Top Chinese Films of the Season

2011-12-06 09:10:54        Chinese Films

Zhang Yimou's "The Flowers of War" is the most highly anticipated film this year. [Photo:]

Spring Festival comes early this year, so the local film industry is racing to get their movies out to meet the crowds. We've picked out the hottest movies that will grace the big screen this winter.

Zhang Yimou's "The Flowers of War" is the most highly anticipated film this year. Considered by many as China's Schindler's List, this historical film about the Rape of Nanking has attracted attention since the very beginning. The release date will be Dec. 16. Christian Bale is the main star, with Chinese actor Dong Dawei supporting. The released trailer highlights Zhang Yimou's exquisite cinematography in rendering a destroyed Nanjing, a priest's passionate relationship with a prostitute and innocent victims of war. Epic in every sense. '

The only film that can compete with "The Flowers of War" this December would be Hong Kong kung fu maestro Hark Tsui's "Flying Swords of Dragon Gate". Co-produced by Bona Film and IMAX, it's going to be China's first IMAX 3-D martial arts movie. This re-imagining of "New Dragon Gate Inn", itself a remake of an older classic, collects several high-profile Chinese stars like Jet Li, Zhou Xun and Chen Kun. The trailer captures the essence of a typical Hong Kong kung fu flick, with exotic locales like the Gobi desert thrown in. Besides beautifully choreographed fight scenes, the story is said to be well-scripted. The release date is also Dec. 16 to compete head-on with Zhang Yimou's latest flick.

And if you want to see something other than the horrors of war and more fighting, there's "Dear Enemy", a film about white-collar professionals in the big city. It's directed by actress/director Xu Jinglei of Go Lala Go! fame, which was an apparently controversial movie despite being a product placement-laden, Hollywood-esque chick flick. Xu again will train her camera on materialistic Chinese girls in the city.

Hong Kong director Barbara Wong's delicate romantic flick "The Tears", composed of three different love stories, opens on Christmas Eve. The film stars Zhou Dongyu and Aarif Lee, who nabbed Best New Actor at the 29th Hong Kong Film Awards. Another movie targeted at the female audience is "Speed Angels", about three women race car drivers who aim to go pro. It's directed by Jingle Ma and stars Tang Wei (of Lust, Caution notoriety), Cecilia Cheung and Rene Liu.

Action movie director Dante Lam's "The Viral Factor", slated for release on Jan. 19, is an international action thriller starring Jay Chou and Nicholas Tse. Chou is a young man on the right side of the law chasing down his long-lost older brother who's turned to a life of crime.

Actor Tony Leung will star in two big blockbusters coming up in January. We'll see the lovelorn (as usual) Leung with the adorable Zhou Xun in "The Great Magician", directed by Tung-Shing Yee. The plot concerns a Chinese magician in the early 20th century. But we're also really excited about Leung's martial art turn alongside Zhang Ziyi as kung fu legend Yip Man in Wong Kar Wai's "The Grandmasters".

Soure: City Weekend

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