# 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 Fate Of Lee Khan (1973) Directed by: King Hu

It's quite a task to try and follow in the footsteps of an effort such as A Touch Of Zen but director King Hu successfully did it with The Fate Of Lee Khan. Largely set in the iconic setting of the inn, also featured to great effect in Come Drink With Me and Dragon Inn, Hu has a much smaller, intimate story to tell despite the rulers vs. the rebels plotline. He almost delights in being tedious for a good 40 minutes as he shows the inner workings of the inn, its sometimes dopey guests and adding a little humour in the process. But as soon as the mighty and ruthless Lee Khan (Tien Feng) and his entourage arrives, King kicks the tension into high gear and doesn't let go. Staging within a single location is thoroughly captivating, edgy and his prior light touches only sprinkled with what's to come aids these latter sections of the film greatly. With his regular cast in place, such as Hsu Feng, Han Ying Chieh and Pai Ying in addition to Golden Harvest and Shaw Brothers profiles such as Angela Mao, Hu Chin and Wei Ping-Ao, the stage is populated with dependency and King Hu does indeed get excellent performances to aid this tension. Especially from Tien Feng and the fiery eyed Hsu Feng as his closest guard. When the action climax hits (action was directed by Sammo Hung and Han Ying Chieh), it can be argued that The Fate Of Lee Khan goes down conventional routes (but partly King Hu has at this point transferred more to the more relevant kung fu movie) but for scaled down story, the choice to erupt into fighting is valid and the duo’s work registers as exciting. Also with Roy Chiao and Li Lihua.

A Father With His Twenty-Five Children (2002) Directed by: Wang Hong

Zhao Guang (Wang Hong, also the film's director) has managed to put his village on the map after making a considerable sum of money as a chicken farmer. An orphan who was taken in by the village, him relating this story on TV leads to a huge stream of parents dropping their children off at the village. Now desperate to get rid of them and instead start his own family, Zhao instead follows his bleeding heart for the kids in his situation and tries to educate them like a father would...

Aside from lead/writer/producer/director Wang Hong trying out camera tricks not suitable for a simple Mainland village-set drama (it does comes off as crude editing instead), A Father With His Twenty-Five Children is a fine gift to Mainland cinema. Straightforward but very rich, Wang Hong has a great handle on Zhao Guang, especially when when we see he can do nothing buy sympathize with the children and the pride in his face when his teachings reaches the lot of 25 is wonderful. Veering off its simple path by the end by creating misunderstandings and comical complications, then again kids are kids and scenarios are bound to turn up. However crazy they may be. Compelling cinematography, natural performances and veteran Siqin Gaowa (Full Moon In New York, The Postmodern Life Of My Aunt) adding fine support makes the movie constantly high quality and joins that group of Mainland village dramas that has the skills (the needed ones) to MOSTLY point and shoot to achieve its best magic.

Fearful Interlude (1975) Directed by: Kuei Chih-Hung

Three shorts by Kuei Chih-Hung (The Killer Snakes, Boxer's Omen): "The Haunted House", "The Cold Skeleton" and "A Wolf Of Ancient Times". Scoring high with his first two, with the first being an effective scenario where Kuei can stretch his eye for visual and macabre as skeptics fall victim to possible pranks or real ghosts. Second more dramatic about the loss of a mother that keeps coming back continues set skill and provides a decent, dramatic twist so the mix of emotions and the disturbing play well in Kuei's hands. By the time the longest and last hits us, the tone is all of a sudden switched and a horny scholar with buckteeth really is a comedic experiment with an end tint of horror gone horribly wrong. Across the shorts, Wong Chung, Wang Hsieh, Lam Wai-Tiu and Dana (Girl With The Long Hair) appear.

Fearless (2006, Ronny Yu)

Regardless if historical accuracy is its strong point or not, the biopic of martial arts master Huo Yuanjia (Jet Li, who played his pupil in Fist Of Legend. Itself a remake of the classic Bruce Lee picture Fist Of Fury) is strong on values, ethics of character and martial arts. All communicated with approachable depth since Ronny Yu delivers it within a commercial package. With Jet's character going through stages of arrogance, impulsiveness and with no discipline or self awareness, it's a chance for the veteran to add unusual depth to kung fu-heroes on-screen. Dealing as much with the loud, indulgent as he does with the quiet moments of self realization, Yu's treatment of it all is calm and contemplative but it never gets in the way of the drive an audience-pleasing movie should have. Good supporting depth in the form of Huo Yuanjia's problematic but warm friendship with Dong Yung's character compliments all of this very nicely and Yuen Woo-Ping and crew shooting action in the tradition of the clear, coherent and exciting makes Fearless a winner. It doesn't seem like it is possessing that much depth but Jet's dedication to journey towards core values in combination with Yu's understanding of how to translate that within a genre-film cements its qualities. Also with Ngai Sing, Pau Hei-Ching, Betty Sun Li and Nakamura Shidou. The 140 minute director's cut adds among other things modern day scenes with Michelle Yeoh and an additional fight scene involving a Thai boxer. Further thematic details are also present in Huo Yuanjia's stay at the village that nurses him back to health.

Fearless Dragons (1980) Directed by: Lee Chiu

Also known as Two On The Road, despite the high division pairing of Leung Kar-Yan and Phillip Ko, much of these light shenanigans mixed with pretty well done action choreography not so much annoys but it's simply not funny. Concerning a missing gold shipment the conmen/thieves Leung and Ko plays are accused of stealing, in between there's much twisting, arguing, comedy accentuated with sounds, music (James Bond villain Jaws gets referenced in its own, long action-skit) and it reeks of those unnecessary but inevitable imitations of a better product. At least the martial arts action stands out, especially towards the high concept ending involving the leads and Johnny Wang. With Horse and Dragon Fist featured and therefore the sole noticeable wirework in the film, it's exaggerated fun for a reel anyway. Also with Kong Do and Addy Sung.

The Fearless Duo (1978, Fong Chiung & Joseph Kuo)

Definitely and gladly takes the pitfalls into kung fu comedy emulating the very select few that executed that content well but The Fearless Duo also has sellable skill as well as several what the heck-sights that ranks it above lazier productions. At its core a revenge and master/student-story, Lau Ga-Yung annoys quite a bit but he, along with the movie, manages to keep annoyance off the radar to the extent where you actually appreciate the action- and physical efforts outside of the light tone. The Fearless Duo goes for playful, with varying degrees of success but some out there inclusions like suggested ghost-rape and a finale involving urine (and lots of it in a strangely dark way) gets noticed. It breaks out of a standard you expect out of a low budget kung-fu comedy and action-wise it nearly delivers in a terrific manner. When Lau is asked to demonstrate and fight seriously coupled with rage, his skills are undeniable (cocky he does not do well however) and coupled with the likes of Yuen Qiu and Hwang Jang-Lee responding equally well, it's no wonder you forget The Fearless Duo is expectedly lame at points. Merely points.

Fearless Hyena (1979) Directed by: Jackie Chan

While Jackie Chan in his directorial debut further continues to showcase that a kung-fu comedy hero needs to be essayed by a capable performer (rather than just being put in one and hope for the best), the earlier stages of Fearless Hyena both comedically and action-wise stumbles. But as he continues to hone his vision, that vision becomes inspiring and exhilarating within the development of this movie. Increasing the complexity, ideas and showing a highly tuned sense skill of delivering ridiculously complex action choreography, it's a wild mix of comedy and melodrama that somehow makes sense when that latter trait is apparent in the action too. Especially on the wild side of things, Chan learning the fighting style of anger, melancholy and laughter from Chan Wai-Lau is utterly bizarre and a delight. Also with James Tien who gets a couple of intricate fights with Jackie and Yen Shi-Kwan as the white haired villain of the piece.

Fearless Hyena II (1983) Directed by: Chan Chuen

Well into the successful run for Jackie Chan, producer Lo Wei decided to squeeze out what was left of his material and connection to the star through the unrelated/odd re-thread of Chan's 1979 directorial debut (that Lo Wei produced). Using select snippets out of the earlier Chan vehicle Spritual Kung Fu, a Jackie Chan double and new scenes (some of which were actually filmed with Chan before he decided he wanted out of his contract with Lo Wei), the result is desperate and largely impenetrable. While Yen Shi-Kwan and Chan Wai-Lau return and we get more footage with Chan, James Tien and Dean Shek, much on display is half-hearted and lacking the comedic/physicality combo that made the first movie so memorable. Mixing old and new at times create a fairly seamless whole but Chan's stand in is as obvious as you can imagine (at one point he gets a silly hat, nose and moustache in order to appear on screen more). The final fight involving Austin Wai's character is merged with the end fight from 1979 and while the editing job is ok, the one thing that is becoming apparent is that Jackie's quality footage in this new context becomes very tedious. If you tend to be fascinated by the shameless tactics of the film industry, Fearless Hyena II is required viewing. Even if not satisfactory viewing.

Feel 100% (1996) Directed by: Joe Ma

After acclaimed features Over The Rainbow, Under The Skirt and The Golden Girls, Joe Ma took a nosedive into mediocrity but not commercially as the twentysomething's rom/com Feel 100% (based on a comic book) became a success at the local box-office. Starring Ekin Cheng, Eric Kot and Sammi Cheng, they portray three friends since school who are now living life in a shallow way and not growing up. All not breaking pattern except Sammi's Cherie who is feeling the crush she has on Ekin's Jerry. He is feeling nothing but to fool around and Kot's Hui Lok goes on a risky venture by meeting up with a phone flirt (Christine Ng) who turns out to be all out insane. The "I learned something today..."-statements are not far away.

From a hot year for in particular Ekin Cheng, star of Young And Dangerous, the main men Andrew Lau and Manfred Wong behind that franchise perhaps looked to spawn more series but thankfully stopped early (Feel 100%, Once More followed, then key personnel except director Ma were out) despite the figures being in their favour. Feel 100% attempts a mix of upbeat, light and clownish behaviour mixed in with so called drama as our characters finally understand what the true love is in their lives. All fine and well but striking that balance in an awful way, Ma's film is the equivalent of tasteless chewing gum and that's not enough to earn any acclaim. Decent parodies of A Moment Of Romance and Mission Impossible rises the off-beat nature of the flick but lacking devotion towards anyone hurts it severely. The cast is pretty, wacky and are not asked to venture far outside of that realm. A sappy end montage offends the viewer, Christine Ng is earlier basically seen raping Eric Kot and then trying to commit suicide with him in the most odd tangent of the flick. Watch Ng, better style and emotions in Riley Yip's Love Is Not A Game, But A Joke instead.

Feng Shen Bang (1969) Directed by: Lin Chong-Guang & Yamanouchi Tetsuya

Although only available in Mandarin or Italian without subtitles currently, if you know the basic story of the protection deity Nezha from reading or watching movies such as Na Cha The Great (1974) or the animated feature Nezha Conquers The Dragon King (1979), the Taiwanese production Feng Shen Bang is very easy to understand. Going through the recognizable beats with a focus on big special effects, for an industry not known to dabble in effects to this degree, the execution here is admirable. Although matte shots expectedly are a little rough around the edges, the story elements like Nezha's fight with the dragon prince (involving our child actor on top of a big puppet) and the underwater kingdom of the dragon's are very well conceived. Imaginative costumes from that department as well, Feng Shen Bang keeps it up and doesn't spend it all in ONE special effects sequence. Yau Lung as Nezha would go on to reprise the role in the Shaw Brothers production Na Cha And The Seven Devils from the Japanese co-director of this film.

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