HKMDB Daily News

February 16, 2010

72 Tenants of Prosperity

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

72 Tenants of Prosperity
Chatsapyiga jouhaak

(Hong Kong) An Intercontinental Film Distributors release of a Shaw Bros., TVB, Sil-Metropole Organization presentation of a UFO production. (International sales: Intercontinental, Hong Kong.) Produced by Eric Tsang. Executive producers, Virginia Lok, Lawrence Wong. Directed by Eric Tsang, Patrick Kong, Chung Shu-kai. Screenplay, Kong, Wong Yeung-tat, adapted from the Shanghai Dagong Farce Troupe’s 1945 stage play “Those 72 Tenants” and 1973 screenplay “The House of 72 Tenants” by Chu Yuan.

By RICHARD KUIPERS
No fewer than 174 famous faces show up in the patchy Cantonese comedy “72 Tenants of Prosperity,” the latest reworking of a 1945 Shanghai play. All but eliminating the rotten landlords and corrupt officials who made life hell for downtrodden tenants in the original, this third pic-version is moderately chucklesome but sorely lacks the triumph-of-the-underdog factor that’s galvanized auds over the years. Released across much of Asia on Feb. 11 to coincide with the Lunar New Year holiday, the pic should reap a prosperous regional run on its star wattage but has slender prospects beyond Chinese-lingo territories.

The 1945 play was first filmed on the mainland in black-and-white in 1963 and, most famously, 10 years later in color by Shaw Bros., as the smash hit “The House of 72 Tenants.” Back in business after a seven-year hiatus, the Shaw Bros.’ production arm has followed its 2009 hit “Turning Point” with this very loose update.

The only Cantonese feature released in 1973, “The House of 72 Tenants” bested the B.O. of any Bruce Lee movie and is widely regarded as having helped to kickstart the revival of Cantonese comedy and its ’70s and ’80s golden age. Like that film, “Prosperity” counts TVB, Shaw’s TV wing, as a production partner.

Everything’s bright, bouncy and funny at first. Recreating the ‘73 film’s main title design and opening shot, the pic launches with a flashback to feudin’, fussin’ and fightin’ on Sai Yeung Choi Street, Mongkok, circa 1970. Forty years later, the place has become a fiercely competitive cluster of electronics shops.

A zippy song-and-dance number establishes Shek Kin (Jacky Cheung) and Ha Kung (Eric Tsang, also producing and co-helming) as bitter rivals in the cell-phone business. Best buddies all those years ago, the duo fell out when both fell in love with Hung (Anita Yuen), who married Ha based on a coin toss.

Worse still for the squabbling shopkeepers, Shek’s daughter, Jade (Stephy Tang, delightful), a crew member on Japanese porn movies, is attracted to Tai Ling (Bosco Wong), Ha’s computer-geek son. And if that’s not enough Romeo-and-Juliet romance, scripters Patrick Kong (co-helming with Eric Tsang and Chung Shu-kai) and Wong Yeung-tat throw Shek’s son, Taro (Wong Cho-lam) into some amusing tough-love clinches with Nui (Linda Chung), Ha’s kung-fu-kickin’ daughter.

Meanwhile, an unnamed mainland businessman (vet thesp-helmer Leung Tin, also in the ‘73 version) seems to be plotting to oust everyone from Sai Yeung Choi Street and build a megacomplex. Just when the source material’s famed anti-authority and anti-corruption sentiments look as though they’re about to kick in, the threat is unexpectedly neutralized; without a bent cop or corrupt politician in sight, there’s no real threat to anyone besides an acid-throwing saboteur with an old score to settle.

Short on sparkling dialogue, the pic tries desperately to please, and scores intermittently with slapstick and dozens of goofy characters. But even with a cavalcade of stars — including popster-thesp Kelly Chen (who sings), Michael Tse (reviving his “Laughing Gor” character) and old-timers Nancy Sit and Wu Fung giving it their all — the movie never becomes the rousing, cast-of-a-lifetime tribute to Cantonese comedy it wants to be.

Lensing of candy-colored decors and costumes is fine; ’70s flashbacks provide the visual highlight. Costume designer Connie Au-yeung must have trawled every retro boutique and thrift shop in Hong Kong to assemble such glorious kitschy ensembles. End credits must set some sort of record for sponsor logos.

Camera (color, widescreen), Tong Cheung; editor, Wenders Li; music, Tang Chi-wai, Johnny Yim, Ben Chong; production designer, Angelo Castilho; costume designer, Connie Au-yeung; sound (Dolby Digital), Steve Chan; assistant directors, Samson Sin, Woo Hon-keung. Reviewed at Hoyts Broadway Cinemas, Sydney, Feb. 11, 2010. Running time: 97 MIN. (Cantonese dialogue)
Variety

January 25, 2010

January 25, 2010

CRI: Zhou Xun Croons for ‘True Legend’

Jia Zhangke (Xinhua)

Chinese director receives “directors of decade” award in Toronto

“Make film to reveal common feelings”: Chinese director Jia Zhangke

Interview: Jia Zhangke

“It’s the theme of the new economics of China,” he says through an interpreter. “Years and years of tradition are being essentially destroyed and replaced with new customs that are still forming. In the cities, certainly, the changes in the economy have greatly affected everyday life and changed the path of the average person in a way. It affects their outlook on the future.”

Thai film tops TIFF list of decade’s best

CRI: Chen Kaige to Work on Fantasy Movie after “Zhao’s Orphan”

As reported last year, Chen Kaige will officially begin filming Zhao’s Orphan in March. (Xinhua)

“Zhao’s Orphan”, which has seen many stage incarnations in Chinese opera houses, is the story of a rural doctor 2,500 years ago, who saves the newborn son of the chancellor of the Jin Kingdom, whose family is executed because of political slander. The doctor decides to raise the boy so he can avenge his family. (Source)

Confucius gets mixed review from audiences. Lauded for expressing Confucian concepts but criticized for mangled dialogue, rough special effects and most deadly: boring - lacking dramatic conflict. (Xinhua)

Jacky Cheung

Eric Tsang and Jacky Cheung

Koni Lui

Vincy Chan

Bernice Liu gets ugly for 72 Tenants (9)(Sina)

CRI: HK Showcases Ideas to Restore Bruce Lee’s Residence

CRI: “Impression Dahongpao”, A 3D Movie in Live

The fifth project of director Zhang Yimou’s “Impression” musical series, previewed Sunday.

China pop stars face fine for lip-syncing

Faye Wong and husband Li Yapeng flew to Shanghai to help a friend open her new jewelry shop. Faye denied reports that sher received a fee of $2.5M yuan for appearing. (Xinhua)

Beijing - Faye Wong arriving at actress Luo Haoqiong’s wedding

Faye’s eldest daughter, Dou Jingtong

(HunanTV)

Milan - Leon Lai

Front row guest at fashion show

(Xinhua)

Anita Yuen

Alex Fong and wife, Anita Yuen attend charity walk

(Xinhua)

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 (cri.cn)

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 (cri.cn)

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

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.

(Source)

January 20, 2010

January 20, 2010

Confucius poster for Taiwan (Sina)

Flirting Scholar - Zhou Libo has a bloody nose

(Sina)

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

(Xinhua)

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 (cri.cn) 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.

(Xinhua)

CRI: Twins Reunite for “Hot Summer Days” Video

January 14, 2010

January 14, 2010

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , — dleedlee @ 11:08 am

Fang Ying

Former Shaw actress and art director Fang Ying passed away yesterday at age 63 after battling pancreatic cancer. (Sina)

Anita Yuen (Xinhua)

Director Eric Tsang and actors Anita Yuen and Bosco Wong Chung Chak came together for a press conference in Beijing Wednesday to promote the Shaw Brothers’ comeback comedy extravaganza, “72 Tenants of Prosperity.”

Zhou Xun and Chow Yun-Fat share a hug at the opening night Beijing press conference for Confucius (Sina)

A media preview of Confucius drew mixed reviews. Chow Yun-Fat has done a credible job despite initial sceptical reactions when his casting was announced. Zhou Xun’s role is very brief. Set during the turbulent Spring and Autumn period four big battles scenes are impressive if not lengthy. The first part of the film is more taut and highly dramatic while the second half is said to be relatively a bit boring. (Xinhua)

Faye’s back after five-year hiatus

Screen Daily: Kevin Spacey joins Chinese black comedy Inseparable

Hong Kong actor Daniel Wu and Chinese actress Beibi Gong are already attached to the project

THR: ‘Avatar’ now No. 2 film in Hong Kong

Only ‘Titanic’ remains to beat for new Cameron film

Kenny Bee

Eloise Belle Bee

Congratulations: Kenny Bee became a father for the fourth time yesterday. His girlfriend delivered a baby girl, their second. Kenny, now 56, also has two children by his marriage to ex-wife Teresa Cheung (Xinhua)

Acid arrests

Two men were in custody last night in connection with last month’s acid attack in Causeway Bay.

December 30, 2009

December 30, 2009

Future Cop Andy Lau performs a risky stunt

(Xinhua)

Jacky Cheung keeps cool in Hot Summer Days (Sohu)

Slide show (12)(Sina)

Chow Yun-Fat is in Taishan, Guangdong shooting Let The Bullets Fly (Sohu)

Beijing - Simon Yam, Li Yuchun

Tony Leung Kar-Fai

After less than two weeks, Bodyguards and Assassins has made over $208M at the box office. The cast held a celebration ceremony in Beijing. (Xinhua) (HunanTV)

First poster for House of 72 Tenants released (Sina)

Wang Lee-hom not first choice for role in ‘Little Big Soldier’?

Emme Wong defends accusations thrown at Shawn Yue

Hong Kong actor Shawn Yue was recently accused of being “arrogant” by the Hong Kong media. He was said to have angered his teacher, Alan Tam, who has decided to groom his junior from the same management company, Gregory Wang, instead.

It’s not easy being Jay Chou’s girlfriend

Huang Yi

Aaron Kwok

JJ Lin, Huang Yi and Aaron Kwok promote New Year’s Eve festivities in Shanghai

(Xinhua)

‘Mou girl’ Wei Minzhi has grown up!

Not One Less - Wei Minzhi

Wei Minzhi, who is now 23 and a film director, went to the United States as an exchange student. She studied film and TV production at Brigham Young University - Hawaii and is now fluent in English and even has an unidentified but prominent boyfriend. (HunanTV) Related article in English.

November 30, 2009

November 30, 2009

CRI: Character Posters Released for “True Legend”

THR: Shaw readies ‘72 Tenants’

Shaw Studios returns to film, marking 50 years of production

Michelle Yeoh, Jung Woo-Sung

Michelle Yeoh

Barbie Hsu

Stills from John Woo’s The Swordswoman’s World/Rain of Swords (Sina)

Jacky Cheung will not play Sun Yat Sen in “Bodyguards and Assassins”

Nicholas Tse’s younger sister, Jennifer makes her showbiz debut

Tony Leung and Carina Lau shopping for a villa in Suzhou (Sina)

The Collector: Yonfan

CRI: Leon Dai, Kwai Lun-mei’s Relationship Revealed

Kwai Lun-Mei Taiwan Elle slide show (Sina)

Lin Chi-ling heads to London to shoot 2010 calendar

Andy Lau splurged on S$20million love nest for wife

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