# 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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Mirage (1987) Directed by: Tsui Siu-Ming

A sadly neglected filmmaker and one of Hong Kong's most efficient maker of grand, explosive adventures, Tsui Siu-Ming directs this Mainland China/Hong Kong co-production that may be low on its core drama attempted but high on everything else including directorial- and stunt insanity from the man himself. Photographer and adventurer Tong (Yu Rong-Guang) spots a mirage of a beautiful woman while on a mission and is obsessed by the beauty of her. Heading into Mongolia with best friend (Tsui Siu-Ming), the discovery of the woman and her true nature is anything but beautiful however as she's the leader of a gang of desert bandits. Overall Tsui's insistence of anything could be a bonebreaking stunt for the sake of spectacle reigns supreme and only a reel or two seems more concerned with presenting culture, customs and its people. All fine and respectful but it doesn't make for entertaining cinema. However turning up the heat on stunts- and firepower reveals the legendary vicious and distressing side to Mirage. Not so much due to violence but the sheer daredevil stunts on display and terrific, big imagery captured by Tsui Siu-Ming. Demonstrated perfectly and perhaps better than Hong Kong cinema classics that actually DIDN'T fall through the gap (like Mirage did), a dangerous house explosion and fire stunt involving our director at the end is suffering for your entertainment. While painful to watch, it's exhilarating cinema few pulls off and gets away with it intact. Tsui did and cements Mirage as a forgotten adventure no one pulled off to THIS dangerous extent ever again or before.

Misfire (1984) Directed by: Kuei Chih-Hung

It takes a while to come to terms with what movie Misfire wants to be and truth be told, it doesn't seem to want much of anything. Released just a year before Shaw Brothers stopped movie-production, this comedy is random vignettes like Hong Kong cinema often could display, centering around Alex Man's cop called ET and his attempts to woo Shirley Lui's Luo Siding (which means screwing in Mandarin according to the subtitles). Being obnoxious, mean, a pervert and manipulator in order to get inside her pants (there's few notions of romance here), she does battle back when she sees through his tactics. So we got a loud comedy here with fair chemistry between energetic actors but director Kuei Chih-Hung (The Killer Snakes, Boxer's Omen), coming off as a guy with nothing to lose, also goes into whatever random tangent and random episode he pleases. Everything from a dance inspired by the music video "Thriller" to Ku Feng's homicidal maniac acting as Luo's father and in the end reel a transvestite killer showing Luo his collection of bodyparts and subsequent chainsaw chase. The movie is eager to please and is therefore very amusing once you realize there's no true throughline here. Just a couple of random bits strung together and it's amazing it comes off as anything.

Mismatched Couples (1985) Directed by: Yuen Woo-Ping

A Yuen Woo-Ping movie tapping into modern culture full speed ahead. 80s culture that is and what might've been considered hip then is seriously dated today. Yet, it's a charming mix not as much due to the plethora of bad clothing, break dancing and hairdos but because this is wild 80s Hong Kong cinema. All over the place and barely plotted, Mismatched Couples wins you over for the moment due to the merging of the setting and performer's skills such as Donnie Yen's. Dick Wei is also very funny as an eager fighter but director Yuen never injects any danger into the film despite a final duel between him and Yen. In a supporting role, Woo-Ping himself actually is very likeable or completely annoying depending on who you are, causing harm to himself in pretty much every scene.

It's lighthearted and irrelevant to the max and Mismatched Couples is stuck in time. Mostly in a good way though if you're looking at it from the Hong Kong cinema perspective. I doubt any performer's would want to return to the fashion statement made here though. Also with May Lo, Wong Wan Si and Kenny Perez.

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Miss Du Shi Niang (2003) Directed by: Raymond To

It's all talk, talk, talk when Raymond To writes and directs the adaptation of his own stageplay Miss Du Shi Niang. What initially, through the on-screen narrator Lydia Shum, threatens to be a stiff period comedy, unexpectedly develops into a rather bleak tale of greed and impossible love between social classes.

Michelle Reis supports the writing well with her presence while Daniel Wu is miscast for both this kind of role and theatrical writing. Thankfully To maintains interest through his screenplay and while at times clear as day with his themes, there's a fair amount to be deciphered here, and we're glad to do it. His off hands approach and restricted scope to the movie may prove bothersome for one crowd but another one may find an unexpected liking to this vision.

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The Missed Date (1986) Directed by: Teresa Woo

The husband within a corporate world and the way he's agreed with himself to conduct himself, fooling around is something something much known of but meeting dedication with dedication is rarely seen within a marriage. That's the situation for May (Olivia Cheng), a devoted housewife who wants to echo other couple's deals of having days in the month where the wives are allowed to be free. Her husband Phillip (Henry Yu) appears conflicted in the way he can't join his wife for dinner as much as he'd like to but he's no saint either. May appears in the eye line of Peter (Chow Yun-Fat) who clearly wows to woo her but is possibly a confidant, a change of pace for a sheltered May instead...

A decent dissection of these facets within marriage, Teresa Woo's (Life Is A Moment Story) train of thoughts are noble but clearly we have a director working with a limited set of skills while also verging on greatness in certain scenes. Pretty flat direction, unnecessary subplots (the Pauline Wong/Melvin Wong couple is nowhere near as interesting and her being stalked by potheads is an odd inclusion without a payoff), Woo's best moment pretty much lies in one scene that cements strengths on more places in the flick. Juxtaposing lovemaking scenes of definite and possible nature, it's the latter that intrigues as the relationship between Olivia Cheng's and Chow Yun-Fat's characters is wonderfully defined. It's also all about just getting two people talking in a room. Techniques Woo can't follow up on in other scenes (especially when they contain montages set to Canto-pop) but ending in an unconventional way is welcome as Teresa shows us a sign of her best self again. Helena Law and Jamie Luk also appear.

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Missing (2008) Directed by: Tsui Hark

A noble attempt at mixing up the emotionally charged romance and familiar horror tactics of the post Ring-era but Tsui Hark doesn't run past the finishing line with grace nor having planted affection in the heart of his audience. Underwater photographer Dave Chen (Guo Xiao-Dong) dies under mysterious circumstances during a diving expedition with his girlfriend, psychiatrist Gao Jing (Angelica Lee). In the wake of the death and mystery, Dave's sister Xiao Kai (Isabella Leong) takes it especially hard and blames Gao Jing but that's the least of Gao Jing's worries. Slowly descending into a world of constant ghostly sights, one of which may be Dave but one vengeful spirit of a drowned girl doesn't seem to leave her alone either...

Establishing that our characters in love have a thing for the beauty of the ocean and expositional tangents about the mental state of mankind, that's subtle exposition compared to what we get in the almost entirely unsuccessful second half. After drawing us in through some involving visual representations of the horror and providing creepy (but not startling, thankfully) atmosphere, it may be Angelica Lee in yet another "I can see ghosts"-scenario a la The Eye but you have talent here in front and behind to eject such BAD feelings of familiarity. We're on board before Missing goes overboard with its reveal in the second half that instead leads into the romantic and again emotionally charged relationship. Lee can sell this but Tsui Hark painting the screen and soundtrack with emotions doesn't hook us. Missing could've benefited from less is more as at heart, Hark's script has heart. But emotions are beating way too much on the outside here. Tony Leung Ka-Fai also appears.

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The Missing Gun (2002) Directed by: Lu Chuan

Universally acclaimed after Kekexili: Mountain Patrol, writer/director Lu Chuan's debut feature The Missing Gun is a decidedly different beast, yet the equivalent of a talent making unique imprints on the cinema scene. Directed partially with a hyperactive sense, both in the visual- and audio field, as we follow cop Ma Shan's (Jiang Wen) quest for his missing gun, we're treated to a genre mish-mash. The rural community has its share of dopey and seedy characters and Ma Shan along the way unearths much about himself in the various confrontations. Past and current demons manifest themselves, heading towards a boiling point where the film takes a step down to reveal it's really a quiet journey for the lost man. However hard that sounds to take seriously, Lu Chuan gets fine affection out of the story after the welcome assaults. Ning Jing (Divergence, Set To Kill) appears briefly.

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Yesasia.com

Missing Man (1989) Directed by: Stephan Yip

Whodunit, murder mystery with 57 plot twists that means it doesn't have to follow logic, Stephen Yip (I Love Miss Fox, Mad Stylist and co-star of Disciples Of Shaolin) has a Joey Wong as Yan the abused wife of Alex Man's Cheong. After he goes missing, an investigation is launched but all of a sudden Cheong's back, making Yan doubt her sanity. But secrets and jealousy will trigger murders by a masked killer...

One of those rare ventures in suspense by a Hong Kong filmmaker (also see David Chung's excellent Web Of Deception), some nicely designed cinematography and flirts with slasher territory makes one raise an eyebrow or two but the fact that Missing Man decides to do whatever it wants, feature clearly told but ultimately not rewarding twists along the way just makes it stand out as yet another in the long line of made up on the spot-flicks (tac that on occasion generated classics). Yip's final revelation does nothing for effect although during this climax, and a few times before in the flick, the level of vicious and grisly behaviour increases to make Missing Man watchable in pieces. Lead Wong neither embarrasses or furthers herself while Alex Man presents some well-honed instincts in his critical role. Walter Tso appears in his well established Inspector gear while Carrie Ng and Leon Lai supports.

Mission Inferno (1984) Directed by: Raymond Kim

Set during the Korean war, this presumably Korean production pours it on with big war scenes, prison drama, espionage and surely in original form, it's as boring as IFD's dubbed presentation here. Mission Inferno is a case where Joseph Lai should've cut up the action and inserted his stable of Western actors. Heck, even ninjas could've fit within all this because at least it would be partially lit up. The canned melodrama and lack of characters creates a boring, at times loud movie that only manages to come off as entirely incoherent. A bad pick up by Lai.

Mission Kill (1991) Directed by: Lee Chiu

Also known as Mission Of Condor, Moon Lee's Rose helps bust a big drug syndicate but key players in the operation are subsequently assassinated by Simon Yam's Lion who has every intention of keeping his drug business going. Rose is the target of assassin Antelope (Eddy Ko) but when he fails at his mission and is captured, the police has the advantage of manipulating the situation to lure out Lion's group of assassins. Stripped of most elements, like comedy, that would stall a simple narrative such as this, Lee Chiu (A Punch To Revenge) instead goes for the necessary darker beats to make Mission Kill stand out. As shaved if you will compared to many Hong Kong movies, it's very well paced and entertaining with both fine showcases for Moon Lee's fighting skills and Lee Chiu's action team staging basic but intense (and bloody) gunplay. Also with Max Mok, Ken Lo, Kwan Hoi-San and since director Lee Chiu worked at IFD, some of its regular turns up here such as Jonathan Isgar, Kenneth Goodman and Bruce Fontaine.

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