Friday, January 23, 2009

GONG XI FA CAI at the movies

About two to three decades ago, Chinese New Year meant going to the movies for me. It would either be the latest Bruce Lee movie, or after his passing, the early movies of Jackie Chan. It would also be the time for the latest Sam and Micheal Hui movies like The Game Gamblers Play and the Message.

Other films to watch out for at that period of time would be those of Tsui Hark, Teddy Robin and Mark Kar whose comedy series Aces Go Places always packed the CNY box offices.

Sam Hui and Mark Kar in Aces Go Places - staple of CNY box office releases.
Somehow, these days, CNY isn't that big a thing for releasing top Hongkong movies. Not with the same kind of hoopla the movies I mentioned received. For example, last year, Shaolin Soccer's Chow Sing Chi's CJ7 wasn't a much anticipated movie for CNY period.
This year, the only Chinese movie of note will be the sequel or continuation of John Woo's Red Cliff. Something I want to see very much eventhough Part One wasn't perfect.
I would have expected Ip Man to have been released for CNY but instead it was released last month and still doing well. Maybe, the distributors understand that maybe, it doesn't really make box office sense to release a good movie during a long weekend holiday.
People are too busy celebrating the holidays to go to the cinema halls. Staying home and watching great TV also means less seats sold at the cineplexes.
Maybe the Malay producers should also take note that releasing movies over Hari Raya isn't a guarantee to great box office tallies.

Nevertheless, I'm going on a movie binge this weekend. Firstly, John Woo's Red Cliff 2, and then Akshay Kumar's Chandni Chwok Goes to China, and Badar's Maut. Will also see what else is screening over the four day weekend.
Meanwhile, to all my Chinese friends, may you receive tons of red packets and good luck for the coming year. Gong Xi Fa Cai. Drive safe.

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