The Wedding Banquet

Before Lust, Caution (2007), before Brokeback Mountain (2005), before The Hulk (2003), and even before Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), Taiwanese movie director Ang Lee was well known in international movie circles for his very well received The Wedding Banquet, which was released in 1993.

The story basics start with three characters, Wai-Tung and Simon, a gay male couple, and Wei-Wei, a beautiful struggling artist who is a tenant in a Williamsburg, Brooklyn, rental apartment property owned by the portfolio diverse Wai-Tung.

Wai-Tung has not told his parent that he is gay. Said parents continue to harangue him about getting married and presenting them with grandchildren. And Wei-Wei is facing deportation from the US unless she can marry an American.

Well, Wai-tung is a naturalized American citizen, so a ‘marriage’ of convenience between he and Wei-Wei is designed by the threesome. Wai-tung announces this to his parents in Taipei, and to his shock and dismay, they promptly announce that they are flying in to meet the bride, and arrange the wedding, as a civil ceremony only just won’t do.

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Connected (Bo Chi Tung Wah) released in September, 2008, is a taut thriller with plenty of action. Directed by the veteran and reliable Hong Kong director Benny Chan, the film has enough action with shootouts and chases to keep the 18-30 year old males involved, enough eye candy and dramatics to satisfy the 25-45 males watching on DVD, and a sympathetic but resourceful woman as the victim of a kidnapping along with a couple of cute 6 year old kids, so you can safely ask your significant other along to watch the video with you.

In a nutshell, an attractive single Mom called Grace Wong, an electronics whiz played by the wonderful Barbie Hsu, while driving a sporty convertible gets into an auto accident which was no accident. When she recovers her senses, she as well as we are brought up to speed as we all learn she is a victim of a kidnapping.

The bad guys want something from her brother and think she might have it, or might know where he is. She doesn’t have a clue but the bad guys have to resort to some real heavy-handedness to get to that point.

Meanwhile, there’s a debt collector, Bob, played by Louis Koo. He is a single Dad, and his task this day is to meet his sister and his son Kit at the airport as they head off on a trip to Australia where Kit will then live with his mother.

Grace Wong (Barbie Hsu) hoping the phone will connect with someone, anyone!

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