Mid-series review: The Longest Day in Chang’an

The first half of The Longest Day in Chang’an is mesmerising, and has a very meaty setup – Zhang Xiaojing (Lei Jiayin), former police detective (buliangren) and currently a prisoner on death row, is given the near impossible mission of uprooting a terrorist group within twenty four hours. He sacrifices close friends and subordinates and willingly puts himself in mortal danger in order to save the people of Chang’an, yet is easily thrown under the bus by those in power when things get out of control.

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Ne Zha breaks record for the highest opening for an animated film, the first Chinese film to do so in decades

“Not giving into fate is Ne Zha’s fate”

Animated feature Ne Zha 哪吒之魔童降世, which opened on Friday, broke the record for the highest opening day box office in China for an animated film, making it the first Chinese film to do so since The Lion King became the first Hollywood animated film screened in modern China in 1995. This comes four years after Monster Hunt became the first Chinese film to top the all-time Chinese box office charts since the market re-opened to foreign films in 1994.

The film made 138.5 million RMB on its opening day, edging it ahead of the previous top five – Despicable Me 3, The Minions, Kung Fu Panda 3, Doraemon: Treasure Island, and Your Name. Combined with 61.8 million RMB from test screenings over the past weekend, Ne Zha so far has 200 million RMB at the box office. To dethrone the current top overall box office, it would have to beat out Zootopia‘s 1.53 billion RMB. The highest for a Chinese animated film is fifth place Monkey King: Hero is Back with 956 million RMB. Given its incredible word of mouth, most people are expecting it to dethrone Monkey King at least, with Maoyan predicting it to dethrone Zooptopia (but Maoyan predictions fluctuates a lot).

Update: On Saturday the 26th, Ne Zha broke the record for highest single day box office for an animated film. On Sunday the 27th, Ne Zha broke the record for highest opening weekedn as well as highest weekly box office for an animated film.

Final trailer below (some spoilers), more promos here:

Bai Lu plays a Republican-era Mulan in latest drama with Xu Kai

Will Xu Kai and Bai Lu recreate their chemistry from The Legends?

The Legends stars Xu Kai and Bai Lu team up once more in Arsenal Military Academy 烈火军校, a Republican era military drama written by Xiaoxiangdong’er (Princess Agents). Bai Lu plays a Republican-era Mulan who disguises herself as a man to join the military academy in place of her older brother. There, she proves herself to the other students and probably ends up saving China.

The series, which released a new trailer and character posters today, is set for an August 6th release online. The good-looking cast also includes Wu Jiayi, Li Chengbin, Gao Yu’er, Shao Bing, An Yuexi, Dong Li, Yin Zheng, and Zuo Xiaoqing.

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Unfazed at Twenty stars Bu Guanjin, Guan Xiaotong

Guan Xiaotong finally drops the girl-next-door act and plays the beauty that she is in Unfazed at Twenty.

Nothing but Thirty‘s companion series, Unfazed at Twenty 二十不惑, also began filming last week. Both of these dramas have surprisingly age-appropriate casts, with the four leads being Guan Xiaotong (21), Li Gengxi (19), and Dong Siyi (20), and Bu Guanjin (25) . Directed by Li Zhi (Women In Beijing), the series follows four college roommates as they get ready to begin the next chapter in their life.

Without looks (???), influence, or money, Jiang Xiaoguo (Bu Guanjin) has always been jealous of her college roommates. Duan Jiabao (Li Gengxi) is wealthy but simple-minded, only caring about celebrities and food. Luo Yan (Dong Siyi) ‘s mother is over-controlling but has already planned out her career after college. Liang Shuang (Guan Xiaotong) is a stunning socialite. Yet as graduation comes near, each person must face their own problems. The fangirl Duan Jiabao begins to navigate real-life romance, Luo Yan tries to repair relations with her mother; Liang Shuang learns how to not hurt those who love her; As for Jiang Xiaoguo, she has to learn to open her heart to maintain her friendships and find a job and romance on the way.

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Promos Round-up: The Prince of Tennis

Here’s another potentially solid drama to add to the many watchable ones currently airing – Go Go Squid!Love and Destiny, Eagle Flag, The Longest Day in Chang’an, and Return the World To You.

The latest adaptation of sports manga The Prince of Tennis 奋斗吧,少年 (formerly 网球少年) begins airing today. As with most dramas airing this summer, there’s little new promotional material other than one set of photos. But I did take the time to match up the characters with the manga names this time so it’s easier to figure out who’s who.

The series by directing duo Zhao Xiaoxi and Zhao Xiao’ou (Let’s Shake It) airs two episodes a day every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesdays on Hunan TV / MGTV.

Trailer; More promotional materials; Cast on Happy Camp ; Ending theme by Hu Xia below:

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Promo Round-up: Another Me

Another Me is the television adaption of the critically acclaimed film Soulmate, and stars Shen Yue and Chen Duling as best friends who eventually have a fall out after both of them fall in love with the high school heartthrob (Xiong Ziqi). They seem to mend their friendship after growing up, and live happily ever after with their own true loves, played by Liang Jingkang and Zou Tingwei respectively.

The 48 episode drama releases 2 episodes every Monday to Thursday on iQiyi here (currently not region blocked) beginning tonight.

Theme song by the two leads, Insert song by You Zhangjing

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