Apop Harris's Reviews

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Apop Harris's Ratings

The Two Most Honorable Knights
The Two Most Honorable Knights 1988
     

3 stars for the story itself + the old-style fighting scenes-no ridiculous special effects. However, not my favorite adaptation for oversimplifying the unique characters in the novel.
Thie Xin Lan became so weak, cry all the time in here! Supposed to have soft appearance yet stubborn girl with decent kungfu! Waste of Kitty Lai performance!
Sou Ying should possess no kungfu but is the only person outsmarted Xiao Yu Er, subtly made him attract to her. Sou Ying here seemed begging for him, their chemistry was not believable.
Tony is a good actor but he seemed too lazy here! Xiao Yu Er is playful, carefree, but not lack of emotion! He should have been better showing his serious side like his respect to Yan Nan Thian.
I never like Yueh Hoa, but he’s quite good Yan Nan Thian. He should have more on-screen time. Hugo Ng as Hua Wu Jie wasnt bad either, but need more believable scenes with Xiao Yu Er that explained how they got along together.

The Wild Bunch
The Wild Bunch 1983
     

Story line was okay, a little bit too draggy for such a simple conflict between 2 groups. What was supposed to be a mystery was too easy to guess since there were not many characters. If the casts were not so great, it would be a boring series. I did watched it because Felix Wong and Idy Chan were in it. But later it was Austin Wai that stole the show! His sub plot was more interesting. Kent Tong was also amazing, this was the first time he played antagonist character and it was so good that he accepted many similar roles after this series.

The Legend of Ching Lady
The Legend of Ching Lady 1984
     

Very strong cast! Ray Lui was not a typical villain and he was a great actor. Dodo Cheng was amazing as a leading lady, Simon Yam played character transition very well. His chemistry with Dodo Cheng in this movie might be a reason why they were chosen to be Zhang Wuji's parents in Heaven Sword & Dragon Sabre 2006. I don't know why this series wasn't so popular, maybe because too many great series at the same time in the TVB golden era..?

The New Adventures of Chor Lau Heung
The New Adventures of Chor Lau Heung 1984
     

Producer/director successfully translated the mystery element from the novel. It was very enjoyable story with many interesting sub-plots. No draggy and dull moments.. everything flew smoothly.. love it! Great casts, special thumbs up for Simon Yam and Austin Wai. The only reason why I didn't give 5 stars is only because I personally doesn't like Chor Lau Heung character and even though I like Michael Miu, the make up was a little bit too much here :D A must see!

Sword Stained with Royal Blood
Sword Stained with Royal Blood 1986
     

As many others TVB Jin Yong 80 production, I always love them. The casts are great and likeable, except Teresa Mo as Ah Jiu, it was a big turn off. Overall, nothing wrong with this version, but I simply gave only 3 stars because it didn't shine as other Jin Yong adaptation in this era. Probably because of Bi Xie Jian is my least favorite novel, but producer/director didn't try to make a least interesting novel to be more interesting (Flying Fox 85, for example. I was never a big fan of the novel but the adaptation is far above the expectation).

Sword Stained With Royal Blood
Sword Stained With Royal Blood 2007
     

The pros: Fighting scenes. Fast and believable swordplay choreography, not too many CGIs. Even though the main guy Yuan Chengzhi is never an interesting character to me, but the plots about Golden Snake Swordsman and An Jianqing are very engaging and well-acted. Very captivating at the first part. The cons: The well-developed and fast-paced beginning became draggy in the middle, to the point it was so unbearable to watch. The love story was lack of chemistry. Fortunately at the end it went back interesting again and that was enough to make this to be the best adaptation of Bi Xue Jian, so far.

Swordsman
Swordsman 2013
     

Adaptation Rules: 1. If you can't make logical plots like in the novel, then don’t change them. 2. If you can't make more believable and deeper characters than what’s written in the novel, then don’t try to change them!
This adaptation is failed. Even when I tried to enjoy it as a new story and forget the novel, it didn't work. This improvisation resulted in many plot holes and shallow, inconsistent characters. Dong Fang Bubai became a lead female and stole Ren Ying Ying’s quotes and scenes in the novel. Many characters were deleted but infused it in other characters. What the h***?
However, I still gave it 3 stars because Wallace Huo’s effort to really live up Linghu Chong despite the lame screenwriting, some minor scenes that really faithful to the novel and the actor/actress who played Zhuo Lengchan and Ning Zhongzhe. They are quite good, despite her young-looking face. The scenery is great but the fighting is mediocre, it's all because too much unnecessary CGI.

Demi Gods and Semi Devils
Demi Gods and Semi Devils 1982
     

Strong casting and very generous budget for the awesome, detail wardrobe and hairdo. Cecilia Wong shined as Ah Zhu and Ciong Ling. The best Murong Fu from all versions, really suit to the description of Murong Fu: elegant like a prince, but very manly.. Opposite to Duan Yu which is a pretty guy and less manly, nicely played by Kent Tong. Strong casting and nicely composed theme songs make this version very memorable. My only complain: Too long and not effective plot at the beginning, but too rush at the end. Some improvisations which is different from the book make the ending a better climax for a final fighting scene, but not better in a philosophical meaning. Murong Fu became mentally ill is actually a better punishment than a death.

Demi Gods and Semi Devils
Demi Gods and Semi Devils 1982
     

Strong casting and very generous budget for the awesome, detail wardrobe and hairdo. Cecilia Wong shined as Ah Zhu and Ciong Ling. The best Murong Fu from all versions, really suit to the description of Murong Fu: elegant like a prince, but very manly.. Opposite to Duan Yu which is a pretty guy and less manly, nicely played by Kent Tong. Strong casting and nicely composed theme songs make this version very memorable. My only complain: Too long and not effective plot at the beginning, but too rush at the end. Some improvisations which is different from the book make the ending a better climax for a final fighting scene, but not better in a philosophical meaning. Murong Fu became mentally ill is actually a better punishment than a death.

Demi Gods and Semi Devils
Demi Gods and Semi Devils 1982
     

Strong casting and very generous budget for the awesome, detail wardrobe and hairdo. Cecilia Wong shined as Ah Zhu and Ciong Ling. The best Murong Fu from all versions, really suit to the description of Murong Fu: elegant like a prince, but very manly.. Opposite to Duan Yu which is a pretty guy and less manly, nicely played by Kent Tong. Strong casting and nicely composed theme songs make this version very memorable. My only complain: Too long and not effective plot at the beginning, but too rush at the end. Some improvisations which is different from the book make the ending a better climax for a final fighting scene, but not better in a philosophical meaning. Murong Fu became mentally ill is actually a better punishment than a death.

Xiao Ao Jiang Hu
Xiao Ao Jiang Hu 2001
     

Excellent fighting choreography, everything looks real and natural, the best among all mainland Jin Yong adaptations. No ridiculuos CGI or unnecessary special effects. Most of the casting are great; Ren Ying Ying, Yi Lin, Madam Ning are my favorite. The beginning is a bit slow and less captivating to me, I mean, who cares about the great fight when you don't have chance to emotionally care about the characters (yet)? Those who already know the story can just skip it and start from episode 10 or 15. Those who don't, be patient. Even though it seems a bit boring, actually every character are important and everything will be paid off later with exciting story and climax ending. Lack of proper music also make this series a little bit 'silent', especially with slow camera that sometimes trying to show scenery without conversation or action. But believe me the story, some characters and fighting scenes are a-must-see for the wuxia drama lovers especially Jin Yong fans.

The Return of the Condor Heroes
The Return of the Condor Heroes 2006
     

I like how they make improvement for most vital fighting scenes; the Peach Blossom Island rock formation is awesome, the scenery and landscape fulfilled my imagination about the beautiful places in the book. GongSun family are better cast than previous version, the actors/actress are much more beautiful than 83 version, but not better acting though. Somehow I found "looking at each other's faces" between Yang Guo and XLN are too much, over dramatization, forced chemistry, not natural, Li Yu Fei is very beautiful but not perfect XLN. complicated costumes and too young. But still a must see if you are a fan of this series!

The Return of the Condor Heroes
The Return of the Condor Heroes 1983
     

I like this series not only because the main casts, but supporting characters also has perfect casts. Auyang Pei San the best mature Huang Rong compare to any version! Her smart eyes, gestures, supported by proper hairdo/wardrobe. For XLN, even though Idy Chan is not the most beautiful woman, but they managed to make Idy the most beautiful maiden in the series. They wouldn't let other supporting characters overshadow her. Her acting is quite convincing as mostly emotionless girl but fell in love with Yang Guo. Her chemistry with Andy Lau is so believable, even without sophisticated camera angle and beautiful background like in the 2006. Yes there are laughable props like Jin Lun Da Wang fake bald head and Yang Guo's chopped arm often came out and terrible condor.. but the fighting choreography is better than 94, casts and the plot/story is still enjoyable even until today. Classic!

The Demi Gods and Semi Devils
The Demi Gods and Semi Devils 1997
     

I hate to give only 3 stars, maybe 3 and a half actually. Story/plot is actually better than 1982 and 2003, not too draggy, using effective flash back and they care about important detail like relationship between our 3 heroes. But I couldn't help watching the bad casting and bad make up/wardrobe! :( Duan Yan King /Villain number 1 supposed to be creepy cripple but authoritative, yet they make him look funny with the orange hair?? The actress who played Ah Zhu is pretty, but in this movie they put too much make up on her that she doesn't look attractive, too manly instead! Carmen Lee and Felix Wong doing pretty great job, but other casts just dissapointed me! Murong Fu looks too old, brown, and not charming at all. He supposed to be fine, pale but manly. Duan Yu's father supposed to be a handsome charming man because he has many women everywhere, but why they cast Phan Ce Wen? Fighting scenes are quite good, I just hope TVB would have made more improvement since 1982.

The Heavenly Sword and Dragon Saber
The Heavenly Sword and Dragon Saber 2003
     

It is okay if you already love the series or fans of the actor/actress, love the drama aspects more than fighting. The dialogue is quite detail, but I found the fighting scenes is not great. Like I don't know what's going on, who's hitting whom, because too many smoke dust ash colors, over done special effects.. Special effects supposed to enhance and improve great kungfu skills and make it believable, not to cover the lack of kungfu skills with random explosions. Zhao Min and Chi Yuerk/Zhirou has similar faces, I found that turned me off. However, Alec Su is quite good as Wuji and the ending is better than 2009.

The New Heavenly Sword and Dragon Saber
The New Heavenly Sword and Dragon Saber 1986
     

What make this series so memorable is the contemplative dialogues and perfect casting even for the supporting roles. They also make significant effort for fighting scenes -despite lack of technology at that time- compare to the over-use of special effects today that doesn't even make fighting scenes more exciting. The only better fighting scenes is 2009 version. 1986 has the best ending (since most of great series end up in a rush or forced sad ending). I like the dialogue between Wuji and his grandteacher about his internal conflict: being a leader of cult/country or simply being a good husband to one woman he loves. Zhirou not making come back and be a great nun/leader for Emei sect is also better than revised version where she kept harassing Wuji and Zhao Min. Come on, Jin Yong.. I admire your work, but unnecessary sad ending revision for your own masterpiece isn't that cool!

The Heavenly Sword and Dragon Saber
The Heavenly Sword and Dragon Saber 2009
     

I initially didnt like Deng Chao for his 'average' looking, it turned out he did great acting as Wuji. Most fighting scenes are the best compare to previous versions. The Director combined real kungfu with 'proper' special effects, not over-use. I mostly like the fights between Wuji vs Shaolin in Ming cult Bright Peak, and Wuji vs Mongolian vanguards in Wutang. Ady An as Zhao Min is quite enjoyable, Xiao Ciao is extremely cute, Zhiruo is ok, but too much makeup. The only bad side is the ending, so rush and I personally don't like Jin Yong revision to his own novel, so lame. I still think 1986 version has the best ending compare to all version from 1978 to 2009 and even the revised novel!

The Hawk
The Hawk 1981
     

If you don't like sad ending or tragic story, like some humor and enjoy watching these famous 80's actor and actress, you might want to watch this. The story is simple and more like conflict between families, not the one that has many pugilist experts/heroes/politics/martial arts sects. Apart from that fact, the fighting scenes are quite good.

The Twins
The Twins 1979
     

Wong Yuen Sun stole the show, I also like his chemistry with Michelle Yim Mai Shuet. This great classic of the Twins might be the reason why it is hard for me to appreciate the newer version/remake. A must see as a comparison to the newer versions.

One Sword
One Sword 1979
     

The story is quite decent but it bothered me that the main male character played by a beautiful girl - Fung Bo Bo.. she is the one who played Mo Mei Lung in Empress Wu. wonder why she is not in the cast, can you edit it?

The Young Heroes of Shaolin
The Young Heroes of Shaolin 1981
     

Full of humor and real kungfu with less special effects... Andy Lau was in it too, he was not famous yet, also Suzanna Au yang Pei San. I like the dominant friendship theme mixed with little love story and politic, with strong casts and memorable theme songs. A must watch!

Young Wong Fei Hung 1980
     

Very memorable series, I like Wong Yuen Sun as Wong Fei Hung, not only because he really knows kungfu in real life, but his development of character from spoiled troublemaker boy to the wise mature man is convincing. May Tien En as the father was great too. The story is captivating, it was amazing, considering I usually didn't like the time setting (half-bald men) plus I usually didn't like RTV/ATV production because the cameraworks somehow blur and inferior compare to HK-TVB. Recommended for anyone who like to see real kung fu fights with no special effects with quite decent story.

The Legend of the Condor Heroes
The Legend of the Condor Heroes 1982
     

This is not the first adaptation of Guo Jing and Huang Rong, but what make this series great and memorable is the breakthrough it made: it had so much improvement that people just forgot about other previous versions. Its strong points are the proper casting -not only the main roles but also supporting characters- the costume, the theme songs and fighting scenes -at that time. You cannot compare the special effects with the newer versions, but this version is always still enjoyable. Today's remakes should have a breakthrough improvement to attract loyal fans to this classic.

The Legend of the Condor Heroes
The Legend of the Condor Heroes 1994
     

I like how this version has fast-paced plot while stay true to the novel. Fighting scenes are quite good. Athena Chu is enjoyable as Huang Rong, even though her gestures is still influenced by Barbara Yung, but much better than 2003 version of Huang Rong. Huang Rong and Guo Jing's chemistry is somewhat better than 1983 since they put important dialogue from the novel that 1983 didn't have. The only thing I didn't like is the supporting characters cast like Mu Nianci, Zhou BoTong, Huang Yao She.. most of them are not good enough compare to 1983.

The Legend of Condor Heroes
The Legend of Condor Heroes 2003
     

LOCH 2003 might be colossal, true to the book with great landscapes & fighting scenes. But I still gave it lowest rating compare to other versions because the CASTS is a big mistake. Huang Rong in the book is a 16 yr petite girl, giggle, laugh mischievously, but this Huang Rong so soft and calm, her gestures, low-pitched- shooting-scratchy voice made it not Huang Rong! The modern costume isn't relevant. Li Yapeng showed less emotion and development from the naïve to mature Guo Jing. The worst is Yang Kang. Not only he’s not handsome and charming but he couldn’t act to be charming. Mu Nianci is so pretty that her beauty is more sophisticated compare to all girls, which is also a mistake because Mu Nianci in the book has subtle, village-girl beauty. Hong Qi Qong supposed to be a bit chubby - he is a glutton, but this one is skinny! Huang Yaoshi is old but supposed to be the most ‘handsome and charming’, compare to the other experts, but he's just old and uninteresting.

God of Sabre
God of Sabre 1979
     

As a short series, God of Sabre was very memorable. The theme song, the story, the casting and especially the costumes and the "sabre" are enough to make this series become iconic and unforgettable compare to other short series at that time.

The Legend of the Condor Heroes
The Legend of the Condor Heroes 2008
     

Despite of minor plot holes, the casting and acting are highly satisfying! Yes it's true it has twist which somewhat different from the book, but other classic scenes such as "Marriage Duel between Guo Jing and Ouyang Ke", "Beggar Sect meeting where Huang Rong beated Yang Kang" , or “First time Guo Jing saw Huang Rong as a girl” turn out to be the most accurate and exciting scenes compare to 1983, 1994, 2003! I honestly hesitated to watch it at the beginning, because I saw Hu Ge in the picture and I thought he's too handsome, not convincing as Guo Jing! I used to believe this is only a bunch of pretty faces ruined Jin Yong masterpiece. But hey, I was so wrong! Pretty faces CAN act too! They showed real emotions and impressed me! I'm usually 80’s fanatic/Jin Yong purist, but I can say this movie has the best Guo Jing, Huang Rong, Yang Kang, Hong Qi Qong, Ouyang Ke and Wanyen Hunglieh compare to older versions! (For Huang Yaoshi, I still think nobody can beat Kenneth Tsang)

The Heavenly Sword and Dragon Saber
The Heavenly Sword and Dragon Saber 1978
     

Too short for a long novel with many complex characters that need deep exploration, and watching it is more like fast forwarding. 1986 version is so much better adaptation, but this one has better Zhao Ziruo/Chow Chi Yurk 周芷若 in my opinion. I agree that the song is the most memorable epic song that today's production series lack of.

The Flying Fox of Snowy Mountain
The Flying Fox of Snowy Mountain 1985
     

One of my favorite, comparable to Condor Trilogy and The Demigods. The acting was so great that you will emotionally attached to the characters. Most of the villains are highly respected people but mean-spirited and hypocrite, make you hate them even more than a typical harsh and ugly looking villain. My 'only' complain is too many villains, so few heroes/good people, and many tragic stories. If I watch it again, I prefer to skip sad parts and watch the happy parts. However, the acting is much above average!

The Possessed
The Possessed 1985
     

I don't know how to submit information for this series, so I just write here for some random information I remember that might be helpful. The main character played by Lawrence Ng Kai Wah is Lui Lun, and he fell in love with Tam Yuet Wah, played by Yammie Lam Kit Ying. Yammie Lam Kit Ying didn't love him, but loved Shek Sau - I forgot his character name. Lui Lun ended up with Miss Hung, played by Sheren Teng. I don't think she is pretty, but Yammie Lam Kit Ying is very cute, I wonder why she rarely play in other tv series. This series is quite interesting, but a little bit predictable with main villain has most formidable martial art, played by Kwan Hoi San.

The Blood-Stained Intrigue
The Blood-Stained Intrigue 1986
     

I found the beginning and the idea of this story is very inviting. Who doesn't wanna know what happen next to the 3 orphans: - Bak Gin Mo, Bak Yuk Ying, and Bak Gin Min - that escaped and separated after their parents got killed for a serious crime they never did : Killing all the leaders of major martial arts schools. Not only we wanna know who is the real killer, but also we wanna know what happen to those sibling, what kungfu they learn, and are they gonna be able to find out each other? I gave 3 stars for the interesting idea that is comparable to complex novels from Jin Yong and Gu Long, even with no famous actors/actresses. If only the writer could explore every plot and character deeper and not only focus in the mystery, add some spicy love story and humor, it would have been a perfect 5!

The Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils
The Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils 2003
     

The actor who played Xiao Feng is really convincing, although he's not so handsome but he's the highlight of this version. I could feel he relived the character of Xiao Feng, felt the emotion he brought from grieve, angry, confused, and his charisma as a leader of the sect, even when Ah Zhu disguised as Xiao Feng, the actor showed rare expression because it's Ah Zhu, not Xiao Feng. The story telling was captivating from the beginning, but then become weak and too long in last parts especially about Ah Zhi and Xu Zhu. For the ones who never read the novel, the ending was so harsh and left some unanswered questions.

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