Wednesday, March 25, 2015

FILMART 2015 - Series Briefs

View FILMART trailers here

Brother's Keeper II - Edwin Siu and Kristal Tin worked hard to establish the "Law Shun Kei" brand in Hong Kong and Macau. However, it has attracted the displeasure of real estate developer Hugo Ng, who uses underhand tactics to suppress them. Edwin is betrayed by his trusted aide, Matt Yeung. Feeling that the world is too chaotic, he travels to Japan in search of a peaceful space. There, he falls in love with a secretive girl, Grace Chan, and gets embroiled in a murder case from twenty years ago! Meanwhile, Kristal's husband, Louis Yuen, suffers a brain injury and now treats her as a stranger. In addition, there is the return of Ruco Chan, who is looking for his "golden biscuit". Faced with all these sudden problems, how will Edwin and Kristal handle it?

Anticipation Level: 2.5/5. Boy, am I so excited for an extended Koi Kei Bakery commercial.

Blue Veins - Five hundred years ago, Kevin Cheng was a ferocious bandit. During a battle against vampires, he was struck by lightning and from then on, the group of bandits all became immortals. Nowadays, Kevin hides his identity and operates a late-night restaurant to help him pass his sleepless nights. He also runs a martial arts studio, where he teaches his two students, Wong Yau-Nam and Luk Wing-Kuen, martial arts in order to stand up for the poor.

At the onset of the story, Kevin meets a kind-hearted forensic pathologist, Kay Tse. Her memories and powers have been frozen, so she does not know that she is a vampire. The only power that she retains is the ability to revive a corpse for one minute. Kevin stays by her side and helps her to slowly regain her memory and powers. But ultimately, their naturally opposing identities turn their romance into a catastrophe, with dangers coming from everywhere. Kevin is willing to sacrifice himself to save Kay. At the edge between life and death, they discover that the origins of vampires and immortals actually comes from the future...

Anticipation Level: 2/5. Not a fan of vampire series, but Grace's sexy scenes in the trailer has upped my interest.

Captain of Destiny - While chasing a thief, police officer Grace Chan is accidentally caught up in a waterspout and brought back to the Qing Dynasty, where she meets Tony Hung, the pirate that dominated the Hong Kong waters at that time. The two of them start off as rivals, but fall deeply in love after going through life and death situations together. The 11th prince (Ruco Chan) leads the navy in a bloody battle against Tony. Grace is captured by Ruco while trying to save Tony. The proud and arrogant prince is charmed by her modern intelligence and ultimately abandons his ambitions to succeed the throne for her. Grace finally has a chance to return to modern Hong Kong, yet finds it hard to let go of the two men that have fallen for her. At a moment between life and death, Grace travels through time again and returns to modern Hong Kong. However, she has lost her memories. She can only search for the lost fate from a previous life in the modern world.

Anticipation Level: 4/5. Everything seems great except the CGI.

Lord of Shanghai - Anthony Wong came from humble beginnings. At a time when criminal forces ran rampant, Anthony got along well with the gangster leader, Wayne Lai. With Wayne as the brave fighter and Anthony as the strategist, they build their success together. As Anthony strives to climb upwards, he sacrifices a romance with Myolie Wu, a Peking opera student. This becomes his greatest regret in life. Later on, Anthony gains the favour of casino boss Alice Chan and serves under the tutelage of Shanghai tycoon Kent Tong. He rises rapidly and soon, he, along with Wayne and Kent, become prominent figures in Shanghai.

However, Kent and Wayne's contentions grow deeper by the day, leading to bloody battles on the streets of Shanghai. Anthony uses his ways to suppress both of them and establish himself as the only tycoon in Shanghai, with control over the legal and illegal forces. But behind the seeming peacefulness are hidden dangers. Foreign forces each have control over portions of Shanghai, while the Japanese are planning an invasion of China. Anthony and his disciplines contribute money and energy to the resistance effort. Myolie, by now a famous star, encounters Anthony again. His patriotic actions change her opinion of him and she stays by his side during the war. The Japanese officially begin their invasion. As Shanghai enters into a "Solitary Island" period, Anthony sets aside his personal interests to resist against the Japanese and the puppet government. On the other hand, Wayne chooses to become a Chinese traitor for his own gain. The sworn brothers reach a breaking point. For the sake of national interests, Anthony has no choice but to sacrifice brotherhood and allow blood to splatter in Shanghai...

Anticipation Level: 4/5. A war-time epic that hopefully does not include a sickly girl who writes a diary...

Limelight Years - Liza Wang is the pop queen of her generation, with 40 years of stage experience and tens of thousands of fans. She has many friends, but even more enemies. At the same time, she is a woman who has experienced two failed marriages and has three children who are like strangers. In her later years, she may escape death, but she cannot avoid loneliness. Reflecting back on her life, she realizes that she has sung for her career, but never once sung for her loved ones! She decides to hold what could be her last concert and invites every single person that she has loved or has loved her. In the process, she encounters a photographer who is destined to be in a supporting role, a young man who is determined not to be an extra, and an over-aged girl who does not know what role she wants to play yet. It results in an off-tuned symphony that brings out laughter and tears! Life is like a stage. Whether it is the main or supporting character, as long as they make a gorgeous turnaround after falling down and continue to sing wholeheartedly, their loved ones will certainly applaud for them.

Anticipation Level: 3/5. Judging from the trailer, Linda just might redeem herself with this series.

With or Without You - Bobby Au-Yeung, an eminent writer from the Northern Song Dynasty, is unable to forget about his late wife and thus, ignores Joey Meng's love for him. However, the food lover in him is eventually moved by Joey's braised pork dish and they get married. Bobby thought life would be great after his marriage, but a slew of family problems is making his head spin! On one hand, he has to worry if his sister, Jacqueline Wong, is being tricked by the flirty scholar, Vincent Wong. On the other hand, he is concerned that his other sister, Harriet Yeung, is still hung up on Tyson Chak, who is now the husband of a "lioness" wife, Alice Chan. He is driven to exhaustion from having to save his upright brother from political opponents. In addition, he needs to make his son accept Joey as his new step-mother, as well as deal with his own martial issues...

Aside from his family problems, Bobby also faces conflict in the imperial court. He has to cope with an unreasonable princess, engage in a verbal war with the opposing minister Pal Sinn, and think of creative ways to make the Emperor accept his proposals. Bobby uses a painting to cause Pal to lose his minister position, but then, he is unwittingly drawn into a plot by a Liao spy (Sire Ma) that will endanger the Song empire. The most unexpected thing is that one of Sire's subordinates is actually one of his family members who is purposely trying to ruin the relationship between him and Joey! Although Bobby finally succeeds in exposing the conspiracy and preserve the Song Dynasty, the Emperor is increasingly distrusting of him. The Emperor accuses him of writing a treasonous poem and seems intent on putting him to death...

Anticipation Level: 3.5/5. Bobby is lovely, but all the family drama makes my head spin too!

Rogue Emperor - In the late-1970s, graffiti with the words "Rogue Emperor" appeared on the streets of Hong Kong. At first, it seemed like just the silly work of a homeless man, but when a social worker (Tracy Chu) is sent to help him, she realizes that he is a legendary character that has been ignored. Kenneth Ma was initially a poor farmer. In order to marry his childhood lover, Niki Chow, he experienced many unimaginable things, from being banished from his village to becoming deputy commander, from escaped prisoner to Shanghai tycoon and even the last emperor of China! Kenneth faced all these ups and downs calmly, but there is one thing that he can never let go – the repeated separation and reunion from Niki. It seems that they cannot break the curse of being able to go through difficult times together, but not prosperity.

Anticipation Level: 3/5. It should be fun to see all the experiences that Kenneth goes through.

Wudang Rules - This series talks about a group of young people, who, for different reasons, chose to leave the bustling city and go to the Wudang Mountains to learn martial arts from two masters. Together they lead a peaceful and quiet lifestyle and study the wisdom in Taoist philosophy. After several months, the group has learnt profound martial arts, established deep friendships and have a better understanding of human nature. It helps them get rid of the burdens that they had before going up to the mountains and regain their confidence so that they can continue to face the life ahead of them. But at this time, a secret that was between them is revealed, causing their friendship and beliefs to be seriously tested.

Anticipation Level: 1.5/5. Sounds so preachy, though I'm interested in the secret between the group.

Under the Veil - In Buddhism, all outer appearances are false, reality is seen in the heart. Although people can have similar appearances, their minds will still lead them to do different actions. Through the folktales "Hairpin Exchange", "Chasing Fish" and "Judge Luk", it will show the love, hate, greed, anger and lust of mankind. There are people who are selfish and others that are altruistic; some have unsatisfied greed, others do not care about fame. Everything in the world is a mere shadow and only those with a good heart can understand the true meaning of life. Double Fantasies was a TVB classic. Twenty years later, with advanced filming and CGI technologies, the audience can view it from a brand new perspective.

Anticipation Level: 2.5/5. Should be interesting to see most of the cast portray two roles. 

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