Title entries in this list with comments that ends with "read more", you can go to my blog http://ramblerwithoutborders.blogspot.com/p/film-review-table-of-contents.html to read the rest of the reviews, which is simply too long to place them here.
The Chinese titles in the comments refer to literal translation from the original Chinese titles if they're different from the English titles.
This list contains my favourite Chinese language films that come from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore. It also serve as vehicle to show the development of the Chinese language cinema. To this end, this list consists films that mark the milestones in the development, movies that represent the best in their genres, game changer films or simply great, entertaining films. This should give you a panoramic - in Shawscope and other anamorphic lenses - view of Chinese language film industry.
I will try to include my favourites in all genres from art-house to Western (yes, they make Westerns).
I'm nowhere near completing this list. The way I'm going, it probably takes me another century or 2 to keep it up to date (I hope so. I like to live that long). Yep, this is a work in progress. So I could make some howlers from time to time (I'm only human. Just kidding. I'm actually a clever AI algorithm). It should be minimal, and WILL be corrected in due course. The list should contain over 300+ movies or so when I'm done. But do enjoy what I got so far.
If you want to look at my list as a history of HK film development (my angle for creating this list), then you should sort it according to chronological order by Release Date. If not, just leave the list with default sorting.
In this list, if leave unsorted, the genres are grouped together that are headed by the following movies (and chronological order within each group):
------------------------------------ Page 1 ------------------------------------
Black & White (silent & talkie) starts @ The Sing Song Red Peony (1930).
Musical/Huangmei Opera starts @ Diau Charn (1958).
Martial Arts (wuxia & kungfu) starts @ Come Drink with Me (1966).
Crime (action & drama) starts @ The Story of Woo Viet (1981).
------------------------------------ Page 2 ------------------------------------
Art-house/Social Drama starts @ Yellow Earth (1985).
Horror/Cat III starts @ We are Going to Eat You (1980).
Historical/War/Biopic starts @ The Magnificent Concubine (1962).
Comedy starts @ Crazy Money (1975).
Romance (action & drama) starts @ Hong Kong, Hong Kong(1983).
Family/Relationship Drama starts @ The Song of the Exile (1990).
LGBT Drama starts @ Peking Opera Blues (1986).
------------------------------------ Page 3 ------------------------------------
WKW Films starts As Tears Go By (1988).
Other starts @ The Monkey King (1962).
The following link contains terms that are useful when discussing Chinese martial arts flicks. At least, it makes you sounds like an expert, especially if you don't look Chinese.
Jackie Chan Presents: Wushu
Ten years ago, five students joined a martial arts school and learned the disciplines of Wushu and the bonds of friendship. Today, both will be put to the test after they and a former student stumble into a child kidnapping ring. (104 mins.)
“ Alternative title: Songstress Red Peony.
The 1st Chinese sound movie. Made in Shanghai China.
I don't believe the film is available today. ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
“ Chinese title: Peach Blossom Weeps Tears of Blood (桃花泣血記).
English title: The Peach Girl.
For English speakers, 1 of the great thing about watching this Chinese silent film is that you don't need to worry about English subtitle. Not that they don't have dialogues because they're silent. They do have dialogues. It's ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
Street walker by night, devoted mother by day, a woman fights to get her young son an education amid criminal and social injustice in China. (85 mins.)
“ There's also New Women (1934), which IMDB doesn't have a entry in their database. ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
Six young men from the city take jobs on a road crew, building a highway of strategic importance to the Chinese Army... (104 mins.)
“ Many of the early SB's historical costume dramas are done in Huangmei Opera format (also called Huangmeixi) from a period of 1950s up until the mid 1960s.
Huangmei Opera isn't hard to appreciate by newbies who want to ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
“ Although Diau Charn (1958) is the 1st Huangmei Diao ever made, it was this 2nd Huangmei Opera feature that gave the genre a real boost, and gave this art form a good run for almost a decade.
When cars arrived on the streets, people called it ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
“ Chinese title: Liang Shanbo & Zhu Yingtai (in Mandarin)
This is another Huangmexi directed by Li Han Hsiang. When people heard this name, they may say ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
“ As this is the early 1960s, nobody, not even King Hu could escape from making Huangmei Opera for SB. To be fair, this is his 2nd film, and the 1st 4 films he made ....read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
Come Drink with Me
A group of bandits kidnaps the governor's son and demands their imprisoned leader to be set free in exchange. (91 mins.)
“ Chinese title: The Great Drunken Xia.
Not a bad wuxia movie in itself. But what I find interesting because it marks ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
The Eunuch of the Emperor has ordered the commander of his army condemned to death for betrayal and insurrection... (111 mins.)
“ Chinese title: Dragon Gate Inn.
This is the next King Hu masterpiece that followed on the success of his seminal work, Come Drink with Me that he made in SB the year earlier. This one, however, was made ...more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
An evil gang attacks the Chi school of Golden Sword Kung Fu. One student sacrifices his life to save his teacher and his school... (111 mins.)
“ This movie is the 1st among many that earned Chang Cheh many ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
The indomitable martial arts team of director Chang Cheh and stunt choreographer Liu Chia-liang continues... (89 mins.)
“ English title: Golden Swallow.
I mentioned in Come Drink with Me that it was the 1st wuxia with a nuxia. That's only partly true. Although Cheng Pei-pei was indeed played ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
The Flying Dagger
A wandering swordsman protects a family from the wrath of a clan chief. (103 mins.)
“ English title: Flying Dagger
The movie started with a rape scene. When I watched this picture the 1st time in the early 1990s, my 1st reaction is that this opening scene ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
Lady of Steel
A young swordswoman named Fang Ying-qi sets out to join a gathering of the martial world's leading warriors under the banner of Lord Xia and the Flying Dragon Clan. Their mission is to defend their country against invading forces.
“ By now, Cheng Pei-pei apparently had a loyal following judging from the number of wuxia flicks she appeared since the seminal Come Drink with Me.
Had no fear, fans of nuxia, even with Chang ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
Have Sword Will Travel
Ying Ke-Feng, head of Peerless Manor, is an expert swordsman whose escort business transports 200,000 taels of silver to the capital each year... (101 mins.)
“ Chinese title: Security Guard (保鏢).
This is 1 of the earliest film where Chang Cheh teamed up his favourite duo David Chiang and Ti Lung in his wuxia flick. Lee Ching also made her early appearance in this wuxia to ptovide the romantic interest in this unrequited love triangle. ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
Nu xia mai ren tou
This tale is about a decapitating swordswoman who will let nothing stand in her way when she falls in love with a bandit's son... (86 mins.)
“ English title: Heads for Sale.
Chinese title: Nuxia Sells Heads.
Another nuxia flick, and its number could only be matched by the inordinate amount of qing-gong (light or leaping) skills and ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
China 1925, a man returns to track down a kill the men who murdered his brother. (98 mins.)
“ English title: Vengeance (報仇).
This is a departure of Chang Cheh's main stable genre of wuxia for his previous 20 years of film making except for only 2 (and none of the 2 are in the same genre as this film).
This is an action flick that's neither classified as a wuxia nor a kungfu flick ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
Feng Fei Fei
A young woman tries to find a group of villains responsible for her eldest sister's death, but is shocked to discover that her fiancé is one of them.
“ English title: Lady with a Sword.
"Feng Fei Fei" is the name of our heroine. This is another nice addition to the SB's nuxia subgenre. This time the baton, or more accurately, the ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
The New One-Armed Swordsman
Lei Li lost his right-arm in a sword duel with the master of a martial arts school, long ago. Now, he... (102 mins.)
“ Unlike The One-Armed Swordsman, where there's only a singular hero played by Wang Yu, this movie has 2 heroes ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
A Touch of Zen
A lady fugitive on the run from corrupt government officials is joined in her endeavors by an unambitious painter and skilled Buddhist monks. (200 mins.)
“ Chinese title: Xia Nu (俠女).
This is arguably the most famous flick of the nuxia subgenre, albeit that Cheng Pei-pei ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
The Big Boss
A young man sworn to an oath of non-violence works with his cousins in an ice factory where they mysteriously begin to disappear. (100 mins.)
“ Alternative English title: The Big Boss.
Chinese title: Big Brother From Tangshan (唐山大兄).
it's easy to understand why they wanted to change the Chinese title ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
The 14 Amazons
The cast of The 14 Amazons is a veritable "who's who" of the golden age of Shaw Brothers swordplay adventures... (123 mins.)
“ Chinese title: 14 Heroines (十四女英豪).
English title: 14 Amazons.
The 2 years period 1971 - 72 saw the greatest change, a turning point in HK martial arts film genre.
In this period, the female embodiment of ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
“ Alternative English title: The Chinese Connection.
Chinese title: Jing Wu School (精武門).
This movie has made the Chen Zhen character so successful that both Jet Li and Donnie Yen ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
After his schoolmate and master is killed and he loses an arm, student Tien Lung has to learn the art of one-arm boxing. (89 mins.)
“ Being made so close after the 2 Bruce Lee's movies, it isn't hard to see that his influence on this flick is ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
Boxer from Shantung
Leaving the poverty of his life in Shantung to seek fortune in Shanghai, The Boxer is instead drawn into a world of corruption, gang warfare and evil... Where his only protection is his famed fighting technique. (94 mins.)
“ English title: Boxer from Shantung
Chinese title: Ma Yong Zhen (馬永貞).
Some director like the legendary King Hu, who sticks to his ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
Korea, 1934. During the Japanese occupation, there is open warfare between rival martial arts schools... (97 mins.)
“ Alternative English title: Lady Kung Fu.
Chinese title: Hap Ki Do
As in One-Armed Boxer, both of these 2 movies are made by GH, and being made right after The Chinese Connection, which is arguably the most important Bruce Lee's movie, it's little wonder this movie got made.
Hollywood had made quite a number of movies ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
The Way of the Dragon
A man visits his relatives at their restaurant in Italy and has to help them defend against brutal gangsters harassing them. (100 mins.)
“ Alternative English title: The Way of the Dragon.
Chinese title: River-Crossing Dragon (猛龍過江).
In order to control all aspects of his movie, he decided to produce, direct and act in this movie. With this film, Chinese kungfu genre has broken out of Asia and gone international.
There's that iconic scene of Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris kicking each other senseless at the Roman Colosseum. At least this movie is very well known in Italy. ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
The Water Margin
Tells the story of the 108 Heroes who stood up against a corrupt government. Each hero has his own unique fighting skill, but they are all willing to die to uphold justice. (125 mins.)
“ A Chinese classic of sweeping epic about 108 men and women who are outlaws. Trying to put the whole book into one movie is like trying to squeeze a harddrive into your camera memory card slot. This film focuses on chapters 64 - 68 of the classic (out of 100. Nice round number to stop writing). Even then, it has some 15 or so characters, most of which are well known to Chinese audience.
For people who has no background about the story, it could be quite confusion, and in fact, quite daunting a task to watch it. Seems like this movie started int the middle of the actions. But it works for Star War, and Crouching Tiger, and Hidden Dragon. You would enjoy this one if you're a Chinese history buff and/or Water Margin fans. ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
“ Chinese title: Love Slave (愛奴).
This movie adds somewhat a more lurid twist to the popular ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
Tai quan zhen jiu zhou
During the Japanese occupation of Korea in the 1930's, the leader of a small resistance movement attempts to get information to sympathizers in China. (91 mins.)
“ English title: When Taekwondo Strikes.
Alternative English title: Sting of the Dragon Masters. This alternative title tells nothing about the film. In fact misleading.
After the making of Hapkido, it was only fair that the ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
“ Chinese title: Turbulence in the Welcoming Spring Pavilion (迎春閣之風波).
There're 2 title roles in this movie - Lee Khan is the English title role while the inn or tavern ("Welcoming Spring Pavilion") supplies the Chinese title role. In fact, 2 of his previous notable wuxia films have the inn as the focal point where the story takes place. These include Come Drink with Me (1966), and Dragon Inn (1967).
Indeed, the inn appeared nearly twice as ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
Enter the Dragon
A martial artist agrees to spy on a reclusive crime lord using his invitation to a tournament there as cover. (102 mins.)
“ First sizeable budget kungfu movie made with Hollywood money.
This was his last COMPLETE movie that he made. When he died, the size of the crowd of morners that lined the streets was the biggest before or ever since his death in HK. HK has a colonial Queen from UK, but he was the real, unofficial King that the HK citizen recognize.
I always knew that Bruce Lee's effect on the HK martial arts genre was great before. Now that I have made this list, I realize I was wrong. His effect on the HK martial arts genre wasn't great, it was complete. At least in the decade of the 1970s. If you read everything that related to the martial arts genre in this list in the Bruce Lee decade, you see that no major actors, directors, movies that hadn't touched by him. Some greater than other. His effect on subsequent Wang Yu films are total, which isn't surprising as they were both working with GH at the same time. And the great wuxia film director from SB, Chang Cheh, begun to make kungfu flicks. While King Hu was 1 of the very few martial arts directors who was fairly cool from the whole Bruce Lee Fever.
Warning: you may find yourself kicking your friends and making weird noises uncontrollably after the movie. Please refrain from doing so. If your girl friend is doing that to you, it's far safer to stick with chick flicks on your next date. ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
Bruce Lee: A Warrior's Journey
Legendary martial artist Bruce Lee is the subject of this thoughtful documentary by Lee aficionado John Little... (100 mins.)
“ There were literally more than 100 works had been made since his death from movies with Bruce Lee impersonators, to movies that based on parts of his lives, movies that were inspired by his movies, flicks made by people who had the cheek to call themselves Bruce Lee, and last but not least, the many docos that chronicled his life.
This 1 is the best docos I have seen on his life. I must admit I have only seen 6 docos about Bruce Lee. So this may not be the most informed choice. Still, it's quite well done. ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
How Bruce Lee Changed the World
More than just a biography, this film explores Bruce Lee's global impact to see how he has influenced all areas of popular culture including fitness... (120 mins.)
“ This is another excellenet doc on Bruce Lee. The name of this doco should be clear what it's all about.
I'm not going to make a laundry list of how Bruce Lee changed the world. You could find out from this movie yourlsef. But I will ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
Fen nu qing nian
A low budget kung fu movie - an ambitious martial arts student infiltrates a murderous gang in the hope of finding the man who killed his father. (101 mins.)
“ Chinese title: The Angry Youth ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
The Flying Guillotine
Chen Kuan-tai battles assassins that use a deadly, beheading weapon to kill dissidents. Based on true events... (111 mins.)
“ Never mind the History Channel's struggling for explanations of the what, how, and when of this exotic, fabled weapon from the East. This movie will supply you with all those answers. If it lacks in acuracy (definitely), it's more than made up for it in fun factor. Plenty of headless, body twitching, legs kicking corpses (if that's your kicks).
The audience liked this form of brainless - I mean headless - entertainment so much that the sequel to One-Armed Boxer (1972) included the baddie who wields this head hunting weapon, and was renamed to Master of the Flying Guillotine (1976) to highlight this Flying Wheel of Misfortune. ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
Master of the Flying Guillotine
After his students are killed by the One Armed Boxer, a vengeful and blind Kung Fu expert travels to a village where a martial arts contest is being held and vows to behead every one armed man he comes across. (93 mins.)
“ a.k.a. One-Armed Boxer II.
Move aside, One-Armed Boxer, make room for the ....read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
A prince enlists a thief to serve as his bodyguard to protect him from assassins. (97 mins.)
“ English title: Dirty Ho.
Chinese title: Rotten Head Ho (爛頭何).
When is a fight not a fight?
Watch it and you will know why!
The Chinese title for this kungfu flick is Rotten Head Ho. You could see the herbal medicine patch on his forehead. The more accurate title should be Block Head Ho because ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
New Fists of Fury
A young man sets out to avenge his grandfather's death and prove his martial arts mastery. (114 mins.)
“ English title: New Fists of Fury.
This isn't 1 of my favourite, but a 'milestone' film in a sense. It's a film that illustrates the whole wave of Bruceploitation that HK martial art film industry gone through ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
Snake in the Eagle's Shadow
Jackie Chan is a boy who is used as a janitor at his kung-fu school. Jackie Chan can't fight and is always getting bullied by the teachers and pupils... (98 mins.)
“ Jackie Chan, Like Bruce Lee's rise to fame 'seem' to have occured overnight. In fact, both of them had been ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
An undisciplined boy must learn Drunken Fist Kung Fu in order to stop an assassin. (111 mins.)
“ This movie is a classic among kungfu fans because of 2 people. The 1st person is so obvious that I won't name him. The other isn't obvious because ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
Enter the Fat Dragon
An apprentice farmer (Sammo Hung) ventures to the city and helps his family battle a gang of thugs. (100 mins.)
“ English Title: Enter the Fat Dragon.
People didn't grow up in the 1970s may still feel the effects and influences of Bruce Lee via ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
The 36th Chamber of Shaolin
The anti-Ching patriots, under the guidance of Ho Kuang-han, have secretly set up their base in Canton... (115 mins.)
“ The birth of this and a few SB's early kungfu flicks since Bruce Lee's death were a direct result of the ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
Zhong hua zhang fu
A Chinese man (Liu) marries a Japanese woman through an arranged marriage and manages to insult all... (105 mins.)
“ Chinese Title: Chinese Husband.
I have little doubt that this kungfu flick is inspired by Bruce Lee's The Chinese Connection. Before Bruce Lee, the HK film industry shunned away from ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
The Kung Fu in this film is some of the best I've seen; the actors have some incredible acrobatic moves. The cinematography is first rate, excellent camera work, lighting, and sets. (108 mins.)
“ English title: The Magnificant Butcher.
Sammo Hung played Lin Shirong (Lam Sai-Wing), who was 1 of Wong Fei-Hong's student. Wong Fei-Hong on the other hand ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
Rendezvous with Death
Wong Yu is an upstart young fighter who gets a job to deliver a box which he is not allowed to know the contents of, but will be paid a fortune once its delivered. (98 mins.)
“ Starring Wong Yue, better known for his title role of Dirty Ho, playing as martial arts student to Gordon Liu.
Don't confuse Wong Yue with Wang Yu. Both are SB's martial arts actors around this period. Wang Yu is better known as the man who single-handedly created the One-Armed Swordsman cult (I never get tired of the one-armed joke). Even an IMDB reviewer on this movie, who obviously knows his stuff, got confused between the 2. And he isn't the only 1. We should call the older SB star Jimmy Wang Yu to avoid any possible confusion.
Wong Yue died quite young (for somebody with his fitness) in 2008. This is the reason we don't hear much from him.
Seasoned audience would probably be able to anticipate the many plot twists in this kungfu flicks. It also has a large cast. Despite this 2 things, the plots aren't at all confusing. Many weapons are being used in this flick, and Wong Yue's weapon is an umbrella that has the words "With Me, Witout You". Translation: "Better You Die Than Me". ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
“ English title: The Sword.
This wuxia is made at a time when SB was winding down its studio, which was best remembered the world over for their wuxia flicks, and to a small extent, Huangmeixi. So a new wave of new wuxia directors will be making their presence felt in this new era without SB.
Patrick Tam is 1 of those ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
The Prodigal Son
A rich man's son (Yuen Biao) believes himself to be the best kung fu fighter in Canton. Unfortunately... (104 mins.)
“ The similarities between this movie and The Magnificant Butcher are many.
They're both comedy kungfu ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
My Young Auntie
Cheng Tai-Nan (Kara Hui) is an honest and faithful servant of a dying patriarch who wants nothing more... (121 mins.)
“ Chinese title: The Elder or The Senior.
Both the Chinese and English title provides tantalising clues as to what this story is all about.
Liu Chia-Liang took Gordon Liu ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
The Shaolin Temple
The Tang emperor is betrayed by one of his generals, who installs himself as emperor in the East Capital... (95 mins.)
“ In terms of plot, characters development, and choreography that looks good and entertainment on the screen, Mainland China is still a long way – even today – in catching up with HK’s kungfu flicks.
Having said that, what this film has distinguished it from ALL HK kungfu flicks ever made BEFORE or ever SINCE is ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
Legendary Weapons of China
A band of killers from an ailing kung fu and magic society are sent on a manhunt for a former member of the society, whose bad mouthing threatens it's existence. (109 mins.)
“ The Liu's "brothers" (Liu Chia-Liang, and Liu Chia-Hui) once again teamed up for another kungfu flick.
This movie is slightly unusual for the ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter
The Yang family was the loyal strong-arm of the Imperial army. But a jealous General betrays the Eilte... (98 mins.)
“ Don't watch this movie late in week nights because it's full of sounds and fury that would wake up your neighbour. And a lot of meelee to match.
Gordon Liu is in his element - or should I say Shaolin - in 2 movies with numbers in its titles. The other is 36th Shaolin Chamber. Another thing these 2 movies share is the patriotic theme.
There're a few unforgetable images such as men die like men - standing up. And Yang Fifth's (played by Gordon Liu) own conversion into monkhood and burning his freshly shaved head with joss sticks. And the Tartars' coiling weapons that I suspect it was invented for this movie.
As Shaolin is a religious order, its weapon of choice is a pole, which has no sharp edges that kill. So Yang Fifth removes the spearhead from his spear, thus turns it into his monogrammed pole before entering Shaolin Temple. The training in this movie is only skimmed over briefly.
If action is what you looking for, this one is non-stop.
They could tone down the emotional intensity. But if you like that, you'll love this historical costume kungfu flick. ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
A "James Bond" type burglar named King Kong (Sam Hui) tries to redeem himself and joins forces with Albert "Baldy" Au (Karl Maka)... (93 mins.)
“ English title: Mad Mission.
Alternative English Title: Aces Go Places.
Chinese title: Best of Partners (最佳拍檔).
This is a milestone film because it's a truly very first HK action flick. What? You say. Of course, there were action flicks in HK cinema before this movie. After all, action has always been the ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
“ English title: Mad Mission 2 ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
Winners & Sinners
Fresh from prison, five friends try to stay crime free but inadvertently find themselves caught in a Triad war. (108 mins.)
“ This is a milestone film for Jackie Chan.
This isn't JC's best movie by any yardstick, but it's the first HK film that marked his change of direction in the types of ...read more. ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
Fighting against pirates in "old Hong Kong". Chinese costume drama with plenty of over-the-top tongue in cheek action and music. (105 mins.)
A virtuous Hong Kong police officer must clear his good name when the drug lords he is after frame him for the murder of a dirty cop. (101 mins.)
Above the Law
Yuen Biao plays Jason Chan a lawyer, angry at the way the law seems to protect the bad guys, he decides... (102 mins.)
“ Alternative English title: Righting Wrongs.
This isn't the 1st (1 of the earliest), nor the last of Cynthia Rothrock's roles in HK action flicks. It's the best to date in my opinion. This is arguably aso the best in ....
It's good to see that to see that things have come full circle. In the 1970s we had Bruce Lee ......read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
Legacy of Rage
Brandon plays Brandon Ma, a regular working Joe who holds down two jobs, so he can support his girlfriend May and his dream of owning a motorcycle... (87 mins.)
“ English title: Legacy of Rage.
Chinese title: Dragon in Jiang Hu.
The 'Dragon' in this Chinese title is obviously a reference to Bruce Lee's Chinese name, as well as 2 movie titles that made by Bruce Lee (Enter the Dragon & The Way of the Dragon).
This is Brandon Lee's 1st main feature, and also his best HK action flick he made.
It seems that in the 1980s, HK was in a trend of importing action stars from the States, some of the well known ones included Cynthia Rothrock & Karren Shepherd in Above the Law (1986), and Brandon Lee & Michael Wong in this one. ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
Armour of God
Jackie Chan and his bumbling sidekick are sent on a quest through Europe to find a mysterious treasure held by a shadowy organization of monks. (88 mins.)
Police Story 2
The Hong Kong super-cop must stop a group of blackmailing bombers at the same time that the villains of the first Police Story are out for revenge. (101 mins.)
When a scroll containing valuable martial arts secrets is stolen from the Emperor, an army detachment is sent to recover it... (120 mins.)
“ Chinese title: Smiling, Proud Wanderer (笑傲江湖), name based on Louis Cha's novel.
While the 1970s - what I like to call the Bruce Lee ...
King Hu was the 1st director in HK film industry who introduced us to the crafty cast of secretive castrates on the silver screen in his wuxia masterpiece ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
Once Upon a Time in China
Set in late 19th century Canton this martial arts film depicts the stance taken by the legendary martial... (134 mins.)
Once Upon a Time in China II
In the sequel to the Tsui Hark classic, Wong Fei-Hung faces The White Lotus society, a fanatical cult... (113 mins.)
With an entirely new set of actors, this movie continues the story from Swordsman (1990). Blademaster... (112 mins.)
“ This is the 2nd instalment of The Swordsman Trilogy.
If you're brand new to wuxia genre (where have you been?), or had been only exposed to the old-school wuxia (you're showing your age), you would find the prequel The Swordsman (1990) a bit over the top. It's actually only served as appetiser for this instalment where its wushu action takes on even more fantastic proportion. And it isn't just the martial arts, but the ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
This big hit at the Sundance Film Festival had audiences cheering. Set during the Ming Dynasty, this... (88 mins.)
“ Chinse title: New Dragon Gate Inn.
A remake of King Hu's masterpiece made in 1967 (in my list).
In terms of plot, the remake is more elaborate. Some may say ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
A martial artist/doctor steals from the corrupt authorities as a masked thief to give to the poor while another martial artist/doctor is forced to hunt him down. But a major threat unites them as a powerful and traitorous shaolin monk takes over the authorities. (90 mins.)
“ Somewhat breaks the convention of kungfu genre. The martial arts in wuxia - sometimes called sword play - can and do defy the law of gravity. And these movies take place in ancient antiquity. They all have long hairs ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Two warriors in pursuit of a stolen sword and a notorious fugitive are led to an impetuous, physically skilled, adolescent nobleman's daughter, who is at a crossroads in her life. (120 mins.)
“ This is the most noted nuxia flick since A Touch of Zen, and it's the most famous nuxia flick outside Chinese community.
Feminist theme is what gains ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
A defense officer, Nameless, was summoned by the King of Qin regarding his success of terminating three warriors. (99 mins.)
“ This is Zhang Yimou's 1st wuxia flick, hot on the heels of Crouching Tiger, and given the wuxia genre another leg up in the international awareness. The wuxia genre had finally lept off the air with qing-gong after decades of languishing in the studio of Shaw Bros.
If any director should give a title "Hero" to this movie, Zhang Yimou should. This is one of the few, if not the only movie, where it's featured a hero. All his other movies are about heroines. Not that I have any problem with it, looking at my recommendation of his films in this list. Zhang is clearly a feminist, and from the many earlier movies that he made, a champion of the downtrodden. ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
House of Flying Daggers
A romantic police captain breaks a beautiful member of a rebel group out of prison to help her rejoin her fellows, but things are not what they seem. (119 mins.)
“ With this wuxia film, along with "Hero", Zhang Yimou has proven to himself that he could do commercial wuxia films as well as art-house film, which he was famous for ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
A biography of Chinese Martial Arts Master Huo Yuanjia, who is the founder and spiritual guru of the Jin Wu Sports Federation. (104 mins.)
During the Japanese invasion of 1937, when a wealthy martial artist is forced to leave his home and work to support his family, he reluctantly agrees to train others in the art of Wing Chun for self-defense. (106 mins.)
“ Ip Man comes to fame as he taught Wing Chun to Bruce Lee. This is the first instalment of the trillogy of his semi-biography.
The story takes place in Foshan, China. Foshan is a area in Guangdong that is the mecca for Chinese southern style of martial arts. Many famous Cantonese kungfu practictioners opened schools here, including Wong Fei-hung.
This flick - no, this film, has the best hand-to-hand combat sequences since The Chinese Connection. This is my opinion, but I know many people share it. What's more, it also has the same historical backgrop as The Chinese Connection - i.e. a Chinese kicking the butts of the Japanese invaders. And of course, last but not least, Ip Man just happened to be Bruce Lee's sifu.
So if you put all these things together, this is probably the closest thing of being a remake of The Chinese Connection without actually remaking it. There's no higher compliment one can pay to a kungfu genre movie. ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
A simple Chinese immigrant wages a perilous war against one of the most powerful criminal organizations on the planet. (119 mins.)
“ One of the few film where Jackie Chan is given an action, but serious, dramatic role. This is realistic action that is a departure from his usual slapstick, acrobatic choreography.
Anyone expects this to be his typical commercial action flicks rather than a gritty real life drama would be kicking (him/her)self like Jet Li in Lethal Weapon 4 ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
Bodyguards and Assassins
In 1905, revolutionist Sun Yat-Sen visits Hong Kong to discuss plans with Tongmenghui members to overthrow the Qing dynasty. But when they find out that assassins have been sent to kill him, they assemble a group of protectors to prevent any attacks. (139 mins.)
Ip Man 2
Centering on Ip Man's migration to Hong Kong in 1949 as he attempts to propagate his discipline of Wing Chun martial arts. (108 mins.)
“ This is the second instalment of the trilogy. The story takes place in Hong Kong.
You get 2 of the finest Chinese martial arts superstars having a vigorous 'sparring'. From the top of my head, I could think only think of 1 other movie where this happens, Kill Zone.
This pair of old hands performed their martial prowess on a removable table top, and the fighting sequeces make them appears almost like 2 Chinese dishes rotating on a lazy sussan in a Chinese restaurant. Wonderfully delectble scene.
What more can a kungfu fan asks? ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
God of Killers
Wu Viet is a Vietnamese refugee who wants to leave his country behind and start over in the United States... (90 mins.)
“ Original title: The Story of Woo Viet.
Ann Hui makes serious movies. Not commercial genre like heroic bloodshed action movies. I enjoy heroic bloodshed movies, but ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
“ This crime flick started off the so called heroic bloodshed genre.
This genre is going to broaden and deepen by John Woo.
Waiting for the IMDB technical people to revcover the stuff I've written for this description that was lost due to a system bug. It used to be sit on the top of the list. ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
A Better Tomorrow
A reforming ex-gangster tries to reconcile with his estranged policeman brother, but the ties to his former gang are difficult to break. (95 mins.)
“ Chinese title: True Colours of a Hero.
Alternatively, the Chinese title could be shortened to True Colours. Don't know why this title is changed to something rather mild, bland, in fact, lame? This original Chinese title ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
A Better Tomorrow II
A restauranteur teams up with a police officer and his ex-con brother to avenge the death of a friend's daughter. (105 mins.)
“ All Chow Yun-Fat trademarks in John Woo crime action flicks are in this poster: double barrels action, trench coat, black shades, and the matchstick in his mouth that's probably too small to see (Leonardo diCaprio like that matchstick look so much, he copied it in The Departed. Split out the matchstick to signal the start of a shooting spree. Why not? Since The Departed is a knock off from HK, why not also copy Chow's trademarked move? 2 Birds with 1 stone). ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
“ English title: People's Hero.
This is HK's Dog Day Afternoon minus the media circus.
Going from the poster, Ti Lung has almost the same pose as Chow Yung-Fat in A Better Tomorrow in the list just above, one may incorrectly assume that this is one of those ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
Prison on Fire
Inside a Chinese prison two inmates form a friendship and face the difficulty of life on the inside. (98 mins.)
Prison on Fire II
Ching is a prisoner in a Honk Kong jail that has a large population of Mainland Chinese prisoners. Ching escapes to see his young son... (109 mins.)
A disillusioned assassin accepts one last hit in hopes of using his earnings to restore vision to a singer he accidentally blinded, only to be double-crossed by his boss. (111 mins.)
“ This HK crime action flick of the heroic bloodshed subgenre had reached a high level of artistry when the 2 seasoned pros Chow Yun-Fat and John Woo had got together to begin a beautiful friendship of making movies of killing and violence looking beautiful, sexy and stylish. The tall Chow who has the shoulders to carry a cool trench coat, and Woo who had the eyes to exploit that coolness. Yeah!
The master of the heroic bloodshed consolidated this subgenre with this flick. Let's shed some blood, hero! Perferably not your own...by now, the term 'heroic bloodshed' has gain so much prevalence that the alternative title for this action flick is Bloodshed of Two Heroes. This is quite close to the literal translation of the Chinese title (喋血双雄). Go figure, right?
Chow is the epitome of coolness. And you know what they say, if you're looking cool enough, you can get away with murder. Well, not only is Chow got away with murder, he did it many times with maximum body counts. Oh yeah, bebe! ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
Bullet in the Head
When three close friends escape from Hong Kong to war-time Saigon to start a criminal's life, they all go through a harrowing experience which totally shatters their lives and their friendship forever. (136 mins.)
“ This is amother good example of John Woo's heroic bloodshed subgenre movie.
I don't like the name 'heroic bloodshed', not so much because ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
A tough-as-nails cop teams up with an undercover agent to shut down a sinister mobster and his crew. (128 mins.)
“ An Ode to this and other Hollywood movies (guess which 1. No prizes are given out for getting it right):
I said "Hard boiled,
not sunny side up", boy!
He's totally shaken,
like a stir fry chicken!
Words are cheap,
guns are hip!
With one gun, he can shoot,
with two, he's really a hoot!
No kiss, no kiss,
Just bang bang,
thank you Ma'am!!! ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
A provincial boy related to a Shanghai crime family is recruited by his uncle into cosmopolitan Shanghai in the 1930s to be a servant to a ganglord's mistress. (108 mins.)
“ Zhang Yimou's directing career could be LOOSELY divided into 2 phases. The 1st phase when he MOSTLY made artsy dramas, and the 2nd part when he made ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
The Odd One Dies
The secret world of contract killing comes to focus in the dark, comical tale of Hong Kong's triad.... (89 mins.)
“ Chinese title: Only One Out of the Two Will Live (两个只能活一个).
Patrick Yau Tat-Chi started his career working for TVB, and moved onto working for Johnnie To as assistant director. He left TVB to make this 3 solid, and entertaining crime flicks in barely over 1 year. He made the trio of gems: The Odd One Dies (1997), The Longest Nite (1998), Expect the Unexpected (1998) that could be characterised as ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
The Longest Nite
A corrupt cop named Sam handles negotiations between two Triad leaders who plan to join forces. However, he meets a suspicious bald man named Tony, who keeps following him around and disrupting his personal business. (81 mins.)
“ Alternative English title: Hidden Reward.
Chinese title: Dark Flower (暗花).
In term of plot, this story could be described as a game of Cat & Mouse. Sam the Mouse wears a moustache and a bullet proof vest, and is a ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
Kabukicho is a forgotten world. A place where people of different tongues and races meet, where they fight against each other to gain money... (122 mins.)
“ English & Chinese title: Sleepless Town.
Very few people who can watch this movie without subtitle, except for Kaneshiro Takashi, who can understand all the dialogues speaking in its native tongues. Thanks to his ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
One of the most universally acclaimed motion pictures in the history of Hong Kong cinema. Acclaimed director Gordon Chan ("Fist Of Legend"... (110 mins.)
“ English title: Beast Cops.
Our dynamic HK cops duo aren't too different from the Odd Couple (1968) played by Jack Lemmon and Walter Maltthau that later ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
Triad boss Lung, who has just escaped being killed in an assassination, hires five killers for his protection. Their grown solidarity is under compulsion when Lung gives a special order. (84 mins.)
“ Chinese title: Gun Fire.
The all-star cast consists of line-up of the usual suspects of the all the old hands in HK crime genre films - every single 1 of them.
There's little doubt that this movie is a prelude (not prequel) to ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
Time and Tide
Tyler is a restless, streetwise 21-year-old Hong Kong native who's had trouble gaining the trust of others all his life... (113 mins.)
A story between a mole in the police department and an undercover cop. Their objectives are the same: to find out who is the mole, and who is the cop. (101 mins.)
“ This is the definitive undercover subgenre.
This has been made into The Departed by Martin Scorsesee. ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
Infernal Affairs 2
In this prequel to Mou gaan dou (2002), Chan Wing Yan has just become an undercover cop in the triads while Lau Kin Ming joins the police force. Both the triads and the police find an enemy in a rival crime boss. (119 mins.)
“ Not quite nearly as good as the previous instalment, but still worth a looksee. Don't bother to watch Infernal Affairs III. there're better fishes in the ocean. At least in this list ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
Running on Karma
A monk turned body-builder, with the gift to see into people's lives, befriends a female cop, and uses his gift to change the force of Karma and her destiny. (93 mins.)
“ Chinese title: Big Guy with Big Wisdom.
Alternative Chinese title (appears in this poster): Big Guy.
The Big character, played by Andy Lau in a full prosthetic suit, reminds me of superhero from DC Comic. ...read more ” - RamblerWithoutBorders
A World Without Thieves
A con-team couple (Andy Lau & Rene Liu) head west after taking a city businessman for his BMW. But an encounter with a naive young carpenter travelling home with his life savings challenges their fate as thieves. (113 mins.)
“ It's property thief on the express, and the whole movie pretty much takes place on a train. It's a feel good crime drama.
Wang Baoqiang, who played a naive but good country chap in Blind Shaft, is also playing what he does best in this movie as a victim of a ring of con artists circles over his savings like vultures over a carcuss. 1 of the vultures turns into a stork.
Feng Xiaogang is one of China's well known directors that make commercial films. This could be seen in the casting of 2 leads with star power (Andy Lau, and Rene Liu). I think it's probably aiming for the HK and Taiwan market with these 2 singers/actors from the respective countries (I should say regions).
His directorial standards are quite uneven, with hits as well as unbelievable misses.
This 1 has some interesting ideas and original with a reasonable plot. ” - RamblerWithoutBorders