films seen
average score
Alive and kicking
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Run for Love

Zai Shijie De Zhongxin Huhuan Ai
2016 / 137m - China
Romance - Anthology
Run for Love poster

There are no weak shorts, one exceptional piece and enough variation to breeze through its 140 minutes running time.

The Matrimony

Xin Zhong You Gui
2007 / 91m - China
Horror, Romance
The Matrimony poster

Solid Chinese genre fare. The Matrimony was an old favorite of mine. When I first watched it, it felt like a welcome change of pace for Asian horror, with a stronger focus on romance/drama, less so on horror. It certainly wasn't a disappointing rewatch, but almost 15 years later the film simply doesn't feel so special anymore.

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When Junchu asks Manli to marry him in a letter, she is killed in a traffic accident right before they can meet up. Junchu is heartbroken, but his mother forces him to marry another woman. She tries her best to take care of Junchu, but he keeps pushing her away, until he starts seeing shimmers of Manli in his new wife.

The cinematography is on point (though some special effects haven't aged too well), the performances are solid, and the plot is actually well-developed. The pacing is perfect too, the only problem is that nothing in the film stands out enough. It's a perfectly fine horror/romance cross-over, but nothing more.

Up in the Wind

Deng Feng Lai
2013 / 106m - China
Up in the Wind poster

Shanghai Fortress

Shanghai Bi Lei
2019 / 107m - China
Sci-fi, Action
Shanghai Fortress poster

It's nice that China is getting into sci-fi, but they'll have to do better than this. While it looks like the budget was there, the talent clearly wasn't. Terrible editing, poor CG skills, lifeless designs and a bland story don't do this film any favors. Luckily the action is okay and the alien invasion setup is fun enough, but that's not enough to turn this into a good film.