Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — A superhero film coming to cinemas nationwide during the Christmas and New Year season is expected to do well at the box office and possibly surpass earnings of its competitors.
Vietnamese-American director Victor Vũ’s Lôi Báo (In the Storm), released last weekend, has attracted more than 30,000 peoplel in HCM City.
The US$1 million-film features secrets about a superman played by dancer and rapper Cường Seven, who fights evil and protects justice.
Vũ worked on the film with art director Vincent Wang, who has been involved in Hollywood blockbusters Doctor Strange, The Great Wall, Now You See Me and Dracula Untold.
He also invited a crew of lighting and sound specialists from Thailand who work in filming and post-production. His staff spent several months in Đà Lạt filming kung-fu scenes.
“I spent a lot in filming because I want my audiences to watch quality action scenes,” Vũ told local media.
“My film is not about a Hollywood superman. It portrays a Vietnamese character who lives simply but works to keep the country and people safe,” he said.
Lôi Báo features young stars Nhã Phương and Vũ Ngọc Anh.
Actor Quách Ngọc Ngoan, winner of the title Mai Vàng Award for the year’s Best Film Actor from Người Lao Động (Labourer) newspaper in 2015, plays a supporting role in the film.
“I think Vũ’s Lôi Báo is the best work of its kind on superman in Việt Nam,” said moviegoer Nguyễn Đan Phượng of HCM City.
Vũ, a graduate of Loyola Marymount University in the US, began his career in Việt Nam after his film, Chuyện Tình Xa Xứ (Passport to Love), won Favourite Film at the Golden Kite Award given by the Việt Nam Cinematography Association in 2008.
The romantic comedy attracted visual effects director Peter Soto, composer Christopher Wong, costume designer Michelle Ngô and Vietnamese-American actress Kathy Uyên, all of whom left a fresh impression on Vietnamese audiences. It was also distributed in the US.
His second film in Việt Nam, Giao Lộ Định Mệnh (Inferno), released in 2010, starred dozens of young artists. The film is about the work and love of urban youth.
Two years later, his kung fu film Thiên Mệnh Anh Hùng (Blood Letter) won the jury prize at the International Film Festival in Hà Nội.
In 2013, his film Bí Mật Thảm Đỏ (Scandal), a work about the secrets of the film business, received the Golden Kite Prize for best director, presented by the Việt Nam Cinematography Association. Both films scored box office records.
His fourth film Quả Tim Máu (Vengeful Heart), a horror film, earned more than VNĐ24 billion ($1.1 million) in just three days after its release in 2014.
“I learned a lot about Việt Nam’s history, traditional culture and lifestyle,” said Vũ, adding that he sees his future in Việt Nam.
Another Vietnamese film is Khi Con Là Nhà (When You’re Home). Director Vũ Ngọc Đãng’s psychological production features comedy scenes starring Lương Mạnh Hải, who is also the film’s producer.
The film tells the story of a poor father and his son who moved from their village to earn a living in a big city.
Đãng, who has worked on several films and TV series, used child actor Phạm Duy Anh to attract young fans.
“The film is for all members of the family to enjoy during the holiday season. It is a song of life and love,” said Đãng, a graduate of the HCM City University of Theatre and Cinematography.
“After watching, I hope audiences, particularly young people, will learn about bravery, honour, and responsibility,” he added.
Khi Con Là Nhà will be screened in cinemas tomorrow to welcome the New Year. — VNS