HKMDB Daily News

June 12, 2012

June 12, 2012 [HKMDB Daily News]

Filed under: News — Tags: , , — dleedlee @ 11:30 am

CF: Guan Hu’s Latest All-Star Movie Releases Promotional Posters

Director Guan Hu’s  latest project “The Chief, The Actor, The Scounder [Scoundrel]” had recently finished its shooting schedule. Three promotional posters were released today. The movie features three of the Best Actors of Golden Horse Awards, Huang Bo, Liu Ye and Zhang Hanyu.

Stills from “Million Dollar Crocodile”

Guo Tao, Barbie Hsu

Guo Tao (Sina)

Trailer for “Million Dollar Crocodile” starring Barbie Hsu, Guo Tao and Lam Suet

Rumour has it that Zhang Yimou’s next film will be backed by Wanda Group, which recently purchased AMC Entertainment. Tentatively titled, “Dragon Kiss” (Chinese title), concert pianist Lang Lang and Angelina Jolie are expected to be invited to join the cast. Crosstalk comedian Guo Degang is also being invited. This is Zhang’s first film since splitting with long time producer Zhang Weiping.(Sina)

Sampling of posters for “Who in the Mirror” opening June 14

Chinese title is, “Don’t Look in the Mirror at Midnight”


Jordan Chan, Cherrie Ying and Roy Cheung appearing at a fashion event in Macau recently

Cherrie Ying

Jordan Chan

Roy Cheung (Sina-slideshow)

CNA: Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi sues paper over sex claims

MSN: Miriam Yeung might be suffering from post-natal depression

MSN: Cecilia Cheung receives backlash for being overprotective

MSN: Is Barbie Hsu pregnant?

April 11, 2012

April 11, 2012 [HKMDB Daily News]

FBA: Cool Young review

Off-the-wall, very patchy curio centred on love and money in modern-day Shenzhen.

FBA: Young Dudes review

Undeveloped mix of fantasy and modern-hippy elements is more like an extended music video.

CF: Inaccurate Memoir Bumps up Release Date

Publicity stills for “An Inaccurate Memoir” featuring Zhang Yi

CF: Nostalgic Posters for ‘11 Flowers’ Released

Set at the end of the 1970s, the art-house film “11 Flowers” tells the story of an 11-year-old boy who witnessed a murder.


CF: Zhang Ziyi’s “Sophie’s Revenge 2″ to Begin Shooting Soon

CF: Presenters of Hong Kong Film Awards Unveiled


Latest poster for Ning Hao’s “Guns and Roses” features director’s filmography


CF: Box office chart for last week

Guan Hu (”Design of Death”, “Cow”) announced the cast of his new film “The Chef, The Actor, The Scoundrel”. In addition to the three leads, Zhang Hanyu, Huang Bo and Liu Ye; the cast includes Tanaka Chie, Wang Xun and Liang Jing in the action comedy. The director and three leads will also act as producers for the Lunar New Year film.

Liu Ye, Zhang Hanyu, Huang Bo

Guan Hu, Liu Ye, Zhang Hanyu

Huang Bo, Liang Jing, Tanaka Chie

Guan Hu, Liu Ye, Zhang Hanyu, Huang Bo (Sina)234

Stills from Guan Hu’s “Design of Death”.

Yu Nan plays a mute widow

Yu Nan and Huang Bo (Sina)2

Animated posters and a couple stills for “Full Circle”


MSN: Sammi Cheng used to suffer from depression

The Hong Kong singer’s co-star Louis Koo revealed that she only ate a “piece of vegetable” during her dark period

MSN: Is Joyce Cheng dating a Korean model?

MSN: Raymond Lam struck by mysterious illness

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


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.


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?”

September 17, 2009

Cow (Variety review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: , , , — dleedlee @ 11:54 am

Dou niu

(China) An Enlight Pictures release of a Changchun Film Studio, Tiger King Film Co., Enlight Pictures presentation of a Loongbaby Movie & TV Co., Shandong Film & Teleplay Prod., Beijing Geliang Media Co., Beijing Jia Tong Century Movie & TV Co. production. (International sales: United Star Corp., Hong Kong/Beijing.) Produced by Zou Xiong, Chow Keung, Cui Guoming, Jin Liang, Zhao Yunsheng. Executive producers, Zhao Guoguang, Zou, Wang Changtian. Directed, written by Guan Hu, from an original story by Zhao Dongling.

With: Huang Bo, Yan Ni.
(Shandong dialect, Mandarin, Japanese dialogue)

War is crazy and most of the characters are, too, in “Cow,” an often brilliantly imagined black comedy-cum-magical-realist yarn about a dumb Shandong peasant and his cow during WWII. Motored by a tour-de-force perf from bozo-faced thesp Huang Bo (”Crazy Stone,” “Crazy Racer”), this powerful allegory about the stubborn resourcefulness of the Chinese common man amid mass inhumanity boldly announces writer-director Guan Hu, largely unknown outside his home turf. With 10-15 minutes’ worth of trims, the pic could milk modest arthouse life after grazing in fest pastures. “Cow” was tucked away in Venice’s Horizons sidebar but fully deserved a competition slot.

Opening reel, with Song Xiaofei’s HD lensing bled of any warmth, sets the tone as the solitary, half-mad Niu’er (Huang) stumbles around his deserted stone village of Yizhen and happens upon a mass grave. As Niu’er hears a strange whining sound behind a rock wall, the titular heifer makes a stunning appearance. It’s the winter of 1940.

Pic’s structure is not always easy to follow as it shuttles between past and present, though the general trajectory and message are easily absorbed if auds go with the flow. Guan, largely known for his successful TV dramas in China, used the same fluid approach to narrative in his 2000 kid-centered drama, “Goodbye! Our 1948,” with its sudden shifts from black-and-white to color, plus the same magical-realist tone.

A flashback to when the village was inhabited (and run on feudal lines) shows how the doofus Niu’er ended up with the “foreign” (Dutch) cow, an object of local awe for its size and ability to produce vast quantities of milk. When the Japanese first bomb and then enter the village, Niu’er flees; after most of them have left, he steals back in and finds some other survivors.

Caught and almost executed by the remaining Japanese, he’s saved by the arrival of the (communist) 8th Route Army, but the ornery critter proves more elusive. However, as a bunch of starving refugees arrive from the next village, the cow’s prodigious milk production is a life saver.

Guan uses the impressively realistic outdoor set of the village (built in a remote area of Shandong province) as an elaborate stage on which the madness of war and human cupidity are played out in a heightened style, with the almost knowing character of the cow selflessly dispensing balm at regular intervals. With Niu’er’s in-your-face emotions and hard-scrabble existence, the pic recalls Jiang Wen’s slightly similar “Devils on the Doorstep.”

As time moves on, and the war with it, Niu’er finds himself strangely attached to the animal, whose existence becomes of overriding importance in his life. Final reels, with a melancholy coda, are poignant, as man and beast brave the elements together.

Though the large cast contains a number of succinctly drawn characters, the pic is Huang’s show, as he traverses every emotion in a thick Shandong dialect that’s nigh impenetrable for Mandarin speakers. (Thesp actually hails from the province.) Only other major character is feisty peasant girl Jiu (Yan Ni), who takes a liking to Niu’er. Some auds may find the lusty overplaying a tad unnuanced, though this could be mitigated in the trimming.

Handheld lensing brings energy to the tale and reflects Niu’er’s mercurial temperament without becoming grating. Sparingly used music by Li Ke adds warmth at key moments.

Camera (color, HD), Song Xiaofei; editor, Kong Jinlei; music, Li Ke; art director, Meng Yu; costume designer, Hou Jingli; sound, Terry Tu; sound designer, Zhao Suchen; visual effects supervisor, Wu Qingtao; assistant director, Li Jinglan. Reviewed at Venice Film Festival (Horizons), Sept. 10, 2009. Running time: 109 MIN.

August 26, 2009

August 26, 2009

The Founding of a Republic features 172 stars but no guarantee of box office success

Dada’ Dance - Zhang Yuan

Story parallels Noriko Sakai’s recent drug scandal. [This is also Zhang's first film since his own drug arrest.]
Chinese director Zhang Yuan releases first film since drug scandal
[Previous drug arrest reports]

The Message opens September 30

Huang Bo
Huang Bo in black comedy ‘Cow’ opens September 11

“Accident,” Cheang Pou-Soi (China-Hong Kong)
“Tetsuo The Bullet Man,” Shinya Tsukamoto (Japan)
“Prince of Tears,” Yonfan (Hong Kong)
“Chengdu, I Love You,” Fruit Chan, Cui Jian (China) - Closing Film
“Yona Yona Penguin,” Rintaro (Japan)
“Adrift,” Bui Thac Chuyen (Vietnam)
“Cow,” Guan Hu (China)
“1428,” Du Haibin (China)
“Once Upon A Time Proletarian: 12 Tales of a Country,” Guo Xiaolu (China)

Kelly Lin and Ge You attend premiere of Gasp

Jet Li returns to Chinese film
Due to start shooting ‘Ocean Paradise’ in Chinese
Li will star with Taiwanese actress Kwai Lun-mei, last seen in Tsui Hark’s “All About Women,” in the directorial debut of Chinese screenwriter Xue Xiao-lu, titled “Ocean Paradise” in Chinese. Xue has written for director Chen Kaige, working the script for Chen’s 2002 drama “Together With You.”
Jet Li to star in first non-action drama Ocean Heaven
Christopher Doyle will handle cinematography while Hai Chung-man (Curse Of The Golden Flowers) will serve as art director of the film. The release date is set for spring 2010.

Variety: Blood Pledge (South Korea)
Variety: Missing (South Korea)
Variety: Insadong Scandal: Replicated Strokes (South Korea)
Variety: Macabre (Singapore)

Support for China animation lags
Industry fails to develop despite government backing

Donnie Yen plans to give up acting in 2013.

In an NY Times interview (see Aug 20 post), Yen said he plans to concentrate on behind the lens directing and action choreography after finishing his 2012 obligations.

Sammi Cheng reveals she once had depression

[I think the film they are referring to is Everlasting Regret]

Mike He: I’m being framed again

‘Jewel in the Palace’ star weds in US
Lee Young-ae is also known for her role in the Park Chan-wook film “Sympathy for Lady Vengeance.”

Stars attend Dayo Wong’s stage show

Andy Lau and Carol Chu returning to Hong Kong from Malaysia

First public acknowledgment of their relationship
Andy Lau and girlfriend appear together publicly (English)

Yang Lijun
Article recalls the many (rumored) loves in Andy Lau’s life

Danny Poon, Idy Chan, Yue Hoh-Yan, Anita Mui, Rosamund Kwan, Yang Lijun (the crazy fan)
More airport photos, and, still, more

Andy Lau apologized on his blog for creating the chaos at the two airports and thanked fans for their concern

Andy avoided questions from media while leaving his apartment

Carina Lau
Carina Lau at Hong Kong Airport

When questioned about Tony’s injuries, Carina smiled and replied, ‘OK, la’. Article notes her HK$100k handbag, too.

Vivian Chow
Vivian Chow and Rosemary attend fall fashion show

Vivian is described as adopting a dishevelved, wild cat (or is it cougar?) look

Guests at Dorian Ho’s fall fashion show

Universally unimpressed with this year’s Miss Hong Kong contestants
[Reigning Miss Hong Kong Edelweiss Cheung was denied the opportunity to crown the new Miss HK. Instead, Loletta Chu, Miss Hong Kong 1977 and Henry Fok's former daughter-in-law, crowned Sandy Lau]

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