Films based on books at #NZIFF 2017

We love movies based on books, and we love the New Zealand International Film Festival! Maybe you’ve read the book and want to see the adaptation, or maybe you just think “I’ve heard of that!” Whatever the reason, check out the great films based on these literary works during this year’s festival.

Berlin Syndrome directed by Cate Shortland. Based on the novel Berlin Syndrome.
Syndetics book coverBerlin syndrome / Melanie Joosten.
“One afternoon, near the tourist trap of Checkpoint Charlie, Clare meets Andi. There is an instant attraction, and when Andi invites her to stay, Clare thinks she may finally have found somewhere to call home. But as the days pass and the walls of Andi’s apartment close in, Clare begins to wonder if it’s really love that Andi is searching for a or something else altogether. Berlin Syndrome is a closely observed and gripping psychological thriller that shifts between Andi’s and Clare’s perspectives, revealing the power of obsession, the fluidity of truth, and the kaleidoscopic nature of human relationships.” (Syndetics summary)

Blade of the Immortal directed by Miike Takashi. Based on the manga series Blade of the Immortal.
Syndetics book coverBlade of the immortal [1] : blood of a thousand / art and story, Hiroaki Samura.
“To end his eternal suffering, he must slay one thousand enemies! Manji, a ronin warrior of feudal Japan, has been cursed with immortality. To rid himself of this curse and end his life of misery, he must slay one thousand evil men! His quest begins when a young girl seeks his help in taking revenge on her parents’ killers… and his quest won’t end until the blood of a thousand has spilled!” (Syndetics summary)

Call Me By Your Name directed by Luca Guadagnino. Based on the novel Call Me By Your Name.
Syndetics book coverCall me by your name / André Aciman.
Call Me by Your Name is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliff-side mansion on the Italian Riviera. Unprepared for the consequences of their attraction, at first each feigns indifference. But during the restless summer weeks that follow, unrelenting buried currents of obsession and fear, fascination and desire, intensify their passion as they test the charged ground between them. What grows from the depths of their spirits is a romance of scarcely six weeks’ duration and an experience that marks them for a lifetime.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Ethel & Ernest directed by Roger Mainwood. Based on the graphic novel by Raymond Briggs.
Syndetics book coverEthel & Ernest / Raymond Briggs.
“Ethel & Ernest is the story of Raymond Briggs’s parents lives from their first chance encounter to their deaths. Their story provides a social history of the lives of two ordinary people living in England during the 20th century. Through Ethel and Ernest the reader learns how the average person coped with the many changes in the 20th century including, the dark days of the Second World War, the birth of the Welfare State and the advent of television. Told in Brigg’s unique strip-cartoon format.” (Syndetics summary)

Heal the Living directed by Katell Quillévéré. Based on the novel The Heart.
Syndetics book coverThe heart : a novel / Maylis de Kerangal ; translated by Sam Taylor.
“Just before dawn on a Sunday morning, three teenage boys go surfing. Returning home, exhausted, the driver lets the car drift off the road into a tree. Two of the boys are wearing seat belts; one is sent through the windshield. He is declared brain-dead shortly after arriving at the hospital. His heart is still beating. The Heart takes place over the twenty-four hours surrounding a fatal accident and a resulting heart transplant as life is taken from a young man and given to a woman close to death. In gorgeous, ruminative prose it examines the deepest feelings of everyone involved–grieving parents, hardworking doctors and nurses–as they navigate decisions of life and death.” (Syndetics summary)

In Times of Fading Light directed by Matti Geschonneck. Based on the novel by Eugen Ruge.
Syndetics book coverIn times of fading light : the story of a family / Eugen Ruge ; translated from the German by Anthea Bell.
In Times of Fading Light begins in September 2001 as Alexander Umnitzer, who has just been diagnosed with terminal cancer, leaves behind his ailing father to fly to Mexico, where his grandparents lived as exiles in the 1940s. The novel then takes us both forward and back in time, creating a panoramic view of the family’s history: from Alexander’s grandparents’ return to the GDR to build the socialist state, to his father’s decade spent in a gulag for criticizing the Soviet regime, to his son’s desire to leave the political struggles of the twentieth century in the past. With wisdom, humor, and great empathy, Eugen Ruge draws on his own family history as he masterfully brings to life the tragic intertwining of politics, love, and family under the East German regime.” (Syndetics summary)

Jasper Jones directed by Rachel Perkins. Based on the novel by Craig Silvey.
Syndetics book coverJasper Jones : a novel / Craig Silvey.
“Late on a hot summer night in the tail end of 1965, Charlie Bucktin, a precocious and bookish boy of thirteen, is startled by an urgent knock on the window of his sleep-out. His visitor is Jasper Jones, an outcast in the regional mining town of Corrigan. Rebellious, mixed-race and solitary, Jasper is a distant figure of danger and intrigue for Charlie. So when Jasper begs for his help, Charlie eagerly steals into the night by his side, terribly afraid but desperate to impress. Jasper takes him through town and to his secret glade in the bush, and it’s here that Charlie bears witness to Jasper’s horrible discovery. In the simmering summer where everything changes, Charlie learns why the truth of things is so hard to know, and even harder to hold in his heart.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

The Lost City of Z directed by James Gray. Based on the book by David Grann.
Syndetics book coverThe lost city of Z : a legendary British explorer’s deadly quest to uncover the secrets of the Amazon / David Grann.
“Colonel Percy Harrison Fawcett was the last of a breed of great British explorers who ventured into ‘blank spots’ on the map with little more than a machete, a compass and a sense of purpose. In 1925, the last great blank spot in the world was in the Amazon. Fawcett believed the jungle held a secret to a large, complex civilization, which he christened the City of Z, but is also known as El Dorado. When he and his son embarked upon their journey into the Amazon they warned that none should follow them in the event that they did not return. They vanished without a trace. In The Lost City of Z, David Grann ventures into the hazardous wild world of the Amazon to retrace the footsteps of the great Colonel Fawcett and those who followed in a bracing attempt to solve a mystery centuries in the making.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

A Monster Calls directed by J. A. Bayona. Based on the novel by Patrick Ness.
Syndetics book coverA monster calls : a novel / by Patrick Ness ; from an original idea by Siobhan Dowd ; illustrations by Jim Kay.
“The monster showed up just after midnight. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his back garden, though, this monster is something different. Something ancient, something wild. Winner of the National Book Tokens Children’s Book of the Year Award 2011.” (Syndetics summary)

My Friend Dahmer directed by Marc Meyers. Based on the graphic novel by Derf.
Syndetics book coverMy friend Dahmer : a graphic novel / [text and illustrations] by Derf Backderf ; [editor, Charles Kochman].
“In 1991, Jeffrey Dahmer–the most notorious serial killer since Jack the Ripper–seared himself into the American consciousness. To the public, Dahmer was a monster who committed unthinkable atrocities. To Derf Backderf, “Jeff” was a much more complex figure: a high school friend with whom he had shared classrooms, hallways, and car rides. In My Friend Dahmer, a haunting and original graphic novel, writer-artist Backderf creates a surprisingly sympathetic portrait of a disturbed young man struggling against the morbid urges emanating from the deep recesses of his psyche–a shy kid, a teenage alcoholic, and a goofball who never quite fit in with his classmates. With profound insight, what emerges is a Jeffrey Dahmer that few ever really knew, and one readers will never forget.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Swallows and Amazons directed by Philippa Lowthorpe. Based on the novel by Arthur Ransome.
Syndetics book coverSwallows and Amazons / Arthur Ransome ; illustrated by the author with help from Miss Nancy Blackett.
“The Walker children — also known as Captain John, Mate Susan, Able-Seaman Titty, and Ship’s Boy Roger — set sail on the Swallow and head for Wild Cat Island. There they camp under open skies, swim in clear water and go fishing for their dinner. But their days are disturbed by the Blackett sisters, the fierce Amazon pirates. The Swallows and Amazons decide to battle it out, and so begins a summer of unforgettable discoveries and incredible adventures.” (Syndetics summary)

Films based on books at #NZIFF 2016

Our favourite time of year has rolled around again – the NZ International Film Festival! This year’s selection is fantastically broad and thoughtful. We’ve put together a list of some of the films in the festival that are based on books or short stories for you to brush up on before you see them on the big screen.

Certain Women, directed by Kelly Reichardt. Based on the short stories “Tome”, “Native Sandstone” and “Travis B” by Maile Meloy.
Syndetics book coverHalf in love : stories / Maile Meloy.
“Fourteen remarkable stories that combine strong Western settings with a subtle and distinct female voice. This critically celebrated debut collection marks the exciting beginning of prize-winner Meloy’s promising career. Lean and controlled in their narration, abundant and moving in their effects, Maile Meloy’s stories introduce a striking talent. Most are set in the modern American West, made vivid and unexpected in Meloy’s unsentimental vision; others take us to Paris, wartime London, and Greece, with the same remarkable skill and intuition. Smart, surprising, and evocative, Meloy’s brilliantly observed stories fully engage the mind and heart.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

The Handmaiden, directed by Park Chan-wook. Based on the novel Fingersmith by Sarah Waters.
Syndetics book coverFingersmith / Sarah Waters.
“London 1862. Sue Trinder, orphaned at birth, grows up among petty thieves – fingersmiths – under the rough but loving care of Mrs Sucksby and her ‘family’. But from the moment she draws breath, Sue’s fate is linked to that of another orphan growing up in a gloomy mansion not too many miles away.” (Syndetics summary)

High Rise, directed by Ben Wheatley. Based on the novel of the same name by J. G. Ballard.
“Within the concealing walls of an elegant forty-storey tower block, the affluent tenants are hell-bent on destruction. Cocktail parties degenerate into marauding attacks on ‘enemy’ floors and the once-luxurious amenities become an arena for riots and technological mayhem. In this visionary tale of urban disillusionment society slips into a violent reverse as the isolated inhabitants of the high-rise, driven by primal urges, create a dystopian world ruled by the laws of the jungle.” (Adapted from

Indignation, directed by James Schamus. Based on the novel of the same name by Philip Roth.
Syndetics book coverIndignation / Philip Roth.
“America, 1951. Marcus Messner, from Newark, New Jersey, is beginning his sophomore year on the pastoral, conservative campus of Ohio’s Winesburg College. Far away from home, in the Midwestern college, Marcus has to find his way amid the customs and constrictions of another American world.” (Syndetics summary)

Julieta, directed by Pedro Almodóvar. Based on the short stories “Chance”, “Soon” and “Silence” by Alice Munro.
Syndetics book coverRunaway : stories / Alice Munro.
“In Alice Munro’s new collection, we find stories about women of all ages and circumstances, their lives made palpable by the subtlety and empathy of this incomparable writer. Three stories are about a woman named Juliet – in the first, she escapes from teaching at a girls’ school into a wild and irresistible love match; in the second she returns with her child to the home of her parents, whose life and marriage she finally begins to examine; and in the last, her child, caught, she mistakenly thinks, in the grip of a religious cult, vanishes into an unexplained and profound silence.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Life, Animated, directed by Roger Ross Williams. Based on the book of the same name by Ron Suskind.
Syndetics book coverLife, animated : a story of sidekicks, heroes, and autism / Ron Suskind.
“What if you were trapped in a Disney movie, and had to learn about life and love mostly from what could be gleaned from animated characters, dancing across a screen of colour? Asking this question opens a doorway to the most extraordinary of stories. It is the saga of Owen Suskind, who happens to be the son of one of America’s most noted writers, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind. He’s also autistic. The twisting, 20-year journey of this boy and his family will change that way you see autism, old Disney movies, and the power of imagination.” (Syndetics summary)

The Rehearsal, directed by Alison Maclean. Based on the book of the same name by Eleanor Catton.
Syndetics book coverThe rehearsal / by Eleanor Catton.
“A high-school sex scandal jolts a group of teenage girls into a new awareness of their own potency and power. The sudden and total publicity seems to turn every act into a performance, and every platform into a stage. But when the local drama school decides to turn the scandal into a show, the real world and the world of the theatre are forced to meet, and soon the boundaries between private and public begin to dissolve.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Shadow World, directed by Johan Grimonprez. Based on the book The shadow world: inside the global arms trade by Andrew Feinstein.
Syndetics book coverThe shadow world : inside the global arms trade / Andrew Feinstein ; research, Paul Holden and Barnaby Pace.
“Feinstein reveals the corruption and the cover-ups behind BAE’s controversial transactions in South Africa, Tanzania and eastern Europe and the revolving-door relationships that characterise the US Congressional-Military-Industrial Complex. The Shadow World exposes both the formal government-backed trade in arms as well as the illicit deals and lays bare the shocking links between the two. Essential reading for anyone who cares about justice, transparency and accountability in both the public and private spheres, and for anyone who believes that it is more important to invest in saving lives than in the machinery of death.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Sunset Song, directed by Terence Davies. Based on the novel of the same name by Lewis Grassic Gibbon.
Syndetics book coverSunset song / Lewis Grassic Gibbon ; edited with an introduction by Tom Crawford.
Sunset Song is the first and most celebrated of Grassic Gibbon’s great trilogy, A Scot’s Quair. It provides a powerful description of the first two decades of the century through the evocation of change and the lyrical intensity of its prose. It is hard to find any other Scottish novel of the last century which has received wider acclaim and better epitomises the feelings of a nation.” (Syndetics summary)

Māoriland Festival

The Māoriland Film Festival kicks off in Otaki later this month and we think you will want to be there!! Running from 23-27 March, the festival is the largest indigenous film festival in the Southern Hemisphere and will feature films from the Marshall Islands, USA and Canada, while also showcasing Māori cinema from Aotearoa. You can see the list of feature films and the film schedule here and follow the festival blog here. My pick for the festival is Three Wise Cousins; check out the trailer below!

Well-known New Zealand films The Dark Horse and The Deadlands both featured in the 2015 Māoriland festival and are both available at the library:

The Dead LandsThe dead lands / a Matthew Metcalfe production ; a Toa Fraser film.
After his tribe is slaughtered through an act of treachery, Hongi, a Maori chieftain’s teenage son, must avenge his father’s murder in order to bring peace and honor to the souls of his loved ones. Vastly outnumbered by a band of villains, Hongi’s only hope is to pass through the feared and forbidden Dead Lands and forge an uneasy alliance with the mysterious Warrior, a ruthless fighter who has ruled the area for years.

The Dark HorseThe dark horse / Four Knights Film in association with The New Zealand Film Commission [and six others] present ; a film by James Napier Robertson.
The Dark Horse is an emotionally-charged and inspiring drama about a man who searches for the courage to lead, despite his own adversities – finding purpose and hope in passing on his gift to the children in his community.

Feature films & documentaries at this year’s festival

It’s that time again! The 24th International Film Festival opens this Friday, and some of our favourite filmmakers are back with their new films. They include David Cronenberg, Ken Loach, Dardenne Brothers, Jean-Luc Godard, Richard Linklater, Wim Wenders, Michel Gondry, Kelly Reichardt, Andrey Zvyagintsev and this year’s Palme O’dor winner Nuri Bilge Ceylan. A lot of their previous movies are available at our libraries. Click their names to check them for pre- or post-festival viewings.

Also, if you’re a documentary fan you won’t be disappointed. As usual, a great number of documentaries, from arts, music, science, nature to politics, are featured in the festival. Some documentaries showcased last year are now on our shelves. Check them out.

Syndetics book coverBlackfish
20 Feet From Stardom
The crash reel
Mistaken for strangers
The moo man
Pussy Riot : a punk prayer
The spirit of ’45
A band called Death
The act of killing
The gatekeepers

Winter is a great time for movie lovers. Enjoy!

Movie Fiesta!

Syndetics book coverOur favorite winter cultural event is back! The 2013 International Film Festival opens 26th July, and once again offers fantastic movies from all over the world, including our own digitally reconstituted ‘Utu’ which will be showcased at the opening night. Some movies featured at the last year’s festival have since become available as DVDs and are now available at the library. Borrow them to get into the festival mood or to just keep you company on a winter’s night:

The Cabin in the Woods (Drew Goddard)
Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson)
Beasts of the Southern Wild (Benh Zeitlin)
The Angels’ Share (Ken Loach)
The Sapphires (Wayne Blair)
Bernie (Richard Linklater)
On the Road (Walter Salles)
This Must be the Place (Paolo Sorrentino)
Wuthering Heights (Andrea Arnold)
Your Sister’s Sister (Lynn Shelton)
I Wish (Hirokazu Koreeda, Japanese)
Monsieur Lazhar (Philippe Falardeau, French, Canada)
In Darkness (Agnieszka Holland, Polish)
Back to Stay (Milagros Mumenthaler, Spanish, Argentina)
Lore (Cate Shortland, German)
Amour (Michael Haneke, French)

How to Meet Girls from a Distance (Dean Hewison)
The Last Ocean (Peter Young)

Ai WeiWei: Never Sorry (Alison Klayman)
Into the Abyss (Werner Herzog)
Bully (Lee Hirsh)

Searching for Sugar Man (Malik Bendjelloul)
Neil Young: Journeys (Jonathan Demme)


Have you discovered our $2 DVDs?

DVDs for $2You’ll find them in all our libraries – with a great range of classics, family movies, foreign films, arthouse, TV series and an excellent selection of documentaries. The choice is yours.

DVDs for $2How do you know which ones are priced at $2? Just look for the pink strips when you next browse our library shelves.  It’ll be like a mini film festival from the comfort of your own sofa!  A great idea – especially now that the cooler weather’s upon us.


Musical treats at the Film Festival

nz film festival poster image, used with permissionEvery year when the New Zealand International Film Festival brochure comes out, I immediately flip to the music page. These are always the films that I can’t miss seeing on the big screen, surrounded by big sound. This year I’m particularly pleased with the selection, here are some of my highlights along with catalogue links to the artists …

Shut Up and Play the Hits – LCD Soundsystem (catalogue link)
This is the film I had most hoped to see in the lineup at this year’s festival after seeing the trailer above when it came out a few months back. A document of the last ever LCD Soundsystem show, one of the best bands of the last decade going out at the peak of their powers in front of 18,000 fans. If you’re going to this don’t be shy about dancing in the aisles, I certainly plan to. This film features interview style narration from Chuck Klosterman, who has several books that are well worth reading.

Searching for Sugar Man – Rodriguez (catalogue link)
A great talent that never quite broke through – despite releasing an amazing debut, seriously, check it out – that subsequently slipped off the radar, and the story of his rediscovery. Rodriguez, despite being unknown to most music fans in his native America, enjoyed a cult following in South Africa, where he was bigger than Elvis. This eventually leads us to two South African fans journeying to discover what happened to their idol.

Neil Young Journeys – Neil Young (catalogue link)
Follow Neil Young as he drives through his hometown in Ontario, on his way to perform a show in Toronto. Along the way he revisits old haunts and memories, interspersed with footage of the concert. This one is going to be good.

Cannes bonanza: International Film Festival 2012

nz film festival poster image, used with permissionAs always, this year’s International Film Festival features a number of films that were showcased at the world’s most prestigious festival ‘Festival de Cannes’ including Leos Carax’s long-awaited new movie “Holy Moters’, Wes Anderson’s ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ and the compelling Romanian drama ‘Beyond the Hill’ to name but a few. We are very lucky that we are able to taste those wonderful films only two months after they were premiered at Cannes.

Michael Haneke’s ‘Amour’, which is one of the highlights of our upcoming festival, won the Palme d’Or (best film). Haneke gained this honour for the second time in a row (‘The White Ribbon’ won in 2009), and became the seventh director who won the Palme d’Or twice.

The other directors who have won the Palme d’Or (Golden Palme) twice are;

Alf Sjober (Sweden) Iris and the Lieutenant (1946), Miss Julie (1951)
Francis Ford Coppola (USA) The Conversation (1974), Apocalypse Now (1979)
Bille August (Denmark) Pelle the Conqueror (1988), The Best Intentions (1992)
Emir Kusturica (Serbia) When Father Was Away on Business (1985), Underground (1995)
Shohei Imamura (Japan) The Ballad of Narayama (1983), The Eel (1997)
Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (Belgium) Rosetta (1999), The Child (2005)

Also, here are some recent winners from our collection to prepare or for pre/ post viewings for our favorite cultural event in winter.

2011 The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick)
2009 The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke)
2008 The Class (Laurent Cantet)
2007 4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days (Cristian Mungiu)
2006 The wind that shakes the barley (Ken Loach)
2005 The Child = L’enfant (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne)
2004 Fahrenheit 9/11 (Michael Moore)
2003 Elephant (Gus Van Sant)
2002 The pianist (Roman Polanski)
2001 The son’s room (Nanni Moretti)
2000 Dancer in the dark (Lars von Trier)

From Print to Screen: The New Zealand International Film Festival

The annual international film festival is almost here (July 29 to August 14): time to read or re-read some books that will be making the leap to the big screen. Here are some film festival films based on books, or inspired by books:

Guilty Pleasures. A documentary about the wonders of Mills & Boon! Perfect, since Wellington City Libraries has recently launched its Mills & Boon collection (complete with competition to win a Sony E-Reader – winner announced soon!). Incidentally, the Mills & Boons are fair flying off the shelves: browse for them on the library catalogue here.

Norwegian Wood. Murakami fans take note! Haruki Murakami’s masterpiece, Norwegian Wood, has been made into a film that has caused critics everywhere to wax lyrical. It also features music by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood!

Submarine. Based on the novel of the same name by Welsh poet Joe Dunthorne.

The Duel. Based on a novella by Anton Chekov and filmed on location in Croatia.

The Solitude of Prime Numbers. Based on the best selling Italian novel (La solitudine dei numeri primi – which, incidentally, we also have in traditional Chinese) by Paolo Giordano (also incidentally, the author is a particle physicist according to The Guardian).

It looks wonderfully eclectic and interesting! There will of course be much much more in due course. We will let you know when the brochures are out!

World Cinema Showcase

The World Cinema Showcase is on now at the  Paramount Theatre until the 30th of April.  To supplement your viewing experience, here are some links to items in Wellington City Libraries’ collections relating to five of the films being showcased:

Freakonomics, described by Variety magazine as “A revelatory trip into complex, innovative ideas and altered perspectives on how people think”,  is based on the 2005 bestselling book of the same title by Steven D Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (subtitled “a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything”), which incidentally had a follow-up in 2009 entitled Superfreakonomics: global cooling, patriotic prostitutes, and why suicide bombers should buy life insurance. If these strike a cord with you then visit the Freakonomics website for more, including their blog on, well, just about everything.

Waiting for Superman is a documentary (not a Lois Lane biopic sadly) which looks at the failures of the American public education system. Several keen students are hopeful of getting a place in the Harlem Success Academy, a charter school for the poorest children in the area. Entry is determined by lottery – if they cannot get in they will have little chance of furthering their education elsewhere. This doco has been very successful and has earned a lot of praise. It also has its critics, who claim that it is inaccurate. Anyway, it is by Davis Guggenheim, who also made An Inconvenient Truth (conveniently in the library), and a surprising number of TV dramas (including Deadwood, also in the library).

Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why is Everybody Talking About Him?). In fact, Harry Nilsson (1941 to 1994) was a singer and songwriter who wrote such varied hits as ‘Makin’ Whoopee’ (remember this from The Fabulous Baker Boys with Michelle Pfeiffer and the Bridges?), ‘Many Rivers to Cross’, and ‘You Put the Lime in the Coconut’ among many others. At the risk of becoming far too trivial, he also composed the music for the 1980 film Popeye starring Robin Williams (again, conveniently in the library).

Continuing the popular music theme, Lemmy is a biopic about Lemmy Kilmister, the frontman for Motörhead (and previously the bassist for epic space rock hair band, Hawkwind). Lemmy is 65, and has led a life of rockstar excess for decades. This rockumentary is three years of the full Lemmy experience, both on-stage and off-. There are interviews with loads of his fans, including Dave Grohl, Dee Snider, Metallica, Joan Jett, and even Jarvis Cocker (all of whom are, of course, in the library).

Reign of Assassins is a bit like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (remember how cool that was the first time) in that it is set in Ye Olde time China, stars Michelle Yeoh and has epic martial arts. A married couple are each unaware that their spouse is a highly-skilled assassin. Not only that, but they are mortal enemies! In addition to the Mr & Mrs Smith twist there is also a little Romeo & Juliet thing happening. Romeo Smith & Juliet Smith? Maybe not. Anyway, watch it for the fights!