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Staff & contributors

Soul Mate has a familiar premise, has a standard love triangle, and at times, goes through the same formulaic story beats that any moviegoer would recognize. However, what makes the film unique is that it’s not focused on which character should get the guy, but on the friendship between two women and what's really driving them apart. In director Derek Tsang’s capable hands, we learn about their dynamic in fragments and through crucial moments. Gorgeous cinematography and editing turn memories golden in nostalgia. But it’s ultimately Zhou Dongyu and Sandra Ma’s performances that solidify the friendship. Theirs is a study of contrasts between the independent yet freeloading Ansheng versus the stable but yearning Qiyue. It’s the actresses who prove that the real soul connection can be found between these two women instead.

Genre: Drama, Romance

Actor: Cai Gang, Li Ping, Liu Beige, Ma Sichun, Toby Lee, Zhou Dongyu

Director: Derek Tsang, Derek Tsang Kwok-Cheung

Rating: Not Rated

, 2011

Being named after the genre, Wu xia, the title replaced in English as Dragon, would understandably follow its conventions with dramatic action in ancient China. The plot roughly follows a typical wuxia thread, where a hidden master is revealed, leading to plenty of exciting adventures, and they seek justice in order to return to a state of peace. But the way Dragon approaches this plot is exciting, as the film mixes in the investigation of a murder mystery, with a determined detective suspecting the master through his knowledge of the body, through an eclectic mix of forensics, medicine, and Qi acupuncture. And as the detective is consistently challenged by the former fighter, it’s clear how difficult it can be to master the body, especially after going through trauma and violence and self-doubt. The threads in the film are familiar, but Dragon understands what makes these threads work, and the way these are woven together makes for a good movie to watch.

Genre: Action, Drama, Thriller

Actor: Donnie Yen, Ethan Juan, Hua Yan, Jiang Wu, Jimmy Wang Yu, Kang Yu, Kara Hui, Kara Wai Ying-Hung, Kenji Tanigaki, Li Jia-Min, Li Xiaoran, Peter Chan, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Tang Wei, Wang Chunyuan, Wei Tang, Wu Jiang, Xiao Ran Li, Yin Zhusheng, Yu Kang, Yu Wang, Zheng Wei, Zhou Bo

Director: Peter Chan

Rating: R