Five hot upcoming Hong Kong films
Directors: Danny & Oxide Pang
Company: Universe Films
Release date: Summer
Hong Kong's masters of the horror genre move up the fright a dimension in this supernatural tale, which marks Hong Kong's first foray into digital 3D. Set in Bangkok during the anti-government protest in 2008, the story charts the supernatural encounters of a group of Hong Kong travelers after half of their members disappear. Shot in Thailand, the film showcases the directing twins' signature shock tactics, the centerpiece of which is an eerie stereoscopic underworld populated by paper dolls used in Chinese funerals and ancestor worship rituals. Co-produced by Universe Films and Golden Harvest, the scare feast stars Taiwanese pop singer Rainie Yang and Hong Kong starlet Elanne Kong.
The Grand Master
Director: Wong Kar-wai
Company: Jet Tone
Release Date: 2010
Hong Kong auteur Wong Kar-wai goes back in time to early 1900s Southern China in this long-awaited take on the kung fu master Ip Man, whose life was also the subject of the 2008 eponymous hit with Donnie Yen. A clear departure from his arthouse roots, and featuring action choreography by Yuen Woo-ping ("The Matrix"), "The Grand Master" stars Wong's frequent leading man Tony Leung Chi-Wai, who trained for a year and suffered numerous injuries to his arm playing the title role. Starring along side Leung is his "2046" costar Zhang Ziyi and Chinese actor Zhao Ben-shan ("Getting Home").
Once a Gangster
Director: Felix Chong
Company: Media Asia
Release date: May
The screenwriting team behind "Infernal Affairs" reunites after last summer's financial crime thriller hit "Overheard" for this gangster parody.
The film also marks the reunion of two leading men of the 1990s gangster genre, Ekin Cheng and Jordan Chan, who now headline as former gang leaders trying to find their way in the civilian world.
Cheng plays a triad heir who yearns for higher education after a stint in prison, while Chan takes the role of a reformed gangland hotshot-turned-celebrity chef who finds a better use for the meat cleavers he so favored as a ruthless gangster.
Director: Benny Chen
Release Date: December
Hot on the heels to Chen's sci-fi-action-fantasy "City Under Siege" for Universe Films -- also scheduled for 2010 -- comes this martial arts epic for Emperor Motion Pictures. Major star wattage abounds as Jackie Chan and Andy Lau lead a cast that includes Hong Kong's Nicholas Tse ("Bodyguards and Assassins"), Chinese actress Fan Bing-bing ("Sophie's Revenge") and over a thousand Shaolin monk soldiers. Set in the warlord era in early 20th century China, Chan plays the role of a kitchen monk who keeps his mastery in martial arts hidden, while Lau plays a young army general who learns from Chan's character the art of Shaolin kungfu.
Director: Derek Yee
Release Date: April
Daniel Wu ("Shinjuku Incident") and Louis Koo ("Protege") venture from the competitive world of International Practical Shooting Confederation to real-life police gun fire under the supervision of director Yee in this crime thriller, which was filmed in Hong Kong and boasts a number of elaborate, trigger-happy set pieces. Backed by Hong Kong's Emperor Motion Pictures and China's PolyBona International, and co-produced by Hong Kong Sil-Metropol Organization, the $7.3 million shootout features stylized gun battles and a cops and robbers premise that blurs the line between heroes and villains.