# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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Braveful Police (1990) Directed by: Hon Bo-Cheung

Although low-budget, during the opening credits we see evidence of jungle action complete with machete killings and necks being snapped so hard heads turn backwards. A flashback, precursor or something desperate done to catch audiences attention? Latter is very correct as it's basically the best bits from the final, violent reel of Braveful Police, on display first! Soon the Japanese setting reveals a variety of Taiwan women being hurt emotionally, being stuck in prostitution or kicking butt from time to time (enter Kara Hui). It's enough of a bore but it wasn't enough content apparently for director Hon Bo-Cheung who adds gangster asides that really can't be viewed upon as comprehensible. The flirts the movie has with violence and even exploitation (including girl-wrestling) remains the sole worthwhile elements but sometimes, that's a sad thing. Pai Ying also appear.

Bravest Fist (1974) Directed by: Luk Bong

As simple as they come, 73 minutes of Michael Chan fighting off the forces in town wanting to buy up businesses and they will eliminate anyone who's in their way (and in any way including tying them to a cross and whipping them to death). There's sole focus on the action but thankfully the Michael Chan co-choreographed action is raw and powerful. Dean Shek and Kenneth Tsang co-stars.

The Bravest Revenge (1970) Directed by: Kim Lung

Simplicity itself, this Taiwanese swordplay entry sees Polly Kuan and martial arts brothers seek revenge against Chau Mu Tien for killing her father and master. Then there's fights. Quite primitive as executed action-wise, The Bravest Revenge adopts the Taiwanese mind set of just doing it anyway. That means there's a CONSTANT stream of action, much of it group-fights based. While the choreography is rather limp, with a dependable Polly Kuan at center surrounded by filmmaking techniques involving wires, trampolines, reverse photography etc, this is a rather enjoyable ride. Because it's decided on simplicity and to do its absolute best FREQUENTLY, Kim Lung's movie is a minor winner.

Breaking The Silence (2000) Directed by: Sun Zhou

Gong Li received the Taiwan Golden Horse Award for Best Actress via her performance in Sun Zhou's touching drama. She plays divorcee Sun Liying, a poor mother struggling financially and more importantly, to get her deaf son Zheng Da (Gao Xin, who actually is hearing impaired) into school. When he does not clear his admittance test, Liying has to quit her factory job to find one where she can be beside Zhang Da all the time in order to further his hearing and speech. Determined like few are, with the father mostly out of the way, help may lurk on the horizon in the form of kind teacher Fang (Shi Jing-Ming)...

Anchored beautifully by Gong Li's pitch perfect performance that no doubt is helped along by the innocence of Gao Xin's Zhang Da, director Sun Zhou (Zhou Yu's Train) knows that by mostly sitting back, you can translate real concerns into real cinema. Then again that's one of the hardest directing choices to pull off but he clinches subtlety (Shi Jing-Ming's performance as Mr. Fang representing this notion superbly), emotional beats and deservedly pushes with a melodramatic score by Zhao Jiping. It's an often tough watch to see Liying's devotion frequently not bearing fruit but she's a character that's convinced her son IS normal and her determination sometimes equals forceful too. Director Sun Zhou therefore have us slightly on the edge of our seats concerning the fates of the characters, not giving us final answers by the end but needed answers for Liying to move on. It's a beautiful solution.

Brief Encounter (1988) Directed by: Ho Fan

Lung (Tony Poon), a rookie bodyguard falls in love with the first subject he's overseeing, May (May Cheung). She has come to Hong Kong with false hopes of being a singer but she's unwillingly set to enter the world of prostitution instead. Into this equation comes a model agency head (Margaret Lee - We're Going To Eat You) who's determined to conquer the love of Lung. Can a noble hitman (Eddy Ko) also fit into this film? Answer is yes.

Frequent erotica director Ho Fan makes no secret about his style of filmmaking. Gangster violence, soap opera drama and steamy sex are the pillars of his constructed narrative which is of course very promising on paper. Ho Fan does have a sexy lead in May Cheung and Margaret Lee proves to be a feisty one with the gun. However Tony Poon, one of the most unnatural "actors" I've seen in a long time plus a sluggish pace does Brief Encounter no favours. Fast forward material. Ho Pak-Kwong, Shum Wai, James Ha and Chan Ging (Long Arm Of The Law) also appear.

Brief Encounter in Shinjuku (1990) Directed by: Gordon Chan

Gordon Chan brings back Leung Foon (Lawrence Cheng) and Ann (Carol Cheng) for a second go at trying to maintain a workable relationship. Now embarking on new careers in the yuppie world and their respective friends attempting to stick to one woman only, it's Leung Foon who's drawn into love for dual women. During a business trip to Shinjuku, it's the close working relationship with slightly loopy Wendy (Rosamund Kwan) that begins the emotional rollercoaster...

A sequel to The Yuppie Fantasia, on the surface more of a farce but director Gordon Chan still wants to portray the conflicts in a serious manner. Without as much of a through examination of characters this time, Brief Encounter in Shinjuku feels slighter yet very welcome since it's told with a straight face. Supporting characters played by Peter Lai, Manfred Wong and Chow Mei Fung returns in addition to Kenneth Tsang and Allen Fung (himself a director of films such as In Between Loves).

Broken Oath (1977) Directed by: Jeng Cheong-Woh

The wife (Ho Mei) of a betrayed general gets sentenced to prison where she gives birth to her daughter Jie Lian. In need of revenge on the people that killed her husband, she asks her daughter to be taken care of and taken to Shaolin Temple. When grown up (and played by Angela Mao), soon pure buddhist thoughts are indeed ejected in favour of revenge and with her scorpions, Jie Lian attempt to start her killing spree...

Although melodramatic, the atmosphere echoing feelings of gloom and issues of the downbeat kind is actually well above average martial arts cinema from Jeng Cheong-Woh (King Boxer) that doesn't quite provide the same atmosphere once his revenge-tale is in full motion. The impulse of hatred is an interesting dissection taking place briefly in the film and there's nothing wrong with the movie being basic in its structure as Angela Mao tries to take out her opponent either via scorpion poison, kicks or fists. The movie eventually does get quite clogged up by characters and loses sight of a simplicity it needed. Broken Oath does have in its favour, hugely, the pure embodiment of female fury in 70s martial arts cinema in the form of Angela Mao and action-directors Yuen Woo-Ping and Hsu Hsia make sure the movements on-screen (especially when emphasizing the action with weapons) are very fluid, crisp and clear as well. Made at Golden Harvest and featuring the likes of Michael Chan, Dean Shek and Sammo Hung.

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Broken Sword (1971) Directed by: Sun Yung

Heavyset Master An (Got Siu-Bo) receives a message from a dying imperial messenger and finds himself to be the hunted due to the defining, powerful nature of the message. A reluctant hero and not a fighting swordsman at heart (his sword is bent and worn), he's defended by mainly a duo of females and a sneaky swordsman played by O Chun-Hung. The animated opening credits promises something different, something light but once the novelty of having a hero like An at center wears off (and it does so quickly), Broken Sword moves at the pace of a snail and has no exciting action to offer up as a distraction.

Brotherhood (1987) Directed by: Billy Chan

Mostly known as Code Of Honor and sold as a starring vehicle for Chow Yun-Fat, in actuality Chow's role as the son of O Chun-Hung's gangster boss Ho Chen Tung barely qualifies as a supporting role and the movie is in fact bearing the original title of Brotherhood (not to be confused with Stephen Shin's 1986 movie of the same name, starring Danny Lee who has a cameo in Billy Chan's movie at hand here). A simple, familiar tale of an elder gangster boss wanting out to re-unite with his son but when betrayal hits hard, it's also hard to get out of the triad circle. A hot headed cop played Dick Wei also uses dubious tactics to trap Ho Chen Tung. The friendship between Ho and Han (Lam Wai) seems to be then only intact one and Han, like in the past, is there for Ho too... even violently. The beats are familiar but a combo of an gritty 80s look, familiar faces (Shing Fui-On, Shum Wai, Sunny Fang, Dennis Chan etc), occasionally very graphic triad violence, stunts and brawls makes Brotherhood an easy one to endure. Dramatically it does have some strengths in the interplay between O Chun-Hung and Lam Wai as well that creates a fairly believable friendship.

Bruce And Shaolin Kung Fu (1978) Directed by: James Nam

Less of a Bruceploitation package but nevertheless close to generic. I say close to because Bruce And Shaolin Kung Fu passes time adequately thanks to a few minor positives in James Nam's frame. The stock Chinese vs. Japanese plot takes place mostly in the cold, harsh Korean landscapes, which makes for some cinematic flair. Also adding Bolo Yeung as a gorilla style fighter (hence the German title being Der Gelbe Gorilla) helps a certain excessiveness a generic exercise like this almost MUST achieve, at least in my untrained kung fu mind. An over the top villain, exploitation elements and an almost out of place visual style at times are also pro's for those looking for elements outside of the action to fall for.

Starring Bruce Le, an obviously talented martial artist, he's got the stock Bruce mannerisms down but he has to rely on the fighting scenarios being wild in order to stand out. Thankfully through his bout with Bolo and the fun finale with twin brothers equipped with nifty weaponry makes him end up in the middle of the road critically. As does Bruce And Shaolin Kung Fu as a film when measured out against the crowded genre. Something that should tell you it's simply a little bit more entertaining than most. Co-starring Chan Sing.

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