You are currently displaying English
友情歲月山雞故事 (2000)
Those Were the Days


Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 06/26/2007
Summary: my friend, i thought they'd never end...

after stepping up and directing the 'young and dangerous' spin-off 'portland street blues' and, in the process, creating one of the best films in the series, raymond yip takes on the story of chicken. or, should that be cock?

the story tells of the romance between chick / cock / chicken (jordan chan) and gigi (gigi leung), a girl who lived opposite him as a child; although the romance was ill-fated, as gigi hated triads and chicken, as we all know by now, is a rascal. the story flits around, telling about chicken's rise through the ranks of hung hing, whilst always keeping an eye on gigi and never quite managing to commit to each other...

i can only describe this film as a big fat faliure. it really does seem as if a script that told the love story between a triad and a good girl was moulded to fit loosely in with the mythology of the 'young and dangerous' series. loosely is an understatement: apart from a few characters, who don't really resemble their prior incarnations, and a few split-second cameos, there is no continuity at all with the series. particularly irksome is the fact that chicken has been made into a dull character and that sister thirteen (sandra ng) marrys ben (vincent wan).

a real shame...


Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 09/27/2005

This installment is another prequel, this time concentrating on Chicken (who, for some reason is called Cock in this movie). Growing up in the projects, he falls in love with a girl named Gee (Gigi Leung), but she doesn't like his Triad lifestyle. They eventually come together after the death of Gee's mother (who Chicken respects as his own mother, so now his surrogate family is complete), but Chicken has to go on the run after killing a rival boss. Months later, they get back together and plan to get married but once again "the life" interferes with Chicken's plans and it seems like he and Gee will never get together, until almost ten years later when he meets up with her at Sister Thirteen's (Sandra Ng) wedding.

The movie isn't as violent as most of the others in the series -- in fact, there's kind of a "warm and fuzzy" feeling running through it. It would quickly turn into romantic mush if it wasn't for the good performances of Jordan Chan and Gigi Leung. This is still pretty lightweight stuff, but it's enjoyable, and it does flesh out the character of Chicken a bit more. On its' own, Those Were the Days isn't a great movie -- honestly, this "Triad and good girl" romance thing has been done to death. But as part of the series, I'll be a bit forgiving and say that it's a pretty good film, even though the script doesn't exactly fit in with the previous entries (it has Ho Nam joining the Triad first, whereas Young and Dangeorus: The Prequel had Chicken being the first of the group to join).

[review from www.hkfilm.net]


Reviewed by: edge_hardy2000
Date: 03/06/2003
Summary: this movie is strange

when i just got young and dangerous 2,4,5 and born to be king for dvd

this movie is nothing compared to the oringals

like what happens to chickens girlfriend(who plays karen mok)in this one and how on earth did this movie so mixed up


Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 11/17/2002
Summary: Yikes!!

Because the fellow reviewers said that this is good and i am not a fan of Y & D i thought what the heck!! And just like Portland street blues i was disappointed!! I guess the hype did not live up to my expectations!! I knew what was going to happen and Jordan chan plays chicken very well but always knew what was going to happen in the end.

What can i say it was average at best!!

5/10


Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 06/03/2002
Summary: Not bad

Another film in the over-tiring Y&D related films, and again it’s the same old concept of young men glorifying triad lifestyles. However, this film concentrated more on romance and remorse for what the main character does, and is not as out going as he may try to look, mainly due to the love of a girl he has known all his life. Although some of the loyalty and early friendships in the film did look believable, it doesn’t last though out, and the film steadily drops in good qualities as it draws closer to the end.

The acting side of things shows one of Jordan Chans better performances, and as usual Gigi Leung acts well. Some of the comedy added to the film makes it refreshing at times, and helps the film from becoming a bore.

Certainly nothing special in comparison to a lot of HK films of this type, but definitely not bad one.

[3/5]


Reviewed by: Fatty
Date: 08/01/2001
Summary: One of the two Y & D films I've seen

I haven't really seen any of the Young and Dangerous movies, just two of the three (Possibly 4 cause of City of Desire or sometin) Those Were the Days and BTBK.

This spin off just deals with the past of Cock/Chicken, of how he has the hots for a girl and how he burned Tim's Newspaper stand(funny scene)Plus running off to Taiwan and does other cewl shiat along the way.

Now as I've said before I haven't seen all 3,567 Young and Dangerous movies. So I'll try my best with this here.

I thought the film was good, you got a good darky Triad story involving Chicken and his past, it helps me alot to learn his past since I haven't seen the rest of the series but the movie does it quite well, you get some fights and you see Jordan have sex with that Taiwanese girl while thinking of Gigi's character. But it was all good, I was really enjoying myself watching this.

I really did enjoy Jordan Chan's work here as Chicken/Cock(I'll just call him Chicken :) ) is really impressive and you know he has this Chicken guy down big time so it must've been easy for him to play this part, the rest of his buds are in this sucker aswell, Micheal Tse, Jerry Lamb and the other guy(forgot his name, so I'm now sinned)all of them did quite well in my opinion, just wish Shu Qi was in it for some eye candy and all we get is that Taiwanese girl and Gigi Leung.
I thought Gigi did a ok job, she hangs out with Chicken for half of her younger years and goes out to marry someone else while Chicken was away...argh! Oh well it was kinda sad when she got shot and Chicken kept on rambing on about names for their kid

Plus you get some cameo's of good'ol Anthony Wong, Sandra Ng, Ekin Cheng and Kristy Yeung I believe aswell (who is Canadian, woohoo!!!!) they are only in it for certain parts, but it was good to see some of the characters from the series :).

in all, a very good spin off to the Young and dangerous series, I haven't seen the other two spin offs but hopefully I can soon. The only one I've seen that is not a spin off is BTBK which I will review soon.

6.8/10 (Jeez, I gotta start reviewing movies that I thought sucked...this ain't gonna be pretty...)

This so called review for a movie has been brought to you by Fatty



Reviewed by: David Harris
Date: 04/18/2001

An interesting fact about the title of this film is that there have been five Hong Kong films in the last six years that have been given the English title "Those Were The Days" (this being the fifth) but what's more interesting is that the star of this film Jordan "Chicken" Chan actually appeared in one of the others - if there is ever a "Book of Surreal Facts" made he deserves an inclusion for being in two films with the same title.

"Those Were The Days" (the 2000 version) is by design waist high in "Young And Dangerous" territory but there's more romance in this film than in all those films put together but that's not to say that this is heavy on romance it's just that the Y&D films steered entirely clear of the subject (well almost anyway). The film features five Y&D vets - Jordan Chan, Jerry Lamb and in a cameo role Ekin Cheng, Anthony Wong & Sandra Ng (I feel sure that there are more lurking within the supporting cast). To makes things even more confusing the female lead is played by Gigi Leung (Ekin Cheng's real life girlfriend).

Like I've said it is in many ways very reminiscent of the "Young And Dangerous" films but it tells its story in a straighter less obviously comic book fashion. I don't wish that to sound like I don't like those films because I love them and triad films in general as regular readers of this column will testify. Director Yip Wai Man (Chow Sing Chi's "The Sixty Million Dollar Man") earned his gangster credentials directing Sandra Ng (Sister Thirteen) in 1998's "Portland Street Blues" so he has no problems getting to grips with the subject matter. In fact Wai Man manages to make the tower blocks of Hong Kong look almost photogenic which no disrespect intended is quite a tough job.

The story concerns the on-off-on-off love story between Cock (Jordan Chan) and Gee (Gigi Leung) but also relates the tale of four young boys as they grow up - Cock, Tim, Prepuce & Wrinkles - and fall into the triad lifestyle. Liberal use is made of flashbacks but they do not seem inappropriate and those featuring the guys as youngsters are actually very effective and help set the scene for the story that follows. Jordan Chan is always good value for money, Gigi Leung is as cute as always and Jerry Lamb is Jerry Lamb which is to say that he gives his usual efficient performance.

There will be better films this year but as a little bit of a spin on the traditional gangster movie it is more than OK. There is some wonderful evocative imagery courtesy of the director and most if not all of the performances are at least good but the drawback is that with there having been six previous "Young And Dangerous" films (seven if you include the newly released "Born To Be King" aka "Young And Dangerous 6") and countless imitators familiarity is bound to breed boredom (contempt is too strong a word) in places.


Reviewed by: AV1979
Date: 01/08/2001
Summary: Another Spinoff to a Popular Series

Well, I recently became a fan of the Young and Dangerous films, which starred Ekin Cheng and Jordan Chan. This 2000 spinoff supposedly shows a past relationship between Jordan Chan's Chicken (called Cock) and his childhood friend Gee (Gigi Leung).

Returning are Michael Tse (Dai Tin-Yee (Tim)), Jason Chu (as Chou-pan (Wrinkles)), and Jerry Lamb (Pou-pan (Prepuce)). Making a surprise cameo appearance is Ekin Cheng as Chan Ho-Nam.

Anyway, the film starts off with the narrator of Ho, Gee's sister, currently working in a nightclub in Macau. Cock courts Ho's girlfriend and Ho is enraged. When Ho is about to be punished by owner Ben Hon, Ho confesses to Cock that he is Ho.

The two soon get reacquainted and thus, begins a series of flashbacks, from the first day Cock met Gee (who gave him the nickname) through the end of their friendship because of Cock's involvement in the Hung Hing Society to their ruined wedding day when Cock went for a fight.

The story is not as convincing as Y&D 2, where the relationship between Chicken and Ting Yiu led to betrayal and deceivement. Although they tried with this spinoff, it may as well have been called "Young & Dangerous 7".

I thought they could've done a better job with this spinoff. In terms of spinoff, I thought "Portland Street Blues" was a bit better than this one, but I give the filmmakers credit as they seemed to have tried.


Reviewed by: Paul Fonoroff
Date: 11/23/2000

The youthful hoodlums of Young and Dangerous are at in again for the eighth time since their 1996 debut, and it’s definitely a case of diminishing returns. Manfred Wong, the producer/scriptwriter behind the series, has already racked up five Young and Dangerous movies and another two semi-sequels which highlight subsidiary characters (Portland Street Blues) or provide background information (Young and Dangerous: The Prequel). Those Were the Days falls into the latter camp, focussing on the gang member named Chicken (played by Jordan Chan Siu-chun) and showing us just what he was up to in his formative years and how it helped mold what he is today. It’s a strictly “by the numbers” sketch, revealing less insight than marketing savvy.

Directed by Yip Wai-man, who also helmed Portland Street Blues, the picture is a competent if uninspiring series of flashbacks detailing Chicken’s bonds to Gigi (Gigi Leung Wing-kay), the true love of his life. There is the by-now cliched rendering of the housing estates, where living conditions are so cramped and ugly they cannot help but breed rascals and ruffians such as Chicken and chums Pao Pei (which literally means “foreskin”, played by Jerry Lam Hiu-fung), Cho Pei (Jason Chu Wing-tong), and Tai Tin Yi (Michael Tse Tin-wah). However, beauty sometimes emerges from this environment, as evidenced by the presence of Gigi. The movie is related by Gigi’s younger brother Wing-ho (Li Wing-ho), who is now a 19-year-old busboy at a Macao casino. It is there that he comes across his sister’s one-time fiancé Chicken, and recounts what happened in the years following the family’s move from Macao to the Hong Kong housing estate years earlier.

The trials and tribulations of the Gigi-Chicken relationship are full of drama but little insight or logic. An interesting twist has Gigi entering the Miss Hong Kong pageant in 1992, only to be hounded by the tabloid press when her past as a nightclub hostess comes to light. Inexplicably, her flashy engagement to triad member Chicken is totally ignored by the same paparazzi. The scriptwriter is able to turn Gigi’s notoriety on and off like a light switch when it suits his dramatic sensibility, to the detriment of the movie’s credibility.

The movie has some unexpectedly touching instances, particularly between Chicken and a Taiwanese girl (Chen Boyu) with whom he has a two-month fling while hiding from the cops. The film’s most masterful shot takes place during a phone conversation Chicken places to Gigi after he thinks his new girlfriend has fallen asleep. The camera pulls back to reveal the Taiwanese girl, awake and listening, as she realizes the man she loves is in love with somebody else. The moment is understated and quietly effective in a way that most of the picture is not.

Gigi’s strong-willed and loving mother (a solid performance by Lily Lee) is also well delineated, and one understands why the daughter emerges from the housing estates with such a strong sense of values. Unfortunately, what unfolds in Those Were the Days does not jibe with these sterling portraits. The mother’s unwavering principles make her deathbed approval of Chicken as her daughter’s lifetime companion extremely implausible. Nor does it make sense that a well-grounded young lady like Gigi would eventually settle for the wife-battering gangster she marries (Shek Sau) or her multiple engagements to Chicken. Maybe it could happen, but the filmmakers do not make it seem likely.

What is remarkable about Those Were the Days is its up-to-the-moment quality, with references about everything from post-Handover Macau to last month’s tomdotcom. Cameos by such Young and Dangerous stalwarts as Sister Thirteen (Sandra Ng Kwun-yu), Chan Ho-nam (Ekin Cheng Yi-kin), May (Kristy Yeung Kung-yu), Hon Bun (Wan Yeung-ming), and others are extremely forced but fun. But it still isn’t enough to mask the fact that the series is running out of steam and that after eight installments in four years, the characters are no longer so young and the only danger is dwindling audiences.

This review is copyright (c) 2000 by Paul Fonoroff. All rights reserved. No part of the review may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


Reviewed by: lordmanji
Date: 11/22/2000
Summary: Entertainment w/ Depth

Those Were The Days.

Simplistic in appearance, but with much depth underneath the superficial surface. What is produced is pure entertainment with some depth.

TWTD is a spinoff of the Young and Dangerous series, detailing the life And love of San Gai, otherwise known as Cock (or Chicken). It is a coming of age story and hopes to flesh out Chicken's character, going back into his past to give light on what made him become the man he is today. And much of who he was is due to his growing up experience.

The reason he became a goo wak jai is explained in his poverty-level upbringing and his residence, as he lived in a poor area, the cops labeled him as a rascal, and as he was poor and also bullied by others, to become a rascal as he explained it was the only way to protect himself.

But the story also explors another side, the softer side of San Gai in his relationship with Gee, the crush next door. Develooping from childhood, their love is true and pure but repeatedly interrupted by his choice; his life as a goo wak jai.

A main conflict in the story is which path Chicken should take: the love of Gee, or to become a self-made man. However, Chicken ultimately chooses both and the ending is a result of that choice.

That is actually how deep the TWTD is. Now for the surface, the acting all fits in very nicely, and key moments are enhanced by the stellar soundtrack done by Jordan Chan (san gai). Although some scenes are overly corny, and towards the end it verges on unbelievability, the coherence of the plot remains consistent throughout and Chicken's character is brought into a whole new light, one in which we feel for him beyond a rascal, but as a person in love as well.

In conclusion, the best Hk flick I've seen and i've obtained a new appreciaton for San Gai.


Reviewed by: MilesC
Date: 08/26/2000
Summary: Manipulative garbage.

Predictable, trite, simplistic, shallow, unbelievable... I've certainly seen more inept, amateurish films from Hong Kong, but this is one of the more bland, manipulative ones I've run across recently. OF COURSE any other man Gigi is involved with is a jerk. OF COURSE men and women will naturally fall for each other if left together long enough. OF COURSE sappy music will increase a scene's emotional impact. OF COURSE BOB is more interested in working in their routine cameos than making any of the events believable. This is a boring, unbelievable and uninvolving story told in an unfocused
and bland fashion. For Y&D completists only. BoB's new CG logo, on the other hand, is pretty slick.


Reviewed by: Chuma
Date: 07/12/2000
Summary: A coming of age and love story with a difference.

After trying to stop his girlfriend being a hostess at a nightclub where he is working, and being beaten for it, a man recognises a childhood acquaintance called Cock, who stops him from being beaten up. As thanks for this, the man remenices with him about a love story that happened seven years earlier with his sister, Gee, when he was 12 and Cock and
his friends where 17.

Gee, her brother and their mother, Sister Chin, move into a high rise estate and the youngest boy meets Cock and his two friends, who are roped into carrying the families possesions up to their flat when Cock falls in love with Gee, who nicknames him Chick after seeing the
chick he is carrying.

Later, Gee calls Cock out as they live opposite and they go into the stairwell to talk where Gee makes friends with him. Later, on the roof of the estate, Gee shows her affection for him by biting him on the shoulder 'I bite you when I'm happy, I bite you
when I'm sad'. In a later incident when Gee is bullied by the boy at the newspaper stand called Tim (I'm not making this up), Cock saves her then sets the boy's stand on fire, for which he is punished and Tim ends up joining Cock and his friends as 'Four Men in a Boat'.

A few years later, when Cock and his friends are teenagers and become the 'ratbags' of the estate, he is still in love with Gee, but it now hurts more when she shows her affection for him (you see his toes clench with pain). What follows is not the usual love, story but
is different from what you would usually expect from this type of movie.

I also liked this movie (thanks to Tom for not telling me everything that happened, even though he saw it last week), it wasn't sickly-sweet as most romantic movies are and was different
enough from the first movie I saw to stand out on it's own.

Rating : Nine bites on the shoulder (9/10)


Reviewed by: ryan
Date: 04/05/2000
Summary: Another Typical Y&D Film ....

If we have to put up a milestone to represent Hong Kong Cinema in the late 90s, then the "Young and Dangerous" films are very strong candidates. In addition to the series of 5 movies and a prequel, there are also movies derived from the series. Previously, we have "Portland Street Blues" for Miss Thirteen (Sandra Ng), now we have another movie based on Cock --"Those Were The Days", directed by the same director as "Portland Street Blues" --YIP Wai-man.

Cock heads to Macau to have fun with his gang and bumps into Wing-ho, the younger brother of Gee, the cute neighbour from his childhood who he still holds a torch for. While still young, Boss Bee had recruited Cock and his fellow gang members: Tim, Winkles and Propuce. So while Cock and Gee became great friends, they never dated because she hated triad members.

One night, Boss Bee takes Cock and his gang to a nightclub to meet Fook only to discover that Gee works there as a prostitute to pay her mother's medical expenses. Cock rescues Gee and her mother asks him to take care of her. Fook wants revenge and lays a trap for Cock.

"Young and Dangerous" has been a popular series of films in Hong Kong. Audiences are now too familiar with the characters and it is necessary to find new faces and new angles for the stories. "Those Were the Days" gives us another angle by telling us the story of the romance between Cock and Gee. However, the description of their relationship isn't as deep as it needed to be. The set up for Gee biting people when she feels extremely happy and unhappy is not strong enough to form a remarkable aspect of their love story. There is also not enough description to let audiences know how important Cock rates Gigi. This results in a lack of tension when Cock has to face the choice between his triad head Bee and Gee.

The love between Cock and a Taiwanese Girl in the movie looks more interesting. The shots are not very complicated, just watching how they sell fish to hawkers helps to relax you after numerous scenes of fighting in public housing. The leaving of Cock from Lamma Island is brief but effective.

The remainder of the story is pretty typical. Audiences will expect to see how Cock, Tim, Winkles and Propuce becomes good friends under Boss Bee. They also expect to see someone betrayed. This time the target is Fook and Chris CHONG. Fook hates Cock for taking Gee from him. However, due to the lack of depth in the love story between Cock and Gee, there is not enough tension set between them to build their hatred of each other. There should be some more on-screen evidence to convince any viewers why they hate each other.

SHEK Sau plays Chris CHONG very well. He is a kind of good looking bastard with the surface look of a gentleman but a devils heart. The movie would be much more interesting by having more of Chris CHONG in it. What is there is good but it is too little.

In short, "Those Were the Days" tries to show the romantic side of Cock but the script is not detailed enough to convincingly show the love between Cock and Gee. The script is better when dealing with the relationship between Cock and the Taiwanese girl.

The rest of the cast do what you expect them to do.

Written by Ryan Law, from Hong Kong Movie DataBase, on 5 April, 2000.