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"Guonianhao", or Happy New Year, is the worst Chinese film I have ever seen in a cinema. Don't get me wrong, it is not the worst film ever made in this country. Every year, more than 80 percent of lousy films fail to reach the cinemas, and among those that do make it, most are kind enough to show some signs to tip off the discerning audience, for e…
 
Despite competition from more than a dozen Chinese and foreign challengers, Star Wars Episode Seven is still going strong after more than two weeks of hegemony in the Chinese market. Director J. J. Abrams said the key for the film was to return to the roots of the first Star Wars film and be based more on emotion than explanation. That pretty much …
 
In 2015, China&`&s movie industry witnessed progress in almost every aspect of filmmaking. As infrastructure building continued to expand, new box office records were cropping up by the month. The changes in the moviegoing demographic impacted on the genres of films rolling off the production line. Stories that appeal to a wider range of audience i…
 
Director Feng Xiaogang is known as much for his quick temper as for the fluctuating popularity of his movies. But not many know of the ups and downs in his private life. In Guan Hu&`&s "Mr. Six," Feng takes on a role that shares much in common with himself in age and temperament, and that gig has won him a best actor title at China&`&s 52nd Golden …
 
China's movie market has been expanding for some time now. A year ago, people were feeling slightly regrettable when total annual box office income failed to pass the 30 billion yuan threshold. This year by December 3rd, a 40 billion yuan record has been set and China's home-made movies account for nearly 60% of the total. Above all, China's 3D fan…
 
2015 Chinese martial arts film "The Master" is the first big budget commercial film by writer and director Xu Haofeng, and also the first opportunity for the wider audience to have a taste of Xu's distinctive style. Xu's very first feature film met with lukewarm reception from the market back in 2012, and for that reason his second one never receiv…
 
别的且不说,连影片自带福利林珍娜的腿都没让人看够,就说这特写有多令人沮丧罢。 In 2011, Taiwan TV series "In Time with You" starring Ariel Lin and Berlin Chen was aired in Chinese mainland, it was a cheesy romantic drama, but the chicks loved it. December 2015, Ariel and Berlin team up again in a chick flick "Go Lala Go," many fans of the TV series visit the cinemas just to see the coupl…
 
One of the few possible ways to appreciate "Spectre" is to think of the latest and most expensive title of the series as a standalone piece. The irony notwithstanding, this seems to be the only way to prolong the life of one of the longest continually-running film series in history. Surely as per routine, "Bond 24" delivers adrenalising car chase, …
 
Heaven and earth do not act from the wish to be benevolent; they treat all things and beings equally as they would dogs of grass. This sentence from the classic Taoist text explains Jia Zhangke's approach to formulate his new story, but paradoxically, his leitmotif is one of utmost sympathy and compassion. Life of ordinary people in Jia Zhangke's h…
 
Director Pete Doctor of Pixar's touching comedy "Up" continues to explore into the matters of the mind. His successful attempt to unravel the emotional activities of an 11-year-old girl has appealed to the sympathy of almost every viewer and critic. In China, the title of the film "Inside Out" is an almost shameful cliche. "Tou Nao Te Gong Dui," th…
 
The success of Chinese comedy film "Goodbye Mr. Loser", or "Xia Luo Te Fan Nao", dredges up unaddressed questions from the past and in doing so may help bring about some solutions. The box office powerhouse is adapted from a popular stage show of the same name, which had previously only been seen in a limited number of cities. It is about a middle-…
 
Since the beginning of October, China's film market has been dominated by local films. Normally the box office figures reveal little beyond the capricious tastes of Chinese moviegoers, but this time the disparity among the forerunners can serve as an indicator of some sort, or at least as a lesson for certain filmmakers. Top earner "Lost in Hong Ko…
 
More often than not in the movie business, the best way to ruin a well-loved title is to make a sequel. And the best way to ensure its total degradation is to make a spin-off. Both happen to be efficient ways to extort the last penny possible from movie-goers, and that's why the allure of popular franchise inevitably wears off. "Minions", the spin-…
 
I almost failed to hold back my tears when watching "Go Away, Mr. Tumor." Other audience members were not so successful, throughout the film sobbing could be heard from various parts of the auditorium. But this film is not merely a tear jerker, from time to time the audience also erupted into fits of hearty laughter. They were celebrating the optim…
 
2014 American crime thriller "The Equalizer" is making some people wonder whether the winds have shifted in Hollywood, so that instead of soft-skinned teenage boys who can't act and muscular men who knows an awful lot of four-lettered words, filmmakers are giving the floor to elderly man with obsessive compulsive personality disorder who likes to r…
 
“Battle of Taierzhuang” is a historical and historic film made to mark the fortieth anniversary of China's victory against Japanese Aggression and the end of the Second World War. The filmmakers' attention to historical detail demonstrates their reverence to those who died defending the country. Now as we cherish peace at the threshold of the 70th …
 
With cutting-edge CGI technology, "Monkey King: Hero is Back" conjures the rebellious protector from the childhood of China's younger generations and channels tremendous consumer power. The explosions of positive reviews and box office figures mark the triumphant fusion of nostalgia and modernity, but don't necessarily signal a brighter outlook for…
 
Mortal men and women like success stories. They adore successful figures and enjoy projecting their own egos with such stories. Few of them understand that success sometimes comes as a curse rather than a blessing. Chinese director Chen Kaige is one of those successful yet unfortunate people who live their lives under a curse. His 1993 movie "Farew…
 
Director Cheang Pou-soi and writer Jill Leung weave an elaborate labyrinth of multiple narratives to paint a bleak picture of a dog-eat-dog underworld in "SPL2: A Time for Consequences." At times hard to stomach but mostly riveting, the action thriller offers a wide range of spectacular imagery culminating in the clash of top martial artists from C…
 
"To a canary, a cat is a monster. We are just used to being the cat." As a species that dominates our planet with superior intelligence, human beings often forget about the monster in ourselves and take for granted our hegemony in the food chain. Stories about beasts of sheer size and brutal strength, like Godzilla, sometimes take us by surprise, b…
 
On June 1st, Children's Day in China, the Wanda cinema in west Beijing was busier than usual. Young couples in their late 20s or early 30s took their children to watch the first Doraemon movie with 3D CGI technique. The story induced laughters and tears among the most sympathetic audience members, but when the end credits appeared and the lights we…
 
What distinguishes South African-Canadian filmmaker Neil Blomkamp from others is the audacity to challenge the traditional concept of human existence. In his first film "District 9," co-written by Neil and his wife Terri Tatchell, the lead character was infected by a fluid which gradually turned his physical form into that of an alien. The sight of…
 
Despite some credibility and consistency issues, Chinese courtroom drama "12 Citizens" is otherwise a successful adaptation of a classic text. In 1954 American film and television writer Reginald Rose wrote the script for the teleplay "Twelve Angry Men," where 12 jurors try to reach a unanimous decision on the fate of a young murder suspect. The st…
 
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