HKMDB Daily News

November 2, 2009

November 2, 2009

Mulan opens November 27

Amazing Tales: Three Guns (Dec.10, earlier reported as Dec.11)

Ning Hao’s No Man Land/No Man’s Land (Dec.18)

Other release dates: The Robbers/Tang Dynasty Brothers, Panda Express (Nov.20), Bodyguards and Assassins (Dec.18), Still unconfirmed: Treasure Hunter,14 Blades, Little Big Soldier, Confucius. (cri.cn)


Stephen Chow

Spotted outside a Hong Kong Jockey Club event, Stephen Chow said he will begin shooting a film next year. A noted bicycling enthusiast often seen riding about the city, reporters suggested a Shaolin Bicycle film would be appropriate. Asked if he was taking advantage of the real estate market to make big money, Chow was evasive. (Sina)


Ann Hui has not decided whether a kissing scene between Vivian Chow and Chan Wei-Ting will be necessary. (Sina)

Aaron Kwok

Josie Ho

Josie, Aaron, Director Roy Chow, Christine To (writer)

Murderer aka Crime and Punishment promotion in Guangzhou. The ending was changed and the violence toned down in order to play in the Mainland. Josie Ho hoped that her Dream Homes would be accepted for screening with edits from director Pang Ho-Cheung. (Sina) (Xinhua)


CCTV: Remake of the classic “Mulan”

Actress Zhao Wei said, “I have dressed like a man before, but it was all about being funny. This time, I have to actually perform like a man. I’m not sure if the audience will think I’m really manly in this film. Director Ma has been devoted in sculpting my part and Chen Kun’s role. So the movie is going to be very romantic.”

CCTV: Stephen Fung’s Jump

Hong Kong actor, singer, model, writer and film director Stephen Fung’s third directorial effort “Jump” will come out soon to be screened for the year-end season. Fung has recently embarked on an intensive promotional campaign around China in hopes that it will help his movie “Jump” over some fierce box office competition…

THR: ‘Stool Pigeon’ starts filming in HK

‘Beast Stalker’ team returns with police story


[T]he first-ever recipient of the Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actress, is making a comeback with a new indie film called “At the End of Daybreak.”

‘Tuya’s Marriage’ director stands out at four-day market

Film production house now valued over $1.5 bil

November 1, 2009

A Good Rain Knows (Variety review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: , — dleedlee @ 9:56 pm

A Good Rain Knows
Ho woo shijeol

(South Korea-China) An NEW (in South Korea)/Zonbo Media (in China) release of a Pancinema (South Korea)/Zonbo Media (China) presentation of a Pancinema, Ho Films, Taurus Films (South Korea)/Zonbo Media (China) production. (International sales: Pancinema, Seoul.) Produced by Paek Myeong-seon, Chen Weiming, Hur Jin-ho, Kim Yeon-hak. Executive producers, Park, Chen. Co-executive producer, Lee Gang-bok. Directed by Hur Jin-ho. Screenplay, Lee Han-eol, Hur.

With: Jeong Woo-seong, Gao Yuanyuan, Kim Sang-ho, Ma Shaohua, Li Fenghua, Yan Feng.
(English, Korean, Chinese dialogue)

By DEREK ELLEY
The good news is that Hur Jin-ho, South Korea’s master of meller minutiae (”Christmas in August”), has bounced back with one of his finest pictures, after the soupy “April Snow” and flawed “Happiness.” The bad news is that, at least in Anglophone territories, “A Good Rain Knows” is virtually DOA, due to the stiff acting in English of the two leads in this Korean-Chinese co-production. Subtitled in non-Anglo markets, this could still have some arthouse chances, though locally it failed to make much of a B.O. mark on its October release.
The film began as the present-day episode in “Chengdu, I Love You,” a three-part portmanteau movie inspired by last year’s earthquake in Sichuan province, China. Along the way, Hur decided he needed a canvas larger than 30 minutes and went his own way with a standalone feature.

The dismembered version of “Chengdu” preemed at this year’s Venice fest with only Cui Jian’s and Fruit Chan’s segs. (Hur did a half-hour demo cut of his seg, to prove his point to producers, but this was never shown to outsiders.) In China, “Rain” will be marketed as part two of the “Chengdu” stories.

It’s spring in the Sichuan capital, and Park Dong-ha (Jeong Woo-seong) arrives on a brief business trip involving the job of rebuilding after the 2008 earthquake. While there, he bumps into Mei (Gao Yuanyuan), an English-speaking tourist guide with whom he once had a relationship when both were studying in the U.S. Thrown together for a short, intense period, they reinvestigate their feelings for each other.

With almost zero plot, the film is built entirely on emotional texture. Mei playfully claims they never actually dated at the time; Park claims they did. Meanwhile, she has to come to a painful decision when he leaves for the airport the next day — which leads to her revealing something she’s kept secret during their friendly flirtation.

The clumsy English title refers to a text by Tang dynasty poet Du Fu, about how spring rain “knows” when to fall and bring nature back to life. Hur seeps the movie in imagery — succulently lensed in crisp colors by Kim Byeong-seo — that could have been purely touristy wrapping but here supports the story’s theme of metaphysical renewal: walks in bamboo-forested Du Fu Park, locals dancing at night, street life in the Sichuan capital. And at the center is the ever-smiling face of Mei, whose bright exterior conceals an emotional vacuum.

Given that the pair can communicate only in English, Hur wisely keeps dialogue between the two to a minimum, but their exchanges (and especially Gao’s English) are so arch that the delicate atmosphere fractures whenever they open their mouths. When acting in their own languages, the thesps are fine.

Culturally, the pic is fascinating. Though wholly set in China, it has a totally Korean feel in look and rhythm. Even Gao (”City of Life and Death,” “Shanghai Dreams”), who’s never looked more beautiful, has been given the cute look of a South Korean actress. And between the jokes (for Korean auds) about Chinese food and driving, at least one drinking sequence — between Dong-ha and his Korean liaison (Kim Sang-ho) — might just as well have been set in a Seoul bar.

Handsome, besuited Jeong, the “Good” in “The Good the Bad the Weird,” shows the problems of melding more formal Korean with looser Chinese acting styles, and often looks stiff opposite the enchanting Gao. Kim provides some boisterous character color in his several scenes.

Technical package is immaculate on all levels, with Lee Jae-jin’s fretted score adding further delicate texture. Original title means “Season of Good Rain.”

Camera (color, widescreen), Kim Byeong-seo; editor, Choi Jae-geun; music, Lee Jae-jin; art director, Lu Dong; sound (Dolby SRD), Gao Ying, Seong Woon-yong, Lee In-gyu; sound designers, Lee Ho-jun, Lee Dong-hwan. Reviewed at Pusan Film Festival (market), Oct. 12, 2009. Running time: 100 MIN.
http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117941518.html?categoryid=31&cs=1

October 1, 2009

October 1, 2009

‘Informed sources’ report that Zhang Ziyi has indeed been retained to play Tony Leung’s wife in Wong Kar-Wai’s First Generation Master. Zhang Ziyi, through her manager, denied the rumor yesterday. Elsewhere, it’s been reported that Wong Kar-Wai is under a lot of pressure as Ip Man was a big box office success and will now compete against Ip Man 2. The casting of Zhang Ziyi is viewed as a counterstrike. Ip Man’s son was asked about the pair, he said, ‘Both Lynn Xiong and Zhang Ziyi are very thin. My mother was similiar in build (?). I have not seen Zhang Ziyi’s acting but Lynn Xiong in Ip Man was pretty good.’

Brigitte Lin reportedly turned down a role because it was not tailor-made for her. Chang Chen is said to play Bruce Lee. Filming is now slated to commence in November.

(Xinhuanet.com)

Barbie Hsu and Nic Tse

Nic and Barbie shoot a special effects scene in the studio for Hot Summer Days. Today, Nic is flying to Beijing to perform in the National Day celebration. (Sina.com)

Mike He, Li Xiaolu

Alfred Cheung’s new film 7 Days To Fall in Love With You opens Nov.3. Lead actress Li Xiaolu recommends spending the National Day Holiday to find a new boyfriend or girlfriend. (Xinhuanet.com)

Korea Times: ‘Rain’ Falls on Summer-Battered Hearts

Would you give love a second chance? In his fifth feature “A Good Rain Knows,” (aka Season of Good Rain) melodrama maestro Hur Jin-ho says “yes,” orchestrating another romance that seeps into the viewers’ hearts with a graceful andante tempo.

Korea Times: Jang Dong-kun makes a comeback onscreen as a character not unlike himself ― an eligible bachelor ― in “Good Morning President.”

NYTimes: Indie Filmmakers: China’s New Guerrillas

Like independent filmmakers everywhere, Mr. Zhao worked with no guarantee of an audience, or even a place to show his work. By his estimates only a few thousand people have seen “Ghost Town” in China since he finished it last year. Several hundred more are scheduled to see it Sunday afternoon when the film has its international premiere at the New York Film Festival.

Ang Lee says he’s baffled by ‘Woodstock’ results

The Message hits theaters for National Day

The movie was directed by Gao Qunshu from the mainland and Chen Kuofu from Taiwan. According to Chen, the movie was filmed to tell the destinies of people involved in China’s Anti-Japanese Aggression War (1937-1945)…

The plot of the film was inspired after a murder mystery game, in which one tries to guess who is “killing” the others in the group. However, the film is more solemn than the game, as heroes and heroines in the movie are tortured both physically and spiritually in a bid to fulfill their purposes.

September 9, 2009

September 9, 2009 (2)

In the winter of 1940, peasant Niu Er is unluckily burdened with the task of protecting his village’s only Dutch dairy cow, which supplies milk for the wounded Chinese soldiers. Even when all the other villagers are massacred by Japanese troops, Niu Er remains committed to protecting the cow. Loyal Niu Er outsmarts Japanese soldiers, starving refugees who abuse the cow’s generous milk-giving, and greedy thugs who even try to slaughter the cow for meat…

Gordon Liu plays Nic Tse’s father in Yit Lat Lat (’Spicy Hot’?), a story about troubled youth

(Oriental Daily)

Zhao Wei and Jingle Ma

Zhao Wei attended Jingle Ma’s press conference in Beijing where he officially signed on with Starlight International Media Group to produce three films including Beijing Raiders and Hua Mulan 2. (Xinhuanet.com)

Chow Yun-fat: Confucius Bored Me to Death

Taipei Times: Tsai movie set at Louvre to screen at concert hall
The Taiwanese feature film Face, or Visage in French, a production paid for in part by the Louvre Museum in Paris, is scheduled to make its debut at the National Concert Hall in Taipei on Sept. 22.

Season of Good Rain Seoul premiere

Heo Jin-Ho, Guo Yuanyuan, Jung Woo-Sun

(Xinhuanet.com)

August 24, 2009

August 24, 2009

21st Century Kato
Jay Chou as Kato

Jay Chou stuffs himself with good ol’ American food

Zhou Xun

Stills from The Message released

Ekin Cheng
Ekin Cheng at launch ceremony for typhoon relief

Asked about making another Young and Dangerous film, Ekin expressed doubt about the continued impact of film culture. He said it was better to do charity work.

Charlie Yeung and daughter in 37
Charlie Yeung in ‘37′

Leon Lai, Vivian Hsu, Richie Ren
Fire Dragon’s Leon Lai, Vivian Hsu, Richie Ren

Vivian unfazed by rumors of Shu Qi and boyfriend Stephen Fung


Michelle Ye
Pinky Cheung
More Fire Dragon cast photos

Leon LaiMichelle Ye
Dante Lam’s Fire Dragon

More photos

Gao Yuanyuan
Heo Jin-Ho’s Season of Good Rain, formerly a segment of Chengdu, I Love You

Tussle over Tony Leung
Carina Lau
Carina Lau philosophical about Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung incident

‘After so many years, we are very much like watching a love story. We do not want it played out quickly, if you want to see it then we have to go on.’

Shooting Stanley Kwan’s Energy Behind the Heart/Dancing With The Heart

Ducked into clothing store until her car arrived

More Carina Lau photos

HK star Shawn Yue is tired of being linked to female celebs

Actress Angelica Lee to wed HK director

Jackie Chan, Tan Jing
Zhang Ziyi
Stars attend solo concert celebrating China’s founding


Zhao Wei
Zhao Wei appointed as VP Chinese Performing Arts Society appears at skin care endorsement event in Shanghai

More photos

Aaron Kwok
Lee San-San
Aaron Kwok finished third in his own charity race in Shanghai

Zhang Ziyi


Vogue magazine spread - Zhang Ziyi (click through)

Andy Lau?
Funeral procession of Andy Lau’s ‘father-in-law’

Obscurred by a sea of white umbrellas, media determines Andy secretly in attendance. Trademark hook nose is the tell.
Photos: Funeral procession, Andy’s secret children?
‘Son-in-Lau’ goes under cover at Chu’s funeral
Last wish of Carol Chu’s dad - to see her wed Lau
Quite a ’scene’ at funeral of Chu’s dad

Lucky number 4

Sandy Lau Crowned Miss Hong Kong 2009

Simon Yam
Judge Simon Yam

Museum of Chinese in America Gets a New Home

July 29, 2009

July 29, 2009


Lau Ching-Wan and wife,Amy KwokLau Ching-Wan, Zhang Jingchu, Alex Fong

Daniel Wu, Louis Koo, Lau Ching-WanDaniel Wu

Anita YuenMichelle Ye

Overheard cast and guests attend Hong Kong premiere
Michael Wong and wife
Michael Wong and wife


“Overheard” Premieres in Hong Kong
Hollywood Reporter: Alan Mak hopes for hit in China

‘Chengdu’ to close Venice festival
Fruit Chan, Cui Jian unveil sci-fi film
Chengdu, I Love You to close Venice Film Festival
[ I wonder, did the third part get cut out because Hur Jin-ho expanded his segment to a full length feature?]
Previously: Hur Jin-ho wraps feature-length Season Of Good Rain
‘Chengdu’ to Close Venice Film Festival

Variety: SPC to distribute Yimou’s ‘Blood’ [Amazing Tales: Three Guns]
Sony Pictures Classics is continuing its relationship with filmmaker Zhang Yimou, agreeing to distribute his planned remake of the Coen brothers’ comedic thriller “Blood Simple” domestically and in several major foreign territories
Screen Daily: Sony Classics on board for Zhang Yimou’s Blood Simple remake

China welcomes ‘Haeundae’ wave
Korean disaster film looks for success onshore in China

Lee Byung-hun Returns With Film ‘G.I. Joe’
Kwon Sang-woo May Make Hollywood Debut
Hollywood’s Korean ninjas
Sandra Ng
Barbie Hsu
Sandra Ng and Barbie Hsu - On His Majesty’s Secret Service

Xu Fan and husband Feng Xiaogang
Chen Daoming, Chen Jin

Does Feng Xiaogang have vitiligo?

Aftershock officially launches production

Ceremony held at Tangshan Earthquake Memorial Square

HK actress Michelle Reis returns to the big screen

Anthony Wong
Anthony Wong, Yin Tao to Lead Epic Tang Drama

Jia Zhangke: In fact it is the President of the World Uighur Congress Kadeer, a documentary film, and invited me to attend the film premiere, it is known that political figures in the film will appear, too political, and I am not sure about the history of Xinjiang, so it is not the time to attend the film festival a good time, so I choose not to participate. ”
Jia Zhangke speaking at the Hong Kong Book Fair

Jet Li’s Singapore citizenship confirmed

Shing Fui-On (file photo)
Shing Fui-On gives a thumbs up

Young Shing Fui-On and Andy Lau
Shing Fui-On’s cancer has spread to his lungs. He entered the hospital last week and only weighs 45kgs (not lost 45kgs as previously reported)


86 year-old Lam Kau enters hospital with foot injury

Nick Cheung
Nick Cheung films a tourism program in Finland


Vivian Chow
Peter Chan
I spy: Vivian Chow secretly meeting with Peter Chan in Shanghai

Sparks rumors of plans for comeback

England: Family made £7m in fake DVD scam

July 15, 2009

July 15, 2009

“On His Majesty’s Secret Service” ready to open

Critics Give Thumbs-up to “One Night in a Supermarket” Ahead of Release

Hur Jin-ho wraps feature-length Season Of Good Rain
Hur Jin-ho has extended his section of pan-Asian omnibus Chengdu, I Love You into a feature entitled Season Of Good Rain


Wong Jing announced production of a new film featuring Nick Cheung, Paw Hee-Ching, Chan Lai-Wan and Meng Yao ‘Mongkok Prison’

Nick plays a schizophrenic, Paw Hee-Ching his mother suffering from dementia

Fan Bingbing, Joey Yung, Jackie Chan, Charlene Choi, Liu Yifei
Fan Bingbing, Joey Yung, Jackie Chan, Charlene Choi, and Liu Yifei promote a real estate company in Guangzhou

Stephen Chow passes on Kato
Director and star moves on to focus on own projects


Ziyi’s Non-revenge for Love and Fear for Marriage

Zhang Ziyi’s character in ‘Sophie’s Revenge’ might be one to fight to win back her ex, but the actress said she would not do so in real life.



Andy Lau in Shanghai to Promote Newly-Open Boutique


Kelly Chen Leaves Hospital (After) Giving Birth


I spy: Zhao Wei in Shanghai



I spy: Stephen Fung and Shu Qi

Nic Tse
Nic inspects new Lamborghini purchased for Cecilia
Nic Tse took a break from shooting Bodyguards and Assassins to visit wife

Previously rumors have been circulating that Cecilia Cheung has suffered a miscarriage.



Gillian Chung visits Harbin (almost 700 miles NE of Beijing!)

With singer Jiang Peng


Edison made a quick day and a half visit to Taiwan

He shot a Levi’s ad and probably scouted locations for another CLOT store

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