# 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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Treasure Hunt (1994) Directed by: Jeff Lau

Treasure Hunt marked Chow Yun-Fat's return to Hong Kong movie screens after a 2 year break (was probably needed after the intense shooting of Hard Boiled), this time directed by prolific Jeff Lau (Chinese Odyssey 1 & 2, Haunted Cop Shop). Being true to the Hong Kong cinema way of doing things, Treasure Hunt gives us gunplay, martial arts, comedy, romance, resulting in something very typical of Jeff Lau; an uneven but still strangely charming and enjoyable little film. The plot about Chow's CIA character and his mission to bring back a Chinese Treasure, a young woman with supernatural powers, played by the beautiful Wu Chien-Lien (The Phantom Lover) doesn't interest much but instead the core of the film, Chow and Wu Chien-Lien's romance carry us nicely through this 100 minutes. The two display supersolid chemistry and I just wish there was at least 20 minutes more of them together on screen. Co-starring Gordon Lau and Phillip Kwok.

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Yesasia.com

The Treasure Trap (1986) Directed by: Phillip Chan

Also known as From Here To Prosperity, the stage is very busy in Phillip Chan's conmen romp mostly set in Thailand. So much so, especially considering the print I got to see, that it's often tough to follow the quick laid out plans by conmen David Chiang and Richard Ng in their pursuit to avenge the death of Jenny's (Pong Chao-An) father. But the familiar cast and at times amusing antics of the leads does get you through proceedings. Ng has a wonderful bit where he bets that a lit cigarette will not become shorter. His winning tactic is simply lighting it at the middle. Ng and Chiang comparing battle scars but the former not showing signs of any because they've healed well goes down well and the re-imagining of the Indiana Jones-score is shamelessly fun to hear. During the gunplay ending, Ng injects more fun as he makes a bomb using a grilled chicken! Fans of Desperado will notice that Quentin Tarantino's piss joke from that film is entirely visualized in The Treasure Trap. Also with O Chun-Hung, Wu Ma, Melvin Wong, Tin Ching and Wu Fung.

Triad (2012, Daniel Chan)

The sights and sounds of what was standard Hong Kong cinema decades earlier is nicely captured by Daniel Chan (Sifu Vs Vampire) in 2012. Now, Triad isn't reinventing the local Hong Kong gangster picture for a new audience but within that statement lies a few key words to my personal enjoyment: It's a Hong Kong gangster picture. With emphasis on Hong Kong. In a climate where the lucrative Mainland China market and its restrictions is a common topic, Triad is refreshing Hong Kong movie in feel without being a retro throwback. Because we've seen the likes of Andy Lau, Alex Man and Simon Yam perform all this stuff before. Only here William Chan, Derek Tsang and Edward Chui play our youths embracing the life of the triad and rising in the ranks. With it comes the expected grand lifestyle, violence, loss and early on Chan establishes that cruelty wins in this world. Remember that, even as characters try to build lives focusing on education and family. Aside from a few stylistic excursions, Chan keeps the frame clear, fast moving and the life altering violence is fairly effective. Even more so because of the final cap to the power play that has occupied the last 90 minutes. Triad may remind you of something from 25 years ago but arguably it does well without going through many or any changes. Also with Michelle Wai and veteran faces such as Michael Chan and Lo Hoi-Pang.

Triad Story (1990) Directed by: Shum Wai

A generic title like Triad Story should be very telling for anyone with a vague knowledge of the triad genre that was a mainstay during this period in Hong Kong cinema. Director Shum Wai injects some decent thoughts in the portrayal of the old time triads that tries to accept that time has run out for them but it lasts very shortly. Soon the gang conflicts escalate in the usual ways, sentimentality is high and another fault of the film is that it's way too talky when it should be trying to salvage itself with audience pleasing features. After several failed attempts at poetic and lyric imagery as lives are lost, Shum Wai instead wisely unleashes action director Siu Tak Foo. Decent brutality and fight action comes during the finale although there lacks a certain internal logic when we see who takes center stage. Billy Chow (in a rare good guy role) obviously is a fighter so that sets up his place in the finale but at this point, main characters are not even in the same room! Still, it's the best times of Triad Story. The rest is instantly forgettable.

Although poster arts feature Stephen Chow, it's merely a supporting, dramatic role he's given and frankly, he looks uncomfortable dealing with this kind of material (and to add on to that, Chow did not dub his own voice). His subsequent comedy co-star Ng Man Tat receives more screen time while O Chun Hung, Wu Ma, Shing Fui On, Shum Wai and Kwai Chung also appear.

Available is a Mainland vcd release under the title The Last Brother, featuring English subtitles and the Cantonese dub.

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Triangular Duel (1972) Directed by: Joseph Kuo

Featuring the leading man and lady from Iron Man, Joseph Kuo taps into a gritty, furious side to martial arts action in Triangular Duel (and also in mentioned subsequent production). It's Iron Man that had the quality and quantity though but eventually Triangular Duel showcases a compelling hand. It's merely a lot lesser when being compared to high standards set by Kuo himself in the next movie and that's not a bad thing. Man Kong-Lung plays a rickshaw driver who's let into one of the local martial arts schools after some hesitation (he's quite a killing machine already). Getting caught up in a conflict between schools as his refuses a joint venture, he's also criticized for getting into fights, destroying the reputation of the school and it doesn't help he's fallen in love with a woman in one of the rival schools...

A basic frame story done with a hell of a lot less resources than Kuo's days making Wuxia's in the late 60s. While the likes of Iron Man and later The 7 Grandmasters survived its minute budget thanks to a constant stream of high quality action, this film is slow and executing its action with little to no impact for the longest of time. Add the fact that it's way longer than it should be, the extended finale does offer up the best action. There's nothing pretty here but only gritty and muddy (literally) brawls as Man Kong-Lung takes on the Iron Triangle of fighters and it shows Joseph Kuo's frame of mind, even when basic, made him rise above the independent competition.

Tricky Brains (1991) Directed by: Wong Jing

Stephen Chow as the Tricks Master Jing Koo is a character ridiculously well suited for him as the sky's the limit when it comes to conjuring up gags. With Wong Jing directing and playing alongside Ng Man Tat and Andy Lau, he does so in his dry, low-key and highly excessive ways. Watch Chow sneakily destroy and fool people, done the legendary I Am Naked suit and feature the always great gag of large amounts of people beating up one. It's often hilarious and Andy Lau doesn't seem to mind being subjected to all kinds of silliness either. An early 90s joy that is disrupted a few times too many however when Wong Jing attempts to inject his humour into the film. Not only does it rank as distasteful and low but when he lifts a gag from Police Academy 2, you'll know who is the actual king of comedy in the production. Co-starring Rosamund Kwan, Chingmy Yau, Waise Lee, John Ching, Liu Fan, Shing Fui On, Charlie Cho and Wong Jing.

Buy the DVD at:
Yesasia.com

Trilogy Of Lust (1995) Directed by: Julie Lee & Mou Tun-Fei

I'll hand it to Julie Lee. She does try to tell a story in this first of second Category III movies she also supervised heavily. She plays a Mainland girl with harrowing memories from the Cultural revolution, has a sexual awakening after marriage and then tries to elope with a young fisherman. But Lee or for that matter co-director Mou Tun-Fei (Men Behind The Sun) aren't drama storytellers of the elite league kind but at least the attempt is made to make this more than just a wild bonk-a-thon. The latter does dominate indeed and Lee engages in what must be at least 8 sex scenes during the 80 minute running time, many quite wild. The Category III rating lives up to its name.

Trilogy Of Lust was in fact heavily censored upon release in Hong Kong due to it actually being shot as a hardcore porn film. An uncut version was released on dvd in Germany by Laser Paradise, carrying only a dub in German.

Trilogy Of Lust II (1995) Directed by: Jiro Ishikawa

Cat III sleaze times ten and it's not apologizing for it! The second in the Trilogy Of Lust series (that never actually became a trilogy) sees Julie Lee (billed as Julie Riva) doning her best S&M wear and killing off the horny Hong Kong men Why? Because of an abusive childhood of course! When she contracts HIV from one of her victims, her world crumbles. The moral of the story is quite simple for this one...

The Trilogy Of Lust movies actually are Julie Lee's babies, as she acts as producer, writer and art director plus in front of the camera she goes all out as well. Or rather as far as she chooses to for this installment as it doesn't go hardcore on us like the first unrelated part.

Not that the direction, storytelling or the social commentary is particularly polished but the copious amounts of kinky sex, the originality behind some of the murders (one involving staples in particularly wonderfully out there), makes Trilogy of Lust II passable Hong Kong thrash. For those, like me, with that sick frame of mind, the movie can actually be darkly funny at times also. Elvis Tsui appears briefly at the beginning as one of the unlucky ones in this picture.

Buy the DVD at:
Yesasia.com

Tri-Star (1996) Directed by: Tsui Hark

As with his Lunar New Year movie of 1995 The Chinese Feast, Tsui Hark enlists the leading duo of Leslie Cheung and Anita Yuen again for some silly shenanigans that barely qualifies as a movie. But it's due to a willingness to please an audience in need of to be pleased at this very time of the year that makes Tri-Star work. Leslie Cheung is Zhong, a popular priest (he even signs autographs for screaming girls after services) getting more and more involved in the life of prostitute Bai Ban (Yuen). With a triad debt over her head, Zhong decides to follow God's words and help out fellow woman (and her prostitute friends). Securing loans at a bank, employment at a photo processing lab and getting the girls into a band, Zhong is very resourceful if not a little out of touch. As he moves to live close to Bai Ban, he's convinced by a fellow priest to dress as Elvis. Snicker ensues. Lau Ching-Wan and Sunny Chan are two mostly incompetent police officers trying to sniff out the crimes surrounding all these characters. Random zaniness, cartoon humour, misunderstandings and romance follows. Tsui Hark makes his mark more when going cartoony to a surreal point but otherwise he's just there to steer the fun in a somewhat acceptable direction. It's a recipe he knows and while the Leslie Cheung/Anita Yuen romance barely holds together (the stars do run on autopilot in this one), the show undoubtedly IS held together by Lau Ching-Wan as a mostly barefoot, bearded cop. Timing is an issue and a willingness to be properly silly during this time of the year. Lau has and does that in spades. Also with Moses Chan, Hung Yan-Yan, Shing Fui-On and Raymond Wong.

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Yesasia.com

Trouble Couples (1987) Directed by: Eric Tsang

Intolerable mess served up by Eric Tsang both behind the camera and unfortunately in front of it, this albeit light (which it is), pleasant (which it's not) and audience pleasing (which it apparently did) fires on all cylinders. It's Tsang's own cylinders though, making the audiences go home with a headache and annoyance after being subjected to that voice. Sparse plot involves the sisters (among others Charine Chan and Ann Bridgewater) setting up their elder sister (Anita Mui) with a husband so they're allowed to start dating. Suicidal Eric Tsang comes into their lives and is apparently a (very annoying) triad boss (cue lame A Better Tomorrow references). Troubles Couples makes a lot of noise but doesn't register one single laughter. You can be on board a little for the cute girls, an amazing looking Anita Mui and the MV mid flick but none of it can overpower the completely over the top Eric Tsang who makes a strong case for his immediate demise as a performer. It all resembles an 80s product, which is fine but also an 80s product out to promote and launch the performers (young or old). In that regard it could've entertained... minus Tsang.

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