# 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 Dragon Lives Again (1977) Directed by: Law Kei

Dedicated to the millions of Bruce Lee fans out there, this low-budget Goldig production goes per definition international on us, violating most copyright laws known to man. Not only Bruce Lee exists in the afterworld but Clint Eastwood (the screen persona from the Westerns), James Bond, Dracula (who can attack in broad daylight in this world), Zatoichi, Popeye (Eric Tsang!), the One-Armed Swordsman and on it goes. Anything is possible in this insane, often racy Bruce Leung vehicle and by featuring what it does, it automatically at least gives you something to smile about. Battling the various mentioned characters, skeleton- and mummified demons, Leung's duty as co-action director reveals his apparent kicking skills but little consistent "real" choreography. Director Law Kei concerns himself more with being out there, something that means we get displays of styles named after the little dragon's movies. But do not think of the choices as actual concerns.

Dragon Lord (1982, Jackie Chan)

Fine entertainment and a contender for my favourite Jackie Chan film of all time, despite being more comedy and stunt-oriented rather than the focus being on martial arts. A loose sequel to The Young Master but the transition from martial arts comedy fights to more stunt oriented in a period setting works delightfully well and it represents Chan growing as a man of spectacle, putting himself and his stuntmen on the line for our pleasure (the sports set pieces that could seem as indulgent are just perfect because of awe inspiring and jaw dropping execution). Chan wouldn’t let this vision go as evident by the record number of takes for one of the final shots of or the entire shuttlecock sequence and nothing about this light exercise as a movie annoys either. On the contrary, it’s funny, it hurts, is delightful viewing and no elements feels like a classic bad/good Hong Kong cinema exercise in contrasts. Even the recital of the story or poem with the text in his shoe shows him being in control of the comedic tone. Further fun and admiration pops up because Jackie adds more physical elements as simple scenes of characters tussling and wrestling have little stunts thrown in. Closest we even get to a first fight is the painful finale in the barn with Mars vs a tremendous looking Hwang In-Shik and Jackie may have taken his time, overshot but final edit shows growth as they are clearly hurting themselves so much for this finale and for us. Thus he crafted cinematic pleasure. Also with Michael Chan and Tien Feng.

Dragon's Claws (1979) Directed by: Joseph Kuo

Occasionally Joseph Kuo's period of making cheap independent kung fu movies in Taiwan made the sparsely decorated screen spark. Dragon's Claws ain't no The 7 Grandmasters or Mystery Of Chess Boxing however but rather a standard, clichéd cash in on popular and better kung-fu comedies (where the template was set by Snake In The Eagle's Shadow to best effect). During the main plot of Hwang Jang-Lee after the coveted Gold Tablet from Lau Ga-Yung's family, half of Kuo's plotting goes against the grain a bit admittedly. With little to no comedy, Lau is even trained by his mother and not a drunken master as expected. Kuo's movie may not bore or inspire at any time but daring to be a little fresh is a bold move considering where it is in the timeline. Second half goes the lazier route with said drunken master featured heavily and a much lighter tone is present as Lau Ga-Yung trains to defeat Hwang Jang-Lee (and eventually does in an impressively physical finale). You become rather neutral towards matters, urine jokes popping up a FEW times is not a sign of creativity and chemistry is lacking across the board. Somehow with a filmmaker like Kuo, he never truly embarrasses himself. Dragon's Claws just passes by unnoticed though.

The Dragon Tamers (1975) Directed by: John Woo

Although promoting the female acting- and fighting talent heavily in the trailer (only one of which makes any impact: Ina Ryoko as Sexy, Bad Girl according to the trailer) and featuring some rather unwarranted dips into exploitation (female mud wrestling with breasts exposed and a bath house scene), John Woo's eternal vision that he'll be remembered for across heroic bloodshed and martial arts films is actually polished to a noticeable degree here compared to his debut The Young Dragons. Carter Wong comes to Korea to learn Taekwondo. His master becomes Pai (Lee Tai-Yip) and Wong's goal of squaring off against Hapkido master Sheng (real life Hapkido instructor Ji Han-Jae) is accomplished. Having made friends with the likes of Nankung (James Tien) in the opposite school and falling in love with Sheng's daughter complicates matters about friendship and brotherhood but they have to unite as rival schools and associations are trying to become number one by murderous means...

The harsh Korean landscape is refreshing and after a clunky start with said nudity, Woo's script starts coming to life working with action director Chan Chuen who delivers several excellent, gritty training fight sessions and bloody fights. The furious pace and head on arm- and leg combat is highly memorable and standing out the most amongst the accomplished cast are James Tien and the badass and cool Lee Tai-Yip. Woo's pet themes and use of slow motion may be crude but ultimately sincere and well on their way to being refined. The goofier side to The Dragon Tamers as demonstrated in said trailer isn't the most memorable mix and feels like someone else's vision alongside Woo's but getting past that (whilst enjoying it) reveals something way above run of the mill that the Golden Harvest players respond well to.

Dragon The Master (2001) Directed by: Ray Woo

KENNETH'S REVIEW: Who said the art of disrespecting but in intent respecting the immortal legacy of Bruce Lee was dead? Made way, way, WAY after any trend of Bruceploitation moviemaking that gave us Tower of Death, Bruce Lee Against Supermen and Bruce The Superhero to name but a very select few, Joseph Lai steps in to stir things up a little. Made with a purpose, here's filmmakers solely after nailing the checklist of random Bruce Lee imitation tangents the flick must have in order to have the video box art fulfill its promise (plus go-carts and drunken boxing comes included). Rest is filler that is allowed to be deadly boring to the point that you wanna slit your wrists. Yes, watch the arguably talented Dragon Sek turn up in the yellow tracksuit for no good reason and play a sifu that essentially IS Bruce Lee... also for no apparent reason. Add onto that a pagoda finale with a pretty much terrific fight between Dragon, Billy Chow and the barbwire-clad room. It's stupid but fun flashes of an art of exploitation I for one thought was only possible in the 70s. When not indulging in this Bruceploitation-worthy content, convoluted plotting about a computer design of a Bruce Lee game, bootleggers out for it, Billy Chow trying to prove to the world that he can get somewhere with his fighting ability and talent such as Roy Cheung being/feeling totally wasted is on prominent display.

Buy the DVD at:
Yesasia.com

Dream Home (2010) Directed by: Pang Ho-Cheung

True to form, Edmond Pang places serious concerns as a leaping off point for a wild movie, even though Dream Home and its wild aura has the drama and themes in plain sight too. It's a co-op, a co-existing venture between black comedy, family drama, psychological drama and gore-delirium. Josie Ho's Cheng struggles as a part time worker to buy a desired apartment during a time when the market prices are outrageous. So she literally cuts into the market... by going on a killing spree. Pang Ho-Cheung not only continues to be one of the few Hong Kong directors still making Hong Kong films with a genuine local aura, he has also grown in confidence over the years as he presents an elegant, clear, calm frame with very accessible drama (anchored superbly by Josie Ho who over the course of the flashback narrative unravels) and doesn't forget he's in it for the gore too. In giddy fashion and in 2010, it's not expected the outrageous switches in moods from scene to scene and WITHIN scenes in a Hong Kong movie will work but Pang pulls it off. Through Andrew Lin's (mostly known as an actor) special effects make up, the team is adhering to another tradition that is becoming rare globally as they largely go for graphic killings using practical effects. It's a sinister, wildly funny, deliriously bloody time from an industry that also rarely finds itself wanting or knowing how to pull this aspect off. It took a movie fan, a human and clever filmmaker to lead the way for at least one movie. Great and welcome veteran appearances come from Norman Tsui, Wong Ching, Felix Lok, Pau Hei-Ching while co-writer Derek Tsang, Juno Mak, Lawrence Chou also appear.

Cut to get a Category III rating in Hong Kong (footage appear as dvd supplements however), UK and French editions are uncut.

Dreadnaught (1981) Directed by: Yuen Woo-Ping

Few Hong Kong films can have this much of an identity crisis (and there are a lot of them) and still be this good. Yuen Woo-Ping's Dreadnaught somehow overcomes the risky, eclectic mixture of broad comedy, lion dancing, martial arts and slasher-thriller esthetics and the film ends up as one of Yuen's very best. Not that eclectic or eccentric are strange elements to Yuen's directing as the subsequent The Miracle Fighters and Shaolin Drunkard proved. Still, it's ranks pretty much way above any of those since it features fine elements such as the casting of arguably THE portrayer of Wong Fei Hung, Kwan Tak-Hing (reprising the role a second time for Yuen, first being in The Magnificent Butcher) and an extremely sympathetic turn by Yuen Biao, as it turns out an expert on laundry kung-fu! Fight action does exist, primarily during the intense end bout between our over actor of the day, Sunny Yuen as The Masked Killer and Yuen Biao but Yuen Woo-Ping primarily occupies himself with putting his fine touches on comedic fights and banter, all of which work greatly. Also starring Leung Kar Yan as Leung Foon (a role Yuen Biao would take on later in Once Upon A Time In China), Philip Ko, Lily Li, Tong Jing, Fan Mei Sheng, Yuen Cheung Yan, Fung Hark On, Brandy Yuen and Sai Gwa Pau (another mainstay of the long running Wong Fei Hung series).

Dreaming The Reality (1993) Directed by: Wong Jan-Yeung

One of the very best girls with guns flicks from frequent genre director Wong Jan-Yeung. Moon Lee and Yukari Oshima are since fetus status trained to be professional killers by their foster father (Eddy Ko). When a Thailand mission goes wrong, Moon's character is missing in action, with an amnesia to boot. She ends up in the hands of Lan (Sibelle Hu) and Rocky (Ben Lam, displaying some great kicking during his fight scenes), a sister/brother unit with enemies in the illegal boxing circuit.

No one will confuse Dreaming The Reality with class akin to John Woo's examinations of loyalty and brotherhood (or in the case of this film, sisterhood) but Wong's film, clocking in at an usually epic length of 100+ minutes, gets to us with its combination. It's a B-film compared to anything else but combining bearable emotions, character depth and a nice gory, exercise in mayhem is a success recipe for Dreaming The Reality. Despite little style apparent in the action, there are worthwhile standouts such as the airport shootout, subsequent chase scene and the bloody finale.

The Dream Killer (1995) Directed by: Jeffrey Chiang

Despite Wong Jing producing this thriller, it's prolific writer James Yuen and director Jeffrey Chiang (A Gleam Of Hope) that are at the wheels of this balanced and engrossing thriller. Mark Cheng stars as a psychologically tormented cop with a tough nut of a rape/murder case on his hands. He aquatints a blind psychiatrist (Valerie Chow) who immerses her into the case but unexpected turns occur when his partner (Chan Kwok-Bong) aims his suspicions, due to jealousy, at a cop (Michael Wong)...

Favouring quite a heavy amount of style, using askew angles and initially very long takes of narrative action, director Chiang settles down soon with Yuen's script and delivers partly familiar cop procedure, character drama that parallels past trauma etc etc. The Dream Killer doesn't get buried in its clichés at all though and the screenplay is quite well-structured and intelligent. Featuring understated, possible romantic interludes between leads Cheng and Chow, more interesting tangents flash by such as victims not wishing to come forward for risk of losing face and the intimidation men have of clever women. Mark Cheng comes through with a somewhat rare, charismatic performance, despite the arc of the troubled cop while Valerie Chow may have solely the writing to back her up but is a fine presence nonetheless. Playing with notions of thunderstorms always going on during tense sequences and not truly surprising when revealing the killer identity, Chiang still doesn't cancel out his finely laid out work by the end. Heck, he even gets audience acceptance when structuring the character codas in an ambiguous way. Michael Wong's dubber has chosen to mix Chinese and English as well (!) and Alex Fong also appears.

Buy the VCD at:
HK Flix.com
Yesasia.com

Dream Lover (1995) Directed by: Bosco Lam

Shing (Tony Leung Ka-Fai) and friend Man (Nat Chan) earn money by racing cars at night and during the day they run their own garage. Being quite the engineer genius, Shing has created a revolutionary chip that improves his van's performance but first we focus on him being the loveable fool, being a fool in love, with Wu Chien-Lien's Kitty. Then when that doesn't pan out as beautifully as Shing wants to, his invention is discovered and off to the world of billion dollar business he goes. But he won't let go of his dream lover Kitty. Meeting her again and seeing her married seems to squander all future dreams but by meeting a master of supernatural power (Lau Shun), Shing gets the opportunity to affect fate...

Yes, this Sharla Cheung/Gordon Chan production is proud to be a Hong Kong movie with the "gift" of being all over the map but Bosco Lam directing (A Chinese Torture Chamber Story) doesn't equal opportunities wasted at all. In fact, Dream Lover possesses an eccentric, likeable and fairly touching aura that breaks cinematic rules gleefully to quite interesting effect. Interesting automatically being a verdict for any Hong Kong cinema vehicle doing what this does but Dream Lover has something. In fact, Bosco could've made the sweet romance with the otherwise suave Tony Leung and Wu Chien-Lien and gotten something über-pleasant out of it but the five man strong writing team goes for shift of gears where the film turns different to say the least and even dark with later an emotional payoff that is more nice than felt. But the musings of newly hatched love existing in a bubble, the puzzling nature of fate and stars that believe in the material makes Dream Lover better not just because it's different. Nat Chan deserves kudos for putting in a rare performance where he doesn't cover the entire film in annoyance. Perhaps it's the absence of Wong Jing in the directing chair. Also with Law Kar-Ying and Jack Kao.

Dream Of Desire (1989) Directed by: O Sing-Pui

A complicated, pretentious mess involving equally complicated romance, O Sing-Pui (My Wife's Lover) and cast may have felt like they were on to something while shooting but the final assembly of Dream Of Desire is an unfocused product lacking in affection. Frankie (Frankie Chan) is in debt and to clear it up he basically has to become penniless. Shacking up with past friend Fat Chiu (played unusually low-key by Eric Tsang), a timid office worker, here's a point where the movie has a pleasant vibe dealing with a reboot of characters and friendships. Once Sharla Cheung as a love interest for Chiu AND Frankie, Pauline Yeung as a RICH love interest ONLY for Frankie and Sheila Chan as the Tomboy renting a room in Chiu's flat gets thrown in, the movie pulls us in so many unfocused directions that it's hard to keep up. We are way behind the proceedings and the intricacies of the relationships and it doesn't help the movie is deadly abstract at certain points, making matters arty when it should be a really simple, little tale. Characters bounce back, gets shot down, bounce back, friendships are put on the line and to us it sadly doesn't mean anything because it can't be interpreted most of the time. Also with Ricky Yi.

Dreams Of Glory, A Boxer's Story (1991) Directed by: Lawrence Lau

A slice out of lives rather than a fully plotted movie, Lawrence Lau (My Name Is Fame) provides scenery akin to a documentary as he follows a variety of kickboxers in Hong Kong trying to make it big. Lessons of enlightenment are imbedded within, mainly evident in the focus on the 2 year veteran and social outcast Ming (Jackie Lui - The Mission) and Law Yat-Tak (Do Siu-Chun), a martial artist trying out a new direction. Within the declining club they train at, these either blue collar workers or part of that type of family have their fragile inner selves shaken about in order to understand that gaining popularity and skill isn't measured in the ring. Law Yat-Tak tries to learn of this as his father (Lau Kong) opposes his choices while Ming travels to Thailand where the interaction with people does a difference. Shot in synch sound, the distanced direction of Lau's immerses us into a reality where the fighting movie-clichés are never able to detract. As a journey, the movie works. As cinema, the slow pace and lack of spice will turn off most viewers but despite not saying anything original, a noble work it is. Rain Lau, co-star of Lawrence Lau's Queen of Temple Street, appears in support.

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