# 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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Fooling Around Jiang Hu (2016, Lam Chiu-Wing)

An impenetrable audio and visual assault that it's either insanely local or simply flat and bad. Going by gut feeling, it is the latter as power struggles and conflicts play out in the wacky triad-world at hand here. To deconstruct the glossy and sometimes glamorous life of a Hong Kong gangster is always a welcome idea but director Lam Chiu-Wing is an idea man without a sense of purpose and theme. So the volume of gags, quirky humour, working the soundtrack into your comedy as you touch upon genre-tropes, comes off as completely misguided. With enough noise and a couple of veterans like Alan Tam and Jordan Chan, he seems to think that's enough satirical work done for the movie. It is not and Once Upon A Time In Triad Society nor Too Many Ways To Be No. 1 need to worry.

Forbidden Arsenal (1991) Directed by: Cheng Siu-Keung & Yuen Chun Man

Official part of the In The Line of Duty series or not (the Hong Kong print calls it aka part VI), Forbidden Arsenal is largely a stale action- and fighting showcase with Cynthia Khan. The odd fun banter between Waise Lee, To Siu Chung and Khan flashes by, something that also can be said about the action (best bit before the slightly better finale is a short but well-done fencing duel) but the series and Hong Kong action cinema of this kind has seen better days.

Co-director Cheng Siu-Keung now enjoys much more acclaim as Johnnie To's cinematographer of choice, having worked on such films as PTU and Throw Down. Also with Robin Shou, Phillip Kwok and Hiu Siu Hung (now also a Johnnie To regular).

Forbidden City Cop (1996) Directed by: Vincent Kok & Stephen Chow

Sort of a sequel yet not to From Beijing With Love, this period comedy sees Stephen Chow as once again as Ling Ling Fat (008 in Chinese), an emperor guard with a dedication to inventions such as an early prototype for an helicopter. Trademark silliness ensue...

Eventually Chow got himself a co-directing credit when Vincent Kok realized how many ideas were put forth by the star and he's really on high form here. Compared to the older films of his helmed by Wong Jing, that were really point and shoot affairs, the technical aspects of Forbidden City Cop share the spotlight with the hilarious antics of Chow and company. Strong comedic interplay with his leading lady Carina Lau is one of the prime assets also and what really also is encouraging is how Chow's mo lei to style really does feel fresh from movie to movie. With a finale that goes surreal places such as the foray into an awards ceremony among other things, Forbidden City Cop cements its winner status. Even though there surely are many local references, and even recognizable ones such as Yuen Cheung Yan in his The Miracle Fighters costume and a parody of the famous alien autopsy, it's easy to connect to Forbidden City Cop. It's simply a great, wild Hong Hong Kong comedy with and by the one who does it best. Law Kar-Ying, Cheung Tat-Ming, Carman Lee, Tats Lau, Yuen King Tan, Vincent Kok, Lee Lik-Chi, Sunny Yuen and Lee Kin Yan (nosepicking transvestite) also appear.

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Forever Friends (1996) Directed by: Chu Yen-Ping

More Taiwanese army training and this time aggravation is justified because Chu Yen-Ping simply made one hell of a boring stinker here. Despite big budget shots and unashamed theft of the score from Superman, Chu echoes exactly what he did wrong in No, Sir, only with even less focus. Returning cast members Jimmy Lin and Takeshi Kaneshiro (who flip flopped between acclaimed movies and these types around this time) play different characters who are treating their training less like a breeze this time but still has to learn the true value of friendship...bla bla. If only Forever Friends had been up to the level of No, Sir that at least a goal had executed less badly and verdict would have landed on a different spot. Here Chu is seriously sleeping his way through proceedings, nailing none of his simple little themes and even the Taiwanese army should've been thinking that this is sketchy propaganda. Nicky Wu is horribly miscast as the commander of the Special Squad where most poor soldiers end up and the sole fun Forever Friends offers up comes in an outtake-reel where Wu is seen performing with a foot injury for part of the shoot. Writer Wu Nien-Jin apparently took a vacation also after logging layered work in movies such as Song Of The Exile and Osmanthus Alley.

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.

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