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Breaking News

Hong Kong 2004
produced by
Milkyway Image
directed by Johnnie To
starring Richie Jen, Kelly Chen, Nick Cheung (= Cheung Ka-Fai), Cheung Siu-Fai, Hui Siu-Hung, Lam Suet, You Yong, Ding Hai-Feng, Li Hai-Tao
written by Chan Hing Kai, Yip Tin Shing, music by Chaung Chi Wing, Ben Cheung

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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A group of gangsters led by Yuen (Richie Jen) has a massive shootout with the police, led by officer Cheung (Nick Cheung) in the streets of Hong Kong. & not only do the gangsters get away, Hong Kong's police force is also seen in a bad light thereafter ... which ambitious police inspector Rebecca (Kelly Chen) plans to correctby making the capturing of the gangsters a live tv-event, which will shed a more favourable light on the force again ... or at least that's the plan ...

Due to his eccentric methods, Cheung is soon dropped from the case & it is handed over to a large SWAT team, who all storm the appartment block Yuen & company are hiding out in - with cameras in their helmets for tv-transmission ... but Cheung & his men just won't accept that & go in on their own, thinking they owe it to their dead colleagues from above-mentioned shootout.

Yuen & company soon find refuge in the appartment of Yip (Lam Suet), a naive taxidriver  who hasn't taken the evacuation of the building too seriously, & rather accidently find themselves in having him & his kids as hostages. & while in the buildings hallways the SWAT-teams do little to improve the situation but deliver perfet pictures for broadcasting, Yuen decides to take matter into his own hands & via internet sends some alternative pictures to the media to stir things up a bit, including one of him, his men & his hostages having a peaceful lunch ... which leads Rebecca to serve lunchboxes to all her cops & the journalists outside the building.

Soon Yuen has found a way to get out of his squeeze too, sending out his hostages as human bombs, for the SWAT teams to take care of, whiel he can make it out the backway (that the human bombs were not even sharp is besides the point). It would have worked too, if Cheung & men wouldn't have seen though the illusion & in a shootout pretty much kiled everyone but Yuen ... who - as botched up police-operations go - manages to take Rebecca his hostage for the getaway. It's only thanks to Cheung, who still wants to "nail that bastard" that Yuen is shot & Rebecca is freed in the end.

& Rebecca, who didn't want Cheung on scene in the first place, in a typicalö reversal of fortune in the media world, now makes him a hero.


This filmk actually tells 2 stories: one is a typical genre story of a cop wanting vengeance for the killing of his colleagues, & even though he is drawn off the case, he "nails that bastard" in the end - & this story doesn't sound very promising. What takes the movie to another level though is that this story is embedded into another one of an officer trying to pull off the whole story as a media-event, spindoctoring all the setbacks as to present to the media a cut-out hero in the end ... even it is the man least likely to. & as so often with Johnnie To's genre films this new twist on an age-old genre story makes it a highly original film that is a genre movie & media satire at the same time.

Furthermore this might be the first film in at least 2 decades of cop movies where a supporting character -a cop .- mentions he will be retired in 2 years ... & still lives to see the end of the movie.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD