HKMDB Daily News

March 10, 2010

March 10, 2010

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , — dleedlee @ 2:15 pm

Variety Drops Chief Film and Theater Critics

On Monday, the trade let go chief film critic Todd McCarthy and chief theater critic David Rooney. Longtime film critic Derek Elley also was cut, as was features editor/indie film reporter Sharon Swart, along with several copy and design desk employees. [VarietyAsia (Patrick Frater - now with THR, Marcus Lim, Kaiju Shakedown), devoted to Asian film reporting  was shut down early last year back. Now Variety's preeminent Asian film reviewer, Derek Elley, gets the pink slip.]

2010 restored version of archival treasure “Confucius” unveiled

Master director Fei Mu’s lost classic “Confucius” (1940) is an important film not only from the perspectives of film and aesthetics, but also in regard to Chinese history, culture, art history, musicology and other disciplines. The screening of its initial phase of restoration last year met with an overwhelming response. This year, based on scientific evidence from the negatives and research on available literature, the Hong Kong Film Archive (HKFA) has inserted nine minutes of loose fragments back into the film, restoring it to a condition much closer to its original glory.

Let the Bullets Fly - Ge You, Carina Lau, Feng Xiaogang, Jiang Wen (Sina)

Miriam Yeung, Shawn Yu

Womb Ghosts (Mar.18) - Dada, A.Lin, Chrissie Chau, Koni Lui join Lam Suet in Dennis Law’s horror film. (Sina)

Trailer for Dennis Law’s Womb Ghosts brings monumental amounts of crazy.

Liu Yifei

Liu Yifei will join Louis Koo and Yu Shaoqun (New Shaolin Temple) in Wilson Yip’s new version of Chinese Ghost Story to begin filming in May. (Sina)

Stills of sets in Future X-Cops


Ronald Cheng and Charlene Choi push marriage plans back

March 3, 2010

March 3, 2010

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — dleedlee @ 3:15 pm

Asia premiere for restored film treasure “Metropolis”

The Hong Kong Film Archive (HKFA) will present a new 35mm version of the reconstructed original cut of Fritz Lang’s silent classic “Metropolis” (1927) as the opening film of the “Restored Treasures” series.

HK sex photos actress reunites with Twins bandmate

She [Gillian Chung] also recently finished shooting the romance “Ex,” which will premiere as the closing movie at the Hong Kong International Film Festival on April 6.

Variety: Confucius

Chow Yun-fat makes a commanding screen presence as “Confucius.” Combining calm sagacity with a potent physicality that more than fills helmer Hu Mei’s big visual stage, Chow carries the biopic almost single-handedly and prevents it from becoming overly respectful

THR: Little Big Soldier

Bottom Line: Jackie Chan’s period action-adventure delivers, but without fireworks.

HK Magazine: Little Big Soldier

As the film’s title suggests, “Little Big Soldier” is a character study, not a sweeping war epic, and its approach to the Warring States Period is exciting, humorous and highly entertaining, even if it is not a groundbreaking movie.

Andy Tsang Tak-Wah (hkmdb)


Andy Tsang Tak-wah, 31, nicknamed the “little lizard” and claiming to be a casual actor and owner of a modeling company, was found guilty of rape in the High Court last month.

CRI: Tang Wei Received Career Backup in Hong Kong

Manfred Wong, chairman of the Hong Kong Film Awards Association, posted an article on his blog on Tuesday, revealing that William Kong, president of Hong Kong-based Edko Films, is the man behind Tang’s career renewal.

Jay Chou gets an image makeover to improve luck

The award-winning R&B singer recently exchanged verbal insults with Taiwanese rapper, Dog G, and got burnt by allegations from ex-label-mate, Devin Wu, who claimed that she lost her virginity to him when she was just 16.

Jay Chou unlikely to direct another TV drama after ‘Pandamen’

“Pandamen” suffered low ratings in Taiwan despite being aired in its entirety. Cuts made to key scenes in the show by Chinese censors were previously blamed for its dismal showing in Guangzhou, China.

Chrissie Chau appearing for an eyewear brand (Sina)

Little Olympic Girl Lin Miaoke is appearing in an upcoming mainland TV series (cri)

Confucius (review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: — dleedlee @ 9:58 am

Kong Zi

(China-Hong Kong) A China Film Group release of a Beijing Dadi Century, China Film Group Corp. (China)/Dadi Entertainment (Hong Kong) production. (International sales: Dadi Entertainment, Hong Kong.) Produced by Han Sanping, Chui Po-chu, Rachel Liu. Executive producers, Han, Liu, John Sham. Directed by Hu Mei. Screenplay, Chan Khan, He Yanjiang, Jiang Qitao, Hu.

Though he was probably the last person on most people’s lists to play the venerable Chinese philosopher, Chow Yun-fat makes a commanding screen presence as “Confucius.” Combining calm sagacity with a potent physicality that more than fills helmer Hu Mei’s big visual stage, Chow carries the biopic almost single-handedly and prevents it from becoming overly respectful. Released Jan. 22 in China amid the “Avatar” tsunami, “Confucius” hauled a very wise but not heaven-storming 99.5 million yuan ($14.6 million) in its first three frames. Beyond Asia, this entertaining, often thoughtful pic mostly will be seen, alas, on the smallscreen.

The media brouhaha over the 2D version of “Avatar” being bumped off many screens to make way for “Confucius” — supposedly for political/patriotic reasons — has obscured the fact that the pic is an exceptionally good-looking and largely well-played historical drama. Released at any other time — its original date was last fall, to coincide with the 2,560th anniversary of the sage’s birth — the film would never have been bruised by what became a fabricated Hollywood-vs.-China media-cultural war.

Since “Curse of the Golden Flower,” Chow has shown he can bring a physical heft to mature costume-drama roles that’s equaled only in Chinese-speaking cinema by mainlanders such as Zhang Fengyi, Wang Xueqi or Hu Jun. But even more surprising is the film’s portrayal of Confucius as a very worldly man of action and war, with large-scale setpieces that carry an almost “Red Cliff”-like adrenaline charge.

Though Hong Kong d.p. Peter Pau was clearly a major influence on the movie’s widescreen look, the biggest surprise by far is that the helmer was Hu Mei, who made a small impression early on with “Army Nurse” and “Far From War” but then segued into commercials and TV dramas. Hu has done nothing on this scope before, though she’s surrounded herself with some of the best technicians in East Asia (Pau, Hong Kong costume designer Yee Chung-man, mainland composer Zhao Jiping).

Film opens around 500 B.C., in the northern kingdom of Lu, during the end of the so-called Spring and Autumn Period and just prior to the chaotic Warring States Period. Feudal China is controlled by princes under titular kings, and Confucius (Chow), a commoner already in his 50s, is made minister of law by the Lu king so the territory can be managed under civilized principles. Chief among Confucius’ band of pupils is his son, Yenhui (Ren Quan).

Confucius abolishes practices such as burying servants alive with their dead masters and adopts a boy who escaped from one such funeral. But as Lu becomes more powerful, he’s eyed with suspicion by the more warlike kingdom of Qi, ruled by Duke Jing (Ma Jingwu).

Confucius, himself the son of famous warrior, proves his military know-how against a powerful Lu prince, Gongshan Niu (Chen Jianbin), and ends up leading Lu’s troops against Qi’s. Neatly staged first setpiece, balancing drama and spectacle as the two sides meet in a large ravine, turns into a game of bluff that Confucius wins.

Meanwhile, Lu’s main ally, the weak kingdom of Wei, cozies up to Confucius in the form of Nanzi (Zhou Xun), the aged king’s young consort, who unsuccessfully tries to divert the bearded sage from his principles. However, when Confucius returns to Lu from his visit to Wei, the Lu nobles move against him. Final reels, as Confucius finds himself pulled this way and that by his principles, pack quite an emotional punch.

Tightly constructed pic, which shows signs of having been edited down from a longer cut, has a pacey tempo without seeming rushed, and is immeasurably helped by Zhao’s score, which smoothly binds together the shifts from scholarly discussions to scenes of war. Lean but lavish production and costume design, using the huge stages of Hengdian World Studios in Zhejiang province, color-code the various kingdoms for visual appeal without becoming as operatic as Zhang Yimou’s recent costumers (set during later, lusher eras).

Chow, now in his mid-50s, gives Confucius an internal toughness that keeps him from being simply a goody two-shoes, and the Cantonese thesp is expertly revoiced by a native Mandarin speaker. Among the many supporting thesps, it’s Chen who makes the biggest impression in the longest-limbed role, though the throaty Zhou, despite being in only two-and-a-bit scenes, gives Chow a real run for his money as Wei’s (fictional) femme fatale.

Reported budget of 150 million yuan ($22 million) is all up on the screen, with exteriors shot in Hebei province.

Camera (color, widescreen), Peter Pau; editor, Zhan Haihong; music, Zhao Jiping; production designers, Lin Chaoxiang, Mao Huaiqing; costume designer, Yee Chung-man; sound (Dolby Digital), Wu Jiang, Wu Ling; second unit director, Yang Jun; second unit camera, Choi Sung-fai; postproduction supervisor, Pau; visual effects supervisor, Guo Jianquan; stunt co-ordinator, Ye Qiang. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (market), Feb. 15, 2010. Running time: 115 MIN. (Mandarin dialogue)


February 5, 2010

February 5, 2010

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , — dleedlee @ 1:10 pm

Avatar Fever, Catch It Series (China Hush)

With a stellar cast and entertaining storyline that weaves together action and drama, the film should do well with younger audience members who like to view the underworld through rose-tinted glasses.

A romance as pretty and immaterial as a swirl of bubbles.

A love story between an elderly couple that is tender without being schmaltzy.

Limited US release begins this Friday

On the popular movie site, it scored a 3.8 out of 10 in user-submitted reviews, compared to 9.4 for Avatar. The Global Times gave it a 4 out of 10, calling it “thoughtless and mind-numbing.”…

Han Han, one of China’s most popular writers who is widely viewed as a key voice of the country’s youth generation, gave it a two on his popular blog, calling it an entertainment, educational, and business failure.

HK Magazine: Confucius

Sze Nga (Michelle Wai)

Former - Sze Nga, Chapman To

Chapman To convinced Albert Yeung to produce small films like Former designed to bring new acting and directing talent to the screen. The artists are given creative space with no interference from Yeung. (Sina)

Huang Yi - Legend is Born - Ip Man

Bernice Liu

Sire Ma Choi

Xu Jiao

Rose Chan, Bernice Liu

The cast of The Legend is Born - Ip Man (Ip Man Prequel), including Lam Suet, Yuen Biao and Du Yuhang, gathered for a production wrap banquet in Hong Kong last night. (Xinhua) (23)(Sina)

Chen Kaige - Zhao’s Orphan

Chen Kaige held the first press conference for Zhao’s Orphan. He said that the film will promote Tibetan culture. (Sina)

Zhang Ziyi embroiled in donation scandal

Wedding bells for Angelica Lee and Oxide Pang this Saturday

Aaron Kwok once gave Lynn Hung lingerie

Glass CDs, Panda Men and Golden Brooms

Spring Festival means 2.5 billion people on the move In photos (China Hush)

February 4, 2010

February 4, 2010

CRI: Song Hye-kyo To Appear in “Zhao’s Orphan”

Also Wong Kar-Wai’s The Grand Master

CRI: “Confucius” Cast Members Visit Taipei

Chow Yun-Fat and wife arrive in Taipei for the Taiwan premiere of Confucius


Asked again about his mother’s wish for a grandchild, Chow said that, Now that he had the heart, he didn’t have the strength to raise a child. (Sina)


Jackie Chan

Wang LeeHom

New Seven(?) Little Fortunes

Jackie Chan, Wang LeeHom, Lin Peng

Little Big Soldier promotion event in Beijing (Sina)

Jay Chou

User created cartoons

At a recent press event, Jay Chou revealed that if there is investor interest he would like to direct a film based on his True Legend character, the God of Martial Arts.  (Sina)

Miriam Yeung, Shawn Yue

Love In A Puff directed by Pang Ho Cheung is scheduled for a Mar.25 release

The film is currently rated a Cat. III because of language. The romantic comedy is about love that blooms when Hong Kong’s smoking ban forces the two to smoke outside around a trash can.

(Taihainet) (5)(Sina)

Legend of Chen Zhen - Andrew Lau, Huo Siyan

Gordon Chan, Huo Siyan

Shu Qi

Director Andrew Lau and producer Gordon Chan praised mainland actress Huo Siyan and gave her high marks in this first collaboration with Huo. Shu Qi and Huo play opponents and collide against each other. (HunanTV)

Edison Chen

Edison Chen, Josie Ho

Edison Chen helped out Josie Ho by filming a promo video for her film Dream Home (Xinhua)

Johnnie To

Richie Ren, Lau Ching Wan

Denise Ho, Richie Ren

Death of a Hostage opening lens ceremony (HunanTV)

Jordan Chan’s Valentine’s Day wedding possibly a shotgun

Stills from MV with Gillian Chung and Chan Wai-Ting


Lin Chi-Ling demonstrates the Wii Fit Plus (Xinhua)

Fake Donations-Gate Updates, a very complicated affair: The promised deadline for a full accounting of Zhang Ziyi’s foundation account have come and passed. Zhang’s agent, normally responsive, has not been returning text messages inquiring about an explanation…Reportedly, initial donations of US$2M to Zhang Ziyi’s foundation were funnelled to her private account..Other celebrity names have been drawn into the fake donations net, Zhou Xun and Zhao Wei, etc…An online Chinese Red Cross search of contributions show Zhou Xun contributed only 300 yuan. This was attributed to being a contribution made by a similar name.. In Zhang’s favor, a citizen reported to anewspaper hotline that he knew where the individual contributions went. Several stars among them Chen Kun, Zhang Ziyi and Zhao Wei helped rebuild a collapsed school for the deaf, but after a records search the total donated by Zhang Ziyi only accounted for 840,000 yuan. Today, Zhou Xun’s agent announced that Zhou Xun as UN Goodwill Ambassador had made an undisclosed contribution to a UN designated account for Haitian disaster relief. This has been dubbed a ‘fraud tax’. (Xinhua) (2)

Confucius (Screen Daily review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: — dleedlee @ 11:48 am

Confucius (Kong ze)
By Darcy Paquet

Dir: Hu Mei. China. 2010. 108 mins.

Chow Yun-fat is the main attraction in Confucius, a ponderous and weakly-imagined attempt at repackaging the ancient sage for the blockbuster era. Hu Mei’s (For All Eternity) film includes both battle sequences and an attempted seduction of the legendary philosopher in hopes of drawing mainstream audiences, but a lack of narrative development results in a film that is neither entertaining nor enlightening.

Despite strong state support, which allegedly involved clearing Avatar off 1,600 2D screens to make way for its release, the $23m Confucius has been weakly received in its native China, taking $5.1m on 2,500 screens during its opening weekend. Presold widely throughout Asia and to select European territories, Confucius’ hopes of performing better abroad will rest entirely on the star power of Chow Yun-fat, who turns in a subdued but engaging performance in the lead role.

Kong Qiu (Confucius) lives in the turbulent era of China’s Spring and Autumn Period, when the country is fragmented into competing states. A commoner by birth, he rises to positions of influence within the Kingdom of Lu by demonstrating the efficacy of his philosophy. His forward-thinking ideas - such as pleading for the life of a slave slated to be buried alive - earn him enemies, however, including the powerful General Ji Hengzi (24 City’s Chen Jianbin).

Eventually, Confucius’s success at subduing hostile neighboring states through a combination of tactics and wit earns him the position of Acting Minister of the Interior. However resentment spreads within the court, and in 497 B.C. he and a group of disciples embark on a life of wandering exile.

One of the film’s main problems is that, for all of the myriad faces appearing on screen, none of Confucius’ personal relationships are ever given dramatic depth. The highly talented Zhou Xun, awarded second billing in the credits, appears onscreen for barely ten minutes in a one-dimensional role that feels shoehorned in to provide extra star power. Similarly, although the film presents scenes illustrating the devotion of Confucius’ disciples, none of these relationships are properly developed.

Thus it falls to Chow Yun-fat to carry the dramatic weight of Confucius almost single-handedly. In the film’s opening reels he largely succeeds in doing so by imparting a self-confident wit and charm to the central character. However as it moves into the latter reels, Confucius accumulates weight rather than any sense of gravitas, and Chow’s performance is gradually subsumed by narrative inertia.

On a technical level, the film is given a polished, professional look by the likes of DP Peter Pau (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), costume designer Yee Chung-man (Painted Skin) and production designer Lin Chaoxiang. Evocative landscape shots are scattered throughout, but on the whole the film offers few visual or stylistic surprises.

Production companies
Dadi Century (Beijing) Limited
Dadi Entertainment Limited
China Film Group Corporation
Chinese distribution/international sales
Dadi Entertainment Limited
+ 86 10 5157 0257

Rachel Liu
John Sham
Han Sanping
Chui Po-chu

Chan Khan
Jiang Qitao
He Yanjiang
Hu Mei

Peter Pau

Production design
Lin Chaoxiang

Costume designer
Yee Chung-man

Cong Su

Main cast
Chow Yun-fat
Zhou Xun
Chen Jianbin
Lu Yao

Screen Daily

January 26, 2010

January 26, 2010

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , — dleedlee @ 1:10 pm

Chinese Mirror: The Future of Hong Kong Cinema: a round table discussion (I)

The Future of Hong Kong Cinema: a round table discussion (II)

First-time South Korean director gears up for Sundance

“Hot Summer Days” heats up icy Beijing

Hong Kong - Chow’s wife was nearly injured by a falling display board but was saved by quick acting security personnel. (Source)

Chow Yun-Fat, Zhou Xun, Chrissie Chau, Ren Quan, Chen Rui, Fala Chen

CRI: ‘Confucius’ in Hong Kong

Donnie Yen - 14 Blades press conference

Wu Zun/Wu Chun

Sa Dingding, Kate Tsui (Sina)

Elsewhere, an anonymous email was sent to a reporters stating that investors were trying to recoup Zhao Wei’s $3M  fee for breach of contract for failing to attend publicity and promotional events due to her rumored pregnancy. Her contract called for appearances at four premieres. (Xinhua)

Shao Bing (Let The Bullets Fly) photo shoot (6)(Sina)

Kenix Kwok gives up acting to focus on family

Chow Yun-Fat paying for surrogate mother

Chow Yun-Fat’s mother has longed for a grandchild for years, and the Hong Kong superstar may be ready to do whatever it takes for his 90-year-old mum…

Maggie Cheung - Paris

Maggie Cheung attends the Christian Dior Haute-Couture show (Zimbio)

Maggie Cheung - Paris Fashion Week (Sina)

ESWN: The Hallelujah Mountains Are In Zhangjiajie

Chrissie Chau gets flirty at Tokyo fashion show  (Sina)

January 23, 2010

January 23, 2010

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — dleedlee @ 1:51 pm

Monga, the youth-gang film opens in Taiwan during the Lunar New Year and also at the Berlin Film Festival, then in Hong Kong in April.


In addition, the Berlin Film Festival announced the European premieres of Jackie Chan’s Little Big Soldier and Yuen Wo-Ping’s True Legend. Jackie plans to take a break from filming New Shaolin Temple and go to Berlin. Vincent Zhao, Zhou Xun and Jay Chou are also planning on attending. (Sina)

Chow Yun-Fat and the cast and crew of Confucius went to Qufu, Shandong Province, home of Confucius, to hold a solemn prayer ceremony. (Sina) (

Director Hu Mei and actress Chen Rui at the Jinan, Shandong premiere (Sina)

Ren Quan

Chow Yun-Fat kisses a fan’s hand


Attendance, so far, has been reported as only ordinary. Avatar 3D still going strong at the box office. (Xinhua)

Hot Summer Days: Maggie Cheung plays a matchmaker to Daniel Wu and Vivan Hsu. in what is essentially a 3 minute solo scene. She is credited simply as ‘Miss Cheung’ in the film. (HunanTV)

CNN Talk Asia: Zhou Xun: China’s queen of quirk

WSJ: China’s Homegrown Movies Flourish

“We began to think that we could use China’s own stories to develop the industry, and that’s worked really well,” says Xu Jianhai, president of Beijing Forbidden City Film Co.

Chinese audiences typically shun musicals, horror and westerns, which rules out many Hollywood films. But they do like costume dramas, romances, war stories and kung-fu films. Except for a few government-subsidized political films Michael Moore documentaries, almost all productions widely shown in China the US are escapist.

Top model admits being transsexual

January 22, 2010

January 22, 2010

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — dleedlee @ 12:02 pm

Red-faced General Guan Yu is to be the subject of three films this year. In March, it’s reported that Donnie Yen will play Guan Yu to Zhang Hanyu’s Cao Cao, to be directed by Alan Mak and Felix Chong. In another film, popular mainland actor Sun Honglei will play the general in the Tian Zhuangzhuang helmed version. Finally, Benny Chan has invited Louis Koo and Aaron Kwok to play the Guan Yu-Cao Cao duo. The dark-skinned Louis Koo said he was attracted to the script and  joked that the could play the general without makeup. (Xinhua)

The Legend of Chen Zhen’s Shu Qi and Donnie Yen

Gordon Chan, Donnie Yen, Andrew Lau

Huang Bo

Investors have added an additional $20M yuan to the budget for special effects and a Hollywood post-production team bringing the total budget to $120M. (Sina)

CRI: Biopic Movie Stars, Crew Pay Tribute to Confucius

The Case of the Itaewon Homicide

South Korea Reopens the Burger King Murder File

The government’s move follows a flurry of renewed interest in the crime in popular culture. In September, a blockbuster film that dramatized the murder, The Case of the Itaewon Homicide, swept South Korea.

CRI: Zhang Ziyi to Sue Media Company

Miriam Yeung to hold wedding banquet in Dec

The Wynners reunite on Here Comes Kang Xi

CRI: Stars Mark Expo 100-Day Countdown

CRI: Charming Gao Yuanyuan

Taipei Times: Pop Stop

Jay Chou, Lin Chi-Ling, Jolin Tsai, Terri Kwan and the Taiwanese Cher

January 20, 2010

January 20, 2010

Confucius poster for Taiwan (Sina)

Flirting Scholar - Zhou Libo has a bloody nose


CRI: Zhou Libo Passes as a Silver Screen Comedian in Debut Film

Anthony Wong with Janice Man, Maggie Cheung Ho-Yi attend the opening ceremony for Vincent Lo’s Bou Ying/Retribution

Maggie Cheung

Richie Ren


Inseparable opening ceremony in Guangzhou: Gong Beibi, Dayyan Eng, Daniel Wu (Sina)

CRI: Dayyan Eng Enlists Daniel Wu, Kevin Spacey for Inseparable

Anita Yuen, Jacky Cheung - House of 72 Tenants (7)(Sina)

Ada Choi - Princess Iron Fan

Athena Chu ( Once Upon A Chinese Classic (3)(Sina)

Gong Mi

Gong Mi’s debut film (5)(Sina)

The film is about the dangers of online gaming addiction.

Little Big Soldier

New stills released (31)(HunanTV)

Huang Bo: A plain actor with overrated skill

Berlin film festival to open with Chinese movie (CRI)

CRI: “Tuan Yuan” Likely to Open 60th Berlinale

Eat Drink Man Woman sequel script approved by SARFT. Cast and director has not been disclosed yet, though, rumors have Barbie Hsu attached to the film. (Sina)

Anita Yuen to take time off for baby No.2

China Says Not Forcing “Avatar” Off The Screens

Faye Wong’s gradual return to the entertainment industry

According to other reports, Faye’s first comeback appearance will be at a jewel fair held in Shanghai this coming Saturday

Father: Tang Wei is obedient, sensible, well-behaved and hard-working

Tang Yuming has been a noted painter since the ’70s

Photos: Tang Wei and father

Some have commented that Tang Wei’s father resembles Felix Wong.

Gigi Leung

Gigi Leung was one of the many celebrities who helped to kick off Hong Kong Fashion Week (Sina)

Zhang Jingchu

Kelly Chen

Fan Bingbing

Zhang Jingchu, Kelly Chen, Fan Bingbing and other celebrities appeared for a clothing brand in Guangzhou. (Xinhua)

Twins taped a congratulations greeting to Hot Summer Days director Wing Shya.

Charlene has a brief cameo in the film.


CRI: Twins Reunite for “Hot Summer Days” Video

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