At the movies

It says a lot about society today that Derek Yee Tung- sing's Protege is scheduled for release during the Lunar New Year.

The high-profile film, starring Andy Lau Tak-wah as a drug baron, is a gripping cop-versus-gangster action drama that focuses on the plight of drug addicts.

Our parents' generation would avoid watching films about death or anything considered unlucky. But today's young people don't adhere to such traditional beliefs.

'The action follows the drama. Yee explained to me the flow of the scenes, and why the characters behave in certain ways,' said Chin Ka-lok, the action choreographer of Protege.

'Why do they [the drug traffickers] jump eight floors [to evade the police]? Because they would be sentenced to 20 or 30 years in jail [if they got caught].'

For the more traditional movie-goers, comedian Ronald Cheng Chung-kei's directorial debut, It's A Wonderful Life, is a good choice.

The comedy stars Cheng, Vincent Kok Tak-chiu, Tony Leung Ka-fai and Teresa Mo Shun-kwan. It's a simple story about a fairy who helps a man solve all his problems because of a promise he made years ago.

This is a classic Lunar New Year movie, which ends with all major characters wishing everyone a happy new year.

To make the movie even more appealing, Cheng has chosen love as the major theme, making it a perfect treat for Valentine's Day.

'Real love stems from trust. You have to trust someone to love them. If there's any doubt, it's not true love but just a desire to own and control another person,' said Cheng.

If you're looking for entertaining action, Twins Mission is the film for you. It stars Charlene Choi Cheuk-yin and Gillian Chung Yan-tung, as well as veteran action stars Sammo Hung Kam-bo and

Yuen Wah.

It's an action adventure story about the battle between good and evil twins, after the evil ones steal a magical gem from Tibet.

Kong Tao-hoi, a veteran action choreographer and the architect of gambling tricks in films such as God of Gamblers and All for the Winner, directs.

For Ben Stiller fans, Night at the Museum is a treat. The film stars the comedian as a divorced dad who lands a job as a guard at a natural history museum.

The apparently boring job turns into a nightmare. All the exhibits - from the T-Rex skeleton to the wax models of lions and Teddy Roosevelt (played by Robin Williams) - come to life after midnight, thanks to some ancient Egyptian magic.

Charlotte's Web, adapted from the popular book by E.B. White, is a film that shows you your dreams can come true.

Dakota Fanning plays a farmer's daughter whose pet pig is destined for a butcher's shop. Charlotte, a pregnant spider (voiced by Julia Roberts), comes to the rescue by spelling out descriptions of the pig in her web, and making the animal the darling of the community.

The only animation showing this holiday is Open Season, a lively comedy about a bear (voiced by Canto-pop singer Eason Chan Yick-shun in the Cantonese version) and a deer (DJ Jan Lamb Hoi-fung) uniting all the animals in the forest to chase away evil hunters.

Finally, if the thought of Hugh Grant as a washed-up 1980s pop star appeals to you, then go watch Music and Lyrics - which also stars Drew Barrymore as his plant-carer-cum-muse. It's the perfect treat for the Lunar New Year.