# 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
Rage Of The Ninja (1988) Directed by: Godfrey Ho

TROY'S REVIEW: 'You're a pain in the arrrrssse!' - So berates over acting Grand Master Mike Abbott in his self overdubbed, wonderfully broad Cornish accent, in this enjoyable silly but wonderfully entertaining ninja outing from those purveyors of fine cinematic taste at IFD (yes, the last part is indeed purely sarcastic). In this twisted tale, Abbott is searching for a special manual which by some undisclosed means will apparently make him, and I quote, 'The Ultimate Ninja'. Regretfully, Abbott is not exactly pure of heart so another 'good' ninja is determined to prevent him from obtaining the aforementioned text however. Meanwhile, in a completely different film into which the ninja tale is edited into, we have the story of a man who goes on the run after seemingly beating his wife's lover to death, before hiding out in the home of a lone female who he then holds captive. In a decidedly unlikely twist of events though, the woman actually ends up falling in love with her captor and all is beginning to look like turning out for the best. Until that is, a group of ninjas turn up in this film too, in order to ransack her house in search of jewelry. Yes indeed, times must be bad when ninjas are forced to turn to petty theft! But wait - it gets even more convoluted, for the captor himself also turns out to be a ninja and is now honourably bound to defend his woman and her property. Phew! - Yes, this is indeed every bit as daft as it sounds but in all honesty, if you're a fan of cut & paste ninja movies, then you surely wouldn't want it any other way.

Raging Angels (1998) Directed by: Ricky Lau

Ricky Lau (Mr. Vampire) shows no sign of re-gaining any past momentum in this standard actioner. Dealing with the murders, betrayal, money theft and framing that takes place within the Yung Tai Financial Group, left to fight against evil Roy Cheung are the widowed characters played by Carrie Ng and Jade Leung. Occasionally the action and stunts show sparks (but not when playing out entire scenes in slow-motion) and for a while the film is quite amusingly busy as it has time to be a prison exploitation movie as well. But otherwise, there is nothing going on and a fair quality cast (that also includes Eddy Ko, Vincent Wan and Karel Wong) merely punch in. They're not good enough to the point where that IS good enough.

The Raid (1991) Directed by: Ching Siu-Tung & Tsui Hark

Using familiar tactics, Tsui Hark portrays a page out of history (but more in a comic book style) as revolutionaries try to bring down the forces standing behind puppet emperor Pu Yi, including Commander Masa (Tony Leung Ka-Fai) and Kawashima Yoshiko (Joyce Godenzi). An assembly of old and young characters fighting, including Dr Choy (Dean Shek), small time hoodlum Bobo Bear (Jacky Cheung) and Lieutenant Mang (Paul Chu) occupy our time in this matinee style Hong Kong cinema experience. Doing scene transitions via animation or illustration, this very late Cinema City production (if not THE last one that caused the company to fold. The box office wasn't particularly great for the film) scores technically and size-wise but overall only fair. Getting over the fact that Dean Shek is restrained and our old timey, stuntdoubled action hero isn't that hard and the mix of comical situations where misunderstandings rule, bloody gunplay and other assorted nasty bits connecting to the poisonous gas-plot is familiar stuff for seasoned viewers of Hong Kong cinema. But all of the above has simply been done better by the duo of directors in Peking Opera Blues and The Raid rarely becomes its own thing despite energy level being maintained throughout.

Buy the VCD at:

Raiders Of Galaxy (1987) Directed by: Johnny T. Howard

The batch of Korean rip-off anime Joseph - acquired and presented under the Adda Audio Visual banner seems to have been conjured up by an animation team with same train of thoughts: Cash in! So as with the AAV version of Protectors Of Universe, Mazinger Z is directly referenced (and "animated") in the original 1982 production 'Super Majingga 3' but compared to this batch Lai brought to Hong Kong (and onto the international market), it's the one that's the least animated. Literally. The regular take over galaxy plot and kids saving the day is present again as well as the threadbare and crude animation. However 'Super Majingga 3' barely is moving animation at points, opting to move stills around and create artificial camera moves to somehow liven up the frame. It doesn't work and the content isn't, as expected, very imaginative either (aside from a robot dog that battles the titular robot towards the end).

Raiders Of The Shaolin Temple (1984, Fong Ho)

Nothing extraordinary passes by but rather something just ordinary does. Ching rulers are as always after destroying the Shaolin temple. A young martial artists is trained to stand up to them and it all goes down as mostly expected. Yes, it is largely by the numbers and despite the solid nature to the choreography, it fails to be impactful. But a color and inventive nature does exist within the movie as we are setup and later introduced to the odd notion of not Shaolin bronzemen but Shaolin bronzehorses as a training device for our young warrior. It's something new, cranks the energy quite well for a few minutes and adds something quotable to the training sequences of the genre. Starring Sonny Yu, Pai Ying as well as Sam Chung-Chuen and Thomas Hong from The Cripped Masters as the only men who survived the bronzehorses.

Raid On Royal Casino Marine (1990) Directed by: Wellson Chin

Maybe there was a genuine reason to, at least for Western eyes, hide the fact that behind the title Raid On Royal Casino Marine was the third installment of The Inspector Wears Skirts-series. If so, no blame on my behalf as even for a genuinely half-assed "series", this entry woefully disappoints. Wellson Chin reveals his lack of intention and distinction, choosing only to enhance the film via a slightly different structure with at least a minimal plot this time around. He also chooses to rely on Amy Yip's breasts as the subject of 30 jokes (especially in scenes with Billy Lau), poor movie and pop culture references, body odor gags...all meaning that the film feels and is way too long. The minor saving grace of the first two was the Jackie Chan stunt team. In Raid On Royal Casino Marine, little work is done by action director Ka Lee and when it's briefly flashed, it's nowhere near a saving grace. We're only relieved to see kicks and punches as it's a getaway from the grating comedy.

It's easy to single the little there is to root for in Chin's frame though, mostly having to do with Sibelle Hu as the gun-toting, martial arts housewife of Stanley Fung's character and a scenario at the end is surprisingly dark for this shoddily made hamburger of a product. Also starring Sandra Ng, Kara Hui, Shing Fui-On, Michael Chow and Woo Fung.

Railroad Tigers (2016, Ding Sheng)

Director Ding Sheng's third collaboration with Jackie Chan and the trust, confidence and commitment to underplay and play outside of the expected template show up again Railroad Tigers. Set in wartimes during the 1940s with Jackie leading a group of resistance fighters against the Japanese and often hitting the strategic train routes, Ding Sheng does a brave thing here by dressing the movie up like a realistic depiction of war but he's actually here to make an action-comedy with dips into a cartoon style of action. Other than the stylistic flourishes to make it look like a comic book when introducing the characters (it doesn't match the look and feel of the movie despite being playful), he is spot on crafting the banter between the group when in action and even when experiencing homelife stretches without oppression on their doorstep. The interplay isn't broad nor is Jackie terribly flashy himself but the frequency used still means his charm comes through. You can see the actor enjoying himself being at the forefront yet letting the group breathe as a whole. Divided into episodes leading up to an extensive train-action sequence with the aim of blowing up a bridge, the extensive spectacle is varied and clever, with some violence but it's mainly staying true to its genre-intent with cartoony touches. Letting the Japanese characters and actors deal mostly with the latter, because Ding Sheng treats the movie as a 'Tom & Jerry' short when it comes to in particular Ikeuchi Hiroyuki's role, it becomes oddly fitting to cram a real setting, smiles and big cartoon-hair into the same frame. Also starring Jackie's own son Jaycee and not starring any Jackie Chan fight choreography.

Raining In The Mountain (1979) Directed by: King Hu

Esquire Wen (Sun Yuet) brings with his concubine (Hsu Feng) to Shaolin Temple to oversee the inauguration of the new abbott. Also present is General Wang (Tien Feng) and his Lieutenant Chang Chang (Chan Wai-Lau). There resides a different goal within this quartet of people however and that is to steal a very valuable scroll from the scripture hall. In fact, the concubine is White Fox, a thief for hire. Matters get confusing, turned turned around and mind games are possibly being played as the new abbott chosen is newly arrived ex-prisoner Chiu Ming (Tung Lam, who was also the assistant director on the film)...

When you criticize a King Hu film, you have to remember it's due to it not being up to the elite standard on the likes of Dragon Inn, The Fate Of Lee Khan and A Touch Of Zen. Raining In The Mountain is a muddled disappointment therefore but far from a bad film. Never losing sights of creating widescreen beauty, featuring Chinese classical instruments for the score and again utilizing mainly one location, Hu certainly preaches the lessons of Buddha. All well and good but the movie lacks the nail biting intensity that is being attempted and the twists that occur has us longing for full on exposition. It's a ride worth taking but you have to approach with less of, for instance, The Fate Of Lee Khan in mind. Also with King Hu regular Shih Jun and Paul Chun.

Raining Night's Killer (1974) Directed by: Lau Kwok-Hung

KENNETH'S REVIEW: Wandering endlessly between pure incoherence and a tragedy rife with dramatic possibilities, Lau Kwok-Hung sets up the murder mystery of a, low and behold, killer who strikes during rainy nights. A womanizing male victim, the women around him, a defiant seemingly free-sprit called Lessie with an abnormal streak, there's fragments given structurally but when director Lau doesn't get viewer-investment in that, Raining Night's Killer becomes a plane that crashes. Style is amusingly aggressive, be it in the choice of music, angles and editing and when the truth is revealed at the end, Lau's intentions somehow manages to grow and you realize this is a template someone needs to try again. This one became pure crud however.

Rape And Die (1983) Directed by: Lee Wing-Cheung

God knows this pessimistic drama has opportunities and confidence but it's also largely wasted dedication thanks to director Lee Wing-Cheung's (The Cheeky Chap) muddled direction. Kudos goes to Rape And Die for going against audience expectations by not focusing primarily on the duffle bag mix up at the beginning of the film but dark literally becomes the verdict of the storytelling as there's no way to make out any distinction, character- or storywise. It becomes clearer by the half way point that we're dealing with ill-fated characters unwillingly mixed up with the baddest of the bad but even this consciously downbeat filmmaking resonates very little. Director Lee speaks of a cycle by the time he reaches the end but symbolic gestures such as this rings more true of pretentiousness instead. Ray Lui and in one of his most evil roles, Ng Man-Tat among others appear.

Buy the VCD at:
HK Flix.com

Page 01 | Page 02 | Page 03 | Page 04 | Page 05 | Page 06 | Page 07 | Page 08 | Page 09