# 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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Duel For Gold (1971) Directed by: Chor Yuen

Despite the stylish opening with high flying action in the out of focus background and quick shots of carnage mixed in with crates of gold (all glimpses of the end of the story), Chor Yuen keeps matters simple in his story about lust for money. This is not a huge character examination but instead devotion lies showcasing the Shaw Brothers production values with an aura of clarity to the story. Mix that with loud, intense, high flying swordplay that still echoes Chor Yuen's style in bashers like The Killer, Duel For Gold succeeds at what it does without taking an unnecessary, complex route. Bonus points for some surprising gore and creative death scenes. Starring Ivy Ling Po, Lo Lieh, Wang Ping, Chin Han and Chung Wa.

Duel Of Fists (1971) Directed by: Chang Cheh

Shaw Brother's film stock reserve and costume department must've been raided before Chang Cheh went to shoot Duel Of Fists in Thailand. His middle of the road, lightweight effort sure bears some trademarks of his in terms of themes and the level of blood employed (an afterthought in retrospect though as it feels rather jarring when it does rear its head) but once you find out he's not out to make or is capable of making much of this David Chiang/Ti Lung collaboration, you easily sit back and watch a comedic travel documentary unfold. The beats Chang Cheh never misses concerns the fact that we're in Thailand. David Chiang is in Thailand. David Chiang's groovy outfits are in Thailand. David Chiang walks around with lady friend in all too prolonged shots OF Thailand. Despite the plot being that Chiang's character gets involved with the lethal shenanigans of the Bangkok boxing underground, where his long lost brother (Ti Lung) act as a fighter, there's rarely an ounce of danger here or character. It's a clothing and poor-pacing showcase of fun proportions and perhaps the legendary director felt a need to indulge. Again, once you acknowledge what you're in for, you'll have fun and Chang Cheh's upstanding reputation can hardly be tarnished anyway. The filmmakers do pay respect to the culture they're inhabiting though, especially in the various Thai boxing scenes that clearly showcases traditional fighting ring rituals. Ching Le, Ku Feng, Chan Sing, Wong Chung, Pawana Chanajit and Woo Wai also appear.

Duel Of Karate (1971) Directed by: Fu Ching-Wa

And the name of the tune is.... REVENGE! Iron Palm Leung is separated from his brother at birth during events that leads to his parent's death. As an adult (played by Tien Peng), he bashes his way through targets in order to get to the main one. Enter a different male fighter (Chen Hung-Lieh) that MIGHT have a connection to Leung...

Guess the beats is a game all involved would win so no revolutionary storytelling here obviously. Mostly concerned with being a basher of the powerless kind (at times it seems Tien Peng only have to gently tap his way through hordes of enemies, resulting in a very unconvincing effect), seeing Leung hurl his opponents through the air also springs to mind Wuxia movies. Here it's comical, a very nice relief since it's a standout element and the main villain literally flies like Superman when showcasing his main technique. Laughable and laughable melodrama subsequently are obvious signs of a tired, standard product merely good for a laugh or two though. That equals about 50 seconds out of a 90 minute flick. Also known as To Subdue Evil and To Subdue The Devil.

Duel Of The Seven Tigers (1979) Directed by: Yueng Kuen

Reportedly the only martial arts movie to be financed by the Hong Kong
Kung Fu Federation and as the extensive opening demo reel shows, the performers have solid credentials outside of the movies. Duel Of The Seven Tigers doesn't try to challenge the set in stone trademarks of the genre though. Familiar elements from Drunken Master are xeroxed as is the ever so popular anti-Japanese sentiments but the product is all in all passable. The action never feels polished as such but comes with the right kind of frenetic energy. The English dubbing also does its very best to ensure we're amused when the actual physical comedic hijinxs rarely are. With Cliff Lok, Phillip Ko Fei, Han Ying Chieh and Yueng Pan Pan, Tony Leung Siu Hung, and Casanova Wong logs a fine fighting cameo.

Duel To The Death (1983) Directed by: Ching Siu-Tung

Ace choreographer Ching Siu-Tung's directorial debut. In short, very impressive featuring two charismatic performances from Damian Lau and Norman Chu. Adding to their acting is the obvious participation from them in the physical part of the action. Ching Siu-Tung is considered one of the masters of wirework and is still going strong if you look at the recent Hero (2002). I don't know how many years he had tested the use of wires but what we see in this is already quite accomplished, considering it's a 1983 production. Some of the wire shots look a little choppy but throughout the movie there are still several fluid and impressive stagings. The last 3 set pieces especially (there aren't that many in the film actually) combine the swordplay and insane wire gags to a very compelling whole. Even though all involved are playing it straight there are moments and entire scenes fueled with such insanity that once again the term only in Hong Kong should be used. Giant ninja anyone?

Very stylish and nicely shot in combination with Ching Siu-Tung's action choreography the movie literally flies by. For you who have seen A Chinese Ghost Story, go back to Duel to the Death and prepare to be amazed again.

Buy the DVD at:
Yesasia.com

Duel With The Devil (1971) Directed by: Kim Lung

A simple enough Wuxia tale, detailing the different sides of two swordsmen both known as Devil. One is the baddest of the bad and the object of revenge for Yu Shuang. One is a noble warrior wanting fair fights but naturally forces go after him by mistake. Forces also connected to the 5 Tiger Fortress. Further secrets revealed has notions of revenge being conflicted and confusing ones...

Not as packed story- or character-wise as you would expect, when director Kim Lung (The Ringing Sword) highlights the more limited set of characters set in and around the two devils, the package is a nice, small action-oriented experience. Especially notable since the action, while fairly heavy on Wuxia techniques, strikes a chord by being grounded and fairly powerful even. Basically any additional plot or featured characters ring of incoherence instead but out of the films Fusian unearthed, Duel With The Devil is one of the strongest.

Duel With The Devils (1977) Directed by: Lin Pai

In what is a take on the often used Chinese vs the Japanese oppressors-plot, Duel With The Devils has a weird, unsettling aura about it initially. The Japanese in this case move in a weird way and look ghostly but if you think it's the beginning of worthwhile atmosphere, this Dorian Tan vehicle is not it. Out to revenge his family, meeting various characters along the way to help him in his struggle and becoming a hero in the process, Tan is no Bruce Lee. Duel With The Devils ain't no Fist Of Fury. Despite also having Angela Mao on board, large parts of the film is devoid and then some of energy plus the half speed, uninvolving martial arts doesn't help. Tan and Mao know better how to come off well on screen and it seems destined Duel With The Devils is going to be THE embarrassment of their careers. A minor rebound does happen during an epic pagoda sequence where thankfully Tan's kicking abilities are evident finally and the film stops taking itself so god damn seriously as well. Among other fighters Tan takes on, he's forced to deal with two braindead musclemen, a Western fencing champion and reveals his kung-fu movie jojo with blades. It's way too late to redeem a boring experience but at least 20 minutes out of 80 actually rack up some points.

Dummy Mommy, Without A Baby (2001) Directed by: Joe Ma & Mak Kai Gwong

Miriam Yeung established herself as a dependent box office draw with this Joe Ma & Mak Kai Gwong romantic comedy. She displayed a charming personality in Dry Wood Fierce Fire but that was later, Dummy Mommy, Without A Baby is the movie at hand. Joe Ma knows his audience which in this case means virtually no commitment, from anyone involved, is needed. A few laughs and good chemistry between Yeung and Niki Chow generates money but still a dull film. Now in 2003 I hope we've left this incredible shallow filmmaking mostly behind us. The Mei Ah dvd is a flipper (probably because of the added DTS tracks).

Buy the DVD at:
Yesasia.com

Durian Durian (2000) Directed by: Fruit Chan

Having finished his trilogy of films dealing with the effects of the 1997 Handover on various Hong Kong inhabitants, Durian Durian opened up the chapter of prostitution on behalf of writer/director Fruit Chan. Not yet a trilogy or even said to be one, it probably will come as a surprise that Durian Durian connects fairly closely to Chan's previous effort (and his masterpiece so far), Little Cheung. Taking place prior to the events of that film, we see Fan (Mak Wai-Fan reprising her role) and her family living illegally in Hong Kong as immigrants waiting for the handover that will lift the restrictions of traveling between Hong Kong and the Mainland. Washing dishes on the street everyday, she also frequently catches glimpses of Mainland prostitute Yan (Qin Hai Lu, who was awarded the Best New Performer award in both Hong Kong and Taiwan). Yan comes to Hong Kong legally, logging 3 months of work to earn money for her future in China. But what awaits in the future really for either of these two?

Viewers familiar with Chan's work will immediately recognize or feel comfortable with the workings of Durian Durian. Again employing Lam Wah-Chuen's talents (cinematography and music), this independent drama walks the dirty back alleys of Hong Kong in a naturalistic, gritty way, allowing the non-professional actors plenty of space to work with. It helps if you're a fan already and there's something oddly fascinating about Chan's almost voyeuristic eye sometimes as the most ordinary details feels unique (such as Yan's problem with dried out skin after too many showers with clients). Repetitive imagery seemingly going nowhere or just being tangents of no particular importance adds nicely to an partly quirky atmosphere. This is all well and good and trademark Fruit Chan but what's the purpose for this one? As with his other films, you'll have to wait until the end credits before everything is clear to the full but Durian Durian despite will be a tester for your patience.

Proceedings are about the tedious motions and cycles of worklife which generates tedious filmmaking as well, a choice I'm pretty much in agreement with as the Hong Kong locale does provide us with glimpses into lives we rarely are allowed to see on film. The shifting of setting to the cold, harsh Northern China does initially feel like a breath of fresh air as we've almost gone 1,5 movie now with the exact same aura Little Cheung possessed. Despite, Yan's story and journey does not so much falter but drags as the drab surroundings in China does beat the movie onto its knees a little bit. The thematic of Yan resigning to her fate and not following through on dreams as everyone urges her to do remains interesting to follow and does come full circle at the end. But again, it's a fairly tedious ride getting there, making Durian Durian one for initiated viewers of Fruit Chan. Not necessarily a bad thing.

And what about the symbolism of the smelly, spiky durian fruit then? Well, I can only come up with feeble theories that goes hand in hand with Chan's thematics of the past. Namely that of outcast characters but with this film it also symbolizes taking next steps, pursuing the roads ahead after struggles etc. For Yan, the durian brings out a contrast in her bravery, leading to her ultimate decision. Whether you like it or not, it's there for the taking. Or maybe it's just a fruit.

The film also bagged a Taiwan Golden Horse Award for Best Picture while Fruit Chan's screenplay was awarded both in Taiwan and Hong Kong

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

Dust Of Angels (1992) Directed by: Hsu Hsiao-Ming

There's a tedium early on in Hsu Hsiao-Ming's drama, showing weapons deals by the docks that is punctuated by bloody killings. But while achieving an effect and potential intelligence for later usage gets our attention, you soon realize Hsu can offer nothing BUT tedium. You can't build an entire feature on the mundane that occasionally is interspersed with more realistic violence. Ok you can but first you have to somehow make your narrative clear and several long takes of dialogue later, we know nothing of the lead youth characters, who is playing who, their connections etc etc. Dust of Angels does touch upon how this particular Taiwan set gangster world slowly wipes away anyone and everyone and left is youth anarchy which may mean the flick has some effect on those closer to the society it's portraying. The "responsible" adult world seems to contribute nothing, especially not since police is steered by politicians instead but viewer opinion still boils down to the life chosen by youngsters being quite feeble. They show nothing we'd like to sympathize with or that we can comprehend. Hsu Hsiao-Ming may see things differently but that's no reason to see his film. Blacky Ko appears briefly as well as Jack Kao and Chan Chung-Yung (Asian Connection, Her Fatal Ways III).

Dynamite Girls (1987) Directed by: Oliver Limper

Presented complete by Tomas Tang's Filmark, this Thai revenge-actioner mostly has little going for it. Shot at drab, flat and outdoor locations and featuring a lot of gunplay, precious few times this action direction stood out in Thai cinema. Same holds true for this movie. A lot of shooting staged in a stiff manner is not destined to light the screen on fire but the revenge-elements contains some edge. A group of wronged women takes out gangsters one by one and in bursts there's some primal rage and violence on display as well as brief fight action. They are good but hugely sporadic beats in a movie that is quite a chore to sit through.

The Dynamite Trio (1982) Directed by: Danny Cheng

Presented as a full movie by Joseph Lai's IFD, The Dynamite Trio while impressive physically is not something that stands out amongst the plethora of kung-fu comedies being quickly done in the aftermath of Snake In The Eagle's Shadow. It doesn't stick out as a sore thumb thankfully either. Your usual nonsense of a desired kung-fu manual (depicting mantis style) and a bumbling idiot hero turning out to be a hero in the name of revenge later, on their own merits several of the fights are very impressive. The acrobatic ability of lead Mark Long (Mystery Of Chess Boxing) doesn't go wasted but the lighter touches in between the serious, familiar ones are long treks. Mark is simply put not a Jackie Chan and that you need for your movie to break through as a movie of this kind. Also with Lung Fei.

Dynasty (1977) Directed by: Cheung Mei-Gwan

Shot in 3D originally (as was the director's 1977 film The 13 Golden Nuns), Dynasty is all about making noticeable spectacle of the spectacle and gimmick at hand and that it does well. Throwing everything at us including spears, rocks and flying guillotines, even in a 2D version the shots look rather stylish. As for the story with Dorian Tan after revenge and the final opponent being Pai Ying's eunuch, it's entirely unmemorable but still survives on the selling point amazingly enough.

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