Gone are the days when Chinese New Year movies at the cinemas meant the pre-requisite Jackie Chan and Stephen Chow flicks, as those slapstick comedies were crammed with every Hong Kong star imaginable.
The past few years have seen more and more local Chinese New Year movies hitting the cinemas as well, and this year is no exception. Here are eight (a nice, lucky number!) CNY movies you should be watching this year.
A House Of Happiness (Feb 15)
Cast: Richard Ng, Mimi Chu, Chan Fong, Cheryl Lee, Louisa Chong, Steve Yap, Kim Thian, DJ Chan Fong and 988 deejays.
Director: Ryon Lee and JY Teng
Bad-tempered Uncle Shui suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, but he still remembers that his wife Summer is dead, and his son Liong Gor is working in the city. Ha Gu lives with him and takes care of him but she leaves him when she cannot stand his bad temper any longer. Liong Gor is then called home to help his father cope with living alone, but he also has a secret that he is keeping from his father.
A Beautiful Moment (Feb 15)
Cast: Carina Lau, Simon Yam, Michelle Wai, Ivana Wong, Philip Keung, Bob Lam, Natalie Tong, Alex Fong
Director: Patrick Kong
An ageing bachelor playboy finally meets the girl of his dreams and asks her to marry him. However, he later discovers that her psychologist stepmum is actually his first love from years ago! While the former lovers pretend not to know each other initially, their long-dormant feelings for each other start to surface, even as the wedding date draws near.
Think Big Big (Feb 14)
Cast: Serene Lim, Vivienne Oon, Ruby Yap, Moon Yoong, Joanne Lau, Fabian Loo, Keigrey Kam
Director: Chiu Keng Guan
The latest movie from Malaysian hitmaker Chiu Keng Guan (The Journey, OlaBola) is about Moon, a happy and confident plus-sized girl working as a mascot performer in a theme park, who doesn’t care about what others think of her. However, her life is turned upside-down when she gets involved in a slimming competition and becomes caught up in being famous. As a result, she loses the support of her parents and even her best friends. What can she do to make things go back to the way they were?
The Monkey King 3 (Feb 15)
Cast: Aaron Kwok, Feng Shaofeng, Zanilia Zhao, Lin Chi Ling, Yuen King-Tan
Director: Cheang Pou Soi
Aaron Kwok returns as the Monkey King in the third movie instalment in the hugely-popular franchise based on the Chinese classic Journey To The West. In this one, Tang Sanzang and his disciples make the River God angry, and have to run away to hide in Xi Liang, which is an all-female territory where no man has ever set foot in. To make things worse for the group, Xi Liang actually has a prophecy that states that the arrival of a monk, a monkey, a pig, and a blue-coloured man will spell the end of the country.
Agent Mr Chan (Feb 15)
Cast: Dayo Wong, Charmaine Sheh, Cecilia So, C-Kwan
Director: Jeff Cheung Ka Kit
Secret agent Chan is suddenly removed from duty after his partner Wonder Child unintentionally offends a policewoman named Shek. But when a financial officer goes crazy due to drugs, Chan is called back in to solve the case. But there is a catch – he has to work together with Shek.
Wonderful! Liang Xi Mei (Feb 15)
Cast: Jack Neo, Mark Lee, Jaspers Lai
Director: Jack Neo
Jack Neo returns as Liang Xing Mei, who has retired and is now spending her time looking after her two grandsons. She has high hopes for her youngest son Albert, who is more reliable than his older brother Robert, who is always coming up with get-rich-quick schemes. This makes Robert jealous and seeks the help of the God of Fortune to win back his mother’s approval.
Monster Hunt 2 (Feb 16)
Cast: Bai Baihe, Jing Boran, Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Li Yuchun, Tony Yang
Director: Raman Hui
This sequel to the 2015 monster hit Monster Hunt sees Wuba parting ways with his human parents Tian and Lan. Meanwhile, a sinister lord has seized the throne following the death of the evil monster king, and a huge bounty is placed on Wuba’s head. While in hiding, he reluctantly forms an alliance with a notorious gambler, Tu, who always seems to be up to no good.
Staycation (Feb 22)
Cast: Johnson Lee, Louisa So, Ti Lung, Chin Siu Ho, Andrew Lam
Director: Johnson Lee
Family man Fai brings his family for a vacation at to a remote camp site, far away from technology and civilisation. It is also the same place where he proposed to his wife 15 years ago. However, things don’t go as planned, as they have to put up with Fai’s nagging father, his troublemaker brother – this is where things get weird – another family absorbed with virtual reality technology and even a legendary bird whose egg Fai mistakes for a Wi-Fi dongle.