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  1. With Prisoners (2017) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) With Prisoners (2017) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) Kelvin Kwan (Actor) | Nick Yau (Actor) | Ashina Kwok (Actor) | Gill Mohinderpaul Singh (Actor)
    Walking with prisoners
    October 12, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    Hong Kong's "Prisons Department" was renamed "Correctional Services Department" in 1982 to emphasize the rehabilitation of prisoners rather than punishment. However, inmate abuse scandals have continued to emerge despite the change in the department name. To increase public awareness about the human rights of juvenile inmates, rookie director Andrew Wong recreates the dark world of a youth detention center in his directorial debut With Prisoners, which questions the effectiveness of violent discipline methods in rehabilitating criminals and restoring order. Based on a real-life story, With Prisoners offers a brutal yet realistic look into the life of juvenile offenders under the Hong Kong... [read more]
  2. 29+1 (2016) (Blu-ray + Keyholder + Booklet) (Hong Kong Version) 29+1 (2016) (Blu-ray + Keyholder + Booklet) (Hong Kong Version) Chrissie Chau (Actor) | Joyce Cheng (Actor) | Kearen Pang (Director, Writer) | Elaine Jin
    Embracing the big 3-0
    September 29, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    "30" can be a stressful number to some women. It is often considered the deadline of some major life events like getting married. In 2005, stage producer and actor Kearen Pang also entered her thirties. Instead of worrying about whether she can get married on time, she treated "30" as an age to meet new challenges. That year, she left her theatre troupe and made her solo debut with the one-person show 29+1, which casts new light on life as well as the big 3-0. In the original stage version, Kearen Pang played two 29-year-old Hong Kong women: successful marketing executive Christy and cheerful CD store worker Tin Lok. To offer a more vivid portrayal of the characters in the movie remake, the... [read more]
  3. 52Hz, I Love You (2017) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) 52Hz, I Love You (2017) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Suming (Actor) | Ball Chuang (Actor) | Xiao Yu (Actor) | Mify Chen (Actor)
    Wei Te Sheng's first musical
    September 13, 2017 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Music played a big role in Wei Te Sheng's 2007 breakout blockbuster Cape No. 7 that launched him to prominence. After two historical sagas, he goes back to music with the full-fledged musical feature 52Hz, I Love You. The airy, whimsical Taipei-set romance weaves together several threads on Valentine's Day. Sandrine Pinna and Nana Lee begin the film with a cameo pitch for marriage equality as a lesbian couple participating in a mass wedding event organized by the city. Lin Ching Tai and Cyndi Chao, meanwhile, represent the older subset with an odd encounter on the subway. The two main parings, however, are Mify Chen and Suming as a long-time couple on the rocks, though the latter doesn't... [read more]
  4. Cycling Angels (2016) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version) Cycling Angels (2016) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version) Paul Chu (Director)
    The long ride home
    July 27, 2017 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    In 2012, the Taiwan documentary Go Grandriders about the inspiring round-island motorbike trip of a group of senior citizens set a new local box office record for documentaries. Four years later, we make the round-island pilgrimage with riders from the opposite end of the age spectrum in Cycling Angels. The first film from director Paul Chu, Cycling Angels documents the 1,200 km cycling journey of a group of children from the Yunlin County Xinyi Orphanage, the youngest of whom was only eight years old. This great test of physical and mental endurance is taxing even for adults, let alone young children who have already been through too much for their age. But, as the orphanage director... [read more]
  5. Princess Weiyoung (2016) (DVD) (Ep. 1-54) (End) (China Version) Princess Weiyoung (2016) (DVD) (Ep. 1-54) (End) (China Version) Tiffany Tang (Actor) | Vanness Wu (Actor) | Luo Jin (Actor) | Mao Xiao Tong (Actor)
    A meaningful twist on a revenge tale
    July 25, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    A typical Chinese palace drama, such as Legend of Concubine Zhen Huan and The Legend of Mi Yue, usually delivers a strong message of female empowerment and involves romance, power struggle, revenge and betrayal. To fit this type of dramatic plot, the protagonist is often designed to be a concubine's daughter who is destined to bring bad luck and becomes reluctantly embroiled in a fierce power fight with her once beloved sister. Despite its formulaic plot about the underdog tale of a brilliant and lionhearted fallen princess, Princess Weiyoung still possesses unique charms that kept me watching. In the original novel The Concubine's Daughter Is Poisonous, Li Weiyoung is the third child of... [read more]
  6. Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait (2016) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version) Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait (2016) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version) Tony Leung Chiu Wai (Actor) | Zhou Xun (Actor) | Sadon Lhamo (Actor) | Tshering Dorji (Actor)
    The power and poison of anonymity
    June 26, 2017 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    What would you do if you were completely anonymous, such that nothing you do can be traced back to you? That is the alluring question posed in Tibetan lama Khyentse Norbu's eerie and intriguing Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait. Hema Hema opens rather unexpectedly in a night club with Chinese actress Zhou Xun, whose significance will not be known until the end of the film. The modern-day bookend then leads into the green mountains of Bhutan where a man puts on a mask and surrenders himself to the tribe hosting the (fictional) ritual at the heart of the film. Every 12 years, a group of participants are invited to take part in a ritual that lasts for 15 days in the mountains. The... [read more]
  7. Duckweed (2017) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Duckweed (2017) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Deng Chao (Actor) | Eddie Peng (Actor) | Zanilia Zhao (Actor) | Han Han (Director, Writer)
    The growth of Han Han
    June 9, 2017 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    When I wrote about superstar writer Han Han's directorial debut The Continent in 2015, I noted that the meandering vagabond road film employing tropes common to his novels was absolutely the film he was meant to make, but that the formula could grow old if he continued to use it for subsequent films. Two years later, his sophomore effort Duckweed came out of the competitive Chinese New Year box-office slot with a gross of over one billion yuan and strong reviews. Han Han will perhaps always write about headstrong young men on a journey of growth, discovery and destruction, but with Duckweed, he's taken that journey in another direction with a different tone. Deng Chao and Eddie Peng serve... [read more]
  8. The Inspired Island II: My City (2015) (Blu-ray + DVD + Book) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version) The Inspired Island II: My City (2015) (Blu-ray + DVD + Book) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version) Fruit Chan (Director) | Xi Xi (Author)
    The Writer and her City
    May 31, 2017 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    The Inspired Island started in 2011 as a series of documentaries about Taiwan literary luminaries directed by new-generation Taiwan filmmakers. For the series' second batch of films, the subjects expanded to include Hong Kong writers Liu Yichang, Ye Si and Xi Xi. While the first two writers are documented by screenwriter Ben Wong who, like most of his Taiwan counterparts, is not an established director, My City about Xi Xi is directed by Fruit Chan. As the only big name director of The Inspired Island series, Chan shows his experience and expertise in one of the series' most engaging and accessible entries. Unlike some other titles in the series, My City resists the limitation of being too... [read more]
  9. Show Me Your Love (2016) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) Show Me Your Love (2016) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) Paw Hee Ching (Actor) | Raymond Wong (Actor) | Ivana Wong (Actor) | Michelle Wai (Actor)
    Love is never too late
    May 24, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    Teaching is one of the most secure careers in Malaysia. As such, many parents hope that their children will become teachers. Director Ryon Lee's (Seventh) parents were no exception. Passionate about movies, Lee insisted in pursuing his dream instead. To show his determination, he left home and spent years developing his filmmaking career. When he learned that his mother was diagnosed with a muscle disease, he suddenly realized that nothing is more important than family. Lee retells these thoughts in the moving drama Show Me Your Love's poignant story of separation and reconciliation. Teacher Daren (Raymond Wong, PTU) left his hometown in Malaysia twenty years ago, and started a new life in... [read more]
  10. One Day (2016) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) One Day (2016) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Ter Chantawit Thanasewee (Actor) | Mew Nittha Jirayungyurn (Actor) | Banjong Pisanthanakun (Director)
    One Day makes all the difference
    April 28, 2017 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Director Banjong Pisanthanakun is best known for horror, with his Shutter and Pee Mak both being landmarks of the genre in Thailand. Between the horror movies, in 2010 he wrote and directed Hello Stranger, an enjoyable romantic comedy about two strangers who become travelmates by chance in Seoul. Six years later, he reunites with leading man Ter Chantavit Dhanasevi for another picturesque dose of romance abroad in the Hokkaido-set One Day. Ter Chantavit plays awkward IT geek Denchai who quite literally blends into the wall. Outfitted with glasses, permed hair and ill-fitting casualwear, Denchai is deemed cinematically unattractive, and his social skills are wanting. He has a huge crush on... [read more]
  11. The Taste of Youth (2016) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) The Taste of Youth (2016) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) King Wai Cheung (Director)
    Hong Kong's bittersweet ode to youth
    March 30, 2017 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    In 2009, King Wai Cheung rewrote the crossover potential of Hong Kong documentaries with the much-talked-about award-winning feature KJ: Music & Life, a fascinating record of one very special Hong Kong youth. Seven years later, Cheung gathers the thoughts and voices of a group of very ordinary Hong Kong youths in The Taste of Youth. From a purely cinematic standpoint, The Taste of Youth is a less engaging film than KJ, as the latter captured with depth a uniquely interesting subject over a significant timespan. However, The Taste of Youth's straightforward study offers a timely and more socially relevant look at youth in Hong Kong today, and the undertone of anxiety, discord and malaise... [read more]
  12. Weeds on Fire (2016) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Weeds on Fire (2016) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Liu Kai Chi (Actor) | Tony Wu (Actor) | Sing Lam (Actor) | Poon Chan Leung (Actor)
    Solid base hit
    February 27, 2017 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    With eight Hong Kong Film Awards nominations including Best Film, Weeds on Fire is a tad over-lauded by local critics eager to celebrate a small Hong Kong drama about the Hong Kong experience. Nevertheless, Weeds on Fire is very much a notable effort in the thinning pool of purely Hong Kong films, especially considering it's from a first-time director. Steve Chan, one of the winners of CreateHK's First Film Feature Initiative in 2013, makes good use of the funding for an assured feature debut that approaches the classic coming-of-age sports drama with palpable energy from a grassroots angle. Weeds on Fire tells the obscure story of Hong Kong's first local youth baseball team and the... [read more]
  13. Ten Years (2015) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Ten Years (2015) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Liu Kai Chi (Actor) | Nick Yau (Actor) | Catherine Chau (Actor) | Ng Siu Hin (Actor)
    Predicting the worst, hoping for the best
    February 10, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    As conflicts between Hong Kong and Mainland China intensify, voices calling for Hong Kong autonomy have escalated in the city. Five young directors envisage the dystopian future of a Beijing-controlled Hong Kong ten years later in the indie omnibus Ten Years, which addresses different social concerns including national security legislation, cultural preservation, marginalization of Cantonese and sovereignty. Directed by Kwok Zune, "Extra" unveils the dark secret behind the legislation of a National Security Law from the perspectives of two unimportant gangsters – an Indian (Peter Chan) and a Mainland immigrant (Courtney Wu Zerisawa) who are paid to launch a false attack to stoke panic and... [read more]
  14. The Monkey King 2 (2016) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) The Monkey King 2 (2016) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Gong Li (Actor) | Aaron Kwok (Actor) | William Feng (Actor) | Xiao Shen Yang (Actor)
    White Bone Demon vs. Monkey King
    February 9, 2017 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    It's hard to keep track of all the blockbuster Journey to the West movies coming out lately. In 2016, we had The Monkey King 2 and A Chinese Odyssey Part 3, and the year before that Surprise and Monkey King: Hero is Back. This Chinese New Year, Stephen Chow's Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back and Wang Baoqiang's Journey to the West-inspired Buddies in India opened the same day, while Derek Kwok's The Tales of Wukong will arrive this summer, possibly launching another movie franchise. With so many Monkey Kings flying around, the installment that I'll be measuring newer adaptations against is last year's The Monkey King 2. The first film of Soi Cheang's series, 2014's The Monkey... [read more]
  15. Novoland: The Castle in the Sky (2016) (DVD) (Ep. 1-28) (End) (China Version) Novoland: The Castle in the Sky (2016) (DVD) (Ep. 1-28) (End) (China Version) Zhang Ruo Yun (Actor) | Liu Chang (Actor) | Guan Xiao Tong (Actor) | Zhang Lu Yi (Actor)
    The rare China costume fantasy with good editing
    January 16, 2017 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Novoland: The Castle in the Sky was roundly ripped by Chinese netizens upon arrival for its acquired-taste aesthetics, like distracting circle lens, and for being yet another lusciously fake-looking period fantasy with archetype characters in a saturated market (it premiered the same week as Ice Fantasy). For those who stick around for a few more episodes, however, the reviews also come around, because Castle in the Sky turns out to be one of the rare examples of the genre that succeeds on tight directing and editing. Set in Novoland (an imaginary ancient China with its own universe and mythology created, shared and developed by different writers), Castle in the Sky focuses on the conflict... [read more]
  16. The Menu (2016) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) The Menu (2016) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Kate Yeung (Actor) | Gregory Wong (Actor) | Catherine Chau (Actor) | Ng Man Tat (Actor)
    Rewriting the rules of journalism
    December 30, 2016 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    I haven't watched the HKTV series that spawned the feature film version of The Menu either, so don't let that dissuade from watching the movie. Set after the events of the TV drama, The Menu: The Movie is a sequel, but prior knowledge is not required as the investigative crime drama straightforwardly plops the viewer right into the hustling world of Hong Kong news with Smart Post's small tenacious team of journalists. We learn immediately that Smart Post's original photographer and chief editor are no longer with the team through flashbacks to the TV series, and that editor Fong Ying (Catherine Chau) is now the interim chief and writer Mallory (Kate Yeung) has switched to the photo... [read more]
  17. Happiness (2016) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) Happiness (2016) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) Kara Hui (Actor) | Carlos Chan (Actor) | Liu Ya Se (Actor) | Lam Siu Ha (Actor)
    Watch it for Kara Hui
    November 29, 2016 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Screenwriter Andy Lo Yiu Fai's first solo directorial feature Happiness depicts the makeshift familial bond that develops between an angry young man and his landlord, an absentminded older woman with early signs of dementia. Though it has the kind of synopsis that seemingly sets the audience up for big tear-jerking moments and life lessons, the film takes a subtler, less weepy route, and is all the better for it. Carlos Chan plays Yuk, a young cook who moves from China to Hong Kong after losing his mother. A flawed but fundamentally decent guy, the temperamental Yuk treats his girlfriend terribly one moment, and takes the time to help out a stranger on the street another moment. After... [read more]
  18. Line Walker (2016) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Line Walker (2016) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Nick Cheung (Actor) | Francis Ng (Actor) | Charmaine Sheh (Actor) | Louis Koo (Actor)
    Another Line Walker
    October 31, 2016 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    In the tradition of TVB-based features like Turning Point and Triumph in the Skies, Line Walker the movie takes a minimum of the original series' premise and characters, and then loads it with movie actors and elements. Fans of the TV series expecting a significant continuation (or Raymond Lam) may justifiably feel a bit shafted, but in exchange, we get a slick production with great performances from Nick Cheung, Louis Koo and Francis Ng in new roles. Directed by the TV series' producer Jazz Boon, Line Walker does retain as backstory the events of the TV series, which involved identifying triad-planted undercover officers whose files got deleted and uncovering a triad mole in the police... [read more]
  19. The Tag-Along (2015) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) The Tag-Along (2015) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Tiffany Hsu (Actor) | River Huang (Actor) | Zhang Bo Zhou (Actor) | Cheng Wei Hao (Director)
    Everybody has a mosien tagging along
    October 25, 2016 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    One of the most popular urban legends in Taiwan revolves around a pale little girl dressed in red who was caught on video following a group of hikers on a mountain trail in 1998. The mysterious girl is believed to be the forest-dwelling spirit mosien, which appears as a child or monkey. Director Cheng Wei Hao's feature debut The Tag-Along reinterprets the spooky legend into a unique horror tale about love, family and the environment. River Huang (The Ghost Tale) stars as property agent Wei who works hard in the hopes of marrying his long-term girlfriend Yi Chun, played by Tiffany Hsu (Design 7 Love). After discovering that his grandmother vanished under mysterious circumstances, Wei starts... [read more]
  20. Cat A.W.O.L. (2015) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Cat A.W.O.L. (2015) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Pongsak Pongsuwan (Actor, Director) | Pae Arak Amornsupasiri (Actor) | Baifern Pimchanok Luevisadpaibul (Actor) | Choosak Iamsook (Actor)
    Because cats make everything better
    September 30, 2016 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    There are few genres as enjoyably fluffy as the Thai romcom, and Cat A.W.O.L. managed to make the form even fluffier by adding cats. The right romantic pieces are in place off the bat with the popular casting of the lovable Pimchanok "Baifern" Luevisadpaibul of A Crazy Little Thing Called Love and the reliable Arak "Pae" Amornsupasiri of too many romcoms to name. Nareubadee Wetchakam, the director of the Saranae comedies, and comedian Pongsak Pongsuwan bring the comedy credentials as co-directors, and Johnny the Burmese cat steals the show by being a Burmese cat. As the paper-thin story goes, Baifern is bumbling college student Mayo who starts her internship at an ad agency. From day one,... [read more]
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  • Region & Language: Hong Kong United States - English
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