Tag Archives: Romance

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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After Three Thousand Years of Longing, Should That Be, “I’d Do Anything For Love?”

5 Sep

Three Thousand Years of LongingI’m no stranger to the djinni narrative when considering my love for One Thousand and One Nights, but as for being as well versed as Dr. Alithea Binnie (Tilda Swinton) in Three Thousand Years of Longing, she has me beat. As a narratologist (an individual who studies tales which impact our perception of culture in the world around us), she knows something that mythologists don’t. This tale is as compelling as Bill Moyers’ interview with Joseph Campbell (Power of Myth), and what’s explored considers why this trope persists to this day. The last work I read was Three Little Wishes, which is a British take on the concept.

In what George Miller deconstructs may well be a Australian verion. He examines the rules for living a fulfilling life over being confined to the mundane. That’s the problem Binnie faces, and when she awakens the Djinni (Idris Elba) in the bottle, what he offers condemns her world view–she knows his kind from literature. And when he tries to rebuff the stereotype, the fun tête-à-tête they have reveals a look of his life and those he’s attempted to make better–if it can be called that. But sadly, he’s been forced to return to the glass container every time.

 

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It’s Summer Lovin’ with GKIDs Deji Meets Girl Theatrical Release Next Season

4 Aug

Deji Meets GirlComing this fall from GKIDS is Deji Meets Girl. After its latest screening at Fantasia Film Festival as a compiled film presentation, anime fans who haven’t seen this high school paranormal romance will get a chance later this year. To note, this anime made its debut at the last year’s event, before being shown on Japanese TV as shorts, and getting another round this year. 

The story takes place over the summer, making this appropriately timed debut even more appealing, and there’s nothing wrong with having an innocent fling, ala Summer Nights (Grease). Where this series shares a similarity to the musical is in how the boy (Ichiro) admits to taking an interest in a girl he meets at a beach (Maise). As for whether she’ll change her approach to winning his heart–we’re not certain. In the episodes I’ve seen so far, they aren’t officially dating.

Ichiro isn’t a greaser. But he does have that John Travolta charm to make me think of this analogy. In what we learn about this stranger is that he’s running away from responsbility. Beneath that cool exterior hides a scared interior. What he’s fleeing from isn’t exactly made clear, either, until the later acts.

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She’s More Than A Kung Fu Ghost

6 Apr

Poster

Nameless Studios

Some movies aren’t meant to be deep, and there’ll always be works made to showcase what newcomers to the entertainment industry can do. Jennifer Linch is one of those talents whose first short film project The Dream, won Best Newcomer at the World Film Awards in June 2015, and she’s been hard at work with co-writing, directing and producing her feature length debut, Kung Fu Ghost.

Her goal with this film is to provide a diddy that weaves in her love for the martial arts genre ala Jackie Chan and romance in the same vein as Chinese Ghost Story (but minus the horror). She admires those early films of this talent, and while Vietnamese herself, ethnicities don’t matter in an art that teaches virtue and how to defend yourself. She learned Kaju Kenbo, Kosho Ryo, kickboxing, Taekwondo, and Karate when growing up and we can see that blend of styles (and introducing ninjas into the narrative) in her movie.

Kung Fu Ghost is filled with all that, and more. We see ghosts (of course), history, and folklore also worked into the narrative about a spoiled Vietnamese young lady coming to America to learn about her past instead of back home.

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Is It a Bungle in the Jungle with The Lost City?

31 Mar

TheLostCityPoster.jpgPlaying in Theatres
Spoiler Alert

Aaron and Adam Nee certainly have a solid vision when it comes to delivering high adventure comedy in The Lost City. The Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum and Daniel Radcliffe led film is just one of many new experiments to find a team up to equal if not rival what Netflix’s Red Notice conveniently reignited the spark on–a twisted romance and high stakes adventure-drama. The first two have a schtick going, and although Radcliffe seems like the odd man out, he knows how to have fun with it and he surprised me as being an effective rogue.

In this tale, Loretta Sage (Bullock) is a lost soul. She’s never been the same ever since her husband died. This author hides behind her fiction to get by, but she’s suffering from more than just clinical depression. She thinks she can get past her problems by penning Harlequin adventure romance novels and what we see is that it’s making her feel worse. There are little details not said to flesh out her state of mind. We eventually learn she hates writing these tales. But when she gets tossed into the situation as found in the books, I can’t help but wonder if she experienced any of it at all back when she was with her husband who’s a globe trotting adventurer.

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