HKMDB Daily News

November 1, 2010

November 1, 2010

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , , — dleedlee @ 7:43 pm

Posters for Wong Kar-Wai’s The Grandmasters appeared at the American Film Market (AFM) in Los Angeles.


CRI: Producers of ‘The Grandmasters’ Release Posters

First poster for Feng Xiaogang’s If You the One 2

Opens Dec. 22 (Sina)

CRI: First Poster of ‘If You Are the One 2′ Released

The film will appear in cinemas on December 22, despite a previous news report suggesting that the state film bureau had requested that its release date be changed to avoid clashing with other films that will be released around the New Year holiday.

NYT: Earthquakes and Seismic Suffering (Aftershock)

AP: Chinese director defends break from art-house

Jia Zhangke said he will start shooting his new project, called “In the Qing Dynasty” in Chinese, in March or April in and near his hometown. The story follows changes in a Chinese city after the abolishment of the imperial examination system and growing Western influences. The cast is still being decided.

THR: Full List of Tokyo International Film Festival Award Winners

Best Actress - Fan Bingbing (Buddha Mountain), Best Actor - Wang Qianyuan (The Piano in a Factory), Best Artistic Contribution (Buddha Mountain)

Wang Qianyuan, Buddha Mountain director Li Yu (Sina)

Halloween greetings from Mr. and Mrs. Incredible’s Sandra Ng and Louis Koo

(Sina)163 - Dynamic version of poster

Joe Ma’s My Sassy Girl 2 opens Nov. 5

Lynn Xiong (Hung Doi Lam)

Leon Jay Williams (Li Wei-Lian)

He Jiang (21cn)

THR: No Monkey Business as Competing Versions of Chinese Legend Go into Production

Filmko and Mandarin Films Prepare $60 Mil 3D “The Monkey King”

Jordan Chan

Jordan Chan, Yang Mi

Yang Mi

Jordan Chan’s first film since getting married is now in post-production. It’s a horror film (Far Cry) with a cast of young teen idols Wong Yau-Nam, Anya, Shaun Tam et al. (Sina)

Kelly Chen - Goddess of Mercy

Kelly has donated her full 7-digit paycheck for The Monkey King to the Children’s Education Fund charity. (Sina)

More from the Mission Hills Star Trophy celebrity golf tournament in Hainan

Simon Yam

Michael Wong, Simon Yam

(Sina-slide show)

Gao Yuanyuan works on her swing


Eric Tsang wins for UNICEF

Eric Tsang donated his share of the 780,000 yuan prize money and donated an additional 50,000 yuan of his own to UNICEF (Sina)

Michael Phelps

Water hazard? No problem!


Angelababy, appearing for a Japanese brand, is looking forward to working with Cecilia Cheung in All’s Well Ends Well 2011 (Sina)

Andy Lau performed at the closing ceremony of the Shanghai World Expo. He sang ‘Love You for 10,000 Years’ (Sina)

October 18, 2010

October 18, 2010

THR: ‘Aftershock’ to shake U.S., Canada Oct. 29

CRI: “The Founding of a Republic” Wins Biennial Chinese Audience Film Award

FBA: Asian films score at Sitges

Dream Home: Best Actress prize for Josie Ho; Andrew Lin gets Best Make Up FX.

Variety: The Red Eagle review

Vivian Wu

Vivian Wu plays a guard in the prison drama Let Love Come Back(?). The film will be released next year on International Women’s Day, March 8, with a cast that includes Cecilia Yip and Siqin Gaowa. Previously announced cast members included Cheng Pei, Pei, Pace Wu, and Jessey Meng Guangmei. The drama will focus on the lives of both the women guards and the women prisoners.

Cecilia Yip, Vivian Wu

Cheng Pei Pei (Sina)234

Zhang Jingchu

Zhu Yuchen, Leste Chen Cheng-Tao, Zhang Jingchu

Zhang Jingchu

Zhu Yuchen, Zhang Jingchu

Zhu Yuchen (Sina)2

Zhang Jingchu and Zhu Yuchen have begun filming the fourth part of Pang Ho-Cheung’s omnibus film ‘4 + 1 Project’ (4 shorts, 1 movie’. The project is Pang’s first mainland production. The first part featured Zhou Xun in the Nail Clipper Monster, Shawn Yue starred in part 2; and Stanley Huang in part 3. In part 4, as a tribute to Gabriel Marquez’ Love in the Time of Cholera, the film is called Love in the Time of Weibo. Director Chen Cheng-Tao (Leste Chen) says the film documents a couple’s relationship via weibo bit by bit and is filled with magic realism. (Xinhua-gallery)(Sina)(Sina-gallery)

Francis Ng in signature red leather hoodie from Wind Blast


(Oct.16) Rehearsal photos of Zhang Ziyi for Saturday evening’s Hundred Flowers Film Awards.

Zhang Ziyi will also be singing a Teresa Teng song.

(Xinhua-slide show)

Feng Xiaogang, Zhang Ziyi celebrating after the awards Saturday night. (Xinhua)

Zhao Wei’s first film since giving birth will be a collaboration with Huang Xiaoming according to her agent. Filming will begin in December. (Sina)

Karen Mok met with fans in Singapore to promote her new CD. Despite feeling ill, Karen carried on singing four songs and playing games with fans. (Sina)

(Oct.17) Louis Koo celebrated his 40th birthday with over 400 fans from Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and the US. A noted Star Wars fan, Louis dressed as a Jedi Knight and guests included Sandra Ng and the Grasshoppers. (Sina)

WSJ: Edison Chen and His ‘Mr. Sandman

With “Mr. Sandman” — the first single from his forthcoming album “Confusion” — Mr. Chan resumes his singing career, which started in 2004 when he released his first record, “Please Steal This Album,” with Emperor Entertainment Group. (Also, free download of his single.)

Peter Lam, Edison Chen (file photo) (Xinhua)

GlobalTimes: It’s complicated! China’s own Casanova and seven of his great loves

Six degrees of Zhang Yadong

CRI: Faye Wong Concerts Tickets Price Soaring

Veteran HK actress Kathy Chow lashes out at industry ‘pimps’

Kathy Chow plagued by Lupus rumours

Lin Chi-ling botches live singing attempt at Taipei concert (Xinhua)

(Sina-slide show)

Wu Bai, SHE, Jay Chou, et al

A few more Stalking Cherie Chung photos


September 19, 2010

September 19, 2010

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , , — dleedlee @ 3:00 pm
Let the Bullets Fly posters released last week
And special moon cakes for the crew with the film title stamped on (21cn), 2
Don Quixote poster featuring Wang Gang as Don Quixote’s servant (Sina)
Shu Qi, Huo Siyan
Legend of the Fist opens in Hong Kong on Sept. 20 (Sina)
Wu Jing - Wind Blast stills
Under the Hawthorn Tree? No, it’s Under the Strawberry Tree!
Fan parodies Zhang Yimou latest film (English Sina)
Elsewhere, Zhang Yimou’s Under the Hawthorn Tree is already available online for downloading by pirates. (Xinhua)
Canadian writer Zhang Ling wrote the 2006 novel that Aftershock was based on.

Zimbio: Aftershock TIFF Premiere
Zhang Ling: Writing has never been so meaningful (CRI)
Toronto 2010: ‘Aftershock’ hits TIFF (LATimes)
Xinhua: Chinese movie “Aftershock” touches Toronto fans to heart

Intro to screening by Zhang Ling at TIFF, you may want to jump ahead 1:56 (Thanks, to Brian)

TIFF: Red Nights description
Red Nights also boasts the long-overdue return of Hong Kong starlet Carrie Ng, famous for her sexy and deadly presence in such films as Naked Killer and Sex and Zen. Here she revels in her role as the jade-clawed Dragon Lady, equal parts seductress and psycho-sexual killer… A bittersweet fortune cookie of murder and deceit, Red Nights inhabits a mysterious realm where Italian giallo and espionage thrillers coexist with the exoticism of the Far East. [Carrie Ng deserves better than this!]

[Previously on 4.8.2009]
Carrie Ng

Zimbio: Red Carpet photos of Carrie Ng

Here’s the Q&A (in two parts) from RED NIGHTS, with the directors and Carrie Ng. (Thanks, Brian)

[The videos are quite dark, so you'll have to imagine what Carrie Ng looks like but she sounds fine. :D]

September 17, 2010

September 17, 2010

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , , — dleedlee @ 1:21 pm

Screen Daily: Aftershock2

Variety: Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame2

Variety: All About Love, 2

THR: Tsai Ming-liang turns to art films

Boxoffice success elusive for 1994 Golden Lion winner

CRI: Jiang Wen Confident about “Let the Bullet Fly”

CRI: Zhang Yimou and Cast at “Hawthorn” Screening in Beijing

FBA: Trademark dispute over “Seediq Bale”

Maggie Q (Sina-slide show)

THR: Maggie Q cast in ‘Priest’

Maggie Q is joining Paul Bettany and Cam Gigandet in “Priest,” a post-apocalyptic horror project that Scott Stewart is directing for Screen Gems.

The Warring States poster

Warring States directed by Jin Chen and starring Sun Honglei, Kim Hee-Sun and Francis Ng has finished shooting as is now in post-production. (ChinaDaily)

Jin Chen will be also begin shooting a sci-fi suspense film starring Bruce Leung, Tze Miu and Chen Shi in October in Shenzhen.

Bruce Leung

Tze Miu

Tze Miu in My Father is a Hero

Chen Shi (Sina)2

Hong Kong media is reporting that the reason for the failure of a Cecilia Cheung - Derek Yee reunion film agreement was due to a ‘price hike’ by Cecilia for her services. Last year, Cecilia has to pay large settlement costs as a fallout of from ‘photo-gate’ for loss of revenue by advertisers and brands. Elsewhere, Stephen Chow is still trying to get both Lucas and Cecilia to appear in King of Comedy 2 and has offered 10M yuan for the pair. (Xinhua)

Fan Bingbing

Fan Bingbing visted Tibetan children being treated in Beijing for congenital heart diseases on her 29th birthday. (Xinhua-gallery)

CRI: Cheer Chen to Give Solo Concert in Beijing

SG: Cecilia Cheung’s rumoured to have done two boob jobs

[I think the only real new news is the second one for reduction.]

SG: Chow Yun Fat to give away 99% of wealth after death

Michelle Reis to respond to speculations on pregnancy

September 16, 2010

Aftershock (Screen Daily review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: — dleedlee @ 4:26 pm

Aftershock (Tang Shen Da Di Zhen)
16 September, 2010 By Dan Fainaru

Dir: Feng Xiaogang. China. 2010. 128mins

China’s all time box-office champion after its first 18 days in release, confirms Feng Xiaodeng’s position as his country’s top commercial filmmaker, adept not only at making successful comedies but equally comfortable with sprawling, disaster-generated melodramas.

His Titanic-oriented blockbuster was shown in Toronto on a regular screen, which most probably couldn’t do full justice to its opening 20 minute sequence recreation of the catastrophic 1976 Tangshan earthquake which killed at least 240,000 of the city’s inhabitants (some reports put the figure much higher), originally shot and exhibited at home on IMAX screens.

Extolling old-fashioned family values and using China’s fast-growing economy as a backdrop, the sprawling plot, covering no less than 32 years and requiring yet another major earthquake, in 2008, before reaching its happy-ending, this cannot fail to become a natural favorite, not only with home audiences but also with Chinese communities all over the world.

Fang Qiang (Zhang Guogiang) is a happy truck driver with a loving wife Li Yuanni (Xu Fan) and two lively twins, a boy and a girl, until the fateful night when the parents go down for a stroll and end in the back of Fang’s truck making love while the kids are left sleeping in the flat.

All of a sudden, the entire city goes up in flames and crumbles into ruins, in a spectacular CGI sequence, not quite on par with latest Hollywood effects, but still serviceable enough to make the audience shake in its boots. When the earth settles down again, the father lies dead, the two kids are under a slab of cement and the despondent mother faces a Sophie’s Choice type of dilemma. Only one of the twins can be saved, it is up to her to decide which one. She finally whispers “the boy”, gives up the girl for dead, and from that point on the plot splits in two.

On one side, there is the mother, ever grieving for the terrible thing she had to do, who dedicates her entire existence to her son Fang Da who lost an arm in the earthquake and grows up to be a lively, independent but not particularly studious adolescent.

On the other side, the daughter Fang Deng who wakes up next to her father’s body, walks away miraculously unharmed, with no immediate memory (or so she claims, though her mother’s choice will forever ring in her ears) hardly speaks and is finally adopted by a couple (Chen Daoming and Chen Ji) who prove to be devoted foster parents, despite her initial almost autistic responses.

As the plot jumps easily over the years, first to 1986, then to 1995 and finally to the 2008 earthquake, Fang Da (now played by Chen Li) turns into a successful travel agent, drives a BMW, marries, has a son whom he often entrusts to his mother’s care, despite his wife’s tearful protests. Meanwhile Fang Deng (Zhang Jingchu), brilliant at school, studies medicine, gets pregnant, refuses to abort, becomes a single mother and teaches English, finally marries a Canadian and moves to Vancouver.

Li Yuanni, fearing the spirit of her lost ones will not find her when they return, refuses to move from her modest abode, becomes a seamstress forever marked by the traumatic experience she went through. Finally re-united by another miracle on the ruins of another earthquake, they all fall into each other’s arms, shedding tears of both sorrow and happiness.

Shot by one of China’s greatest cinematographers, Lu Yue (Red Cliff, The Shanghai Triads), the images here are never less than breathtaking. Needless to say a lot has been invested in the artwork - from the more minute to the largest scale sets and all other technical credits are impeccable.

Feng Xiaogang cleverly stays away from controversies of any kind, instills solid values that no one would dare criticise and smoothly shifts from one period to another, leading a dedicated cast that in all honesty, are not overly stretched by their parts. It is still worth singling out the strong-minded performance of Zhang Jingchu as a determined young woman who will not let herself be swayed from her convictions; Chen Daoming, as her adoptive father, doting and worried, and Xu Fan (he director’s wife) in the lead role of this sage, as the mother whose entire life is an atonement for that fateful moment when she sacrificed one child for the life of the other.

Production company: Huayi Brothers Media Corp.

Executive producers: Wang Zhonglei, Chen Kufu

Producers: Wang Zhangjun, Gio Yanhong, Han Samping

International sales: Huayi Bros. Media Corp.

Screenplay: Su Xiaowei

Cinematography: Lu Yue

Production design: Huo Tingxiao

Editing: Xiao Yang

Music: Wang Liguang

Main cast: Xu Fan, Zhang Jingchu, Li Chen, Chen Daoming, Chen Jin, Guogiang Zhang
Screen Daily

August 26, 2010

August 26, 2010

Aroma City: Athena Chu Fantasy Film to Be Released in December (CRI)

The film is about the romance between a fairy who has sweet smell but is an aphasiac and a young man from a wealthy family. The beautiful and innocent fairy saves the young man’s life and eventually falls in love with him.

CRI: Taiwan Film “Monga” to Compete for Oscar

CRI: Jia Zhangke Takes ‘I Wish I Knew’ to Toronto

FBA: Aftershock (唐山大地震) (7/10)

Long-limbed drama is surprisingly moving without being a simple tearjerker.

Contrary to expectations and the pre-release hype, Aftershock is neither a CGI-heavy disaster epic nor a melodramatic wallow.

Jackie’s stepped into it again!

Jackie Chan draws flak for tweets on Manila hostage-taking

He said that the 11-hour standoff, which led to the death of hostage-taker Rolando Mendoza and 8 Hong Kong tourists, was also hard for the Filipino people, particularly the police.

“If they killed the guy sooner, they will say why not negotiate first? If they negotiate first, they ask why not kill the guy sooner? So sad,” Chan tweeted.

Hong Kongers weren’t very pleased with Chan’s comments. Moments after, they set up a Facebook groups to criticize the actor, such as “Jackie Chan doesn’t represent Hong Kong” and “Jackie Chan doesn’t represent me.”

WSJ: In Hong Kong, Tributes and Backlash Follow Hostage Deaths

Johnnie To is said to be ready to begin shooting a new film in November based on the recent real-life Chongqing anti-corruption crackdown. [At least one senior Chongqing official was executed.] A script has been submitted and awaiting final approval by the film review board. Casting possibilities include Sun Honglei and Tony Leung Chiu-Wai. (Sina) (Related)

Don Quixote poster featuring Paul Chun

Paul Chun feels lucky to watch process of making 3D movie (Sina)

Passion, tension in Stool Pigeon

Guei Lun-Mei (Kwai Lun-Mei), Nicholast Tse


Duan Yihong - Wind Blast

Wind Blast, Let the Bullets Fly marks the return of manly men films aimed to attract both male and female audiences.

Wind Blast poster - Killers version features Francis Ng, Yu Nan (Sina)2

Yao Chen, Liu Ye

Yao Chen

Yao Chen and Liu Ye shoot a magazine spread ahead of their October release of Color Me Love directed by Alexi Tan (Blood Brothers) and produced by Terence Chang for Lion Rock Productions. (Sina)

SG: Vicki Zhao refuses to talk about marriage


Koni Lui - “Center gate wide open” dress draws flak

Gillian Chung: Do daring bed scenes? ‘I haven’t thought about it’

Three years ago, chugging beer and indulging in a passionate on-screen smooch with a co-star would probably stand no chance of making it onto Gillian Chung’s resume…

HKStandard: Blundering siege cops suspended

Fish with tongue caught in Guangdong!


August 13, 2010

August 13, 2010

CRI: Cut Clips of “Aftershock” Unveiled

The cut clips of the hit film “Aftershock” have been released to the public, revealing the twisted fate of the main characters.

Some cast members, including Zhang Jingchu and Chen Daoming, also expressed regret for the editing of the film, which they said severely shortened their performances.

CRI: Kwai Lun-Mei’s Image Shake-Up in New Movie

Kwai’s squeaky clean, girl-next-door image goes out the door in this action film, in which she plays the member of a gang and girlfriend of the gang’s leader caught up in a love triangle.

CRI: Barbie Hsu, Richie Ren Promote New Comedy in Guangzhou

Parodies of such popular films as “The Message” (”Feng Sheng”), “God of Gamblers” (”Du Shen”) and “The Eagle Shooting Heroes” (”Dong Cheng Xi Jiu”) have been publicized as the selling points of the film.

FBA: Dream Home takes up dual residence in UK

The film will premiere on 28 August at FrightFest in London’s Empire Leicester Square.

Poster for Love in Disguise meet-and-greet with cast in Beijing (Sina)

Charlie Young and Xia Yu play lovers on the run in Wind Blast


Leon Dai featured in new stills released for Reign of Assassins

The world premiere will be in Venice on September 3 (Sina)

Gu Xuan in High School Musical


Karen Mok appeard on a Hong Kong radio station to promote her new single.

(Xinhua-slide show)(Sina)

Veronica Yip, visiting her mother in Hong Kong, supported models Chrissie Chau and Angelababy and said Anthony Wong was a bit extreme. Veronica and family have been flying on her husband’s private jet are heading next to Vietnam. (Xinhua)

July 31, 2010

July 31, 2010

Filed under: News — Tags: , — dleedlee @ 4:42 pm

China’s Spielberg: Making Shock Waves (Newsweek)

In his new film, Aftershock,Chinese director Feng Xiaogang recreates the terror of those devastating minutes: low-rise brick buildings crumble; collapsing apartment blocks hurl bodies into the air; a government factory compound turns to rubble, trapping children under concrete slabs.

FBA:  Asian films in other Venice sections [Ten Thousand Waves screened as Better Life?]

Better Life Dir: Isaac Julien UK, China, 55 mins Cast: Maggie Cheung, Zhao Tao, Yang Fudong

Related: Inspired by the Morecambe Bay tragedy of 2004, in which 23 Chinese cockle-pickers drowned, it explores migrants’ culture and what motivates people to take perilous journeys in search of a better life...(more)

HKStandard: RTHK hits the mark with kung fu show

Kung Fu Quest introduces martial arts with a travelogue element. You can review the program on the RTHK website. [7.10.2010]

Variety: Remastering Center preserves Hong Kong film

Remastering the titles was a painstaking process that took more than six years to complete. The soundtracks for each film were also fully restored, including both the Mandarin- and Cantonese-language versions for movies that had both soundtracks. For some films, new music and effects tracks were created to allow dubbing of foreign-language tracks to facilitate distribution internationally.

In addition, the Shaw Brothers library contains the biggest collection of kung fu movies in the world, and more than half of them were remastered in HD.

Aaron Kwok and Shu Qi

Shu Qi and Aaron Kwok reunite in a film after more than 10 years since Storm Riders (Sina)

Chrissie Chau at the iPhone4 event last night.

Chrissie plans to defy the banning from the ACGHK (Animation-Comic-Game, i.e., Comic-Con) and attend the convention tomorrow in her Cosplay outfit to promote her online game Dragon Online.


Chrissie Chau beach ball sold in the Animation section.

Chrissie and various products for sale. Presumably, taken after hours.

Model Carrie Lam Li (2005 Miss Hong Kong, 2nd runner up) tries out the Chrissie Chau innertube!


Pseudo-model Carol did some stealth promoting bypassing the ban by buying a ticket as a guest and bought her own Legend is Born, Ip Man figure. Then she returned later and bought a Bruce Lee figure. Arch-rival DaDa claimed foul.

Oops, I’m drawing a crowd!

Carol, back again, for Bruce.



Angelababy is in Japan promoting her new TV series

With Godzilla (Sina)

Takuya Kimura vs Huang Xiaoming

Huang Xiaoming was bashed for copying Takuya Kimura in his latest magazine spread.


Historic raid leaves us disappointed

For the Hong Kong Police, however, world history was made. It was the first time police had combined with the army, navy and air force (naval air arm at least) in a raid. It was also the first time police had used military aircraft.

JS Lam served with `Asia’s Finest’ for 32 years, reaching the rank of senior superintendent before retiring in 1996.

July 29, 2010

July 29, 2010

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , — dleedlee @ 4:38 pm

Variety: Aftershock

Stunning special effects are wedded to potent family drama in “After Shock,” Feng Xiaogang’s heartrending depiction of the impact of the massive 1976 earthquake that killed more than 240,000 in Tangshan, China.

CRI: Film Review of “Aftershock”

Aftershock has brought on renewed calls for a film classification system in China. A mother recently left the theater with her 3 year-old. The child did not understand the movie but because the mother was in tears and others around her were crying, so scared the child to cry also. My parents have brought primary school children but during the earthquake scenes, they hide their eyes. In the aftermath, there are many bodies, some mutilated, naked bodies, causing them to cry. After the Beijing premiere, actress Xu Fan said she would not bring her daughter to see the film saying she is too young, it is not suitable.

Parents have brought children to the film as it is educational and historical but the earthquake scenes are too cruel and disturbing and cause younger children anxiety. Theater staff have warned parents with children under eight to be careful. Some viewers also think the film is not suitable for children: The tragic disaster scene is not good for the child’s mental development. After all, some adults cannot even accept it. Also, there are intimate love scenes in the film. In Hong Kong, Aftershock is classified IIA, unsuitable for children.  (Xinhua)

FBA: Kidnapper (綁匪) (Singapore) (6/10) From the director of Rule #1

Kidnapper is that rare thing in Singaporean cinema - a crime thriller that actually works as a genre movie.

CRI: Action Thriller ‘Chen Zhen’ Unveils Grand Shooting Scenes

“Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen” has released a group of photos of its main shooting scenes.


Detective Dee

CRI: Extended Trailer for ‘Detective Dee’ Reveals Intricate Story

FBA: Asian trio line up for Venice competition

AP: Woo joins cast of Chinese propaganda blockbuster

Singer Sun Nan plays a dance teacher in High School Musical


Another look at the Donnie Yen action figure

On sale tomorrow for HK$980


Zhang Ziyi - Shanghai

Kobe Bryant

Zhang Ziyi was honored as a World Expo volunteer ambassador at a charity show for volunteers. The Expo cosponsored the Kobe Bryant Charity Walk. Kobe also donated autographhed copies of his new book.

Kobe’s flight was delayed due to weather and Zhang Ziyi and Tan Jin performed a song, ‘The Price of Love’, to the audience’s delight.


Yao Ming

Jay Chou and Yao Ming in Taiwan for Yao Ming Foundation Charity Tour 2010

Jay Chou

Show Luo

Celebrity teammates included Jam Hsiao and Show Luo who played against the Shanghai Sharks


Jing Tian

CRI: Introducing the ‘Belle Boss’ Jing Tian

SG: Jolin Tsai hit by another wave of criticism

SG: Vicki Zhao: It will be a pity if I don’t perform

“I do not wish to waste my talent; it will be a pity if I don’t perform. And I think that women should earn their own keep to prove their worth.”

When asked about her daughter, Vicki said that she is in Singapore and like herself, her daughter has big eyes. She added that she still hasn’t got used to being called ‘mom’.

SG: Carina Lau cheating on Tony Leung?

SG: Jay Chou has no qualms about retiring

HKStandard: Tour guide accused of crying crocodile tears by callers

From Danwei:

Aftershock (Variety review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: , — dleedlee @ 10:46 am

After Shock
Tangshan dadizheng

(China-Hong Kong) A Dream Movie (in Australia)/Huayi Brothers Media Corp. (in China) release of an H Brothers presentation of a Huayi Brothers Media Corp., Emperor Motion Pictures, China Film Group, Media Asia Films, Tangshan City Government production in association with Shanghai Film Group, Zhejiang Media Group, Media Asia Films, Emperor Classic Films, Huayi Brothers Media Corp., Tangshan Broadcast and Television Media, China Film Group Prod. Corp. (International sales: Huayi Brothers Media Corp., Beijing.) Produced by Guo Yanhong, Han Sanping, Wang Zhongjun. Executive producers, Yao Jianguo, Zhao Haicheng, Chen Guoying, Han Xiaoli, Jiang Tao, Chen Kuofu, Wang Zhonglei. Co-executive producers, Xiong Guoxiang, Zhang Dajun, Lu Huijun, Wang Tianyun, Cheng Weidong, Shirley Lau, Albert Lee. Directed by Feng Xiaogang. Screenplay, Su Xiaowei, based on a novel by Zhang Ling.

With: Xu Fan, Zhang Jingchu, Li Chen, Chen Daoming, Chen Jin, Zhang Guoqiang, Zhang Zifeng, Zhang Jiajun.
(Mandarin dialogue)

Stunning special effects are wedded to potent family drama in “After Shock,” Feng Xiaogang’s heartrending depiction of the impact of the massive 1976 earthquake that killed more than 240,000 in Tangshan, China. Fulfilling Sam Goldwyn’s dream of beginning with a quake and working up to a powerful climax, this well-paced film, blessed with topnotch perfs, satisfies on every level. Since opening July 22, “Shock” has rocked the Chinese B.O. with a socko RMB 160 million ($23.5 million), not including Imax figures; pic merits wider exhibition than the Asian circuit and would make a classy addition to a savvy arthouse distrib’s slate.

Yarn begins in 1976’s idyllic Tangshan in northeast China. Da Qing (Zhang Guoqiang) has just bought an electric fan, a rare home comfort at the time, in which his devoted wife, Yuan Ni (Xu Fan), luxuriates. Their 7-year-old twins — son Da Feng (Zhang Jiajun) and daughter Fang Deng (Zhang Zifeng) — are happy to fight over school bags bearing images of Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall.

When the earthquake hits, Da Qing is crushed while trying to prevent his wife from running to their children’s rescue. Later, a still-hysterical Yuan Ni learns that both her children have been pinned under a concrete slab; when emergency workers can only save one child, she’s left with a “Sophie’s Choice”-style decision and picks her son to appease the frustrated rescuers.

Under the rubble, Fang Deng is shocked to hear her mother’s decision. The girl is left for dead but survives; she’s eventually removed from the debris, taken to a refugee camp and soon adopted by a childless couple (Chen Daoming and Chen Jin) who raise her as their own.

The narrative jumps ahead 10 years to 1986, when both children are about to sit their college exams. Yuan Ni nags teenage Da Feng (now played by Li Chen) to succeed academically because his prosthetic hand makes him unfit for manual labor. Fang Deng (rechristened Ya Ya by her adoptive parents and played by thesp Zhang Jingchu) is keen to study medicine in Hangzhou.

The leap forward in time allows Feng to engage with his wider, more ambitious theme of China’s transformation over the past 40 years. Political changes are duly observed, but so are technical advances, including the ubiquitous presence of television. A nod to economic modification comes when stoic Yuan Ni leaves her job in a milling factory to become a seamstress in a corner store. Meller strands also keep eloquent pace with Chinese society’s economic advances.

In due course, the narrative jumps ahead another decade, as both Da Feng and Fang Deng/Ya Ya achieve levels of prosperity unthinkable in their Tangshan childhood. By the pic’s final installment in 2008, China’s economic miracle is in full swing, but the yarn makes clear that time and community heal wounds better than gadgets and wealth ever can. Final 40 minutes neatly draw together narrative strands with a poignant sadness that is intoxicating.

From main players to kiddie thesps, the performances are flawless, with all the actors giving vibrant life to their well-written roles.

Having demonstrated skill with both large-scale action (”Assembly”) and intimate drama (”If You Are the One”), Feng blends the two registers with masterful ease here. Aided by vet lenser Lu Yue, the helmer deploys different shooting styles to reflect the changing times. Early Tangshan scenes are classically composed, while the more contempo sequences utilize modern storytelling techniques with, for instance, a restrained dash of wobblecam.Huo Tingxiao’s art direction gets the fine details just right, from the look of the communist propaganda of the period to once-favored brands of rice wine.

Special effects employed for earthquake scenes are world-class; Feng ensures auds feel the horror and share the characters’ ongoing sense of trauma, but doesn’t indulge in the ghoulishness typical of many disaster movies. Mostly somber score by Wang Liguang avoids bombast, allowing the drama to breathe naturally.

Camera (color, widescreen), Lu Yue; editor, Xiao Yang; music, Wang Liguang; art director, Huo Tingxiao; sound (Dolby Digital) Wu Jiang; visual effects supervisor, Phil Jones; associate producers, Gao Ruihua, Shi Dongming, Li Qingshan, Yu Dongjie, Song Lian, Bernard Yang, Peng Mingyu, Fu Wenxia, Ni Zhengwei, Lorraine Ho, Roddy Wong. Reviewed at Cinema 6, Hoyts Broadway, Sydney, July 24, 2010. Running time: 134 MIN.

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