17 Movies You Might Want to See in 2010, Part 1

2010 looks to be an exciting year for the Chinese film industry. There is a fairly large selection lined up for the year to come and at first glance, the quality is reasonably proportional to the quantity. (There are a few I’m quite excited about.) Without further ado, let’s take a look.

Note:

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but a compilation of the more heavily marketed films with either well known directors or actors. The movies are sequentially ordered by release date, not by preference.

#1 Monga [trailer]

release date: Feb 05

Story:

Set in the 1980’s Taipei, this coming of age movie follows five friends’ tale of survival in a gang, highlighting the themes of brotherhood and loneliness from a distant existential point of view.

Reasons to see this:

The movie has enjoyed wide box office success since its release, partly owing to its two main leads’ — Ethan Ruan (Fated to Love You, My Queen) and Mark Zhao (Black & White) — recent popularity. But that’s not all. It conveyed the raw emotions of human bond with such intensity that the ensuing conflicts felt organic and pertinent.

#2 Hot Summer Days [trailer]

release date: Feb 11

Story:

12 stars, six couples, weaving together a steamy tale of romance in the hot summer days.

I might sound lazy but really, the trailer did a wonderful job outlining the romantic pairs as well as the characters’ backgrounds (so go watch it!).

Reasons to see this:

SO MANY STARS! To list a few: Jacky Cheung, René Liu, Vivian Hsu, Daniel Wu, Big S, Nicholas Tse, BOBO, and Angelababy… If the A-list actors and actresses don’t interest you then the charming romances ought to. After all, there is no such thing as too much love.

#3 Little Big Soldier [trailer 1 & 2]

release date: Feb 14

Story:

A historical comedy about how a farmer-turned-soldier (Jackie Chan), who isn’t very fond of war, encounters the wounded pro-war general (Wang Leehom). Thinking that by turning the general in, he will be awarded with the restoration of his old occupation, that is, be exempted from war for the rest of his life and return to his farm, he embarks on a journey with the general. With beliefs as far apart as these two men, distaste is bound to surface. Given the soldier’s kiddish proclivity, he expresses his benign repugnance by playing tricks on the general! Alas, the trip is long and the initial playful antagonism grows into something more.

Reasons to see this:

I think the story is pretty compelling with the debate on war going back and forth between the soldier and the general in the background and the humor dampening down the seriousness in the foreground. If nothing else, it’s a Jackie Chan movie with Wang Leehom in it!

#4 Wu Ren Qu (No Man’s Land) [trailer]

release date: Late April

Story:

Directed by Ning Hao (Crazy Stone, Crazy Racer), No Man’s Land is about a lawyer who, through curious circumstances, end up in a deserted gas station (or a no man’s land). Shedding all social conventions and responsibilities, the said lawyer becomes a Zero figure in this no man’s land.

Reasons to see this:

Sounds far fetched and even dry, this movie in fact, garners high expectations. If you are into black humor, director Ning Hao is notorious for his unique touch in the genera. If you’ve seen Crazy Stone or Crazy Racer or both, and liked ’em, then you will want to see this as it is the last of the “crazy” trilogy.

#5 Du Lala’s Promotion (Go Lala Go!) [trailer]

release date: April 15

Story:

Sex and the City meets The Devil Wears Prada, viola, you have Du Lala’s Promotion starring Xu Jinglei and Stanley Huang. About a working class woman climbing her way up the corporate ladder and scoring a hot, rich boyfriend along the way, this romantic comedy is based on the same-name popular novel.

Reasons to see this:

Why, for the pretty people and the trendy clothes of course! And for the “you go girl! Women can be just as successful in love and career” spirit.

#6 Triple Tap [trailer]

release date: May 1st

Story:

Classic Cantonese action movie starring Louis Koo, Daniel Wu, Li Bing Bing and Charlene Choi about the gold and silver medalists of a shooting event getting involved in a robbery. The gold medalist (played by Louis Koo) saves the day by shooting and killing the four criminals. However, the simple city hero act turns out to be much more than it seems.

Reasons to see this:

Action, action, action! A jolt of adrenaline is always welcome to rescue us from the mundane. Especially when Cantonese film industry has built quite a reputation for its police/gangster/conspiracy subcategories. On top of that, it’s interesting to see what else Li Bing Bing has to offer since taking home the Best Actress Award for her role in The Message.

#7 Ip Man 2 [trailer 1 trailer 2]

release date: July

Story:

Picking up from where Ip Man the first left off, this movie continues to trace the legacy of Ip Man, master and mentor of the more well known Bruce Le.

After killing the Japanese general, Ip Man and his wife received help to escape to Hong Kong. There, they sat up their own martial arts school and started a new life. Unfortunately, the master’s unparalleled skill becomes a token of envy and conflict soon ensues.

Reasons to see this:

Are you kidding me? It’s Donnie Yen! It’s got historical significance, authentic martial arts, hot people (Huang Xiaoming and Lynn Xiong), and beautifully choreographed movements! It’s a feast for the eye and a must see for those who enjoyed Ip Man.

#8 High School Musical [trailer]

release date: August

Story:

First mentioned here, the Chinese remake follows the original story line with a touch of the typical mainland “inspirational” flair.

Reasons to see this:

Have often do you see a musical-film in the Chinese film industry? There are plays, theatre productions, and Chinese operas all over the country but they tend to stay small scaled. If this remake opens market for the genre (and I hope it does), then you wouldn’t want to miss it. If the leads sing well, then you wouldn’t want to miss it either. And if the leads also look glamorous, even better.

#9 Tang Shan Earthquake (After Shock) [trailer]

release date: July 28

Story:

During the Tang Shan earthquake, a mother’s two small children were buried under the debris. After frantic search, she found them but was only able to rescue one (both were eventually saved). Faced with the dilemma of choosing one over the other, the mother made a choice that’s to effect the siblings for the rest of their lives.

Based on the same-title novel, the film zeros in on a family-surviver of the Tang Shan earthquake and follows through with their psychological after shock to the disaster.

Reason to see this:

It will be heavy, it will be emotional but you can count on it to speak to you and being aesthetically stunning. Because it is directed by Feng Xiaogang , one of the finest Chinese directors there is.

#10 Detective D (Di Ren Jie)

release date: August

Story:

Think James Bond’s aptitude for danger and his charm with women, add Sherlock Holmes’ keen observation and quirks, then place him in the mystery case riddled Tang dynastic. Bingo, that’s “Detective D, Di Ren Jie” for you.

Reasons to see this:

Suspense, action, solid cast (Andy Lau, Carina Lau, Li Bing Bing, Tony Leung (Liang Jiahui)) and a famed director (Tsui Hark), these are all reasons that Detective D might be worth while.

Aside from the legitimate reasons, this film marks Carina Lau‘s first official project since marrying Tony Leung (Liang Chaowei).

9 thoughts on “17 Movies You Might Want to See in 2010, Part 1”

  1. Any updates on Black and White?? I am SO hoping for the movie version of it… I mean, the drama even said outloud that the adventure of the “double happy duo” isn’t over yet!! There is SO MUCH unfinished business from the drama that NEED to be resolved!

  2. I loved the Judge Dee novels by Robert Van Gulick based on this character so I look forward to seeing this movie.

      1. Thanks. I found a dvd rip of Little Big Soldier but no English subtitles were included so I’m going to have to wait to see it. Bummer. 😦

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