# 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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Full Contact (1992) Directed by: Ringo Lam

Full Contact is not an effort neither Ringo Lam or Chow Yun-Fat will quote as their proudest moment at the end of their days, even though it's a fan favourite overseas. Lam stated that it was a money vehicle for him and not a personal one akin to Wild Search or School On Fire while Chow recognized that his character was way too evil for both his and the Hong Kong audiences tastes. Perhaps they're right but it's a guilty pleasure ride despite!

A revenge and redemption story set amongst the baddest of the bad, Full Contact is clearly placed within the characteristics of the heroic bloodshed genre but even the best of those efforts had characters with some form of true nobility as gangsters. Lam and writer Nam Yin instead opts to gravely pull the rug underneath our feet to give us repulsive and highly unsympathetic characters outside of the slight journey Chow Yun-Fat's Jeff goes through. By doing this, they also kick all aspects into high, over the top gear, meaning gory violence, seedy environments, an atmospheric Teddy Robin Kwan guitar score and it's definitely very much close to an anti-heroic bloodshed film. Yet, it's literally bloody, harmless adult entertainment despite all the nastiness on display and Lam does shows off great style to boot (most famously through the use of the "bullet-cam"). Chow Yun-Fat is, despite his character ways, still the coolest cat in Hong Kong cinema and Simon Yam uses his flamboyance to delivery a colourful, gay villain. The final confrontation between the two comes with one of the most quoted subtitles of the film. Anthony Wong, Ann Bridgewater, Frankie Ng and Bonnie Fu co-stars.

The original cinema version played with a Category II rating but later Cat III rated video versions reinstated several moments of gore (the Mei Ah dvd incorrectly states that it's still Cat II). There's also evidence in the film of at least one deleted scene that involves Anthony Wong's Sam forced by Yam's Judge to bring the eyes of Jeff as evidence that he's killed him. Wong reportedly instead cuts out the eyes of one of the killed family members in the house where this all takes place. Him then exiting the house shows him grasping on something in his hands (a shot that's in the film) and what would've followed was Judge placing the eye balls in his mouth. It's not quite The Big Boss status on this lost scene but still...

In later years, an alternate soundtrack has turned up on Columbia Tri-Star's release and the UK Hong Kong Legends dvd. Most notably, much of Teddy Robin's score is gone in favour of even more tracks culled from Extreme's Pornograffitti album (outside of "Get The Funk Out" that plays over the opening credits on every version). Mei Ah presents the soundtrack many have listened to over the years but the debate goes on about the validity of the newly surfaced track. It's your choice.

Buy the Mei Ah DVD at:
Yesasia.com

Full Metal Ninja (1988) Directed by: Godfrey Ho

TROY'S REVIEW: Pierre Kirby, star of the classic Zombie Vs Ninja, headlines in this wacky cut & paste effort set ostensibly in the 17th Century as indicated here by the inception of musket weaponry. Of course, seeing as Godfrey Ho directed the film in question, you can immediately throw any hopes of abstruse historical accuracy right out the window. Kirby appears as Leon, a ninja with a grudge (and a gun!) against Boris, a fellow ninja who we are informed previously killed his family. Playing out simultaneously to this tale is another story of retribution, this time featuring a master swordsman called Eagle, who is trying to track down and seize back his beloved wife from the evil General Leung. Well, with our man Ho in the directors chair you can always count on one thing; some decidedly risible and side splitting attempts to link the two very separate stories (and films!) together. Sure enough, the inept efforts at just that prove to be some of the most hilarious in any of these films. Good old Godfrey Ho, the man is a "genius".

Funeral March (2001) Directed by: Joe Ma

Going into this with Dummy Mummy, Without A Baby fresh in my mind, I wasn't expecting anything anymore from something DIRECTED by Joe Ma. How wonderful it is to be wrong sometimes though. Funeral March is not a triumph that will stand next to similar works like Juliet In Love or C'est La Vie, Mon Cheri but it's a very solid romantic drama nonetheless. Charlene Choi plays a young woman diagnosed with cancer and she enlists funeral director Duan (Eason Chan). Along the way he gives her meaning and strength back to consider a possible life saving operation. Beautifully shot and scored (Ma sure likes to fill his films with wall to wall music), this is a work with unexpected subtlety. Eason and Charlene are good together in roles that requires more from them than just playing versions of themselves, like some pop stars do. If you've seen way too many movies, some of you will spot the plot twist before your normal moviegoer but it doesn't detract from what is a touching little drama.

Buy the DVD at:
Yesasia.com

Funny Business (1995) Directed by: Clifton Ko

A big flop upon release in 1995, which is perhaps why comedy legend Michael Hui didn't appear in a Hong Kong production again until 2004 (although he did have a supporting role against Gong Li and Jeremy Irons in Wayne Wang's The Chinese Box). Hui plays business efficient Mainlander Fuk-Ching who goes into the hotel business, prompted by a shady Western businessman (Gregory Charles River - Her Fatal Ways IV). However giving each and everyone he knows something to do at the hotel proves to be his quick downfall. Fuk-Ching takes a second trip to Hong Kong in order to really learn how to run his business. He does so by working amongst the low-end workers of a hotel managed by Vivi (Alice Lau).

Quite wildly local and over the top with its satire, the intentions seems to stagger with Clifton Ko at the helm but when basically going physical on us, the exaggerated gags of Fuk-Ching's hotel falling apart and his way of acquiring knowledge when working for Vivi plays more favourably and Hui scores a gem or two here. It's merely amusing and a far cry from his best work but Funny Business eventually pays off decently thanks to likeable turns by Hui and Lau. James Wong, Lo Jun-Ho, Law Kar-Ying, Cheung Tat-Ming (who also wrote the script), Teddy Yip and Rachel Lee (as herself) also appear.

Buy the VCD at:
Yesasia.com

Funny Ghost (1989) Directed by: Yuen Cheung-Yan

Energetic fun courtesy of Yuen Cheung-Yan who rarely lets his grasp slip off this one. Sandra Ng quickly goes from hostess girl, being the killing target of her quickly impoverished best friend Ngor (Alvina Kong) to assisting on her suicide only to fall to her death myself. Saved by the bamboo made construction site at a building, into her lap falls an urn with a ghost originally made to obey the command of boss Hung (Wu Fung). Every command means controlling people and the gambling table among other things. Now chased by the triads, into the chase enters two bumbling representatives of the Scotland Yard (Charlie Cho and Nat Chan) and a triad assassin (Billy Lau) constantly failing at his tasks...

Although being quite darkly comical with Ngor's multiple suicide attempts usually meaning pain for Sandra Ng, Yuen Cheung-Yan lightens the mood and while broad, there's a sense of a director translating his vision of fun (even if dark fun) into the minds of the actors. Broad scenarios like Charlie Cho and Nat Chan trying to ward off what they think are ghosts with red underwear and shortly thereafter a group of hostess girls trying to do the same are totally enjoyable thanks to this skill-level. Sandra Ng also gets to play dress up as she tries to evade the forces out to get her by being old, a man and an kid. An unusual Hong Kong product. Unusual because it's funny. Also with Walter Tso.

Buy the DVD at:
Yesasia.com

Funny Vampire (1986) Directed by: Ng Kwok-Hao

One year after Mr. Vampire and the copies appeared that pretty much was tailored after the exact content of that classic and its lead, Lam Ching-Ying. So here from Taiwan we'll have to suffice with a crappier Taoist priest, although equipped with wicked eyebrows and among others Tai Po as one of the naughty assistants. No real surprises therefore from director Ng Kwok-Hao so autopilot and sleepwalking are words applicable to the final tally but fans will have a fairly fun time when pace is increased. Because here the expected pace and creativity within the genre gets approval. Then the odd elements in scenes here and there will be imprinted in your memory even! See for instance a potential victim beat the crap out of a hopping vampire in a public lavatory, on-screen urinating, Pauline Wong engaging in a sort of dopey dance of the dead and very agile vampires not bound by that silly notion of rigamortis. Chin Yuet-Sang and Huang Ha also appear.

Furious Slaughter (1972) Directed by: Ding Sin-Saai

Jimmy Wang Yu arrives with cool and confidence and starts cleaning up gambling and prostitution. No horde or multiple waves of opponents stands in the way of him either. Standardized Wang Yu vehicle but within a short running time and Wang Yu dependently disposing of tons of enemies, Furious Slaughter does its job without impressing that much. That is before the finale hits that responds very well to the English title of the film and we get nigh on distressing violence here in a welcome turn.

Fury (1988) Directed by: Johnny Wang

A bit distant and routine, this Johnny Wang directed heroic bloodshed entry ends up favourably thanks to its intensity. With a weapons deal gone wrong, betrayal and bottled up emotions on display, Wang sets his sights of the themes running very much rampant during this time (post-A Better Tomorrow). It's mostly standard but performers Waise Lee and Phillip Chan do mean what they project, especially Lee who handles the conflicted state of his character well. Michael Wong (dubbed by someone else not sounding AT ALL like him but it's thankfully a full on Cantonese language performance because of the trade-off) looks good in a beard but don't carry himself better than that and you'll also have to endure a breakdancing scene from him. An unconvincing, unsympathetic character looking for redemption comes out via Ellen Chan's role but that opportunity director Wang doesn't utilize so Fury receives yet another mark of mediocrity.

But to a fine degree, his action (done together with Tony Tam who also worked on City Warriors) goes a suitable gritty and excessive route, giving us mayhem worthy of the era, in good amount of bursts. As always especially during the finale. Co-starring are Ku Feng, Kirk Wong and Carrie Ng.

Fury Of King Boxer (1972) Directed by: Ding Sin-Saai

KENNETH'S REVIEW: Ding Sin-Saai dipped in a worse way into history for Everlasting Glory in 1975, employing major historical facts and creating utter boredom in the process. Fury Of King Boxer takes an important template, about the rebels that eventually managed to create the Chinese Republic, but thankfully decides to mix it up with that pesky notion of creating bearable action cinema too. Gwok Siu-Chung is Chow Ken, the female revolutionary that left behind wealth and family to pursue her dream of not being one of them oppressed Chinese. Jimmy Wang Yu is one of her closest, able men and while patriotic dialogue comes off as really awkward (as well as other cinema choices when in this mode), the film is well anchored by mayhem. Featuring a handful of superbly epic action scenes, in particular the ones featuring Wang Yu where he uses knifes, guns, bayonets and his resolve that makes him beat about a million opponents. It all might play out as somebody's treasured history but to most others, it's quite a superb ride for large amounts of the running time.

Future Cops (1993) Directed by: Wong Jing

So Wong Jing either forgot to or didn't get rights to use the characters from Capcom's Street Fighter games but predictably, that didn't stop him. Changing names and design to apparently stay within the legal framework, there's no doubt what Future Cops is referencing but even if Capcom had bothered to look, they and the rest of the universe would've left Future Cops alone. Why? Because it's Wong Jing at his most unbearably worst.

Structuring a very minimal plot around a therefore very long 90 minutes, Wong's at the time audience friendly cast (that includes Andy Lau, Jacky Cheung, Chingmy Yau and Simon Yam) and humour goes all the way to appear stupid, annoying and completely unfunny. Insipid is another word and one can definitely imagine Wong Jing having a blast himself coming up with the so called gags of this one. Best just to play along was probably the actor's perspective. Are we also supposed to be impressed when Wong references modern pop culture icons such as Super Mario Bros? It's more a case of pure Hong Kong cinema embarrassment from a profile that nowadays barely has any stars or audience anymore, as evident by the failure of Kung Fu Mahjong and its sequel. This big kick in the balls hopefully will trigger Wong Jing to actually put in effort and perhaps concentrate on serious stories on a more regular basis. We all know he can, on occasion (see Colour Of The Truth).

Future Cops action directing team, consisting of Ching Siu-Tung, Deon Lam and Ma Yuk Sing does spice up the picture with minute charming action that echoes the Street Fighter spirit to the fairly good degree that the sequence in City Hunter also did.

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

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