HKMDB Daily News

May 30, 2009

May 30, 2009

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , , , — dleedlee @ 10:42 am

Ashes of Time - Leslie Cheung and Brigitte Lin
Ashes of Time - Leslie Cheung and Brigitte Lin

A rare still from a scene with Leslie Cheung and Brigitte Lin kissing was released. Wong Kar-Wai eventually cut the scene from the film.

Chinese New Year: All’s Well Ends Well 2010,
Miriam Yeung and Sammi Cheng to in Johnnie To comedy announced

3-D series to hit smallscreen in China
45-episode costume drama “Wu Cheng-en and the Journey to the West,” touted as one of the first 3-D TV series in the world.

SCMP videos
“Ah Lam” (林子祥) still walking tall after 30 years in showbiz
George Lam (林子祥) remembers the golden age of Cantopop

Shu Qi
Shu Qi at promotional event

Also attended by Simon Yam and wife

Edison watch: Edison was spotted visiting an office building in Central with no security guards accompanying him

More photos
Edison and Vincy
Edison’s three year relationship with Vincy Yeung is reportedly over

Edison Chen takes a risk by returning to Hong Kong
Fallout looms as Edison Chen returns to HK

Edison back in HK

Gillian Chung performs in Tongling outside of Hefei

Huang Shengyi Ad Photos

Hong Kong democrat in assassination plot

May 29, 2009

May 29, 2009

Ekin Cheng
Ekin Cheng is ready for the Dragon Boat Festival at Sai Kung

Roger Kwok, Yoyo Mung
TVB artists Roger Kwok, Yoyo Mung (Ekin’s girlfriend) attend Shatin Dragon Boat Festival

‘If You Are the One’, the Most Bankable One
Top Chinese earner beats out Red Cliff

There are no losers at film festivals, says Thirst’s Park Chan-wook

Judge Shu Qi jaded to sex and violence

Sister, Tricia
Edison Chen back in Hong Kong

Screen idol Alan Tang linked to June 4 escape plot
John Shum and Anita Mui also named in “Operation Yellow Bird.”

Taipei Times: Pop Stop

I spy: Sylvia Chang shopping in Central with husband and son

Son Oscar was kidnapped in 2000 at age 9 by gangsters

Chinatown Shoplifting showdown caught on CCTV (Thanks, Brian!)

Shanghaiist: A lesson on subway etiquette: Pole-iteness counts!

China’s Susan Boyle

May 28, 2009

May 28, 2009

Anthony Wong and Tracy Ip
Laughing Gor cast update

Sammo Hung

Sammo Hung on set of Detective Dee

Zhao Wei and Donnie Yen
Zhao Wei and Donnie Yen (from Founding of a Nation)

Edison's father
Tracing Edison's moves this year
Edison Chen reportedly sneaks into Hong Kong

Family finances in dour state: father is bankrupt, sister has little work modelling, competition from Juno Mak’s clothing line, Edison’s band FAMA only source of income

Michelle Reis
Michelle Reis reportedly moved back to her mother’s home

Liza Wang and Law Kar-Ying
Guests include Carol Cheng, Teresa Mo, Deborah Li
Liza Wang and Law Kar-Ying hold banquet for friends to celebrate wedding

So, you’ve seen Chungking Express. You’ve visited Chungking Mansions, you’ve found Midnight Express (and discovered it’s now a 7-11) and you’ve rode the escalators by Christopher Doyle’s apartment. But you’ve haven’t landed a jet a Kai Tak Airport. Now, here’s your chance:

(No guarantees that Valerie Chow will be your flight attendant, though) :(

May 27, 2009

May 27, 2009

Lin Chi-Ling
Liu Keng-Hung
Ci Ling/Treasure Hunter photo gallery

Sammo Hung
Sammo Hung

Vanness Wu
Kungfu Chef opens June 12

Costars: Fan Siu-Wong, Lam Tze-Chung, Bruce Leung

Gao Yuanyuan
Lu Chuan
City of Life and Death cast returns to Beijing after 18 city tour

Barbie Hsu
Forbidden City Cop: Smart Dog - Louis Koo and Barbie Hsu photo gallery

Cecilia Cheung?
A healthier Cecilia Cheung lookalike Gong Mi

Kelly Chen, March
Kelly Chen advert shoot - photo gallery

Japan launches digital archive on director Akira Kurosawa

Arclight looks to ‘Future X-Cops’ (formerly Future Cop)
Sci-fi action movie stars Andy Lau

Ruby Yang film captures Chinatown ‘Moment’ - A Moment in Time
Academy Award-winner Ruby Yang has unveiled her latest documentary, about the growth, evolution and eventual demise of five ethnic cinemas in San Francisco’s Chinatown and their role in bridging the gap between China and the United States.
Much of it [the film's budget], Yang said, was spent on licensing rights to archival film clips from outfits such as Celestial Pictures in Hong Kong, which charged up to $8,000 per minute.

Tonight on PBS: A look at Hollywood’s China syndrome

Ziyi Gives Lowdown on Her Landmark Role

Aaron Kwok
Aaron gets Achy-Breaky
Aaron Kwok for Longines

BoC, OMB seize P300M worth of replicating machines
Bootlegging operations moved from Hong Kong to Philappines.
12 containers of optical media manufacturing equipment and materials that arrived in two batches of six forty footers last May 15 and 24 at the Manila International Container Port.

May 26, 2009

Scandal Makers (South Korea)(Hollywood Reporter Review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: — dleedlee @ 2:44 pm

Scandal Makers
May 19, 2009
By Maggie Lee

Bottom Line: This sassy family comedy is a huge crowd-pleaser.

CANNES — “Scandal Makers” sports the hippest grandfather on Korean screens — a thirtysomething DJ whose charmed bachelor lifestyle is ruined by the appearance of a single mother who claims to be his daughter. This bubbly, good-natured comedy by newcomer Kang Hyoung-chul, gives such a delightful spin to the “rake reformed by parenthood” formula that it attracted a Hollywood remake offer.

Though small-budgeted and under-publicized, the sleeper outperformed Korea’s most expensive production, “The Good, the Bad, the Weird,” by selling more than 8 million tickets and enjoying a two-month theatrical triumph. With sparkling cast chemistry and pleasant music, this wholesome family entertainment for Asian markets also may reach hearts of Western audiences through ancillary.

Cha Tae-Hyun (”My Sassy Girl”) spices up his role as a radio host basking in his own celebrity status with a degree of meanness which gives the film an ironic edge, and dilutes some of the slushy sweetness. That Hyun-su fathered a child in ninth grade is a rather far-fetched premise, but it is still an enormous treat to watch the dynamics play out between three generations, all full of eccentricity and self-possession.

The middle act, which details the comic clashes of taste and values between conservative country lass Jung-nam and vain, voluptuary Hyun-su, is directed with ease and a heady craziness. What clinches audience affection is the utterly disarming presence of child actor Wang Seok.

The highlight is when Jung-nam enters a singing contest run by Hyun-su’s program. Although her song is nostalgic, tacky ’90s K-pop, she belts it out with fiery gusto, sweeping the film to an emotional crest. This is paralleled by Hyun-su’s improvisation of his own composition on a date. His unexpectedly gentle voice hints at a softer side, which makes his deepening parental instinct credible. This is capped by Ki-dung’s prodigious piano performance, neatly proving that musical genes run in the family.

Inevitably, the increasing difficulty in hiding their relations leads to a climactic choice between personal ambitions and blood ties. Kang’s treatment is conventional, with a predictable jab at unethical paparazzi behavior. These scenes abound with histrionics typical of Korean domestic melodrama. But the finale returns to the light touch of earlier acts and ends on a groovy musical note.

Reviewed at Udine Far East Film Festival
Festival de Cannes — Market

Sales: M-Line Distribution, Toilet

Cast: Cha Tae-hyun, Park Bo-young, Wang Seok-hyun
Director-screenwriter: Kang Hyoung-chul
Producer: Ahn Byung-ki
Director of photography: Kim Jun-Yung
Art Director: Lee Yo-han
Music: Kim Jun-seok
Editor: Nam Na-yeong

No rating, 117 minutes

May 26, 2009

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , — dleedlee @ 10:25 am

Brigitte Lin’s role in Generation of a Master still a secret

Hong Kong media reports her fee as HK$4M, only Chang Chen and Tony Leung Chiu-Wei confirmed cast members

Jackie, Tang Yan
Zhang Yishan

Yuen Wah
Yuen Qiu
Jiang Hongbo
Yuan Wenting
Seeking Jackie Chan opens worldwide July
Cast includes Yuen Wah, Yuen Bun, Yuen Bo, Yuen Qiu
Zhang Yishan plays a 16 year-old Beijing boy who follows his parents to Indonesia. Ridiculed by bullies, Zhang goes back to Beijing to find his idol Jackie Chan. After many twists and turns, he finally finds Jackie who teaches him a lesson…

Deleted scenes? Nothing to be inglorious of, says Maggie Cheung

Third time unlucky for maverick director Lou Ye

Director Chu: Lin Chi ling is more than empty vessel

Bateer finds movies a whole new ball game

James Hong: Big trouble in Hollywood China

Variety: Journey to the West TV series in 3D

Ronald Cheng suspected to be patron of prostitute

Zhang Ziyi unaffected by beach photo scandal

Hong Kong Movie Quiz

May 25, 2009

May 25, 2009

cyborg300Kungfu Cyborg advert

South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook’s vampire romance “Thirst” shared the festival’s jury prize, the third-place award.

The directing award went to Filipino filmmaker Brillante Mendoza for “Kinatay,” a harsh story centered on police inflicting bloody retribution on a prostitute who crossed them.

Chinese director Lou Ye’s “Spring Fever,” a tale of forbidden romance involving homosexual relationships, won the screenplay award for writer Feng Mei.
Cannes awards
All three of the Asian kudos drew heavy booing from the assembled press corps. Biggest scorn was reserved for the director prize for Filipino Brillante Mendoza’s rape-and-dismemberment drama “Kinatay” (of which even admiring jury member Hanif Kureishi admitted, “I don’t ever want to see it again, myself”), followed by jeers for “Thirst” and mainland Chinese director Lou Ye’s “Spring Fever,” which copped screenplay (generally seen as its weakest element).
Korea Times: ‘Thirst’ Wins Jury Prize
Korea Times:’Thirst’ Gets Jury Prize in Cannes

From HKTopTen, now available in blog format (see blogroll, right):
Josephine Siao Thanks Stephen Chow

NYTimes: Showing the Glimmer of Humanity Amid the Atrocities of War - Lu Chuan

Also from HKTopTen, on The City of Life and Death’s lead actress, Jiang Yiyan:

Jiang Yiyan - Why, you're talking about little ol' me?

(May 14) THE CITY OF LIFE AND DEATH premiered last week. Lead actress Jiang Yiyan came to Hong Kong to promote with director Lu Chuan. This new star from the Beijing Film Academy appeared on TVB, Cable and other media interviews. Everyone was surprised that Jiang Yiyan who played a heroic prostitute in this film was very mild mannered and quiet. RTHK Radio 5’s film program host Sze Kai Keung and Lau Shek Yin said that Jiang Yiyan opened the entire station’s men and described her as having Fan Bingbing’s feminine charm, Li Bingbing’s quick wit, Gao Yuanyuan’s sweet looks, Vicki Zhao Wei’s cleverness, and Xu Jinglei’s power of making men’s hearts pound without any word or movement. Four days after the show aired, the station received nearly 50 letters from male listeners who told Sze Kai Keung that they saw Jiang Yiyan on television and were completely under her spell. They wanted to form a fan club through RTHK Radio 5 and invite Jiang Yiyan to appear in Hong Kong again. Sze kai Keung responded that they were very busy with radio and did not have time to organize them. They could only relay their good intention to Jiang Yiyan’s manager Wang Jinghua.

Jiang Yiyan
Jiang Yiyan

Dark documentary on China underbelly chills Cannes
“Petition” documents the plight of China’s judicial “petitioners” — people from across the land who gather in Beijing in the hope of righting legal wrongs suffered back home.

Lush images, audience walk-outs as Cannes winds up
Tsai Ming-Liang

‘Kinatay’ draws raves, rants in Cannes
Roger Ebert: What were they thinking of?
Q&A: Brillante Mendoza

‘Sophie’s Revenge’ nabs buyers
Zhang Ziyi stars in Eva Jin’s romantic comedy

Ang Lee Partnership Gives Him Broad Film Focus

Cannes closing ceremony
Zhang ZiyiShu Qi
Zhang Ziyi slide show
Shu Qi slide show

Vanishing history `robs city of movie magic’

May 23, 2009

May 23, 2009

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , , , — dleedlee @ 9:43 am

Chengdu, I Love You
Gao Yuanyuan, Jung Woo-Sung

Gao Yuanyuan and Jung Woo-Sung in the ‘present’ segment.
Cui Jian directs the ‘future’, Fruit Chan the past, and Heo Jin-Ho the present.

Taipei Times: Asian cinema gains traction as Hollywood takes a tumble

Screen Daily: Face

APA Top Ten: Asian movies about the worlds of kids

APA: Hara Kazuo and his “Renegade Cinema”

Nancy Kwan: A Chinese Legacy in Tinseltown

Korean “Sassy girl” in Singapore to promote first Hollywood film

Taking Woodstock scenes really marijuana inspired

Daniel Henney’s US TV Series to Air in Fall

Of note: Eclipse Series 17-Nikkatsu Noir Box Set
Coming August from Criterion

Actress Carina Lau ready for motherhood

Patrick Tse, Coco

I spy: Patrick Tse and Coco grocery shopping in Wan Chai

Mavis Fan
Mavis Fan promoting watch brand (video)

May 22, 2009

Mother (South Korea)(Screen Daily Review)

Filed under: Reprints — dleedlee @ 4:46 pm

16 May, 2009 | By Mike Goodridge

Dir: Bong Joon-ho. 2009. South Korea. 129 minutes.

Bong Joon-ho channels Pedro Almodovar in his fourth feature, an operatic melodrama revolving around a knockout central performance from TV star Kim Hye-ja. Filled with the elegant compositions and mood-drenched cinematography which are becoming Bong’s specialty, Mother is a largely satisfying film which marks the director out as South Korea’s most versatile young auteur.

The combination of Bong and local TV star Kim should ensure enormous local success in Korea. Overseas, buyers might not be initially turned on by the title and an aging actress in the lead role, but once they see the world-class film-making and Hitchcockian murder mystery elements in the completed film, sales should be brisk to major arthouse distributors like Diaphana, which pre-bought France at AFM last year. It should comfortably beat Park Chan-wook’s Thirst to the Korean Oscar submission.

Kim is renowned in Korea for playing a loving mother in long running TV series The Rustic Diary, so Bong is clearly toying with her public persona here by casting her as a mother whose devotion to her emotionally and mentally backward son leads her into some excessive behaviour. Her endlessly expressive face, racked with pain and anguish, is the central attraction here, helping to overcome some of the story’s more far-fetched plot points.

The film takes a while to find its groove, and the first half hour feels unsure, playing for cheap laughs at the expense of a childlike adult, before the high drama kicks in. Even the pre-credit sequence in which Kim walks across a meadow and dances to camera implies the tongue-in-cheek playfulness prevalent in Bong’s superhit monster movie The Host.

Hye-ja is an overprotective single mother in her fifties who always keeps an eye on her son Do-joon (Won Bin). Even though he’s 27, he behaves like a child, forgets what he has said from one minute to the next and seems to have little sense of everyday dangers. In the opening scene, he is playing in the road with a dog when a large Mercedes Benz knocks him over and speeds off. Relatively unhurt, he and his best friend Jin- tae chase the Benz to the local golf course where Do-joon collects numerous golf balls before the two friends attack the Benz drivers with sticks.

Later that night Do-joon determines to go out and have sex with a girl but gets so drunk that he is thrown out of a bar. On the way home he follows a school girl home and propositions her, but she throws a rock at him and chases him away.

The next day, however, the police find the girl dead with one of the golf balls inscribed with Do-joon’s name lying beside her. He is arrested and charged with murder.

His imprisonment spurs Hye-ja into action as her maternal instincts kick in. Convinced that her son is harmless, she determines to prove his innocence and investigates the case herself, learning more about the schoolgirl’s personal life and identifying alternative suspects. Along the way, her own past reappears to haunt her.

Once the investigation begins, Hye-ja will apparently go to any length to liberate her son. Indeed, the surprises of the story as it spirals into Vertigo-style flashback and shocking revelations elevate the film beyond mere thriller into high-octane Almodovar territory. Lee Byeong-woo’s wonderfully Herrman-esque score underlines the Hitchcockian influence, while cinematographer Hong Kyung-pyo (Eye For An Eye, Taegukgi) invests the rain-soaked milieus and gloomy interiors with stylized panache and bold lighting reminiscent of the all-at-night action of The Host.

Production companies
CJ Entertainment

International sales
CJ Entertainment
(82) 2 2017 1191

Seo Woo-sik
Park Tae-joon

Park Eun-kyo
Bong Joon-ho

Hong Kyung-pyo

Production design
Ryu Seong-hie

Moon Sae-kyoung

Lee Byeong-woo

Main cast
Kim Hye-ja
Won Bin

Mother (South Korea)(Variety Review)

Filed under: Reprints — dleedlee @ 4:46 pm

(South Korea) A CJ Entertainment release of a CJ Entertainment, Barunson presentation of a Barunson production. (International sales: CJ Entertainment, Seoul.) Produced by Seo Woo-shik, Park Tae-jun. Executive producer, Miky Lee. Co-executive producers, Katharine Kim, Mun Yang-gweon. Directed by Bong Joon-ho. Screenplay, Park Eun-gyo, Bong; story, Bong.

With: Kim Hye-ja, Weon Bin, Jin Gu.

Asian movies with “mother” in the title often augur two hours of female fortitude, sibling devotion and saccharine. But Bong Joon-ho’s “Mother” is a mutha of a different kind — an engrossing portrait of a feisty Korean widow determined to prove her emotionally fragile son innocent of murder. Less visionary than Bong’s 2003 serial-killer mystery, “Memories of Murder,” but with the same skillfully natural evocation of a rural community hiding dark secrets, “Mother” will prove a tougher sell than Bong’s hit monster movie, “The Host,” but should get a warm embrace from upscale auds, despite having been unjustly denied a competition berth at Cannes.

For viewers in South Korea (where the pic opens May 28), one of the main attractions will be lead thesp Kim Hye-ja, totally unknown outside the country (except marginally for the 1999 mother-daughter pic “Mayonnaise”) but already a domestic legend for her maternal portraits over the past 30 years. Here, however, Bong subverts the 67-year-old thesp’s usual screen image with a role that’s wiry to the core; the character’s love for her son is shown to be non-negotiable and, on the outside, unsentimental.

Do-jun (Weon Bin) is a 27-year-old borderline simpleton who still lives with his long-widowed mother (Kim) in a small, unremarkable South Korean town. Much to his mom’s displeasure, his best friend is bad boy Jin-tae (Jin Gu), who ribs him about still being a virgin. When Do-jun narrowly escapes being mowed down in a hit-and-run accident, Jin-tae relishes the chance of a punch-up; he and Do-jun pursue the privileged perps to a golf club where they dispense street justice.

But soon Do-jun finds himself embroiled in harsher justice when he’s arrested for the brutal murder of a young girl. Though he has an alibi of sorts — getting drunk in a bar while waiting for Jin-tae to turn up — a golf ball with his name on it is found by the body. The confused Do-jun proves an easy target for the lazy local cops to conveniently extract a confession.

His mother, however, is convinced of her son’s innocence, and sets out as a one-woman task force to find out the truth. Initially, she focuses on Jin-tae’s apparent guilt, but the story is not so simple.

As in “Memories of Murder,” Bong economically steeps the viewer in the mindset of the rural community while retaining a slightly ironic distance and occasionally throwing curveballs. When the mother-with-a-mission strides through the landscape, a crazy brass-band march accompanies her on the soundtrack; physical violence has a habit of erupting unexpectedly; and when the story develops a sudden dramatic impetus, composer Lee Byeong-woo (”The Host”) cranks up the gently simmering atmosphere with genre-like music.

Key casting is aces, led by a deglammed Kim, forcefully low-key as the mother who seems capable of anything to protect her son; she also shows surprising physical strength when the occasion demands it. Weon, who began his career as a boyish-looking teen idol, is almost unrecognizable here as the complexly layered Do-jun, while Jin, so good as a psychotic killer in the recent “Truck,” brings a palpable physical intensity to Jin-tae.

Acute widescreen lensing by the versatile Hong Gyeong-pyo, better known for his work on visually flashier projects (”Il Mare,” “Taegukgi,” “Save the Green Planet!”), seamlessly knits together a large number of diverse locations into a single town.

Camera (color, widescreen), Hong Gyeong-pyo; editor, Mun Se-gyeong; music, Lee Byeong-woo; production designer, Ryu Seong-heui; sound, in Dolby Digital; visual effects, AZworks. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (Un Certain Regard), May 16, 2009. Running time: 129 MIN.

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