# 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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Temptress Of A Thousand Faces (1969) Directed by: Jeng Cheong-Woh

Subsequently director Jeng Cheong-Woh would go on to helm martial arts classics such as 1972's King Boxer but 2 years into the Korean director's Shaw Brothers career came Temptress of A Thousand Faces. A free for all mix of groovy 60s atmosphere, gorgeous ladies, heists, peeping cops, surreal production design verging on fantasy and kung-fu! The master thief Temptress (Lau Leung-Wa) is the prime target of the law and an attractive subject for journalists. TV reporter Ji Ying (Ting Chin Fei) poses as the Temptress in faked pictures for her scoop and this sets off a series of events where the advent of sophisticated rubber masks sees the Temptress take over the identify of Ji Ying in order to destroy her life. Jeng Cheong-Woh provides a terrific and short smorgosbord of eye candy, some of which is verging on exploitation but the tone is very tongue in cheek and is in actuality a terrific showcase for the ladies. In particular for leading lady Ting Chin Fei, the actress utilizes the opportunity given to be put in perfect hair styles, perfect and trendy clothes and to come off well as an action heroine. The doubling is very well made and furthermore the movie scores points for not giving a crap about logic. In this universe the rubber masks technology is advanced and our villain's cave lair filled with colorful crystals, smoke and sexy women as assistants/henchmen (or henchwomen). It makes sense in the name of fun. Also with Chan Leung and Fan Mei-Sheng.

Ten Brothers (1995) Directed by: Lee Lik-Chi

Ambitious, senseless Hong Kong madness from Lee Lik-Chi (a frequent Stephen Chow director) seems to want to emulate his success with said star initially but after the wild plot has settled in, gags really start to fly. It's not because Lee is unusually creative or that the initial start to this period comedy is highly muddled. But as sloppy son Chan Ta-Ha (Kenny Bee) manages to kill his dad with a vampire clock and subsequent scenes showing him and wife Chan Wai-Leung (Sharla Cheung) cast out to the country, matters turn around big time. Apparently in possession of a bracelet of pearls from heaven, the couple are blessed with a piece of land that can grow anything into a LARGE something. So they're the talk of the town and even Kingdom Yuen and Wong Yat-Fei tries to utilize the soil. He wants a bigger head and she wants a bigger bust (the standard Kingdom Yuen joke). It naturally works tenfold and within this Lee Lik-Chi has started to take us on a mad journey where it's not about making sense of the plot but to have fun with whatever the filmmakers come up with. Especially so when the Chan couple swallow five pearls each while on the run from General Hu (Elvis Tsui) and each give birth to five adult children fairies (among them Law Kar-Ying and the kiddie duo from Shaolin Popey) with super-duper powers. One half of the children gets manipulated by the General and raised like dogs while the other half with mom tries to find dad who is now imprisoned by Hu. Utilizing very basic but a hefty amount of CG and a fair amount of big scale ideas, Ten Brothers doesn't demand much attention overall but is one of those "did they just do that"-experiences from Hong Kong where certainly pace is an expertise evident in the filmmakers. Throw in feces jokes and a few gory deaths and yet somehow it's all a family product.

Buy the DVD at:
Yesasia.com

Ten Brothers Of Shaolin (1979) Directed by: Ting Ching

Straightforward and simple martial arts genre entertainment that is probably still way too busy on characters for its own good, it's still about crowd pleasing and Ten Brothers Of Shaolin delivers. The Shaolin temple brothers of the title are sent out in the world, one is a wanted criminal and thus begins incoherency and entertaining action scenes with popular genre stars. It's this shallow way of looking at a rather well shot product (director Ting Ching uses the widescreen frame very well) that in the end seems suitable. The likes of excellent female lead Chia Ling, Don Wong and Phillip Ko walk about, square off against Leung Kar-Yan, Stephen Tung and white haired villain Chang Yi and the basic ride is what should be extracted out of Ten Brothers Of Shaolin. It IS a good remark.

Ten Tigers Of Kwangtung (1979) Directed by: Chang Cheh

Even general story coherence seems absent from Ten Tigers Of Kwangtung, Chang Cheh's vehicle for some of his old guard (Ti Lung, Fu Sheng, Ku Feng etc) and new (Chiang Sheng, Phillip Kwok, Wai Pak among others). This may very well be a fitting plot structure for his Chinese audience but the overabundance of characters, relations and flashbacks doesn't do the flow any favours for Westerners. However the plentiful and varied fight scenes, some quite gory as per usual coming from Chang Cheh elevates Ten Tigers Of Kwangtung to fine entertainment. Especially weapons choreography gets a good showcase and one of the final fight "blows" comes with an outrageously gory consequence. Little else though and it all still represents Chang Cheh's decline as a storyteller but it's a memorable blimp in his vast filmography despite.

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Yesasia.com

Teqila (1993) Directed by: Mak Jan-Dung

Shot on tape for home video release, this lazy thriller deserves its obscure fate. Starring Andy Hui and Cheung Kwok-Keung as two cops going undercover to a singles club to investigate the murders of several members, Teqila has the flavour of a TV-movie mystery of the week. Although executed way below even that standard. With clichéd scenes like the cops getting yelled at by their boss, clue dropping in the most obvious ways, sappy romance montages and the villain telling it all in the end reel, thankfully the film is very short so you're quickly out of the torture YOU put yourself in. Andy Hui appears as himself in an early scene and later we see prisoners named after the likes of Andy Lau and Tony Leung. Not clever. Cheung Kwok-Keung also hams it up to an unbearable degree, being the shallow, horny cop while Hui's character turns out to be a very sad, desperate one. The semi-realism to the gun violence towards the end is the only attempt at praise I can come up with.

A Terra-Cotta Warrior (1989) Directed by: Ching Siu-Tung

The previously little seen collaboration between Ching Siu-Tung and Zhang Yimou sees the latter being part of the epic images rather than creating them. On Hero he had Siu-Tung action directing but this Tsui Hark co-produced effort sees Yimou playing the part of Chamberlain Mong Tianfang of the Qin Dynasty. Witnessing a large array of men and women assembled for a trip to find the recipe for eternal life to give the emperor, a defiant girl catches Mong's eyes. She is Dong Er (Gong Li) and the two secretly fall in love. When they're caught, she is sentenced to offer herself to the terracotta gods but before she slips what turns out to be the successful elixir for eternal life to Mong. Waking up 3000 years later in the 1930s and in the middle of the booming movie industry, the confused Mong encounters Dong Er or rather ditsy actress Lily and moviestar Bai Yunfei (Yu Rong-Guang) who has been searching for the emperor mausoleum Mong was guarding until his resurrection...

A grand looking production (Peter Pau was one of the cinematographers) and certainly displaying an atmospheric first 40 minutes that deals with the Qin Dynasty part of the narrative, overall Ching Siu-Tung creates an above average time when depicting the love between Mong and Dong Er. Necessarily not a bad thing of course but clearly a grander story attempt needed/wanted to be there too. This criticism applies to the generally well-made first 40 and the switch the 1930s isn't as smooth either. Oh Zhang Yimou is suitably stone faced and fun as he acts out the requisite fish out of water jokes but pace stumbles well into the climax. Here when the production boosts its biggest set pieces, there is also the reprisal of the basic beats that starts to translate into something more emotional and deep when again covering Zhang Yimou and Gong Li's plight. Getting quite a bit of mileage through Yimou's expressions, ultimately this strength also reminds us of the shortage of pure story affection throughout.

Thanks For Your Love (1996) Directed by: Norman Law & Chu Wai-Kwok

Thanks For Your Love had been given flattering review quotes such as "begins to outstay its welcome after a mere fifteen minutes" and "giving twelve pints of blood in one sitting may be preferable". With that in mind, it's kind of fun in a punishing way to go into something with the lowest of the low of expectations. As expected, this Andy Lau and Rosamund Kwan vehicle still fares incredibly bad.

Starting with a strange plot regarding Kwan's inability to be touched by men without beating the crap out of them to borrowing the template from the average Steve Martin movie Housesitter, it's indeed soon very clear that the proceedings will be marred by the inadequacies by the duo of directors at hand. Neither funny, nor overly romantic, we even are subjected to some very distasteful jokes (in particular towards black people) that quickly seals the ill fate of Thanks For Your Love. Admittedly, a chuckle and a half can be found, which is of course a lot more than expected but die-hard fans of the stars and the genre need only apply. But I doubt you'll say thanks after 90 minutes. Also with Deannie Yip, Yuen King-Tan and Maria Cordero logs a quick cameo.

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

Thank You Sir (1989) Directed by: Ivan Lai

Ivan Lai debut feature is a Hong Kong Police Academy but thankfully without any of the toilet humour. Plot, characters and all events taking place within Thank You Sir is no news to any movie goer but Lai keeps proceedings moving fast and while no real commitment is there on a viewers behalf, the entertainment level is in place (and I'm sure the Royal Hong Kong Police was satisfied as well). Danny Lee is great as the senior instructor, being able himself and as a character to bring the warmth and need for strict authority. Basically a role he's made for and played variations of on screen a dozen or two times. Shing Fui On is also memorable as a father of one of the cadets.

Despite being rather standard, Thank You Sir is actually Ivan Lai's best film after The Blue Jean Monster. Subsequently, Lai turned to Cat III but for the fans, I recommend taking a look at the work he did in 1996's The Imp. Thank You Sir also stars very young Nick Cheung, Joan Tong, Chiao Chiao and Parkman Wong (who also co-wrote).

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HK Flix.com
Yesasia.com

Thatched Memories (1999) Directed by: Xu Geng

Through the eyes of little Sang (Cao Dan), a naughty 11 year old who gets in trouble most of the time and subsequently punished by his father the school principal (Du Yuan), director Xu Geng takes a whole lot of little tangents of life but manages to turn them into a coherent whole eventually. While set during the cultural revolution of the 60s, Xu rarely takes his view away from the village homes and school, choosing rightly to focus of the life lessons of Sang. He gets subjected to the backlashes of punishment and disease that logically is what makes a stronger, wiser human and while it's sounds awfully simplistic, it's a technique Chinese filmmakers have utilized successfully within their beautiful landscapes before. The tone can at times be a little overbearing on a melodramatic and symbolic level but Xu proves to be a fairly skilled conveyer overall. It's just not up there in the higher division where the likes of Chen Kaige, Zhang Yimou or even Huo Jianqi (Postmen In The Mountains) resides.

The original author of the novel, Cao Wenxuan also wrote the script, a work that took home the corresponding Chinese Golden Rooster award in 1999. Actor Du Yuan was also honored as well as the movie in the Best Picture For Children-category.

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

That's Money (1990) Directed by: Benny Wong

KENNETH'S REVIEW: Employees of Ng Man-Tat's gets involved in the chase for a million dollars connected to a drug case, all neatly conveyed through Benny Wong's cast via playful chemistry and a tongue in cheek type of humour not translating as the usual dopey Hong Kong cinema. The jokes are broad however, ranging from erection jokes, the sight of a brain damaged violinist played by Wong Yat-Fei and a maniacally laughing villain with just the right, fun touch provided by Stuart Ong. Despite launching into gritty action with a hint of darkness, the glove fits and is a decent fisticuffs experience as well. Much thanks to the team of Max Mok, Kara Hui, Yukari Oshima and Norman Tsui.

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