# 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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Crimson Street (1982) Directed by: David Lai

KENNETH'S REVIEW: Odd concoction despite a straight narrative, David Lai's second feature manages to hold your attention by not being expected. The story template is easy enough, starting with Kenny Bee being let out of prison but soon on a criminal path again, heading towards a possibly last, big job. He encounters club singer Sally (Sally Yeh) in the process but she is under the watchful eye of club owner Paul King (Michael Chan) and in love with her is cop Pow (Melvin Wong). It comes down to the notion of who is less messed up in the eyes of Sally and it leans towards the criminal...

Much of the interesting aspects of Crimson Street is directed towards Arthur Wong's splendid cinematography that manages to make the flick quite slick as well as employing shot- and lightning solutions that are highly atmospheric. But within a flick that either can't seem to find a grip of its simple story or has decided to not use expected beats, we feel like a pinball watching this mess that feels far from being a mess actually. For instance a rather intense and funny bar room brawl between Kenny and Michael Chan has the latter showing us his weird, surreal AND psychotic side. He even goes to the lengths of channeling buddha's palm in a drunken rage. So when at home, he goes really postal on Sally Yeh in an unpleasant sequence and the effects of respective mood is there. It's just tough to accept the multiple choices of Lai's. Also included, Melvin Wong as the cop with some slight psychosis of his own, montages of bliss between what should logically be the happy couple of the film and a nifty action sequence at a hockey rink sums up the picasso tableau of moods and emotions Crimson Street has. Not art but not totally unworthy strangely enough.

Crippled Avengers (1979) Directed by: Chang Cheh

Chang Cheh puts together his The Five Venoms cast again but brings a worthy twist: What if they were all disabled? Although its original trailer claims it's a story with meaning, genre simplicity is a fine and the better tool here in the actual movie. Showcasing quite a merciless side initially as Chen Kuan-Tai's Black Tiger Dao has his family torn to pieces literally. The wife's legs are cut off and the son has his arms amputated. The son survives (as an adult played by Lu Feng) and from an excellent blacksmith receives iron arms as replacement. But this family was or becomes tyrants and in the process blinds Chen Shuen (Phillip Kwok), takes away hearing and speech of Blacksmith Wei (Lo Meng), cuts Hu Ah Kue's (Sun Chien) legs off and through torture turns Wang Yi (Chiang Sheng) into an idiot. Then the quartet train for three years and comes back for revenge. A fun, even clever premise shot on the gorgeous Shaw Brothers sets, it's one of Chang Cheh's most appealing late 70s productions due to its scaled down but professional approach. How the respective disabilities will be conquered, how the training scenes are conceived, how the choreography will be structured around all this are thoughts that keeps us going. No doubt these already proven, acrobatic and physically able performers respond to the task and although Chang Cheh lets matters run a way too generous 100+ minutes, Crippled Avengers is a fun time as well as easy entry point for newcomers. Also with Johnny Wang. Seemingly inspired a string of similar movies including The Four Invincible and The Crippled Masters with the latter featuring actual disabled performers.

The Crippled Master (1979) Directed by: Joe Law

On the heels of Chang Cheh's The Crippled Avengers, The Crippled Master changes tac as it uses actual disabled performers for its above average kung fu cinema exploits. But it doesn't exploit or belittle its main two performers Sam Chung-Chuen and Hong Chiu-Ming but rather the filmmakers have sat down to make sure these are used at the best of their abilities. Above standard therefore. Losing their arms and legs in rather grisly fashion and subsequently meeting a yoga master (Ho Chiu), thankfully very little comedy follows and Joe Law's good eye for creating solid looking kung fu cinema makes us think little of standard plotting. The choreography is solid, being very intricate and creative in the way it uses its limited performers and subsequent work for the duo followed in Two Crippled Heroes and Fighting Life. The Crippled Master is also known as The Crippled Heaven. Action director Chan Muk-Chuen co-stars.

Crossings (1994) Directed by: Evans Chan

KENNETH'S REVIEW: A crap time for all, including the audience but this time we're not on board with hellish fate dealt to to good characters. Evans Chan (The Map Of Sex And Love) may deepen things somewhat in his director's cut (once available on VHS in America) but the 90 minute Hong Kong version doesn't reveal that much of an engaging tale. Anita Yuen is Mo-Yung, who's fallen head over heels in love with Benny (Simon Yam) and is asked to deliver a package for him to New York where he's waiting. Very hard to reach, in the meantime Yo-Mung befriends clinic worker Rubie (Lindsay Chan) who uncovers the darker truth to Benny. With Yo-Mung having put everything on the line, including family, the world certainly isn't smiling at her...

Through the various characters being generally unsatisfied with the geographical location they're in and the situation they're in, Evans Chan is venting pessimism that bores rather than involves. The writing is pretty clear cut, only not walking the tightrope of creating actual valid, hellish cinema. When dealing the worst hand to Anita Yuen's Yo-Mung, it doesn't say anything about the world we can't figure out without a movie experience. Certain sections towards the end are heartbreaking and ominous but it's not enough to flash a wee bit of excellence only. A solid cast and performances fail to elevate the material and the wide eyed psycho played by Ted Brunetti ends up being an unintentional funny moment for the film. Watch Farewell, China instead.

Cross The River (1988) Directed by: Chang Cheh

KENNETH'S REVIEW: Shot on the Mainland, Chang Cheh's most prolonged period post-Shaw's, in terms of settling on his troupe of actors (Dung Chi-Wa chief among them) goes from uneven to downright sloppy and also to top it all off, bad. It's operatic to the max as it centers the plot around an opera troupe with select characters about to become heroes of their time as they rise up against oppression in 1930s China. Many sequences of performing are included, many of which are shot with little flair and the trek gets even worse when basic plot isn't conveyed particularly well. Just because you have your characters talking of what to do, doesn't mean it travels to outside the screen. But extended opera leads to extended action for almost the full latter half of the film. Acrobatics and guns makes very much sense and the very tail end of the climax is set at a fireworks storage facility so literally we've got fireworks, that is watchable to boot. With the audience caring little for the heroism of characters, Chang Cheh may end his flick with attempts at poetry and style and it just shows there was life in him still. Life that unfortunately was leaving him for each movie that went by.

The Crucifixion (1994) Directed by: Danny Go

Wellson Chin produced this murder-mystery that appears generally solid but thinks it's smarter than it actually is. Extremely expository but less coherent and barely riveting, The Crucifixion is living proof that sometimes movies appear complex only to make themselves look good on that fashion statement catwalk of the genre. On the plus side, the mood is appropriately dark with equally appropriate lightheartedness coming from Michael Chow and Hilary Tsui's double act. Chow carries the clothes of the intuitive cop with little social skills but he gets the job done. Tsui as the spunky partner sidekick does little damage despite those dangerous traits. Also with Ivy Leung, Liu Kai-Chi, Mike Ng, Teresa Ha, William Ho and Shing Fui-On.

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Crystal Fortune Run (1994) Directed by: Chris Lee

Further proof Chris Lee the director proved more apt at providing the action beats than the narrative ones. Which could be forgiven if a fun aura and drive was present to the basic framework but it isn't in Crystal Fortune Run. Somewhat science fiction in style and tone, the movie gathers an alcoholic cop (Simon Yam), a thief (Anita Yuen) and a possible cyborg (Sharla Cheung) after the theft of a valuable diamond from a company who desperately wants it back. With some high flying action in the urban setting, the influence of The Heroic Trio is felt and Lee attempts to keep the frame lively through an active camera. Problem is Lee is a very capable action director but not good for much else and even with charismatic stars at his disposal there's painful evidence of them left to their own devices. Something that makes compelling actors like Simon Yam and Anita Yuen very boring and annoying. Otherwise director Kirk Wong adds some fun overacting as the company boss and the big industrial setting for the finale adds some color and memorable imagery.

Crystal Hunt (1991) Directed by: Hsu Hsia

Evidently and also painfully low budget adventure/cops and robbers film where lighter, comedic banter from Donnie Yen and Sibelle Hu doesn't play to their strengths. Sticking with Hsu Hia's movie though does reveal a few but decidedly long lasting highlights, in particular in regards to the Western cast. Cast for their martial arts ability and actually able to keep up, Crystal Hunt is a star vehicle for John Salvitti who is more than capable of following Donnie Yen in the acrobatic department and is one intimidating force. Increasingly so as the more brutal (and more interesting as a result) ending comes along. Also starring Carrie Ng, Ken Lo and Michael Woods. Cameos by Leung Kar-Yan and Gordon Liu.

The Cub Tiger From Kwangtung (1973) Directed by: Ngai Hoi Fung

Also known as Master With Cracked Fingers, which was the title given to this early Jackie Chan vehicle when re-edited in 1979. This is the original widescreen, Mandarin language version that differs, story wise, from the re-release version. That re-edit was made after Jackie's breakthrough in the late 70s and clearly took its cues from Drunken Master (with Simon Yuen, in newly shot footage, reprising his famous role) That story element isn't found in the original version and the flashback that opens the film then paves way for the plot where Jackie's character clashes with a group of local thugs. It's still a terribly boring martial arts movie but it has to be said that there's split seconds here and there of that JC creativity on display that would later bloom in the 80s. Despite that, basically every fight is a snooze fest and in particular the long finale is stiff fight choreography at its best. Yuen Biao is visible in this edit of the movie and is possibly doubling Jackie at certain points during the end fight. The Japanese DVD houses the original theatrical print with subtitles that frequently drops below frame and are hard to read even when they ARE in frame. Not that the plot is that hard to follow.

Cupid One (1985) Directed by: Ringo Lam

While some may consider Ringo Lam's initial output to be no indication of what was to come through the On Fire films, knowing what we know, I think it's definitely easy to see the filmmaker early on looking for an outlet to explore cracks and darkness in humanity. It surfaces little by little through his work, more so in this, the last his fluff films if you will. Cupid One more or less seems to represent an attempt to remake Swept Away (not the Guy Ritchie remake obviously) and Ringo, re-teaming with Cinema City, showcases a confidence in working his actors (Mark Cheng and Sally Yeh, the latter still in slight Shanghai Blues mode to fine effect) that are to perform this largely two man show. The plot goes through the motions you expect but Lam subtly infuses an edgy atmosphere during brief moments. We're not quite sure what destruction will manifest itself or if it will at all but by the end, for a romantic comedy in essence, there's some fairly deep character psychology on display, even if it's in hysteria mode. It's even distressing watching the final reel. Joe Chan's attractive indoor- and outdoor cinematography is an asset as well.

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HK Flix.com

Curse (1985) Directed by: Paang Leng

Rila is a woman who's now paying for sins in a past life and marriage after marriage leaves someone dead. Can she battle back against the black magician who's hellbent on making her pay?

Thoroughly dreadful and poorly made, you really need to switch to the C-movie sensibilities to get anything out of Curse. If that's possible, there is a good amount of hokey fun to be had, in particular in regards to the poor, even by Hong Kong standards, animated ghost effects (as laughable as it is, the rape sequences involving the animated ghosts are not pleasant). The opening is a frantic piece of work as well, feeling more like a finale and therefore is never topped. Kwan Hoi-San co-stars and was a recurring actor in director Paang Leng's short directorial career. Writer of this mess is Sze Ton On who penned several of the Kwan Tak-Hing Wong Fei Hung movies as well as The Magic Blade and Shaolin Mantis for Shaw Brother's.

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Curse Of Evil (1982) Directed by: Kuei Chih-Hung

Straight faced absurdism at 78 minutes from Kuei Chih-Hung (The Killer Snakes, The Bamboo House Of Dolls). A cursed family is dropping like flies at the hands of the curse of the Dragon King and some of the ominous signs include the appearance of The Bloody Frogs. Oh and the big, raping slimey worm monster could be considered a sign too. Working with a short time frame, Kuei lets loose quickly and throughout delivers a tuned balance of spooky and absurdly low budget but effective monster effects.

The Cyprus Tigers (1990) Directed by: Phillip Ko & Luk Chuen

Phillip Ko & Luk Chuen decides via cheap means to make the Cyprus atmosphere that is automatically sunny rub off on the tone of the flick therefore. What this means is Hong Kong cops Simon Yam and Conan Lee acting up a clownish storm for 80 minutes + a subsequent 10 is devoted to action, if that. The latter lead grates especially (and comes with the awful name of Climax) as he goes after girls whenever he can, among other places on the nude beach where he's equipped with binoculars. Ending up in a gay porn video along with Yam's character probably doesn't help. A typical counterfeit plot is hatched to actually inject danger into the film but there's rarely any effect when doing anything in The Cyprus Tigers. Family drama comes via a crudely inserted Hong Kong segment where Joey Wong pops up but the minor action elements springs the flick to life a bit. In mentioned Hong Kong part of the film, Joey Wong is thrown between car hoods extensively and the fighting/gunplay finale offers up some fast paced intensity. Watch out for the black bodyguard of Phillip Ko's acting like an ape in a very dumb, politically incorrect and shamelessly amusing bit. Robin Shou also appears.

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