Anyone going to this movie hoping to see the scope and depth of “Lord of the Rings” will be disappointed. While both films feature epic war scenes in fantasy worlds, this Disney adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ classic children’s books is simply not in the same league. Disney has diluted the wonder of the books (along with the potency of the Christian allegories) in favor of rich CGI visuals of enchanted forests, talking animals and assorted half-man half-beasts.
A sweet love letter to Chinese cinema.
This is a film with a good pedigree: it’s produced by Steven Spielberg, directed by Oscar-winning Rob Marshall (“Chicago”), based on the bestseller by Arthur Golden and stars Hollywood’s leading Asian actresses: Ziyi Zhang, Gong Li and Michelle Yeoh. Its setting in the exotic, mysterious world of Japan’s geishas means there is endless scope for fabulous costumes and lavish cinematography. On paper, it must have seemed a surefire winner. And yet…
Beginning his career in police dramas in the late 70s, he went on to work with John Woo (“Bullet in the Head”) and Yuen Wo Ping (“Tiger Cage”). In the 90s, he became a veteran figure in the industry, working with Johnny To and mainstream Hollywood players (“Lara Croft: Tomb Raider”), while supporting low-budget international independent productions. Today he’s a family man. He talks to Yvonne Young.
With his striking looks and impressive track record, Simon Yam is the actor and model topping every casting agent’s wish lists.
“Typhoon” is a nice complement to the hot gorilla-on-dinosaur action in “King Kong,” for it boasts some mighty spectacular action scenes. But be advised you won’t see any of that during the first 90 minutes. Instead, you’ll be treated to some unspectacular character development and clumsy (and confusing) plot construction.
HK Magazine: Why did you cast Nicolas Tse and Cecilia?
Chen Kaige: I knew they were lovers before, and they showed a kind of beauty during the audition. Cecilia is a very simple person, which is perfect for the role of Qingcheng. Many people believe Nic’s an idol for kids, but he actually has a strong desire to show what kind of actor he can be. On the set he listens very quietly, and his response is very simple, like “I’ll try.” This is the attitude of Leslie Cheung - both want to be the best.
Yvonne Young talks to director Chen Kaige, actors Nicolas Tse and Cecilia Cheung about "The Promise."
Based on a true story of a ceasefire during WWI, this heartwarming Christmas film celebrates the sweetness of humanity.A temporary Christmas ceasefire during one of the world’s biggest wars sounds like the setup a cheesy tearjerker, but the co-European production of “Joyeux Noel” is based on a true story. It’s admittedly a bit old-fashioned and melodramatic, but the story is skillfully directed, shot and performed. It also has the power to replenish your joy and optimism – just in time for Christmas.
My parents worked for the pro-China newspaper Ta Kung Pao. They sent me to a pro-Beijing secondary school in Hong Kong until I was smart enough to say, “Enough is enough. Send me somewhere else before I get brainwashed and become a Red Guard like you.”
Chip Tsao is perhaps the most famous writer in Hong Kong. A former BBC reporter, he has edited several newspapers and won literary awards for his poetry. These days he’s a sharp and witty columnist for Apple Daily and hosts a social commentary show on Commercial Radio.
$300m production of a Shakespearean love story rounded up by over-the-top, over-abundant CGI.Once upon a time, Chen Kaige crafted films with a personal touch. Not anymore. In the overblown mythical fantasy “The Promise,” Chen tries to update a Shakespearean story about love and war, but becomes bogged down by a meandering plot and relentless CGI effects.