Fri, Apr 02, 2010 - Page 16 News List


Compiled By Ian Bartholomew  /  STAFF REPORTER


Taiwan International Children’s Film Festival

Organized by Taiwan’s Public Television Service Foundation, the TICFF, now in its fourth edition, combines films about children, for children, and even a Kids as Directors segment that puts children at the helm. The opening films are Bye-Bye Morakot, a four-part documentary which chronicles the young victims of the typhoon that caused extensive damage in Taiwan in August last year, and Mai Mai Miracle, a Japanese animated story about a child living in Japan’s Heian period. The festival closes with the Asian premiere of Little Nicholas, a French comedy about children that will also be getting a mainstream cinema release after the TICFF ends. In between there’s a huge range of films for every taste; visit for the full schedule. NT$50 tickets are available through ERA ticketing or at the two screening venues, Eslite Xinyi Store (誠品信義店) and Vie Show Cinema, Xinyi District (信義威秀影城). Runs until Sunday.

Clash of the Titans

In its relentless search for material, Hollywood has rediscovered the treasure trove of Greek mythology and settled on the story of Perseus for this fantasy action adventure starring Sam Worthington as the demigod Perseus,

Ralph Fiennes as Hades, god of the underworld (and

chief villain), and Liam Neeson as Zeus, chief god

of the heavens. The story has been given the full Hollywood treatment, including the belated addition of 3D to some scenes to provide maximum visual bang. It is a remake of the 1981 film of the same name, and the improvements in CGI and other technologies make this version a vast improvement, with the trailer sporting some amazing effects. Depending on one’s taste, this may or may not make up for the overwrought acting and simple-minded plot.

Arthur and the Revenge of Maltazard

Luc Bresson, who has both director and writer credits on this children’s adventure animation, enjoys pushing the boundaries of what it means to be commercial. This little franchise began life with Arthur and the Minimoys in 2006, when 10-year-old Arthur discovers a race of cute (if you like glam punk) plastic doll figures, who eventually help him prevent his grandfather’s house being demolished by nefarious real estate interests. This time the Minimoys are in trouble, so Arthur plunges back into his fantasy world to save them. Features an improbable cast of voices that range from Lou Reed and Snoop Dogg to Mia Farrow and Freddie Highmore. A third installment, Arthur and the Two Worlds War, has already had its European release and will doubtless be coming to these shores soon.

Future X-Cops

Directed by Wong Jing (王晶) and featuring A-list eye candy Barbie Hsu (徐熙媛) and Fan Bing-bing (范冰冰) and starring Andy Lau (劉德華), Future X-Cops is by the standards of Hong Kong cinema a mega-buck prestige release. Even so, some of the costumes manage to look like RoboCop hand-me-downs, and the plot, which features a futuristic super-cop going back in time to save a scientist who could change the world, is not exactly new. Big oil are the bad guys, and they get to use cyborg assassins. And isn’t Lau, who is pushing 50, getting a bit old for these action roles? With the almost simultaneous release of his cop shop comedy romance Beauty on Duty (美麗密令) in China, Director Wong Jin is covering all the bases.

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