CITY GUIDE >Culture and Events
Magic power of the universe
By Chen Nan (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-03-16 10:46

Dragonball, one of the most popular Japanese animation books series, has been taken up by Hollywood.

Magic power of the universe

The movie Dragonball Evolution is based on the 500-plus-episode cartoon by Akira Toriyama and tells the tale of teenager Goku, a warrior alien who protects the Earth from an endless stream of rogues bent on dominating the universe and controlling mystical objects known as Dragon Balls.

First published in 1984, Dragonball sold more than 200 million copies worldwide and has been made into TV animation series, movies and video games. Justin Chatwin plays the hero, who must gather all seven magical orbs or Dragon Balls before the evil Lord Piccolo (James Marsters) uses them to conquer the world. Veteran Hong Kong actor Chow Yun-fat plays Master Roshi, Goku's mentor, and helps him achieve the highest state of fighting and spiritual powers. HK Actor-director Stephen Chow is the producer and James Wong (Final Destination) directs. Dragonball Evolution opens this weekend.

After his prize-winning film Still Life at the 2006 Venice Film Festival, Chinese director sixth-generation director Jia Zhangke continues his depiction about how China's economic transformation has affected ordinary people's lives. 24 City is about the relocation of a 50-year-old state-owned aircraft factory, Factory 420, and its workers in the southwestern Chinese city Chengdu.

"Different generations can see themselves in the film," says Jia. "The younger generation in particular can see what their parents experienced when they were young."

Other films also shown at cinemas including:

Claustrophobia is Hong Kong director Ivy Ho's directorial debut. A perceptive author, her screenplays have been adapted to the big screen such as director Peter Chan Ho-sun's Comrades, Almost a Love Story (1996).

Claustrophobia tracks the lives of five office colleagues and the narrative moves from the present to the past - something rarely seen in a Hong Kong drama. Its eight segments takes viewers through the interplay between Karl (Felix Lok), John (Derek Tsang) and Jewel (Chucky Woo), and their boss Tom (Ekin Cheng) and his assistant Pearl (Karena Lam). Eventually, a picture emerges of the complex interpersonal relationships that have developed over the previous year.

The Two Worlds, a French sci-fi adventure-cum-comedy, is a time-travel story about a tradesman who slips through time and space and embarks on a journey to an alternate world, before returning temporarily to his present-day existence. After a series of adventures in this strange new land, he seeks to liberate an enslaved tribe of warriors who live there.

The film stars Benoit Poelvoorde, Florence Loiret-Caille and Augustin Legrand. It is directed by Daniel Cohen, produced by Mathieu Kassovitz and opens on March 6.