Zhou Dongyu, Jing Boran learn to love in Us and Them

Rene Liu’s directorial debut Us and Them 后来的我们 stars Zhou Dongyu (Thousand Faces of Dunjia) and Jing Boran (Monster Hunt 2)  as two strangers who fall in love after meeting on the train when travelling back to their hometowns during the Spring Festival holidays.

Teasers: (1), (2)

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Xu Zheng, Wang Likun’s suspense thriller A or B gears up for release

Xu Zheng (Lost in Hong Kong) plays high-profile corrupt billionaire Zhong Xiaonian, who is kidnapped and held captive in a secret building after attempting to lock in another dirty deal. Zhong Xiaonian finds himself in living hell as the kidnapper begins to publish one dark secret about him a day.

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Chloé Zhao working on a sci-fi set in Northwest China

Rising director Chloé Zhao, whose award-winning The Rider (98% RT, 92% Metacritic, 4/4 Roger Ebert) is being released in theaters  beginning this weekend in North America (release schedule), told Vogue that she’s currently working on a sci-fi set in Northwest China. Based on her Jezebel interview, it sounds like it’ll be set 3000 years in the future.  

Given her experience working with  cinematographer Joshua James Richards on the plains of South Dakota, the Northwest seems to be a perfect first Chinese project for the talented director-cinematographer couple. We may have to wait, though, since she is  also working on another film set in the Indian Reservation and has a contract for a film with Frances McDormand.

Fun fact: Chloé Zhao is the step-daughter of actress/producer Song Dandan.

Liao Fan, Feng Xiaogang, Xu Zheng cast in Jia Zhangke’s new film

Jia Zhangke (Touch of Sin, Mountains May Depart) often creates contemplative stories that reflect issues in society, and I’m expecting his new romantic thriller Ash is Purest White 江湖儿女 to do the same.

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Review: Suddenly Seventeen

Verdict:  You would probably like it if you like chick flicks, and not if otherwise. 

A  cross between Freaky Friday and Seventeen AgainSudden Seventeen 28岁未成年 is a fun, heartwarming, albeit  cliched chick flick that surprisingly does not have a romantic message.  It’s also a monumental tribute to the beauty of Ni Ni.  

“Today is the tenth day of Summer (Ni Ni) being a perfect housewife.  Like the 3650 days before today, she got up at 7 am, had perfect hair and a perfect outfit, made breakfast, and is ready for her beau (Wallace Huo) to awake up. But today was different. She had seen a ring in his coat and he was going to propose.”

When it turns out the ring was for someone else, Summer breaks down and in the midst of her breakdown, sees an advertisement for chocolates that will make her happy again.  It turns out that a bite of the chocolate makes her … drumroll…. seventeen again.   Continue reading

Chen Xiao, Du Juan begin a love affair in new teaser for Lost in Love

Chen Xiao with a moustache is my favourite type of Chen Xiao.

Du Juan (Wine War) plays an interior designer who believes in fairy tale romances, even though her own marriage is on the verge of falling apart. On a trip to Paris, she meets and falls head-over-heels in love with a violinist, played by Chen Xiao (Nothing Gold Can Stay).  

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Fantasy epic Asura actually looks kind of epic

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When you underpay  the costume design team of Game of Thrones and get recycled looks.

Despite sounding like a Games of Thrones fanboy’s expensive money-laundering scheme initially,  the latest trailer for fantasy epic Asura 阿修罗  actually has me sold on watching  Wu Lei and  Daenerys Zhang Yishang falling in love and saving the world.  The CGI is great compared to other recent fantasy films, the music is on point, and the trailer makes it seem like it potentially has a plot. The film is set for a summer 2018 release and co-stars Tony Leung and Carina Lau as the antagonists.

More black and white stills for Zhang Yimou’s period wuxia film Shadow

Shadow is all about opposites – light and dark, yin and yang – and I’m hoping the future teasers will be as stylish as the posters. Deng Chao (The Liquidator) will be playing two characters, and Sun Li (Nothing Gold Can Stay) costars as his wife.

Plot summary:

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Stills and theme song released for Chen Xiao, Du Juan’s upcoming romance film

Shadowing Your Heart 如影隨心 (lit.)  is based on the eponymous novel by reporter and author An Dun, and tells of the romance between a talented violinist (Chen Xiao) and interior designer (Du Juan). The pair get married almost immediately after meeting each other, though they soon find out that a passionate romance isn’t enough to keep a marriage going.

Faye Wong and Na Ying first performed theme song Time 岁月 at this year’s Spring Festival Gala (English lyrics).

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