# 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
Page 01 | Page 02 | Page 03 | Page 04 | Page 05 | Page 06 | Page 07 | Page 08 | Page 09 | Page 10 | Page 11 | Page 12 | Page 13
The Legend Of Zu (2001, Tsui Hark)

With a ratio of 10% actors and 90% special effects brewing in the rebirth of the fantasy adventures above the clouds as first seen in Zu: Warriors From The Magic Mountain, it's a small miracle that Tsui Hark gets acceptance and then some crafting this visually dominant experience. It helps that we don't have a reference for the stories within, its rules, visual manifestations and the powers of warriors at the forefront and Tsui uses this as a springboard for his vast imagination. And it's a relentless 100 minutes that still manages to set up a basic, coherent good versus evil conflict with love and emotional connection as attempted hooks. Now, let's not kid ourselves for one second and say that there IS viewer engagement in the more human aspects because this is a ride first and foremost with little to no physical sets and with actors against greenscreen in wires delivering a supposed narrative. But it's the overload that conjures up the joy and even shoddy effects work that's clearly not immersed well with live elements or at all becomes wholly acceptable because of said lack of reference of how this world looks, acts, is showcased. If anyone would fairly successfully make such an insistent, computer generated assault work, it would be Tsui Hark. It's not exemplary and gone is the more even balanced physical- and effects balancing act of old but if you can catch some of it, there's a tremendous amount of imagination here. Starring Ekin Cheng, Cecilia Cheung, Louis Koo, Zhang Ziyi, Wu Jing, Patrick Tam and Sammo Hung.

The Leg Fighters (1980) Directed by: Lee Tso-Nam

KENNETH'S REVIEW: Against one-tone backgrounds in the opening credits, the structure of Lee Tso-Nam's movie plays out. Specifically he wants to make sure the mix to expect is the stoic and the wacky. Pretty much a lazy and bad move that, Ha Kwong-Li plays Phoenix that think she's on the top of the martial arts world. Her trusty, loud, grating servant thinks so too but under the guidance of Master Tan (Dorian Tan), she'll revise her views. All while Tan's sworn enemies will draw close for a final showdown where legwork of different genders will stand together. Despite acrobatics being pretty much top notch, Dorian Tan featured as your suitably amazing kicking expert, The Leg Fighters annoys rather than entertains. Comedy kung fu is an art but the art is reduced here to merely performing without the dedicated touch. Ha Kwong-Li is truly amazing in one of her latter fight scenes and Dorian never less than a perfect genre staple but Lee Tso-Nam doesn't make his cheap vehicle grow beyond that. It's worked before. Also known as Incredible Kung Fu Legs.

Leopard Hunting (1998, Lin Chan-Wai & Ishii Hisatoshi)

Multi-national team of mostly female cops (including Jade Leung and Yukari Oshima) leads said 'Leopard Hunting' operation to stop Yuen Wah's gang from stealing money, freeing a prisoner and wrecking general havoc across Asia. Sounds like it has scope but is a late 90s cheapie with a cast that were better used by directing- and action-teams with more skill and motivation in the past. A lot of expository scenes of talking do give way eventually to some good action-beats however. Gunplay is basic but nicely bloody and some close quarter fight scenes have power. Way too sporadic inclusions however and even when attempting more acrobatic gunplay, the camera cuts away to off-screen action-noise instead. A clear indicator this production simply didn't have the gang and skill to pull this off. An incredibly silly wire effect during the multiple girls vs Yuen Wah fight-finale becomes unintentionally funny as well as the movie has not indicated it logically can and will go big action-places conceptually. Also with Roy Cheung and Yu Rong Guang.

Lethal Contact (1992) Directed by: Kent Cheng & Billy Lau

Action livens up but does not make up the plethora of flaws, main one being the dullness of this early 90s effort. Kent Cheng and Billy Lau doesn't give us anything interesting in terms of directing or on-screen chemistry but the "screw you"-gag towards the end is inspired, for this film anyway. Don't dismiss Kent Cheng as a director though. His award-winning Why Me? has merits and one effort that shows why Kent is such a respected actor also. Jeff Falcon, Wilson Lam and Jaclyn Chu also appear.

Winson's full screen dvd presentation is even worse than the screen capture above shows.

Buy the DVD at:

Lethal Panther (1991) Directed by: Godfrey Ho

Godfrey Ho's exploitation version of The Killer is certainly audience friendly. Serving up a smorgasbord of girls, naked girls and a high pitched frequency to the gunplay WITH the girls, this is all very calculated, especially the drama and the Category III aspect of this production is embarrassingly forced. Lethal Panther get by just by lining up these elements for the slaughter but if Ho's action directors would've executed the stylized, acrobatic gunplay violence with a few more notches better flare (slow motion doesn't make mundane choreography automatically cool), there could've been something very gory and cool in the end product. Lead Maria Yuen fits her role very sufficiently though while Sibelle Hu merely supports the flick at various points. So does Lawrence Ng, Alex Fong and Ken Lo.

Released in the UK as Deadly China Dolls while the unrelated sequel was re-named to Lethal Panther in the same territory.

Buy the VCD at:

Lethal Panther 2 (1993) Directed by: Cindy Chow

Named Lethal Panther for its UK release since the actual first, unrelated film was blessed with Deadly China Dolls, this contains precious little Cantonese speaking performers as leads since the Philippines was used as a location. Phillip Ko appears briefly and choreographs the action and while quick-cut editing is an issue, this is unusually strong, acrobatic gunplay coming from him. The team for once channels the need for excess and creativity so above average for a Ko Fei production it definitely is, with Yukari Oshima responding dependently. Watch out for a brief but obviously Bullet In The Head inspired car finale. Drama in between is just basic framework for mentioned action aspect but we do get to the fair goodies within relatively short periods of time.

Let's Have A Baby (1985) Directed by: Chor Yuen

One of legendary director Chor Yuen's last movies at Shaw Brothers before they closed shop, it's nice to see both the versatile director (famous for his swordplay novel adaptations) tackle extreme farce and do it with mostly an infectious touch. The couple Peter and Yuan Kwun (Alex Man and Pat Ha, both of which starred against each other in the erotically charged An Amorous Woman Of Tang Dynasty the year before at Shaw's) are perfectly synced, especially when it comes to the stance of putting babies in an overpopulated world. Well, the desire to have one unexpectedly awakens in both of them and after many wild tries (including mimicking pornos), it turns out Peter's sperm is ineffective so off to artificial insemination in Hawaii they go. Slowly but surely Peter starts developing a distaste for the idea of pregnancy, that someone else is the father and especially since it might lean towards Yuan Kwun's cousin Wai Siao Bao (Poon Jan-Wai)...

It's said that Alex Man's Peter is adrenaline fueled all over EXCEPT when it comes to the boys swimming and it certainly shows in Man's extremely turned up performance. Trying out the different ideas suggested by former sex maniac turned gynecologist (a suitably cast Charlie Cho), Peter is a wild man who is committed but also insanely stupid. Even more so when his jealousy and paranoia takes over instead of communication with his loved one. For the most part director Chor Yuen keeps up with the frantic pace and even delivers some inspiring sights out of Peter's mad mind but the middle does get bogged down in less inspired madness. Overall this comedy with endless complications and misunderstandings does survive and it's interesting to see material so broad and characters so annoying, work in favour of a movie. Tanny Tien plays Peter's mother in law.

Let's Make Laugh (1983, Alfred Cheung)

A romantic comedy where Alfred Cheung attempts to change the template, even extremely so at points. Maybe it foreshadows his foray into a wild mixture of comedy and darkness in his own films or starring vehicles such as In Between Loves, Freedom Run Q and Talk To Me Dicky but his 1983 Shaw Brothers movie works better when the expected becomes part of the proceedings. Kenny Bee plays a dopey security guard tasked with guarding a house until its debt ridden owner comes back. In the house however the wife (Cecilia Yip) remains and the two don't get along at all. That is until they do. Mentioned extremes connect to Bee's manchild-like character, Yip being quite viciously mean to him (this movie contains dickpunching) until events expectedly changes that. Cheung doesn't find a comfortable flow working the more odd and peculiar beats but the sheer insistence and finally the transition into bonding, romance and even eroticism gets the movie places of acceptance. Likable leads in this largely one house set, two actor strong play helps, even in wilder segments such as when Bee is wearing glasses that he can't see through and he mistakes father-in-law for mother-in-law and vice versa (he's forced to act as Yip's fiancee). But ultimately Cheung has a feel for what he wants to do, the buttons he wants to push and there are attempts at experimentation that's welcome considering where the director took his voice. Even if a tad unsatisfactory and in particular the end could've used a more experienced filmmaker. Alfred became one. Also with Chang Kuo-Chu as Cecilia Yip's husband, Elaine Kam, Anita Mui, Charlie Cho and Anthony Chan. Winner of the Hong Kong Film Award for Best Screenplay and Yip received the Best Actress statuette.

Lewd Lizard (1979) Directed by: Wai Wang & Wang Hsiung

David (co-director Wai Wang) comes back from abroad only to find his wife to be has married another man in order to clear a debt. Subsequently mugged and taken to the mentally unstable side, David decides to strike back against ALL women by training lizards to crawl inside women's vaginas (a sequence showing David and female accomplice stealing women's panties comes before this key plot ingredient so we know we're heading somewhere sleazy). The kill is both pleasurable and painful for the women...viva exploitation! At heart an intense melodrama, of course Wai Wang's baby has its sights firmly locked at the sleaze and boy does Lewd Lizard deliver fine, shameless stuff. 70s fashion is unavoidable but the audio assault is something else. Obvious cues probably heard in various porn movies are thrown at us without any subtlety, sound design during the lizard attacks is akin to chewing or munching and of course the lust/pain of the females David attacks is shot in glorious slow motion. Not really well attended narrative and giant overacting are negative asides but not enough to overpower the outrageousness Wai Wang and Wang Hsiung manages to convey on-screen via very small means.

License To Steal (1990) Directed by: Billy Chan

A family of thieves (one of the daughters is Hung, played by Joyce Godenzi) gets to experience betrayal as one of the daughters, Ngan (Agnes Aurelio - She Shoots Straight), wishes to break free for her own financial gain so during Hung's last heist, she is left behind by Ngan and gets sentenced to prison. When out, an inspector (Richard Ng), his follower (Ngai Sing) and a modern day swordsman wannabee (Yuen Biao) enters the frey. Hung plots her payback by also co-operating with the police. The joy of Billy Chan's breezy action-comedy is seeing such distinctly different characters interacting with each other. It's nothing new to see Hong Kong cinema throw everything in there but it's especially enjoyable having the banter of Richard Ng and Yuen Biao (Ng is his uncle in the film) mixed in with Joyce Godenzi's plot and really, the insane talent is all thrown in there for comedic and awesome physical purposes. Yuen Biao is especially enjoyable as a bit of a nut out of touch with the times, Ngai Sing a talented rookie cop gets to cut loose against the likes of Billy Chow and on it goes. It has the stamp of easy entertainment but also Sammo Hung's producing stamp and Billy Chan's fine focus as director.

Life After Life (1981) Directed by: Peter Yung

Fairly eerie horror film, produced by Cinema City and shot in synch sound. Director Peter Yung collaborates very well with cinematographer Arthur Wong in giving us a low-key but quite chilling tale as we follow George Lam (being less of an empty void in his acting ways for once) trying to put together the fragmented pieces of his violent demise in a past life. Chinese puppets probably never did look scary, until now that is. Also starring Patrick Tse, Lung Tin Sang and Flora Cheung.

Arthur Wong was nominated against his own work in the slasher-comedy He Lives By Night and ended up taking home the Hong Kong Film Award for that very film.

Buy the VCD at:

Page 01 | Page 02 | Page 03 | Page 04 | Page 05 | Page 06 | Page 07 | Page 08 | Page 09 | Page 10 | Page 11 | Page 12 | Page 13