We start this week’s show with a discussion about the furore surrounding Wong Jing’s upcoming Chinese New Year offering From Vegas To Macau 3, before giving a shoutout to the marvellous animated short Pineapple Calamari and then moving on to reviews of Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Road Chip and Pixar’s troubled The Good Dinosaur.
With nothing of note opening in Hongb Kong this week, we look ahead to a few upcoming releases that I have already been able to see. Soi Cheang’s The Monkey King 2 will be this year’s big Chinese New Year title, while Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight and journalism drama Spotlight open later next month.
Boxing films, like all sporting yarns, are often less about the game than the rigorous framework it provides for discipline, focus and getting your life back on track. That’s certainly the case in Masaharu Take’s 100 Yen Love, in which a thirty-something slob is forced to fend for herself after a series of unfortunate events expose her to life’s harsh realities.
An inspirational event that captured the world’s attention, the 2010 Copiapo mining accident in Chile – in which 33 miners were trapped underground for 69 days – seemed tailor-made for a stirring Hollywood adaptation. But arriving in the wake of more cinematically accomplished survival stories like The Martian, In the Heart of the Sea and The Revenant, the miners of The 33 seem to have had an easy time of it.
Lots to get through this week, including the Robert De Niro/Zac Efron comedy Dirty Grandpa, Oscar-nominated financial comedy The Big Short, Sandra Bullock and Billy Bob Thornton in Our Brand Is Crisis, Feng Xiaogang in mainland gangster drama Mr. Six and Japanese musical shenanigans in La La La At Rock Bottom.