Hi folks and welcome to the The Friday Film Club where both myself and Kim will be highlighting a film which we feel is worth checking out. At the same time we would love to hear your own selections whether you’re choosing to just name them in the comments section or join us in arguing the case for your film on your blog, let us know and we will share it below.
Kim’s Pick – Look Out, Officer! (1990)
Being a remake of 1986 Where’s Officer Tuba? which starred Sammo Hung, Look Out, Officer is one of the earlier films of Stephen Chow and possibly one of the first that truly finds him embracing his “mo lei tau” comedy style with much success as he plays opposite some rather renowned Hong Kong cast at the time as he plays opposite, Bill Tung and Stanley Sui-Fan Fung. The former actor is a horse racing commentator that found fame being a wise-cracking police chief in Jackie Chan’s Police Story and the latter being mostly notable for his comedic roles especially in his role in the Five Lucky Stars movie series.
Look Out, Officer tells a comedic ghost story of a police officer Piao (Bill Tung) that goes to follow a drug den lead solo and ends up being killed but set up as a suicide due to his gambling habits and becomes held after death in limbo as he has to find the true culprit behind his death in order to get to the next stage. In order to do this, he is sent back to convince his “Savior/Lucky Star” to help him find his “Death Star” aka his killer. Luckily (and unluckily), he ends up having to work with rookie officer Sing (Stephen Chow) who only agrees to help him on the conditions that he can help him get the girl that ends up being his former partner’s (Stanley Sui-Fan Fung) daughter. No doubt hilarity ensues as the rookie officer is paired by his lazy former partner. Between the tangled web of human connections as well as seeking out the killer (Kong Fong), it’s both funny and silly with some buddy cop action elements and Chinese ghost fighting devices.
“Mo Lei Tau” comedy style is somewhat of a staple which shines especially in Stephen Chow especially after his showcase here gets him into his next film, All For The Winner that is a tangent film of the God of Gamblers film series. Look Out, Officer has some absurd comedic moments which comes with this style. While its a question whether some of the quirky and pun-y Cantonese dialogue gets lost in translation for international audiences, it’s still a movie that shows off one of the starting points of Stephen Chow’s career. This one is just a good time. It’s funny and ridiculous but all of it is done in such a clever way. Look Out, Officer holds up on multiple repeat viewings. What’s even better is that it’s currently on Netflix right now (at least in Netflix Canada).
Elwood’s Pick – DIG! (2003)
For seven years director Ondi Timoner followed The Dandy Warhols and The Brian Jonestown Massacre two bands joined by the friendship between their respective frontmen Courtney Taylor-Taylor and Anton Newcombe as the Dandy Warhols found fame and success while the Brian Jonestown Massacre struggled to find their own success..
Narrated by Courtney Taylor-Taylor whose dry tones perfectly suit the narrative being told by Timoner which since the release of the documentary has been heavily disputed by both bands which they cited as being biased towards the Brian Jonestown Massacre as a large focus of the film is focused on the madness and genius of Newcombe who while prolific in his musical output for the band seen at one point churning out an album in a week. At the same time Newcombe is often shown as the self sabotaging force which hinders the band from achieving the success that they deserve.
However watched for the narrative that Timoner has crafted it’s an engrossing car crash even if you’ve never heard of either band, with both bands having their engaging personalities with Newcombe being the sort of personality who could have been the sole subject of the documentary especially when so many of the dramatic moments from fighting band members and audience members to proclaiming a musical revolution are provided by him. The footage with Dandy Warhols on the other hand helps to provide the light relief especially as the Jonestown Massacre verges ever closer to imploding while they are enjoying the trappings of success.
This is a documentary well worth discovering especially if you’ve been looking for a follow up to Penelope Spheeris’ Decline of Western Civilisation trilogy
So you’ve seen our picks for this week’s double feature but what are your movie watching plans this weekend?
Let us know in the comments section below.