Reviews by Kevin Kwong, Lau Kit-wai and Clarence Tsui
Don't Go Breaking My Heart (IIA) (Cantonese, Putonghua and English)
See review on this page.
Inside Job (IIA)
See review on page 10.
A3D Ayumi Hamasaki Arena Tour 2009 - Next Level (I) (Japanese)
Shot-in-3-D concert film featuring a headlining performance by the J-pop singer-songwriter. Not reviewed.
Contemporary take on the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale centring on an American high school student (Alex Pettyfer) who is transformed into a monster and has one year to find someone to fall in love with in order to reverse the curse. Not reviewed.
The Eagle (IIB) (English and Gaelic)
Epic historical adventure about a Roman centurion (Channing Tatum) and a courageous slave (Jamie Bell) who embark on a mission to find a missing legion and its golden eagle symbol. Not reviewed.
Horror tale about a teenaged girl who experiences frightening fits, prompting her atheist parents to agree to have an exorcism performed on her. Not reviewed.
Gnomeo & Juliet (I) (Cantonese and English versions)
Animated comedy take on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet that reimagines the young protagonist couple as a pair of garden gnomes caught up in a feud between neighbours. Not reviewed.
In A Better World (Danish, Swedish and English)
Susanne Bier's drama centring on two boys whose lives are put in danger after they seek revenge on a bully. CT
The Lincoln Lawyer (IIB)
Thriller about a street-wise lawyer (Matthew McConaughey) whose first big case involves defending a Beverly Hills playboy (Ryan Phillippe) accused of attempted murder. Also starring Marisa Tomei. CT
Sacrifice (IIB) (Putonghua)
Chen Kaige's period epic about a Chinese court doctor during the seventh century BC who plans revenge after being forced to sacrifice his son to save his master's child. Starring Ge You. CT
Sucker Punch (IIB)
Action fantasy that delves deep into the vivid imagination of a young woman (Emily Browning) whose dream world provides the ultimate escape from her dark reality. Not reviewed.
1,778 Stories of Me and My Wife (I) (Japanese)
Romantic tear-jerker adaptation of Taku Mayumura's book about a science-fiction writer who comes to believe that he can keep his cancer-stricken wife alive if he writes a story each day for her. CT
The Adjustment Bureau (IIA)
Matt Damon stars in a romantic drama dressed up as a political sci-fi thriller about a young congressman whose attempts to connect with a ballerina are hampered by mysterious forces. CT
Another Year (IIB)
Mike Leigh's drama centring on an elderly couple (Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen) whose contentment stands in stark contrast to their friends, colleagues, and family - all of whom seem to suffer some degree of unhappiness. CT
Black Swan (IIB)
Natalie Portman stars in Darren Aronofsky's thriller about a ballerina who wins the lead part in Swan Lake but slowly loses her mind as she tries to capture the essence of the ballet's twin roles. CT
Carmen in 3-D (IIA) (French)
Stereoscopic film adaptation of Georges Bizet's opera about a beautiful gypsy with a fiery temper, the inexperienced soldier who falls for her and the bullfighter she lusts after. KK
Hi, Fidelity (IIB) (Cantonese)
Pat Ha Man-chik, Carrie Ng Ka-lai and Michelle Ye Xuan star in a drama about desperate tai-tais, two of whose friendship is put to the test after they fall for the same handsome gigolo. LKW
The King's Speech (IIB)
Historical drama about King George VI of Britain and the speech therapist who helped the monarch overcome a debilitating speech impediment on the eve of the second world war. Starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham-Carter. CT
Morning Glory (IIA)
Dramedy about an upstart television producer (Rachel McAdams) who accepts the challenge of reviving a struggling morning TV news show with warring co-hosts (Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton). CT
Never Let Me Go (IIB)
Mark Romanek's adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's dramatic novel about three ex-pupils of a seemingly idyllic English boarding school who learn that a devastating fate awaits them. Starring Keira Knightley. CT
The Tempest (IIB)
Helen Mirren stars in Julie Taymor's reimagination of William Shakespeare's fantastical thriller in which the main character is now a female magician who, after being sent into exile by her brother, embarks on a journey of vengeance and self-discovery. Not reviewed.
Suspense actioner about a doctor (Liam Neeson) who goes on the run after awakening from a car accident to discover that his wife claims to not know him and another man (Aidan Quinn) has assumed his identity. CT
World Invasion (IIA)
Sci-fi actioner in which a US Marine staff sergeant (Aaron Eckhart) and his new platoon battle against alien attackers in Los Angeles. CT
HK International Film Festival
The HK International Film Festival Society presents 335 films from 56 territories, including the following 42 films. Part I: Until Apr 5; part II: Apr 8-May 1. City Hall, 5 Edinburgh Place, Central; Cultural Centre, 10 Salisbury Rd, TST; HK Arts Centre, 2 Harbour Rd, Wan Chai; Science Museum, 2 Science Museum Rd, TST East; 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$30-HK$100 Urbtix. Inquiries: hkiff.org
The Journals of Musan
Drama centring on a North Korean defector whose only friend is a stray dog. In Korean with English subtitles. Mar 31, 7.05pm, HK Arts Centre.
Wong Kar-wai's romantic drama revolving around a troubled homosexual Hong Kong couple and a Taiwanese man whose paths cross in in Buenos Aires. Starring Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Leslie Cheung Kwok-wing and Chang Chen. Mainly in Cantonese and Mandarin with English subtitles. Mar 31, 7.15pm, City Hall.
Horror comedy about a possessed tyre with destructive telepathic powers that sets its sights on a desert town and becomes obsessed with a woman. In English. Mar 31, 9.30pm, City Hall.
Sylvain Chomet's animated film chronicling the bittersweet relationship between a down-on-his-luck conjurer and the naive young lass who believes in him. In English, French and Gaelic and English subtitles. Mar 31, 9.50pm, Cultural Centre.
Documentary about a group of young trainees at a Muay Thai (Thai kickboxing) training camp, all of whom aspire to one day fight and win at Bangkok's famed Lumpinee Stadium. In Thai with English subtitles. Apr 1, 3.30pm, Space Museum.
How I Ended This Summer
Drama in which a seasoned meteorologist and a recent college graduate based at a polar station have to battle for survival against other humans as well as the forbidding environment. In Russian with English subtitles. Apr 1, 9.30pm, The Grand Cinema.
Documentary about the personal and public lives of late fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent and his lover, Pierre Berge. In French with English subtitles. Apr 2, 10.30am, City Hall.
Comedy revolving around a housewife (Catherine Deneuve) who takes over her loutish husband's umbrella business after he falls ill. Also starring Gerard Depardieu. In French with English subtitles. Apr 2, 10.30am, Cultural Centre.
Drama comprising nine interlocking tales of people whose lives have been touched in some way by murder. In Japanese with English subtitles. Apr 2, 12.30pm, City Hall.
Mysteries of Lisbon
Period drama about an embittered heiress countess, a young orphaned boy, an orphanage's padre and switching identities. In Portuguese, French and English with English subtitles. Apr 2, 2.30pm, Cultural Centre. (See Don't miss, pg 8)
Family comedy about an asthmatic boy who invents an adventure involving his favourite stuffed toy after his mother throws it away. In Czech with Chinese and English subtitles. Apr 2, 2.45pm, The Grand Cinema, Apr 5, 10.30am, Cultural Centre.
A Life in Suitcases
Peter Greenaway's drama centring on a writer whose 92 suitcases are associated with the journeys he has made over the course of his well-travelled life. In Dutch and English with English subtitles. Apr 2, 6pm, City Hall.
Thriller centring on an Afghan tribal soldier captured by US forces who is tortured and transported to Eastern Europe, where he escapes and seeks to survive in the snow-covered landscape. In English, Polish and Arabic with English subtitles. Apr 2, 7.50pm, Cultural Centre.
Drama about a young woman with a form of Asperger's syndrome. In Greek with English subtitles. Apr 2, 9pm, City Hall.
Superhero action-comedy revolving around a transvestite hairstylist who is prophesied to become a champion of homosexuals. In Indonesian with English subtitles. Apr 2, 11.45pm, UA Langham Place.
Come Rain, Come Shine
Relationship drama revolving around the final day together of a couple of three years who have decided to break up. In Korean with English subtitles. Apr 3, 10.30am, City Hall.
Ecological documentary looking at the life- and-death dramas taking place daily in the world's oceans. Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud direct. In French with Chinese and English subtitles. Apr 3, 10.30am, Cultural Centre, May 1, 2.30pm, Science Museum.
Nader and Simin, a Separation
Asghar Farhadi's drama about a married man with an 11-year-old daughter whose life is dramatically affected by one poor decision. In Persian with English subtitles. Apr 3, 12.30pm, The Grand Cinema.
Police thriller following the events that unfold after a policeman and a gangster-turned-businessman arrange for an actor to be charged in a serial murder case. In Korean with English subtitles. Apr 3, 12.40pm, City Hall.
Tom Tykwer's romantic comedy about a forty-something couple who both fall in love with a biologist. In German and English with English subtitles. Apr 3, 12.45pm, Cultural Centre, Apr 9, 9pm, HK Arts Centre.
Position Among the Stars
Concluding film to Leonard Retel Helmrich's 12-year documentary trilogy about an Indonesian family chronicling societal changes and the influence of globalisation. In Indonesian with English subtitles. Apr 3, 1.30pm, Space Museum.
Nostalgia for the Light
Drama-documentary juxtaposing astronomers working in a Chilean desert with women sifting through the sand searching for body parts of loved ones, dumped by Chilean soldiers when dictator Augusto Pinochet was in power. In Spanish with English subtitles. Apr 3, 3.40pm, Space Museum.
Drama about three young adults who rent rooms from a retired Peking Opera singer with whom they form a bond. Starring Sylvia Chang Ai-chia. In Putonghua with English subtitles. Apr 3, 5.15pm, UA Langham Place.
La Dolce Vita
Federico Fellini's drama about a gossip columnist and man-about-town (Marcello Mastroianni) who is trapped in a life of empty nights and lonely dawns. Mainly in Italian with English subtitles. Apr 3, 6pm, Cultural Centre.
Wang Bing's political period drama about life in a Maoist re-education camp in the Gobi Desert where 'rightists' were sent to be 're-educated through labour'. In Putonghua with English subtitles. Apr 3, 6pm, HK Arts Centre.
The Old Donkey
Li Ruijun's drama centring on a man forced off land the government had previously given him and left with only a small plot of land and an old donkey. In Gansu dialect with English subtitles. Apr 4, 12.30pm, HK Arts Centre.
Zhao Liang's documentary about HIV-positive patients on the mainland. In Putonghua with English subtitles. Apr 4, 2.45pm, HK Arts Centre.
Anthony Wong Chau-sang stars in a crime drama about a grief-stricken tycoon who turns to his loyal bodyguard (Richie Jen Hsien-chi) to help him exact revenge after his daughter is kidnapped. In Cantonese with English subtitles. Apr 4, 7.15pm, Cultural Centre.
Tuesday, After Christmas
Romantic drama about a man who loves two women: his wife, and his young dentist mistress. In Romanian with English subtitles. Apr 4, 7.15pm, UA Langham Place.
Devils on the Doorstep
Jiang Wen directs and stars in a bitter 'absurdity of war' film set during the second world war and revolving around a Chinese village and the gift delivered to them one night in the form of a captured Japanese soldier and his Chinese translator. In Putonghua with English subtitles. Apr 4, 9.30pm, Cultural Centre.
If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle
Florin Serban's drama about a model inmate in a juvenile detention centre who embarks on a path of no return. In Romanian with English subtitles. Apr 4, 9.30pm, UA Langham Place.
Chico & Rita
Animated romantic comedy about a love affair between a playboy pianist and a seductive chanteuse. In Spanish and English with English subtitles. Apr 5, 10.30am, City Hall.
Li Hongqi's ultra deadpan comedy revolving around Chinese teenagers waiting for their winter holidays to end and a young boy who longs to be an orphan. In Putonghua with English subtitles. Apr 5, 11.30am, HK Arts Centre.
Elite Squad 2 - The Enemy Within
Jose Padilha's sequel takes place 10 years after the events of the first crime drama about corruption having infiltrated the special crime-fighting unit. In Portuguese with English subtitles. Apr 5, 12.30pm, City Hall.
Errol Morris' documentary on a former beauty pageant queen charged with kidnapping a Mormon missionary. In English with Chinese subtitles. Apr 5, 12.30pm, Cultural Centre.
The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu
Documentary that attempts to reconstruct the life of the Romanian ex-president through his extensive propaganda archive. In Romanian with English subtitles. Apr 5, 2.30pm, The Grand Cinema.
Drama about a recently retired sea captain (Wang Xueqi) who returns home to seek the truth behind his son's death in a police shootout. In Sichuanese and Putonghua with English subtitles. Apr 5, 3pm, City Hall.
The Day When the Sun Was Lost
Documentary looking at an old Japanese neighbourhood slated for demolition and the elderly residents still living there. In Japanese with English subtitles. Apr 5, 5.45pm, Space Museum.
The Turin Horse
Bela Tarr's fictionalised account of what happened to a horse after the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche saw it being whipped while travelling in Turin, Italy. In Hungarian with English subtitles. Apr 5, 5.45pm, Cultural Centre.
A Screaming Man
Drama centring on an ex-champion swimmer who faces the reality of losing his job as a hotel pool attendant to his son in the midst of a civil war in Chad. In French and Arabic with English subtitles. Apr 5, 6pm, UA Langham Place.
Man with No Name
Wang Bin's documentary portrait of a man living outside the confines of modern society. In Putonghua with English subtitles. Apr 5, 7.45pm, Space Museum.
Documentary look at the world's largest landfill - Brazil's Jardim Gramacho. Lucy Walker, Karen Harley and Joao Jardim direct. In English. Apr 5, 9.15pm, HK Arts Centre.
All for One and One for All: Union Film
The Leisure and Cultural Services Department presents the complete retrospective of Union Film's catalogue of titles, including the following four films. Until May 29. Film Archive, 50 Lei King Rd, Sai Wan Ho, HK$30 Urbtix. Inquiries: 2734 2900
An Orphan's Tragedy
Chu Kea directs an adaptation of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations in which the protagonist is a young, early Republican-era boy who grows up to be an idealistic doctor. In Cantonese with English subtitles. Apr 1, also May 7, 7pm, Film Archive.
Ng Wui's adaptation of Ba Jin's novel tells the story of young folks struggling to survive oppression and repression in a feudalistic family. In Cantonese with Chinese and English subtitles. Apr 2, 2pm, Apr 22, 7.30pm, Film Archive.
Love (Part 1)
First part of an omnibus film set on board an ocean liner called Fraternity. Some of its passengers share their life stories through flashbacks while preparing for a possible disaster. In Cantonese with Chinese and English subtitles. Apr 3, 7pm, May 29, 2.30pm, Film Archive.
Love, the Sequel
Concluding part of the omnibus film set on board an ocean liner focuses on the stories of a dirt-poor family, a young couple and two lovers facing separation by an arranged marriage. In Cantonese with Chinese and English subtitles. Apr 3, 9.30pm, May 29, 5pm, Film Archive.
Classical in Cinema
iMagine presents a HD programme of classical music concerts and operas, including the following five. Until Jan 2012. AMC Festival Walk, U/G Level, Festival Walk, 80 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon Tong; AMC Pacific Place, L1 Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty; Broadway The One, 6-11/F, The One, 100 Nathan Rd, TST; and Palace IFC, Podium Level 1, IFC Mall, 8 Finance St, Central, HK$75-HK$120 www.amccinemas.com.hk and www2.cinema.com.hk. Inquiries: 6336 3595
Karajan Memorial Concert on his 100th Birthday
Film of a concert at Vienna's Musikverein during which Seiji Ozawa conducts German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and the Berliner Philharmoniker playing works by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and J.S. Bach. Apr 2, 9, 11.30am, Apr 24, 5.30pm, Broadway The One, Apr 3, 24, 11.30am, Palace IFC, Apr 23, 11.30am, AMC Pacific Place.
The Chopin Piano Concertos
Film of a concert at the Ruhr Piano Festival in Essen during which pianist-maestro Daniel Barenboim turns over the conducting reins to Andris Nelsons to perform works by Chopin with the Staatskapelle Berlin. Nelsons also conducts the orchestra performing Haydn's Symphony in E Minor, Mourning. Apr 2, 11.30am, AMC Festival Walk, Apr 3, 11.30am, Apr 16, 5.40pm, AMC Pacific Place, Apr 17, 11.30am, Palace IFC, Apr 17, 5.30pm, Broadway The One.
Cyrano de Bergerac
Placido Domingo stars in Franco Alfano's operatic adaptation of Edmond Rostand's play about a big-nosed man of many talents who falls for a beautiful woman but believes that his physical appearance will make it impossible for her to love him. In French with English subtitles. Apr 2, 5.25pm, AMC Pacific Place.
Chen Kaige directs the Theatre Cor de la Generalitat Valenciana Escolania de la Mare de Deu dels Desemparats' performance at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia of Giacomo Puccini's fairy-tale opera about a Chinese princess who will only marry a prince who can solve her three riddles. In Italian with English subtitles. Apr 2, 16, 30, 5.30pm, Palace IFC, Apr 3, 5.30pm, Broadway The One, Apr 17, May 1, 5.30pm, AMC Pacific Place.
Iano Tamar and Tatiana Serjan star in a production of Giuseppe Verdi's opera about an Ethiopian princess bought into slavery in Egypt who becomes torn between her family and an Egyptian general she loves. The show was performed against the backdrop of Switzerland's Lake Constance at the Bregenz Festival. In Italian with Chinese and English subtitles. Apr 3, 5.15pm, AMC Festival Walk.
Days of Being Wild
Leslie Cheung Kwok-wing stars in Wong Kar-wai's 1960s-era drama centring on a narcissistic man deserted by his mother at birth who is loved in adulthood by two different women (Maggie Cheung Man-yuk and Carina Lau Ka-ling). Mainly in Cantonese with English subtitles. Apr 2-3, 4pm, GH Grand Ocean, Ocean Centre, 3 Canton Rd, TST, HK$60. Inquiries: email@example.com
The Leisure and Cultural Services Department presents a continuing series of movies that have undergone restoration work, including the following film. Ongoing. Film Archive, 50 Lei King Rd, Sai Wan Ho, HK$40 Urbtix. Inquiries: 2734 2901
The Man from Hong Kong
Australian-Hong Kong co-produced actioner revolving around a Hong Kong detective (Jimmy Wang Yu - who also co-directs) who goes to Australia and finds himself going up against drug kingpin Jack Wilton (George Lazenby). Also starring Sammo Hung Kam-bo. In English. Apr 3, 1.30pm, Film Archive.