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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Weekend
Chinese films of 2016
    2016-December-30  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

    CHINA’S movie industry this year may not have seen the enviable growth rate of the recent past, but the past 12 months are seen by many as a good year for quality offerings, and for diversity as well. Not in the Hollywood sense, but in the kind of fare seen on the nation’s big screens. Here are the top picks by China Daily.

    Five blockbusters

    There is no cutoff line for the definition of a Chinese blockbuster, but movies with a box-office return of 1 billion yuan (US$144 million) or more usually qualify. The wide appeal of these titles may have more sociological implications than purely aesthetic ones. And Hollywood may want to take note because these are the kind of movies that tend to go head-to-head with their foreign rivals and beat them.

    • The Mermaid

    It may be some time before Stephen Chow’s slapstick comedy will be knocked off the pedestal that is the nation’s box-office record, which is 3.37 billion yuan. This is not Chow’s best work, but few have the ability to penetrate the small-city market as he did. And with an environmental message that is more timely than piercing, it offers a concoction that could have worked at any time, let alone the Chinese New Year period when it opened.

    • The Monkey King 2

    The classic Chinese fantasy novel proves to be a rich source for film treatment. Taken from one chapter of “Journey to the West,” this much retold tale gets fleshed out from its original skeletal plot and is enriched by fuller and richer portrayals of the characters. Gong Li as the White-Bone Demon brings in her star power but the rest of the cast are also top-class. The holiday release made 1.18 billion yuan at the box office.

    • Operation Mekong

    At 1,182 million yuan, this surprise hit is notable for its positive portrayal of the Chinese Government in its effort to protect its citizens abroad and bring international criminals to justice. Packed with action, it offers a thrillingly visceral cinematic experience reminiscent of a Hollywood equivalent.

    • Time Raiders

    Amid a pile of carcasses in the summer, this adventure movie was the only survivor to make 1 billion yuan. While the reviews were middling at best, it was helped by the tested-but-not-always-true formula of a best-selling novel and a pair of pretty-boy stars. The same formula, however, did not help “L.O.R.D” (“Legend of Ravaging Dynasties”), which was among the year’s highest-profiled duds.

    • The Great Wall

    Sure, this is a coproduction, and not a purely Chinese product. Director Zhang Yimou has been lambasted by many critics, but the monster invasion may prove a litmus test for cultural cross-pollination as it is designed to appeal to audiences in every big market. Its box-office takings are expected to cross the 1-billion-yuan mark by the time this piece sees print.

    Five worthy films

    These five Chinese titles did not break any boundaries, but they got into the comfort zone of decent commercial performances and critical acclaim.

    • Soulmate

    It may look like a romance or a girl version of bromance, but it explores a subtle relationship in a love triangle of two girls and one boy, OK, two young women and a young man. While both women dated the same cute guy they are more in love with each other. The female stars were awarded the Golden Horse for best female lead performance.

    • Cock and Bull

    Cao Baoping brought out the hidden side of his male actors who, like those in previous Cao films, delivered career-best performances. The noirish crime caper has an intricate narrative structure.

    • Mr. Donkey

    While online fiction is the target of the filmmaking gold rush, stage plays have also proved to be a quiet but fertile ground for quality adaptations. Following 2015’s “Goodbye Mr. Loser,” this political satire about a 1940s village school passing off a donkey as a teacher and dealing with its fallout has opened a lot of eyes. Even though the film version has the clumsy traces of a new hand and can hardly match the brilliance of the original material, it still packs a punch.

    • Born in China

    A documentary about wild animals typically tends to be relegated to the small screen, but Lu Chuan pushed it to the big screen and ended up with 64.55 million yuan at the box office, a feat for the genre.

    • Cold War II

    Chinese franchises in genres like drama and romance tend to lose steam over time, but not this Hong Kong thriller whose action is more verbal and cerebral than physical. The all-star cast did not disappoint. (China Daily)

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