# 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 Wild Goose On The Wing (1979) Directed by: Lau Lap-Lap

Tao Ten-Feng (Brigitte Lin) aborts her acting studies in England in order to find out what truly happened to her diseased sister Tao Pi-Huai (Tse Ling-Ling) back in Taiwan. Gathering info from the husband and brother in law Chiang Huai (Chin Han), Tao goes about her business with a degree of viciousness. In fact, this lady in black, a wild goose flown in, seems to want revenge and Chiang Huai's brother ends up in her path. But he's not knowingly meeting and acquainting Tao Ten-Feng but instead wild flower Lin Hsiao-Shuang...

Veteran director of Taiwan romance and melodrama Lau Lap-Lap does little to enhance cinematic qualities of the cinema climate he's in. In fact, The Wild Goose On The Wing is visually and structurally nothing else but a stage play concerning four characters and the secrets within. Little skills are shown by director Lau though as he unveils the truths about the death of Pi-Huai little by little and the flip flop of emotions in Lin's Tao Ten-Feng. A character that is an actress after all. The sense of danger is merely enhanced via lazy usage of one sound cue and the melodrama lacks a realistic stamp on it to make us truly hooked. Then again, The Wild Goose On The Wing does seem to challenge the movie climate of the time by going darker on us. Kudos for trying but if anything, Brigitte Lin manages to escape unharmed from criticism. While part of the critique towards the mentioned melodrama, the gorgeous looking Lin in whatever wear she appears in, puts in a patented epic performance of emotions. Skills that would eventually be put to use in better movies.

Wild Panther (1984, Lee Tso-Nam)

An incriminating list is out of the hands of an organized crime gang. Hunt and kill is the mission. Cue violence. It's not refreshing because it's basic but refreshing because Lee Tso-Nam (A Life Of Ninja) does something with what's supposed to be the show stopping elements. Although there are some comedic detours, Wild Panther is largely populated with ferocious violence. Whether martial arts or gory gunplay, the danger and fury comes nicely to the forefront on a frequent basis. Despite the stretches of talk and attempted character-drama in between being uninteresting. It simply lights up big time when bringing its sellable element. Culminating in a varied traps, fights and gun-tinted finale in the woods. Starring Don Wong, Eagle Han Ying and Chen Shan.

Wild Search (1989) Directed by: Ringo Lam

The logical step down from the anger height Ringo Lam reached in his critical School On Fire from the year before. Back in his gritty realism, cops and robbers territory but despite mixing in romance, he doesn't cheat any portion of his audience. In fact Lam is mellowed out and the stance equals his absolute best movie. Said to be a remake of Peter Weir's Witness (1985), I can't say how much if even THAT much Lam takes in order for his take to take flight but one thing's for certain, you can't complain when the final product is this excellent. In one of his many collaborations with leading lady Cherie Chung (An Autumn's Tale, Once A Thief etc), Chow Yun-Fat plays the cop who protects the only living witness of the murder of a female arms dealer... her daughter. Cherie is the sister who wants to put the little girl into the care of her biological father, a gangster played by Paul Chun. Getting close to him also get the trio close to violent assassins (led by Ringo Lam's favourite on screen bastard Roy Cheung) working for the gangster...

As a matter of fact, Wild Search isn't a classic Hong Kong cinema mood switcher. Lam takes his camera to the streets, focuses his eye on cops, features rather copious amounts of extreme violence when you think about it but where he's clever is via the use of very little visible effects to make it felt firmly, firmly, firmly felt. The violence IS visible but it's more about amping sound, camera technique instead of loading up with squibs. Therefore it fits to take Chow Yun-Fat's cop into a more human territory. Very on top of his game and showing his kind side, the classic bonding between two at first antagonistic characters creates an unusual screen romance where much is picked up on by the viewer but little is said. Even when, and this is going to sound very clinical, it's almost a romance based on a contractual agreement. But there are feelings there, feelings of feeling comfortable with a new person in your life (all while Cherie Chung's ex-husband played by Lau Kong turns up to stir the pot) and carrying all this are the terrific leads. It's essentially touching to watch these performers on top of their game and complimented by a terrific supporting cast such as Ku Feng (as Chung's angry father) and Tommy Wong's as Chow's partner, Wild Search is essential Hong Kong cinema viewing and Ringo Lam's pitch perfect showcase for his cinema statements. It doesn't have to do with anger.

The Wild Wild Rose (1960, Wong Tin-Lam)

Wong Tin-Lam (father of Wong Jing and later a character actor for Johnnie To) takes cues from the opera 'Carmen' for his musical melodrama. Grace Chang is club singer Deng Zijia who makes it her mission to seduce married piano player Liang Hanhua (Chang Yang). Also possessing a hidden heart of gold, she falls in love with the weak man and it all goes to hell after that point. While quoted as a musical, mostly Wong Tin-Lam feature numbers by Grace Chang that is simply her at work and the movie's is more punishing drama rather than a bubbly musical. This is fine as Wong navigates the busy genre and its tropes fairly well but he also should thank his lucky stars Grace Chang is at his disposal. Thoroughly dedicated, she has a ball playing the carefree seductress, she own the screen from frame one but the emotional beats that means a reversal of characteristics is a challenge she handles skillfully. The moral center feels substantial and while not out of this world affecting, The Wild Wild Rose shows the melodrama could be rise above familiarity with a twist of performer-dedication. In fact Chang runs laps around most everyone here and it's a delight watching this classic star-turn.

Will Of Iron (1991, David Chiang)

A return to the darker minded David Chiang, re-uniting friends Jacky, Maggie, Michael and Carol (Jacky Cheung, Maggie Cheung, Michael Wong and Crystal Kwok) and now drug addiction and gangster connections make their lives deadly dangerous. Sticking to one mood and generating decently gritty and violent impact as Jacky's life is being showcased mainly, the focus is admirable. But Chiang doesn't elevate the escalation into a harrowing, dramatic effect by the end. Achieving solid but lack of impact type of effect isn't quite enough. The action tinted ending contains some worthwhile violent acts and stuntwork but as hard as Chiang pushes, his fist doesn't break through.

Wind Beneath The Wings (1995) Directed by: Andy Chin

A group of stewardess including Kwok Ching-Wan (Dayo Wong), the sole male of the group meet during a training course. Finding it hard to establish connections first, the quickest one happens between Kwok and Violet (Valerie Chow). It's a light, jokey friendship and Violet is looking for more attraction than that but is taking it at her own pace. As the seasons come and go during the year, she is chosen by a wealthy family who are descendants from the Ching dynasty to be paired up with the son Sai Wing (Yu Rong-Guang) in marriage while she also engages in a serious relationship with struggling musician Chan Wai Ming (Moses Chan). But when devotion is put forth by Violet to make others receive wind beneath their wings, when will she get hers?

A mature piece by Andy Chin (Call Girl 92) that lacks the emotional hook to must be conveyed through his main character Violet. Thankful he doesn't let matters degenerate into basically a movie that could've been called Stewardess Academy, the rather subdued atmosphere gets to the point where high emotions equal uneventful as they try and reach outside of the screen. Really poor character narration tries to deepen aspects on friendship and the philosophy on love but little registers aside from Dayo Wong's fairly infectious role as a confidant.

The Windows Of The Mind (1974) Directed by: Hung Ting-Miu

Jay (Tien Peng) gets into a car accident that leaves him blind afterwards. Reverting into a dark shell after losing everything, his otherwise working mom does her best to support her son in every way possible but the effect isn't there. Not until newly examined and strong-willed nurse Mei Chi (Wong Jing-Gwan) is hired, Jay starts looking at his new situation in a more reasonable light...

For a Taiwan melodrama (with a minor dash of romance), The Windows Of The Mind offers up fair intelligence and warmth with genuine sincerity behind it. Director Hung Tien-Miu (co-director of 7-Man Army) argues successfully that no elaborate setup is needed as it's mere minutes into the film we're into Jay's problems post-accident. Thanks to Tien Peng's performance, the facets expected to come at the forefront such as this rich boy once being best and having the best at his disposal now reduced to "nothing" remains very real in the hands of the performer/director co-operation. He also gets to confront his mother with buried issues and appreciating life via the work of somewhat of an angelic character (the nurse) isn't as on the nose as you would think... despite Hung Tien-Miu making sure all meaning of the film is spoken about very clearly. It makes The Windows Of The Mind feel like a novice work somewhat but meaning is definitely behind it despite.

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Winners And Sinners (1983, Sammo Hung)

The first in a series of audience-friendly action-comedies from and involving Sammo Hung and the gang (although the cast changes at points, this one also stars John Shum, Stanley Fung, Richard Ng and Charlie Chin, dubbed 'The Lucky Stars). Despite it's 105 minute long running time, Hung crafts great enjoyment, features fun actors of the era mixed with hard action that still stays true to the film. A Hong Kong comedy that goes really wrong can be annoying and tedious but in odd cases such as this, the familiar is akin to exceptional skill and chemistry despite seemingly the performer-banter and gags not being vastly different to other 80s Hong Kong comedies. While the continual joke of the gang all trying to woo the leading lady of choice became rather off putting in the later movies, here Sammo makes it oddly pleasant to follow and especially since Cherie Chung and himself have rather sweet scenes after the initial dust settles of the entire gang wanting her. Comedic highlight and spotlight expectedly goes to Richard Ng who is unsuccessfully studying invisibility, leading to a nude-scene with him (behind strategically placed objects) thinks he's achieved his goal. Jackie Chan appears in support in a couple of career highlight moments, including on roller skates mid-traffic.

Winner Takes All! (1977) Directed by: Karl Maka

You know that feeling when a Hong Kong comedy is trying way too hard to please and you simply stare blankly at the screen with disapproval in your eyes? Welcome to Karl Maka's Winner Takes All! 90 minutes of sometimes well executed, surreal and cartoony gags but mostly this is a showcase of a muddled setup, extended comedy fights and movie references. A talented comedian like Richard Ng can't elevate matters and seems stuck in the same eager to matter aura that the movie in general finds itself in. A few bright spots such as Sammo Hung turning up as a sumo wrestler and fighting Richard shows the choreography taking a step up when the actual action director is present at hand but Winner Takes All! is just disastrous, comedic noise otherwise. Dean Shek, Addy Sung and Rosalind Chan also appear.

Win Them All (1973, Kao Pao-Shu)

Part focus, part dreadful focus. Win Them All sets up its revenge template in a trippy and even spooky way but largely trips itself up with a barely related casino plot and "funny" kung-fu from wacky characters such as the one Hu Chin plays. Therefore no impact with this chosen mood or the action designed around it, thank god the movie remembers people want each other dead. Crafting quite compelling basher-style action for the sections that do work, the loud nature almost leads to an animalistic one too during the end in particular. Here Yasuaki Kurata and Wong Yuen-San go at each other for a good 10 minutes and excruciating is quite a positive grade in this case. You could say that when the movie unofficially lives for the title 'Beat Them All' instead, it scores loud points. Also with Hsu Feng and Tien Feng.

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