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The Eight Diagram Pole Fighter (1983)

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As the Shaw Brothers film studio business was winding down, resulting in an output of lesser quality than the preceding decades, The Eight Diagram Pole Fighter burst forth, a bellowing send-off for both a voluminous cycle of movies and a star who died too young. Bursting with vigour and capturing much of what made the studio and director famous, it never settles for imitating the past, still refining techniques and pushing new ideas.

This is not immediately evident as the … (read more)

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Wu Xia (2011)

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Wu Xia 2011 Peter Ho-sun Chan China Lion

Wu Xia is billed as a martial arts murder mystery, and one needs to wonder whether there are many more genre mash-ups still left to be made (of course making that thought is sufficient for some unknown combination to come forth).  That, of course, is the central premise of Wu Xia: that Jinxi’s (Donnie Yen) intervention in a robbery draws the attention of  magistrate Baijiu (Takeshi Kaneshiro) who is convinced that Jinxi’s good deed was only possible through the … (read more)

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Dirty Ho (1979)

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Dirty Ho‘s title may inspire sniggering from the back of the class, nowadays, but it’s a very different film than you’d think: the film does open inside a brothel (a floating one, no less!), but the Ho of the title is a male thief and kungfu practitioner (played by Wong Yue), and his dirtiness is conferred by a poisoned wound he receives early in the film. So, if you’re after something more like The Golden Lotus, I’d suggest … (read more)

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