HKMDB Daily News

July 15, 2013

Man of Tai Chi (Hollywood Reporter review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: , , , — dleedlee @ 4:09 pm

Man of Tai Chi

7/12/2013 by Clarence Tsui
Keanu Reeves makes his directorial debut with a multi-lingual China-set fight film starring “Matrix” stuntman turned front man, Tiger Chen.

HONG KONG – The Chinese title of Keanu Reeves’ directorial debut is Tai Chi Xia. It’s a phrase seemingly fraught with contradictions: While the titular martial arts school has been marked for its emphasis on self-defense, slowness and harmony, the third Chinese character refers to fighters active in perpetuating justice through close combat – a label applied in Chinese names for Western superheroes such as Batman (“Bianfu Xia” in Mandarin), Spider-man (“Zhizhu Xia”) or Iron Man (“Gangtie Xia”).

This parallel between Man of Tai Chi and these U.S. comics-turned-film-franchises might be more than just a marketing ploy. Opening in China last week and slated for a release in the U.S. by Radius at the end of 2013, the film adheres to the presently de rigueur interest in tackling the inner schisms of a powerful protagonist struggling with how he is to utilize (and capitalize on) his powers, a psychological conflict heightened by the circumstances the film’s hero has to engage with in 21st-century, cosmopolitan China — a country thriving on speed, with its go-getters defining the country’s moral parameters through their capitalistic drive.

With its toned-down, near-claustrophobic depiction of its leading character’s moral passage through bone-crunching blows, Man of Tai Chi — a project heralded by its major backer, the state-owned China Film Group, as a prime exemplar of a foreign star coming to the country and making an authentic “Chinese” film — actually runs against the upbeat, celebratory ethos which has ruled the roost in Chinese cinemas for the past few months.

Adding to its lack of high-octane blockbuster production values and an established top-billed star — Reeves is more a supporting presence on screen as the villain — its box office traction in China has stalled, and chances for the film to attain mainstream international success are limited. But stuntman-turned-star Tiger Chen’s scintillating execution of Yuen Woo-ping’s action choreography should generate interest among martial arts aficionados around the world hankering for a film filled with po-faced, skull-cracking fights underlined by philosophical musings about the rationale of violence and its discontents.

Those who expect great things from the reunion of this Matrix triumvirate — Reeves befriended both Yuen and Chen for the Wachowskis film series — will not be disappointed by the action on offer; and it’s a very diverse plate too, representing the different “paths” a martial artist could walk down. Ranging from the fluid physical moves which Reeves and Yuen adapted from Tai Chi, to the hair-raising bare-knuckle close encounters the film’s protagonist endures with fighters from around the world — including an unfortunately short sequence from Indonesian actor Iko Uwais of The Raid fame – the fights are ceaseless, relentless and nearly always brutal: imagine a modern-day take on Game of Death, in which mirrored rooms and characterless bunkers replace the Korean pagoda, and one gets close to describing the ambience in which the violence unfolds.

The central question being posed here is what a martial arts expert is fighting for — and how those from a newer Chinese generation should look at what they do, amid the clash and clamor engulfing their earthly existence. It’s this complexity which makes Chen’s character – a version of himself, Chen Linhu, with his given name means “tiger in the woods” – interesting: when not practicing his Tai Chi moves with his aged master (Yu Hai) in a far-flung, rundown temple, Linhu lives in a cramped flat in a Beijing tenement block, braves the Chinese capital’s horrid traffic jams as a delivery man, and tries to improve his English by listening to the radio.

It’s a life he has had no qualms about. He’s shown himself to be more a man of the world, as he admits to his master of his discomfort in holding his energy back with his Tai Chi routines (his school, invented by Reeves and his team, is called Ling Kong, or “emptying your spirit”). He later tells a TV reporter after a martial arts competition that his aspiration is to show the world how Tai Chi “is not just for exercise.”

As Linhu struggles to contain the vigorous beast within himself, the opportunity to get out of his torn-between-two-worlds conundrum arrives in the form of a job offer from self-proclaimed multinational security services operator Donaka Mak (Reeves). Whizzed to Hong Kong by limousine and then private jet, Linhu discovers he is actually being recruited to take part in illegal fights in the city with big financial rewards. Initially rejecting this break, Linhu soon relents to what seems to be a development beyond his control, as he suddenly needs some quick cash to renovate and save his master’s decrepit temple from the State’s urban planners and their bulldozers.

But what Linhu has considered a short-term vocation slowly lets out the dark side of his psyche. Quietly liberated from the no-holds-barred nature of the clandestine contests he participates in at night, his personality by day begins to change, as he talks back to his boss at work, spends his now inflated earnings on (product placement alert!) posh cars and electric appliances for his family, and — perhaps most devastatingly — begins “letting the beast out” (as Donaka urges him to do) in televised public martial arts showcases.

This is perhaps what Reeves, through his on-screen alter-ego Donaka, means when he describes what he’s offering with Man of Tai Chi: a chronicle of how “a person evolves and changes” when placed in drastic life scenarios. Indeed, for all the breathtaking acrobatics shown in the fighting sequences, the film is actually more perceptive when examining, up close, Linhu’s dilemmas in choosing between sticking to his principles and letting his instincts run amok. While Bruce Wayne, Peter Parker and Tony Stark might have, at one point or another, stared at their superhero suits and reflected on the burden they embodied, Linhu’s struggle is the other way round: His decision to break from his meek past is symbolized by his final glance at the gaudy windbreaker he has to wear as a uniform for his deliveryman job.

Rather than being simplistic, Reeves could be charged for being too ambitious in his attempt to add too many layers to his long-gestated directorial debut. Taking a cue out of the paranoia-infused universe of The Matrix, the first-time director attempts to provide a Big Brother/The Truman Show sheen to Linhu’s story by having Donaka’s team produce a running 24-hour broadcast of his new charge’s life as a streaming online show; this critique of cyberspace is undercooked and only exposes how much Reeves and his team are left wanting in their grasp of arguments against Internet technology, mediated culture and simulacra.

And needing to portray the law as eventually gaining an upper hand over the baddies — this is a state-sanctioned mainland Chinese production, after all — the narrative is supplemented by a group of Hong Kong detectives (led by a sergeant played by Karen Mok) trying to close down Donaka’s fight-club operations. Both threads turn out to be superfluous to the proceedings and only serve to distract rather than enhance the main narrative.

The need to appease censors with constructive, politically correct denouements notwithstanding, Reeves has delivered a film that rejects Orientalist cliches; in fact, Man of Tai Chi — penned by Irish screenwriter Michael Cooney — could even be read as a mockery of occidental fascination with Chinese kung fu, with Donaka being the embodiment of the sinister Western svengalis trying to cash in on exotic entertainment featuring a culturally different protagonist. Reeves himself has inoculated himself from this criticism by refusing to give an excessively mystical spin to Tai Chi.

Meanwhile, the setting of Linhu’s every-man, everyday routines as a working-class individual in an ordinary modern metropolis is also crucial: rather than taking place in a caricatured land of kung fu warriors dressed in dragon-emblazoned attire — something Donaka would make Linhu wear in his fights — Man of Tai Chi, at the end of the day, offers a look at the universal struggle faced by a David in the land of Goliaths.

The film is clearly no simple vanity project for Reeves. While weighed down by digressions and contraptions, Man of Tai Chi is an adequate and ambitious effort from a first-time director, who could have enhanced his on-screen philosophical arguments with a bit more depth and done with a touch less of the admittedly riveting man-to-man melee.

Production: China Film Group, Wanda Media, Village Roadshow Pictures Asia, Universal Pictures, Company Films
Cast: Tiger Chen, Keanu Reeves, Karen Mok, Yu Hai, Simon Yam, Ye Qing
Director: Keanu Reeves
Action director: Yuen Woo-ping
Screenwriter: Michael Cooney
Producers: Lemore Syvan, Daxing Zhang
Executive Producers: Han Sanping, Zhao Fang, Ellen Eliasoph
Director of photography: Elliot Davis
Production designer: Yohei Taneda
Music: Chan Kwong-wing
Costume designer: Joseph Porro
Art directors: Fu Yingzhang, Miyuki Kitagawa
Editor: Derek Hui
In English, Mandarin and Cantonese
Running time 105 minutes
THR

July 9, 2013

Man of Tai Chi (Variety review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: , , — dleedlee @ 1:07 pm

Man of Tai Chi

Maggie Lee

There’s little in the way of drama, character depth or mise-en-scene to distract from Tiger Chen’s technically dazzling display of human combat in Keanu Reeves’ helming debut, “Man of Tai Chi.” As a vehicle for Hollywood action choreographer Chen to show off his prowess as a gullible tai-chi student lured into underground fight clubs, this China-U.S. co-production is the real deal for hardcore chopsocky fans, and will slot easily into genre ancillary. But Reeves’ workmanlike direction doesn’t boast enough style or originality for this actioner to significantly cross over to the mainstream.

With no confirmed date for a Stateside bow, the Beijing/Hong Kong-set pic premiered in China with only a 12.7% screen occupancy, facing stiff competition from the likes of the phenomenally successful teen drama “Tiny Times” and Johnnie To’s “Blind Detective.” Opening day B.O. produced a lame $872,000, half of what To’s action-comedy earned when it was released a day earlier.

The original idea for this project reportedly sprang from Reeves’ desire to pay tribute to his friend and trainer, Chen (aka Chen Hu). The Sichuan-born martial-arts champion is a protege of esteemed action director Yuen Woo-ping, and was largely responsible for the action choreography on “The Matrix” series, “Kill Bill” and “Charlie’s Angels,” among others. With Yuen taking the reins in “Man of Tai Chi,” Chen provides a thorough overview of martial-arts schools and combat techniques, but as an actor, he doesn’t possess Jet Li or Donnie Yen’s charisma. Similarly, the crew — consisting of American, Hong Kong and mainland Chinese collaborators — does professional work, but delivers neither the spectacle expected of a Hollywood blockbuster nor the quirky charm and kinetic energy of classic Hong Kong actioners.

The theme and storyline are utterly generic — the corruption of a noble spirit by his thirst for winning. It begins with a scene of brutal man-to-man combat in a cell, where fighter Chi-tak (Jeremy Marinas) thrashes his opponent; when he refuses to “finish him off,” as ordered by an unseen game master, he is stabbed by a man (Reeves) in a mask. Led by Hong Kong police superintendent Suen Jing-si (Karen Mok), a SWAT team raids the premises but finds nothing. Jing-si appeals to her chief (Simon Yam) to help locate Chi-tak, who’s actually her mole, but the case is unceremoniously closed.

The masked man turns out to be Donaka Mark, a financial high roller from the U.S. who runs a covert fight club in Hong Kong. In search of a replacement for Chi-tak, he chances upon the TV broadcast of a Chinese national martial-arts championship. Chen Linhu (Chen), sole disciple of the Lingkong School of Tai Chi, impresses him not only with his innovative moves, but also his innocence. Although he holds a stressful, low-paid job as a courier in Beijing, Linhu declines the offer to compete in Donaka’s underground matches, deeming it dishonorable. However, when the temple guarded by his master (Yu Hai) faces demolition unless costly renovations are made, Donaka’s offer of quick cash suddenly becomes easy bait.

To the credit of Reeves and scribe Michael G. Cooney, the film respectfully avoids exoticism or oriental mysticism in its portrayal of its martial-arts milieu, only slipping in small, tolerable dose of Taoist and Qigong philosophy. The fighting never feels repetitive as it alternates between proper Chinese kung fu and a fusion of no-holds-barred, MMA-inflected styles. With its rapid-fire, virtually nonstop mortal combat, the film recalls Gareth Evans’ Indonesia-set “The Raid: Redemption,” although “Man’s” less callous, more humanist approach toward violence is what will prevent it from achieving the same sort of cult success. (“The Raid” star Iko Uwais even makes a guest appearance here as Linhua’s opponent, but his role is squandered, as what should be the crowning showdown is cut short for a less exciting settling of the score with Donaka.)

Chen, who possesses extraordinary strength and agility, convincingly expresses his character’s loss of inner balance and growing bloodlust through body language, moving from the graceful formalism of tai chi to ugly, predatory moves as his opponents become more intimidating. The drawback is that lenser Elliot Davis’ stark framing and unswerving focus on the action tends to give short shrift to the identities and personalities of the other fighters.

Considering how basic the plot is, Derek Hui’s brisk editing keeps the story moving along smoothly enough, but the characters’ interactions are too superficial to engage. When he’s not kicking ass, Chen is wooden around the other thesps, and especially with the vacant Ye Qing as Linhu’s love interest. Only Yu’s sage countenance and dignified poise transcend the elementary martial-arts philosophy espoused here; a revered martial artist who had a memorable role in the seminal “Shaolin Temple” series that propelled Jet Li to stardom, he contributes some of the film’s most magnificent tai chi demonstrations.

As the demonic figure who brings out the dark side of Linhu, Reeves is stiff and expressionless, never really registering as a catalyst for the good-vs.-evil conflict that should have formed the film’s dramatic backbone. As the cop who uncovers Donaka’s nefarious dealings, Mok is given little to work with, but she still shows some spunk and agility when one least expects it.

Famed Nipponese production designer Yohei Taneda gives some of the sets a surreal look reminiscent of “The Matrix’s” cyberworld; others, such as the fighting arenas, remain minimalist and functional. Except for some panoramic shots of Hong Kong’s skylines at night, the city emerges with scant distinct color; by contrast, the Beijing locations feel more authentic, avoiding touristy sights in favor of congested highways and lived-in neighborhoods. The concussive score, mixing techno with Canto-rap and sometimes just blasts of noise, is in keeping with the bombast typical of so many Hong Kong composers. Other tech credits are pro.

Reviewed at Sanlitun Megabox, Beijing, July 5, 2013. Running time: 104 MIN. Original title: “Taiji xia”

Production
(China-U.S.) A China Film Group/Wanda Media (in China)/Village Roadshow Pictures Asia (in Australia)/Radius-TWC (in U.S.) release of a China Film Group, Wanda Media Village Roadshow Pictures Asia, Universal, Company Films presentation of a China Film Group, Wanda Media, Universal production. Produced by Lemore Syvan, Zhang Daxing. Executive producers, Han Sanping, Zhao Fang, Ellen Eliasoph.

Crew
Directed by Keanu Reeves. Screenplay, Michael G. Cooney. Camera (color, widescreen, HD), Elliot Davis; editor, Derek Hui; music, Chan Kwong-wing; production designer, Yohei Taneda; art directors, Fu Yingzhang, Miyuki Kitagawa; costume designer, Joseph Porro; sound (Dolby Digital); action choreographer, Yuen Woo-ping; stunt coordinator, Chan Siu-wah; line producers, Johnny Lee, Sharon Miller; assistant director, Fei Wong; second unit director, Lee Peipei; second unit camera, Dai Runguang; casting, PoPing Auyeung.

With
Keanu Reeves, Tiger Chen, Karen Mok, Yu Hai, Ye Qing, Simon Yam, Sam Lee, Iko Uwais, Jeremy Marinas. (English, Mandarin, Cantonese dialogue)
Variety

June 19, 2012

June 19, 2012 [HKMDB Daily News]

FBA: Painted Skin: The Resurrection review

Slick fantasy vehicle for three Mainland stars is in a different league to the 2008 film.

THR: Painted Skin: The Resurrection review

Bottom line: Spectacular if blemished Chinese fantasy aiming for high lyricism should pull in female viewers and fans of the 2008 original.

FBA: My Elder Brother in Taiwan review

Slim but likeable second feature by the director of Pinoy Sunday.

FBA: Shanghai Calling review

Light, cross-cultural rom-com has few of the usual cliches and awkwardnesses.

ScreenDaily: Double Trouble review

Double Trouble seems less about honestly dissimilar and abrasive characters, and more about contrived friction.

TimeOutHK: First Time review

Once a cult favourite known for his nihilistic vision, Soi Cheang has since mellowed into one of our cinema’s leading helmers. He talks to Edmund Lee about his latest outing, Motorway.

THR: Feng Xiaogang Unveils Epic ‘Remembering 1942′ at the Shanghai Film Festival

FBA: Feng portrays drama of 1942

The film’s story chronicles the human drama as a devastating famine struck Henan Province in 1942, a time when China was already at war with and partially occupied by Japan.

CF: Chow Yun-fat Brings his “Last Tycoon” to Shanghai Film Fest

CF: Tony Leung Unveils Release Date of “The Silent War” at SIFF

A news conference to promote the August 10 release of Tony Leung’s newest spy movie, “The Silent War” was held on June 17 during the 15th Shanghai Film Festival,

CF: First Trailer out for “The Silent War”

CF:Stars Introduce Suspense Film “The Four” at SIFF

CF:”The Four” Brings You a New Trailer

A different two minute trailer

CF: Cecilia Cheung and Jang Dong-gun Promote “Dangerous Liaisons” at SIFF

CF: Jang Dong-gun’s Character Trailer of “Dangerous Liaisons”

Tang Wei and Wu Xiubo (”The Four”) were introduced to the press yesterday in a Shanghai press conference. They will co-star in Xue Xiaolu’s (”Ocean Paradise”) new romantic comedy, “Finding Mr. Right” (Chinese title, “Beautiful Destiny”).

Director Xue Xiaolu

Tang Wei

Tang Wei, Wu Xiubo

Huang Yi’s first directorial effort, a micro film called “Exchange”, will screen at the SIFF on June 21. She plays a country girl and a surprise guest star is promised.

Huang Yi

Keanu Reeves’ “Man of Tai Chi” has officially begun filming yesterday. Shooting started in Wan Chai last night. Despite blocking off the road, it attracted a large number of passersby and onlookers.

Karen Mok (Sina)2

Trailer for “Holding Love” (aka “Hold on to Love”) starring Yang Mi real-life BF Hawick Lau and Chrissie Chau.

Shanghai trailer release conference

Hawick Lau, Yang Mi

Chrissie Chau

(Sina)

The cast of “The Bounty” promote the film while Chapman To recuperates in the US

Fiona Sit

Director Fung Chi-Keung, Fiona Sit, Stephanie Cheng, Charmaine Fong

CF: Huayi · ELLE’s Starry Night at SIFF

Li Bingbing, director Feng Xiaofang and his wife Xu Fan, cast members of Jackie Chan’s “CZ12″ and 3D “Sex and Zen” star Lan Yan were spotted at the red carpet ceremony.

MSN: Gigi Leung takes up the director’s seat for the first time

MSN: Nicholas Tse and Cecilia Cheung are back together

MSN: Tony Leung is unaffected by rumors about Carina Lau

MSN: Andy Lau celebrates first Father’s Day

MSN: Andy Lau names his daughter

SGYahoo: Andy Lau and wife to move to Malaysia

Edison Chen makes a guest appearance in American rapper Sammy Adam’s MV for the song “Only One”.

SGYahoo: Get a “Kitty-cure” at world’s first Hello Kitty Beauty Spa

February 29, 2012

February 29, 2012 [HKMDB Daily News]

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , — dleedlee @ 10:27 am

CRI: Keanu Reeves’ Tai Chi Movie Starts Shooting(CF)

Keanu Reeves

Tiger Chen, Keanu Reeves

Yuen Woo-ping (Sina)

CF: Flower of China on Oscar Carpet–Li Bingbing

Before her dazzling appearance at the event, Bingbing accepted an exclusive interview with CCTV News.

Latest posters for Raymond Yip’s “Blood Stained Shoes”

Kara Hui

Monica Mok (Mo Xiaoqi)

Ruby Lin

Mabel Ye Xiqi (Anna Kay)

(Sina)

Cartoon posters for Herman Yau’s “Love Lifting” starring Chapman To and Elanne Kong. Release is set for Mar. 8, International Women’s Day.

(Sina)

SGYahoo: Lynn Hung and Aaron Kwok argue

MSN: Kelly Chen is pregnant with underweight foetus

MSN: Gaile Lok to quit modelling

MSN: A-Mei said to be holidaying with new beau

December 21, 2011

December 21, 2011 [HKMDB Daily News]

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — dleedlee @ 9:32 pm

CRI: Karen Mok Is Keanu Reeves’ Tai Chi Girl(FBA)

The movie is expected to start shooting in February in Beijing.

CRI: Tony Leung Plays Blind ‘Windseeker’

Tony Leung plays a blind man who uses his unusually good hearing to complete a mission. The film is slated for release in the summer of 2012

CRI: Movie Ticket Price May be Too High: Survey

“Many excellent home-grown Chinese movies are coming out these days. But since the ticket prices are too high, no one will pay 60 yuan for a small-budget film. So those films are often box-office disasters. It’s a lose-lose situation for everyone.”

CF: “Dear Enemy” Premieres in Beijing

Most Spring Festival movies tend to be sentimental, but “Dear Enemy” takes the route of fashion and romance, giving it a lot of entertainment punch for the Chinese New Year holiday.

Xu Jinglei: From art house to box office

Despite centering on workplace romance like Go Lala Go!, Xu says Dear Enemy is her first entertainment-oriented directorial work tinged with suspense and aiming to excite audiences at every twist and turn.

CF: New Posters out for “The Great Magician”

MSN: Jordan Chan harassed by phone pranksters

When fans learnt that the actor received threatening text and calls from unknown pranksters, they took it upon themselves to investigate and inform the police

MSN: Newly pregnant Miriam Yeung splurges on million-dollar bungalow

MSN: Is Anita Yuen pregnant?

MSN: Lisa S plans to have babies “in the next 2 years”

Lisa Selesner is no trophy wife. Although married to Hong Kong actor Daniel Wu for more than a year, she is not resting on her husband’s laurels.

MSN: Karen Mok’s exes absent at wedding reception

MSN: Nicholas Tse makes appearance at Jay Chou’s concert

Fans initially thought they had seen the wrong person, only to go wild when Jay appeared with a keyboard, sharing a duet with Nicholas.

MSN: Hannah Quinlivan’s father spotted at Jay Chou’s concert

December 15, 2011

December 15, 2011 [HKMDB Daily News]

FBA: Universal boards Reeves’ Man of Tai Chi

The contemporary, Beijing-set story is the “spiritual journey of a young martial artist (Tiger Chen), whose fighting skills brings him to a realm opportunities and painful choices.”

CRI: Zhang Yimou’s Latest Epic Lauds Humanity in Wartime

A review of Beijing-based Jinghua Times described the film as “having both strong sound and visual effects as well as humanistic power,” calling it “very Oscarish.”

However, renowned critic Zhu Dake didn’t approve filmmakers to take advantage of a serious historical event to fulfil box office ambitions.

CF: Film Adds Depth to Wuxia

Although “Flying Swords of Dragon Gate” is based on the iconic “New Dragon Gate Inn”, Tsui wanted to ensure originality in the new story while presenting the same characteristic morality and code of honor of those chivalrous men and women from the world of jianghu.

Although Monday’s premiere has drawn generous approval, the critics are not unanimous. Some have pointed out flaws in the movie’s 3D effects. In answer to this, Tsui Hark said the new movie is merely a knock on the door of innovation, a door that will lead China to new arenas in the film industry.

CF: Chen Kaige Surprises His Wife on set of his New Movie

Based on the popular online novel, “Please Forgive Me,” his new movie “Search” revolves around the problems caused by searching for human flesh on the Internet. It will finish its shooting schedule within three months in Ningbo and is slated for release in 2012.


CF: ”The Allure of Tears” Premieres in Hangzhou

Zhou Dongyu will likely skip most promotional activities due to year end college academic requirements. She had previously missed classes for her other recent film events already. (Sina-gallery)2

FBA: China seeks BO controls, limit on cinema ads

The draft contains 13 articles on forbidden content in movies made in China. [13 Noes]

CF: First Promotional Trailer of “Romancing in Thin Air” out

Horror film “Harpoon”’s release has been delayed even though post-production is completed and it has finally received the necessary state approvals. A Spring Festival release is now expected. The setting for the film is a desert island survival tale and has drawn much attention and expectations. (Sina)

“Harpoon”

Mo Xiaoqi, Hu Bing (Sina)

Return of the zombie movie? In “Crescent Moon Phantom”(lit.), a town is plagued by murders, rumors of zombie killings spread like wildfire. A female detective does not believe in zombies and tries to crack the mystery. Directed by Johnny Chen (Chen Long) and features young Mainland actors.

(Sina)2

All of Ivy Chen’s scenes have been reportedly cut from Tsai Yueh-Hsun’s “Black & White, Episode 1: The Dawn of Assault”. In addition, Angelababy’s scenes have been resurrected. Her role as heroine was downgraded to supporting actress and practically invisible.. In a dramatic turnaround, Angelababy was revived but that meant Ivy Chen’s scenes had to go due to excessive length. Director Tsai said that it was not personal and had nothing to do with her terminating an agency contract with him. Other actors’ scenes, such as Paul Chun, Matt Wu and Ken Lin, were also trimmed to reduce the running time.

Ivy Chen, scenes deleted

A few days ago while doing publicity for Doze Niu’s “Love”, Chen sighed and said, “this is life, the director said the film is too long.” When she first heard the news, she broke down in tears but then distracted herself by throwing herself into her work on “Love” and accepted the reality. However, the cuts left a mark on Chen as she became worried about her scenes in “Love” being cut out and she often asked Doze Niu to see the editing.

Angelababy, scenes restored

Director Tsai Yueh-Hsun, the Decider

(Sina)2

More on Black & White:

In movie news, the film Black and White, scheduled for release next month, is having woman trouble. The flick, based on the hugely successful police drama of the same name that hit TV screens in 2005, is clearly intended as the big release for the Lunar New Year season, and the production company has been pulling out all the stops in marketing the film.

Unfortunately for the film’s producers, two of its leading female stars are being uncooperative. Taiwanese actress Ivy Chen was incensed to discover that all the scenes in which she appeared had been left on the cutting-room floor, though she was given an acting credit. In response, she refused to participate in any of the marketing activities.

Meanwhile, Chinese actress Angelababy made exorbitant demands as a condition of coming to Taiwan to promote the film, including five-star accommodation and expensive spa treatments, but ultimately attended only a single press conference. TaipeiTimes: Pop Stop

Stills from trailer for Jingle Ma’s “Speed Angels”, opening Jan. 5

Cecilia Cheung, Rene Liu

Han Jae-suk, Tang Wei

Rene Liu and Cecilia Cheung come to blows

(Sina)23

Racing edition of trailer

Lam Chi-Chung (as poet Li Bai), Wallace Huo

Lam Chi-Chung directs and acts in the upcoming time-travelling comedy “Super Reinforcement” (lit.) which opens January 13. Dylan Kuo, Lam Suet, Jing Tian and Cheung Tat-Ming co-star.(Sina)

Louis Koo and Sun Honglei will star in Johnnie To-Wai Ka-Fai “Drug War”. Filming will mainly take place in Tianjin. This is Sun’s first time working with Johnnie To. Specific roles have not been revealed but netizens polled said that expected Sun Honglei to play a villain.

Louis Koo, Sun Honglei

Sun Honglei

Sun Honglei (Lurk, TV series)  (Sina), 2

A1: Karen Mok is in love with married life

He has as appeared in a supporting role in a slew of TV dramas, with the most famous being the Lurk (Qian Fu) in 2008 where he played a secret service official.

Once billed as the largest amusement park in Asia, the unfinished “Wonderland” park now stands derelict, a worrying sign of China’s property market.

November 15, 2011

November 15, 2011 [HKMDB Daily News]

CRI: Wen Zhang to Star in 3D Film ‘On the Road’

Actor Wen Zhang will star in an urban romantic film that is said to be the first of its genre to be shot in 3-D.

Wen Zhang (Sina)

A South Korean director will be in charge of this Sino-Korean co-production. A star-studded cast, including Huang Shengyi from China and Ji Jin-hee and Cha Su-yeon from South Korea, will join Wen in the film.

CF: Behind-the-scenes Clip of “Legendary Amazons” Released

CF: Character Photos of the Film “I Do” Released

The film is slated for release on February 14, in time for the Valentine’s Day slot.

Li Bingbing (Sina-gallery)

CF: Leon Lai Ming in “White Vengeance”

Director Daniel Lee’s latest historical epic movie “White Vengeance” released a batch of still photos featuring Leon Lai Ming in the run up of its release in November 29.

CF: Theme Song out for “A Big Deal”

Theme song of the fantasy comedy “A Big Deal” was released today. The music video “Oh My Angel,” performed by Qiao Renliang, featured all lead characters of the movie, including Lan Ching Lung, Chapman To and the singer himself.

CF: ”Love is Not Blind” Tops Box Offices in First Week Screening

The film’s high earnings during its first-week run put director Teng Huatao on the shortlist of the “100 million club,” following in the footsteps of small- and medium-size productions such as “Mysterious Island,” “Buddha Mountain,” “Eternal Moment” and “My Own Swordsman.”

CF: Mythological Films and TV Dramas Lack Sustenance

“Painted Skin”, “The Sorceror and the White Snake”, “A Chinese Ghost Story” cited.

During a seminar entitled “Trends of Chinese Mythology Study in contemporary times”, held at the Central China Normal University on November 12, a number of research scholars in the field of Chinese mythology pointed out that the current trend of domestically produced mythical movies and TV dramas lack “nutrition”, suggesting that screenwriters take professional courses on Chinese Mythology.

Concept poster for Johnnie To’s “Romance in Thin Air” scheduled for a Valentine’s Day release.

Louis Koo, Sammi Cheng

(Sina-gallery)

Stills from Barbara Wong’s “Allure of Tears” theme song MV, opening Dec. 22

Aarif Lee, Zhou Dongyu

Zhou Dongyu

Joe Chen (Chen Chiao-en)

Shawn Dou Xiao, Joe Chen

Shawn Dou Xiao, Joe Chen

Joe Chen

Gigi Leung, Richie Jen (Sina)

Keanu Reeves was spotting in a Beijing hotel talking to actress Huang Shengyi for about an hour. The speculation is that he is interviewing her for the lead role in his upcoming film “Man of Tai Chi”. Earlier in September, Keanu was seen attending the screening of her film “The Sorceror and the White Snake”.

(Sina)

Cecilia Cheung

(Sina)

A1: Cecilia Cheung’s fierce comeback

Her new film, Legendary Amazons - a period movie produced by Jackie Chan under his production company, Jackie & JJ Productions, and directed by Frankie Chan - is being heralded as her comeback movie….Legendary has the makings of a blockbuster.

MSN: Barbie Hsu takes over Dee Hsu’s hosting gig

MSN: Aaron Kwok on his favourite things in life, love and career

MSN: Samuel Hui is still mourning over the loss of his brother Ricky

While the entire Hui family was devastated, younger brother Samuel was the one who was the most affected by his brother’s death. Ricky and Samuel had been through thick and thin in the 70s and 80s, on their roads to fame.

Cammi Tse used Edison for publicity

October 12, 2011

October 12, 2011 [HKMDB Daily News]

THR: Inseparable review [and barely a word about anyone except Kevin Spacey]

A black comedy with conflicting urges toward satire on one hand and fantasy on the other.

CF: Posters of “What’s under the Bed” Released

CF: Official Website of “Love is not Blind” Launched

The film is set to be screened nationwide on November 8, hitting cinemas just in time for Single’s Day, which falls every year on November 11.

CF: Ariel Lin is “Love Sick”

The film is about a girl who decides not to fall in love again due to her past troubles.

CF: “Legendary Amazons” to Set Release Date

Reportedly, actress Cecilia Cheung is said to be very cooperative this time round, and is expected to make her appearance at the premier ceremony of the film. :D

MSN: Zhou Xun and Zhang Ziyi vie for role in Keanu Reeves’ movie

Previously [12.13.2010], Tiger Chen w/Andrew Zimmern  [4.4.2011]

Michelle Yeoh at today’s press conference in Busan for Luc Besson’s “The Lady”

Michelle Yeoh, Luc Besson (Sina-gallery)2

Lin Chi-Ling experiences many “firsts” in “Love on Credit”: first one-night stand, first “understanding” of sex, first time as mistress, etc.

Francis Ng in A Nian’s “Love Never Dies” (aka Blocked/Traffic Jam). This is the first time he has dubbed his own voice in Mandarin. Opens Oct. 14.

Francis Ng

A few days ago, Liu Yifei was announced as joining the cast of “Bronze Sparrow Terrace” opposite of Chow Yun-Fat. She also revealed that she recently turned down a role in Resident Evil.

Milla Jovovich revealed in a Tweet that Li Bingbing has joined the cast in Resident Evil 5. (Thanks to SpyMonkey)

(Sina)2(cri)

Li Bingbing Cast as Ada Wong in Resident Evil: Retribution

Mystery-thriller Lost in Panic Cruise, the sequel to Lost in Panic Room, opens Oct.27

Wu Chun celebrates his 32nd birthday yesterday with cast members, including Ekin Cheng, on the set of Ronny Yu’s “Saving General Yang”.

Wu Chun

(Sina-slideshow)

Spend Thanksgiving Day with Ekin Cheng - Atlantic City concert poster

Jessica C. leaving police station (Sina-slideshow)

Jessica C. at the airport (Sina)

Jessica C. modelling lingerie earlier this month

(Sina)

Feng Xiaogang, Yao Ming and Andy Lau in Ningbo for an awards event last night

(Sina-slideshow)

December 13, 2010

December 13, 2010

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , , , — dleedlee @ 5:16 pm

CRI: Keanu Reeves Invests in Chinese Action Film

Previously [10.21.2009][10.14.2009]

FBA: Seediq Bale sets Sep 2011 campaign

FBA: Beijing launches major new film event

Beijing International Film Festival to debut in April 2011

CRI: ‘If You Are the One 2′ Gets Poetic Ending

Huayi Brothers, the film’s production company, released the movie’s closing song “Zui Hao Bu Xiang Jian” (”Best Not to Meet”), saying its lyrics were taken from Tsangyang Gyatso’s poem “Shi Jie Shi” (”Ten Nots Poem”).

The work is split into two obvious parts, the styles and plots of which are in complete contrast, as if coming from two different writers. Later as I found out, they actually did.

Shortly after the film’s premiere last week, scriptwriter Gao Xuan complained on her weibo (local version of twitter) that despite the fact that she, Chen and another writer had worked on the script for the first half of the film, she was only credited for “early-stage script composition” instead of “scriptwriter.”

Sha Yi, Yao Chen, Yan Ni

Cast members Xiao Jian, Ni Hongjie

Yao Chen sports new shorter hair at press conference for My Own Swordsman opening January 26.

(Sina)(Xinhua)

Francis Ng attending a charity activity for autistic children organized by the One Foundation.

Francis donated a private collection of calligraphy and paintings. (Sina)

Maggie Cheung at the closing ceremony of the Marrakech International Film Festival (Xinhua)

Faye Wong will hold 3 concerts in Hong Kong on March 4 -6. Half of the songs will be in Cantonese. (Sina)

The 50-year-old stuntman-turned-director also denied rumours that his school is a scam to take money from those who hope to break into the industry.

HK singer Gigi Leung dating US consulate spokesman?

October 22, 2009

October 22, 2009

Stills from Treasure Hunter

Lin Chi-Ling, Jay Chou

Chen Daoming, Eric Tsang

(Sina.com)

Nic Tse, Fan Bingbing, Wu Jing, Andy Lau

Photo gallery (Sina.com)

CRI: Jackie Chan to Show Shaolin Kung-Fu

Jackie Chan and Andy Lau were in the Shaolin Temple on Thursday to kick off the filming of “New Shaolin Temple”.

Screen Daily: Chan teams with monks on $30m action epic Shaolin

Unlike the 1982 film which is set in Tang Dynasty, Shaolinis set in the early 20th century when China was at war. Nicholas Tse will play a wealthy young man who finds refuge in the temple after a tragic incident in his family. He meets his kung fu master, played by Jackie Chan, in the temple as well as future enemies.

THR: Chan, Lau to star in ‘Shaolin’ remake

Variety: Ninja Assassin review

Seemingly made to capitalize on a dubious CG innovation — namely, the slicing of bodies in half by whizzing five-pointed stars — “Ninja Assassin” has little else to recommend it, not even laughs.

The story of a poor, terminally ill factory worker in mainland China develops in unexpected ways inWeaving Girl, a touching, small-scale drama featuring a strong performance from the actress Yu Nan.

CRI: Donnie Yen with ‘14 Blades’ (trailer)

(ifeng.com)

Prince of Tears, Taiwan slide show

Screen Daily: Matrix stuntman to head cast of China Film’s Kung Fu Man (previously, Kung Fu Hero with Keanu Reeves)

Scheduled to start shooting on Oct 28, Kung Fu Man will tell a contemporary story about a martial arts practitioner, who accidentally rescues a Caucasian boy from a foreign kidnapping group, and changes the boy’s world perspective and values. Branch and Chyna McCoy (G.I. Joe) will play the villains.

Michelle Yeoh wants to help develop new talents for entertainment industry

“If our market is strong enough, there might come a day where foreigners will want to shoot more movies over here. Most the movies done now are all about their stories. We have a lot of our own stories. Being in Southeast Asia, in Singapore or Malaysia, we have a lot of our own stories and we can film these movies well.”

“There was a scene where (Tse) was beaten up by Hu Jun for protecting Sun Yat-San and he requested for a real fighting scene,” he said. “In the end, I got his close friend (a martial arts instructor) to punch him. The friend kept punching his face for more than 10 times till his face was swollen and I decided that was enough.”

Peter refuted speculations about Donnie and Leon’s disharmony when both actors avoided each other during the promotional events for Bodyguards and Assassins. “There is no such problem at all! Do not believe those reports! On the contrary, those with problems are not being reported!”

Exhibit chronicles the contributions of Chinese Americans in Hollywood since 1916

Comedy Western to be directed by Jiang Wen

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress