Janus of Life

Higher life in hand

Infernal Affairs II(Mou Gaan Dou II)

Posted by Janus on September 27, 2006

  • Information:
  • Title: (Infernal Affairs II or Mou Gaan Dou II)
  • Certificate: (15)
  • Released by: (Tartan Video’s Tartan Asia Extreme Label)
  • Run Time: (114 minutes)
  • Origin: (Hong Kong)
  • Language: (Cantonese)
  • Vintage: (2003)

Set between the years of 1991 and 1997, Infernal Affairs two begins ten years before the events of Infernal Affairs and tells the story of how the young Yan (Shawn Yue) and Ming (Edison Chen) got involved in their dangerous lives as a police stooge and a triad mole.

The Story begins with Inspector Wong (Anthony Wong) and Sam (Eric Tsang) behaving like the best of friends in a police station. Yan is embroiled in the family saga of a triad cartel inextricably liked with his origins and which he wants to get away from. Meanwhile Ming deals with his obsession with boss Sam’s Wife, Mary. (Ploy courtesy of Tartan Video’s DVD Release plus multiple changes)

The film is directed by Andrew Lau (Chow lok yuen) and Alan Mak (Yuen mong shu) and stars Edison Chen (Tau man ji D or Initial D), Shawn Yue (Gong Wu), Anthony Wong (Jing mo gaa ting), Eric Tsang (Daai Cheung foo) and Francis Ng (hak bak sam lam) as Lau Kin Ming, Chen Wing Yan, Inspector Wong, Boss Sam and Ngai Wing Hau respectively.

Infernal Affairs two is in essence a prequel to the 2002 smash hit that everyone loves, it was nominated for a total of fourteen awards or which it only won three. Those Awards included a win at the Hong Kong Critics society awards for best film and a win at the Hong Kong Film Awards for the best original film song along with 11 more nominations that didn’t come good. (This is an indication as to the originality of the film)

I went into this film thinking “Ohh! Great, another sequel”, But then I found out it was a prequel and not a sequel so I readjusted my thoughts mainly because when done right a prequel can beat any sequel cold out of those icy sea’s. I got going and started watching it with what was now a clean slate when it comes to opinion and found myself viewing a film that on it’s own would have had so much charisma it could have taken the world by storm, but instead I found myself fixated on the very fact that some of the details clearly contradict the original Infernal Affairs. An example of this lack of attention was the very fact that in the first film Keung is said to have worked for Sam for the last five years yet in this film he is still working for Sam but only two or so years too early.

As much as these contradiction annoy me I found the film to be enjoyable and a good distraction for the duration, I can’t possible think of giving it a rating as high as the original for the very fact it’s not as original and for those contradictions. For that reason Infernal Affairs two receives a rating from me of (7/10).

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Infernal Affairs (Mou Gaan Dou)

Posted by Janus on September 25, 2006

  • Information:
  • Title: (Infernal Affairs or Mou gaan dou)
  • Certificate: (15)
  • Released by: (Tartan video’s Tartan Asia extreme label)
  • Run Time: (100 minutes)
  • Origin: (Hong Kong)
  • Language: (Cantonese)
  • Vintage: (2002)

Ming (Andy Lau) and Yan (Tony Leung) lead parallel lives: Ming is a Triad mole in the police department; Yan is a police stooge in mob boss Sam’s (Eric Tsang) Triad gang. Both men have a desire to put their false lives behind them and to take up their rightful places in a society that eludes them.

One night, during a police raid to bring down Sam’s mob empire, the two men’s paths finally cross. Both the police and the mob soon realise that there is a mole amongst them, and a deadly game of cat and mouse ensues. In this race against time nobody is safe, and the lives of everyone involved become threatened. In the meantime, Superintendent Wong (Anthony Wong) does his best to keep Yan’s secret safe, but how long can the men’s hidden lives remain undiscovered? (Plot courtesy of Tartan video’s DVD Release)

Infernal Affairs was co-directed by Andrew Lau (The Storm Riders, The Park) and Alan Mak (Yuen mong shu) and stars Andy Lau (House of flying daggers), Tony Leung (Hero), Eric Tsang (Sat sau ji wong) and Anthony Wong (Kong woo giu gap) as Lau kin Ming, Chan Wing Yan, Sam and superintendent Wong respectively.

Infernal affairs was nominated for forty-one awards of which it won twenty-three including seven at the Hong Kong Film Awards beating out blockbuster Hero for the best picture award. Infernal affairs received much acclaim from critics and films goers alike, which in no doubt brought it to the attention of the western world.

I’ve heard a lot about Infernal affairs from the posts on the eternal sunset forum and had been wanting the watch it for some time, just never got round to it. I watched it at around six in the morning in late august and found myself hooked and reeled in by it’s power and the fact that it was a gangland film that had the style only supplied by the best of Hong Kong cinema, I watched this emotional epic while the time flied and I was sad when it ended. Not only because of the ending but because of the fact that it was a good film that got me total by surprise, I had been expecting something more in tune with the mountains of kung fu rubbish that Hong Kong is famed for but instead I got a well constructed film with perfect pacing and an interesting story to boot.

Style wise I do take my hat off to the directors Andrew Lau and Alan Mak for they did do a job only done by the best of directors. But ultimately while it was a film I’ll never forget and which I do no doubt thing is great I just can’t bring myself to give a full score to a film packed full of stars, I know their not Hollywood stars but I just cannot stand stars. So Unfortunately it only receives a rating of (8/10).

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Bicycles, Drugs and Murder…

Posted by Janus on September 8, 2006

Here’s a little taste of insanity. Enjoy!

Bicycles, Drugs and Murder…

I wandered aimlessly around the square for no apparent reason; I found my thoughts were clouded by the drugs, which had been introduced into my body by the thieves who had stolen my bicycle. The very bicycle I was riding on my way to the river the commit suicide with a pair of bricks and some rope, which I had myself stolen from the baker who had murdered my wife while I was away at a tea festival in London. Needless to say I wasn’t very happy about my wife’s early death so I Shot him with a gun I had stolen from the local hunting club to which I was a member, two shots from this shotgun which is normally used to shot pigeons off the roof of the local church had killed him stone dead; he fell onto the table where he had been preparing bread.

I was still wandering around when suddenly I was struck from behind by the bakers wife who had no doubt branded me a criminal with no heart but one made out of lead, indeed at this time that lead heart was sinking to the bottom of a very deep well. She had clobbered me over the head with a piece of stale bread which she had baked four weeks ago and then left in her car to go stale so she could bludgeon her husband to death in order to collect the insurance. Upon finding her husband Murdered she lost control of herself, she had so much wished to be the one to kill him that all reason had been driven from her like a Christian in Tehran.

The stale bread had indeed done the job, I fell to the ground feeling a sense of euphoria which had resulted from the clobbering and the drugs which had been introduced into my body by the thieves who had stolen my bicycle and who now were standing in the street laughing at me. I am now dead, and have been thinking about these bizarre event which had lead to my demise, my wife’ death, the baker’s death and the imprisonment of four people; one for murder and three others for the theft of a bicycle.

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Times Fly…

Posted by Janus on September 7, 2006

Right, It’s been a while seen my last update as to what i plan to do in the future, as is obvious i’ve already created my new blog and forum under my of domain name. But i’ve yet to create the website which i had talked about in my ‘plans for the future’ post, i’ve since changed the plan more than once in which i added idea’s and stripped out idea’s eventually coming to the conclusion that i shouldnt create a literature, arts and politics website instead i should create a website focused on Cars and motoring.

My New idea is for a Website i shall call Turismo, I want it to be a place for Car and Motoring related topics including thoughts and opinions on the latest Cars from the likes of Ferrari, Maserati, Porsche etc. Along with reviews of car programmes from the television like Top Gear and the Latest from Motorsports events.

All the details should be revealed reasonable soon so stick to this blog or better yet Join My Forum.

Just as a note to those that don’t know I’ve created a new blog which can be found Here, but i’ve not deleted this blog so i no copy all of the new posts on the new blog to this old wordpress.com blog

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City of God(Cidade de Deus)

Posted by Janus on September 7, 2006

city of god

  • Information:
  • Title: (Cidade De Deus, ‘City of God’)
  • Certificate: (18)
  • Released by: (Miramax)
  • Run time: (124 minutes)
  • Origin: (Brazil)
  • Language: (Portuguese)
  • Vintage: (2002)

Welcome to the world’s most notorious slum: Rio de Janeiro’s ‘City of God’. A place where combat photographers fear to tread, where police rarely go, and residents are lucky if they live to the age of twenty. This is the story of a young man who grew up on these streets and whose ambition as a photographer is our window in and ultimately may be his only way out. (Plot courtesy of Miramax’s DVD release plus some minor changes)

City of God was Directed by Fernando Meirelles (Domésticas) with co-direction from Kátia Lund (Minha Alma), It’s screenplay was written by Bráulio Mantovani (Nanoilusão) and based on a book by former city of god resident and writer Paulo Lins (City of God, ‘novel’). It stars Alexandre Rodrigues (Cafundó) as Rocket and Leandro Firmino (Corneteiro Lopes, O) as Li’l Zé with Matheus Nachtergaele (Amerelo manga) as the drug dealer Sandro Cenoura ‘Carrot’.

City of God has been Nominated for an Amazing seventy-three awards since its Brazilian release in 2002 including four Oscars, It has won Forty-eight of those awards including the 2003 BAFTA for best editing and six awards at the Cinema Brazil Grand Prize. Unfortunately, another foreign film is ignored at the Oscars with none of its four nominations coming good. Most of the characters are played by untrained actors from the slums of Rio de Janeiro with the exception of Carrot who is played by the only professional actor Matheus Nachtergaele.

The one thing that struck me when I had finished watching the film is how it had sucked me in and kept me occupied for the odd two hours of it’s duration, I had never expected a Gangland style film to keep my attention for so long but unlike American style gangland films, city of god has the substance I seek for in my entertainment. It is a film that shows the crazy social deprivation that people have to endure in the slums of Rio de Janeiro, which is a city thought of as beautiful. The violent measures these people are driven to shows the true nature of humanity, we humans will seek to survive at all costs and when violence is the only way to survive humans will inevitable go to it.

As well as substance city of god also has great visual flare, a film that is not only written with the right stuff but also directed and acted with the right stuff. Alexandre’s performance as rocket is a credit to his skill and a delight to watch unlike the undignified acting of Hollywood stars and shows that you can get an amazing film by using actors that don’t demand to be paid millions a go.

I have already myself decided to buy the novel upon which this film is based on the grounds that if this is an amazing film which it is then the novel should be better. With Gritty Brazilian style City of God receives a rating of (9/10).

Also to be found at www.emagi.co.uk

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