HIFF Spring Showcase Preview

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The Hawaii International Spring Showcase begins today, and as usual, HIFF is offering a great mix of international cinema with an emphasis on Asian films. Most of the films will be shown at Dole Cannery theaters, but there also will be some special presentations at Hawaii Theatre. Here’s a quick look at what likely will be the festival’s draws.

“Once Upon a Time in Vietnam”

April 4 at 8:30 p.m. and April 5 at 12:30 p.m.

Any time you put the words “Once Upon a Time…” in a movie title, you know it’s going to be epic. I’m really curious to check out Vietnam’s version of an epic sci-fi western tale.

“Firestorm”

April 5 at 9:30 p.m. and April 7 at 8:30 p.m.

Gone are the glory days of Hong Kong action cinema, when directors such as Woo, Hark and Lam brilliantly wowed global audiences with their creativity and unique style. Yet the city still manages to pump out a few good action films every year. “Firestorm” stars legendary HK actor Andy Lau and looks to be a possible return to the crazy HK action of years past.

“Dom Hemingway”

April 6-7 at 9 p.m.

To me, when it comes to comedy, the blacker the better, and when you combine dark humor with crime shenanigans, it’s a must-see. “Dom Hemingway,” starring Jude Law looks like it will fit that bill.

“Beijing Love Story”

April 9 at 8:45 p.m. and April 10 at 6:15 p.m.

This tale of five relationships set in Beijing is uneven, and I definitely found some of the couples more interesting than others, and while the intertwining of the five stories feels rushed and forced, there’s no denying that there’s a lot of heart. Go check this film out with your significant other if you believe you’re in it with them for the long run.

“Marriage Blue”

April 9-10 at 6 p.m.

Korean films are always very popular at HIFF and this romantic comedy focusing on four couples is sure to be a hot ticket. Get your tickets fast for this one. I already have mine.