My Left Eye Sees Ghosts  (2002, 2002)

Mei Ah’s release.

I’ve reviewed a few Johnnie To movies.  This is the first of his romantic comedies I saw, and it’s also the first of his comedies I review.  This movie is completely infectious.  It starts out kind of silly, but at the end you’re completely caught up in the characters and their wishes.  One thing that I love about this movie is that it actually has an original plot!  Hollywood should take a hint from this movie and stop using the same old formula over and over again that has hardly changed since the 1940s (my ‘My Wife is 18’ review, here, has that formula, if you’re interested).  The movie has a girl get drunk, drive into a wall, wake up, realize that her left eye sees ghosts and be pestered by a ghost for a while.  There’s more to it than that, but that’s the basic set up.  Just remember, though, this is a Johnnie To movie (like ‘Exiled’ and ‘Throw Down’ and ‘Fulltime Killer’).  He’s done incredible work with the crime genre (see ‘PTU’ (here)), so it should be no surprise he’s done great work with his romantic comedies.

Sammi Cheng stars in this movie (she has a minor role in ‘Infernal Affairs’, here).  I’ve now seen a bunch of movies with her in them, but this was the first one.  I thought she was very adorable in the movie, and I subsequently fell in love with her upon seeing ‘Needing You’ (another Johnnie To romantic comedy).  She has a fairly demanding role, and that allows her to stretch her wings and show her talent.  She sings three songs in here, one of which is absolutely wonderful.  I don’t know the name but you hear the main theme of the song throughout the score, and I can’t get enough of that song.  I’ve heard it so many times, I’d be embarrased if someone actually asked me how many times I’ve heard it.  Enough of her before I embarrass myself.  Her co-star in this gem is Lau Ching-Wan (the ‘Running Out of Time’ movies, ‘Lifeline’, ‘Black Mask’).  He’s just as adorable as Miss Cheng.  I think he just has too much fun making movies.  He plays a fun character in here and I’d bet anything he had such a blast.

These two are joined by some other fine actors who’ve been in other Johnnie To movies: Simon Yam, Kelly Lin, Lam Suet (all of them have been in ‘Fulltime Killer’, here, and Lam Suet has also been in most of Mr. To’s post-1997 movies).  Those three have minor roles, but then all the actors whose names aren’t Sammi Cheng or Lau Ching Wan have minor roles in this movie.  All the supporting and minor roles offer up some colourful and quirky characters (another Johnnie To trademark for his romantic comedies), and the actors do very well bringing them to life.

This being a Johnnie To movie (well... it was co-directed with Wai Ka-Fai, just like ‘Running on Karma’, and ‘Mad Detective’ but still...), you have his typical touches: a nice score (although this one is more comedic), swooping crane shots, a light touch handling everything and this overriding something common to all Johnnie To movies.  I’ve tried describing this certain ‘something’ to no end and I’ve decided to give it up.  I’ll just say it’s wonderful and I can’t get enough of it.  Whatever it is, the comedy bits in this movie are handled very well, also.  The comedy is broad, and so anybody can get the jokes.

There’s just something about this movie.  It doesn’t try to make you cry.  The characters are just so adorable and the performances are just so perfect that you may just need a hanky even though you might not know it until you touch your cheek.  It’s just a very heartfelt and sincere movie.  It just wants to entertain and if you get something else out of it, then so much the better.  Wonderful romantic comedy that beats any romantic comedy Hollywood has offered up since its golden age.  Anybody that enjoys quirkiness with heart and laughter should enjoy this.  If your sense of wonder is still around, then there’s something in here for you.

Special Features
This is a 2-minute trailer.  It gives you a sense of what the movie is like but doesn’t give a sense of how great the movie is.

Some nice person has decided to put in subtitles for the interviews.  They have errors in them but I don’t care about that.  Just the fact that they are subtitled makes me thank Mei Ah.  There are three interviews, a 3-minute 43-second interview with Sammi Cheng, a 3 ½ minute interview with Lau Ching Wan and a 2 ½ minute with Lee Shan Shan, Cherrie In and Kelly Lin.  They seem to have been made as small promo spots.  The actors talk vaguely about their characters, and their impressions of the movie, with small stories from the set.  Small behind the scenes clips and outtakes are shown as well.  It’s slight but still nice.

Data Bank
Two things:
The overview found on the back of the DVD box is found here also.

Cast & Crew
Once again, only pictures of the main and supporting cast, and the names of the directors and writers are found here.  No biographies or filmographies.  Oh, well, it’s Mei Ah so I guess it’s to be expected.  Considering the subtitles in the interviews I’ll let this go for now.

Best Buy
You have three things here, only one of which is a real trailer.  The first is a minute-long plug for the ‘Anita Mui Fantasy Gig 2002’ DVD/VCD.  It’s a concert she did and she seemed to have pretty fun costumes.  The second is called ‘Feel 100% Character Profiles’ and lasts about 4 minutes and 11 seconds.  It’s just short clips from the television show (not the movies), with vital stats like name, age, favorite movie and singer and things like that.  It goes through all the main characters in the show that way.  The third is the only movie trailer and the trailer to the funny ‘Mighty Baby’, the sequel to the very funny ‘La Brassière’.  It lasts about 2 minutes and 41 seconds and is basically just a bunch of fooling around.  Gigi Leung, Lau Ching Wan, Louis Koo and Cecilia Cheung seemed to have had a lot of fun making this movie.

You have the definition to 3 terms: ‘Ghost Marriage’, ‘Mueng Por Soup’ and ‘Death Bridge’.  Nice feature to have.  You get a tiny glimpse of the Chinese culture in relation to their beliefs of death with this.  Not very long, but has a little bit of interesting information.

This is a very good audio track.  You can listen to it in DTS if you wish, but I’m guessing it wouldn’t add much.  All the dialogue is clear and audible.  The nice score is heard as well and is well balanced with everything else.  The sparse sound effects come out when they’re needed, also.

1.77:1 anamorphic widescreen.  Based on the other Johnnie To movie’s I’ve reviewed, I expected something spectacular and that’s what I got.  The only problem I saw were a few specks spaced throughout the movie.  Other than that, there’s nothing bad to be said about the print.  The colours are picture perfect, the separation is great, the black level is very strong and all the details come right through wonderfully.  Awesome picture.