# 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 Daredevils (1979) Directed by: Chang Cheh

KENNETH'S REVIEW: Chang Cheh plays it somewhat light and safe but there will be little objections from those looking for a basic fix of his. A revenge tale at core, by inserting a fair bunch of scenes with Phillip Kwok, Chiang Sheng, Lu Feng performing street acrobatics and martial arts, a certain angle grows and indeed, Chang Cheh this time makes his characters use their performing skills rather than being warriors WITH the skill. This has the aura of something light, a summer ride and while he doesn't have his action directing team combine the fun with the seriously terrific and intricate that the film also features, The Daredevils does get noticed. Maybe an answer to a kung-fu comedy trend, maybe an answer to those looking for the basic fierce and bloody in Chang Cheh's cinema, the standard is nevertheless much higher than a lazy vehicle of its kind as well as easily digested. Lo Meng, Wong Lik and Chan Shen also appear.

Dark Day Express (198?) Directed by: Lewis Peacock

Tomas Tang's Filmark acquired what seemingly looks like a Thai production (populated with partly Western cast though) for one clear reason: they blew crap up well! Essentially a gang of are assembled for a mysterious artifact retrieval mission. Before the main attraction, the trip and character interaction among other things consists of the big white guy of the group showing his penis to settle a bet, there are poop jokes and an obnoxious, female jungle guide. The movie may be complete (meaning no inserted footage by Tomas Tang) but it's also a complete bore until the cast & crew gets to strut their stuff for the extensive action finale. Taking place at one village setting, gradually the extensive shooting leads into bigger explosions, bone crunching stunts, fights (even the burly fellow gets to fight) and all in all is a very capable, impressive action showreel. That's why the movie was bought and presented by Filmark. They knew a core element was delivered, big time.

Dark Lady Of Kung Fu (1981) Directed by: Pearl Cheung

The directorial debut of Pearl Cheung, one of the few female filmmakers within the martial arts and fantasy realm that steered her boat behind AND in front of the camera, Dark Lady Of Kung Fu shows signs of the manic content Pearl seemingly liked on screen but it would be more refined in Wolf Devil Woman (an uneven movie in itself). Dark Lady Of Kung Fu delights when everything is moving really fast but being cute and comedic isn't Pearl's strengths. She plays Black Butterfly, a mix of Zorro in looks and Robin Hood in intent as she steals from the rich and gives to the poor. Unmasked she leads the gang of 'Monkeys', her little band of homeless thieves. All while there is a price on her head as Black Butterfly.

Incredibly incoherent until Tien Feng mercifully says a few words that leads up to the sight of a BIG cannon, in between comedic incoherency usually rules but a fair amount is saved when Pearl undercranks every action, sets every action to exaggerated sound effects and the production design is wonderfully ludicrous at times. Highlights include a clam shell bathtub her character bathes in and a stone robot helping her to train kung fu and get beauty treatment so ideas are there and the usage of modern pop music, the "Pink Panther" theme and primarily Riz Ortolani's music from Day Of Anger is a fun (and probably illegal) inclusion.

Dark Semester (1969) Directed by: Wu Jia-Xiang

Shaw Brothers attempting the inspirational drama with a new teacher (Guan Shan) receiving the task of turning a class of misfits and slackers into hard working students and send them out in the world. Obviously well-meaning but it doesn't feel very sincere at any point throughout. Guan Shan brings some weight as the determined teacher but it's not effort making the drama impactful.

Dark Side Of Chinatown (1989) Directed by: Michael Chu & Yuen Chueng-Yan

What's on the horizon in Dark Side Of Chinatown is not a new, tough exploration of those dark sides but a generally non-distinct gangster melodrama. Partly set in Seattle, when main characters take refuge to Hong Kong with henchmen following them in the pursuit of an accounts book, certainly no one can argue against the dramatic template as conceived as it's about the son of retired cop Kwan (Kenneth Tsang) that is fairly unwillingly involved in gangster activities. Having once saved Shan (Lam Wai) from prosecution, it's Shan who's unknowingly accepted the son and has to make up for his sins in the eyes of Kwan. A certain gloomy atmosphere thanks to pounding ambient sounds is there but Dark Side Of Chinatown can't really clinch the benchmark of acceptable drama when it features screaming and crying characters taking it to intrusive, over the top levels instead. Some dips into brutality and Hwang Jang-Lee getting a chance to let loose keeps you busy but without investment in much else, there's little point to the film. Gwailo actor playing Sergeant Dicker is crudely inserted at points but only creates laughs thanks to that....name. Also with Jason Pai, Fan Mei-Sheng, Eddy Ko, Kwan Hoi-San and Ku Feng.

Reportedly a Canada/HK co-production, released separately is an edit under the title of The Border Of Tong (aka Massacre) that features little of the Hong Kong angle (and its cast) and instead stays in Seattle where our American cop pursues the accounts book among other things.

Dark Street Gigolo (1992) Directed by: ?

There is a comfort in sitting down with something that delivers, although Dark Street Gigolo (which is a very curious title as it barely connects to anything in the film) doesn't exactly fire on coherency cylinders. Apparently gangs are in conflict, there are a few oddly inserted sex scenes throughout to bump the rating to III and the budget to provide squibs for the massive gunplay mayhem isn't there. Energy is and budget for pyro however and throughout its 4-5 set shoot em up pieces it does move fast, goes on for long and more importantly entertains in a comforting, low budget way. Starring Melvin Wong, Shing Fui-On, Dick Wei and Ken Tong.

Date In Portland Street (1995) Directed by: Zhang Ze-Ming

Zhang Wei (Kelvin Wong) flies from art studies in London to meet his Mainland wife Xiao Min (Li Feng-Xu) in Hong Kong for the first time in 3 years. Only able to stay on a temporary passport for 7 days, the couple moves into a cheap motel but even the sex shows something ill is boiling underneath. In a Hong Kong they're both not accustomed too (neither speaks Cantonese), the minor things are blown up to big things (including paranoia about unfaithfulness) and the crucial question about their financial future and where that might be at begins taking a toll on the couple. With no feeling of identity in Hong Kong and losing their passion in art and each other, things turn increasingly distressing in writer/director Zhang Ze-Ming's vision. While Date In Portland Street does drag in parts, the matter of fact, non-cinematic reality for the duo is very real and fairly captivating to follow. It's not huge on emotions but manages to pull hard despite and that's a big credit to Zhang's ability to make us feel for the couple. A conclusion giving more questions than answers remains fairly deserved as well. Featuring fairly well performed sections in English by Kelvin Wong, mostly against his British co-star Johanna Gardiner playing a fellow artist.

The Days Of Being Dumb (1992) Directed by: Blacky Ko

image stolen with permission from lovehkfilm.com

Fred (Tony Leung Chiu-Wai) and Keith (Jacky Cheung) are two aspiring triad followers but as death, destruction and bad luck follows them wherever they go, things are not as easy as they would like to believe. The fact that they're completely spineless and wimps when it comes to doing the dirty job does hurt also...

UFO enlists Blacky Ko to deliver this wild comedy, with rather splendid results...if complete lunacy and lack of a proper plot floats your bloat. Could've failed and in all honesty, the writing team (Joe Ma and James Yuen included) does deliver sophomoric, grating and loud mouthed comedy to leads Leung and Cheung. The performers takes the material and injects great life into it though, bouncing off each other very well. The triad genre gets a minor satirical touch also, with added black humour and violence but it all doesn't mean anything really. The romance angle with Anita Yuen (her first film and she received a Best New Artist award for her performance) and Tony Leung doesn't go anywhere but the unexpected jokes carry the film away from its potential pitfalls. It may be the days of being dumb for the guilty parties involved but we gladly sink to that level as well. Eric Tsang and Ken Tong appears also.

Days of Tomorrow (1993) Directed by: Lau Yue-Ming

As the 1960s movie classic "Days of Tomorrow" is being remade, daughter (Hilary Tsui) of deceased leading man Shing (Andy Lau) begins to question why this remake decision is tearing up old wounds in the survivors from the era...

An attractive production and an even prettier cast (Andy Lau is particularly striking in this one) doesn't get as much rewards on a script- and storytelling level. The romance amidst the moviemaking climate jerks back and forth before settling and it's not until the latter parts of the film that all elements combined goes any moving places. It's not really earned when it does and the filmmakers utilize some more heavy handed melodrama and montages to channel emotions but attractions such as Andy Lau and Carrie Ng makes one lost in the scenery. The end twist however is neatly handled by director Lau Yue-Ming. Also with Yip San, Henry Fong and Lau Kong.

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The Day That Doesn't Exist (1995) Directed by: Wellson Chin & Danny Go

More Lunar New Year calendar horror from Wellson Chin that also included somewhat accompanying vehicles Thou Shalt Not Swear and The Third Full Moon, The Day That Doesn't Exist expands its horror musings to two stories. Starting with the image of about to be married Ka-Sze (Shelia Chan), she loses her man to be Tsuen (Kenneth Chan) in an accident but the body is never found. Tsuen does return, sporting a more cooler body temperature and together with cop Charles Chan (Dayo Wong), Ka-Sze finds out horrific truths about Tsuen's re-appearance. Roaming the frame with dry and wild humour, Dayo Wong and Kingdom Yuen grates as they employ that respective angle to their acting. Normally an annoying loudmouth as well, Sheila Chan does quite poorly as both a scream queen and dramatic actress so there's never a viewer-sell when it comes to the the dramatic core with her and Tsuen (dealing with them trying to squeeze a little bit more poignancy and life into their doomed romance). We're distracted a few moments thanks to some unexpected dips into the unsettling and while not a desperate way to enchant audience, the in your face effects raises a little horror anyway.

Dayo Wong takes supporting reigns in our second story as well where poor husband Li Man-Kit (Bowie Lam) loses his life in an accident with his truck. Waking up from his coma, he's suddenly turned into Raymond (Anthony Wong) but possesses his own memories still. Well, Raymond had a seemingly greater life, wealth, a hot wife (character of Jessica played by Eileen Tung) but as he probes his case with Charles Chan, Jessica starts to display some oddly perverse behaviour. Perverse in the gory sense. Things shape up in Chin and Go's vision during the second half and the mystery holds water for large amounts of screen time. Problem is, once the mystery is out, the filmmakers really insist in playing matters light and dry, a choice that bombs completely. A piece with atmosphere, heart and drama, ultimately The Day That Doesn't Exist squanders its op by being too Hong Kong cinema. That's not putting forth knowledge.

The Day The Sun Turned Cold (1994) Directed by: Yim Ho

Guan Jian (Tok Chung-Wa, A Home Too Far) steps into a police station to report a crime. A murder. A murder committed by his mom Pu Fengying (Siqin Gaowa - The Postmodern Life Of My Aunt) of his dad Guan Schichang (Ma Jing-Wu). Only problem is that it was 10 years ago when Guan was 14 years old and in flashback we follow the events that lead to him not being able to live with his conscience anymore. One such key event is the introduction of Liu Dagui (Wei Zi) into the life of the family...

Set in a cold, snowy Mainland Chinese landscape, Yim Ho's dark murder mystery/emotional family drama retains his best qualities as director. That of being static, low-key, subtle and in the most perfect way possible, concrete. There's not a beat missed in his precise direction and none is poorly conveyed in the least. With this high division, elite narrative being honored by the actors as well, it's a rare treat to follow the questions laid before us. One non-spoiler one being the necessity of Guan to return and possibly ruin a fragile family bliss when there's no real danger he needs to clear away and why he sides with his otherwise abusive father. The questions pile up and engages all till the end, making The Day The Sun Turned Cold along with Red Dust one of Yim Ho's very best. Technical credits impresses equally, especially the score by Otomo Yoshihide and La Bing-Zi'ang. Celebrated director Ann Hui is credited as the costume designer and executive producer. The Tokyo International Film Festival gave Yim Ho the Best Director Award and its Tokyo Grand Prix award.

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