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Pedicab Driver (1989)

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Sammo Hung has embraced the fact he is a large fellow. Often giving his characters names that draw attention to his size — Teapot in Winners and Sinners or Moby in Wheels on Meals — or even referencing his physique in the title of the film itself — Enter the Fat Dragon or Skinny Tiger, Fatty Dragon — he has never allowed his decidedly non-traditional fighting frame to slow him down. This is amply apparent in Pedicab Driver.

Seconds … (read more)

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The Lady Is The Boss (1983)

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Lau Kar Leung brings Hung Fist kung-fu to the disco in 1983’s The Lady Is The Boss, one of his most uneven films with the Shaw Brothers studio. The basic premise is excellent: an old-fashioned kung-fu instructor clashes with the young American-educated daughter of the school’s founder, who arrives in Hong Kong to take over the school’s management. Unfortunately, some truly woeful over-acting and cheesy comedy make most of the film fairly difficult to watch, even when interspersed with … (read more)

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Seven Swords (2005)

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Seven Swords is another enormous film from Hong Kong’s prolific master producer/director Tsui Hark, whose Once Upon a Time in China and Chinese Ghost Story series are regarded as classics of HK film. This film brings together a lot of talent: Tsui Hark as director, Keung Kwok Man as director of photography, Japanese composer Kenji Kawai (best known for Ghost in the Shell) and a trio of big names in action choreography — veteran martial arts director Lau Kar … (read more)

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Challenge Of The Masters (1976)

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I’ve been watching mostly Shaw Brothers films for the last couple of weeks, digging through some lesser-known stuff looking for the glint of gold. Unfortunately, I didn’t see anything all that good: sure, there were nice sets and costumes in some, and some interesting comedic characters… but most of what I’ve seen recently has felt sloppy and empty for the most part, not developing characters I cared about and occasionally presenting slow, creaky action scenes that looked like pantomimes.

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Twin Dragons (1992)

Fun action romp featuring a cameo from virtually everyone in the HK film industry. This was made in support of a film industry move to get corruption out of the industry. Don’t know how well it worked, but it’s typical Jackie action, and you’ll have fun spotting famous faces.… (read more)

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