My Beloved Bodyguard aka The Bodyguard (我的特工爷爷) is a Hong Kong/Chinese movie released on 1 April 2016.
Ding Hu is retired and has dementia. A young girl, Li Chung Hua, hangs out with him to hide from her father and his connections to crime. They live on the China/Russian border and her life is threatened by crime lords. Ding Hu as her bodyguard with his surprising skills protects her.
Sammo Hung (洪金寶) as Ding Hu
Of course Sammo needs no introduction whose contribution to Asian film industry is astonishing. He was the director and main actor in this movie. Sammo hadn’t directed a movie since 1997.
Andy Lau (劉德華) as Li Zheng Jiu
Another very famous Hong Kong actor with a list of films longer than several arms. He was the producer and main actor in The Bodyguard. He is, lets say, about the same age as me and looking very good.
I noticed a guest appearance by Hu Jun ( 胡军) who played a policeman.
I understand that Jackie Chan was due to appear in this movie but due to various reasons couldn’t so Andy Lau stepped in.
On the face of it the story seemed sound however it wasn’t executed very well. Maybe Sammo and Andy Lau took on too much, not sure, it didn’t flow well. At first the story didn’t move very fast, I can see where some watchers would turn off at that point, but it did speed up as it went along. From a fairly sleepy harmless beginning to a more violent shocking second half, like going from a cuddly Disney movie to a brutal action adventure.
From an acting perspective I didn’t think Sammo performed well in this and much of the film was better executed by the other actors.
There was quite a bit of humour, especially from the three seniors on the bench which I enjoyed. There were other parts of the film that made me laugh but I don’t think the scenes were purposely set up for this.
The locations were interesting and I assume it was partly filmed in China and Russia, but those two countries get on well to have made this happen.
I felt bad as I really wanted to enjoy this movie but will only give it a 3/5.
Where To Watch
I understand it used to be on Netflix but we saw it on Tubi.
Ninth Happiness (Gau sing bou hei / 星报喜) is a Hong Kong movie that was released on 14 February 1998.
Chi Wan (Jackyln Wu) falls in love with a stranger in the woods, Ma Lun Cheung (Leslie Cheung), and mistakes him for a fairy. She is from Rainbow Village where, at the same time, two coarse and corrupt brothers arrive in town to destroy the peace.
The movie is a comedy musical.
Leslie Cheung (張國榮) as Ma Lun Cheung/Tok Choi
I chose this movie because the sadly deceased gay cantopop artist was in it. I am slowly starting to work my way through his movies.
Raymond Wong (黃百鳴) as Ma Lun Tai (as Bak-Ming Wong)
A talented screenwriter, director, producer and actor with a long history in the film industry.
Jacklyn Wu (吳倩蓮) as Chi Wan
A Taiwanese actress who won awards for her appearance in Eighteen Springs (1997). Although appeared in TV dramas she is best known for film.
This film was totally bonkers. It seemed like it was a musical Carry On movie, Carry On as the series of British comedy films, it was quite cheeky throughout.
This is one of those wild Hong Kong comedies but with a messed up story. It took a little bit to get into the movie especially its sense of humour and erratic script! I am told it was making fun of Cantonese Opera, which I guess could be the case.
They had familiar tunes, such as Jingle Bells, with their own humorous words over it. Tea for Two was very well done. Some of the songs were short in duration and could have padded it out longer, maybe they were limited to time.
There were some really over the top annoying characters especially the one that lusted over someone else, not sure the acting was good with his character.
It was so good to see Leslie Cheung. He was always game to try anything out and his role included singing, martial arts, romance, comedy and slapstick. For a lead role I don’t think he was in it for very long.
It’s worth trying to make it to the end of the movie just for the bloopers which just cracked me up.
Despite the movie being so wild and crazy it made me laugh a lot, so I think its worth seeing although I wouldn’t rate it very highly.
Flying Tiger Season 3 (飛虎之壯志英雄) is an action and crime orientated TV series from Hong Kong.
The show lasted 30 episodes, it started airing on 16th December 2021 and finished on 11th January 2022, it was broadcast every day Monday through Sunday, seven days a week.
A deadly biological weapon is being made in Hong Kong and threatens the world, it is linked to a number of kidnappings to ensure the virus gets into the hands of a previously unknown secret organisation.
The regular actors of this show are back. Same actors, different characters.
Michael Miu (苗僑偉) plays Xu Jun Fei
Very extensive portfolio of shows, he started his career in the 1980s and he is now in his mid-60s, although he looks much younger.
Bosco Wong (黃宗澤) plays Zhang Jia Xuan
Actor and singer, his career began in 2003. A popular actor with a long list of shows that he has been in. Often works alongside Ron Ng, as per this show.
Ron Ng (吳卓羲) as Gao Zi Le
An actor and singer who started his career in 1998. A long list of shows and movies to his name. Currently working on a Movie and a TV show.
Oscar Leung (梁競徽) as Hui Sam
He seems more of a character actor to me. His career started in 2000. Always look forward his talent appearing in numerous TV shows.
Flying Tigers season 1 was brilliant. Season 2 wasn’t very good at all, I almost gave up on it. Season 3 restored my faith in the show, it was a very decent send-off to what I envisage to be the last season.
Season 2 was slow and boring but Season 3 was more action orientated. Some episodes were quite slow as though they were fillers to ensure the story would reach 30 episodes.
Every one of these types of shows appears to have stock phrases, whether it be Flying Tiger or Line Walker, about how dedicated and disciplined they are to the criminal justice system.
The show was written and planned out well, it can be split into two. First, there are the altercations with a terrorist group, then a race to make the biological weapon and related kidnappings.
From the start, we had our suspicions about whether a leading character was good or bad and as each episode went by more details would be forthcoming about how bad he is. Yes, he turned out to be very bad indeed, yet cared about those who had known him for a long time. Halfway through the series they introduced another bad character who we had envisaged to be good as well and this was a good twist in the tale.
There is a mix of action, romance and heartbreak. The action scenes were very well done, above average for a show like this. They probably should have named the origin country of the terrorist group something simpler but I’m pleased they chose an imaginary country rather than be political. The last 3 episodes were pretty good, just when you think it’s all over….!
I would give it a 4/5. It was very enjoyable and I didn’t fall asleep once.
Line Walker (the movie) (使徒行者) is a Hong Kong film that was released on 11th August 2016. We watched this shortly after the first TV series.
Several cops went undercover but due to some issues, their identities were erased from the police database. This is the first of two films.
Charmaine Sheh (佘詩曼) who appeared in the first TV series plays the main character, Ding Siu Ka.
Benz Hui (許紹雄) is back but plays Tam Fun Hei
Louis Koo (古天樂) plays Siu Zi Long, the main lead.
This was nowhere as good as the TV series although it was moderately watchable. In fact, the film was sadly a bit of a disappointment.
Charmaine Sheh and Benz Hui made the movie for me otherwise it wouldn’t have been the same. Charmaine has some very humorous scenes carrying on a similar style to the series, also a good action scene or two as well. There was kind of a switch in roles for Benz, he is such a great actor, very engaging on screen.
For the storyline and character development, I thought it could have done so much better. As the film progressed Ding Siu Ka seemed to lose the humour element of the story.
If they took out Louis Koo and put in a couple more actors from the TV series it would have been better. Michael Miu was so good in the TV series maybe my expectations were a character as he portrayed.
Reviewers on other sites said they really liked the movie but didn’t rate it as high as the series. So, I will give it a 2.5/5.
Where Can I Watch
This film is available on TubiTV. It is supposed to be on Netflix in some regions, but not in Canada which hasn’t acquired any of the series.
Line Walker (使徒行者) is a TV series from Hong Kong made by TVB and broadcast in 2014. There are three TV series and 2 films.
A number of undercover cops are wiped from the system and it’s up to Cheuk Hoi to find out where they are. They get together to fight gangs plus corruption within the Hong Kong police force.
Michael Miu (苗僑偉) as Cheuk Hoi
A veteran of these types of police action series, we have also seen him in shows like Flying Tiger.
Charmaine Sheh (佘詩曼) as Ding Siu Ka
Has appeared in many shows since 1999 and was the first Hong Kong TV actress to be shortlisted for the semi-finals of the Best Actress category at the 35th International Emmy Awards in 2007. Instagram
Raymond Lam (林峯) as Sit Ka Keung
We saw him in P Storm but don’t think we knew of him back then. He was born in China and his Great Grandmother is Spanish.
Benz Hui (許紹雄) as Foon Hei Gor
Another veteran actor whose on-screen presence just makes me chuckle. We’ve seen a couple of other productions he’s been in. His career goes way back to 1972. Instagram
Oscar Leung (梁競徽) as Muk Sat
We’ve seen him in many shows such as K9 Cop, Flying Tiger and Tiger Cubs. His role in this show was mostly humorous and he did a great job with the character. Instagram (Private Account)
Line Walker is definitely an action-packed series with lots of tense drama, some romance and lots of comedy. Obviously, a popular series since they made two other seasons and two films out of it.
The story was good. There was one overall one with small but surprising story arcs. Just when you think it was reaching one conclusion about one arc it went off in another direction with a character’s story going in an unexpected track. A lot was packed in. There were breaks in the action, for example, 2 or 3 episodes of action followed by one that would be comical or romantic.
The characters developed well within the series, and none of them stagnated at all. Some TV series are boring if they don’t change in any shape or form. Most of the characters had nicknames which I haven’t detailed here, one of them was slightly rude.
The actors were perfect for the roles they had. I thought some side actors who have been leading roles in other dramas should have had their characters on screen more. I was expecting a bit more.
I was quite surprised when they killed off some of my favourite characters, I would have liked them to finish their story in a more positive manner, I guess that is life.
The music was typical of TVB action dramas, like a racing car going full steam ahead.
Just like some other TVB dramas, some female characters could have been treated better than just “babes in swimsuits”.
Overall, I give it 4.5/5 and can’t wait to see the next series.
Where Can I Watch
Currently it’s available on TubiTV. I don’t know of its availability outside of North America.
He’s A Woman, She’s A Man (金枝玉葉) is a Hong Kong movie that was released on 23rd July 1994.
Sam announces a country-wide male-only talent search so they can achieve stardom and international acclaim. Wing, who is desperate to meet her idols, is a female who dresses as a man to enter the contest.
We didn’t really know who Leslie Cheung was prior to watching this movie, I felt quite ashamed that I didn’t. We had this DVD for a long time but failed to watch it until now. It just so happened to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the passing of Leslie Cheung. He was born Cheung Fat-chung in Kowloon, studied in the UK from the age of 12, returned to Hong Kong and in 1990 became a Canadian citizen living here in Vancouver, British Columbia. He said that it’s easy for him to have a relationship with both a woman or a man. He had relationships with both but the one prior to his passing was with childhood friend Daffy Tong Hok-tak from 1997 thru 2003. He was diagnosed with clinical depression and sadly committed suicide by jumping off the 24th floor of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. However, his music (Cantopop) and films endure to this day. There are many articles on the internet to learn about Leslie and his music is everywhere.
One of my gripes is that many Leslie Cheung films are hard to find, of low quality or they are hugely expensive. I would like some of them to be remastered in time for the 25th anniversary of his passing.
Leslie Cheung (國榮) as Sam Koo Gai Ming
Anita Yuen (袁詠儀) as Lam Chi Wing
Carina Lau (劉嘉玲) as Rose
Review – Spoilers
I really enjoyed this movie. I was taken aback how liberal and open things were in it, I’m actually quite surprised that it got past the censor. Gay relationships? I didn’t think that Hong Kong would be open to that so much.
The main story was about the relationship between Sam, Wing and Rose. We see the struggle that Sam goes through in potentially loving a man, and one that had just wattled into his life making quite an impact.
The last scene was something I didn’t expect. “I don’t care if you are a woman or a man, I love you”.
I’m not sure why this received some poor ratings, but who cares, I loved it. 5/5!
Where Can I See It?
I don’t know where this is available, but we bought the DVD. The DVD appears to be quite difficult to obtain now. I can’t even remember where we found it.
A Fist Within Four Walls (城寨英雄) is a Hong Kong TV drama made by TVB that aired from the 1st to 28 August 2016.
Bearing the grief of losing his family, Chor Au-kuen returns to the Kowloon Walled City in hopes of finding his long lost sister, only to find that the very place he grew up in has become a lawless no man’s land.
The show won numerous awards across Asia.
Official Music Video
This feels like a “Who’s Who” of TVB dramas, including:
Benjamin Yuen (袁偉豪) as Duen Ying Fung
He is a winner of the Mr Hong Hong beauty contest in 2007 and a model. He was in the top 3 of a martial arts contest, so I understand. We hadn’t seen him in anything else prior to “Fist”. Instagram
Nancy Wu (胡定欣) as Tiu Lan
She finished in the top 4 of TVB’s 18th Annual New Talent Singing Awards in 1999. In 2008, filmed in Hunan, she participated in Strictly Come Dancing Season Two. Quite a busy actress appearing in many TVB productions. Instagram
Yuen Qiu (元秋) as Yuk Bo Fung
Appeared in many films since 1972. She trained under the same martial artist master as Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung Kam Bo. She is also has Beijing opera skills. Before she was an actress in films she was a stunt woman and as a student rescuing James Bond in The Man With The Golden Gun movie with Roger Moore. My The Righteous Fists Review
Grace Wong (王君馨) as Fa Man
Another regular of TVB dramas. She grew up in Brooklyn and Queens then went to Hong Kong on an exchange program at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Instagram
She also sings:
It was certainly one of the best TVB dramas we have ever seen.
The story line was good, a little typical of a TVB drama of that caliber, and quite similar to The Righteous Fists in a way. I thought “oh, they are going to knock off that character before the series ends” and they did. There were a lot of story arcs with romances and relationship challenges.
If you like martial arts TV shows then this is one for you. The outtakes at the end of each show provided some insight at how they created them and for a couple of the actors, who are not quite whippersnappers anymore, it must have been quite a challenge for them. Certainly more agile than me.
The set was great, very realistic. Some had been reused from previous dramas, or we had seen them in drama’s to come.
The story arcs challenged the actors abilities as well, not just from a martial arts perspective but also how they got into different emotions. Philip Ng’s character was very different to that of The Righteous Fists playing anything from scary to “kind of” romantic.
The things I didn’t like about the show:
Yuen Qiu’s character was nicknamed “Thai Hag”, I don’t think it was necessary to hear that through every single episode. If I was the scriptwriter I would have excluded that or have the character reprimand others for saying it.
Even though the character was evil he was put down in a vulgar way for being gay, several times. At that point in the show I questioned whether I should finish it off. In the UK this would have generated quite a few complaints to the TV company, realistic of the times or not.
Overall, a brilliant “must watch” show but will mark them down for the two issues I had with it. I will give them 4/5.
Where To Watch
I watched this show on TubiTV, they have quite a few Hong Kong drama’s on there.
View a trailer, other information and stills from the show at the TVB Anywhere website.
Table for Six (飯戲攻心) is a Hong Kong movie that was released in 2022. It reached UK cinemas in November 2022.
This is the story of three couples, living under the same roof, who are involved in four romances together. There is a new disaster whenever they sit down to dinner.
Dayo Wong (黃子華) as Chan Hung/”Steve”
He is also a screenwriter and director. He is from Hong Kong but gained a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alberta here in Canada. He is a stand-up comedian performing in Hong Kong, Australia, Canada and the US. He has starred in many TV dramas and films, he won the TV King Award in 2013.
Louis Cheung (張繼聰) as Chan Lai/”Bernard”
He was also the composer of this film. He went to the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, majored in acting, and performed in many stages plays. He is also a Cantopop recording artist and songwriter. Instagram
The movie was a mixture of drama and humour throughout, more than often over-the-top.
It story rarely took them out of the home and was mainly an interaction between the 6 characters.
I thought this was a very different Hong Kong movie compared to what I’ve seen before, it could have been set on a theatre stage and in fact might have been more interesting in that setting. I didn’t really take to the movie that much, it was kind of slow and didn’t really do anything for me. There was some special effects work. The best humour Louis Cheung seems to have includes the bedroom and toilet scenes, you will know what I mean if you get to see it.
The best part of the movie was the bloopers during the closing credits. I feel really bad saying that.
It doesn’t receive bad reviews online but for me personally, I can only give it 2/5.
I did notice this at the very beginning of the film and wonder if it’s in the Chinese version which is 4 minutes less than the Hong Kong one.
Review of Hong Kong movie Detective vs Sleuths (神探大戰) which was released on 8th July 2022.
The Hong Kong police create a task force to investigate a series of murders. Li Jun who was once a detective, until he suffered a mental breakdown, starts his own investigation. The murder victims are all suspects of cold cases being rubbed out by a figure known as “The Sleuth”.
The movie is also known as Cold Detective or Shen Tan Da Zhan.
Lau Ching Wan (刘青云) as Li Jun
The actor has been in quite a few TVB shows but recently his portfolio has been in movies where he is always in the main role. The actor is also known as Sean Lau.
Charlene Choi (蔡卓妍) as Chen Yi
Choi is a Hong Kong-Canadian actress and singer. She was born here in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Her family moved to Hong Kong when she was little. She has been on a long list of TV shows and films.
View profile on Instagram
Raymond Lam (林峯) as Fong Lai Shun
He has appeared in mainly TV shows but the only program I’ve seen him is “Step Into The Past”, I only saw one episode though. Part of his studies was at the University of Southern California. He is also a singer:
There was a basic story line but didn’t really have to think to hard during this movie at all.
It wasn’t until 10-15 minutes into the movie that you started to realize the main character had “imaginary friends”. At first I just thought they were real. It was an interesting trick.
It did have some humour in the movie but not a lot. I don’t actually recall any of the characters smiling.
Lau Ching Wan had the best part and he acted it well mainly because he also, at times, played the character of his “friends”.
I recommend this movie for anyone wanting a lot of action and explosions. This is what the movie was mainly about and they did that well. They most likely employed a lot of stunt actors and special effects creatives.
Things moved so fast in the movie I got quite confused what was going on. Maybe they should have just extended the duration from 1 hour 42 min to about 15 minutes longer.
Short review of Trivisa (樹大招風), a Hong Kong movie released in April 2016.
The handover of Hong Kong from the UK to China upcoming, when the city still has a booming economy, is imminent. Three crooks from China head to Hong Kong to make their fortune.
The only actor I immediately recognized in this movie was Yueh Hua (岳华) who played Ho Yu Kei. He was in support, not the main role. He was in No Regrets which we are currently watching.
I won’t spend a lot of time reviewing this movie as it was pretty bad. It was only in the last half an hour that I started to understand what was going on. I thought, at first, the movie was very poorly planned out. At one point I couldn’t tell if they were in China, Thailand or Hong Kong.
So, they appeared to spend time focused on planning to rob a Gold shop but are not sure they did in the end.
The movie did show a lot of urban degeneration. Not sure if it was the real Hong Kong or just a set, most likely the latter.
It was kind of interesting to see stock footage of Chris Patton in the movie, he was the 28th and final Governor of Hong Kong from 1992 to 1997. He has appeared in other Hong Kong related documentaries plus a game called “Hong Kong 97” I believe. An interesting yet humorous review of Hong Kong 97:
Reviewers on Internet Movie Database gave it positive reviews, generally. On Asian review sites it was pretty much the same, around 7/10. For myself, I will give it a 2 out of 5.
Where to Watch
The movie is available on Netflix Canada, not sure if it’s there for other countries.