# 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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Jackie And Bruce To The Rescue (1982) Directed by: Wu Chia-Chiun

Produced by Dick Randall (Challenge Of The Tiger, For Your Height Only), Brucesploitation AND Jackiesploitation collide for this one and the results are, for a Randall production, rather tame and mundane. Standardized nonsense about rival martial arts schools (the Jing Wu and YMCA whose shirts read YMGA), the quest for a document and amidst this Tong Lung (during the opening credits, a full on trivia card pops up on screen reminding us he was the Bruce Lee double in the finished version of Game Of Death) and Jacky Chang (aka Lee Siu-Ming) appear as the Bruce and Jackie of the piece. Expectedly echoing the cinematic images of the counterparts they are mild to full on copies of, still director Wu Chia-Chiun (Bruce Lee Against Supermen) fill the movie with too many threads. As a result it is also rather dull but the action on the whole is excellent with several fantastic looking exchanges and a whole lot is redeemed when the Bruce/Jackie duo faces off against a final opponent with the whole bag of ninja trickery at his disposal...despite not being a ninja. Also with Jang Il-Sik, Ma Sha and Eagle Han Ying.

Jade Dagger Ninja (1982) Directed by: Li Chao-Yung

Elegant it is. Coherent it is not. Yet this Taiwanese production containing a very crowded character-gallery, connections, muddled storytelling centering around the hunt of the jade badger (not dagger) containing an elixir granting one invincible kung-fu is a basic swordplay spectacle that delights partly. As long as no one is talking. Because Li Chao-Yung (The Dream Sword) may put the plot onto the screen (mainly through dialogue) but that doesn't make him a skilled storyteller. On the other hand, Wuxia pian as a genre is famous for being convoluted so Li isn't making an ass out of himself. On the contrary, the movie's colourful, studio bound feel is appealing, production design is captured very well (especially in widescreen) and the main selling point of action goes inventive places. While there is a reliance on wire assisted physical feats and flying weapons, a large part of the many fight scenes remain grounded with very fast swordplay exchanges as well as actual and wire-assisted acrobatics. Add to that out of left field and fun elements such as seemingly dead opponents and one character drinking said elixir only to turn into an invincible monster. Starring Tien Peng, Chung Wa, Wang Hsieh and the movie was also released by IFD Films & Arts as Shaolin Fox Conspiracy.

The Jade Raksha (1968) Directed by: Ho Meng-Hua

Cheng Pei-Pei is the titular character, carrying out her revenge on the big family of Yan in order to eventually reach the one who killed her family. Meeting swordsman Xu Ying Hao (Tang Ching), he's a match for her and also on a path of revenge. When killing someone wrongly, it sets off several story strands about the complexity of revenge spanning decades...

Ho Meng-Hua (The Mighty Peking Man) may only use 90 minutes to tell his story but he keeps us busy and not in an overstuffed way either. Shooting several excellent, atmospheric set pieces in moonlight, in smoky bamboo forests, he gives us the drive for revenge so early that we know there's something else lurking here. And indeed, he and characters questions The Jade Raksha and her cold motives and wants to look at revenge in a more nuanced way. Especially since not all in the Yan Family ARE. Introducing several connected strands as the film moves along, Ho Meng-Hua tells his story very clearly and while not a thinking man's swordplay movie, The Jade Raksha communicates more thought than most. Also with Ku Feng and Yeung Chi-Hing.

Jaguar Force Thunderbolt (1983) Directed by: Poon Yung Man

Presented complete by IFD and even with a non-Westernized directing credit, we take away 15 minutes of incredibly cool bloodshed and gunplay violence from Jaguar Force Thunderbolt. So did Joseph Lai surely when buying the movie as the in between with rival gangs and the cops on the outside executing 'Operation Jaguar' to bring down the gangs while the infighting also goes on, isn't as riveting. The dialogue-less opening with various assassinations across the globe is atmospheric, nicely gory and then you can jump ahead to the last 15 minutes of gunplay. Starting at a funeral parlour, the crew has loaded up with huge squibs that are more about the hugeness of them when exploding rather than the blood flying out of them in the process. It makes for an intense, gritty and IFD market friendly finale.

Jail House Eros (1990) Directed by: Ha Sau Hin

The Women In Prison sub-genre within exploitation meets the supernatural Hong Kong style but the result is painfully dull. However this comes from a genre with filmmakers producing thrash, something all involved knew including the select audience working up a sweat to obtain these films. While there are numerous excuses for cat fights, shower scenes etc, it's strange really how Jail House Eros never ignites despite. Amy Yip's character name is the only piece of inspired comedy here....wait for it...Chesty!

The Jail In Burning Island (1997) Directed by: Chu Yen-Ping

KENNETH'S REVIEW: Chu Yen-Ping re-visits Island Of Fire territory, the original product that contained shot for shot scene theft from other films and in full length form (Hong Kong version was shortened substantially), some actual good drama. With The Jail In Burning Island, the prison movie gets rerun before us, containing back stories about legal and not legal characters before they went to prison, bonding, beatings, corruption in the higher ranks, the lowly getting affected by their newly gained power in the jail, solitary confinement, the big boss getting anything you want including hookers and even drama about the fear of being released. There's a slick movie on display here, with plenty of violence, grit, stylized cinematography and the trademark of Chu's action being very loud and direct. It works on that level but is more of a flimsy, very basic drama otherwise. Chu is not that much better than what we get here but the sole well intended melodramatic piece of the film in regards to one of the prisoners being released in a world he's afraid of combined with well choreographed gunplay doesn't elevate him. With Takeshi Kaneshiro, Nicky Wu, Ng Man-Tat, Anthony Wong, Jackson Lau, Wong Yat-Fei and Yvonne Yung.

The Jail Of No Return (1994) Directed by: Hugo Ng

Solid actor as seen in Daughter Of Darkness and Brother Of Darkness, Hugo Ng turned to directing but kept going within the confines of the Category III rating. Considering the talent he was working for in the latter film (director Billy Tang), it's quite encouraging to see Ng take exploitation seriously. The titular jail is on a remote island where prisoners are apparently sent with only one way to get out and that is by the time they reach the age of 60. Run by a sadistic and generally disturbed Westerner (a viciously overacting Richard Grosse, who launches a ton of F-bombs at us throughout), the prisoners will need to stand together through the worst of times and the best of times, knowing little of what future holds for them...

Shot in synch sound and lensed competently by Go Chi-Ho despite the little locales utilized, there's no shortage of nastiness on display as the muddy surroundings and penalties inflicted upon prisoners equal that of the graphical. One of the dogs, as the prisoners are constantly referred to, has had his feet either skewered or shot and is crawling around while another scene has on-screen defecation and subsequent forced eating of it (probably the one scene the BBFC had problems with when the film was released on video in the UK). But within this loosely plotted movie, that basically has doomed characters anyway, Hugo displays a quiethood when he deals with the daily island life. Work, dorm interaction and the rare light side to the overall comrade, it's part of his structure to showcase how the different walks of life stand together under these circumstances and it all is part of a professionalism you simply don't expect out of The Jail Of No Return beforehand. By no means way above average though, one of the best aspect of Ng's dedication comes when directing Ku Feng who he clearly has a lot of respect for as the camera simply sits on the veteran in various scenes. Starring Karel Wong.

Jiang Hu (2004) Directed by: Wong Ching-Po

Jiang Hu fires on all cylinders visually- and casting wise and the result? A standard genre-excursion.

It's true, making a good Hong Kong triad movie isn't the easiest thing without resorting to parody or satire but the Jiang Hu-crew aren't even putting in effort. While the family elements play out fairly well (thanks to the casting of Wu Chien-Lien), that area never really gains the opportunity to be explored and instead this short movie is nothing you haven't seen Andrew Lau do way too many times already.

The amped up visuals never really finds a good combination of setting atmosphere and drawing attention to itself either. There are one or two moments where violence become strangely beautiful and harrowing in Wong's frame but as with his prior co-directed effort Fu Bo, this has only inspired parts. Only this time maybe 1/10 of them compared to Fu Bo's 1/3.

Give the kid a chance though as Wong Ching-Po is still fresh on the block but Jiang Hu is a step down and largely forgettable. Andy Lau and Jacky Cheung and hair leads the cast while Edison Chen, Shawn Yue, Eric Tsang, Norman Tsui, Lam Suet and Chapman To appears in support.

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

Jin Pin Mei (1996) Directed by: Tam Yui-Ming

As with Li Han-Hsiang's Golden Lotus and recently Cash Chin's dual Category III attack The Forbidden Legend Sex & Chopsticks I & II, Jin Pin Mei tackles the novel with plenty of material for filmmakers wanting to put out an adult product out there, Jin Ping Mei (The Plum In the Golden Vase). Reportedly clocking in at 100 chapters, the makers of the 1996 version went to town and produced 6 movies (although the movie at hand here and New Jin Pin Mei 1 may in fact be the same movie) in the same year. All directed by Tam Yui-Ming and starring Tan Lap Man (as the notorious deviant, manipulative, sadistic, feet obsessive pervert Simon Hsin) and Yeung Si-Man as one of his main wives in the Hsin household. The amount of movies may suggests so but Jin Pin Mei doesn't track Simon Hsin (or Ximen Qing) all the way back to childhood. No, he's at his most influential, powerful, evil and horny kid in a candy story type impulsive at the start as we see the scenario that traps Chinny Wu (Yeung Siu-Man) in the grip of Simon. She inadvertently poisons her husband (Simon actually provides the poison in secret, a plot point changed drastically in other mentioned movies as there the wife gladly helps take her disabled husband's life) and is forced into the jam packed household of Hsin's where the wives battle for position. One of the more key and interesting aspects of the novel is the game of power and influence the women play because they're likely not going to be free women anytime soon. You live in a new universe and rules so it's adhering to those that's the name of the game.

In Tam Yui-Ming's hands, this is the aspect that resonates more than anything else. Albeit there is more to the story waiting to be told, the craftsmanship on display isn't done with all that much heart or initiative and I suspect such will be the case in the remainder of the movies. Jin Pin Mei pretty much feels and looks like most period softcore porn movies of the 90s in Hong Kong and Tan Lap-Man isn't sinking his teeth as thoroughly into the outlandish role as he needs to. He does get to shine in a few cruel and sadistic scenarios sporadically but much of the product feels unguided and indistinct. Still, the sparse moments of interest that the novel worked up beforehand remains somewhat present in the movie and it's what saves it from total dismissal.

Job Hunter (1981) Directed by: Clarence Fok

A mixture of good ol' times at school that leads to struggles and personal challenge post-graduation, mainly we follow rich violinist Po (Danny Chan) and the Wing (Leslie Cheung) who has not mapped out his future and is of lower class. No particularly insightful stuff happens here as the drama unfolds surrounding in particular Chan wanting to be independent and work for his success on his own but it's valid and sincere enough. Clarence Fok's debut film wants to be mature and for stretches it is a minor one. What stops it from being more valid as a drama concerns unwarranted ending reel darkness and by the half way point we realize it's a commercial effort all the way as we get romantic montages set to Danny Chan's (albeit excellent) singing, music videos set to his singing, a finale concert set to... you get the idea.

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