Reviews by Paul Fonoroff, Lau Kit-wai and Clarence Tsui
Life in a Day (IIA) (various languages)
See review on this page.
The Smurfs (I) (Cantonese and English versions)
See review on this page.
Captain America: The First Avenger (IIA)
Sci-fi actioner centring on the Marvel comics superhero that sees a man (Chris Evans) initially deemed unfit for military service taking part in an experimental programme that turns him into the super soldier known as Captain America. Not reviewed.
Crayon Shinchan 2011 (IIA) (Cantonese)
Latest animated film instalment following the adventures of popular manga character Shinnosuke 'Shin' Nohara. Not reviewed.
The Warring States (IIB) (Putonghua)
Francis Ng Chun-yu and Sun Honglei star in Jin Chen's action drama about friendship and betrayal among political leaders during the Warring States era. Not reviewed.
1+1 (I) (Cantonese)
Short film about a man and his granddaughter whose home will be torn down by the government to make way for a railway route to be constructed through their village. Mo Lai Yan-chi directs. Not reviewed.
3-D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy (III) (Cantonese)
Stereoscopic reworking of a 1991 soft-porn feature about the outrageous adventures of a scholar searching for the secrets of sexual pleasure. PF
The Beaver (IIA)
Drama centring on a psychologically troubled man (Mel Gibson) who takes to using a beaver hand-puppet to help him communicate with others. CT
Certified Copy (IIA) (French, English and Italian)
Abbas Kiarostami's film about a make-believe romance between a British writer (William Shimell) and a lonely French antique shop owner (Juliette Binoche). CT
Dancing Dreams (IIA) (German)
Dance documentary following a group of teenagers who, over the course of a year, rehearse in preparation for a performance of one of the late German choreographer Pina Bausch's signature pieces. CT
Doraemon the Movie: Nobita and the Steel Troops - the New Age (I) (Cantonese)
Latest instalment of the animated adventures of an earless robotic cat from the 22nd century and his human schoolboy pal sees them going up against a robot army set to attack the earth. Not reviewed.
Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (IIB)
Comedy/horror/mystery following the adventures of an 'investigator of the undead' in New Orleans. CT
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (IIA) (Cantonese and English versions)
The final Harry Potter film sees Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) continuing their quest to find and destroy Voldermort (Ralph Fiennes)'s remaining Horcruxes (items that contain the dark lord's soul) - and Voldemort himself. CT
Kung Fu Panda 2 (I) (Cantonese and English versions)
Po, the fat panda/Dragon Warrior, returns in an animated action comedy in which he has to uncover the secrets of his mysterious origins to find the strength to defeat the villainous Lord Shen. CT
Love Is The Only Answer (IIB) (Cantonese)
Romance about a couple (Alex Fong Lik-sun and Charmaine Sheh Sze-man) who, despite cancelling their wedding on the day itself, stay friendly and go to a swingers party together a year later. CT
Mr Popper's Penguins (I)
Jim Carrey stars in a comedy about a real estate developer whose chilly relationship with his family heats up after he inherits six penguins. CT
Nowhere Boy (IIB)
Biographical dramatisation of John Lennon's life, focusing on his relationship as an adolescent with his stern aunt who is raising him and absentee mother who re-enters his life at a crucial moment in his young life. CT
Soul Kitchen (IIB) (German and Greek)
Fatih Akin's comedy about an owner of a neighbourhood eatery whose seemingly stable life suddenly falls apart when his girlfriend leaves for Shanghai. CT
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (IIA)
The third Transformers action blockbuster sees the Autobots learning of a Cybertronian spacecraft hidden on the moon and racing against the Decepticons to reach it and to learn its secrets. LKW
The Tree of Life (IIA)
Terrence Malick's epic drama about a man (Sean Penn) whose life is shaped by his childhood - and his relationship with his father (Brad Pitt). CT
Wu Xia (IIB) (Cantonese and Putonghua versions)
Peter Chan Ho-sun's part period detective mystery, part martial arts drama about a detective (Takeshi Kaneshiro) investigating the past of a seemingly ordinary paper mill worker (Donnie Yen Ji-dan) who was able to defeat and kill two hardened fugitives. PF
The Leisure and Cultural Services Department presents a programme of 1960s martial arts films produced by the HK Film Company, including the following film. Until Aug 26. Film Archive, 50 Lei King Rd, Sai Wan Ho, HK$20 Urbtix. Inquiries: 2739 2139
The Azure Blood and the Golden Pin, Part One
The first part of Chan Lit-bun's adaptation of Or Lung-sang's martial arts novel about unrest in the martial world with different people out to steal important objects such as the Shaolin Temple's Vessel Strengthening Manuscript and a precious sword. In Cantonese. Aug 5, 11am, Film Archive.
InDPanda International Short Film Festival
InD Blue presents 13 programmes of independent short films from around the world, including the following three programmes. Aug 5-28. Broadway Cinematheque, Prosperous Garden, 3 Public Square St, Yau Ma Tei, HK$55 www.cinema.com.hk. Inquiries: 2572 7202
Another Berlinale Affairs
Programme of seven short films shown at the Berlin International Film Festival including: Minnie Loves Junior, about a girl who has a crush on a boy living in the same seaside fishing village as her (in English); and Incident by a Bank, a comedic recreation of an actual failed bank robbery that occurred in Stockholm in June 2006 (in Swedish with English subtitles). Aug 5, 7.30pm, Aug 21, 8pm, Broadway Cinematheque.
Programme of four short films about life including: Inhalation, about an unhappy farm worker who steals some money from her boyfriend and boards a ship to Japan but then is deported back to her home country (in Mandarin with English subtitles); and Strangers No More, a documentary looking at a Tel Aviv school whose students come from 48 different countries (in English and Hebrew with English subtitles). Aug 5, 9.30pm, Broadway Cinematheque.
Gay Shorts 1
Programme of five gay-themed short films including: Slut - The Musical, a gay love story featuring 1980s fashion, dance numbers, glitter and fun (in English); and I Was a Teenage Werebear, a parody of 1960s drive-in movies whose subject is the life of a closeted homosexual new boy who falls for Malibu High School's mysterious bad boy (in English). Aug 6, 7.45pm, Aug 17, 7.45pm, Broadway Cinematheque.
International Children's Film Carnival
The Leisure and Cultural Services Department presents a programme of 10 feature films and 15 short films from different parts of the world, including the following six feature films and three short film programmes. Until Aug 14. Film Archive, 50 Lei King Rd, Sai Wan Ho; Science Museum, 2 Science Museum Rd, TST East; and Space Museum, 10 Salisbury Rd, TST, HK$50 Urbtix. Inquiries: 2734 2900
Homecoming + Chinese Opera Boy
Short film double-bill comprising: Kwok Zune's drama looking at the life of a Filipina woman who left her family in the Philippines to become a domestic helper in Hong Kong (in Cantonese, English and Filipino with Chinese and English subtitles); and Clara Wong Yuen-yin's drama about a secondary school student who wishes to become a Cantonese Opera master performer's apprentice (in Cantonese with Chinese and English subtitles). Aug 5, 7.30pm, Aug 7, 2.30pm, Space Museum, Aug 14, 5pm, Film Archive.
World Animation and Shorts 1
Nine animated short films including: Boo and Baa Have Company about two small sheep characters who discover a meowing visitor while raking leaves off their lawn (in Swedish with Chinese and English subtitles); and Just So Stories: The Crab that Played With the Sea, about a giant crab and a little girl (in English with Chinese and English subtitles). With interactive session in Cantonese. Aug 6, 13, 2.30pm, Film Archive.
World Animation and Shorts 2
Six short films including: The King of the Island, an animated film about a boy who dreams of meeting his father who went missing at sea (in Italian with Chinese and English subtitles); and Good Advice, a live-action drama about a boy who decides to run away from home but before doing so, records a cassette tape with advice for his yet-to-be-born brother (in Swedish with Chinese and English subtitles). With interactive session in Cantonese. Aug 6, 13, 5pm, Film Archive.
Noemie, The Secret
Drama about a young girl who hunts for treasure she believes is hidden within her upstairs neighbour's apartment. In French with Chinese and English subtitles. Aug 6, 8pm, Space Museum.
Drama revolving around a gang of boys known as the Crocodiles who refuse to grant membership to Kai, a boy confined to a wheelchair, but end up banding together with him to break up a gang of burglars. In German with Chinese and English subtitles. Aug 7, 5pm, Space Museum.
Ricky Rapper And The Bicycle Thief
Musical comedy about a rap-loving boy who goes off with his best friend to search for his new bicycle after it is stolen. In Finnish with Chinese and English subtitles. Aug 7, 7.30pm, Space Museum.
The Sandman and the Lost Sand of Dreams
Animated film about a little boy who is asked by the Sandman responsible for bringing people sweet dreams each night and his faithful sheep Neopomuk to make things right again after the evil Habumar steals the Sand of Dreams and takes control of Dreamland. In German with English subtitles and live Cantonese interpretation: Aug 7, 7.30pm, Aug 14, 2.30pm, Film Archive.
Joram Luersen's drama about a boy who tries to bring back his best friend after she vanishes in the middle of his father's magic show. In Dutch with Chinese and English subtitles. Aug 8, 7.30pm, Science Museum.
Fuchsia the Mini-Witch
Family film about a wizard who finds an egg in the Witches' Wood and the mini-witch who hatches out of the egg. In Dutch with English subtitles and live Cantonese interpretation. Aug 9, 7.30pm, Science Museum.
Taiwan AnimA Collection
Hulu Culture presents a series of Taiwanese animated short film programmes, including the following programme. Aug 5-Sept 18. Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre, 30 Pak Tin St, Shek Kip Mei, free. Inquiries: 2780 2283
Taiwan New Talents Session 1
Programme of seven animated shorts including Liang Ya-ting's Birth of Calligraphy, Chen Ming-ho's Root and Chen Chao-chi's Rainy House. Variously without dialogue, in Mandarin with English subtitles and in English with Chinese subtitles. Aug 5, 7.30pm, Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre.
Kingman Choi's comedy revolving around a man living on welfare and in a sub-divided tenement who tries to earn a living on the mainland after meeting a one-room-brothel prostitute. In Cantonese. Aug 5, 7.45pm, HK Arts Centre, 2 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, HK$60 Urbtix. Inquiries: 9139 0380
Classical in Cinema
Music Art & Film Culture Promotion Association of HK presents a HD programme of classical music concerts and operas, including the following HD film. Until January 2012. AMC Pacific Place, L1 Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty; Broadway The One, 6-11/F The One, 100 Nathan Rd, TST; Grand Ocean, Ocean Centre, 3 Canton Rd, TST; and Palace IFC, Podium Level 1, IFC Mall, 8 Finance St, Central, HK$75-HK$120 www.amccinemas.com.hk (for AMC Pacific Place), www2.cinema.com.hk (for Broadway cinemas) and 2377 2100 (for Grand Ocean). Inquiries: 6336 3595
Romeo et Juliette
Film of the Salzburg Festival production of Charles Gounod's operatic adaptation of Shakespeare's tragic story about two star-crossed lovers (tenor Rolando Villazon and soprano Nino Machaidze). Yannick Nezet-Seguin conducts the Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg and Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor. In French with Chinese and English subtitles. Aug 6, 5pm, Broadway The One, Aug 14, 7pm, AMC Pacific Place, Aug 21, 5pm, Sept 4, 7pm, Palace IFC.
From Novel to Film 2 - Critics' Choice 2011
The Leisure and Cultural Services Department presents a programme of six film adaptations of novels, including the following film. Until Oct 16. Film Archive, 50 Lei King Rd, Sai Wan Ho; Science Museum, 2 Science Museum Rd, TST East; and Space Museum, 10 Salisbury Rd, TST, HK$55 Urbtix. Inquiries: 2734 2900
Letter from an Unknown Woman
Adaptation of Stefan Zweig's romantic novella about a woman who is unrequitedly in love with a dissolute pianist. Starring Joan Fontaine. In English with Chinese and English subtitles. Aug 6, 7.30pm, Film Archive, Aug 20, 2.30pm, Science Museum.
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
A Matter of Life and Death
Romance about a second world war bomber pilot (David Niven) who falls in love with a US radio operator (Kim Hunter) but then is told that heaven has made an error and he actually should not be alive. In English with English subtitles. Aug 7, 2pm, Film Archive
HK Summer International Film Festival
The HK International Film Festival Society presents a programme of 23 feature films and five short films, including the following three films. Aug 9-23. 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 and UA Langham Place, 8/F-11/F Langham Place, 8 Argyle St, Mong Kok, HK$65 Urbtix. Inquiries: 2970 3300
You Are the Apple of My Eye
Giddens Ko Ching-teng's semi-autobiographical romantic comedy revolving around a high school bad boy and the campus belle. In Mandarin with Chinese and English subtitles. Aug 9, 7.15pm, also 9.45pm, The Grand Cinema.
Comedic live action cinematic adaptation of the anime TV series about a boy sent by his parents to the Ninja Academy who, armed with spikes and grenades, blunders through a series of (mis)adventures. In Japanese with Chinese and English subtitles. Aug 10, 7.30pm, also 9.45pm, Science Museum.
The Day He Arrives
Hong Sang-soo's drama revolving around a has-been filmmaker visiting a friend in Seoul who is taken to a bar run by a woman who is a dead-ringer for his professed real love. In Korean with English subtitles. Aug 11, 7.15pm, The Grand Cinema.
The New World
Terrence Malick's historical drama about explorer John Smith (Colin Farrell) and the clash between Native Americans and English settlers in the 17th century. Also starring Christian Bale, Christopher Plummer and Q'orianka Kilcher. In English with Chinese subtitles. Aug 9, 9.40pm, The Grand Cinema, 2/F Elements, 1 Austin Rd West, Kowloon, HK$65. Inquiries: 2196 8170