# 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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Tian Di (1994) Directed by: David Lai

image stolen with permission from lovehkfilm.com

When in doubt, just "borrow" the template from something else. The result, Tian Di aka Chinese Untouchables (its UK video title which should give you an idea of what movie is being referenced here). Andy Lau stars as Cheung Ye-Pang, the newly appointed Anti-Drugs officer in Shanghai. A city filled to the brink with drugs and corruption. Nice gig.

What could've been somewhat interesting and dark examination of corruption at its most severe quickly crumbles. David Lai instead opts for massive doses of cartoonish and overblown character behaviour which turns Tian Di into something Hong Kong cinema does well at the best of times; not holding back. Sadly, it's all for the worse as no drama, characters or action takes on any meaning. However the movie boasts fine cinematography and production design which suggests that all reasonable effort was instead spent on the visual presentation. The dark atmosphere also gives way for some effective detours into brutal violence and Yuen Tak's action directing registers favorably at times. It comes with the price of being almost totally detached from any reality Tian Di tries to represent but at least it entertains as a separate element while it lasts.

Tiger Angels (1997) Directed by: Sek Bing-Chan

When action cinema's schizophrenia is clueless and frustrating, Tiger Angels seemingly gives us some slight ninja action, inserts Cynthia Khan and Yukari Oshima randomly but mainly concerns itself with a relationship comedy that sees the creation of a doppelganger so an unstable relationship could be mended again. Then Cynthia, Yukari and Billy Chow fight again. Very oddly constructed and made as a comedy primarily and action movie well after original conception clearly, the end fight does occasionally feature some stunning exchanges.

Tiger And Crane Fists (1976) Directed by: Jimmy Wang Yu

KENNETH'S REVIEW: Also known as Savage Killers, the film suffered the unfortunate fate of Steve Oedekerk literally inserting himself into it for his turkey Kung Pow: Enter The Fist in 2002. The original is in many ways typical but since it has Jimmy Wang Yu, a certain automatic cool-factor manages to creep in. The standard story of two fighting styles and two schools in need to unify gives way to Wang Yu collaborating with action director (and co-star) Lau Kar-Wing to give us fairly gritty takes on kung fu-action. Lung Fei as our villain armed with a chain and so confident he advertises where his weak spots are, becomes a memorable force despite having the Master Betty aura around him thanks to aforementioned kung-fu parody. Wang Yu also feels very at home creating the training sequences and caps the finale in a cool way.

Tiger Cage (1988) Directed by: Yuen Woo-Ping

With Yuen Woo-Ping's name attached to this star filled 80s actioner, you know you're not going to get great Hong Kong cinema. Plot is secondary here to one very other dear and import aspect, namely Hong Kong action cinema!. For a while, the choreography seems fairly sparse but the action directing Yuen's (Yuen Woo-Ping, Yuen Cheung-Yan, Yuen Shuen-Yee, Yuen Yat-Chor in addition to Paul Wong and Donnie Yen) increases the gory brutality as we go along, resulting in a splendid, hard hitting genre effort and a genuine fan favourite. The action is also designed so that performers Jacky Cheung, Simon Yam and Carol Cheng can participate to a substantial degree without overdone doubling. Also with Ng Man Tat (clearly dubbed by someone else), Johnny Wang, Donnie Yen, Irene Wan, Michael Woods and Leung Kar Yan.

Tiger Cage 2 (1990) Directed by: Yuen Woo-Ping

This unrelated sequel to Tiger Cage doesn't come with as much star power but brings back Donnie Yen which is more than enough. Tone is a few tads lighter and comedic and Yuen Woo-Ping doesn't exactly further himself as director here. But then again no one should expect that and while Tiger Cage scored more points in my book for its brutality, the action directing team of Yuen Woo-Ping, brothers Yuen Cheung-Yan and Sunny Yuen in addition to Phillip Kwok and Donnie Yen does splendid work for the sequel. Donnie especially gets ample time to showcase his marvelous kicking skills, best featured within the sword fight with John Salvitti. Robin Shou (Mortal Kombat) also is an effective villain while Rosamund Kwan, David Wu, Michael Woods, Carol Cheng, Cynthia Khan and Lo Lieh also appear.

An alternative ending, featuring footage with Cynthia Khan as replacement for another characters actions plus an ending coda was included on the export prints but the now out of print WA dvd features the Hong Kong edit on this sequence.

Tiger Force (1975, Joseph Kong)

Best friends (Michael Chan and Chen Sing) reunite but on a criminal path. One's a cop, gang warfare and fights ensue. Starting with a slow, clunky car chase and thrusting us into excellent, fast and gritty martial arts action, the production showcases an action-volume for sure. More successful in this physical department they all knew rather than the gunplay (some individual squib work is effective however), ultimately there's not enough of the outstanding. Glimpses get us through it and a 72 minute running time makes it all marginal recommendation.

Tiger Jungle (1976) Directed by: Ting Chung

Although the angle of the Japanese wanting the resources of a land of tribe people is not common in the martial arts genre, Tiger Jungle is still largely uninspired genre-fare. Featuring no snap to the pace, extended scenes of dancing and anonymous romance subplots, the extensive star of the show may have fury and grit but it doesn't jump out at you as it should. Not even as a distraction. Man Kong-Lung stars and Han Ying-Chieh is the villain.

Tiger Love (1980) Directed by: Lin I Hsiu

Tiger Love sees Hu Chin (The House of 72 Tenants) and Lo Lieh as lovers separated by death. Or so they think as they both survive without knowing about each others fate. He goes on with his life, she is saved by the love of a tiger and conceives a child who she brings up alongside Uncle Tiger. As an adult (here played by Stephen Tung), he seeks up his father but soon starts a deadly feud when he falls in love with the daughter of a rival family...

The initial stages of Tiger Love borderlines on perverse and disturbing as director Lin I Hsiu seems to suggest Hu Chin is impregnated by the tiger but that soon is explained the logical way thankfully. Early on, the filmmakers also show the child actor playing Stephen Tung's character seemingly being attacked for real by the tiger, showcasing that any piece of footage is worth keeping in a Hong Kong film. When the dust has settled and Tiger Love reveals its intentions, it's nothing more than another martial arts entry. However no choreography of note takes place and leans more towards the swingy arms and legs choreography style of the early 70s despite the film being shot way later than that. Stephen Tung is also a blank and dorky hero while Lo Lieh phones in his performance. Hu Chin remains largely clothed in a tiger skin outfit for the majority of the film. She obviously gets a positive grade.

Tiger Love ultimately is dull and easily forgotten but director Lin makes the final 20 minutes a lot more entertaining as he decides to make a horror movie all of a sudden as the titular tiger goes on the revenge path!

Tiger Of Northland (1976) Directed by: Peng Chang-Kuei

Infrequent lead Park Jong-Kuk has the physique and they don't try and make a difficult story for him to achieve a breakthrough via. Problem is, Park is no Bruce Lee and Tiger Of Northland ain't no Hap Ki Do or Fist Of Fury. Expect Chinese in Korea and Koreans vs. the Japanese oppressors plot and expect to remember little of what happened by the end. Within the harsh, cold locales, you do get some furious action co-choreographed by Sammo Hung (who has a fight cameo towards the end) that puts a respectable basher stamp on the production. It's not quite enough to maintain interest throughout in that department either though. Maria Yi co-stars and Tony Liu makes for an effective villain image-wise.

Buy the VCD at:
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Tiger On Beat (1988) Directed by: Lau Kar-Leung

One of my dearest favorites out of 80s Hong Kong action cinema is a wildly flawed and politically incorrect piece as it constantly shifts tone in characters to an outrageous degree but most importantly, the abuse Nina Li Chi's character goes through (in particular from Chow Yun-Fat) leaves a bitter, bad taste in ones mouth (so will the reason why the audience liked that abuse, as you'll learn from Bey Logan's commentary on the Hong Kong Legends dvd). It's very atypical 80s Hong Kong cinema though and that often proves to be amusing in a twisted way.

Lau Kar Leung's modern day take on action (mainly short gunplay and shorter traditional martial art duels are what's on display) is very entertaining thanks to that aspect though, the standout being a terrific and by now classic action finale that sees Conan Lee with a chainsaw vs. Gordon Lau, also with a chainsaw. Hong Kong chainsaw massacre indeed...

Chow Yun-Fat is one main reason the film works so well also as he showcases winning comic charisma and his martial arts bout with a Westerner towards the end is an exhilarating merging of his coolness and Lau Kar Leung taking trademark moments from martial arts cinema and bringing them into this setting. Many of the 70s legends of kung fu cinema turn up here as well, including the mentioned Gordon Lau, David Chiang, Ti Lung, Norman Tsui and Wilson Tong.

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