# 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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Tiger Love (1980) Directed by: Lin I Hsiu

Tiger Love sees Hu Chin (The House of 72 Tenants) and Lo Lieh as lovers separated by death. Or so they think as they both survive without knowing about each others fate. He goes on with his life, she is saved by the love of a tiger and conceives a child who she brings up alongside Uncle Tiger. As an adult (here played by Stephen Tung), he seeks up his father but soon starts a deadly feud when he falls in love with the daughter of a rival family...

The initial stages of Tiger Love borderlines on perverse and disturbing as director Lin I Hsiu seems to suggest Hu Chin is impregnated by the tiger but that soon is explained the logical way thankfully. Early on, the filmmakers also show the child actor playing Stephen Tung's character seemingly being attacked for real by the tiger, showcasing that any piece of footage is worth keeping in a Hong Kong film. When the dust has settled and Tiger Love reveals its intentions, it's nothing more than another martial arts entry. However no choreography of note takes place and leans more towards the swingy arms and legs choreography style of the early 70s despite the film being shot way later than that. Stephen Tung is also a blank and dorky hero while Lo Lieh phones in his performance. Hu Chin remains largely clothed in a tiger skin outfit for the majority of the film. She obviously gets a positive grade.

Tiger Love ultimately is dull and easily forgotten but director Lin makes the final 20 minutes a lot more entertaining as he decides to make a horror movie all of a sudden as the titular tiger goes on the revenge path!

Tiger Of Northland (1976) Directed by: Peng Chang-Kuei

Infrequent lead Park Jong-Kuk has the physique and they don't try and make a difficult story for him to achieve a breakthrough via. Problem is, Park is no Bruce Lee and Tiger Of Northland ain't no Hap Ki Do or Fist Of Fury. Expect Chinese in Korea and Koreans vs. the Japanese oppressors plot and expect to remember little of what happened by the end. Within the harsh, cold locales, you do get some furious action co-choreographed by Sammo Hung (who has a fight cameo towards the end) that puts a respectable basher stamp on the production. It's not quite enough to maintain interest throughout in that department either though. Maria Yi co-stars and Tony Liu makes for an effective villain image-wise.

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Tiger On Beat (1988) Directed by: Lau Kar-Leung

One of my dearest favorites out of 80s Hong Kong action cinema is a wildly flawed and politically incorrect piece as it constantly shifts tone in characters to an outrageous degree but most importantly, the abuse Nina Li Chi's character goes through (in particular from Chow Yun-Fat) leaves a bitter, bad taste in ones mouth (so will the reason why the audience liked that abuse, as you'll learn from Bey Logan's commentary on the Hong Kong Legends dvd). It's very atypical 80s Hong Kong cinema though and that often proves to be amusing in a twisted way.

Lau Kar Leung's modern day take on action (mainly short gunplay and shorter traditional martial art duels are what's on display) is very entertaining thanks to that aspect though, the standout being a terrific and by now classic action finale that sees Conan Lee with a chainsaw vs. Gordon Lau, also with a chainsaw. Hong Kong chainsaw massacre indeed...

Chow Yun-Fat is one main reason the film works so well also as he showcases winning comic charisma and his martial arts bout with a Westerner towards the end is an exhilarating merging of his coolness and Lau Kar Leung taking trademark moments from martial arts cinema and bringing them into this setting. Many of the 70s legends of kung fu cinema turn up here as well, including the mentioned Gordon Lau, David Chiang, Ti Lung, Norman Tsui and Wilson Tong.

Tiger On The Beat 2 (1990) Directed by: Lau Kar Leung

Chow Yun-Fat proved to be the actual box-office draw for Tiger On The Beat as evident by the poor reception of the unrelated sequel. Teaming up Conan Lee with Danny Lee this time necessarily isn't a bad choice but director Lau Kar Leung can't really inject the same comedic interplay that he could when Chow Yun-Fat was on board. The fact that Conan also was seriously hurt during a stunt (very much visible in the movie) postponed production and limited his participation in terms of action. That aspect takes its time to manifest itself but the latter stages of Tiger On The Beat 2 offers up some decent gunplay and stunts, showing that Lau Kar Leung certainly was more comfortable as an action director in a modern era rather than a director. Full credit goes to Ellen Chan who performs a good amount of her own stunts, including getting hurled through a window by Roy Cheung. One of the fights at the bus terminal PROBABLY was expanded upon by Corey Yuen in The Transporter, the only good set piece of that film.

Also with Gordon Lau, Norman Tsui, Maria Cordero, Mark Houghton, John Cheung, James Wong, Robert Mak, Phillip Ko and Melvin Wong

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Tiger Vs Dragon (1972) Directed by: Ng See-Yuen

With Japanese invasion looming, Yasuaki Kurata's character from that side is sent to Shanghai to further the human trafficking business. All while two police officers (Chen Sing and Wong Yuen-San) are infiltrating this camp as well. Despite running a hefty 102 minutes, Ng See-Yuen comes off as a decent, ambitious storyteller here. With a low-budget but still attractive frame setting up the era well and a patience developing the action-story logically, it expectedly hits fever pitch during the last 20 minutes in a loud, ferocious way when karate and Chinese boxing clash. No better opponents and players to have working those emotions for you than Chen Sing and Kurata then.

Till Death Do Us Laugh (1996) Directed by: Joe Ma, Cash Chin & Raymond Yip

A three part horror/ghost story picture event, something that was deadly popular amongst filmmakers back in the latter half of the 90s but you rarely saw anyone go about it in a dedicated way. So the team of Ma, Chin and Yip indeed then punch in and deliver cheap, lazy scares that registers zero in the latter department.

Ma takes care of the story of overworked accountant Lang (Cheung Tat-Ming) who is constantly hassled by his obese boss (Vincent Kok) and decides to change his tac from dedicated worker to murderous worker. It sort of works as the boss dies from a heart attack but Lang's woes are not over as his new boss (Gigi Lai) uses abuse very similar to that of the dead boss. With sole quote unquote creativity being tilted cameras and blue lightning (a running technical theme throughout Till Death Do Us Laugh), Ma still gets the sole fun out of any of the stories through a dialogue delivered by Kok concerning Lang's poor planning of the murder. Otherwise, chills and surprises are about as riveting as they are logical. In other words, despite the small format, pass.

Cash Chin brings in John Tang of the Banana Ripening series (first of which was Yesteryou, Yesterme, Yesterday) and in more ways than one, Tang's performance is akin to if Bor of those films had gotten into a horror scenario. He plays a medical student who seemingly sets off a curse within a campus statue and his meeting with what people describe as a pond ghost (Liz Kong) may have something to do with it. Boring and using horror clichés in uninspiring fashion, otherwise Category III filmmaker Chin (The Eternal Evil Of Asia) at least gives us the sole macabre moment across the board. Doesn't help at all though.

Wong Jing wrote our last piece and it's no wonder we'll get offensive sights that targets triads, foreigners and perverts. They're in line to be the new tenant of Wan's (Anita Yuen) but her choice is student Kei (Shu Qi). Their perfect bonding soon makes the surroundings mix up the two for some reason. An opportunity wasted to do a supernatural Single White Female. At least director Yip would direct some award winning material later on via Portland Street Blues (with Shu Qi in award winning support). Elvis Tsui, Spencer Lam, Matt Chow also appear. As does each respective director to introduce their story at the Strange, Unbelievable, Experience Society. A setting that is used as a wrap around for each clunker of a horror short.

Till Death Do We Scare (1982) Directed by: Lau Kar Wing

Law Kar Wing jumped over to Cinema City in between his Shaw Brother's work and delivered this 1982 box-office hit. Olivia Cheng (Why Me?) tries to get married 3 times, only to quickly lose her husbands to the ghost world after various fatal accidents. One's a movie star (David Chiang), one's a gangster (Wong Ching) and the final a timid priest (Raymond Wong) but they join together in the afterlife to try and pair up a radio play actor (Alan Tam) with the cursed widow...

Mostly hilarious slapstick ensues and director Law Kar Wing keeps a wonderful frantic pace to his silliness, culminating in a fun finale during the Ghost Festival, all set in a papier mache surrounding (sacrifices and gifts to the spirits are manufactured in this way and burned, hence this scenario). It's a Hong Kong comedy style recognizable from lots of other movies, only delivered with better sense of fun and this comedy also has another selling point. Namely talent imported from America in the form of make-up artist Tom Savini who gets the chance to create some wild sights that enters into both scary and entertaining territory. Also starring Eric Tsang.

Time And Tide (2000) Directed by: Tsui Hark

Tsui Hark's return to Hong Kong filmmaking, after his creativity clearly wasn't allowed to flourish in Hollywood, leaves us with a firmly cemented theme but Time And Tide really first and foremost is a highly, stylized ride into the crazy visual mind of our director. Mostly unpredictable and consciously disjointed, there is a narrative in there but some of Tsui's works are thoroughly able to be appreciated on an visual level, or in the case of this movie, a hyperactive visual level. Hung Yan Yan's action (with the highlight being the 40 plus minute, multi-location ending) is in tune with Tsui's sometimes absolutely crazy ideas and it's a fun ride because of it.

To Be Number One (1991) Directed by: Poon Man-Kit

Let Scorsese or Coppola handle the gangster epics, not Poon Man-Kit as his tale of Crippled Ho's (Ray Lui) rise and fall in the triads is a boring time at the movies frankly. The filmmakers, or rather the dvd people, gets themselves into trouble early when the time transition captions do not come with English subtitles and we're left alone trying to place the happenings within an seemingly important era. That's why To Be Number One may have more impact in Hong Kong but drama-wise, Poon and crew fire on technical- and casting cannons rather than storytelling ones. With a sizable cast of established character-players, none generates any depth, weight or interest and when lead Ray Lui is completely overacting from the start, you know you're in for a bumpy ride. There are positives such as action director Tony Leung's handling the requisite triad brutality and Peter Pau's cinematography at least comes off as professional.

Again, going back to the fact that To Be Number One surely being more of a movie for Hong Kong, at the Hong Kong Film Awards the following year, it did received the very highest honor in the form of the Best Picture award.

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HK Flix.com

To Catch A Thief (1991) Directed by: Andy Chin

Violence and village comedy blend in Andy Chin's second feature that echoes feelings of arguably Ringo Lam's best film Wild Search as well as Home Alone although it's not much of a deep journey. There is some substance on show here though as Ching (Carol Cheng) escapes city life to get rid of her self-absorbed and workaholic ways. All while trying to figure out the relationship with her cop boyfriend (Tony Leung Ka-Fai). Moving out into the new territories, the seemingly friendly villagers are a bunch of greedy bastards but she does strike up a friendship with enterprising young kid Berlin (Cheng Pak Lam). Having been raised by his uncle (Ng Man Tat), Ching and Berlin recognize the shared lack of love in their lives. Also lurking in the shadows is a badly injured thief (To Siu Chung, getting good chemistry out of his interactions with Cheng Pok Lam) who has been hiding in Ching's moving truck and house with a valuable set of diamonds...

Despite the obvious contrasting moods and some gory gunplay, Chin achieves a tuned balance between what is light and dark material on paper, opting not to give the finale a particularly violent aura. He mostly populates To Catch A Thief then with a low-key and sharp sense to the comedy, playing much to the greed that runs through the village. All quite entertaining and pleasant to follow, meaning his debut Gift From Heaven was no freak accident. Some flaws are somewhat inexcusable though, one being a rather open ending and Ng Man Tat sometimes is allowed to wander too much outside the more calmer comedy Chin is otherwise pushing for. Moon Lee's supporting role is also obviously an instrument to generate more commercialism going and to get action director Phillip Kwok more to do, which would've been fine if it hadn't been for the lack of real spark to his work here. Andy Chin's regular bit player Jamie Luk also appear as well as Lung Tin Sang (Dangerous Encounter - 1st Kind)

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Today's Hero (1991) Directed by: Yip Shing-Hong

Energetic silliness gets Yip Shing-Hong and co-writer Jeff Lau a long way in Today's Hero where Kenny Bee is a triad wanna bee who received the one month to live card in his life and decides to clean up the streets in a police uniform. A morally questionable hero as he quite freely shoots and kills, a TVB reporter (Maggie Cheung) follows him around and naturally, love starts swirling in the air...

No surprise that it's Jeff Lau manic silliness and gags behind all this and having performers on board helps a whole lot. Kenny Bee is a riot as the triad who as it turns out was destined for another type of fame. Before doing so, lying his way through life and also trying to sell insurance to his Amy Yip obsessed triad buddies, his sister (Meg Lam) is an avid supporter of his cause. Even to the point where she fakes flashing various people to get her brother out of danger, that gag of course is developed in the way you expect. So is the entire movie but the admirable energy from all involved (even if Maggie Cheung is merely eye candy) and broad, sometimes unexpected adult oriented gags (whips, male adults in women's underwear and triads turning gay) secures Today's Hero as a 90s vehicle of note. Just make sure you leave your moral mindset at home. Also with Hui Siu-Hung and Shing Fui-On.

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HK Flix.com

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