Films

Sweet Sixteen (2016)

Xia You Qiao Mu (original title)

Director: Jin-gyu Cho
Stars: Kris Wu, Geng Han, Shan Lu

Xia Mu is a troubled child whose salvation comes in the form of Shu Yawang. When something terrible happens to her, he seeks revenge. Nothing is the same in their lives after that.

★★★☆☆

Sweet Sixteen, despite its title which gives off a teeny romance vibe, actually has a heavy storyline. (Although after seeing Do Kyungsoo’s “Unforgettable“, I don’t know if anything’s ever sadder.)

The movie, although the story is also quite typical, has a well-laid out plot, and the acting is muy bien. Now this is a movie where Kris is really good. Villain-y (and suplado) roles suit him well.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I just love this.
Advertisements
Films

Never Gone (2016)

Zhi qingchun 2: Yuánlái ni hái zài zhèli (original title)

Director: Zhou Tuo Ru
Writers: Yi Wu Xin, Tuo Ru Zhou
Stars: Kris Wu, Yifei Liu

A wealthy young man pursues a young woman of modest means, but circumstances often separate them as the years pass.

★★✮☆☆

Yes, you guessed it right. I only saw this for Kris Wu. While this movie is quite pleasing to the eyes, it failed in many ways. For the plot, a quick browse on the storyline would already give you an idea that it is one of those coming-of-age stories about how the school’s prince charming falls in love with someone who’s waaaaay out of his league. But you’d still give it a chance because perhaps, it could show you something new. However, it didn’t. And somehow, it ended up not being at par with the other movies/dramas that have the same theme/plot.

The makers of the film failed to show a lot of contexts. Somehow, things just keep happening, scene by scene they go, and the viewers are left with questions such as “how did it happen?” “Why?” “Why is s/he like that anyway?” because the answers can’t be deciphered even by closely looking at the characters’ actions.

Don’t worry, Kris, we also don’t get why the girl keeps rejecting you.

This is based on a novel, so perhaps they shot too many scenes but in the end, failed to condense them into a full 1.30 hours movie without sacrificing important details.

For the ending, I’m quite fine with the original ending. It was like the makers were going for an indie-ish feel. The alternate ending (you can search it on Youtube) is the one that makes people quite satisfied, however, it is also the one that makes the story cliche.

Any redeeming quality? Yes, great visuals. The cinematography was very good. China looks really pretty in this movie. I wonder why I always had a very bad image of this country in my mind. Perhaps from all these news about cities in China being heavily polluted. But in this movie, both the city and the countryside looked really cozy. There are a lot of scenes shot in a very creative manner.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Both leads are gorgeous. Like me, a lot of female fans probably only saw this because of Kris. Kris is still not doing something right in his acting, however, the female lead was good. Also, good soundtrack.

Man, I just love this confrontation scene, where they ended up tossing all the money and showering in it. Although Cheng Zheng (Kris) looked immature in here.
Films

The Boss Baby (2017)

Director: Tom McGrath
Writers: Michael McCullers, Marla Frazee (based on the book by)
Stars: Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel

A suit-wearing, briefcase-carrying baby pairs up with his 7-year old brother to stop the dastardly plot of the CEO of Puppy Co.

★★★☆☆

It’s quite predictable, but it’s actually cute. The little kid in me enjoyed it during the flight, too.

Films

Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back (2017)

Journey to the West: Demon Chapter (original title)

Director: Hark Tsui
Writers: Stephen Chow, Si-Cheun Lee (screenwriter)
Stars: Kris Wu, Kenny Lin, Chen Yao

A monk and his three disciples continue on their journey to battle demons.

★★✮☆☆

You’re right. I only saw this because of Kris Wu. It was a several hours flight, and the inflight TV has it so I said why not try it. And also because last time, when I was wiki-ing the top grossing Chinese movies, I remember seeing this one, or perhaps the other movie. But I thought, if it had a sequel, then there must be something in it.

Truth is, I saw this once while on a bus. And that time I felt dizzy from the scent inside the bus and this weird movie playing wasn’t helping at all. But since I’ve opened my mind to weird Chinese movies, and also because it has Kris Wu in it, so I wanted to give a try. For an inflight entertainment, it wasn’t so bad. Only Kris’ acting was.

Films

Sana Maulit Muli (1995)

Director: Olivia M. Lamasan
Writers: Jose Javier Reyes, Olivia M. Lamasan
Stars: Aga Muhlach, Lea Salonga

Agnes and Jerry’s relationship becomes distant when Agnes migrates to America.

★★★✮☆

One of Filipino suckers for romantic drama favorites. This is one of those movies that no matter how many times you’ve already seen it, when it plays on the cable, you just gotta stop what you’re doing and re-watch it. It is that good.

Films

The Mermaid (2016)

Mei ren yu (original title)

Director: Stephen Chow (as Xingchi Zhou)
Writers: Hing-Ka Chan, Stephen Chow
Stars: Chao Deng, Show Lo, Yuqi Zhang

Shan, a mermaid, is sent to assassinate Xuan, a developer who threatens the ecosystem of her race, but ends up falling in love with him instead.

★★★✮☆

When I saw clip from this movie on Facebook, I thought it was really weird. I said why do Chinese like making reaaaaalllly weird films. A couple of my colleagues actually said it’s good. And because I’ve been bored out of my wits due to unemployment, I gave this movie a try, and IT WAS HILARIOUS! At least for over an hour or, it’ll make you forget your problem. It is weird, but I enjoyed its humor. I can’t tell if months of non-contact (haha) with people made me shallow, but even after seeing this movie, from time to time, I’d rewatch some of my favorite parts. I strongly recommend this movie.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Series

Reply 1988 (2015-2016)

Eungdapara 1988

Director: Shin Won-ho
Writer: Lee Woo-jung
Stars: Lee Hye-ri, Park Bo-gum, Go Kyung-pyo, Ryu Jun-yeol, Lee Dong-hwi

Set in the year 1988, the drama revolves around five friends and their families living in the same neighborhood of Ssangmun-dong, Dobong District, Northern Seoul.

★★★✮☆

I started watching this earlier this year, but ended up stopping after 1 and a half episode because the truth is it bored me. I wanted to see it because the descriptions of the drama I read from the internet piqued my interest. It says there the drama shows the beginning of K-pop, thus I was sold. I was also curious why it gained a high rating during its airing, and I got that answer from the first episode alone. The drama probably brought a great deal of nostalgia among its viewers for its pop culture and its juxtaposition on real events. I swear I have learned so much about Korean culture and their ways after seeing this, much more than the over 10 romantic comedies I’ve seen in the past months.

Centralling on five friends living in the same neighborhood and growing knowing everything about each other, it will probably take you back to your own childhood as well, and the struggles of going to school, and growing up altogether.

Great plot, well-curated characters, superb acting, just the right mixture of drama and comedy, and a lot of life lessons.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.