# 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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The Twilight Of The Forbidden City (1992) Directed by: Manfred Wong

Set in the 1920s, former court official and eunuch Loi Hei (Max Mok) is making his living selling food in the streets and doing his best not to be involved in the tumultuous times of pending war. Living a pseudo marriage with Chiu Ti (Irene Wan) and her son, soon Loi Hei IS drawn into the notion of revolution as he befriends a married rebels Chiu Fung (Carrie Ng) and Hu Zeng Zhong (Felix Wong). Jealousy ensues in the trio but also Loi Hei is caught in the eye line of the current palace eunuch (played by singer Roman Tam). This sets the stage for possible revolution but also a dark spiral downwards for Loi Hei...

Expensive and well shot by veteran Mark Lee, director Manfred Wong does not have the chops to make something meaningful out of this story. Max Mok tries admirably but ultimately isn't affecting in the shoes of this doomed character. Initially merely the basic beats are used as setup for this character and no growth is achieved along the way or afterwards. Roman Tam is at times suitably evil but it brings up the point that The Twilight Of The Forbidden City is only watchable during those short streaks of grim violence and sadism often directed towards our main character. Kent Cheng's general actually MARRIES Lo Hei just so he can have sex with the eunuch that he is. This doesn't represent an affecting, tragic part of the arc. It's merely watchable, shameless exploitation for a few minutes. Have a feeling Manfred Wong wanted more. Also with Manfred Wong himself and Shing Fui-On.

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The Twilight Siren (1991) Directed by: Ma Siu-Wai

Sold on vcd as Devil And Master, on-screen title for this Taiwanese cheap-o-rama is The Twilight Siren. Concerning a ghost that breaks with her master The Devil King when given a chance to re-incarnate, she uses the human world to help her achieve her goal. Humans have a tendency to fall in love with pretty ghosts too...

Not as annoying as the camp, young Taoist Priest character would have you believe, hands on director Ma Siu-Wai (also writer and co-action director) will try and convince you that a lot of movement equals energy that in turn equals creativity. His spirit battles do move but are rendered practically incoherent not only due to the dark nature of the vcd print. Amusing flubtitles doesn't help this unbearable mess either. The Mandarin and Cantonese language tracks utilizes quite strikingly different choices of score (both probably stolen elsewhere) but they are still showcases of someone not possessing the skill to conjure up any excitement via choices of sound and music. Out of all movies that offers up behind the scenes footage, The Twilight Siren all of a sudden breaks into that during its end crawl. Alex Fong, Ku Feng and Wu Ma appear.

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Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (1983) Directed by: Alex Cheung

A short lived career at Shaw Brothers (mainly probably because they closed production at the studio in 1985) for praised Cops And Robbers and Law On The Brink director Alex Cheung resulted in the Leung Kar-Yan actioner Danger Has Two Faces but more importantly the sci-fi madness Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. With a plate of seemingly random silliness that manages to cohere and connect via its own internal logic, it's a pure joy watching a filmmaker managing to show skill in maintaining energy. In a very colourful, full Shaw Scope, Cheung throws at us the mystery of a UFO, Cherie Chung as an extremely unlucky woman, goofy PI's (among others James Yi), a doctor drinking his own concoction and turning into a monster in the process, key imagery from Star Wars, Encounters Of The Third Kind and believe it or not, there's barely a slow patch in the proceedings. Fast paced banter, musical numbers, crazy fathers, ambitious special effects, it's all capped with a biblical reel featuring James Yi abducted, almost probed but more importantly, facing off against the Darth Vader of the film. It'll be a lightsaber duel the George Lucas and Hong Kong way combined.

The Twins Effect (2003) Directed by: Dante Lam

If this is recapturing the magic for today's audiences, no wonder Hong Kong action cinema has such a bad rep nowadays. EMG's not only unashamedly named the film after its leading ladies, pop duo The Twins (Gillian Chung and Charlene Choi), but also effectively sold the film on the participation by Donne Yen (action director) and Jackie Chan (extended cameo). Combine that with a pure all star cast and an MTV style vampire film and you have...nothing really.

Director Dante Lam's visual trickery admittedly worked for Jiang Hu - "The Triad Zone" but whenever used in The Twins Effect, it comes off as incredibly forced and only something there to dazzle the kids. It's braindead entertainment yes but flaws are not excusable everytime. The script tries to put a huge chunk of emotional weight to the relationships in the film but each one for our teenage duo is so poorly fleshed out, which in itself leads to the audience completely not caring. Occasional snippets of silly Hong Kong humour livens up (Anthony Wong is to good for this film) during the first half but after that it's a slow trek towards the final frames. Be sure to stick around for the end credits though. Anthony Wong checks in for another funny scene. Donnie Yen's action deserves kudos for making the stars look semi-capable but because of their lack of traditional training, the usual tricks of hiding that ability (quick cuts and a shaky camera language) are employed. Also starring Mickey Hardt (looking eerily like Richard D.James AKA Aphex Twin) Ekin Cheng, the always dorky Edison Chen (works for his vampire character) plus Karen Mok, Josie Ho, Cheung Tat-Ming, Matt Chow and Bey Logan logs camoes.

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The Twist (1995) Directed by: Danny Lee

Danny Lee assembled his team of actors from Organized Crime & Triad Bureau for a tale in similar vein, only with a Cat III twist. From watching Danny Lee productions and vehicles such as this one, you quickly come to realize that Lee himself is communicating a fascist way of dealing out justice but it's never been as extreme as what's on display in The Twist.

After a dull first hour, that police brutality theme and exploitation aspects set in and while the latter are shot effectively, there really lies a questionable message behind it all. Lee is showcasing his own personal feeling about what Hong Kong cops should be like, regardless of the severeness of a specific crime and his attempts to justify the actions taken by these very violence-hungry cops in the end instead generates, while still slight, sympathy towards the criminals. Cat III exploitation fans will probably want to have a look but these films were better when refraining from social commentary and being nasty in other ways instead. Rape, murder and other depraved behaviour was never fun but at least it was decidedly non-verbal in its social commentary and those who choose to enjoy it, did.

On the plus side, The Twist provides Simon Yam with freedom to actually have fun in combination with his trademark flamboyance. Also starring Suki Kwan, Shing Fui On, Tommy Wong and the gang of Danny Lee cop actors including Emily Kwan, Parkman Wong and Eric Kei (whose trademark is apparently cursing in English as much as he can).

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The Two Cavalier (1973) Directed by: Yueh Feng

Lung-Kuo (Chan Sing) seeks revenge on Miss Flower (Gwok Siu-Chung - Fury Of King Boxer) who ordered the killing of his family. Getting beaten up and scalded before he can even reach her, into the mix comes mysterious and seemingly rich boy Lung-Fei (Jimmy Wang Yu) who starts to meddle in this affair. He approaches Miss Flower, flirts and engages in a romance with her but to what purpose and which side will he be on? Interesting stuff of the basher kind that doesn't provide narrative and drama of the revolutionary kind but director Yueh Feng possesses some fine skills in this department despite. It keeps matters from being generic and it's all definitely an engaging mix of basic bashing (that the leads add volumes to via their contributions) with a fun choreography concept involving ropes thrown in during the finale as well as an unexpectedly somber ending. Eddy Ko co-stars.

Two Crippled Heroes (1982) Directed by: Joseph Siu

The last of three lead vehicles disabled performers Sam Chung-Chuen and Hong Chiu-Ming appeared in (although an international aka for this movie is Crippled Masters 2: Two Crippled Heroes), as with The Crippled Master, there's little sense of exploitation going on here as the duo are given a chance to play heroes of good morals and martial arts skill. Taking care of a temporarily blind girl who knows too much about the mayor's (played by Wang Hsieh) dealings with a warlord, it's all decent storytelling that is also merely a springboard for choreography suited for the performers lacking full usage of arms and legs respectively. Often complex and creative, a lot of emphasis is on Sam Chung-Cheun's knife throwing skills (which he does with his feet) and the package comes together more by the time the duo fights Addy Sung as the filmmakers find usage for Hong Chiu-Ming and the cart he uses to get around.

Two Girl's Faced (1995) Directed by: Lo Kin-Ming

Just because you happen to know where to point the camera, persuade anyone to give you the key to art, costume and action departments plus set your narrative in ancient times with Wuxia like tendencies amongst the constant sex, doesn't mean your end product is going to be anything. Lo Kin-Ming's Two Girl's Faced attempts class, favouring "moody", tender sex combined with one such story attempt with roots in hatred for men. From an almost unrelated movie comes some horny soldiers belonging to an evil witch played by Alvina Kong whose main nemesis happen to be Category III sleazeball William Ho. Extremely short but dragged out to infinity it seems, the sole lively behaviour comes from cheap wire assisted action but the slightly haunting tone during the gory climax has signs of a film that should've been all that throughout. Then you might've had something low-fi but fun!

The Two Jolly Cops (1985) Directed by: Wilson Tong

Doing a disservice to the buddy cop movie, Wilson Tong casting Gordon Liu and Tai Bo at the head of one proves to be a dreadful and boring choice and endeavor. Chasing a pickpocket (Norman Tsui), a triad boss (Wilson Tong) but mostly a slimey lawyer (Charlie Cho), the light, everyday banter in between doesn't so much not translate... it's just not funny. With no chemistry between the leads either or needed edge to the material (there's barely any action either), only worthwhile scene is seeing Gordon Liu towards the end seemingly out to hurt and torture Charlie Cho but does so in more sneaky ways while also playing mind games with the lawyer. A short sign of life, way too late. Wu Ma and Phillip Chan also appears.

Two Toothless Tigers (1980) Directed by: Ricky Lau

Absolutely abysmal kung-fu comedy involving Sammo Hung, Yuen Shun-Yi and a lot of the former's dependent on- and off-screen talent. Within a high standard career, logically there are lulls and this one comes off as desperately wanting to belong to a trend. More a Yuen Shun-Yi than a Sammo Hung vehicle largely, the last 20 minutes do give way for Sammo and his team's action with a couple of excellent and hard hitting fight scenes. Of note is the finale with Johnny Wang versus the two leads that features highlight footage of hard kicks and falls that look borderline lethal.

Two Wondrous Tigers (1979) Directed by: Cheung Sam

Not all out bad as it somehow manages to execute in the comedic- and martial arts area with less embarrassing results but Two Wondrous Tigers still feels incredibly flat. Tiger (John Cheung) and Robert Ko (Phillip Ko) bump into each other, become enemies, bicker, fight, team up all while showcasing zero chemistry and only certain movies (The Loot being one) showed Ko could break his harder exterior and smoothly be transformed into something lighter. The two take a backseat to the plot involving Elder Master Ma (Tiger Yang) who gets the women he wants, usually involving kidnapping but brother of Sharon Yeung's character and her sister won't give in that easily. They propose to fight for the marriage and when Master Ma loses, he retreats and other suitors line up to claim the bride and the prize money.

It's all unusually friendly and free from violence but comedy involving laxatives and unfunny banter sinks Two Wondrous Tigers to pretty much the level of every unfunny kung fu comedy. The martial arts action is executed with competence but doesn't register. Even concepts of a Buddhist monk essentially dancing with Sharon Yeung is a flat one and the worst offender comes when Phillip Ko and John Cheung fight over 10 dollars, one coin at a time. Sharon Yeung is an acrobatic and fiery eyed standout though and the massive fight with her, Cheung, Ko plus the brother and sister is the best piece of choreography. Also with Wilson Tong.

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