# 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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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.

Buy the DVD at:
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.

Buy the VCD at:
Yesasia.com

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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