Multi-genre flick (western, martial arts, comedy, adventure, etc.) with an all-star cast about a man who returns to his home town, buys everything in sight, and tries to improve its ... See full summary »
One of the last of the Old School Hong Kong martial arts flicks, this one deals with a legendary competition in swordplay and fighting that ends up being fought between two great warriors, ... See full summary »
Ishikawa Goemon (Ichikawa Raizo), a talented young ninja, becomes ensnared in a twisted scheme to assassinate Oda Nobunaga, an evil warlord bent on ruling feudal Japan with an iron fist. ... See full summary »
In the middle of the 16th century, Hideyoshi, a power hungry warlord sets out to destroy the Momochi clan. He sends his war commander in search of the clan's hidden gold only to find that ... See full summary »
A team of cops get brutally exposed to violence after raiding a drug operation and discovering a link between few members of the police force and an American crime syndicate dealing with drug trafficking.
Carol 'Do Do' Cheng,
This big hit at the Sundance Film Festival had audiences cheering. Set during the Ming Dynasty, this acclaimed production tells the story of a power hungry eunuch who employs an evil sect ... See full summary »
The Yang family was the loyal strong-arm of the Imperial army. But a jealous General betrays the Eilte Spearman and their father to the opposing Mongol army. After an ambush of a battle, ... See full summary »
An aging martial arts expert is gifted a plaque from the Emperor declaring him the Kung Fu World Champion. Unsure of whether or not be is deserving of this title, he embarks on a journey to defeat the 7 Grandmasters.
A young martial artist seeks revenge on the Ninja who kills his martial arts brothers and teacher. He finds help in the form of a new teacher (who knows Ninjitsu) and new brothers. Together... See full summary »
The stilt-walking actors at the festival portray the Ba Xian, the mythological Eight Immortals: Li T'ieh-kuai ('iron-crutch Li'); Chungli Ch'uan (the war man with the fan); feminine Lan Ts'ai-ho (patron of florists); old man Chang Kuo-lao; Ho Hsien-ku (the only true woman; also depicted with flowers or peaches); Lu Tung-pin the sword-wielding scholar; Han Hsiang-tzu the flute player; and Ts'ao Kuo-ch'iu, patron of actors. See more »
Leong Kit's son ties a headband around his hair before he starts his demonstration at the restaurant. In the first shot, his hair is held tight by the band, but when he starts his exercises, it suddenly overlaps the band. See more »
Terrific old school ninja favourite, an absolute treat
This is the second film with Conan Lee that I've watched this week and this one was his debut. Strangely, despite his fine fighting skills and evident charisma he never became a big name, which is unfortunate, but at least kung fu cinema lovers will always remember him from this gem of a film. He plays the friend and apprentice of an old master, who is disturbed by the visit of a mysterious and vengeful ninja, played by Hiroyuki Sanada. There's little else to it, just set ups for more fighting that isn't ninja related, one bout on stilts and a final scene with Hwang Jang Lee as an angry practitioner of the "God Style". The film was clearly assembled on a big budget, and is ably directed and choreographed by Yuen Kwai. There's more flair and excitement to the direction itself than is usually evident in old school kung fu, Yuen Kwai is good at shooting action and there is also good use of mirrors in one non action sequence. The action itself is great, the performers are all highly skilled and there is an adept mixture of trickery with either wires or undercranking that never feels obtrusive or overtly fantastic, and genuine martial arts skills. Hiroyuki Sanada and Conan Lee are both excellent, with an ingenious sequence in which Lee tries to trap the ever resourceful ninja Sanada and a suitably lengthy tussle in the final block with great moves flying thick and fast. Sanada makes for a fine ninja, fast, cunning and armed with a good array of ninja tricks. The film does a good job in this department of being imaginative but avoiding stepping over into outright fantasy craziness. The only problems here are with the general predictability and a finale that could have been better handled. Hwang Jang Lee is underused as the final villain, he gets to perform a bit of his trademark kicking wizardry but he should have had more scenes. The end just doesn't have the kick that it should and the film drops off after so much goodness beforehand. There's a little bit of dumb humour as well but nothing too trying. Altogether, this is an immensely entertaining martial arts classic and a great directorial debut for the renowned Yuen Kwai. Highly recommended for fans of the genre, great stuff.
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