films seen
average score
Alive and kicking


Sun, Moon and Star: Part 1

by Wen Yi
For Xing Xing Yue Liang Tai Yang: Shang
1961 / 99m - Hong Kong
Romance, War
Sun, Moon and Star: Part 1 poster

Yuen Chor didn't just direct a boatload of films, he also wrote a fair few. I'm not even all that surprised that he has writing credits for this rather sentimental romance, just don't expect any of Chor's usual director perks. This is mostly just kitsch without the nice sets, moody lighting and fun mystery/action elements.

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Against the backdrop of WWII, Jianbai will meet three different women who will all play a substantial part in his life. There's Lan, a proud village girl (the star), his cousin Qiuming, who is sweet and tender (the moon), and Yan, a passionate woman (the sun) who compels Jianbai to join the war.

The film offers sentimentality galore, and makes little or not effort to offset any of it. The cinematography is bland and functional, the soundtrack is poor, and the performances aren't very subtle either. At least the film isn't too long (though there is a second part), but unless you really love classic sentiment, I wouldn't actively recommend this film to anyone.

Sun, Moon and Star: Part 2

by Wen Yi
Xing Xing Yue Liang Tai Yang: Xia
1961 / 113m - Hong Kong
Romance, War
Sun, Moon and Star: Part 2 poster

A couple of weeks ago I watched the first part of the Sun, Moon and Star duology. I didn't care much for it and didn't really feel like slotting in the second film soon after, but since this is a straightforward continuation of the story it wouldn't make sense to wait too long either. So I powered through.

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The plot follows the four main characters during the remainder of the war, so there's really no way to see this without having seen the first film. The mix of drama and romance is pretty much the same too, and the romantic woes take up most of the screen time. Just more of the same in other words.

The performances are rather weak, the direction is bland and the drama between the different characters feels cheesy and sentimental. I admit that not liking the first part didn't really help, but there's just not enough here to keep me engaged. I'm glad Yuen Chor moved on from writing to become a director.

Air Hostess

by Wen Yi
Kong Zhong Xiao Jie
1959 / 102m - Hong Kong
Air Hostess poster

A very naive and fluffy Hong Kong classic. Which wouldn't be so bad if the films wasn't so terribly slow and uneventful. The drama is shallow, the cinematography functional, the pacing dreadful. The few musical bits that are present just drag things out even more. Not a fan of these Grace Chang musicals.

Mambo Girl

by Wen Yi
Man Bo Nu Lang
1957 / 91m - Hong Kong
Musical, Drama
Mambo Girl poster

Absolutely dire and slow musical. Half of the film is just basic singing and dancing in front of an eerily static camera, the other half offers some very simplistic drama about a girl who finds out she was adopted. This film is so elemental that even though it's only 90 minutes long, it's an absolute chore to get through.