# 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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Hail The Judge (1994) Directed by: Wong Jing

Aside from some heavier use of Cantonese wordplay during the beginning and some rather awkwardly placed graphic violence, this Wong Jing directed Stephen Chow vehicle is a comedic delight. Despite a narrative that doesn't find its true plot point until late, concerning the quarreling technique Chow's Judge Pao character learns, there's much wonderful silliness along the way and Chow is on top form here. Also starring Ng Man Tat, Elvis Tsui, Lawrence Ng, Christy Chung, Lau Shun, Ngai Sing and Sharla Cheung.

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

Half A Loaf Of Kung Fu! (1978) Directed by: Chen Chi-Hwa

Watching Jackie Chan's starring roles under the banner of Lo Wei's production company even during his breakthrough year, it just became awfully clear he was in the wrong company. The loan to Seasonal triggered inspiration and a new climate, making kung fu comedy really take off in the process (Snake In The Eagle's Shadow being the start) but from the same year and with intense dedication to the lighthearted nature of action, Half A Loaf Of Kung Fu! is simply put dreadful. While Jackie has got the reigns and creative control in the action department, there's no good performer interplay and he just pours on broad characters, undercranked (and grating) comedy, sound cues and effects from other references in pop culture (Popeye being one) and it falls very, very flat. Judging by the otherwise somewhat effective opening credits that spoofs Zatoichi and other elements of action- and martial arts cinema, the intent may be the send up the genre but without any chops to pull off a goofy vision or such an idea, it all comes off as one of those movies cashing in on a trendsetter. Only this is the man himself failing. Dean Shek, James Tien and Doris Lung also stars.

Handsome Siblings (1992) Directed by: Eric Tsang

Andy Lau and Brigitte Lin are separated at birth and now on opposite sides in a war between the clans of the martial arts world. Fights and comedy ensue...

Eric Tsang-directed new wave martial arts spectacle that doesn't hold any surprises but manages to register as fair thanks to a few fairly well executed aspects. Andy Lau and Brigitte Lin look good together with Lin confidently using her wonderful face to convey subtle emotions of longing. Effort that really didn't need to be there. Low-brow comedy comes both through Lau's performance but mostly in the fun pairing of Ng Man-Tat and Deannie Yip. Even without Stephen Chow by his side, Ng manages to get in a few silly gags that helps us get through an at times confusing storyline of dominance in the martial arts world. Francis Ng was actually nominated at the Hong Kong Film Awards for his supporting villainous act but it's really not an outstanding or fresh performance other than some now set in stone Ng quirks that pop up now and again. Also with Cheung Man, Fung Hak-On, Anita Yuen, Peter Chan Lung and Josephine Koo.

Philip Kwok, Jacky Yeung, and Yeung Jing Jing handle the relatively little action there is, ending up on par with previously seen mayhem in the genre (it was a bankable one during the 90s after all). Big ups for actually us to get a somewhat coherent look at the quick-cut madness (see Butterfly & Sword for an example of how NOT to shoot this type of action).

Eric Tsang doesn't distinguish himself in any way with Handsome Siblings but amongst the plethora of movies on offer in the new wave genre of the 90s, it certainly remains more watchable than others.

Hap Ki Do (1972) Directed by: Wong Fung

Released the same year as Fist Of Fury, this martial arts actioner, like many others, also depicts the clash between the Chinese and the Japanese. Three Hapkido students (Angela Mao, Carter Wong & Sammo Hung) has to battle a rival Japanese martial arts school and despite the thin plot, this Raymond Chow production has surprisingly solid action for its time. Chiu Yuan Lung is credited as the martial arts choreographer but I'm willing to bet that Sammo was largely involved as well. His choreography style is very evident and only suffers from the occasional choppy editing (forgivable considering the year it was made). Angela Mao displays good ferocity as the heroine but Whang In Shik steals the finale with some amazing kicking. Along the way we see some familiar faces such as Wei Ping Ao, Lam Ching Ying and Jackie Chan (also stuntman as highlighted in Jackie Chan: My Story).

Buy the DVD at:
HK Flix.com

Happy Bigamist (1987) Directed by: Anthony Chan

One of several times Anthony Chan appeared alongside his Wynners compadre Kenny Bee as well as directing him at the same time. None better than in the award winning A Fishy Story. The biggest hit out of Anthony's films remains this romantic comedy however, where Chan plays Hsin, currently living with girlfriend Yuan Tung (Anita Mui) but ex-wife Lai Lai (Pat Ha) forcefully enters his life again, causing distress. A plan is soon hatched to play matchmaker so Lai Lai can get on with her love life. Enter Kenny Bee's Hau and the match is so successful, Hsin is experiencing doubts, jealousy and possibly newly discovered love for his ex-wife...

Sit-com scenarios surrounding all these complications are to be expected but Chan provides passable entertainment and laughs, especially when taking his character down to very low levels, dealing with his inner turmoil. The ladies doesn't seem to get a whole lot of challenges as this is more of a buddy vehicle but Happy Bigamist does what it should, inoffensively and efficient, without turning heads as such. Lawrence Cheng also appear.

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HK Flix.com
Yesasia.com

Happy Din Don (1986) Directed by: Michael Hui

Contemporary remake of Some Like It Hot, the classic Jack Lemmon/Tony Curtis/Marilyn Monroe comedy directed by Billy Wilder. To have comic legend Michael Hui head one such remake isn't the worst of ideas but Happy Din Don is a mimic, not much of its own production. Hui adds some decent Hong Kong craziness of his own, including many of his comedy mannerisms, Chong Fat as a villain lifted straight out of Live And Let Die and some extra scenarios Billy Wilder didn't even include. Unfortunately, we don't get a superb male comic duo here as Hui has chosen otherwise composer Michael Lai as his sidekick and he doesn't even become the second fake woman of the show! In fact, Hui goes about at that alone and directs at a pace with the goal to feature most aspects from Some Like It Hot, sacrificing focus in the process. No fault of Cherie Chung but there's certainly Marilyn Monroe like impact through her performance because again, Happy Din Don hopes to impress by copying and it only generates fair entertainment, not the high flying production Michael Hui obviously wanted the film to be as well. Wong Ching, Wong Man-Si and Bill Tung (playing the Osgood character to great effect) co-stars. Cameos by Anita Mui and Ricky Hui.

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

The Happy Ghost (1984) Directed by: Clifton Ko

Long running and fairly consistently successful comedy series from Cinema City and the mind of Raymond Wong, who also stars as the titular Happy Ghost (or Scholar Pik which is his character name). Famous for introducing a lot of new faces to the industry and also being Clifton Ko's (The Umbrella Story, I Have A Date With Spring) debut as director, the aim is for the smaller ones in the audience. Which is why lightheartedness usually rule and the universal lessons of moral and responsibility aren't that complex. Fact of the matter though, it's all well-meaning and at times even quite funny, in particular when Pik interferes at a track & field school competition. Even though you may be a scholar yourself, you should think of The Happy Ghost as a suitable product. Also with Loletta Lee, Bonnie Law, Ng Siu Gong and Teresa Caprio.

Happy Ghost II (1985) Directed by: Clifton Ko

Still maintaining its cutesy sensibility and absolute concrete portrayal of its underlying morals and life lessons, Happy Ghost II doesn't particularly fail considering the kids is its target audience. Raymond Wong this time plays the reincarnation of Scholar Pik, trying to work out a balance between having happiness and supernatural powers. All while educating a girl's class synonymous with bad behaviour...

As with the first film, Clifton Ko offers up the most laughs whenever Raymond Wong interferes with his powers onto the real world and since the package is so inoffensive, Happy Ghost II remains consistently semi-pleasant to follow. Despite its very apparent flaws behind the shiny surface and the typical Hong Kong cinema tangents it ventures into (planted singing number being one) it's very easy to forgive. Fennie Yuen, May Lo, Charine Chan, Chan Maan-Loh and Melvin Wong co-stars.

Buy the DVD at:
HK Flix.com

Happy Ghost III (1986) Directed by: Johnnie To

Directed by Johnnie To before he was Johnnie To and starring Maggie Cheung before she was Maggie Cheung, there's no real distinction in either of those parties on display in Happy Ghost III. It's just an 1980s romp from Cinema City, adding Cheung as more of a naughty ghost waiting for reincarnation but Raymond Wong's Sam Hong (the reincarnation of the original happy ghost) manages to stand in the way during each opportunity...

Tsui Hark appears and his influence on the production is noticeable as a lot more Hong Kong cinema 80s special effects are used for enhancement of the trademark humour of the series (I.e. the use of ghostly super powers in the real world). It's shaky results up there on the screen but by also adding Ching Siu-Tung stunt- and wirework, the various scenarios contains fine entertainment (especially the vertical routes a car scene takes towards the end). Pleasant and harmless, hard to truly be harsh on such movie. Perhaps the only disappointment back then came from the smallest members of the audience as the tone is slightly more violent and black compared to the other films. Wong Ching co-stars while Fennie Yuen, Charine Chan and Chan Maan-Loh reprise their roles from Happy Ghost II.

Buy the DVD at:
HK Flix.com

Happy Ghost IV (1990) Directed by: Clifton Ko

It took a few years strangely enough to revive the successful franchise of Cinema City's but by 1990, that company was no more so Happy Ghost IV was made under Raymond Wong and Clifton Ko's production houses. Also returning to the directing chair, Clifton Ko doesn't showcase the greatest inspiration but yet again, as Hong, the happy ghost and Cantopop group Beyond battle a revenge seeking Ching dynasty spirit (Lai Shun), the team manages to squeeze crazy Hong Kong cinema-esque entertainment out of the concept to a good degree. Inserting more of the Tsui Hark workshop special effects creations, be it physical or otherwise, proves to further the best of the moments offered up in the series concerning usage of given supernatural powers. Broad humour via a Charlie Cho and Tommy Wong subplot is suitably deranged (a straight lift from Weekend At Bernie's becomes energetic in Clifton Ko's hands) and the makers have once again stepped away from the family friendly material. A good move, working in favour for those seeking insanity on screen.

Downside to the entire production however is that it's clearly a vehicle to showcase the boys of Beyond and their songs (some of which ARE good). The filmmakers are not even trying to smoothly integrate their primary career outside of this film. Co-starring Pauline Yeung and prior cast members Fennie Yuen, Charine Chan and Loletta Lee stop by for a brief appearance.

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