# 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 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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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.

Without A Promised Land (1980) Directed by: Keung Chi-Ming & Tung Liu

Produced at Seasonal, Ng See-Yuen co-wrote this social drama detailing the situation of Vietnam refugees trying to make it into Hong Kong or any kind of land. Initially a bit tricky to follow, not only due to the cropped full frame print, but co-directors Keung Chi-Ming & Tung Liu achieves focus very late in their story. There's a plethora of characters featured but in the end there's an actual focus on a very few and that's when the narrative starts to form. The writing allows for some hideously over the top symbolic gestures about how refugees view their fellow man adapting to a higher class lifestyle but a chilling nature comes with the proceedings as well. Not only violence is in your face but the notion of these social destitute's grabbing every opportunity there is results in the more poignant passages. In particular a scene where hordes of people are looting the possessions of a recently diseased. Eventually part of the film takes on the feeling of a pre-cursor to Long Arm Of The Law and the role for the star of that film, Lam Wai, here in Without A Promised Land begins expanding to a fine degree. On the surface seen as corrupting a young boy via his violent ways, it is a preparation for innocence to go out into a form of adulthood at the expense of the death of others, which certainly rings true of realism. Without A Promised Land isn't remarkable or balls-grabbing social commentary but what's said, however minor it is, feels warranted.

Buy the VCD at:
Yesasia.com

Wits To Wits (1974) Directed by: Wu Ma

Wu Ma and Henry Yu are conmen that gets in trouble with the local thugs (led by Sek Kin). If your standards are the lowest ever and I mean ever, then Wits To Wits might register favorably for a minute or two. When the only thing caring about is the plethora of familiar faces that comes and goes, Wu Ma definitely doesn't have the audiences in the palm of his hand. Yuen Woo-Ping's action sparkles sporadically during the latter stages only.

Wizard's Curse (1992) Directed by: Yuen Cheung Yan

It's dependable Hong Kong horror-comedy hijinxs by Yuen Cheung Yan and starring Lam Ching Ying. The Cat III rating does allow for more outrageous imagery such as the Terrific Vampire's main weapon, easily described as some sort of supernatural glowing penis. Also, the gore level is slightly heightened compared to other horror-comedies but the brain sucking scenes obviously looks like a concept that never was able to flourish due to budget restraints. These previously mentioned points are definite merits though but the Cat III rating also makes way for even more crude so called humour, courtesy of Wong Jing's screenplay. Still, it's good fun and once again Lam Ching Ying demonstrates his flair for comedy in combination with his assured handling of the Taoist priest character.

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