# 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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Don't Shoot Me, I'm Just a Violinist! (1994) Directed by: Herman Yau & Ken Siu

Mosart (Lau Ching-Wan) enters Hong Kong from the mainland in order to use his skills in playing the violin. Cash needs to be gathered up quickly, he's kidnapped by two robbers (one of them being Billy Lau as the character of Stupid), ends up getting their loot and starts co-operating with the police led by Madam Mo (Teresa Mo). A tough cookie not afraid to carry a piece with a little recoil...

One of many signs to spell trouble for a Hong Kong comedy, directors Yau and Siu put sound effects to their comedy in a desperate attempt to squeeze laughs out of the low and low-budget material. Their intent is also to create deadpan absurdities, a skill neither director is adept at. Very cartoony inclusions like Teresa Mo's face turning all read when drinking beer and nurses playing mahjong in an elevator registers zero therefore and when dealing in opposite attracts kind of bond between Mosart and Mo, the film takes its biggest nosedive into boredom. Seriously, who laughs at the country bumpkin in this case not being able to use a microwave? I thought I knew you Herman Yau. Co-starring Gabriel Wong and Wu Fung.

Double Fattiness (1988) Directed by: David Chiang

The big eeeeevil company of this movie wants to develop an apartment complex and sends Paul Chun's Chin to buy off the sole holdout: A pizza shop run by the Wu-family (Bill Tung, Lydia Shum and Eric Tsang). They refuse but tragedy strikes as the wife dies, leaving a husband and son aimless. Finding a way out of the afterlife and into immediate reincarnation, the wife now takes the form of Maggie Cheung's Diana. And THEN... the husband meets exact doppelganger of Lydia Shum's Hsiao Feng. What starts out as a simple working class comedy switches to unexpected darkness and creative (and fun) afterlife-depiction. David Chiang is keeping the frame busy, channels chemistry between his performers (Tung and Shum had already done a couple of movies together, including It's A Mad, Mad, Mad World in 1987) and the free for all energy is pleasant to follow and be around. A bit more random and skit-like for the weaker second half, nevertheless Double Fattiness is enjoyable for its mixture of mostly light and some dark (verging on the macabre at one point). Also with Teddy Yip, Dennis Chan, James Wong and director Chiang himself stops by during one of the afterlife-scenes.

Doubles Cause Troubles (1989) Directed by: Wong Jing

A very forgettable but not annoying Wong Jing experience gets the mainstream tastes "auteur" kind of thumbs up. Maggie Cheung and Carol Cheng are sisters, enemies and their inherited luxury apartment comes with the catch that they have to live together in it for a year before selling it. Then bad guys come into their lives and somewhere around them, the clues to something valuable is hidden. The hunt is on, while low-rent triads (Nat Chan and Charlie Cho) accompany the female duo. At best scoring a few chuckles, Wong Jing nonetheless gets the job done with a quick, breezy and harmless comedy where he himself as a rather strange creature (that is more weird than just the usual flirty guy at a club as you'll see) gets the biggest laughs and is an amusing, sporadic presence throughout. The leading ladies banter sufficiently well and to top it off, darker and gorier violence take center stage at the end so Doubles Cause Troubles is a multi mood-experience that works fairly well and those not caring for the light, will pay attention during the dark. Also with potential villain played by Wilson Lam, Poon Jan-Wai, Liu Fan and Gwaan Ming-Yuk.

Double Vision (2002, Chen Kuo-Fu)

Produced by Columbia for the Asian market and feeling more like the West invited to the East, Hong Kong actor Tony Leung stars with David Morse as they try and solve a series of murders where a man drowns in his own office without being submerged in water, a woman is burned to death and there's no traces of fire etc. All possibly connecting to an old prophecy of achieving immortality. Confident handling by Chen Kuo-Fu and the entire production runs through Double Vision that build mystery with clarity and intrigue. Not shying away from details but not verging on being gratuitous either, amidst all this a solid double act between Leung and Morse develops. The former handles his English dialogue and the clichés of being haunted of trauma from the past well and Morse plays being out of place as naturally as you'd come to expect from the veteran actor. Getting a bit tricky and complex as exposition takes us into dialogue about various stages of hell and a multi-reality ending, nevertheless Chen's film is competent, approachable and a fine example of this West-East corporation that was a major push by Columbia at this time. Unrated version adds a couple of extended scenes, slightly different ending and way more gore and violence during the temple massacre. Also starring Rene Liu.

Downtown Torpedoes (1997) Directed by: Teddy Chan

It's nothing to take much pride in all honesty as Teddy Chan's brought in Western influences for Downtown Torpedoes filmmaking style. A choice that spawned silly efforts such as the semi sequel to this movie, Skyline Cruisers and China Strike Force. Definitely more for the worse than good even if slight or very slight entertainment could be found if looking hard at those movies.

Same with Downtown Torpedoes, taking most of its cues from Mission: Impossible and just like most blockbusters of its kind, it comes with zero heart and character but at least action director Stephen Tung makes his sequences somewhat worthwhile. Stunts are generally good and without choreographing much ballistic set pieces, energy and good sense of pace comes through. With Takeshi Kaneshiro, Jordan Chan, Charlie Yeoung, Ken Wong, Teresa Lee and Alex Fong..

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The Dragon And Tiger Kids (1979) Directed by: Tony Wong & Tony Liu

Produced in Taiwan under the title The Dragon And Tiger Kids, in Hong Kong known as The Hell's Windstaff and internationally tweaked a little in the form of a Z in that Hong Kong title, the action directing team (Yuen Shun-Yi, Hsu Hsia, Chin Yuet-Sang, Corey Yuen & Brandy Yuen) makes this a treat in the fights department. Choosing to highlight the acrobatic skills of stars Meng Yuen-Man and Mang Hoi, at their disposal is also the ultimate whirlwind of fury, Hwang Jang-Lee. Suffice to say, all participants are highlighted to a terrific degree. What we get is varied, which isn't the case always and co-directors Tony Wong and Tony Liu (Bastard Swordsman) provides ever so slightly sharper instincts for the genre. Comedy isn't all that exaggerated, standard story beats for the villains in a way subdued, making the film so much less intrusive that it's never a long trek between the fight scenes. A small but classic genre treat. Jason Pai also co-stars.

The Eastern Heroes presentation in widescreen, Cantonese language and subtitles is unfortunately missing at least brief fighting footage at the very end. Cropped, English dubbed versions such as the one available from World Video is complete in that regard.

DragonBlade (2004) Directed by: Antony Szeto

It doesn't make Hong Kong a player on the market for computer generated animated films but DragonBlade contains enough of its locally rooted charms to entertain. Within the story of young martial artist Lang trying to get the famed DragonBlade (which you could only obtain if you're pure of heart), we get fun references to genre material made long ago and live. Iconic imagery from Drunken Master is one instance where a genre love is flashed while elements of corrupt officials, a kooky master (who apparently has the same speech pattern as Yoda) and slimey Dean Shek-esque characters occupy this fairy tale land with the utmost Wuxia flavour. Clownish initially and tough to get into therefore, director Antony Szeto finds a pretty decent flow as soon as the elaborate tournament sequence hits and then fantasy is allowed to roam more free. As an adventure, this is serviceable, short stuff overall but you should look all the way back to A Chinese Ghost Story The Tsui Hark Animation for a better view of one man's fantasy, the use of CG in animation while making the product very Hong Kong which in turn leads to international flavour. I think it's due to quality also. Voice acting for DragonBlade is provided by Stephen Fung, Karen Mok, Sandra Ng, Jim Chim and Daniel Wu.

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Dragon Blood (1982) Directed by: John Liu

Hanging around in Europe in the early 80s directing films for his own production company, location work in Paris (for Zen Kwun Do Strikes In Paris aka Kung Fu Leung Strikes Emmanuelle) is ejected in favour of location work in the Canary Islands (thank you Jesús Manuel Pérez Molina for the info) acting as a backdrop for his Mexico-set story. In awe of the locations available to him, Liu showcases them... a lot. In fact elongating in favour of actual, varied, meaningful content is a theme here. Liu is a Chinese immigrant who is blinded by bandits after a coveted Dragon amulet but is nursed back to health and trained by Pauline (Cyrielle Claire). Clearly wanting to tell the history of Chinese immigrant labour in America, the history lesson comes off as filler and even the training as blind goes on for ages (as does the tragic ending that Liu definitely does not earn). When all you have is a few actors, locations and a small budget, you do what you can but Liu is not able to muster up memorable imagery. Fight action when involving Phillip Ko Fei shows flashes of brilliance and what an amazing kicker Liu is but Dragon Blood never comes alive beyond its cool concept of being a kung-fu movie shot on these locations.

Dragon Bruce Lee Part II (1979) Directed by: To Lo-Po

Also known as Big Boss 2 and looking more like Fist Of Fury, it's neither a sequel to anything seemingly or resembles distinct plot beats out of Bruce Lee's classic. Dragon Lee is Lee Han San, part of the Chinese resistance that wants to take down the maniacally laughing Japanese. He gets hurt along the way and also along the way, bland storytelling and only sporadic action flair pops up. In a vehicle that seems to initially dump all elements of Bruceploitation, over the course of the movie the always massive looking and acting Dragon dones the Bruce-persona fully and within a unfulfilling frame story- and action-wise, this is Dragon Bruce Lee Part II's saving grace for those sporadic moments. Trying to depict fury and dramatic acting leads to unintentional humour, attempts at iconic moments (in order to make Lee come off as a patriotic hero) comes off as really sloppy instead so thank god someone tapped into the goofy Bruceploitation side of it all. Also with Phillip Ko and Bolo Yeung.

The Dragon Chronicles - The Maidens (1994) Directed by: Andy Chin

Also known as The Dragon Chronicles - The Maidens Of Heavenly Mountains, it's 100 mph plotting right out of the gate, adhering well to the Wuxia tradition of storytelling and being a possible turn off for those not accustomed to the style. However when the narrator settles down, Andy Chin's (Call Girl 92) movie reveals itself to be an off-beat pleasure that even dabbles, albeit lightheartedly, in the consequences of the usual power struggles within the martial arts world. The two fighting the most intensely are Li Chau Shui (Brigitte Lin) and Mo Han Wan (Gong Li). Han Wan is drawn to Chau Shui's twin sister Li Ching Hoi (Lin again) as well while sect leader Ting Chun Chou (Norman Tsui) is plotting his possible dominance. One of his disciples Purple (Sharla Cheung) is literally a kid within all this, getting giddy at the thought of being a ruler and she stumbles upon the tools all involved desire in order to achieve superiority. The secret lies within a Shaolin monk (Frankie Lam) and the ancient sutra he's been asked to guard...

A big scale production, combining the often used animated effects but also suitable inclusions of computer generated imagery, the frantic pacing and wild battles are definitely Tsui Hark and Zu: Warriors From The Magic Mountain in style which is a high compliment to Andy Chin's work here. The flying battles take place over some quite impressive sets, being both done in the shaky cam tradition but also wire work is captured in a variety of one-shots going across the width of the sets. With his remarkably beautiful leads at center stage, it's no wonder the movie gets a boost visually as well while Sharla Cheung performs the light side of the story impressively. Overall quite an evil character that force-feeds chicken to the monk and gets her senior to cut off his legs, sprinkled throughout are notions of power being quite repetitive and boring, something one character will possibly learn after it's achieved. This is not one, big dramatic intention but a clear train of thought that has a place besides the wild, frantic, hypnotic, hyperactive side of The Dragon Chronicles - The Maidens. You can never blame it for being boring or predictable as Andy Chin showcases the Wuxia world is anything but. It's also decidedly human at points. Also with Liu Kai-Chi.

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Yesasia.com

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