to making their final masters to what the director's had in mind. In this case, presenting the director's requested aspect ratio of 1:66:1.
The new high definition transfer according to Criterion was created on a Spirit 2K Datacine from a 35 mm internegative and a 35 mm interpositive. Thousands of instances of dirt, debris and scratches were removed using the MTI Digital Restoration System and Pixel Farm's PF Clean. For a film that is nearly 15 years old, the goal for Criterion was not to give a crisp and clear picture but to make sure that the requested aspect ratio was successful and removing all the dirt and scratches that have plagued previous releases of the film.
Oh, and I just have to say that things that were cut out of the US VHS/DVD release are intact in this Blu-ray version. But as far as video quality goes, you will find the colors noticeable especially at the bar when you see the CD's in the jukebox spin and see the vibrant colors.
I have caught a few instances of color pulsing (due to the older print) and there were no artifacting. As for the audio, the original soundtrack was remastered by Tuu Duu-chih at 3H Sound Studios in Taipei under the supervision of Wong Kar-wai. According to Criterion, the audio restoration tools have been used to reduce clicks, pops, hiss and crackle.
The audio is what I loved about this release. While watching the film and knowing that the majority of the film is dialogue-driven and as expected during the music scenes, to hear the music really become prominent but what I didn't expect to hear, which put a smile to my face is the rear surround and hearing the people talking, the cars beeping and while the front speakers were busy with scenes such as the lady in the blonde wig with the Indian smugglers, you hear the whole life of the city come alive through the rear surround.
Suffice to say, I was quite happy to hear the audio channels used effectively in this dialogue-driven film by taking the city's ambiance and having it come alive. Well done! And for those passionate about the film, hearing the tunes of "Baroque", "California Dreamin'" and Faye Wong's cover of the popular Cranberries song ala "Dreams" is just so fun and how music, even a few songs really made this pop art film truly shine.
In the past release, we had Quentin Tarentino's introduction to CHUNGKING EXPRESS", this time around with the Criterion release, we have the following:
* An audio commentary featuring Asian cinema critic Tony Rayns who has talked to Wong Kar-wai in regards to certain scenes and also, we learn about how Chinese culture influenced certain situations such as the use of dates and certain phrases in the film. Also, the reason why certain music was used and pretty much how commercials really influenced Wong Kar-wai for this film. A very informative commentary.
* A 1996 episode of the British television series Moving Pictures featuring interview swith Wong and cinematographer Christopher Doyle - This segment was made in 1996 thus the quality despite being in HD, is not too great. But nevertheless, it was very fun to watch this 15-minute segment and watching these interviews with Wong and Christopher. Really awesome details as the two walk into the places where the Midnight Express was shot and also the apartment actually was Doyle's apartment. Very informative.
* Then the US Theatrical trailer which was loved by American critics but unfortunately the film company didn't know how to market the film, thus it didn't do to well in America.
* A booklet featuring a new essay by critic Amy Taubin - For those familiar with Amy Taubin's work on "Sight & Sound", Taubin really gets into the film and definitely writes about the film and its characters in a unique way. Definitely an entertaing read for those who watched the movie. Do not read this booklet first if you haven't seen the film.
The Blu-ray is presented in a digibook type of case with a slip cover.
I've owned so many variations of this film already that I can't help but smile throughout the film and just seeing how beautiful it looks on Blu-ray and how good the sound quality was and hearing so many things all around me.
For those who were expecting a digital remastered version that will have a pristine, crisp and vibrant look as some older Blu-rays have managed to have, the Criterion Edition is beautiful but not spectacularly gorgeous but for those watching a Criterion release, the goal is not to change the film and change the colors.
Their goal was to present the film with the supervision of Wong Kar-wai and Christopher Doyle and how they wanted the film to be. If you watched the original DVD version or previous versions, this film has aged but with the Criterion edition, the video looks beautiful without the scratches and all the dust and looks cleaned up. Personally, I don't know if we'll see the film any better than this presentation. It's truly an awesome release on Blu-ray and absolutely love it!
I really hope that Criterion possibly considers releasing the third story via the film "Fallen Angels"on Blu-ray. Wong kar-wai created the third story for CHUNGKING EXPRESS" but because it would make the film to lengthy, he cut it out and carried it over to his next film, "Fallen Angels". So, knock on wood, I hope that Criterion considers it because the treatment they gave for "CHUNGKING EXPRESS" was well done and definitely enhanced the whole experience for me, I found it quite beautiful.
Perhaps I'm a bit biased because I enjoyed this film so much but overall, this release is solid and definitely recommended!...more info
- Watch it twice, Think, Enjoy!
I am a straightforward watcher and am not big on details so I had to watch this movie twice to get something out of it. The actors are brilliant and the story is straddling between reality and the fantasy world. The second story is similar to Amelie but Chungking Express had this aura of "real" in it. The film is beautiful and it somehow requires some thinking to fully appreciate it. Wong Kar Wai made this great movie and you should check this movie out if you want to dig for some treasure that you don't get from some superficial movie. THIS MOVIE IS DIFFERENT BECAUSE IT REACHES A CERTAIN GROUP OF PEOPLE ONLY. IT'S EITHER YOU LIKE IT OR YOU DON'T. BUT OF COURSE GIVING IT A SECONG GLANCE CAN MAKE YOU A BELIEVER AFTER ALL. Check it out....more info
- A beautiful film...
I had previously seen Wong Kar Wai's two most recent full-length films (In The Mood For Love and 2046) and enjoyed them greatly. I just recently purchased the rest of his catalogue and have been viewing them in chronological order. Tonight I watched Chungking Express.
This film, like all of his films, deals with isolation, loss, and missed connections. It contains two separate stories which, on the surface, are not related. The first story I found to be intriguing though not really so inspiring. The second (which comprises the bulk of the film) was simply amazing! WKW really has a way of placing you into the emotions of his characters! His is an extremely voyeuristic style to film-making. As the story progressed I started to feel uncomfortable as a result of one of the characters' behavior. Then the discomfort gave way to exuberance and I was smiling and even laughing along with this character. I began to sympathize and (god forbid!) even condone what was happening. When the character's game came to an end (as it had to do) I was scared for her but was relieved when her victim(?) also sympathized and condoned her behavior. Then, the story took a turn and it broke my heart in a most profound way. WKW's stories always break my heart, but this one REALLY HURT in a more personal way! I'm not really sure why. But after all the sadness and pain, this story turned around and put the pieces back together!
Beware! This is not a film for mainstream junkies! If you enjoy challenging and thought-provoking movies, then this is a definite must-see! If you have primarily subsisted on a diet of mainstream Hollywood fare but are curious to see the treasures that are possible with daring film-making, then this movie is an excellent gateway drug!...more info
- One of my absolute Favorites, foreign or otherwise!
Why do I love this film so much? I'm an Indie and foreign film lover so, that helps. Overall though, I enjoy the honesty in each of the film's love stories, three in all that subtly intertwine with each other. Quirky love at it's finest! The actors are stellar in this cast: Tony Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Brigette Lin & musician Faye Wong in her debut role. A lighthearted look at life's relationships, this film is gem that shouldn't be missed. If you enjoy Punch Drunk Love, Lost in Translation and everything in between, try Chungking Express. ...more info
- Neat little film
I like it that famous directors will highlight seemingly publicly obscure films so the rest of us can watch them. The nymph who kept dancing to California Dreams captured my attention by flitting around and messing with peoples stuff. I can't recommend it for most people but if you are looking for something different it is not bad....more info
- A beautiful and poignant story.
CKE is a beautiful tear-jerker which I can't get out of my thoughts. The film is a diamond, with very fine acting by all, but Faye Wong's performance was nothing less than stellar! I understand that CKE was her acting debut and that she won an award for best actress for her work in that unforgetable film. She more than deserved it! My only problem is to find a remedy for the crush I've developed for her. She is just too adorable! I challenge any self-respecting male to see this movie without losing his heart to this excruciatingly seductive coquette!...more info
- QUENTIN TARANTINO ! ! !
How dare Quentin Tarantino put his own name and face larger than the title of the movie ! ! ! even worse - Wong Kar Wai's name is written so small you need a maginfying glass to read it ! ! ! That says it all ! I re-bought the movie in Britian where there is respect for the artist himself and a decent cover. minus Tarantino !
Tanantino spoils the sensitivity of a true genious director. His interview is shocking !...more info
- "We're all unlucky in love sometimes.When I am, I go jogging. The body loses water when you jog,so you have none left for tears"
"Chungking Express" is one of Wong Kar Wai's best-known films, and it is a good introduction to the work of this Chinese director. If you only like traditional movies, you will probably not appreciate "Chungking Express". On the other hand, if you are open to the unexpected, you may well fall in love with it.
This film has two different stories, connected by the fact that they are both about love, isolation, hope and despair. The stories are part of the plot, but the important thing here are the characters, and their feelings. You learn about them, and even begin to understand what they feel, thanks at least in part to the fact that you can hear their inner monologues.
The first story is about Cop 223, He Zhiwu (Takeshi Kaneshiro), who has broken up with his long-term girlfriend May, and is terribly sad. He reflects on his love problems, saying that "We split up on April Fool's Day. So I decided to let the joke run for a month. Every day I buy a can of pineapple with a sell-by date of May 1. May loves pineapple, and May 1 is my birthday. If May hasn't changed her mind by the time I've bought thirty cans, then our love will also expire". What can you do, when you watch his character buy lots of cans of pineapple that expire on May 1, believing that doing that will help him to regain May's love? Or when he says things like "We're all unlucky in love sometimes. When I am, I go jogging. The body loses water when you jog, so you have none left for tears"? He is hopeful, but in despair, and the spectator cannot help but feel empathy.
The other story is about Cop 663, Chiu Wai (Tony Leung ), that broke-up with his flight attendant girlfriend (Valerie Chow), and sums up their relationship in a few words, saying "I thought we'd stay together for the long haul, flying like a jumbo jet on a full tank. But we changed course". He is so sad that he begins to talk to his furniture, and doesn't even realize that Faye (Faye Wong), the young woman that works at the deli where he buys his dinner, has fallen in love with him.
What will happen with these two men and the people their love, or that love them? To know that, you have to watch "Chungking Express". Please pay attention to the beautiful dialogue, and the kaleidoscopic filmaking. I promise "Chungking Express" will be many things, but never boring. Recommended :)
Belen Alcat...more info
- You wet socks, why are you crying? you should pull yourselves up..
It is one of the best movies I have ever watched. Amazingly funny sometimes,
sometimes deeply heart breaking, just like life itself is..Tony Leung Chu-Wai acts wonderfully, Faye Wong is so lovely. You will be longing to see all Wong Kar-Wai movies after this, that`s what I did, and I do not regret at all. I am a fan....more info
- The very first movie from Wong that I started to fall into his movies.
I watched this movie many years ago when it first came out and I was in Hongkong. The unique way to present the love stories and the bonds between strangers made this movie a masterpiece, well, at least to me. Wong likes to use his unique way to illustrate the love and the lovers in the movie expressed their love physically not verbally. It's not the type of entertainment movies. But somehow, it entertained me when I could think about the implications of the actions in the movie more often than I watch others....more info
- A nice change from Hollywood films
Before I saw this film, the only movies I had seen from Hong Kong were Kung Fu movies. I didn't know what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised by the pace and humour of this film. Martial arts films are often either too serious or have a straight-faced humour running through them. This on the other hand was lighter in tone and even made me laugh out loud a few times. This tells us a lot about Hong King life and it is interesting to see how anglicised the (then) colony was.
I was baffled by people's comments that there were two cops in this film, I thought there was only one until I read the cast list, and it does seem surprising that Wong cast two similar looking men in two identical costumes. That's something that often trips up Hollywood directors, casting two lead men who confirm to a romantic ideal of what handsome leading men look like - i.e. slim, black hair, tanned skin, no facial hair and definitely no spectacles! There is no such problem with the three leading ladies, who look so different, it's clear who's who, although I must confess I was expecting the woman in the blond wig to have turned out to be one of the other characters by the end of the movie!
Confusion aside, this is great fun, and contains a skilfully chosen soundtrack, particularly the reggae track (which sounds like Maxi Priest, but there's no credits) and California Dreamin'. It's not a bad idea to use recurrent themes through movies, rather than to jam snippets of tracks in for the conventional soundtrack album, and this is just one of many ways in which Chunking Express is a welcome change from the norm....more info