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Crime thriller, “Cold War 2” has become the highest grossing Chinese-language film of all time in Hong Kong.
The film has grossed Us$8.48 million (Hk$65.8 million) after 24 days on release in its Hong Kong home territory. It overtook previous record holder, the Taiwanese-made “You Are The Apple of My Eye.”
Including results from mainland China and other territories, “Cold War 2” has a global cumulative of $115 million to date.
Audiences in Hong Kong have responded to its relevance and tone which both reflect Hong Kong’s fast changing political climate. But in large measure too they have praised the film for its good value, in that it provides a rollercoaster plot and high production values that mean it has more in common that Hollywood »
- Patrick Frater
The film released on Thursday (July 21) and charged off to a $14.7 million opening day. Over the Friday to Sunday period it took a further $44.0 million, according to data from Ent Group. That three-day total is within $1 million of the global total of $44.7 million for “The Legend of Tarzan” which took the worldwide weekend crown according to U.S. tracking service ComScore.
The success of “Skiptrace” not only reconfirms Chan’s enduring star power, it also substantially justifies his role as a force behind the scenes as a producer. Chan has personally nurtured this buddy comedy cum China travelogue project for many years, enduring changes of financier, co-star and director along the way.
- Patrick Frater
To help sift through the increasing number of new releases (independent or otherwise), the Weekly Film Guide is here! Below you’ll find basic plot, personnel and cinema information for all of this week’s fresh offerings.
For July, we’ve also put together a list for the entire month. We’ve included this week’s list below, complete with information on screening locations for films in limited release.
See More: Here Are All the Upcoming Movies in Theaters for July 2016
Here are the films opening theatrically in the U.S. the week of Friday, July 22. All synopses provided by distributor unless listed otherwise.
Director: Galen T. Chu, Mike Thermeier
Synopsis: Scrat’s epic pursuit of his elusive acorn catapults him outside of Earth, where he accidentally sets off a series of cosmic events that transform and threaten the planet. »
- Steve Greene
After weeks of Hollywood domination, the Chinese box office saw a trio of local films take the top places over the July 8-10 weekend.
Top ranked was crime actioner “Cold War II” with $43.8 million, according to data from Ent Group. Second was animation “Big Fish & Chinese Flowering Crabapple” with $34.4 million, with romance “So Young 2: Never Gone” in third with $26.8 million.
“Cold War II” played strongly through all the weekend, peaking conventionally on Saturday. Its success may a relief for many in the industry, as it seems to prove the durability of the Hong Kong crime action genre when well-executed, the endurance of star power (Aaron Kwok, Tony Leung Ka-fai, Eddie Peng and Charlie Yeung among the big names,) and the usefulness as a commercial launch pad of the Shanghai Festival, where it had been the opening film.
The score by “Big Fish” immediately make it one of China’s top home grown animations. »
- Patrick Frater
Leung Ka Fai (aka Tony Leung, aka Big Tony) is the force of nature that propels Cold War 2 through nearly every tight spot it encounters. Returning as M.B. Lee, a granite-faced police official who graciously retired and ceded his power to Sean Lau (Aaron Kwok) in 2012's Cold War, he is alternately hot and cold in the sequel, but always cool. As a 30-year veteran of the Hong Kong Police Department (Hkpd), he has learned how to control his temper, but when the volcano wants to blow, it blows, and so does Lee, and he leaves a trail of destruction in his wake. Leung infuses Lee with a range of emotions that are only barely suggested when his eyes widen and narrow with anger...
[Read the whole post on screenanarchy.com...] »
Cold War 2 is the hotly anticipated sequel to the 2012 Hong Kong crime thriller, which was the highest grossing local film at the Hk box office in that year. It swept the Hong Kong Film Awards, winning Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor (for Tony Leung Ka Fai) and five other awards. Tony is back, along with Aaron Kwok and Eddie Peng, while Chow Yun Fat has joined the cast. Thanks to Australian distributor Magnum Films, we have Five double passes for the film to give away to our readers. For a chance to win, all you have to do is to follow these two steps: 1) Like the Magnum Film Facebook page, and 2) Email your name...
[Read the whole post on screenanarchy.com...] »
The past several months have seen a busy promotionial campaign for the new sequel thriller, Cold War 2. It's a sequel that is hugely deserving given how solid the first film in 2012 is despite some wonky CG work. Aaron Kwok and Tony Leung are back again following the explosive action and tumult that ensued with two opposing authorities of the Hong Kong police forced to settle their differences within the seedy limits politics of their police force to solve the case of a missing police van with several officers, and the rising body count in the wake of missing money. The first film brought us an exciting story with an open-ended plot twist and so it was only a matter of minutes before a...
[Read the whole post on screenanarchy.com...]
Slow to heat up yet quick to burn out, police procedural-thriller “Cold War 2” dramatizes internal strife and conspiracy among Hong Kong’s police force and ruling elite, adding some new twists in a narrative framework that ultimately can’t support the film. Still, directing duo Longman Leung and Sunny Luk do an admirable job walking the tightrope of servicing the mainland market while making an eloquent defense of the former British colony’s benchmarks, namely rule of law and clean governance. “Cold War” was Hong Kong’s highest grossing domestic film in 2012; the sequel’s stellar cast has helped secure sales to nine Asian countries, but it’s probably heading for middling business in China.
Leung and Luk’s debut feature tweaked the formula of crime thrillers by highlighting the inherent conflict between operation and management within Hong Kong’s police system. Deputy commissioner M.B. Lee (Tony Leung Ka-fai) is a Dirty-Harry-like man of action beloved by the rank-and-file; his rival Sean Lau (Aaron Kwok) is a buttoned-up bureaucrat unpopular for his predilections for protocol and cost-cutting. The sequel, rather than delving more deeply into their backgrounds and motivations, merely telegraphs their intensifying rift via frowns and irate stare-downs.
“Cold War” ended with M.B. turning in renegade son Joe (Eddie Peng) for orchestrating the disappearance of an armored police van. As in the original, “Cold War 2” conspicuously extols Hong Kong as “Asia’s safest city,” yet the events that unfold suggest it’s any but, starting off with a hostage crisis that goes terribly wrong on a crowded subway, with new police commissioner Sean humiliatingly handcuffed to a bomb. It’s all an elaborate stunt to get Joe out of prison, and Sean’s leadership is called into question by an investigative committee appointed by the Legislative Council (Legco).
One of committee members is Oswald Kan (Chow Yun-fat), a retired high court judge and legal authority. He appears to be courted by the camp of Edward Lai (Waise Lee), a bureaucrat with ambitions of becoming the next Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Zone. Meanwhile, M.B. comes face-to-face with the powerful consortium that’s been goading Joe’s reckless behavior. Sean also has his allies: beleaguered police PR head Phoenix (Charlie Young, having less to do but looking more stressed than in the first film) and Billy Cheung (Aarif Lee Rahman), the cocky officer from the Independent Commission Against Corruption who helps him undertake unauthorized surveillance operations.
After offering penetrating details on the inner workings of the Hkpd in their debut, Leung and Luk try to up the ante by examining the crossover between police and legislative authorities. However, the information they dish out is even more dense, with a deluge of job titles introduced together with a fleet of characters that rattle on about policy and procedure, turning the first hour into a live-action government white paper. None of this helps to stoke tension in the rekindled friction between M.B. and Sean, whose antipathy in the previous story was developed with electrifying effect.
The film does show gumption in mounting a scathing put-down of wheeling-and-dealing among government top brass, who allocate power and plot their succession the way freemasons or frat boys do. But Jack Ng’s screenplay lacks the acerbic insight or passionate righteousness of similar political thrillers from Korea, like “Inside Men” or “The Attorney.” The role of Oswald provides an excuse to rope in Chow for star wattage; his ambivalent stance vis-a-vis the overtures of Edward and his cronies proves frustrating rather than intriguing.
More engaging is how the story lays out an ingenuously intricate network of loyalties within these institutions, as when M.B. plays his protege Mok against Phoenix, who was Mok’s apprentice, but M.B. is in turn beholden to his one-time boss and former Police Commissioner Peter Choi (Chang Chen’s father Chang Kuo-chu, from “Love Massacre”). What governs these ties are old school values of respect for veterans, as well as shared histories of danger and mutual support, a human dimension that’s not just about scratching each others’ backs.
M.B.’s guilt toward juniors who willingly became his fall guys in the past gets the better of his principles. And his fear for Joe’s safety outweighs his own thirst for power, lending a sympathetic facet to his volatile persona. Leung, who won best actor at the Hong Kong Film Awards for his original portrayal of M.B., is again a powerhouse of complex thoughts and raw emotion, exemplified by a take-no-prisioners operation he’s forced to spearhead to hunt down his own men, the only episode that achieves genuine pathos. Yo (a.k.a. Tony) Yang steals the scene as an ex-cop of brooding masculinity, whose taciturn stoicism reflects the film’s theme of how the idealistic but rash younger generation is susceptible to manipulation by recalcitrant old men clinging to power.
Tech credits by the ace Hong Kong crew from the first film are solid here, but lack stylistic flair. Jason Kwan’s cinematography out-dazzles the original with swinging cranes and flyover shots of the city’s unnaturally green landscapes and nocturnal skylines – for no reason whatsoever. Action setpieces are more scarce than the previous production, but Chin Ka-lock’s car stunts are spectacular, especially a heart-stopping multiple crash inside a tunnel.
- Maggie Lee
If your weekends are anything like mine, most times they are filled with movie and drama marathons. While I do enjoy the occasional interaction with other human units, I mostly prefer to shed the stress of the previous work week by relaxing at home.
However, when watching movies is your go-to activity, selections can quickly become depleted. Luckily for me, I have become quite good at finding hidden gems throughout various technology sources. They usually feel like a sweet reward during droughts of fresh material. One source that has been quite rich with great finds is Google Play. I found the following two-day movie rentals on Google Play for just a few bucks.
Monk Comes Down the Mountain
The first treasure is a star-studded martial arts action film directed by Chen Kaige. Monk Comes Down the Mountain is a story about a monk who finds himself unexpectedly forced out of »
- CoolHappyMe P
Jang Tae-yoo, director of the hugely popular Korean drama series My Love From The Star, has teamed up with Chinese stars Aaron Kwok, Yao Chen, Li Chen, Tiffany Tang, Hao Lei and Wang Yibo for a new film about love and friendship called Mba Partners. Three different women become business partner, with their own individuality and they create a new careers. The movie combines friendship, love and dreams. Thanks to Australian distributor Magnum Films, we have Five double passes for the film to give away to our readers. For a chance to win, all you have to do is to follow these two steps: 1) Like the Magnum Film Facebook page, and 2) Email your name and postal address to...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Plot : Based on a real life murder case where a dismembered corpse of a murdered 16-year-old prostitute girl was found in Hong Kong in 2008
35th Hong Kong Film Awards
Best Screenplay Philip Yung Won Best Actor Aaron Kwok Won Best Actress Jessie Li Won Best Supporting Actor Michael Ning Won Best Supporting Actress Elaine Jin Won Best New Performer Michael Ning Won Jessie Li Nominated Best Cinematography Christopher Doyle Won
- The Tiger
Controversial , low-budget dystopian Ten Years took the top honors at the Hong Kong Film Awards on Sunday.
A local box office hit made up of five vignettes set in 2025, where locals are persecuted for speaking Cantonese not Mandarin.
Amidst increasing fears of mainland pressure and interference in Hong Kong and some cinemas refusing to screen the film, its success was a surprise even to the producers themselves.
Andrew Choi, one of the producers for the film, said “The meaning of this prize is that it shows Hong Kong still has hope. It reminds us that we could have courage to be creative. I would like to thank everyone who has watched it.”
According to the Guardian, this film with a budget of Hk$500,000 ($64,000) has earned Hk$6m, but its run stopped despite still playing to packed theatres.
State broadcaster, CCTV, pulled out from broadcasting the ceremony live unlike previous years, »
Controversial indie film Ten Years has won the highest accolade at the 35th Hong Kong Film Awards, despite its highly controversial, anti-Communist message.
As a result, many of the state’s top government-controlled news outlets have neglected to report on the win, despite the Hong Kong Awards being one of the most important ceremonies of the year in the Asian film calendar.
Ten Years is directed by Chow Kwun-wai and produced by Andrew Choi, and describes a dystopian near-future where an authoritarian Chinese government has eroded the rights and political freedoms of the public in Hong Kong. It was filmed on a micro-budget of $75,000 last year, and grossed just under $1 million.
Beijing television refused to broadcast the Hong Kong Awards ceremony as a result of the film’s nomination.
In his acceptance speech, Chow Kun-wai said that the film “provided Hong Kong people and us a chance to show that we have no fear. »
- Kirsty Capes
The ceremony broadcast was banned in mainland China, reportedly due to the nomination of the politically-charged dystopian drama.Scroll down for the full list
Port Of Call emerged as a big winner with seven prizes from the 35th Hong Kong Film Awards, while controversial local independent production Ten Years was declared best film and The Taking Of Tiger Mountain’s Tsui Hark took best director.
Port Of Call, which came into the night with the most nominations at 13, pulled off a clean sweep of all the acting prizes: best actor for Aaron Kwok (his first Hkfa win), best actress for newcomer Jessie Li, best supporting actress for Elaine Jin, as well as best new performer and best supporting actor, both of which for Michael Ning.
However, the biggest award of the evening went to Ten Years, which beat heavyweights »
Chow Yun Fat joins the original cast of Hong Kong thriller Cold War - the highest grossing Hk film of 2012 - for the upcoming Cold War 2. And this is one sequel that appears to be holding to the 'same but more' theory of sequels with the entire creative team back in place along with the original cast. And while this first trailer exists mostly to whet the appetite there's still plenty here to promise plenty of slick. glossy action within. Tony Leung Ka-fai, Aaron Kwok, Charlie Young, Eddie Peng and Aarif Rahman make up the rest of the core cast of the cop thriller with directors Longman Leung and Sunny Luk retunring. Check out the trailer - with English subtitles included - below....
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
The world’s seven-day revenue for a single territory record was smashed this Sunday, with the ticket sales in China during the Chinese New Year’s holiday period plus Valentine’s Day (February 8 – February 14) netting an overwhelming $548 million, surpassing the previous record set in North America from Dec 26 to Jan 1, that amounted to $529.6 million.
The three local blockbusters simultaneosly screened during this period played a major role in the record-breaking, wtih Stephen Chow’s “Mermaid” grossing $275.1 million, Wong Jing and Andrew Lau’s “From Vegas to Macau III” $119.6 million and “The Monkey King 2″ starring Aaron Kwok and Gong Li, $116.2 million.
The record-breaking revenue is considerably more than what the Chinese box office generated in a whole year one decade ago, with the 2006 box office reaching approximately $327.5 million.
sources:chinafilminsider.com, hollywoodreporter.com »
- Panos Kotzathanasis
Korean sales company More In Group is handling international sales on Soi Cheang’s The Monkey King 2, which grossed $60m on its opening three days in China.
Produced by Hong Kong’s Filmko Entertainment and Chinese partners, the 3D fantasy epic stars Aaron Kwok and Gong Li. Filmko has already sold the film to around 15 territories. It opened in China on February 8, the first day of the Chinese New Year holidays.
The English-language thriller stars Us actor Ken Foree (Dawn Of The Dead) and Slovenian actress Katarina Cas (The Wolf Of Wall Street). It tells the story of an astronaut who mysteriously disappears following a space shuttle crash in Eastern Serbia.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Liz Shackleton)
With screen goddess Gong Li vamping it up as the villainous enchantress Lady White Bone and a tearful bromance between Cantopop king Aaron Kwok and mainland heartthrob William Feng Shaofeng, what’s not to like about Soi Cheang’s 3D vfx orgy “The Monkey King 2”? Certainly less of a dud than the director’s inane original, this follow-up is even more tyke-oriented, but at least it’s a livelier yarn and boasts a slick upgrade in visual effects. Mainland Chinese families are sure to go bananas over this Lunar New Year offering; it’s almost certain to surpass its predecessor, which broke China’s opening-day records.
One of the many screen adaptations of Wu Cheng’en’s 16th-century novel “Journey to the West” (last year alone brought us the web-tv remake “Surprise” and the animated “Monkey King: Hero Is Back”) “The Monkey King in 3D” (2014) felt like a prequel rather than the real thing, »
- Maggie Lee
The second trailer was just released for ‘The Monkey King 2‘
The Monkey King 2 will be released in February , in time for Chinese New year. The movie has a budget of Hk$530 million, the film will also have a limited run in the Us during February
Taking place 500 years after the Havoc in Heaven, the Tang Priest is appointed by Buddha to go to the West to fetch the sacred scriptures, only to accidentally free the Monkey King. With Lady White aiming to break up the team assembled to defeat her, the Monkey King must fight in order to save his world!
Source : M.A.A.C
- The Tiger
Dark detective drama, “Port of Call” was named best film by the Hong Kong Film Critics’ Society on Monday.
The best director award went to Tsui Hark for his mainland Chinese war story “The Taking of Tiger Mountain.” The best screenplay award went to Kageyama Yukihiko and Sylvia Chang for Chang’s musical “Murmur of the Hearts” which was the opening film of the Hong Kong International Film Festival in March last year.
“Port of Call” had its premiere as the closing film of the Hkiff and on theatrical release earned a rare Category III rating for gore and nudity. »
- Patrick Frater
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