BUTTERFLY CEMETERY (aka ON FALLEN WINGS) (2017)

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Joe Ma’s Butterfly Cemetery, based on a novel by Cai Jun (whose works also “inspired” Law Chi Leung’s Curse of the Deserted, Fruit Chan’s Kill Time or Joe Chien’s The House that Never Dies II) follows Shang Xiaodie (Zhang Li), a ballet dancer still reeling from the mysterious disappearance of her lover Ming Ye (Vivian Dawson), with a vague newspaper obituary her only element of closure. When she receives an offer to spend one month in Budapest to train a Chinese ballet company founded by the wealthy Zhuang family, she takes it as an opportunity to clear her mind. But once in Hungary, she realizes her lost lover is still alive and is none other than the eldest son of the Zhuang family, that his fate is linked to a mysterious mausoleum on the Zhuang’s property, and that their first encounter in the past was far from random.

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KILLER’S ROMANCE (1990) review

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1990 saw the release of two competing – and loose – adaptations of Kazuo Koike’s manga Crying Freeman, which had ended its serialized run two years earlier in Japan. Clarence Fok’s Dragon from Russia, a cartoonish mess with a terribly miscast Sam Hui in the title-role, came out three months after Philip Ko’s Killer’s Romance but nevertheless won the box-office battle, grossing more than three times as much as Ko’s film. But Killer’s Romance is the superior film. In it, Simon Yam plays Nidaime, the son of a Japanese mobster who’s just been murdered by Chinese rivals (including Philip Ko, Lau Siu Ming and Jason Pai Piao). He rushes to London to get his revenge, but as he dispatching one of his targets, a young Chinese expatriate (Joey Wong) out to take photos witnesses him in the act. Now Nidaime must get rid of this loose end, but instead the killer and the witness fall in love. But soon it appears the killer has been double-crossed by his own side.

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