Tuesday's Film Roundup

Red Cliff Breaks Record

By passing the RMB 300 million mark, the first installment of Red Cliff has surpassed Zhang Yimou's Curse of the Golden Flower to become the highest grossing domestically produced film in Chinese history. The films producers have hopes that it just might pass the RMB 360 million mark and knock Titanic of its perch to become China's highest ever grossing film.

Mummy 3 Popular in HK and Taiwan

But it hasn't been getting very good reviews. The China release date is now set for September 2.

Faye Wong Pregnant

According to China Daily Faye Wong (Wanf Fei) was recently crowned the Sexiest Asian Vegetarian in the world. Well now you can make that the Sexiest Pregnant Asian Vegetarian, with gossip mags reporting that the celebrity and her husband Li Yapeng (who was recently caught on film kicking paparazzi) are expecting a second child. China Daily's gossip columnist reports that Wong's husband Li Yapeng was so excited by the news that he went out for a night on the town in Beijing and was spotted at Coco Banana.

Keep reading below for a comprehensive list of all the films showing around town this half-price Tuesday.

Films Around Town

Screening Times for Films in Beijing – Tuesday Aug 12

(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)

Speed Racer

The latest project from the Wachowski brothers is a live-action version of Japanese anime series Speed Racer. The result is reportedly heavy on action and visuals, and weak on storytelling. Read some rather disappointing reviews here and take a look at the trailer here. Despite the poor reviews the film's Chinese box office takings might be helped by the presence of Korean heartthrob Rain's presence in the cast. View trailer here.

CBD

Wanda International Cinema

10:10 13:00 15:50 18:40 21:30 18:10 21:00 11:15 14:05 16:55 19:45 22:35 10:40 13:30 16:20 19:10 22:00

Xidan

New Capital Cinema

10:10 10:40 11:20 11:50 12:40 13:10 13:50 14:20 15:05 15:40 16:20 16:50 17:35 18:10 18:50 19:20 20:05 20:40 21:20 21:50

Haidian

UME International Cineplex

IMAX 08:30(Half Price) 11:05 13:40 16:15 18:50 21:25

Digital 09:55 15:05 20:15

09:10 11:45 14:20 16:55 19:30 22:05

Stellar International Cineplex

Theater 3 19:30 22:00  Theater 4 10:40 13:10 15:40 18:10 20:40

Theater 5 09:50 12:20 14:50 17:20 19:50 22:20

Wangjing

Stellar International Cineplex

08:30 10:00 11:30 12:45 14:15 15:20 16:50 18:00 19:30

20:35 21:30 22:15

Wangfujing

Star City

10:20 11:55 12:45 14:20 15:10 16:45 17:35 19:10 20:00 21:35 22:20

Xindong'an Cinema

Theater 6 13:55 16:20 18:45 21:10

Theater 7 10:20 12:45 15:10 17:35 20:00 22:20

Theater 8 11:00 13:25 15:50 18:15 20:40

Dongsishitiao

East Gate Cinema

10:20 11:30 12:50 14:00 15:20 16:30 17:50 19:00 20:20 21:30 22:50

Zhongguancun

Mega Box

09:35 10:30 11:25 12:20 13:15 14:10 15:05 16:00 16:55 17:50 18:45 19:40 20:35 21:30 22:25

Xinjiekou

Show Max Cinema

10:30 11:40 13:00 15:30 16:00 18:00 18:30 20:30 21:00

Yayuncun

Sun Cinema

10:20 11:30 12:50 13:50 15:20 16:30 17:50 19:00 20:20 21:30 22:40

Beijing Theater

10:00 11:40 12:30 14:00 15:00 17:30 18:10 20:00 20:30

Shiquan Jiumei

If Crazy Stone was the surprise film of 2007, Shiquan Jiuemei (十全九美) is the dark horse of 2008. The Chinese comedy about a prince in China's Ming Dynasty who attempts to learn carpentry, pulled in over RMB 10 million at the box office in it's first ten days after opening on August 1. You can take a look at the trailer here and listen to the original supergirl Li Yuchun sing the theme song here.

CBD

Wanda International Cinema

16:00 20:00 22:00

Xidan

New Capital Cinema

10:45 12:35 14:25 16:15 18:05 19:55 21:45

Haidian

UME International Cineplex

Digital 09:40 13:20 16:55 17:50 20:30 21:20

Stellar International Cineplex

Theater 1 09:25 

Theater 2 10:50 13:00 14:50 16:40 18:30 20:20 22:10

Wangjing

Stellar International Cineplex

09:35 12:20 14:05 19:45 20:45 22:30

Wangfujing

Star City

10:30 14:05 15:50 17:45 19:35 21:25

Xindong'an Cinema

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

Dongsishitiao

East Gate Cinema

10:40 14:20 19:20 21:10

Zhongguancun

Mega Box

10:55 12:55 14:55 17:00 19:00 21:00

Xinjiekou

Show Max Cinema

09:45 10:15 11:25 13:20 14:10 15:10 17:00 17:20 18:50 20:40

Yayuncun

Sun Cinema

09:20 11:10 14:40 18:00 20:00 21:50

» Red Cliff

Red Cliff (赤壁 Chibi), alternatively known as The Battle of Red Cliff, recreates the story surrounding the legendary Battle of Red Cliff that took place immediately prior to the Three Kingdoms period. Red Cliff is to be released in two parts throughout Asia, with the first part premiering last Thursday and the second part in January 2009. Outside of Asia, a single 2½-hour film will be released in January 2009. With an estimated budget of USD 80 million, The Battle of Red Cliff is the most expensive Chinese film to date. Trailer (with English subtitles) available here.

CBD

Wanda International Cinema

11:00 13:50 16:40 19:30 22:20

Xidan

New Capital Cinema

10:35 12:15 13:15 13:55 14:55 15:55 16:35 18:35 19:35 20:00 21:15

Haidian

UME International Cineplex

Digital 09:25 12:05 13:30 14:45 17:25 20:05 22:45

Stellar International Cineplex

11:15 14:00 16:45 19:30 22:15

Wangjing

Stellar International Cineplex

10:55 12:00 13:35 14:50 16:20 17:30 19:00 20:15 21:45 22:55

Wangfujing

Star City

10:50 13:30 16:10 18:50 21:30

Xindong'an Cinema

Theater 1 10:40 13:20 16:00 18:45 21:25

Theater 2 11:50 14:35 17:15 19:55

Dongsishitiao

East Gate Cinema

11:50 14:40 17:20 20:00 22:30

Zhongguancun

Mega Box

10:20 13:20 14:20 16:20 19:20 21:40 22:15

Xinjiekou

Show Max Cinema

10:00 16:30 21:15

Haidian

China Cinema

9:00 11:45 14:30 17:15 20:00

Yayuncun

Sun Cinema

11:40 14:20 15:40 17:00 18:20 19:40 22:10

Beijing Theater

10:35 12:15 13:15 14:25 14:55 15:55 17:15 18:35 20:00 20:05 21:15

Hancock

After The Pursuit of Happyness and I am Legend, this film marks Will Smith's third appearance on China's big screens in 2008. This time he's playing a down and out superhero who gets little in the way of moral support from his wife, played by Charlize Theron. Reviews tend to go either way, this write-up in last week's Sydney Morning Herald being a good example of a more positive review and this recent review on Slate an example of a less than glowing recommendation. Synopsis available here and trailer here.

CBD

Wanda International Cinema

12:10 16:10 20:10

Xidan

New Capital Cinema

10:30 13:45 15:45 16:45 17:40 18:40 19:40 20:35 21:40

Haidian

UME International Cineplex

11:30 15:10 18:45 22:20 ( Digital) 16:05

Wangjing

Stellar International Cineplex

10:20 12:10 14:00 16:10 18:10 20:00 22:00

Wangfujing

Star City

12:55 14:40 16:25 18:10 19:50 21:45

Xindong'an Cinema

13:05 14:50 16:40 18:30 20:20 22:10

Dongsishitiao

East Gate Cinema

17:40

Zhongguancun

Mega Box

09:50 11:50 13:50 15:50 18:00 20:00 22:00

Xinjiekou

Show Max Cinema

14:35 19:10

Haidian

China Cinema

10:30 13:35 15:45 16:45 17:40 18:40 19:40 20:35 21:40

Yayuncun

Sun Cinema

10:40 12:20 14:00 20:50 22:30

Beijing Theater

9:40 11:30 13:20 15:10 17:00 18:50 20:40

Kungfu Panda

Despite what appear to be rather self-serving attempts by Zhao Bandi to persuade Chinese people to boycott the film, it's still proved very popular, becoming the first animated film to take over RMB 100 million at the Chinese box office. Reviews have also been good - most settling for the "it's all good fun" kind of appraisal. Aficionados of Chinese traditional painting have also enjoyed some of the in jokes and one review in a Beijing newspaper compared the films melding of East and West to one of KFC's "Lao Beijing" Chicken wraps. You can view the trailer here and visit the official site here (Chinese version here). The complete copy of the film is available here. The Beijing correspondent of the Guardian has also produced this audio report on the popularity of the film in Beijing.

CBD

Xidan

New Capital Cinema

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

Haidian

UME International Cineplex

13:30 17:15 21:00

Wangjing

Stellar International Cineplex

11:20 13:15 15:10 17:00 18:50

Wangfujing

Star City

10:10 12:20

Xindong'an Cinema

10:25 12:10

Dongsishitiao

East Gate Cinema

10:00 12:30 16:10

Zhongguancun

Mega Box

11:35 13:35 17:40 19:50 21:50

Haidian

China Cinema

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

Yayuncun

Sun Cinema

10:00 13:00 16:20

Storm Riders: Clash of the Evils

Storm Riders (风云决 Fengyun Jue) is based on the comics of top selling Hong Kong animator Ma Wing Shing (more details about his work available here). The animated film is voiced by heartthrob Nicholas Tse (Xie Tingfeng) and Richie Ren of Duimian de Nühaizi fame. Expect a martial arts meets fantasy storyline. Click here to view trailer.

CBD

Wanda International Cinema

14:00 18:00

Xidan

New Capital Cinema

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

Haidian

UME International Cineplex

09:35

Wangjing

Stellar International Cineplex

16:00

Zhongguancun

Mega Box

09:30 15:35

China Cinema

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

Yayuncun

Sun Cinema

09:40

Upcoming Films

Aug 15
The Deserted Inn (荒村客栈 Huangcun Kezhan) Chinese Horror

Take a peek at the trailer here.

Aug 19
The Incredible Hulk

Louis Leterrier has taken the reins as director of the famous Marvel comic book figure, with Edward Norton playing the mutant scientist on a quest to escape his alter-ego. Unlike Speed Racer, The Hulk has been getting some pretty good reviews. You can take a look at the trailer here.

Below is the full text of the review by Jessica Pan that appeared in the August issue of the Beijinger magazine

Following the critically slammed Hulk (2003) directed by Ang Lee, this summer's sequel offers a different cast and director, and new take on the legendary comic book figure. Day laborer Bruce Banner (Ed Norton) works in a bottling factory in Brazil while spending his spare time pining for Betty Ross (Liv Tyler) and corresponding with a professor to create an antidote for his emotionally-charged condition – anger and excitement transforms Banner into an angry green monster who destroys buildings and kills people on site. But the action shines upon the creation of a monster more menacing than the Hulk: Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth), driven by jealousy, is enhanced into a “supersoldier” in an experiment resembling Banner’s debacle. The confrontations between the two Goliaths are nothing short of intense.

This newest installment of The Incredible Hulk offers a monster slightly hunkier than its predecessor, with longer locks and softer features atop a massive, vein-covered green body. No one does sad doe eyes better than Tyler (read Lord of the Rings and Armageddon), though Tyler’s towering height and exaggerated features juxtaposed against Norton’s lankiness seem a bit off-balanced. Still, their chemistry works in certain parts, and Norton successfully brings a humane touch to his portrayal of Banner, a scientist in despair.

Where Ang Lee failed – a too-complicated plot weaved with a confusing Freudian backdrop – The Incredible Hulk succeeds: Comical preferences for stretchy pants and pseudo-sex scenes alongside fast-paced chase sequences with adrenaline-pumping transformations prove to be surefire ways to please a summer crowd.

Sep 2
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

Jet Li stars as Mummy Qin Shihuang, alongside Michelle Yeoh and Brendan Fraser in this third installment of the popular franchise. No reviews yet - not released elsewhere until July 24 but you can read more about the making of the film here. Trailer here.

Sep 4
Asterix and the Olympics

Asterix, Obelix, and their friends have entered the famous Olympic games in Ancient Olympia. They are determined to taste victory, but the Gauls face formidable competition from both Greeks and Romans. See trailer here.

Sep 14
Flood

Flood is a disaster film set in London and Scotland. Estranged meteorologoist father Leonard (Courtnay) and Marine Engineer son (Carlyle) are caught up in a weather related disaster as spring tides meet a freak North Sea Superstorm…

Oct
Painted Skin

Also Known As: Hua pi. An old tale based action-thriller centered on a vampire-like woman who eats the skins and hearts of her lovers.

Nov
007 and Harry Potter

Expect the China premieres of both 007: Quantum of Solace and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in November. See Trailers here and here.

Dec 12
Mei Lanfang

A biographical account of iconic Peking Opera star Mei Lanfang directed by Chen Kaige and starring Beijing-born singer Leon Lai. Ziyi Zhang stars as Mei’s lover Meng Xiaodong. More info available here.

Possibly Batman: The Dark Knight later in the year

And maybe Wall-E and X-Files in 2009

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