Missbehavior (Pang Ho-cheung, 2019)

missbehavior

This week’s snow has certainly thrown a wrench into my Lunar New year movie-watching plans, but fortunately my kids’ school actually started on time today so I was able to make the long drive to the Pacific Place to catch an early morning show of Pang Ho-cheung’s latest before it disappeared forever. Famous as the director of the Love in a. . . series of films, the first of which, Love in a Puff, was a vibrant breath of fresh air into the mostly moribund Hong Kong romantic comedy genre. Notoriously given a Category III rating (the equivalent of our NC-17) because of its use of foul language, it captured life among the disaffected professionals of an urban metropolis, at once highly culturally specific in its language and references while universal in that its story could take place in any highly developed center of global capitalism. The sequels continued in this vein, along with the fine but unrelated 2014 rom-com Women Who Know How to Flirt are the LuckiestMissbehavior does as well, though it is not a romance but rather an ensemble farce. And while it’s a great deal of fun, it’s Pang’s least interesting, and least essential film to date.

Reportedly put together in just two weeks, Missbehavior is about a group of old friends, all young urban professionals who have grown estranged from each other for various reasons, who band together to help out a friend who is in trouble at work. She managed to misplace her boss’s bottle of breast milk, and every works together to find a replacement by the end of the day so she doesn’t get fired. The plot alternates madcap schemes for milk retrieval with flashbacks that explain how various pairs of the friends became alienated from each other. It’s little more than an excuse for Pang (and us) to hang out with a bunch of fun actors goofing off, and on that level the film is a delight. Occasionally it gets bogged down in lesson-learning and hugging, which feels extremely heavy-handed in a film so packed with ridiculous gags (from wordplay which is pretty funny even in translation to the basest body humor).

Gigi Leung heads the cast and seems the most like a real actor. But the best performance, no surprise, comes from Lam Suet, as the world’s worst waiter. Other familiar faces abound: Isabella Leong, Miriam Yeung, Derek Tsang, June Lam, Roy Szeto, Susan Shaw, and many more.

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Friday February 8 – Thursday February 15

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Featured Film:

Holiday Movies All Over Town

The convergence of Lunar New Year and Valentine’s Day had blessed us with an embarrassment of cinematic riches this week on Seattle Screens. On the former front, we have new releases The Wandering EarthPegasus and Integrity, along with the continuing run of Peppa Celebrates Chinese New Year and revivals of one of Sammo Hung’s best movies (Pedicab Driver, on 35mm at the Grand Illusion) and Jackie Chan’s best (the restoration of Police Story and Police Story 2 at the Uptown). Valentine’s gives us some inspired programming: Takashi Miike’s Audition at the Northwest Film Forum, Cries and Whispers at SAM, Natural Born Killers at the Central Cinema, I Want to Eat Your Pancreas at the Cinemark theatres (albeit dubbed, apparently), Dick and Jane Drop Acid and Die at the Grand Illusion, alongside more traditional fare like Before Sunrise at the Grand, and Dirty DancingWings of Desire and Cold War at various other theatres. Here’s hoping the snow passes us by, or at least melts quickly, so we can actually get out to some of these great movies.

Playing This Week:

AMC Alderwood:

Extreme Job (Lee Byung-heon) Fri-Thurs 
The Wandering Earth (Frant Gwo) Fri-Thurs 
Hit and Run Squad (Han Jun-hee) Fri-Thurs 
2019 Oscar Animated Shorts (Various) Fri-Thurs 
2019 Oscar Live Action Shorts (Various) Fri-Thurs 

Central Cinema:

Moulin Rouge! (Baz Luhrmann, 2001) Fri-Weds
Natural Born Killers (Oliver Stone, 1993) Fri-Weds 

Crest Cinema Centre:

Roma (Alfonso Cuarón) Fri-Thurs  
Shoplifters (Kore-eda Hirokazu) Fri-Thurs 

SIFF Egyptian:

Cold War (Pawel Pawlikowski) Fri-Thurs 

Century Federal Way:

Peppa Celebrates Chinese New Year (Zhang Dapeng) Fri-Tues  
Integrity (Alan Mak) Fri-Tues 
Dirty Dancing (Emile Ardolino) Sun & Weds Only 
I Want to Eat Your Pancreas (Shin’ichirô Ushijima) Sun Only English Dub

Grand Cinema:

Hale County This Morning, This Evening (RaMell Ross) Tues Only  Our Review
Before Sunrise (Richard Linklater, 1995) Thurs Only 

Grand Illusion Cinema:

Pedicab Driver (Sammo Hung, 1989) Fri, Sun & Thurs Only Our Review Our Podcast 
Mirai (Mamoru Hosada) Fri-Weds Our Review Our Other Review Dubbed or Subtitled, Check Listings
Saturday Secret Matinee Sat Only 16mm
Funny Fellows: Laurel & Hardy Comedy Shorts, 1924-1930 (Various) Tues Only 16mm 
Dick and Jane Drop Acid and Die (Matt Mitler, 1991) Thurs Only VHS

Cinemark Lincoln Square:

Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga (Shelly Chopra Dhar) Fri-Thurs 
Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi (Kangana Ranaut & Krish) Fri-Thurs 
Yatra (Mahi V. Raghav) Fri-Thurs In Malayalam or Telugu, Check Listings
URI (Aditya Dhar) Fri-Thurs
Bhai – Vyakti Valli Uttarardh (Mahesh Manjrekar) Sat-Tues 
Joseph (M. Padmakumar) Sat & Sun Only 
Natasaarvabhowma (Pawan Wadeyar) Sat & Sun Only 
Dirty Dancing (Emile Ardolino) Sun & Weds Only 
I Want to Eat Your Pancreas (Shin’ichirô Ushijima) Sun Only English Dub

Regal Meridian:

Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga (Shelly Chopra Dhar) Fri-Thurs 
Peppa Celebrates Chinese New Year (Zhang Dapeng) Fri-Weds 
The Wandering Earth (Frant Gwo) Fri-Weds 

Northwest Film Forum:

Wings of Desire (Wim Wenders, 1987) Fri, Sun & Weds Only 
2018 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour Fri Only  
Capturing Cascadia’s Cassettes Sun Only  
To Sleep with Anger (Charles Burnett, 1990) Starts Weds 
Audition (Takashi Miike, 1999) Starts Thurs 

AMC Oak Tree:

2019 Oscar Animated Shorts (Various) Fri-Thurs 
2019 Oscar Live Action Shorts (Various) Fri-Thurs 

AMC Pacific Place:

The Wandering Earth (Frant Gwo) Fri-Thurs 
Pegasus (Han Han) Fri-Thurs 
Integrity (Alan Mak) Fri-Thurs 

Paramount Theatre:

A Man There Was (Victor Sjöström, 1917) Mon Only 

Regal Parkway Plaza:

Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga (Shelly Chopra Dhar) Fri-Thurs 
Peppa Celebrates Chinese New Year (Zhang Dapeng) Fri-Thurs 

Seattle Art Museum:

Cries and Whispers (Ingmar Bergman, 1972) Thurs Only 

AMC Seattle:

2019 Oscar Documentary Shorts (Various) Fri-Thurs 
2019 Oscar Animated Shorts (Various) Fri-Thurs 
2019 Oscar Live Action Shorts (Various) Fri-Thurs 

SIFF Film Center:

Police Story (Jackie Chan, 1985) Fri-Sun Our Review
Police Story 2 (Jackie Chan, 1988) Fri-Sun 
The Women on the 6th Floor (Philippe Le Guay) Thurs Only 

Regal Thornton Place:

Dirty Dancing (Emile Ardolino) Sun & Weds Only 

SIFF Uptown:

Capernaum (Nadine Labaki) Fri-Thurs 
2019 Oscar Live Action Shorts (Various) Fri-Thurs 
2019 Oscar Animated Shorts (Various) Fri-Thurs 
Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church (John McDermott) Weds Only 

Varsity Theatre:

The Amityville Murders (Daniel Farrands) Fri-Thurs 
Berlin, I Love You (Various) Fri-Thurs 
The Divorce Party (Hughes William Thompson) Fri-Thurs 
Dirty Dancing (Emile Ardolino) Weds Only