HKMDB Daily News

December 20, 2012

CZ12 (Hollywood Reporter review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: , — dleedlee @ 12:38 pm


12/20/2012 by Elizabeth Kerr

The Bottom Line
The alleged final action film from martial arts star Jackie Chan is a hideous cocktail of cynicism, sanctimony and pedestrian filmmaking.

The latest globetrotting romp by martial arts action star Jackie Chan, opening Dec. 20 in Hong Kong, is the kind of mindless, silly romp the multi-hyphenate has become known for. CZ12 (sometimes Chinese Zodiac) couldn’t be a more inauspicious swan song if he tried, if such rumors are to be believed. As a mercenary tomb raider looking for ancient Chinese sculptures Chan’s age is starting to show; with the exception of one key fight sequence he leaves the heavy lifting to his younger costars and resorts to either greenscreen for his big moments — or does them from the comfort of a horizontal position. This isn’t what you pay for when lining up for a Chan film.

Clocking in at just over two hours and with a remarkable dearth of the martial acrobatics Chan is known for, there’s little to recommend the film for anyone other than Chan completists. The film is hitting screens in Hong Kong the same week as the superior family fare of Wreck-It Ralph, popular box office nonsense of the last Twilight film, and only days ahead of Les Misérables. It’s going to be an uphill battle for this vehicle, particularly in light of recent comments in the press (“taken out of context” naturally) where Chan whined about Hongkongers being too quick to exert their right to free speech. It hasn’t endeared him to the public and a backlash wouldn’t be at all surprising.

Still, it’s a Jackie Chan movie and his fans around the world are legion. CZ12 is aggressively multi-national and designed for maximum market appeal: the cast hails form South Korea, China, the USA and France, is spoken in four languages and was shot in Paris, Taiwan and the South Pacific among others. Chan is still a brand even if it is a diminished one, and he broadened his reach when he went down the slapstick road with 1995’s Rumble in the Bronx (complete with Canada Post mailboxes visible in the background). The kids in the audience rarely stopped giggling, and so reasonably healthy box office returns should be expected in Asia where slapstick plays well, and the content will make it an enormous hit in China. Overseas the film is going to have to rely on viewer goodwill and brand loyalty. CZ12 should fade to the background of Chan’s oeuvre sooner rather than later.

As the leader of a wily band of Indiana Jones-type archeological thieves, JC (Chan) has made a good living swiping rare antiquities from long abandoned corners of the globe and handing them over to auction houses. When the nefarious president of the MP Corporation (Oliver Platt, slumming it) hires him to find the last of the missing bronze zodiac animal heads from the old Summer Palace in Beijing, he meets the irritating, sanctimonious Coco (Yao Xingtong), a member of an irritating, sanctimonious activist group dedicated to returning national treasures to their rightful owners—which is mostly China. They wind up on an island where a French woman that’s fallen on hard times, Katherine (Laura Weissbecker), claims her grandfather’s ship ran aground coming back from China. Great, more stolen treasure for Coco to get indignant about! After about five minutes of introspection JC finds his soul and decides to steal for the right reasons.

Regardless of what one believes about historical propriety and national rights, CZ12 is not the place to debate them, and after the third lecture on the foreign raiders and auction houses that profit from 19th century pillages, the subject simply becomes exhausting. No matter how valid the argument, it’s cocooned inside some truly awful paint-by-numbers filmmaking with dull characters, wooden acting and at least two moments of dreadful compositing. No one expects Chan to crank out the next Citizen Kane, but we do expect him to meet a standard of fun. This is mostly lazy, with frequent lapses in logic and continuity. A final warehouse confrontation with Lawrence’s henchman Vulture (Alaa Safi) in and around a sofa set and then a horde of thugs is the creative high point, however JC’s right hand Bonnie (Zhang Lanxin) and her opponent (Caitlin Dechelle) is far more interesting. If Chan were half the patriot he claims he is, he’d put his considerable resources as a producer into finding the next Jackie Chan; Jet Li is only slightly younger, leaving Donnie Yen as Hong Kong’s sole marital star. If this does turn out to be Chan’s last picture it’s easy to see why. Not even the closing credit out takes are fun anymore.

Producer Stanley Tong, Barbie Tung, Jackie Chan

Director Jackie Chan

Cast Jackie Chan, Yao Xingtong, Kwong Sang-woo, Zhang Lanxin, Laura Weissbecker, Oliver Platt

Screenwriter Frankie Chan, Edward Tang, Stanley Tong, Jackie Chan

Executive producer Brett Ratner, Wang Zhongjun, Albert Yeung, Jackie Chan

Director of Photography Ng Man-ching, Jackie Chan

Music Roc Chen, Nathan Wang

Costume designer Kitty Chen, Kwok Big Yan

No rating, 124 minutes

December 19, 2012

CZ12 (Variety review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: , — dleedlee @ 2:40 pm

Sap yee seng chiu

(Hong Kong-China)
Dec. 19, 2012

An Emperor Motion Pictures (in Hong Kong/Macau)/Huayi Brothers Media (in China) release of a Jackie & JJ Prods., Emperor Film Prod. Co., Huayi Brothers Media presentation and production in association with One House Prods. Co., Shanghai Film Group, Talent Intl. Film Co., Beijing Sparkle Roll Intl. Culture Industry Co., Beijing Dragon Garden Culture & Art Co. (International sales: Jackie & JJ Intl., Hong Kong.) Produced by Jackie Chan, Albert Lee, Wang Zhonglei. Executive producers, Jackie Chan, Albert Yeung, Wang Zhongjun. Co-executive producers, Ren Zhonglun, Wu Hongliang. Directed by Jackie Chan. Screenplay, Jackie Chan, Stanley Tong, Edward Tang, Frankie Chan.

With: Jackie Chan, Kwon Sang-woo, Yao Xingtong, Laura Weissbecker, Zhang Lanxin, Liao Fan, Alaa Safi, Caitlin Dechelle, Oliver Platt, Vincent Sze, Jonathan Lee, Chen Bo-lin, Jiang Wen, Daniel Wu, Shu Qi, Lin Fong-chiao. (Cantonese, Mandarin, English, French, Latvian, Japanese, Thai, Hindi, Arabic dialogue)

Taking more than a dozen credits, including helmer-scribe, Jackie Chan emerges a Jackie-of-all-trades and master of none in his 101th film, “CZ12.” Toplining the 58-year-old Hong Kong star as a bounty hunter rescuing Chinese national treasures around the globe, the pic reps an uneven ride that is repeatedly stalled by grandstanding anti-colonial screeds. Chan’s stunts may not wow as much as they have before, but longtime fans will still be moved by his self-punishing physical efforts and go-for-broke spirit. Though “CZ12″ is bound for a good international run, home biz is hard to predict; the pic opens locally Dec. 20.
The film is a quasi-reboot of a franchise that began with “Armor of God” (1986) and its 1991 sequel, “Operation Condor,” which starred Chan as Asian Hawk, an Indiana Jones-like tomb raider. The protag has been renamed JC in “CZ12,” which shares no other characters and little in the way of plot continuity with its predecessors.

Establishing the film’s excessively moralistic rhetoric at the outset, a prologue (narrated by mainland helmer-thesp Jiang Wen) details the sacking of China’s Summer Palace by Anglo-French forces in 1860, during the Second Opium War. Among the treasures looted were 12 bronze heads modeled on the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac. Preying on the eagerness of Chinese patriots to redeem their plundered national heritage, antique dealer MP Corp. hires JC (Chan) to locate the missing heads.

JC and his crewmates Simon (Kwon Sang-woo), David (Liao Fan) and Bonnie (Zhang Lanxin) set sail to the South Pacific, where some of the trophies may have sunk in a shipwreck. They are joined by two femmes, NGO leader Coco (Yao Xingtong) and French duchess Katherine (Laura Weissbecker), who prove as troublesome as they are helpful.

As to be expected from most Chan vehicles, the plot takes a backseat to the action and visual spectacle. Even so, the screenplay, credited to Chan and three other scribes (including Stanley Tong, who helmed several of Chan’s films), is patchy and bumpily paced, with a mood that swings wildly from frantic to goofy. The midsection, largely set on a forested island where various factions converge, is especially directionless, with messily designed confrontations and pyrotechnics that are raucous without being fun.

“CZ12″ relies heavily on technical gizmos, as in a sequence with JC in a Buggy Rollin wheel suit. Elsewhere, Chan does playful work with parachutes in preparation for a skydiving finale, but despite the daunting logistics involved, the sequence looks less arresting than might be expected.

Ultimately, Chan is most engaging when he’s making mischief with simple props like a tripod or a swivel chair. Although the film’s best hand-to-hand fight doesn’t occur until the last half-hour, when JC grapples with agile rival Vulture (French martial artist Alaa Safi), it helps end Chan’s reportedly last heavy-duty action movie on a high note.

Even for a lightweight genre pic, the characters seem thoroughly hollow, and Chan has more chemistry with a pack of Dobermans than with any of his co-stars. Coco and Katherine make an insufferable duo, engaging in nonstop catfights and screeching like banshees whenever danger’s afoot. Without a single face-to-face scene with love interest Zhang, Korean TV heartthrob Kwon has no chance to show his acting chops in his second foray into Chinese co-productions (after “Shadow of Love”). A more substantial role should have been carved out for mainland taekwondo champion Zhang, who dazzles in full-blooded combat with the equally supple Caitlin Dechelle, who plays Vulture’s g.f.

Shooting in Latvia, France, Taiwan, Australia, Vanuatau and Beijing yields a giddy patchwork of locations, each with its own ambience. The ample budget is not always reflected in the production design and cinematography, but visual effects by predominantly Korean teams are on the money.

Camera (color, widescreen, 35mm/HD), Horace Wong, Ng Man-ching, Ben Nott, Jackie Chan; editor, Yau Chi-wai; music, Nathan Wang, Gary Chase; art director, Jackie Chan; costume designers, Kitty Chau, Kwok Big-yan; sound (Dolby Digital, Dolby Atmos), Kinson Tsang; re-recording mixer, George Lee; special effects, Bruce Law; visual effects supervisors, Han Young-woo, Kim Joon-hyung, Victor Wong, Patrick Chui, Seong Ho-jang; visual effects, Digital Idea, Vfx Nova, Mofac Studio; stunt choreographers, Jackie Chan, He Jun; Buggy Rollin instructor, Jean Yves Blondeau; line producer, Johnny Lee; associate producer, Wang Tianyun; assistant director, Lemon Liu; casting, Xu Bo, Amy Zhou. Reviewed at UA Cityplaza, Hong Kong, Dec. 15, 2012. Running time: 122 MIN.


May 22, 2012

May 22, 2012 [HKMDB Daily News]

CF: ”The Guillotines” Set to Hit Theaters on December 20

Set in the period of the Qing Emperor Qianlong, the film revolves around a secretive organization called The Guillotines which is composed of young martial arts masters who carry out the government’s orders to kill those who go against the government’s ruling.

Well Go USA has acquired the rights for North America (Sina)

CF: Backup Packages Bona’s ‘Lady’

Backup Films, the expanding financial-packaging division of Paris-based Backup Media Group, is negotiating an addition to its burgeoning roster of French-Chinese co-productions: “The Lady in the Portrait,” starring Fan Bingbing.

CF: Character Posters Revealed for “The Four”

“The Four”, adapted from Wen Ruian’s classic novel, is tagged as a supernatural wuxia film, a new area for this genre.

Collin Chou

Anthony Wong

Ronald Cheng

Deng Chao

Jiang Yiyan

Liu Yifei

Wu Xiubo (Sina)

CF: Final Poster Released for “37″

Final poster of the movie “37″ was released. Starring Liu Xiaoqing and Charlie Young, it will feature Liu as a middle-aged local woman while Young as a white collar that comes to the prairie with her daughter.

Charlie Young and “Olympic girl” Lin Miaoke

Lin Miaoke

Liu Xiaoqing (Sina)

CF: Official Poster of “Double Trouble” Unveiled

Jaycee Chan portrays a Taiwanese security guard, while Xia Yu plays a security guard visiting from China. The two men, along with a tour guide portrayed by Chen Handian, get into trouble following a burglary at the Imperial Palace.

More posters featuring Jaycee, Jessica C and Shoko


Poster for “Passion Island” (”Rei Ai Do”) starring Simon Yam, Joan Chen, Francis Ng, Song Jia, Chang Chen, and Janice Man in a trio of tales about love. Opens June 1.

Janice Man, Chang Chen

Joan Chen, Simon Yam

Francis Ng, Song Jia

Janice Man, Chang Chen (Sina)2

“Passion Island” trailer

Final poster for Pang Ho-Cheung’s “Lacuna”, co-directed by Derek Tsang and Jimmy Wan Chi-Man.

Shawn Yue and Zhang Jingchu try to unravel what happened after one drunken night. Opens June 1, Children’s Day.

Kiss the frog, Shawn!

Now, it’s Zhang Jingchu’s turn (Sina)23

Teaser trailer

Three years after filming, David Stern and the NBA has authorized promotional activities for ”Amazing” the basketball-themed movie for a summer release. The film includes NBA stars Dwight Howard, Scottie Pippen and Carmelo Anthony as well as Huang Yi, Stephen Fung, Huang Xiaoming and Amber Kuo.

Dwight Howard, Huang Xiaoming

Dwight Howard

2010: Yep, it’s been that long. (Sina)2

Lead actors Huang Yi and Geng Le along with foreign cast members attended the event.

FBA: China’s Wanda to pay $2.6bn for AMC

CF: Chinese Firm’s Deal to Buy AMC May Spur Others

CF: Microfilms will be coming shortly to a screen near you

CF: Poster of Jackie Chan’s Film “CZ12″ Released in Cannes

CF: Jackie Chan Lands his Last Punch as an Action Star

CF: Jackie Chan Retiring From Action Movies with “CZ 12″

CNA: Jackie Chan not retiring, but “Chinese Zodiac” to be his last big action film

MSN: Edison Chen in scuffle with the paparazzi

MSN: Aaron Kwok’s girlfriend, Lynn Hung, vows to talk less about their relationship

MSN: Kelly Chen wants to be in-laws with Andy Lau

SGYahoo: Lau Ding Sing claims Him Law had posed for him

Lau had also mentioned actor William Chen, whose name was not among those in the list, to be ‘young, smooth, cute and sweet’ and had modeled for him several years ago.

Chen’s agency EEG also released a press statement that Chen and Lau did not know each other and would be pursuing legal action against Lau, for false information.

Many Hong Kong artists were shocked to hear that musician Lee Ming Ho was involved with the rape case of an actress recently.

January 21, 2010

January 21, 2010

CRI: Vicki Zhao Bows out of “14 Blades” Promotion

CRI: Jackie Chan to Fight the Last Good Fight in His 100th Movie

“Shi Er Sheng Xiao,” literally “The 12 Chinese Zodiac Animals”, features many intense fighting scenes, almost from the beginning to the end, the super kungfu star said.

CRI: Chow Yun-fat Saves the Third Kowtow for Confucius

Director Hu Mei plans to take the film’s cast and crew to Qufu in Shangdong Province, Confucius’ hometown, for a grand worship ceremony on the same day. Chow who portrays Confucius in the movie will deliver an elegiac address at the event.

CRI: Confucius Squeezes out Avatar

Avatar had been showing on 2,500 screens – a third on 3D and IMAX screens, while the remaining two-thirds were on regular screens, which cost an average of 30 to 40 yuan a ticket, half the price of a 3D ticket. IMAX tickets, however, at 130 to 150 yuan, have been criticized as too expensive for many Chinese moviegoers.

Chengdu stop of publicity tour (Sina)

Oliver Stone visiting set of True Legend

The late David Carradine plays a fight promoter.

(Sina) HD slide show (Sina)

CRI: Zhang Yimou’s ‘Noodle Story’ Vies for Golden Bear

Wu Zun (7)(HunanTV)

Wu Chun won’t show flesh in new movie, says 14 Blades director

CRI: Chinese Director Lu Chuan Starts Filming City Story for Shanghai Expo

Charmaine Sheh plays the evil landlady

Charmaine Sheh - 72 Tenants of Prosperity/House of 72 Tenants (HunanTV)

Screen Daily: Bodyguards and Mother lead Asian Film Award nominations

Best Film

Bodyguards And Assassins (Hong Kong / China)

City of Life and Death (China)

Lola (The Philippines)

Mother(South Korea)

No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti (Taiwan)

Parade (Japan)

Best Director

Bong Joon-ho – Mother (South Korea)

Asghar Faradi - About Elly (Iran)

Lu Chuan - City of Life And Death (China)

Brillante Mendoza – Lola (The Philippines)

Sono Sion - Love Exposure (Japan)

Yonfan - Prince of Tears (Hong Kong / Taiwan)

Best Actor

Aasno Tadanobu - Villon’s Wife (Japan)

Huang Bo – Cow (China)

Matsimoto Hitoshi – Symbol (Japan)

Song Kang-ho – Thirst (South Korea)

Wang Xueqi - Bodyguards And Assassins (Hong Kong / China)

Best Actress

Bae Doo-na - Air Doll (Japan)

Kim Hye-ja – Mother (South Korea)

Li Bingbing - The Message (China)

Matsu Takako - Villon’s Wife (Japan)

Sandrine Pinna - Yang Yang (Taiwan)

Best Newcomer

Sonam Kapoor - Delhi 6 (India)

Kim Sae-ron – A Brand New Life (South Korea)

Li Yuchun - Bodyguards And Assassins (Hong Kong / China)

Ng Meng Hui - At The End of Daybreak (Malaysia / Hong Kong / South Korea)

Zhu Xuan - Prince Of Tears (Hong Kong / Taiwan)

Best Supporting Actor

Eita - Dear Doctor (Japan)

Huang Xiaoming - The Message (China)

Tou Chung-Hua - The Warrior And The Wolf(China)

Nicholas Tse - Bodyguards And Assassins (Hong Kong / China)

Won Bin – Mother (South Korea)

Best Supporting Actress

Anso Sakura - A Crowd Of Three (Japan)

Hirosue Ryoko - Villon’s Wife (Japan)

Kim Kkob-bi – Breathless (South Korea)

Wai Ying-hung - At The End Of Daybreak (Malaysia / Hong Kong / South Korea)

Yan Ni – Cow (China)

Best Screenwriter

Asghar Farhadi - About Elly (Iran)

Hong Sang-soo - Like You Know It All (South Korea)

Park Eun-kyo, Bong Joon-ho – Mother (South Korea)

Phan Dang Di – Adrift (Vietnam)

Wai Ka-fai, Au Kin-yee - Written By (Hong Kong)

Best Cinematographer

CaoYu - City Of Life And Death (China)

Cheng Siu-keung – Vengeance (Hong Kong)

Chung Chung-hoon – Thirst (South Korea)

Ly Thai Dzung – Adrift (Vietnam)

Jake Pollcok - Yang Yang (Taiwan)

Jury President - Tony Leung Ka-Fai

Yonfan, Tony Leung, Oceane Zhu Xuan (

South Korea: ‘Brothers’ Offers Bittersweet ‘Bromance’

A story about North and South Korean spies called “Blood Brothers” may initially seem like mawkish cliche capitalizing on the tragic divide of the peninsula.

But pleasantly surprising, bona fide entertainment is on offer ― an incisive observation of modern Korea that is tastefully packaged as a humorous and gripping story of a budding “bromance” between foes.

Edison Chen, Fama in Causeway Bay

Edison Chen appeared in Causeway Bay to help Fama promote their new CD O’Fama.

(Xinhua) (21)(Sina)

Huang Yi

Huang Yi is featured in a domestic magazine cover (

Gillian Chung 29 years old today (Jan.21)

Gillian celebrated her birthday with fans early a few days ago as she would be in the mainland filming a TV series (Sina)


AngelaBaby tried her hand at MC’ing for the first time for a Hong Kong Young Fashion Designer event. (Sina) (6)

Apple Daily’s animated news shows up on Conan O’ Brien’s Tonight Show Hulu clip

English version (shown on Jimmy Kimmel’s show last night)

No Pants Day (Jan.17) has even spread to Guangzhou.


April 27, 2009

April 27, 2009

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , , — dleedlee @ 1:22 pm

Chinese massacre movie reports strong opening - City of Life and Death

Huayi Brothers’ Tracing Shadow (Chasing Shadows) sells across Asia

Jackie Chan
Jackie announces 100th film

Jackie Chan, Stanley Tong to co-direct action adventure - Chinese Zodiac

The Horsemen - A step down for Asian actors?

IT WAS not a good week for Beijing-born actress Zhang Ziyi.

Last Tuesday, the 30-year-old - who called off her plans to marry Israeli billionaire Vivi Nevo last Friday - came under fire from Chinese netizens for her portrayal of an alleged serial killer in the upcoming Hollywood thriller, The Horsemen.

Park’s ‘Thirst’ Is Riveting

Director Bong Promises Hotter Movie With ‘Mother’

Vivian Hsu

Vivian Hsu plays a mother in Young Xinghai/The Musician

Judge Shu Qi
Shu Qi at a Shanghai promotion event

Shu Qi

Zhang Ziyi attends romantic wedding of Salma Hayek

“Forever Enthralled” Is Students’ Favorite 2008 Film
Beijing University Student Film Festival

Michelle Yeoh, Jean Todt
Michelle Yeoh, no wedding plans

Shu Qi and Chang Chen
I spy: Shu Qi and Chang Chen at Wong Kar-Wai’s Axis Mundi Shanghai opening

Korea’s Internet: Hollywood’s Best Friend or Foe?
Studios are best advised to ride the crest of ‘freeconomics’ that is Korea

More on Jackie Chan: Elaborating on freedom and discipline

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