China Girl - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

China Girl Reviews

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April 20, 2015
From the director of exploitation classics such as "The Driller Killer" and "Ms. 45" comes a heartfelt, explosive, and just plain excellent little gem that has been unfairly buried deep. The two leads (in their only lead roles to date) readily convince, as does the violence occurring between the rival gangs. (Whether there's real bad blood between NYC's Little Italy and Chinatown neighborhoods or not, this movie makes you believe so.) I cannot recommend this movie highly enough. Certainly one of the best contemporary adaptations of the "Romeo and Juliet" story (although it has more in common with "West Side Story.") This deserves a DVD release in the states and to be recognized as a great romantic drama and depiction of gangland violence. Bravo, Mr. Ferrara.
January 12, 2015
Good Story, poor acting
½ November 20, 2014
It's not perfect and it may not even be relevant anymore but it is a compelling glimpse back into New York in the late 80s. It has all of Ferrera's typical musical and visual flair and his usual bravado in spades. If the 2 leads had been stronger, this would have been a masterpiece.
August 7, 2014
Good ol skool romeo juliet type movie
March 14, 2014
(57%)
A strong entry in Ferrara's output, in this 1980's retelling of star crossed lovers. Richard Panebianco gives a great central performance, and the movie does wrap you up in its own world in which the mean streets of 80's New York city becomes a superb backdrop to the action.
May 3, 2013
Modern day Romeo & Juliet set against heated gangwar between Little Italy and Chinatown in NYC--a place clearly lacking any kind of police presence with store bombings, gang killings and machine gun rampages the norm. Pretty stylish direction from Abel Ferrera.
April 5, 2013
Pas désagréable. Pas agréable non plus. Pour les fans de Ferrara par ses débuts, uniquement. Seul intérêt : peut être vu avec Sélène dans les bras sans en altérer la piètre qualité.
October 27, 2012
Tragic story of interracial young love ended prematurely during a violent turf war between Chinatown and Little Italy. Police strictly enforce anti-loitering laws but are no where to be seen during street machine gun fights or store bombings.
January 25, 2012
Magari Ferrara ragionerà per stereotipi, ma "China Girl" è comunque un prodotto appetibile. Il soggetto parla di due fazioni di giovani molto conservatori, di un'età compresa tra i diciotto e i trent'anni, da una parte di Little Italy e dall'altra di China Town, i quali lottano violentemente per il predominio sulle strade in prossimità dei due quartieri. Due giovanissimi, una ragazza cinese e un teenager italiano, "trovano l'intesa" in un locale notturno e s'innamorano. Le due famiglie faranno di tutto per allontanarli, ma essi insistono, fino alla terribile conclusione della loro love-story.

Storia già sentita... con una sceneggiatura da serial televisivo... il regista prende il dramma eterno di Romeo e Giulietta e lo riproduce in un'ambientazione del tardo XX secolo... né più né meno. La caratteristica distintiva del buon Abel, però, non è mai stata quella di ''raccontare'' gli avvenimenti, bensì quella di saperli ''figurare'' decorosamente. "China Girl" infatti, sotto il punto di vista della rappresentazione, ne esce espressamente fascinoso. La fotografia post-noir nelle riprese dei vicoli oscuri e delle strade desolate, l'uso delle giacche nere dei membri delle gang e l'illuminazione dei clubs e delle abitazioni, dapprima biancastra, poi policromata, conferiscono un'immagine piacevolmente variopinta e quasi onirica alle location, in grado di cagionare perfettamente lo spirito di una magica New York degli anni ottanta. La scelta delle canzoni new-romantic e di una prestigiosa "Walk This Way" dei Run-Dmc non fa che accentuare il tono fantastico e sfumato della città che non dorme mai.

Il film, per l'approssimazione di una trama vacillante e dei personaggi poco tratteggiati, al momento dell'uscita non avrà certamente "fatto il botto". Oggi però è una pellicola indipendente dell'87 abbastanza interessante, soprattutto per le accattivanti tecniche registiche e il buon utilizzo della fotografia. La bozza del plot, in fin dei conti sommaria, non sembra certamente l'elemento più rilevante di questo lavoro di Abel Ferrara.
½ January 3, 2011
Abel Ferrara at his gritty best. This is straightforward Romeo & Juliet in NYC, caught in the middle of unstable conflict between Chinese and Italian gangs as Chinatown expands into previously Italian neighborhoods. Both boy and girl here have brothers who are among the younger generation of gangsters, frustrated with their elders, and who are torn between the desire to fight back, and the business orders to stop the bloodshed for the sake of money. Fantastically filmed, wonderfully constructed layered story of conflict between old and new, and between Chinese and Italian, with some of Ferrara's classic Catholic oddballs thrown in. This is classic gritty New York, and pure 1980s. It doesn't get much better than this!
May 12, 2010
Only thing it was missing was Eddie Van Halen's guitar solo. Just beat it...
½ December 28, 2009
Einer der gelungeneren Filme aus Ferraras Mainstreamphase in den 80er Jahren. Im Grunde inszeniert er hier "Romeo & Julia" als neonbunte Popoper, eine Art Update der "West Side Story" mit weniger Broadway und mehr hardboiled attitude. Gefiel mir besser als Walter Hills vergleichbarer STREETS OF FIRE, da hier zur stilisierten Oberfläche ein gewisser Resonanzraum, eine Fallhöhe hinzutritt.
July 16, 2009
Tragic story of interracial young love ended prematurely during a violent turf war between Chinatown and Little Italy. Police strictly enforce anti-loitering laws but are no where to be seen during street machine gun fights or store bombings.
July 9, 2009
ini film g nonton jaman sma dl,sangat berkesan.sampai skr masih suka.
April 22, 2009
Abel Ferrara's little masterpiece.
Super Reviewer
½ April 9, 2009
Chinese gangs vs. Italian gangs in NYC in 1987. Tony (Richard Panebianco) and Tye (Sari Chang) meet and fall in love. Meanwhile Tye's brother hates all Italians and Tony's friends hate Chinese.

If you've seen "West Side Story" you know how this ends--but a bit more tragically in this movie. Plotwise it's very obvious but it's beautifully done. Filmed with energy, beautifully atmospheric (the sets and lighting are incredible), and full of bursts of ultraviolence. Most of the roles are well acted, especially by James Russo, David Caruso (chewing the scenery) and Russell Wong. As the young lovers Panebianco and Chang are, unfortunately, not that good. In a way it's understandable--he was only 16 when this was made and it's the first role for both. They're both very attractive (Panebianco is pretty buff with a baby face; Chang is delicate and beautiful) but have little to do other than kiss and act like they love each other. That isn't believable either since they have zero sexual chemistry. Still, they are sympathetic characters. Also, in a nice touch, Panebianco shows more skin than Chang in their sex scene.

This is really obscure and it doesn't deserve it. It had nearly no release in 1987 (there were no stars to sell it) and was never a big hit on cable or video. Also Chang never made another movie and Panebianco disappeared after making a few more films (Whatever happened to him? He showed a lot of promise.). That's too bad--this deserves a bigger audience. Worth watching on cable or renting.
½ September 14, 2008
A very cool Romeo and Juliet set between Italian and Chinese gangs in New York. Solid performances by the cast and action packed sequences make this film worth a watch!
½ September 8, 2008
A gritty interpretation of Romeo & Juliet as only Abel can do. The problem now is that it really is a film of its time and comes across really dated.
August 3, 2008
Its a strong love story set in Canal Street. I love watching anything with old New York shots. Strong performances from James Russo (An Extremely talented actor, who never was given a chance to be a star.) and a young David Caruso. Sari Chang needed a few more acting classes.
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