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Category 'Hong Kong'

Traces Of A Dragon (2003)

Director : Mabel Cheung
Producer : Willie Chan, Solon So
Cast : Jackie Chan, Chan Chi-Long
Narration : Ti Lung

Synopsis
Jackie Chan grew up thinking that he was an only child, only to discover later in life that he had two older sisters. This was followed by the revelation that he also had two older brothers. Upon finding out about his ‘secret’ family, Jackie asked his father about his these relations and his parents life in China. His father did not want to discuss it with him. Around 1999 Jackie’s mother became quite ill which led to Jackie’s father having a change of heart – he decided that he needed to tell Jackie the truth about his family history. Traces Of A Dragon tells this story.

Review
by Martin Cleary

In his autobiography – My Life In Action – Jackie Chan describes the fear that discovering that he had two older brothers and sisters gave him. He feared that he would find out that he was adopted or some similar terrible secret. The actual truth of Jackie’s parents backgrounds is just as – if not even more – amazing as Jackie’s own ‘rags to riches’ story. As they say, even Hollywood couldn’t write this. Traces Of A Dragon opens with Jackie’s father explaining that he didn’t want his secrets to die with him, so he finally decided to reveal to his son his own past. The documentary uses interviews with Chan Chi-Long (Jackie’s father), and other family members to tell their collective family history.

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Throwdown (HK 2004)

Director : Johnnie To
Cast : Aaron Kwok, Louis Koo, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Jordan Chan, Siu-Fai Cheung, Calvin Choi, Hoi-Pang Lo and Cherrie Ying.

Synopsis
A former judo champion quits the tournament circuit and runs a nightclub. However, when a new challenger appears as well as an old rival and a judo master in need of reviving his school, the young man must go back in training and prepare for the ultimate challenge.

Review
by Edward Tang

I read a review recently about Throw Down, which basically went into how this film was one of the worst he had ever seen. He so apply titled his review “Let Down”, which gave me a laugh for some odd reason. Now this is far from the worst Hong Kong flick ever created and there are a few shitty Aaron Kwok films that make this film look like masterpiece. Throw Down is directed by semi-great Johnnie To, a man who for the most part, delivers the goods when his flicks come out. All too recently, I had one hell of a time watching Fulltime Killer. But Throw Down goes into my pocket and basically rapes me with it’s beat-to-death story and worthless scenes of slow motion crap. Granted, this film is about Judo and the entire fight scenes include a bunch of rolling around on the floor, so I didn’t expect something great. But even though this film is short and to the point, it felt very long to me, mostly because I was bored. Johnnie throws in our direction, pointless characters whom really seem to be just reading their lines, rather than acting.

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The Tai Chi Master (HK 1993)

Director : Yuen Woo Ping
Cast : Jet Li, Michelle Yeoh, Siu-hou Chin, Fennie Yuen, Cheung-Yan Yuen, Shun Lau and Hai Yu.

Synopsis
Jet Li was a monk in Shaolin. In a friendly competition for a higher place in Shaolin, he was betrayed and framed for using weapons (which cannot be used in the competition). He and his friend got kicked out of the Shaolin. They met rebellions at that time of China. His friend betrayed Jet Li and his rebellion friends for money from the China government. Jet Li went crazy and discovered the art of Tai Chi at the recover period. Revenge seem to the only thing he is going to do.

Review
by Edward Tang

I bought a Jet Li pack that was sent out by Dimension a few years back. It included most of his classics, butchered and without the original language track. For the most part, these “versions” were pretty decent with good picture, but basically fuckin’ up what the film was, cutting scenes and replacing the dialog. But “Tai Chi Master” or as it’s known here “Twin Warriors” still remained my favorite Jet Li flick, just because it had great fight scenes, and good characters for one thing. Michelle Yeoh is a great presence (for what she is given in her short role), and made movies like Police Story 3 and Tomorrow Never Dies worth seeing, and in this as well. Yuen Wo-Ping directed this flick, and you can tell, the fight scenes are some of my favorite, not because they standout like your Jackie Chan/Benny “The Jet” style, but they just are loads of fun. The story is average but the characters are pretty damn cool, I especially thought that Siu-hou Chin (Chin Bo) had a great transition to the main villain of the film. But this film remains as one of my favorites, for the sheer fact that it never gets old. Plus you get to see Jet Li act like a crazy and talk to ducks.

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SPL : Sha Po Lang (HK 2005)

Director : Wilson Yip Wai Shun
Produced by : Carl Chang
Action Director : Donnie Yen
Screenplay : Szeto Kam Yuen, Ng Wai Lun
Cast : Donnie Yen (Inspector Ma Kwan), Simon Yam (Chan Kwok Chung). Sammo Hung (Wong Po)
Co-Starring : Liu Kai Chi, Danny Summer, Ken Chang, Austin Wai, Timmy Hung, Kenji Tangki
Special Introduction : Wu Jing (Jack)

Synopsis
A powerful crime lord who constantly eludes the law…a senior detective at the end of his career who will go to any lengths to catch him…and a deadly martial arts expert who is about to take the reins of the serious crime unit. Over the course of one special day – a time when family bonds are supposed to take precedence – a bloody confrontation will take place between the underworld and the police.

Review
by Gary Cheah

WARNING : Might contain some spoilers

It seems that all the hype about this crime-thriller flick was true. SPL is definitely one of the most anticipated film to come out from the ever great Hong Kong movie industry in recent years. This is the movie that will be remembered as the one that recapture the glory of HK’s action movies. So, what is this SPL? It stands for Sha, Po and Lang which derived from the names of three renegade stars in Chinese astrology which symbolize the three main characters (destruction, conflict or avarice).

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Master of the Flying Guillotine (HK 1975)

Director : Jimmy Wang Yu
Cast : Jimmy Wang Yu, Kang Kam, Chung-erh Lung, Chia Yung Liu, Lung Wei Wang and Tsim Po Sham

Review
by Edward Tang

The Ultimate Uncut Version. Wow, this is a film I’ve always remembered, not because it displays the best martial arts on film, just because it is probably one of the most unique and obscure titles out there. Jimmy Wang Yu has an impressive background, a lot of his films are classic. He wasn’t the best “fighter” but he had charisma that others lacked. In this, he plays the one-armed boxer, a good fighter with good morals. Wang Yu also directed this film, and as you notice if you see it, it might just be one of the campiest films ever created. But don’t get me wrong, martial arts is truly shown in the best sequence in the film, about 25-30 minutes of pure action. All different types of fighting are shown from long swords to yoga.

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