Lyfeportal's 8 movie picks for the Chinese New Year
Updated: Feb 9
Restrictions on house visitations got you head-scratching with spare time in your usually jam-packed schedule? Looking for the right film to take the spot of the annual Chinese New Year midnight movie with family and friends?
We've done the research, so you don't have to! Here’s a quick guide of the movie offerings available to you in the next 15 days of Chinese New Year!
Cast: Lawrence Wong, Cya Liu, Mark Lee, Xiang Yun, Guo Liang, Zhu Hou Ren, Mimi Choo
Synopsis: A charming creative director of an advertising film is in a pickle when his hard –to-impress father-in-law is in town to visit over Chinese New Year to discuss wedding matters/ The pickle: He is ashamed of his mother! His creative solution is to hire a motley crew of calefares to play his family, and as you would expect the charade falls apart quickly and comically.
Who to Bring: With a movie named Reunion Dinner it only makes sense to watch this with the whole family right? But we believe that the young at heart (ahem) will have a deeper appreciation of the themes of forgiveness and reconciliation, so bring the parents and grandparents!
I Am What I Am
Cast: Li Xin, Chen Yexiong, Guo Hao, Li Meng, Li Jiasi
Synopsis: Three insecurity-riddled teenage boys (which ones aren’t, to be completely honest) are coached by a grouchy lion dance instructor, and find their self-confidence even as they strive for lion dance greatness.
Who to Bring: With lion dance troupes absent yet again this year due to the pandemic, the whole family can get their fix with this colourful animated feature. This wholesome movie will be fun for everyone, but might perhaps speak more to the nieces and nephews who need a little pep talk!
My Best Friend’s Breakfast
Cast: Eric Chou, Moon Lee, Shou Lou, Edison Song
Synopsis: Navigate the perilous landscape of teenage campus romance with love triangles galore as a Taiwanese high school girl falls in love with her best friend’s breakfast-delivering suitor.
Who to Bring: Your significant other of course! Or better yet, pave the way for Valentine’s Day by bringing your crush to this Taiwanese romantic tale with dreamy leads and melodious music to awaken the love that isn’t there yet. The same picture-perfect ending could be yours too!
Ah Girl Go Army
Cast: Apple Chan, Xixi Lim, Glenn Yong, Belle Chua, Bei Er
Synopsis: Jack Neo’s latest instalment of the “Ah Boys” series re-imagines the first movie about fresh recruits experiencing Basic Military Training with a gender twist. In this movie, a group of women from different backgrounds ... well ... go to the army, and realize their potential as they are pushed to their physical and emotional limits.
Who to Bring: The great thing about Jack Neo movies, and specifically the “Ah Boys” series, is that you know what you are going to get - his tried and true formula of slapstick sequences and emotional revelations. Bring whoever is a fan of the series, or anyone who’s in the mood for a fun, harmless time.
Chilli Laugh Story
Cast: Sandra Ng, Ronald Cheng, Gigi Leung, Edan Lui
Synopsis: A heart-warming comedy-drama from Hong Kong about how a family’s chilli sauce business tries to reinvent itself as they navigate the complications of the pandemic and frustrations of work-from-home.
Who to Bring: Anyone who’s a fan of Hong Kong comedies, or anyone who had a rough time working from home in the past few years and is looking for catharsis. This energetic movie is also a great way to replace the usual hustle and bustle of Chinese New Year that might be conspicuously absent this year, so if you’re feeling a little let-down by the lack of festivities pop in for a sweet and spicy time!
Sing 2 (Magical Children Friendly)
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Taron Egerton, Tori Kelly, Halsey, Pharrell Williams, Chelsea Peretti, Bono
Synopsis: In this entertaining animated musical extravaganza, koala Buster Moon and his talented animal friends are all ready to set the world alight with their spectacular voices and dazzling performances. Can he convince a reclusive rock star to come out of retirement to join them in their star-studded show?
Who to Bring: The perfect movie for the younger children who are experiencing midnight movies for the first time, and for those of us who need irresistibly catchy pop songs to replace the Chinese New Year jingles in our head. Sing 2 uses the same formula as its predecessor, but as the saying goes - don’t fix what’s not broken. The colourful animation and charming music numbers will definitely bring a smile to your face.
Cast: Halle Berry, Patrick Wilson, John Bradley-West, Charlie Plummer, Michael Pena, Donald Sutherland
Synopsis: The moon is knocked from its orbit by a mysterious force in this adrenaline-pumping disaster film and is now on a catastrophic collision course with earth. A NASA executive teams up with a conspiracy theorist and an astronaut from her past to execute a last-ditch mission to save the earth, not realizing that a sinister surprise is awaiting them on the moon.
Who to Bring: Poor old Chang Er’ is in peril! Jokes aside, you might want to leave out the older folks for this one, seeing as it might not be the most auspicious movie option, what with the moon falling and possible death and destruction on the horizon. Bring the younger ones who are in the mood for some overwhelming visuals and ridiculous fun.
Death on the Nile
Cast: Gal Gadot, Kenneth Branagh, Letitia Wright, Armie Hammer, Annette Bening, Ali Fazal, Sophie Okonedo, Tom Bateman, Emma Mackey, Dawn French, Rose Leslie
Synopsis: One of Agatha Christie’s best-loved works comes to the silver screen as Hercule Poirot, a world-renowned private detective and former policeman, investigates violent deaths aboard a glamorous river steamer. The idyllic cruise along the Nile descends ominously into a web of passion, jealousy and deceit, and when everyone isn’t as they seems, will the real murderer be revealed?
Who to Bring: Yet another inauspicious offering at the movies, so keep ah-gong and ah-ma away. Casual movie-goers will appreciate the thrill of the movie, or at the very least be entertained by the majestic landscapes, stylish sets and beautiful cast, while fans of whodunit films will not be disappointed as there will be wicked twists and turns galore. Just maybe don’t bring anyone who's read the book!