Hard-Boiled (1992, John Woo)

Watched on beautiful 35mm at Plazadrome, antidote to the DCP Blues. The culmination of Woo’s HK career before he moved to Hollywood and had to make movies with Van Damme and Travolta and Lundgren for a decade. Chow Yun-fat’s first obstacle at the bird bar is machine-gunner Jun Kunimura (most recently seen as the filmmaker friend in Audition, but he’s in everything). His partner is killed, so Chow stays on the arms dealer case. The cops have got informant Little Ko, who cashes out after directing them to the illegal armory beneath a city hospital, and undercover agent Tony Leung, who teams up with Chow. Leung betrays Kwan Hoi-San (a ship captain in Project A) to get close to big boss Anthony Wong (the year before Heroic Trio). Wong’s lead muscle Mad Dog (played by one of the Five Deadly Venoms) fires more bullets and throws more grenades than anyone else here (or anywhere). Teresa Mo (who costarred with Sammo Hung a year earlier) attempts to save the babies while Wong plots to blow up the hospital (hospital bombings are in fashion these days).

Before this, also on 35mm, was In the Mouth of Madness. Given my particular tastes, it’s an even more perfect movie than Hard-Boiled, though it doesn’t feature anybody firing two guns whilst jumping through the air AND holding a baby. Movie connections: Freddy’s DeadStranger Than FictionThe Empty Man.