I recently moved back to my hometown to be near my family and am fortunate enough to be able to have lunch with my mom and my 98-year-old grandmother every Thursday. My grandmother has been my biggest fan and supporter my entire life and it’s been great for me to be able to spend more time with her after living far from home for so long.
The Farewell (the Chinese title, 别告诉她, translates to “Don’t tell her”), stars comedienne and rapper, Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians, Oceans 8), in a drama about a Chinese family trying to spend what time they have left with their dying matriarch without letting her know she is dying. I knew I had to see it, partly because of my own relationship with my grandmother which made the topic even more relatable to me, but also because I was eager to see a Chinese movie that takes place in everyday life as most of the ones I’ve been able to see so far have been much more centered in fantasy (see all my previous movie reviews).
This is interesting. Jade Dynasty (诛仙) is the movie version of the novel we have seen adapted into the small screen before. Remember….The Legend of Chusen with Li Yi Feng, Zhao Li Ying, and Yang Zi? Well. Here ya go, the condensed version. Lol. It stars some popular and pretty faces with the current Xiao Zhan from the drama The Untamed, Li Qin as Lu Xue Qi, singer Meng Mei Qi as Bi Yao, and Tang Yi Xin replaying her role from the drama version as the first love. xD
Mark Chao, Kenny Lin Gengxin and William Feng Shaofeng reprise their roles as the crime-solving trio from Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon in this sequel, directed by Tsui Hark (who is quickly becoming my favorite Chinese director). Joining them are Sandra Ma (“Oh My General”) and Ethan Ruan (“Legend of Fuyao”) in this mystery involving magicians, sorcery and an Empress eager for power. It’s a fun, summer flick with laughs and plenty of action.
Book 2 in Tang Qi’s Three Lives Three Worlds series is The Pillow Case, a dedicated love story between Bai Feng Jiu (Bai Qian’s niece, played by Dilraba) and Dong Hua Dijun (played by Vengo Gao). If you have watched Yang Mi’s Eternal Love, you’ll remember these two characters. First set of posters are out!
Animal World (动物世界) reunites the OTP from “Sparrow”, Li Yi Feng and Zhou Dong Yu, and also features Michael Douglas (Ant-Man) as a mysterious loan shark. Based on a Japanese manga called Kaiji: The Ultimate Gambler, this movie is a live action version of part 1 of the manga about a man forced to participate in a bizarre betting game on board a ship to get out of debt. Despite the frenetic trailers and what appears to be some visual influences from Deadpool, it’s actually more of a drama about how money or a lack of it can challenge people’s morals and motivations.
When Mr. Sunshine aka Shawn Dou goes deep and dark, I go 😍😍😍. It’s like a mix of his two drama characters, Yan Xun and Muru Han Jiang, except with lesser clothing. XD In the movie Legend of Sun and Moon, he’s paired up with the lovely Dilraba. Sunshine will be playing Hou Yi, a god of archery descended from heaven who shot down 9 suns out of 10 to save mankind. Dilraba will be playing his wife, Chang’e, goddess of the Moon. Not sure how the story goes but in one popular variation, as a reward for saving mankind, our archer is given an elixir of immortality. However, he doesn’t consume the pill if his wife isn’t in it with him. However, Chang’e is forced to take the pill when an intruder tries to steal it. The lovers are then separated as Chang’e chooses the moon as her residence.
I visit the China Film Insider website ever so often to read about the latest movies and last month had read an article about how currently the most popular movies in China are those with “buddy love” storylines. I’d been noticing lately that a lot of the movies and series I have started to prefer as well have had a strong bromance and could see why they would do well.
Good examples of the bromance element can be found in Legend of the Demon Cat and Detective Chinatown 2. Because both movies are basically buddy cop murder mysteries and had a lot of common elements, despite taking place in different time periods and being different genres (historical drama versus modern comedy), I decided to review them together.