Festive fare for Young and Old


hong kong Kung Fu Yoga(1)

During the annual Chinese New Year sweepstakes, the winner could walk away with millions of dollars, whether in the Toto draw or at the box office, where there are four festive titles in battle.
This season often sees Hong Kong's beloved action figure Jackie Chan shine. His latest attempt to claim the holiday crown was in action-comedy Kung Fu Yong, he and director Stanley Tong pull out all the stops to appeal to just about everyone. The film features exotic and glamorous locations around the world that range from the snowy landscape of Iceland to the luxurious scenery of Dubai.
But the feature is not only varied in terms of setting but also in terms of cast, featuring Bollywood beauties Disha Patani and Amyra Dastur, yoga goddess Mu Qimiya, Aarif Rahman and singer-dancer Lay Zhang from South Korean boy band Exo.
Jackie Chan assumes the role of archeology professor Jack who is fixed on finding the lost treasure of the Indian kingdom of Magadha. The long exposition of an ancient battle evolves like a none-too-involving computer game and the references to Indo-Sino friendship feel too much like appealing to a potentially large Indian audience.
Chan plays the top dog that everyone respects but even he will cower when he finds himself next to the king of beasts. One of the best scenes is when Chan is stuck in a car with a lion. Chan plays comical heights as he tries to placate the animal.
Although it is not part of the Chinese tradition, a joyous Bollywood dance extravaganza wraps up the proceedings.
Despite Chan's film being cheerful enough, the most festive entry is The Fortune Handbook. Mark Lee plays a fortune god-in-training who meddles int he affairs of lazy Soh Hock (Christopher Lee) and his brother in law Hao Xing.
This holiday season the main themes are prosperity, the importance of family and bak kwa. All of these themes are present in the work from director Kelvin Sng (Taxi! Taxi!).
Bak Kwa gets quite a bit of play as Christopher Lee is the ambassador for a certain brand. The most entertainment thing in the movie is Christopher Lee's fresh and different performance as the vain, hairspray-toting Soh Hock.
The final festive offering comes from Hong Kong's Stephen Chow, a veteran like Jackie Chan in box-office successes. The film was preceded by Journey to the West: Conquering the Demos, which was a hit even though Chow did not act in it. Instead, he co-wrote, produced and directed it. Although he has less involvement this time around - only a producing credit - his name is still prominently featured in the trailer due to his power to attract audiences.


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