Review: A Better Tomorrow 2018

A Better Tomorrow 2018 is a bold visual and auditory delight and a boatload of fun.

From some of the boldest music choices to drastic switches in tone of cinematography to one of the most interesting shootout scenes in a while,   A Better Tomorrow 2018英雄本色 2018 felt like a firework so  bursting with life that  it left me too busy savoring every minute details of brilliance to think about its flaws. You can just feel how much love and thought director Ding Sheng and the cast put into every scene.  Even all the jokes avoid lazy one-liners but instead are all carefully set-up earlier to land perfectly.

Spoiler level: little more than what you would know from the trailers

Continue reading

Advertisements

2017 Weibo Awards Ceremony

The four most bankable actresses (四小花旦) of the post-85 generation: Yang Mi, Angelababy, Ni Ni and Liu Shishi, as chosen by netizens and industry insiders.

Continue reading

A Better Tomorrow 2018 to screen in U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand

This movie has already won for having some of the prettiest posters yet (ignore the 0119).

Known for his action flicks that often reminds one of the golden days of Hong Kong cinema, director Ding Sheng pays tribute to a Hong Kong classic in A Better Tomorrow 2018 英雄本色 2018.  The film will be shown in select theaters in  North America (US and Canada) beginning January19th and in Australia and New Zealand beginning the 24th.

If you’re one of the rare Cfensi readers who live in Asia,  the film will screen  in mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam, Philippines, India and other unnamed parts of South Asia.  

Synopsis –   Zhou Kai (Wang Kai) is a reformed smuggler trying to make amends with his up-and-rising police star brother (Ma Tianyu). While he struggles  between his love for his little brother and loyalty to his former partner-in-crime Ma Ke (Darren Wang), the three all become entangled in a smuggling plot by the new leader of Zhou Kai  and Ma Ke’s old gang.

Teaser 1; Teaser 2 ; Teaser 3 ; song by Wang Leehom ; only good song; song by Wang Kai

Wang Kai, Yang Shuo, Dong Zijian confirmed for River of Time

Fun fact: All three leads graduated from the Central Academy of Drama, which has a reputation of producing well-known actors who are also good at their craft. 

Great Rivers / River Of Time 大江大河 is a drama produced by Daylight Entertainment to celebrate the 40th anniversary of China’s open-door policy, and stars Wang Kai, Yang Shuo and Dong Zijian as representatives of a whole generation of people who took advantage of the economic reforms that were being rolled out.

Continue reading

National Treasures come alive in new CCTV program starring Tony Leung, Wang Kai and more

National Treasure 国家宝藏  will showcase 27 historical artifacts from 29 different museums across the country with the help of “protectors” (listed below), who will then present the story behind each piece in a short stage performance.

Actors / hosts featured: Zhang Guoli, Tony Leung Ka-fai, Wang Kai, Liu Tao, Li Chen, Duan Yihong, Wang Gang, He Jiong, Ma Su, Qin Hailu, Chen Xiao, Jackson Yi Yangqianxi, Liu Yijun, Guo Tao, Lei Jiayin, Guan Xiaotong, Sa Beining, Cai Guoqing, Ren Zhong, Ning Jing

Theme song: A Thousand Years in One Glance 一眼千年 – Na Ying

Continue reading

Catch Wang Kai on Times Squre 07/28-08/02

Ever wanted to see Ming Cheng, Xiao Jingyan, or Doctor Zhao on the big screen? Now’s your chance. Design by: @长期搬书气自华

If you’ll be  around New York City this  07/28-08/02, catch Wang Kai’s ads in two locations, above Europa Cafe on 7th and 43rd at the 11th minute of every hour.  Wang Kai’s fans won this in some sort of Yinyuetai version of Portal.   I don’t really understand the Chinese obsession with Times Square ads, but at least these are pretty.

Review: Ode to Joy Season I

As Ode to Joy II  欢乐颂 2 is geared up for release, here’s a review of season 1 of the hit series from 2016.

Witty dialogue and a cast of memorable characters make Ode to Joy one of the most fun sit-coms in a while.  Unfortunately, the  series is often dogged down by attempts to shift to a melodrama that makes the ff button a necessary friend.

The series focuses around the unlikely friendship between five women who share a floor in an apartment complex in Shanghai. There’s Andi (An Di?), the business professional with a fear of human touch, Qu Xiaoxiao, the heiress fighting  for the family inheritance,  Fan Shengmei, the gold-digger with an entitled family, Qiu Yingying, the happy-go-lucky college grad,  and Guan Ju’er, the ordinary white-collared girl who has never said no in her life.

Coming from a misogynistic rural  family, Fan Shengmei (Jiang Xin) is vain, self-centered, but also righteous and protective. She would lie to help out a friend, but also to save face. The first lets her befriend the women in the apartment complex, but the second gets her in trouble  as she falls for men who use her vanity to play her.  When she falls in love with a  man faked his own wealth to date her, she is caught between love and vanity.  Imperfect, complex, and sharp-tongued, Fan’s characterization is perfect.

Continue reading

Review: The Devotion of Suspect X

Verdict: Director Alec Su’s second attempt is an improvement from his first and benefits from a much better story, stunning cinematography, but the screenplay is still choppy and leaves more to be desired.

The brilliant story of The Devotion of Suspect X is recaptured for the Chinese audience in director Alec Su’s second film. Aided by a much superior story, a better cast, and more fitting cinematography, Alec Su unfortunately is handicapped by his poor control of the film.

The suspense/detective tale with a twist features Zhang Luyi as Shi Hong, a genius and a loner who tries to help his neighbor Chen Jing (Ruby Lin) to cover up her murder of her ex-husband. Unfortunately for the pair, their crime caught the eye of Tang Chuan (Wang Kai), a physicist and Shi Hong’s best friend in high school. Tang Chuan is called upon to help detective Luo Miao (Ye Zuxin) to solve the murder, but along the way gets caught in the crime itself.

Continue reading