This is my first attempt to have a weekly update of Chinese films that has recently premiered in China. I’m already a bit late with this one but in the future I will try to post an update on Chinese film premiers every Friday. The post excludes foreign films so therefore there isn’t any information in this post about Gary Oldmans interpretation of Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour. The post will also include short commentaries about the films. The commentaries will probably be most about the style and the context of the movies and not so much about the content. Since I won’t have any opportunity these films before their premier date the commentaries will be based on pre-premier material like trailers, news and clips from behind the scenes. I would also like to apologize for all inconsistency and possible errors in this post. I’m still in the inception phase for this but hope to have found a suitable design in a few weeks. Finally, I hope that all who read this will bear in mind the inconclusiveness of my assumptions and therefore form their own opinions by go watching the films mentioned in this and future posts.
Putting aside the objectiveness and diplomatic tone for a moment I guess many of us can agree that last weeks premiers must probably be the worst in a long time. A movie with a bunch of Crosstalk artists in it probably doesn’t make up the best material for a great film but if you’re the kind of person who likes jokes that are built on the comedy around homophones then this might just be something for you. In Kill Me Please all the hysteric and hyperbolic comedy of Lost In Thailand () is presented once again and the only thing that might just make me giggle is Eric Tsangs mobster-character. Spirit Writing is a horror movie that, what can be seen from the trailer, has adapted the Exorcist walking style (Linda Blair crawling down from the stairs) and jump-cut style from other temporary horror films. Fake Guardians is a sad reminder that movies of the insert-baby-to-make-it-funny-genre kind is still being made in China. I remember watching Oh My God (从天儿降) when writing about Chinese science fiction and that movie was just horrible when it came to storytelling. I’m guessing that in Fake Guardians storytelling will also be held back so that slap-stick comedy can reign. In general many of the trailers and storylines are so poorly presented that most of the times the plot of the movie can not be understood by watching the trailer or vice versa. Trailers seems to focus most on promoting a style or a feeling that can be easily related to earlier films that have done well on the boxoffice.
Title: Crosstalk the Movie: I Want to be Happy /《相声大电影之我要幸福》
Actors: Yu Qian (于谦)，Guo Degang (郭德纲)，Yue Yunpeng (岳云鹏)，Guo Qilin (郭麒麟)
Plot: Hong Guohao is keeping his proposal ring in the back of his car but the ring is suddenly lost when his friend Feng Qiancheng borrows the car. In an attempt to find the ring Feng is trying everything and decides to consult a fortune teller and follow his guidance. The ring is found in the end but during the process of finding it Hongs marriage plans has been jeopardized.
Title: Spirit Writing /《笔仙咒怨》
Director: Deng Andong (邓安东)
Actors: Luo Xiang (罗翔), Li Jiaqing (李佳颖), Jiang Lanxuan (江兰萱).
Plot: He Qianqians family home is being planned for demolition because of the construction of new villas in the area. In an attempt to scare of the businessman An Dong and the investors He Qianqian and her friends stages a bixian* ritual in order to make An Dong belive that the place is being haunted. Shortly after the staged ritual strange things and accidents starts to happen. What danger awaits them now?
Title: Kill Me Please / 《这就是命》
Director: Wang Dan (王丹)
Actors: Eric Tsang, Wang Xun (王迅), Liang Chao, Yu Shasha
Plot: David Meng is in the middle of a middle age crisis and his marriage isn’t turning out that good either. On top of all this David also finds out that he has cancer. As he’s just about to jump off a building an kill himself a insurance salesman calls him and tell him that with their insurance his wifedoesn’t need to worry about financial support if he would suddenly die. David decides to take his wife to a last honeymoon in Thailand to settle their disputes. While he’s there he will also hire a contract killer that can kill him so that his wife receives insurance money for his death. Due to a strange combination of circumstances David gets involved with the Chinese mob in Thailand and two insurance agents is suddenly also among them.
Title: Fake Guardians / 《冒牌监护人之寻宝闹翻天》
Director: Chen Weiqing (陈玮卿)
Actors: Zhang Yishan (张一山), Zhang Lanxin (张蓝心), Evonne (谢依霖).
Plot: Three losers (屌丝), by the name Zi Chu, Zhi Le and Li Ren, are behind their payment to the owner of an construction company, Li Wanji. Joined in their hatred towards Li Wanji the three of them tries to come up with a plan to pay back their debts but in the middle of this process the child Xixi suddenly gets entangled in their everyday life. Paying back their debt suddenly got much worse. In the middle of all this sudden commotion more and more people gets involved with Xixis faith.
Title: The Tales of Zhong Kui / 《钟馗传奇之岁寒三友》
Director: Xiao Han (晓寒)
Plot: The god over ghosts and demons, Zhong Kui, stumbles upon the life of scholar Liu Jie discovering that Liu has a thing for painting images of the deity where he often complains about the bitter times he is currently living in. Zhong Kui hear his honest words and leaves the nether worlds to pay Liu Jie a visit. In the mortal world the two of them become friends and Zhong Kui befriends Liu Jie to the degree that he introduces him to his friend Du Pings daughter. But, while in our world Zhong Kui is deceived by the devil and imprisoned. Now it’s up to Liu Jie to save him.
The movie Come On Teacher /《醉佳导演》was at first reported to premier the 1 December but has now been pushed forward to the 22 December instead. The movie was originally reported to go up the 14th of July and was then called《老师别闹》(can be translated to Take It Easy Teacher). Then in november news came explaining the movie would be screened the 8th December instead. Unclear why.