17 items from 2014
Stars: Sharlto Copley, Thomas Kretschmann, Josie Ho, Joseph Morgan, Erin Richards, Max Wrottesley, Márta Szabó, Balázs Szitás, Zsuzsanna Szabados, Tofi Seffer | Written by Eddie Borey, Chris Borey | Directed by Gonzalo López-Gallego
On paper Open Grave sounded like yet another “homage” to the likes of Buried. After all its the tale of a man who wakes up on the titular open grave – that alone was enough to spark comparisons for me. How wrong could I have been…
Directed by Gonzalo López-Gallego (Apollo 18), Open Grave stars Sharlto Copley (District 9, The A-Team) as a man who wakes up in a pit full of corpses with no memory. He’s rescued by a mute Chinese woman who leads him back to a house where there are four other people who have all “awoke” with the same loss of memory and total lack of idea who they are and why they are there. »
- Phil Wheat
An American (District 9's Sharlto Copley) wakes up in a mass grave full of corpses with no idea how he got there. Clambering out, he hooks up with mute young woman known only as Brown Eyes (Josie Ho) and they take refuge in a nearby house. Here they meet up with four other amnesiacs but Only Brown Eyes seems to know how they got there - but she's unable to tell them. »
The high-concept erotic drama is set in a single room in a Singapore hotel over a time period spanning from World War II to the future.
Six short stories, all directed by Khoo, revolve around six different couples and explore Singapore’s history, along with changing attitudes to sex, love and relationships. The pan-Asian cast includes Hong Kong actress Josie Ho.
The film marks Khoo’s first feature since Tatsumi, an animation about manga artist Yoshihiro Tatsumi, which premiered at Cannes in 2011. Khoo is also one of seven Singaporean filmmakers directing a short for an omnibus film to celebrate Singapore’s 50th anniversary. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Liz Shackleton)
The film is also intended to chronicle Singapore’s history since independence. And the action takes place in a single hotel room with six connected stories each one decade apart.
Nansun Shi, one of Asia’s leading producers (“Infernal Affairs”), is set as a producer alongside Khoo’s own Zhao Wei Films company. The story comes from Shi, while the screenplay was written by Khoo and theatre director Jonathan Lim.
The $$1 million ($800,000) picture is predominantly financed by Distribution Workshop, the Hong Kong sales company which has world rights.
- Patrick Frater
The first teaser for Full Strike has just hit online, showing off the impressive line-up of talent in director Derek Kwok's upcoming badminton tournament flick. Produced by Josie Ho's 852 Films, the film sees the actress star alongside Ekin Cheng, Susan Shaw, Ronald Cheng, Gardner Tse, Edmond Leung, Wilfred Lau, Andrew Lam, Wang Lin and Bao Chunlai.Josie plays a former badminton champ who, 10 years after being expelled from the sport, reluctantly agrees to coach Ekin and his rag-tag gang of reformed criminals in an amateur competition.The tone of this brief trailer seems to suggest a comedy, which will put the Gallants director back in more comfortable territory following last year's As The Lights Go Out - a star-studded and financially successful firefighter drama that...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
The current trend of raucous, foul-mouthed Hong Kong comedies inspired by Pang Ho Cheung’s hit “Vulgaria” continues with the category III rated “3D Naked Ambition”, which follows Chapman To as an unlikely Av (Adult Video) star making his way in the Japanese industry. The film was directed by Lee Kung Lok and co-written and produced by Hk veteran Chan Hing Ka, who’s worked on everything from “A Better Tomorrow” and the original 2003 “Naked Ambition” through to more recent fare like “The Midas Touch” and the 2011 and 2012 instalments of “All’s Well Ends Well”. Along with the popular To, the film also stars Josie Ho (“Dream House”), plus a bevy of real Av actresses, including Aso Nozomi, Tatsumi Yui, Yume Kana and Okita Anri, all of whom work hard to provide the film with its most obvious selling points. The film opens with Chapman To as Wai Man, a »
- James Mudge
Released in limited theaters and on VOD outlets a few months back, Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego's Open Grave (review) is now getting ready to head home, courtesy of Cinedigm. We've dug up all the release details for ya today, so read on!
From the Press Release
Featuring genre favorites Sharlto Copley (District 9, Elysium) and Joseph Morgan (“The Originals,” “The Vampire Diaries”), the zombie apocalypse film that takes psycho thrillers in a new direction, Open Grave, awakens on Blu-ray and DVD July 15 from Cinedigm (Nasdaq: Cidm) and Tribeca Film. Directed by Gonzalo López-Gallego (Apollo 18), the dark and twisted thrill ride also stars Thomas Kretschmann (Wanted, Resident Evil: Apocalypse), Josie Ho (Contagion), Erin Richards (The Quiet Ones) and Max Wrottesley (“24: Live Another Day”).
A complicated story that pits characters against each other, Open Grave examines how important memory is to a person’s identity by forcing six strangers—stripped of all »
- John Squires
In Open Grave, Sharlto Copley’s character experiences one of the worst rude awakenings possible: waking up in a pit on a bed of corpses. And that’s only the beginning of a very bad day for the poor guy, as he also faces memory loss and a group of gun-toting strangers. If you didn’t catch it in theaters, you’ll soon have the chance to see Copley and company fight for their lives in Open Grave’s upcoming Blu-ray and DVD release.
“Featuring genre favorites Sharlto Copley (District 9, Elysium) and Joseph Morgan (“The Originals,” “The Vampire Diaries”), the zombie apocalypse film that takes psycho thrillers in a new direction, Open Grave, awakens on Blu-ray and DVD July 15 from Cinedigm (Nasdaq: Cidm) and Tribeca Film. Directed by »
- Derek Anderson
Currently in production, the film follows a Hong Kong cop attempting to rescue a colleague who has been locked up in a Thai prison, but who can save his daughter’s life through a bone marrow transplant.
Sun Entertainment Culture is producing the film, which also features Louis Koo in a special appearance.
The film is a thematic sequel to 2005 action drama Spl, directed by Wilson Yip and starring Sammo Hung, Donnie Yen and Wu Jing. Spl refers to the initials of three renegade stars in Chinese astrology. Yip and Paco Wong are producing the sequel.
Bravos, established by former Media Asia sales exec Ricky Tse, is involved in both international sales and distribution in Hong Kong and »
- email@example.com (Liz Shackleton)
“3D Naked Ambition” is the stuff of male fantasy: A wussy Hong Kong man stumbles into Japan’s adult video (Av) industry and becomes a superstar. Yet, even with a crew of bona fide porn actresses strutting around, helmer Lee Kung-lok’s sex farce is more of a flamboyant floorshow for comedian Chapman To to hone his simpatico-sleazebag persona than anything hardcore or even erotic, serving up a spoof of Av conventions spiced with smutty schoolboy humor and film/pop-culture references. Local B.O. continues to firm up after the pic raked in $1.5 million in 11 days, despite being rated Category III (for audiences over 18). Festivals and Asian fanboys may be aroused by this curio, notwithstanding some sexist, racist undertones.
- Maggie Lee
Claim To Fame
Thirty-nine-year-old Josie Ho has been featured in more than 30 films since 1994, but Teddy Chen’s 1999 actioner “Purple Storm,” in which she plays a ruthless female terrorist, earned her supporting actress noms at the Golden Horse and Hong Kong Film festivals. Variety’s Derek Elley called her presence in the pic “electric.”
To Heir Is Divine
The daughter of Macau gambling magnate Stanley Ho, one of the world’s richest men, she knew early on that she aspired to a life in showbiz, especially after hanging around family friends — like Jackie Chan. “I trained to be a singer, but after I met those guys, I decided I wanted their lives,” she says. “It looked fun!”
Her Own Woman
Ho is grateful her traditional Chinese family let her work in the real world and didn’t finance her career. She co-founded 852 Films in 2009; the shingle’s latest film, badminton pic “Full Strike, »
- Carole Horst
Sports movies were flavor of the day Wednesday at the Hong Kong FilMart, where producers unveiled details of “Full Strike” and “To the Fore.”
“Full Strike” (pictured), directed by Hong Kong’s Derek Kwok, tells the story of a hot-tempered, former badminton player whose encounter with four ex-gangsters inspires her to make a return to her favorite sport.
The budget is Hk$30 million ($3.9 million), put together by 852 Films, Why Entertainment, Big Honor Entertainment, In Look Media, Star Chinese Movies, Xamax Development and StArt Entertainment and Production.
Meanwhile, Emperor Motion Picture is backing action-romance “To the Fore,” directed by Dante Lam, who is best-known as a crime and action specialist. Targeted at a younger audience, the film’s plot revolves around four young cyclists, their friendship and their individual love stories.
The film’s »
- Patrick Frater
Hong Kong’s second-ever 3D porn pic will hit local theaters on April 3.
But audiences should expect little steamy stuff from “3D Naked Ambition,” which, according to its producer, is a satirical comedy with a notable Hong Kong flavor.
Made on a budget of about Hk$25 million ($3.2 million), “3D Naked Ambition” comes less than three years after the headline-grabbing release of “3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy.”
(Produced by Hong Kong’s One Dollar Prodn.s on a budget of $3.5 million, “3D Sex and Zen” was one of the world’s first 3D porn films. It played very prolonged runs in Hong Kong and Macau, where a significant proportion of the audience was mainland visitors unable to watch smutty movies in their local theaters.)
There is no shortage of love scenes and bare flesh in “3D Naked Ambition,” but producer Chan Hing-ka said the film’s biggest appeal lies not »
- Shirley Lau
I don’t know what it is about cars in movies but they can be very entertaining. Be it The Fast and The Furious in its various forms, Driver or even The Italian Job the non-stop action of high-speed racing and chases has always been popular. Motorway (aka Che Sau) is a film that taps into this popularity and comfortably sites between Fast and Furious and Driver as a understatedly cool “cops and robbers” film that brings some brains to the car chase sub-genre.
When an overconfident rookie is confronted by a getaway driver who appears to be able to do impossible turns through the use of a unique drifting technique he seems to have found his match. Taking him under his wing his veteran partner teaches »
- Paul Metcalf
Motorway finds Soi Cheang (Accident) once again teaming up with producer Johnnie To for the latest Milkyway production. Which can only mean one thing, it’s time for another bout of adrenaline-fuelled cool. Realism is the name of the game in Soi Cheang’s latest thrill ride, with exhilarating car chases and jaw-dropping stunts shying away from Bruckheimer style and sheen. You’ll actually feel like you’re part of the action when the pedal hits the metal, alongside Initial D stars Shawn Yue and Anthony Wong, no strangers to unadulterated racing action. Yue and Wong play elite traffic cops in a secret police unit that upholds the law in unmarked police cars. Gordon Lam, Barbie Hsu, Michelle Ye and Josie Ho are along for the ride, not to mention some really fast cars and an icy cool exterior long associated with the Milkyway brand. Available to buy in the »
Don’t Fear the Reaper: Lopez-Gallego and the Search for Substance
In 2011, some may recall a found footage moon expedition thriller called Apollo 18, the English language debut of Spanish filmmaker Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego, which, like many films of its ilk, wears thin quickly, hinging its chills on moon rock arachnoid looking creatures. Since that film seemingly performed well enough within its mediocre trappings, Lopez-Gallego is back with his next feature, Open Grave, returning to the arena of the novice screenwriting pool for a different breed of gimmickry. While it’s clear he has a definite knack for concepts, execution seems to be a sticky point. Dropping us right in the middle of a B thriller scenario, its characters are quickly painted into a dodgy corner, and thus ensues a sterile scenario that takes entirely too much time to bring us to an ending that assumes we’ll find it as »
- Nicholas Bell
Imagine waking up in a deep pit full of decaying, dead corpses, but with no recollection of who you are, how you got there or what the hell transpired. That’s John’s (Sharlto Copley) horrific situation in the creepy thriller, Open Grave. To make matters worse, he stumbles across a group of strangers suffering from a similar amnesia. As their memories slowly return and events unfold, they realize the truth is far more frightening than anything they could have conceived. Among the group is Brown Eyes, played by Asian actress Josie Ho. Ho spoke to me about her mysterious character and ramping up the intensity for this film.
There are a flood of horror movies every year. What grabbed you about the script and made it stand out from the pack?
The script is built so well on fear and miscommunication. That’s what makes it so interesting, as »
- Bryan Cairns
17 items from 2014
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