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  Recommendations by Kozo
Updated: June 2007
 
  After numerous requests, I've sifted through the hundreds of Hong Kong Films that I've seen and come up with fifteen or so that I will call my Top Picks. Keep in mind, I haven't seen everything (though sometimes it feels like I have). My picks tend to favor the films of the nineties, as those were the movies that really brought me into the whole HK Cinema world. I hope this list helps both new and old HK Cinema fans alike. A word of warning: LoveHKFilm.com lawyers stress that this list in no way constitutes an iron-clad guarantee of cinematic enjoyment.  
 
 
  The Blade (1995)
Mind-numbingly existential and overwrought in nearly every way, Tsui Hark's revisionist swordplay film is by turns frustrating, confusing and even muddled. It's also exhilirating, visceral and bloody brilliant. Questionable as either a martial arts revenge epic or a contemplation on the wuxia genre, it's remarkably satisfying nonetheless.
 
  Bullet in the Head (1990)
One of the most punishing movies ever put to film. John Woo's ultimate brotherhood action epic heads to Vietnam for some incredibly over-the-top and emotionally wrenching action. It's not a very subtle film, but the circle of violence Woo portrays is both affecting and haunting. This is also Tom Cruise's favorite John Woo movie.
 
 
Chungking Express (1994)
The Webmaster would like people to know: this is not only his favorite Hong Kong film, but also his favorite film EVER. Wong Kar-Wai's breezy take on urban alienation is also a cotton-candy confection of familiar emotional themes and beguiling existential metaphor. Anyone with a deep love of the cinema should enjoy this film.
 
  Comrades, Almost a Love Story (1996)
Praise for Peter Chan's 1996 drama cannot be exaggerated. His portrait of two transplanted Mainlanders in Hong Kong is a film of wonderful sentiment and rich, appropriate details. The strong cast (led by the luminous Maggie Cheung) lend depth and reality to a film that's uniquely Hong Kong and undeniably affecting.
 
  Fong Sai-Yuk (1993)
Why this Jet Li movie? After careful consideration, the Webmaster finds most of Jet Li's best pictures interchangeable. Still, he considers Fong Sai-Yuk the most entertaining Jet Li film out there thanks to its charming blend of action, comedy and over-the-top Hong Kong emotions. The presence of Josephine Siao clinches this one.
 
  From Beijing with Love (1994)
Oddly paced for a Stephen Chow film, this 1994 spy spoof still makes the grade thanks to Chow's winning performance as slow-but-cool special agent Ling Ling Chat. Nods to HK Cinema classics and the expected spy movies make this a sarcastic comedy gem. Also featuring Anita Yuen at the height of her Hong Kong Cinema powers.
 
  God of Cookery (1996)
Stephen Chow plays one of his stock characters in this 1996 comedy, but the film itself is what differentiates God of Cookery from the rest of the pack. Partially a parody of the TV cooking craze, the film also manages to parody triads, other Hong Kong films, and more. Breathlessly creative and hilarious.
 
  Green Snake (1993)
Tsui Hark strikes again with this over-the-top costume fantasy featuring Maggie Cheung and Joey Wong as ancient snakes seeking humanity. There are more moments of sheer beauty in Green Snake than you'll find in scores of other movies. The actual drama of this film can be laughably lurid, but the whole spectacle is a wonder of cinema.
 
 

In the Mood for Love (2000)
Wong Kar-Wai's most accomplished film is also his least showy. Possessed of a controlled narrative and gorgeous detail, this tale of two would-be adulterers is a cinematic treat for movie-lovers everywhere. Wong Kar-Wai's usual cohorts Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Maggie Cheung, Christopher Doyle and William Cheung Suk-Ping perform superlatively.

 
  The Longest Nite (1998)
Unflinchingly nihilistic, this noir thriller is without any redeeming features. The characters are evil, their actions deplorable, and the world they inhabit is a sweltering neon hell. Still, this twisty thriller is also one of the most confident, exhilirating thrillers out of Hong Kong. It's got plot holes, but who cares?
 
  Lost and Found (1996)
Lee Chi-Ngai's thoughtful drama is full of dramatic platitudes and existential musings that would doom most films. However, it also has some undeniably affecting sentiment, as well as one of HK Cinema's most charming, utterly loveable characters: Takeshi Kaneshiro as Mr. Lost and Found. This is a film that's hard not to love.
 
  The Mission (1999)
A pure crime thriller that uses the language of cinema to its fullest. Johnnie To eschews all-out action in favor of stillness and controlled emotion. Casually off-beat, irretrievably cool and even unexpectedly charming, The Mission surprises on nearly every level. Francis Ng and Anthony Wong lead a terrific ensemble cast.
 
  Needing You (2000)
Quite possibly the most inconsequential film on this list, Needing You is also the most unabashedly enjoyable. Johnnie To and Wai Ka-Fai's urban romantic comedy is surprisingly cinematic and marvelously charming. Personally, there's another reason this film makes the list: Sammi Cheng.
 
  Peking Opera Blues (1986)
Frequently referred to by the Webmaster as the ultimate Hong Kong film. All of HK Cinema's prime signifiers are present in Tsui Hark's dazzling mix of action, comedy, romance, history and about fifty other genres. The troika of actresses (Brigitte Lin, Sally Yeh and Cherie Chung) are wonderful, and the film is darn near perfect.
 
  Police Story (1985)
Because one Jackie Chan film is absolutely necessary, the first in his drawn-out cop series makes the list. It may not be as polished as Supercop or as winning as Drunken Master 2, but Police Story caused so much damage that its visionary stuntwork must be saluted. There could be more broken glass in this film than in any other ever made.
 
 
top
  The Best of the Rest  
  Other films of note are listed below. Please keep in mind: there are a lot of very worthy films that didn't make any of these lists. The following aren't necessarily the best films out there, merely ones which happened to stick with me for one reason or another, be it a great performance, stunning action, or a remarkably affecting plot. Or maybe it was just a lot of fun.  
 
Highest Possible Recommendation
Ashes of Time (1994)
An Autumn's Tale (1987)
Beast Cops (1998)
Big Bullet (1996)
The Big Heat (1988)
C'est La Vie, Mon Cheri (1993)
A Chinese Ghost Story (1987)
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
Days of Being Wild (1990)
Drunken Master II (1994)
Dumplings: Three...Extremes (2004)
Full Alert (1997)
God of Gamblers (1989)
Happy Together (1997)
Hard Boiled (1992)
He's a Woman, She's a Man (1994)
Iron Monkey (1993)
July Rhapsody (2001)
The Killer (1989)
Long Arm of the Law (1984)
Made in Hong Kong (1997)
A Moment of Romance (1990)
On the Run (1988)
Once Upon a Time in China (1991)
Once Upon a Time in China II (1992)
Pedicab Driver (1989)
Police Story 3: Supercop (1992)
Prison on Fire (1987)
Project A (1984)
Project A Part II (1987)
Rouge (1988)
Running on Karma (2003)
School on Fire (1988)
Shaolin Soccer (2001)
Swordsman II (1992)
Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain (1983)
 
 
Highly Recommended
After This Our Exile (2006)
Anna Magdalena (1998)
Autumn Moon (1992)
The Bride with White Hair (1993)
Bullets Over Summer (1999)
A Chinese Ghost Story: The Animated Film (1997)
City on Fire (1987)
Come Drink With Me (1966)
Curse of the Golden Flower (2006)
Dr. Mack (1995)
Dragon Inn (1992)
Election (2005)
Election 2 (2006)
Exiled (2006)
Expect the Unexpected (1998)
Fallen Angels (1995)
Fight Back to School (1991)
Fist of Legend (1994)
Forbidden City Cop (1996)
The Golden Girls (1995)
He Ain't Heavy, He's My Father (1993)
Hero (2002)
A Hero Never Dies (1998)
Hollywood Hong Kong (2002)
Hong Kong 1941 (1984)
Infernal Affairs (2002)
Infernal Affairs II (2003)
It's Now or Never (1992)
King of Comedy (1999)
Kung Fu Hustle (2004)
Lan Yu (2001)
The Longest Summer (1998)
Lost in Time (2003)
Loving You (1995)
The Mad Phoenix (1997)
Millionaire's Express (1986)
Miracles (1989)
Mr. Vampire (1985)
My Father is a Hero (1995)
My Life as McDull (2001)
The Odd One Dies (1997)
One Nite in Mongkok (2004)
Police Story 2 (1988)
PTU (2003)
Righting Wrongs (1986)
Running Out of Time (1999)
Shanghai Blues (1984)
The Tai-Chi Master (1993)
Task Force (1997)
Tiger on Beat (1988)
Too Many Ways To Be No. 1 (1997)
Yes Madam! (1985)
 
 
Recommended
2046 (2004)
92 La Legendary Rose Noire (1992)
All for the Winner (1990)
Armour of God II: Operation Condor (1991)
As Tears Go By (1988)
A Battle of Wits (2006)
A Better Tomorrow (1986)
Beyond Hypothermia (1996)
Beyond Our Ken (2004)
Bio-Zombie (1998)
Black Cat (1991)
Burning Paradise (1993)
The Case of the Cold Fish (1995)
The Chinese Feast (1995)
A Chinese Ghost Story 2 (1990)
A Chinese Ghost Story 3 (1991)
Chinese Odyssey 2002 (2002)
A Chinese Odyssey Part 1: Pandora's Box (1995)
A Chinese Odyssey Part 2: Cinderella (1995)
Comeuppance (2000)
Crazy N' The City (2005)
Diary of a Big Man (1988)
Dragons Forever (1988)
Eastern Condors (1987)
Encounters of the Spooky Kind 2 (1989)
Executioners (1993)
The Eye (2002)
Fantasia (2004)
Fearless (2006)
Feel 100% (1996)
First Love - Litter on the Breeze (1997)
Full Throttle (1995)
Gimme Gimme (2001)
God of Gamblers 3: The Early Stage (1996)
Gunmen (1988)
The Heavenly Kings (2006)
In the Line of Duty 4 (1989)
Isabella (2006)
Juliet in Love (2000)
Just One Look (2002)
King of Beggars (1992)
Lifeline (1997)
Love Battlefield (2004)
Love in the Time of Twilight (1995)
Love is not a game, but a joke (1997)
Love on a Diet (2001)
Love on Delivery (1994)
Love to Kill (1993)

Love Undercover (2002)
McDull, Prince de la Bun (2004)
Men Suddenly in Black (2003)
Metade Fumaca (1999)
My Left Eye Sees Ghosts (2002)
My Name is Fame (2006)
Now You See Love...Now You Don't (1992)
Once Upon a Time in China III (1993)
Once Upon a Time in China IV (1993)
Once Upon a Time in China V (1994)
Once Upon a Time in Triad Society 2 (1996)
People's Hero (1988)
Portland Street Blues (1998)
The Postmodern Life of My Aunt (2006)
The Private Eye Blues (1994)
The Prodigal Son (1983)
Purple Storm (1999)
Re-cycle (2006)
Rock 'n Roll Cop (1994)
Royal Warriors (1986)
Running Out of Time 2 (2001)
Saviour of the Soul (1991)
She Shoots Straight (1990)
Spacked Out (2000)
SPL (2005)
The Storm Riders (1998)
Three: Going Home (2002)
Throwdown (2004)
Tiger Cage (1988)
Till death do us part (1998)
Time and Tide (2000)
Tokyo Raiders (2000)
Tom, Dick and Hairy (1993)
Troublesome Night 3 (1998)
The Umbrella Story (1995)
The Victim (1999)
Viva Erotica! (1996)
A War Named Desire (2000)
What Price Survival? (1994)
Wheels on Meals (1984)
When I Look Upon the Stars (1999)
The Wicked City (1992)
Wild Search (1988)
Wing Chun (1994)
Winners and Sinners (1983)
Wu Yen (2001)
Young and Dangerous 3 (1996)
Young and Dangerous: The Prequel (1998)

 
 
 
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