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What is the most recent Shaw Brother's film you've seen?

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7 hours ago, AgriWuxia said:

Yes, Ti Lung's beard was a bit of a curve ball at first. I was so used to seeing him clean-shaven. Have watched this film several times now, and somehow, in this role I think it actually suits him.

 

Somehow I though leung kar yan immediately when he first appeared. I did not pay much attention to dvd cover even as he obviously has beard in that too was still quite surprised, automatic reaction.

I could have lived without shrinking trick , was what seriously!. Such thing would have maybe worked in novel but on film which was pretty down to earth before that it did not feel suitable at all. But characters fell for that:tongueout

I pretty much dislike "Candy" but besides 2 champions of shaolin which is one of her better roles here she was less irrating that usually.

Spoiler

also did not like sort of odd ending...ti lung and liu yung had swords of the same family but before that nothing was told about that issue. they clearly did not know each other more than briefly.

 

Edited by Tex Killer

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17 hours ago, Tex Killer said:

 

I could have lived without shrinking trick , was what seriously!. Such thing would have maybe worked in novel but on film which was pretty down to earth before that it did not feel suitable at all. But characters fell for that:tongueout

I pretty much dislike "Candy" but besides 2 champions of shaolin which is one of her better roles here she was less irrating that usually.

  Reveal hidden contents

also did not like sort of odd ending...ti lung and liu yung had swords of the same family but before that nothing was told about that issue. they clearly did not know each other more than briefly.

 

Yes, the Puppet Villa was a sudden departure from a hitherto 'down to earth' narrative. Still, I feel it tied in suitably both with the love story and the desire of one person to rule the martial world.

Some of the deadliest villains in the martial world use deception and deceit far more effectively than their fighting abilities in order to achieve their ends. The Puppet Villa may have been stretching credibility somewhat, but it is this imaginative approach to storytelling that I find gives an enduring quality to these films. In any case, this is Chu Yuan's Wuxia world. A fantasy world of coloured fogs, beautiful sets and varied characters. My approach is to expect the unexpected, and just roll with it! Of course, his interpretation of the Wuxia world does not appeal to everyone. For a more 'down to earth' approach you really can't go past Chang Cheh. And a big thumbs up to the props department, the miniature work was very impressive in its detail. 

I'm ok with Candy, but I see your point. As Little Lord, she was cast into a role that suited her personality, and she brought the character to life in my opinion. We may not always relate to every actor/actress in these films, but collectively their efforts combine to give life to a world that only exists in our imagination. I also appreciated her efforts in Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre. 

You have raised an interesting point in the Hidden Contents. I was totally unaware of this issue.

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7 hours ago, AgriWuxia said:

 And a big thumbs up to the props department, the miniature work was very impressive in its detail. 

Agree totally, wondering how much time it took to create such...

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dragon missile. Lo Lieh works for poisoned tyrant(ku feng) and is on a mission to get antidote. Unwillingly he is joined by some men who are under command of tyrants lackey. Some doublecrosses occur and eventually Lo is able to get elixir but forgets one important thing about it....Girl is seeking revenge against lo Lieh and is joined by Liu Yung who has same reason...

Fearsome dragon missiles are boomerangs, which go through stones and trees besides flesh and bone. Some OK special effects are used when missiles cause damages. Not very different from flying guillotines and director is same Ho Meng Hua..

Very solid performance from Lo Lieh and even cold blooded killer somehow he is also more likeable character than others.

was my 3rd or 4th view and every time I seem to like this even little bit more, in my book it`s great movie. Searched review from net, coolasscinema was pretty harsh for this. I don`t link it here as it contains some spoilers but I disagree strongly about thin plot, I think it`s pretty decent.

Some great outdoor sets too..

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The Invincible Fist (1969).

An entertaining lesser known film from director Chang Cheh that is a good combination of action and drama.

Lo Lieh is the leader of a small band of bounty hunters on the trail of a murderous group of thieves who have managed to keep their identity secret. The bandit leader (Fang Mian) is actually hiding pretty much in plain sight by virtue of his age and demeanour. The films opening credits and music evoke feelings of a Western in their style, and some of the action is outdoor and in inclement weather. The first half of the film is pretty much standard fare for the director, with plenty of action and story development.

It is in the final part of the film where the director provides the dramatic tension when the wounded Tieh Wu-Ching (Lo Lieh) stumbles across the bandit leaders home and his blind daughter Kuei Ku (Li Ching). The actress provides a convincing portrayal of the blind girl who worships her father, completely ignorant of the villainous life he leads away from home. Her world is a dream-like fantasy of beautiful flowers and a kind father, an idyllic existence. Here the director uses metaphors to symbolise her plight - the ferocious wolf that still loves its young (in reference to her father) and the rainstorm stripping petals off the flowers (the fragility of her world). In contrast to the directors later works, here the female is not the source of male destruction. Through her we see a softer side of her villainous father, and the bounty hunter is so moved by her plight/innocence that he continues the subterfuge to protect her from the ugly truth. I thought it unfortunate that her fathers love for her was insufficient to prevent his choosing a life of crime, but then we wouldn't have had a story. Sadly, some of the most accomplished martial artists in these films lose sight of the founding principles in their pursuit of power, putting innocent members of their own family at risk.

Spoiler

It is quite notable how Wuxia/Kung Fu heroes eventually tire of their existence and yearn for a simpler life. Destroying the bandits has cost the lives of his brother and comrades and compromised his health; and an innocent blind girl has lost her beloved father. Such a high price in human misery. Moved to compassion, the bounty hunter forgoes his lifestyle in favour of domestic bliss.

In his brotherhood and venom's movies it has been claimed that the director simply doesn't know how to film female actresses, relegating them to wallflowers or using them simply as a destructive force to the male brotherhood. Based on this and other early works, I am not so sure. The female characters seem to be well rounded and respectfully portrayed. I think simply the directors emphasis changed as he was allowed to develop his style, and audience preferences moved away from the Yin toward the Yang.

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23 hours ago, Tex Killer said:

dragon missile. Lo Lieh works for poisoned tyrant(ku feng) and is on a mission to get antidote. Unwillingly he is joined by some men who are under command of tyrants lackey. Some doublecrosses occur and eventually Lo is able to get elixir but forgets one important thing about it....Girl is seeking revenge against lo Lieh and is joined by Liu Yung who has same reason...

Fearsome dragon missiles are boomerangs, which go through stones and trees besides flesh and bone. Some OK special effects are used when missiles cause damages. Not very different from flying guillotines and director is same Ho Meng Hua..

Very solid performance from Lo Lieh and even cold blooded killer somehow he is also more likeable character than others.

was my 3rd or 4th view and every time I seem to like this even little bit more, in my book it`s great movie. Searched review from net, coolasscinema was pretty harsh for this. I don`t link it here as it contains some spoilers but I disagree strongly about thin plot, I think it`s pretty decent.

Some great outdoor sets too..

I liked this film too, Tex. Has been a while since I last viewed the film (have seen it several times) but each occasion I do remember the running time passing quickly, a sure sign of an entertaining watch.

Like you, I was also surprised at the negative review on the Cool Ass Cinema website. The writer was referencing his opinion based on background events surrounding the films genesis, and the rushed production schedule and subsequent lack of character development. These may well be valid points, and I have great respect for the writers opinion and his wealth of knowledge; the website is a commendable resource. I can only pass the opinion of an enthusiast, having had no formal background in film. But, like you, I found the story and characters sufficiently of interest and respectfully disagree with the writers summation.

Where I absolutely concur with the writer relates to his comments on the weaponry. Whether its a Flying Guillotine or a Dragon Missile, the quality of design, construction and craftsmanship in the Shaw studios cannot be denied. Much time, money and effort must have been spent to create such highly finished weapons, not to mention the associated special effects coupled with their deployment. Not only do they look impressive, they also look realistically functional within the context of these films. In the hands of a skilled martial arts master with deadly intent, I really wouldn't wish to be in the path of any of these pieces of hardware!

And you are right about the sets. Apparently director Ho Meng Hua was given access to some of the best Shaw's had to offer, and the film benefits accordingly.

 

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On 04/02/2017 at 0:42 AM, ShawAngela said:

Superb review for a very good movie, AgriWuxia !

Thank you for your positive response!

I have found much of interest in Chang Cheh's early films, especially the different styles and innovative techniques he utilises across the wide range of genres he seems adept at filming. Alongside the action, I also appreciate the level of introspection and melodrama present in this period of his career.

The Invincible Fist  was a title I tried to purchase from DDDHouse a couple of years ago, only to have it go Out Of Stock before my order was processed. Amazon or eBay may well have had a copy, but can be quite expensive, and freight to New Zealand is a killer from these sites too. My thanks to Lady Jin Szu Yi for the opportunity recently to purchase the Deltamac copies of this film, and two other Chang Cheh films - The Singing Killer and The Generation Gap.

A point of note which I forgot to mention in my review - Lo Lieh in an atypical role as a good guy! This was in keeping with some of his earlier films, but I believe he became typecast as the villain in later roles.

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legend of the fox. Having seen it just once before and forgotten most of it(thing too that it`s basically same as NTOFF:devil), was time to give it revisit....I think story is not hard to folliow but some concentration is needed. Roughly it involves usual stuff, young man ( chin siu ho ) looking to avenge his parents. Based on novel, it was also used in "new tales of flying fox" although there are some differences in storylines between those two movies. I prefer New tales over CC effort...

For 2 hours it felt bit overlong although can`t say it dragged. Major complaint is about casting, chiang sheng has rare role as villain and completely unconvincing in that. Lu Fend and him should have traded places..Not so excited about CSH as lead but he does ok...

Action is good, not among best by Venoms but there are some nice swordfights, peak point was kwok choy vs lu feng.I loved specially part of their fight where blades do not connect even as they are very close to each other. Brlliant choreography.

It`s not there with finest venom movies but entertaining enough. Still I would recommend to check "new tales of flying fox" instead of this for those unfamiliar with flicks and if like it then investigate LOTF.

Edited by Tex Killer

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flying dagger. Cheng pei pei gets into trouble with green dragon clan after taking off from business rapist son of their leader. Mysterious man ( lo lieh) appears to scene who can throw knives better than leader of clan, flying dagger...

Average storyline but works well, only disappointing thing was background of Lo Lieh

Spoiler

that there was no mystery in it really, he learned martial arts from watching others practicing, no formal training. Does not sound too distant from some Shaw stars...I was hoping some kind of connection to green dragon clan here but no. Was not my first view of flick but premiere was many years ago did not remember all..

Bodycount was fair, enough to please but there are flicks with higher score. However red stuff was used at times nicely.

Lo Lieh was heroic but like few times in other flicks too, not totally gentleman and bit cheeky. Cheng pei pei did not get enough to do but as movie was directed by chang cheh, hardly big surprise.

Recommended if you are into early shaw swordplay flicks.

 

 

Edited by Tex Killer

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@AgriWuxia@Tex Killer

Really glad to see two less talked about Lo Lieh flicks getting some positive reviews. I love both films. I think I almost fully agree with the two of you about both films.

 

Invincible Fist didn't do the story as well from a dramatic standpoint as Killer Constable, but is great in its more lighthearted swashbuckler telling of the same story.. Also all bias aside, Lo Liehs character is much more likable than Chen Kuan Tais, and that is largely due to the scripts I'm sure. This was also a very early example of the colorful, "comic book" villains Chang Cheh would use more in the Venoms stage of his career.

 

Dragon Missile is just a wonderful shut your brain off and enjoy the ride movie. I enjoy how the antagonist is basically the focus of the movie, something very rare in MA flicks. I also agree that he manages to be more likable than most the other characters in the film.

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Been a while since I've watched a Shaw, going to watch The Monkey Goes West 1966 tonight.

Inspiring this was going to The Shen Yun performing arts show last week, they had a segment on the Monkey King.

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On 10/02/2017 at 1:41 PM, Tosh said:

Been a while since I've watched a Shaw, going to watch The Monkey Goes West 1966 tonight.

Inspiring this was going to The Shen Yun performing arts show last week, they had a segment on the Monkey King.

Would be interested in your opinion of this early Shaw film, Tosh. I purchased the Siren Visual Region 4 box set of the four Journey To The West films shortly after I discovered the Shaw catalogue. Back then I knew little of this classic Chinese story. Yet, despite the films being 40 years old (at the time), I was quite captivated by the imagination and vibrancy of the stories. No doubt, the Celestial restoration process was a major factor ensuring a positive viewing experience.

Having viewed Shaw films regularly for eight years now, I can understand your point about sources of inspiration. The Chinese New Year will be celebrated in my local city next weekend with the annual Lantern Festival. Work commitments at this time of year usually preclude my attendance; but not this year! I am really looking forward to this celebration of Chinese culture, the Shaw films providing a good introduction to the Chinese festivals and cultural practices.

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To Kill A Jaguar (1977).

A young woman (Bobo), searching for her father in the city of Shanghai, stumbles across a fight between rival gangs and as a consequence is reunited with a childhood friend (Silly Boy/ Jaguar). Reminiscences of their childhood experiences, shared together with another boy (He Lie), provide the viewer with a background which will become very relevant to events later in the film. Starring Nora Miao (Bobo), Chung Wah (Jaguar), and Lau Wing (He Lie).

I must admit that Gangster films are not my favourite genre. Western interpretations can be very sombre affairs, and women can often be portrayed and treated very poorly. However, I have enjoyed Hua Shan's wuxia/horror films in the past, so I was interested to see how a Shaw Brothers director would interpret the subject. What I found was an action film broadly in keeping with preconceived expectations, but balanced by a love story with plenty of emotional impact.

After the opening described above, the film reverts to type as we follow Jaguar through the typical gangster rivalries and double-crosses as various characters jostle for dominance. The biggest threat seems to come from within, despite concerns about the activities of a rival gang. Close attention is required of the viewer to follow the rapidly shifting loyalties of the characters; the complexity of the plot.

But Jaguar's motivations are more complex than a simple desire for power. Revenge is also a factor. But at their heart is unrequited love, and the complex triangle that has existed between two men and one woman since childhood. This is brought into stark relief with the return of Jaguar's other childhood friend, He Lie, later in the film. This triangle is further complicated by a second woman, more recent to Jaguar's past, who remains a source of tension between Jaguar and his boss for a very understandable reason. Overall, I think this scenario would have made Chang Cheh very proud!

The director places much emphasis on the fights and the inherent instability of the lifestyle, yet there is also a strong emotional content which gives a humanity to the three main characters and maintains the viewers interest throughout the duration of the film.  

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secret service of imperial court. Emperor is more interested of fooling around with girls than national matters and leaves his trusted one Wang The Eunuch handle lesser things. Leung Kar Yan plays sergeant of imperial guards who refuses to slay righteous officials and is forced to escape with his wife and child. Hunt is on...

Excellent flick by master director Lu Chin Ku which is just barely weaker than bastard swordsman or lady assassins. What movie misses is great 1 to 1 fight but there is lot swordplay action to enjoy. All cranked up of course:cool..Lots of familiar names in cast, Beardy delivers terrific display of his acting talents..

On side note, Liu Yung who plays eunuch was without doubt ladies man but I have always thought him as bit gayish but never knew why. At last found out, this was 1st time when viewed SSOIC but I realized had seen part of it many years ago from grainy vhs. Did not know who Liu Yung was then but image of him speaking with thin voice, lipstick and nail polish somehow remained in back of my head but could not place it until now.,

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On 2/11/2017 at 3:37 AM, AgriWuxia said:

Would be interested in your opinion of this early Shaw film, Tosh. I purchased the Siren Visual Region 4 box set of the four Journey To The West films shortly after I discovered the Shaw catalogue. Back then I knew little of this classic Chinese story. Yet, despite the films being 40 years old (at the time), I was quite captivated by the imagination and vibrancy of the stories. No doubt, the Celestial restoration process was a major factor ensuring a positive viewing experience.

Having viewed Shaw films regularly for eight years now, I can understand your point about sources of inspiration. The Chinese New Year will be celebrated in my local city next weekend with the annual Lantern Festival. Work commitments at this time of year usually preclude my attendance; but not this year! I am really looking forward to this celebration of Chinese culture, the Shaw films providing a good introduction to the Chinese festivals and cultural practices.

I've always though of the Journey to the West as a lighthearted, fun comedy. Being a musician I really dig the song and dances, also the costums and sets. I rather enjoy the 60's Shaws that I've seen over the years, you lose on choreography but gain the more theatrical feel, which I can understand turns a lot of people off. For me it probably helps that I've always been interested in the culture, traditional music and theater, plus the 60's ruled:smile I think I never lived in the decade:coveredlaugh

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On 14/02/2017 at 4:22 PM, Tosh said:

I've always though of the Journey to the West as a lighthearted, fun comedy. Being a musician I really dig the song and dances, also the costums and sets. I rather enjoy the 60's Shaws that I've seen over the years, you lose on choreography but gain the more theatrical feel, which I can understand turns a lot of people off. For me it probably helps that I've always been interested in the culture, traditional music and theater, plus the 60's ruled:smile I think I never lived in the decade:coveredlaugh

I believe the "theatrical feel" is the reason why I enjoy the Shaw films of the 60's also, especially the early Wuxia films. Such stories were originally performed on stage, so it follows that adaptations to film would initially reflect their origin. The song and dance routines peppered throughout give these early films a sense of quaintness or innocence (I think these are the correct words), in keeping with a simpler time. This "sense" slowly disappeared as the genre moved toward a more masculine style of presentation. 

I do not object to characters breaking into song/dance routines in these early Wuxia films; probably because until I discovered the Shaw catalogue I had never seen anything comparable before. In fact, I have no problem viewing Huangmei either. Visually these films are colourful, with gorgeous sets and costumes, and usually an emotionally heart-rending story as well. Anyone desiring the visceral style of Chang Cheh in any of these early films will be disillusioned. However, the great thing about the Shaw catalogue is the sheer diversity of genres produced, and the variety of directorial interpretations within each genre over time. Given the number of films released, there is likely to be something to suit every viewers taste or mood. 

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The Lady Assassin (1983).

A curious title for this film, seemingly incongruous with the characters and story line that occupy the vast majority of the films running time. However, during the course of the film the relevance of the title slowly becomes clearer as the relationships between the supporting characters are developed.

The elderly Emperor is in failing health, and the narrative follows the intrigues of the evil 4th Prince (Lau Wing) in his efforts to deny the 14th Prince (Max Mok) his rightful inheritance. The film presents as a historical drama, replete with lavish costumes and sets, and liberally laced with fight scenes for good measure. Much emphasis in story development covers the political alliances between the Princes' and those that support and protect them. My only quibble is the noticeably sped up presentation of some action sequences, which does not wholly detract from the viewers enjoyment. 

I actually found Lau Wing to be very believable in this role as a Prince/master swordsman, willing to both form and betray alliances in his quest for power. And generally get up to all forms of skulduggery along the way, yet somehow still maintaining a veneer of respectability. The modern day equivalent could well be the "white collar criminal" (?). Anyway, I have certainly grown to admire Lau's contribution to the Shaw catalogue, and must view the Emperor Chien Lung series for which he is best known.

Director Lu Chun-Ku also has a cameo playing a Japanese ninja to deadly effect. A stereotypical portrayal of a cold blooded monster that may have resonated well with audiences of the time, but completely at odds with the respectful, more dignified portrayal of the Japanese art I remember in Lau Kar-Leung's film Heroes Of The East.

As for the premise of the film's title, the narrative presents four possibilities, each of them skilled fighters. Which one I won't reveal, but her reaction to betrayal reminds me of the old adage - "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!!!". The end scene where she launches herself like a missile at her foe was very reminiscent of Yueh Hua at the conclusion of The Twelve Gold Medallions, if my memory is correct.

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On ‎25‎.‎2‎.‎2017 at 10:26 AM, AgriWuxia said:

The Lady Assassin (1983).

The elderly Emperor is in failing health, and the narrative follows the intrigues of the evil 4th Prince (Lau Wing) in his efforts to deny the 14th Prince (Max Mok) his rightful inheritance

Same storyline is featured in magnificent independent studio flick, rebellious reign. Which I personally rate bit above Lady, although Shaw film is great too.

 

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The same story is also shown in the series Legend of Yung Ching (Adam Cheng), in which the characters are more developped, and, if I'm not mistaken, in the ATV or TVB series Lu Si Niang, legend of a Ching Lady (still to be watched).

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5 element ninjas. 88 bluray is my 5th version of the movie during years and was time to give it a go. Listened Beys commentary but gave up quickly(has nothing to do with him, I am just not into commentaries at all).

Of course I have during 20 or so views before seen how amazing action in movie is but now I was thinking it might be best ever in CC movie. Some venom movies like masked avengers might be equal but not better.Absence of kwok choy, lu feng and chiang sheng did not hurt movie one bit. While they are outstanding performers, what we have here now are more than ok replacements. Some fantastic weapon work by guys who were regular villains(or leaders lackeys) in venom flicks..

While my telly is not optimal for blurays could tell this was qualitywise bit superior than excellent tokyo shock dvd, 88br most likely looks fantastic with proper equipment.

Not really possible to name favorite scene, there is so much good stuff in film.

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mercenaries from hong kong. Ti Lung is recruiting experts on a mission to capture top assassin from Thailand..Along to task with comes boxer, lock specialist, sniper, knife fighter and master of explosives...Viewer who has seen "enough" movies can guess things are not necessarily how they appear...

I was bit surprised how good this turned out to be, lots of action with weapons&unarmed and few car/motorbike chases. Crew is fine, even Wong Yu manages to be bearable, not much over top top acting or grins. Wish tho fight near the end between ti lung and

Spoiler

traitor

 

woud be longer...

 

Worth checking out, one of the best early gun-fu movies.

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The Treasure Hunters. Goofy, but occasionally quite good. Some funny bits were the wooden dummies fighting the villain in the finale and the fake book shelf...though that one went on a bit too long.  Once again, I have to give a shout out to Ching-Ching Yeung, the female sidekick that kicked ass.  Her fight with Gordon Liu (double swords vs pole) was fantastic.  If memory serves, this is the same woman that impressed me in Clan of the White Lotus. I think I'm in love. Were these her best two movies??  

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