Film & TV

News, reviews and movie star interviews from the world of TV and film. 
South China Morning Post
  1. 2.5/5 starsFour years after Train to Busan thundered into cinemas to become the most successful Asian film of all time in Hong Kong, Korean writer-director Yeon Sang-ho has returned with Peninsula, the hugely anticipated sequel to his zombie juggernaut.The film was originally scheduled to open July 15 in Hong Kong, the same day as its South Korea release, but a new round of Covid-19 cases in the city has seen it temporarily shelved. Internationally, the film is likely to creep, virus-like, into…
  2. It would be absurd to suggest the creators of Twogether (Netflix) pitched the series as a nostalgia show, but that’s the bracket this lighthearted jaunt through a host of notable tourist traps sometimes seems to occupy. There’s bustling Bangkok in all its pre-Covid-19 Khao San Road craziness; mask-free Chiang Mai in its misty mountain setting; Bali’s Jimbaran Bay looks busy but blissful; and the chaos and culture of Kathmandu recall that ancient, vanished time when the world had a travel…
  3. Hong Kong cinema is renowned for periodically reinventing itself, and 1980’s Encounter of the Spooky Kind (also known as Spooky Encounter) was another successful attempt to rejuvenate the martial arts genre.Directed, co-choreographed, and co-written by Sammo Hung Kam-bo, who also stars, the movie brought ghosts, magic, and horror effects to the fading kung fu comedy genre, which had itself reinvigorated martial arts films in the late 1970s.The result was a big Christmas hit for Hung and…
  4. 2.5/5 stars Packed to the rafters with rugged heroes, duplicitous villains, terrifying monsters and relentless action, Double World has all the trappings of an epic adventure. So why is the Hong Kong filmmaker Teddy Chan Tak-sum’s first directing effort since 2014’s Donnie Yen vehicle Kung Fu Jungle such a chore to watch? Now streaming on iQiyi in mainland China and Netflix in the rest of the world, this effects-laden adaptation of online video game Zhengtu features so many characters, each…
  5. 3.5/5 stars This is an interesting time in the career of Russell Crowe. Once Hollywood’s go-to guy for macho heroes – in films such as L.A. Confidential and Gladiator, for which he won an Oscar – the Antipodean star has recently taken to playing juicy supporting roles. Think of his profane mentor in True History of the Kelly Gang or his pastor in Boy Erased who sends his gay son for conversion therapy. In Unhinged, he’s a very different kind of monster. When we meet Crowe’s character – just…
  6. Tired of being stuck in one place and longing for release? These films about the quest for freedom will match your mood. 1. The Great Escape (1963) The grandaddy of the genre, John Sturges’ World War II drama tells the extraordinary true story of a mass 1944 breakout from the German prisoner-of-war camp Stalag Luft III. Sturges specialised in ensemble adventures such as The Magnificent Seven (1960) and The Eagle Has Landed (1976), so he knew how to make the most of a heavyweight cast …
  7. Ai Weiwei’s mother is visibly pained recalling her son’s life as a newborn.“He was born at his father’s darkest time,” says Gao Ying in the new documentary, Ai Weiwei: Yours Truly, released earlier this month from First Run Features.The film, directed by Cheryl Haines, co-directed by Gina Leibrecht and available to stream through select cinema websites in the US, explores the Chinese artist and human rights activist’s 2014 public art intervention, @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz. And it has much…
  8. 2.5/5 starsIn Japanese cinema, sex dolls are surprisingly prolific. Whether employed as crutches for social recluses, as in Torso (2009) and Body Temperature (2011), or as magical avatars through which to examine urban alienation, like in Hirokazu Koreeda’s Air Doll (2009), they are almost exclusively inanimate companions for the emotionally isolated.In Yuki Tanada’s Romance Doll, now streaming on Netflix, sex doll owners barely feature at all. Instead, the film marries a pair of evergreen…
  9. “There is no fan like a DC fan,” announced Ann Sarnoff. Well, they’re certainly loyal – and patient. The Warner Bros CEO made her proclamation recently, while banging the drum for the upcoming DC FanDome. Due on August 22, this virtual 24-hour fan experience is an online deep dive into the world inspired by DC Comics, with panels and programmes dedicated to the video games, TV shows and, most importantly, films. An innovative marketing push allowing fans to experience the wonders of DC for…
  10. The rapidly changing and unpredictable environment created by Covid-19 is taking a toll on mental health, according to experts. Pandemic anxiety and boredom blues, side effects of people spending more time at home, are real, with students particularly hard hit.Hongkonger Jeremy Hung Hei-chun hopes his project, Film Stylo, can provide an escape.Launched amid the pandemic, Film Stylo allows secondary students worldwide to document through short films the effects Covid-19 is having on their lives,…