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1. Chungking Express
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2. In the Mood for Love - Criterion
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3. Days of Being Wild
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4. Happy Together
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5. As Tears Goes By
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6. Ashes of Time
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7. Fallen Angels
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8. In The Mood For Love
9. 2046

1. Chungking Express
Director: Kar Wai Wong
list price: $9.99
our price: $9.99
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Asin: B000065V38
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 3393
Average Customer Review: 4.43 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (69)

4-0 out of 5 stars 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.

5-0 out of 5 stars NOT A MARTIAL ARTS/ACTION MOVIE
Great date film.... Urban isolation, bad break ups, and quirky humor characterizes this film, with some great perfomances by Tony Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro, and "the Madonna of Mandarin," pop star, Faye Wong. Bridgette Lin also has one of her best roles ever, although she's incognito in a blond whig and sunglasses. Told in the two seperate halves that comprise the film, Kaneshiro and Leung both play H.K. cops who have been dumped by their girlfriends, with both coping in different ways. Kaneshiro persistant in his hopes his ex will change her mind, Leung forlorn and down. Almost universally, most people prefer Leungs half of the movie. Leung is so down about his girlfriend's rejection of him, that he's totally unaware that the woman (F. Wong) working at the fast food stand where he eats has fallen for him and is sneaking into and redecorating his appartment. On a more personal note, Valerie Chow, my favorite H.K. Cinema uber-babe and the only one who could possibly eclipse Rosamund Kwan, has a minor role as Leung's airline stewardess ex-girlfriend (I never understood why she was never more prominant in H.K. Cinema-she could make it just on looks alone-she also appears in Tsui Harks The Blade). Very intelligent, thought out, and entertaining.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful inside view of Hong Kong
Hong Kong is often a study of the absurd, but it always has a way of captivating you. This movie manages to capture much of both sides of this. While those who know Hong Kong find some of the continuity a little jumpy (how do they get from Hong Kong to Kowloon and back so fast?), it is a gem of a visual introduction to living in the real Hong Kong. Filmed almost entirely within a few blocks around Wellington Street, the escalator and Lan Kwai Fong, you can almost smell the streets as they were 10 years ago. The 2 stories that make up the film are also contrasts - between the sheer pace and mayhem of one to the simple minded childishness of the other. Brilliant.

5-0 out of 5 stars Love and obsession....
This movie brings together a great cast, including the legendary Brigitte Lin, and the indelible Faye Wong. Loosely speaking, Chungking Express is the unraveling of two not-so-separate stories about love and obsession. The connection between the two stories is like a subtle undercurrent. At more than one point we see the characters of the two stories cross path, much like anyone of us cross paths with hundreds of unknown faces everyday. They are unaware of each other...why should they?

The film explores the nuanced boudaries of love and obsession, of fantasy and reality. The characters are cops, a drug dealer, and a fast food clerk. Their lives occur against the backdrop of the urban jungle that is modern day Hong Kong, where escalators are built so close to apartment buildings that when you look out your second floor apartment, you see shadows of strangers riding up and down your neighborhood. In this postmodern and unreal landscape plays out the primal desires of love and obsession where hope, disappointment, rationality, irrationality, reality, and fantasy plays tricks on our minds. All this is well put together in a tantalizing and sexy film. (spoiler alert) It pits one conventional love story ending with one not so conventional. I've watched this film numerous times, and every time I come away with a reminder of how my desires is a delicate balance between sense and non-sense. Check this film out!

2-0 out of 5 stars Different? Yes. Good? Well...
This overrated film by hip oriental director Wong Kar-Wai manages to be mildly intriguing and interesting at times but for the most part it just misses its target. Yes, there is some stylish and neat directing to find here, as well as some weird and offbeat scenes once in a while, yet the movie is ultimately too long and it seems to lack a point. What begins as an appealing story (or stories) about urban alienation and the isolation of some japanese youngsters soon turns into a repetitive, tiresome and, at parts, irritating cinematic experience ("California Dreaming", anyone??). The characters range from frustrated daydreamers to annoying and erratic losers who can`t seem to find a goal for their lives. "Chungking Express" is quircky and kind of amusing here and there, still overall it fails to convince.
Average. ... Read more


2. In the Mood for Love - Criterion Collection
Director: Kar Wai Wong
list price: $39.95
our price: $31.96
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Asin: B00003CXUM
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 3548
Average Customer Review: 4.47 out of 5 stars
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Description

Hong Kong, 1962: Chow Mo-wan and Su Li-zhen move into neighboring apartments on the same day. Their encounters are polite and formal-until a discovery about their respective spouses sparks an intimate bond. At once delicately mannered and visually stunning, Wong Kar-wai's In the Mood for Love is a masterful evocation of romantic longing and fleeting moments in time. ... Read more

Reviews (83)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wong Kar-Wai's Masterpiece
If you were to find a fault in Wong's film it would be the pace: slow, methodical, but inspite and because of that pace "In the Mood for Love" is an utterly engrossing tale; a tale of a man who suspects his wife of cheating and a women who suspects her husband of the same. As they secretly share their pains and suspiscions they fall in love, a love which, due to guilt and the society they live in, cannot blossom.

"In the Mood for Love" is a period piece, taking place in 1962 Hong Kong, and it captures the period wonderfully with small details like the snippets of Shanghainese speech and Nat King Cole's melodic voice floating in an American-style diner.

In this movie Wong Kar-Wai achieved brilliance on every level. Not only does he create a perfect mood with his methodical pace, dark yet beautiful camera work, but he tops it off with excellent performances by Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung and an enthralling soundtrack that ties it all together. I have been a fan of Wong Kar-wai for some time, but in all of his films I felt something was missing. Here he has captured it all. With "In the Mood for Love" Wong leaves the label "a good director" behind and becomes "a great director".

The DVD is full of fascinating extras: interviews with the cast, Wong Kar-wai; descriptions of the music used in the film; trailers, posters, images. You can spend hours not even looking at everything but the movie!

5-0 out of 5 stars Best movie of the year
It's only a shame that this wasn't released several months ago in the U.S. as it was in the U.K. or else it would have been nominated for some major awards. It's actually really hard to fault anything in this movie: the acting, directing, music and cinematography are all world-class.

The story centers around a woman and a man who live next to each other in a Hong Kong apartment complex in 1962. They both suspect their spouses of having an affair with each other, and begin to fall in love themselves. Being in such tight surroundings they obviously cannot show very much affection to each other in public and rely on subtle glances and very little actual physical contact: it is a testimony to the superb acting skills of the two main leads, Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung, that the relationship is believable. The director Wong Kar-Wai is also brilliant at mixing in slow-motion shots (perhaps to emphasize how slowly their relationship develops) and Spanish music, which fits the mood of the movie amazingly well.

To add to the atmosphere, the movie is almost completely shot indoors except for some shots outside at night and in the rain and the haunting last scene. You really get a sense of clautrophobia after a while, not only of the living space but how confined the characters' marriages and even lives are as well. Futhermore, the movie also has a political overtone which is, like everything else here, subtle, but suffice to say its setting in 1962 is not accidental.

Finally, the lack of a huge amount of dialogue means that those who don't like subtitles won't have to suffer through so many. For those of you like me who were disappointed with most of the junk nominated for Academy Awards this year, finally here's a movie that lives up to its reputation.

5-0 out of 5 stars An unforgettable journey.
'In the Mood for Love' is a touching, engrossing meditation on, you guessed it, love: what it is, what creates it, what ends it, what keeps it sewn strong together. All of these aspects are collected into a clever, lovely, sometimes devastating piece of artistry directed by the fabulous Wong-Kar Wai. Those of you who love romantic comedies or grand, epic love sagas will be immensely disappointed with his latest film. It is not either. Rather, it is a gem of cinema that strives for emotional truth and absolute realism. Inside of cramped apartments and old diners, that, too, is what the main characters of 'In the Mood for Love' yearn for.

The film takes place in Hong Kong during the year 1962. Chow Mo-wan (Tony Leung) and Su Li-zhen (Maggie Cheung) have just moved into neighboring apartments and have met each other rather casually. But the two progressively realize a secret about their respective spouses and a profound relationship develops almost instantly. From there, the film sets a tone that is cislunar, seeming to float in its own world situated between reality and a sense of disconnection. Kar-Wai perfectly evokes this mood with fleeting slow-motion sequences accompanied by Christopher Doyle and Mark Li Ping-bin's delicately visceral cinematography. What ensues throughout the rest of the film (both plot-wise and technically) masterfully conveys romantic yearning.

The lead performances were breathtaking, namely Maggie Cheung as Su Li-zhen. From scenes of obvious hurt to moments of hidden despair, she ceaselessly astonishes. I'm surprised she did not receive the massive encomium she deserved from 2001 year-end awards groups, let alone the Oscars. But credit must also be given to Tony Leung as Chow Mo-wan, who managed to maintain a quiet, tired loneliness throughout the film. Leung also understood that it was only with Su Li-zhen that Chow Mo-wan felt truly alive with passion.

Another character worth mentioning are the breath-taking sets by production designer William Chang Suk-ping. The claustrophobic atmosphere offered by Suk-ping's dated, tight hallways was as much a part of the emotion and story line as each lead. Collectively, each part of the movie-making process (screenwriting, directing, designing, acting) achieved an assured concinnity; and in the end, what was already a personal, accessible study is lifted by Kar-Wai to a universal level using epic shots of Mayan temples and mysterious landscapes. As the credits role, it becomes apparent that 'In the Mood for Love' is arguably a masterpiece worthy of the all-time lists.

For me personally, the constant flashbacks of wind sifting past vinaceous curtains and artful conversations about love at its core only underscore 'Love's greatness. It is an unforgettably personal journey not to be missed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Tertiary Love Film at its Highest Form
98 minutes of excellence. I am never a big fan for romantic films. Especially with the current scene filled with countless teen-or-chick flicks, I have become very picky on this category. I watched it with skepticism. 98 mins later, I switch off the TV in great relief, and also with understanding of why a few people do not enjoy it.

Generally, people who dislike this film have the following reasons:
1. Simple plot and no plot twist
2. Repetitive scenes
3. Few and confusing dialogues
4. No significant signs of intimacy or eroticism. Can it even be categorized into "Romance"?

One thing I have learnt from "In the Mood for Love" is also the same thing I wish romantic film directors would learn for a long time: Character Study and Development are often more important than unnecessary plot twist. There are pretty much only two characters in the movie, but by middle the audience could feel as if we know them for real. Thus we do feel the characters' happiness, pain and suffering. Yes, even if the time is set in 1962, Hong Kong.

The repetitive scenes do not represent lack of creativity. In fact it is one of the hardest tricks in my opinion. Although some actions are very similar, each scene has a subtle change in intimacy and impact for future relationship. Not one of the scenes can be taken away because they're all crucial links. As for the dialogue, it is few but every line is to the point. Each word is polished to sharpest and kept to minimum. Every word is a keyword.

Intimacy and eroticism are indications and eye-candy. Audience would understand immediately two people are in love. In my opinion this is director's point of view to choose it or not. Wong Kar Wai deliberately wanted to create a longing relationship without obvious physical contact to add up the sadness. In fact, the film has at least once "Implied Intimacy". ***SPOILER*** When Su told Chow she did not want to go back home in the cab, that "Implies"they would probably spend the night together ***SPOILER***

It could be artistic whether sex scenes are included or not. It just happens that WKW wants to present us a unique experience. I highly appreciate this effot. In the Mood for Love is a ten-level-upped romantic film and I definitely recommend it to every viewer, tertiary or not.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece, flawless, perfect, beautiful!
Simply put, it is one of the more ravishingly beautiful films ever made! Every now and then, a director and his collaborators are so in-tune with each other, so opperating at the height of their powers, that as a viewer watching it, you are aware of watching greatness yet an air of disbelief pervades. Such feelings you get with (to name a few flawless masterpieces) Tarkovsky's ANDREI RUBLEV, Bergman's CRIES & WHISPERS, Fellini's LA DOLCE VITA, Lee's DO THE RIGHT THING, Scorsese's TAXI DRIVER, and Hitchcock's VERTIGO. All of the aforementioned films are flawless works which use everything the cinema can do...such films are perfect; IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE is such a film. It is a masterpiece and a must own! ... Read more


3. Days of Being Wild
Director: Kar Wai Wong
list price: $29.95
our price: $26.96
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Asin: B0002X7GWU
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 8450
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4. Happy Together
Director: Kar Wai Wong
list price: $29.95
our price: $26.96
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Asin: 6305394717
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 17550
Average Customer Review: 4.15 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

The expressionistic, stylized visual brilliance (courtesy ofAustralian cinematographer Christopher Doyle) of Happy Together is sobreathtaking and enveloping it nearly detracts from this startling, queasy, despairing glimpse at a gay relationship gone amok. Director Wong Kar-Wai(Chungking Express, Fallen Angels) won the Best Director Prize at Cannesin 1997--surprising many--but on viewing the film it's easy to see why. The subjectmatter may not be the easiest to swallow--any relationship on the rockssometimes gets dirty and pathetically disturbing--but there is auniversality to Happy Together that rings true and real and less like anedition of The Honeymooners than isolation tinged with the embarrassment ofintimacy. Ho (Leslie Cheung) and Lai (Tony Leung) have left Hong Kong forBuenos Aires. The journey is another in Ho's attempts to "start over." Buttheir initial optimism is short-lived, and once they become dislocatedstrangers in this strange land it only further thrusts the two into their already codependent, caretaking dark love affair. But like all crazylove, the trip through masochistic hell--from violence to apathy--leads toself-enlightenment, and Wong Kar-Wai's gorgeous, grasping film is true,tricky, difficult, and emotionally wrought, aided by Hong Kong superstarsCheung and Leung, who contribute greatly to creating a work that isexceptional--and lump-in-throat brutal--in image, story, and performance. --Paula Nechak ... Read more

Reviews (47)

5-0 out of 5 stars I love this movie
The first time i saw this movie, I have to admit, I fell asleep. And the second time I saw "HAPPY TOGETHER", I fell asleep again. But each time, I just wanted to slap myself because I had been told and knew deep down inside, it was a great movie. And finally, the third time I saw it, the movie just captured my heart.

"HAPPY TOGETHER" is a love story in it's most darkest and bittersweet form. Two gay lovers venture out to Argentina from Hong Kong and the idea of them being happy together is seriously tested. One lover (I can't remember the name) is stable, diligent, and so giving while the other one is just simply a selfish gay slut. They try several times to start over, but each time, the selfish lover wants to eat his cake too.

Like all of Wong Kar-wai's films, this one has little dialogue and the story is told mainly through visuals. The waterfall is a major theme running through the movie. The beginning opens up in black and white and later on, when the lovers start over again, color (in a very Wong Kar-wai-esque cinematic sense of it) comes in. And the soundtrack (mostly Astor Piazola) is just an unforgetable part of the movie.

I heard that before making this film, Wong Kar-wai was reading a lot of Manuel Puig (gay Argentine writer of "KISS OF THE SPIDERWOMAN"). Puig dealt with mainly the themes of unrequited love, impossible love, the love that hurts you more than gives you pleasure. And often, his characters where pretty much society's castoffs, whether because they were gay, revolutionaries, or just plain freaks. You can see a lot of these same themes in many of Wong Kar-wai films, but it hits the hardest in this one.

The plot is rather simple, but Wong Kar-wai seems to be the master of capturing those feelings people don't talk about-- those feelings that show up only on our faces. In the end, I cried. Not because I had my heart broken in the same fashion, or because I'm one of those people uncapable of attaining love. I cried because the movie just eats away at your heart little by little and anywhere within the last 15 minutes of the film, the tears come and you don't know if you're crying because you're sad or you're happy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Changing perspectives...
Happy Together, by Chinese director Wong Kar-Wai, is one of my all-time favourite movies, and - along with The Tango Lesson - one of the movies that has effected me the most. To me, HT is one of those (rare) art products that manage to combine formal beauty, intellectual sharpness and emotional depth all into one.

I have watched HT many times, and each time I felt that it had a new meaning to convey. My impressions about this movie have therefore shifted with time, leading me not to a definite interpretation but to the knowledge that art - as life itself - can be looked at from different points of view.

The story line is quite simple: two lovers leave Hong Kong and go to Argentina; once there, they argue so much they decide to break up; one of them (Ho Po-Wing) prostitutes himself, while the other (Lai-Yiu Fai) works in a tango-bar and virtuously puts money aside to return home; one day, chance unites them and for a short while they live happily together; inevitably, however, the friskier one becomes dissatisfied with their conjugal life; they separate again, and this time it's really the end. Needless to say, the movie's title - as light-hearted as it sounds - is actually quite deceiving: the two men's relationship turns out to be a rather "unhappy" one.

The first few times I watched HT I couldn't help feeling disgusted by Ho Po-Wing's moral hideousness - I thought of him as the negative-model the movie meant to point the finger against. I thought the movie proved that although there are no "real heroes" some people do behave better than others, and that by self-discipline one could "redeem" one's soul... I thought the movie was about Aesthetics as a means of purification, as if Beauty could protect one from squalor. I admired Lai-Yiu Fai and mercilessly condemned Ho Po-Wing.

I still admire Lai-Yiu Fai, of course, but I now feel I was too superficial in judging Ho Po-Wing. I see he's not the monster I made him out to be in the past: he's a victim of his own temperament, a person misfortunate to the point of being unable to grasp the good life offers him. In this, I feel he well portrays many homosexuals, who, I'm afraid, often let happiness slip out of their hands, perhaps because a sick environment has taught them not to "love" but to "want." In my opinion, not only are we "all the same when we feel lonely," as Lai-Yiu Fai puts it - that is: inclined to promiscuous sex - we're also "all the same" in that we are all constantly on the verge of self-inflicted unhappiness.

Last time I watched HT, about a week ago, I got extremely sad, because I realised how easy it is for anyone to fall, and because through experience I've come to understand that so many of us are like Ho Po-Wing, damned to suffer the pains of degradation and solitude because of our "insatiability." We are taught that since we aren't attracted to someone of the opposite sex we are "bad" and have no values. Of course the effect of this is that we end up believing they are right. Thus, monogamy and fidelity become accessories, as tenderness and mutual support.

To me, Happy Together is about all this.

3-0 out of 5 stars watchable travalogue, love story, human portrayal of gay men
My wife and I got different things from this movie, but we both
enjoyed it enough to be worth the time.

What struck me most vividly was the idea of just bravely taking
off to another country on little enough of a plan that running
out of money and being forced to survive like they do is even a
possibility. I don't know if that speaks more for the main
characters' love of life, or just their incompetence, but for me
it was a vividly portrayed and compelling case for the value of
the former. This might not have been a focus of the movie, and
I'm sure that for many people the grim conditions if anything
make the opposite case, but it really made me want to seize the
day, take off on a motorcycle and so on.

I think my wife was more affected by the love story. She grew up
in China with a moderately negative but mostly non-existent
awareness of homosexuality. Her reaction at the end of this
movie was that now she could much better understand the idea of
two men actually being in love with each other, just like anybody
else. I figure I got my money's worth just for that.

Now, as her husband, I do find it a little bit disturbing that
she finds such a screwed-up relationship so easy to relate to,
but it speaks well for the movie as tolerance propaganda.

The visual style didn't particularly speak to me. It was
occasionally intrusive, occasionally neat to look at, every once
in a while participated in the story-telling, and mostly I just
ignored it.

I spent much of the first half of the movie complaining to
myself that the director gives us no clue at all why these two
would want to be together, let alone as obsessively as they are.
Eventually, I accepted that the director's not incompetent, so if
he's not letting us know it's because he doesn't want to. Okay,
Kar-wai, whatever, man. I got along much better after I gave up
on that.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not in the Mood
This movie tries to present deep, complex and intriguing characters but that pretension ends up delivering a flat, tedious and emotionally empty story. The plot focuses the relationship of two gay men, their co-dependence and the everyday struggles they must face, most of them with each other.
It coul be interesting if the characters weren`t so distant and devoid of any life or worthwile qualities. Instead, they turn into shallow, selfish people that only add to a slow and lifeless movie. Director Wong Kar-Wai ("Fallen Angels", "In The Mood For Love") delivers some stylish, beautiful images with creative camera angles and an engaging use of lightning, but it doesn`t help much since the story itself drags on and on and fails to captivate one`s attention. Some pretty and original details aside, "Happy Together" is a long, boring and useless waste of film. Disposable.

3-0 out of 5 stars murky disappointment
Having seen three of Wong Kar-Wai's films (Chungking Express, Fallen Angels, In the Mood for Love), I have become a big fan, and was eagerly looking forward to this one, the last available in my video store.

It turned out to be a big letdown -- indeed, before I checked the actual date, I thought it was an early precursor of his unique style (combined with seemingly extreme low budget).

What I could distinguish of the plot and characters was at least mildly interesting, but that's the catch, "what I could distinguish" -- the film style and (VHS) print combined to make it very hard to figure out what was happening on the screen. The subtitles were especially hard (or impossible) to read.

A lot can be blamed on the print, and I envy those reviewers who saw it in theaters, but even trying to look through that, the film seemed to have only touches of the trademark WKW style. It was interesting to see so much shot not just exterior but outdoors, under wide skies. [The WKW films I've seen were almost entirely interior, or at least enclosed (with the exception of the Cambodian scene in Mood for Love) -- even a motorcycle is ridden at night in a tunnel.] And WKW doesn't seem to do well with the wide open spaces. Maybe it is his not being on the familiar territory of Hong Kong (or Asia). But the style here did not develop the interest and momentum for me that it did in the other films mentioned.

As to the plot, it was the usual theme of obsessive love, impossible love, and sad reflection on lost possibility. Yet their story doesn't grab me the way the others' do, I think because they are brought down by their own disfunction (and such extreme, almost clownish, disfunction)with little relation to events or societal expectation. It's like watching a habitual drunk driver wrap his car around a tree. ... Read more


5. As Tears Goes By
Director: Kar Wai Wong
list price: $29.95
our price: $26.96
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Asin: B0002X7GW0
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 16600
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6. Ashes of Time
Director: Kar Wai Wong
list price: $29.95
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Asin: B00000INVJ
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 11110
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7. Fallen Angels
Director: Kar Wai Wong
list price: $29.95
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Asin: B00000ILEM
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 7506
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Amazon.com

Fallen Angels was originally planned as one section of directorWong Kar-Wai's best-known film, Chungking Express, but eventually it grew into its own distinct and delirious shape. In many ways, Fallen Angels may be the better film, a dark, frantic fun-house ride through Hong Kong's nighttime world. Part of the film is a love story between two people who have barely met:a young, ultra-hip hit man (Leon Lai) and the dreamy operative (Michele Reis) who plans his jobs. Much of the movie is given over to a very strange subplot about a manic mute (Takeshi Kaneshiro) who goes on bizarre nocturnal prowls through a closed food market--like almost everything else in Wong's films, this is antic, stylish, and oddly touching, all at the same time. It must be said that, also like Wong's other films, Fallen Angels is fragmented and oblique to the point of occasional incomprehensibility…but then suddenly something wild or wonderful happens, such as the moment when the killer leaves the scene of a spectacular shooting and is promptly waylaid by a cheerful old school chum on a public bus. These coups--whether lyrical, violent, or simply "how on earth did they get that shot?"--are tossed off by Wong and cinematographer Christopher Doyle with all the cool of the hired killer, as though the movie were a cigarette dangling from a pair of oh-so-casual lips. This is exactly why so many otherwise calm critics fell all over themselves in hailing Wong Kar-Wai as one of the most exciting filmmakers of his generation. --Robert Horton ... Read more


8. In The Mood For Love
Director: Kar Wai Wong
list price: $48.49
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Asin: B00005Y9LF
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 23578
Average Customer Review: 4.47 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (83)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wong Kar-Wai's Masterpiece
If you were to find a fault in Wong's film it would be the pace: slow, methodical, but inspite and because of that pace "In the Mood for Love" is an utterly engrossing tale; a tale of a man who suspects his wife of cheating and a women who suspects her husband of the same. As they secretly share their pains and suspiscions they fall in love, a love which, due to guilt and the society they live in, cannot blossom.

"In the Mood for Love" is a period piece, taking place in 1962 Hong Kong, and it captures the period wonderfully with small details like the snippets of Shanghainese speech and Nat King Cole's melodic voice floating in an American-style diner.

In this movie Wong Kar-Wai achieved brilliance on every level. Not only does he create a perfect mood with his methodical pace, dark yet beautiful camera work, but he tops it off with excellent performances by Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung and an enthralling soundtrack that ties it all together. I have been a fan of Wong Kar-wai for some time, but in all of his films I felt something was missing. Here he has captured it all. With "In the Mood for Love" Wong leaves the label "a good director" behind and becomes "a great director".

The DVD is full of fascinating extras: interviews with the cast, Wong Kar-wai; descriptions of the music used in the film; trailers, posters, images. You can spend hours not even looking at everything but the movie!

5-0 out of 5 stars Best movie of the year
It's only a shame that this wasn't released several months ago in the U.S. as it was in the U.K. or else it would have been nominated for some major awards. It's actually really hard to fault anything in this movie: the acting, directing, music and cinematography are all world-class.

The story centers around a woman and a man who live next to each other in a Hong Kong apartment complex in 1962. They both suspect their spouses of having an affair with each other, and begin to fall in love themselves. Being in such tight surroundings they obviously cannot show very much affection to each other in public and rely on subtle glances and very little actual physical contact: it is a testimony to the superb acting skills of the two main leads, Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung, that the relationship is believable. The director Wong Kar-Wai is also brilliant at mixing in slow-motion shots (perhaps to emphasize how slowly their relationship develops) and Spanish music, which fits the mood of the movie amazingly well.

To add to the atmosphere, the movie is almost completely shot indoors except for some shots outside at night and in the rain and the haunting last scene. You really get a sense of clautrophobia after a while, not only of the living space but how confined the characters' marriages and even lives are as well. Futhermore, the movie also has a political overtone which is, like everything else here, subtle, but suffice to say its setting in 1962 is not accidental.

Finally, the lack of a huge amount of dialogue means that those who don't like subtitles won't have to suffer through so many. For those of you like me who were disappointed with most of the junk nominated for Academy Awards this year, finally here's a movie that lives up to its reputation.

5-0 out of 5 stars An unforgettable journey.
'In the Mood for Love' is a touching, engrossing meditation on, you guessed it, love: what it is, what creates it, what ends it, what keeps it sewn strong together. All of these aspects are collected into a clever, lovely, sometimes devastating piece of artistry directed by the fabulous Wong-Kar Wai. Those of you who love romantic comedies or grand, epic love sagas will be immensely disappointed with his latest film. It is not either. Rather, it is a gem of cinema that strives for emotional truth and absolute realism. Inside of cramped apartments and old diners, that, too, is what the main characters of 'In the Mood for Love' yearn for.

The film takes place in Hong Kong during the year 1962. Chow Mo-wan (Tony Leung) and Su Li-zhen (Maggie Cheung) have just moved into neighboring apartments and have met each other rather casually. But the two progressively realize a secret about their respective spouses and a profound relationship develops almost instantly. From there, the film sets a tone that is cislunar, seeming to float in its own world situated between reality and a sense of disconnection. Kar-Wai perfectly evokes this mood with fleeting slow-motion sequences accompanied by Christopher Doyle and Mark Li Ping-bin's delicately visceral cinematography. What ensues throughout the rest of the film (both plot-wise and technically) masterfully conveys romantic yearning.

The lead performances were breathtaking, namely Maggie Cheung as Su Li-zhen. From scenes of obvious hurt to moments of hidden despair, she ceaselessly astonishes. I'm surprised she did not receive the massive encomium she deserved from 2001 year-end awards groups, let alone the Oscars. But credit must also be given to Tony Leung as Chow Mo-wan, who managed to maintain a quiet, tired loneliness throughout the film. Leung also understood that it was only with Su Li-zhen that Chow Mo-wan felt truly alive with passion.

Another character worth mentioning are the breath-taking sets by production designer William Chang Suk-ping. The claustrophobic atmosphere offered by Suk-ping's dated, tight hallways was as much a part of the emotion and story line as each lead. Collectively, each part of the movie-making process (screenwriting, directing, designing, acting) achieved an assured concinnity; and in the end, what was already a personal, accessible study is lifted by Kar-Wai to a universal level using epic shots of Mayan temples and mysterious landscapes. As the credits role, it becomes apparent that 'In the Mood for Love' is arguably a masterpiece worthy of the all-time lists.

For me personally, the constant flashbacks of wind sifting past vinaceous curtains and artful conversations about love at its core only underscore 'Love's greatness. It is an unforgettably personal journey not to be missed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Tertiary Love Film at its Highest Form
98 minutes of excellence. I am never a big fan for romantic films. Especially with the current scene filled with countless teen-or-chick flicks, I have become very picky on this category. I watched it with skepticism. 98 mins later, I switch off the TV in great relief, and also with understanding of why a few people do not enjoy it.

Generally, people who dislike this film have the following reasons:
1. Simple plot and no plot twist
2. Repetitive scenes
3. Few and confusing dialogues
4. No significant signs of intimacy or eroticism. Can it even be categorized into "Romance"?

One thing I have learnt from "In the Mood for Love" is also the same thing I wish romantic film directors would learn for a long time: Character Study and Development are often more important than unnecessary plot twist. There are pretty much only two characters in the movie, but by middle the audience could feel as if we know them for real. Thus we do feel the characters' happiness, pain and suffering. Yes, even if the time is set in 1962, Hong Kong.

The repetitive scenes do not represent lack of creativity. In fact it is one of the hardest tricks in my opinion. Although some actions are very similar, each scene has a subtle change in intimacy and impact for future relationship. Not one of the scenes can be taken away because they're all crucial links. As for the dialogue, it is few but every line is to the point. Each word is polished to sharpest and kept to minimum. Every word is a keyword.

Intimacy and eroticism are indications and eye-candy. Audience would understand immediately two people are in love. In my opinion this is director's point of view to choose it or not. Wong Kar Wai deliberately wanted to create a longing relationship without obvious physical contact to add up the sadness. In fact, the film has at least once "Implied Intimacy". ***SPOILER*** When Su told Chow she did not want to go back home in the cab, that "Implies"they would probably spend the night together ***SPOILER***

It could be artistic whether sex scenes are included or not. It just happens that WKW wants to present us a unique experience. I highly appreciate this effot. In the Mood for Love is a ten-level-upped romantic film and I definitely recommend it to every viewer, tertiary or not.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece, flawless, perfect, beautiful!
Simply put, it is one of the more ravishingly beautiful films ever made! Every now and then, a director and his collaborators are so in-tune with each other, so opperating at the height of their powers, that as a viewer watching it, you are aware of watching greatness yet an air of disbelief pervades. Such feelings you get with (to name a few flawless masterpieces) Tarkovsky's ANDREI RUBLEV, Bergman's CRIES & WHISPERS, Fellini's LA DOLCE VITA, Lee's DO THE RIGHT THING, Scorsese's TAXI DRIVER, and Hitchcock's VERTIGO. All of the aforementioned films are flawless works which use everything the cinema can do...such films are perfect; IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE is such a film. It is a masterpiece and a must own! ... Read more


9. 2046
Director: Kar Wai Wong

Asin: B00005JNUL
Catlog: DVD
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Waited For Five Years.
I have read so much about this movie before it was even finished filming. 2046 was no doubt the most anticipated movie from Hong Kong between it's early shooting 1999 to completion date 5-2004. The film starring some of the biggest stars from Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Japan, and Thailand failed to win a single award at the Cannes last May. It's the most visually mesmerizing film to come out last year, at the same time this "sci-fi romance epic" is very intricate and difficult to follow, especially if you haven't seen Days Of Being Wild and In The Mood For Love. The story here has a connection to those two films. Ultimately, it breaks down to something like "the bad man(Tony Leung) and the women in his life" should that explain the plot.

The setting of the film is in Hong Kong in the 1960s and the year 2046. Tony Leung anchors the film as a writer who is an emotionally unavailable womanizer. The only woman that he ever loved was Shu Lizhen, asumming the one played by Maggie Cheung in In The Mood For Love. He encounters other women and has caused some emotional impact on them. There are events of his memories and events that he imagined in his novel named 2046 which takes place in the future(2046). The people he knew have become characters in his novels, and he fantasized about what they would become in the future. In this case, his friend Lulu(played by Leung's 15 year long girlfriend Carina Lau), a nightclub performer becomes a android hostess/sex machine in the novel. The same with Faye Wong, who played the older daughter of the Oriental Hotel owner. She has an ala Romeo and Juliet relationship with Takuya Kimura, and she also becomes an android working in the train that takes the passengers to 2046.

Tony Leung gets involved with a prostitute played by Zhang Ziyi who gradually falls in love with him, but he ended up breaking her heart. I agree with others who think Zhang's role shouldn't have taken up so much screentime, making Maggie Cheung's role zoomed down to a camero appearance.

Gong Li played a professional gambler from Cambodia also named Zhu Lizhen, and she becomes emtionally involved with Leung, but gets hurt as well.

Carina Lau has numerous non-verbal scenes in this film, mostly in the future scenes. She's very glamorous in her first scene opposite Leung when he talked to her about her dead boyfriend(Yuddy played by the late Leslie Cheung from Days of Being Wild). She was mesmerizing when she cried herself to sleep. Fans of Chang Chen will be very disappointed here, because he played Carina Lau's new boyfriend, and he didn't even a single line! He had a lovescene with her and later witnessed her going off to sleep with another man. I loved the scene when Carina Lau's android experienced an emotional malfunction and she smiled imediately after shedding massive amount of tears. Though I didn't understand if her android character aswell as Faye's emotions are affected by events taken place in the '60s.
Both Carina and Faye are wonderful in this film, but it's unfortunate that their 5 year commitment to this film had turned them into supporting roles, and the less than 5 months involvement of Zhang Ziyi became the leading lady. Blame it on WKW on the constant changes of the "non-exsistent" script and the editing. This is what happens when he has enough stars for 5 movies used in 1, take Ashes of Time and Days of Being of Wild for examples. Poor Takuya Kimura, who had gone nuts for this movie since 1999 had just less than 10 mins of screentime.

The story may be confusing to many viewers, but the music, cinematography, art direction, and costumes are impeccable. I loved those futuristic looks on Carina Lau and Faye Wong.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Artistic Maze of Emotion, Memory, and Ideas...
2046 is a kaleidoscopic enigma illustrated through a bewildering and affectionate adventure into where subconscious and consciousness meet.It is hard to tell where it begins, or ends, as it is a juxtaposition of dreams, feelings, and memories fused into an existence with deliberate reflection, no solution, and only continuation.Playfully the camera displays emptiness and fullness, brightness and darkness, as the notion of contrasts has its own symbolical meaning.Colors diverge and converge creating powerful contrasts in the mind of the viewer's mind and through the mind of the character whose voice narrates the tale.Everything in the 2046 has an intention, as it stirs up some thought, feeling, or memory within the main character.However, the film never finds harmony, as it continues to move restlessly in a search for something fresh and unexplored, maybe something from the past, as timing is crucial.Kar Wai Wong's 2046 is a cinematic potpourri, of a man who attempts to discover love in his existence through contemplation, emotion, and memory in his professional and leisure life.

Dazzling images from a futuristic society where train networks cover the globe opens 2046, which immediately suggests to the audience that this is a science fiction film.These trains have the capability to bring people to the year of 2046 where nothing ever changes and from where nobody has ever returned, except for the story's hero.However, the science fictional opening is merely a novel with an intriguing allegorical portrayal of the main character, Chow Mo Wan (Tony Leung), who exists in the 1960's Hong Kong upheaval where he worked as low-paid journalist while womanizing between jobs.This is the same Chow who the audience recognizes from the brilliant In the Mood for Love (2000) who still seems to be caught in a similar restlessness, but the difference in 2046 is his perspective of women.

On a Christmas Eve Chow bumps into an old friend, Lulu (Carina Lau), who he helped out in Singapore many years ago.Together they get drunk, which leads Chow to bring her home, a cheap room, 2046, at the Oriental Hotel.Later Chow returns Lulu's key, but finds out that she has moved out.This event triggers an internal fixation in Chow who generates a bizarre interest in the room 2046, as he wants to move into the room.However, the room is under construction and Chow moves into 2047 instead where he begins the construction of his novel. When Chow moves into his new hotel room he learns that Lulu was murdered in 2046, which also becomes the title of his novel.Through the process of writing Chow drifts into his past containing several women and other emotional memories including Lulu.

Amidst Chow's writing he continues to sway girls to private meetings in his small hotel room where he lives.Women purely become a commodity that provides time for him, as he provides time for them.This is a time when Chow can find a moment of physical closeness and touch, however, he never forms any meaningful relationships built on communication, trust, and care.These women merely provide a moment where he can remove loneliness in-between work, writing his novel, and more women.Chow also listens to the new neighbors in 2046, first the owner of Hotel Oriental's daughter and later Bai Ling (Ziyi Zhang) with whom he begins to build a peculiar relationship.Bai and Chow's connection builds on payments after sexual favors, something she rejects, but Chow does as he does not want to be tied to her.

There are several elements in the film that suggest Chow has developed an emotional insecurity in regards to love and women.One of the most striking symbols presents itself in a scene when Chow and a woman draw a card each from a deck and if he gets the higher card he wins and she will go with him to Hong Kong.This scene indicates that he is out of control, which forces him to play on the luck of the draw.Later in the film this scene will repeat itself, as Chow seems to have gained wisdom from the event.Chow also admires women and shots from when Chow observes the different women who live in 2046 on the roof top of the Oriental Hotel from his room window suggests that he longs for them, as the camera uses an emotionally enhancing lower angle when he looks upward for the women.Another thing these women have in common is that they are out of Chow's reach, which suggests that he desires the unobtainable.

The desire for the unobtainable, Chow's personal distance after physical connection with women, and his cerebral manifestations of how women ought to be display much about Chow.Combined, these notions develop a more clear image of Chow and his relation to women.One thought in particular is strikingly vivid and it is Chow's internalized anxiety, as he frequently contemplates about the women he did not get while he rejects the women in the present that desire him.Chow is caught in a no man's land where he wanders trying to reach his past while temporarily curing his loneliness with one night stands.Lost in this twilight Chow wanders in his memories, emotions, and combined through these he forms an unobtainable vision of how to reach lovelorn happiness.An example of this notion is the scene where Chow encounters Lulu in Hong Kong where she displays that she has forgotten him and who he is; however, this might not be true as words can easily be manipulated in order to portray a certain desired behavior for whatever reason.

2046 is a visual manifestation of thoughts, feelings, and memories generated by Chow who seems to struggle with fulfilling his dream.In the process, Chow ends up hurting others who seems to acquire the same method of approaching love as him.This suggests that the notion of a twilight zone for those who are lost in love is cyclical and can be transferred to others through acts in the present.It is bewildering to see this emotional carousel spin faster and faster, as others seem to be forced onto the carousel through the spell of love that causes much suffering and pain.

Several thoughts, reviews, and opinions have been expressed on Kar Wai Wong's 2046, which arrived to the Cannes Film Festival still hot from the cutting board.After Cannes, Wong took the film back to the cutting board for additional work, and after almost a total of four years of hard work Kar Wai Wong presents an emotional roller coaster that at times feels like something by Buñuel.The score elevates the mood in a similar manner, as it did in In the Mood for Love, but here with a more mesmerizing effect.The music grabs and pulls the audience into the screen, as if it wants to hypnotize the audience to feel the same as Chow.The camerawork is simply brilliant, as every single shot provides something for the mind to contemplate while the framing and mise-en-scene deliberately provide additional texture to the theme.Ultimately, the audience will have ventured through an artistic maze of emotion, memory, and ideas presented in such a manner that will require extensive cerebral participation during and long after the theater seat has turned cold.

4-0 out of 5 stars Wong Kar-Wai / Yonfan Fan
Again I am taken away by a Wong Kar-Wai film.The transition from his earlier works that began with Happy Together and cemented itself with In the Mood for Love (ITMFL) is continued -a lush colour-filled, slow moving film with exquisite taste in clothing.I enjoy this type of film, but in a way I miss the early chaos in films like Days of Being Wild, Chungking Express, and Fallen Angels.I received my DVD version from a competitor of Amazon and it was produced by Mei Ah Entertainment.At times the English sub-titles seem to be a bit sparse, but then that leaves me more time to look at the film itself.I listened to the Mandarin track and found the synchronizatin a tad obvious, but then I could have put it on the Cantonese (original) track; not that I would have understood it either.For the visual beauty of this film I rate it up there with ITMFL and Yonfan's Peony Pavillon and Colour Blossoms (CB).The music to this film is similar to that in ITMFL - older and mellow.I think Director Wong Kar-Wai should have gone the direction Yonfan did with CB insofar as the music was concerned.Some of CB's soundtrack was really pushing the limit, but it all fit very well with the visuals. 2046 is a must for all serious Wong Kar-Wai fans.For those who haven't seen ITMFL already, you will need to watch it first before seeing 2046. ... Read more


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