Clifton Ko Capsule Reviews

Clifton Ko Capsule Reviews

Chicken and Duck Talk (1988) — March 18, 2017

Michael Hui owns a slovenly BBQ duck restaurant that’s threatened by the ultra-modern fried chicken joint moving in across the street. Highlights include Michael and Ricky Hui fighting while dressed as giant fowl, Sylvia Chang brightening an otherwise throwaway role as Michael’s wife, Sam Hui’s cameo as himself, and the lovely pinks and greens of Derek Wan’s cinematography (this may just be the transfer, but this is the prettiest Hui movie I’ve seen).

Clifton Ko directed and co-wrote the screenplay (with Hui), and it’s much more conventional than Hui’s directorial efforts, like it’s trying to be a real movie with some kind of a moral message instead of a thin excuse for slapstick genius. Which I guess makes it Hui’s A Night at the Opera. It’s still very fun, but not the anarchic masterpiece that was The Contract (his Duck Soup).

Alls Well Ends Well (1992) — December 9, 2013

“Mass-output filming demands regularized production, but this need not lower quality. Speed, efficiency, tight budgets, shameless commercialism, networking, commitment to tradition (even cliché), ingenuity in working variations on familiar material, and a contagious enthusiasm for the very act of putting together a piece of entertainment — all can sustain filmmakers in their dedication to craft. And in popular filmmaking, craft is the source of a great deal that is good.”

— David Bordwell, Planet Hong Kong