Category Archives: Movie

Movie – Crossing Hennessy

After the busy day, Wendy and I went to theater. That is the rare time we have – Yifan fell asleep at home with his grandparents. We guess he will sleep for a lot time since he was too excited in the afternoon in our office and missed his noon snap.

The movie Wendy picked is Tang Wei and Zhang Xueyou’s Crossing Hennessy.

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Credit: the Corssing Hennessy team

In short, this is a great movie. Both thumbs up.

That is Exactly Life

This is maybe one of the best movie I saw. It seems boring, just like the orchestra – can be boring, but fine and smooth, with some touching moments from time to time.

On the taxi back, Wendy and I talked to the small details of the individuals there. They are all normal people, and the movie spent all the time to describe the individuals with great delicacy. After the movie, I can clearly feel the characters like knowing them for years.

Tang Wei didn’t disappoint me. She demonstrated great skills, and expressed the character with sensitivity. Jacky Zhang is the same. Just like Alian (Tang Wei) smiled when the doctor said decayed tooth (she thought of something special), I smiled time to time when I rewind the movie in my memory.

Boring Movie and Boring Life

I know many people will complain the movie is boring. Even at the last minute of the movie, the real story (in the sense of most movie) has not started. But it is good just because it is life. The characters there are people around us. I can easily find another Alian, or Alai, or Alai’s mother, her newly wedded husband, even the doctor – around us. That is the power of a movie. The male and female leading roles are also common people. Alian (Tang Wei) is just a detective movie fan with simple but not lucky childhood and a decayed tooth. Alai (Jacky Zhang) is another not-grown-up detective movie fan. That is it. As simple, as sweet, and as normal as our life.

I would highly recommend my friend to go to theater to watch the movie. It is not as delicate as Lust Caution, but another comfortable and pleasant style.

Long Lines for Avatar 3D IMAX

I was in the Raffles City today, and saw the long lines for Avatar 3D IMAX in the Peace Theater.

Peace Theater is the only cinema with IMAX in Shanghai that shows Avatar. There is another IMAX cinema in the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, but they would rather keep showing the 3D Moon Walker and other tech movie, despite the fact that IMAX is in huge demand in Shanghai because of Avatar.

That line is at least 10 times longer than the line before a train ticket window near my home. The line starts from outside the box office, winds all the way around the Raffles tower, and winds back to the box office. It may be 200 meters long. I took some photos in my mobile phone and will upload tomorrow. It is just AMAZING!

My question is, why recently, there are more and more things like this: So many people line up for something. The train tickets (every year), and now, a film ticket!

Avatar

Just completed 3 hour journey of Avatar. Amazing. Some thoughts:

  • When to good words conflicts, which takes priority. When justice conflicts with the home country, Jack didn’t hesitate to betray his country – in this movie, betray his own race.
  • Wendy said: If I were Jack, I won’t be back too – how good it is to be the hero, and be strong. I said: That is why people love to play online game like WOW.

The Movie Up

Went to Kodak Super Cinema at Metro City with parents today to see Disney and Pixar’s new 3D movie – Up. Very good movie! The cinema delivers 3D effects, which is good.

It is another proof that a good movie does not necessarily mean “exciting” or “new”, it is all about old human feeling of love (and sometimes fear or hate) – the humanity.

Recommend people to go to cinema and see it.

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P.S. Wendy and Yifan got back to Wendy’s hometown Everyday I talk with Wendy over phone to get update from the little guy – Yifan. Happy to hear any news from him. In the Up movie, the scene I remembered most was about the blue car and red car counting game between Russell, and his father. That type of boring game and boring time are the most unforgettable time between family members.

Movie All About Women

Wendy got to tickets of Xuke’s All About Women. We went to the Kodak Super Cinema  in Xujiahui, and watched the long and funny movie. My rating will be 3 out of 5. I said there are no depth of the movie – just some fun moments. Wendy criticized me that I can only accept certain narrow range of movies. Anyway, it was a nice night.

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At the end of the movie, the director, and the actors, and actresses came to the stage and held a pretty short ceremony, and answered some questions from the audience. Among the guest, my favorite were ZHOU Xun (actress of Painted Skin and a super star) and XU Ke (the director of many famous and nice movies).

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The benefit to live in Shanghai is, there are occasions like this that you meet some people (although from very far away) like ZHOU Xun. It is not daily life, but it is not something you can never expect. I have already passed the age to be fan of any people, but it is just the benefit to live in larger cities (not like my hometown Luoyang). I am not familiar with the entertainment industry, but for Internet space, I have pretty close friends circles, which is basically a large portion of the Internet industry in China. So my learning is, sometimes, it is not because of who you are, it is because where you live.

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Another observation: there are enough mobile phones with camera so they are journalist at any given time.

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From the left to the right:

  • The host (anonymous)
  • XU Ke
  • ZHOU Xun
  • ZHANG Yuqi
  • FENG Delun
  • PENG Yuyan

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Kong Fu Panda Hits Shanghai Tomorrow

Tomorrow, movie Kong Fu Panda will start to show in Shanghai. Hmm… I heard the movie is pretty good, and I am thinking about going to theatre to watch it sometime next week. The recent Kong Fu movie, like Forbidden Kingdom by Jet Li and Jackie Chen was really disappointing, and I think this one may contrasts with it and should be better.

Assembly – Great War Movie from China

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Back from Feng Xiaogang’s new movie – Assembly. It is a great movie. It is may be one of the first movie in China to pay attention to the individuals, to the lives in the war. This is very rare in the history of war movies in China.

In this movie, the point director wants to make seems to be "Every life is valuable, and deserve respect." That is very good point. Solider’s life is not something as romantic as leaders "heroism". Death is death – cold, crucial,  and full of pain.

Meanwhile, I am still waiting for a movie to really look back and cut deeper into the war, and help people to understand what war really is. Although it is a big step for people in China to pay attention to solid’s life of red army, I am looking forward to a movie to memorize the lives lost on the KMT side of the war.

In this movie, the 47 lives were remembered, and honored, but when can history show some respect to the "lost of countless lives" (using the words to describe the contribution the team made in the movie) on the KMT side. They are also lives, and should also deserve respect. It is the war that we should fight against, not human lives.

Thanks Hengge to invite me and Wendy to the movie.

China’s Role in Movie Transformer

Watched the movie Transformer.

It seems China, North Korea, and Cuba are the enemy by imagination in the movie.

When the attack is not identified, they just guess it comes from one of these three countries.

If it is a longer version of a TOEFL listen comprehension, I’d like to ask the typical question at the end of each dialog:

What did the director imply?

A…

B…

C…

D…

10 RMB for Genuine DVD

I wrote about cheap genuine DVD and Movie before. Today, I got even cheaper genuine DVD.

Look at this DVD first:

I bought it at the DVD store near my home – the small shop in my residential area. They charge for 10 RMB, and explained why it is more expensive than most their DVDs (which are 5 RMB). They said it is genuine DVD. I didn’t believe it, but I opened the package and it SEEMS it is not pirated.

I get back home and searched for the film and DVD. To my surprise, it really seems to genuine.

The DVD for the film was released to market 7 days after the film was released. On Joyo (An Amazon company), it sells at 8.90 RMB. There was also news release about DVD distributors lower down their cost and effectively compete with pirated DVD.

WoW. The world changes faster than I thought.

DVD and Movie

In the recent year, I found more and more Chinese movies uses the approach to issue DVD the same time as the movie. By “issue DVD the same time”, I mean when the movie hits theater, it can also be purchased on DVD in super markets at pretty cheap price. This is a new model that does not happen in most countries.

It works this way. When there is major release of a Chinese movie in theater, you can buy the DVD (not-pirated) in super market, department store, and other channel.

Their price is also low. For example, the newly released movie costs 15 RMB (2 USD). The same pirated DVD are 5 RMB – 8 RMB. In this case, most people still like to buy the genuine version of the DVD.

Also, the distributors are fighting with pirated DVD on timing. Some issue their DVD along with the film, so for many people, they have the choice to either buy DVD (genuine) or go to theater.

According to a report, these genuine DVD sell millions of copies and these money flows back to the movie maker.

Although these DVD are very cheap, they have many advertisement. On the cover, back and inner page of the package, there are many printed advertisement. Inside the movie, people still need to watch about 5 minutes of TV-commercial (which you cannot skip). The advertisement supported distributing model is also interesting.

I have a feeling that on this land, there are many new models to be tested. It may be the future of the audio-visual industry.

Maybe I am wrong…

The Painted Veil Movie

Recently watched the Painted Veil DVD, for twice.

It is a very good movie, and I love the conciseness and the details of the movie. It is the few touching movie I have seen. Zhang Zhang was very correct, that it is the movie directors should make.

Highly recommendate!

The Banquet (Ye Yan) by Zhang Ziyi

Went to see The Banquet by Zhang Ziyi. The movie was directed by Feng Xiaogang…

It was 35 RMB at 10:20 PM at the Cinema of Grand Brand Mall.

I don’t have too many comments for this movie. It is not as interesting as other Feng Xiaogao movies, but it is not as bad as Wuji

From the logical analysis perspective, I feel although the director changed, the style is not too much different from the previous several movies, like House of Flying Daggers, or Wuji. The team (the photographer, creative designers, music, and act designer) are the same as other Chinese movies. Now, the scene is good, but the story is not as strong. It takes time for the staging and story to catch up, and it will be really a great movie.

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Image in courtesy of The Banquet

Zhang Liangying (one of the winner of the Super Girl) performed very well in the ending song. It is one of the highlights for the movie.


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Mission Impossible III

Just be back from Super Brand Mall. We went to see the movie Mission Impossible III. Long movie – 9:45 PM to 11:45 PM.

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Image in courtesy of Mission Impossible III Official website

The jump from the Bank of China tower to the Insurance Building is the expected scene. We are just in the theater in the Pudong area that we can saw from the movie. Interesting. The scene in Shanghai are very strange for me. People don’t really dress like that showed on the moive. They called the area of Lujiazui “Hengshan Lu”. People burst into laughter when they said it.

Perhaps Love Movie

A cold Saturday. At night, since there is only one person at home, I drove (I even didn’t know why I drove there) to the Super Brand Mall to see movies. There are many movies on show recently, such as “The Legend of Zorro”, and “Wu Ji”, it seems the most attractive one is “Perhaps Love”. eBay is the sponsor for this film. I was involved in it. I feel deep connection with the film before it comes out already.

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Image in courtesy of the film publishers (Applause Picture?)

It is a nice film. Although it was not easy to understand the story at the very begining. I didn’t now what happened in the first 20 minutes, but later, the story reveals and I start to understand it a little bit. The story is moving, presented in a slow but decent pace.

For me, to memorize people’s face is a super hard task. I failed to recognize who is the “director” – acted by Zhang Xue You, who is the one fall in love wit the girl. Well. I gave up. At the end of the film, the only person’s name I know is “Miss Sun”, the girl. I have no idea about the name of other actors.

I love the group dance. I love it so much. It is not common theme for movies in China before. I fell in love of opera after I watched “Phantom of Opera“, “Nutcracker” (ballet) in New York, “Lion King” in Seattle, “Thoroughly Modern Millie” in Washington D.C.. They are the “primary school” type of education for me to understand what opera is. The opera part of the movie is “splendid”, “wonderful”, and “magnificant”.

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Image in courtesy of perhapslovemovie.com

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Image in courtesy of perhapslovemovie.com

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Image in courtesy of perhapslovemovie.com

There was eBay advertise before the film. Two occurance of the logo during the course of the film and the name appears as sponsorship page at the end of the film.

P.S. Other News I Noticied Today

Robert Scoble is visiting Dublin, Ireland these days.

Hengge was happy to tell me that the new building of blogbus.com started construction these days. He will be the third company moving into warehouse in Shanghai. The first one is Haisong’s etang.com, the second is Gary’s toodou.com.

The Heart of the City is in Theatre

It was quite some time before I saw another exciting drama in Shanghai. About 6:20 PM, when I was in a discussion with a very experienced person in the classified industry, Wendy sent a SMS to me: “How abuot drama tonight?” It is a good idea. Although it means I won’t have any chance to grasp dinner, it well worth it. At rush hour, I never expect the traffic be good, especially when it is combined with a Friday.

Today is the first day of the city to really enter summer. Well. I don’t know how to say it in English. In China, there are some seasons, and the hottest season in summer is called “Fu” or “伏”. Tomorrow it is forecasted to be 7 degrees higher than today. As of English writing, I checked how Alan de Botton describe the established of winter as the first sentence at the Art of Travel:

It was hard to say when exactly winter arrived. The decline was gradual, like that of a person into old age, inconspicuous from day to day until the season became an established, relentless reality.

He uses very simple words but described beautiful scene of the gradual arrival of winter. Summer is the same.

The drama tonight is called “The Protein Girl”, adoptted from a novel with same name. The show was wonderful and I encourage everyone to go there, but if you don’t understand Chinese, well, maybe wait for another. It is just so funny, and the lighting and music was wonderful.

At a theatre, in dark and watching the live show emphasizing and highlighting the details of daily life helps to relax.

Kung Fu Hustle is Great

Stephen Chow’s Kung Fu Hustle or Gong Fu is great. I like the movie. I even went to theatre twice – once in the Super Brand Mall with Chen and Xia, the other time in the theatre in Metro City by myself – since I happen to win one free ticket.

I would recommend people to go to movie to see it. It is better than Shi Mian Mai Fu, better than Hero. It is just funny and I LOL many times in the theatre with others.

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Image in courtesy of the official website

It is the most interesting movie I saw in 2004.

Its official website is slow, BTW.

P.S. Eric continued to post on the business work. Claire just returned to Shanghai from her trip to Cambodia, and Vietnam. Xiao Gao still kept his very slow pace to post onto his blog while Wendy seems completed stopped.

Phantom of Opera Shanghai Schedule

Phantom of Opera comes to Shanghai Grand Theatre. Here is the schedule.

January:

It will be on stage from 8th to 30th, everyday except Monday. There are two shows on Sat and Sun (13:30 and 19:15). There is only one show on weekdays (19:15).

February:

Everyday except 8, 15, 21, 24, 28.

Information source: tickets.com.cn.

Call 800-820-1585 for ticket. Ticket price ranges from 100 RMB to 2000 RMB.

P.S. The reason I started to post theatre information on this blog is, after my U.S. trip, I was so attracted by theaters. Also, I found for visitors, it not as easy as local people to find ticket information, especially on the rating of the theatre. In Shanghai, we know Shanghai Grand Theatre is among the best venue for performance art and musical in Shanghai. New comers may not know it yet… I am planning to see Phantom of Opera in Shanghai again. The price (the lowest one) is still far cheaper than the one we bought at Broadway in New York City (the half price was still 54 USD while the full price is 100 USD)

Update January 9, 2004

I called Shanghai Grand Theatre. The sad news is, the 100 RMB ticket has been all sold out. The lowest price for Jan is 260 RMB. It seems the ticket is very hot. There are only three tickets left for today’s show (500, 500, and 260 RMB) when I asked this noon.

Fahrenheit 911

Yesterday is the third year memorial day of 9-11. I cannot skip this day without posting something about it. My flowers go to all the people (from various nations) who were killed in that disaster.

I bought Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 911 DVD from a video store at Tian Lin around 9:00 PM, after swimming at Sports Hotel. I admit it is pirated, the only channel to access the film here in China. The film importing administration has decided not to import this film this year.

Putting the video into my Shinco DVD player, I started the journey to explorer the stories behind the scene. I know it is only one of the many voices in United States regarding 9-11 events, but the fact that this film came out is astonishing. When my day of Sept 11 passed, I finished the movie. Well. I don’t want to comment on the content of the film, but I appreciate Moore’s courage, reasoning and fact finding efforts. It is a nice film.