REVIEW: Duel with the Devil (1970)

September 13, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
Like many Taiwanese wuxia films, DUEL WITH THE DEVIL blends soap opera drama with fantasy-tinged martial arts action in sprawling outdoor locales. It features most of the stars from SORROWFUL TO A GHOST (1970), a popular first [...]

REVIEW: Exiled (2006)

September 9, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
Hong Kong’s martial arts movie genre may be in serious decline yet the triad/crime genre is not only healthy, it’s providing serious competition on the world stage with festival programmers, distributors and Hollywood producers all scrambling for [...]

REVIEW: Rush Hour 3 (2007)

September 6, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
The jokes are not as funny. The action, heavily propped up by wires and doubling, is less exciting. The plot is thinner than ever. Possibly for the first time in his career, Jackie Chan looks genuinely tired [...]

REVIEW: 72 Desperate Rebels, The (1978)

August 30, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
During the Ming Dynasty, the infamous pirate Pu Ho-nien conspires against the imperial government. He soon gathers 72 fighters from all regions to help make his dreams come true. During the Ming dynasty the Emperor orders General [...]

REVIEW: War (2007)

August 27, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | 1 Comment »
2007.08.27 Hot on the heels of the summer release of the light action comedy RUSH HOUR 3 comes WAR, a violent edge-of-your-seat crime actioner. It’s hard to imagine a more stark contrast set between the films’ respective [...]

REVIEW: Duel at the Supreme Gate (1968)

August 20, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | 1 Comment »
LOVE ETERNE beauty Betty Loh Ti makes one of her final screen appearances starring in director Yuen Chau-fung’s female-driven take on the ONE-ARMED SWORDSMAN. Loh is a blinded swordswoman caught between a ruthlessly ambitious father she has [...]

REVIEW: Karate Warriors (1976)

August 16, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
Overlooking the lousy genre title used for the U.S. release, KARATE WARRIORS is a magnificent martial arts classic with its star Sonny Chiba performing at the very top of his game. Director Kazuhiko Yamaguchi takes the best [...]

REVIEW: Dragon Princess (1976)

August 13, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
Starring the indomitable Etsuko Shihomi and the international martial arts legend Yasuaki Kurata as revenge-seeking bad asses, DRAGON PRINCESS is a martial arts movie lover’s delight and a damn fine piece of grindhouse entertainment all around. Moreover, [...]

REVIEW: Sister Street Fighter (1974)

August 10, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
When it comes to pushing the limits of exploitation entertainment, nobody does it better than Japanese filmmakers, especially during the karate exploitation boom of the early 1970s. One film soars high among theses ranks. It may be [...]

REVIEW: Bodyguard, The (1973)

August 10, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
Before getting into the meat of this review OF THE BODYGUARD it is necessary to clear up some confusion stemming from the remixed U.S. version. This exploitation actioner was released in the States three years after the [...]

REVIEW: Nomad: The Warrior (2005)

August 7, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
NOMAD: THE WARRIOR is a nationalistic historical epic from Kazakhstan that attempts to tap into the pride of the Eurasian country’s pre-Russian era and Kazakh heritage, once dominated by nomadic tribalism. Budgeted at over $40 million, it [...]

REVIEW: Flash Future Kung Fu (1983)

August 6, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | 1 Comment »
FLASH FUTURE KUNG FU is a genuine oddity from Hong Kong. Its part kung fu movie, part cyberpunk thriller and all trippy no matter how you look at it. Produced by the now-defunct Bang Bang Film Productions, [...]

REVIEW: Bourne Ultimatum, The (2007)

REVIEW: Bourne Ultimatum, The (2007)
August 6, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | 2 Comments »
8/10 – Building on the rapid-fire momentum he created in 2004 with THE BOURNE SUPREMACY, director Paul Greengrass pushes the adrenaline meter even further in THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM. This is the third globe-trotting film adaptation loosely based [...]

REVIEW: Crime Story (1993)

August 2, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | 1 Comment »
Like most places all around the world, Hong Kong has had its fair share of crime, yet specific cases rarely end up depicted in the former British colony’s cinema. Even less common is to see them depicted [...]

REVIEW: Host, The (2006)

July 31, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
South Korea just keeps knocking out the hits and writer-director Bong Joon-ho’s monster genre entry, THE HOST, is only one the latest. This blockbuster killed its Hollywood competition locally in 2006, earning a massive $68 million in [...]

REVIEW: Last Hurrah for Chivalry (1979)

July 29, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | 1 Comment »
This superior swordplay extravaganza boasts numerous exciting fights, high quality production values and a better-than-average story written and directed by the great John Woo. Kao (Lau Kong) is a scholarly swordsman of dubious character who vows revenge [...]

REVIEW: Hard Boiled (1992)

July 27, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
Innumerable bloodied bodies tossed wildly in all directions by a spray of unending gunfire. A seedy teahouse, an industrial warehouse and a crowded hospital lit up by countless muzzle flares, ricochet sparks and thunderous bursts of flame. [...]

REVIEW: Yo-Yo Girl Cop (2006)

July 24, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
After 15 years, manga author Shinji Wada’s teenage detective Saki Asamiya is back on the screen with her schoolgirl uniform and skull-cracking yo-yo skills.

REVIEW: Dynamite Warrior (2006)

July 19, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
Hong Kong-styled, fantasy wirework merges with the latest Thai-branded martial arts action in the crazed action comedy DYNAMITE WARRIOR. It stars Dan Chupong, a former member of Tony Jaa’s stunt team, who emerged as a credible action [...]

REVIEW: My Young Auntie (1980)

July 17, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | 2 Comments »
As of 1980, master kung fu movie maker Lau Kar-leung was in the middle of a stream of hits following his break from a long-time collaboration with director Chang Cheh and co-choreographer Tang Chia. Films like HEROES [...]