# 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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Silver Knife, Scarlet Blade (1969, Wong Fung)

Petrina Fung and Sek Kin do make an impression, mostly thanks to lifelong, legendary status. But despite a swordplay genre having seen groundbreaking efforts over at Shaw Brothers at the same time, this Kin Shing Film Company production possesses little but good costumes and in reality is too primitive to further the genre. Largely talky and providing no real genre noise until Fung and Sek Kin square off at the end, it's only here Lau Kar-Leung's action becomes a bit more active with creative violence and wire-work. Even at 82 minutes, it's still a long sit.

Sino-Dutch War 1661 (2001) Directed by: Wu Zi-Nu

Depicting the "Siege of Fort Zeelandia" in 1661 and 1662 that when it came to a close meant the Dutch East India Company surrendered rule over Taiwan. The assault in the movie is lead by Ming loyalist Zheng Cheng-Gong (Vincent Zhao) who's witnessed his dynasty fade away to the point where his father is even surrendering to the Ching. This lean epic (clocking in at a mere 100 minutes) mostly strikes chords of entertainment and is more of a quick run through of key events (accurate or not) but nonetheless is a ride worth taking. Director Wu Zi-Nu is no stranger to dealing with history with big images thanks to the likes of Don't Cry, Nanking a few years earlier. By choice (and getting away with it) creating a good chunk of Sino-Dutch War 1661 as a melodrama, it's still passable drama thanks to this brave stance of letting emotions flow. All this refers to the breakdown of the family, what choices are made in the face of a fading rule and where loyalty leads you. Sure it's patriotic but not distracting flag waving and Wu Zi-Nu's battle images are equal to rough, gritty and impressively staged on the grand scale (mostly true of the sea battle that dominates the finale).

Sister Cupid (1987) Directed by: Guy Lai

KENNETH'S REVIEW: Not as lifeless as Guy Lai's The Intellectual Trio but pretty damn close. At least it opens in an original fashion during what appears to be a breaking and entering but Pat Ha's Jenny isn't very good at it. Her plan is to elope with boyfriend Cheung (Jacky Cheung) but trying to stand in the way is his sister Kam (Carol Cheng). And when an old lady wants these people to be involved as she marries of her dead daughter, things take drastic turns. As the ghost of the daughter (embodied by Maggie Cheung) becomes visible, the marriage appears to have been done between her and Cheung. Enter rivalry...

Annoying pretty much until Maggie Cheung arrives in all her cute glory, as the comedic jabs takes place such as Pat Ha and Carol Cheng exchanging bust-jokes and Nat Chan appearing only mildly annoying, Guy Lai manages to trust Maggie Cheung to make matters bearable because nothing is otherwise funny. Criminally simple to direct her in this way.

Sisters In Law (1991) Directed by: Andy Chin

Reasonably entertaining buddy cop cop comedy (the pairing this time is Sandra Ng and Charine Chan) from Andy Chin (Changing Partner) who usually makes reasonably entertaining films. No different here as comedy is kept unusually light (meaning not Wong Jing-esque broad outside of the Michael Chow cop character and his partner, but Michael is a pretty funny guy though) and plays to Sandra Ng's strength as an amusing comic actress. Tony Leung Siu Hung handles the action competently, giving us gritty and bloody gunplay that makes Sisters In Law a fair early 90s package. Shing Fui On and Max Mok are good in supporting roles.

Megastar does their best to ruin the movie with a horrendous 5.1 remix though.

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Sisters Of The World Unite (1991) Directed by: Maisy Choi

Sylvia (Sylvia Chang, also producer and co-writer) in a distraught mood about not feeling the attention and love from her husband (John Shum) anymore, shacks up with sister Sally (Sally Yeh in her last Hong movie). Sally herself is in a risky relationship with married man Johnny (Derek Yee) and decides ultimately to split up with him. Re-examining their roles in and view on love while being re-born again, Sylvia's true beauty will come out while she gets a breakthrough as a cook and Sally meets younger man Ray (David Wu) who literally drains all energy out of her. Being an environmentalist and never in shortage of things to do, it's the inevitable age clash that may threaten this blooming love. One time director Maisy Chow has a loveable structure and themes running throughout and it's especially heartwarming to see Sylvia's character bloom. Which in itself is the reason to cast Sylvia Chang as she can carry off that transformation from ignored house wife to true beauty and sexiness. Director Chow also thinks of this drama cinematically, going creative on us during her collaboration with cinematographer Jingle Ma. Pace she doesn't master however. In fact not at all. Sisters Of The World Unite seriously drags and engages merely in sporadic bursts, despite all throughout really showcasing its leading ladies well. Featuring cameos and appearances by Johnnie To, Raymond Wong, Kenny Bee, Phillip Chan and Kam Kwok-Leung.

Six Assassins (1971) Directed by: Jeng Cheong-Woh

Written and directed by Jeng Cheong-Woh (King Boxer), Six Assassins scores points for brevity and standard (meaning high standard) Shaw Brothers production values but isn't one that lingers. Concerning the team of assassins Mu Jun-Jie (Ling Yun) puts together to take out the brother (Yun Il-Bong) of the emperor, at 79 minutes there's still lots of talk, plot and characters packed into the movie and it can get pretty uninteresting at most points. Latching on to the basic story and a well executed Shaw Brothers frame (as per almost usual) helps as well as at points intense swordplay and Ling Yun bringing an intense presence in the lead. Worth anyone's short time even though you won't remember you spent time with Six Assassins shortly thereafter. Also with Lily Li.

The Six Devil Women (1996) Directed by: Tony Ma

A group of women (including Diana Pang) goes to Mainland China to earn money any way they can. Not surprisingly they end up as prostitutes but their violent pimp (Jimmy Wong - The Fruit Is Swelling) are using them as highway bait to subsequently rob and kill the male victims. A Category III movie where budget works in its favour. With sparse locations (some highways and apartments) and gore budget, you combine a roster of reprehensible characters and acts and you got yourself a fairly gritty, late 90s Category III nasty. It won't turn heads violence-wise but director Tony Ma (Rebekah) achieves a lot by setting tone through locations and character traits.

The Six Directions Boxing (1980) Directed by: Tyrone Hsu

Basic yet overly busy martial arts from Taiwan, The Six Directions Boxing presents a splendid cast (a great looking David Chiang, Paul Chun, Simon Yuen, Yueh Hua etc) but yet it comes off as a product of its time. Meaning it's yet another kung fu picture that was part of the production flow. Leaving your consciousness quickly therefore, within we do get a fairly logical balance between dark and light and part of the Yuen family (Simon Yuen's sons Yuen Yat-Choh, Yuen Cheung-Yan and Brandy Yuen) choreographs some very noteworthy fight scenes. Tyrone Hsu (The Red Phoenix) intends to tell a story clearly rather than shoot a quickie set mainly outside but with such a huge character gallery, even basic matters get muddled. At least there's a monkey to look at.

Sketch (1983) Directed by: Wong Ching

Despite that one too many implausibilities crop up during the final reel and the fact that this really is more of a pedestrian slasher-thriller, curious ones of this new wave of filmmaking and directors should give Stretch a go. Director Wong Ching's proves himself to be very adept at creating atmosphere of dread and set against the village backdrop, the low budget definitely helps to enhance a sense of reality.

Strangely enough, he leaves his main social commentary outside of the main narrative and characters. His target are the youths and the anarchy nature to them directed towards a society based so much on respect for your elders. True to form for these new wave of directors back then, there is a pessimistic tone to this. Today, the commentary doesn't seem very polished and rather over the top, but back then, these were new voices of Hong Kong cinema and it's interesting to examine this era. Some directors never really managed to adapt themselves to the changing Hong Kong cinema and subsequently faded away.

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The Skyhawk (1974) Directed by: Chan Cheng Ho

Kwan Tak-Hing's return to the Wong Fei Hung role, 4 years after the last of long running series had ended with Wong Fei Hung: Bravely Crushing the Fire Formation. Kwan would go on to reprise the role yet again in movies such as The Magnificent Butcher and Dreadnaught.

As an anticipated comeback vehicle, The Skyhawk is far from remarkable, containing standard plotting and simple but well-meaning philosophies. It rises to solid thanks to Sammo Hung's action (Hung also co-stars) that partly recalls the style of the era but contains enough of Hung's powerful traits as a choreographer. Whang In-Sik obviously gets a good kicking showcase, Kwan Tak-Hing performs an admirable amount of his own fighting but it's Carter Wong that Hung has blessed with several moments of smoothly executed action. Also with Nora Miao, Lee Kwan and amongst the stunt players Lam Ching Ying and Wilson Tong can be spotted.

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