Hong Kong is notorious for its horrible cinema experiences. We have to book days in advance – if what we want to see is even showing – and bringing your Siberian fox jacket is essential because Hong Kong movie theatres are colder than an Arctic winter. Finally, when we get there, we have to make do with questionable hotdogs and popcorn that tastes like it was swept off the cinema floor.
Most of the flicks featured below were never screened in Hong Kong, while the few that were, vanished in a matter of days. Others still are due to come to Hong Kong but have already been released on DVD in the Western world so we'd suggest skipping the local cinema entirely. They've all been given solid ratings by Rotten Tomatoes and everything shuts down in Hong Kong over CNY, so download, stay at home, and enjoy.
We’ve come to associate spy movies with action, special effects and terrible punch lines but Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is much more cerebral than that. It shows what Cold War espionage might have actually looked like. Spies, by nature, are intelligent people of ordinary appearance. Cinema has transformed them into models who fight like Bruce Lee and charm like Casanova but let’s face it, if a spy acted like James Bond in real life his CIA career would be shorter than Mini-Me. Tinker Tailor is slow-paced compared with the average blockbuster but critics have been falling over it.
An instant modern classic; if you can handle the violence and get through the movie once you’ll watch it again and again. Don’t be put off by the trailer – the fast and furious style clip doesn’t show the film’s beautiful pace and astonishing suspense. It revolves around a Hollywood stunt driver who makes money on the side by getaway driving, while also exploring his powerful relationship with a neighbouring family. We’ll vouch it will make it on to your favourites list.
A documentary that shows all the facets of Ayrton Senna, the driver, the charisma and the dark side of his personality. It starts at the beginning of his career, continuing right up to his shocking death. The movie is a must watch for motoring enthusiasts but Senna lived such an entertaining life that your special someone won’t mind watching it either.
In the last few years we’ve seen a few new movie genres and one novel addition is comedy horror. In truth we haven’t seen a really good one since Shaun of the Dead, but Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is a hilarious movie with the traditional role of rednecks reversed. Judging a book by its cover will get you into trouble with this one so don’t chuck it in the wood-chipper on first appearances. It will have you in stitches.
Forget this is a foreign film - after watching the trailer you're going to call in sick or go for a long lunch meeting. After a Quebecois mother dies her children discover they have a long, lost brother who was conceived in prison. They start digging into her dark past, travelling to the ends of the world in search of the truth. It’s an absolute corker of a film with an ending that will have your fly catcher wide open.
The Artist is a silent film that’s taken the world by storm this year, recently picking up Best Picture at the Golden Globes. Don’t be worried by the lack of dialogue – it’s a memorable and progressive movie about a silent artist's love life. You end up listening to what you think rather than what the actors are saying, and that's special.
This is a great movie to watch with a bottle of Pocari Sweat while nursing a hangover. It's a British lads film about boys coming of age. It’s not a film that’s going to win any awards but you don't need any brain cells to find it hilarious either. It's vulgar, depraved and immediately relatable to anyone who's been on a lad's holiday after school.
This documentary celebrates hip hop by following A Tribe Called Quest, one of the pioneers of conscious hip hop/rap. Beastie Boys, Pharrell, Common and plenty more give there 50 cents about a legendary group that's still relevant today. The film takes you back to when hip hop was pure and not about how many bitches are in your Lamborghini while gunning down MoFos.
Snowtown is so dark and affecting you might need therapy after watching it. Critics have said it’s as close to snuff as they’ve ever seen and audiences have walked out en masse. The powerful Australian film is about a 16 year old who finds a father figure in John Bunting: the country’s most notorious serial killer. Rotten Tomatoes rates it 93% but the viewers’ rating is 63% so it's not a crowd pleaser but if you want to be disturbed it’s the film for you.
The Ides of March is a film that’s already out on DVD in the western world but won’t reach Hong Kong cinemas until February 2. Typical. It’s a scandalous, political drama and we’d suggest buying the DVD instead of going to the Chinese edited version scheduled to appear in theatres. With Clooney, Gosling, and Giamatti onboard you know it’s going to be compelling.
Let the downloading begin...