THE KILLER
DIP HUET SEUNG HUNG
1989, 110 min, Hong Kong, Dir: John Woo

The film that put John Woo on the international map, and almost single-handedly redefined the style, pace (and body count) of the modern gangster film. Sensitive, honorable hitman Chow Yun-Fat accidentally blinds singer Sally Yeh in a nightclub shootout, then falls in love with her. Rule-breaking cop Danny Lee, hot on Chow's trail, forms an uneasy alliance with the killer when gonzo gang boss Fui-On Shing goes ballistic, trying to take them all out in an escalating series of gloriously operatic gun battles, punctuated by white doves, swirling pop music and Chow’s impossibly cool demeanor.


ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA 2
WONG FEI HUNG II: NAM YEE TUNG CHI KEUNG
1992, Golden Harvest, 113 min, Hong Kong, Dir: Tsui Hark

Jet Li returns as Cantonese folk hero Wong Fei-hung in this second installment in one of the greatest martial arts series of all time. The year is 1895, and turmoil is flaring up throughout the countryside. As western colonizing powers force unfair treaties upon the nation, underground revolutionaries like the White Lotus Cult respond with extreme xenophobic violence. It’s up to Wong to protect the innocents caught in the midst of this violence and to restore order and balance to his country…through a series of increasingly mind-blowing martial arts acrobatics.


ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA
WONG FEI HUNG
1991, Golden Harvest, 134 min, Hong Kong, Dir: Tsui Hark

In Tsui Hark’s epic re-imagining of a classical Chinese folk hero, Jet li portrays Wong Fei-hung, a 19th century herbal medicine doctor who also moonlights as the leader of his local militia, training them in traditional martial arts. When the militia protects their village from a brutal gang, Wong gets wrongly blamed for causing the fight. Politics, revolution, and romance all combine across elaborately choreographed fights in a restaurant, at the opera-house, and on a boat to kick off one of the most successful martial arts franchises of all time.


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