# 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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Interpol (1967, Yeung Shu-Hei)

Wearing its James Bond influences proudly on its sleeve in this adventure with Agent 009 (Tang Ching) attempting to stop a counterfeit money-organization, its transparency as well as creativity and brevity helps Interpol to become more than just a cash-grab of a popular series of movies. Mainly because it doesn't waste any time ticking off the tropes and getting 009 on the road heading towards adventure with guns, girls and gadgets (plus a sidekick played by Lee Kwan). While this Shaw Brothers production isn't able to pull off the entire range of spectacle (main example being pyrotechnics), a slick frame and cool looking hero clearly enjoying himself is a plus. Same goes for the imagination they ARE able to put forth like an array of gadgets such as a smokebomb concealed in zippo and putty that can be made into solid objects such as keys. Not a runaway classic but a good, easily consumed time. Director Yeung Shu-Hei is the Chinese name given to Japanese director Koh Nakahira. Also starring Margaret Tu as a female genre-villain and Ku Feng as one of her constantly smoking henchmen.

In The Blood (1988) Directed by: Corey Yuen

Reprising/expanding the subplot from Righting Wrongs, concerning himself and his father both being on the force, Corey Yuen devotes a whole feature to the dramatic facets of such a relationship. Casting Wu Ma therefore again, it's a heavy handed but an unusually focused dramatic standpoint made by and acted out by Yuen. He treats the subject matter with a realistic edge, talking about trying to do good as an officer in the eyes of the authoritarian figures in your life. It's obvious Yuen is still feeling confidence left over from Righting Wrongs. It may be constructed to give way for gritty action, spiking quite well during the finale, but therefore it's also a generous package for all kinds of viewers. Quite a gathering of then frequent profiles as well now includes Andy Lau, Bill Tung, Chin Siu-Ho, Sammo Hung, Richard Ng, Anthony Chan, Phillip Ko, Meg Lam and Tai Po.

In The Heat Of Summer (1994) Directed by: Teddy Chen

A light, tight group of cops try to survive in the heat while facing criminal heat in the form of robbers and a disgruntled army officer (Jack Kao) deciding to take out his frustrations by placing bombs all over the city. Why Teddy Chen's (Purple Storm, Wait 'Til You're Older) film surprises lies in its humane portrayal of the cop unit. There's always a light moment to be had in the midst of seriousness and their everyday routines are tedious until that coincidental moment hit that can cause loss. Outside of the group, personal issues are as vital but Chen never gets trapped by clichés as he's also aided by a rich screenplay by James Yuen that achieves a right, fresh character depth. Equally funny, touching, tension filled and with excellent performances from Jack Kao, Benny Chan and Jordan Chan in particular, In The Heat Of Summer is one of those multi-mood experiences that Hong Kong filmmakers are so adept at executing. Also with Moses Chan, Christine Ng, Marco Ngai and Jacob Cheung (director of The Kid and Cageman) puts in a cameo as one of the promotion board members.

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In The Line Of Duty 4 (1989) Directed by: Yuen Woo-Ping

Ever wish you could have an action scene every 5 minutes? Well, the fourth installment in the woman-cop action-series In The Line Of Duty instead offers you another set piece every 2-3 minutes, with minimal plot in between. Thankfully, it's an entertaining ride and a good showcase for both Cynthia Khan and Donnie Yen. Yen impresses with his kicking more constantly throughout but Khan is given the majority of the spotlight during the finale. Drawback is a noticeable amount of undercranking but an explanation MIGHT be due to slightly sluggish Western fighters (which there are plenty of in this one) and Yuen Woo-Ping having to find a solution for desired effect. For sheer brutality, In the Line Of Duty 4 does ok but for a better combination of all these things, the first official installment, the Michelle Yeoh vehicle more commonly known as Royal Warriors comes more highly recommended. As does Corey Yuen's She Shoots Straight.

The Hong Kong Legends release was the first of the films to hit the UK market under the name In The Line Of Duty so they scrapped the part 4 angle, understandably so to avoid confusion.

In The Mood For Love (2000, Wong Kar-Wai)

Looking and feeling like a rather directly told period piece of brewing connection and possible romance between two lonely people, first off Wong Kar-Wai's narrative is very refreshing and feels like it's turned away from the arthouse sensibilities expected out of him. Told in fragments, through narrow hallways and busy, overlapping almost improvised dialogue, he starts to build the courteous and eventually closer connection between Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung this way. Fragments tell us their respective ones are usually nowhere near them, they stay busy caring for their fellow tenants, keeping busy at work, being professional but emotions built up will make the exterior crumble eventually. It's all very tender, subtle beautifully designed (in particular costumes) and the Macau-setting in the 60s adds ambience. It's when the arthouse-filmmaker wakes up in the latter stages that In The Mood For Love steers away from clarity and into stylistic excursions and this sacrifice means the new audience he was inviting in to his vision will start to feel frustrated. The continual connection starts to go on repeat in a will they, won't they kind of way, slow motion and quiet passages set to music tend to also get in the way of evolving the story and it's a shame because Wong is working a common template here and could've done with some nuanced, thought out clarity all throughout.

Intimates (1997) Directed by: Jacob Cheung

When the sum of its parts are added up, Jacob Cheung's Intimates is a touching and competent women's drama. However for parts of the film, there is a feeling of, from the perspective of this Western viewer, of detachment and even muddled storytelling, largely because of three distinct reasons probably.

Reportedly, the Mei Ah dvd version is roundabout 30 minutes shorter (!) than the cinema release (and the film still clocks in at almost 2 hours!) and it shows in the way everyone else seems caught up in certain character relationships and events while we're not.

Secondly, a little bit of research beforehand won't hurt as the film deals with strictly Chinese customs, main one being the notion of a Ji Sau woman. Ji Sau is basically a woman who's refused arranged marriage and the consequences of that action makes her unfit for marriage or sex for the rest of her life. There enters the theme of strong, independent women but in this story it sometimes comes with the price of refused love towards them as well. This is all told in the flashbacks to the war years where Wan (Carina Lau) and Foon (Charlie Yeung) are the center of attention. Paralleling that is the present story where architect Wai (Teresa Lee) is escorting her maid, Auntie Foon (here played by Gua Ah-Leh) to Guangzhou to see an old friend.

Third reason why the film seem lacking partially...am I just too thick to get all this? Regardless, there are many positives in this shortened Jacob Cheung vision and the terrific acting by leads Carina Lau & Charlie Yeung carries us well through the ups and downs of the film. Their subtle interplay is of high caliber and the ever so reliable Yeong does not disappoint even when her spunkier side to her acting is not required. Carina Lau is pure class and one actress, like Maggie Cheung, that can magically immerse herself in period films in particular. Good but not as finely textured support comes from Teresa Lee and Gua Ah-Leh provides a touching connection between the two ages. Also with Stephen Tung and Chin Kar Lok.

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Into The Fire (1989) Directed by: Lo Gin

Having witnessed a brutal assassination of a number of police officers, martial arts able Chou (Ngai Sing) and triad punk Spitfire (Chin Siu-Ho) are forced to flee together as suspects. Lo Gin (Heartbeat 100, Fatal Love) under the supervision of Sammo Hung as producer and action director, crafts an intensely violent time with Into The Fire. Rated Category III, there's a brutality to the bloodshed that really required someone associated with power to make it feel more elevated above most modern Hong Kong action movies of the time. Coupled with a stylish looking frame, several fights between the able leads and very few detours into comedy, Into The Fire involves greatly despite being a basic piece as well. Ngai Sing and Chin Siu-Ho's bonding isn't classic character-drama but the performers are enjoying and responding to the somewhat more honed frame crafted here. Teddy Yip puts in an unusually dark performance as a crazily angry and corrupt cop and future Category III starlet Chan Wing-Chi co-stars.

Intrigue In Nylons (1972) Directed by: Kuei Chih-Hung

Awesome as a child, awesome as an adult, Helen Tse (Ching Li) comes back to Hong Kong after education abroad to turn the family nylon stocking company and its fortunes around. Effective at doing so, she also goes undercover at the rival company and eventually falls for her enemy in business, Lee Ji Yang (Tin Ching). Kuei Chih-Hung quite quickly found his skill at pushing darkness and violence into the Shaw Brothers frame (even the same year, in the co-directed Stranger In Hong Kong and subsequently in movies such as The Killer Snakes, Bamboo House Of Dolls etc) but Intrigue In Nylons is a complete dud. Shaw Brothers has the facilities to make a production look like it was something but almost all gags are desperate. Enhanced with music cues, music NUMBERS, sound effects and lame jokes, Li Ching is a delight to watch by simply being there but it's clear she, nor anyone else including director Kuei, are feeling inspired.

Invincible (1992) Directed by: Blacky Ko

The unsubbed synch sound footage at the beginning of Invincible suggests many things (among those that the entire film probably was a mixture of languages) but the switch to the generic gangster formula creates confusion as to why and where we are. Blacky Ko reveals his intentions soon as Kit (literally a weak Dave Wong) murders Lung Fong (who usually deserves that fate) and flees to France with his love Mandy (Sharla Cheung). In an effort to gain French citizenship, Kit joins the French army and nothing is ever nice in Ko's vision from that point...

Ambitious via its use of locations outside of Hong Kong and the central army training plot, Invincible never gains much of a momentum and is just 90 minutes of various punishment for Kit in order to become a man. The French army certainly are hard on your case and the individuals within it are nut jobs of the grave kind. Billy Blanks in particular has a not so flattering role as a psycho, gay rapist but gets the goriest comeuppance in the film later on so all's well...? So you won't care but at least Blacky goes maximum overdrive on us for the ending that is a fine, over the top showcase of millions bullets fired and insane stunts. Also with Leung Kar-Yan and Danny Lee.

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