I didn’t enjoy Zhang Yimou’s Shadow and One Second as much as I’d hoped, but Impasse / Cliff Walkers should be right up my alley. Granted, I’m not expecting the film to surpass The Message, but surely you can’t go too wrong with a cast like this?
Starring Zhang Yi, Yu Hewei, Qin Hailu, Zhu Yawen, Ni Dahong and the director’s latest starlet Liu Haocun, the film is slated to premiere on April 30th.
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.
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.
Reborn comes from the screenwriter of Day and Night, and stars Zhang Yi as the sole surviving police officer in a shootout with criminals. The police naturally suspect him to be in cahoots with the outlaws, and the hero must find out the truth behind the violent crime scene to prove his innocence. [Character Descriptions]
Reborn 重生 is a spin-off of critically acclaimed crime drama Day and Night白夜追凶, and focuses on Qin Chi, the meticulous detective of the police department (Xiguan division). He is the sole survivor of the July 14 mass shooting, yet cannot recall anything that happened at the crime scene.
The themes of this National Day week-long break are unsurprisingly patriotism and surprisingly Mount Everest. Here’s the slate of films trying to beat Ne Zha and The Wandering Earth‘s record-breaking numbers this year. All four are available in limited theaters in the U.S. and Canada (and probably New Zealand and Australia).
Abominable, the love letter to Chinese scenery that’s the first film from Pearl Studio, a venture between DreamWorks Animation, China Media Capital, and the Shanghai Media Group. I’ve seen it in English and definitely recommend it. The main characters are very shippable in an Asian drama way, and the imagery is super imaginative.
Note that if you’re in the U.S., you can watch the film with Chinese dubs in theaters by using the Theater Ears app. Voice actors: Chloe Bennet, Albert Tsai, Tenzing Norgay Trainor in English; Zhang Zifeng, Arthur Chen Feiyu, Wan Qian, Cai Qin in Chinese
The Climbers 攀登者 tells of the first successful Mt. Everest expedition by Chinese climbers. The star-studded cast includes Wu Jing, Zhang Ziyi, Zhang Yi, Jing Boran, Hu Ge, Wang Jingchun and Jackie Chan.
Directed by Daniel Lee (Time Raiders), the film is slated to premiere on September 30th.
Let’s face it, all we really want is a Wu Jing vs Jackie Chan fight.
Ma Li will star in buddy comedy written by Karen McCullah (Legally Blond, Ella Enchanted, She’s the Man) . Eva Jin (Sophie’s Revenge) will direct. (Deadline)
The story centers on an unlikely pair of alpha females — Zoe, an American tech entrepreneur who relocates her company to China, and Maylin (Ma), a local female bodyguard who is hired to protect her. When Zoe’s life is threatened, the odd couple must put aside differences and join forces in order to survive.
Gong Li signed on to star as volleyball legend Lang Ping in upcoming film. (SCMP)
Hu Ge signed on to play coach and husband Jiang Shan in upcoming Li Na epic by Peter Chan. Poster below the cut. (Sina)
Avengers and I, Tonya star Sebastian Stan will star in 355, the spy-thriller starring Fan Bingbing, Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o and Penélope Cruz. Marion Cortillard has dropped out due to personal reasons. Filming is expected to begin in July (The Hollywood Reporter)
Feather Flies to the Sky has been continuously collecting well-deserved trophies for the past year, and this time screenwriter Shen Jie and male lead Zhang Yi received top accolades. Zhang Yi shared the award with Li Yifeng, who won for his performance in popular espionage drama Sparrow. He has improved since then, so I guess the theme this year is encouragement?
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.