Chinese New Year is just around the corner and festive movies are making their way into local cinemas.
Some old CNY favourites return this year, including the second sequel for Chow Yun-Fat’s popular From Vegas To Macau franchise, and Stephen Chow’s latest film, The Mermaid. This year will also feature more local content than ever hitting the cinemas, with more than half of the CNY fare either filmed in Malaysia or made by Malaysians.
Besides the multi-lingual OlaBola, we’ll also be seeing lots of Malaysian faces in Let’s Eat, Special Forces, Huat The Fish, and Girls Generation.
OlaBola (currently showing)
Director: Chiu Keng Guan
Cast: JC Chee, Luqman Hafidz, Saran Kumar Manoharan, Bront Palarae, Frankie Lee.
Two years after his family flick The Journey became the all-time Malaysian box-office champion (until Police Evo broke it last year), director Chiu Keng Guan is back with another heart-warming movie that is full of local flavour. With OlaBola, the self-professed football lover weaves a story about a team of multi-racial footballers who have to set aside their differences in order not to lose a crucial match.
From Vegas To Macau 3 (Feb 4)
Director: Wong Jing, Andrew Lau
Cast: Chow Yun-Fat, Andy Lau, Nick Cheung, Jacky Cheung, Carina Lau
This third edition of the rib-tickling From Vegas To Macau franchise brings together the biggest names in Hong Kong cinema. Chow Yun-Fat returns as the famed God Of Gamblers who has to deal with an assortment of mercenaries and hitmen even as he is trying to organize a wedding ceremony for his daughter.
The Monkey King 2 (Feb 4)
Director: Soi Cheang
Cast: Aaron Kwok, Gong Li, Kelly Chen, Feng Shaofeng, Law Chung Him
Hong Kong Heavenly King Aaron Kwok played Bull Demon King from in the first Monkey King movie inspired by the Chinese classic Journey To The West back in 2014. In this action-packed sequel, however, Kwok plays the titular Monkey King, who has to battle a formidable foe in the form of a shape-shifting spirit.
Let’s Eat (Feb 4)
Director: Chapman To
Cast: Chapman To, Aimee Chan, C-Kwan, Lo Hoi-pang
Filmed in Malaysia by Chapman To, this food-themed flick marks the Hong Kong comedian’s directorial debut. To plays the head chef of a well-established cafe who cannot see eye-to-eye with the cafe owner’s Western-educated daughter Rosemary. But soon, both have to resolve their differences in order to save their cafe.
Special Forces (Feb 4)
Director: Michael Chuah
Cast: Frankie Lee, KK Wong, Michael Chuah, Brendan Yuen
Regular action movie director Michael Chuah and The Journey actor Frankie Lee join forces in this local action flick about small town superheroes. In the movie, a rise in the local crime rate drives a group of villages to form a neighbourhood watch and emulate their favourite screen heroes.
The Mermaid (Feb 8)
Director/producer: Stephen Chow
Cast: Deng Chao, Show Lo, Kitty Zhang, Lin Yun
It has been three years since Stephen Chow’s last movie (Journey To The West: Conquering The Demons), and fans have been clamouring for the return of his brand of quirky humour. The Mermaid is set in a real estate project that involves land reclaimed from the sea, which suddenly sees mythical mermaids emerging out of nowhere.
Huat The Fish (Feb 11)
Director: Silver Yee
Cast: Jack Lim, Jeff Chin, Alvin Chong, Juztin Lan
After a year’s hiatus, Jack Lim and gang are back with a new festive offering set in Pulau Ketam. This fishy tale revolves around four debt-ridden fishermen who end up as accidental heroes after foiling a robbery at a goldsmith. They soon find that publicity invites trouble as the robbers trace them to their hideout in order to recover their loot.
Girls Generation (Feb 18)
Director: Aniu (Tan Kheng Seong), Teddy Chin
Cast: Owodog, JC Chee, Yumi Wong, Keqing, Emily Kong
Local filmmaker Aniu ropes in first-time director Teddy Chin for this coming-of-age rom-com, in which a bunch of boisterous high-school students have to learn to deal with teenage growing pains and romance while battling each other at the National Talent Competition.
Long Long Time Ago (Feb 25)
Director: Jack Neo
Cast: Aileen Tan, Mark Lee, Wang Lei, Suhaimi Yusof
Prolific Singaporean filmmaker Jack Neo spins a sentimental story set in the 1960s and 1970s, about how village folk in Singapore dealt with changes in their lives in the years after the country’s independence.