A Better TV Tomorrow (24 Hour Chinese Movie Channel!)
Canadian Twitchers with Rogers Digital Cable! Are you aware that there's currently a free digital preview of the channel Star Chinese Movies 2*, a station dedicated to airing the best of Chinese cinema from the 1970s to the 1990s? That instead of American Idol auditions, you could be watching Stephen Chow comedies, Shaw Brothers epics and Hong Kong crime dramas, all commercial free on TELEVISION!?
Over the last week this glorious station has had me procrastinate from my responsibilities with films like In the Line of Duty 4, Heroic Fight, The Seventh Curse, Operation Scorprio, and an early Johnny To ghost comedy. The channel also caters to non-geek genres like the rom-com, period drama and art-house cinema.
But before you get too excited... There are a few nagging problems with the channel that have caused me some reservation in ordering.
First of all not all the films have aired with subtitles, despite their websites claim otherwise. Secondly, the channels schedule listing are always inaccurate or reflect other time zones (though if this is the case, whatever time zone they are in keeps changing). The website doesn't match Rogers Digital guide and both don't match what is actually playing at that time.
Thus, anticipating a film on the channel is often a frustrating experience. I found myself two days ago waiting for a broadcast of Wong Jing's "Winner Takes All"*, apprehensive that either it wouldn't be on or it would air without subtitles. What eventually aired was the Stephen Siu film "Winner Takes All?"! Star Chinese Movies 2 neglected to include the question mark in their listing of the title (damn the HK film industry and their knock-off titles), but I can concede that the film was indeed subtitled... small font though.
Finally there's the fact that all films are aired in Mandarin, which is not that much of a problem except when it comes to the comedies. Regardless of me understanding the nuances or not, Stephen Chow comedy demands Cantonese.
I expect the first two problems to eventually be addressed, and maybe some irate letters to customer service will speed up that process, but in the mean time enjoy the preview which expires December 1st. For more info about Rogers Free Preview seek this link.
*I like my HK schlock thank you very much!
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