Hong Kong

Han Hsiang Li – Qing guo qing cheng AKA The Empress Dowager (1975)

Synopsis:
This dragon lady of the Ching Dynasty was the power behind the throne for 50 years, and hew vast tapestry of palace intrigues is vividly brought to the screen in this memorable epic. Read More »

Shan Hua – Feng shen jie AKA Usurpers of Emperor’s Power (1983)

Usurpers Of Emperor’s Power has all the elements of a good martial arts film: a power struggle amongst royalty, imperial spies, jianghu wars – and plenty of action. Liu Yung (who would go on to star in all of Bruce Lee’s movies) plays Li Lang, a court official out to avenge his former emperor. The target is easy to hate: the power-hungry Kuang-yi (Chao Kuo) is a plundering rapist and a cold-blooded murderer. But can one man take on the imperial army? Read More »

Nai-Hoi Yau – Gun chung AKA Eye in the Sky (2007)

Plot summary: (from Variety.com)
A Hong Kong police surveillance unit finds itself caught up in the rough-and-tumble of underworld violence in smart action-thriller “Eye in the Sky,” helming debut of longtime Johnnie To scripter Yau Nai-hoi. Well-received at its world preem in Berlin’s Forum, and stuffed with To regulars on both sides of the camera, this looks to have a similar fest and distribution arc to the best of To’s own signed movies, and will be welcomed by the same aficionados. Read More »

Kai-Ming Lai – Chik juk ging wan AKA The Peeping Tom (1997)

Roy Chen Chih-Lai is a sick rapist/serial killer with a leg fetish, and cuts off his victims’ legs as trophies after he’s through with them. One day at a bank robbery shootout, he catches police woman Cheng Hsuen on camera, and chooses her to be his next victim. He begins to stalk her and enter her personal life, even waiting for her inside her home. He notices her sister, Kelly, as well (who is also a cop), and her boyfriend, Ken. After he kidnaps and rapes Kelly, Cheng decides to lure the madman by using herself as bait, and bring justice to the situation. Read More »

Gwok-Ming Cheung – Bian yuen ren aka Man on the Brink (1981)

Quote:
Writing, directing and photographing Man On The Brink, Cheung can’t possibly have been the first kid on the block to attempt this story that later cropped up to great effect in City On Fire. But watching Chiu’s descent shaped by the seedy world around him is quite engaging, much more so during the latter stages of the film when Cheung easily plants that sinking feeling in viewer’s stomachs. Meaning that the proceedings are heading towards a sad end statement as Cheung takes us on a continuation of the social commentary from his debut. Read More »

Herman Yau – Di shi pan guan aka Taxi Hunter (1993)

Mild mannered businessman Anthony Wongs life is shattered when his pregnant wife is run over by a busy taxi driver. This and another incident with a sleazy cab driver causes Wong to go on a mission to kill bad taxi drivers. Read More »

Gwok-Ming Cheung – Dian zhi bing bing aka Cops and Robbers (1979)

Quote:
Cops and Robbers depicts a city where ordinary citizens hold little trust for the police; far removed from the post-ICAC Hong Kong of today. “Can’t even look after their own guys,” a man grumbles in a roast shop after the bank shooting. The main witness for that crime refuses to speak to the police on principle and even an Old Master Cute comic strip is raised to depict the public opinion. The portrayal of the policemen is decidedly heroic against this background, strengthened by a rousing rock number sung by producer Teddy Robin and coverage of their social lives. The guy they’re up against has to be the creepiest villain I’ve ever seen in film, and his being cross-eyed is only part of the sensation. As he gets more and more screen time, Cops and Robbers builds into a strong and disturbing movie experience. Read More »