Venus and Mars (2007) (Korean)


Actress Kim Taehee, known for her doll-like appearance, stars as a tough and nagging wife.
Charismatic Seoul Kyeonggu plays her timid husband who unintentionally gets on her nerves all too often.
As illustrated by the title ”Venus and Mars,” the movie depicts differences in the way men and women think.

This is mostly how Ji-na and Sang-min spend their time together. But they decide to overcome their clashing characters and vow for forever love.However, their vow is short-lived and their life of “happily ever-after” seems to be an unattainable fairy tale. Sang-min is the nation’s number one indifferent husband. Although unintended, he always seems to aggravate Ji-na. Ji-na is his wife. After putting up with Sang-min’s distasteful attitude, she has become a scrawny, tense, and violent wife.

While their grudges against one another are still left unhandled, they decide to split up. They clash on every issue and a psychological warfare begins. What began as verbal fights lead on to physical fight and they fight as if they are going to kill each other. There’s no room for patience and understanding to these two ex-lovers. They enter a merciless face-off. A fight leads on to another then another and the cycle continues

Year: 2007
Directed: Han Ji-Seung
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Runtime: 102mins
Country: South Korea
Language: Korean
Subtitles: English, Korean
Cast: Kim Tae-Hee, Seol Kyung-Gu, Seo Tae-Hwa

Quitting (Chinese) 2001


Quitting ( Chinese: Zuotian; literally “Yesterday” ) is a 2001 drama film directed by Zhang Yang, starring and based on the true life story of Jia Hongsheng. Jia, an actor and former drug addict, battled his addiction to marijuana and heroin for five years from 1992 to 1997. All members of the cast, from Jia and Jia’s family members right down to the doctors and patients at a mental institute Jia was admitted to, are real people playing themselves. The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival on 4 September 2001 and clinched the NETPAC Award.

Quitting was a sensation in China, where the struggle between traditional conformity and individual freedom grows increasingly tense, making this movie a striking social document as well as a gripping personal story. This is the story of Jia’s journey, from the cutting edge of China’s artistic movement in the early 90s, through a period of conflict with himself and his parents, to a mental institution and finally on the quest to rediscover himself and his family.

Year: 2001
Director: Zhang Yang (Shower, Getting Home)
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 112min
Country: China
Language: Mandarin
Subtitles: English (SRT)

Be With Me (2005) (Singaporean)


“Be with me” consists of three stories of love vs. solitude : 1)An aging, lonesome shopkeeper doesn’t believe in life any more since Cast: Ng Sway Ah, Theresa Poh Lin Chan, Samantha Tan, Ezann Lee, Seet Keng Yewhis wife died. But he is saved from desperation by reading an autobiographical book and meeting its author, a deaf and dumb lady of his own age. 2)Fatty, a security guard in his fifties, lives for two things : good food and love for a pretty executive living in his block of flats. But, if it is easy to satisfy his first need winning the heart of the distant belle is a horse of another color. 3)Two teenage schoolgirls get to know each other on the Internet. Soon they fall in love.

Year: 2005
Directed: Eric Khoo
Genre: Drama/Romance
Rated: Switzerland:10 / South Korea:12 / UK:12A / France:U / Argentina:13
Runtime: 93 min
Country: Singapore
Language: Cantonese / English / Hokkien / Mandarin
Subtitles: English Softsub

Trivial Matters (Hong Kong) 2007


Not so long ago, it was fairly common for local filmmakers to have more than one movie to their name in a year. Except if your name is Johnnie To though, those days are largely gone. Consequently, that this movie’s writer-director and co-producer, Pang Ho-Cheung has now come out with a second film in 2007, after the at times uneasy mix of black comedy and crime drama that was Exodus, is something worth remarking on; and, considering how thoroughly entertaining the often very playful Trivial Matters is, a cause for celebration as well.

Based on Pang’s short story collection of the same name, Trivial Matters the movie is made up of seven short tales. Or, really, more like six since the small section of the work that has Edison Chen and Stephanie Cheng in an English language discussion plays out more like a mere scene in a regular movie. And, although it’s not the shortest of all the segments, the story that follows, which purportedly takes place in the future and on a planet named Tak Nga, also has a throwaway quality, especially compared to the rest of the chapters of this work.

Also Known As: Po Shi Er, Por see yee
Year: 2007
Directed: Edmond Pang Ho Cheung
Runtime. 01:54:35
Country: Hong Kong
Subtitles: English

Lost in Beijing (Chinese) 2007


Liu Pingguo (Fan Bingbing) and her husband, An Kun (Tong Dawei) are a young migrant couple from the northeast of China who have moved to Beijing for a better life. Pingguo and An Kun live in a dilapidated apartment eking out their existence working menial jobs. An Kun works as a window washer, while his wife works in the Golden Basin Massage Parlor as a foot masseuse. Golden Basin is owned and operated by Lin Dong (Tony Leung Ka Fai), an unabashed womanizer, and himself from the south of China. His wife, Wang Mei (Elaine Jin) practices Chinese medicine. Very soon, the two couples find themselves headed for a collision course.

When Pingguo’s best friend, Xiao Mei (Zeng Meihuizi), assaults a customer, she is quickly fired by Lin Dong. Pingguo, wishing to commiserate, takes her friend out and promptly becomes drunk on bai jiu. Returning to the Golden Basin, she passes out in an empty office. Lin Dong, seeing the vulnerable Pingguo attempts to make a pass, which quickly turns into rape, a rape witnessed by the window washer, An Kun. Furious at the sight, An Kun begins a campaign of harassment against Lin Dong, defacing his Mercedes Benz, and attempting to blackmail him for 20,000 RMB. When Lin Dong ignores the furious husband, An Kun goes directly to Wang Mei, who rather than acquiesces , seduces the naive window washer.

Soon, it is discovered that Liu Pingguo is pregnant, though neither An Kun nor Lin Dong can be certain of who is the father. Lin Dong, however, sees in Pingguo an opportunity to make things right with his barren wife as well as to settle things with Pingguo and her husband once and for all. Soon, the two husbands have concocted a scheme wherein An Kun initially receives 20,000 RMB for his mental suffering. If the child has Lin Dong’s bloodtype, he will go home with the massage-parlor owner and An Kun will receive 100,000 RMB. If however, the baby is An Kun’s, no money is exchanged, but Pingguo and An Kun keep the baby. Moreover, if Lin Dong again sleeps with Pingguo, half of his assets will go to Wang Mei in a divorce proceeding. During these negotiations, Pingguo remains conspicuously silent.

As the baby is carried to term, Lin Dong becomes more and more attached to the idea that he will at last be a father. When the baby is born however, An Kun discovers that it is indeed his child. Unable to turn down the money, however, he manages to convince Lin Dong that it is his son, allowing him to collect the 120,000 RMB. Seeing how happy Lin Dong is with the baby, however, An Kun grows increasingly jealous, at last resorting to a clumsy and ultimately doomed kidnapping. After being released (presumably by Wang Mei, who has decided to divorce her husband), An Kun attempts to “repurchase” his child, to which Lin Dong promptly refuses. Pingguo, who had moved into Lin Dong’s home after the birth as a nursemaid, at last has had enough. Quietly, she gathers the money that An Kun had returned, and taking her child, walks out the door. The film then ends as the two men, Lin Dong and An Kun, attempt to search for her, only to have their car break down on a busy Beijing highway…

Also Known As:
Ping Guo
Year: 2007
Directed: Yu Li
Runtime. 01:54:35
Country: China
Language: Mandarin
Subtitles: English
Cast: Tony Leung Ka Fai, Fan Bingbing, Elaine Jin, Tong Da Wei

My 11th Mother (Korean) 2007


A woman suddenly appears at Jae-su’s house. Nothing in her hands, nowhere to go, the woman’s empty eyes meet with round eyes of the eleven year-old boy. He regards the woman as another person who’ll leave and does not put any effort into getting to know her. Every chance he finds, the boy scolds the woman, saying she eats too much, sleeps like a pig and uses up all of the utilities. The two of them are neck and neck with complaints until she learns of the boy’s sad history and he discovers her diabetes. The boy has already had 10 stepmothers in the past. Out of the blue the boy’s father shows up and begins beating the boy. She tries to stop him and they find themselves on common ground. A warm relationship between the two begins to build up slowly, not aware of the eventual separation that is just around the corner.

Year: 2007
Directed: Kim Jin-Seong
Genre: Drama, Family
Runtime. 104 mins
Country: South Korea
Subtitles: English
Cast: Kim Hye-Su Kim Young, Ryu Seung-Ryong, Kim Ji-Young