Premium Rush (David Koepp, 2012). The title tells you pretty much everything you need to know. A balls-out Manhattan bike messenger needs to get an important message across town. Someone else wants the envelope, too. It’s like Run Lola Run, only stupid. The half of the movie devoted to speeding bicycles is a premium rush indeed. The other half, where lame attempts at character development are supposed to make us care about the people involved, just slows things up. The result is half a good movie. 6/10.
Green Snake (Tsui Hark, 1993). Fantasy based on a Chinese folk tale about two snakes who want to take human form in order to experience love. A top director and cast (headed by Maggie Cheung and Joey Wong) make the most of it, although as is usually the case with Tsui, it’s best not to worry about the plot unless you are steeping in Chinese history and legend (which I am not). Cheung plays the title character, and is much more impish than usual, which is fun, and there are some hot erotic fireworks throughout. If I was going to check out my first HK fantasy, I wouldn’t start here … Chinese Ghost Story is probably the best. If you’re looking for something by Tsui Hark, Peking Opera Blues is wonderful. But if you stumbled upon Green Snake in the right mood, you’d be glad you did. 7/10.