3 Best Movies to Watch by Andy Lau

Staff & contributors

Forlorn longing envelops Days of Being Wild, where the act of dreaming is as valuable as its actual fulfillment. “You’ll see me tonight in your dreams,” Yuddy tells Su Li-zhen on their first meeting, and indeed, this line of dialogue sets the film’s main contradiction: would you rather trap yourself in the trance-like beauty of dreams or face the unpleasant possibilities of reality? Wong Kar-wai’s characters each have their own answers, with varying subplots intersecting through the consequences of their decisions. In the end, happiness comes in unexpected ways, granted only to those brave enough to wake up and dream again.

Genre: Crime, Drama, Romance

Actor: Alicia Alonzo, Andy Lau, Anita Mui, Carina Lau, Hung Ling-Ling, Jacky Cheung, Leslie Cheung, Maggie Cheung, Maritoni Fernandez, Rebecca Pan, Tony Leung Chiu-Wai

Director: Kar-Wai Wong, Wong Kar-wai

Rating: Not Rated

If there’s one thing to say about House of Flying Daggers, it’s that it’s absolutely, absurdly, downright beautiful. The sets are lavishly designed, the landscapes are gorgeous, the colorful costumes are elaborately embroidered, the fight and dance choreography are breathtaking, every shot is colorful, and even the three leads in the love triangle are some of the most beautiful Chinese actors of the time (maybe, perhaps, of all time). That being said, some viewers might find that the beauty of each scene isn’t enough to carry through the film’s fairly convoluted plot, with everyone lying to each other all the time. There’s a thread here about being ordered into actions that would later be used to condemn you, and the way love intersects with that is fairly romantic stuff, but House of Flying Daggers doesn’t quite reach the emotional heights it could have had with a more streamlined script.

Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama

Actor: Andy Lau, Chengyuan Li, Dandan Song, Hao Bojie, Hongfei Zhao, Jiusheng Wang, Jun Guo, Li Qiang, Shu Zhang, Song Dandan, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Yongxin Wang, Zhang Shu, Zhang Ziyi, Zheng Xiao-Dong, Zhengyong Zhang, Ziyi Zhang

Director: Yimou Zhang, Zhang Yimou

Rating: PG-13

Before Wong Kar Wai made his signature romantic dramas, he first made his directorial debut As Tears Go By, a film that wouldn’t be out of place in the crime and action flicks that characterized 1980s cinema. There are moments that feel a tad derivative, such as the use of Take My Breath Away from 1986’s Top Gun, and the gangster love triangle reminiscent of Martin Scorcese’s Mean Streets, but Wong’s style starts to peek through with his use of color and light, and of course, the distinctive blurred action that transforms movement into lines. It’s not as sleek as Wong’s better known works, but As Tears Go By is still a good film to watch, marking Wong as one of the biggest names in the then-emerging Hong Kong New Wave.

Genre: Crime, Drama, Romance

Actor: Alex Man, Andy Lau, Benz Kong To-Hoi, Chan Chi-Fai, Cheung Wing-Cheung, Chow Gam-Kong, Chun Kwai-Bo, Ho Wing-Cheung, Hui Fan, Jacky Cheung, Kam Shan, Lam Kau, Lee Chi-Git, Maggie Cheung, Maggie Cheung Man-Yuk, Pak Yan, Ronald Wong Ban, William Chang Suk-Ping, Wong Aau, Wong Chi-Wai

Director: Wong Kar-wai