HKMDB Daily News

March 30, 2012

March 30, 2012 [HKMDB Daily News]

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , — dleedlee @ 2:13 pm

CF: Most Anticipated Chinese Movies of 2012

CF: Dayyan Eng’s “Inseparable” Due to Hit the Big Screen

FBA: Youku kickstarts more micro movies

PR: New HK Film Archive exhibition highlights the cinematic legend of Wong Fei-hung

The HKFA’s new publication “Mastering Virtue: The Cinematic Legend of a Martial Artist”, with an English edition on CD-ROM, examines the cinema of Wong Fei-hung from a historical background and considers its various artistic characteristics and film genres.

Fourth generation student, Pang Chi-ming; Mok Kwai-lan, godson of Wong Fei-Hong’s wife; fifth generation student, Lau Ka-yung (info.gov.hk)

CF: Talented Actress Jiang Yiyan

In 2012, Derek Yee’s “Ghost Bullets” and Gordon Chan’s “The Four” will bring Jiang to the big screen again, and Jiang Yiyan recently finished her part in director Peng Shun’s “Conspirators”, which is expected to be released in October.

(Sina)

CF: Huang Yi: The Beauty in Hoh Xil

Huang Yi

(Sina)

TaipeiTimes: Pop Stop

CRI: Actress Hsu Chi Undaunted by Online Attacks

CF: Bullied actress’ Cold Shoulder to Weibo Prompts Reflection

“Frustration in life boosts aggression. So people’s discontent has been funneled into cyberspace, where they can act with little restraint,”

MSN: Netizens regret supporting Vincent Zhao after learning daughter has US passport

March 29, 2012

March 29, 2012 [HKMDB Daily News]

ScreenDaily: Zombie 108 review

FBA: All’s Well Ends Well 2012 revivew

Latest instalment of the Hong Kong New Year comedy franchise is less brash and more charming.

CF: ”Guns N’ Roses” Portrays Ning’s Style

CF: ”Design of Death” to Hit Cinemas in April

Huang Bo, Simon Yam

Huang Bo (Sina)

CF: ”An Inaccurate Memoir” Stars in Black and White

Huang Xiaoming

Zhang Xinyi

Zhang Yi (Sina-gallery)

CF: 7 Blockbusters from Huayi Bro. to be Released in 2012

CF: Cast and Crew Talk about “Full Circle”

CF: Youku Plans to Shoot 12 Microfilms

Stills of Mo Xiaoqi (Monica Mok) and Jing Gangshan in a passionate scene from “Blood Stained Shoes”

Jing Gangshan plays a carpenter in the film (Sina)2

Photos from launch conference in Taiwan for “Westgate Tango”

Anthony Wong

Dylan Kuo

Amber An Xin-Ya

She’s a popular Taiwan fan boy “sex goddess” appearing in her first film

(Sina-slideshow)

TimeOutHK: Shu Qi interview (The Second Woman)

Titled “Returning to the basics”, the actress thanked those who have hurt her and expressed that the incident has allowed her to learn and improve.

“The past is not a scar but something to be proud of,” she wrote.

CNA: HK artistes applaud Privacy Commissioner’s report on tabloid misconduct

MSN: Jay Chou to scout for fresh face for his new movie

The Taiwanese singer’s move implied that rumoured girlfriend Hannah Quinlivan will not star in his upcoming film

MSN: Cecilia Cheung spotted with younger son Quintus

A1: Wang Lee-hom to carry torch for 2012 Olympics

CF: Wax Figure of Actress Sandra Ng Unveiled in HK

Sandra Ng (left)

With Peter Chan’s father and Sandra Ng’s parents (Sina)

Zombie 108 (Screen Daily review)

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

Zombie 108
Dir/scr: Joe Chien. China. 2012. 87mins

29 March, 2012
By Mark Adams

Billed as ‘the first genre movie combining apocalypse and zombie in Chinese film history’, the freewheelingly clumsy Zombie 108 may well deliver the expected blood and gore to keep horror fans happy, but it staggers and collapses when it comes to adding story or dialogue to this most over-exposed of horror genres.

What the promotional material fails to mention is that the film even gets a little bored with its traditional shambling zombies vs. humanity plot, and decides to spice up the action with a little martial arts action, parkour tumbles and even a torture-porn subplot. And all in under 90 minutes.

The zombie mayhem is nicely staged in sections – and has a few choice moments of humour, some of them inadvertent – though the whole torture porn sequences may well cause classification issues in some territories. The film has DVD release written all over it, and with a nice trailer and internet interest already out there it has a certain ready-made profile to fans of the genre. The film had a packed Filmart screening in Hong Kong and will no doubt find interested buyers and horror festivals.

A virus had leaked in Taipei and the government orders army and SWAT teams to oversee evacuation, but in Ximending, the downtown area of Taipei defined by dens of crime and sleaze the local gangs don’t take kindly to the police at their door. Initially they attack the SWAT teams, but when both gangsters and cop find themselves under attack by flesh-munching fiends there is an uneasy alliance as they try and escape.

Meanwhile Linda (model Yvonne Yao) tries to escape with her daughter and after being picked up by a car thinks her problems are over. In fact she has been picked up by a deformed pervert who locks up women in his basement for his sexual pleasures as well as torturing and deforming men. Action comes to a head when cops and gangsters end up at the weirdo’s apartment. Oh yes…there is also a serial killer who turns up there as well, just to complicate matters.

The film starts well enough with the zombies (of the slow-moving variety) enthusiastic in their munching techniques and the cop’n’crooks liberal in their gunfire. Sadly, though, after that the action is only adequately staged and the script pretty poor. The women all tend to favour short-shorts and crop tops (whether they be cops, dancers or passers-by) and the casual sexploitation is more than a little uncomfortable.

The ‘108’ of the title is never actually explained, though it may relate to the 108 defilements mentioned in Buddhist literature. Though equally it could simply be the amount of zombie bodies that one survivor uses in the best scene of the film to spell out the letters S-O-S to try and attract a passing helicopter.

International sales: Film Asia Entertainment Group, www.filmasiaent.com.hk

Producer: Morris Rong

Main cast: Yvonne Yao, Morris Rong, Tai Bo, Jack Kao, Dennis To, Ch Mu-yen
ScreenDaily

March 28, 2012

March 28, 2012 [HKMDB Daily News]

ScreenDaily: Vulgaria review

This film-biz satire displays a reckless abandon in mentioning genitals – of humans and other species – as frequently as it possibly can.

“Vulgaria” Hong Kong premiere photos

Chapman To, Kristal Tin

DaDa Chan

Pang Ho-Cheung, Chapman To, Kristal Tin, Matt Chow

Ronald Cheng

Fiona Sit (Sina)

CF: Stars of “The Four” and “The Assassins” Set to Shine at BJIFF

PR: Youku, Buick Debut “Micro Movie” Series from Major Directors

China’s leading Internet television company (”Youku”), joined by Buick today, announced the kickoff of “Infinite Drive,” a series of 12 web-based “micro movies” from internationally renowned directors Wang Xiaoshuai (”Beijing Bicycle”, “Chongqing Blues”), Lu Chuan (”City of Life and Death”, “Hoh Xil”), and Teng Huatao (”Dwelling Narrowness”, “Love is Not Blind”), and actress and director Hao Lei (”Summer Palace”, “Empire of Silver”).

Each of the four directors will produce three ten-minute micro movies to tell the stories about young urban professionals balancing their personal pursuits against the desire for stability. The 12 micro movies will correspond to the 12 signs of the Western zodiac, and will reflect the personality traits typical of each sign.

Stills of Tao Hong from Ning Hao’s “Guns and Roses”

CRI:  Selina Ren Comes Back into the Limelight

MSN: Selina Jen refuses to forgive director Chen Ming Zhang

CNA: Selina Jen: S.H.E. to reunite in 2012

MSN: Is Miriam Yeung’s husband in financial trouble?

MSN: Shu Qi forced to shut down her microblog

A1: Shu Qi cries in park after nude photos circulated

CNA: Shu Qi becomes a casualty of Donnie Yen, Vincent Chiu feud

In a long article on her official fan site on Tuesday, the actress said she was actually “grateful” to the people who have hurt her, because their actions allowed her to continue “to learn and to grow”.

Shu Qi went on to say that she “just needed a little bit of time” and assured her fans that she would soon bounce back.

Vulgaria (Screen Daily review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: , — dleedlee @ 11:05 am

Vulgaria

By Edmund Lee
Having spent much of his career filtering good humour through very bad taste, writer-director Pang Ho-cheung delivers arguably his naughtiest picture to date with a pitch-black comedy whose central mystery concerns whether its protagonist has had sexual intercourse(s) with a mule. While its potentially offensive content is either verbal or merely implied, Vulgaria’s readiness to revel in its own political incorrectness should ensure its popularity with festivals looking for curiosity items.

The film world-premiered at the Hong Kong International Film Festival and is scheduled for a summer release locally – tentatively in late June.

Shot in 12 days without a complete script, the movie is essentially a series of side-splitting episodes related by producer To Wai-cheung (Chapman To, who previously starred in a much more reserved role in Pang’s Isabella) at a sharing session with cynical film students. Pushed to defend his worth in the role, the downtrodden veteran recalls the ridiculously dramatic journey of getting his latest project, a remake of the 1976 soft-core flick I Want More!, off the ground.

To do that would mean to satisfy the whims of investor Brother Tyrannosaurus (Ronald Cheng), a mainland Chinese gangster boss who’s into exotic food and kinky sex; to persuade the original film’s lead actress (Susan Shaw playing herself) to take her part again; and to secure further financial support from his disillusioned ex-wife (played by Kristal Tin, To’s real-life spouse). Pang’s penchant for male sexual fantasy is again evident as his character’s plight is partly relieved by the affection of a teenage model, Popping Candy (Dada Chan), who earns her nickname with her unusual fellatio technique.

With an original Chinese title that translates as Vulgar Comedy, this film-biz satire displays a reckless abandon in mentioning genitals – of humans and other species – as frequently as it possibly can; in fact, the irreverent tone is immediately set at the start of the film when the function of movie producers is compared to that of pubic hair (“to ease friction between two people”). As has become the norm for Pang’s recent efforts, Vulgaria also concludes with extended post-credits sequences which provide the movie’s ultimate comic punch line.

Production company: Making Film

International sales: Golden Scene Co. Ltd., www.goldenscene.com

Producers: Pang Ho-cheung, Subi Liang

Scriptwriters: Pang Ho-cheung, Lam Chiu-wing, Luk Yee Sum

Original story: Pang Ho-cheung

Cinematography: Jason Kwan

Art and costume designer: Ho Lok-lam

Editor: Wenders Li

Original music: Alan Wong, Janet Yung

Main cast: Chapman To, Dada Chan, Kristal Tin, Ronald Cheng, Fiona Sit

ScreenDaily

March 27, 2012

March 27, 2012 [HKMDB Daily News]

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , — dleedlee @ 4:55 pm

THR: Nightall review

Cop pits wits with con in an improbably plotted but visually resonant Hong Kong thriller starring Nick Cheung and Simon Yam.

THR: Love in the Buff review

Modern love shifts from Hong Kong to Beijing in the successful sequel to Love in a Puff, a natural, light and convincing rom com very similar to the original Hong Kong hit.

THR: Vulgaria review

Director Pang Ho-cheung appeals to international audiences in this laugh-out-loud, aptly titled comedy.

K-film ‘Late Autumn’ breaks box office record in China

FBA: Late Autumn has Indian summer

CRI: Zhang Yimou Takes a Break from Making Movies

CF: Posters of ‘The Last Supper’ Released

CF: First Trailer of “The Last Supper” Unveiled

Latest concept poster for Ning Hao’s “Guns and Roses”

Josephine Siao Fong Fong’s eldest daughter recently married in Phuket, Thailand

The groom, an American of British-Irish descent, is learning to speak Mandarin. (Sina)

A distraught Shu Qi

Possibly a victim of crossfire in the war of words between Donnie Yen and Vincent Zhao over “Special Identity”, Shu Qi deleted all her posts on her Weibo microblog account after a series of posts attacking and harassing her. Shu Qi has over 10 million followers. She had recently given her support to Donnie Yen, her “Legend of the Fist” costar. So some speculate that the attacks were from Vincent Zhao supporters, or it could have been from other people taking advantage of the dispute to settle old scores. Fellow artists, Wong Jing, Carina Lau, Gordon Chan, Yao Chen, Feng Xiaogang, Annie Yi, Zhang Yuan and Chen Kun expressed solidarity with Shu Qi and condemned the ‘network of violence’ on their own weibo posts. (Sina)23

Shu Qi supported Donnie Yen, Netizens attacks back posting old nude photos

Shu Qi cries in the park

Meanwhile, many people have shown their support for Shu Qi, including film director Wong Jing, who followed her footstep to delete all comments on his weibo as a silent protest.

“I know who’s behind this, but don’t have evidence,” he told a reporter over the phone.

Chinese director Feng Xiaogang also supported Shu Qi. He wrote: “If I scold you of behaving like an animal, I’m humiliating the animals.”

Vincent apologised to Shu Qi for being dragged into the dispute. “I hope this issue will end soon, Shu Qi is innocent.”

Happier days on Weibo

Chateau Lafite

Shu Qi La Feet

MSN: Kelly Chan discharged from hospital after labour

MSN: Faye Wong’s eldest daughter posted intimate photo with a boy

March 26, 2012

March 26, 2012 [HKMDB Daily News]

Variety: Studio complex puts China in the picture

Huairou Film Base hopes to lure Westerners

In a recent coup for Huairou, Keanu Reeves signed on to shoot “Man of Tai Chi,” a $32 million contemporary chopsocky and tai chi actioner that will film here. The cast includes Tiger Chen and Karen Mok, with Reeves as a bad guy — and martial arts choreography by Yuen Woo-ping (”The Matrix”).

Variety: Film is art to Chinese helmer Lu Chuan

Local auds didn’t flock to “City of Life and Death” in expected numbers, partially because Lu made the Japanese general in the war movie a real character.

Now the director wants his vision to appeal to auds in the booming China market as he gets ready to unveil “The Last Supper,” a costume drama about two warring generals, toplining mainland-friendly stars Liu Ye, Daniel Wu and Taiwanese thesp Chang Chen.

FBA: Audience invited to all or nothing Supper

Qin Lan as Empress Lu in “The Last Supper”, opening July 5th

Qin Lan

Liu Ye, Qin Lan, Daniel Wu, Chang Chen at recent Beijing press conference (Sina)

Daniel Wu

Liu Ye

Chang Chen (Sina-gallery)

Trailer for “The Last Supper”

Gong Li will play Empress Wu in “Tang Dynasty Mystic/Mystery Map”

Two versions of the film are in the pipeline, with Jacob Cheung Chi-Leung directing and Tony Ching Siu-Tung producing and filming to begin in July. An international US-China version hopes to get Danny Boyle to direct with an unnamed actress in the lead.

Gong Li

(Sina)23

First stills from Guan Hu’s black comedy “Design of Death”

A quack doctor (Simon Yam) performs an autopsy to determine whether the cause of a death is a murder or an accident. The setting is an ancient village in the mountains.

Simon Yam

Yu Nan atop a coffin

Huang Bo

Alec Su (Sina)

CF: China’s First Banned Film Released after 60 Years

After its premier in 1951, the film was soon caught up in ideological disputes, which saw it pilloried as being pro-capitalist, a severe accusation in an era characterized by its black-and-white politics. However, Mao Zedong’s criticism of the film, in which he labeled it as carrying a message detrimental to the principles of socialism, was perhaps the main reason behind the banning of the film.

(Sina)

MSN: Showbiz boss Albert Yeung dishes the dirt on celebrity scandals

Jackie Chan, Elaine Ng (Sina)2

WaPo: Hong Kong selects new leader after tumultuous contest

After a boisterous but highly undemocratic contest featuring feuding tycoons, dark rumors of closet communism and a host of scandals over sex, gangsters and an illegal wine cellar, Hong Kong elites on Sunday selected a wealthy, China-backed populist as the new leader of this former British colony.

SCMP: Leung wins chief executive race

“We, Hong Kong people, have no rights to cast our votes, We come here just to voice our anger,”

“We already have no right to vote in the real election. Why should we be deprived of our rights even in a fake one?”

Nightfall (Hollywood Reporter review)

Filed under: News — Tags: — dleedlee @ 9:11 pm

Nightfall

3/26/2012 by Deborah Young

For those who care more about action, location and pace in their police procedurals than realism and logic, the visually sophisticated Hong Kong thriller Nightfall, a second feature directed by Chow Hin Yeung, is a step above genre standards. A gone-to-seed police detective pits wits with a brilliant ex-con implicated in the gruesome death of an opera tenor, whose daughter was murdered twenty years earlier. The thickly plotted, highly improbable story benefits from the expressive ability of two star leads, who add character interest to a stylish, up-scale detective story for the Asian mainstream.

In a violent opener set in a steamy prison shower room, a ferocious, half-naked fighter beats three fellow cons within an inch of their lives in brutal, aestheticized close-ups. What this energetically choreographed scene has to do with the rest of the narrative is left hanging until much later on. The muscular fighter turns out to be the unhinged Eugene Wang (Nick Cheung of Beast Stalker), who has been serving time for the rape and murder of his teenage girlfriend Eva (Janice Man.) Released on parole after twenty years in the hopper, his crazed eyes and quivering lips, as he ogles girls on the street or punches out a face on a billboard, announce a potential psycho-killer who is far from reformed. He also suddenly dives into Hong Kong harbor for a swim, which can’t be a sane idea.

Meanwhile, Chow and his co-scripter Christine To Chi-Long introduce the lovable, unshaven, alcoholic Inspector Lam (Simon Yam, who played the villain in Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life.) His backstory, laid out but never explored, is that some years back his wife committed suicide, or may possibly have been murdered, leaving him with a rebellious teenage daughter and an obsession for reopening old police cases. His non-starting private life with long-suffering teammate Ying (Kate Tse) is a bust, but Yam’s intelligent eyes inspire confidence that he will get his man by the end of the story. Stock secondary characters fade into the background when he tangles with Wang, whose superior intelligence is suggested by the parolee having won a chess championship as a youth that Yam never even qualified for.

There’s a faint whiff of Vertigo in the confused identities of the well-to-do but unlucky Tsui family, headed by celebrity tenor Han Tsui (played by a one-note Michael Wong, whose face on the billboard drove Wang bananas.) The verbal and physical abuse he bestows on his lovely young daughter Zoe (Man in a double role) seems one small step away from incest, while his wife plays dumb in front of an expensive Buddha statue. Wang also becomes obsessed with Zoe, confusing her with the dead Eva, and stalks the girl with ambiguous intent.

Much unwieldy plot to untangle, but Chow seems more interested in constructing resonating scenes. Wang’s quasi-supernatural power to leap over barriers, open locked doors and make unexpected appearances keeps the tension high. As the villain, Cheung maintains a frightening calm as he effortlessly stays one step ahead of the police, who follow his trail of blatant clues.

The film’s main set piece takes place on the Ngong Ping cable car where Lam and Wang swing above the woody hills of Lantau island from a stomach-clenching height, and where the enigmatic Wang wins another round on the good inspector. Wondering why they should be up there in the first place (it was Lam’s idea) is like asking why 007 should be dangling from a moon rocket; if it works – and honestly, the scene does bristle with tension and suspense – it’s found enough raison d’etre for this film.

Time and again the city of Hong Kong furnishes the inspiration for dreamy fantasy images, like the repeated aerial views of its brilliantly lit night skyline, or chase scenes of an ant army of policemen running up and down the skyscrapers’ Escher-like staircases, followed by D.P. Ardy Lam’s flying cam.

Venue: Hong Kong Filmart, March 21, 2012.

Production companies: Edko Film, Irresistible Films, Sill-Metropole, At Movie
Cast: Nick Cheung, Simon Yam, Janice Man, Kay Tse, Michael Wong, Shawn Dou
Director: Chow Hin Yeung
Screenwriter: Chow Hin Yeung, Christine To Chi-long
Producers: William Kong, Ivy Ho
Executive producers: William Kong, Ryuhei Chiba, Dai Song
Director of photography: Ardy Lam
Production designer: Pater Wong
Editor: Ka-Fai Cheung
Music: Shigeru Umebayashi
Sales Agent: Edko Film
No rating, 108 minutes

THR

Vulgaria (Hollywood Reporter review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: , , — dleedlee @ 8:54 pm

Vulgaria
3/22/2012 by Deborah Young

Fully living up to its title, Vulgaria is Hong Kong comedy at its breeziest and most communicative. Even if this odyssey about a debt-ridden film producer who stoops as low as you can go to finance his next picture – a porn flick bankrolled by a gangster – it isn’t going to replace Mel Brooks’ The Producers as sub-genre leader anytime soon; it’s smooth and funny enough to win its own coterie of admirers. The laughs are universal and will ensure fast and furious festival bookings, but many of the references to local actors, etc., are in-jokes that won’t be caught outside H.K. It will be interesting to see how this witty, R-rated material is going to fly with more conservative Asian audiences.

It is the second film by prolific director Pang Ho-cheung to play in the current Hong Kong Intl. Film Festival, after his romantic comedy Love in the Buff opened the event. It’s not hard to see their strong local appeal. Both films pivot around a deep feeling for Hong Kong’s dialect, slang, food and social behavior, which in this case makes them even more interesting, if a bit less accessible, to the rest of the world. In the case of Vulgaria, there may be some remake value abroad.

The film’s extreme spontaneity is a result of the off-the-cuff way it was made in twelve days on a mini-budget, with the screenwriters penning scenes and actors improvising as they went along. The zippy pace, cascades of characters and droll perfs offer more proof of the director’s versatility and grasp of genres.
A film teacher has invited uninhibited veteran producer To Wai-cheung (Chapman To) to address his class of film students and explain what his profession is all about. To immediately takes charge and likens the producer’s job to pubic hair, specifically in its/his function of decreasing friction in the director’s intercourse with the financier. Prodded by questions from the floor, he launches in on a frank, often gross, history of his hit film Confessions of Two Concubines, in which he used wannabe actress Popping Candy (Dada Chan) as the 20-year-old body double for an aging porn star (a good-natured cameo by cult actress Susan Shaw.)

But before he gets everybody on the set, To is forced to scrape together some production funds. His ex-wife, a heartless lawyer, agrees to loan him money and suspend alimony payments for a year, on the condition he give up visitation rights to the daughter he adores. Of course he ends up accepting. An associate introduces him to a man with some money to invest – a glittery young mob boss whose lavish dinner party becomes the scene of a hysterical show-down. To atone for not eating the stomach-churning delicacies put before them, the producers are ordered to copulate with two female mules lead into the restaurant.

At this point To tells the student his memory goes blank (illustrated by a piece of 35mm film burning up), and it will not be until the end credits that the truth about that fateful night is revealed.

Chapman To, one of the recurring characters in the Infernal Affairs trilogy and co-producer on Pang’s Isabella, is instantly recognizable as the deadpan producer whose one-track mind rarely deviates from making movies. As such he is wholly sympathetic, even when succumbing to the advances of Popping Candy, an expert in exotic oral sex. Newcomer Dada Chan brings an uncommon archness to an airhead role that should signal her own big-screen break.

Production company: Making Film Productions
Director: Pang Ho-cheung
Cast: Chapman To, Dada Chan, Ronald Cheng
Screenwriters: Pang Ho-cheung, Lam Chiu-wing, Luk Yee-sum
Producers: Pang Ho-cheung, Subi Liang
Director of photography: Jason Kwan
Production designer: Ho Lok-lam
Editor: Wenders Li
Music: Alan Wong, Janet Yung
Sales Agent: Golden Scene Co. Ltd (Hong Kong)
No rating, 90 minutes.
THR

Love in the Buff (Hollywood Reporter review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: , — dleedlee @ 8:47 pm

Love in the Buff
3/26/2012
by Deborah Young

You don’t have to be an admirer of Pang Ho-cheung’s 2010 surprise hit, the romantic comedy Love in a Puff, to be amused by its equally hip and sassy sequel Love in the Buff. Reprising the two original lover-protags as they break up and make up between Hong Kong and Beijing, Pang offers another painfully on-target analysis of modern love in all its truth and lies, with only a wee bit of wheel-spinning towards the end. Opening the Hong Kong International Film Festival, the Hong Kong-Chinese coprod has a waiting audience and can be expected to gain ground on its predecessor in Asian markets. Though the raucous, off-color jokes in Cantonese and Mandarinare mostly untranslatable, their flavor at least comes across in subtitles, while Miriam Yeung and Shawn Yue’s down-to-earth, laid-back acting makes their beleaguered characters as familiar as New Yorkers.

At the end of the first film, junior ad exec Jimmy (Yue) and slightly older cosmetics salesgirl Cherie (Yeung) gave up smoking, the bad habit that brought them together during work breaks. Now they’ve been living together for half a year and he’s already forgetting birthdays and putting work commitments ahead of their relationship (a running theme.) The sarcastic Cherie, always comparing and complaining, isn’t that easy to live with, either. She decides to move back to her mother’s.

When first he and then she get transferred to Beijing for work, both find new love interests. But they can’t stay away from each other long, and they start texting and cheating on their new companions while they feel their way through a painful off-and-on relationship. The highly convincing dialogue is spiced with very funny toilet jokes (toilets literally figure in two important scenes) and buoyed up by a series of well-timed gags, beginning with the opening horror film send-upthat manages to be funny and scary at the same time.

Later, on the plane to Beijing, Jimmy’s pal Eunuch announces it’s legal to feel up flight attendants two times before they arrest you. The guy behind them tries it and finds out once is enough. The offended hostess (doll-like beauty Mimi Yang) asks for Jimmy’s number as a “witness” and they quickly get together. Attentive, fun and much younger than Cherie, she wants a serious relationship that the immature Jimmy has no intention of providing.

Cherie also has someone new in her life, Sam (Xu Zheng): serious, considerate, divorced. He would make a great long-term partner, if the crazy Jimmy didn’t haunt her thoughts and cell phone. Pang and Luk Yee Sum’s screenplay hits home in its attempt to crack the universal conundrum: why do people fall for each other, despite their obvious imperfections? Why do they ditch better partners to be together? Clearly Jimmy and Cherie are made for each other and, like the salty 7/11 noodles he loves with not enough meat, each is “perfect” for the other.

Not only Hong Kong, but mainland China is made to look like a very modern, happening place with its disco, bar and club scene for upwardly mobile 30-somethings. Lok-Lam Ho’s very spare scenery in sophisticated tones of white and gray underlines the anti-traditional feeling of the whole, echoed in close shots, apparently casual framing and nervous editing that well capture the intimacy of a moment.

A number of local guest stars appear in well-planted cameos that always got a laugh from Hong Kong audiences. Similarly, the absurd end credits sequence in which one of the characters appears in drag lip-synching an MTV song will fly by Western viewers, though the gist is clear.

Venue: Hong Kong Filmart, Mar. 19, 2012
Production companies: Making Film Productions
Cast: Miriam Yeung, Shawn Yu, Mimi Yang, Xu Zheng
Director: Pang Ho-cheung
Screenwriter: Pang Ho-cheung, Luk Yee Sum
Producers: Pang Ho-cheung, Shi Dongming
Director of photography: Jason Kwan
Production designer: Lok-Lam Ho
Editor: Wenders Li
Music: Alan Wong, Janet Yung
Sales Agent: Media Asia Distribution
No rating, 106 minutes
THR

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