# 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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Give Me Back (1983) Directed by: Wan Siu-Ken

Set in bizarro Hong Kong (Gnoh Gnok possibly) where the Women's Liberation Movement is in full effect. Meaning they pee on the streets, violently murder men, their fellow women, surgically insert pagers inside the husbands and this oppression has led to the creation of The Society For The Protection Of Cruelty To Husbands. This is where abused Q (Kent Cheng) turns...

One of the most odd comedies I've ever seen, its wild satire has an obvious intent and is not subtle. Basically turning everything on its head but still recognizing a serious real life problem beyond the screen, director Wan Siu-Kuen knows how to get laughs out of this black material. Creative even to a point, things turn muddled at times though in the very noisy frame as we follow Q's quest to achieve harmony in his relationship. Ultimately it comes down to neither side acting right, which sounds like a PSA of the grating kind but perhaps it would've been more so if Give Me Back was mundane. It most definitely is not. Hong Kong cinema being odd we're used to. By being this surreal however....it's something different. A minor pleasure in itself. Co-starring Chow Lai-Guen.

A Gleam Of Hope (1994) Directed by: Jeffrey Chiang

Changed around enough in order to prevent it from being a full on remake, A Gleam Of Hope is still obviously patterned after The Fugitive, with Anthony Wong in the Harrison Ford role and Yu Rong-Guang in the shoes of Tommy Lee Jones. Much less of a grand spectacle, director Jeffrey Chiang does keep suspense and pace at an above average rating and delivers an unexpectedly dark ending. Amy Kwok plays Anthony Wong's wife and John Ching the mastermind behind the framing of Wong's character. No dead wife or no one-armed man in this one therefore.

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The Glory Of The Sunset (1977) Directed by: Laai Shing-Ying

KENNETH'S REVIEW: Yi-Cheng (Chin Han) and Chu-Ling's (Chen Chen) romance gets interrupted when Yi-Cheng, a medical student, finds out he has cancer. The struggle between social classes in the family's and the parents trying to make up the minds of the children gets put on eternal hold as all will have to learn the very human notions of appreciating real love around them. Especially so when Yi-Cheng flees to the countryside to kill himself. No surprise direction here as Laai Shing-Ying relies on fast zooms for his emotional reveals, quite often. But ultimately this soap opera still has good, noble thoughts that at least makes its escape from bottom of the barrel territory to barely basic. That's always something.

Godfather From Canton (1982) Directed by: Kuei Chih-Hung

Gordon Liu as Lin Si Hai goes from poor coolie to manipulating his way into a high ranking position in the corrupt police force as well as being a major figure in the criminal underworld. Kuei Chih-Hung (The Bamboo House Of Dolls, The Boxer's Omen) shows no particular comfort or heart shooting a gangster tale which is a shame because the visually exciting director of horror and exploitation fare could work his magic in a variety of genres clearly. But most of Godfather Of Canton feels like a contractual obligation from all involved, barely any snaps into violence (despite a lot of squib work) register and the dips into comedy throughout is both unfunny and distasteful (movie features Hon Gwok-Choi as a character with cerebral palsy who marries a mentally challenged girl. Mostly played as a thing to laugh AT). Also with Ku Feng, Tang Ching and Choh Seung-Wan.

The Godfather's Daughter Mafia Blues (1991) Directed by: Fung Hak-On

Behind the somewhat eccentric title (to Western ears only possibly) lies a stale gangster actioner that can't escape the tag of "been there, done that". In fact, it does the expected with only half dedication at best. Expected first to be a rise and fall story of two ordinary working men (Mark Cheng and Benny Lai's characters) joining the triads, they become supporting characters the more we get to know of Master Hwa's (Alex Man) financial troubles. All while his Japanese rival Kuyama (Ken Lo) tries to get rid of Hwa. The asskicking daughter of the piece is Yukari Oshima's Amy but there's little to cherish aside from director Fung Hak-On's eye for painful stunts and fights (in particular the last 15 minutes or so). Yukari is involved in a high class scrap at a gym while various hard encounters for the stuntmen with tables, glass and cars evokes that nostalgic time of watching these men and women get really messed up for the sake of action entertainment. Mark Cheng participating in quite a lot of the action too is admirable but narrative director Fung gets no mileage out of such intended dramatic core connections such as the one between Hwa and closest man Tung (Dick Wei). It's clichéd and easy territory to bring to the screen but nonetheless it's poorly executed. Fung Fung, Peter Yang, Tai Bo and Leung Kar-Yan also appear.

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Godfathers Of Fury (1982, Pao Hsueh-Li)

Standard gangster stuff take center stage, such as a murdered big boss who didn't pick the right successor according to one, violent, jealous character that will act as our maniacally laughing bad guy. Son comes back, melodrama and revenge-light is on aaaaaand GO! Familiarity not elevated by punchy violence or action makes Godfathers Of Fury pretty neutral and bland. God knows director Pao tries by featuring brutal stabbings and SOME on-screen special effects that echoes Chang Cheh's style of bloodshed. At points watchable basics therefore but even the martial arts comes off as sluggish when speed, energy, grit should've been there in spades. They try, they have the absolute correct instinct and oddly enough the movie is well-paced. Starring Dorian Tan, Chen Sing, Guan Shan, Tsai Hung and John Cheung.

God Of Gamblers II (1990) Directed by: Wong Jing

A successful sequel to both God of Gamblers and All For The Winner but with Chow Yun-Fat out and another Chow in. Namely Stephen Chow and when directed by Wong Jing, thankfully he is still allowed to roam free on the screen. God of Gamblers II negatives are obvious when Wong Jing actually tries to be a storyteller. Routine work really but also sloppy since some characters, including Ng Man Tat, are unwisely ejected form the picture for the longest time without no good explanation. Short but still out of place violence towards Sharla Cheung's character further drags Wong's work down.

As expected, much is redeemed since Chow is on fire and continues to build on his brilliant comedic timing with Ng Man Tat and honing his brand of silly comedy that is remarkably consistent and strong this early in his career. The long gambling climax, something Wong does excel at shooting, is suitably structured between Andy Lau's coolness at the tables and Chow's shenanigans around it. A hilarious entry in the gambling gentry that is capped off with some fun acrobatic gunplay and an expected Bruce Lee homage by Chow to boot. Also with Charles Heung, Blackie Ko, Kirk Wong and Shing Fui-On.

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God Of Gamblers Part III: Back To Shanghai (1991) Directed by: Wong Jing

The Saint Of Gamblers (Stephen Chow) travels back in time to 1930s Shanghai, bumping into his Uncle's parents and famed gangster Ding Lik (Ray Lui). His only hope to get back to the present is communication with the present...through a cell phone!

The character of Ding Lik will mean a whole lot more to Asian audiences as Ray Lui played him in the successful series The Bund (the show also made a TV-star out of Chow Yun-Fat) and combined with its Back To The Future storyline, Wong Jing sets the stage for his parodies and referencing of various aspects of the show. Not to worry however, us Westerners are still part of much of the silly antics on display and while not as thick on gags, God Of Gamblers Part III: Back To Shanghai greatly entertains.

Wong Jing once again lies mostly low and lets Stephen Chow and Ng Man Tat run the show. The production is also infused with much professionalism design-wise, all wonderfully captured by cinematographer Peter Pau. Mainland starlet Gong Li also went on to co-star with Chow in Flirting Scholar.

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HK Flix.com
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God Of Gamblers 3 - The Early Stage (1996) Directed by: Wong Jing

The prequel to God Of Gamblers, here we follow the early years of Ko Chun who is in fact one unlucky son of a bitch. We already knew he lost his memory, become childlike, had one wife raped after she died while another saw her unborn child cut out and left for poor Ko Chun to find in a jar. It's a serious case of deja vu (although reversed for us viewers) here as Ko Chun (Leon Lai) is betrayed by the master who taught him in order for the second best gambler in the group, Ko Ngo (Francis Ng) to gain the status of God of Gamblers. Miraculously surviving a headshot, the mentally unstable Ko Chun is nursed back to health by Seven (Anita Yuen) who once fell in love with him as a girl and has never let go of that crush. Along the way we see the origin story of the jade ring, how his love for chocolate started and how he met his future Vietnamese bodyguard Lung Ng. Wait a minute. Ko Chun and Lung Ng first met each other during the opening of God of Gamblers (events set later than this film) but Wong Jing argues that myth holds several versions of the same story. Poorly I might add. Wong Jing does know where he's in his element but God Of Gamblers 3 - The Early Stage is way too much rehash and precious little cinema punch. The production does alright for itself as it's blessed with cinematographer Arthur Wong and Wong Jing tries out some for him new stylish tricks such as split screen for his gambling scenes. But when even these lack dramatic tension, Wong Jing's desired combo of emotions and the occasional goofy outburst falls flat... from a high distance. Actors are merely on autopilot and Leon Lai could never be a younger substitute for the charisma of Chow Yun-Fat in the 1989 movie. Not even comedically. Anita Yuen could've fared well had there been something genuinely affecting for her to connect with in the story while Francis Ng realizes he can't do anything with that stupid, long haired wig over his face. Total failure and a 90s sign of Wong Jing losing his touch within a genre he ruled once.

Sole bright spot is a superbly cool Jordan Chan who is greatly aided by fun, violent action directing by Dion Lam and Ma Yuk-Sing. Also with Gigi Leung, Cheung Tat-Ming, Elvis Tsui, Frankie Ng and Moses Chan.

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HK Flix.com
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The Gods Must Be Funny In China (1994) Directed by: Dick Tso

The third and last Hong Kong production The Gods Must Be Crazy star N!xau took part in and boy what a quality drop from the first and unique Crazy Safari we get here. Mixing the Hong Kong uniqueness (Lam Ching-Ying, vampires) in Africa for a creative and energetic time, The Gods Must Be Funny In China takes matters to Mainland China for an, in intent, weird and crazy time. Major fail on all accounts as we follow several marathon teams (one of which recruits fast runner and bushman N!xau) through the sights of the Mainland including The Great Wall, talking monkeys and meeting Ginzi (Cynthia Khan) who looks after VERY house trained pandas. To the point where they do housework even, Peter Chan Lung wants to abduct one such panda for his collection and the most unlikely romance takes place between a very unfunny Cheng Pei-Pei and an obnoxious Kent Cheng. There's simply no talent here to make this broad material fly. Director Dick Tso found better flow as a filmmaker when venturing into dark Category III material like A Chinese Torture Chamber Story II.

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