Moses on the Plain 平原上的摩西 is produced by art house director Diao Yinan (Wild Goose Lake), and stars acclaimed young film actors Zhou Dongyu and Liu Haoran in the leading roles.
While probing into a taxi driver’s murder case, detective Zhuang Shu (Liu Haoran) discovers that his childhood friend Li Fei (Zhou Dongyu) is somehow involved, and that he may also have been a witness.
Guo Jingming’s Onmyoji 阴阳师 adaptation released its first trailer today to prepare for its Christmas opening. I don’t know why Hollywood continues to build crappy sets like this one for Shang-Chi when even a Guo Jingming CGI-fest looks like this.
The 355 trailer is out. Even though Fan Bingbing is billed as one of the five leads, she barely appears in the trailer. It also explains how she magically filmed the film when she reportedly wasn’t allowed out of the country during filming (because she owed too much in taxes). Looks like she just filmed her scenes in China and they edited it together. I’m impressed they didn’t replace her.
Amber Kuo sleeps on a bed of money in the newest promos for The Story of Xi Bao 喜宝. Based on the book of the same name, the film follows Xibao as she chooses between love (Gao Ren) and money (Chang Kuo-chu) . First-time director Wang Danyang writes and directs. It’s set to be in theaters on October 16th.
If you’re tired of the lack of new releases, consider getting tickets for virtual screenings at some of the world’s biggest film festivals. Most have strong geo-blocking so you can only watch them in the allowed regions. There’s also drive-in tickets for the New York and Toronto if you’re too concerned about the pandemic to go to cinema viewings. All of the festivals have Chinese-language films, although the film I’m mostly excited to see is Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland.
The original Disney’ Mulan wasn’t perfect, but you could tell that the people who worked on it poured their hearts into it through details. Yet films often reflect societal attitudes, and gone is the time when China was still a subject of wonder for many filmmakers in the West, when filmmakers were sometimes insensitive but at least interested in China. In the live-action Mulan, almost every aspect of the film seems to send the same message: China is the world’s second-biggest box office and we will use the minimum efforts it takes to give them what we think they want.
Disney’s Mulan is not a bad film, but it is a disappointing film. The basic story of Mulan is compelling, the scenery is beautiful if often obviously New Zealand, and its lead Liu Yifei is charming enough and did what she could with the role. Yet it’s very hard to watch the live-action Mulan and not judge it for what it could’ve been or see the lack of effort behind it. One expects a live-action to have the same humor and heart as the original, and it doesn’t. There isn’t a single change I can name that improved the story.
Guan Hu’s (Mr. Six, Candle in the Tomb) The Eight Hundred 八佰 focuses on the eight hundred Chinese soldiers who hold Shanghai’s defenses for four days against three hundred thousand Japanese troops. Starring Zhang Yi, Jiang Wu, Huang Zhizhong, Ou Hao, Wang Qianyuan and Du Chun, the film will be released on August 21st.
The latest animated film from Light Chaser Animation (White Snake) is a tale of the god Nezha reborn in a future cyberpunk dystopia. New Gods: Nezha Reborn 哪吒重生. This studio is super impressive if just for how consistent their output level is, with at least a new film every year.
Impasse 悬崖之上 stars Zhang Yi, Yu Hewei, Qin Hailu, Zhu Yawen, Ni Dahong and new actress Liu Haocun, and follows the escape journey of a group of CCP agents who have obtained proof the Japanese are conducting unethical human experiments.