DIDI’S DREAMS (2017) review

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After co-hosting the wildly successful TV show “Kangsi Coming” for twelve years, Kevin Tsai make a joint big screen debut as writer-director and lead actress respectively with Didi’s Dreams. It follows aspiring actress Didi (Hsu, who’s the sister of Barbie Hsu), who goes from thankless walk-on roles to degrading appearances in commercial and TV shows, ever stuck in the shadow of her estranged older sister, movie star Lingling (Lin Chiling). In a recurring dream, she is the owner of an interstellar noodle shop who falls for a handsome space janitor, but she is called back to tragic reality when she is diagnosed with a brain tumor that gives her a year at most to live. She throws herself oblivious into any work that comes her way, ending up in a viral video that makes her an overnight sensation. Now she is being offered to co-star with her sister in a lavish film about palace intrigue, and the estranged siblings will have to resolve their differences.

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THE PRECIPICE GAME (2016) review

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Mainland Chinese horror consists mainly of ghost stories that end with rational twists in order to avoid the SARFT‘s censorship of supernatural elements, which makes Wang Zao’s The Precipice Game an exception: it’s a straightforward slasher with Saw overtones, and no fake ghosts in sight. It stars Ruby Lin as Chen Chen, a surgeon whose wealthy mother (Wang Ji) is a control freak who disapproves of most of her relationships. One day her current boyfriend Chuan (Kingscar Jin) offers to take her on a treasure-hunt aboard a massive cruise ship, with only a select few other players (Peter Ho, Gai Yuexi, Li Lin and Li Shangyi). Things start off weird, with an oddly elaborate game of life-sized but harmless Russian roulette, before taking a turn for the horrific, as players are killed one by one in a series of inventively sadistic traps.

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