Review China

Review of Chinese Movies and TV Shows

A League of Nobleman

A League of Nobleman (君子盟) is a Chinese TV show broadcast between January and February 2023 by Tencent.


Zhang Ping is an orphan who is in Beijing to take the civil service entrance exam but due to lack of money makes noodles to sell on the street. Lan Jue is a minister who hides a secret about his youth and his Father’s death.   Zhang Ping, has a knack for his being a detective and helps Lan Jue solve a case, and their partnership, rough and smooth, takes off from there.


Jing Bo Ran (井柏然) as Lan Jue
He is an actor and singer, who formed the duet “BoBo” with Fu Xin Bo. His career began in 2009 and has taken off from there.  He is 1/8th Russian.

Song Wei Long (宋威龙) as Zhang Ping
He is an actor and model. He signed up to be a model around about 2015. Then in 2016 he was in his first TV drama; Demon Girl, Season 2.


I thought this was a very well done decent drama.

The main story was good with a few story arcs within it of them trying to solve one main case and other smaller cases seemed interconnected in some way.

There was drama, comedy and some action/suspense. There was some good special effects in some of the “dream sequences”. There were people to love and people to dislike completely.

The introductory theme was mainly drum beats with some whooshing here and there, but it was short and didn’t take up too much of the show like some others. The end theme varied a little bit, from time to time.

The set seemed quite familiar, no doubt many of them are filmed in a similar location.

The last 3 or more cliffhanger episodes were quite well done and exciting as everything reached its climax.

I wish they had made the drama longer.

My Score

I would give it a 4/5. Something was missing but not quite sure what.

Where Can I Watch

I watched it on Viki but it can also be found on WeTV, Prime Video (not sure what countries) and Tencent Video.

2023-09-01T23:16:10+00:001 September 2023|Review China|

Eastern Bandits

Eastern Bandits aka An Inaccurate Memoir [匹夫] is a Chinese movie by Beijing Enlight Pictures, released on 23rd April 2012.


Set during the Japanese invasion of China, Gao seeks revenge trying to assassinate a visiting commander. Gao encounters a local mafia, a group of bandits, lead by Fang. Fang has a devoted band of followers, who are also his friend, including his sister. They work together to infiltrate the Japanese.


Huang Ziao Ming [黄晓明] as Fang
A popular actor with a long list of movie and TV show credits although I don’t recall seeing him before. On the gossip side, he married Angelababy (not sure who she is) in 2015 and they were divorced by 2022.
Not sure if this old “official” Instagram account belongs to the actor.

Yi Zhang [张译] as Gao
I recall seeing one movie he was in before, One Second. He has a long list of films, TV series as well.


The opening was fine and I initially had high hopes for the movie, however, it went downhill after a short wile.

On the positive side there was a good balance of drama, action or comedy.

The cinema photography was good, especially with the overhead shots of the view of the mountains. The acting was pretty good, at least thats how they all came across.

It’s biggest let down was the musical score, in my opinion, it just didn’t match what was going on. It felt as though it was trying to be a Chinese cowboy movie which totally didn’t work.

The saving grace was the comical scenes.

I will give it a generous 3/5.

Where Can I Watch

The movie can be found on Tubi. Not sure where else.


2023-08-15T21:49:47+00:0015 August 2023|Review China|

New Fong Sai-yuk: The Beginning

New Fong Sai-yukNew Fong Sai-yuk: The Beginning (新方世玉前传侠者无畏) is a Chinese film that was released in 2020, it is 1 hour and 25 minutes long, or kind of short really.

This film has a number of English-translated titles such as:

  • New Fong Sai-Yuk Prequel
  • Fang Shi Yu
  • New Fong Sai Yuk: Battle In Cliff City


Fang Shi Yu and his father Fang De visit Hangzhou City to buy goods, however, gets into a fight with the overlord’s assistant and then goes into hiding with Qui Ming in a fabric store until the dust settles. However, the situation escalates when the overlord’s demands on “taxes” go too far.

Actually, the above is my version of the film description but other summaries I’ve seen appear to be much more complex.


Narisu Bai (白那日苏) as Fang Shi Yu
Not seen him in any other products but appears to have a steady stream of acting jobs.
He studied martial arts since childhood and studied in Japan for 5 years. Fluent in Japanese, English and Mongolian. He is very sporty.

Su Yue (苏月) as Qiu Ming
She appeared in The Untamed, which I’ve heard of, but also Moonshine and Valentine which we saw quite a few years ago.

Norman Chui (徐少強) as Fang De (Shi Yu’s father)
He is from Hong Kong and has appeared in many productions including ones we’ve seen like The Enchanting Phantom, Word of Honor, and Fights Break Sphere

There were other great actors in this film, too many to mention here. The actress who played the Mother (Whirlwind) was brilliant although I can’t find out who she is, she is awfully familiar though.


The film is only 88 minutes in length and I have the feeling it might just be a “Made for TV” one, if it is the case it’s one of the rare good quality ones.

There was martial arts, action, drama and a lot of comedy. It probably has something for everyone. The fight scenes were actually pretty good, and not too overtly violent which is more towards my level of things. Narisu Bai knows martial arts so I suspect this might be one reason why he was chosen for it.

I enjoyed some of the tech items of this century and how they made Flintstone versions of them in the film, such as the telephone and scooters.

Its one downside was the incidental music which at some points was boring and repetitive.

I will give this movie a 4/5.

Where Can I Watch

I watched over Viki but it’s currently uploaded to YouTube.

2023-07-31T21:15:41+00:0031 July 2023|Review China|

Fatal Mission

Fatal Mission (怒江之战) is a Chinese television show consisting of 43 episodes and was broadcast from June to July 2016.


It’s 1942 and the Chinese government receive intelligence that the Japanese may be developing a dangerous biological weapon in a remote part of Burma. A special squad is dispatched to the region to stop the Japanese.

The TV show is adapted from the novel “Nu Jiang Zhi Zhan” by Nan Pai Shu and Qian Kun, see the Internet Archive.


Sean Sun or Sun Yi Zhou (孙艺洲) as Zhao Ban Kuo
He is best known for his appearance in the high-rating show iPartment, I had to look back at an episode to recognise him.

Jia Qing (贾青) as Liao Yi Fang
Appeared in multiple productions but nothing we’ve seen before from what I can see.

George Christopher Tronsrue as “Old Jay”
He is a bilingual American actor from Chicago who played a contingent of the US Forces. His performance was actually pretty good despite the storyline. Even though he is taller than me he looked shorter than the others on Fatal Mission.


This show received fairly good reviews, it had action, romance and a lot of heartache. The message I got from the show, which is familiar for Chinese shows of this type, is that the people are willing to sacrifice everything for the love of their country. However, my preference would be if people came back alive.

Fatal Mission Sassy Picture

There were numerous issues with this show:

  • I very much doubt that women in the Chinese military in the 1940s wore mini-skirts
  • The ending theme gave away major plot lines, so you knew what would happen, to a certain extent, to two main characters.
  • Sean Sun had a lot of love entanglements.
  • I didn’t think the US military wore berets until Vietnam.
  • I swear they had more hair gel with them than arms.
  • During their mission, they were only carrying backpacks however a huge amount of equipment was seen during their trek like tents, weapons, transmitters
  • One minute Gusika couldn’t speak Chinese and the next she could, I don’t think there were any language schools in the jungle.
  • When Knife spoke the aboriginal language someone else with a totally different voice dubbed over him. It was bad.
  • So many episodes they were dealing with irrelevant issues, it became tedious after a while.
  • Towards the end of the season, it was a mistake to let Long Hair blow up the corridors, no good military mind would have let that happen.

It was good to see an actual American actor on a Chinese show just like the Longest Day in Changan.

I think the actors did their best with what they were given, some parts of the storyline were daft.

The ending, well, I would have written it differently. However, I have seen endings like this in other Chinese TV shows and films.

I give this show a 2/5, they scored a point for the explosions.

Where Can I Watch

I saw this show on Viki, a poorer-quality version can be seen on YouTube.

2023-07-23T20:54:30+00:0023 July 2023|Review China|

Eighteen Arhats of Shaolin Temple

Eighteen Arhats of Shaolin TempleEighteen Arhats of Shaolin Temple (少林寺十八罗汉) is a Chinese movie that was released on 20 February 2020.


18 Shaolin Kung Fu monks head to take off to the south to help defend the empire’s shores against the Japanese Pirate invasion. Shortly upon their arrival on the Jiangsu-Zhejiang frontline the monks encounter the enemy and attempt to rescue the civilians held hostage by the enemy.


I don’t know much about the cast in this film.

Xie Miao (谢苗) plays the lead character/monk
I don’t know anything about this actor but he has a very busy resume, especially with films. I don’t believe we have seen him in any other production.

Justin Hu (胡世群) plays Wu Yuan
He has been in a lot of movies but I don’t know anything about this actor either.

Xu Shao Hang (徐绍航) plays Cao Xiao Wei
He is best known for his role in the sci-fi drama “Anti-Japanese Hero” but he is in a show that we are currently watching called The Fatal Mission.

Long Yang Yang (龙杨杨)
He played the comedic character in the film. We haven’t seen him in anything else but would like to as he was very engaging on screen.


This film receives very decent reviews and I thought it was very good and well worth watching. It was only 1 hour and 30 minutes long, I could have watched it for longer and there might have been ways to lengthen the story.

This is basically an action film. I will give full marks for the martial arts which is very well done, it must have taken them weeks to film.

There was quite a bit of comedy which mainly comes from Long Yang Yang but he played a big role in the action and martial arts too. It was very wise to put in the comedy.

The storyline was particularly good especially when the movie is over and you realize what the aim of the storytellers were trying to get across. I won’t hint at what happens.


I will give this film a 4.5/5. Very good indeed.

Where Can I Watch

I watched this film on Viki, it’s also on YouTube via Q1Q2 Movie Channel and TubiTV. The best-quality version is on Viki as always.


I don’t have a trailer but here is a theme song:

2023-07-13T04:13:18+00:0013 July 2023|Review China|

The Brocade Mouse Royal Cat Nine Deep Blood Wolf

The “Brocade Mouse Royal Cat Nine Deep Blood Wolf”, or a more simple alternative title “Sleek Rat and Royal Cat” [锦鼠御猫之九幽血狼] is a Chinese movie that was released on 22 May 2020.


So, we have demon wolfs, the Song Dynasty and two guys who tease each other but team up to solve strange death in Bianliang City and return people to a peaceful life.


Andrew Pong [龐景峰] as Bai Yu Tang
Andrew is an Australian born American actor and singer based in Hong Kong. He is also a martial artist and love dogs. This is the first production I have seen him in, although The Leakers does seem familiar to us.
Instagram | YouTube | IMDB

He Ming Han [何明翰] as Zhan Zhao
Quite a long career of mostly television work but we haven’t seen him in any other productions. He is an actor and singer from Nanton and studied at the Shanghai Theater Academy.

Sleek Rat and Royal CatReview – SPOILERS

The reason why I watched this film is because I was intrigued by the long title, from that I expected a crazy comedy,

I think this must have been a made-for-TV movie, it’s only 1 hour 23 minutes in length and the story is not really tight as it should have been.

The action scenes were pretty good, some of it was quite obviously CGI, but generally much of it is what we would expect from a big budget movie. On the downside, it appeared they hit the fast-forward button on these action sequences, not sure why, maybe to hide some of the CGI created stuff or because they had to fit in so much in the allowed time. It certainly gave some opportunity to show off Andrew Pong’s skillset.

The humour was great and I would have placed this film in the comedy category above anything else. The movie was fun to watch from that perspective and would have been duller otherwise.

The love interest of Zhan Zhao, Ding Yue Hua, was slightly annoying after a while but I am pleased they offset that off with some action from her.

They shouldn’t have knocked off all the ladies in the first 10 minutes of the film. I felt that was a mistake. They should have integrated into the film later on.

I understand some people liked the music in the movie but writing this afterwards I have no recollection of it. Maybe I should go back and listen to it again.

It was a decent entertainment but not something I would have paid for at the cinema. I will give it 2.5/5.

Where To Watch

We saw this movie on Viki but it’s also on Tubi and YouTube.

2023-06-19T20:51:23+00:0019 June 2023|Review China|

The Silent Criminal

The Silent Criminal (双夭记) is a very cute 13 part TV show that was broadcast on iQiyi in 2020.


Thieves hatch a plan to steal a box containing a powerful weapon that would, whoever owns it, have unlimited power. Long Yao, the Emperor and Jing Yao, a small-town detective, go about bringing justice.


Leo Li (李嘉铭) plays Detective Shi Jing Yao
We have previously seen Leo Li in the 2018 TV drama Moonshine and Valentine, but nothing else to date.  He is married to fellow Moonshine and Valentine actor Liu Young Xi.

Wen Sheng (文生) plays Long Yao
Silent Criminal was the first time Wen Sheng had played the main role in any production, he did a very good job. He is a recent graduate of the Department of Performance of Fudan University.


We loved this show but it was very short. The story gives potential for a second season but I doubt if there will be one.

The comedy was the first positive thing about this drama. However, this tailed off during the second part of the season. However, it was an amusing show.  It’s great to see something lighthearted.

The storyline wasn’t very unique but I would say they presented it very well with their own twists integrating into the character’s humour.

It felt this should have been a bromance drama, it is self-evident they made it feel like something was going on between Jing Yao and Long Yao. If life was more liberal in China I guess they could have quickly gone in that redirection with the show.

The action and fighting scenes were good although more prominent towards the end of the series.

There was more wuxia and supernatural the further the series went on, also one episode went off on a complete tangent into the horror-ish genre.

Either way, this was such an enjoyable show, much to the amazing performance of the actors, so I give it a 5/5.

Where To See It

I saw it on Viki but it can also be seen on iQiyi.


2023-05-27T23:07:19+00:0027 May 2023|Review China|

Longest Day in Chang’an

The Longest Day in Chang’an (长安十二时辰) is a Chinese TV series that was broadcast between June and August 2019, this is my review.


This series is adapted from the novel of the same name by Ma Bo Yong.

In the year 744 AD an attack is expected in Chang’an, the heart of the Tang Empire, during the Lantern Festival. There is a lot of infighting amongst the court as the Emperor is expected to announce stepping down and passing the regency to The Right Chancellor instead of the Crown Prince, his son. Intelligence Chief Li Bi, an ally of the Crown Prince frees a death row prisoner Zhang Xiao Jing, a beloved war veteran, to help find out who plans to launch the attack.


There are three major roles in this TV series, although one of them is listed as support.

Lei Jia Yin (雷佳音) as Zhang Xiao Jing
I never heard of this actor before but now realize he is quite sought after, his performance in Longest Day was outstanding. He is a high school dropout to go into modelling and acting.
Baidu Profile

Jackson Yee (易烊千玺) as Li Bi
he is a musician, singer, dancer, actor and member of the Chinese music band TFBOYS; it appears he has mainly been in variety type TV shows. He has won numerous awards for his acting work. Below is a sample of his musical work.
Baidu Profile

Zhou Yi Wei (周一围) as Long Bo
He has a list of acting credits as long as my arm. Drama, movies and TV shows, he’s done everything.
Baidu Profile


This show was exceptional, maybe a one-off of a very high standard that would be hard to achieve again.

The first thing that hit me was the scale of the show, especially the city of Chang’an. I understand it took months to prepare the set for filming. It was visually stunning piece of work.

The next thing I noticed was how authentic and true to life everything looked, a certain grittiness about the show.

The format of the show was like no other. The version I saw, at least, had no opening them; it just started off with credits and straight on with the story. Then a slight cliffhanger a few minutes in with a bumper. At the end there was another 2-3 minute shot, some of them was like a preview from the next episode, some was an artistic representation of something happening elsewhere. There were different closing themes to almost every other show.

I loved the “speaking clock” character, he was fun, unfortunately…well, I don’t want to spoil it too much for potential views.

The entire series was focused on one day. Seems that format has been done before but they did well to include it in this.

The actors were a range of actors and it wasn’t the usual pretty skinny people you see in the shows. This made the show look more realistic too. I have to say that I wasn’t convinced by the age of the Emperor, the actor who played him, Feng Jia Yi, is in fact only 53.

It was great to include a Djimon Hounsou in the show, he is an actor that originated from Benin and lives in the US that has played parts in Shzam, black Adam, Captain Marvel and Aquaman. The only thing it the voice for him wasn’t that great.
Djimon’s Instagram

I understand there might be a season two. It would be difficult to keep the same quality as the first season.

I give this show a 5/5, an absolute must see.

Where To Watch

I understand it’s on Amazon Prime in some regions, however, I saw it on Viki.


2023-05-18T23:47:29+00:0018 May 2023|Review China|

Three Body

Three Body (三体) is a Chinese SciFi TV show that was broadcast between January thru February 2023, there were a total of 30 episodes. The alternative title is Three Body Problem.

Three Body

Actually, I’m not qualified to review it since I dropped it after episode 6.

I dropped it as it was dragging so much that I fell asleep during parts of the last episode I saw. Then, I lost the plot. Other people said it was painfully slow up to the middle of the series.

From what I saw it was a unique show and had an original presentation and storyline.

Just because I didn’t care for it I recommend giving it a go, it might be up your street. Many reviews I’ve seen give it good scores, around 8.1 out of 10.  It received 7.8 on Internet Movie Database. It won 3 awards including “TV Series of the Year” by Weibo.

This is one of the few shows I’ve dropped, I’m quite selective about what I watch.

Where to Watch

It’s available on Viki, and some other streaming platforms.


2023-05-15T22:36:42+00:0015 May 2023|Review China|

The Thousand Faces of Dunjia

The Thousand Faces of Dunjia (奇门遁甲) is a Chinese movie that was released on 15th December 2017.


A group of warriors protect the world from a monster invasion, via Internet Movie Database


Yuen Woo Ping (袁和平) directed the movie. He is a veteran martial arts director whose resume includes Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Ni Ni (倪妮) as Metal Dragonfly
We saw this popular award-winning actress in 1921 and The Rise of Phoenixes.

Da Peng (董成鹏 as Zhuge Qingyun
He seems very familiar but as far as I can tell we’ve only seen him in a brief appearance in Detective Chinatown 1.

Thousand Faces of DunjiaReview

This is mainly a martial arts action movie so don’t have high expectations about a sophisticated script. The Internet Movie Database description, above, is probably all one can say about it, for me. It was rated fairly badly on IMDB and some other websites.

The CGI was great and seemed pretty advanced, must have spent some time putting it together. The fish was the best, I gave it an extra mark because of that special effect. I also liked the way the text was embedded into the movie, quite a unique concept, I’d like to be able to replicate that somehow.

The film was saved from worse reviews with the humour, and actors Ni Ni and Da Peng who were a definite draw.

There is a sequel, Fantasy Magician, which receives the same reviews as the first one, although we haven’t found it anywhere to watch it. It doesn’t star Ni Ni or Da Peng, it wasn’t directed by Yuen Woo Ping.


I would give it a 4/5, I appreciate the hard work they put into this product.


More Information

The movie can be found on Viki. I understand it might be on Netflix but certainly not here in Canada.

2023-02-16T23:44:34+00:0016 February 2023|Review China|