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Black Mask
(Hak Hap,
黑俠)

Director – Daniel Lee – 1996 – Hong Kong – Cert. 18 – 99m

*****

An experimentally created supersoldier without feelings revolts against his creators, even as they attempt to take control of Hong Kong’s drugs trade – on Blu-ray from Monday, April 22nd in the UK and Tuesday, April 23rd in the US and Canada

Removing the ability of human beings to feel produce an elite force of warriors known as the 701 Squad has gone horribly wrong, and the members of 701 are to be shut down. Their leader, adopting the name Tsui Chik (Jet Li), escapes to live undercover working in a library where he learns all he can by reading books. His unlucky in love co-worker Tracy (Karen Mok) is convinced by other staff members to date him.

However, Tsui is more interested in hanging out with his best friend, the policeman Inspector Shek (Lau Ching Wan) who is tracking the elimination of all the major Hong Kong drugs dealers. The reason, unbeknown to him, is that the other surviving members of the 701 Squad, under the leadership of the Commander (Patrick Lung), are trying to wipe out the gangs including the last surviving gang leader King Kau (Anthony Wong) and take control of the drugs trade themselves to gain financial security.… Read the rest

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Features Live Action Movies

Lady Reporter
(Shi Jie Da Shai
aka
The Blonde Fury,
Righting Wrongs II,
Above The Law II)

Director – Mang Hoi – 1989 – Hong Kong – Cert. 18 – 90m

Movie ***

Action Sequences *****

Female FBI agent Cynthia Rothrock is sent to Hong Kong to put a stop to a counterfeit money scam operated by an editor out of a newspapers premises – on Blu-ray from Monday, June 26th

With New York facing a deluge of counterfeit banknotes originating in Hong Kong, and involving several felons with considerable martial arts fighting skills, agent Cindy (Cynthia Rothrock) is sent from San Francisco to Hong Kong to put the forgers out of business. She stays with her friend Judy (Elizabeth Lee) and begins working undercover as a reporter for the paper under Miss Miu. Going out to cover a fire with her camera, Cindy enters the blazing building and rescues a child, attracting the attention of rival publication photojournalist Shorty (director Mang Hoi) and his colleague (Chin Siu-ho). Shorty’s dad (Wu Ma) is the rival newspaper’s editor.

Cindy attempts to infiltrate the counterfeiting operation, but is discovered by Miu and escapes before she can see anything. Shorty, meanwhile, gets a lucky break and witnesses the abduction of Judy’s father, Prosecutor Yu (Roy Chiao), who is preparing the court case against the man behind the counterfeiting operation, newspaper editor Wang Dak (Ronny Yu).… Read the rest

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Features Live Action Movies

Renfield

Director – Chris McKay – 2023 – US – Cert. 15 – 93m

**

Guided by American self-help industry ideas of escaping toxic relationships with narcissists, Dracula‘s servant Renfield wants out of his relationship with his master – out in UK cinemas on Friday, April 14th

Renfield (Nicholas Hoult) has had enough of working for his boss, Count Dracula (Nic Cage) who gives him the ability to manifest great power from eating insects in exchange for his tending to Dracula’s every need, the main item on which list is a supply of fresh, virtuous humans on who to feast. As here portrayed, Renfield is an honourable Englishman who has changed the rules: he goes out and brings back a never ending supply of one sort or another of less than virtuous people for the Count. Unfortunately, this doesn’t really fit the bill.

Enter pampered gangster boy Tedward Lobo (Ben Schwartz) who, whilst trying to find the people who double-crossed him in a drugs deal, stumbles on the Prince of Darkness and, impressed, resolves to introduce the vampire to his ruthless crime boss mother Bellafrancesca Lobo (casting coup Shohreh Aghdashloo) to help him in his newly-formed goal of world domination.

Meanwhile, traffic cop Rebecca (Awkwafina), the only cop not on the take in the corrupt local precinct, otherwise bought to a man by the Lobos, is determined to get the evidence to put the crime family behind bars.… Read the rest

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Features Live Action Movies

The Northman

Director – Robert Eggers – 2022 – US – Cert. 15 – 136m

*****

A 10th Century Viking prince vows revenge on his father king’s killer and sees it through to death – out in cinemas on Friday, April 15th

Young Viking Prince Amleth (Oscar Novak from The Batman) is thrilled when his warrior father King Aurvandil War-Raven (Ethan Hawke) returns with a line of prisoners in two to his fortified stronghold and Queen Gudrún (Nicole Kidman). Father and son are devoted to each other, participating in a private ritual involving bodily sounds and consumption of an hallucinogenic liquid that causes the boy to experience a vision of his family line: a tree of life where the trunk is a spine and branches are umbilical cords attached to grown kings as the viewpoint pans up reveal the boy attached to the highest cord. He is now prepared to take over the rule of the kingdom when his father dies.

He doesn’t seem to get on quite so well with his mother, who warns him never to enter her room unannounced. At a banquet in honour of Aurvandil, his dour brother Fjölnir (Claes Bang from The Square, Ruben Östlund, 2017) takes exception to court jester Heimir the Fool (Willem Dafoe).… Read the rest