# 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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Lee Rock (1991) Directed by: Lawrence Lau

Overly long but passable bio-pic about Lee Rock (Andy Lau), one of the most famous corrupted cops in Hong Kong. This first installment out of two follows him beginning in the 1940s up till the 60s in a system where honesty is not the way to progress. With the help of his elder superior and mentor Chan (Kwan Hoi-San), Lee rises swiftly through the ranks, much to the dismay of sergeant Ngan Tung (Paul Chun)

In the wake of the success story that was To Be Number One, the trend became the true life bio-pic and while Lee Rock ranks way above the lackluster trendsetter, interest is merely sporadic. Judging by the box-office, it was either an effort that will connected to Hong Kong or in fact Andy Lau's name drew people in despite this Lawrence Lau helmed effort feeling overall empty to the Hong Kong people even? It helps that Andy Lau puts in a commanding performance and the veteran cast in mostly sync sound dialogue brings colour to the piece. The ending does spark interest for the sequel that was unleashed the same year. Chingmy Yau, Cheung Man, Ng Man-Tat, Lung Fong and James Tien co-stars.

A multiple nominee at the Hong Kong Film Awards including Best Picture but it was Kwan Hoi-San that bagged the only award as Best Supporting Actor that year.

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Legacy Of Rage (1986) Directed by: Ronny Yu

Brandon Lee's only lead role in a Hong Kong movie, he's betrayed by best friend (Michael Wong) using him as a scapegoat when a rival gangster boss is killed. A prison sentence later and it's time for revenge. Competent and basic as staged by Ronny Yu, the fact that Legacy Of Rage is short gives off the vibe the involved were aiming for easily, digestible action entertainment. That is what's delivered, headed by a comfortable Lee who's on the project for the gunplay rather than the martial arts. Yu takes him through the dramatic beats quick, action comes in sporadic bursts and the gunplay in quantity is saved for a primal, loud ending. This is a movie that is not afraid to be lean or dark but doesn't believe it's truly meaningful either. A stance to be admired. Yu himself appears briefly as well Kirk Wong, Michael Chan, Mang Hoi, Regina Kent, Ku Feng, Bolo Yeung & Shing Fui-On.

The Legal Illegals (1981) Directed by: Stanley Siu

Starting out with fine pace and grit as Alan Tang's rash and violent cop Lee punches his way through everyone despite the police being made to look bad in his wake. Eventually handing in his badge and going about trying to stir things up in the underworld with Kid and Cat by his side, Stanley Siu has us on board when not knowing where we're headed but when we do, it's ugly and inaccessible. Being very light and playful in intent, the lack of focus becomes Siu's enemy and The Legal Illegals becomes a clumsy mess fast. Also with Michael Chan.

Legal Innocence (1993) Directed by: Cha Chuen Yee

Legal Innocence represents one of several occasions where Hong Kong filmmakers have utilized the same true life crime for multiple productions. More recently Human Pork Chop and There Is A Secret In My Soup marked such an event and during the Category III boom of the 90s, more specifically in 1993, Legal Innocence and Remains Of A Woman tackled the same horrific crime. In Cha Chuen Yee's (The Rapist, Once Upon A Time In Triad Society) version, we see Cecilia Yip as Shirley, a Christian who finds sympathy and possibility of redemption in sentenced murderer Patrick (Francis Ng). His stories convinces her that he's even innocent of the murder of girlfriend Brenda and it's instead the jealous party in the form of Kitty (Ivy Leung) that orchestrated what led to the finding of a corpse corroding in acid. A courtroom drama plays out and tests the newly found love between Shirley and Patrick. But characters behind the scenes, most notably a cop (Anthony Wong), are convinced of other truths...

Cha Chuen Yee has the Cat III rating to play around with and just like the Clarence Fok directed Remains of A Woman, he spikes the gruesome-meter at times and directs with an aggressive style. While he has a fine pairing in Cecilia Yip and Francis Ng, Cha opts for hysterical melodramatics and a strange, almost bizarre character arc for Yip's Shirley who longs for love and seemingly desperately throws herself at the mercy of a potential killer she's known only for a short time. Yip and Ng bring some fine subtleties during their initial scenes but Legal Innocence soon start to resemble many other similar efforts of the time. In its favour compared to Remains Of A Woman, it deals largely with the aftermath in combination with the flashback segments of the events leading up to the murder but Fok has one up on Cha due to Carrie Ng's undeniably powerful and over the top performance (that got her a Taiwan Golden Horse Award). Legal Innocence is just over the top without the truly lasting effect. Yet, it deserves a wee bit of acclaim for what it does, mostly straight faced, and few Cat III movies of the time could be associated with positive remarks from any critic. Paul Chun and Hui Siu-Hung appear as lawyers.

Legendary Couple (1995) Directed by: Peter Ngor

Less of the visual splendor that was Erotic Ghost Story II, frequent cinematographer and even actor Peter Ngor creates via Legendary Couple an emulation. And that's being nice about it because obviously Natural Born Killers had something to do with this Hong Kong creation. At the same time, Ngor's particular mad mix of social commentary, romance and violence is as unashamedly improper. It's an assault on the senses that is mild compared to Oliver Stone's movie but Legendary Couple is probably a lot more fun in its horrid ways. More importantly though, less pretentious. Simon Yam stars as disgruntled and bullied worker Tin Laap who is being innocently accused of robbing a large amount of cash from the company he works for. Joining the legions of people protesting against the corporate elite and injustice HIS WAY, it leads to the kidnapping of the spoiled daughter (Chingmy Yau) of his boss and to the creation of our Hong Kong Mickey and Mallory...

With Yam soiling himself, being tortured by police while we cut to his wife in labour who eventually passes away, there's a form of cartoonish excess here that may have decided to take itself deadly seriously. However with a completely incompetent police force on the hunt for Tin Laap and forgotten subplots about that very police force, Ngor simply comes off as someone not knowing, not bothering and not caring. The transformation in characters carelessly happens, so does romance and bringing in cheerful, light tangents concerning the raising of Tin Laap's infant son, other robbers donating basically a weapons cache to the rookie robber couple, Legendary Couple really does go for transforming into something in an actual way. In other words, a rulebreaking, gory actioner with no connection to logic, reality or attempts to satisfy those looking for actual merits. It's just a concoction by a filmmaker wishing to have a little fun. But even if he didn't intend to, Legendary Couple can still breath as a strangely watchable crap film with little to none signs of a cinematographer in the directing chair.

The Legendary Strike (1978) Directed by: Wong Fung

After directing mostly at Golden Harvest throughout his career, Wong Fung finished off his filmography with this low budget martial arts effort. One with a title you can't connect to the film as few interesting strikes take place during the movie. Nor any legendary ones. Mostly shot outdoors due to said budget, it's a standard tale of the hunt for a relic, there's a brewing rebellion and many opposing fighters along the way. This basic template does not prove to be coherent though and with rather sparse action along the way that entertains through acrobatics and fair intricacy while it lasts, The Legendary Strike does not make much of an impression. Tolerable but highly uninteresting. A verdict very few of Wong Fung's movies received at Golden Harvest. Starring Paul Chu, Chan Sing, wide eyed Carter Wong, Mars and Angela Mao.

Legendary Weapons Of China (1982) Directed by: Lau Kar Leung

Lau Kar Leung revisits key elements from The Spiritual Boxer and The Shadow Boxing but delivers more polished results in Legendary Weapons Of China, one of his more offbeat martial arts films. That however isn't a thread that runs through as the sillier, in the best of ways, first half with the spirit boxers and magic fighters displaying their prowess in the quest for the supposed traitor Lui Gung (Lau Kar Leung) serves a purpose for the serious second.

Lau has proven adept at communicating a serious message in the midst of fighting (see Challenge Of The Masters) and here he deconstructs the notion of belief in stopping the foreign guns with Chinese magic. It's a developing truth that the Chinese aren't able to stop but it's here one must rely on the strictly Chinese ways (i.e. the 18 Legendary Weapons Of China), despite shortcomings against the foreign influence.

This abrupt change of mood may not sit well with certain viewers, nor the fact that we see little traditional action for the longest of time. However, it's a clear structure decision on Lau Kar Leung's behalf that works tremendously as we have great fun with Hsiao Hou, Lau Kar Wing, Fu Sheng and feel equally engrossed by Lau Kar Leung's central, serious performance subsequently. When Lau does make the screen explode into action, and it doesn't get old saying this, we get an exhilarating display of weapons choreography, mainly in the two-part finale. In a clever touch, presumably all 18 weapons are employed and are even identified in on-screen text. It may take a little while to see Legendary Weapons Of China as a great work of substance, one that Tsui Hark definitely was influenced by when creating the Once Upon A Time In China series, but Lau strikes his desired balance admirably well. Also with Gordon Lau.

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The Legend Of An Erotic Movie Star (1993) Directed by: Siu Bong

A cheap film about cheap films, this Category III rated portrayal of the slight rise and hard fall of Chan Hung (Liu Chi-Tak), a Mainland girl turned adult movie star adheres to the usual genre requirements (including softcore sex and gang rape to pass the time. Or rather get the time up to 90 minutes) but director Siu Bong possesses some unusually sharp wit considering what movie he's making. Lead Liu is a suitably ditsy and ignorant main character who thinks of herself as a star after appearing once on the motel TV circuit in one their available "blue" films. Thinking initially her big debut might be pirated already, her actual 35 millimeter debut goes nowhere as well. The scene where she's trying to get in on a staged threesome is wonderfully funny and features Stuart Ong in basically a sex cameo. Nice gig if you can get it while also Siu Bong makes it a decent jab at the cheapness of the business. Have a sneaky feeling it ain't that exaggerated. Other off-beat highlights includes a gang of triads trying to turn in illegal immigrant Chan Hung to the authorities but even the church won't condemn her for having no Hong Kong I.D. Oh well, they rape her instead and bizarrely enough the film goes out on a positive high! Director Siu follows with some of his utmost off-beat touches here, injecting a theme of celebrating and utilizing Hong Kong from the Mainland girls perspective. Expect it to make little sense but The Legend of An Erotic Movie Star scores (and showcases) points.

The poster spelled out the title as The Ledgen Of A Erotic Movie Star.

Legend Of A Fighter (1982) Directed by: Yuen Woo-Ping

Ticking off the aspects that make up the story of martial arts hero Fok Yun Gap (most famously portrayed by Jet Li in Fearless), Yuen Woo-Ping isn't wrong in treating the movie as a checklist to complete in order to complete the hero. Because what's contained within is often incredible, starting with the central component of Fok Yun Gap in his younger years (played by Yuen Yat Choh) being taught kung fu by teacher Kong Ho San (Yasuaki Kurata) under the radar of his father (Phillip Ko) who'd rather see Yun Gap educated first and foremost. Creative training, education and the Yuen Clan martial arts is a treat as it's incredibly fluid and clear. Leung Kar Yan takes over as older Fok Yun Gap defeating Western and Japanese challengers and while treating most of the matters very seriously (except for a tussle on a boat involving Yuen Cheung-Yan humiliating Fung Hak-On's character), matters are still basic... something Yuen Woo-Ping seems to know. The unavoidable clash between Fok Yun Gap and teacher Kong is very cinematic and affecting though and contains some of the rawest martial arts (from a dramatic standpoint) up until this point in Yuen Woo-Ping's career.

The Legend Of All Men Are Brothers (1984) Directed by: Tien Peng

Perhaps approachable for the audiences familiar with the 'Water Margin'-novel but unlike the latter All Men Are Brothers - Blood Of The Leopard (1993, Billy Chan) covering characters Lin Chiung (played by co-star and director Tien Peng here) and monk Ru Chi-Shen (Lam Kai-Man), this moves very slowly and has no aim to it. Mostly consisting of attempts at comedic banter and relying more on that than action, the first hour of The Legend Of All Men Are Brothers is cheap, low budget and lacking drive. Torture. Then by the hour mark Tien Peng wakes up and steps it up for the final reel, fighting scenario. The monk squares off against both flamboyant opponents but waiting to be unleashed is a drunken master and the undead. An absolutely disgusting hopping zombie (not hopping vampire) takes center stage and Tien really nails the aspect of turning viewer's stomachs mixed with the action choreography. Although he himself battles the drunken master, the star of this mad and terrific ending is a monster bursting out of the chest of the zombie and tormenting the monk. Obviously straight out of Alien, Taiwanese cinema proudly ups the ante by giving the puppet dialogue. Priceless and example of a 20 minute recommendation. But what a recommendation. Released by Xenon as Secret Of The Water Technique. Leung Kar-Yan and Jason Pai also appear.

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