Shortcuts to better movie recommendations

1 minute read

I’m sure this isn’t a new way of find new and interesting movies to watch but I thought I’d share it anyway. You probably do this every time you watch an awards ceremony.

I enjoy a good Kung Fu movie but was struggling to find something interesting that I hadn’t seen before. Trawling through the recommendations from IMDB wasn’t getting me anywhere useful so I thought I’d try something different.

Looking at the things I enjoyed most about these movies there were some common themes:

  • I like the action to be believable (not necessarily realistic), there’s nothing worse than watching the fights scenes and knowing they’re throwing punches that a miles off, or you can see what they’re doing.

  • I like Hong Kong cinema, generally the writing is better, I am trying to learn Cantonese by osmosis, Dim gai, you ask? I like the tones and the songs.

So that lead me to the Honk Kong Film Award for the Best Action Choreography, this has lead me to a load of films I’d never have heard about otherwise. I think this due to a combination of factors including some films never being released in the UK so they’re equivalent of direct-to-video movies, some just were that good plot wise and a lot don’t have english translations.

To test this is a good way of picking I’ve already watched the following movies that won it and a lot of those nominated.

  • The Prodigal Son (1981)
  • Police Story (1986)
  • Police Story 2 (1989)
  • The Swordsman (1991)
  • Once Upon a Time in China (1992)
  • Once Upon a Time in China II (1993)
  • Fong Sai-yuk (1994)
  • Drunken Master II (1995)
  • Rumble in the Bronx (1996)
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2001)
  • Hero (2003)
  • Kung Fu Hustle (2005)
  • Fearless (2007)
  • Ip Man (2009)
  • Ip Man 2 (2011)
  • The Grandmaster (2011)

The awards have been going 34 years and I’ve watched 16 of the movies that won so that gives me at least 16 movies to look into and around another 136 nominees. I’m hopeful I’ll unearth some gems I would never have found otherwise. Try it yourself when you’re looking for more films in a particular genre, find what you enjoy the most and see if you can find more.

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