Hong Kong Horizons
dirs. Various
Fri Aug 5-Sun Aug 21
Whitsell Auditorium

Movies from Hong Kong are like movies from nowhere else--stylish, smart, and daring, Hong Kong's best films possess a verve and mood that's only slightly less addictive than crack. Since the past few years have boasted some of HK's best films--action or otherwise--it's rad that the Northwest Film Center's Hong Kong Horizons program makes it easy to get an HK fix.

The series kicks off this week with the action drama Fulltime Killer and the thriller The Eye. The awesome Andy Lau stars as a bragging hitman who meets his match in the tremendously uneven Fulltime Killer, which--at its adrenaline-packed best--recalls the best of John Woo's inspired action sequences. And it'd be hard to think of a horror film that's garnered more buzz in the past few years than the Pang Brothers' The Eye, in which a blind woman (Li Sin-Je) gets a new pair of eyes--eyes that make her see creepy-ass things (like, uh, ghosts). Though it devolves steadily (ending with a tremendous burst of absurdity), the film's still worth checking out--its creepy, beautifully shot, and shows why the Thai-born Pang Brothers deserve their hype.

And the fest continues until August 21, with the dark comedy Men Suddenly in Black, the brilliant Stephen Chow comedy Shaolin Soccer (the precursor to Kung Fu Hustle, and very nearly as good), and the eagerly anticipated Infernal Affairs, which features Andy Lau (again) and Tony Leung Chiu-Wai as undercover cops. (And it'd be wise to catch Affairs in its pure form--Martin Scorcese's currently remaking it with Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio.)

Also up: Cop on a Mission, about a cop (Daniel Wu) hatching a power play; the bizarre superhero fantasy Running on Karma, starring Andy Lau (Jesus Christ, there he is again) and Shaolin Soccer's Cecilia Cheung; and the awesomely titled Bullets of Love, about a cop (Leon Lai Ming) and a prosecutor (Asako Seto) whose past catches up with them.