Blog Archives

All Men Are Brothers (1973)

(from , dir: )

All Men Are Brothers is another huge Chang Cheh-directed production from Shaws when they were at the height of their powers, with just about all their action stars and four of their action choreographers (including my favourite, Lau Kar Leung). It picks up its story from the same source as The Water Margin and doesn’t go to much trouble introducing the characters… so you’re advised to watch The Water Margin first, so you know why David Chiang has his own … (read more)

Comments Off on All Men Are Brothers (1973)

A Better Tomorrow 2 (1987)

(from , dir: )

The creative partnership of director John Woo and producer Tsui Hark came unstuck during this sequel to the 1986 smash hit A Better Tomorrow. The result is a somewhat schizophrenic picture which manages to quadruple the body count of the original film, but at some cost to the plot and soul. The first problem Woo faced was the fact that a popular character had been killed off last time – no problem, the old identical twin routine saves the … (read more)

Comments Off on A Better Tomorrow 2 (1987)

A Better Tomorrow (1986)

(from , dir: )

This is where legends were made.

Little known director John Woo was hired to direct a gangster film, but had the idea that it would use the warrior code of a swordplay film, exchanging the swords for guns. In the role of the lead killer he cast television drama star Chow Yun Fat, against the wishes of the studio, but Yun Fat had exactly the right ‘everyman’ qualities that Woo was looking for. He plays Mark Gor, the close buddy … (read more)

Comments Off on A Better Tomorrow (1986)

The Water Margin (1972)

(from , dir: )

The Water Margin is big. Really, really big. Even for a Shaw Brothers production directed by Chang Cheh at the height of his popularity, it’s huge. Involving just about all of the action stars on the Shaws payroll at the time, enormous sets, lots of outdoor shots and four action choreographers, it really does show off the ‘house style’ that Shaw Brothers are famous for.

The film is an adaptation of a small part of the Chinese classic of the … (read more)

Comments Off on The Water Margin (1972)

The Blood Brothers (1973)

(from , dir: )

This is one of the seminal martial arts flicks of the industry, and a whole load of fun to boot. The fight scenes, of which there are many, will give you a good idea of just how damn hard Hong Kong actors had to work in them days. Fights, usually with one good guy battling at least half a dozen opponents, run for about five minutes, with all participants lunging, kicking, punching, and generally shakin’ it all about in finely … (read more)

Comments Off on The Blood Brothers (1973)

Frugal Game (2002)

(from , dir: )

Ah.. in the harsh, capitalistic rat-race globe that we live in, this “frugal game” is more like the brutal game aka ‘survival of the fittest’.

Whatever game it may be, Chin-Wah [Miriam Yeung] a university graduate, is finding it tough to find work post Asian economy collapse. Her dad Wai [Eric Tsang] isn’t faring any better having been out of work for some time and keeping up the pretence that he’s employed by cheerily donning his suit in the morning … (read more)

Comments Off on Frugal Game (2002)