+ Four-Star Cinema -
Rating the Reviews on LoveHKFilm.com
the first ill-conceived edition of Life with Kozo,
I made the error of stating that there were no strong female
characters left in Hong Kong Cinema. This was a gross misrepresentation,
and YTSL of the oft-mentioned Hong
Kong Cinema - View from the Brooklyn Bridge website made
sure that I knew it.
Well, I know.
In truth, there are still quite
a few strong female characters left in Hong Kong Cinema. Here
Carina Lau and Gigi Leung in
La Brassiere: despite the frilly title and hunky male
stars (Lau Ching-Wan and Louis Koo), the women wore the pants
in last year's hit comedy.
Karena Lam in July Rhapsody:
Lam's self-assured portrayal of a seventeen year-old temptress
was last year's breakthrough performance.
Angelica Lee in Princess
D and The Eye: In both films Angelica Lee (or Sinjie)
showed she could be tough, tender and complicated - both as
person and as a woman.
And an obligatory action female:
Cecilia Yip in The Avenging Fist. She looked like she
could seriously beat up both Stephen Fung and Alexander Wang
When I made that statement,
I obviously wasn't thinking straight. Was it the booze? Or
the late nights? Who knows? Regardless, the statement should
have been that there were no more strong female protagonists
left in Hong Kong Cinema. What I mean are female characters
that control the film from start to finish, rendering the
male characters almost an afterthought.
That statement is inaccurate
as well, because Wu Yen has a strong female protagonist
multipled by three, and then there's that Crouching Tiger
Hidden Dragon movie. In truth, I was thinking back to
films like Peking Opera Blues, The Heroic Trio,
Naked Killer and pretty much anything starring Brigitte
Lin. Films like those were built on the strength, personality,
and complexity of its female stars. When viewed in comparison
to today, it seems that the past had far more films like those.
However, hindsight is 20-20. Perhaps in a few years, I'll
look back and come up with more than two examples.
I was most definitely wrong
about one thing though: more recent actresses than Sammi Cheng
and Miriam Yeung have given us non-flower vase performances.
The list above is proof of that, and there are far more that
I didn't mention. Maybe I've just been watching too much Wong
Rating the Reviews on LoveHKFilm.com
The most recent reader poll
asked a common reader question: Do you want ratings/grades
on the reviews? The response was expected: over half the readers
(a whopping 50+ people) want a four-star/letter grade stamp
on the reviews. The popular media is full of those classifications,
as three stars, C+, thumbs up or "guy sleeping in seat"
have become legitimate modern equivalents for critical analysis.
And the masses have a lot of say.
However, just because people want
it doesn't necessarily mean it's going to happen.
In the big picture, 50+ readers
is next to nothing, so it would be easy to ignore the request.
Still, that's not why I won't be adding ratings anytime soon.
Nor am I truly opposed to the idea. If I were absolutely,
positively against ratings then I wouldn't have even run a
poll about it.
But, they're not going to happen
anytime soon. And here are the reasons why:
A) In truth, I don't like ratings
very much. Giving two completely different films the same
critical rating has never made any sense to me. And besides,
sometimes a movie can be bad and still have something worth
checking out. No star rating can get that across.
B) This site has over five hundred
reviews on it. In actual numerical form, that's 500 plus.
To go back and give all those reviews a standarized rating
system - and then doublecheck for consistency - would be an
incredible amount of work. Which leads us to reason C.
is still a small operation that has only one (1) guy doing
all the maintenance, updates, etc. I've received a lot of
suggestions recently. A few readers have suggested that actor
filmographies be listed chronologically. Another idea (and
one I actually like a great deal) asks that all actors have
a "skinny" too. Then, there's the much-needed addition
of "Top 10" or "Recommended" lists, which
the site is noticeably devoid of. Yep, all the above could
- and maybe even should - be added. But one guy doesn't have
that much time.
So, I hope people can see that
my reasoning for not adding ratings is more than a simple
"It's my site so I can do what I want" raspberry.
(Though if you think about it, it is my site so I can
do what I want. Bwahaaha! Oh, the power.) There's a lot of
things I'd love to do for the site, and it's nice to know
that some people actually read it. Despite the negligible
amount of people that vote on the reader polls, traffic reports
seem to say that a great many more people actually visit the
site. In the future I'd actually like for LoveHKFilm.com
to do more than it does now (see Life
with Kozo Volume 1 for more on this topic).
So, to accomplish more for the
site there might be a quiet call for "volunteers"
in the future. What this means and how it can be done are
ideas that aren't fleshed out yet. And, the truth of the matter
does nothing overtly tangible for those who work on it. Would
anyone want to volunteer their time simply to make the site
better than it already is? That is, besides the few (thank
you Lee, Jennifer and Erika) who already are giving their
Hey, this sounds like a poll
idea. - Kozo 7/10/2002