Reviews by Lau Kit-wai and Clarence Tsui
Vulgaria (III) (Cantonese)
See review on this page.
The Chef (IIA) (French)
See review on this page.
The Bourne Legacy (IIA)
Jeremy Renner stars in Tony Gilroy's expansion of the Bourne universe created by Robert Ludlum by way of an original story about an agent whose life is endangered by the events of the first three films. Also starring Rachel Weisz. Not reviewed.
Brave (IIA) (English and Cantonese versions)
Pixar Animation Studio's animated action adventure tale centring on a Scottish princess who must rely on her bravery and her archery skills to undo a beastly curse after her defiance of a custom brings chaos to her kingdom. Not reviewed.
The Silent War (IIA) (Cantonese)
Tony Leung Chiu-wai stars in Felix Chong Man-keung and Alan Mak Siu-fai's thriller, set in the early 1950s shortly after the founding of the People's Republic of China, about a blind man recruited for a spy mission because of his exceptional hearing. Also starring Zhou Xun. CT
The Amazing Spider-Man (IIA)
Marc Webb's reboot of the Marvel Comics' superhero saga has Peter Parker finding a clue that might help him understand why his parents disappeared when he was young, and sets him on a collision course with his father's former partner. Starring Andrew Garfield. CT
The Avengers (IIB)
Marvel Comics-inspired actioner in which Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow team up to defeat an unexpected enemy threatening the world. Starring Robert Downey Jnr. CT
Beloved (III) (French, English and Czech)
Christophe Honore's epoch-spanning musical romance centring on a woman (Catherine Deneuve) whose libertine lifestyle as a young woman affects the romantic life of her grown daughter (Chiara Mastroianni). CT
The Dark Knight Rises (IIA)
Christopher Nolan's crime actioner that sees Batman resurfacing after eight years to protect a city that views him as an enemy after an arch criminal arrives on the scene and threatens to overwhelm Gotham's finest. Starring Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway. CT
Doraemon the Movie: Nobita and the Last Haven (I) (Cantonese)
The latest anime featuring earless robot cat Doraemon and his schoolboy buddy Nobita sees the duo journeying to an island protected by a golden beetle. CT
Hotaru: the Movie - It's Only A Little Light In My Life (I) (Japanese)
Romantic comedy spin-off from the television show in which the protagonist (Haruka Ayase) and her boss, and now husband, make plans to honeymoon in Rome. CT
Ice Age 4: Continental Drift (I) (English and Cantonese versions)
The fourth instalment of the animated comedy franchise has Manny the mammoth, Diego the sabre-toothed tiger and Sid the sloth embarking on another adventure after their home is set adrift following an earthquake. LKW
Late Autumn (IIA) (Korean, English and Putonghua)
Tang Wei and Hyun Bin star in Kim Tae-yong's drama set in Seattle about a prison inmate granted a three-day parole to attend her mother's funeral who meets and bonds with a caddish man on the run. CT
Madagascar: Europe's Most Wanted (I) (English and Chinese versions)
The third instalment of the animated adventure comedy franchise sees lion Alex, zebra Marty, hippo Gloria and giraffe Melman still fighting to get home to their beloved Big Apple, with their journey taking them through Europe where they find the perfect cover in the form of a travelling circus. CT
Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall (I)
Film version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's romantic musical adaptation of Gaston Leroux's tale about a bitter, deformed man who lives in the sewers underneath the Paris Opera House, and the young woman he falls for. CT
The Pirates! Band of Misfits (I)
Aardman Animations' animated action comedy about a pirate captain on a quest to best his rivals and win the Pirate of the Year award that takes him and his crew from the shores of Blood Island to Victorian London. CT
Silenced (III) (Korean)
Thriller inspired by true incidents at a school for the hearing-impaired whose principal and some teachers sexually molested and abused their students. CT
Step Up: Revolution (IIA)
Dance musical-romantic drama centring on a young woman who aspires to be a professional dancer that bonds with the leader of a dance crew whose neighbourhood is threatened by her father's development plans. Starring Kathryn McCormick and Ryan Guzman. Not reviewed.
Tatsumi (III) (Japanese)
Singaporean filmmaker Eric Khoo's animated tribute to manga artist Yoshihiro Tatsumi combines Tatsumi's short stories and events from the artist's life. CT
Total Recall (IIB)
Sci-fi action thriller centring on a factory worker (Colin Farrell) who becomes a hunted man after embarking on a 'mind trip' courtesy of a company that provides its clients with implanted fake memories of a life they would like to have lived. Not reviewed.
W.E. (IIB) (English, French and Russian)
Madonna's drama about the affair between King Edward VIII (James D'Arcy) and American divorcee Wallis Simpson (Andrea Riseborough), and a contemporary tale about a woman (Abbie Cornish) married to a tycoon. CT
When Pigs Have Wings (IIA) (Arabic, English and Hebrew)
Doubling as a parable about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Sylvain Estibal's farce concerns a poor Gaza fisherman who one day discovers a pig - an animal considered unclean by both Muslims and Jews - tangled in his net. CT Art House
Born to be Wild
Omnimax film documenting the life of orphaned orangutans and elephants, and the extraordinary people who rescue and raise them. English shows: Sat-Sun, 8.30pm; otherwise in Cantonese. Narration in English, Cantonese, Putonghua and Japanese are also available through headphones. Daily (except Tue), 1.30pm, 5pm, 8.30pm, HK Space Museum, 10 Salisbury Rd, TST, HK$24, HK$32 Urbtix. Inquiries: 2721 0226. Ends Aug 31
Omnimax film about the largest tornado-research project in history, with research teams investigating in the danger zone known as Tornado Alley in the United States as they study a tornado's formation, route and change in intensity. English shows: Mon, Thu, 7.20pm; otherwise in Cantonese. Narration in Cantonese, Putonghua, English and Japanese are also available through headphones. Daily (except Tue), 3.50pm, 7.20pm, also Sat-Sun, 12.20pm, HK Space Museum, 10 Salisbury Rd, TST, HK$24, HK$32 Urbtix. Inquiries: 2721 0226. Ends Oct 31
Stereoscopic film looking at astronaut training that shows the risks and challenges faced by space explorers. English shows: Wed, Fri, 6.10pm; otherwise in Cantonese. Narration in Cantonese, Putonghua, English and Japanese are also available through headphones. Daily (except Tue), 2.40pm, also Sun, 11.10am. HK Space Museum, 10 Salisbury Rd, TST, HK$24, HK$32 Urbtix. Inquiries: 2721 0226. Ends Dec 31
Actress, Singer, Opera Star: Leung So-kam
The HK Film Archive presents a Morning Matinee programme of five films featuring the versatile entertainer, including the following two films. Until Aug 31. HK Film Archive, 50 Lei King Rd, Sai Wan Ho, HK$20 Urbtix. Inquiries: 2739 2139
A Poor Girl
Chiang Wai-kwong's adaptation of Chin Lei-kui's Cantonese opera about a pair of adulterers who scheme to silence a concubine's son after he discovers their relationship and frame the crime on the concubine and her brother. In Cantonese. Aug 10, 11am, HK Film Archive.
Petrina Fung Bo-bo stars in Fung Fung and Yim Mong's musical fantasy about a young princess sent into exile along with her mother by her emperor father after the wicked West Empress (Leung So-kam) recruits a witch to cast a spell on him. In Cantonese. Aug 17, 11am, HK Film Archive.
Father and Son: Two Visionaries of Cinematic Dreams - A Tribute to Set Designers Chan Ki-yui and Chan King-sam
The HK Film Archive presents a programme of 45 films featuring the work of the father-and-son designers, including the following three films. Aug 10-Nov 18. HK Film Archive, 50 Lei King Rd, Sai Wan Ho, HK$40 Urbtix. Inquiries: 2739 2139
The Empress Dowager
The first of Li Han-hsiang's two-part historical epic about Empress Dowager Cixi, who ruled behind the scenes and practically brought the Qing dynasty to its end. Starring Lisa Lu Yan. In Putonghua with Chinese and English subtitles. Aug 10, 7.30pm, Oct 21, 2pm, HK Film Archive.
Comedy-drama revolving around a young woman who falls for her uncle's adopted son with tragic consequences. Starring Pak Yin and Cheung Ying. In Cantonese. Aug 11, Nov 9, 7.30pm, HK Film Archive.
Doe Ching's musical romantic comedy revolves around a love-hate relationship between a dance company manager (Peter Chen Ho) and the troupe's lead dancer (Linda Lin Dai). In Putonghua with Chinese and English subtitles. Aug 17, 7.30pm, HK Film Archive.
International Children's Film Carnival 2012
The Leisure and Cultural Services Department presents a selection of 16 feature films and short film programmes for the young and young at heart, including the following 10 films and programmes. Until Aug 19. HK Film Archive, 50 Lei King Rd, Sai Wan Ho; HK Cultural Centre, 10 Salisbury Rd, TST; HK Science Museum, 2 Science Museum Rd, TST East; and HK Space Museum, 10 Salisbury Rd, TST. HK$55 Urbtix. Inquiries: 2734 2900
Mai Mai Miracle
Sunao Katabuchi's coming-of-age drama about a young girl inspired by her grandfather's stories that embarks on wild flights of fancy about the history of the town she lives in. Dubbed into Cantonese with Chinese and English subtitles. Aug 10, 7.30pm, HK Science Museum, Aug 19, 2.30pm, HK Film Archive.
World Animation and Shorts 1
Programme of nine short animation films from Belgium, Britain, Estonia, France, Hong Kong and Slovenia, including: Jessica Poon's Origin, a mother-and-son story told through two water droplets and the water cycle (in English with Chinese and English subtitles); and Wouter Bongaerts' Mouse for Sale, about a lonely mouse in a pet shop who longs to be bought by someone, only his huge ears make him more laughable rather than attractive (no dialogue). With an interactive session in Cantonese. Aug 11, 2.30pm, HK Film Archive.
World Animation and Shorts 2
Programme of six short films from Belgium, Hong Kong, the mainland, Germany and Israel including: Vincent Bruno's Cristiano's Shirt, about two boys who want the same shirt as their idol, soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo (in French with Chinese and English subtitles); and Li Zhiyong's Kungfu Bunny 3 - Counterattack, an animated short about a man who trains his dog to fight the Kungfu Bunny who has taken over his desk (no dialogue). With an interactive session in Cantonese. Aug 11, 5pm, HK Film Archive.
7 Days in Slow Motion
Umakanth Thumrugoti's drama about a young film lover who, seven days before a school examination, finds a video camera and decides to make his own Bollywood film with his friends while discovering something about his mother and friends which he never knew. In English with Chinese and English subtitles. Aug 11, 7.30pm, HK Space Museum.
The Ugly Duckling
Claymation version of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale about a baby bird mocked for his ugly appearance, little expecting that he will grow up to become a beautiful creature. In Russian with Chinese and English subtitles. Aug 11, 7.30pm, HK Science Museum.
Mia and the Migoo
Animated drama about a girl who, after her father goes missing following a landslide, tries to find him in a mysterious forest whose guardians are known as the Migoo. In French with English subtitles and live Cantonese interpretation. Aug 12, 2.30pm, HK Film Archive.
The Secret Letter
Drama centring on a girl who, when pretending to run away in an attempt to stop her parents from arguing, finds a secret letter in an empty house and gets mixed up with a criminal case. In Dutch with Chinese and English subtitles. Aug 12, 5pm, HK Film Archive.
Tales of the Night
Animated fantasy about an old film projectionist who tells fables and other stories to a boy and girl he meets nightly. In French with English subtitles and live Cantonese interpretation. Aug 12, 7.30pm, HK Science Museum.
The Crocodiles Strike Back
The 2010 sequel to 2009 drama, The Crocodiles, revolves around a boys' gang who seek to find out if a series of freak accidents are part of a conspiracy to force the closure of a factory. In German with Chinese and English subtitles. Aug 18, 2.30pm, HK Film Archive.
The Gold Rush
Charlie Chaplin directs and stars in this 1925 comedy about a tramp who goes to Alaska in search of gold. With English narration and Chinese and English subtitles. Aug 18, 5pm, HK Film Archive.
Room in Rome
Drama revolving around two women, one from Spain and the other from Russia, who become involved with each other in the Eternal City. Starring Elena Anaya and Natasha Yarovenko. In English, Spanish, Italian, Russian and Basque. Aug 12, 11.50am, Broadway Cinematheque, Prosperous Garden, 3 Public Square St, Yau Ma Tei, HK$60 www.cinema.com.hk. Inquiries: 2388 0002
100 Must-See Hong Kong Movies
The HK Film Archive presents a programme of 100 Hong Kong films made between 1916 and 1999, including the following two films. Until 2014. Broadway Cinematheque, Prosperous Garden, 3 Public Square St, Yau Ma Tei, HK$55 www.cinema.com.hk; and HK Film Archive, 50 Lei King Rd, Sai Wan Ho, HK$30 Urbtix. Inquiries: 2734 2900
Blood in Snow
Li Lihua and Grace Chang (aka Ge Lan) stars in Li Han-hsiang's musical drama about a group of performers and their gloomy lives, animated by a troubling love rectangle. In Putonghua with Chinese and English subtitles. Aug 12, 2pm, Broadway Cinematheque.
The Wild, Wild Rose
Wong Tin-lam's romantic melodrama about a flirtatious affair between a sultry singer with a heart of gold (Grace Chang, aka Ge Lan) and a piano player (Chang Yang) that develops into a serious romance. Also stars Wang Lai and Dolly Soo Fung. In Putonghua with Chinese and English subtitles. Aug 18, 7pm, HK Film Archive, Aug 26, 1.30pm, Broadway Cinematheque.
Documentary film following young musicians and composers during a composition and performance workshop that was held in Hong Kong in March. In German, English and Cantonese with English subtitles. Aug 12, 3pm, Southsite, 2B, 3/F, Blue Box Industrial Building, 25 Hing Wo St, Tin Wan, Aberdeen, free. Inquiries: 2802 0088
Critics' Choice 2012 - The Films in Their Times
The Film Programmes Office presents a selection programme of six films chosen by members of the HK Film Critics Society, including the following film. Until Oct 28. HK Film Archive, 50 Lei King Rd, Sai Wan Ho; and HK Science Museum, 2 Science Museum Rd, TST East, HK$55 Urbtix. Inquiries: 2734 2900
On the Waterfront
Marlon Brando stars in Elia Kazan's drama about a boxer turned longshoreman who struggles to stand up to his corrupt union bosses. Also starring Rod Steiger and Eva Marie Saint. In English with Chinese and English subtitles. Aug 12, 7.30pm, HK Film Archive, Aug 26, 2.30pm, HK Science Museum.
Summer International Film Festival 2012
HK International Film Festival Society presents a programme of 27 films from nine territories, including the following 14 films. Aug 14-28. HK Science Museum, 2 Science Museum Rd, TST East; HK Space Museum, 10 Salisbury Rd, TST; The Grand Cinema, 2/F Elements, 1 Austin Rd West, Kowloon; and UA Langham Place, 8/F-11/F Langham Place, 8 Argyle St, Mong Kok, HK$65 Urbtix. Inquiries: 2970 3300
Yang Ya-che's coming-of-age romantic drama, initially set during the tumultuous martial law years of the 1980s in Taiwan, portraying the rapid social change of the past 30 years through the perspectives of three friends and their complex relationships. Starring Kwai Lun-mei, Joseph Chang Hsiao-chuan and Rhydian Vaughan. In Mandarin with Chinese and English subtitles. Aug 14, 7.15pm, also 9.45pm, The Grand Cinema.
Heiward Mak Hei-yan's drama revolving around a Canto-pop diva (Joey Yung Cho-yee ) and her manager (Chapman To Man-chat) who propelled her from nobody to star. In Cantonese and Putonghua with Chinese and English subtitles. Aug 15, 7.30pm, The Grand Cinema.
McDull, The Pork of Music
Brian Tse Lap-man's animated drama about a music-loving kindergarten headmaster who forms a children's choir to help make ends meet. In Cantonese with Chinese and English subtitles. Aug 15, 8pm, The Grand Cinema.
Comedy-morality story about a supermodel (Erika Sawajiri) and her manager who, having created her beauty, will go to extreme lengths to protect it (but not her). In Japanese with Chinese and English subtitles. Aug 16, 7.15pm, Aug 26, 2.15pm, The Grand Cinema.
You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet
Alain Resnais' drama about a group of well-known actors, close friends of a noted dramatist, who assemble at his home for a reading of his will and funeral service, and to view a video recording of a performance of his play Eurydice, acted by a company of twenty-somethings. In French with English subtitles. Aug 16, 9.50pm, The Grand Cinema.
Anthology of four short films exploring the question of what is beauty by Kim Tae-yong, Gu Changwei, Tsai Ming-Liang, and Ann Hui On-wah. In Korean, Putonghua and Cantonese with English subtitles. Aug 17, 25, 7.30pm, HK Space Museum, Aug 28, 10pm, HK Science Museum.
Naoko Ogigami's drama-comedy centring on a 30-something single woman with many cats whom she rents out to lonely people. In Japanese with English subtitles. Aug 17, 7.30pm, Aug 19, also Aug 21, 9.45pm, HK Science Museum.
Key of Life
Kenji Uchida's madcap comedy about an unsuccessful actor who decides to switch identities and live with a man suffering amnesia after a fall, not knowing he is a professional killer. In Japanese with Chinese and English subtitles. Aug 17, 9.30pm, Aug 22, 7.30pm, Aug 25, 5pm, The Grand Cinema.
In Our Time
Considered to have launched Taiwan's New Wave Cinema in the early 1980s, this collection of four shorts directed by Edward Yang De-chang, Tao Te-chen, Ko I-chen and Chang Yi deals with the daily struggles of Taiwanese in different stages of life. Stars Sylvia Chang Ai-chia, Shih An-ni and Lan Sheng-wen. In Mandarin with Chinese and English subtitles. Aug 18, 2.45pm, Aug 21, 9.30pm, UA Langham Place.
In Another Country
Isabelle Huppert stars in Hong Sang-soo's comedy-drama telling three stories about love and loss set in the grungy South Korean seaside town of Mohang. In English and Korean with English subtitles. Aug 18, 5pm, UA Langham Place.
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Documentary about Jiro Ono, the 85-year-old sushi master whose 10-seat Sukiyabashi Jiro restaurant has three Michelin stars. David Gelb directs. In Japanese with English subtitles. Aug 18, 7.30pm, Aug 20, 9.45pm, HK Science Museum.
The Green Ray
Eric Rohmer's drama centring on a young but lonely Parisian (Marie Riviere, who also co-scripted the film with Rohmer) left to holiday alone one summer. In French with English subtitles. Aug 18, 9pm, HK Space Museum, Aug 24, 9.45pm, HK Science Museum.
Thank You Gangsters
Comedy about a criminal who, after being told that his disabled brother cannot go to jail for his crimes under Japanese law, takes him on a crime spree with a childhood friend. In Japanese with English subtitles. Aug 18, 9.15pm, Aug 24, 7.30pm, HK Science Museum.
Here's to the Young Lady
Keisuke Kinoshita's 1949 romantic comedy about the daughter of a wealthy family who embarks on a calculated courtship of the president of a garage for reasons that have nothing to do with love. In Japanese with English subtitles. Aug 19, 2.30pm, Aug 26, 7.30pm, HK Space Museum.
InDPanda International Short Film Festival
InD Blue presents a selection of 14 short film programmes from around the world, including the following two. Aug 17-Sept 7. Broadway Cinematheque, Prosperous Garden, 3 Public Square St, Yau Ma Tei, HK$65 www.cinema.com.hk. Inquiries: 2572 7202
Opening Programme 1: Programme 1: Cannes, Berlinale, Oscar
Programme of five short films from Sweden, Hong Kong and Germany including: Killing the Chickens to Scare the Monkeys, about a young Chinese teacher whose life is affected by national politics and strategy (in Putonghua with English subtitles); and Time Freak, centring on a neurotic inventor who builds a time machine and gets caught up travelling around yesterday (in English). Aug 17, also Sept 3, 7.30pm, Broadway Cinematheque.
Opening Programme 2: Berlinale 2012
Programme of six short films from Thailand, Brazil, France, South Korea and Canada including: Licuri Surf, centring on a Brazilian surfer who lives for the next wave (in Portuguese with English subtitles); and Two Ships, about a starving artist and madcap actress who become attracted to each other (in French with English subtitles). Aug 17, 29, 9.45pm, Broadway Cinematheque.
Star Fest 2012
Star Cinema and Intercontinental Film Distributors present a programme of 13 Asian films, including the following five. Aug 17-Oct 28. Star Cinema, 1/F PopCorn, 9 Tong Yin St, Tseung Kwan O, HK$60 mclcinema.com. Inquiries: 2418 8841
The Wedding Diary
Adrian Teh's romantic comedy about what ensues after a man from a humble Malaysian Hokkien family and a woman from a wealthy Singaporean Cantonese family decide to get married. Starring Ah Niu, Chris Tong, Elanne Kwong and Wai Ying-hung. In Mandarin, Cantonese and English with Chinese and English subtitles. Aug 17, 25, 7.30pm, Star Cinema.
Yang Ya-che's coming-of-age romantic drama, initially set during the tumultuous martial law years of the 1980s in Taiwan, portraying the rapid social change of the past 30 years through the perspectives of three friends and their complex relationships. In Mandarin with Chinese and English subtitles. Aug 17, 9.30pm, Aug 26, 4pm, Oct 12, 7.30pm, Star Cinema.
Lee Yong-ju's romantic drama revolving around a former architectural student who tracks down her first love to seek his help in building her dream house 15 years after they first met in class at college. In Korean with Chinese and English subtitles. Aug 18, Sept 16, 4pm, Aug 24, Sept 8, 7.30pm, Star Cinema.
Live action adaptation of a manga series about seven convicted criminals recruited to form an alliance of mercenaries operating outside the law. In Japanese with Chinese and English subtitles. Aug 18, 7.30pm, Aug 25, Sept 2, 4pm, Star Cinema.
Shinobu Yaguchi's drama about a design team who hires an elderly man to pretend to be a robot at a fair. In Japanese with Chinese and English subtitles. Aug 19, Sept 8, 4pm, Aug 31, Sept 15, 7.30pm, Star Cinema.
Moon Beam - Dating with Documentary
Visual Record presents a showcase of eight Chinese-language documentary films, including the following three. Until Sept 1. Film Culture Centre, Flat A3, 11/F Tung Nam Factory Building, 40 Ma Tau Kok Rd, To Kwa Wan, free. Inquiries: 2540 7859
Life with Happiness + Spring
Double bill consisting of: Hsu Ya-ting and Lin Wan-yu's short film about the residents of Taiwan's only leprosarium who face eviction after more than 50 years of forced isolation (in Mandarin with Chinese and English subtitles); and Huang Shiu-yi's short film about a graphic design student and a nurse who are motivated to return to their home town as a result of a death in the family (in Mandarin and Hakka with Chinese and English subtitles). Aug 18, 2.30pm, Film Culture Centre.
Lin Hao-shen's documentary about his mother and grandmother whose Alzheimer's diseaseis so advanced she cannot even remember her home of 40 years. In Mandarin with Chinese and English subtitles. Aug 18, 4pm, Film Culture Centre.
Italian Opera Summer
Classical in Cinema presents a programme of three Italian opera films, including the following one. Aug 18-Sept 22. Broadway The One, 6-11/F The One, 100 Nathan Rd, TST; and Palace IFC, Podium Level 1, IFC Mall, 8 Finance St, Central; and HK$150, HK$180 www.cinema.com.hk. Inquiries: 6336 3595
Film of the production performed at the Bregenz Festival of Umberto Giordano's operatic love story-historical thriller about real-life poet Andre Chenier and his love for a noblewoman named Maddalena di Coigny during the French Revolution. In Italian with Chinese and English subtitles. Aug 18, 7.30pm, Sept 2, 11.35pm, Palace IFC, HK$150.