Dear Gossips,

I spent a few hours last night trying to decide about my favourite John Woo movie. And I’m still trying. A Better Tomorrow is probably the sentimental choice. It came first. And it forever established Chow Yun Fat as “Mark Gor” in Chinese pop culture. “Gor” means “big brother” and everybody either wanted to be “Mark Gor” or have a “Mark Gor” in their lives. This was my parents’ favourite film for a long time. Leslie Cheung sang the theme song and every Chinese person will tell you that all of their relatives sang that theme song at karaoke for probably the next 20 years. I played the song last night for the first time in a decade, or more, and I still know all the words. 

But I do love Once A Thief. My beloved Leslie Cheung was the most beautiful he’s ever been in Once A Thief. Looking back, Once A Thief, for me, is like Ferris Bueller and Ocean’s Eleven all at the same time. Then again… there’s Hard Boiled, probably the angstiest of all John Woo movies and the hospital shoot-up scene still holds up. Tony Leung’s performance in Hard Boiled was the precursor to his performance in Infernal Affairs and that film, as you know, led to The Departed. Remember that the next time you watch Leonardo DiCaprio in that role. 

Maybe none of this means much to you but these movies are considered masterpieces of Hong Kong cinema all starring one of our cinematic legends. And John Woo is remaking one of his own masterpieces for Hollywood – The Killer. This time starring Lupita Nyong’o. In the title role. Lupita and Chow Yun Fat. Omg will Chow Yun Fat make a cameo?

SO good, right? There is NOTHING to complain about here. At all. 

The storyline sounds pretty much the same. Lupita will be an assassin who accidently blinds an innocent woman on a job and dedicates herself to protecting her. There’s a cop in the original who’s also looking out for the blind woman and, well, eventually The Killer and the cop team up. (Sort of like Tequila Sunrise – they came out around the same time – but without the hot sex.) I’m curious now if they’ll keep that part of the story. And if they do, it will be amazing if the cop is also a woman. I nominate Lucy Liu. 

Since it’ll be a while though before we get this in theatres, it’s a great time to revisit John Woo’s work or check it out for the first time if you haven’t already. You know what I really, really want to do though? 

I wish someone would hire me to rewrite the subtitles for the films I’ve just mentioned but in current vernacular. The subtitles from back in the day are janky and non-Chinese speakers would enjoy it so much more if they were reading dialogue that actually complimented the action. Who do I see about that job? 

Yours in gossip,