# 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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The Goofy Gang (1987) Directed by: Stanley Fung

Derek Yee and friends take out their anger as low paid workers at a country club onto wealthy Harry Tse (Stanley Fung). Rather inexperienced and clumsy kidnappers, Harry doesn't fear for his life at all but when no one wants to pay ransom money for him, a personal betrayal leads to him working with his kidnappers to exact a little revenge...

A rather flimsy start or rather quick leads to rather quick decisions by Derek Yee to host the kidnapping plan. ALMOST a valid argument for these irrational characters, the lightness that follows in the trail of the kidnapping scenario is very fun to follow and in the background Stanley Fung injects some not so overbearing themes of the hard workers vs. the rich, pre-conceived notions about each other etc. Fung himself is very good as the kidnapping victim who's got the situation under control but it's when the plot turns, a quite grave tedium sets in. Simply put, Fung doesn't create interest for the entire two halves of the flick and his intent to get even more somber clashes with the prior movie in a bad way. A fun cast, 80s atmosphere, the dependable D & B gets you only so far sometimes. Also appearing is May Lo as Yee's love interest, Joyze Godenzi as the cop, Ronald Wong, Robert Mak, Stuart Ong with cameos by John Sham and Richard Ng.

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Gorgeous (1999) Directed by: Vincent Kok

Vincent Kok's movie starring Jackie Chan and Shu Qi is a romantic comedy with action mixed in resulting in an enjoyable little tale. It's far from the greatest romance ever told but one shouldn't demand that much depth from a Lunar New Year film or Jackie Chan film for that matter. On the other hand it's nice to see Jackie challenging his audience and I personally thinks it's refreshing to see him wanting to merge these two movie elements. There is passable chemistry between the leads and I also largely enjoyed Emil Chow as the movie's nice bad guy. That's also what makes Gorgeous notable. It's a friendly and nice movie even down to the bad guy. The main attraction, in terms of action, is the two bouts between Brad Allen and Jackie. Very little of it seems wire supported and it's great to see Jackie do some hand to hand combat (boxing in this case). Even here the movie remains light when we see the two fighters make sure it's fought fair. The R1 dvd has the original language track but has been cut down from it's original length. The Universe dvd is uncut.

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The Greatest Lover (1988) Directed by: Clarence Fok

Three mainlanders (Chow Yun-Fat, Eric Tsang & Shing Fui-On) swims ashore in Hong Kong, hoping to prosper. As luck would have it, a wealthy man played by Wang Ching is out for revenge due to the humiliation cast upon him by women in his life (namely Nina Li Chi and Pauline Wong) and he hires image consultant Anita (Anita Mui) to make a playboy out of Chow's character...

The sometimes reliable Clarence Fok provides the manic in both comedy and melodrama for this 1980s effort, creating an uneven experience but one that comes with an enjoyable pairing of Chow Yun-Fat and Anita Mui. While Chow's character does everything from eating tiger poop (and just about anything he can get his hands on), kiss Eric Tsang, generally whine and act retarded, it's an annoying performance in intent in a way as Chow then grows into the trademark suave character that's such a immortal image of 80s Hong Kong cinema. Mui also gets a role that is just tailor made to fit with her image in entertainment circles as she was constantly changing her looks in real life, being nicknamed the Asian Madonna in the process.

80s Hong Kong cinema had the uncanny ability to simply entertain despite a flawed package and even hugely flawed packages. The Greatest Lover therefore is highly questionable on a film quality level but does the job commercially and for fans of the star's. Elizabeth Lee, Sandra Ng, Wong Jing and Anders Nelson also appear.

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The Greatest Plot (1977) Directed by: Ulysses Au

This supposed greatest plot is a not so subtle one where prince Yeung Ching (Yueh Hua) takes over the throne as Emperor, promises his fellow Han people he won't change and low and behold he becomes a tyrant. Pretty quickly too so his former brothers and sisters (as Hsu Feng is leading them) swears to take revenge. Hopefully before they're all wiped out. Au (The Country Of Beauties) stages a majestic looking movie with quite excellent costume- and set design but underneath it the genre-content is familiar. It's how you execute within that though and only slowly The Greatest Plot transforms into something entertaining. Because for the longest of time, not even the action element is particularly strong as the group fights are a bunch of hits, kicks and slashes that doesn't stand out. However when introducing weaponry like flying guillotines, a spinning log or barrel with projectile swords, a fan that could slice through anything etc, the movie delights because it can execute all of this technically. That means the stretches in between remain pretty uninteresting although Lo Lieh as a right hand man to the emperor that questions his reasoning and subsequently gets demoted is as written given an interesting side story. Far removed from the standardized (but often awesome) Lo Lieh-appearance. The finale adds some surreal, possibly ghostly imagery and pours on the established weaponry and wire assisted action quite well.

The Greatest Thai Boxing (1974) Directed by: Hsu Tseng-Hung

Centering around boxing in the titular country, the corruption and gangsters at ringside, in comes Fong Yau after revenge for his brother's death at the hand of said gangsters. Family wants this vicious circle broken though but if that would happen, there would be no movie. Well shot Thai scenery and boxing scenes, there's even some genuine emotions during the first reels. Ultimately The Greatest Thai Boxing falls down using genre clichés and in a rather muddled, amateurish way to boot. Director Hsu Tseng-Hung definitely provided better quality filmmaking with his groundbreaking Temple Of The Red Lotus in 1965.

Great General (1978, Ting Chung)

Voice over initially spells out the entire movie and how General Chik (O Chun-Hung) achieved peace in China after a long conflict with Japanese pirates. Not the greatest sign of confidence but it's all about how you put character into the following 90 minutes. Great General definitely is noteworthy as a production, especially in the costume-department but otherwise feels very subdued and invisible. The conflict isn't particularly exciting except for some action-beats scattered throughout. When a key storyline involving the execution of his son after a failed military operation, there are attempts to humanize matters but it also falls into the trap of melodrama. Not without interest but a very insignificant historical piece. Also starring Mang Fei and Fan Mei-Sheng.

The Great Hunter (1975) Directed by: Larry Tu

The movie deserves kudos for playing it straight and not going for a typical kung-fu template (a militia leader is assassinated, Jimmy Wang Yu is after the truth, revenge etc baked in there) but a potentially cool atmosphere, memorable character image and a sinister tone attempted gets squandered by pure boredom and incoherence. A confrontation between Chan Hung-Lieh and Jimmy Wang Yu where they're trying to outduel each other underneath the courtesy and Chang Yi's projectile weapon during the finale livens up matters very little and The Great Hunter is one of usually dependable Jimmy's worst movies of the 70s. Also with Chia Ling and Hsu Feng.

The Great Pretenders (1991) Directed by: Ronny Yu

About conmen with a focus on gambling and to act as Robin Hood's by donating the scammed money to charity. Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Simon Yam, Amy Yip and Raymond Wong leads the group while Ronny Yu directs in much light-hearted fashion. The actors are largely in exaggerated mode, you'll get an overabundance of gambling scenes (in particular involving mahjong) and at times the film is even a little insulting. For once it's only a little though and unlike Fat Choi Spirit, prior knowledge of much of anything set at the gambling tables isn't needed. There's even a gag or two that manages to register as clever (the presence of Amy Yip and Teddy Robin means the expected in terms of comedy though) and the whole tone leans towards unremarkable but suitably breezy. Assembly line product ever so slightly but it's nothing to be ashamed of. Also with Leung Tin and Lok Wai.

Great Shanghai 1937 (1986, Chang Cheh)

Part historical piece about the Japanese occupying Shanghai that then gives way for a bit of an anonymous gangster story with a fairly wild variety of action. Chang Cheh adheres to part modern gunplay aura with bloody but not well honed results (the reaction of the stuntmen is off in these scenes in particular). But through various assassination attempts and a steady stream of action, he amps the entertainment factor by echoing his days spent making kung fu- and swordplay movies. Meaning a lot of his heroes, despite being in the modern era of guns, use their kicks and punches but also fun, concealed weaponry (cue gory end results). Plus Chang Cheh has his then roster of physically talented action performers (most of which are his choreography team as well) and the somewhat quirky mixture makes total sense. Attaching to the bloody brotherhood drama is nearly impossible however.

The Green Hornet (1994) Directed by: Lam Ching Ying

One of few attempts by Hong Kong cinema to exploit, if you will, the character of The Green Hornet (or rather his Chinese partner that Bruce Lee played on American television). Only other film in this regard that springs to mind is the wonderfully hokey Bruce Lee Against Supermen and truth be told, that ain't much better or worse than Lam Ching Ying's interpretation here. Which is a shame as this was Lam's last of two films he directed (the other being Vampire Vs Vampire) and one of his last appearances ever in Hong Kong films before passing away in 1997.

Shot on the cheap and therefore assigning itself to B-movie territory, that would be fine if there was some minute charm in the production as well. As it stands, Lam can't take these low grade sensibilities and spice it up Hong Kong style, which was really the only way The Green Hornet was ever going to work. Lead Chin Ka-Lok undoubtedly flashes his acrobatics well and the fighting tricks by the character can be compelling but it's way too rare and poorly captured on film. With no compelling story behind our hero either, like the best of the super-hero movies have, little is worth caring for and especially so since leading lady Esther Kwan (Run And Kill) is joining the legion of annoying female sidekicks with her performance. Lam himself has some very minute, worthwhile low-key comedy moments but the film is not the high water mark for the immortal legend Lam Ching Ying became. He had such a great selection of screen performances behind him anyway so The Green Hornet will never tarnish that reputation. Turn to Black Mask if you want a better spectacle in the vein of Bruce Lee's Kato character though. Co-starring is Yu Rong Guang and Lam Fai-Wong.

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