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  1. You Are The One (2020) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) You Are The One (2020) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Gladys Li (Actor) | Patrick Kong (Director, Producer, Writer) | Carlos Chan (Actor) | Bob Lam (Actor)
    This is the one Patrick Kong film I like.
    April 17, 2020 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    I never thought the day would come when I would recommend a Patrick Kong film. But hey, the end of the world doesn't feel so far off this year. Released during Chinese New Year, You Are the One was actually the last film I watched in cinema before entering social-distancing mode, so it now holds a special place in my heart. Writer-director Patrick Kong has made a name for himself over the past decade by cornering the Hong Kong market for local urban romances. Many of his films are quite forgettable though, unless they happen to star Stephy Tang and Alex Fong (and that well has dried up). Given Patrick Kong's past work and the film's cringe-worthy Chinese title, I went into You Are the One... [read more]
  2. Bodies At Rest (2019) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Bodies At Rest (2019) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Richie Jen (Actor) | Nick Cheung (Actor) | Yang Zi (Actor) | Sonija Kwok (Actor)
    High-concept actioner in a morgue
    January 15, 2020 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Sometimes you want complex stories and characters in your films. But when it comes to action movies, sometimes you just want the simplest story with the most bodily damage. And that's exactly what you get in Renny Harlin's high-concept action thriller Bodies at Rest. After moving his career to China, Harlin directed Jackie Chan's Skiptrace (2016) and the period fantasy Legend of the Ancient Sword (2018), both of which are about as not good as his 2000s Hollywood output would predict. Bodies at Rest, however, is right up the director's Die Hard 2 lane. The ever busy Nick Cheung plays forensic pathologist Dr. Chan, who is settling in for a Christmas Eve at the lab with intern Lynn (Yang Zi).... [read more]
  3. The World Between Us (2019) (Blu-ray) (Ep. 1-10) (End) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version) The World Between Us (2019) (Blu-ray) (Ep. 1-10) (End) (English Subtitled) (Taiwan Version) James Wen (Actor) | J.C. Lin (Actor) | Pets Tseng (Actor) | Chris Wu Kang Jen (Actor)
    The distance between humanity and tragedy
    September 26, 2019 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Taiwan television reaches a new high with The World Between Us, which is absolutely one of the best series to come out of Asia this year. Set in the aftermath of a random mass shooting, the ensemble drama explores the impact, coverage and consequences of the senseless tragedy in a manner that is both deeply personal and widely relevant. Over ten episodes, Lu Shih Yuan's script weaves different characters and conflicts together, posing many difficult and thought-provoking questions along the way about justice, ethics, compassion, grief, mental health and the media. The World Between Us begins a few years after a mass shooting incident, the details of which are gradually revealed over the... [read more]
  4. A Family Tour (2018) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) A Family Tour (2018) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Pete Teo (Actor) | Nai An (Actor) | Gong Zhe (Actor) | Tan Xin Yue (Actor)
    Dispatch from a Chinese filmmaker in exile
    June 26, 2019 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    In 2012, indie Chinese director Ying Liang completed the film When Night Falls based on the controversial 2008 case of Yang Jia, who stormed a Shanghai police station and killed six police officers. The case drew great attention not only for the shocking violence, but also for how the authorities handled the case. Yang Jia, who was previously mistreated by the police and tried behind closed doors, drew sympathy from pockets of the Chinese internet that aired their discontent with China's opaque justice system. Ying Liang brought When Night Falls, which recounts the case from the perspective of Yang's mother, to overseas film festivals without official permission and refused to yield to... [read more]
  5. Fall In Love At First Kiss (2019) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Fall In Love At First Kiss (2019) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Jelly Lin (Actor) | Darren Wang (Actor) | Hao Zi (Actor) | Dewi Chien (Actor)
    Sign me up for another Kiss
    May 31, 2019 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    There are some stories that are clearly shallow, juvenile and cliched, and yet they keep getting told and we keep watching them. Even as I griped about there being yet another Itazura na Kiss adaptation when Fall in Love at First Kiss was announced, I knew I was going to watch it – because of course I am. After Hana Yori Dango, Itazura na Kiss has to be the most popular shojo manga for adaptation, and it's especially beloved in Taiwan because of the classic idol drama It Started With a Kiss. Just three years ago, there was a new Taiwan TV adaptation of Itazura na Kiss. Now we get a movie. Iconic source material aside, Fall in Love at First Kiss does have another big selling point: the... [read more]
  6. Late Life: The Chien-Ming Wang Story (2018) (DVD) (Taiwan Version) Late Life: The Chien-Ming Wang Story (2018) (DVD) (Taiwan Version) Frank W. Chen (Director)
    Bottom of the ninth
    May 28, 2019 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    I was living in Taiwan in 2005 when Wang Chien Ming made his Major League debut as a starting pitcher for the New York Yankees. The Taiwan-born ace was all over the local news and sports channels, and a frequent conversation topic among my middle school students. The pride and fervor surrounding the third ever Taiwan baseball player to make it to the MLB was huge at the time. His talent, humility and sick sinker made even a lifelong Red Sox fan like me want to root for him (only him, not the Yankees). After consecutive 19-win seasons in pinstripes in 2006 and 2007, it all came crashing down in 2008. Wang suffered a foot injury while rounding the bases in an interleague game. All athletes... [read more]
  7. Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy (2018) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy (2018) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Max Zhang Jin (Actor) | Tony Jaa (Actor) | Michelle Yeoh (Actor) | Shi Yan Neng (Actor)
    No Ip Man, No Problem
    March 28, 2019 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    No Ip Man, no problem – at least when it comes to the spin-off film Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy. In 2015's Ip Man 3, Max Zhang left a strong impression as Wing Chun practitioner Cheung Tin Chi, who persistently challenged Ip Man for the title of Hong Kong's top martial artist. While not an antagonist, the character was an adversary to Ip Man for much of the film and provided various scene-stealing moments for Zhang. Three years later, the actor stepped back into the shoes of Cheung Tin Chi to headline his own film set after the events of Ip Man 3. Having closed his martial arts school and set aside the chip on his shoulder since we last saw him, Cheung Tin Chi is now content with running a... [read more]
  8. Project Gutenberg (2018) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Project Gutenberg (2018) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Chow Yun Fat (Actor) | Aaron Kwok (Actor) | Zhang Jing Chu (Actor) | Liu Kai Chi (Actor)
    Chow Yun Fat's greatest hits
    February 14, 2019 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Felix Chong's Project Gutenberg just garnered a ridiculous 17 nominations at the Hong Kong Film Awards so there are many nice things that could be said about the film's twisty plot, slick pacing and tight direction. I'd like to focus on the single most important factor that makes the crime thriller a must-watch for Hong Kong film fans (or at least me): Chow Yun Fat. Chow Yun Fat is in peak Chow Yun Fat form in the role of a criminal mastermind behind a counterfeiting operation. His commanding and charismatic performance in the film channels the classic effortless charm that captured a generation of Asian cinema fans and also the dangerous, unreadable duplicity of later roles in films like... [read more]
  9. House of The Rising Sons (2018) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) House of The Rising Sons (2018) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Jonathan Wong (Actor) | Tan Yu (Actor) | Carlos Chan (Actor) | Sing Lam (Actor)
    Friendship wyns
    January 16, 2019 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    It's hard to muster up much expectation for a biopic about an aged cookie-cutter Hong Kong pop band directed by one of the band members, but House of the Rising Sons turns out to be an appealingly amiable and nostalgic film whose overall niceness actually feels right. Formed by Alan Tam, Kenny Bee, Anthony Chan, Bennett Pang and Danny Yip, The Wynners were arguably Hong Kong's first idol band. The band exploded into popularity in the 70s with feel-good English and Cantonese pop numbers that appealed to a younger generation. By the early 80s, Alan Tam and Kenny Bee had shifted focus to solo careers. However, The Wynners never disbanded. The band has remained intermittently active over the... [read more]
  10. Detective Chinatown 2 (2018) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Detective Chinatown 2 (2018) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Liu Hao Ran (Actor) | Xiao Yang (Actor) | Wang Bao Qiang (Actor) | Tong Li Ya (Actor)
    The birth of a detective comedy franchise
    October 31, 2018 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    There is no shortage of crime mystery and suspense productions in China, but most with buzz and budget of late are based on novels – and often the same ones. Criminal Minds, Yu Zui and Qin Ming adaptations abound and no Nan Pai San Shu or Tianxia Bachang story is left unturned. In that sense, Chen Sicheng's blockbuster Detective Chinatown film series stands out for being a successful original creation rather than an extension of a pre-existing IP. Following his success with Beijing Love Story, actor-turned-director Chen Sicheng tried his hand at mystery in 2015 with the sophomore directorial effort Detective Chinatown. The film brought together the unlikely detective duo of comedy veteran... [read more]
  11. Goodbye Mr. Loser (2015) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Goodbye Mr. Loser (2015) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Ma Li (Actor) | Yin Zheng (Actor) | Shen Teng (Actor) | Ai Lun (Actor)
    From Mr. Loser to Mr. Billionaire
    August 27, 2018 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Since opening last month, Yan Fei and Peng Damo's comedy Hello Mr. Billionaire starring Shen Teng has grossed around 2.5 billion yuan to storm into China's top ten grossing films of all time. This is the third time in as many years that a Shen Teng film has broken into the top ten of China's rapidly refreshing box-office records, following 2017's Never Say Die and 2015's Goodbye Mr. Loser. In a mere three years, Shen Teng has gone from a mainly stage and skit actor into a household name and box-office force. The film that started it all is the sleeper hit Goodbye Mr. Loser. In 2015, directors Yan Fei and Peng Damo, star Shen Teng and other members of the Beijing theater troupe Mahua Fun Age... [read more]
  12. Legend of the Demon Cat (2017) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Legend of the Demon Cat (2017) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Sometani Shota (Actor) | Chen Kaige (Director, Writer) | Huang Xuan (Actor) | Abe Hiroshi (Actor)
    Magic, mystery and romance of the Tang Dynasty
    April 27, 2018 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    How far can movie magic get you? Quite far in the case of Chen Kaige's splendidly strange fantasy mystery Legend of the Demon Cat. Based on a novel series by Japanese sci-fi/fantasy writer Yumemakura Baku, Legend of Demon Cat has the kind of story that one would be hard-pressed to explain out loud without sounding a bit silly. A bemused young monk (Sometani Shota) from Japan arrives in Chang'an, the capital of Tang Dynasty China, to exorcise demons for Emperor Xuanzong (Zhang Luyi), who dies mysteriously. He befriends the palace scribe, a moody poet (Huang Xuan) who swings between being super excited and dramatically devastated about his poem-in-progress, and the two investigate the strange... [read more]
  13. Nirvana in Fire II (2017) (DVD) (Ep. 1-50) (End) (China Version) Nirvana in Fire II (2017) (DVD) (Ep. 1-50) (End) (China Version) Huang Xiao Ming (Actor) | Liu Hao Ran (Actor) | Tong Li Ya (Actor) | Wang Yong Quan
    Nirvana in Wind
    April 23, 2018 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    On Douban, China's largest peer film review ratings site, the 2015 period series Nirvana in Fire tops nearly all Chinese TV dramas with a score of 9.1. Out of over 200,000 ratings, Nirvana in Fire earned five stars from over 70% of users, and four or five stars from over 90%. Those are staggering numbers for a local recent production and a reflection of the near universal acclaim for the drama from critics and everyday audiences alike. Nirvana in Fire essentially captured lightning in a bottle with its sublime script, cast and production values that reached an appreciative audience. Two years later, Nirvana in Fire II: The Wind Blows in Changlin arrives with a story set several decades... [read more]
  14. Wu Xin: The Monster Killer 2 (2017) (DVD) (Ep. 1-27) (End) (China Version) Wu Xin: The Monster Killer 2 (2017) (DVD) (Ep. 1-27) (End) (China Version) Elvis Han (Actor) | Sebrina Chen (Actor) | Landy Li (Actor) | Ian Wang (Actor)
    Wu Xin is still good the second time around
    February 28, 2018 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    Wu Xin: The Monster Killer 2 has one undeniable shortcoming common to sequels: it's not as good as its predecessor. However, that doesn't mean it's not good. Wu Xin 2 picks up the adventures of Elvis Han's demon-exorcising immortal some two decades after he has lost memories of the events and people from the first season of the supernatural period fantasy series. Continuing the cycle of his endless wanderings, the good-natured Wu Xin resets with new encounters, exorcisms and enemies. Along with the reset, the supporting cast also sees some changes. Sebrina Chen, Ian Wang and Mike D'Angelo return but Gina Jin and Zhang Ruoyun do not, which does hurt the cast appeal. Landy Li joins as Wu... [read more]
  15. Our Shining Days (2017) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Our Shining Days (2017) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Peng Yu Chang (Actor) | Xu Lu (Actor) | Geng Le | Eason Chan
    The sound of dreams
    February 27, 2018 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    In many Chinese communities, people tend to learn classical western music because traditional Chinese music is often thought to be old-fashioned. Pitting traditional music against classical music, the teen romcom Our Shining Days revives the image of Chinese music and reminds people of their initial dreams. Chen Jing (Xu Lu, Tribe and Empires: Storm of Prophecy) is an optimistic yet aimless music student who plays the yangqin, a traditional hammered dulcimer. To impress her love interest Wang Wen (Luo Mingjie), a cold and supercilious piano major, Jing recruits her buddy Li You (Peng Yuchang, Go Princess Go) and a group of cosplay-loving outcasts to form a traditional music ensemble. Since... [read more]
  16. The Posterist: The Art Of Yuen Tai-Yung (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) The Posterist: The Art Of Yuen Tai-Yung (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Yuen Tai Yung | Hui See Wai (Director) | Kenny Bee | Ryan Hui
    He who drew the stars
    January 24, 2018 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    The name Yuen Tai Yung won't ring a bell for most people, but if you're a fan of 70s and 80s Hong Kong films, you'll recognize Yuen's artwork immediately. Yuen's distinctive and eye-catching illustrations graced the movie posters (and VCD/DVD covers) of hundreds of films from Hong Kong cinema's golden age. The self-taught artist was uncannily good at capturing the biggest stars of the day and the tone of action and comedy films. His poster artwork for Bruce Lee films emblazoned the martial arts superstar's name in bold block letters across the top and animated his stunning aura with muscles rippling and limbs flying. Meanwhile, his funny caricature-like drawings for Hui Brothers classics... [read more]
  17. Heart Attack (2015) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Heart Attack (2015) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Sunny Suwanmethanon (Actor) | Davika Hoorne (Actor) | Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit (Director)
    You should get that looked at
    January 19, 2018 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
    The marketing visuals of Heart Attack would have you think that it is a cute romantic comedy of the type that GTH was very good at producing. However, the film's protagonist probably spends more time flirting with the medical meaning of the title than with the doctor he develops a crush on. Directed by Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit, the award-winning comedy-drama offers a hint of romance and a multitude of warning signs about the unhealthy workaholic lifestyles of urban professionals. Sunny Suwanmethanon is hilariously relatable as sloppy-looking freelance graphics designer Yoon, who's known as the best in the business. In order to keep that title and the jobs coming in, he must toil quickly... [read more]
  18. Bad Genius (2017) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Bad Genius (2017) (DVD) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Thaneth Warakulnukroh | Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying (Actor) | Eisaya Hosuwan (Actor) | Teeradon Supapunpinyo (Actor)
    Cruel truth behind exam cheating
    November 30, 2017 Picked By Pisces See all this editor's picks
    Education is important for young people to acquire not only knowledge but also proper social and moral values. However, these values can easily vanish in a goal-oriented education system, under which cheating may become a "strategy" to score high marks in exams. Inspired by the large-scale exam-cheating scandal that happened in Thailand in 2014, director Nattawut Poonpiriya (Countdown) calls for serious reflection on the country's education system and social inequality in the mind-blowing high-school heist thriller Bad Genius. Played by model-turned-actress Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying, math prodigy Lynn is admitted to a prestigious school on a scholarship thanks to her great academic... [read more]
  19. With Prisoners (2017) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) With Prisoners (2017) (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) Kelvin Kwan (Actor) | Nick Yau (Actor) | Lee Kwok Lun (Actor) | Cen Jia Qi (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]
  20. 29+1 (2016) (Blu-ray + Keyholder + Booklet) (Hong Kong Version) 29+1 (2016) (Blu-ray + Keyholder + Booklet) (Hong Kong Version) Joyce Cheng (Actor) | Chrissie Chau (Actor) | Kearen Pang (Director, Writer) | Jan Lamb
    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]
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  • Region & Language: Hong Kong United States - English
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