HKMDB Daily News

November 29, 2011

Shattered (Variety review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: , — dleedlee @ 1:14 pm

Shattered

A Xu Tong presentation. Produced by Han Lei. Directed, edited by Xu Tong.

With: Tang Xixin, Tang Caifeng, Tang Yihong, Yang Yang, Lu Shiying. (Putonghua dialogue)

By ROBERT KOEHLER
A microcosm of China past and present flows through Xu Tong’s intimate docu “Shattered,” in which the maverick indie filmmaker continues to refine his techniques and concerns shown in his previous “Wheat Harvest” and “Fortune Teller.” Xu’s ability to hone in on colorful characters is unerring, with loquacious Tang Xixin and his sharp-tongued daughter Tang Caifeng (last seen in “Fortune Teller”) dominating the screen. They also rep two very different generations with engaging candor, likely to spark interest from adventurous fest programmers.

“Old Man Tang,” as he’s nicknamed (also the pic’s original, less emphatic title), is an 80-year-old widower and retired vet of the railroads, which he good-naturedly acknowledges in opening minutes. Living alone in a ramshackle house in northeast Hebei province, he finds himself constantly hosting his grown children, though Xu makes it abundantly clear that while Tang barely tolerates most of his kids, he maintains a close relationship with Caifeng.

It’s easy to see why. As she showed in “Fortune Teller,” Caifeng, operating in the shady prostitution business but trying to diversify with an equally illegal mining operation, is her own woman and doesn’t suffer fools gladly. Hot-tempered Tang has survived his own travails and never hesitates to tell Xu (handling his characteristically up-close-and-personal camera and sound) exactly what’s on his mind. Each, in a sense, sees a reflection in the other.

Stories of Tang’s past, and by extension China’s, simply pour out of him. Despite many bitter memories (the Communist Party dismissed him when he refused to go to work so he could attend to his ailing young daughter), Tang still keeps lovingly framed portraits on his living room wall of key communist heroes of the 20th century. Such details are important to Xu as a filmmaker: When Caifeng oversees some minor home improvements and the portraits are taken down, it first appears that the symbolic, musty antiques may be put away for good; but no, they’re soon hung back up on the repainted wall.

The father’s endless memory lane alternates with the daughter’s more dangerous current efforts, including trying to help her imprisoned goddaughter Yang Yang, boost business at her brothel, deal with the mine (which Xu apparently had little access to) and generally stay one step ahead of the law. While Caifeng seems to find failure everywhere she turns, she nevertheless maintains a pluckiness and determination that belie the title’s air of defeat. What is shattered, as seen through the prism of this complex family, is a cultural continuity that was maintained in Chinese households in previous generations. Now, the elders are left to more or less stew in the past, while the youngsters must live on the edge.

As usual, Xu’s HD lensing is rough and ready, hardly refined aesthetically but vibrantly immediate. Sound and subtitling are on the rough side.

Camera (color, HD), Xu; sound (stereo), Xu. Reviewed at Vancouver Film Festival (Dragons & Tigers), Oct. 1, 2011. (Also in Hong Kong, Rotterdam film festivals.) Running time: 105 MIN.

Variety

November 29, 2011 [HKMDB Daily News]

Variety: Shattered review

A microcosm of China past and present flows through Xu Tong’s intimate docu “Shattered,” in which the maverick indie filmmaker continues to refine his techniques and concerns shown in his previous “Wheat Harvest” and “Fortune Teller.”

CRI: Actress Zhao Wei to Make Directorial Debut

The film, provisionally entitled “To Our Youth That Is Fading Away”, will be an adaptation of the novel of the same name. It will tell the tale of a woman’s emotional struggle with two men whom she meets again many years after their on-campus love triangle.

CF: Vicky Zhao’s First Movie Project

Stanley Kwan will produce the movie. The film’s screenplay will be written by Li Qiang, whose 2005 film “Peacock” picked up a Silver Berlin Bear Award.

Based on the popular novel “To Our Youth that will Fade Away,” the story revolves around a girl named Zheng Wei, who becomes torn between two men; she is forced to make a decision to find her Mr. Right.

Cherrie Ying and actor Dong Dawei (Tong Dawei) are seen on the poster of the comedic road movie “Great Wall, My Love.”

(Sina)

Aarif Lee plays the role of a finance blog owner who places too many irons in the fire in return for first-hand financial information.

THR: Hong Kong Comedian Stephen Chow Voices Support in Chief Executive Election

‘Shaolin Soccer’ star sticks up for friend Henry Tang Ying-yen, one of two candidates for Hong Kong’s highest office.

The comic mastermind also had his own words of wisdom on the possible negative impact on public support for Tang after Tang was discovered to have engaged in extramarital liaisons.

Chow deadpanned, “We’re trying to elect a chief executive here, not to choose a boyfriend.” [Herman Cain might want to borrow this line.]

Chow’s unopposed election to one of 15 seats for the performing arts subsector on the next Hong Kong chief executive election committee came at the last minute on the day before the application closed, after original candidate, 1990s “Heavenly King” of the Hong Kong pop music scene and actor Leon Lai (Forever Enthralled), was found to be ineligible.

Lai’s disqualification to run as the representative of the election committee for the performing arts subsector had made a mockery of the whole election process of the next chief executive, which will be selected by a 1200-member committee – the singer-actor was not eligible as he was not even a registered voter.

After a slump of over a decade, Taiwan’s home- grown films are not only sweeping box offices at home but also winning awards and hit status overseas, thanks to a new cohort of filmmakers.

Director Chen Kaige is shooting his realistic Micro film “Search” in Ningbo of Zhejiang Province. Its scheduled release is in May of 2012. Chen will make three micro films before promoting them on the Internet.

Yao Di attending a launch ceremony in Sichuan for an 80’s-generation micro film (”Lost and Found”?)

Yao Di

Daniel Lee’s “White Vengeance” opens today in Hong Kong

Feng Shaofeng

Feng Shaofeng (Sina-slideshow)

Publicity stills for “Cold Steel’ featuring Tony Leung Ka-Fai

Opening Dec. 2

Peter Ho Yun-Tung (Sina)

The 32-year-old, who rose to fame as part of Taiwanese boy band Fahrenheit, quit the group in June and is now channelling his time into acting, having starred in best selling flicks like 14 Blades and My Kingdom.

MSN: Cecilia Cheng and Lucas Tse hides from the paparazzi (Nov.26)

In other related news, the media speculated that Cecilia had allowed Lucas to skip school again, because the pair was spotted in Shanghai for the past few days. (Sina)

Lucas at the play center

(Xinhua)

American-Taiwanese singer-actor Peter Ho was recently detained by the customs at an airport in China because the customs officers found that he was carrying more than 100 boxes of condoms in his carry-on luggage

Happy 37th Birthday to Lin Chi-Ling today!

(Sina)

Last night, with Huang Xiaoming in Beijing attending a charity dinner (Sina)

Lin Chi-Ling earlier this month

(Sina)2

November 28, 2011

November 28, 2011 [HKMDB Daily News]

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

FBA: Sweet Journey revew

Modest but interesting road movie centred on two rural kids on the cusp of New China.

Shot in 2009 but only released in spring 2011 — when it ended up being released the same day as director YAN Ran’s second feature, mine disaster movie Together.

CF: Horror Movie ‘Harpoon’ to be Released

The pictures featured lots of nudity and adult content. Some people even questioned whether the movie can survive the strict movie censorship of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT).

CF: ’A Big Deal’ Premieres in Beijing

CF: ’A Simple Life’ Sweeps Golden Horses Awards

SGYahoo: Andy Lau snatches Best Actor award

When receiving the trophy, he jokingly said, “I told you. I always pay money to get the Best Leading Actor award.”

Ann Hui, Andy Lau, Deanie Ip

Ann Hui (Sina)23

Deanie Ip returns to Hong Kong

(Sina)

‘My Way’ documents Korean soldier in the Battle of Normandy

The film has drawn attention for both its storyline and record-setting budget

CF: New Stills for “Flying Swords of the Dragon Gate 3D” Released

CF: Exhibitors Make Peace with Flowers

Minimum ticket prices for blockbusters at issue.

Producers of TSUI Hark’s 3-D action fantasy Flying Swords of Dragon Gate, who have moved its release two days forward to open head-to-head with Flowers, have themselves asked cinemas in China to return a minimum of RMB35 ($5.50) per admission, a precedent set by local blockbuster Aftershock.

Chow Yun-Fat in costume as Cao Cao for “Bronze Temple Terrace” (Sina)

Michelle Yeoh considers herself lucky

I don’t even recognize you anymore!


MSN: Ricky Hui laid to rest

When he was alive, he had made known his desire to have a low-key funeral. Yesterday’s simple and solemn ceremony stayed true to his wishes.

A Side, B Side

DivaAsia: Actress Rose Chan’s molest claim just a publicity stunt?2

Here’s a nice chronology of events leading up to the “Devil Kiss, Wolf Claw” incident” with Rose Chan, Benny Chan and Joe Ma. It includes an interview with Rose Chan.

SGYahoo: Rose Chan didn’t mind getting groped

SGYahoo: Joe Ma is innocent

“Rose had said then that Joe pulled her closer because he wanted to comfort her… but his hand did not touch any sensitive part of her body.”

Master Sin had failed to receive an answer from Rose as to why she went for karaoke with the men.

“Girls should always maintain her distance even if they know the person well.”

“I slapped her and called her stupid but I only did that because I care about her. I still haven’t apologised to her.” he said.

A1:Kiss ‘n’ don’t tell pics catch the smooch seen around the world Also, Selina, Cammi, Edison

Meanwhile, Taiwan celebrity sisters Barbie and Dee Hsu are facing a Sina Weibo micro blog backlash, after pictures of them as young girls were widely retweeted.

Both of the stars are Weibo VIPs and have huge followings, but would have been uncomfortable answering the questions that popped up suggesting Barbie used to have single eyelids, a shorter chin and chubby cheeks.

A1: Andy Lau will soon be a dad CNA

Lau, 49, made the announcement in his website on Monday at 1.50am,

During the Golden Horse Film Awards, Lau glared at host Eric Tsang when Tsang asked him if he “even knows how to make babies”, referring to how there has been no happy news yet even though he and Chu have been together for decades.

MSN: Jay Chou to spend Christmas with Hannah Quinlivan?

November 26, 2011

Week Ending: November 26, 2011 [HKMDB Daily News]

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , — dleedlee @ 2:16 pm

WSJ: Taiwan Tribe Epic Leads Golden Horse Nominations

A 4-1/2-hour drama recounting the armed rebellion by Taiwan’s indigenous Seediq tribes in 1930 against Japanese colonial rule leads nominations at this Saturday’s 48th Golden Horse Awards, that honors the year’s best Chinese-language cinema.

CRI:  Stars Stud Red Carpet of 48th Golden Horse Awards

The 48th Golden Horse Awards Kicked off in Hsin-chu, southeast China’s Taiwan on Saturday, Nov. 26.

CF: Carina Lau and Qin Hailu on Board to Present Golden Horse Awards

‘A Simple Life’ big winner at Taiwan film festival

Hong Kong’s Ann Hui has won the best director award for her movie “A Simple Life” at Taiwan’s Golden Horse Film Festival.

“A Simple Life” also won Andy Lau the best actor award and Deanie Ip the best actress honor. Ip plays a domestic helper who copes with her own aging while serving her master, played by Lau.

Hong Kong’s ‘A Simple Life’ sweeps ‘China Oscars’

Yu Dong, producer of “The Dragon Gate” and CEO of the Bona Film Group announced yesterday at the movie’s premiere ceremony that they will not raise prices and will partake in any form of smear campaign. Dong’s made these comments following the actions of Zhang Weiping, CEO of the production company responsible for “The Flowers of War” who was able to force eight large cinemas to increase the price of their cheapest tickets.

CF: Leading Actors Promote “Flying Swords”

Five of the leading roles including Jet Li, Chen Kun, Li Yuchun, Guey Lun-mei and Mavis Fan made an appearance at the event. However, director Tsui Hark and another lead actress Zhou Xun were absent. Tsui is said to be busy with the post-production stages of the film.

Australian filmmaker burned by Dragon

No box office from Chinese blockbuster [The Dragon Pearl] for SA filmmaker

An Emmy award-winning film producer is fighting to recoup millions of box office dollars in returns from China.

“We’ve tried to contract for that but that’s all being ignored because that’s not how you do it in China.”

Fascinating genre-bender that morphs from C-Horror into something quite different.

Quirky but original sequel to action-comedy The Underdog Knight, flawed by a weak finale.

Ambitious but failed attempt at a live-action version of a cult animated short.

Entertaining action drama on Qiu Jin, commandingly played by Crystal Huang.

Variety: Honey Pupu review

A deliriously wild mix of Web-based youth culture, fantasia and memory, Chen Hung-I’s dreamy “Honey Pupu” is the work of a strong voice uninterested in conventional narrative rules.

TimeOutHK: Tsui Hark

Whether as producer or director, Tsui Hark has delivered many of our cinema’s greatest hits over the past 30 years
TimeOutHK: Wei Te-sheng

How could Wei Te-sheng better himself after directing the highest grossing Taiwanese movie ever?

CF: Johnny To and Wai Ka-Fai to Shoot Gangster Film on Mainland

Johnny To and Wai Ka-Fai are teaming up again for a new project based on the mainland, titled “Drug War”

Josie Ho, daughter of the gambling mogul Stanley Ho, was recently spotted having a meeting with Reeves. Other big names, including Zhou Dongyu and Liu Yifei are also on Reeves’ shortlist.

CRI: Ads Axed during Popular TV Shows

Commercial breaks during television dramas are to be banned from next year, China’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television announced on Friday.

“The order is a double-edged sword,” Ren Jianwei, an official of Shanghai’s Drama Channel, told Shanghai Daily. “It will certainly affect our ad revenue, but it will also attract more people to watch TV.”

Low-budget local movie “Love is Not Blind” slayed its competitors of four Hollywood blockbusters at this week’s box office, taking the top spot repeatedly. The constant boom of this romance has a positive significance to guide the production of domestic films and set a good example for low/ medium scale movie. This film’s success indicates that the mode of “good story+ capable director+ talented actors+ suitable market promoting+ marketable distribution schedule” is the very effective approach to earn impressive ticket sales.

A Chinese state-owned film studio strives to survive

Founded in 1945, the Changchun Film Studio, later known as the CFGC after transitioning to a corporate structure, is widely regarded as the cradle of modern Chinese film. The studio influenced generations of audiences with the country’s first feature-length film “Qiao (Bridge)” (1949) and many other acclaimed works.

“Dou Niu (Cow)” (2009) was one of the company’s post-reform masterpieces. The film, depicting a peasant who is tasked with protecting his village’s dairy cow during a harsh winter prior to the founding of the “New China,” received 7 nominations at the Golden Horse Film Festival in Taiwan and premiered in the “Orizzonti” category at the 66th Venice Film Festival.

As the first racing car film dedicated to female drivers, the cast of “Speed Angels” have been revelling in the presence of three award winning actresses - Cecilia Cheung, Rene Liu and Tang Wei since they started filming.

As the film premiered in Beijing, some media reflected that there were wide discrepancies between the plot and the actually historic events. Echoing that opinion, director Daniel Lee said that “the film represents my attitude and perspective of the history, so it will be meaningless if the both are wholly identical.”

The film will hit national screens on November 29.

Director David Wu, along with leads Peter Ho, Song Jia and Mickey Ho attended the event.

The film will hit cinema screens on December 1.

Sexy actress Monika Mok [Mo Xiaoqi], dressed in a leopard-skin outfit performed a pole dance at the press conference held for “My Own Swordsman” director Shang Jing’s new project “Crazy Banquet” [vide "Crazy Dinner"]yesterday in Beijing.

The first round of still photos for the gangster film “Cold War” have been released, featuring scenes of explosive action. In order to create authentic explosion scenes, the makers not only utilized a number of special effects, but also invited a demolitions expert to create real explosions. The film starts shooting in October and will be screened in the first half of 2012.

The makers of the comedy blockbuster, “Celebrate Spring Festival with Relatives by Marriage”, recently released a batch of still shots. Produced by Manfred Wong, directed by Raymond Yip, and starring Wen Zhang and Liu Yun, the film is expected to be screened during the Spring Festival holiday slot

New Pictures, the production company of Zhang Yimou’s soon-to-be-released epic war blockbuster “The Flowers of War,” is about to publish a special book in memory of the making of the movie

The film boasts an all-star cast including Tom Hanks, Hugo Weaving, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, Jim Broadbent , Hugh Grant and Korean star Du-na Bae and Chinese actress Zhou Xun.

The movie is slated for release on November 24

Huang Yi, the star of the latest blockbuster comedy “East Meets West 2011″, poses for a photo shoot in a seductive uniform to promote the film.

Huang Yi

MSN: Carl Ng keeps co-stars on their toes

Cammi Tse aborted Vincent Wong’s child

16-year-old model Cammi Tse has been a hot topic ever since the recent scandal with Edison Chen, but it is now reported that she had an abortion earlier this year and the father was actor Vincent Wong, who just got married two weeks ago to actress Yoyo Chen

MSN: Tony Leung and Carina Lau to undergo artificial insemination again?

After his 2008 marriage to actress Carina Lau, the pair has been trying to conceive a child with no success. Upon hearing rumours that Andy’s wife, Carol Chu, managed to successfully conceive through artificial insemination, the couple harbours plans to undergo the procedure too.

MSN: Did Hannah Quinlivan’s father meet Jay Chou?

It is understood that Hannah specially brought her father around to sightsee as he seldom visits Taiwan since his divorce with Hannah’s mother, who is a Taiwanese.

MSN: Selina Jen will not act after making showbiz comeback

MSN: Jackie Chan missing at Elaine Ng’s daughter birthday

The former actress celebrated daughter, Etta Ng’s 12th birthday in Hong Kong

November 23, 2011

Honey Pupu (Variety review)

Filed under: Reprints — dleedlee @ 2:22 pm

Honey Pupu

A Good Day Films (in Taiwan) release of a Red Society Films presentation. (International sales: Good Films Workshop, Taipei.) Produced by Yeh Jufeng, Terrisa Chen, Wei Yingchuan. Directed by Chen Hung-I. Screenplay, Chen, Monica & Shabelle, Lin Fujing.

With: Tseng Peiyu, Chiu Shengyi, Lin Chenshi, Lin Posheng, Hsieh Hsinying, Bridget R. Dennison, Denver T. Dennison, Lee Tachi. (Mandarin, English dialogue)

By ROBERT KOEHLER

A deliriously wild mix of Web-based youth culture, fantasia and memory, Chen Hung-I’s dreamy “Honey Pupu” is the work of a strong voice uninterested in conventional narrative rules. The basic premise of a radio DJ dealing with her missing b.f. spins off a curious galaxy of characters and side stories, resulting in one of the few recent films that grasps the Internet as a way of viewing the world. Deserving of even wider fest play than it’s received so far, the pic has cult potential among seekers of exotic contempo creations.

Vicky (Tseng Peiyu) is at a loss to figure out how her b.f., Dog (Lee Tachi), has seemingly vanished, with few, if any, clues as to his whereabouts. Her memories of recently sharing New Year’s with him stirs her to consider that what’s coming is “the year without him.”

One of Dog’s favorite websites, Missing.com, may offer some help. Run by a trio of emotionally volatile young people going by the nicknames of Cola (Chiu Shengyi), Money (Lin Chenshi) and Assassin (Lin Posheng), the site is festooned with messages like “Believe in the parallel world,” positing alternate dimensions where many people who have disappeared may actually be living.

Whereas a more standard treatment of these elements would likely have resulted in a variation of now-familiar themes in the romantic science-fiction subgenre, Chen’s approach suggests a Wong Kar Wai film made by a younger, more new-media-influenced talent. Alternately fluid and jarring, consistently keeping viewers uncertain as to what they’re viewing and even where they are, the film plays on the paradox of young people obsessed with virtual and invisible worlds, but always yanked back into this less-satisfying one.

For all their supposed visions, Cola, Assassin and Money are progressively bogged down by a love triangle that grows uglier as Cola helps Vicky. As befits his name, Assassin is prone to borderline-violent reactions and doesn’t take too kindly to Cola’s moves on Money, the least perturbed of the three and the one most willing to live in the moment.

Chen’s constant shifts in character focus are just enough to make “Honey Pupu” a rather woozy experience, but not so much that it loses its central axis. As a result, the film’s final resolutions are satisfyingly of a piece with Vicky’s attempts to understand herself better, even through a maze of barely comprehensible poetry, Web doodlings and wanderings through a slightly futuristic-looking Taipei.

Key to the film’s achievement is Fisher Yu’s fantastic widescreen cinematography, which could be a calling card for bigger projects. The rainbow-like imagery, tonal shifts and frequent changes in location and mood perfectly fit the film’s overall conception, as does Kang Chunwei’s production design. Keeping it all in place are editors Chen, Liu Yuaxing and co-writer Lin Fujing. Wu-wu Chang’s resonant score includes a surprising number of music cues, from Beethoven to Berlioz.

Camera (color/B&W, widescreen, HD), Fisher Yu; editors, Chen, Liu Yuaxing, Lin; music, Wu-wu Chang; production designer, Kang Chunwei; costume designers, Luke Huang, Liu Chiayu; sound (Dolby Digital), Yang Chienan; sound designer, Tu Duuchih; re-recording mixer, Tu; visual effects supervisor, Lien Chunchien; visual effects, Dotodot Design Studio; assistant director, Hah Chiachon; casting, Wu Chenchen, Hsieh Peifen. Reviewed on DVD, Los Angeles, Nov. 1, 2011. (In Vancouver, Hong Kong, PiFan film festivals.) Running time: 103 MIN.

Variety

November 18, 2011

November 18, 2011 [HKMDB Daily News]

FBA: TVB contributes to HK film history

Rival broadcaster ATV handed over approximately 400 prints at its own ceremony in July 2010 with a promise to donate an additional 300 prints once censent had been obtainted from rights holders.

FBA: A Chinese Ghost Story review

Simply bigger and better, on most levels, than the famous 1987 version.

CF: Behind-the-scenes clip for “Flying Swords of Dragon Gate 3D” Released

Produced by the Bona Film Group and directed by Tsui Hark, the makers of wuxia drama “Flying Swords of Dragon Gate 3D” have released the first behind-the-scenes footage of the film. It exposes the production process of the special effects and some of the more important sets.

(Sina)2

Ma Liwen’s “A Big Deal” opens Dec. 2

Han Chae-Young, Chapman To and Blue Lan star in the fantasy-comedy (Sina)

Gillian Chung cancelled all upcoming promotional activities for “Nightmare”, opening Nov.25. Her agent said that Gillian was only a guest and not the leading actor so it is not really that important. “Nightmare” was originally scheduled for a Halloween release but then later postponed. Gillian was said to have been displeased with publicity photos featuring another actor that were released earlier during the Golden Roster Hundred Flowers Film Festival (GRHFF).

“Nightmare” cast at GRHFF (Sina)2

CF: Gonna Make him a Star

Wang Baoqiang stars as a fortuneteller in “Hello! Mr Tree” with Tan Zhuo.

After starring in “Blind Shaft”, Wang was chosen by Feng Xiaogang, one of China’s biggest directors, to play a role in “A World Without Thieves” (2003). His character was a teenage migrant worker with below-average intelligence but who has a kind heart. “I will never forget the moment I received the call from Feng,” said Wang. “It was so exciting knowing that I was going to star in a film of his.”

Having played so many similar roles - lovelorn, rural background, not too bright - Wang has been criticized for being a one-trick pony. “That’s why I consider “Hello! Mr Tree” as my ‘masterpiece’ right now,” said Wang. “I play a middle-aged bachelor who falls in love with a deaf girl. I am a ‘grown-up’ now, so I’m so glad the role has been acknowledged internationally.”

CF: ”Cold Steel” Holds Press Conference

Director David Wu was joined at the event by the writer of the original work, Li Xiaomin, a retired sniper, mtime.com reports. Adapted from the popular internet novel of the same name written by Li Xiaomin, the film tells the tale of how a young huntsman grows up to become a champion sniper. The film stars Peter Ho, Song Jia, Tony Leung, Mickey Ho and Guo Mingxiang.

CF: ‘Cold Steel’ to Compete at Palm Springs

Newly released poster for Miao Shu’s “Game of Assassins” (vide ”Assassin“) featuring Leung Kar-Yan

Wu Ma, Chen Kuan-Tai and Jiang Chao are also cast in this Ricky Lau-produced story of intrigue between rival kings.

Previously released poster (Sina)

CF: Li Bingbing to Be Awarded Female Star of the Year at CineAsia 2011

Apart from acting, Li is committed to environmental protection and charity issues. She serves as a goodwill ambassador for both the United Nations Environment Program and the World Wildlife Fund. She founded a charity called L.O.V.E in 2009, which is dedicated to various public welfare activities. Because of her charity work, the Chinese media has dubbed Li the “charity queen.”


CRI: Zhang Ziyi Graces ‘Harper’s Bazaar’

Tabloids suspect that 45 year-old actress Loletta Lee Lai-Chun is pregnant. Seen above with boyfriend and ex-husband director Calvin Poon.(Sina)


MSN: Nicholas Tse impersonated to drum publicity for Chinese company

The imposter attended a public event under the name of the Hong Kong actor

Despite announcing her pregnancy, Kelly did not mention the gender of the baby. However, a source close to the singer divulged that Kelly’s wish for a baby girl had come true.

MSN: Jay Chou claims he is not suitable for marriage

The Taiwanese singer feels that he has the mental age of a 20-year-old

Hannah Quinlivan to retire early

CNA: Jay Chou admits he likes strutting around naked at home

“Because it feels like I’m flying like an eagle, it’s really not bad,” said Chou with a laugh.

The actor toured Europe with his young wife for their anniversary, but did not pay his ex-wife and son a visit when he returned to Hong Kong

November 17, 2011

November 17, 2011 [HKMDB Daily News]

TVB hands over treasured films to Hong Kong Film Archive

To show its ardent support for the preservation of film heritage, TVB has handed over about 1,000 film titles from the 1930s to the 1990s to the Hong Kong Film Archive (HKFA) for permanent preservation. About 60 per cent of these archival films are new to the HKFA and will consequently greatly enrich its collection.

Films to be handed over include the earliest Chinese film in TVB’s library, “Little Heroine” (1939), starring Hu Rongrong and Kung Chiu-hsia; and the earliest Hong Kong film in the library, “Female Spy 76″ (1947) starring Wu Lai-chu and Wang Hao. The eight films on the list of HKFA’s recommended “100 Must-See Hong Kong Movies” are: “Wong Fei-hung’s Whip that Smacks the Candle” (1949), “Wong Fei-hung Burns the Tyrants’ Lair” (1949), “Blood-stained Azaleas” (1951), “Mysterious Murderer” (1951) parts one and two, “Butterfly and Red Pear Blossom” (1959), “Father is Back” (1961) and “The Pregnant Maiden” (1968).

Mainland China’s first AIDS-related pic, “Love for Life” is an anemic mess, notwithstanding stars

CRI: Profitable Short Films

As short films are gaining popularity in China, many companies are starting to reap the benefit.

CF: Mou Girl to Cry More in New Movie - “The Allure of Tears”

A message adorns the bottom of the picture[poster], which states: “Love while we are still alive; Say farewell when we have no more time.” The movie revolves around three tragic but romantic love stories

CF: Final Trailer of “East Meets West 2011″

CF: Brainstorming in “White Vengeance”

Award-winning actors Zhang Hanyu and Anthony Wong appear in the still photos of the movie “White Vengeance.” The megastars portray Zhang Liang and Fan Zeng, two famous strategists in ancient China who served different masters. 

CF: Sexy Liu Yan Joins “Laughing and Crying Forbidden”

The mere mention of Liu Yan immediately conjures up images of the sexy host-turned-actress in her latest fantasy romance “The Mural” and upcoming project “Marry a Perfect Man.”

Now Liu is planning to take on an entirely different role in the comedy romance “Laughing and Crying Forbidden” in which she plays a realistic and candid young woman,

CF: Teng’s Pic Stays Strong in Box Office Performance

The cast and crew of the romance “Love Is Not Blind” held a “victory” celebration Tuesday in Beijing, after the film raked in 200 million yuan (US$31.5 million) in box office revenue,

CF: Mainland Box-office Chart in Week 46

Legendary East is a joint venture established by Legendary Pictures and its partner the Huayi Brothers Media Corp. in June this year, which aims to produce and distribute English-language movies that have the potential to be worldwide hits.

“Magic to Win” Beijing press conference yesterday

Edmond Wong, Wu Chun, Karena Ng, Wilson Yip, Raymond Wong, Yan Ni, Wu Jing, Tonny Jan

Karena Ng, Wilson Yip

Stop, in the name of love - Raymond Wong, Yan Ni, Wu Jing

Karena Ng likened to Emma Watson

“Magic to Win” MV - theme song “Love Spell”

(Sina)23

A series of posters for David Wu’s “Cold Steel” featuring Song Jia.

The film will be heading to the Palm Springs International Film Festival in January 2012.

Mickey He plays a sniper

(Sina)2

A peek at Milla Jovovich and Li Bingbing in Resident Evil 5 (Sina)

Li Bingbing demonstrates how she copes with the time difference between Toronto and Beijing.

CF: Andy Lau to Attend Golden Horse Awards

Kelly shared that she is currently filming All’s Well, Ends Well 2012, but had rejected 20 to 30 other jobs because of her pregnancy. The singer also declined job offers, which required her to take a plane

Kelly Chen

(Sina)

Huo Siyan shoots a batch of photos with a fresh new style for the cover of a fashion magazine.

CNA:  Kelvin Tong’s new film “Dance Dance Dragon” more than just a comedy

MSN: Lee Hom invites Shu Qi to his concert

It was rumoured that the Taiwanese singer invited the actress despite his mother’s disapproval

MSN: Chinese actor Ham Yu’s fans chide Selina Jen online

After the accident, it was widely rumoured that Ham had helped Selina escape the fire. Other versions said that the actor had rushed into the burning set to save Selina. Thus, Ham’s fans had since blamed Selina for their idol’s injuries and some had even called her ungrateful.

CNA: Jay Chou to develop social gaming site with tech company?

Apart from being a shareholder of Ucan Technology, a company which is developing a 3D interactive social networking cum gaming website, Chou will be the website’s cultural ambassador for the next two years.

Love For Life (Variety review)

Filed under: Reprints — dleedlee @ 12:24 pm

Love for Life

by JAY WEISSBERG
NOV. 15, 2011
A Stellar Mega Films, Hing Lung Worldwide Group, Beijing Harmony & Harvest Media, Beijing Forbidden City Film, Pioneer TV & Movie Prod. of Chengdu Media Group production. (International sales: Edko Films, Hong Kong.) Produced by Gu Changwei, Chen Xiaodong. Executive producers, Qin Hong, Bill Kong, Ma Hefeng, Zhang Qiang, He Bing. Directed by Gu Changwei. Screenplay, Yan Laoshi, Yang Weiwei, Gu Changwei.

With: Zhang Ziyi, Aaron Kwok, Pu Cunxi, Jiang Wenli, Sun Haiying, Tao Zeru, Wang Baoqiang, Cai Guoqing, Li Jianhua, Li Danyang, Jiang Wen, Feng Xiaogang, Lu Chuan, Guo Yongzhang, Guo Zetao. (Mandarin dialogue)

Mainland China’s first AIDS-related pic, “Love for Life” is an anemic mess, notwithstanding stars Zhang Ziyi and Aaron Kwok (neither inspired) and rising helmer Gu Changwei. It’s possible the original 2 1/2-hour conception was more coherent, but the current version feels chopped up and assembled by multiple editors with limited communication skills. Set in a remote northern Chinese village, the pic functions as neither AIDS tale nor love story, and with a dead 12-year-old boy narrating and several risible sex scenes, the target audience is unclear. Even most fests will steer clear.

Narrator Xin (Guo Zetao) died from AIDS, like many infected when his unscrupulous father (Pu Cunxi) sold the town tainted blood. Even the asymptomatic isolate themselves in a school, including uncle Deyi (Kwok). Forlorn Qinqin (Zhang) arrives kicked out by husband Xiao Hai (Cai Guoqing), and she and Deyi fall in love. Villagers succumb as if AIDS is the bubonic plague, and the script, far from demystifying the disease, is tonally all over the place. Zhang’s red clothes set her apart but, like the attractive visuals from lensers Yang Tao and Christopher Doyle, aren’t meaningfully integrated into the story.

Camera (color), Yang Tao, Christopher Doyle; editor, Li Dianshi; music, Zuoxiao Zuzhou; production designers, Wang Weiyuan, Han Dahai; costume designer, Zhang Yongyi. Reviewed at Rome Film Festival (competing), Nov. 1, 2011. Running time: 99 MIN.
Variety

November 16, 2011

November 16, 2011 [HKMDB Daily News]

CRI: Johnnie To Brings New Film for Valentine’s Day

Poster and stills of Johnnie To’s film “Romancing in Thin Air”, featuring Louis Koo and Sammi Cheng

CF: Deleted Segment of “Love is not Blind” Exposed

FBA: Love stronger than Steel

In China, Love is Not Blind has achieved the biggest opening box office for a local film this year. By Sunday night, the comedy had taken RMB188.0 million ($29.6 million) in six days.

The story tells of wedding planner Huang Xiaoxian’s 33 days of heartbreak after discovering that her boyfriend has been cheating on her with her best friend. Her maybe-gay colleague Wang Xiaojian helps her back on her feet.

Actress Bai Baihe

Director Teng Huatao yesterday at an event to celebrate the box office success

Teng Huatao, Bai Baihe, Wen Zhang (Sina-gallery)

CF: Final Trailer of ‘White Vengeance’ Released

The costume heroine-themed war epic, “Legendary Amazons” recently released film clips exposing the lead actress Jin Qiaoqiao, who portrays a “Marksman” in the film.

Insiders report that Yang Zitong’s scenes have been deleted from “The Legendary Amazons”, unfortunately, due to the scale of violence in the film. Hopefully, her scenes will be restored in an unabridged Hong Kong version (?). She plays one of the Yangs and engaged in violent, bloody fights.

Yang Zitong, “You did what to my scenes!”

Yang Zitong

The romantic comedy “Love is Not Blind” has swept the mainland China’s box office charts, while in Hong Kong, director Giddens Ko’s romance “You are the Apple of My Eye” is making a history to by entering Hong Kong’s Top 10 Box-Office Records.

A Chengdu media preview screening of Barbara Wong’s “The Allure of Tears” left viewers satisfied but many described the film as more of a comedy, particularly the Joe Chen-Dou Xiao story. Director Wong said that she wanted to make a film for audiences to cry at but she did not achieve her purpose.

Zhou Dongyu, Aarif Lee - the “first tear” (Sina)23

A final trailer was also unveiled at the event in the run up to its release on November 24.

Shanghai press conference

Karen Mok

Huang Yi

Karen Mok, Jaycee Chan, Huang Yi

Huang Yi walked the red carpet in Shanghai twice, once for an ELLE event and again for the premiere of “East Meets West 2011″.

Huang Yi

Karen Mok, Jaycee Chan, Huang Yi

Chinese actress LI Bingbing is to be honoured as Female Star of the Year at the CineAsia convention in Hong Kong next month.

A few of the happy recipients of the 2011 China’s Most Beautiful Award held this evening.

Huang Shengyi

Lin Chi-Ling

Zhang Ziyi

Wang Luodan (Sina)23

Gao Yuanyuan poses for animal protection in a photo spread featured in the magazine “ELLE”

Kelly Chen is reportedly four three months pregnant

Attending a fashion event today, she told reporters that she was pregnant and acknowledged that it was achieved through artificial insemination. Kelly has not suspended work and that doctors told her to relax and not be stressed. She said doctors feared that if she stayed at home she would be cranky. (Sina)

Grateful for Carol’s pregnancy, Andy was said to have secretly arranged Taiwan’s Reverend Di Bo and 20 nuns for a three days trip to Hong Kong to help conduct a ritual for a smooth delivery.

The 31-year-old model, who is also actor Aaron Kwok’s rumoured girlfriend, finally hit the big time after appearing in a racy advertisement for breast augmentation services, and was inundated with modelling assignments.

CNA: Sunny Chan opens up about autistic son, seeks help for child

November 15, 2011

November 15, 2011 [HKMDB Daily News]

CRI: Wen Zhang to Star in 3D Film ‘On the Road’

Actor Wen Zhang will star in an urban romantic film that is said to be the first of its genre to be shot in 3-D.

Wen Zhang (Sina)

A South Korean director will be in charge of this Sino-Korean co-production. A star-studded cast, including Huang Shengyi from China and Ji Jin-hee and Cha Su-yeon from South Korea, will join Wen in the film.

CF: Behind-the-scenes Clip of “Legendary Amazons” Released

CF: Character Photos of the Film “I Do” Released

The film is slated for release on February 14, in time for the Valentine’s Day slot.

Li Bingbing (Sina-gallery)

CF: Leon Lai Ming in “White Vengeance”

Director Daniel Lee’s latest historical epic movie “White Vengeance” released a batch of still photos featuring Leon Lai Ming in the run up of its release in November 29.

CF: Theme Song out for “A Big Deal”

Theme song of the fantasy comedy “A Big Deal” was released today. The music video “Oh My Angel,” performed by Qiao Renliang, featured all lead characters of the movie, including Lan Ching Lung, Chapman To and the singer himself.

CF: ”Love is Not Blind” Tops Box Offices in First Week Screening

The film’s high earnings during its first-week run put director Teng Huatao on the shortlist of the “100 million club,” following in the footsteps of small- and medium-size productions such as “Mysterious Island,” “Buddha Mountain,” “Eternal Moment” and “My Own Swordsman.”

CF: Mythological Films and TV Dramas Lack Sustenance

“Painted Skin”, “The Sorceror and the White Snake”, “A Chinese Ghost Story” cited.

During a seminar entitled “Trends of Chinese Mythology Study in contemporary times”, held at the Central China Normal University on November 12, a number of research scholars in the field of Chinese mythology pointed out that the current trend of domestically produced mythical movies and TV dramas lack “nutrition”, suggesting that screenwriters take professional courses on Chinese Mythology.

Concept poster for Johnnie To’s “Romance in Thin Air” scheduled for a Valentine’s Day release.

Louis Koo, Sammi Cheng

(Sina-gallery)

Stills from Barbara Wong’s “Allure of Tears” theme song MV, opening Dec. 22

Aarif Lee, Zhou Dongyu

Zhou Dongyu

Joe Chen (Chen Chiao-en)

Shawn Dou Xiao, Joe Chen

Shawn Dou Xiao, Joe Chen

Joe Chen

Gigi Leung, Richie Jen (Sina)

Keanu Reeves was spotting in a Beijing hotel talking to actress Huang Shengyi for about an hour. The speculation is that he is interviewing her for the lead role in his upcoming film “Man of Tai Chi”. Earlier in September, Keanu was seen attending the screening of her film “The Sorceror and the White Snake”.

(Sina)

Cecilia Cheung

(Sina)

A1: Cecilia Cheung’s fierce comeback

Her new film, Legendary Amazons - a period movie produced by Jackie Chan under his production company, Jackie & JJ Productions, and directed by Frankie Chan - is being heralded as her comeback movie….Legendary has the makings of a blockbuster.

MSN: Barbie Hsu takes over Dee Hsu’s hosting gig

MSN: Aaron Kwok on his favourite things in life, love and career

MSN: Samuel Hui is still mourning over the loss of his brother Ricky

While the entire Hui family was devastated, younger brother Samuel was the one who was the most affected by his brother’s death. Ricky and Samuel had been through thick and thin in the 70s and 80s, on their roads to fame.

Cammi Tse used Edison for publicity

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