This movie has been hyped. Hyped because of the theme songs (Stefanie Sun trumps all in terms of popularity in China), hyped because it was Mulan, one of the most famous heroines in Chinese culture, and hyped because it was Vicky Zhao Wei, who is just loved and unlike most Chinese celebs, not just within China’s boundaries.
And the sales reflected that. In six days the movie earned 50 million yuan its first six days, not the highest China’s seen, but a solid success and the Chen Kun-Zhao Wei pairing was proclaimed a box office guarantee since their first on-screen pairing Painted Skin, also was a hit. But all those factors doesn’t mean good movie. Basically, this is a post for everyone looking forward to this movie to go in with low expectations. Because while this movie has drummed up more overseas interest than other Chinese films this year, simply because of the name “Mulan” (thanks Disney!) this is not even close to being one of the better Chinese films of this year, or even of the holiday season. Expectations should have been low from the start since the director is Jingle Ma.
China’s Film Stars are spread out all over Asia! I decided to do a quick photo post to locate all of them…first is Pusan, because not that many Chinese people that went, and also it came first chronologically, so it’s easier to just get it out of the way.
A recent article from the Shanghai Film Festival (where the Hua Yi stars coverged) talked about the Four upcoming Hua Yi “Blockbusters”, all very different in genres and styles. Two of them, I’ve already mentioned on this site. Feng Sheng/The Message and Tangshan Earthquake/Aftershocks. Despite their boring English titles, it’s clear that they were heavily funded. The third big-budget film from Hua Yi is Di Re Jie, which I’ll be talk about whenever there’s clearer pictures/footage of the cast but from concept art, it seems well-budgeted as well.
Of the three, the one that makes me question the “blockbuster” tag is Tracing Shadow , starring Jaycee Chan, Xie Na, and Pace Wu. But it’s the fun one.
This is one of the two A-List film festivals in Asia, the other being Tokyo. Despite starting late (1993), organizers have been working hard to make this as prestigious as possible, a subjective measure, and it does seem to be a step up from last year with Danny Boyle heading the jury, and various other stars walking the red carpet. I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of these pictures already, sorry for the lateness! I’ll post on the SIFF again later.