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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
|Postmen in the Mountains
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1999 award winning DVD directed by Jianqi Huo (The Horse Thief) starring Lau Ye (Lan Yu) and Ten Rujun (The Red Sorghum). Winner of the Montreal World Famous Festival. In a southern China village, a retired postman is showing his son - the new postman - the ropes on his last round through his route. Both of them have a heavy heart when walking along the roads. The son feels the mountain roads seem to be never ended, while the father recalls the days of being postman. Mandarin with Chinese/English subtitles. NTSC/All Code. 89 minutes. 2002.
|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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|My Blueberry Nights (The Miriam Collection)
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In Wong Kar Wai's debut English-language feature, the internationally acclaimed director takes his audience on a dramatic journey across the distance between heartbreak and a new beginning. After a rough breakup, Elizabeth sets out on a trip across America, leaving behind a life of memories, a dream, and a soulful new friend, a cafe owner, all to search for something to mend her broken heart. Waitressing her way through the country, Elizabeth befriends others whose yearnings are greater than hers, including a troubled cop, his estranged wife, and a down-on-her luck gambler with a score to settle. Through these individuals, Elizabeth witnesses the true depths of loneliness and emptiness, and begins to understand that her own journey is part of a greater exploration within herself. (Weinstein Company)
|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
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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
|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
|Video Visits Travel Collection: Discovering China
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With an eye on the future, more Chinese are reaching out to the peoples and culture of the West. They have opened their nation to the gaze of visitors, as more and more Westerners are touring this remarkable republic for themselves. This beautiful video visits the national capital of Beijing, a powerhouse tempered by parks and the magnificent Forbidden City. Make a stop in Suzhou, the Venice of the Far East, and then Hangzou and the West Lake, where Chinese newlyweds spend their honeymoon. Marvel at the physical and historical expanse of The Great Wall, built by human muscle and stretching nearly 4,000 miles over mountains and desert. At X’ian, see the famed Clay Army of terra cotta warriors that guarded the tomb of China’s first emperor. Visit Guilin, a picturesque river valley known for its artistic inspiration. Make stops in Guangzhou and Shenzhen before visiting Shanghai, a magical megalopolis known as the world’s most energetic city. Finally, travel to Hong Kong, one of the world’s most thrilling urban centers with the most beautiful skyline on Earth. Today, China is steppingforward to take its place among the nations of the World. Extra Features: Chinese Opera: Arias & Acrobats - Acrobatics, mime and music tell stories of cultural heritage; The Dowager & The Last Emperor - An intriguing glimpse at ancient Chinese hierarchy in the Forbidden City; Shanghai: City With A Past - A fascinating East-meets-West political history; The Li River: A Fantasy Landscape - Rising mists join heaven and earth at these nature-sculpted banks; Traditional Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture - The healing power of herbs, seeds, roots, and the ancient art of acupuncture; Beijing Sights: Through the Eyes of History - The historical and cultural significance of the Great Wall, The Forbidden City, and Tiananmen Square.
|Fist of Unicorn
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Bruce Lee made TIME Magazine's list of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century under the category of Heroes and Icons - Twenty people who articulate the longings of the last 100 years, exemplifying courage, selflessness, exuberance, superhuman ability and amazing grace. In 1972, at the height of his fame, Bruce Lee was the action director on the film that would launch his best friend Unicorn Chan to stardom. Featuring exclusive footage of Bruce Lee in action on the set. This release is a world exclusive.
|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
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