Gong xi fa cai, happy lunar new year, and welcome back! It has been more than half a month since the last post. That's because The Big Movie Freak was back at his parents' in his native country for a week-long celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year. Over here, we call this annual endeavour balik kampung, meaning "to return to our village," although you will be disappointed to hear that my "village" is far from being some idyllic getaway with wooden houses, rustling coconut trees and sandy beaches.
The holidays have provided me with plenty of time to catch up on some movies and for absolutely no cost at all... meaning I've been rummaging through Will2k's DVD stash. There were more oldsies than newsies, but at least I finally got to see Superbad and 3:10 to Yuma without having to take a leave of absence from work and watch its 10am only weekday shows. (It's now off the cinema circuit, by the way.) Managed to do some revisiting on Johnnie To's PTU, Sam Raimi's Darkman, Seven Samurai and The Magnificent Seven. Also finally saw Tron in its entirety, and got to see Michael Hui's Hong Kong comedy Chicken and Duck Talk. Already halfway there with their reviews. Hopefully I'll be able to catch most of the Oscar pics before they announce the awards next week. No Country For Old Men, Michael Clayton, Juno and Atonement are already playing, while There Will Be Blood premieres this week.
News-wise, X-men's Gambit is finally making his big-screen appearance on the upcoming X-men spin-off, Wolverine, in 2009. New Line gets sued again, this time by the Tolkien Trust, which threatens the production on the upcoming The Hobbit movies. On the same topic, apparently director Guillermo Del Toro still hasn't sign the dotted lines, despite having said yes to directing The Hobbit. And Hong Kong star Lydia Shum has passed away yesterday morning after a long battle with cancer. Although not internationally famous, the rotund Shum has been a prolific, prominent and iconic figure in the Hong Kong entertainment industry, having made her mark in a string of successful local comedies and hosting numerous television events.