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Gong Li - The Gala Opening Ceremony of the 69th Cannes Film Festival at Palais de Festivals, Cannes Film Festival - Cannes, France - Wednesday 11th May 2016

Gong Li

Gong Li - Mads Mikkelsen, Gong Li and Eva Longoria arrive at Nice Cote D'Azure airport ahead of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival at Cannes Film Festival - Nice, France - Tuesday 10th May 2016

Gong Li
Gong Li
Gong Li
Gong Li
Gong Li
Gong Li

Coming Home Trailer


Lu Yanshi is arrested as a political prisoner during the Cultural Revolution in China, and is forced into a labour camp for the forseeable future. Only once has he managed to escape his captors clutches to meet his wife Feng,  Wanyu at a train station, but they are ultimately betrayed and separated once again. He never gave up hope though, and when the Revolution ends, he walks free; free to live his life and free to hold his wife and daughter in his arms again. What he hopes is an emotional reunion, however, turns to confusion when Feng fails to recognise him. She has been left with memory loss after an accident, and although she has waited for years for the return of her husband, his appearance doesn't register in her at all. Lu has no choice but to accept Feng's condition, and do what he can to build a relationship again.

Continue: Coming Home Trailer

Zhang Yimou's Coming Home Trailer


Lu Yanshi is ripped away from his family and arrested as a political prisoner during China's Cultural Revolution, forced to work in a merciless labour camp. He makes a futile escape attempt in a plan with his daughter Wanyu, but he is soon re-captured and put back to work. Some years later, he is finally freed when the Revolution comes to an end, but he is less than welcomed when he returns home. His wife has suffered an accident which has left her with permanent amnesia and she is unable to recognise her husband upon his return. She shuns Yanshi, and continues to wait for her husband's return, and so he does what he can to jog her memory and convince her that it's him. When that fails, he must find another way to remain close to her - but that may mean abandoning their marriage.

Continue: Zhang Yimou's Coming Home Trailer

Coming Home - Clip


During the Cultural Revolution in China, Lu Yanshi was viciously torn away from his beloved wife Feng Wanyu and forced to work in a labour camp. In an enormously risky operation, he manages to escape his imprisonment in order to meet Wanyu at a rail station - unfortunately, their secret meeting plans are betrayed to the prison officials and he is immediately re-arrested. Many years later, the Revolution has ended and he is finally freed. However, when he returns home to his wife, he discovers that she is suffering permanent amnesia following an accident and doesn't believe Yanshi to be her husband. Instead, she waits patiently each day for Yanshi's return while he desperately tries to jog her memory. When his efforts seem fruitless, he does what he can to remain close to her - even if it means leaving their romance behind.

Continue: Coming Home - Clip

Huiwen Zhang (l), Gong Li (r) and director Zhang Yimou - The 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival - Coming Home - Premiere - London, United Kingdom - Wednesday 21st May 2014

Gong Li, Huiwen Zhang (l) and Zhang Yimou
Gong Li
Gong Li, Huiwen Zhang (l) and Zhang Yimou

Gong Li - 67th Cannes Film Festival - Opening Ceremony - Cannes, France - Wednesday 14th May 2014

Gong Li
Gong Li

Gong Li - 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards Arrivals celebrating independent films and their filmmakers - Santa Monica, California, United States - Saturday 1st March 2014

Gong Li
Gong Li
Gong Li
Gong Li
Gong Li
Gong Li

Farewell My Concubine Review


OK
Chen Kaige cemented his international film credentials with the lush Farewell My Concubine, which presents a compendium of his expressionistic techniques and thematic concerns (striking imagery, fluid camera, emotional intensity, and, also, simple-minded historicity, banal character development, and an uninvolving narrative line).

Kaige's film charts the course of a unique romantic triangle that would even give Frank Borzage pause, following the relationship of two boyhood friends over half a century of turbulent Chinese history. After being abandoned by his prostitute mother at the Beijing Opera training school, young Douzi (Ma Mingwei as a child, Yin Shi as a teen, and Leslie Cheung as an adult) soon makes friends with the cocky Sitou (Fei Yang as a child, Yin Zhi as a teen, and Zhang Fengyi as an adult), and they both provide emotional support for the other as they undergo the grueling and pitiless opera school training that finds them, as adults, as the female and male role stars of the Beijing Opera. However, at the height of their fame, Sitou (now known as Duan Xiaolou) announces his intent to marry the sex-bomb prostitute Juxian (Gong Li). Douzi's (now known as Cheng Dieyi) obsessive jealousy and immediate dislike for Juxian leads him into the creepy arms of opera patron Yuan (Ge You) and to seek solace in opium-induced stupors. As the years pass and the old friends became increasingly estranged, they are finally, during the Gang of Four years, forced to publicly denounce each other as counter-revolutionaries. The result is humiliation and tragedy.

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Curse Of The Golden Flower Review


OK
A pageantry of pageantry that would put Bertolucci or Lean to shame, Zhang Yimou's The Curse of the Golden Flower piles spectacle upon spectacle, and tragedy on top of tragedy, until the whole contraption fairly disintegrates under the fervid weight of it all. Normally this wouldn't really be an issue, as late period Yimou films like House of Flying Daggers and Hero have been perfectly acceptable as period-piece baubles, rife with dynamic wuxia action sequences and dashing costumes -- things that Golden Flower has in abundance. While packed with emotion, those earlier films could certainly be enjoyed on surface detail alone, but there was still some heft to them; one doesn't buy for a second that Zhang Ziyi could fight like that without some help from gravity-defying wires, but the films were still able to dance that line between escapism and drama without leaving either behind. But Golden Flower can't dance.

Set in a royal court during the 10th century Tang dynasty, Golden Flower starts in and spends most of its time inside those same palace walls; which at first doesn't seem like a bad place to be. The place is a bejeweled rainbow of color, splashed with sunlight that sparkles off the golds, reds, and greens, and the camera greedily prowls its corridors looking for fresh spectacle. Yimou starts off with a feverishly choreographed ballet of servitude as hundreds of courtiers ready themselves in synchronized grace for the arrival of the long-traveling Emperor Ping (Chow Yun-Fat, regally villainous). His three princes await him, each curious about how and if he is going to divide up power between them, as his health seems to be in decline.

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Hannibal Rising Review


Bad
As bad as Hannibal Rising is -- and believe me, it's terrible - this fictional biography of the beloved Dr. Hannibal Lecter could have been worse. After all, financing studio MGM and its assorted producers could have tossed a small fortune at Sir Anthony Hopkins in hopes of coercing the Academy Award winner back to the title role -- never mind the fact that the picture covers the cannibal's formative years.

The Lecter character has appeared in five different films now, which by my count is four too many. Brian Cox gets credit for first playing the imprisoned killer in Michael Mann's underrated Manhunter. But Lecter didn't become a household name until Hopkins sank his teeth into the role for The Silence of the Lambs. Since then, Hollywood has strained its muscles beating every dollar it could from this dead horse of a character. We've endured the Jodie Foster-free sequel Hannibal and Red Dragon, an unnecessary Manhunter remake with Hopkins in the Lecter role.

Continue reading: Hannibal Rising Review

Hannibal Rising Trailer


In Red Dragon we learned who he was. In Silence Of The Lambs we learned how he did it. Now comes the most chilling chapter in the life of Hannibal Lecter - the one that answers the most elusive question of all - why? 

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Miami Vice Review


Bad
You can learn a lot about Michael Mann's updated Miami Vice by listening to Glenn Frey. It's true. Many questions surrounding this remake are answered using the lyrics to Frey's prophetic "Smuggler's Blues," a song made famous by the seminal 1980s buddy-cop drama that sold sex and sidearms on South Beach.For instance, why would Mann - a respected filmmaker riding a decade-long creative hot streak - blow the dust off a hopelessly dated property he last executive-produced almost 20 years ago? As Frey sings, "It's the lure of easy money. It's got a very strong appeal." And why would a studio support Mann's impulsive let's-get-the-band-back-together decision after projects from Bewitched to The Dukes of Hazzard demonstrate that audiences don't care to relive the past? Frey confesses, "It's a losing proposition. But one you can't refuse."In its prime, the television-sized Vice influenced the fashion industry, peddled synthesizer-laden soundtracks, and made Don Johnson a household name. This realistically superficial recycling, however, will cure insomnia, set the advancement of digital cinematography back a few years, and unsuccessfully argue in favor of the mullet as an acceptable coif style.The story lost me almost immediately, but looked cool doing it. Undercover detectives James "Sonny" Crockett (Colin Farrell) and Ricardo Tubbs (Jamie Foxx) are deep into one case when a former informant contacts them claiming that a deal he was working went bad. To clean up the mess, Crockett and Tubbs must infiltrate a sprawling drug cartel lorded over by menacing Jose Yero (John Ortiz, mimicking Al Pacino's Tony Montana character) and sultry Isabella (Gong Li, her broken English disrupting half of her lines).Vice marks a return for Mann in multiple ways. He's back on the beach with Crockett and Tubbs, characters he last manipulated in 1989. More importantly, it's the director's first mature cops-and-robbers thriller since 1995's Heat, a modern classic which also presented an in-depth analysis of individuals operating on opposite sides of the law. Part of Heat's allure, though, was the intimate knowledge we collected about Pacino's bulldog detective and Robert De Niro's elusive thief. Watching the former sacrifice his marriage and family life for the sake of the job added juicy drama to his otherwise routine investigation.Vice lacks that human touch, those insights into the men away from their beats. Mann ladles on ample attitude, while his chiseled leading men provide plenty of posturing. Mannequin Vice might have made for a better title. Foxx and Farrell buy into the shout-and-scowl method, with an emphasis on the latter. But the script neglects to fill in details about Sonny and Ricardo beyond quick peeks into their active bedrooms. It's a fault built into the premise. These men exist deep undercover, so the lives they lead are smokescreens - which makes it difficult to care whether they continue to blow smoke or not.As a whole, the stiff and procedural Vice moves too slowly to hold our interests. It's a thinking-man's summer picture, code for "no action, plenty of conversation." Normally that's fine, but Mann pens lines that would have been too cheesy even for the '80s program. Crockett repeatedly claims, "No one has ever treaded where we are now." We just don't believe him. One villain barks, "He wants to promise them silver, but pay them in lead!" James Bond's foes made more effective threats.Oscar-winning cinematographer Dion Beebe continues to experiment with digital technology at Mann's request. It works when the action shifts to the open seas, but his night shoots produce muddy visuals that - while realistic - are ugly and drab. I guess when compared to the original Vice's pastel color scheme, it's an improvement.Frey once again gets the last words. I'm paraphrasing a few of his somber lyrics so that they properly sum up how I felt leaving my screening. I'm sorry it went down like this, and the audience had to lose. It's the nature of this business. It's the critic's blues.Watch that wake!

Zhou Yu's Train Review


OK
Zhou Yu's Train is a movie in motion. By the time it's over, you'll have seen a good deal of rural China, not to mention a corner of Tibet. As Zhou Yu (Gong Li) rides the rails back and forth between her two boyfriends, you'll feel her confusion and her wanderlust, but you'll feel boredom and a little motion sickness, too.

A young and beautiful woman who doesn't know what she wants out of life, Zhou Yu seems to think that as long as she keeps moving, she won't have to make any tough decisions. She uses the time off from her job painting ceramics to travel hundreds of miles twice a week to visit her boyfriend, Chen Qing (Tony Leung Ka Fai), a librarian who writes and recites florid love poetry.

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2046 Review


Extraordinary
Picking up where In the Mood for Love dropped off, but also mixing in elements of (or at least nods to) just about all of his other films, Wong Kar Wai's 2046 has most of the same positives, as well as the negatives, common to his work, meaning it's frustrating, elliptical, occasionally quite shallow, and utterly smashing to behold in all its nervy glory.

This time, Tony Leung's Chow Mo-Wan is far from the repressed creature that he played in Love, eternally suffering for the married beauty living in his apartment building. Mo-Wan is now going through all the highs and lows of numerous affairs in 1960s Hong Kong, playing out almost an entire history of love within the space of one film. The title comes from the number of the apartment next to his, wherein reside a number of women with whom we will see him become entangled over the course of the film. 2046 is also the name of a science fiction serial he scribbles down (part of the dues he pays as a struggling hack writer), scenes of which we see acted out, watching its hero endure an eternal train ride away from the mysterious place called 2046, where everybody goes to reclaim lost memories and never returns from; except him.

Continue reading: 2046 Review

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Gong Li Movies

Coming Home Trailer

Coming Home Trailer

Lu Yanshi is arrested as a political prisoner during the Cultural Revolution in China, and...

Zhang Yimou's Coming Home Trailer

Zhang Yimou's Coming Home Trailer

Lu Yanshi is ripped away from his family and arrested as a political prisoner during...

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Coming Home Trailer

Coming Home Trailer

During the Cultural Revolution in China, Lu Yanshi was viciously torn away from his beloved...

Curse Of The Golden Flower Movie Review

Curse Of The Golden Flower Movie Review

A pageantry of pageantry that would put Bertolucci or Lean to shame, Zhang Yimou's The...

Curse Of The Golden Flower, Trailer Trailer

Curse Of The Golden Flower, Trailer Trailer

Curse Of The Golden FlowerTrailerFrom the internationally renowned team of director Zhang Yimou and producer...

Hannibal Rising Movie Review

Hannibal Rising Movie Review

As bad as Hannibal Rising is -- and believe me, it's terrible - this fictional...

Hannibal Rising Trailer

Hannibal Rising Trailer

In Red Dragon we learned who he was. In Silence Of The Lambs we learned...

Curse Of The Golden Flower Movie Review

Curse Of The Golden Flower Movie Review

A pageantry of pageantry that would put Bertolucci or Lean to shame, Zhang Yimou's The...

Miami Vice Movie Review

Miami Vice Movie Review

You can learn a lot about Michael Mann's updated Miami Vice by listening to Glenn...

Memoirs of a Geisha Movie Review

Memoirs of a Geisha Movie Review

The only thing which director Rob Marshall doesn't throw into Memoirs of a Geisha is...

The Emperor and the Assassin Movie Review

The Emperor and the Assassin Movie Review

The Emperor and the Assassin sets a new standard for quality of production. The...

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