HKMDB Daily News

April 8, 2010

April 8, 2010

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — dleedlee @ 4:01 pm

Dream Home posters

May 13 opening in Hong Kong is being reported. It is slated to open the Udine Far East Film Festival Apr.23 and compete in the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. Like Pang Ho-Cheung’s Love in a Puff, Dream Home is likely to garner a Cat.III rating but Josie Ho vowed not to edit the film in order to maintain the film’s integrity. (Sina)

Poster for Ex

Ex features Gillian Chung, William Chan Wai-Ting and Michelle Wai (Sze Nga) (Sina)

Wei Te-Sheng

Filming of Wei Te-Sheng’s Seediq Bale is almost completed. Currently, it has been cut down to 3.5 hours down from 4 hours. Wei has decided to make the story a two-parter, the first part to be released in the summer, and part two to be released during Christmas or New Year. (HunanTV)

HK Magazine: Amphetamine

Future X-Cops - More like blast from the past

For the first 20 minutes of the film, I was only thinking about cheese. It is not because I particularly like cheese or had developed a sudden craving for cheese nachos sold at the cinema, but because the special effects and the character designs were so cheesy and dated.

The cyborgs were themed after various animals such as the porcupine, bat, snake and mantis, but the character design was incredibly poor and looked ridiculous, sort of like a really cheap transformer costume. Their mechanical limbs, wings and what have you also looked like they were crafted from cheap plastic or cardboard and looked incredibly flimsy.

However, “Future X Cops” is saved from being another sci-fi flop by the abundant comic moments peppered throughout the film. The dialogue is witty and riddled with humorous jokes. The sharp dialogue draws genuine laughter from the audience and makes the film bearable.

Lau hopes sci-fi film breaks new ground

Andy Lau in a Chinese world of tomorrow

HK Magazine: Shannon Lee interview

Aaron Kwok in concert - Toronto (Apr.6)

When Aaron tried to plug his in production movie, Era of Magic, and he mentioned costar Zhang Ziyi, she was booed by the audience. (Sina)

Faye Wong

Publicity photos for Faye Wong’s release via mobile download of her single Legend and upcoming album. (Sina)(Xinhua)

CRI: Jet Li Visits Drought-hit SW China

Ethan Ruan rejects plum role in Stanley Kwan’s new movie

The Taiwanese actor was unable to accept the role’s provocative and sensual nature and rejected the opportunity to star in Stanley Kwan’s upcoming new movie.

One of Taiwan’s hottest and most bankable star, Ethan Ruan, was said to have surreptitiously attended a casting session in Beijing a few days ago for Hong Kong director Stanley Kwan’s latest flick, The Peony Pavilion…

Vicki Zhao remains tight-lipped about pregnancy

“Every time I hear the words ‘tycoon’ and ‘rich family’, I get goosebumps and think of Hong Kong and Taiwan dramas in the 1980s. It’s vulgar and strange to attach those words to people.”

Making a vague statement about her personal life, Zhao expressed throughout the interview that “many things do not develop and end the way you want it. There are a lot of factors that prevent them from happening.”

March 25, 2010

March 25, 2010

Korean films find an audience in AMC theaters throughout the country

THR: One Day (Taiwan)

Bottom Line: A poetic love rhapsody that both mystifies and moves.

Screen Daily: Amphetamine

The third film from experimental Hong Kong filmmaker Scud, Amphetamine is the story of a doomed love affair between a gay man and an emotionally damaged straight man which, while always visually arresting, ultimately rings hollow. The film is certainly flashy – filled throughout with two second flashbacks, dreamlike imagery and fantasy sequences – but its self-conscious artiness dilutes the potential dramatic impact and it plays as more stylistic curio than full-blooded character piece.

THR: 3D sights set on kung fu classics

The tantalizing prospect of 3D re-edits of classic Hong Kong kung fu movies was dangled before the participants at the Asia Visual Effects and Digital Film Making Summit 2010: “Emerging Digital Movie Making in Asia” seminar in Theatre 1 of the Convention Center on Tuesday morning.

The cinema’s facilities were put to good use as speakers showed footage from some of the latest local 3D productions that had the audience applauding after every clip.

Screen Daily: Fire of Conscience

Fire of Conscience grips right from the opening credits sequence, a stunning montage of freeze-framed black-and-white images, which offer clues to the complex crime story to follow. What follows is a frenetic and at times extremely violent crime tale that occasionally veers towards the daft but always manages to be gripping and provocative.

Interview with Lixin Fan, director of “Last Train Home”

Golden Sun sells library for online

Golden Sun’s $15 million remake of “The Chinese Ghost Story,” announced at last year’s Filmart, will commence filming in April 2010 for a late 2010 release. The film is the second installment of the “new oriental fantasy” trilogy after “Painted Skin” and will be followed by the $15 million “The Lantern.” The company is also targeting the Chinese market with the $5 million action comedy “The Swordsman Dream” scheduled for July, and is considering the stereoscopic 3D feasibility for upcoming action adventure “Hidden Strike,” now in development. (THR)

More 3D coming:

Ming Pao reports that Filmko Entertainment Cheang Pou-Soi (Accident) will direct a 3D IMAX version of Havoc in Heaven (the Monkey King story) with Donnie Yen or Jet Li, starting in October. [Last year, another 3D mainland version of Havoc in Heaven was announced for a release this summer but I don't remember seeing any update on that one.]

In addition, Filmko said Tsui Hark will remake New Dragon Inn in 3D sometime next year. No cast announcements. (Sina)

Tsui Hark to Shoot 3D Version of “New Dragon Inn”

3D Movie Technology Seminar Held at HKIFF

Ekin Cheng makes a guest appearance as a dentist in Crossing Hennessy


Zhou Yun (actress and Jiang Wen’s wife) met with the media at the HK Film and TV Expo to promote Let The Bullets Fly


March 22, 2010

Variety: Hong Kong festival kicks off

The 34th Hong Kong Film Festival kicked off Sunday with the twin bows of Ivy Ho’s comedy “Crossing Hennessy” and Clara Law’s “Like a Dream” at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center.

Screen Daily: Like A Dream

Clara Law’s beautifully absorbing fable is a lush and at times entrancing moody melodrama that is highlighted by the quite wonderful performance by the enchanting Yolanda Yuan who plays dual roles.

Screen Daily: Crossing Hennessy

Crossing Hennessy is an engagingly fresh and enjoyable dramatic comedy that makes great use of its Hong Kong locations as it delves into the romantic complications of modern urban life.

THR: Chinese presence fuels optimism in Hong Kong

Almost a fifth of this year’s exhibitors — more than 120 — hail from mainland China, as the growing strength and importance of that market continues to show itself.

Jackie Chan and Stanley Tong will produce a 30-part television series about Yuefei, one of China’s most heroic and controversial generals, now that they have secured long-sought Chinese government approval.

The series, “Yuefei,” is about the general of the Southern Song Dynasty in the 12th century A.D., who helped defend central China against invaders, but eventually was imprisoned and executed by the high court at age 39. Yuefei’s name was cleared posthumously and his story is told to Chinese children today to teach courage and tenacity.

Chow Yun-Fat - Let the Bullets Fly


CRI: Interest in ‘Bullets’ Runs High

CRI: Director Wang Quan’an’s New Project Not So New

CRI: Bazaar Releases ‘La La” Fashion !

Bazaar releases a special issue of its magazine to coincide with ‘Go Lala Go!’ that includes more golden rules of office survival.

Miriam Yeung and Shawn Yu hope Cat.3 rating won’t affect box office for Love in a Puff


Asian Film Awards Jury President Tony Leung Kai-Fai suffering from eye irritation.

Awards to be announced Monday. (Sina)

Tang Wei at HKIFF

Paw Hee-Ching, Ivy Ho, Tang Wei (Sina)

Stanley Huang and Karen Mok in Go Lala Go! (Du Lala’s Promotion)

Three “Jing girls” in Wong Jing’s Future X-Cops

Zhang Li

Tang Yifei

Natalie Meng Yao (HunanTV)

(Re)Inventing China’s “Seventeen Years” on Film at the 2009 New York Film Festival

Mainland Chinese works of art from this “Seventeen Years” period have been routinely dismissed as propaganda by the same Western scholars and critics who periodically “discover” and celebrate masterpieces of Chinese cinema from the preceding Republican era or the later post-Mao era.

Mao-era Chinese films are univocal, tedious, and thematically homogeneous.

This rarely questioned truism could only be asserted by the ill-informed, and its widespread acceptance reveals how common is the ignorance of this period of Chinese film history. The cinema of this period includes comedies, musicals, dramas, animation, war epics, historical sagas, traditional operas, children’s films, and spy thrillers…

Mao-era Chinese films are excessively ideological and oppressively obvious, bludgeoning the viewer with blatant political propaganda…

THR: Echoes of the Rainbow

Bottom Line: A nostalgic and unabashedly sentimental family picture.

THR: 14 Blades

Bottom Line: A traditional martial arts thriller beefed up by gimmicky weaponry.

THR: Crossing Hennessy

Bottom Line: A rom-com that is more comical than romantic.

THR: Like a Dream

Bottom Line: Little thematic and less narrative sense make for difficult viewing that often tests the patience.

THR: Amphetamine

Bottom Line: Aesthetic aspirations killed the camp.

Bottom Line: Evidence that the digital revolution isn’t necessarily a good thing.

Bottom Line: A teasingly original idea from a new filmmaker wrapped up in the familiar.

THR: Wong Jing tackles 3D comedy

‘King of Jesters’ to be produced by Mega-Vision

Wong also returns to familiar grounds with “Naked Soldiers”, the US$4 million three-quel to his sex and crime series “Naked Weapon” and “Naked Killer,” which raised to cult status in Europe with their main draw of T&A and guns. Next, Mega-Vision will also begin production of the 30 million yuan (US$4.4 million) action adventure “Aladdina,” starring Louis Koo and the Hong Kong pop group Twins.

THR: Filmko on a quest to make 3D ‘Quixote’

First Chinese stereoscopic 3D period drama, helmed by Chinese director Agan

…starring Karena Lam (”Claustrophobia”) and Liu Ye (”City of Life and Death”), the film was produced with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, utilizing the academy’s stereoscopic 3D camera, the first in China. The film also hired a group of 3D experts from Germany as consultants during the shoots.

The company is now developing its next 3D epic, “The Monkey King,” a 180 million yuan retelling of the Chinese mythical literature “Journey to the West” with a script written by “Ip Man” writer Edmond Wong. Filming is scheduled for October with a 2011 release date.

Fresh from his win at the Berlin International Film Festival for his romantic comedy “Au Revoir Taipei,” Chinese-American director Arvin Chen is at this week’s Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum to meet with potential investors for his new movie,“Nan Jing East Road.”

East Wind Rain poster

Half a century on, ‘Suzie Wong’ still a star in Hong Kong

Actress Nancy Kwan walks into Hong Kong’s Luk Kwok Hotel, the first time she has ever visited the backdrop to her classic 1960 film “The World of Suzie Wong”.

Jacky Cheung concert tour embroiled in fraud case

Stanley Ho’s daughter, Pansy Ho

Asian casino magnate Stanley Ho denied Thursday that he has ties to Chinese organized crime gangs.

Casino VIP rooms opened door to gangsters in Macau, report says

Vivian Hsu was surprised with a birthday cake on the set of Seediq Bale

Director Wei Te-Sheng, Vivian Hsu 

Amphetamine (Screen Daily review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: — dleedlee @ 11:29 am

By Mike Goodridge

Dir/scr/prod: Scud. 2010. Hong Kong/China. 97 mins

The third film from experimental Hong Kong filmmaker Scud, Amphetamine is the story of a doomed love affair between a gay man and an emotionally damaged straight man which, while always visually arresting, ultimately rings hollow. The film is certainly flashy – filled throughout with two second flashbacks, dreamlike imagery and fantasy sequences – but its self-conscious artiness dilutes the potential dramatic impact and it plays as more stylistic curio than full-blooded character piece.

The film had its world premiere in Panorama at the Berlinale this year and is one of the closing night films at this year’s Hong Kong International Film Festival. But, peopled as it is by beautiful men in various states of undress and embrace, Amphetamine has its best shot of profile on the gay and lesbian film festival circuit and its best sales chance is to niche distributors tapping into gay audiences on DVD and TV.

The lead character is Kafka (Pang), a fitness instructor who works several jobs to support his ailing mother. Although he has a girlfriend, his sexuality is apparently fluid since he agrees to a hand-job from a dirty old man in a changing room. He and his slacker brother are also amphetamine addicts.

Just as he is breaking up with his girlfriend, he meets handsome finance executive called Daniel (Price), an out gay man from Australia in Hong Kong on business. Daniel falls for Kafka and pursues him confidently, even while Kafka tells him that he is straight and they can never have sex.

But their love for each other grows, despite the hurdles – the sexuality difference and Kafka’s addiction – and the two men become convinced that love will conquer all. Daniel tries to help him off the amphetamine after a close call with the Chinese authorities but he doesn’t know the whole story and Kafka is harbourin dark secrets from his past, which might prove insurmountable.

Scud teamed up with veteran director Lawrnce Ah Mon on the direction of the film and enlisted cinematographer Charlie Lam (Isabella, Exodus) to shoot it. On the one hand, the film’s attempts at visual expressiveness are striking. The visual design is striking - the persistent water or angel motifs, scenes of Kafka’s martial arts routines, the lingering shots of the men’s hard bodies. And the narrative drifts in and out of dream and memory lend a certain druglike quality to it.

On the other hand, Scud’s focus on the superficial is jarring and much of the film doubles as an affluent lifestyle commercial. If they are not racing each other in sports cars and motorbikes or bungee jumping off motorway bridges, the men are splashing handsomely in the pool and gazing at each other’s muscular bodies in the shower afterwards. That’s not to mention Daniel’s limitless wealth which includes stunning Hong Kong penthouse and rooftop Jacuzzi. By showing us these glam trappings at such length and with minimal irony, it appears that Scud himself is seduced by them himself.

Production company: Artwalker Ltd

International sales: Media Luna Films

Director of photography: Charlie Lam

Editor: Heiward Mak (Haloyam)

Music: Yu Yat Yiu

Main cast: Byron Pang, Thomas Price, Winnie Leung, Linda So, Simon Tam
Screen Daily

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