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New shows and movies to watch on Netflix Hong Kong this May
Film

New shows and movies to watch on Netflix Hong Kong this May

Oh yes, we're back again with another month of great Netflix roundup. This month, expect award-winning writers and producers with their own Netflix Originals, as well as the arrival of some of Hollywood's biggest stars to the platform. So, grab the popcorn, settle down on the couch, and let's run through some of the best new shows and movies to watch on Netflix Hong Kong this month. RECOMMENDED: More into local shows? Check out these 16 best Hong Kong TV dramas of all time.

8 most controversial Hong Kong films of the past decade
Film

8 most controversial Hong Kong films of the past decade

The Hong Kong film industry is no stranger to controversy – a look at the history of the city’s Category III films proves that. But although local filmmakers now create less and less of those ‘extreme’ films, that doesn’t mean that controversy is absent from the local cinema. Here are eight recent examples that have caused furious debate. By Audrey ChanRECOMMENDED: In the mood for something lighter? Try Hong Kong’s best rom-coms or a wuxia tale.

16 best Hong Kong TV dramas of all time
Film

16 best Hong Kong TV dramas of all time

Forget about all the K-dramas and new Netflix shows. Nothing beats the over-the-top love triangles, nightmare in-laws, hilarious caricature villains, and melodramatic deaths in Hong Kong TV dramas. Yes, it can be easy to laugh at the exaggerated, and always predictable, twists and turns, but many of Hong Kong’s greatest cinematic talents got their break working on TV dramas including the likes of Wong Kar-wai, Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Chow Yun-fat, and Maggie Cheung. Join us as we list and reminiscent some of the best Hong Kong dramas ever made.RECOMMENDED: Though, if TV dramas aren’t your thing, try Hong Kong’s best movies or the sexiest Hong Kong movies ever made for something more alluring.

7 classic cartoons every 90s kid grew up watching in Hong Kong
Film

7 classic cartoons every 90s kid grew up watching in Hong Kong

Oh, how we miss the good old days when the only thing we had to worry about was getting off school and back home in time to catch our favourite cartoon. Rather than talking about the latest news headlines or reading Trump's latest tweet, the topic of discussion on the playground evolved around the latest episode of the hottest cartoon, and why Mewtwo will always be better than Arceus (any Pokemon fans?) If you're desperately missing those days, then join us as we take a look back at some of our favourite cartoons from the 90s. Enthusiastic singing to these theme tunes is highly encouraged. RECOMMENDED: Too sophisticated for cartoons? How about some kung fu movies made right here in Hong Kong?

6 hilarious Korean variety shows you should be watching
Film

6 hilarious Korean variety shows you should be watching

From K-pop to K-grub to K-beauty, there are tons of reasons why Korea is loved by many. Now that we're staying at home all the time, a good Korean drama will certainly keep your bums on the couch. But if you're looking for something light and fun to watch, Korean variety shows are the way to go. Don't believe us? Scroll down and see for yourself. RECOMMENDED: Want to stick to local movies instead? Then it's a good thing we've put together this list of the 100 best movies in Hong Kong.

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The best films in cinemas now

The Call of The Wild
Film

The Call of The Wild

Harrison Ford has plenty of experience working with big, furry co-stars, but in ‘The Call of the Wild’, his hairy companion is a little more down to earth than Chewbacca. A St Bernard-Scotch collie, Buck is the protagonist of this latest adaptation of Jack London’s 1903 novella. If you’re familiar with the story or you’ve seen any of the other umpteen adaptations, you’ll know the dognapped hero goes through a series of human-sidekicking adventures in the Yukon – pulling sleds, dodging avalanches and facing down grizzly bears, before tussling with his wolf ‘ancestor’ wild side. The curveball in this version is that it’s not entirely live action. Bar a couple of goats, all of the animal cast is rendered in CGI, while our pooch hero is performed by motion-capture expert Terry Notary (‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’). The results are, at best, mixed. While director Chris Sanders (‘How to Train Your Dragon’) is able to pull off action set pieces and human-dog interactions that would be a big ask for even the most versatile canine performer, Buck has a slightly fake look and lacks the tangible reach-out-and-pat charm of an actual dog. It’s the uncanny (or uncanine-y?) valley writ large. Fortunately, Ford is his usual charismatic (and entirely non-CG) self as a kindly-grouchy frontiersman. Janusz Kaminski’s lush cinematography is a sizeable compensation too. Although it gets a bit mushy at times – with a vision of nature that is frankly fantastical (the animals don’t talk, but they

Time Out says
3 out of 5 stars
Like A Boss
Film

Like A Boss

A lack of charisma and un-funny gags make this comedy about the cosmetics industry as pointless as a blunt eyeliner pencil. Mia (Tiffany Haddish) and Mel (Rose Byrne) are best buddies, business partners and flatmates in ropey friendship comedy ‘Like a Boss’. They’ve shared every detail of their lives – and plenty of dope – since high school, and yet they share little chemistry on screen as their make-up company, Mia & Mel, gets swallowed up by a cosmetics conglomerate fronted by Claire Luna (Salma Hayek). Inevitably, their friendship is tested as Luna puts them through their paces and smashes their ideas – literally, with a golf club, for no discernible reason. Predictably, Hayek’s character is a one-dimensional boss ‘bitch’ with a backstory that we never really understand, who has self-professed ‘enormous’ breasts and wears a Charlotte Tilbury wig. Scenes in Mia and Mel’s store are just as jarring. Jennifer Coolidge plays shop assistant Sydney, channelling her turn in ‘Legally Blonde’ but with astronomically worse one-liners (‘It’s fresh and clean, like a thermometer that goes in your butt’). There are some funny moments, including a shocking baby shower cake reveal and a typically sassy performance from the inimitable Billy Porter (‘Pose’) as Mia & Mel’s make-up creator, but most of the gags feel either completely out of context or completely out of nowhere – as does an appearance from Lisa Kudrow right at the film’s flimsy finale. There’s no amount of foundation that

Time Out says
2 out of 5 stars
The Gentlemen
Film

The Gentlemen

Guy Ritchie has gone back to his roots, or at least backwards. After a run of big-budget blockbusters – most recently this year’s $1 billion-grossing ‘Aladdin’ – the director has returned to the world of fast-talking British gangsters, the milieu that launched him in ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ and ‘Snatch’. This film will be popular with fans of both, but it paints a strange and regressive picture of a world where white straight men are all morally superior to everyone else, even if they’re murderers, thugs and drug dealers. The title should be a blackly comic joke, but the plot seems to take it seriously. The film centres on Matthew McConaughey’s Mickey Pearson, a former Rhodes scholar who became a drug dealer to the upper classes while at Oxford and built a billion-dollar empire on weed. Now he wants to sell to Matthew Berger (Jeremy Strong) and retire with wife Rosalind (Michelle Dockery) – but rival gangster Dry Eye (Henry Golding) could scupper the deal, while private investigator Fletcher (Hugh Grant) threatens to expose them all. The story is largely told via flashback, as the flamboyantly pervy, ferret-like Fletcher visits the gorgeous home of Mickey’s right-hand man Raymond (Charlie Hunnam) to explain how much he knows and how he knows it. Grant’s scenes with Ray are immense fun, but the flashback structure doesn’t work as well. We don’t get much of a look inside Mickey’s head even when he’s on screen, just his operation, and despite McConaughey’s charis

Time Out says
2 out of 5 stars
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)
Film

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

Little good came out of 2016’s ‘Suicide Squad’, but one of its few bright points was Margot Robbie’s anarchic Harley Quinn. Now she gets another shot at the spotlight in this spin-off directed by Cathy Yan (‘Dead Pigs’), who lets her heroine’s mania guide her through a story that’s scrappy, weird and ultimately fun as hell. Quinn has broken up with her long-time beau, the Joker, and now faces a seething Gotham underworld unprotected. She must scramble to survive her enemies, particularly crime kingpin Roman Sionis (Ewan McGregor), aka Black Mask, and his right-hand man (Chris Messina), introduced via a scene of shocking sadism. She makes a deal with Roman that should keep her alive but it puts her up against disillusioned cop Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) and the idealistic Danah Lance/Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), a singer at Roman’s club. They’re all after a young orphan (Ella Jay Basco as the character who, in the comics, becomes Batgirl). Oh, and someone’s shooting mob guys with a crossbow. The mysterious Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) may or may not be involved. You’ll need that deep breath you just took, because the film’s first act mirrors Harley’s incoherent, time-hopping narration in its explanations of who’s who and what’s what. But once that is untangled, ‘Birds of Prey’ is wildly entertaining. McGregor goes full psycho as Black Mask, a foppish ‘trustafarian fuckwad’, all Elton John suits and Skeletor masks. But it’s really the ladies’ show. Robbie’s tur

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
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Hong Kong film interviews

Time Out meets Joaquin Phoenix ahead of Joker release
Film

Time Out meets Joaquin Phoenix ahead of Joker release

The most anticipated film of the autumn, ‘Joker’ examines how failed stand-up Arthur Fleck morphed into the Gotham psychopath we all know and dread. Its star Joaquin Phoenix is its beating heart in a jittery, terrifying turn that’s already gathering Oscar buzz. The man himself has a rep for being an occasionally scratchy interviewee – ‘Most of the time I just try to get to the end of interviews’, he tells me, unpromisingly – but the man I encounter is direct but laid-back, and eager to chat about his turn as the DC supervillain. By Olivier Joyard Do you have to like a character like the Joker to play him? ‘Frankly, it was a challenge. Sometimes, while reading the script, I felt sympathetic, other times I was repulsed. Made no fucking sense. He was pathetic, whiny. I saw traces of post-traumatic stress disorder in him. When he’s attacked by kids at the start of the movie, he freezes up like a statue, unable to respond. This guy was physically abused when he was a child. It’s difficult not to feel some empathy for someone who’s been through that. That sort of thing changes your brain, the way you think. And it made me change how I see his character. At the start, I wanted him to go fuck himself.’   How did you prepare for the role? Did you study mental health problems in any way?  ‘I watched some videos and read two books in particular. I’m not going to tell you which, as I don’t want to give the criminals they’re about more attention than they deserve. The general idea was

Johnnie To
Film

Johnnie To

Arguably Hong Kong’s best contemporary director, Johnnie To talks to us about researching triads and the possibility of Election 3.

Juju Chan
Film

Juju Chan

The up-and-coming star talks about reviving Hong Kong martial arts cinema.

The co-directors of Ten Years
Film

The co-directors of Ten Years

The five co-directors of the controversial local dystopia tell us of their fears for Hong Kong.

Alice Mak
Film

Alice Mak

The creator of McDull talks about life in Hong Kong and why she’s luckier than her creation.

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