HKMDB Daily News

September 30, 2009

September 30, 2009

Aaron Kwok rehearses for National Day show

How does he do that?

( (

Vivian Chow

New advert photos


Tony Leung

Almost ready to begin shooting WKW’s First Generation Master (

At an appeance for The Founding of a Republic in Shaanxi, Director Huang Jianxin saidthat the first cut was 3 hours and 27 minutes long but he had to edit it down to 2 hours. The original film is long enough for a 4 episode TV movie version and he is now in discussions with TV stations. (

Astro Boy with the man behind his voice, Aaron Kwok

Aaron and movie son (

China claims ‘Astro Boy’

“Astro Boy,” a big budget cartoon from Hong Kong- and L.A.-based Imagi International, will escape China’s film import quotas and be considered a local picture on the Chinese mainland.

Meanwhile, Lynn Xiong is modeling and filming Ip Man 2 in Shanghai. [Aaron was recently photographed with Mango Wong in Beijing.]  (

After receiving a surprise gift from an anonymous man at a charitable banquet, Chinese actress Zhou Xun has admitted the man was her new boyfriend.

Zhao Benshan

Zhao Benshan had a stroke Wednesday and is now being treated in Shanghai.

Zhang Ziyi - August

Zhang Ziyi sent a video message to Tsai Ming-Liang on the eve of his Taiwan premiere of Face. She congratulated him on his success and expressed hope to collaborate in the future. In the message, Zhang said that movies are a high art form that combines literature, drama and music and other arts which is not easy to do but Tsai was able to do so. At the Cannes Film Festival premiere, Zhang Ziyi said that not only did Face have avant-garde artistic value but should also be appreciated. Therefore, she did not hesitate to vote for Face. (

Screen Daily: Golden Horse fest to open with Warrior and Tears

Starring Tsai Chen-nan, Enno Cheng, Serena Fang and Tsai Jian-wei, Tears is a story about an old detective who takes on the case of a girl who dies of a drugs overdose, and accidentally reveals a hidden crime he committed years ago.

THR: Bey Logan to produce ‘Blood Bond’

Bey Logan has set “The Blood Bond” as the first movie to flow from his new production company following his imminent exit as the Weinstein Company’s Hong Kong-based vice president. The picture is a stylized Asian actioner to be shot in English…The picture co-stars American stage actress Phoenix Chou and also features Chinese model and Taekwondo ace Zhang Lan-xin and veteran Hong Kong actor Simon Yam. Production begins Oct. 15 in China…

The Chinese-language romantic comedy “Hot Summer Days” will be a co-production between Fox International Productions, China’s Huayi Brothers Media Corp. and satellite TV operator Star Television Asia Ltd., Fox and Star said in a joint statement late Tuesday. Fox and Star are both units of media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

September 29, 2009

September 29, 2009

Fan Bingbing will turn the table in an adaptation of Three Smiles/Flirting Scholar when she becomes the pursuer instead of the pursued. Guo Degang directs the Lunar New Year comedy.(

Simon Yam makes a pair of shoes for Sandra Ng to promote their new film Echoes of the Rainbow (lit.1969 A Space Odyssey) in which Simon plays a shoemaker. However, he only had time to make one shoe.

Simon Yam

Sandra Ng


Jiang Wenli

Jiang Wenli’s Lan is screening in competition at the Pusan International Film Festival. Jiang wrote, directed and produced the film. (

Bottom Line: Dated drama of growing pains during the Cultural Revolution enhanced by superb elderly role.

Hot Summer Days

Chinese romantic comedy is company’s first China pic

Set during a summer of record-breaking temperatures, “Days” tells six intertwined stories of love.

Screen Daily: ox, STAR, Huayi Brothers line up China rom-com Hot Summer Days

Huayi Brothers president James Wang said: “Huayi Brothers highly values the partnership with Fox. We admire Fox’s courage and decision in going into a mainstream romantic comedy. With a superb story, high production values and star-studded cast from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Hot Summer Days will sure become the hottest movie for the Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day period.”

Zhou Xun - The Message

Huang Xiaoming brought his camera on set and acted the paparazzi to help the actors decompress and release suppressed emotions from the tension of the film shoot. Huang, Feng Xiaogang and Zhang Jizhong purchase shares and became majority shareholders in the recent Huayi Brothers IPO. (

Anthony Wong and Michelle Ye in Secrets of Yang Kwai Fai (

According to the company’s prospectus, top director Feng Xiaogang holds about 2.88 million shares, or 2.3 percent of the total current shares. Pop star Huang Xiaoming is also an owner, with 1.8 million shares.

The full interview, translated below, touches on the films that China Film Group has produced, and on the investments that Han Sanping has made, good and bad, including Crazy Stone (疯狂的石头) and Mobile (手机), to the hundred million productions such as Red Cliff (赤壁) and Hero (英雄)…

Lan (Hollywood Reporter review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: , — dleedlee @ 8:57 am

Lan — Film Review
By Maggie Lee

Bottom Line: Dated drama of growing pains during the Cultural Revolution enhanced by superb elderly role.
Pusan International Film Festival

BUSAN, South Korea — “Lan,” the debut by acclaimed Chinese actress Jiang Wenli (”Lost Indulgence,” “And the Spring Comes”), is a recollection of growing up under her grandfather’s fold during the Cultural Revolution. Unabashedly personal and dripping with nostalgia, “Lan’s” direction is polished in an old-school way. Yet the film doesn’t soar to a dramatic crest.

“Lan” feels like it belongs to the era of 5th or 6th generation directors, and would have caused more buzz then. It also spurs less favorable comparison with Jiang’s husband, Gu Changwei, and his more profound and visually sublime “Peacock,” which shares similar period setting.

Narrated in first person by protagonist Xiaolan, the first half describes her childhood in the ’60s. Her parents were “sent down” to a collective in Xinjiang, so she is raised by granddad Tang (Zhu Xu). Jiang portrays her cocooned existence with warmth and whimsy — shooting surroundings from the little girl’s eye level, framing her under a table or inside a wardrobe and revealing her attachment to Tang (”I became grandfather’s tail”) in bittersweet episodes.

In the second half, Xiaolan reaches puberty. Her preoccupation turns to frustrated aspirations to become a national gymnast and moody longing for her exiled parents.

Although the script follows a clear linear direction, Jiang overstretches herself as she runs Xiaolan’s inner life and personal growth as a parallel strand to the densely-detailed grandfather-daughter relationship. Nor can she strike a balance between fleshing out Tang’s backstory as a train driver to make him a fully-fledged individual, and filtering a chunk of modern Chinese history through him as some archetypal everyman figure. Moreover, she stirs in a subplot of doomed love between her neighbor and her P.E. teacher (Liu Ye) that never quite takes off emotionally.

Cinematography and music are classically composed, and brim with romantic feminine sensibility. This works best in non-dialogue scenes that evoke the melancholy of rainy, mossy Southern Chinese climes, like a fantasy sequence when Xiaolan, standing atop a building, takes to the skies with an oil-paper umbrella and glides over the river and railway.

Zhu Xu’s (”Shower”) rock-solid performance provides an anchor for the scattered memories and lengthy time span. Yao Jun and Zhu Yinuo play the childhood and teenage Xialan respectively. They are both fresh and natural, and the personality transition between the two phases is seamless.

Pusan International Film Festival — Asia New Currents
Cast: Zhu Xu, Yao Jun, Zhu Yinuo, Liu Ye
Director-screenwriter-producer: Jiang Wenli
Producer: Dong Ping
Director of photography: Lin Liangzhong
Production designer: Feng Ligang
Music: Dou Peng
Costume designer: .
Editors: Yang Yuhong, Liu Jiami.
Sales and production: Beijing Asia Union Culture and Media Investment Ltd.
No rating, 85 minutes

September 28, 2009

September 28, 2009

Spy drama Happy Autumn(?) set in 1949 Guangzhou features Guo Xiaodong and Sun Chun, opens Oct.14. (

Guo Xiaodong

Sun Chun, Guo Xiaodong (

The Message has been on whirlwind media tour around the country. At one enthusiastic meeting with fans Huayi Brothers CEO Wang Zhonglei has promised that if The Message broke $300M at the box office he would release a 3 hour DVD version! The theatrical version runs 122 minutes. According to reports, the footage shot for the Li Bingbing-Huang Xiaoming ‘medical checkup’ scene is almost equal to that alone. (


Fan Bingbing

Huang Jue

Du Jiayi

Director He Ping

Wheat arrives in Beijing (

Huang Jue Exposed in ‘Wheat’

Known for his relationship with actress-director Xu Jinglei, actor Huang Jue has stepped out of his comfort zone to reveal his true colors in the film “The Wheat”.

“The Wheat” tells the story of two Qin soldiers fleeing from war and taking refuge in the small town of Zhao, where all of the adult men of the village have gone to war. To survive, the fugitives change their identities into Zhao soldiers who had won the battle against Qin.

Rene Liu, Jacky Cheung

With production moving from Beijing to Shenzhen, Jacky Cheung and Rene Liu were in Shenzhen to promote their upcoming New Year’s/Valentine’s Day film Hot Summer Day (formerly Yit Lat Lat). The film is a Huayi Brothers and Fox joint venture. The stellar cast will include Nic Tse, Daniel Wu, Barbie Hsu, Vivian Hsu, and Duan Yihong. When Jacky was asked about the difference between Rene and his recent costar Tang Wei (Crossing Hennessy), he replied that Rene was more experienced and Tang Wei needed more time as she was still new. (

Visitors From The Sui Dyansty from director Zhang Yuxin (Teeth of Love) features time travellers in this new comedy.  Trailer (

3D ‘Deer’ Premieres

“The King of Milu Deer”, which claims to be China’s first animated 3D blockbuster, premiered on Saturday in Beijing.

Chow Yun-Fat ‘Dancing with Strangers’

Hong Kong actor Chow Yun-Fat’s next film will be a Spanish-American-German-Chinese cooperation, reports.

Huang Xiaolei

Da Zhang Wei

Director Liang Chao

Royal Tattoo red carpet photos (

Astroboy opens Oct.23

Astroboy mosaic made of 138,000 recycled subway tickets on display in a Shinjuku department store. (

China picks ‘Forever Enthralled’ for Oscars

Emperor hires Ivy Ho for marketing

Former HKIFF awards director joins after 15 years in industry

September 27, 2009

September 27, 2009a

Wheat cast in Shanghai

Fan Bingbing, Huang Jue

Fan Bingbing

Director He Ping

Wang Jiajia, Huang Jue

Du Jiayi (right)

CRI: “Wheat” Premieres in Shanghai ( (

CRI: “Forever Enthralled” Bids for Oscar

Storm Warriors in Shenzhen

Ekin Cheng, Charlene Choi

Aaron Kwok, Tan Yan


Charlene Choi in Shenzhen to promote Storm Warriors (

Sun Honglei and Kelly Lin meet the press in Chengdu

My Fair Gentleman (

Taipei Times - Short takes


In feudal Japan, a blind musician with lethal sword skills (Haruka Ayase from Oppai Volleyball and Happy Flight) sets out to find her blind masseuse father, encountering the usual bandits and deadly political intrigue. This is an update of the famed series centering on the blind Zatoichi character, who could be this forlorn young woman’s father. Critics admired the film’s visuals and noted its retention of genre conventions rather than a modern reworking of theme and character, notwithstanding the female lead.


Another manga-based film from Japan, this one turns to the curious sport of relay marathons and the relationships among the members of one team. Naoko (Juri Ueno) is a manager for the team, but her ability to deal with the best of its runners is compromised by memories of a fatal accident some years before. Of more interest than the manga-based, baseball-themed Rookies: Graduation, which opened last month, if only because marathons have better scenery.

The Little Finger and the Forbidden Body

A mannered Japanese incest potboiler from 2005, this is being promoted as an earlier feature starring Hiroyuki Ikeuchi (Ip Man). Ikeuchi gets it on — and on — with his sister, only to later block the memory of the experience. But his line of work in a red light district doesn’t let his repressed past stay buried. Actor-director Kei Horie seems to have a thing for grim subject matter. Also known in English as Finger and Body and The Whole Body and the Little Finger — the mind boggles. The Baixue theater in Ximending is the best possible place for a movie like this.

For better or worse, Korean cinema audience is changing

September 27, 2009

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — dleedlee @ 12:06 pm

China’s ‘City of Life and Death’ wins San Sebastian film prize

Hollywood Reporter:’Life and Death’ tops San Sebastian fest

The San Sebastian awards were announced just hours after the People’s Republic of China passed over Lu’s film in favor of Chen Kaige’s opera biopic “Forever Enthralled” as its pick for the foreign-language Oscar.

City Of Life And Death pulls off shock Golden Shell win at San Sebastian

Lu Chuan’s City Of Life And Death, which chronicles the Japanese soldiers’ massacre of the Chinese in Nanking, also picked up the best cinematography award.

Variety: ‘City of Life and Death’ scoops up the Golden Shell

Lu Chuan, Qin Lan

Best Film, Best Cinematography

Award ceremony (

September 25, 2009

September 25, 2009

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , , , — dleedlee @ 4:04 pm

Zhou Xun flipping off reporters?

No! Zhou Xu was wiping away tears after viewing The Message at the Beijing Film Academy public premiere. (

Li Bingbing

Liu Yun, Deng Jiajia

Duan Yihong (

September 24, 2009

September 24, 2009

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — dleedlee @ 11:17 am

Beijing Premiere of The Message

Alex Su, Li Bingbing, Zhou Xun, Huang Xiaoming

Li Bingbing

Zhou Xun


The Huang Xiaoming, Li Bingbing nude scene was deleted from the final version of the film. At the premiere, Li Bingbing said that, in fact, Huang Xiaoming wore less than she did in the kinky torture scene. Alec Su who practiced hard studying Kun Opera for the film also had his scenes deleted.

CRI: ‘The Message’ Well Received

Tianjin - “The Message” set for nationwide premiere

Screen Daily: Wang Xiaoshuai starts work on Mosaic (literally, Sunshine in Chongqing)

Starring Wang Xueqi, Fan Bingbing and young actors Qin Hao, Zi Yi and Li Feier, the film revolves around a sailor who returns to his home town and discovers his son’s tragic death. The film will shoot for two months, mostly in the south-western city of Chongqing, and is scheduled for release in mid-2010.

Hollywood Reporter: Huayi Brothers plans $91 mil IPO

September 24, 2009

Filed under: News — dleedlee @ 10:53 am

Posters for a film you’ll mostly likely never see. Earthshaking/Jing Tian Dong Di is about an army brigade on exercise when a large earthquake occurs. Communication is interrupted, contact is lost, the brigade encounters numerous dangers and obstacles while carrying out life or death rescues. Opened Sept. 22.


September 23, 2009

September 23, 2009

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , — dleedlee @ 11:02 am

Storm Warriors


CRI: “The Storm Warriors” to Hit Cinemas in December

Maggie Q - The Warrior and The Wolf slide show (

Hollywood Reporter: Q gets serious with ‘Warrior’

CRI: “Once Upon a Time in Tibet” Starts Shooting

Xu Jiao as young Mulan (

Subbed Mulan trailer

Back Dorm Boys

Appearing in Panda Express (

Filming begins next month in Shanghai on John Woo production (’Rivers and Lakes Swordswoman’). This is the film that Woo’s daughter, Angeles, will be working on with Barbie Hsu, Michelle Yeoh and Shawn Yue. (

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