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殺手蝴蝶夢 (1989)
My Heart Is That Eternal Rose

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 02/15/2008
Summary: pretty, but a little vacant

Patrick Tam has directed rather few films, but he's often credited as one of the leading figures of the Hong Kong New Wave, and is known as the mentor and early sponsor of Wong Kar-Wai. MHITER doesn't really impress one as the work of a rare genius, despite some stylish cinematography and a generally effective evocation of a "noirish" mood. Technically the film is solid, but the acting varies from great (Ng Man-Tat) to OK (Bi and Wang) to really not so good (Liu and Leung, both overacting in ill-fitting roles). The main problem is that the film indulges too heavily in a very 80's style tragedy & doom - all the rage in the Heroic Bloodshed genre at the time of course, but perhaps too melodramatic here - hang on, I'm criticising a HK film for being too melodramatic... maybe I'm just getting old :-p

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: pjshimmer
Date: 06/19/2005
Summary: Great title (in English & in Chinese)

My Heart is That Eternal Rose (in Chinese: Butterfly Dream of the Assassin -- although the butterfly dream is probably an expression) has the coolest sounding title I know of. Unfortunately, even on my second viewing several years after the initial viewing, I don't care much for the movie. The acting is good, action is so-so, but the editing and pacing seem extremely unpolished, which is too bad because they cheapen the movie in my eyes, giving me the impression that the production was rushed. As always, Tony Leung stands out by far.

The photography gets mentioned quite a bit as a strength, but I find it nothing out of the ordinary compared to Doyle's later cinematographic contributions to Wong Kar Wai's films. This must be child's play for him.

The climax is the best part. I really got the vibe of the intensity, which got a good boost from the good guy's inability to get to safety even though all the circumstances are right. You can feel something was in the air.

And those who have not seen the film, I will leave you pondering who is the LAST MAN STANDING. Meh.


Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 02/05/2002
Summary: Not bad

It's hard for me to review this for two reasons. One is the fact that I haven't seen this for about 6 or so years and have not been able to track down the VCD. The other problem is that despite the good cast list, the interesting plot and over-all good feel about it, I do remember it drag a lot. If I can get it on VCD I will write a proper review, but before then, I will still say it is worth seeing, but be prepared to be a bit bored in all honesty.

Rating: 2.5/5

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: hellboy
Date: 08/29/2000

The last 10 minutes of this film will rivet you to your seat. A great although not entirely unexpected last reel. Good performances by all the main characters, especially Tony Leung CW. A noteable film also because Wong Kar-Wai collaborator Christopher Doyle was the cinematographer. 8.5/10

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: STSH
Date: 01/29/2000
Summary: Excellent and stylish

Very good on a number of fronts.
This is one film (and the only one I've seen !) where Joey Wong proves she really can act, and I cannot recall another film where she looks soooo gorgeous, except perhaps the cringing Reincarnation of Golden Lotus.
In fact, it'd be hard to pick the best performance. It was great to watch two old pros, Ng Man Tat and Kwan Hoi San, trying to out-act each other in their brief scene together.
And Michael Chan plays his godfather character as though he's a stick of dynamite, and you're never quite sure when he'll explode. A chilling performance.
Kenny Bee plays it mostly stiff-upper-lip and macho, but drops the guard at all the right times with Joey.
And Gordon Liu as the sleazy Liu, sporting a wig, is a scream !
Tony Leung's character comes in late and, for awhile, struggles to be relevant to the story, but redeems by the end.
Warning : you are likely to find the presence of two caracters named Cheung confusing ! All the more so because the story see-saws between information which indicates that Chueng (Tony Leung) is or is not related to Uncle Cheung (Kwan Hoi San). For instance, Lap once says to Cheung that "your grandmother is my grandmother". However, she does not mean it literally !
There is frequent use of slow-motion when something's about to happen. A simple device, but very effective.
This is an involving and stylish film A definite must-see.

Reviewer Score: 10

Reviewed by: leh
Date: 12/09/1999

Cool "heroic bloodshed" movie. A very romantic story, withTony Leung Chiu Wai playing the loyal friend of the movie's romatic couple. Not much gun-shooting action, but the plot is very good, and the cinematography interesting.