# 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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Young People (1972) Directed by: Chang Cheh

So what are youths up to according to the worldview of Chang Cheh, Shaw Brothers and regular kung-fu cast members David Chiang, Ti Lung and Chen Kuan-Tai? Well, for 2 hours they sing, dance, fight, play basketball, race, sing and dance again. The overlong modern day movie from Chang Cheh shouldn't turn heads nor will it be remembered as a classic but acts as a decent break from the norm since it has no weapons, epic sets, battles and no blood is heroically shed. In fact, the film preaches a non-confrontational stance and is therefore not the stabby Chang Cheh picture you might expect.

Featuring singer Agnes Chan as a girl trying out for the sing- and dance class of the school these mid 20s youths go to, we're fooled into believing we're witnessing a free for all musical during her delightful songs (including the hit Circle Game, a cover of a Joni Mitchell song) but no rules really exist here nor a distinctive plot. It all eventually becomes about the all round superb David Chiang who can drum, fight, race and he finds time to teach everyone to be friends. It's amusing seeing Chang Cheh's regular filmmaking style and martial arts content STILL being present to a degree and you can’t complain about the embedded positive message but these precious few scenarios (it’s really a series of athletic events) go on for way too long. That doesn’t quality it as storytelling. Also with Irene Chan (older sister of Agnes) and Wu Ma.

Young Policemen In Love (1995) Directed by: Chu Yen-Ping

After a while with either Wong Jing or Chu Yen-Ping movies rolling in front of you, you concoct this image in your head of green-faced witches with nose warts throwing nasty ingredients into their evil brew of whatever. Only these two work with movies in that regard. Despite, they exhibit quite striking differences. With Wong on the producing end of this xerox of Fight Back To School and a whole host of other spices from flicks of the era, Gimmick (Takeshi Kaneshiro) and Garlic (Nicky Wu) are the two cops that go undercover at the, in this case, the Wong Fei Hung school where they're scheduled to protect the daughter (Charlie Yeong) of a wealthy Mainlander...

Flimsy is a keyword here and Chu Yen-Ping occupies himself with lots not overly connected to his main plot. Some bloodpacks left over from Requital are put to use here in gunplay amongst doves (much less of a parody and too much of a lazy John Woo emulation), a fight scene utilizes a bit too much glass to feel original (i.e. echoes of the Police Story finale) while the two cops exhibit cocky and shallow traits where expensive watches are a main concern. Very sympathetic. There's of course also friction between the friends that will lead to an emotional pay off in the en...not really, no. These tangents are spur of the moments kind of a thing for Wong Jing and Chu and it's a wonder a whole feature resembling even minute coherence was put together from it. The leads aren't particularly memorable, with Nicky Wu's garlic eating meaning a kind of Popeye effect for his character and Takeshi Kaneshiro just plainly coming off as bad in the comedy stakes. When things turn surreal and really wacky in the scenes at the Wong Fei Hung school, where you get punished by the No Shadow Kick for instance, it starts to feel a little like good ol' Chu Yen-Ping days of the 80s where he echoed/ripped off things he liked to sincere and crazy effect. Here he just proves he can make an unbearable film that is 1000% more bearable than when Wong Jing is treading similar territory (see the ultimate example Future Cops). Wong Yat-Fei also appear.

The Young Rebel (1975, Ti Lung)

Ti Lung's second and to date last movie as director IS predictable but definitely more assured. Escaping the trap of Chang Cheh's youth-movies by depicting David Chiang much closer to adulthood, it still all goes to hell. His character Xiang Rong loses his father in a traffic accident, grows resentment and disdain for authority and eventually ends up being exploited in the criminal world. Downwards spiral here we go. While on the nose, Ti Lung reels in some of the melodrama and gets a bit more sincerity out of the common template. It isn't very close to being affecting but is effective in a minor way dramatically and when violence takes centerstage. It isn't the turn around for this kind of movie at Shaw Brothers as they never really did it well in the first place but a nice change of pace compared to Chang Cheh's odd and disjointed tales in the same vein, with the same stars. Also with Simon Yuen, Lo Dik and supporting/action-appearances by Ti Lung himself, Lee Hoi-San, Eddy Ko, Lau Kar-Wing (also one of three action directors on the film) and even Sammo Hung.

Young Taoism Fighter (1986, Chen Chi-Hwa)

Even though not comedic geniuses, if there ever was a group of collaborators that could make kung fu comedy tolerable, it would be Yuen Woo-Ping and his various brothers. Coupled with a technical skill in making lighthearted and sometimes weird shenanigans energetic on screen, trust factor is greater when something stamped 'By The Yuen Clan'. With Young Taoism Fighter, despite its incoherency and even lack of focus, said statements apply. There's low humour where characters fall into poo and Yuen Yat-Chor is a typically naughty kung fu student. But when combining this cranked comedy-factor with supernatural content, a lot of entertainment factor comes out of the movie. Seeing Yuen battle his shadow (in a scene reminiscent of Army Of Darkness), making dough fly, turtles dance and battle resurrected corpses makes for a fun viewing recipe. As the battle versus Master Tien Wu draws near, Yuen and Hilda Lau engage in quality kung fu and even weapons choreography but it's the mad sights that stay with you. Such as Yuen using his severed limbs to his advantage, losing his head but eventually getting it put into its right place again.

The Young Tiger (1973) Directed by: Wu Ma

After some decent chops showed early on as director, Wu Ma does this dud about Little Tiger (Mang Fei) who gets blamed for a murder he didn't commit and while seeking justice he kicks butt too. Simple enough but with no imminent danger, tension or even compelling lead character, much falls flat. The action occasionally comes off as decently brutal and seeing both Dean Shek and Stanley Fung fight makes for brief bursts of memorable genre-content. Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song" is featured in a re-worked version and be sure to stay for the fighting henchman who inadvertently throws himself of the roof!

You're My Desinty (1987) Directed by: Eric Tsang

Pure nonsense in the worst of ways, Eric Tsang directs the story of Japanese girl May (Hayami Yu) whose father suffers a fatal heart attack. With him being the big boss of a corporation, May is the heir of the business but only if she signs on as the company head by a certain time and many would like to see her not sign in order to gain position. She however departs from her family surroundings to exercise freedom and starts acquainting a group of bike messengers/struggling musicians (cue unwarranted usage of songs from our lead), among others Tempo (Alan Tam). A thin plot that takes a backseat to feature a whole host of hijinxs and shenanigans as dreadful filler, the Wong Jing script often annoys with its big deliveries and comedy spoken by 8 characters at the same time. Then when romance is struck out of nothing, it's an even more flat product that only rides a streak of silliness in a better manner when action director Lau Kar-Wing is let loose. With some hairy stunts and Alan Tam beating up Phillip Ko, grunts, smiles and yawns accompanies You're My Destiny but we never counted on the smiles before Lau stepped in. Also with Teddy Robin, Nat Chan, Wong Jing, Lam Wai-Fong, Bolo Yeung. Cameos by Maggie Cheung, Billy Lau and Kent Cheng doesn't help in the least.

Youth (2017, Feng Xiao-Gang)

A massive success at the Chinese box office (currently the 6th highest grossing domestic film of all time) and award winner, Feng Xiao-Gang (Aftershock, A World Without Thieves) spotlights characters of the PLA whose focus and tasks center around performance art. Therefore in the midst of political turmoil, change and war (the movie spans several decades, starting in the ongoing cultural revolution) but his characters have their own drama to deal with and drift in and out of the performance arts grounds. There's a group here, some more key than others as the voice over indicates and Feng Xiao-Gang provides a natural, commercial looking frame for us to absorb. Not stellar but not without its challenging drama, our groups of young men and women will bond as much as they will disintegrate and shatter due to personal conflict and betrayal that leads them onto the battlefield with heavy but determined hearts in some cases. Less of a propaganda piece therefore as matters do turn tragic, heroic, ugly, most of the time Feng stays away from excessive melodrama and just let the situations breathe in a straightforward fashion. Running with that thread almost all throughout, it seems he does fall into the bombastic nature of melodrama towards the end but Youth is generally an involving piece displaying the effects characters have when connected to the passion of singing and dancing and when close knit bonds are cut due to changing times in a broader but also small scaled sense.

The Yuppie Fantasia (1989) Directed by: Gordon Chan

A romantic drama-comedy, marking Gordon Chan's debut and an unexpected one at that as he's more associated with guns and brawls than character-drama. Yet, that skill hasn't been totally buried as in later years we've seen the likes of Beast Cops deservedly clean up at the awards. His 1989 movie at the height of the yuppie boom does not necessarily exploit the current trend in favour of box-office returns but it's an important framework for the various crumbling's of characters, starting with the divorce of Leung Foon (Lawrence Cheng) and Ann (Carol Cheng). Their respective line of work have produced a sterile rapport and Chan along with several co-writers are totally honest when they say we all need these breakdown of walls to see clearly again. The Yuppie Fantasia is light, even funny at times, but Chan brings a level-headed direction to the film so that it doesn't stray. Some might call it boring but thanks to ideal performers (acting in synch sound to boot), the film breathes quite well and would've been a few notches better even if the voice-over by Lawrence Cheng's character had been dropped. The sequel Brief Encounter in Shinjuku followed in 1990. Also starring Cherie Chung, Sibelle Hu, Elizabeth Lee, Peter Lai and Manfred Wong. Alfred Cheung, Paul Chun and Kirk Wong make brief appearances.

Buy the DVD at:
HK Flix.com

The Yuppie Fantasia 3 (2017, Lawrence Cheng)

Resurrecting the relationship-comedy series that started with The Yuppie Fantasia and Brief Encounter In Shinjuku (1989 and 1990 respectively), lead Lawrence Cheng takes the reign as director for third outing and injects character-depth in a fairly decent manner that only time and experience (as a character as well as performer and director) could've conjured up. Leung Foon is now 52 years old, still a company-man, dating his secretary (Chrissie Chau) and seemingly content. With the re-apperance of his daughter Hay Hay (Larine Tang), she also brings the news that his ex-wise Ann (played in the original movies by Carol Cheng who is digitally featured using old footage and voice over by another actress in a clever manner) has passed away. Trying to define how to move ahead both as a father and partner, this leads to threads where some are more effective than others. Outside of the Leung Foon and Hay Hay-core, the various romantic and corporate subplots are bit flat. Not totally devoid of interest as this also brings us in past cast (such as Leung Foon's friends played by Manfred Wong and Peter Lai), when Cheng gets back to his man subject dealing with anger and grief, The Yuppie Fantasia 3 finds a dramatic tone that's surprisingly moving. Leung Foon has been standing still and the bombshells within his current situation are as difficult as they are important in order to move forward. Cheng looks great in his 50s and is confident at playing the non-verbal as well as earning slightly heavier emotional outbursts. All adding up to a pleasant re-emergence of a series that wasn't on everybody's lips in the first place.

Yu Pui Tsuen III (1996) Directed by: Lai Kai-Leung

Considered a template for Sex And Zen, the Ho Fan initiated and acclaimed soft core erotica series Yu Pui Tsuen (based on the novel of the same name) has not been widely seen but the re-release of the sequel triggered the idea for another entry, hence Yu Pui Tsuen III. Walking little in Ho Fan's reportedly stylish paths, Lai Kai-Leung (co-director of Love, Guns & Glass) decides to adhere to the period sex comedy formula instead but in an amusing fashion he parodies Stephen Chow's excellent Forbidden City Cop as well. Elvis Tsui in a funny, stressed out performance is Agent 000 who is sent undercover into a brothel in order to reveal the dirty and illegal shenanigans within it. Just to make sure he practices tolerance and focuses on the task at hand, his crafty wife (Yeung Yuk-Mui) puts an armour around his nether regions. The film also finds time to feature plenty of sex to reach the 90 minute running time limit, Wong Yat-Fei as a hunchback monk in an obvious sexual dry spell (and when he does get his chance, it's over in record time) and a clever dialogue exchange concerning stuck up critics view on cheap material, such as this. Co-starring Emily Kwan, William Ho and Spencer Lam.

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