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Cross Of Iron

Director – Sam Peckinpah – 1977 – UK, Germany – Cert. 15 – 132m

Movie ***1/2
4K Blu-ray *****

A German corporal on the WW2 Russian front takes exception to an aristocratic officer’s attempts to take credit (and a medal) for a dead officer’s bravery – out in a 4K restoration on UHD Steelbook, Blu-ray & DVD from Monday, July 31st

The Taman Peninsular on the Russian Front in World War II. German army Corporal Steiner (James Coburn) leads his small reconnaissance unit in a successful attack on a German position, taking captive an underage Russian recruit rather than killing him. His war-weary senior officer Colonel Brandt (James Mason) and assistant Captain Kiesel (David Warner) are joined by enthusiastic Captain Stransky (Maximilian Schell) who was previously in France and has come to Russia determined to earn an Iron Cross to impress his aristocratic, Prussian family.

In his first encounter with Steiner, Stransky orders him to shoot the teenager captive, as they have been ordered to take no prisoners. Steiner instead hides the boy among his unit, letting him go during a Russian attack on the base, hoping the boy can return to his own forces, but alas the boy is shot by advancing soldiers on his own side.… Read the rest

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Features Live Action Movies

Shock Wave 2,
(Chai Dan
Zhuan Jia 2,
拆彈專家 2)

Director – Herman Yau – 2020 – Hong Kong – Cert. N/C 15 – 120m

****

A former bomb disposal expert suspected of a terrorist atrocity must prevent a terrorist organisation from destroying the Hong Kong International Airport and taking numerous innocent lives in the process – now available to rent online in the new Chinese Cinema Season 2021 in the UK & Ireland as part of the Hong Kong, Reimagined strand until Wednesday, May 12th

If you’ve seen Shock Wave (Herman Yau, 2017) you’ll know that a sequel with Andy Lau reprising his character wouldn’t be possible. Both director and star clearly wanted to capitalise on the first film, however, so they’ve simply dumped character names and most of what happened in the first film, reinvented the main character and started all over again with a completely different story. This has the effect of making the audience feel that they’re seeing another film in the series but at the same time seeing something that’s brand new, not at all a carbon copy.

Except that in the broadest outline it IS a carbon copy: once again, Andy Lau plays an heroic member of the Hong Kong Police’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Bureau (EOD) with Philip Keung as a friend and colleague in the force, this time round named Lee Yiu Sing, while the plot involves the potential huge bombing of an important Hong Kong landmark – here the Hong Kong International Airport which is blown up at the start only for a voice-over to explain that this terrorist atrocity has been prevented thanks to one man.… Read the rest

Categories
Features Live Action Movies

Shock Wave
(Chai Dan
Zhuan Jia,
拆彈專家)

Director – Herman Yau – 2017 – Hong Kong – Cert. 15 – 118m

****

A bomb disposal expert must prevent a bomber from destroying the Cross Harbour Hong Kong Tunnel and taking numerous innocent lives in the process – now available to rent online in the new Chinese Cinema Season 2021 in the UK & Ireland as part of the Hong Kong, Reimagined strand until Wednesday, May 12th

Undercover police bomb disposal expert JS Cheung (Andy LauInfernal Affairs, Andrew Lau, Alan Mak, 2002, Days Of Being Wild, Wong Kar-wai, 1990, As Tears Go By, Wong Kar-wai, 1988) of the Hong Kong Police’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Bureau (EOD) blows his cover during a daring operation by a gang of criminals to kill as many cops as possible using car bombs. The car chase mayhem ends with the arrest of Biao Hong (Leo Wang Zi-yi) the explosives nerd and little brother of gang leader Peng Hong (Jiang Wu – Wrath Of Silence, Xin Yukun, 2017; Monster Hunt, Raman Hui, 2015). Some time later, Peng Hong Blocks traffic in the busy Cross Harbour Hong Kong Tunnel running from Kowloon to Hong Kong, trapping motorists and passengers as hostages and threatening to blow up the tunnel unless his brother is released.… Read the rest