HKMDB Daily News

December 31, 2009

December 31, 2009


THR: Storm Warriors review

Bottom Line: A martial arts fantasy with advanced 3D effects and two-dimensional characters.

Betty Sun Li in Jeff Lau’s Once Upon A Chinese Classic

Ronald Cheng (right) (Sina)

The Treasure Hunter

This Chinese so-called blockbuster easily wears the crown as the worst film of the year, with its cheap sets and amateurish action sequences and visual effects that rip off Western treasure-hunt flicks.

Taipei Times: FILM REVIEW: Treasure hunting is a dreary affair


We cannot help but be cautious that China’s film industry is repeating what destroyed Hong Kong’s film industry in the late 1990s: blind investment, neglect of film quality and the quest for cash and competition. Hong Kong director and producer Tung-Shing Yee sighed at the premiere of Overheard, stating that the Hong Kong film industry was officially dead. Chinese filmmakers need to be on guard so that we too are not mourning the death of the Chinese film industry in a few years time.

Worst 10 Chinese films of 2009

1. Wind Warriors (feng yun 2)

2. Gasp (qi chuan xu xu)

3. Looking for Jackie (xun zhao cheng long)

4. On His Majesty’s Secret Service (da nei mi tan ling ling gou)

5. My Fair Gentleman (yao tiao shen shi)

6. Radish Warrior (jue jiang de luo bo)

7. Copycat (dao ban mao)

8. Mulan (hua mu lan)

9. The Warrior and the Wolf (lang zai ji)

10. Wheat (mai tian)

49-year old Cherie Chong was said to have walked out of her sadness of losing of her husband and is planning to marry a Singaporean businessman next year. However, Cherie personally denies to this issue with her best friend Sylvia Chang exclaiming that it’s all a misunderstanding.

With the appearance of Mr L, her friends noted that her gloomy days are over. She has a smile across her face more regularly. However, being in love did not make her conscious of her weight and reporters claimed that she seemed at least 60kg.


Pop star Eva Huang Shengyi promotes new album in Shanghai

Sammi Cheng and guest Gigi Leung share a kiss on stage

Sammi, Gigi

Sammi, Jacky Cheung

(Xinhua)

Edison Chen accepted an interview with “GQ” magazine and mentioned about the sex scandal again.

Zhou Xun

Zhou Xun is on featured on the cover of France’s Le Point (Viewpoint) which focuses 80 pages on China’s rise as the new Asian power. Le Point is similar to the US Newsweek. (Sina)

CRI: Michelle Reis Looks Ravishing in Red

CRI: Ode to Cheongsam

Take a look at China’s notable stars dressed in gorgeously vying Cheongsams and see who looks the best.

Anita Mui’s brother mourned his sister’s passing yesterday on the 6th anniversary of the singer’s death. (Sina)

(Elsewhere James Cameron has been accused of plagiarizing from Miyazaki’s Castle in the Sky and Totoro.)

December 30, 2009

Storm Warriors (Hollywood Reporter review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: — dleedlee @ 5:57 pm

Storm Warriors

Bottom Line: A martial arts fantasy with advanced 3D effects and two-dimensional characters.

By Maggie Lee
HONG KONG — A tempest of CGI clouds the vision of “Storm Warriors II” but is not enough to smoke screen the action-fantasy’s lame plot and appropriation of Hollywood style, especially the grainy texture and buff males of “300″ and the production design of the third “Mummy” film. Its December release recorded a moderate take of about $1.8 million in Hong Kong and about $6.6 million in China over a three-week period. Followers of the careers of directors Oxide and Danny Pang (”Bangkok Dangerous”) may be tempted to catch this, but there is not enough authentic physical combat to satisfy the typical Asian genre film audience.

“Storm Warriors II” is a sequel to the 1998 Hong Kong mega-hit “Storm Riders,” which made memorable screen renditions of the original comic’s heroes — free-spirited but righteous Wind (Ekin Cheng) and cool but competitive Cloud (Aaron Kwok). Each action set piece in the first edition derived its own flavor from being choreographed to mirror the characters’ personalities and dramatize their rivalry.

By comparison, the sequel feels bland as it dispenses with the characters’ backstories, and abstracts the serpentine plot into a trite battle between good and evil. Even a 2008 animated version delivered a more polished storyline.

Wind and Cloud, played by the original Cheng-Kwok duo, are united against Lord Godless (Simon Yam), the wicked invader of China. After subjugating the Emperor (Patrick Tam) and the realm’s best martial artists, Godless and son Heart (Nicolas Tse) embark on an expedition to loot a dragon spinal cord on which the fate of China hangs.

Wind and Cloud seek the hermit-swordsman Lord Wicked’s guidance on how to defeat the invulnerable Godless. Wicked tells Wind to temporarily surrender himself to the Evil Path as a shortcut to enhance power. Wind is interrupted mid-way through his training and loses all reason. Cloud is taxed with foiling Godless’ conspiracy (with help from mentor Nameless), while keeping the possessed Wind out of trouble.

Eleven years after “Storm Riders” broke new ground in Hong Kong cinema for its use of computer graphics in martial arts choreography, “Storm Warriors II” has upgraded the technical razzle-dazzle. The 3-D effects are indeed eye-catching — the twister of swords conjured up by Nameless in the beginning simultaneously salutes and reinvents the low-tech, hand-drawn cartoons of flying daggers that characterize 1960s Hong Kong swordplay flicks.

The Pang brothers draw on their forte as colorists to create a universe of striking contrasts that distinguishes the film from recent martial arts epics of gritty realism. Most effective is when images are drenched of all but a few primary colors — blazing reds, frosty whites and luminous blacks — sharply toned to give additional dimension to human figures and key objects.

However, images that are at first atmospheric, like the curlicues of black-and-white smoke, lose their impact when rehashed in every major scene. There is also an overblown clunkiness to the action design, which does not correspond to the light, fluid quality of winds and clouds emphasized in the comic’s illustrations: The heroes’ opponents don’t just die; they crumble into black, chunky rumble. Caves, monuments and boulders explode with a crash-bang-wollop.

That aside, the real problem is that despite having a succession of large scale fight scenes, the lack of continuity does little to escalate the tension. The final mano-a-mano between Wind and Cloud lasts over half an hour, but the rapid turnover of slow motion, freeze frame and extreme close-ups of startled facial expressions only prolongs more or less the same physical moves.

While the film has assembled some of the most dashing male stars in Hong Kong cinema, they are only required to stand in cool poses with billowing manes. Charlene Choi and Tang Yan, who play Wind’s and Cloud’s love interests respectively, function as mere accessories. There is arguably more engaging human interaction in a computer game.

Opened Dec. 10: Hong Kong and China

Production Companies: Universe Entertainment Ltd, in association with Sil-Metropole Organization and Chengtian Entertainment
Cast: Aaron Kwok, Ekin Cheng, Simon Yam, Kenny Ho, Charlene Choi, Tang Yan, Nicholas Tse, Patrick Tam Yiu-man
Director-producers: Oxide Pang, Danny Pang
Based on the comic by: Ma Wing Shing
Executive producers: Daneil Lam, Ching Suet Ying
Production designer: Yee Chung Man
Costume designers: Yee Chung Man, Dora Ng
Editors: Curan Pang, Danny Pang
Sales: Universe Film Distribution Co.
No rating, 110 minutes
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/film-reviews/storm-warriors-ii-film-review-1004055775.story

December 30, 2009

Future Cop Andy Lau performs a risky stunt

(Xinhua)

Jacky Cheung keeps cool in Hot Summer Days (Sohu)

Slide show (12)(Sina)

Chow Yun-Fat is in Taishan, Guangdong shooting Let The Bullets Fly (Sohu)

Beijing - Simon Yam, Li Yuchun

Tony Leung Kar-Fai

After less than two weeks, Bodyguards and Assassins has made over $208M at the box office. The cast held a celebration ceremony in Beijing. (Xinhua) (HunanTV)

First poster for House of 72 Tenants released (Sina)

Wang Lee-hom not first choice for role in ‘Little Big Soldier’?

Emme Wong defends accusations thrown at Shawn Yue

Hong Kong actor Shawn Yue was recently accused of being “arrogant” by the Hong Kong media. He was said to have angered his teacher, Alan Tam, who has decided to groom his junior from the same management company, Gregory Wang, instead.

It’s not easy being Jay Chou’s girlfriend

Huang Yi

Aaron Kwok

JJ Lin, Huang Yi and Aaron Kwok promote New Year’s Eve festivities in Shanghai

(Xinhua)

‘Mou girl’ Wei Minzhi has grown up!

Not One Less - Wei Minzhi

Wei Minzhi, who is now 23 and a film director, went to the United States as an exchange student. She studied film and TV production at Brigham Young University - Hawaii and is now fluent in English and even has an unidentified but prominent boyfriend. (HunanTV) Related article in English.

December 29, 2009

December 29, 2009

Karena Lam braves the cold for Don Quixote, which will be released in 3D (Sina)

AngelaBaby plays a country maid with a stutter in All’s Well Ends Well 2010

(Sina)

CRI: Zhao Wei’s ‘Blades’ Wedding

The latest still-shots from the upcoming Chinese movie “14 Blades” show beautifully dressed Qiao Hua, played by Zhao Wei, waiting for her groom Qinglong, played by Donnie Yen.

HK Film Archive looks at Eileen Chang and film

China finds likely tomb of 3rd century general Cao Cao

Simon Yam spotted having a tryst with an unknown girl

Simon, who is currently overseas, refuted the rumours and explained, “That girl is just someone who was supposed to pick me up. There were others as well, and the flowers they were holding were for me. The next time if someone picks me up, I will tell them not to bring flowers but fruits instead. These rumours are ridiculous!”

Former HK actress Cherie Chung to marry a Singaporean businessman

“Single life is great, but having someone to share your joy and sorrow with is a very blissful thing,” Chung said.

Who’s behind the Zhang Ziyi ‘black paint incident’?

Hong said in her blog update that people who think Murdoch orchestrated the whole thing are completely mistaken.

“As far as I know, the mastermind behind this incident does not have a husband. She is someone’s second mistress. But for a second mistress to be so brazen, she must be somebody. I suggest that entertainment reporters focus on finding out who she is,” Hong said in her update.

Charmaine Sheh is TVB’s top earner!

Garnering a total of 15 million viewers for her shows, Charmaine has officially become TVB’s highest earner for the year, triumphing Raymond Lam, who is in 2nd place and Michael Tse (otherwise known as “Laughing Gor”), who is in 3rd. Bernice Liu, who was in 3rd place last year, is no where to be found near the top.

Shanghai Daily: Cantopop king Alan Tam delves into jade

New Gillian Chung advert for TOUGH Jeansmith (Sina)

(on.cc)

Fan Bingbing wedding studio advert

(Xinhua)

Karen Mok

I spy: Karen Mok with a new boyfriend? Spotted shopping in Shanghai. (Xinhua)

Dec. 30 is the 6th anniversary of Anita Mui’s passing.(Sina)

December 28, 2009

December 28, 2009

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , , — dleedlee @ 1:05 pm

Two new posters. Movie opens Jan.22.

(China News)

Producer Jackie Chan launches TV version of The Myth (HunanTV)

Movie season’s lesser gems

Midnight Taxi, Poker King, Bright Future

CRI: Xu Jinglei Offers More Office Politics Advice

Xu Jinglei shoots promotional photos for her upcoming film “Du Lala’s Promotion” in Beijing on December 26, 2009.

Angry group lashes out at Zhang Ziyi

Zhang Ziyi accused of cheating former business partner

English subtitles missing in Hong Kong’s ‘Avatar’

December 26, 2009

December 26, 2009

Treasure Hunter

Miao Pu without mask (Sina)


Taipei Times

FILM REVIEW: Bodyguards fail to save the day

CRI: “Bodyguards and Assassins” Going Strong after Debut

CRI: Will The Silver Screen Shine?

The advertisements and trailers of upcoming movies are often more eye-catching and imaginative than the films themselves.

Variety: Walking to School

Produced by Yu Rongguang

China’s Zhang Yimou back with Coen brothers remake

The 57-year-old has also called on television comedians to act in the film, and the dialogue is peppered with funny expressions made popular by the Internet…

It is a film that perfectly suits cinemas in provincial towns.”

The Hunan Daily newspaper wrote: “Apart from the attractive aspect due to the fact it is an adaptation of the Coen brothers’ film, the cultural content seems rather empty.”

And Hung Huang, a Chinese media personality, said the film was “too vulgar.”

THR: Hong Kong fest to laud Zhang Yimou

Chinese director Zhang Yimou will be given a lifetime achievement award at the upcoming Asian Film Awards in March next year.

Chi-Ling goes full time into acting

CRI: Xiao Shen Yang’s 101st Night

Taipei Times: Pop Stop

Gong Li mum about cup size

Andy Lau appears as Sammi Cheng’s guest

Sammi Cheng Love Mi Concert

Guests Eric Kot, Ekin Cheng

(Sina)

Vivian Chow lends support to non-profit veterinary association

Rosamund Kwun

(HunanTV)

Rumors have been swirling over the holidays that both Rosamund Kwun and Maggie Cheung have become engaged to their boyfriends.(Sina)

Walking to School

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: — dleedlee @ 11:06 am

Walking to School
(China)

A New Classic Advertising Prod. Co., Yunnan Runshi & Rongguang Movie Prod. Co. production. (International sales: New Classic, Shenzhen.) Produced by Yu Rongguang. Executive producers, Peng Jiahuang, Peng Chen. Co-executive producers, Wen Yuqing, Guo Zhengguang, Jiang Xiaorong. Directed by Peng Chen, Peng Jiahuang. Screenplay, Peng Chen.

With: Ding Jiali, Anamuling, Cao Xiwen, Chen Yifei.

By DEREK ELLEY
A simple story, well told, of a rural tragedy that leads to the building of a bridge, “Walking to School” is a solid feature debut by brothers Peng Chen and Peng Jiahuang, founders of Shenzhen-based ad agency New Classic. Well-shot item, which doesn’t overdo its ethnic or cutesy aspects, should slide easily into kids’ fests, with some cable potential.

In a remote mountain village in southern China’s Yunnan province, Naxiang (Anamuling), the teenage daughter of a Lisu minority family, can only attend school using a rusty old cable slide across a dangerous river. Agile Naxiang isn’t fazed, but her 7-year-old brother, Wawa (Ding Jiali), desperately wants to have a go, which worries teaching intern Miss Nie (Cao Xiwen), newly arrived from Shenzhen. Having a pretty young outsider modernize rural traditions is a long-established device in mainland Chinese cinema, but the film largely concentrates on the two younger leads, charmingly played and lightly directed. Final section is too heavyhanded in its message, but Taiwanese d.p. Li Yi-hsu’s lensing of the rugged locations in Fugong county impart a nice verismo feel. With: Ding Jiali, Anamuling, Cao Xiwen, Chen Yifei.

Camera (color), Li Yi-hsu; editor, Zhou Ying; music, Ruan Kunshen; song, Liu Zihao (sung by Jackie Chan); art director, Li Yongping. Reviewed at China Film Group screening room, Beijing, Sept. 22, 2009. (In Beijing Screenings, Shanghai Film Festival.) Original title: Zoulu shang xue. Mandarin dialogue, Lisu dialect. Running time: 85 MIN.
Variety

December 24, 2009

December 24, 2009


Hot Summer Days Poster (HunanTV)

(J)Aaay!

CRI: Treasure Hunters Jay and Chi-Ling in HK HD Slide show (13) (Sina)

Lin Chi-ling On Her Guards Against Men Yet Worries of Not Being Loved

NYTimes: Reimagining a Pivotal Year in China

Big, star-studded ensemble casts with their many egos are notoriously difficult to handle, and for Teddy Chen, the director of the Chinese blockbuster “Bodyguards and Assassins,” it was no different.

CCTV: “Bodyguards and Assassins” sweeps big screen

Cast members promote movie “Bodyguards and Assassins”

Tony Leung Kar-Fai, Fan Bingbing

Taipei (Sina)

Lee Lik-Chi, Zhang Jingchu, Huang Xiaoming

(HunanTV)

Flirting Scholar cast send Christmas greetings, HD slide show (7)(Sina)

Top 10 movies of this holiday season in China

CRI: Ink-splashed ‘Zhang Ziyi’ in Trouble ?

CRI: Comedian Zhao Benshan to Create Pop Band

Have a Merry Christmas! (Xinhua)

December 23, 2009

December 23, 2009

Filed under: News — Tags: , — dleedlee @ 1:59 pm

Future Cop starring Andy Lau and Barbie Hsu opens Feb. 5 HD slide show (10)(Sina)

Peter Chan, Sandra Ng and daughter

Fan Bingbing

Nic Tse

Li Yuchun

Hu Jun

Taipei premiere of Bodyguards and Assassins (Dec.22) (Xinhua) (HunanTV)

CRI: Patricia Field Offers Du Lala a Tasteful OL Look

‘Sex and the City’ costume designer Patricia Field has headed up the design team of ‘Du Lala’s Promotion’, a film adaptation of same-titled best selling novel directed by Xu Jinglei.

THR: Asia going global by getting local

Jay Chou and Lin Chi Ling become action stars

In love with Jay? Chi-ling won’t go there

Lin Chi-ling loses $10,000 watch after luggage got broken into at Malaysia customs

Fan Bing Bing admires sexy women

Sammo Hung and a series of Wii Sports Resort adverts (Thanks, to Fan)

The Karate Kid trailer released

December 22, 2009

December 22, 2009

All’s Well Ends Well 2010 poster (Sina)

Louis Koo - Triple Tap

An action filled 30 second trailer was recently released (Sina)

CRI: Donnie Yen Portrays a Different Chen Zhen

Unlike Bruce Lee or Jet Li who both portrayed Chen Zhen as a tough martial artist, Donnie Yen is set to add a new identity to the fictitious character - special agent.

Teddy Chan’s titanic struggle

Jay Chou, Chiling Lin promote film “The Treasure Hunter”

Gillian Chung

Gillian Chung prepares to shoot New Year’s MV for Emperor (Xinhua)

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