REVIEW: Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002)

November 8, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
BALLISTIC is the sort of action film I wanted to like. The director’s influences appear to include the Wachowski brothers and Hong Kong filmmakers like John Woo. Effort was made to stylize the action and create a [...]

REVIEW: Azumi (2003)

November 7, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
With the release of AZUMI, exaggerated swordplay action in Japan has a new master and his name is Ryuhei Kitamura. To fully appreciate this director’s epic and stylized manga adaptation, one must know the genre’s history. The [...]

REVIEW: Avenging Fist, The (2001)

November 7, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
Yuen Biao and Sammo Hung are together again onscreen in this sci-fi fighting extravaganza. It contains loads of unrestrained digital effects and lacks originality but THE AVENGING delivers on comic-tinged action. At some point in the future, [...]

REVIEW: Assassin, The (1993)

November 7, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
THE ASSASSIN is a stylish and bloody film featuring some terrific actors including Mainland Chinese actor Zhang Feng-yi (FAREWELL MY CONCUBINE) and Hong Kong’s Rosamund Kwan in an ambitious, yet dizzying story that may leave viewers frustrated [...]

REVIEW: Assassin, The (1967)

November 7, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
If Chang Cheh, the godfather of modern martial arts movies, ever directed a true genre masterpiece then this is it. THE ASSASSIN finds this former film critic at the top of his game, both as a writer [...]

REVIEW: Asoka (2001)

November 7, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
ASOKA is a landmark achievement in India’s prolific film industry. It’s an epic film with a cast of thousands telling the tale of one of India’s greatest historical figures. It’s visually stunning and packed with all the [...]

REVIEW: Ashes of Time (1994)

November 7, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | 1 Comment »
ASHES OF TIME is celebrated art house director Wong Kar-wai’s deconstruction of the wuxia pian featuring a powerhouse lineup of Hong Kong superstars, a challenging revision of a classic wuxia novel, the gorgeous cinematography of Christopher Doyle, [...]

REVIEW: Art of Action, The (2002)

November 7, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | 2 Comments »
As the martial arts film genre continues to grow in popularity and influence the current generation of filmmakers the need to educate a new and enthusiastic fan base becomes necessary. Thankfully, Keith Clarke and a team of [...]

REVIEW: Around the World in 80 Days (2004)

November 7, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
Kung fu and slapstick comedy meets Victorian-era adventure and droll wit when Jackie Chan stars with British comedian Steve Coogan in the latest film adaptation of Jules Verne’s AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS. It’s fast-paced adventure [...]

REVIEW: Armour of God 2: Operation Condor (1991)

November 7, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
Jackie Chan’s second foray into the Indiana Jones-inspired adventure genre is filled with exotic locales, a trio of beautiful ladies and numerous, outrageous trademark stunts and fight scenes. Yet without a more comprehensible plot, an appropriate soundtrack [...]

REVIEW: Armour of God (1987)

November 7, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | 1 Comment »
Confusingly re-titled OPERATION CONDOR 2: THE ARMOUR OF GOD in the U.S., this movie isn’t one of Jackie Chan’s best, yet it has the distinction of having some of his most notorious stunts. This was the film [...]

REVIEW: Arhats in Fury (1985)

November 7, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
An initially confusing narrative eventually pays off with some fantastic martial arts within an unusually well-crafted story, focusing on a little seen chapter in Chinese history. ARHATS IN FURY is not your typical martial arts movie. With [...]

REVIEW: Arahan (2004)

November 7, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
ARAHAN poses the scenario of what if chi masters of wuxia lore walked among us, sometimes without even knowing it. I’m not talking about old ladies performing meditative stances in the park here. We’re talking wall-climbing, free-floating [...]

REVIEW: Anonymous Heroes, The (1971)

November 7, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
It’s not often that a Shaw Brothers film deserves the kind of cult status generally reserved for war films like KELLY’S HEROES or THE DIRTY DOZEN, but ANONYMOUS HEROES is one such film. Ti Lung and David [...]

REVIEW: Anna in Kung Fu Land (2003)

November 7, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
As a film, ANNA IN KUNG FU LAND is like cotton candy. It looks pretty and has a sweet taste, but there’s ultimately nothing substantial to be gained from it but a belly ache and rotten teeth. [...]

REVIEW: Angel with the Iron Fists (1967)

November 7, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | 1 Comment »
Years before femme fatales like Moon Lee and Yukari Oshima established themselves as some of Hong Kong’s leading martial arts and gun-totting heroines, Shaw Brothers attempted to marry the 1960s trend of leading ladies in martial arts [...]

REVIEW: Angel Force (1991)

November 7, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | 2 Comments »
A mix of quality martial arts and campy jungle warfare dominate this plain actioner starring the talented Moon Lee. ANGEL FORCE was released near the end of the popular “girls with guns” era of Hong Kong film [...]

REVIEW: Bloody Fists, The (1972)

November 7, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
Setting the tone for subsequent films like TIGER VS. DRAGON and RAGE OF THE WIND, THE BLOODY FISTS portrays a brutal confrontation between Japanese and Chinese martial artists with Chan Sing as the only man tough enough [...]

REVIEW: Amsterdam Connection (1978)

November 6, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
Fan Mei-sheng, a longtime character actor at Shaw Brothers dips his hand into writing and directing with AMSTERDAM CONNECTION, a hardboiled tale of globetrotting gangsters from Hong Kong competing for the lucrative drug trade in Europe. The [...]

REVIEW: Ame Agaru (1999)

November 6, 2007 | Posted in Film and TV Reviews by Mark Pollard | No Comments »
Imagine a highly skilled samurai able to best most swordsmen, yet possessing a level of open kindness and sensitivity that only infuriates more prideful men. Such is the theme of AME AGARU, a jidai geki based on [...]