Tuesday's Film Roundup

Keep reading below for some Beijing-related film news, a quick roundup of films showing at cinemas around town this week (including today's screening times) and a look at the major releases later in the month.

Film News

Forbidden Kingdom to open in Beijing on Apr 24

If CNN wasn't in enough trouble already, they've now gone and called Jet Li and Jackie Chan's Forbidden Kingdom "stupid" or at least that's what the mainland Chinese press is reporting. All we could find on their site is a report about how The Forbidden Kingdom topped the American box office over the weekend and interviews with the film's two stars Jackie Chan and Jet Li. The film, which is set to open in Beijing on Thursday, had it's official opening party at Chaoyang Park last week. The opening was attended by both Chan and Li. You can take a look at a review of the film here or here and the trailer here.

Test Screenings of Red Cliff

Test screenings of one of the most anticipated Chinese films of 2008, Red Cliff, have been taking place this past week in Beijing. The film stars Tony Leung who has also been present at at least one of the screening. John Woo's Red Cliff or The War of the Red Cliff (Bichi) will open on July 10 at cinemas across the country. The film is yet another historical martial arts epic set during the Three Kingdoms period. You can view the trailer here..

Films Around Town

Screening Times for Films in Beijing – Tuesday Apr 22

(All times and prices have been taken from today’s Beijing News or this website – it would be a good idea to call and confirm details)

And the Spring Comes (Li Chun 李春)

The best Chinese film to hit Beijing's cinemas since Assembly dominated the Christmas/New Year holiday period, has finally been released. Originally scheduled to come out in early February, the film was postponed due to the severe snow storms that caused havoc across the country. Actress Jiang Wenli deservedly took best actress honors at last years Rome Film Festival for her performance in the film. Jiang, who is also the wife of the film's director Gu Changwei, put on 15kg in order to play the role of Wang Cailing, an opera singer stuck in a small dreary Chinese city with dreams of making it big. For a more detailed synopsis of the film click here and to view the trailer click here.

CBD

Wanda International Cinema

12:10 16:50

Xidan

New Capital Cinema

13:30 15:45 18:25

Haidian

UME International Cineplex

13:00 15:20 17:30 19:45 22:00

Stellar International Cineplex

14:00 16:45 18:00

Wangfujing

Star City

10:20 12:30 14:35 16:30 18:25 20:20 22:15

Xindong'an Cinema

11:35 13:30 15:25 17:20 19:30 21:35

Dongsishitiao

East Gate Cinema

10:40 17:30

East Fourth Ring Road

Espace France Cinema

10:15 12:15 14:10 16:05 19:45 21:40

Taken

Decent thriller starring Liam Neeson as the protective dad who devotes his skills as a government agent to the task of rescuing his kidnapped daughter. It might be difficult to find a cinema playing this film in English as most prints seemed to have been dubbed into Chinese. Reviews here and trailer here.

CBD

Wanda International Cinema

10:30 14:30 18:30 22:30

Xidan

New Capital Cinema

11:20 12:05 13:10 14:00 15:00 15:50 16:50 17:40 18:40 19:30 20:30 21:15

Haidian

UME International Cineplex

09:45 11:30 13:15 15:00 16:45 18:30 20:15 22:00 23:10

Stellar International Cineplex

10:40 12:25 14:10 15:55 17:40 19:25 21:10

Wangjing

Stellar International Cineplex

10:45 12:45 14:40 16:25 18:20 20:15 22:20

Wangfujing

Star City

11:00 12:40 14:20 16:10 17:50 19:10 19:30 21:10

Xindong'an Cinema

10:30 12:10 13:50 15:30 17:30 19:10 20:50

Xidan

Shoudu Shidai Cinema

10:05 13:55 17:45 19:25

Dongsishitiao

East Gate Cinema

11:00 14:40 18:20 19:50 21:20

Yayuncun

Sun Cinema

11:00 12:40 14:20 16:00 17:40 19:20 21:00

East Fourth Ring Road

Espace France Cinema

10:50 12:35 14:20 16:05 17:50 19:30 21:15

The Children of Huang Shi (Huang Shi de Haizi 黄石的孩子)

Based on the true story of British journalist George Hogg, who saved the lives of over 60 Chinese orphans during the Japanese occupation of China, this Australian-Chinese-German co-production sacrifices plausibility to the demands of sentimental storyline. Chow Yun-fat does well as the Chinese partisan fighter who teaches Hogg a few lessons about trust and it's worth hanging around for the final credits as the now elderly students of Hogg offer recollect about the man who helped save their lives. It's being promoted in China as a Chinese version of Schindler's List. Take a look at what others thought here and the trailer here.

CBD

Wanda International Cinema

9:50 14:50 17:20 18:20 19:50 20:50

Haidian

UME International Cineplex

19:10

Wangjing

Stellar International Cineplex

11:00 13:25 15:50 18:10 20:30 22:45

Wangfujing

Star City

13:00 17:20 21:50

Xindong'an Cinema

11:10 13:20

Dongsishitiao

East Gate Cinema

12:30 19:20

Yayuncun

Sun Cinema

10:40 17:20

East Fourth Ring Road

Espace France Cinema

10:05 12:20 14:35 16:50 19:10 21:30

Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon (Sanguo zhijian Long Xiejia 《见龙卸甲》)

The onslaught of big budget period (the Three Kingdoms is a favorite) martial arts dramas continues with this Andy Lau vehicle. Perhaps a taste of what to expect from John Woo's upcoming even bigger budget Battle of Red Cliff. Take a look at the trailer at the official site and a review over at Shanghaiist.

CBD

Wanda International Cinema

10:20 11:20 12:40 13:40 15:00 17:20 18:20 19:40 20:10 20:40 22:00

Xidan

New Capital Cinema

10:35 11:15 11:55 12:35 13:15 13:55 14:35 15:15 15:55 16:35 17:55 18:35 19:55 20:35 21:35

Haidian

UME International Cineplex

09:00 10:55 12:50 14:50 16:50 18:50 20:50 21:15 22:50

Stellar International Cineplex

10:50 12:45 14:40 16:35 18:30 20:25 22:20

Wangjing

Stellar International Cineplex

10:10 12:00 13:50 15:40 17:30 19:25 21:15

Wangfujing

Star City

09:50 11:40 13:30 15:20 17:10 19:00 20:50 22:40

Xindong'an Cinema

11:00 12:50 14:50 16:40 18:30 20:20

Xidan

Shoudu Shidai Cinema

11:55 13:50 15:45 17:40 19:35 21:30

Dongsishitiao

East Gate Cinema

11:30 13:30 15:20 17:10 19:00 20:50 22:40

Yayuncun

Sun Cinema

11:40 13:30 15:20 17:10 19:00 20:50 22:30

East Fourth Ring Road

Espace France Cinema

10:30 12:30 14:25 16:20 18:15 20:10 22:05

Golden Compass

An adaptation of the first book in Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, many critics have argued that the film version strips the story of any of the anti-religious tone that was apparent in Pullman's series of novels. Read what others thought about the film here and take a look at the trailer here.

CBD

Wanda International Cinema

10:10 14:50 19:30

Xidan

New Capital Cinema

12:40 14:50 17:10 19:20 21:30

Haidian

UME International Cineplex

11:50 16:05 17:10 20:20

Stellar International Cineplex

11:15 15:25 19:35 21:40

Wangjing

Stellar International Cineplex

12:10 19:15

Wangfujing

Star City

10:40 19:40

Xindong'an Cinema

12:20 16:40 21:00

Xidan

Shoudu Shidai Cinema

11:45 15:35 21:05

Dongsishitiao

East Gate Cinema

14:00 18:00

Yayuncun

Sun Cinema

10:20 14:30 16:30 20:30 22:20

East Fourth Ring Road

Espace France Cinema

13:40 17:40 21:40

10,000 BC

Similar in concept to Mel Gibson's Apocalypto, this action/adventure flick follows the adventures of a young mammoth hunter who struggles to "secure the future of his tribe." Directed by Roland Emmerich of Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow fame, expect plenty of crowd pleasing special effects. Trailer available on the official site and here.

CBD

Wanda International Cinema

10:50 12:30 17:10 21:50

Xidan

New Capital Cinema

13:25 15:30 17:35 20:50

Haidian

UME International Cineplex

11:15 17:15

Stellar International Cineplex

13:20 17:30

Wangjing

Stellar International Cineplex

11:15 13:15 15:10 17:05 21:35

Wangfujing

Star City

12:50 14:50 21:25

Xindong'an Cinema

14:30 16:30 18:40 20:40

Dongsishitiao

East Gate Cinema

12:50 16:20

Yayuncun

Sun Cinema

14:00 18:00

East Fourth Ring Road

Espace France Cinema

11:30 15:45 19:40

In Love we Trust (Zouyou 左右)

A melodrama that follows the difficult decision faced by a divorced couple trying to save their sick daughters life. The film, which took the Silver Bear for best screenplay at the recent Berlin Film Festival. Take a look at a review here and the trailer by clicking here.

CBD

Wanda International Cinema

13:10 17:50

Xidan

New Capital Cinema

15:05 19:00 21:05

Haidian

Stellar International Cineplex

10:30 12:40 18:45 20:55

Wangjing

Stellar International Cineplex

11:50 14:00 16:00 18:00 20:00

Yayuncun

Sun Cinema

13:00

National Treasure: Book of Secrets

Go conspiracy hunting with Nicolas Cage in this sequel to the popular 2004 film that attracted large audiences to US cinemas over Christmas. Take a look at what some critics made of the film here. You can view the trailer at the official movie site here.

CBD

Wanda International Cinema

12:20 22:20

Xidan

New Capital Cinema

13:35 15:55 18:15 20:40

Haidian

UME International Cineplex

09:30 13:30 16:15 19:00 21:40

Stellar International Cineplex

11:25 13:55 16:25 18:55 21:25

Wangjing

Stellar International Cineplex

09:40 16:40 21:25

Wangfujing

Star City

10:30 16:55

Xindong'an Cinema

15:30 17:45 20:10

Dongsishitiao

East Gate Cinema

15:00 21:40

Yayuncun

Sun Cinema

15:00 19:40 21:50

Upcoming Releases

April 24

The Forbidden Kingdom (Gongfu Zhiwang 功夫之王)

Jet Li and Jackie Chan's highly anticipated adaptation of Journey to the West, with Chan as the Monkey King. You can view the trailer here.

April ?

Spiderwick Chronicles

A knock off of the successful Harry Potter and Chronicles of Narnia films, this children's fantasy film is unlikely to be able to live up to the quality of the originals. It was originally scheduled to open at Beijing's IMAX theaters on April 18 but its release date has since been pushed back to later in the month. Take a look at the official site for more information, view the trailer here and read what some of the critics thought about the film here.

April 30

Iron Man

Opening in China before it's American release on May 2, this sci-fi picture is based on the Marvel comic of the same name and stars Robert Downey Jr. as a billionaire industrialist who builds a high-tech suit of body armor that allows him to transform into a superhero. According to Wikipedia, Marvel and Paramount Pictures have planned a $50 million marketing campaign for the film, which is modeled on Paramount's successful promotion of last year’s Transformers film. However, given that Chinese audiences didn’t grow up with Marvel comics but did watch Transformers cartoons, it’ll be interesting to see if the film can replicate the success that Transformers had on the mainland last year. The producers of the film are considering making a sequel that will feature the Chinese character known as Mandarin. You can take a look at the trailer here.

May 26

27 Dresses

Originally scheduled to hit Beijing's screens on April 21, this classic chick flick's release date has now been pushed back to late May. Starring Knocked Up's Katherine Heigl as a woman doomed to always be the bridesmaid but never the bride. She's finally pushed to do something, when she's expected to help organize her sister's wedding to the man she herself loves. The film was released in the US in January this year and the UK in March. Take a look at the trailer at the official site and some reviews here.

Links and Sources
CNN:'Forbidden Kingdom' takes top box office slot
m1905.com: 《功夫之王》北美称冠 CNN大放厥词 image
CNN: Interview with Jet Li (text) (video)
CNN: Interview with Jackie Chan (text) (video)
NetEase: Report on the opening reception for the Forbidden Kingdom at Chaoyang Park on Apr 16
NetEase: Image from opening (Video)
Sohu: Report about test screenings of Bichi

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