The Year of the Cat is being ushered in with a mild meow this year as far as the film industry is concerned.
Unlike in previous years, there are only three new releases lined up this season.
The first-ever Vietnamese 3D film, Bong ma hoc duong (Ghosts in school), comedy-action flick Co dau dai chien (War of the brides) and romance for teenagers Thien su... 99 (The cherub... 99) hit the screens on January 21.
Director Victor Vu has made an impressive comeback with the humorous battle of the brides after his hit Giao lo dinh menh (Inferno) was denounced as a shabby copy of Hollywood's "Shattered" released in 1991. Vu had rejected this censure.
Co dau dai chien presents Thai, a Vietnamese Casanova romancing four beautiful girls at the same time. He has a big crush on a fifth girl, a painter named Linh, and decides to marry her. Their wedding becomes a disaster when his ex-girlfriends decide to hijack his plans. The numerous twists in the plot keep the audience entertained.
Bong ma hoc duong and Thien su... 99 have drawn criticism for their weak scripts.
Critics have said that a simple story about the ghost of a father following his son and discovering the cruelty of teenagers in Bong ma hoc duong did not do justice to the 3D effects that cost US$1 million.
In addition, even the sexy curves of Elly Tran and Ngoc Diep could not redeem the dull film.
Thien su... 99 tells the love story of an angel who makes a mistake and has to win the love of 99 girls.
The film's producer, Phuoc Sang Film Production Company, hopes that the army of local teenage idols like Khong Tu Quynh and Huynh Anh will help them make good, as they did last year with hit Cong chua teen va ngu ho tuong (Teenager princess and five generals) which earned more than VND10 billion last season.