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Sui yuet san tau (2010)
Thanks for the memories, Alex & Mabel !
I was surprised that this film won an award at an international film festival. I am not being racist, being a Hong Kong person myself. I didn't know that Westerners would appreciate the charm and quaintness of "unspoilt" urban Hong Kong.
This film is so full of 60s old Hong Kong flavour, that it will certainly churn up collective memories of old timers like myself. The street scenes coupled with all the other little bits and pieces of prop were so authentic that one could hear "ooohs" and "aaahs" from the audience. It was really heart-warming to see (and remember) that family closeness once existed in "ancient" times.
Being a woman, I was prepared that this would be chick-flick with a lot of tear jerking scenes, because I read a bit of blurb about the story. Fortunately, the whole movie is not all teary -- there were a lot of comical moments at the start, especially from the young star. (However, I just dislike his brawling scenes, which I found unusual for a boy of 8 years young.)
Overall, I would say this film is a "should watch", especially for locals -- to support the local film industry and to reminiscence old times.
Better if you'd read the books first
Note: I watched the English version + Chinese subtitles.
If you hadn't read the book(s), don't go to this movie expecting a Star Wars / LOTR / lots of SFX / comedy type of story, as the trailers were a bit misleading. A number of reviewers had said that they didn't get the British "black humor", and found the movie boring, but perhaps British type of humor isn't their cup of tea (hidden meaning intended for loyal H2G2 fans).
About the movie itself it followed fairly closely to the books(s). It could justifiably be classified in the comedy / drama / fantasy genre. Oh, there's humor alright, often in the British subtle tongue-in-cheek sort of way. I mentioned books, as the movie contained elements from other Douglas Adams' stories, e.g. "So long ", plus a hint to a sequel, which I hope the team will manage to produce :) ; However, there are loose strings to tie up, e.g. importance of towel.
Even the Chinese translation for the digital H2G2 book was cheeky, perhaps the translator was an Adams' fan. It was translated as a book for "Zi You Xing" (Freedom Walkers), in reference to allowing Mainland Chinese people to freely travel to Hong Kong to roam, without applying for a permit 7 years in advance by filling a form in quadruplicate. The short name "Guide" was "Tian Shu", literally "Sky Book", alluding to "Cram Book for Exam".
However, one thing I didn't like was Zaphod's head, kind of scary in the movie, very unlike what was mentioned in the books. Overall, I give this 8, as I felt that this movie could be a bit longer; and there were still the ultimate question yet unresolved.
The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
Note - I watched the video version of it.
Very seldom had I sat on the edge of a seat watching a movie, but this had done it, therefore, I gave it a 10 out of 10. Many scenes had me saying "Oh my God", even though I knew this is a movie, and what I see are just special effects or computer simulations, but they are so realistic. Granted that in hindsight (after the Tsunami disaster in December 2004), we may well know that the forces of nature will push down the structures in New York City (Manhattan area), this story still has a profound message to mankind -- SAVE THE EARTH, else we will surely meet our demise with the next Ice Age !
Finding Nemo (2003)
My 3-year old enjoyed it
(We watched the Chinese-dubbed version of it.)
Taking a 3-year old to watch a movie is daunting, and this is the 2nd time I've done this. (The 1st time was a disaster, we only stayed 30 minutes, but I digress.)
I believe she enjoyed Nemo very much, as she stayed to watch the whole 100+ minutes of it WITHOUT going to the bathroom !!! Of course she fidgeted many times during the movie, not owing to the show, but because of where we sat. Doubtless I had to explain some points to her (why Nemo's mother is missing etc) but she was able to follow the story most the time. The silliness of Dory was lost on her, but then she may be a bit too young to understand fully the memory lost / forgetfulness of adults.
She wasn't scared of the shark nor of the whale, but was afraid of the sudden darkness in the depths of the sea, and had to hold my hand. The pictures were very clear (and seemed real to her), I could even see the fish scales.
Other than that, all in all, the story has a happy ending (of course :), and if she could give points, I think she'll give this a 9 or 10. I'll give this a 7 or 8, and recommend this for kids of all ages.
Xiaohai bu ben (2002)
Worth watching once
Reviewer's background: a nearly 40 mum of 2 girls (8 and 3) from Hong Kong.
At first, I wasn't keen to watch, because this was touted as a kid flick in Hong Kong, and also "must be seen by all parents with their children" -- to me, this sounded hard-sell.
My elder daughter had earlier watched it (English version), and hadn't commented on it, so this added to my speculation that it must be boring.
I was recently recommended to watch it by an un-married female ex-classmate, which was surprising, considering she doesn't have kids of her own.
Her reason -- if you have Singaporean colleagues, please watch it, it's funny.
So I finally watched it (Mandarin version) on video -- and yes, it's well worth a watch.
Here's why -
1. for parents (especially Asians) -- tune in to the hardship of trying to get your kids excel academically (after I watched this, I stopped forcing my elder to get 100% in Chinese dictation ... only asked her to do her best, and enjoy what she's learning ...)
2. for people with Singaporean friends, colleagues, relatives -- you'd understand how / why / what Singies act the way dey do, and why dey dalk like dat ...
3. for people who are wondering / interested to know how Singapore is governed -- an eye-opener that this movie was censored by the local, since it had so many obvious jabs at the government!
4. for Singaporeans -- enjoy your home-grown movie, a well documented dramatic piece
5. for movie-goers -- the kids CAN act! Better than the majors on Potter movie, especially Shawn Lee, he really acts hurt when whipped by his mum
Since I was watching a video version, I was able to pause (and have to pause) many times during the show to attend to kids, so didn't find the themes choppy, tho there are some gaps and the cohesion could be better improved. Maybe Neo was trying to cram as much information in the film, so many parts might had been edited out.
I give this a 6.5 out of 10. (My 10's are for pieces like LOTR, 6th sense...)
Jesus Christ Superstar (1973)
still moved to tears, even after nearly 30 years of first watching this movie. I'm not a wholly devout or religious Christian (i.e. not go to church every week), but I still found the show very touching and broke down when trying to explain the story to my daughter (aged 7). by the way, I believe I didn't cry when I first watched it, too young to appreciate meaning of life (and death).
preferred the 70s
I'm sorry I may be the minority who preferred the 70s version, maybe I'm getting old and sentimental. To me, the singing seems jarring and over acting, especially "see my tongue I can hardly talk", and the Gothic makeup weren't to my liking. And a blue-eyed Jesus ? I know this is acting, but at least infuse some reality for believers of the Christian faith. Thanks.
Wo hu cang long (2000)
I slept thru it!
I'm Chinese and can't understand the wonderment felt by the Westerners, instead I find the movie boring. Maybe I got used to seeing movies where the characters can fly thru the sky and wave their swords around. Additionally, Chinese are not so sissy -- i.e. Chinese in history pieces don't spend time being romantic like Chow vs Yang. In fact, I slept thru part of it!