Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Leslie Cheung, Anita Yuen, Chin Man-Cheuk
Written by: Tsui Hark, Ng Man-Fai, and Cheng Chung-Tai
Directed by: Tsui Hark
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Language: Cantonese with English subtitles
Running Time: 100
Date: 01/28/1995
IMDB

The Chinese Feast (1995)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Food Fighting

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Picture the great and prolific Hong Kong filmmaker Tsui Hark -- who honed his razor-sharp, ultra-fluid style of filming fights on such classics as Peking Opera Blues and Once Upon a Time in China -- making a cooking film. Instead of simply chopping something, Tsui's master chefs whirl the food into the air, swish the blade at the speed of light and watch with confidence as the food lands on the plate, carefully arranged.

Tsui's The Chinese Feast, a much-needed hit for him in HK, has all of that and more. The legendary actor Leslie Cheung (A Better Tomorrow, A Chinese Ghost Story, Ashes of Time, etc.) stars as a Triad member who gets a job in a restaurant and falls for the owner's kooky pink-haired daughter. When the owner bets the restaurant in a high-stakes cooking contest, Cheung must track down an emotionally wrecked former chef to help ensure victory.

Without question, the cooking scenes are the highlight of the film, but Tsui's brilliant direction keeps the plot moving quickly and with warmth and humor. Too bad Tai Seng's DVD contains only the theatrical print subtitles -- miniscule and badly mangled.

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