Have I got a movie for you!
Watch if you love:
- Kung Fu Hustle and/or Shaolin Soccer
- Sherlock Holmes
- The Tang Dynasty
- Supernatural (yes, the show and the genre)
- Creative applications of Traditional Chinese Medicine
- Horses with aquatic abilities
Netflix brilliantly describes the plot thusly:
Detective Dee’s first assignment with the Imperial police finds the city gripped in fear of sea monsters, which is only the beginning.
Yes friends, sea monsters are merely the beginning. If sea monsters were the only thing going on Detective Dee would have wrapped this mystery up in no time. Plot elements of the movie include: kidnapping, star-crossed lovers, creatures from the blue lagoon, poisoning, secret island, conspiracies, devious empresses, and unnecessary kung fu. Wait. What did I just say? Scratch that, necessary kung fu.
This movie is based off of the prominent historical figure Di Renjie during the Tang Dynasty as well gong’an crime novels written in the eighteenth-century that were also loosely based off of Di Renjie. This is the Sherlock Holmes character of ancient China and he actually existed! The movie doesn’t take itself too seriously and there are some moments where the CG is a little awkward, but stick with it! I promise you it’s worth seeing what happens next. The plot has several creative and kooky twists are thoroughly enjoyable in and of themselves. As well as lines such as “release the poisoned fish!”
If you want more Detective Dee there is another film called Detective Dee and the Phantom Flame (available on Netflix). Also check out the new TV series called Young Sherlock also based on Di Renjie, which I cannot wait to watch!
Do you want
- new beats for that casual dance party?
- to kick up the soundtrack to your morning commute?
- to reminisce about R&B days gone by?
- to impress your friends by throwing out words like mandopop and Chinese neo-soul?
Well, have I got the artist for you! I stumbled upon Khalil Fong, the Hong Kong based artist also known as Soulboy, through one fateful click. When I came to three hours and multitudes of music videos later I knew it was love (I was also convinced I knew enough Mandarin to sing along.)
Khalil, Khalil, Khalil, you have filled a neo-soul shaped hole in my heart I didn’t even know was there. He melds the genres of soul, RB, pop, in a manner that is instantly relatable without sounding generic. Throw in an upbeat retro flourish and I was sold. While he may be news to me he actually released his first album in back in 2005 and has been consistently releasing music since then. With so much music to choose from there’s bound to be one song that catches your ear and has you tapping your feet.
Check out some my favorites (and music videos) below:
Romeo is the kind of song you want to hear at a party to get people up, on their feet, and smiling. Just try not to dance. I dare you. If you like this song check out Eric Nam’s song Ooh Ooh.
BB88 is more laid back than the other two songs shown here but just as catchy. I like to think of it as my boppin’ around town song.
Dangerous World has the most distinctive “pop sound” of these three as well as some electronic elements. I’ve had this song stuck in my head for the past three days.
There are so many more songs available by Khalil Fong! This is some of his later work but his early albums (like Soul boy) as well as his collaborations are also worth a listen. Check them out on Youtube and on iTunes!