# 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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The Boxer's Omen (1983) Directed by: Kuei Chih-Hung

Shaw Brothers might've been close to shutting its doors but the 80s saw them turn up the heat on horror and special effects for a couple of movies. Making the likes of Seeding Of A Ghost and The Boxer's Omen (both starring Phillip Ko) cult movies in the process. Kuei Chih-Hung (The Killer Snakes, Hex) helms this story focusing partly on Chan Hung's (Phillip Ko) revenge on the kickboxer (Bolo Yeung) who crippled his brother (Johnny Wang) but mainly on him battling black magic! Visions of monk Qing Zhao (Elvis Tsui) takes him to Thailand where he finds out the monk and himself where twins in a previous life. Thus begins his training to become one himself in order to battle an evil priest stopping Qing Zhao from obtaining immorality. Seemingly shot in both Hong Kong, Thailand and Nepal and featuring a desire to both stir viewers special effects-wise but also to show the intricacies of the rituals involved, The Boxer's Omen scores a little less in the latter but highly in the former. Kuei Chih-Hung has the special effects team on full alert, making this a thoroughly fun, visual and disgusting ride. A lot of the spells involve crude puppetry so the bats, spiders etc are not particularly scary but the eagerness to please and ABILITY to remain unpredictable is a strength throughout the fairly meaty running time. There's creative special effects involving detached heads, snakes crawling out of mouths (therefore clever uses of close up puppet-heads are involved), maggots, regurgitated animal innards being passed from priest to priest (the production clearly scored some game actors or performance artists) and it's all executed with admirable energy. Again, may only make you lose your lunch rather than creep you out but the sheer amount of imagination and game performers makes this one earn its rep.

Boys Are Easy (1993) Directed by: Wong Jing

This....is criminal. You shouldn't be able to get away with this but creating so much of his patented wacky Hong Kong cinema trying to disguise itself as feature filmmaking, sometimes Wong Jing just has to succeed. Boys Are Easy is the flick and it's not even due to gathering up a terrific cast but simply managing to time his often tired and silly gags well. Making light genres collide head on with a gunplay opening and a gunplay ending, in the middle is an unscripted mess about the daughters (Brigitte Lin, Maggie Cheung and Chingmy Yau) of Richard Ng's character finding their respective men. Against all odds, Lin manages to find the bad man she wants in Tony Leung Ka-Fai's gigolo (bad meaning she is touched by the thought of being beaten and raped. Thank you, Wong Jing), Cheung goes after a low-life triad (Jacky Cheung) that does awfully well during the annual (?) Triad Olympics (close to brilliantly staged, the highlight of the film) while Chingmy Yau tricks Ekin Cheng's virgin character that she's a prostitute so all matter of complications are jammed in there. Naming a character after action director Ching Siu-Tung and inserting a parody of A Better Tomorrow represents Wong Jing's usual tired routines but mostly hitting his mark otherwise, all cast is for Wong. Especially Tony Leung who at one point hypnotizes himself into becoming a bad man (the Lunar New Year greeting "Kung Hei Fat Choy" makes him go normal again), take part in a bowling alley dance number and turns into Bruce Lee towards the end. Screwy. Also with Jimmy Lin, Wo Fung, Shing Fui-On, Helena Law and Sandra Ng.

Approximately 12 minutes of footage went missing on Mei Ah's vcd and dvd releases. Despite the running time suggesting otherwise, Tai Seng's dvd is uncut.

The Brain-Stealers (1969) Directed by: Inoue Umetsugu

Groovy and colourful sci-fi/spy times by Inoue Umetsugu (Hong Kong Nocturne) as Professor Zero switches brains between one of his henchmen and the brother (Chin Feng) of a scientist working on a formula designed to grow organic material rapidly. Lily Ho does judo, the mix of high concept sci-fi (Professor Zero's underground lair looks more Flash Gordon than James Bond and has an acid bath) and the modern spy movie (gadgets such as stun spray and mini blow torches make their way into the story), an aggressive visual style in general makes for a fast paced and entertaining time. Aiming for excitement but also easily digested genre fodder, The Brain-Stealers is well aware of what it's doing and focuses successfully on doing it efficiently.

The Brave And The Evil (1971) Directed by: Jimmy Wang Yu

A sedated revenge story considering it's from the mind of Jimmy Wang Yu post-Shaw Brother's. He does let his imagination run fairly wild eventually but it's a slightly tedious wait for fans who took to heart The Chinese Boxer and The One Armed Boxer. Jimmy's action directing overall leans more towards the trend of its time with the swinging arms and legs combat but he does amp the weapons tactics during the long climax. The Brave And The Evil here takes on a very watchable ferocious aura but it's not thoroughly easy to forget that the film is not as distinguishable as one has come to expect coming from Jimmy. Fans certainly should tune in and you always easily see why Jimmy turned into such a big star prior to Bruce Lee's entrance onto the scene. Also with Polly Shan Kwan.

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).

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