Saturday, May 3, 2008

68 REVIEW : ' The Perfumed Arrow '

' The Perfumed Arrow '

Cast : Ivy Ling Po, Chin Feng, Ho Fan, Chin Fei
Director : Kao Li


A maiden, who was an excellent academic and martial arts expert, had maintained a male facade since her childhood days. When she had to choose a groom between her two schoolmates , she left her “Perfumed Arrow “ to decide her destiny … whoever picked that arrow would be her groom …

Rating : 3 ½ stars of 5

67 SB KUNG FU : ' The Pirate '

' The Pirate '

Cast: Ti Lung, David Chiang
Director: Chang Cheh


The legend of a 18th- century Chinese pirate Chang Po-tsai who had once on land to repair his ship which was badly damaged after a sea battle . There he was nailed by some treacherous villains who aimed to collect bounty on his head and an undercover official who was determined to bring him to justice …

Spectacular sea- battle! Fantastic fight choreography! Elaborate intriguing plot! What more are Ti Lung’s impressive performance as the cool legendary Cantonese buccaneer and the sparring matches between Ti Lung and David Chiang .

Rating : 4 ½ stars of 5

66 SB ROMANCE : ' Auntie Lan '

‘ Auntie Lan ‘

Cast : Fang Yin, Paul Chang Chung, Chiao Chung, Jimmy Wang Yu
Director: Yueh Feng


A young and pretty girl was caught in a love triangle with her two male friends. When one of them knew her intent to marry his best friend, he decided to withdraw from the web of love. Never did he expect that the groom-to-be died in an accident, leaving the shattered pregnant girl who later gave birth to a son and left him in the care of her married sister.……….

Fang Yin delivers the best portrayal of an insecure and troubled single mother. She was ably supported by Chiao Chuang, Jimmy Wang Yu and Paul Chang Chung, three dashing actors as her suitors. A well written plot plus a well collaborated cast makes this a memorable classic.

Rating : 3 1/2 stars of 5

65 STAR : ' Wang Ping '

(17) Wang Ping

Wang Ping joined Shaw Brothers at the age of 19 and was a hot favorite for many directors.

She starred in a string of blockbusters such as ' Vengeance' , ' The Chinese Boxer ' , ' The King Boxer ' ... and won herself a ' Best Actress ' award with her most daring role in ' Tiger Killer ' at the Golden Horse Film Festival


64 STAR : ' Derek Yee '

(16) Derek Yee

Derek Yee, the half-brother of actors Paul Chin Pei and David Chiang, joined Shaw Brothers in 1975.

Derek's first lead role was in Chu Yuan's wu xia movie ' Death Duel ' and thereafter, he appeared in over 40 Shaw Brothers productions including his renowned movies ' Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre ' and ' Buddha's Palm '.

63 SB MUSICAL : ' Tropicana Interlude '

' Tropicana Interlude '

Cast : Lily Ho, Jimmy Lin Chong, Essie Lin Chia, Lily Li
Director : Shih Ma-shan


Jimmy played as a wealthy music-lover who joined his girl friend Lily Ho as a tourist guide. When a group of students ( including Lily Li ) and their teacher Essie Lin Chia arrived on tour, complications developed…but “all well that ends well”.

What is amazing about this musical romance is the scenic sights of Malaysia and Singapore … lovely and exotic . What more is Jimmy Lin Chong warbled many hit tunes including one adopted from a Malay evergreen classic “Rasa-sayang” … though his vocal is so unique and unbearable … lol…A mediocre musical comedy for sheer relaxation ...

Rating : 2 ½ stars of 5

62 SB MUSICAL : ' A Time For Love '

' A Time For Love '

Cast : Lily Ho, Lin Feng
Director : Kuei Chih-hung


Lily Ho met and fell in love with handsome Lin Feng at a party, not knowing that he was the son of a rich man that her father chauffeured for. So when her father realized what had happened, he ordered Lily never to openly reveal to the young master her true identity …

Back in the memory lane with so many familiar catchy ‘60s hits throughout the entire movie, this musical and hilarious slapstick sure to make one laugh out loud …. Gorgeous Lily Ho and handsome Lin Feng make a perfect match in this romance comedy.

Rating : 3 stars of 5

61 SB SWORDSPLAY '70s : ' The New One-armed Swordsman

' The New One-armed Swordsman ‘

Cast : David Chiang, Ti Lung, Li Ching
Director : Chang Cheh


A famous swordsman was set up by his scheming opponent and forced to hack off his own arm. For years, he worked in an inn as a waiter and had fortified his single-handed dexterity in due course. When his comrade was later killed by his arch rival, he dusted off his sword to challenge him in a duel ….

A fantastically paced movie with an explosive climatic finale that has out does its two predecessors ‘ The One-Armed Swordsman ‘ and ‘ Return Of The One-Armed Swordsman ‘ !

Rating : 4 stars of 5

60 VOICE : It's All About ' The Red Chamber '

It's All About " The Red Chamber "


A tragic tale of Lin Dai Yu and Jia Pao Yu whose romance was not accepted by Jia's family. Pao Yu was later tricked to marry his elderly cousin Pao Chai and when he realized that his bride was swooped and dashed to Dai Yu's mansion, the sickly Dai Yu had died in depression.


(1 ) 1961 version

Starring : Betty Loh Ti, Ren Chieh, Pat Ting Hung

Director : Yuan Chiu Feng

This version is quite entertaining with lovely huangmei diao, impressive scenes and costumes.Betty Loh Ti excelled as the “classic beauty” Lin Dai Yu due to her personality which is quite similar to this character. This movie is almost close to perfection if not for the miscast of Ren Chieh as Jia Pao Yu which is really a failure.

Rating : 3 ½ stars of 5

(2) 1977 version

Starring : Brigitte Lin, Sylvia Chang, Michelle
Director : Li Han Hsiang

This is the last gem of the huangmei genre from Shaw Brothers Studio. Brigitte Lin is an excellent choice for the main character Jia Pao Yu, refreshing and sentimental. She has successfully made this version uniquely her own.Sylvia Chang however is a miscast despite of her hard work to make herself a tragic Lin Dai Yu.Though the songs are not the traditional huangmei diao, but commendable are the costumes design and arts directions which are awarded in many film festivals.

Rating : 2 1/2 stars

(3) 1977 non-SB version

Starring : Ivy Ling Po, Chow Zi Ming, Li Ching
Director : Chin Han

This is one of Ivy Ling Po ’s post SB movies. Here, she plays the role of Jia Pao Yu, Li Ching as Pao Chia and the new comer Chow Zi Ming as Lin Dai Yu. No doubt about the acting skills of the 2 Asian Movie Queens, only that they are too matured for the roles. Chow Zi Ming is young and frail in appearance, thus fit into her role perfectly; however her acting skill is below expectation.

Rating : 3 stars

(4) Erotic version I

Starring : Leslie Cheung, Huang Hsing Siew

The classic literature has been modified to make this exotic version.Leslie Cheung played as Jia Pao Yu and Huang as Lin Dai Yu. Both the young, handsome Leslie and the “70s classic beauty” Huang definitely fit in their roles, but the focus of this movie is not about their romance; it is more on the sexual secrets within the Rong mansion.

Rating : 1 star

(5) SB erotic version : Dreams of Eroticism

Starring : Shirley Yu, Si Wei
Directors : all SB directors

Another exotic version of the Chinese Classic Literature !It relates the sexual secrets of the residents of the Rong mansion including the master, concubine, maids and servants. A total deviation of the classic !

Rating : 1 star

(6) Contemporary version : Awakening of the Red Chamber Dreams

Starring : Su Xin Xin, Kao Feng

This is a contemporary version of “The Red Chamber” made in 1977 by some “creative” Singapore film makers. The original plot still stands but ..... Lin Dai Yu is no longer the weak and frail damsel-in-distress but a healthy and confident lady AND Jia Pao Yu is no more a “pampered” playboy but an independent hunk. The supposedly tear-jerker is then changed to a comical romance. Ridiculous huh ! ?

Rating : 1 star

(7) TVBI version

Starring : Lisa Wang, Wu Wei Kuo

This is the Cantonese drama serial made in the ‘70s with Lisa Wang as Lin Dai Yu and Wu Wei Kuo as Jia Pao Yu. Their collaboration is good but somehow they just lack the x-factors to portray the key characters. Also, due to budget constraint, the props and costumes are not glamorous as the movies.

Rating : 1 ½ stars

59 HERO OF SILVER SCREEN : ' David Chiang '

(04) David Chiang in ...

... " The Wandering Swordsman "

... " Judgement Of An Assassin "


(03) Shih Sze in ...

... ' Trilogy Of Swordsmanship '

... ' Black Tavern '

57 SB ROMANCE : ' Love Without End '

‘ Love Without End ‘

Cast : Jenny Hu , Ling Yun , Essie Lin
Director : Pan Lei


A country girl came to the city looking for her uncle who worked in a nightclub. Coincidentally, she met a drunken man who dragged her on stage to perform. Henceforth, she was groomed to become a popular singer and love blossom between the two….

A remake of the 1961 film of the same title ! Jenny Hu won the ‘Special Award For The Best Acting’ in a film fest with her role that was previously played by late Lin Dai.

Ratings : 3 stars of 5

1961 version of ' Love Without End ' mv ...

56 SB ROMANCE : ‘ The Price Of Love ‘

‘ The Price Of Love ‘

Cast : Chin Ping, Teddy Robin
Director : Wu Chia-hsiang


A tender and compelling romance of a blind girl and a hunchback… She was poor and often being abused by her step-mother ; he was rich but an introvert who had shut himself from the outside world. By chance, the two loners came together, but after he had paid an expensive operation to restore her sight , he left her quietly …

An evergreen classic theme song ‘ The Price Of Love ‘… A memorable performance by Chin Ping … A unique tale that questions if love is blind …

Rating : 3 ½ stars of 5

55 SB KUNG FU : ‘ The Boxer From Shantung ‘

‘ The Boxer From Shantung ‘

Cast : Chen Kuan-tai , David Chiang , Ching Li
Director : Chang Cheh


A tale of an early 20th century youth from Shantung who came to Shanghai to make it big. He eventually did, modeling himself after a godfather until he became the third most powerful triad boss in Shanghai…

Another bloody thrills with impressive action sequences and a semi dark plot.

Rating : 4 stars of 5

54 SB KUNG FU : ' The Flying Guillotine ‘

' The Flying Guillotine ‘

Cast : Chen Kuan-tai, Wang Yu, Frankie Wei
Director : Ho Meng-hua


Emperor Yung Cheng was notorious for his brutality. He had set up a secret squad to carry out assassination assignments with a new deadly weapon "Flying Guillotine". 12 elites were selected for the "Flying Guillotine" squad, but there was one who later protested the vicious act of the emperor to kill the innocence and fled from the palace; thus provoked the furious emperor whom had ordered the squad to go for his life .......

The way the director shot this movie was absolutely amazing and this solid martial arts tale had indeed reached cult status in the '70s for its creative killing weapon ! Thumps up !

Rating : 4 1/2 stars of 5

53 SB SWORDSPLAY '70s : ' The Invincible Fist '

‘ The Invincible Fist ‘

Cast : Lo Lieh , Li Ching
Director : Chang Cheh


A courageous constable was assigned to track down four notorious bandits who had wreaked havoc in the village. In due course, he met a blind girl, a daughter of one of the villains and fall in love with her …

Superb fighting choreography within bushes and thickets of reeds made this a unique swordplay epic.

Rating : 3 ½ stars of 5

52 SB SWORDSPLAY '60s : ' The Dragon Swamp '

‘ The Dragon Swamp ‘

Cast : Cheng Pei-pei, Yueh Hua, Lo Lieh
Director : Lo Wei


A young disciple from a monastery went wandering in search for a stolen legendary “Jade Dragon Sword”. She found the culprit who had stolen the sword and challenged him in a duel. When she was in danger, a mysterious swordsman came to her rescue and that begun their fantastic adventures to lands filled with deadly sand traps and sea monsters …….

Cheng Pei-pei’s engaging dual roles (as the fighting mother and daughter) , Yue Hua and Lo Lieh ‘s marvelous support (as a roaming swordsman and notorious rouge) plus the amazing plot packed with spectacular fights has make this movie a first runner-up in the theatrical box-office. Thumps up !

Rating : 4 stars of 5

Friday, May 2, 2008

51 REVIEW : ' Three Smiles '

‘ The Three Smiles ‘

Cast : Ivy Ling Po, Li Ching
Director : Yueh Feng


A flirtatious scholar was captivated by a minister’s maid whom he met at a temple. Henceforth, he resolved to enter the minister’s residence by disguising himself as a poor peasant seeking employment …

Ratings : 3 stars of 5

50 REVIEW : ' The Pearl Phoenix ‘

‘ The Pearl Phoenix ‘

Cast : Li Ching, Hsiao Hsiang
Director : Yang Fan


A scholar met a wealthy maiden at a nunnery and picked up a pearl phoenix hairpin which she had accidentally dropped. He was captivated by her beauty and resolved to enter her residence in disguise as a poor servant …

Ratings : 3 stars of 5


(02) Fu Sheng in ...

... ' Heroes Shed No Tears '


... ' The Brave Archer '