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Member's Reviews

Jiang cheng xia ri, a review by Danae Cassandra

Jiang cheng xia ri  (Luxury Car)
2006, China

A old schoolteacher leaves his rural village to travel to Wuhan, looking for his missing son whom his dying wife wishes to see one last time.  While he searches Wuhan he stays with his daughter, who works as an escort and is dating a mobster. 

This film is part of The Global Lens Collection, which also released Mahiha ashegh mishavand which we watched earlier.  Their stated purpose is to "promote cross-cultural understanding through cinema" and I've come to see, in the films I watched from their collection, that perhaps it is through a slice of life in the culture. 

Here we see parents estranged from their children, a father searching for his son, speaking of his son, a mother asking to see her son before she dies ... all while ignoring their daughter Yan Hong, a beautiful young woman who so obviously yearns for a connection to her parents, for their love and their approval.  She tries very hard to hide the seamier side of her job from her father, and to hide her lover's true identity. 

Like the other films I've watched from this collection, this is a low budget film.  This film is not about special effects or grand production values.  It's about people, about characters and their relationships and the story that develops around them.  They are very realistic people too.  The mobster is short, balding and paunchy, not some hot ultra-fit dude.  He's doing his mobster thing, but it's also obvious he truly cares about Yan Hong and tries to please her, as well as protect her.  Qi Ming, the father, also comes off as a real person, someone who doesn't know how to communicate with his daughter yet you get the feeling that he wants to, that he wants a relationship but that there's a gap he can't seem to bridge.  Yan Hong can't seem to bridge it either, can't talk to her father about what she wants, even when it's obvious she wants him to love her the way he loves her brother.  Her role is played by Tian Yuan, a Chinese pop star who is simply gorgeous and seems to me a pretty good actress - she says a lot in silence, in her expressions and body language, in the way she has Yan Hong look at her father, look at her lover, look at herself.

A good little film, an interesting look at China in a way you don't see in the Chinese films that hit mainstream US.  There's no martial arts, no cinematic tricks, no mythology, and not a lot of action.  It's a family story, a character story, a look at life in modern China.

Overall: 3/5

(From Danae's reviews on April 12th, 2011)

Member's Reviews

Léon, a review by DJ Doena

January, 5th

Synopsis:My Opinion:The Fifth Element.

(From DJ Doena's movie watchings 2009 on January 5th, 2009)

Member's TV Reviews

Tom's TV Pilots marathon, a review by Tom

     Family Matters: Season One (1989/United States)
IMDb | Wikipedia

Warner Home Video (United States)
Length:484 min.
Video:Full Frame 1.33:1
Audio:English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Subtitles:English, French

"HI, EVERYBODY!" Fans of '90s sitcoms know these words mean Steve Urkel has come to call, bringing lots of geeky, goofy fun with him. A spinoff of Perfect Strangers, Family Matters began as the at-home adventures of elevator operator Harriette Winslow and her multigenerational family. But midway through the first season, Jaleel White made a one-shot appearance as neighborhood nerd Urkel. With oversized glasses, undersized body, screechy voice and indomitable self-confidence, Urkel proved irresistibly funny, turning White into an overnight sensation and a new star of the show. Join Urkel and the Winslows for the 22-episode debut season of the hit series that proclaims love matters, laughing matters, Family Matters!

Family Matters
1.01 The Mama Who Came to Dinner
Writer: William Bickley (Created By), Michael Warren (Created By), William Bickley (Writer), Michael Warren (Writer)
Director: Joel Zwick
Cast: Reginald VelJohnson (Carl Winslow), JoMarie Payton-France (Harriette Winslow), Rosetta LeNoire (Estelle "Mother" Winslow), Darius McCrary (Eddie Winslow), Kellie Shanygne Williams (Laura Winslow), Valerie Jones (Judy Winslow), Joseph Julius Wright (Richie Crawford), Telma Hopkins (Rachel)

This series was a spin-off from another series that I have never seen (I am not sure if it even aired in Germany). Steve Urkel was not yet part of the cast at this point but only came in later during the first season (initially only a on-off character). I don't think this series would have lasted long if it hadn't been for Steve and would probably have been long forgotten by now.


(From Tom's TV Pilots marathon on May 22nd, 2011)