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Film, "Drug War": Sometimes, Being Cool Is Enough

"Drug War": Sometimes, Being Cool Is Enough

Drug War Few actors have exuded quite as much cool on the screen as Chow Yun-Fat in John Woo's pre-Hollywood films The Killer and Hard Boiled, but Louis Koo comes damn close in Johnnie To's Drug War. The picture follows…
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Calendar, Night&Day <i>Red Cliff</i>

Red Cliff

After a decade navigating Hollywood, John Woo returned to China to make his latest film, but scale back he did not. The most expensive movie ever produced in the country and also the biggest, Woo's Red Cliff is a third-century…
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Calendar, Night&Day <i>Red Cliff</i>

Red Cliff

After a decade navigating Hollywood, John Woo returned to China to make his latest film, but scale back he did not. The most expensive movie ever produced in the country and also the biggest, Woo's Red Cliff is a third-century…
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Film, <i> Red Cliff</I>: John Woo's killer instincts are back in action

Red Cliff: John Woo's killer instincts are back in action

John Woo spent a decade navigating the big-studio minefield — longer than most foreign auteurs last in Hollywood before throwing in the towel. Beginning in earnest with an above-average Jean-Claude Van Damme programmer (Hard Target), Woo then produced one decent…
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Home Entertainment, Game On Thinning Crowds

Thinning Crowds

To all the gun-toting video-game bad guys out there: Please stop standing next to exploding barrels. Seriously now. Of the hundreds of places you could squat and shoot, you and your henchman pals always camp beside the neon-orange canister with…
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Film, The Good, the Bad, and the Set Pieces

The Good, the Bad, and the Set Pieces

Johnnie To may not be the last man standing, but he is the lone Hong Kong action director who's done his best work in the aftermath of the Crown Colony's reversion to China. In a sense, the feverishly active To…
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Home Entertainment, DVDish Chow Time Again

Chow Time Again

Hard Boiled: Two-Disc Ultimate Edition (Weinstein) The Criterion version of John Woo's masterpiece, about two cops (the overworked Chow Yun-Fat and the undercover Tony Leung) gunning for the Hong Kong Triads, is still the "ultimate" collection. It has a better…
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Film, Typhoon in a Teacup

Typhoon in a Teacup

If John Woo's The Killer had been made by a Korean director lacking talent and a script, you'd have Typhoon. This hasn't stopped the film's publicists from hyping it as "more than another adventure film. It has become an emotional…
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Film, <i>M:I-2</i> Gets the Job Done

M:I-2 Gets the Job Done

Early on in Mission: Impossible 2 (or M:I-2, as the confident Paramount now calls it), hero Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) complains to his boss about his new assignment: "It's going to be difficult." "It's not mission difficult, Mr. Hunt," the…
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Film,

Chow Down

The Replacement Killers Directed by Antoine Fuqua. Written by Ken Sanzel. Starring Chow Yun-Fat, Mira Sorvino, Michael Rooker, Kenneth Tsang, and Jurgen Prochnow. Opens Friday, Feb. 6, at area theaters. John Woo has generated plenty of American disciples in the…
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Film,

'Faced

Face/Off Directed by John Woo. Screenplay by Mike Werb and Michael Colleary. Starring John Travolta, Nicolas Cage, Joan Allen, Nick Cassavetes, Alessandro Nivola, and Gina Gershon. At area theaters. The title of John Woo's Face/Off is meant to be taken…
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Film,

From Hong Kong to Hollywood

It's late in the day on June 9, and I'm about to talk to John Woo about Face/Off, his new action film with John Travolta and Nicolas Cage. We are meeting at a sound facility in Los Angeles, where the…
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