# 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
Page 01 | Page 02 | Page 03 | Page 04 | Page 05 | Page 06 | Page 07
No Compromise (1988) Directed by: Billy Chan

Well-mounted cop-drama by Billy Chan that has a for once structured and layered screenplay backing up the production, courtesy of City On Fire writer Tommy Sham. In one of his better "Lee Sir" performances, Danny Lee is a cop surrounded with the age old struggle of trying to be a father and husband at the same time. His wife jenny (Carol Cheng) has seen his colleagues meet their fate one by one over the years and now mounts a campaign to get her husband to quit the dangerous job. She even goes as far as moving out in an instant, with their son. Meanwhile the hunt is on for a ruthless pair of Mainland criminals, a husband and wife unit played by Lam Wai (Long Arm Of The Law) and Pauline Wong (Her Vengeance)...

Effectively built up from that crucial point we enter from frame one, where Carol Cheng's Jenny makes the decision to want to stop worrying anymore, the script calls for dramatic situations within this relationship that very easily could've fallen into overdone territory but director Chan's performers are with the material and there's even clever structuring around mentioned familiarity. Perhaps the most striking element in that regard is the internal similarity between the couple on the wrong side and right side of the law. Aided by outbursts of violence and gore (most memorable being Pauline Wong's surgery on her own gun wound), you also get an in-tune score by Richard Yuen and moody cinematography that adds up to one of the more well-told genre pictures of its kind. Ken Lo, Wu Ma, Billy Lau and Shing Fui-On also appear while Kam Hang-Yin also makes the most of his brief role as a doctor forced to deliver the baby of Pauline's character.

Buy the DVD at:
HK Flix.com

The Nocturnal Demon (1991) Directed by: Ricky Lau

Despite Ricky Lau at the helm, there's no hopping vampires or even a demon in this modern thriller-comedy. Instead Lau mixes it up, starting with a highly disturbing murder scene that leads us into mahjong playing, comedic banter with Alfred Cheung unfortunately at the forefront, Moon Lee on roller skates fighting Yuen Wah, people snorting cocaine, kids being put to sleep with chloroform etc etc. You guessed it, the mix is distasteful and highly inappropriate. Not to mention for once extra disturbing coming from Hong Kong cinema. It's not even a guilty pleasure and I'm kind of surprised I for once did not feel this one. I guess I still have some pieces of human in me. Moon Lee does however look adorable and her fights are of expected quality plus she's not a bad comedienne as shown in the nightclub scene where she sports buns as shoulder pads. Lam Kau and Billy Lau also occupy this one.

No Guilty (1992) Directed by: ?

A killer and also necrophiliac dubbed "The Wolf of Hong Kong" stalks the city's women and the cops, led by Inspector Lee (Alexander Lo Rei) and Jack (Lam Wai) are on the hunt. We the audience know early however that the wolf is Kang (Chen Shan), the son of an older gangster (Ku Feng). Things start to get a little suspicious when Inspector Lee firmly acts on a dubious testimony that says Jack's friend Ming (Siu Yuk-Lung) is actually the killer so Jack's mission is to clear Ming's name...

Cheap production that can't veer of into cinematic territory, can only steal music from US horror flicks (possibly the score from A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors is used) and even forgets to add foley effects to fight scenes. But as much of a turd it is, it never reaches bottom of the barrel as it's not deadly boring and certain audience friendly elements are delivered. Mainly a handful of scenes where Kang goes to work on his victims and the finale has unexpectedly well-honed skills in the fight action department. Watch out for the bar with HUGE amounts of Nazi interior decoration.

Buy the VCD at:
Yesasia.com

No More Love No More Death (1992) Directed by: Herman Yau

The prequel to the very minor action-romance With Or Without You sees cinematographer of that flick continue to work in that capacity and as director. Herman Yau goes for a full, stylistic blowout here after being limited first time around in Taylor Wong's movie. Via colourful costumes, stylized lighting and a general outrageousness Yau knows IS over the top, No More Love No More Death sparkles with energy With Or Without You didn't have plus it does provide an unexpectedly well-honed dramatic backdrop to what was to become psychotic hitman Prince (Jacky Cheung). Kidnapped and trained to be a killing machine under the watchful eyes of Mr. Pak, he is also given a woman (Carina Lau) for those moments when you need bodily contact. Not contact through the heart but in Prince there still resides conflicted emotions. Heck, there exists emotions full stop that gets stirred even more when his eyes fall on Tweedy (Rosamund Kwan). Quite existential the story of how innocence is evaporated in favour of cold as steel psychopathic behaviour, Yau covers his extravagant colours and character-contemplating equally well despite the outrageous design (that includes Wolkswagen bubbles being used as police cars) taking center stage in the frame whenever appearing. The story doesn't quite sustain its engagement the further you get into the twists and hidden relationships but with a reprised over the top act infused with character-confusion by Jacky Cheung and a strong, gorgeous looking Carina Lau by his side, No More Love No More Death becomes a bit of an undiscovered gem almost all the way through. Also with Michael Chan.

None But The Brave (1973) Directed by: Lo Wei

Everyone involved should feel pretty blessed Shaw Brother's star Cheng Pei-Pei is present in this Golden Harvest production as Lo Wei (and Raymond Chow's) intentions simply seems to be creating a Fist Of Fury re-thread. Part of a revolutionary group, Cheng poses as the sister of an important Chinese official (Au Wai) in order to gain access and freedom for her fellow comrades. Despite Han Ying-Chieh's often dull choreography, Cheng's intensity in the fighting stakes is there and moving on to Lo Wei's direction, his actress rises above and beyond what's logically required of her. Lo is typically lazy, showing off that his decent set design exists but cinematically it's often about shooting distanced dialogue without any flair for even that. Cheng is quite present though, moving swiftly between intensity and putting on the mask of an ignorant peasant. Though no acting looks to be truly challenging, Au Wai does carry himself well as it's an official we don't know is looking resigned out of doubt about his political stance on things or if the shell holds evil. But Lo Wei creates little tension and although the 2 hour running time (English dub version was cut by close to 30 minutes) is very much bearable, Cheng Pei-Pei is the sole showcase of None But The Brave. Heck, 30 minutes more of her presence wouldn't have hurt either. That's how good she is. Lo Wei appears in support as well as James Tien and amongst the background players you'll spot Jackie Chan, Yuen Wah, Corey Yuen and Chin Yuet-Sang.

No One Can Touch Her (1979, Ding Sin-Saai)

As simple as it is complex and as admirable as it is annoying, No One Can Touch Her eventually goes the places it wants and needs but patience for the journey is required. Throughout veteran director Ding Sin-Saai has us in his pocket with detailed and very competent fight scenes, the character design (and names) of the group of 14 bandits but giving a lot of screentime to comedic hijinxs (despite it being centered around a key character) is testing one's level of patience. Ultimately about rounding up characters and making their true potential flourish (like Chia Ling's Brother Blind-character), hooking onto this eventually makes it an uneven but easy 90 minutes. Especially since the parade of fights for the last 20 confirms what was felt earlier in the film in terms of quality choreography.

No Problem (1999) Directed by: Alfred Cheung

Since No Problem 2 was the first of these Hong Kong/Japanese co-productions to surface more distinctly on dvd, it's important to point out that while both spoof Hong Kong cinema with great sincerity, the cinematic visions are far different between Chin Ka Lok and Alfred Cheung. Starring popular Japanese comedian Takeshi Okamura, he plays Daijiro who travels to Hong Kong to reclaim his girlfriend Ling (Yasue Sato) form the clutches of Jackie Chan. Or rather to try and make her focused on him and not the assistant gig she's scored in Hong Kong's film industry. Into the picture comes illegal immigrant Ching (Jessica Sung) who is about to stir the heart of Daijiro as well...

Making references to the likes of Rush Hour and Hong Kong filmmaking conditions in general, it's obvious that director Alfred Cheung allows No Problem to stray, even though his core story is very much real and humane. But his excuse is perhaps that Takeshi Okamura's Daijiro is a bit of an out of touch fool so the film can correspond to that. Funnily enough, it does so quite well. Focusing subsequently on Daijiro's struggles of feeling like a lesser individual only to pick himself up by becoming a stuntman is not so much remarkably felt but Alfred keeps it sweet and low-key in a very acceptable manner. No Problem really is a akin to a typically conflicted Hong Kong product with ventures into exaggerated comedy but the moods add up to a minor movie that manages to peek out and speak to you on a human level. Some of your favourite Hong Kong stars stops by including Sammo Hung, Mang Hoi, Ken Lo and Francis Ng.

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

No Problem 2 (2002) Directed by: Chin Kar-Lok

Mixing movie parodies and a bit of romance again, Japanese comedian Takeshi Okamura returns to Hong Kong for a second unrelated adventure. This time he's Kensuke Kimura who's dreaming of becoming a movie star in the vein of Chow Yun-Fat. Instead he's mistakenly hired as a hitman that is ordered to take out Yumiko (Sakai Wakana). Reason being she's been given control of her late, adoptive father's company and jealous forces has now involved Hong Kong triads (headed by Colin Chou). Eventually Ken is also being taught martial arts by a father-daughter team played by Yuen Biao and Candy Lo...

While energetic and ambitious, it's not so much about the various parodies of mostly Asian movies that work, despite the likes of The Killer, Police Story and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon being the references. Nor does the highly pronounced slapstick with contorted faces and sound effects galore matter very much but instead director Chin Kar-Lok finds a neat balance of funny character interaction, action and stunts. Definitely the best parody sees Korean kicker Won Jin from Operation Scorpio reprise his scorpion-style of fighting and the scene shows Hong Kong action can still be delivered in 2002 despite a comical touch being present. It's as hard hitting, entertaining and with a funny Yuen Biao performance which also shows his action timing is still tops, No Problem 2 more than makes up for lags in the fun-department. Of note during the training scenes is the inclusion of bear traps, flying guillotines and a fun, although not inspired, Street Fighter II-esque fighting stance involving ye ol' powerballs and flatulence. Colin Chou is also delightfully evil and an action performer that reeks danger many miles off. Sam Lee co-stars as the cop protecting Yumiko and who has a rivalry with Ken. Other Hong Kong personnel that make appearances are Chin Kar-Lok himself, Eric Tsang, Jerry Lamb, Tats Lau, Law Kar-Ying and Wayne Lai (hamming it up extremely, in a very Japanese way).

No Regret, No Return (1993) Directed by: Ridley Tsui

Hitman Victor (Max Mok) accomplishes his task but trying to get out of Hong Kong with his wife, he makes his hostage Ho (director Ridley Tsui) tag along for insurance. Reporter Sylvia (Vivian Chow) also joins the gang that now has to focus on getting back at Victor's employer, seedy politician Lau (Kenneth Tsang). Taking place in a relatively short time frame, a quite original choice for what is rightfully perceived before and a bit into No Regret, No Return as just another, Ridley Tsui expectedly has a focus on the stunt work. Featuring vehicles, guns and fists, there's some truly amazing, daredevil scenes executed by Tsui and his team. Risks are elevated thanks to all this and it comes as no surprise to watch some pretty painful outtakes following the movie.

All this would've been more than sufficient to rank No Regret, No Return up there with the above average gangster flicks of this golden era of Hong Kong action cinema. However Tsui does surprisingly well telling his simple story as well, getting subdued, for the genre, acting from his leads and below the surface themes of how your choices affect your fellow man resides. It didn't have to be any good but Ridley was apparently not settling for nailing one aspect. It's not reference material but a very workable, fast paced MOVIE. Lau Kar-Wing, Karel Wong and Tommy Wong also appear.

No Risk, No Gain (1990) Directed by: Jimmy Heung & Taylor Wong

Also known as Casino Raiders - The Sequel, we do get a re-union of leading men Alan Tam and Andy Lau from the Jimmy Heung/Wong Jing helmed 1989 movie Casino Raiders but there's no story connection between the two. Ray (Tam) runs a casino in the US and is invited to a VIP, high stakes game by Taiwanese rival Cheung San Ho (Chan Chung-Yung). Well, he's forced rather as Cheung has placed bombs in the casino prior to their meeting. When coming back to Hong Kong to tend to his cousin, low ranking triads Dee (Andy Lau) and Mao (Nat Chan) scams Ray and leaves with cash and the invitation. As no one knows what Ray looks like, the duo takes on the roles of Ace Ray and bodyguard...

Despite being overlong on paper, directors Heung and Wong maintain good flow of what isn't innovative genre material. Combine silly antics from mostly Lau and Chan, a lot of physical abuse, coke-sniffing villains (hello Anthony Wong!), bland romances, twists, turns, deceptions, star power... the content gels very well in No Risk, No Gain. Being a die hard fan of the often amusing usually Wong Jing-headed (he wrote and produced this one) gambling-genre helps but 1990 and a genre on a roll makes this production go in with a confidence on all fronts. Including action-wise as we get a attack by Anthony Wong's men on a villa that includes Andy Lau using a convenient safety net to blast away one of his opponents. It is a Wong Jing factor people and this genre was his. Also with Michelle Reis, May Lo, Christine Ng, Shing Fui-On and Tien Feng.

Page 01 | Page 02 | Page 03 | Page 04 | Page 05 | Page 06 | Page 07 | Page 08
BACK TO TOP