In the two decades since launching his own production company, Milkyway Image, To (pronounced “Dough”) has directed 38 films — nearly two a year — a string of energetic, visually creative genre films, mostly the action flicks he is known for as well as romantic comedies, that feature strong characters and often eye-popping sequences.[...] unlike some of his Hong Kong brethren, he has fit seamlessly into the mainland Chinese system that dominates that region’s box office and is working at as high a level as ever.The 27-film lineup features 17 films directed by To and 10 films by other directors who have been among his primary influences.The series begins at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 20, with To’s favorite filmmaker, Akira Kurosawa, directing the 1949 cop film “Stray Dog,” followed at 8:45 p.m. by To’s exciting 2013 thriller “Drug War.”Like his spiritual mentors — Kurosawa, Jean-Pierre Melville, Francis Ford Coppola and even the Wachowski siblings, all represented in the series — To’s strength might be his memorable and believable characters.“The best movies have really memorable characters,” To told The Chronicle in 2004.Louis Koo is a drug lord turned who becomes a police informant after his arrest to avoid the death penalty.Best of all is a harbor scene in which an undercover cop gets an entire fishing fleet to set sail at once — no computer effects here! — an example of how To can rise to the challenge of any sequence.In “Running Out of Time” (8:30 p.m. Saturday, July 22), a cop played by Lau Ching-wan is led on the ultimate cat-and-mouse game by a dying criminal played by Andy Lau.“Where a Good Man Goes” (2:30 p.m. Sunday, July 23) is a remarkably tender story of a newly released ex-con (again, the great Lau Ching-wan) whose quest for revenge is sidetracked when he becomes involved with a single mother and her adorable son.The third movie from that year remains To’s masterpiece: “The Mission” (Aug. 5) is a wild ride about an oddball assortment of hired guns quickly slapped together to protect a mob boss targeted for assassination.Melville’s 1959 “Two Men in Manhattan” is followed by To’s 2009 film “Vengeance,” in which he bizarrely casts 66-year-old iconic French singer Johnny Hallyday as a former gangster turned restaurant owner who flies in from Paris and goes on a rampage in Hong Kong and Macao after his daughter’s family is murdered and his daughter (Sylvie Testud) is badly hurt.
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DOMESTIC LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY
2014 - 45 OWNERS LLC
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