favorite Chinese language movies
Kei (Simon Yam) is the experienced leader of a team of pickpockets — also known as "Sparrows" in HK slang. He enjoys a carefree lifestyle taking photos. One day a dashing beauty, Chun-Lei (Kelly Lin), suddenly appears in Kei's viewfinder. Kei is mesmerized. But behind Chun-Lei's attractive facade lies a mysterious past and a mission to set herself free.
Brothers on a bike
Snatching as a serenade.
Chasers become chased
A girl is the ultimate con.
Umbrellas of To-Berg.
If Exiled characterizes its sense of brotherhood through our awareness of the past, Sparrow builds it through the present—something tangible in the everyday presence of reality. The second sequence in the film, as we see the four men work the street, is something closer to watching Gene Kelly work his way through a crowd: elegant, calculated, and always with a smile. All of To’s gangster films have comedy in them (Exiled’s interlude in the desert, Drug War’s HAHA!), and his comedies have suspense as well, but separates Sparrow from your run-of-the-mill American comedy is every joke is also in service…
The lightest, most graceful Johnnie To film. This time around I was enraptured by the jaunty shape-shifting score by Xavier Jamaux and Fred Avril. There's some Michel Legrand pop-jazz, Morricone vocalizations, and light bossa nova. It floats away with the movie.
Plus Simon Yam can wear the shit out of a linen suit.
So, I brought this project forward by a few days after having to abandon the 30 Countries one - and almost immediately wished that I hadn't bothered.
Starting with an amazingly awful opening scene where Simon Lam befriends the titular bird with some of the worst silent acting I've ever seen, it really gets no better after that. Half an hour later I was asleep and when I awoke I found myself really thankful that I had missed the rest of it.
I did consider restarting it today but I get the distinct impression this one isn't going to win me over. This is my third attempt at a Johnnie To film and so…
It doesn't really get any better than the umbrella sequence.
Who is behind this?
Tell me you have a Johnnie To film that I haven't seen that is basically just a rehash of The Mission or Exiled with almost the exact same cast and I would be as happy as a pig in the proverbial shit. Funny enough though the director's films that take a different approach while proving he isn't just a one trick pony make me just as happy because I know I'm always in for something special.
This is one of those films. Even though on the surface it can be considered a crime film about a group of four men it is vastly different then something like the excellent Exiled. First of all these "career…
Well, this movie is wonderful.
Truly like Cinematic Opera. So beautiful..I can watch it over and over. Johnny To uses the locations so well, even better than Woo used to. I even thought of IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE!! So elegant and sylish.
Johnny should really direct more Musicals, and Comedies too. HE'S THE MAN!
That showdown. THAT FINAL SHOWDOWN, MAN!
If the whole film was a ballet of sorts then that was the final dance, the one to awe the audience one last time. It's amazing how To replaces dialogue with music (which is awesome by the way) and choses to tell the story through gestures (small and big alike). It's all really one big choreography and the stage is Hong Kong.
Beautifully shot with plenty of Johnnie To's signature style.
SPARROW, a film about gang of pickpockets in Hong Kong, is a little more artier than most of To's films.
how much I like it (50): 39
how good it is (50): 42
overall (100): 81
wow, this had almost everything i've ever wanted in a movie: simon yam, petty crime, gambling, bold colors, neat staircases, umbrellas in the rain, a couple sharing a cigarette in slow motion, gags involving injured men, bicycles, fish tanks, lots of gestures and glances, and a light jazz soundtrack that prominently features xylophones and flutes.
basically a movie that reminds me how much i love movies.
Σκηνοθεσία/Χορογραφία και δεν είναι καν μιούζικαλ <3
A bauble; basically loads of "nice" scenes adding up to very little in the long run. One scene in an elevator stands out, but otherwise this is To on a coffee break.
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