Hong Kong

Cheh Chang – Mai ming xiao zi AKA The Magnificent Ruffians (1979)

A tale of lies and revenge. A local Kung fu master hopes to monopolise, but family in his way is protected by a great martial artist. The evil lord hires 4 local beggars all masters in their own arts (pole, swords, kicking, axe) and tells them lies about the young fighter to sour their feelings on him causing them to challenge him to a duel. But after countless fights between them they all realize that they are much better friends then enemies, until one of the fighters is sabotaged and kills the young fighter. Being mistakin for a killer the other 3 turn their backs on him and chase him off swearing revenge until they find out what the real story is. Amazing weopon work that only the venoms could show you. Another first class story line, hands down just another great venoms movie period. Read More »

Patrick Leung – Sip si 32 dou aka Beyond Hypothermia (1996)

Synopsis/Review:
In the ’80s and early ’90s, Hong Kong’s star-rich cinema was one of the most fascinating, fully evolved of national cinemas. Orgiastic violence and radical shifts from humor to romance to tragedy coexisted easily with themes of loyalty and humility in narratively rich films. Drawing equally from western and eastern models, these works spanned every genre, from classic ghost stories (Mr. Vampire) and historical epics (Once Upon a Time in China) to low-brow comedies (Wheels on Meals) and blood-drenched gangster movies (practically anything by Woo or Ringo Lam). Read More »

John Woo – Laat sau sen taan aka Hard-Boiled (1992)

Quote:
It is almost impossible to review Hard Boiled and at the same time avoid the bottomless anus-bowl of cliches that surround it. I’m sure it’s been described as “a high octane thrill ride”, and even on the box it says Hard Boiled is “an action fan’s dream”. This is all true, but plain and simple it is just a damn awesome movie. I am at a loss for bad things to say about it. Not many movies get me as pumped up as Hard Boiled does. It uses an arsenal of well executed techniques to draw the viewer into each and every action sequence. Read More »

John Woo – Die xue shuang xiong aka The Killer (1989)

Quote:
Though John Woo’s lifelong admiration of Sam Peckinpah, Sergio Leone, Martin Scorsese, and Stanley Kubrick are also evident in this stylish actioner, the film is essentially a tribute to Jean-Pierre Melville and his cult thriller Le Samourai. During a restaurant shootout, hitman Jeff (Chow Yun-Fat) accidentally hurts the eyes of a singer (Sally Yeh). Later he meets the girl and discovers that if she does not have a very expensive operation very soon, she will go blind. To get the money for the surgery, Jeff decides to perform one last hit. The cop (Danny Lee), who has been chasing Jeff for a long time, is determined to catch him this time. The film’s number of victims makes The Terminator or Rambo pale in comparison, but its brilliant visual style and bravura direction earned accolades even from non-action fans. Read More »

Shing Hon Lau – Yu huo fen qin Aka House of The Lute (1980)

Quote:
An adults-only entry to Hong Kong’s new-wave film movement, House of the Lute is elegant and engaging. The classy production is accompanied at all times by sounds of a lute – a dynamic instrument adding audio punctuation marks and exclamation points throughout the course of the story. A television set features prominently in the second half and adds interest. Aside from providing the advertising spiel for the famed Darkie toothpaste brand, the TV also brings additional issues to the screen. It appears no coincidence that a forced sex scene between Shek and a less-than-willing Mrs Lui plays against a news report of Hong Kong’s rising social ills, notably rape and murder. Later, a local farmer brushes aside books and smashes away antique pottery to better view the TV – akin to how Hong Kong has bulldozed heritage in its hurtling drive for urban modernity. House of the Lute lends itself well to retrospective viewing. Read More »

Man Kei Chin – Shou xing xin ren lei aka Naked Poison (2000)

Synopsis:
A lurid thriller that mixes the erotic with the fantastic, NAKED POISON is the story of Ah Man, a loner who has only one human friend, his coworker Ling, and who spends most of his time with his pet lizards and snakes. When Ah Man discovers how to harness his reptiles’ power to create serums that can…
A lurid thriller that mixes the erotic with the fantastic, NAKED POISON is the story of Ah Man, a loner who has only one human friend, his coworker Ling, and who spends most of his time with his pet lizards and snakes. When Ah Man discovers how to harness his reptiles’ power to create serums that can give him strange powers, Ah Man begins to grow obsessed. When his deranged obsession alerts Ling that something is wrong, she puts herself at risk to save him. Read More »

Allen Fong – Boon bin yen AKA Ah Ying (1983)

Summary
A young woman, Ah Ying, works at her family fish stand. Discontented with her home life and neglectful boyfriend, she joins an acting class run by a professor who, as it happens, is at work on the script of a film that is supposed to document the lives of ordinary people. A friendship blossoms between teacher and student, and he begins to delive into her life for inspiration. Read More »