17 Movies You Might Want to See in 2010, Part 2

Last time I listed 10 out of the 17 movies that might be worth seeing this year. Now, we pick up where we left off with…

#11 The Legend of Chen Zhen

release date: end of September

Story:

Set in the turbulent times of Japanese invasion, Chen Zhen is the semi-fictional historical figure who restored national honor — on a small scale — by putting up a fight against the Japanese oppression.

Reasons to see this:

Another martial arts movie featuring Donnie Yen and Shu Qi (Chen Zhen is a disciple of Huo Yuanjia). You may ask, “What’s the big deal”? The big deal is, 14 years ago, Donnie Yen portrayed Chen Zhen in a martial arts drama. 14 years later, he’s playing the same character again but with much more acting experience, life experience, and perhaps a different perspective. The juxtaposition is what makes this movie stand out.

#12 Let the Bullets Fly ! [trailer]

release date: December 16

Story:

A much anticipated comic Western film about a bandit chief and his arch nemesis. Set in the early 1920’s China, a triad leader (Jiang Wen) poses as the mayor of a provincial town, hoping for a little quick cash. But the impersonation is no easy job. When the bandit chief meets his match — the local gentry by the name of Huang (Chow Yun Fat) —  hell breaks lose. What ensues is a brutal battle of wit and suspense, topped with a cherry called black humor.

Reasons to see this:

1) The script has been written and rewritten extensively (9 times, if I recall correctly), promising good writing.
2) Actor-turned-director Jiang Wen, a recipient of the  Golden Horse best director award and Kinema Junpo best foreign language film director award, is directing this film.
3) Among the internationally known stars (Chow Yun Fat & Jiang Wen), the film also features Ge YouChen Kun, and Shao Bing.
4) Battle of wits anyone? Humor? Suspense?

#13 Lian Ai Ba

release date: April(?)

Story:

A romantic comedy that chronicles a love rectangle. This rectangle is different from the other rectangles in that it’s about a divorced couple falling back in love. The story goes like this: Chen Kun and Yuan Quan‘s characters are divorced. So Chen Kun thought it might be a good idea to play matchmaker and hook his ex-wife with his friend Lu Yi. Good plan indeed because the two hit off quite well and there eventually comes a time that the couple decide to get married. Naturally, Chen Kun volunteers to help, except this is when he’s starting to feel a little funny about seeing his ex-wife marrying someone else. Then things happen and BAM, the ex-husband and ex-wife are back to being husband and wife.

Reasons to see this:

It’s always nice to see people find their way back into love and rework a failed marriage. It leaves the heart feeling warm and fuzzy.

#14 East Wind, Rain [trailer]

release date: unknown

Story:

Set in the pre-pearl harbor war time in Shanghai, this movie is about a woman spy waltzing in a masquerade of danger and deception.

Reasons to see this:

I like the many representations of duplicity you see here. From the mask that conceals on a physical and symbolic level to the struggle for balance between private and public life (of spies), there are many themes to explore and facets to convey. I see great potential for this movie to be poignant and I bet you haven’t seen Fan Bing Bing portraying a spy.

On a first glimpse, the comparison to The Message comes to mind, but perhaps it has much similarity to Lust Caution, as it flirts with the concept of responsibility vs. desire. Whichever the case, if any of the two aforementioned movies go up your alley, you might consider give this one a try.

#15 Future X-Cops [trailer]

release date: March 30th, tentative (The trailer said Feb 5th but obviously it’s not out yet. Who knows when it’ll really be out.)

Story:

Here’s a sci fi creeping its way up the list. It’s a touching story about a cop traveling back in time to save his daughter via cool computer animation, polyester suites, and heavy machine guns.

Reasons to see this:

After Avatar, it may never be the same for the sci fi genera but the family (above) looks cute — despite the somewhat corny trailer. With care, the dad-saving-daughter storyline could work to exercise your tear ducks, if not, it’ll still squeeze out an “aww” or two.

Really, what I’m saying that if this list of 17 movies is too martial-action or rom com heavy for you, here’s a family drama topped with the sci fi element.

#16 Rain of Swords

release date: unknown

Story:

An exceptionally skilled woman killer grows tired of her nomadic life and settles down in a remote town. She changes her name, gets married and stays low, wanting nothing but to live an ordinary life. Unfortunately for our killer, she forgot to iron out some old laundry before settling down and now, everybody is out to get her because of a powerful artifact she has in her possession. Poo to wanting peace, let’s fight!

Reasons to see this:

Director Woo Yu-Sen‘s new movie after Red Cliff is another star-studded production featuring your Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon heroine Yang Ziqiong, Korean star Jung Woo-sung, veteran actrors Nina Paw and Wang Xueqi. Then we also have Da-S, Shawn Yue, Ethan Ruan, and Kelly Lin.

This is a piece of standard-type wuxia film with wonderful cinematography and easy-on-the-brain plot. I’d say it makes for a good winding-down afternoon to simply get lost in the swords dancing, people flying alternative reality.

#17 Zhao Shi Gu Er

release date: unknown

Story:

Revised from perhaps one of the most famous revenge stories in Chinese history, it unfolds around the tragedy of a general and his family falling victim to political foul play. The pregnant daughter-in-law is spared from death due to her status as a princess. Although saved, she harbors constant fear. When her baby is born, she begs for her family doctor’s help. A baby switch ensues and the doctor’s own child sacrificed. When the general’s surviving offspring learns of the family history upon growing up, he vows to seek vengeance.

Reasons to see this:

What’s more satisfying than seeing perfectly executed retribution celebrate its sweet fruition? The foul play might be too intense for my weak heart but I trust director Chen Kaige to bring forth a gratifying viewing experience.

Now that’s a list of movies lined up for this year, I hope you find something that piques your interest and do come back to share your watch experience.

One thought on “17 Movies You Might Want to See in 2010, Part 2”

  1. Lian Ai Ba!
    Chen Kun + Yuan Quan + Lu Yi. What’s not to love?

    Been waiting eagerly for this . Has it been released already?

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