# 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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Fortune Chasers (1990) Directed by: Charles Tang

Ka Ho (Chin Siu-Ho) battles with gambling habits and debts to triads so it's fitting he comes across smugglers who put diamonds in rice. Comedic vignettes and a few well choreographed fights ensue. For large parts just padded with random detours into scenarios set in a madhouse, characters receiving involuntary breast implants (that does get a minor pay off though) and in general loud banter that flies over your head, it's not worth grabbing seemingly to see if it's funny. Chin Siu-Ho's energy is commendable and one of the ladies gets a neat fighting showcase where the stunt team is put through a pretty good workout as well. Also with Dick Wei.

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For Your Heart Only (1985) Directed by: Raymond Fung

Womanizing DJ Piggy Chan (Leslie Cheung) desires Jane (Rachel Lee) so every kind of dickish- and asshole behaviour is utilized in order to get inside her pants, including literally putting a bag over her head. Living with friends Hayden (Jimmy Wong) and Sapi (Mang Hoi), the latter is the best friend everyone wishes for and one you would take a bit too much for granted. Lending cars set to be repaired at a garage and rather finishing last, Sapi is the key to an awakening in this very unsympathetic character Leslie plays. A noble idea at the conception stage but the movie never clicks when contrasting this devil- and angel character against each other. It's understandable structurally why Leslie is portrayed in this extremely unsympathetic light but director Raymond Fung can't mold this into a cinematically sound time. It's forced melodrama with an expected twist. Mang Hoi is thoroughly likeable in the role of Sapi though. Also with Bonnie Law and Ann Bridgewater.

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Four Dragons (1992) Directed by: Yip Hing-Fai

A treasure hunt amongst gangsters, cops, those caught in between and it results in one of the low-points of Hong Kong action cinema. Containing quality from start to finish, there's also the poor grade of that scale and Four Dragon goes down the drain with every direction it takes. The cheesy synthesizer score of the opening should set off the internal alarm with most and it would be correctly tuned therefore.

The action goes from one cheap set to the other, offering up laughable choreography (featuring an embarrassing editing choice where moves are repeated 2-3 times), comedy and erotica in between. Occasionally you're reminded of the fact that there apparently is a plot and ultimately that Four Dragons really represents the sad truth of being an actor or a filmmaker in Hong Kong. The cast included all have award winning works behind them (Long Arm Of The Law and Mr. Vampire mainly) but this film could serve as an example (depending on your preference for mentioned awarded films) of how quickly you fall from grace and how you need to accept every gig possible to get by. At any rate, stars of this show includes Ken Lo, Chin Siu-Ho, Shum Wai and Ku Feng.

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The Four Invincible (1979) Directed by: Wa Yan

KENNETH'S REVIEW: What looks like retard kung-fu being briefly demonstrated at the top of The Four Invincible coheres later on into a fun piece of kung-fu entertainment. Ching Lei (Ku Feng) is part of the Hung Clan that has strict punishment for disobedience, including amputation. Kicked out and crippled therefore, we cut to 16 years later where the leader of the clan (Jeng Kei-Ying) and his men roam the town to punish whatever comes in their path. Their tour among other things results in a mute (Hon Gwok-Choi), they blind a local fortune teller (To Siu-Ming) and chop off the arm of the character played by Dai Sai-An (also co-action director). Wanting revenge but possessing no skills, they're taken in by Ching Lei and slowly the crippled men become crippled avengers...

Yes, Crippled Avengers is the film that should spring to mind when watching The Four Invincible but this production has chops of its own. Being quite fierce and brutal in its ways, director Wa Yan uses the concept well and rarely stray outside of moods. The lightness that is allowed makes sense and with the dependable Ku Feng present, the slight dip into personal drama even works. Real martial arts action is let loose very late but is of stellar quality with only the actual handicapped kung-fu being a concept that doesn't fly. Thankfully, the movie doesn't hinge on its inclusion funnily enough.

Four Loves (1989) Directed by: Jamie Luk

The Cheng sisters (Pauline Wong, Carina Lau and Crystal Kwok) are united in Hong Kong and are bringing in a newly found friend from Shanghai, sexy bombshell Chien (Nina Li). It's the time in their lives when a husband needs to be found and going through each suitor, it's seems that the presence of Chien is quite diverting...

A remake of the 1957 movie Our Sister Hedy (that starred Jeanette Lin who also has a supporting role here) Jamie Luk (The Case Of The Cold Fish) works little magic out of that basic story and Four Loves is basically just a trip through each suitor to the next (some being played by Simon Yam, Ray Lui and Derek Yee) without much character conflict being part of the equation. When that does enter, Luk has merely a shallow grip on the question of longing so the film never registers. The production becomes a fine looking one thanks to the ladies but I'd rather have a shorter highlight reel of them in this film rather than the tedious 90 minutes I got. Also starring Wu Fung, Charlie Cho and Anthony Chan appears in a surprise cameo.

Four Riders (1972) Directed by: Chang Cheh

A Christmas release that year, Four Riders is Chang Cheh making movies in his sleep and he can because he has the ever so watchable cast of Ti Lung, David Chiang and Chen Kuan-Tai on board as well as his action directing team of Lau Kar-Leung and Tong Gaai. So it speaks volumes about his talents when an automatic movie ends up being entertaining. But the story of solders post-war times who ends up fighting drug dealers in Korea (headed by Hong Kong cinema Japanese mainstay Yasuaki Kurata) is still downright sloppily executed, especially from a design point of view as the film is set in the 50s but contains groovy people from the future 70s. Technical illogical moments galore involves a very sophisticated surveillance system and you have actors making zero impact because there's not a single worthy beat to work with. But a whole switcharoo in viewer sensibility is required during this experience.

Some tangents involves how the solders are searching for their freedom again, being worn and some quite illustrated nonsense about The Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse makes its way into the flick which makes us realize that it can't possibly represent something meaningful in this package. No, notions of heroism, loyalty and the slow motion filmed deaths (some of which are quite outrageously gory) corresponds to Chang Cheh either testing new grounds in terms of portraying eras (a big F for that attempt then) or simply knowing he has to make a commercial movie or two now and again. Because wonders such as The New One-Armed Swordsman and Boxer From Shantung had came and was to come respectively and I'll never be convinced of this dip in quality from the legend at this time being an actual grave one. Four Riders allows him to have a bit of fun, making sure there's elements imbedded that are expected of him. Nothing represents this as absurdly as the gymnasium showdown as it allows his action directors to roam free without much logic backing it up. Lily Li, Ching Li and Wang Chung also stars.

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Four Robbers (1987) Directed by: Addy Sung

Mediocre and even boring variation of Long Arm Of The Law, our Mainland robbers of this one get into conflicts, drug deals and stalls the movie in Thailand to enjoy the nightlife and prostitutes (English dub version screened cuts out the nudity). Addy Sung doesn't involve with characters which would've been fine had we gotten an intense feeling out of the gunplay that he was aiming for as co-action director as well. Which we don't but on the bright side, when it's all over, it quickly cuts to credits.

Foxbat (1977) Directed by: Leung Po-Chi

Leung Po-Chi (Hong Kong 1941, The Wisdom Of Crocodiles) co-wrote this action-adventure with Phillip Chan while Dr. No and Thunderball director Terence Young consulted on that very script. Other sources claim Young co-directed and what you can say for certain is that Foxbat has James Bond in mind. Only they take the special, in this case CIA agent more raunchy, dark and violent places. Henry Silva is Michael Saxon, an agent assigned to retrieve data on the Russian aircraft Foxbat that has landed in Japan. Shooting the information via a camera in his glass eyeball, the film is stored in a piece of hard candy and off to Hong Kong possible defector Saxon goes to receive bids from crooks and agents from around the world. Among the interested is American/Chinese Dr. Vod (Roy Chiao) who has been working for the KGB and developed a mind control drug...

You ask yourself if Leung is dishing out the narrative in fragments consciously or if he's just whimsy? I favour the latter because as good as it looks for a Hong Kong production, Foxbat appears annoyingly muddled too. Henry Silva's Saxon hovers between ill performed and suitably edgy/dangerous but there's also no doubt there's tons of cheesy dialogue present. Some of it adds to a charm the film otherwise lacks and when it doesn't, director Leung has thankfully started his chase scenario that seems to go on for days in movie time. It starts when a camp cook (James Yi) swallows the hard candy with the film and into this race comes beauty Toni (Vonetta McGee) who may or not have an agenda too. By pouring on, Leung gets a fair entertainment factor out of the matters and the total tally that continues to be a darker Bond adventure is notable for that. Warriors are built by the end, which is one of the more subtle messages of the film. Melvin Wong, Phillip Chan and Rik Van Nutter (Felix Leiter in Thunderball) also appear.

Fox Hunter (1995) Directed by: Stephen Tung

Solid actioner by Stephen Tung that highlights a slick appearance of his gun and explosions-mayhem while also smoothly integrating basic drama that manages to not be as embarrassing as you might think (especially coming from an action director at heart). In a better than usual performance from Jade Leung, she is Jenny who goes on a revenge mission after being forced by monster, bomber and funnily enough also villain Yam Tung (Ching Fung) to murder her uncle. With her she grabs pimp Chan Kong (Jordan Chan) who assisted on a previous undercover mission and the odd match take to Mainland China to wreak havoc no matter what it takes...

We're not convinced a fairly good verdict will come out of the initial stages of Fox Hunter as it feels blurry in the action-stakes and the choice to intercut police briefings containing hostage tactics with the real thing is one of those choices you don't really notice. But adhering slightly to the 48 Hours-formula, only with more emphasis on action, Tung goes to work with A work possibly leading towards immoral places looking at the character desperation. Bike chases, multiple grenade attacks and automatic firing conveyed in a slick, clear way, Leung and Chan also generates worthwhile chemistry to make us invest a little. Especially Jordan has a likeable energy as the not so pimp pimp with more earthly roots. It's not heavy drama, nor is the style captivating but Tung gets by quite nicely by featuring lots of it in quite the superbly paced package. A seemingly realistic blend of Cantonese and Mandarin is employed. Yu Rong-Guang co-stars.

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Fox Legend (1991) Directed by: Wu Ma

Walking in the path of A Chinese Ghost Story, co-star of the Tsui Hark produced classic co-stars and direct this very evident imitation hindered by limitations such as budget but also imagination. Wu Ma is Hunt King who's after a family of fox demons who are after a family seal that will help a god to reincarnate. Headed by a vicious mother, one of her assistants is Snow (Joey Wong) who falls in love with the son of the family holding the seal. I don't condemn familiarity if done with some finesse and although Wu Ma delivers fun sights of the fox demons true shape and fantasy battles, the pedal to the metal approach isn't coming through like it needs to. It's all fun but a few notches to slow but kudos for bringing back his famous rap from said classic. Smells of wearing your intent on your sleeve but during this brief stretch, the fun AND energy comes through.

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