Thursday, December 31, 2009

True Women for Sale - 性工作者2:我不賣身,我賣子宮

True Women for Sale (性工作者2:我不賣身,我賣子宮) is a 2008 film out of Hong Kong. The movie stars Anthony Wong, Race Wong, and Prudence Liew. Cameos by Jessey Meng, Chapman To and Sami.

The movie follows the lives of quite a few people in their daily lives in Hong Kong. Prudence Liew plays Chung Lai, a street walker hooked on smack. Anthony Wong plays Lau, a over zealous insurance salesman. Race Wong plays Lin, a mainlander who's husband has died and she's prego with his twins. These three take up the majority of the 87 minute film. There are also lots of subplots running through the movie, but only add to the main stories via happenstance.

The movie itself is quite depressing, even though the ending presents "happy" endings. It explores life three years after the handover in 2000. Mainlanders are increasing their presence in Hong Kong and the natives grow ever so resentful. As with many in Malaysia, Singapore, and Taiwan, they have a superiority complex. You actually get that same sentiment here in Los Angeles. However, I do not think it plays out like it does in Asia (this is just my opinion).

This is a companion movie to Whispher and Moans. As the title states, it follows the lives of these people during a 10 day span. And like the first, the subject matter does deal with life between HK natives and the mainlanders.

The version I rented was in Canto, but it had English Subs for me to follow. I am sure some of it was lost in translation, much more so than its translation to Mandarin.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Accident - 意外

Accident (意外) is a 2009 film out of Hong Kong. The film stars Louis Koo and Richie Ren. The film also features the supporting cast of Michelle Ye and Monica Mok.

The movie is about a group of 4 accident artist. They make their living staging deaths. They stage them so they look like accidents. Louis Koo plays Brian, the head of the group. Brian is an OCD type and very meticulous. But he thinks "people" are out to get him. Brian's group takes on a case where a son is looking to stage the death of his elderly father. On the same night of the staged death, one of the group members is accidentally killed. To add to the dilemma, Brian's flat is broken into. After this, we see Brian go into a stage of paranoia.

The movie was pretty good. I liked the exploration of the "accident" assassins. The movie was rather slow paced and the story did unfold at a snails pace. But it was for a reason. Another well made film from the Milkyway group.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

不能沒有你 - No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti

不能沒有你 (No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti) is a 2009 movie out of Taiwan. Winner of the 46th Golden Horse (2009) Best Feature film. Directed by Leon Dai and starring Chen Wen-pin, Chao Yu-hsuan and Lin Chih-ju.

The movie starts with a a "based on a true story" message and a man threating to jump from a bridge. The story follows Li Wu-Hsiung and his 7 year old daughter, Mei from 2 weeks prior to the bridge event. Wu-Hsiung is a diver that cleans the bottom of cargo ships in Kaohsiung. Mei accompanies him to his jobs and saves him one time. The social services track him down and tell him to send Mei to school. At the school, Mei isn't allowed to register because Wu is not her legal guardian despite being her biological father. Wu makes a trip to Taipei looking for help. Upon return to Kaohsiung to what is a "resolved" situation, the school workers have escalated the case to social services and they are going to take custody away from Wu. Wu returns to Taipei to look for those the promised him a resolution only to find that they avoid him and will no longer acknowledge him. Driven to madness, Wu threatens to jump off the bridge, yelling that "society is unfair, I just want my daughter to go to school".

Wow. The film blew me away. It's gut wrenching to watch the red tap of government do the "wrong" thing. In this case, it is a simple premise, I want my daughter to go to school. But I can't now, because of some strange rule that legally makes me unfit to raise my daughter? What the?! Yes, its that terrible and its based on a true story. I don't watch many movies with my wife anymore. But we both felt terrible watching the events unfold.

The movie is very slow and we see a lot of daily activities of Wu and Mei. They are just simple people trying to get by life. They are poor, but happy to be together. The movie is also in black and white. I think it was a very good affect as I was paying attention to the details of life rather than the scenery.

A must watch for you Taiwan movie enthusiast. It's slow, presents a trying story, and has a sad ending. True to recent Taiwan film criteria. I don't think it's my favorite film of the year, but its up there for 2009.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Mulan - 花木蘭

Mulan (花木蘭) is a 2009 film out of China. The movie stars Vicky Zhao, Aloys Chen, and Jaychee Chan.

The story follows Mulan, who's spent her childhood learning martial arts from her fathers' soldier friends. Also from Mulan's village is Shiao Hu or Xiao Hu (translated to "little tiger"). When Rouran starts their descent into the middle kingdom, Mulan's villages' men are called to service, including her father, who's in bad health. Mulan instead goes in his place. Once there, Mulan befriends a high ranking offical, Wentai. Wentai eventually becomes Mulan's most trusted ally in both battle and out of battle. Both Wentai and Mulan rise through the ranks and become generals. However, Mulan quickly grows tired of the violence and starts to withdrawl and abandon her responsibilities. Wentai and Mulan have now developed feelings for each other, but it has caused tragedy to befall the rest of the army. Wentai fakes his death to get Mulan out of this situation. Eventually Mulan wakes up and starts being a strong General again. During their twelfth year of service, Mulan gets to go home. But there's a twist with Wentai. Of course.

The movie was extremely boring and I had a tough time watching it. Mulan in a nervous breakdown? Wentai and Mulan, a forbidden love? Man, I got through it though I am not better for it.

Heralded as a blockbuster, it was a major disappointment to me. Vicki Zhao continues to get work. It's about time to let some new blood into the mix and I don't mean Zhou Xun either. Wentai and Mulan was just the same couple from Painted Skin.

I picked up a rather crappy copy from my local renter. I should have asked him if the quality was any good. It wasn't and the subtitles were not removable. You know what that means...:)

One of the major differences between this installment and the Disney one is time. Rouran are from the 6th century. Mogols in the Disney film are from the 14th century. Also, there's no talking dragon. I was waiting and waiting, but none appeared.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Push - 移動城市

Push (移動城市) is a 2009 film starring Chris Evans, Dakota Fanning, Camilla Belle, and DJimon Hounson. Jacqueline Li has a supporting villain role.

The movie is about a special set of people with powers. Telekinesis, future sight, persuasion, and touch are among them. The movie centers around Chris Evans as Nick. Nick is a telekinesis guy. But he's a fugitive and has not trained to use his powers very productively. Dakota Fanning is Cassie, a future telling 13 year old. Cassie draws the future on black paper. Together, they are looking for a serum that can enhance the powers of these special people.

The main storyline talks place entirely in Hong Kong. It was a little weird. You take British style film-making and apply to the HK backdrop for a really weird affect. Besides one set of villians, the HK people are entirely in the background. Some Cantonese is spoken (seems like it was dubbed). Leave it to Hollywood to make the people of Hong Kong, the villains.

The movie in general presented a very unique set of ideas that I wish they can continue on with in sequels. But I don't think they'll be making anymore. It didn't do well at the box office.

Dakota Fanning was also very interesting. As she ages, she's looking for more mature roles and this was one for her. Playing a tough street kid with funky attire and hair.

Jacqueline Li was the main Chinese villain in the film, identified only as the Pop girl because of the lollipop in her mouth all the time. Pop Girl is just like Cassie, but trained. For every move that Cassie makes, Pop Girl is a step ahead. Very weird to see Jacqueline in a villain role.

I kept thinking about Jumper while I watched this movie. The concepts are awesome, but can the movie maker present it in a good light. I think Push did a pretty good job. But it didn't do well at the box office and with the movie raters.

If you ask me, I say you should watch this if you're a science fiction fan.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Taiwan KFC Egg Tart

What The?! I want this at my local KFC! But no, I have to settle for the lame grilled chicken menu here in Los Angeles. Freaking tart explodes while you eat it.

I'll be at least a couple of years before I can even think about vacationing in Taiwan. Maybe they'll have it there when I try to go in 2012.

I first saw the KFC egg tart being pimped on the "a hungry girl's guide to Taipei".

Friday, December 25, 2009

艋舺 - Monga - Upcoming

艋舺 (Monga) is an upcoming Taiwanese gangster film scheduled for release on February 5, 2010 in Taipei.

From the trailer, the movie seemingly follows the lives of its 2 main stars, Ethan Ruan and Mark Chao. These 2 are part of a group of 5 sworn blood brothers that join the monga area crime syndicate.

I am looking forward to this film. I'll need an English Subbed version as I don't understand Taiwanese.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Turning Point - Laughing Gor之變節

Turning Point (Laughing Gor之變節) is a 2009 film out of Hong Kong. The film stars Felix Wong, Anthony Wong, Michael Tse, Francis Ng, and Fala Chen. The movie also has cameoes from Eric Tseng and Yuen Biao.

The film follows the life of Michael Tse as Laughing Gor during what seems like a 1 week period. Laughing Gor is an undercover cop. But Laughing was first sent to the police academy to be an undercover cop by the triad. But while at the police academy, Laughing is picked out to go undercover. What the?! Did you get all that. So, now, in a routine tip to the cops, Laughing is busted and caught. The bosses think he'll rat them out. So, there's a hit put out for him. Laughing can't go to the cops because the only cop that knows he's also a cop was injured and hasn't woken up yet. So, Laughing ends up running from both the cops and the triad guys.

The movie was a Michael Tse sighting for me. Tse seemed like he would also be a star in many HK movies after his Young and Dangerous years and his Storm Rider role. But he went MIA for me until now. Much older now and without the soul patch, Tse did what he could to make the role look young. But its a 40 year old making a movie about his early 20s. I had to close my eyes and believe. Fala Chen, the girlfriend look like she could have been his daughter.

But the movie was entertaining and a spin on a spin of the whole undercover cop and triad formula. Connected to a TVB drama that I'll never watch, the movie was enough.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Jade Warrior - 玉武士

Jade Warrior (玉武士) is a 2006 film co-produced by Finnish and Chinese companies. The star of the film for me is played by Zhang Jingchu.

A half Finnish and Chinese warrior, Sintai, is on a quest to destroy the demon of the China. On his way toward the demon, he meets Pin Yu. Pin Yu is beautiful and has some mad skillz. Sintai is instantly taken back by Pin Yu. But their love is not to be.

That synopsis is about the story based in ancient China. The other 75% of the film is based in modern day Finland and the reincarnated Sintai and Pin Yu.

The only reason I watched was because of Zhang Jingchu. Pretty good reason as Zhang is amazingly beautiful in the film. The martial arts scenes are pretty impressive. But the film itself as a whole isn't and I actually fell asleep while watching this.

At the time of this writing, the movie has not made its release in the US. I watch a crappy version rented from a local Chinese video store.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Voting for Top 25 Hong Kong Films of the Decade at LoveHKFilm

I just submitted my Top 10 list of HK films for the years 2000-2009 over at

Here is my list:

  1. In The Mood For Love

  2. Shaolin Soccer

  3. Infernal Affairs

  4. Hero

  5. Fulltime Killer

  6. Red Cliff

  7. Fatal Move

  8. SPL

  9. Invisible Target

  10. Kung Fu Hustle

I didn't look too long and hard for these films. Films from 2000-2009 were far too numerous. I only have 10 minutes. Maybe I'll do a refined list in the future.

In the meantime, you have until December 25, 2009 to submit your vote. Go for it!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Half a Loaf of Kung Fu - 點止功夫咁簡單

Half a Loaf of Kung Fu (點止功夫咁簡單) is a 1978 film out of Hong Kong. The movie stars Jackie Chan in his third "Kung Fu Comedy" film.

The movie credits are actually the highlight of the film for me. It goes about 10 minutes and is classic Shaw Bros. type movie intro. A guy comes out and demostrates his skills. But instead of being all serious and hard like other classic kung fu films, Jackie goes on a spoof. Jackie takes many of the kung fu mythos of the time and spoofs them. I was drawn in and was immediately trying to figure the film or genres it was making fun of. Than the movie started. Jackie plays a thief that's just trying to get buy. Somehow he finds favor with the begger sect head and starts to learn kung fu from him. Jackie gets in with a delivery service clan and they take people out.

This was not a good movie. Even for 1978, I can't believe it would have been thought of as a good movie. The final fight took 10 minutes! Jackie and this one guy fought for freaking 10 minutes at the end of the film. Dude!

No good YouTube clips or a trailer.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Star Trek - 星際爭霸戰

Star Trek (星際爭霸戰) is a 2009 film. The film is a revamp of the original Starship Enterprise series.

The film itself in essence creates a new reality for the Star Trek franchise of James T. Kirk and Spock. Time travel is introduced and has thus created an alternate reality. Since I have watched a lot of the Kirk/Spock portions of Star Trek. I know the formula well.

As part of the crew, we have the lone Asian male in Sulu. And dude is a fencing maestro. Do not doubt.

I liked the film for the most part. Other than Sulu, there was a surprising lack of Asians in the cast and extras. I unofficially counted more aliens than Asians. Not surprised. JJ's not known for it. There wasn't a lot of other ethnic groups represented beyond the token few. Racist Hollywood, and the beat plays on.

It is one of the 2009 blockbusters and plays that roll well. High energy. High production value. Very nice FX.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

End of 2009 - Movies to look out for

2009 has been a very good year for movies. If you look at the 2009 Golden Horse movies, it tends to be on the artsy side of things.

However, for most people with little time and a selective attention span (ahem...ADD), we like the "blockbuster" type films during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

Here are movies that are being release in Asia during the last weeks of 2009. I won't be catching these films until 2010 myself.

Wheat (麥田/長平大戰之麥田)

Vengeance (復仇)

The Treasure Hunter (刺陵)

The Storm Warriors (風雲2)

Mulan (花木蘭)

Jump (跳出去)

Bodyguards and Assassins (十月圍城)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Jeremy Lin - Harvard Guard

UPDATE TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2012 - Jeremy Lin Has Another Career Night - 28 Points and 8 Assists
UPDATE SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2012 - Jeremy Lin's Career Night - 25 Points, 5 Rebounds, 7 Assists
UPDATE: November 17, 2011 - Jeremy Lin post video on "How to Get into Harvard" (Youtube video below)
UPDATE: August 2, 2010 - Jeremy Lin in the NBA

Jeremy Lin is a Senior Guard for the 2009-2010 Harvard basketball team. I've been hearing about Jeremy Lin for the last couple of years via a few Asian American blogs. For the past month, people have been tweeting and adding facebook updates on Jeremy Lin.

Jeremy's been having a good December and could make the NBA. Unfortunately, those kind of expectations are lofty. If he doesn't make it, I would encourage him to play in the Taiwan basketball league.

Jeremy Lin was also featured in an ESPN article last week. Lin was also "The only player nationally to rank among the top 10 players in his conference in every statistical category" during 2008-09, his Junior year. Hope he wasn't in the Top 10 in turnovers.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dynamite Warrior - 功夫拳霸

Dynamite Warrior (功夫拳霸) is a 2006 film out of Thailand. The movie stars Dan Chupong.

Pretty much a revenge movie. Dan plays Siang, a robin hood type thief. Stealing back water buffaloes stolen from defense farmers and returning them. Siang also has an alternative agenda. To find a tattooed man who he believes killed his whole family. When Siang does, he does all within his power to take him down. Lots and lots and lots of fighting. The subplots in the movie are just as over top as the fighting.

I actually bought this film (VCD) during a business trip to Kuala Lumpur back in 2007. I actually thought it was "Born to Fight". Which it wasn't. When I got back to the states, I forgot about it as I had a stash that I am still trying to get through. When I saw some insane trailer for it, I dug it up and watch it. I was both delighted and repulsed. The fighting was great, but I was taken aback by the absurd storyline and subject matter.

You're gonna watch this for the fighting and not for the story. Be warned.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Chinese Paladin 3 – 仙劍奇俠傳三 – 仙劍三 – 仙劍3 – 仙劍奇俠傳之靈珠神劍 - OST - 電視原聲帶

I was able to finally get the Chinese Paladin 3/仙劍奇俠傳三/仙劍三/仙劍3/仙劍奇俠傳之靈珠神劍 (OST/電視原聲帶) this month. I had been waiting for YesAsia to get it since they sold out of the China versions back in June. I finally did the smart thing and looked on ebay. This month, YesAsia started carrying a Taiwan version of the OST.

The OST has 7 songs and the other 7 are instrumentals.

As I had it on in my rocking mini-van, I was reminded of the series and its good points. Not all 7 are great, but

I liked the booklet it came with. The material is very sturdy. The picture quality is also very good.

The other side of the booklet was nice too. Pictures of the artist and lyrics.

I can't read Chinese well so it didn't matter to me if its traditional or simplified.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Freaking Kingory

Freaking Kingory! A month or so back, I read a post on one of my favorite blogs, Angry Asian Man. The blog post was about Kingory and its Asian China doll type advertising.

At the time, I hadn't really had any ads on my blog. But around Thanksgiving, I added more ad widgets and Amazon links. I've been able to produce, $0.001 so far.

Back to my point. I hadn't seen it on my blog so I was surprised to see it today.

Boo to racist and sexist ads.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Protector - Tom-Yum-Goong - 拳霸2

The Protector/Tom-Yum-Goong (拳霸2) is a 2005 film out of Thailand. The movie stars Tony Jaa.

Tony Jaa as Kham, an elephant protector by trade. One of his elephants is stolen on his watch and he goes a looking for him. A clue leads him to Sydney. Kham goes looking for the elephant in Sydney and all hell breaks loose. Fighting pretty much last the rest of the movie.

This was an absurb movie. There's a prolonged fight sequence where Tony Jaa kicks the @$$ of 70+ people. But not all at once, but one at a time and occasionly, two. He also fights people with different martial arts skills.

This is a Tony Jaa movie. Don't worry about the story, just watch the action.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior - 拳霸

Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior (拳霸) is a 2003 film out of Thailand. The movie stars Tony Jaa and propelled him to international stardom. First in Thailand, than through the rest of Asia and than to the rest of the world.

The head of a Buddha is stolen from a rural village. Ting is tasked with finding and returning the head to the village. Ting heads for the bright lights of Bangkok. Ting meets up with a former monk from his village there, Humlae. Together, they search for the head and all hell breaks lose as they close in on the guys behind the thief. Ting takes on anyone and everyone that's in his way.

I recently watched this via TNT. It was the English dubbed version, but it was all action. From the bar scene to the tuk tuks. I remember back in 2003 when I watched a Chinese dubbed version of this. It was recommended to me at my local rental place. I was blown away because it reminded me so much of 1980s style HK films. Where the action was fast and furious. Where the story was an afterthought. It was also my first glimpse into muay thai being demonstrated to the extent it was. Tony Jaa was given many labels, such as the next Bruce/Jackie/Jet. However, Tony isn't Chinese, but Thai. I didn't like the labels. I would have liked Tony Jaa, this decades answer to bone crunching martial arts!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Dangerous Games - 棒子老虎雞

Dangerous Games (棒子老虎雞) is a 2007 movie out of China. It stars Gigi Leung, Eric Tsang, Xia Yu, Tang Yan (Tiffany Tang), and Gi Ji. The movie was primarily filmed in Hanzhou.

The movie is based on the tradiontional Chinese saying, "Bang Zi Lao Hu Ji". Which is very much like a "Scissor Rock Cloth". Which means, that you might beat one, but the other can beat you. So goes this movie with each creature is assigned to a cast member. I couldn't figure out who was who. Eric Tsang plays Hu, a tycoon. Gigi is a bar girl. Xia is Gigi's fiancee and a hot air ballon operator. Tang plays the two timing girlfriend of Hu. Gi Ji plays a pianist doubling as a con man.

You get 5 of these guys going at each other for 80+ minutes. I think I enjoyed the "making of" better than the movie. The "making of" was pretty long and the stories they told seemed more interesting than what transpired in the movie.

The main reason I rented this was for Tiffany Tang Yan. If I didn't see her on the cover, I would have skipped over this.

Friday, December 11, 2009

我在1949等你 - Letter 1949 - Broadcasting

我在1949等你 (Letter 1949) is 2009 drama out of Taiwan. It recently finished its 12 episode run in Taiwan in November. With its low ratings, its made its way to the Los Angeles cable Zhong Tian channels already.

This drama wasn't on my radar before, but after catching bits and parts of 2 episodes, I may check it out in its entirety in the future.

The story starts in 1948 Shanghai, but ends in modern day Taipei and Shanghai. With half the cast playing a 1949 version and a modern version, it may be a stretch.

There's only few more days of broadcast left, so catch it while its still on air here in Los Angeles.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


WTO姐妹會 is a variety show out of Taiwan. The show has 8 guests that are not native to Taiwan. Each show presents a subject matter and the guests give their view from the country they originate from. Sometimes, the subject is how something in Taiwan is "weird" to them.

On the other side is the host and 3 (or more sometimes) celebrity guests. These guests can be random or they have some experience with the days subject matter. Nothing is guaranteed.

Most of the 8 WTO gals are married to Taiwanese husbands and have kids. However, the rotation isn't the same 8. Every show seems to have different gals.

It's slowly become one of my favorite shows because of the "foreign" experience they explore and present. Mind you that many topics on Taiwan variety shows would be considered non-PC, WTO isn't immune to this.

The guests originate from countries such as China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Burma, South Africa, Poland, Belarus, England, Brazil, Paraguay and the US. All of these guests are pretty proficient in their Mandarin. If I had to carry on a conversation with them in Mandarin, I would get schooled. (Yes, my Chinese gets worst by the day)

You can check out all the episodes on Youtube or look for GTV. It's on from Monday through Thursday.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Love Message - 愛情短訊 (短信一月追)

Love Message (愛情短訊/短信一月追) is a 2005 film out of China. The movie stars Leo Koo, Angela Chang, and Ren Quan. All three of these stars are major stars from their parts of Asia.

The movie is based in Shanghai. Angela Chang plays Sue. Leo Koo plays Kai, Sue's childhood friend. Ren Quan plays a playboy that enters their life for business reasons. Sue and Kai are good friends with Leung. Leung is currently studying aboard and engaged to Sue. Kai is secretly in love with Sue, but doesn't express this due to their friendship. Kai is super thrifty and brings Sue flowers everyday. Seriously, everyday. If Sue's co-worker didn't know that she was engaged to Leung, they would surely think Kai is the Sue's boyfriend. But Kai receives news from Leung and tells Sue that Leung won't be coming back to Shanghai. Sue is depressed and Kai cannot cheer her up. Enter Ren Quan.

The movie was quite interesting. I didn't know what to expect while I was watching the movie. None of the three are great at acting. But they get their point across. I was enthralled at grand shots of Shanghai. Not a great movie, but I didn't hate it either.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Romantic Fool - 那個傻瓜愛過你

The Romantic Fool (那個傻瓜愛過你) is a 2007 Hong Kong movie. It stars Cathy Tsui and Jia Jong Chiu (Gu Zong Chao) as lovers from two different worlds.

The movie is really slow paced and I fast forwarded about 30% of the movie. I had it on initially while I was washing dishes, so most of the fast forwarding happened during the second half of the movie.

The movie is about Tsai (I am translating his nickname from Chinese) and Suman. Tsai falls secretly in love with a new student in his class named Suman. Tsai is shy and doesn't know how to approach Suman. And tries all sorts of things to be in her world. But all things fail when he tries, because he's got no game. Tsai befriends Mike, a campus tough guy and playa. Tsai and Mike become good friends. Mike starts dating Suman, but Tsai doesn't know this. Devasted, Tsai avoids Mike to avoid Suman. But Mike is persistent and they start hanging out. Tsai learns to accept Mike and Suman's relationship. But Mike's a playa and leaves the country to avoid Suman. Smooth. Suman and Mike end out hanging out a lot after Mike leaves. Suman evetually sees Tsai's love for her and accepts it. BUT, Tsai comes from a poor family and Suman from a Rich family. You can guess the rest of the story right?!

Sad story and sad ending. Slow paced and ultimately a letdown.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Telephone 601 - 第601個電話

Telephone 601 (第601個電話) is a 2006 film out of China. It stars Cecilia Cheung, Bibi Chou and Hu Ge.

Cecilia Cheung plays a pop star name Tian. Bibi Chou as Yi Shu plays a worker in a ad agency with extremely bad luck. Hu Ge as Xiou Wen plays a sick song writer with seemingly only a little time left to live.

Yi Shu's number is mistaken for that of pop star Tian. Tian's fan call the number in abundance. In a strange twist of events, Xiou Wen calls and texts Yi Shu and they strike up a friendship.

The movie is based in Shanghai and covers the life of a pop star. A office worker. A terminally ill person.

It's a sort of coming of age story for all 3. All their deficiencies are explored.

The movie is from 2006 and its 2009 now. Modern themed movies out of China still seem to be a few steps behind. But I have lots of faith in the industry there. Only if the people of China can support it via legit ticket and DVD sales.

On a sidenote, seems the Sony Ericsson sponsored the cell phones in the movie. I had one of the models listed and researched the other ones back in 2006. The following year the iPhone came out. The cell phone landscape has never been the same. Even though all those Sony Ericsson phones are super dope.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li - 街頭霸王: 春麗傳奇

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (街頭霸王: 春麗傳奇) is a 2009 film. The film stars Kristin Kreuk as Chun Li. The supporting cast include Neal McDonough as Bison, Chris Klein as Nash, Michael Clarke Duncan as Balrog, Moon Bloodgood as Maya and Robin Shou as Gen. Cameos are made by Cheng Pei-Pei, Josie Ho and Taboo of the Black Eye Peas. The movie did not fare well at the box office. I had written an upcoming post about this film back in February and labeled it as a potential "guilty pleasure" type of film.

The movie starts in flashback form. Chun Li is the daughter of a influential businessman and takes up residence in Hong Kong. Chun Li is an accomplished pianist and learns the art of wu shu from her loving dad. During Chun Li's schoolgirl days, her father is captured by M. Bison. Flash forward to the present and Chun Li is giving a piano recital. Chun Li's mother is in failing health and passes away. Chun Li is than directed to Thailand to find her way. Chun Li spends months on the streets of Bangkok and finds her new self. Chun Li finds Gen, who teaches her how to channel her skills to become an ultimate street fighter. Eventually, Chun Li gets some skillz to kill and sets out to find M. Bison.

The movie isn't going to win any awards for story and acting. What I am trying to figure out for myself is if I think its one of those "guilty pleasure" type of films or something you want to avoid. The fighting wasn't bad. Kristin Kreuk wasn't bad. Its just the story and everyone else that's bad. If you're looking for lots of action and fighting, you got it here. If you want that and beauty to go along. This film will meet those needs.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Looking for Jackie - 尋找成龍

Looking for Jackie (尋找成龍)is a 2009 film out of China. The movie stars Zhang Yishan and partly Jackie Chan.

The movie is about Zhang Yishan, a 15 year old based in Indonesia. Yishan is a avid Jackie Chan and would love to study under him. However, Yishan is lazy and has tunnel vision. This tunnel vision leads to a very selfish life or "me me me". If you like this quality, keep watching. Without that trait, you can't go on. Yishan finds out that Jackie Chan is shooting in Beijing and decides to head there to find him. Once there, you go into 3-4 story arcs that lead him to Jackie.

Once he finds Jackie, Jackie tells him that he's been selfish and unstudious. And that he needs to learn Chinese reading and writing better when he gets back to Indonesia. Yishan does get better grades, but is still self center and all about himself.

I had this one while washing dishes so I watched it all. If I was not washing dishes, I would have fast forwarded or turned it off. The only bright spot was Tang Yan making a brief cameo in the beginning of the film.

Friday, December 4, 2009

One Night in Supermarket - 夜店

One Night in Supermarket (夜店) is a 2009 film out of China. Made on a budget, it was highly successful due to its modest box office take. Starring Jacqueline Li, Xu Zheng, and Kimi Qiao Renliang.

The movie takes place in the confines of a convenience store. All the action takes place seemingly after midnight. The first is Xu Zheng, claiming the store owner owes him 9K or so for falsely telling him that he had won a lottery ticket prize. The second is a jewelry thief looking for the diamond he stashed in the ice cream freezer.

Lot of hilarious situations arise because no one seems very bright. No one! I think I am dumber for watching this film.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

City of Life and Death - 南京!南京!

City of Life and Death (南京!南京!) is a 2009 film out of China.

The movie is broken into 3 story arcs with a few sub stories. The first arc is the invasion of Nanjing by the Japanese. Liu Xe and his crew are trying to protect the city and eventually get captured.

The second story is Gao Yuan Yuan and the safety zone. Their struggle to keep the Japanese soldiers at bay.

The final arc is Kadokawa's arc.

There also the Tang family arc that over laps arc 2 and 3.

The movie is based on the Nanking Massacre. It uses the historical context to present the 3-4 main story arcs. The film is also presented in black and white fashion.

I was rather disappointed in this movie. Maybe because I only just recently watched Nanking - 被遺忘的一九三七. I am not sure. But the movie was super slow and the stories didn't bring into context of the situation. I was quite disappointed the extended Japanese POV. I do not mind the sympathetic view. But the presentation was strange and didn't leave me feeling that there were others.

This movie stays on the "entertainment" side of things and does not focus on presenting an historical account. It is assuming you know the back story.