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|The Children of Huang Shi
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Experience the true story of British journalist George Hogg (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), who snuck across enemy lines in 1937 to expose the Japanese occupation of China. After capture and injury, a Chinese resistance leader, Chen (Chow Yun Fat), had to rescue and send him to hide in a remote orphanage. Now in this foreign land of lost children, far away from the front lines, he's found more stories than he could have ever dreamed. From his true love of an Australian nurse (Radha Mitchell), to his timeless friendships with Chen and the orphans, Hogg discovers a rare courage and the true pleasures of life in the unlikely sanctum of Huang Shi.
The Children of Huang Shi is a powerful, inspiring film about a real-life, outsider hero who emerged from Japan's catastrophic invasion of China in 1937. A British journalist, George Hogg (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) sneaks into Nanjing at the height of Japan's destruction of that cosmopolitan city. Rescued from certain death by a suave rebel named Chen Hansheng (Chow Yun-Fat), Hogg goes deep into China's countryside in search of another front to the war. Instead of furthering his career, however, Hogg is talked into taking control of a destitute orphanage occupied by starving, lice-ridden, half-savage boys. A roving nurse, Lee Pearson (Radha Mitchell), keeps Hogg focused on his task, provides him with medical supplies, and ultimately becomes his lover. But the former reporter has to figure many things out on his own, including how to inspire the boys to help fend for themselves.
With the Japanese closing in on the orphanage and the Chinese looking at the boys as likely soldiers, Hogg, Pearson, and Hansheng lead the kids on an extraordinarily strenuous, 700-mile hike to Marco Polo's so-called Silk Road, leading to the Gobi Desert. The second half of The Children of Huang Shi is taken up by this sometimes deadly labor, and director Roger Spottiswoode balances the dreariness of it with knockout images of mountains and eerie, desert vistas. The multi-national cast is the best thing about the film, which avoids canonizing the saintly Hogg by not ignoring his sins of pride (he refers to the kids as "my boys" to the wrong Chinese authority, and pays the price) and jealousy. Chow's jaunty persona adds an essential swagger to this Schindler's List-like story, but it's Mitchell's gritty, soul-weary performance that really grabs one's attention. --Tom Keogh
- Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color
- English (Subtitled), Spanish (Subtitled), English (Original Language)
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Brand: FIRST LOOK HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Roy (Woody Harrelson) and Jessie (Emily Mortimer) are the perfect American couple traveling from Beijing to Moscow on the legendary Trans-Siberian Express train. The two strike a bond with another couple, Carlos (Eduardo Noriega) and Abby (Kate Mara), who are not exactly as they appear. Unwittingly, Roy and Jessie are caught in a web of drug trafficking and murderous deceit when all four become targets of ex-KGB detective Grinko's (Ben Kingsley) investigation.
In Transsiberian, a train twisting across the white Siberian landscape becomes a trap for a well-meaning American couple, Roy (Woody Harrelson) and Jessie (Emily Mortimer), who find themselves pursued by a Russian policemen (Ben Kingsley) while on a trip to Moscow. On the train, they befriend a younger couple--but the charming pair hold secrets that draw Roy and Jessie into a frozen nightmare. Transsiberian's snowy setting is both beautiful and eerie, providing an evocative atmosphere that helps carry the viewer through the sometimes bumpy plot. At its core, Transsiberian is about the anxiety of being in a new world--be it a new country or a new phase of your life--and not knowing the rules, the fear of taking the wrong step and falling. The thriller plot is little more than a delivery system for that sensation. But really, all director Brad Anderson (The Machinist, Next Stop Wonderland) needed was Mortimer's limpid face; every tremor that crosses her pale skin reverberates through the camera. Her essential vulnerability first came across in Lovely and Amazing; Anderson makes good use of this rare quality. --Bret Fetzer
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Recalling both Vertigo (1958) and Chungking Express (1994), Chinese director Lou Ye spins this riveting tale of obsession and love. The film opens with shots of the Suzhou River, which is clogged with the detritus and pollution of a rapidly expanding Shanghai. Narrated by an unseen freelance videographer, the film focuses on motorcycle courier Mardar (Jia Hongsheng), who specializes in black marketeering and is asked by a shady alcohol smuggler to shuttle his young attractive daughter Moudan (Zhou Xun) to her Auntie's every day while the thug entertains his latest sexual conquest. Though at first the youth resists his precocious passenger's advances, the two soon fall for one another. In spite of this, Mardar reluctantly agrees with a group of sleazy associates to a scheme to kidnap Moudan and extract a ransom from her father. When Moudan learns of Mardar's betrayal, she runs to throw herself into the Suzhou river -- apparently to her death -- cursing Mardar and saying that she will come back as a mermaid and haunt him. A few years later, Mardar is released after a stint in prison and returns to Shanghai, where he encounters Meimei (also played by Zhou), a nightclub dancer who performs in an aquarium as a mermaid and who is dating the videographer/narrator. Haunted by his past and unnerved by her resemblance to Moudan, Mardar soon becomes obsessed with Meimei. At first, Meimei brushes off Mardar's advances, until he tells her of his sordid past. Soon, she dumps the videographer in favor of her ardent pursuer, while Moudan and Meimei fuse in Mardar's fragile psychology. This film won the top prize at the Rotterdam Film Festival. ~ Jonathan Crow, Rovi
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Liam Liu (Ken Leung) is a 28-year-old Chinese-American actor struggling in Hollywood. Adelaide (Hayden Panettiere) is a 16-year-old free-spirited genius still in high school. But when a grandmother who Liam's never known leaves him a family home he's never seen, he takes a first-time trip Shanghai that will change both their worlds forever. If life is all about possibilities, can love survive a cultural divide and a huge age gap? Kelly Hu and Joel David Moore co-star in this smart and sexy romantic comedy about discovering who you are, finding where you belong, and sacrificing anything for the one person who could mean everything.
Set in two dichotomous worlds, Shanghai Kiss tells the story of a Chinese-American actor who doesn't quite fit in anywhere. In his hometown, he's considered a foreigner even though he's American. And in his family's native China, his mannerisms make him stick out in sea of familiar faces. Ken Leung (The Sopranos) does a wonderful job portraying Liam Liu, a complicated young man whose flirtation with the teenage Adelaide (Hayden Panettiere, Heroes) is reminiscent of Timothy Hutton's cautious infatuation with the Natalie Portman character in 1996's Beautiful Girls. It could've been played a little creepy, but the relationship between the unlikely couple is sweet. When Liam inherits his grandmother's estate in Shanghai, he travels to China thinking he will sell the property and head back home. But "home" becomes a more elusive concept when he realizes that his feelings are torn between two countries and, with the meeting of Micki Yang (Kelly Hu, X2), two women. There are several moments when the film has the feel of an afterschool special (Liam's father blaming him for his mother's death), but overall Shanghai Kiss tells a love story in an honest, if not completely realistic way. Feelings aren't cut and dried, and people aren't interchangeable. --Jae-Ha Kim
|Jackie Chan's Project A
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Brand: Buena Vista Home Video
International martial arts megastar Jackie Chan (RUSH HOUR, TWIN DRAGONS, RUMBLE IN THE BRONX) directs and performs all his own death-defying stunts in a hard-hitting and humorous action adventure that's been called one of his very best! Chan rocks the high seas as Dragon Ma, a determined coast guard officer on patrol in late 19th-century Hong Kong. As he battles with a ruthless syndicate in a seemingly never-ending struggle for control of the dangerous waters, you'll be blown away as Jackie literally throws himself into some of the most amazing movie stuntwork ever captured on film! Also starring popular Sammo Hung (TV's MARTIAL LAW), this must-see, adrenaline-pumping adventure delivers all the intense thrills and witty fun that Jackie Chan fans demand!
For people who've discovered Jackie Chan through his American hit Rush Hour and want to learn what his Hong Kong movies are like, Project A is an excellent place to start. Chan plays a sailor in 19th-century Hong Kong; pirates have been terrorizing the seas for months, and all efforts to combat them have been sabotaged by the corrupt chief of police and a criminal gang, who are in cahoots with the pirates. But the plot is hardly the point--a Jackie Chan movie is about astonishingly acrobatic action sequences and breathtaking stunts, and Project A has plenty. Of particular interest is a bicycle chase that is more suspenseful than any car chase you've ever seen. Chan is joined by Sammo Hung (star of TV's Martial Law) as a shifty con man who comes through when the chips are down. Project A also features Yuen Biao, a frequent costar in Chan's movies, who's yet another astounding martial artist. But what separates Jackie Chan movies from other kung fu flicks is his sense of humor; every fight scene is punctuated by something--a clever use of a prop or sudden reversal of your expectations--that will make you bark with laughter. Sometimes it's just so exquisitely choreographed that the entire movie seems to float on a cloud of giddy delight. Purists may object to the movie being dubbed, but given the overall hamminess of the acting, it's not particularly intrusive. Jackie Chan is often compared to the classic silent comedians for his grace and timing--he lives up to it. --Bret Fetzer
|The Amazing Panda Adventure
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Brand: Warner Home Video
Far from home in the lush bamboo forests of China, ten-year-old Ryan Tyler, with the help of a young girl, goes on a wonderful journey to rescue a baby panda taken by poachers.
- Far from home in the lush bamboo forests of China, ten-year-old Ryan Tyler, with the help of a young girl, goes on a wonderful journey to rescue a baby panda taken by poachers.Running Time: 91 min. Format: DVD MOVIE Genre:CHILDREN Rating:PG Age:08
|Riding Alone For Thousands of Miles
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For the first time in years, aging fisherman Takata Gou-ichi boards a bullet train to Tokyo when he learns his estranged son is gravely ill. But at the hospital, his son refuses to see him. Daughter-in-law Rie urges Takata to watch a videotape of a documentary his son was filming in rural China. Moved by what he sees, Takata vows to complete his son's work. Though laden with obstacles, his odyssey into the heart of China and the kinship he develops with a fatherless boy and the villagers who care for him recaptures a sense of family he thought he had lost a long time ago.
Zhang Yimou's heartfelt feature about cultural displacement, grief, and reconciliation is a lovely and somewhat unexpected work from the director of Raise the Red Lantern and House of Flying Daggers. Japanese actor Ken Takakura stars as Gou-ichi Takata, a laconic man who lives in a fishing village and is estranged from his son. When word reaches him that his son is ill with cancer, Takata travels to Tokyo but is turned away. Takata learns that his son has a passion for rural Chinese folk opera, and he flies to mainland China to locate Li Jiamin (playing himself), an opera star who happens to be in jail at the moment. Takata's story reminds Li of his own sad disconnection from his young son, and Takata sets out to restore their relationship as a prelude to helping his own with Li's help. Zhang himself is unusually operatic here, with intense emotions flying around, prettified visions of nature, and characters--including prison guards and peasants--who seem idealized, both as folklore and even old, Maoist notions of cooperation. Zhang's longtime admirers will appreciate and understand this change of pace from a filmmaker whose relationship with Chinese officials has often been strained over content. But film fans less familiar with his body of work will enjoy Riding Alone as well. --Tom Keogh
Stills from Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles (click for larger image)
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|Scorching Sun, Fierce Winds, Wild Fire
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AKA: Scorching Sun, Fierce Wind, Wild Fire; Any Which Way You Punch; Dragon Connection.
Subtitles: English, Chinese
Plot:Kung-fu films' greatest woman wushu warrior joins an all-killer cast to beat bandits at their own bloody game. Angela Mao joins such greats as Lo Lieh and Tan Tao-liang in a fast moving, cliffhanger set in the violent 1920s Warlord Era.
Overview: Unarguably, movie historys most famous and popular kung-fu starlet is Angela Mao, who graced such classics as Enter the Dragon, Lady Whirlwind, Deadly China Doll, Lady Kung-fu (a.k.a. Hapkido), and When Taekwondo Strikes.
Here she joins such greats as Lo Lieh (5 Fingers of Death) and Tan Tao-liang (a.k.a. Delon Tam, of Flash Legs and The Hot, the Cool, and the Vicious fame) in a fast moving, cliffhanger set in the violent 1920s Warlord Era.
Its every man and woman for him or herself against bandits, despots, soldiers, revolutionaries, escaped convicts, and even prostitutes, leading to a fierce fight every ten minutes!
Cast: Angela Mao Ying, Lo Lieh, Dorian Tan (Tao Liang), Chang Yi, Tin Peng (Tien Peng), Phillip Ko Fei, Au Lap Bo, Lung Fong, Shih Ting Ken, Lee Keung, Weng Hsiao Hu, Chui Fook Sang, Lee Man Tai, Lau Ming, Chang Chi Ping, Ricky Cheng (Tien Chi), Chan San Yat, Poon Cheung Ming, Chu Fei, Gam Man Hei. . .
Running Time: 90 mins. (approx.)
Features: Letterboxed ~2.35:1
|The Game of Death II
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After his brother's death, Billy seeks revenge and makes his way to the Seven Star Tower, where he must win seven fights against undefeated martial arts experts. Features footage of the great Bruce Lee filmed before his death.
Number of Discs: 1
Rating: Not Rated
Region: Region 1
Region Code: Region 1
Director: Corey Yuen
Leading Role: Bruce Li
|My Left Eye Sees Ghosts
Lowest new price: $89.99
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