# 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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Will Of Iron (1991, David Chiang)

A return to the darker minded David Chiang, re-uniting friends Jacky, Maggie, Michael and Carol (Jacky Cheung, Maggie Cheung, Michael Wong and Crystal Kwok) and now drug addiction and gangster connections make their lives deadly dangerous. Sticking to one mood and generating decently gritty and violent impact as Jacky's life is being showcased mainly, the focus is admirable. But Chiang doesn't elevate the escalation into a harrowing, dramatic effect by the end. Achieving solid but lack of impact type of effect isn't quite enough. The action tinted ending contains some worthwhile violent acts and stuntwork but as hard as Chiang pushes, his fist doesn't break through.

Wind Beneath The Wings (1995) Directed by: Andy Chin

A group of stewardess including Kwok Ching-Wan (Dayo Wong), the sole male of the group meet during a training course. Finding it hard to establish connections first, the quickest one happens between Kwok and Violet (Valerie Chow). It's a light, jokey friendship and Violet is looking for more attraction than that but is taking it at her own pace. As the seasons come and go during the year, she is chosen by a wealthy family who are descendants from the Ching dynasty to be paired up with the son Sai Wing (Yu Rong-Guang) in marriage while she also engages in a serious relationship with struggling musician Chan Wai Ming (Moses Chan). But when devotion is put forth by Violet to make others receive wind beneath their wings, when will she get hers?

A mature piece by Andy Chin (Call Girl 92) that lacks the emotional hook to must be conveyed through his main character Violet. Thankful he doesn't let matters degenerate into basically a movie that could've been called Stewardess Academy, the rather subdued atmosphere gets to the point where high emotions equal uneventful as they try and reach outside of the screen. Really poor character narration tries to deepen aspects on friendship and the philosophy on love but little registers aside from Dayo Wong's fairly infectious role as a confidant.

The Windows Of The Mind (1974) Directed by: Hung Ting-Miu

Jay (Tien Peng) gets into a car accident that leaves him blind afterwards. Reverting into a dark shell after losing everything, his otherwise working mom does her best to support her son in every way possible but the effect isn't there. Not until newly examined and strong-willed nurse Mei Chi (Wong Jing-Gwan) is hired, Jay starts looking at his new situation in a more reasonable light...

For a Taiwan melodrama (with a minor dash of romance), The Windows Of The Mind offers up fair intelligence and warmth with genuine sincerity behind it. Director Hung Tien-Miu (co-director of 7-Man Army) argues successfully that no elaborate setup is needed as it's mere minutes into the film we're into Jay's problems post-accident. Thanks to Tien Peng's performance, the facets expected to come at the forefront such as this rich boy once being best and having the best at his disposal now reduced to "nothing" remains very real in the hands of the performer/director co-operation. He also gets to confront his mother with buried issues and appreciating life via the work of somewhat of an angelic character (the nurse) isn't as on the nose as you would think... despite Hung Tien-Miu making sure all meaning of the film is spoken about very clearly. It makes The Windows Of The Mind feel like a novice work somewhat but meaning is definitely behind it despite.

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Winners And Sinners (1983, Sammo Hung)

The first in a series of audience-friendly action-comedies from and involving Sammo Hung and the gang (although the cast changes at points, this one also stars John Shum, Stanley Fung, Richard Ng and Charlie Chin, dubbed 'The Lucky Stars). Despite it's 105 minute long running time, Hung crafts great enjoyment, features fun actors of the era mixed with hard action that still stays true to the film. A Hong Kong comedy that goes really wrong can be annoying and tedious but in odd cases such as this, the familiar is akin to exceptional skill and chemistry despite seemingly the performer-banter and gags not being vastly different to other 80s Hong Kong comedies. While the continual joke of the gang all trying to woo the leading lady of choice became rather off putting in the later movies, here Sammo makes it oddly pleasant to follow and especially since Cherie Chung and himself have rather sweet scenes after the initial dust settles of the entire gang wanting her. Comedic highlight and spotlight expectedly goes to Richard Ng who is unsuccessfully studying invisibility, leading to a nude-scene with him (behind strategically placed objects) thinks he's achieved his goal. Jackie Chan appears in support in a couple of career highlight moments, including on roller skates mid-traffic.

Winner Takes All! (1977) Directed by: Karl Maka

You know that feeling when a Hong Kong comedy is trying way too hard to please and you simply stare blankly at the screen with disapproval in your eyes? Welcome to Karl Maka's Winner Takes All! 90 minutes of sometimes well executed, surreal and cartoony gags but mostly this is a showcase of a muddled setup, extended comedy fights and movie references. A talented comedian like Richard Ng can't elevate matters and seems stuck in the same eager to matter aura that the movie in general finds itself in. A few bright spots such as Sammo Hung turning up as a sumo wrestler and fighting Richard shows the choreography taking a step up when the actual action director is present at hand but Winner Takes All! is just disastrous, comedic noise otherwise. Dean Shek, Addy Sung and Rosalind Chan also appear.

Win Them All (1973, Kao Pao-Shu)

Part focus, part dreadful focus. Win Them All sets up its revenge template in a trippy and even spooky way but largely trips itself up with a barely related casino plot and "funny" kung-fu from wacky characters such as the one Hu Chin plays. Therefore no impact with this chosen mood or the action designed around it, thank god the movie remembers people want each other dead. Crafting quite compelling basher-style action for the sections that do work, the loud nature almost leads to an animalistic one too during the end in particular. Here Yasuaki Kurata and Wong Yuen-San go at each other for a good 10 minutes and excruciating is quite a positive grade in this case. You could say that when the movie unofficially lives for the title 'Beat Them All' instead, it scores loud points. Also with Hsu Feng and Tien Feng.

Witch (1992, Mark Long)

From Ghost Face Killer in Mystery Of Chess Boxing to his sole stint in the directing chair for Witch, Mark Long isn't emerging as a new voice making supernatural/special effects/erotica but it certainly has momentum for a good third of the movie. Despite few means to be as frantic as 80s Taiwanese cinema of its kind (see The Child Of Peach for that), Long still attempts to please (and does) through dopey comedy, hints at genre classics (A Chinese Ghost Story, Mr. Vampire etc), superimposed energy bolts-fighting and nudity. Stalling during a fair few stretches and Lam Wai in a comedic role is an ill fit, when Long does bust out the post-production effects to be mixed with physical elements (whether wires or explosives), it is an endearing time. Somewhat clunky in execution but with the right spirit, Witch scores points with the energy it is able to provide. Also with Ben Lam and Angela Mao.

Witchcraft Vs Curse (1991) Directed by: Fong Yau & Hoh Tin-Shing

Featuring footage from Devil Sorcery (1988) during the opening credits and a really dumb cameo from Kwan Hoi-San, apparently there's some incredibly vague connection made by someone thinking someone out there pays attention. I obviously did to an extent and Witchcraft Vs Curse is more genre fodder (i.e. the sorcery-movie) for those of us gladly feeding on it although this time the welcome is outstayed for most of the film. Basically two families want Fu Yuk Lung (Ng Gong) to marry their daughter but the one he desperately wants to stay away from has a Taoist Priest (Yeung Chak-Lam) cast a spell on him so that he'll offer his love, sexually of course, to her. No choice but to counter the Taoist Priest and his Adultery Ghosts with Thailand's Simol (Nishiwaki Michiko) who along with her elephants starts the Vs of our title...

The fun setup quickly gives way to tedium and evidence of filmmakers only wanting to flood the market with more of the highest rated kind but even key elements are so cheap they borderline on embarrassing. A few scenes in its favour Witchcraft Vs Curse does have however in addition to its shameless behaviour. Simol's usage of elephants is an unusual addition and even though every effect (animated or otherwise) is barely serviceable even for Hong Kong cinema, you also realize there's filmmakers behind this that knows that for certain viewers, cheap and bad is enough. Heck, even the physical effects are suitably subtle as little would take place anyway. The finale with the Taoist Priest employing his what I assume is sex- or temptation-ghosts for what seems like a shameful 10 minutes is further realization of the intentions we're witnessing. The animal cruelty that follows isn't pretty and the film does its thing incredibly bad yet we're entertained for the few minutes it can provide... even though they barely qualify. Funny how that works. Exodus From Afar (1998) features footage from Witchcraft Vs Curse.

Witch From Nepal (1986) Directed by: Ching Siu-Tung

A witch from Nepal (Emily Chu) has finally found her new master as the scriptures have proclaimed. He's a modern day artist named Joe (Chow Yun-Fat) and the relentless devotion the witch has for him threatens to shatter his current relationship. Fate can't be avoided though and our Joe also has to step up to the plate to battle a not as nice witch from nepal (Ng Hong Sang)...

Ching Siu-Tung directs and despite his team of action choreographers being quite large (Alan Chui, Lau Chi Ho and Phillip Kwok), Ching puts a surprising amount of focus on story and characters. He infuses his narrative with a more subdued atmosphere which is truly surprising considering the supernatural elements of the plot. While very basic and unremarkable, he also does follow through on characters and their dilemmas. All this could've been seriously disrupted if Wong Jing had written the script but it becomes serious in a b-movie way and engages decently. Something you rightly can expect from a Ching Siu-Tung helmed production but not that it would come with this tone of filmmaking. Tom Lau (director of The Rape After) also offers up fine cinematography while the action flows and excites well enough. In particular the finale has striking resemblance to the climactic battle between Neo and Mr. Smith in The Matrix Revolutions.

With Or Without You (1992) Directed by: Taylor Wong

Hostess Tweedy (Rosamund Kwan) is the object of desire for sharp-shooting, psychopath Prince (Jacky Cheung) who does leave her alone after hit that forces him to flee. Meanwhile, young cop Ming (Leon Lai) and Tweedy falls in love and of course it's just a matter of time before Prince returns to wreck even more havoc now that he's challenged by another suitor...

Heavily stylized, both on an audio and visual level (Herman Yau was the cinematographer), there seems to be little reason to care for the love triangle presented and predictably because it's Taylor Wong directing, matters quickly turn really boring. The actors fall into their roles dependently though and John Ching is lively as a triad boss that is harsh on the hostesses looking after him. However the extended finale is sustained toughness, with an entertaining overact from Jacky Cheung and plenty enough gunplay mayhem. Also with Ng Man-Tat. The prequel No More Love No More Death was directed by Herman Yau.

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