HKMDB Daily News

May 19, 2013

American Dreams in China (Variety review)

American Dreams in China

5/18/2013
Maggie Lee

An aspirational drama about how three deadbeat college chums built a business empire by teaching English, Peter Chan Ho-sun’s “American Dreams in China” is attractively packaged and moderately enjoyable, but nonetheless comes across as ersatz and indulgently retro. On one level, this wry look at entrepreneurial drive and the toll it takes on friendship can be viewed as the Chinese version of “The Social Network.” However, notwithstanding some insight into China’s love-hate sentiments toward the U.S., Peter Chan Ho-sun’s account of the country’s three-decade rags-to-riches history is so obviously drawn from his own coming-of-age in ’80s Hong Kong that the film lacks a contempo pulse.

With new president Xi Jinping’s political slogan “Chinese Dream” becoming a global media catchphrase, some China watchers in the West may pay attention to how the film’s commercial dreams translate Stateside. Local B.O. has been strong so far, with opening-day returns totaling $3 million.

Born in Hong Kong and educated in Thailand and the U.S., Chan captured the zeitgeist of Hong Kong at the cusp of its handover in 1997′s “Comrades, Almost a Love Story,” and he again juxtaposes his characters’ rising fortunes with landmark historical events here. Yet his perspective on China remains that of an outsider, observing without much genuine personal experience or affection.

It begins in 1985, during China’s national study-abroad craze, a time when undergraduates are infatuated with America and believe it’s their only hope of a good future. Three close buddies at Beijing’s prestigious Yanjing U. — Cheng Dongqing (Huang Xiaoming), Wang Yang (Tong Dawei) and Meng Xiaojun (Deng Chao) — have comical yet fateful interviews with U.S. immigration officials. Naive country boy Cheng’s visa applications are repeatedly rejected; cinephile/ladykiller Wang foregoes his application to stay home with his American g.f., Lucy (Claire Quirk); and golden boy Meng coasts through his interview and takes off for New York, hoping to land on the cover of Time magazine.

Cheng sleepwalks through a college post teaching English, while his high-flying g.f., Su Mei (supermodel Du Juan, exquisitely unapproachable), gets the coveted visa. When he’s fired for moonlighting as a private tutor, Cheng starts coaching students for their SAT and GRE exams. Eventually he reunites and teams up with Wang and Meng, and their out-of-the-box yet accessible English-teaching curriculum becomes a lucrative national franchise called New Dream. Yet success also breeds dissent, and their partnership is endangered when Meng insists on getting their company publicly listed, against Cheng’s wishes.

“American Dreams in China” marks Chan’s return to contempo character drama following a string of historical blockbusters he either directed (“The Warlords,” “Dragon”) or produced (“Bodyguards and Assassins,” “The Guillotines”). In a manner reminiscent of his cheesy, breezy 1993 dramedy “Tom, Dick and Hairy,” an undue proportion of “Dreams” is set on campus, where the characters bond over their shared zeal for learning English (Cheng recites from not one but several editions of English dictionaries), a zeal fueled by everyone’s urgent belief that English opens doors to untold opportunities in an age of economic reform.

While mainland scribes Zhou Zhiyong and Zhang Ji provide cheeky, period-specific colloquial dialogue, the weak chemistry and considerable age difference among the leads are all too apparent; their relationships exude neither convincing camaraderie nor the giddy excitement of youth. Even the romantic interludes are flimsily drawn, and there’s a missed opportunity in the case of Wang and Lucy’s affair, as the film fails to explore East-West cultural exchange in a more intimate context.

The film’s second half gets racier with an eye-opening, almost fairy-tale-like take on how ad-hoc ideas in China can spin off into national enterprises, if catering to the right market. Intentionally or not, the subject has a real-life model in education mogul Li Yang, whose unconventional methods of mixing English lessons with self-help philosophy and strident nationalism were captured in Sixth Generation helmer Zhang Yuan’s 2003 docu “Crazy English.” Even the way Cheng, Wang and Meng exploit their individual histories in the classroom have roots in Li’s own larger-than-life personality and teaching strategies.

Chan could have attempted a more flamboyant and satirical approach; instead, each of his characters has an earnest personal vision, making their growing conflict more dramatically engaging as the story progresses. This is in keeping with the paradigm shift observed here: from striving to master English in order to find success overseas, to seeing the lingua franca as a means to level the global economic playing field.

As in “The Social Network,” legal proceedings frame the drama, as New Dream is sued by U.S. educational authorities for helping Chinese students cheat on entry exams. It’s here that Chan succumbs to crowd pleasing tactics, devising a jingoistic climax for the protags to score a victory against their American plaintiffs, who are presented as stereotypically arrogant, self-interested and prejudiced.

As the nebbishy loser crowned “Godfather of Foreign Study,” despite having never gone abroad, Chinese heartthrob Huang (“The Guillotines,” “The Last Tycoon”) gives a likable if superficial performance as the story’s most human character, falling short on gravitas even as his Cheng gains in moral stature and confidence. Tong (“The Flowers of War”) offers the most subdued presence, but also the most solid, and Deng (“Assembly”) is adequate in an often unflattering role. The real problem is that none of the thesps can pronounce intelligible English to save his life.

Christopher Doyle’s mellow lensing doesn’t leave any stylistic impression, while the art direction and costumes are so meticulous as to look artificial, rather than recreating the mood of changing times. Overall, tech credits are pro; the original title means “Chinese Partners.”

Reviewed at Olympian City, Hong Kong, May 8, 2013. Running time: 110 MIN. Original title: “Zhongguo hehuoren”
Production
(Hong Kong-China) An Edko Films (in Hong Kong)/China Film Group Co. (in China) release of a China Film Group, We Pictures presentation of a We Pictures production in association with Stellar Mega Films, Media Asia Film Prod., Yunnan Film Group, Edko Films, Beijing Jiu Yang Sheng He Science and Technology. (International sales: We Distribution, Hong Kong.) Produced by Peter Ho-sun Chan, Jojo Hui Yuet-chun. General Executive producer, Han Xiaoli. Co-executive producers, Qin Hong, Peter Lam, Zhang Lun, Bill Kong, Ma Ku-ho.
Crew
Directed by Peter Chan Ho-sun. Screenplay, Zhou Zhiyong, Zhang Ji, Aubrey Lam. Camera (color, widescreen, HD), Christopher Doyle; editor, Qiao Yang; music, Peter Kam; Sun Li; costume designer, Dora Ng; sound (Dolby Digital 5.1).
With
Huang Xiaoming, Deng Chao, Tong Dawei, Du Juan, Daniel Berkey, Claire Quirk, Wang Zhen. (Mandarin, English dialogue)
Variety

May 18, 2013

Americian Dreams in China (Hollywood Reporter review)

Americian Dreams in China

5/17/2013 by Elizabeth Kerr

Veteran Hong Kong director Peter Chan returns with a familiar rags to riches story spanning 30 years and beginning in 1980s China.

Ever since he burst onto the Hong Kong film scene in 1994 with He’s a Woman She’s a Man and later Comrades: Almost a Love Story, producer-director Peter Chan has been one of the industry’s most identifiable voices. While not as issue-driven as Herman Yau or possessed of Johnnie To’s urban cool, the more romantic Chan has been a constant in an industry in flux. Chan’s latest film, American Dreams in China, is a carefully modulated and calculated film by a veteran with an eye firmly toward cracking the burgeoning mainland cinema market, which he started dabbling in back in 2005 with the romantic musical Perhaps Love.

It also embodies what everyone was concerned about when it was learned Iron Man 3 would bend to Chinese media rules and regulations and include four specially produced minutes—and tailoring creativity for special markets in general. American Dreams is a film purely for Chinese audiences, but how it plays there remains to be seen. It strokes the right egos and sends the right messages, but whether that’s enough to make it a hit is anyone’s guess. Mainland audiences aren’t quite that easy to “speak” to, as the negative reaction to the bonus material in the aforementioned Iron Man attests. More to the point they won’t be pandered to.

American Dreams in China has little in the way of marketability outside Mainland China. Though Chan’s name is likely to generate interest in overseas festivals, its pedestrian filmmaking (you would never know Christopher Doyle was cinematographer) and heavy handedness with its subject matter could keep it out of more than a few. Limited release in Asia could come on the back of regional familiarity with ubiquitous cram schools and language centers.

The film begins during the period of sweeping economic reforms in China in the 1980s. The bookish farm boy Cheng Dongqing (Huang Xiaoming, Ip Man 2), the ambitious, self-assured Meng Xiaojun (Deng Chao, The Four) and the slightly flaky, poetic Wang Yang (Tong Dawei, Lost in Beijing, Red Cliff), are three friends studying at university in Beijing and simultaneously prepping for American visa interviews. Wang is the first to be granted one but forfeits it to stay with his Western girlfriend, and Cheng is repeatedly denied one. Only Meng actually gets a study visa, and as he’s leaving he tells his friends he has no intention of returning to China.

The film then heads into standard rags to riches territory, following Cheng and Wang as they build a massively successful school, New Dream, from the ashes of Cheng’s misfortune (his girlfriend got a visa too, and Cheng lost his university teaching job for tutoring on the side) and Wang’s innate ability to connect with students, often through Hollywood movies. Across the Pacific, Meng is having little success living the America dream and is reduced to bussing tables to makes ends meet. Despondent, he goes home and joins his friends at New Dream. And as films like this go, the trio’s relationship frays, fractures and finally reforms under the weight of the men’s disparate goals and motivations.

American Dreams spans almost 30 years, so while all this is happening, Chan inserts references to major moments in contemporary Chinese history into the story: Beijing’s first KFC in 1992 becomes Cheng’s first classroom; the 1999 bombing of Chinese embassy in Belgrade sees the trio forced to defend themselves against angry mob charges of being traitors for running an English (meaning American) school; New Dream really enters the competitive big leagues around the same time Beijing is awarded the Olympic Games in 2000. Conspicuous in its absence is the Tiananmen Square protests/massacre of 1989.

Chan has managed some pithy observations about the perceptions commonly held among Chinese of Americans and vice versa, but take away the revisionist history and the preaching, however, and American Dreams is simply another quasi-coming-of-age story (albeit about adults) who see their bond tested by power, money and ambition. That it is allegedly based on a true story (of the Beijing New Oriental School) doesn’t make it any more interesting; the language education industry doesn’t exactly reek of thrilling corporate espionage and there are countless equally amazing business success stories in the new China, though admittedly not one quite as widely known. And the film’s lingering whiff of propaganda adds a bit of texture to the film, but in the end it’s not didactic enough to be a (more engaging) polemic. Chan has played down almost everything.

So it comes down to how compelling Huang, Deng and Tong are and how well their dynamic carries the story. Tong fares best as the sensitive guy stuck in the middle of an increasingly hostile relationship between his friends. The moderator is often the weak link, but Tong does a respectable job of conveying frustration and weariness. Huang and Deng have less luck though. Huang’s transformation from mealy-mouthed “loser” to board room tyrant doesn’t quite ring true, and Deng’s insecurity masked as arrogance make him shrill and demanding, not complex.

To’s Drug War and Leung Lok-man and Luk Kim-ching’s Cold War proved filmmakers could adhere to China’s rules and still make a film with a voice, however subtle. American Dreams in China proves Chan has a handle on what he needs to do to get a coveted Mainland release, but it also hints at a one or the other creative process.

Producer: Peter Chan, Jojo Hui
Director: Peter Chan
Cast: Huang Xiaoming, Deng Chao, Tong Dawei, Du Juan, Wang Zhen
Screenwriter: Zhou Zhiyong, Zhang Ji
Executive producer: Han Sanping
Director of Photography: Christopher Doyle
Production Designer: Sun Li
Music: Peter Kam
Costume designer: Dora Ng
Editor: Qiao Yang
Sales: We Pictures
Production company: China Film Co., We Pictures, Stellar Mega, Media Asia, Yunnan Film Group, Edko Films
No rating, 110minutes
THR

July 16, 2012

July 16, 2012 [HKMDB Daily News]


FBA: Caught in the Web review

Chen Kaige’s superbly crafted drama about internet and media abuse has a cast at the top of its game.

CRI: Caught in the Web reviewCF

FBA: Full Circle review

Comedy-drama about rebellious oldies is a beautifully played heartwarmer.

FBA: The Locked Door review

Well-composed but dramatically bloodless drama centred on a small-town single mother.

FBA: Meet in Pyongyang

Glossy China-North Korea co-production is intriguing but short on human drama.

Hong Kong filmmaker Peter Ho-sun Chan has started shooting his next directorial project following Wu Xia, a drama entitled American Dreams In China.

The film is described as a tale of friendship, loyalty and betrayal, following three university graduates who build a multi-billion dollar tutorial empire. Their rise and fall plays out against the backdrop of historical events in China spanning three decades from the beginning of economic reforms to the present day.

“This type of film allows almost anyone to be a director,” veteran mainland Chinese filmmaker and Academy Award nominee Gu Changwei, 54, told AFP.

“I can see feedback right after people have watched and I am able to know what is good, and what can be improved,” said Gu. “Micro films present a real, direct communication between the director and the audience”.

Hong Kong films will have better access to the mainland China market following a revision of the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement between China and its Special Administrative Area.

Huayi Brothers’ “Painted Skin: The Resurrection” easily hold on the top spot for another week with a strong $36.33 million over this past week, while it has hauled in $83.76 million as of last Sunday. Renowned director Kaige Chen’s “Caught in the Web” debuted at number two at the weekly boxoffice chart in mainland China with a decent $7.14 million over its first three days in release. Martial art flick “Wu Dang” started with a not bad performance, sitting at third place with $3.18 million during its first three-day theatrical run.

It is understood that there will be one scene showing girls fighting in a bathhouse. Informed sources said Chinese actor Jiang Yi-Yan will be showing her bare back in that scene.

Regarding this, Jiang said she completed all the bareback scenes without a body double. She told the reporter that she was willing to sacrifice for the film.

However, China Press reported that the scene will be completely removed in Malaysia due to the strict censorship set by the local censorship board.

Li Yu’s “Double Xposure” opens Sept. 29.

Fan Bingbing

Feng Shaofeng

Huo Siyan

Fan Bingbing (Sina)

Teaser for “Double Xposure”

Posters for the comedy “Happy Hotel” directed by Wang Yuelan. Cast includes Jiang Wu, Ning Jing, Lam Tsz-Chung and cameos by Liu Ye, Huang Yi

Jiang Wu

Du Haitao

Ning Jing

Trailer

(Sina-gallery)2

The actress-model discusses her reel-romances and thoughts about her career so far

She discusses her experience of being a mother in her first interview after giving birth

The late actress remains positive in a video filmed before her death

MSN: Shu Qi and Stephen Fung return from Tokyo together

Pictures surfaced of the two together, sparking questions of why they would meet

The actress reportedly requested for HK$80 million from her ex-husband after running into cash-flow difficulties

July 22, 2011

July 22, 2011

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , — dleedlee @ 11:42 am

ChinaPost: Formosa Mambo review

Telephone and Internet frauds are so pervasive in Taiwan that people have become numb and indifferent to such illegal activities. Yet, “Formosa Mambo” draws attention to this social problem in a brilliantly entertaining way.

ChinaPost: Wu Xia review

TimeOutHK: Peter Chan interview

CF: News Conference for “Wu Xia”

FBA: Night Market Hero review

Likable but over-long and predictable heartwarmer about street hawkers battling big business.

CF: 3-D Version of “Uproar in Heaven” to Open Next January

The classic Chinese animated feature film “Uproar in Heaven” is being restored with 3-D special effects and is expected to hit cinemas next January, the New Express Daily reports.

Directed by Wan Laiming in the 1960s,”Uproar in Heaven” earned both domestic and international recognition and received numerous awards.

CRI: ’Hawthorn Tree’ Lovebirds Take on New Project

Director Barbara Wong’s tear-jerking romance film, “The Tears” (aka Tears in a Fallen City), held a news conference to mark the beginning of filming on Thursday in Shanghai.

The director was seen at the event with five of the leading actors from her film, namely Zhou Dongyu, Shawn Dou, Aarif Lee, Joe Chen and Richie Ren. (CF)(Sina-slideshow)

Poster for The Sorcerer and the White Snake (Sina)

Stills from Gordon Chan’s The Mural, opening Sept. 29

Collin Chou

Collin Chou

Deng Chao

Deng Chao

Bao Bei-er, Deng Cha (Sina)

CF: Deng Chao Leads the “Mural”

The film tells the story of three men who unconsciously break into the ‘mural’ wonderland, a place where there are no males.

July 4, 2011

July 4, 2011

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , , , — dleedlee @ 7:58 pm

ChinaDaily: The science of martial arts

Veteran Hong Kong director Peter Chan’s latest film aims to demystify martial arts, while also tackling moral dilemmas.

He, too, wanted to give the old genre a new spin, but could not figure out how until 2009 when hesaw a television program, which depicted in detail how a bullet penetrates a person’s skin, flesh,veins and heart.

Reel China: It’s Rough out West for Chinese Films (LATimes)

Films that have been blockbusters in China have failed to find much of a market in the U.S. Zhang Yimou’s $100-million “The Heroes of Nanking,” with Christian Bale and large portion of English dialogue, tries to change that.

…despite its Hollywood-style violence and an actor with international name recognition, “Let the Bullets Fly” hasn’t even managed to find a distributor in the United States.

Interview: Chrissie Chau (TimeOutHK)

Starting out as a toothpaste-dripping lang mo, Chrissie Chau has gone from rom-com sidekick to a leading lady in two years…It would be an injustice to presume Chrissie Chau is a bad actress purely because of her spectacular figure.

FBA: The Detective 2

A notch down overall on the quirky original but with a stronger third act.

Bai Ling reveals dark memories of Chinese army

Actress Bai Ling said she is confronting a dark chapter from her past: sexual abuse she suffered as a teenager at the hands of Chinese army officers.

Filming for the South Korean Oceans-like caper film, working title Thieves, has begun on the Tai Pak Floating Restaurants in Aberdeen, Hong Kong.

Kim Hye-Su, Simon Yam

Jeon Ji-Hyun, Angelica Lee (Sina)

New stills from My Kingdom with Han Geng, Barbie Hsu and Wu Chun

(Sina)

A third TVB film production, following “72 Tenants of Prosperity” and “I Love Hong Kong” wrapped after only 20 days. Produced by Eric Tsang and directed by Chung Shu-Kai, the cast will again include a variety of TVB actors including Fiona Sit, Fala Chen, and Michael Tse. Even with only a 20 day shooting schedule, Eric Tsang promises it will not lack in quality. The two previous films were Lunar New Year films but this one will be released in August to avoid heavy competition. The film (lit. Invincible Gods) is a TVB-Hunan Satellite TV co-production.

Wong Cho-Lam, Lee Sze-Chit, Maggie Cheung Ho-Yee, Louis Yuen

Lee Sze-Chit

Louis Yuen

Fiona Sit

Eric Tsang and Richard Ng (Sina-gallery)

39 year-old Ronald Cheng and girlfriend Yu Sumin have registered to marry. According to law, he must marry within 3 months. Hong Kong media reports that the marriage registry application was dated June 20. (Xinhua)

MSN: Cecilia Cheung’s eldest son to adopt her surname? (July 4)

MSN: Cecilia Cheung denies receiving divorce papers (July 4)

A1: Nic and Cecilia break their pre-nup (July 3)

MSN: Nicholas Tse signs divorce papers (July 1)

MSN: Zhou Dongyu pulls-strings

The public is currently speculating that teenage actress Zhou Dongyu is about to get into the prestigious Beijing Film Academy not because of her exam scores, but because of her connections

Conflicting reports of exam scores (Sina)2

MSN: Yeoh from Myanmar to Monaco

A1: Maggie Cheung receives degree in Scotland

May 12, 2011

May 12, 2011

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , — dleedlee @ 3:24 pm

CRI: Shu Qi Not Feeling Beautiful in ‘A Beautiful Life’

A trailer has been released for Andrew Lau’s urban drama film “A Beautiful Life”, starring Shu Qi and Liu Ye.

CRI: Chinese Faces in Cannes

Chinese film stars including Fan Bingbing and Gong Li walked the opening red carpet of the 64th Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday, May 11, 2011. (Xinhua)

CF: Chinese Films Promoted at 64th Cannes Film Festival

CRI: ”Royal Tramp” Hits the Screens in 3D

CF: Zhang Yadong Eyes Non-commercial Filmmaking

Most Chinese people know the name Zhang Yadong from the songs he writes and produces for pop diva Faye Wong. But despite his renown, Zhang is a man who rarely speaks publicly, although he is regarded as arguably the best music producer on the Chinese mainland, and has worked with such Hong Kong singers as Karen Mok and Joey Yung.

CANNES Q and A: ‘Wu Xia’ Director Peter Ho-sun Chan (THR)

But as I always say to my director friends, you haven’t worked in Hollywood, the censorship there is even trickier. The only difference being the censorship in Hollywood is not imposed by the state authorities but the studios. The studio bureaucracy is much more troublesome than the Chinese bureaucracy. At the end of the day if you know all the rules about censorship and you try to work around the rules, then theoretically it won’t be that difficult to deal with. Every place has its own rules. Hollywood has its rules, which are business rules, and principles that are fuzzier.

CNA: Director Peter Chan blows 1.8m yuan to fly “Wu Xia” to Cannes

Airport arrivals - Cannes

Sandra Ng, Peter Chan

Takeshi Kaneshiro

(Sina-slideshow)

Michelle Yeoh hopes Suu Kyi biopic will raise awareness; film eyeing Venice premiere

Yeoh’s other upcoming release is the animated movie “Kung Fu Panda 2,” which is the first time she has lent her voice to a cartoon character. She is the voice of The Soothsayer.

Wong Jing’s God of Wealth Inn (God of Fortune Inn) is set to be released this summer. The film reunites Nicholas Tse and Nick Cheung.

(Sina)

Posters for Stronger Than Earthquake about the Sichuan Earthquake

(Sina)

Variety: ‘Mayday 3DNA’ rocks abroad

Taiwanese 3D concert film sells to three countries

Mark Lee’s scary “2359″

The Singaporean effort is produced by multiple award-winning producer Eric Khoo and is directed by Gilbert Chan, who preciously worked on “Love Matters” with Jack Neo.

Yuen’s latest effort will see him dabbling in films once again to strike gold with “Petaling Street Warrior”, the first ever Kung Fu comedy film to be shot and produced completely in Malaysia.

“Petaling Street Warrior” takes the setting in 1908, where a Hokkien mee seller named See has to face continuous extortions from the colonial police and Chinese gangs in Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur while having a troubled (and sex-less) marriage to his wife, Zhung.

Zhao Wei was spotted yesterday at Shanghai’s Hongqiao Airport and lauded for her postnatal weight loss.

February 25, 2011

February 25, 2011

Movie Review: Eternal Moment (GlobalTimes)

Tangled web we weave (GlobalTimes)

Liu Yonghong’s Tangled - indie film rejected by censors

Xinhua: Cast members promote movie “Buddha Mountain” in Beijing

Chen Bo-Lin, Fan Bingbing, director Li Yu

Guests New Seven Little Fortunes (Xinhua-gallery)

CRI: Tsui Hark Plans ‘Detective Dee’ Prequel

Peter Chan, Ethan Ruan

Speaking in Taiwan, Peter Chan said that the first cut of Wu Xia has been completed and runs 137 minutes. In April, Flying Guillotines will begin shooting, action director Yuen Bun will begin training the actors in March behind closed doors in Beijing. Besides their muscles, Chan said they have to be trained in the use of the flying guillotines because the props are dangerous to use, so the preparation must be good. (Sina)

WSJ: In China, Gaga Has Nothing on Gigi

Lady Gaga may rule the Twittersphere with 8,398,412 fans world-wide. But in China, where Twitter is banned, it is Gigi who is the established star in Chinese cyberspace.

To further illustrate, a recent HK TV program featuring Gigi, even after enlisting Valen Hsu and Charlie Young as guests, had received terrible ratings.

Valen Hsu, Gigi Leung, Charlie Young

But in a mainland English textbook, Gigi is the model incarnation of elegance. (Xinhua)

FBA: HKIFF has Heart for popularity, hub role

Mainland Chinese cinema is represented Chen Kaige’s Sacrifice, indie animation Piercing I and Wang Bing’s  The Ditch and Man With No Name.

The Union Film Enterprise Ltd (Union Film) is one of the most important companies in Hong Kong’s filmmaking history

HKFA’s new publication “One for All: The Union Film Spirit” with an English edition in CD-ROM will be released in late March, featuring essays contributed by renowned writers and scholars looking at Union Film and its works from various perspectives, by turns historical, aesthetic, and cultural.

Chinese movie fans have grown accustomed to seeing films of similar style that present different versions of the same story—and that will be intensified in 2011.

November 11, 2010

November 11, 2010

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , , — dleedlee @ 4:51 pm

Variety: The Back (China)

The high price of the commodification of China’s Cultural Revolution is made painstakingly clear in “The Back,” scribe-helmer Liu Bingjian’s largely 1990s-set adaptation of Jing Ge’s novel.

FBA: Ma Wen’s Battle (馬文的戰爭) (7/10)

An acerbic black comedy on relationships with excellent ensemble playing and an original, gritty look.

WSJ: Director Peter Chan Takes on Martial Arts With ‘Wu Xia’

CRI: Mr. and Mrs. Incredible’ Promotes Hong Kong Tourism

A 3-D cartoon video showing two lead actors from the action comedy “Mr. and Mrs. Incredible” touring Hong Kong was released on November 10, 2010 to help promote the local tourism industry.

Lucas will join his actress mother in a comedy film provisionally named “The Invaluable Treasure”, the “West China Metropolis Daily” reports. (Xinhua)


Chen Daoming and Nick Cheung in The Founding of a Party

(Sina-gallery)


Zhang Ziyi

Zhang Ziyi passes the torch to start the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou (Sina-slide show)

Michelle Reis

Michelle Reis appearing at Hong Kong’s Time Square revealed that she is 6 months pregnant with a boy. (Sina-slide show)

Wang Po-Chieh (Bodyguards and Assassins) denied he attempted suicide. Wang had broke up with Alice Ke Jia-Yan (Monga) last month. Taipei journalists spotted him outside the emergency room smoking a cigarette with bandages around left wrist. The 21 year-old Wang had frequently fought with Ke, his elder at 25, and overdrank. Wang denied  the suicide attempt and did not acknowledge the breakup despite Ke’s assertion.

Wang Po-Chieh (left)

Alice Ke (Sina)

Since the explosion on the set of I Have a Date with Summer that caused Selina Jen’s third degree burns, the production team has not only submitted a sloppy post-accident report, they also put the blame solely on the explosives expert.

DJ Tommy taking FAMA with him

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

October 16, 2009

October 16, 2009

CRI: ‘The Message’ Trilogy on Agenda

“The Message” closes nine-day-run Pusan film festival

“The Message” joins Pusan Int’l Film Festival

Zhou Xun

Zhou Xun had to endure rope burns for these torture scenes. Her thighs suffered and were injured in the process since the costume was very thin for realism. (Sina.com)

Peter Chan

Tony Leung Ka-Fai

(Sina.com)

Bodyguards and Assassins: 8 minute show reel previewed in Beijing

No fear of competing against Zhang Yimou’s Three Guns

CRI: Jiang Wenli’s Debut Film Wins Award at Pusan Film Fest

Actress/director Jiang Wenli’s “Lan” won the Audience Award at the Pusan International Film Festival on Friday.


LATimes: New York, I Love You

Maggie Q enjoys her ‘New York’ minute

Maggie Q New York premiere - slide show

Screen Daily: At The End of Daybreak (Malaysia/HK/South Korea)

Screen Daily: Taiwan’s Zeus set to produce triptych love story Juliet

Taiwanese producer Khan Lee is lining up a portmanteau love story, Juliet, as the second installment in its Pushing Hands initiative, designed to support new talent.

Taipei Times: Pop Stop

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