Tag Archives: China

DreamWorks’ Abominable and the Invisible City Truly Shines When…

18 Nov

Abominable and the Invisible CityAvailable on Peacock, Hulu
and
 Family Channel (Canada)
Spoiler Alert

Although Abominable and the Invisible City started off very weakly, the build up to what Yi, Jin, and Peng must protect takes on similar vibes as Lilo and Stitch TV series. But instead of finding each experiment their forever home, what this trio must do is to keep the magical creatures safe from others like Burnish. But at the end of the film, this villain turned over a new leaf; his role is to provide help when requested.

This television series is a decent continuation but I didn’t find enough to say it’s good because every episode ended with Yi soothing some savage beast with her violin playing. The joy didn’t come until the mid-way point, where it got serious about looking at what can sometimes go on in a modern Chinese family. This one has a touch more drama, and it’s comparable to what has been explored cinematically in Turning Red and Everything, Everywhere All At Once.

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China’s Give Me Five is Feisty and Quick to Land in North America

29 Sep

Give Me Five Poster

Well GO USA
Playing at Select Theatres (Please check local listings)
Spoiler Alert

Give Me Five (哥, 你好) is a hilarious Chinese light sci-fi and romantic comedy where Xiao Wu (Chang Yuan) is worried about how Hongqi (Wei Xiang), his father, can go on. He lost his wife when this boy was born and more than two decades later, has Alzheimer’s. It’s sad to see him lose his memories, and thankfully his son has an idea. Xiao believes any mementos he can find can help. In what he discovers is a magical ring and his mom’s diaries.

When reading them, he learns about how his parents met. But it all stopped in 1991, and māmā never hinted at what would result in her disapperance from their lives. Little is known about how she died, and what we discover is heartbreaking. All we need to observe is in how Xiao is looking out for his father. Ever since Daliu (Ma Li) is gone, these two simply no longer understand each other. In this film, they are often very argumentative. Xiao’s heart is in the right place, but what is the missing story?

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New Gods Yang Jian’s a Hit! So When Will It Arrive in America?

24 Aug

New Gods Yang Jian

Light Chaser Animation has been busy and wasn’t resting during the pandemic. This studio released New Gods Yang Jian over the weekend, with terrific box office results. According to Variety, “New Gods Yang Jian earned 19.8 million (RMB134 million) on its debut between Friday and Sunday, according to data from consultancy Artisan Gateway.”

New Gods Yang Jian takes place in a different land, perhaps far away from where New Gods Nezha Reborn ends. My review can be read here. Instead of a completely historical story based on The Investiture of the Gods (Amazon USA link), this version takes place in a cyberpunk style world. The battle is not over. What Li Yunxiang (in Nezha Reborn) learns about his place in the universe is more than just a cycle of coincidences. His old enemies are hiding in newly reincarnated bodies, and the Dragon Clan is not ready to rest in peace.

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Enter the Sublime at the 2022 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival Shorts Program

8 May

2022 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival Shorts ProgramThis year’s set of cinematic shorts programs playing at the Los Angeles Asian Film Festival continues to enlighten and educate. My tip is that anyone curious about SouthEast Asia should check these curated selections out! Each nation has a uniquemess that not everyone is aware of, and I’m constantly amazed at what the filmmakers from here can produce. Even if you can’t make it to this event, most of them can be found streaming online.

From the program guide on one of these programs:

Through various frames and points of view, we are brought closer to encountering an ancient Pacific past. Once again Pacific Cinewaves pushes the importance of āina, ancestry and belonging, challenging how Pacific people have been imagined throughout history. In these films, seven filmmakers become modern-day navigators using their hands and creative vision to steer each story.

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The Problem is More Than Deep in Dongnan Chen’s Documentary, Singing in the Wilderness

6 May

Singing in the WildernessPlaying at the LAAPFF 2022 at the Directors Guild of America on May 6, 2022 5:00 pm (buy tickets)

Dongnan Chen‘s Singing in the Wilderness (旷野歌声) is a very sombre look at lives of those still living at Little Well Village in Yunnan Province, China. The Miao Christian Choir found fame when they appeared on national television back around 2003, and this documentary looks at what’s come from it, for better or worse. I see their struggle for self worth and question if embracing a different religion is good for their soul, especially when there’s still individuals still struggling.

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