Reviews written by registered user
phillip-58

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69 reviews in total 
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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Vehicle for Joyce Godenzi, 30 August 2008
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First let's get the point of this film out of the way. Sammo Hung was dating Joyce Godenzi (they married in 1995) and this film was designed one of several he was involved in to make her a star. Though not a bad actress (though she came to attention as a Beauty Queen) she was no fighter and despite Sammo's efforts to teach her the moves, it shows at times like the famous final fight with the Phillipine fighter Agnes Aurelio (who only made a few films). Sammo appears at various times throughout the film but only fights for a few seconds towards the end, presumably not to distract from his 'star'. Carina Lau is good as the sister who first hates Min (Joyce) but later fights with her to revenge the death of her brother (Min's husband - Tony Leung who has little to do except die well). The other sisters do little but special mention should be made of the feisty Matriarch (played by veteran Helena Law) who adds some character. I found the birthday party where she learns of the death of her son moving, though heavy handed for Western tastes at least. Yuen Wah is genuinely scary as the villain but the film would have been so much better id he had faced Sammo at the end and not just been killed rather pointlessly. You'll spot many other minor HK characters in this film. I enjoyed it, but I suspect it would have had a much higher score with Michelle Yeoh in the lead who could really fight. The now defunct Hong Kong Legends disc has a lot of extras.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Wrong reviews for a distinctly odd film, 27 August 2008
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Most of the reviews here seem to be for a different film, at least from the film 'Faster Blade, Poisonous Darts' released by Vengeance Video. The DVD Talk review is the film I saw and HK Cinemagic have it under the title 'Great Massacre'. The film I saw had Beardy (Leung Kar Yan) and Meng Fei as the co-stars and Philip Ko as the villain who finally appears at the end. A Korean ending included on the Vengeance video confused me as goodness knows who half the characters were. Thw heroine in the main film is not named and spends a lot of time crying, fainting or if the dubbing isn't totally wrong, dead, yet alive. Characters come and go and one fighting female simply disappears before the end though she is prominent throughout most of the film. So forget the plot. Money was obviously spent on the costumes and sets and there is some decent shots of the Taiwanese countryside. The fights are plentiful but except for the end fight, pretty fake and wire assisted. A strange film that is hard to make sense of. *** Supplementary note *** finally dug up that the Vengeance Video version is directed by Wang Yu with Philip So Yun Fung as Action Director. The lead actress is Yeung Gwan-Gwan who made only a few films. The two other actresses (who worked hard on costume and headress changes, and one really tried to fight) will perhaps be for ever obscure - as will some of the plot elements as far as I am concerned, like the lead actress being carried in her bath (discretely covered in foam) by a group of blind assassins ?

Po jie (1977)
9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Angela Mao in top form, 25 May 2008
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a real classy film, kung fu or otherwise. Director Jeong Chang Hwa (who also made King Boxer) knew how to frame a shot and with action directors Hsu Hsia and Yuen Woo Ping lead actress Angela Mao is really able to show her abilities. It has nice touches like her use of Scorpions and it is one of those films where the fights just get better and better with few obvious tricks but lots of very good moves. Angela plays her deadly revenge using both her very real beauty and deadly fighting skills. The plot has a few twists and turns to keep you interested and the supporting actors really play their parts well without detracting from Angela's lead role. A film you can watch many times and still see something new. A great film by a great actress and kung fu fighter.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Naturalistic Taiwanese drama, 23 May 2008
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is one of those strange cheap Taiwan made films (best known under the title (Vengeance of the Snow Maid) that try to combine kung fu (except that no one actually seems to be able to actually fight) with a simple drama of a daughter looking for the father who tricked her mother, who became pregnant and died vowing revenge and leaving her daughter to the care of possibly one of the ugliest on-screen mothers ever filmed (an unfortunate Tiu Shut). Chen Chen stars at the beautiful daughter opposite Wu Chia Chi. Got Siu Bo is the only bit actor I recognised, though several of the Taiwanese actresses are very attractive. It seems to be so cheaply made that especially when filming in the rather nice countryside they seem to have used a hand held camera. My print is rather dark, not helped by some of it being filmed at night. At the end all is resolved though not everyone ends up happy. The fights are poor and not well staged, relying too much on tricks and angles. This isn't really worth watching except to see the countryside and the pretty lead (who somehow starred in a lot of films).

Hu dan (1969)
1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Raw something that's for sure, 5 May 2008
6/10

I'm surprised how good generally the reviews for this film are elsewhere. I bought it to see the great Cheng Pei-pei in action, but she seems weak in this, often wailing rather than fighting and left to literally carry the baby (Emperor). Lo Wei looks the part of the leader of the loyal Black Dragon Society and Yeung Chi-hing plays a good beggar who helps them to meet Yueh Hua as the expert swordsman. But even his skills can't disguise the wooden acting (especially of Ng Fung, Cheng's cousin), poor script and to my mind sub-standard fighting on display. Not one of my favourite Shaw films I'm afraid - and despite a cast of what seem like thousand's, it needed a stronger story line and better direction.

Dao jian (1967)
Better than Average, 15 January 2008
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have to totally disagree with the poster who really disliked this film. It is certainly not your usual slash and hack, though there are plenty of fights and blood. Li Lihua shows real maturity in her acting and can fight (or perhaps dance is a more realistic term) and Li Ching is wonderful as the very pretty, ingénue student. Kiu Chong as the hero is rather put in the shade by the two strong female leads but Chan Hung Lit is always a good villain and nice to see Lee Wan Chung promoted to be a king for a change. The story is simple but works for me and the Chinese operatic interlude in the middle is unusual in this sort of film - but fun, even if the miming is really obvious. A lot of the rest of the music is ripped off from American Westerns which can be strange in places. The ending is set up for a sequel but I can't find that one was ever made. Despite previous comments, the direction and photography is above average with veteran Yueh Feng having a good eye for a shot. An unusual film, worth watching on its own terms.

6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
A mixed treat, 5 January 2008
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film by director Ho Meng Hua has a lot going for it. David Chiang in great form, backed up by Michael Chan, Lo Lieh and even Kara Hui (very briefly as a doomed pupil). The background is a beautiful Thailand for a change and several of the fights, particularly at the end are imaginative and pretty brutal, especially in the old warehouse where David and Michael have to defeat every trick Lo Lieh can throw at them (some obvious wire work though). But the let down is the ludicrous plot with more coincidences than a Dicken's novel and some real over acting, especially by Karen Yip playing the blind mother. It was Shum Lee Mei's only film and to be honest you can see why! It seems to be set in the 60's (though made in 1978) but its hard to tell as anomalies abound. Watcheable if you skip to the end scenes. There is a brief full nude scene near the beginning - for no good plot reason that's for sure - though the actual prostitute appears again later to reveal David Chiang's double nature.

Not a classic, but above average story line, 31 December 2007
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Any film with Angela Mao, Carter and Cassanova Wong in it, has a lot going for it. Ko Lung wrote a clever story line for it with lots of twists and turns that mainly work. There is good support from Kam Kong as a 'Shaolin Monk' and good to the pretty Lee Ying Ying, although only in a small role. But at the end, although it is above average, you do feel it could have been a lot better. As Brian Camp points out, Paul Chu Kong is not a strong enough lead in such company and the end fights are rather weak. Carter Wong looks great in his robes but gets to do little fighting and disappears for the middle section of the film. Cassanove Wong does a few good kicks but again is rather under used given his abilities. Angela Mao does get to show some expressions and has a couple of fights, but nothing like her best, say in HAPKIDO. I enjoyed the film, the direction and Taiewanese locations are good, but it promises more than it ever quite delivers.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Just misses the mark, 15 December 2007
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

With a host of kung fu stars and what were obviously intended as decent production values - especially for an independent production of this time - it could have been really good. But the story is weak, not helped by poor editing and dubbing, and confusing with characters appearing and disappearing and scenes shifting suddenly as though a much longer film had been made and then badly cropped. Lo Lieh as the martial arts hero dying of TB is wasted and there is a lot of story with action shoe horned in until the final, rather good fights. Don Wong Tao and Meng Fei never really seem to get into and Doris Lung (and whoever the other actress is) just disappear towards the end, leaving the boys to it. I liked the mad monk fighting with what look like orchestra cymbals and some of the scenery is spectacular. The night scenes are rather dark and confusing, but the best joke must be on the Venom Mob DVD cover 'can anyone stop wang-less Wang'.

Slightly strange prison camp kung fu tale, 15 December 2007
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A strange film in that John Liu shows an emotional range and acting skill missing from many of his films but only shows his kicking abilities towards the end. The plot of rural people press ganged into a gold mine is pretty ludicrous and the repeated escapes and punishments get very repetitive. But finally John Liu is trained by the foreman Chui Chung Hei (who is pretty active and has a good fight) and the final fight with the 'Master' (played by Chai Hau Keung I believe) is well done. Paul Wei Ping Ao has a meaty part and Chin Lung plays well Chin Lung really with support from Ma Yue Fung. Not a great film but just watch John Liu doing the splits and controlling his (right) foot has its attractions. Fine if you want to see John Liu in a slightly unusual film. The Pagoda release has a few good extras and is an okay print. The dubbing is pretty horrible.


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