# 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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Drunken Master III (1994) Directed by: Lau Kar-Leung

Creative differences on the style of fighting prompted Lau Kar-Leung to leave the project and immortal classic Drunken Master II, with star Jackie Chan taking over the finale and completing the film. That's one version of the story and the same year a very sad story in moving pictures landed courtesy of Lau Kar-Leung. Namely yet another unrelated entry in the series covering Wong Fei-Hung's younger, more mischievous days and what a full on failure it was to boot. The whimsy story about rebels (led by Andy Lau) supporting Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, an emperor's princess (Michelle Reis) caught in the middle and Wong Fei-Hung (Willie Chi - Burning Paradise where he played another folkhero, Fong Sai-Yuk, as illustrated in dark ways by Ringo Lam) getting up to no good. If the real life backdrop mixed in with the myth of Wong Fei-Hung and comedic shenanigans worked even the tiniest bit, I would probably make an effort explaining the story more. But as this is such an anonymous effort to begin with, headed from the top by the legend Lau Kar-Leung, I shouldn't bother. Nor shall you. Embarrassing interludes with Simon Yam as a flamboyant bus passenger and fairly well executed action towards the last 10 minutes... it ain't enough to redeem anything and you'd wish some unknown crew was on this film. Not legends such as Lau and Gordon Liu. Also with Adam Cheng as Wong Kei-Ying, father of our titular character (who does very little drunken fist or boxing by the way). Lau Kar-Leung's wish for more traditional kung-fu on screen may be visible here but it's a shameful effort despite.

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Drunken Tai Chi (1984) Directed by: Yuen Woo-Ping

Donnie Yen's excellent big screen debut is a true work of Yuen Clan art. Because when at their best, their stamp isn't just on the fight scenes but they take on the challenge of making just about every scene filled with their creativity, wit and insanity. So Drunken Tai Chi is obviously conflicted in the vein of Dreadnaught (and a plethora of other Hong Kong movies) but thoroughly entertains. Oddly enough, the period piece has tons of 80s and modern references, ranging from the Wil E. Coyote/Road Runner cartoons (a scene involving extensive usage of fireworks, including a centipede shaped piece cements this), breakdancing, moonwalking and BMX cycling. All very smoothly integrated for the wacky/basic revenge story the movie is. There are some unexpected dramatic turns to take seriously if one like, mainly referring to Yuen Yat-Chor's supporting part as the lowly, mistreated brother of the spoiled Chin Do (Yen). Yuen Shun-Yi also reprises his psychotic killer role from Dreadnaught to an extent but director Yuen adds elements such as Shun-Yi being a mute and a single father. It's there to be taken in but can easily be ignored as scenes involving this are short enough anyway. Main highlight is of course the splendid choreography and character interplay that pays off mostly when it's all about Donnie (who works himself well into the wackiness of it all), Lydia Shum (who has several excellent scenes she performs to an admirable extent) and the drunken tai chi master himself, Yuen Cheung-Yan in a patented performance (and character design). There's no shortage of astonishment. Also with Don Wong and Mandy Chan.

The Duel (1971) Directed by: Chang Cheh

One of 6 Chang Cheh movies released at Shaw Brothers in 1971, it's one of the stronger entries ever for himself and stars Ti Lung and David Chiang as The Duel channels brutality, primal violence and bloodshed like never before to the best of my recollection. In the aftermath of a gang war that leaves their master dead, Tang Ren Jie (Ti Lung) takes the blame and runs away for a year. Coming back, the once solid organization is destroyed and even girlfriend Hu Di (Wang Ping) has been forced into prostitution by the powers now at the top. Before, Jian Nan The Rambler (David Chiang) was brought in to assist in the ongoing rivalry and as Tang Ren Jie uncovers what went down during the months he was away, The Rambler might've been involved in the death of Tang's master so a duel is looming...

Incredible fury, bloodshed, loud sound design for the sake of action impact, The Duel is at heart very basic but with a honed sense of delivering on a basic premise that slowly but surely is developed into something substantial when focusing only on the often used leads. Deadly enemies and one sided, mysterious admiration by Jian Nan, along the way things aren't as clear cut as they seem in terms of their relationship and it's a delight following the bloody brotherhood angle all the way till the end with several graphic, brutal and iconic moments along the way (with the best one saved for last with fights in the rain and mud). A pure massacre on the senses and a violent delight from an acting and filmmaking team on an undeniable and legendary run. Cheng Hong-Yip co-stars as the loyal, knife wielding brother of Tang Ren Jie.

The Duel (2000) Directed by: Andrew Lau

Gu Long Wuxia adaptation with all the bells and whistles that a 2000 production can offer. Premiered at the Lunar New Year and with successful director Andrew Lau (The Storm Riders) at the helm of yet another fantasy romp, of course The Duel would rake in the money. Plus it has the excuse of playing during a time where commercialism rule and therefore its shortcomings feels a little less offensive than they probably should. Still, Andrew Lau's attempt at heartfelt emotions, CGI enhanced Ching Siu-Tung action, mo lei tau comedy and a twisting narrative in the tradition of these Wuxia novels is largely a flat effort. Nick Cheung desperately tries to evoke the comedic chops of Stephen Chow but instead presents a highly forced and unfunny act. Ching Siu-Tung's action would've been a nice throwback to the new wave of the 90s had it not been for the added CGI that doesn't make the choreography fly and Andrew Lau again proves why cinematographers often make poor storytellers. But who am I to complain when the Lunar New Year output isn't supposed to be better than this anyway...

Reasonably clever hints to the modern era and Andy Lau bringing presence that will kick and scream long after he's gone are positives in Lau's big budget frame however. Also with Ekin Cheng, Norman Tsui, Jerry Lamb, Elvis Tsui, David Lee, Patrick Tam and Vicky Zhao.

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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.

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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.

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