# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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End Of The Road (1993) Directed by: Chu Yen-Ping

An empty shell of what definitely seems like a more solid movie, yet again one of Chu Yen-Ping's Taiwanese creations was deemed too long for Hong Kong so viciously a shorter edit was created. But as opposed to the likes of Island Of Fire and A Home Too Far (which End Of The Road is a sequel to) that had Taiwan released alternatives on home video, End Of The Road has yet at the time of writing had that blessing so 95 minutes of potential is all we get here. The strengths of A Home Too Far was in the downtime between war mayhem, the quiet moments if you will but its short edit contained little of it. So a product of glimpses it became and incoherent in the process too. Much seems alike in the sequel where Tok Chung-Wa and O Chun-Hung return. They're stationed in the Golden Triangle while trying to maintain safety of their fellow men and families. A tear in the group occurs as one (Tony Leung Chiu-Wai) wants to acknowledge the possibilities of joining forces with the drug dealers in the region. It ultimately leads to former soldiers turning enemies as O Chun-Hung's men are fighting against communists with the Thai who also want to eradicate the drug dealers.

Structurally similar as the big Hong Kong talent on display breaks loose (in the first film it was Andy Lau) and again about the little people fighting for survival amidst the dirt and blood, the choice of theme has been handled well by Chu and probably was here as well before the scissors came in. So as it stands now, End Of The Road never lingers on its possibilities before moving on so we're never emotionally involved in any of the war mayhem or the over the top melodrama. In fact, now the latter is up for criticism while more elaboration on scenes with for instance Ng Man-Tat and Jimmy Lin would've become more felt come ending time. One performer seriously left out is lead Tok Chung-Wa though who compared to mentioned performers screen time is seriously more of a side character (as is O Chun-Hung). I so seriously doubt anyone cutting this film down thought of filmmaker's original intentions. Watch the end credits for snippets of deleted footage. Also with Ray Lui and Rosamund Kwan.

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Enemy Shadow (1995) Directed by: Chan Dung-Chuen

One of the better Jade Leung (Black Cat) movies as it turns out although it's not without pretentiousness and therefore is problematic. Heading out of the gate full steam ahead with shaky cam action, there's definite spark and energy created through this weapons mayhem. After smoke is cleared, the story is personal as newly examined cop Jade (yes, Jade Leung) loses her man and faith in the ability to perform in her profession. Narrating the film as well, there's the psychology put forth about our inner shadows, something that rings very true as Jade crosses over to the world of decadence and thieves, in particular evident in the relationship she has with Panther (James Pax - Remains Of A Woman). Having corrupt cops (headed by Kenneth Chan) after the duo and Jade recognizing something bad AND good in Panther, the stage is set for an actual exploration too. The problem with most of these philosophical turns the flick takes is that director Chan is way too infatuated with the style of Wong Kar-Wai. Even to the silly point where every motion, every event is in blurry slow-motion. You can be deep about matters, am not arguing against that but since Chan isn't trying to create something of his own, most of Enemy Shadow loses depth in areas it wanted it to be there. Thankfully many latter parts of the film lays off the WKW style and sees Chan creating multiple scenarios of bloody death and action, culminating in Jade's final realization that her uncertainty of the world is also due to the world fooling her at every turn. It erases some of the memories of the cheap knock-off Enemy Shadow at times is. Moses Chan, Ben Ng (as a gay triad), Shing Fui-On and Peter Chan Lung also appear.

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Energetic 21 (1982) Directed by: Chan Chuen

KENNETH'S REVIEW: Aimless drama that doesn't earn its violence and tragedy. Centering around a gang of mostly 21 year olds of different social classes, they care little for even the one day at a time. See them go clubbing, eat, race, detest parents, Westerners and engage in wacky romance. Episodic to say the least and when not even intending on focusing on the entire character gallery, the turn into hell Energetic 21 takes is far from deserved. Director Chan Chuen keeps intensity up during the end though, nails a very funny sidetrack of a plot featuring Chin Yuet-Sang as a mechanic that uses black magic as his way of romancing and one of the driving sequences is fairly accomplished. None of the elements adds up to depth however so effort is disposable. Starring Leslie Cheung and Eddie Chan.

The Enigma Of Love (1993) Directed by: Sherman Wong

As cop Tammie (Maggie Cheung) starts to bust gigolo shops (more effectively than her colleague David played by Wilson Lam), premium gigolo on the circuit Jacky (Jacky Cheung) decides to romance the tomboy Tammie. Acting as a paralyzed, deathly sick artist, his tools thoroughly work until the conscience sets in and a loving heart starts to beat. All while jealousy in David is mounting...

Far from the trashy excess of Queen Of Under World, Sherman Wong shows skill in making stars shine and stars make sure they shine in front of the director and audience. Because nothing cinematically noteworthy happens here. But Wong knows how to create a fluffy little story and his leads are very comfortable with not only non-challenging cinema but with themselves. So a minor, completely forgettable pleasure The Enigma Of Love certainly is and director Wong even pushes buttons of tension rather decently towards the end. Comedic side tracks come via Maria Cordero's role as a female cop often mistaken for a man.

The Enigmatic Case (1980) Directed by: Johnnie To

Somehow you would naturally assume that being "confined" to the martial arts genre, Johnnie To's directing debut The Enigmatic Case would come off as a cheap, quick, generic kung-fu fest. Truly wrong, TRULY! Instead, it's the starting point of one of Hong Kong cinemas current driving forces, showing there was something wonderful brewing well before Milkyway was formed.

A slow, atmospheric story about restoring honour in a bleak world where that goal likely will come with a price, To puts forth nods to Westerners in this easily followed, affecting journey for Damian Lau's character. Within the enchanting cinematic tapestry, To genuinely affects and surprises, handing out chores for the action directors only at select times. Far from stylized, emphasis is on the struggle and the violence, some of which is rather tough on the senses. The film also marked the debut for Cherie Chung who divides her time between being a flower vase and eventually getting a valid role in the structure of the story. Also with Lau Kong, Chiang Han and Leung Gam-San.

Enter The Eagles (1998) Directed by: Corey Yuen

Also known as And Now You're Dead, Golden Harvest goes Hollywood Hong Kong-style with Corey Yuen at the helm and the results are low on character and storytelling but high on fine action-drive. One diamond to be dealt to the highest bidder, thieves, unlikely alliances and lots of action, Yuen continually lets the camera drive the movie forward in what at first seems like flashy ways but it's nonetheless fitting. While the Hong Kong talent like Michael Wong, Jordan Chan and Anita Yuen gets to do a mixture of action and some local comedy, it's really Shannon Lee (Bruce Lee's daughter) that breaks through as an action heroine. Confident on screen and responding well to Yuen Tak's action direction, Enter The Eagles is actually not as strong of a fighting showcase compared to the gunplay (going very bloody and acrobatic places in a welcome way considering late 90s wasn't the prime era for heroic bloodshed). The action IS quick cut but somehow manages to balance matters into a positive the grander and more primal said action-aspect becomes. Nice location work presumably in Prague (setting for the movie) and a way too ambitious and therefore fake looking ending involving a blimp (wouldn't have looked convincing as a computer generated effect in 1998 either) are other eye brow-raisers. Co-starring Benny Urquidez.

Enter The Fat Dragon (1978) Directed by: Sammo Hung

Sammo Hung's second solo directing effort is a fitting tribute to the legend that is Bruce Lee. In the end though, Enter The Fat Dragon is uneven (so was Bruce Lee's classics sans Fist Of Fury also to be honest) and the narrative, taken its cues mainly from Way Of The Dragon holds little interest (as does the humour). However, Sammo excels in paying homage to Bruce Lee with his respectful imitation in mannerisms to the action choreography. He does well in referencing key moments from Bruce's action while also injecting his already developed skill in this department. The fight with Leung Kar Yan at the end is a terrific showcase for Sammo's style in particular. Enter The Fat Dragon is not one of Sammo's greatest classics but you wouldn't want to miss it. Screw Bruce Le, Bruce Li and all the other imitators, Sammo came out on top and Bruce would've been proud! Also with Fung Hark On, Roy Chiao, Fung Fung and most of your favourite action actors from the period (including an almost unrecognizable Lee Hoi Sang).

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HK Flix.com

Enter The Game Of Death (1981) Directed by: Lam Kwok-Cheung

An awesome combination of strong words connected to the legacy of Bruce Lee made into a Bruceploitation vehicle for Bruce Le not able to live up fully to what the title evokes. A randomly strung together and oddly plotted movie, after random tangents initially (like a ring fight between Le and Bolo Yeung), the movie settles for a simple for a simple plot about retrieving a document in the hands of the Japanese and westerners that rightly belongs to the Chinese. Le is a reluctant hero but has personal stakes in all this and we expectedly get to the pagoda but surprisingly early on. While it is a 20 minute plus showcase of what this setting can offer up, it's both an uneven and highly entertaining showcase. In particular Le and Lee Hoi-Sang has a fun weapons duel and the snake master (using real snakes) goes to some stunning lengths to combat Le that even stuns the stoic hero. Rest is a rather standard mish-mash of the expected Bruce Lee mannerisms copied by Le, war cries not dubbed in but made to be part of the soundtrack and rather endless slow motion sections of fights that after the pagoda portions are over doesn't maintain interest like the main attraction does. Bruce Lee knew that too as he would've centered his incomplete Game Of Death around this. Enter The Game Of Death has it as one of many attractions and the result is that only 20 minutes attracts.

Enter The Phoenix (2004) Directed by: Stephen Fung

After the big brother of the Hung gang (the welcome presence of Yuen Biao) dies, they're forced to call in his son gay son Georgie (Daniel Wu) from his chef stint in Thailand. A mix-up occurs and it's instead Georgie's best friend Sam (Eason Chan) who steps into the shoes of big brother, with Georgie on the sidelines...

One of the four directors on Heroes In Love, Stephen Fung (Gen-X Cops, 2002) debut as feature director with Enter The Phoenix is a surprisingly enjoyable but flawed deconstruction of the triad genre (bending the genre is never a bad thing to attempt). Fung works with top personnel to make his stylish attempts come to life (hit and miss excursions) while he simultaneously makes fun of conventions we've come to expect. While Eason Chan is at times a riot, mimicking movie Don Corleone's of the past, Fung's handling of the dives into said conventions (especially melodrama) never quite maintains a balance. We're simply at times not sure if he's doing it with a wink in his eye or being serious. Again, it's hit and miss and when hit, clever only to a minor degree. The film is also arguably quite homophobic so here we do know that Fung is up to no good. Still, the stars are photogenic and assured (especially Wu and the comedy double act between Chapman To and Law Kar-Ying) and action-director Ma Yuk-Sing provides sporadic, professional mayhem that we see very little of in Hong Kong cinema today. The choice to go complete wire-fu on us is mystifying however but Enter The Phoenix is signs of a filmmaker that can go further. There are worse commercial debuts out there, far, far worse and more cruddy looking. Also starring Stephen Fung himself, Karen Mok, Michael Chan with brief appearances by Nicholas Tse, Sam Lee, Sammi Cheng and Jackie Chan.

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The Era Of Vampires (2002) Directed by: Wellson Chin

While not a sign of Tsui Hark back on form, writing and producing this Wellson Chin directed vampire flick at least signals the attempt to awake a genre of filmmaking. Taking on the horror elements made popular by the likes of Mr. Vampire, the choice for the new millennium comes via the ability to enhance matters. CGI makes some visits on occasion but even within a fairly low-budget frame, the ideas to make proceedings a bit more grisly than usual does make the computer work integral. One of the main ingredients here being how our super vampire of the piece drains the life out of victims not by biting but by basically inhaling them and there is additional morbid content by design as the plot take refuge to the mysterious Jiang mansion where Yu Rong-Guang's character lurks. Even when welcoming the hopping vampires, Tsui Hark and Wellson wisely chooses to think about echoing the horror of it all and it's not totally ineffective. The characters certainly are though and while Ji Chun-Hua feels right for the role of the Master, the character gallery and some of the romantic beats are pretty generic and anonymous. But The Era of Vampires does overcome this via content and the ideas and it all wouldn't have been unwelcome in a bigger budget feature. Film stars Michael Chow, Lam Suet, Ken Chang, Danny Chan, Anya, Chen Kuan-Tai, Lee Lik-Chi and Horace Lee.

These remarks applies to the US version called Tsui Hark's Vampire Hunters but be sure to track down the Singapore version under the original title that contains 15 or so minutes chopped out of the US edit. Aside from dialogue extensions and minor extra scenes, actual notable additions includes more "depth" to the ongoing romances, a different prologue and the epilogue goes on a bit longer, creating less of a confusing downer ending compared to the shortened version of the film. For a detailed look at the Singapore version vs. the US, check out movie-censorship.com.

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