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麻麻帆帆 (1996)
The Age of Miracles

Reviewed by: allan
Date: 12/21/1999

This is one wonderful film. Touching, sincere and not Spielbergian mawkish. Anita Yuen took on an awfully big role and while I don't think she nailed it 100%, I'm amazed that she did as much with it as she did (especially at her very tender age). Here's a film that's truly universal in it's themes and deserves to have a *much* bigger exposure.

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: hktopten
Date: 12/21/1999

uh, this was a Peter Chan Ho San film? Sure, all the heart and soul trademark of an UFO film is there, but where is the spirit? Like a lot of HK films of late (for example, UFO's last effort Heaven Can't Wait), this has so many subplots in this film that would have made this film much better if the filmmakers just decided to let them run. Instead, we got a halfhearted effort in all of the stories in the entire film. Anita Yuen's acting is passable as the Grandmother, but her makeup wasn't. Alan Tam is flawless as the son who has to carry the weight of the entire family on his back (Fan Club Rules, can't write a bad thing about him), and Jordan Chan continued to muddle through as the slacker third son (apparently still clueless from Heaven Can't Wait). Roy Chiao just can do no wrong all year as the angel, and Teresa Decaprio stole the show from everybody just by merely appearing in the film. Like Fan in the film, UFO may be carrying too much weight their backs before they all lose it. May be there is just too much expectation out of UFO, maybe it is because this film is so rushed, or maybe it is because the film kept on being pushed back on the release date, but this film isn't that great. It is good, but not great; better than Heaven Can't Wait, but no way can be listed on the list of UFO classics like Tom, Dick, and Hairy, He Ain't Heavy, He's My Father, or to a lesser extent, He is a Woman, She is a Man. On the other hand, out of the four films that was dealing with the subject of death at the time period (Full Throttle, Somebody Up There Likes Me, and What a Wonderful World), the film tops them all (beating What a Wonderful World by a nose). Of course, I am talking about entertainment value. A passable film.

Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

Anita Yuen plays psychic widower Mei Fan who exchanged ten years ofher life to save her second son. She won't hear of separating from him for the next thirty years. When Mei turned 68 years old, the "higher powers" mean to have her fulfilling her end of bargain. Mei's son meanwhile has decided that piety has limits and is opting out by migrating. In either case, it seems that this would be Mei's last Chinese New Year celebration. Yuen's old lady make-up was overhyped before screening (it isn't very convincing). Yuen is better in scenes where she plays the middle-age Mei Fan without the benefit of special make-up. The computer effects in this film ranges from pretty good to quite distracting. This film itself is somewhat uneven, with a lot of messages and typical UFO humour to make it go down easier. There is also more thought into this production than the average HK film (I noted the detail design for the flat set; how Anita Yuen put on a Tai Shan accent in the film; likewise many of the old people "lapse" into their native dialect from time to time.) For a HK family movie, the running time is a bit longer than the norm, but it gets more evocative and involving as the film progresses.


[Reviewed by Christopher Fu]

Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

As you might have guess, THE AGE OF MIRACLES is a nice little Hong Kong film a-la Frank Capra. But I must warn you right away, the only way you will be able to enjoy this movie is if you can overlook Anita Yuen's bad looking old age makeup. I must tell you that it was a real turn off for me and because of that I couldn't enjoy the first half of the movie at his fullest. But after a while I made a deliberate effort to give less importance to this detail so that I could enjoy the film for what it was. There is some very touching moments in this flick which deal with something that everyone can relate to; the fear of dying, the fear of living this world without having had the opportunity to enjoy it to his maximum, the fear of leaving this world without having had the time to tell our loved ones who much we cared for them. All cast members are giving good performances although Anita Yuen acting is very uneven. She isn't very convincing as a granny (the makeup didn't help neither..) but she is excellent as a mother in her forty . Also good was veterant actor Roy Chiao who shine as the mysterious (and most of the time non-speaking) Mr. Death. Beside the makeup the only other thing that I had some occasional problems with was the insisting attempt to make this film a "family picture", filled with cute humour and magic. Sometimes it worked but at other times it make me grind one's teeth. But beside that I had a good time. To be quite honest, I almost shed a tears at some occasion. It's not as great as everybody says but it worth to be seen.

[Reviewed by Martin Sauvageau]