# 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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Come On Girls (1993) Directed by: Chow Bun

Hos/ed by Cindy Yip and structuring itself as a documentary, she gathers up a couple of gigolos and women in an apartment and they take turn telling stories of their rise in their profession, weird sexual encounters and actual erotic ones too. Very threadbare and certainly only produced to satisfy the sex-craving market in the wonderland of Category III movies of 1993, there is some well shot interiors and outrageous inclusions like the rigorous testing for men wishing to get into the gigolo profession, a male strip-o-gram with a duck hat and a plethora of unintelligible subtitles to actually laugh with. No high art, just the occasional hilarity and ticking of the naughty boxes. Which it does well.

The Comet Strikes (1971) Directed by: Lo Wei

Lo Wei clearly had it in him to become a horror director as by this and even darker moments in The Big Boss were rich on atmosphere. While not paid off very clearly, The Comet Strikes has an admirable buildup and aura of mystery surrounding a possibly haunted mansion and mixing Wuxia pian tactics with grounded sword brawls (Nora Miao is impressively physical) makes it a very interesting if not totally fulfilling watch. Also with Patrick Tse, Lo Wei, Sek Kin and Lee Kwan.

The Condemned (1976) Directed by: David Chiang

David Chiang's third and last directorial outing at Shaw Brothers is his most solid but mostly thanks to a pronounced action-side that takes the movie places the in between story and drama doesn't. Quite a simple setup with Feng Dagang (Tsai Hung) being jailed for a massacre he didn't commit and put into a cell with jolly pickpocket Yang Lin (Chiang), a brotherhood is formed and the high ranking members of society that wronged them are targeted. Showcasing through Tong Gai's and Wong Pau-Gei's action choreography a grittier, violent side right from the getgo, The Condemned also shows promise by having Tsai Hung be a giant, brutal force as our lead. Backing his size up with skill as well, the banter and story drive is lacking however. Chiang is trying to find his voice and comfort as a storyteller but it isn't happening here. However he heads a close to rather splendid (and LONG) fight finale which is again a sign of his behind the scenes personnel and lead Tsai Hung responding. Going head to head in gritty and quite epic fight scenes with him versus a dozen henchmen as well as brawls with Ku Feng and Pai Ying, The Condemned feels effective overall when you tally it up. Even though it truly is spotty and average. Also with Lily Li, Chan Shen and Hu Chin.

The Contract (2005) Directed by: Lu Xuechang

Completed in 2004 but not released until the year after when director Lu Xuechang (Cala, My Dog!) reportedly finally found a distributor for his low-budget movie, this is turning out to be a director more destined for overseas love despite his focus continuing to be on characters on the lower end of the scale of Chinese society. Guo Jia Ju (Pan Yue-Ming) is living life in the big city of Beijing. Being a slight introvert, having a failed business under wraps and in debt to loan sharks, he now has to face up to tradition by going back to his home village with a fiancee. Especially so since his father has had a stroke and always expressed his deepest wish to see his son married. By coincidence, Guo meets hooker Lili (Li Jian-Xuan) and strikes a deal with her to act as his future wife...

If it sounds like Can't Buy Me Love Chinese style, you wouldn't be off but Lu Xuechang (who also co-wrote and cast actors from his prior A Lingering Face) basically flirts with a lot, including the on paper, conventional premise. Farce-like in nature, threatening to turn violent but also playing out low-key drama in the beautiful village vistas, main theme concerns synching and connecting to your traditions again or for the first time. Lili is definitely an example of poor choice and planning then as she hasn't got the hang of traditional wedding ceremonies even. But the break from noise provides these characters with a breakdown. In the case of Guo, his bow of respect towards his parents may be fake but they're still the utmost crucial thing in his life at this point. Without that, he's empty. Lili, while not seemingly uncomfortable in her line of profession, dreams of opening a beauty salon but it's again the break from city people that has these characters crash together. Serious concerns all round really but Lu stays suitably observational, low-key and even fragmented narrative-wise. A cool and welcome choice. The Contract isn't as biting as Cala, My Dog! but is definitely on par with The Making Of Steel. Lu immerses us via actors, scenery, themes and continues an interesting path as a Mainland filmmaker.

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Cop Busters (1985) Directed by: Danny Lee

A misleading English title considering that it really comes off as modeled after 3 hommes et un couffin (later remade in the US as Three Men And A Baby). It's only Kent Cheng and Wong Ching for the Hong Kong interpretation though, playing two clumsy traffic cops who has their lives turned upside down when they stumble upon a young orphan girl. They manage to track down a relative, aunt Mary, and her presence triggers life changing desires for Wong's character...

The cop aspect goes hand in hand with the fact that Danny Lee directs but he has sincerity in mind, even if the screenplay isn't shock full of any surprises. Expectedly we get a fairly sizeable chunk of non-plot driven skits and the package is more forced than truly affecting. Still, you can't go all out wrong when you provide amusement coupled with some nice back and forth banter between the leading men. Peter Yang, Shing Fui-On and Billy Lau appear as well.

Cop Image (1994) Directed by: Herman Yau

Traffic cop Wong (Anthony Wong) dreams of being the cool supercop and gets his chance after a night of drinking with cop and childhood friend Johnny (Bowie Lam). Johnny is mysteriously gone the next day, leaving only his cell phone behind and it immediately starts ringing. It seems Johnny is connected to a recent robbery by Mainlanders and Wong, having acquired skills in investigating, uses his time off to pose as a cop and crack the case. He tracks down Johnny's girlfriend Linda (Linda Wong) and the triad Dee (Andy Hui) becomes his informer in the quest to solve the mystery that is Johnny...

Herman Yau offers up no surprising developments as a director through this action-comedy but again proves that he has an ability to make Anthony Wong blossom under his direction. Wong has also stated that working with Yau has generated some of his own personal favourite films (Taxi Hunter being one). He's a riot as the very skilled, in theory, action hero but real life tends to be different from the movies, leading to some very fun action sequences where heroic moves just don't go down as well compared to when Chow Yun-Fat performs them. The movie references throughout can get a little tiring but mostly Yau creates an amusing aura in Cop Image that entertains in a very solid way. Also with Lau Kong and Herman Yau himself appears briefly in the disco scene.

Cops And Robbers (1979) Directed by: Alex Cheung

Alex Cheung (Danger Has Two Faces) logged an incredible and harrowing debut here with the 1979 production Cops And Robbers. Opening in a light hearted manner with kids playing the famed game that easily turns sour sets the stage for a story that completely corresponds with the English title of the film. Cheung, who also co-wrote, is clever in his execution of cop types (Wong Chung's character is the Dirty Harry of the force for instance) and gives the film not only a gritty look but a realistic view of police procedure. The job can include much laughter, humanism but coincidence changes moods and these cops are well-trained enough to snap into the correct one. Fans of Milkyway's movies should definitely get vibes of Patrick Yau's Expect The Unexpected.

As the sole robber remains on the lose, Cheung's social commentary about lack of faith in the law and cops in the eyes of the Hong Kong citizen gets injected, even cleverly so through the use of a Master Q comic strip. Cheung's points are well-made due to them never stopping the film dead to preach and it's equally powerful of him to insert his points through the often shocking violence. The film follows a formula for much of its running time but by favoring a portrayal of humanism and chance, the events take on extra tension and unpredictability. It's cinema at its very best and Cheung gives us answers we can identity with through the various performers pitch perfect embodying of their particular type. Biggest kudos goes out to Wong Chung's commanding presence, Cheung Kwok-Keung as the timid, rookie cop and last but not least, the triumph/misstep in Cheung's framework, Hui Bing-Sam. It's a misstep in a sense that the major nut job he plays goes overly cartoonish ways but at the same time overpowering all that is a superbly frightening aura brought out by Hui. Cops And Robbers may look and feel dirty for no apparent special reason but behind it is a smart storyteller who overcomes etched in stone conventions to deliver fresh and felt cinema. The film also stars Kam Hing Yin, Chan Chik-Waai, Phillip Chan and composer Teddy Robin appears briefly.

Corpse Mania (1981) Directed by: Kuei Chih-Hung

Knowing Kuei Chih-Hung's The Killer Snakes, it's no surprise his graphic murder mystery Corpse Mania strikes a high note visually. Not as demented as the title suggests, Kuei enlists cinematographer Li Hsin Yeh in order to realize his visions of colour, smoke and movement. Li responds and creates excellent atmosphere that will trigger the agreeable center of the brain with giallo and Dario Argento fans. Story-wise, the film lacks truly surprising twists but there's enough injected for the atmosphere to dominate. And it should. With Tanny Tien, Tso Tat Wah and as the intuitive detective of the piece, Wong Yung.

Celestial restored the film almost all the way through (an embarrassing lengthy freeze frame suggests laziness) and deemed it worthy of vcd only status only.

Buy the VCD at:
Yesasia.com

Couples, Couples, Couples (1988) Directed by: Cheung Ji-Kok

John and Mary (Jacky Cheung and Cherie Cheung) are together but not registered for marriage as he deep down wants to maintain a sense of bachelor life while she feels her biological clock is ticking. Despite a loving and successful foster parenthood of friends Pao Niu's (Lowell Lo) and Hsiao Pao's (Sally Kwok) baby, the couple aren't on the same page when it comes to parenthood. So this lack of communication leads to her making holes in John's condoms and then moving out when she's timed their sex with her ovilation. Nice. Moving in with Dauphne (Elaine Kam) whop's businessman husband (Melvin Wong) may have just returned from his excursions with AIDS, let the complications begin...

Star power and the pleasant atmosphere is a highlight here in a package that starts out real and strong but spirals into a bit too flimsy comical misunderstandings package that didn't need the, albeit only fair, broadness it delivers. It's nice seeing our lead desire each other and getting on in a really felt way initially but mentioned misunderstandings involving cheap gags about AIDS and possible homosexuality makes the strong start fade. However Couples, Couples, Couples is fluff entertainment for its time, something that is miles ahead of today's equal products. Wu Ma and Corey Yuen appear as flirting boyscouts!

Buy the DVD at:
Yesasia.com

Crazy Blood (1983) Directed by: Lee Siu-Wa

As downbeat as you can imagine, Olivia Cheng plays psychologist Min , dedicated far too much towards her cases and little to her family (husband is played by Eddie Chan). Fortunately he is a loving father but circumstances surrounding Min's devotion results in the most harrowing event of all: the accidental death of their son. Burying herself in work, he instead snaps mentally...

Director Lee Siu-Wa likes being heavy handed and blatantly obvious in his ways, going from beat to beat without much inspiration. A fair bit of kudos goes to his unusual tac of showing a non-linear narrative at points but the twist is already established even without this device. Uneven overall, there are a fair few scenes of very disturbing violence and Eddie Chan shows memorable actor devotion in these scenes.

Buy the VCD at:
Yesasia.com

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