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DrNgor

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DrNgor last won the day on May 17

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  1. Two Champions of Shaolin (Hong Kong, 1980: Chang Cheh) - One of the lesser films from Chang Cheh and the Venom Mob, which is missing both Philip Kwok (who worked behind the scene as action director) and an interesting story. Lo Meng plays Tong Qianjin, a layman student of Shaolin kung fu who is released from the temple to join the anti-Qing movement. He goes to Guangdong to meet up with Hu Huichien (Chiang Shen, in a role made famous by Chi Kuan-Chun). Hu, best known for studying at Shaolin to avenge his father's murder, has recently completed his task for vengeance, killing the gang members responsible. Two of the gang members, however, were bigwigs at Wudan. Wudan has also recently allied itself with the Qings, with Feng Daodeng and an absent Pai Mei at the head. Feng sends his top students, Li Bashan (the 6th Venom, Wang Li) and Li Dezong (Yu Tai-Ping, another frequent Venom collaborator), to start systematically killing Shaolin students. They are to be joined by Pai Mei's top student, Gao Jinzhong, in short order. Meanwhile, Tong Qianjin meets up with Hu Huichien and the two are joined by two closet martial artists, the Jin siblings (Sun Chien and Yeung Ching Ching). The conflict erupts, with bodies piling up on both sides. Wudan student Wei Xinghong (apparently Chin Siu-Ho's first film role) turns out to be a Ming loyalist as well. It ends with a big action sequence that will leave every major character dead, with only a couple of third-string supporting characters living to tell the tale. First of all, this has three of my favorite kung fu movie death scenes of all time: 1) one guy gets castrated mid-jump kick, 2) Chiang Sheng whacks a guy in the back of a head with a hard whip with so much force that instead of a blood geyser, he has a cerebrospinal fluid geyser, and 3) one character gets slowly folded in half, backwards. The action by Philip Kwok, Chiang Sheng and Lu Feng is generally pretty good. Sun Chien looks especially good in his big fight, which is sadly too short and the only real fight that Sun Chien has. Weapons fans will be glad to see more obscure weapons like the three-pronged fork and the hard whip get some screen time aside more common weapons like the saber and pole. The first act has a lot of action involving boomerang-esque daggers. The actual kung fu is pretty good, with Chiang Sheng doing his usual acrobatic shtick and Lo Meng doing his hand-based southern styles. There are no all-time classic Venom fights here, but it's all solid. My main problem with this film was a big lull during the second half leading up to the big finale. The story wasn't interesting (or original) enough to sustain such a long period without fighting, nor were the production values good enough to distract from the story we've all seen before. Had the action built up better in those last 40-50 minutes, I think I would've enjoyed it more.
  2. Justice, my Foot! (1992) - I'm not a Stephen Chow fan--this is the fifth movie of his I've seen since my "conversion" to HK cinema in 1997. I saw this mainly because Tony Ching Siu-Tung's name was on the credits and I feel the need to watch every wire-fu film from the 1990s at some point. This one does have a few brief action bits, but it's mainly a comedy. The story involves a famous lawyer, Sung Sai-Kit (Stephen Chow), who is especially good at getting actual criminals off the hook, thanks to a combination of his fast-talking skills, bizarre logic, and an aged, almost-senile magistrate. However, his triumphs in court come with a karmic cost, and he has yet to have a son who has lived past the age of one. Finally, Sung is pressured by his wife (Anita Mui, who almost walks away with this movie) into retiring. His retirement is short-lived: his wife meets a pregnant woman (a surprisingly irritating Carrie Ng) who' s on the lam after being accused of poisoning her husband. Sung's wife urges her husband to take up her case, despite his oath that his son would be born without a penis if he adjucated again, and the locals' misgivings that his reneging on his promise will negatively affect the village's feng shui. But this case will be especially difficult: there's a new magistrate (Ng Man-Tat) in town who won't put up with Sung's shenanigans, and the defendant's sister-in-law (Yuen King-Tan) has a brother-in-law (Leung Kar-Yan) who's also a Qing official. At some point, they even hire killers to try to take Sung out for good. I found the film to be funny at times. The bit about sneaking into the room of two gay officials was funny, as is the love letter scene. Anita Mui and Stephen Chow have good chemistry together and help make the slower parts of the film more interesting. The action mainly consists of Anita Mui performing slow motion, wire-enhanced kicks, much like she does in The Heroic Trio. There's a big sword fight around the end of the second act, but it's not Dragon Inn or Butterfly and Sword quality stuff.
  3. I don't know why, but I thought you had seen this much more recently. I watched this last night and enjoyed it. As most reviewers point out, the chemistry between Maggie Cheung and Ti Lung really makes this film. It's a good example of how to make subtle, unrequited emotions into something really compelling. I thought Aaron Kwok did better than some reviewers give him credit for, although I think his character, and the story itself, needed a bit more depth. At 83 minutes, there was room for a bit more character depth and lengthier fight scenes. The fighting on the whole was good, although I find it hard to believe that Lau Kar-Leung choreographed it. The kick-heavy fighting from Kwok and the wires feel more like something Yuen Tak and Corey Yuen would've done at the time, not a Southern stylist making a remake of Disciples of Shaolin, which he himself had also choreographed. I would've liked a slightly-more protracted finale and more chain whip action at the end, although the fights on the whole are solid and entertaining.
  4. Did you end up watching any of the recommendations?
  5. But...but...that resulted in Rosamund Kwan in a wet T-shirt in Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Stars!!!!
  6. DrNgor

    Spider-Man 3 (2021): Tom Holland

    Okay, you got me there. Adkins for the win!
  7. https://cosmicbook.news/shang-chi-concept-art-plot-leaks-online So the rumor is that FIN FANG FOOM will show up in this film. Many of us have been waiting for this day for a long time.
  8. DrNgor

    Spider-Man 3 (2021): Tom Holland

    I did now. I personally don't want another Doc Ock. Alfred Molina was *the* Doc Ock and I don't want another--especially if the technology that creates his arms can be traced back to Tony Stark. Kraven could be interesting. He should be played by Ted Nugent.
  9. Yeah, the problem for me is the price tag: 150 dollars is about 600 BRL, or about half a month's minimum wage salary. Mix that with a 60% import tax on any merchandise more expensive than 50 dollars, and we're talking about 1000 BRL for me to acquire. I like the idea, and would like to legitimize my SON OF GODZILLA and G vs MECHAGODZILLA '74 copies, but no. And when the heck do we get our GODZILLA VS. KONG trailer?
  10. DrNgor

    Spider-Man 3 (2021): Tom Holland

    Personally, if they do SPIDER-MAN 3, they should "go big or go home" and do a new Sinister Six. I haven't the second one yet, but I imagine that Vulture, Shocker, the Tinkerer, Scorpion (Max Gargan was in Homecoming), Mysterio and the Prowler could comprise the team.
  11. And I made the stupid mistake of reading the comments on that article and seeing people getting into arguments of race, ethnicity ("Selina" is Latin!"; "Yes, but it's Spanish. Spanish = White!") and whatnot. Now I feel dumber. I think the mere fact that Eartha Kitt played her in the 1960s--not to mention Halle Berry in the early 00s-- for a stint means that "she's-white-in-the-comics-and-therefore-must-always-be-white-in-media" fanboys really need to shut up.
  12. Heh...made in a period when Joel "I Produced THE MATRIX! Not you! I did!" Silver was intent on reminding us that yes, indeed, he produced the Matrix, by ripping it off as much as he could. That said, I still enjoy the film and find it necessary to stop whatever I'm doing and watch it whenever I come across it on TV.
  13. The Monkey King 2 (2016) - Meh, better than the first one, but not my kind of film. The story is easier to follow and a lot more compelling, Aaron Kwok's characterization of Sun Wukong is more interesting than Donnie's, there a bit more fighting than in the first one, and the villainess is also a bit more compelling (played by the lovely Gong Li). Sammo Hung got an award nomination for his fight choreography, but ultimately lost to Stephen Tung Wai for Operation Mekong. I think the main story flaw is that Piggy and Sandy aren't as interesting as they should've been. The movie climaxes with an army of skeletons followed by Sun Wukong fighting a kaiju-sized skeleton.
  14. Looks like it. They were in No Retreat, No Surrender 2 together, alongside Cynthia Rothrock, under Corey Yuen's direction (Corey had choreographed HJL in Ring of Death; Hitman in the Hand of Buddha; Dragon and Tiger Kids; and Buddha Assassinator).
  15. DrNgor

    Ballerina (John Wick spinoff, female lead)

    Ballerina suggests that it will deal with those girls that Angelica Huston was training early on in JOHN WICK 3. I'd like to know what the actual premise is, but I've enjoyed the entire trilogy, so let's see.
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