Adventurers, exotic fruits fanatics and even movie star Bill Pullman, are the subjects of The Fruit Hunters, the new film from acclaimed director Yung Chang. A thrilling journey through ... See full summary »
Thirteen year-old Marta has recently moved back to southern Italy with her mother and older sister and struggles to find her place, restlessly testing the boundaries of an unfamiliar city and the catechism of the Catholic church.
A former Britpop rocker who now works on a farm gets caught driving drunk and faces deportation after living in Los Angeles for many years. His efforts to stay in the U.S. force him to confront the past and current demons in his life.
For over 25,000 poverty-stricken children in China, a "free lunch" is their daily reality. Journalist Deng Fei set up the Free Lunch Campaign in 2011, raised USD 3.9 million from Chinese ... See full summary »
From the dealer to the narcotics officer, the inmate to the federal judge, a penetrating look inside America's criminal justice system, revealing the profound human rights implications of U.S. drug policy.
A documentary that follows a billionaire couple as they begin construction on a mansion inspired by Versailles. During the next two years, their empire, fueled by the real estate bubble and cheap money, falters due to the economic crisis.
It's a story about post-90 generation in China and how they chasing their dreams through a talent show. The summer of 2013 saw a group of young boys enter a Chinese TV talent show called ... See full summary »
In central China, a Master coach recruits poor rural teenagers and turns them into Western-style boxing champions. Through hard work and discipline, these boys and girls come of age, trained in the art of boxing and the game of life. They are filled with Olympic dreams, hoping to become China's next amateur heroes. But the pull of professionalism also weighs upon their shoulders. Their coach hopes to show them the way. The top student boxers face dramatic choices as they graduate - should they fight for the collective good as amateurs or for themselves and their own personal gain as professionals? It's a metaphor for the choices that everyone faces now, in the New China. Written by
The Chinese title, Qian Chui Bai Lian, is an old idiom that means "to be tried and tested a thousand times over." See more »
If you make the provincial team, you'll be China's official athletes. You'll be the country's people. Don't train hard and you'll be back home farming. Then you'll be no one but your mum's kid.
See more »
Does Yung Chang's 'China Heavyweight' follow the formula of underdog surpassing all obstacles and winning in the end (as is the case with this genre)? The answer is yes but 'China Heavyweight' still manages to maintain a unique quality. First of all, the four principle characters: Ye, Moxiang, Zhong and Yunfei are unlike anyone one has seen in this kind of film.
They are wonderfully defined and the actors who portray them are cast against type and turn in their finest performance. Both Zhong Zhao and Ye Xinchun are like you've never seen them before and they appear very natural on screen. Zongli He is superly restrained and Yunfei Miao does one of his best works of his entire career. They are supported by a host of impressive actors.
In addition to the marvelous performances, the makeup department has done a remarkable job, especially by making Liming Fan look old enough to play Zongli and Yunfei's mother. Zongli actually does look years older than Yunfei (when in reality he's a year younger) and that just adds more to the authenticity.
From the opening sequence, I was under the impression that 'China Heavyweight' was going to be a documentary-type movie but Yung Chang tricks and surprises the audience with that. His execution is subtle unlike the loud approach which other directors commonly follow.
For me 'China Heavyweight', is more about the human connection than the sports itself. Boxing is clearly a metaphor as is the title which has multiple meanings. Even though he's been constantly let down by his family, Zongli chose to give them a second chance and have them by his side. Even though Yungsuen disapproves Zhong and Dicky's involvement in Ye's career, Dicky attempts to persuade him because he knows that Ye won't stand a chance without him by his side. Even though Zhong and ChunXhi don't see eye to eye, there's a silent acceptance between them as they know that Yunfei needs them both.
I am really beginning to have more respect for Yung Chang for producing gems like this (in addition to some amazing TV-series like 'The Fruit Hunters', 'Up the Yangtze' and 'The Fish Market') and his growth as an actor is obviously apparent (he just needs to avoid tripe like 'Last Train Home' at all costs).
'China Heavyweight' is a winner on various levels.
7 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?