HKMDB Daily News

February 4, 2010

February 4, 2010

CRI: Song Hye-kyo To Appear in “Zhao’s Orphan”

Also Wong Kar-Wai’s The Grand Master

CRI: “Confucius” Cast Members Visit Taipei

Chow Yun-Fat and wife arrive in Taipei for the Taiwan premiere of Confucius

(9)(HunanTV)

Asked again about his mother’s wish for a grandchild, Chow said that, Now that he had the heart, he didn’t have the strength to raise a child. (Sina)

(Xinhua)

Jackie Chan

Wang LeeHom

New Seven(?) Little Fortunes

Jackie Chan, Wang LeeHom, Lin Peng

Little Big Soldier promotion event in Beijing (Sina)

Jay Chou

User created cartoons

At a recent press event, Jay Chou revealed that if there is investor interest he would like to direct a film based on his True Legend character, the God of Martial Arts.  (Sina)

Miriam Yeung, Shawn Yue

Love In A Puff directed by Pang Ho Cheung is scheduled for a Mar.25 release

The film is currently rated a Cat. III because of language. The romantic comedy is about love that blooms when Hong Kong’s smoking ban forces the two to smoke outside around a trash can.

(Taihainet) (5)(Sina)

Legend of Chen Zhen - Andrew Lau, Huo Siyan

Gordon Chan, Huo Siyan

Shu Qi

Director Andrew Lau and producer Gordon Chan praised mainland actress Huo Siyan and gave her high marks in this first collaboration with Huo. Shu Qi and Huo play opponents and collide against each other. (HunanTV)

Edison Chen

Edison Chen, Josie Ho

Edison Chen helped out Josie Ho by filming a promo video for her film Dream Home (Xinhua)

Johnnie To

Richie Ren, Lau Ching Wan

Denise Ho, Richie Ren

Death of a Hostage opening lens ceremony (HunanTV)

Jordan Chan’s Valentine’s Day wedding possibly a shotgun

Stills from MV with Gillian Chung and Chan Wai-Ting

(Sina)

Lin Chi-Ling demonstrates the Wii Fit Plus (Xinhua)

Fake Donations-Gate Updates, a very complicated affair: The promised deadline for a full accounting of Zhang Ziyi’s foundation account have come and passed. Zhang’s agent, normally responsive, has not been returning text messages inquiring about an explanation…Reportedly, initial donations of US$2M to Zhang Ziyi’s foundation were funnelled to her private account..Other celebrity names have been drawn into the fake donations net, Zhou Xun and Zhao Wei, etc…An online Chinese Red Cross search of contributions show Zhou Xun contributed only 300 yuan. This was attributed to being a contribution made by a similar name.. In Zhang’s favor, a citizen reported to anewspaper hotline that he knew where the individual contributions went. Several stars among them Chen Kun, Zhang Ziyi and Zhao Wei helped rebuild a collapsed school for the deaf, but after a records search the total donated by Zhang Ziyi only accounted for 840,000 yuan. Today, Zhou Xun’s agent announced that Zhou Xun as UN Goodwill Ambassador had made an undisclosed contribution to a UN designated account for Haitian disaster relief. This has been dubbed a ‘fraud tax’. (Xinhua) (2)

Confucius (Screen Daily review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: — dleedlee @ 11:48 am

Confucius (Kong ze)
By Darcy Paquet

Dir: Hu Mei. China. 2010. 108 mins.

Chow Yun-fat is the main attraction in Confucius, a ponderous and weakly-imagined attempt at repackaging the ancient sage for the blockbuster era. Hu Mei’s (For All Eternity) film includes both battle sequences and an attempted seduction of the legendary philosopher in hopes of drawing mainstream audiences, but a lack of narrative development results in a film that is neither entertaining nor enlightening.

Despite strong state support, which allegedly involved clearing Avatar off 1,600 2D screens to make way for its release, the $23m Confucius has been weakly received in its native China, taking $5.1m on 2,500 screens during its opening weekend. Presold widely throughout Asia and to select European territories, Confucius’ hopes of performing better abroad will rest entirely on the star power of Chow Yun-fat, who turns in a subdued but engaging performance in the lead role.

Kong Qiu (Confucius) lives in the turbulent era of China’s Spring and Autumn Period, when the country is fragmented into competing states. A commoner by birth, he rises to positions of influence within the Kingdom of Lu by demonstrating the efficacy of his philosophy. His forward-thinking ideas - such as pleading for the life of a slave slated to be buried alive - earn him enemies, however, including the powerful General Ji Hengzi (24 City’s Chen Jianbin).

Eventually, Confucius’s success at subduing hostile neighboring states through a combination of tactics and wit earns him the position of Acting Minister of the Interior. However resentment spreads within the court, and in 497 B.C. he and a group of disciples embark on a life of wandering exile.

One of the film’s main problems is that, for all of the myriad faces appearing on screen, none of Confucius’ personal relationships are ever given dramatic depth. The highly talented Zhou Xun, awarded second billing in the credits, appears onscreen for barely ten minutes in a one-dimensional role that feels shoehorned in to provide extra star power. Similarly, although the film presents scenes illustrating the devotion of Confucius’ disciples, none of these relationships are properly developed.

Thus it falls to Chow Yun-fat to carry the dramatic weight of Confucius almost single-handedly. In the film’s opening reels he largely succeeds in doing so by imparting a self-confident wit and charm to the central character. However as it moves into the latter reels, Confucius accumulates weight rather than any sense of gravitas, and Chow’s performance is gradually subsumed by narrative inertia.

On a technical level, the film is given a polished, professional look by the likes of DP Peter Pau (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), costume designer Yee Chung-man (Painted Skin) and production designer Lin Chaoxiang. Evocative landscape shots are scattered throughout, but on the whole the film offers few visual or stylistic surprises.

Production companies
Dadi Century (Beijing) Limited
Dadi Entertainment Limited
China Film Group Corporation
Chinese distribution/international sales
Dadi Entertainment Limited
+ 86 10 5157 0257

Producers
Rachel Liu
John Sham
Han Sanping
Chui Po-chu

Screenplay
Chan Khan
Jiang Qitao
He Yanjiang
Hu Mei

Cinematography
Peter Pau

Production design
Lin Chaoxiang

Costume designer
Yee Chung-man

Music
Cong Su

Main cast
Chow Yun-fat
Zhou Xun
Chen Jianbin
Lu Yao

Screen Daily

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