Reviews

8 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Tien Peng Pearl Chong David Chiang
12 June 2014
I came across this movie on Youtube and thought I would do a quick review here, With a title like WITTY HAND, WITTY SWORD, one would think this is a Kung FU comedy. But, actually this Taiwan made production has a dead serious tone. WITTY SWORD stars Tien Peng and Pearl Cheong who must join forces to overcome the tyrannical regime that did their characters wrong. I wont go into the plot too much because it is similar plot you've seen before in action cinema. What really took me by surprise, was the big budget production with production values similar to a Shaw Brothers movie. Speaking of the Shaw studios, this movie also has a major role for Shaw Brothers superstar, the great David Chiang. In this movie, he portrays Tien Peng's brother and also gets to kick a lot of ass! The film is full of well done sword fights scenes, and visually speaking, WITTY SWORD is a masterpiece!
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Devils Food
11 June 2014
THE DEVILS TREASURE is a real departure for Golden Harvest productions. It is not really a true wuxia styled martial arts film. Plotwise, it is more of a gangland thriller. The Protagonist (Taiwan actor Chun Hsiang Ko) is a boat captain and diver who is recruited bby the mob to do a job, and dive to the bottom of the ocean to recover treasure. But when they find the treasure, things go horribly wrong. Chun's character makes off the Treasure and hides out in Korea with his wife (Nora Maio) and kid. Eventually the gangsters catch up to him and thats where the fun and intrigue begin. Though not really a martial arts movie, there are a good number of fight scenes there in. The action and fight scenes are really well done (Sammo Hung did some of the fight scenes). THE DEVILS TREASURE was really filmed in Korea and the movie has some beautiful cinematograaphy. And lots of boat chase scenes. Some of the evil Characters have Japanese Yakuza names. Lots of familiar faces in it as well...
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3 out 5
31 May 2014
ADVENTURES FOR IMPERIAL TREASURES was produced when comedy was firmly embraced by the Chinese martial arts audiences. This KF movie however, keeps the comedy elements to a minimum; the only laughs occur revolving one single character (here as a elderly KF drunk). I'm sure you know the stereotype I am referring to. ADVENTURES FOR IMPERIAL TREASURES was actually shot and produced in Taiwan starring HK stars like Wong Dao, Meng Fei, (typecast as the baddie again), and Alan Choi. Due to the poor dubbing this is one hard to follow KF flick. With subs, it would be easier to following the intrigue. My big major problem with this movie, however, was the constant over-cranking to the fights scenes. It was not just a couple scenes which were sped up, pretty much the whole movie was that way. This film was released in 1981, which was the beginning of the end; by 1985 the KF scene was dead. During this downward spiral, independent studios were making poor creative decisions and lower budget movies really hurt the industry. Lower and lower budgets meant recycling of footage, music, and ideas. The Shaw Brothers or Golden Harvest studios frowned upon the idea of overcranking the fight footage in their films. But there are a lot of indy companies did it (an some Taiwan ones did it a lot too). On the plus sides, ADVENTURES FOR IMPERIAL TREASURES does feature some nice sets design and coloful Taiwan photography. Its hard to appreciates the fights though cuz everything is so rushed...
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Four for All (1974)
Four for All 1975
12 May 2014
One of many Turkey/Italy co-productions made in the 1970s (along the lines of THE LION MAN films). FOUR FOR ALL does not have any other of the big Turkish stuff in in that were popular in the 1970s; though. There is no superheroes, super villains, no Santo, no fantasy or mythological elements. Back in the early 1970's the original DEATH WISH was a new concept in movies and box offices. And movie companies worldwide were cranking out their own Revenge tales. FOUR FOR ALL is basically a mob thriller, done in the 1970's Italian action/crime style. This is neither a Spagetti Western, nor a peblum. FOUR FOR ALL features a cast of Italian favorites who work side by side with the Turkish Stars. The four of the title include Richard Harrison, Gordon Mitchell, Tony Tiger, and Turkish star Irfan Atasoy (who portrays the man whose family is victimed by the mob gang in this. These genre faves must team up agianst a ruthless mob with never ending numbers. There is plenty of mob drama as the said gang is always trying to take over the rival Turkish gangs, to get bigger. These gangs are mostly done performed by Tuskish actors. There are some familiar Italian faces here as well. The mob eventually captures Tony Tiger's wife and the FOUR FOR ALL must team up and integrate the Mob Headquarters and rescue said family. Though this is a very low budget film, shot in Turkey there is plenty of action with a never ending body count. Additionally, there are plenty of surprises in the plot with our heroes finding out they have been set up. And not by the Mob! The score is more like a funeral march and sounds perfect for a Euro- horror movie!
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Awesome Swordplay movie
14 October 2013
The Swordsman Of All Swordsmen is an early Joseph Kuo's production and made shortly after debut of the Shaw Brothers ONE ARMED SWORDMAN put Swordplay movies into the international spotlight. After the artistic and commercial success of that film, both independent and big studios churned out hundreds and hundreds of swordplay movies throughout Asia. The Swordsman Of All Swordsmen was actually filmed in Taiwan and features that countries top swordplay stars like Tien Ping and Nan Chiang. Chinese actress Polly Kwan is the female martial arts star in the film. The Swordsman Of All Swordsmen was released in 1968 and was eventually released in the west after the success of Bruce Lee's entrance onto the movie scene in the 1970s. The Swordsman Of All Swordsmen was released in the west with an English dubbed form on drive in movies theaters, but like most Taiwan produced films, quickly was faded into obscurity and was rarely talked about even in collector circles. The movie's plot is basically the story of one man's quest for revenge. Tsai Ying-Chieh (Tien Ping) is on a 20 year long mission of revenge name of against the man who killed his parents. And any one who gets in his way must be punished by his swordplay skills. Another important character in the movie is the mysterious Black Dragon (Nan Chang) the only other character around who swordplay is one a par with Tien Ping's character. Polly Kuan's character Swallow befriends both characters, and it is later revealed that Tsai is after Swallow's father. She begs Tsai to give up his mission, but after 20 years of hunting gone to waste? I was really amazed by the beauty of this movie, the gorgeous visuals of the swordplay action, the period set designs, and especially the exterior landscapes. Most Shaw Brothers production are shot on soundstages. Joe Kuo filmed this completely on location in beautiful, colorful Taiwan, a county whose landscapes resemble a mix the junglish Thailand and mountainous Japan. The breathtaking final confrontation between the last two swordmen is shot on the beautiful beaches of Taiwan. This is an extremely violent film for the time, but really beautiful photography approach to the production.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
A Medical thriller?
20 September 2013
Tom Alderman's THE SEVERED ARM took me by surprise. Not having seen this before, and based on the title alone, I expected something along the lines of Michael Caine's THE HAND or THE BEAST WITH FIVE FINGERS. And there are also dozens of other medical horror movies where a person loses their arm or leg, and said limb somehow does not die. Many times the limb actually goes on to commit murder or other mayhem until it is stopped by police or whoever. Speaking for myself, I have never been a fan or medical TV shows like ER. But I do appreciate a good feature length medical thriller. I am a big fan of THE INCREDIBLE TWO HEADED TRANSPLANT since that was my first exposure to the medical terrors growing up. Anyway, getting back to THE SEVERED ARM, I was expecting a medical thriller. It turns out that the director wanted to do a little something different then what people expected. When this movie came out in the early seventies, the Itallian giallos were at their peak box office success and the movie going public craved new genre fare, thanks to the successes of Mario Bava and Dario Argento. Well, director Tom Alderman studied the works of Argento and Bava well. Basically THE SEVERED ARM is a US made giallo. It has all the elements of the genre; like the gloved, killer whose face is never shown, the police procedural parts are here, the kiler uses a device to alter his voice when calling his victims or the authorities. It does have some cheesy parts but it is a pretty decent thriller for a low budget independent nature. I will point out here that obviously this movie lacks the beautiful cinematography that is done in the Giallo masters overseas. And there is no rousing giallo-esq score. The music here is a big disappointment. It is pretty much all sythesezer music (synthezer music would break thru would get big in the 1980s) but here it is terrible and out of place. One other other negative point to mention is that my copy the movie is very poorly lit and it is hard to make the action sometimes in the darn fuzz. If you like Giallo thrillers, you may want check out THE SEVERED ARM; it even has a Dario Argento type twist ending....
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Very cool sword play movie
18 September 2013
I stumbled upon this, rare Taiwan sword fighting epic BIG LAND FLYING EAGLE on YouTube. Keep on mind that I have been into old school action movies for over 20 years, and I must confess to NOT recognizing too many actors or actresses in it. I wont go into plot details too much cuz i don't like to give spoilers in my reviews, but I will give my opinion of it. This was made pre -Drunken Master (remember when Drunken Master came out, every Chinese studio got on the martial arts comedy bandwagon?); so there are no comedic elements to spoil the suspense and intrigue. At the root of the story, it is a love story. The main character possesses an invincible sword (something very common in Taiwan martial arts films) and the bad guys and officials are always hunting him down for. After using his sword to cut down his opponents, he flees the army of bads guys by heading into a desert. While crossing the desert and fighting off attackers, he meets a mysterious woman. They travel the desert together and eventually fall in love. The movie follows the couple and the adventures they face while trying to stay alive. What really sets the movie apart is the locations. Most of the KF films were filmed in Asian forests or mountain ranges. This one pretty much takes place in a great US looking desert. In fact BIG LAND FLYING EAGLE has a very Japanese chambara feel it, with similar imagery right out of the LONE WOLF AND CUB films. The YouTube video I saw was in widesceen with English subs (if you are interested in checking out a good swordplay movie...)
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Very cool flick!
18 September 2013
Two Asian exorcists (and their two apprentices) team up to battle various supernatual menaces. Lam Ching Yin Lam reprises his character from the Mr Vampire series (though this film drops the humor element from those movies.) This was director Andy Lau's first film and he crafts a very fast paced and entertaining horror effort. Made in 1990, this film was done old school way and no CGI in sight. This appears to be a very big budget for the time and visually delivers all the great stuff you would expect from China epics in the 1990s. The use of actual martials arts choreography in the movie used sparingly and is limited to Lam Ching Yin. Sometimes when his spells don't work, he is forced to use martial arts and other weapons to combat the ghosts, vampires, and zombies. I also really dug the color costuming and bright period color schemes which contrasted nicely with all the rotting flesh of the zombies and vampires. The ghosts in the film all appear human-like appearance. Lam Ching Yin's apprentices don't know any martial arts, so they spend a good deal of the film running from the vampire, ghosts, and the Hell Police. Sometimes they help out their leader who teaches them magic spells as the movie progresses. Had this movie come out in 2010 with a GCI sheen to it like all movies released these days, it would been terrible. If you love old school Asian horror, don't miss it!
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink

Recently Viewed