HKMDB Daily News

March 13, 2013

Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons (Variety review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: , — dleedlee @ 1:42 pm

Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons

03.10.13
Richard Kuipers

Visuals are more dazzling than the storytelling in “Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons.” A qualified return to form for Hong Kong hitmaker Stephen Chow (“Kung Fu Hustle) after mushy sci-fier “CJ7,” this mostly entertaining action-fantasy-comedy about a demon hunter soars when pyrotechnics take centerstage, but is less successful when the focus switches to words. Nevertheless, “Journey” has gone bananas since its Feb. 7 domestic release and looks certain to crack the $200 million mark and overtake “Lost in Thailand” as the highest grossing Chinese movie. Commercial potential beyond Chinese-speaking auds appears limited. North American release details are pending.

The pic is the umpteenth movie inspired by Wu Cheng-en’s classic 16th century novel “Journey to the West.” The source material about the arrival of Buddhism in China provided the basis for “A Chinese Odyssey Part One: Pandora’s Box” and “A Chinese Odyssey Part Two: Cinderella,” domestic hits starring Chow as the mischievous Monkey King.

With Derek Kwok (“Gallants”) credited as associate director, “Journey” follows a simple pattern of elaborate set-pieces followed by brief pauses for reflection and explanation, not all of which are entirely compelling or convincing.

The first spectacular sequence shows young demon hunter Xuanzang (Wen Zhang) arriving in a fishing village during a gory, “Jaws”-like attack by the fearsome Water Demon. Chow’s knack for mixing suspense and slapstick is impressively displayed as Xuanzang leaps about rickety walkways and see-sawing bridges resembling the board game “Mouse Trap” before rescuing a baby just inches from becoming the creature’s next meal.

In one of several new ideas brought to the old tale by Chow, Kwok and six other credited writers, sensitive Xuanzang reads nursery rhymes to demons in the hope they will reject the dark side and join him as allies in the quest for spiritual enlightenment. His belief is that these beasties were once good-natured humans that suffered terrible injustice, and a lilting lullaby is all it takes to undo the damage. Watched by villagers as his technique restores the Water Demon to his previous human form as Sand Monk (Lee Sheung-ching), Xuanzang’s moment of glory is stolen by the sudden arrival of Duan (Shu Qi, “If You Are the One”), a feisty femme demon hunter with radically different ideas on creature control and a flair for showbiz that the nerdy Xuanzang lacks.

Duan invites herself on Xuanzang’s missions to challenge and change other demons — pig K.L. Hog (Chen Bing-qiang) and Sun Wukong, also known as the Monkey King (Huang Bo), an especially tricky customer who’s served 500 years of solitary confinement in a remote cave on orders from Buddha himself. While sequences such as Duan using her “Infinite Flying Rings” to disintegrate Hog’s minions at his restaurant-cum slaughterhouse are filled with razzle-dazzle CGI and exciting 3D effects, talk-based segs between showpieces too often lack the nimble scripting and heartwarming charm that distinguishes Chow’s best work, like 2001’s “Shaolin Soccer.”

The main problem is Duan’s wildly enthusiastic attempts to woo Xuanzang despite his avowed devotion to “a greater love” than what she’s offering. Pushing the opposites-attract notion a bit too far, Duan’s repeated declarations of passion for Xuanzang never ring true, and it remains a mystery why she finds him so irresistible. An early sequence showing Duan and her sexy comrade (Chrissie Chau) conspiring to activate Xuanzang’s libido produces chuckles, but variations on the theme prove far less mirthful.

Although Chow does not appear in the movie, his acting style and screen persona are writ large on the main cast. Shu is dynamite as the all-action Duan, Huang amuses as the eccentric Monkey King, and Taiwanese singer Show Lo scores big laughs as Prince Important, a narcissistic rival demon hunter with an entourage of soon-to-be-superannuated female sidekicks.

Where the helmer’s touch works least is the central role of Xuanzang. Mainland thesp Wen does nothing particularly wrong, but his perf as the nervous greenhorn feels Chow-lite, and his narrowly written character is less lovable than he ought to be. It doesn’t help that Wen sports a ghastly “finger-in-the-light-socket” hairdo more fit for a costume party than a serious young seeker of spiritual fulfillment.

The pic is beautifully designed and photographed in predominantly rich earthy tones by lenser Choi Sung-fai (“Flying Swords of Dragon Gate”). The orchestral score by regular Chow collaborator Raymond Wong adds plenty of punch to action sequences, but is slightly overused in the dramatic passages. The rest of the technical work is first class. Things conclude with a set-up for a sequel.

Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons
Sai yau: hong mor pin
(Hong Kong-China)
Reviewed at Hoyts Tea Tree Plaza Cinemas, Adelaide, March 4, 2013. Running time: 110 MIN.

An Edko Films (in Hong Kong), Huayi Brothers Media (in China) release of a Village Roadshow Pictures Asia, Chinavision Media Group, Bingo Movie Development, Edko Films production. (International sales: Bingo, Hong Kong.) Produced by Wang Zhongjun, Stephen Chow, Ellen R. Eliasoph, Han Sanping, Dong Ping, Bill Kong. Executive Producer, Chow.

Directed by Stephen Chow. Associate director, Derek Kwok. Screenplay, Chow, Kwok, Huo Xin, Wang Yun, Fung Chih-chiang, Lu Zheng-yu, Lee Sheung-ching, Ivy Kong. Camera (color, widescreen, HD, 3D), Choi Sung-fai; editor, Chan Chi-wai; music, Raymond Wong; production designer, Bruce Yu; art director, Eric Lam; costume designer, Lee Pik-kwan; sound (Dolby Atmos), Zhu Yanfeng; visual effects supervisor, Ken Law; visual effects, Macrograph, Different Digital Design; action choreographer, Ku Huen-chiu; line producer, Ivy Kong; associate producer, Alice Chow; assistant directors, Leung Kwok-fai, Keith Chan Cheung-kei, Ng Ka-pui; second unit camera, Gao Hu.

With: Shu Qi, Wen Zhang, Huang Bo, Show Lo, Lee Sheung-ching, Chen Bing-qiang, Cheng Si-han, Xing Yu, Lu Zheng-yu, Chiu Chi-ling, Yang Di, Chrissie Chau, Ge Hang-yu, Fung Ming-hun, Yeung Lun.
Variety

March 11, 2013

Journey to the West — Conquering the Demons (Hollywood Reporter review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: , — dleedlee @ 11:55 am

Journey to the West — Conquering the Demons
3/11/2013 by Elizabeth Kerr

Combine rapidly increasing screen numbers, a voracious appetite for movies, a beloved literary legend and perhaps one of Hong Kong’s most popular actor-directors ever and you’ve got the recipe for a minor cinematic phenomenon. A lot would have to be dreadfully wrong for producer-writer-director Stephen Chow’s entertaining comedy-fantasy Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons, to flop. And indeed, it has lived up to its potential, earning a massive $190 million in a few weeks in mainland China. Though the film was oddly beaten at home over the key Lunar New Year holiday weekend (by A Good Day to Die Hard of all things) this umpteenth iteration of the Chinese classic is likely to continue its successful streak beyond the Mainland and Hong Kong.

JTTW is Chow’s first film in five years, the last being the fatuous and uncharacteristically schmaltzy CJ7, and it boasts all the hallmarks of a Chow film: the slow development of running jokes and motifs, the wry asides, the everyman background characters that are often hilariously baffled or disbelieving on the viewer’s behalf, the tendency to allow scenes to run on organically. Though the film has more humanity and less of a sharp tongue than Chow has been noted for in the past, it’s undeniably his work (he doesn’t star in the film this time) and audiences and distributors receptive to surprise hits like King of Comedy and the groundbreaking Shaolin Soccer will want to get on the JTTW bandwagon.

The story kicks off with a stirring opening sequence involving a fake demon hunter, a fake water demon and a Taoist monk (the man that would be Tripitaka) Chen Xuanzang (Wen Zhang) dedicated to demon expulsion via love, kindness and a book of 300 nursery rhymes. Failing to get the job done and strung up for being a hoax, Xuanzang watches helplessly as the real water demon appears and wreaks havoc on a small village. The day is ultimately saved by real-deal Duan (Shu Qi) and her Infinity Flying Ring. Despondent at his failure, Xuanzang goes back to his master (Cheng Sihan) who tells him his lack of faith was the root of his demon banishing ineptitude. Cue the journey to betterment and wisdom.

Constructed in segments pivoting on encounters with the various demons Xuanzang meets — the opening fish demon, the Gao Family Inn and its Pig Demon proprietor (Chen Bingqiang), the closing Five Finger Mountain segment and a run-in with Sun Wukong, aka the Monkey King (Huang Bo) with short bridging bits — Journey to the West is more picaresque than pure narrative. But Chow and his army of writers manage to hold on to their themes and ideas through each set piece. The central conflict in the film grows from Xuanzang’s very Buddhist quest to honor the greater love for all things under the sun — demons included — and Duan’s more earthly quest for physical and romantic love. Her aggressive pursuit of him makes Xuanzang uneasy, and challenges his already fragile hold on his faith. The film has a dark undercurrent, entertaining and colorful as it is. Chow has no time for unwritten rules that say toddlers can’t die on screen; the Pig Demon’s lair is truly grotesque; and the Monkey King isn’t the impish charmer that has dominated popular culture. Laughs bump up against loss time and again, giving JTTW a more adult edge than may be expected.

But Chow has a stellar cast that can soften the more gruesome elements without losing control of their purpose. Shu (Three Times) and Huang (Crazy Stone) are the standouts this time around, and help the bland Wen (The Guillotines) look stronger than he is. Huang is a proven comic performer but Shu surprises yet again with a nuanced turn that deftly balances the film’s emotional weight with its comic demands. The film’s 3D and CGI is adequate, and though it goes needlessly overboard in the closing segments, for the most part it avoids the effects-as-message trap. Journey to the West may not rank among Chow’s classics, but it’s a crowd-pleaser that also serves as a reminder of what the director can accomplish when he’s on his game.

Producers: Stephen Chow, Wang Zhonglei
Director: Stephen Chow
Cast: Wen Zhang, Shu Qi, Huang Bo, Show Luo, Cheng Sihan
Screenwriters: Stephen Chow, Derek Kwok, Lola Huo, Wang Yun, Andew Fung, Lu Zhengyu, Ivy Kong, Lee Sheung-ching
Executive producers: Wang Zhongjun, Dong Ping, Han Sanping, Ellen Eliasoph, Bill Kong
Director of Photography: Johnny Choi
Production Designer: Bruce Yu
Music: Raymond Wong
Costume Designer: Lee Pik-kwan
Editor: Andy Chan
No rating, 109 minutes

THR

March 9, 2012

March 9, 2012 [HKMDB Daily News]

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — dleedlee @ 11:25 am

CRI:  “Yang Gui Fei” Changes Director

The film production team of “Yang Gui Fei” has fired South Korean director Kwak Jae-yong.

FBA: Yang Gui Fei and Kwak agree to separate

CF: ”Disappeared Bullets” in Post-production Stages

Set in the Zhoupu Arsenal, based in Shanghai during the period of the Republic of China, “Disappeared Bullets” tells the tale of a series of murder cases caused by ‘ghost bullets’.

CF: ’Full Circle’ to be Screened on Mother’s Day

“Full Circle,” the latest production of Zhang Yang, who is regarded as a member of the sixth generation of Chinese directors, is slated for release on Mother’s Day (May 8).

To support their old friends, award-winning actresses Siqin Gaowa and Xu Fan and actors Chen Kun and Liao Fan also appear in cameo roles in the movie. 

CF: HK and Mainland Premiere of ‘Nightfall’

CF: Mainland BO Chart in the 9th Week 2012

On the local film side, “Love” contributed $1.61 million in box office tickets this week to its total $20.55 million through 21 days in release. Its expected mainland gross should top $24 million. Staring Richie Ren and Tengger, “Tales of Two Cities” grossed $1.48 million in this week. “Fengkuang De Chunzei” (”Crazy Stupid Thief”) the latest entry of “Fengkuang” franchise, came in third on the domestic films chart this week with$1.34 million. “I Do”made a disappointing $0.81 million this week. Its predicted to cross $12.69 million in the next week.

Stephen Chow’s “Kung Fu Hustle” co-star Bruce Leung recently lashed out at Chow’s film company Star Overseas over a contractual dispute.

Eva Huang [Shengyi], who worked with Chow in 2004’s “Kung Fu Hustle”, left Star Overseas after an unhappy legal tussle over contractual issues, as did Kitty Zhang [Yuqi], who starred alongside Chow in his 2008 film “CJ7″.

Andy Lau is said to be interested in holding permanent resident status in Malaysia for the sake of his baby girl

Vintage Rosamund Kwan

(from Elven Ho’s weibo)

December 6, 2011

December 6, 2011 [HKMDB Daily News]

China Lion Announces its Chinese New Year Slate and 2-for-1 Tickets (North America)

CRI: ’The Great Magician’ Coming out on Jan. 12

Previous reports indicated the film would cooperate with Tsui Hark’s “Flying Swords of Dragon Gate”, also produced by Bona Film Group, to go head-to-head against Zhang Yimou’s Oscar-hopeful “The Flowers of War”.

CF: The Flowers of War’ Brings Forward its Release Date

“The Flowers of War” was supposed to go head-to-head against “Flying Swords of the Dragon Gate.”

A spokesperson for Bona provided the press with a clever if not all too revealing answer, stating that, “There is a possibility for us to bring forward the date too; the final decision will be announced at the premiere ceremony of our film on December 12 in Beijing.”

Stills of Huang Haibo in “The Flowers of War”. He plays a Chinese soldier who disagrees with the military orders of Tong Dawei.

Huang Haibo

Tong Dawei plays Captain Li

Qin Hao plays one of the Chinese soldiers

Qin Hao - 7th from right (without a helmet)

Qin Hao

Qin Hao - 3rd from right

1st on right

(Sina)23

Stephen Chow has reportedly abandoned his plans to film “Tai Chi” next year citing unhappiness with his script. Instead, he will film a 3D version of “Little Mermaid” and begin casting for a lead actress soon. (Sina)

“The director of “Kung Fu Hustle”, Stephen Chow is also remaking it in Chinese.”

The original film will be released in mainland China next week. About 900 prints of the film have also been sent overseas, making it the biggest Bollywood release outside of India.

Li Yuchun’s new long-haired look for Peter Chan’s “The Guillotines” (Sina)

New “Great Wall, My Love” poster

Tong Dawei and Cherrie Ying star in the romantic road movie

Emily Liu Yi-Ming directed the Taiwan made film

(Sina)2

Posters for Kevin Chu Yen-Ping’s “Perfect Two” feature Vic Chou and Little Bin

Yang Mi will sing the theme song as well as act in Chu Yen-Ping’s romantic comedy “Perfect Two”. Yang Mi plays the single mother of Little Bin, with a cast that also includes Vic Chou, Vivian Hsu, Ella Chen (of S.H.E.), Tao Zeru and Ding Sha Sha. The “family New Year comedy” opens January 23.

Yang Mi

CF: ”Flying Swords of the Dragon Gate” Trio in Esquire Magazine

Chen Kun, Guey Lunmei and Mavis Fan, cast members of director Tsui Hark’s soon-to-be-released 3D costume action flick “Flying Swords of the Dragon Gate,” posed for a photo shoot for Hong Kong’s Esquire Magazine in promoting their new movie. The film is slated for release on December 16.

(Sina)

CF: Final Promotional Trailer of “The Allure of Tears” out

The production company of the sensational film “The Allure of Tears” released the movie’s final promotional trailer on December 6, featuring the third story “The Third Drop of Tears.” The film consists of three separate stories, respectively entitled “The First Drop of Tears,” “The Second Drop of Tears” and “The Third Drop of Tears.” Directed by Barbara Wong and starring an all-star cast with Zhou Dongyu, Gigi Leung, Richie Ren, Joe Chan, “The Allure of Tears” is scheduled to open in national cinemas on December 22.

Directed by and stars Xu Jinglei, with other stars including Stanley Huang, Christy Chung and Gigi Leung, the film will hit cinemas on the 23rd of December during the Christmas holiday slot.

CF: Top Chinese Films of the Season

All my old HK friends are now in Beijing: Carina Lau, Cherie Chung and Kenny Bee attend a watch brand event.

Carina Lau, Cherie Chung

Kenny Bee, Carina, Cherie

(Xinhua)

MSN: Eason Chan denies divorce rumour

When a Hong Kong magazine asked him if he was ready to divorce his wife at the post-concert celebration party, Eason lost his temper and asked the reporter to “buzz off”.

November 29, 2011

November 29, 2011 [HKMDB Daily News]

Variety: Shattered review

A microcosm of China past and present flows through Xu Tong’s intimate docu “Shattered,” in which the maverick indie filmmaker continues to refine his techniques and concerns shown in his previous “Wheat Harvest” and “Fortune Teller.”

CRI: Actress Zhao Wei to Make Directorial Debut

The film, provisionally entitled “To Our Youth That Is Fading Away”, will be an adaptation of the novel of the same name. It will tell the tale of a woman’s emotional struggle with two men whom she meets again many years after their on-campus love triangle.

CF: Vicky Zhao’s First Movie Project

Stanley Kwan will produce the movie. The film’s screenplay will be written by Li Qiang, whose 2005 film “Peacock” picked up a Silver Berlin Bear Award.

Based on the popular novel “To Our Youth that will Fade Away,” the story revolves around a girl named Zheng Wei, who becomes torn between two men; she is forced to make a decision to find her Mr. Right.

Cherrie Ying and actor Dong Dawei (Tong Dawei) are seen on the poster of the comedic road movie “Great Wall, My Love.”

(Sina)

Aarif Lee plays the role of a finance blog owner who places too many irons in the fire in return for first-hand financial information.

THR: Hong Kong Comedian Stephen Chow Voices Support in Chief Executive Election

‘Shaolin Soccer’ star sticks up for friend Henry Tang Ying-yen, one of two candidates for Hong Kong’s highest office.

The comic mastermind also had his own words of wisdom on the possible negative impact on public support for Tang after Tang was discovered to have engaged in extramarital liaisons.

Chow deadpanned, “We’re trying to elect a chief executive here, not to choose a boyfriend.” [Herman Cain might want to borrow this line.]

Chow’s unopposed election to one of 15 seats for the performing arts subsector on the next Hong Kong chief executive election committee came at the last minute on the day before the application closed, after original candidate, 1990s “Heavenly King” of the Hong Kong pop music scene and actor Leon Lai (Forever Enthralled), was found to be ineligible.

Lai’s disqualification to run as the representative of the election committee for the performing arts subsector had made a mockery of the whole election process of the next chief executive, which will be selected by a 1200-member committee – the singer-actor was not eligible as he was not even a registered voter.

After a slump of over a decade, Taiwan’s home- grown films are not only sweeping box offices at home but also winning awards and hit status overseas, thanks to a new cohort of filmmakers.

Director Chen Kaige is shooting his realistic Micro film “Search” in Ningbo of Zhejiang Province. Its scheduled release is in May of 2012. Chen will make three micro films before promoting them on the Internet.

Yao Di attending a launch ceremony in Sichuan for an 80’s-generation micro film (”Lost and Found”?)

Yao Di

Daniel Lee’s “White Vengeance” opens today in Hong Kong

Feng Shaofeng

Feng Shaofeng (Sina-slideshow)

Publicity stills for “Cold Steel’ featuring Tony Leung Ka-Fai

Opening Dec. 2

Peter Ho Yun-Tung (Sina)

The 32-year-old, who rose to fame as part of Taiwanese boy band Fahrenheit, quit the group in June and is now channelling his time into acting, having starred in best selling flicks like 14 Blades and My Kingdom.

MSN: Cecilia Cheng and Lucas Tse hides from the paparazzi (Nov.26)

In other related news, the media speculated that Cecilia had allowed Lucas to skip school again, because the pair was spotted in Shanghai for the past few days. (Sina)

Lucas at the play center

(Xinhua)

American-Taiwanese singer-actor Peter Ho was recently detained by the customs at an airport in China because the customs officers found that he was carrying more than 100 boxes of condoms in his carry-on luggage

Happy 37th Birthday to Lin Chi-Ling today!

(Sina)

Last night, with Huang Xiaoming in Beijing attending a charity dinner (Sina)

Lin Chi-Ling earlier this month

(Sina)2

August 10, 2011

August 10, 2011

Hong Kong film to conclude Venice film festival

Johnnie To’s new movie “Life Without Principle” about financial greed will wrap up the official selection for this year’s Venice film festival, organisers said on Tuesday.

Variety: Venice adds ‘Life’ to competish

Johnnie To’s crime thriller joins lineup

CRI: Johnnie To’s Film Joins Golden Lion Competition(FBA)

THR: Celestial Pictures Enters the Gaming Realm with ‘My Kingdom’ Tie-in(FBA)

More games to come from Celestial’s 760-title Shaw Brothers library.

THR: Stephen Chow Producing New Take on China’s ‘Odyssey’

‘Journey to the West’ redux will co-star Shu Qi as a swordswoman absent from earlier versions.

THR: Jackie Chan’s ‘1911′ Added as Second Opening Film for Tokyo Fest(FBA)

CF: Superstar Sun Honglei Joins Sun Zhou’s New Project

Sun Honglei

Sun Zhou

Yes, I Do book cover (Sina)

CF: Sun Yat-sen Biopic to Be Released in October

CF: Yan Ni in Supremacy(Sina-gallery)

Fantasy film “Mural” saw its new still photos released recently. The stills feature actress Yan Ni who portrays Coldblood Queen who is in charge of the mural wonderland and enjoys the mightiness of supremacy.

Huang Yi and Raymond Lam Fung attend the launch of the official web site for It’s Love/The Sorcerer and the White Snake.

Yang Zi, Tony Ching Siu-Tung, Huang Shengyi, Raymond Lam

(Sina)2

Lau Ching-Wan and Huang Yi shoot a bedroom scene in Overheard 2

Huang Yi plays a lawyer who helps her husband, Lau Ching-Wan, evade justice (Sina)2

Huang Yi in Woman Knight of Mirror Lake (HunanTV)

Xu Fan has a 1950s retro look in Love in Space

Xu Fan, Liu Jinshan (HunanTV)(Sina)2

Online trailer for horror film Harpoon is drawing lots of netizens’ attention for featuring a naked Zhao Ming. Hu Bing and Monica Mok (Mo Xiaoqi) co-star and opens in December, just in time for the holidays. (Sina)Trailer

Zhang Ziyi on upcoming cover of September Elle

Shu Qi Elle Extra cover

Tang Wei in Hong Kong shooting a skin care advert

(Xinhua)(Sina-slideshow)

CF: Huang Shengyi Poses Backless for “Sunshine” Magazine

CRI: Rene Liu Announces Marriage(CNA)

MSN: Nicholas Tse suffers an asthma attack(CNA)

Next Miracle boot ceremony (Sina)

MSN: Karena Lam returns to Hong Kong

MSN: Elaine Ng rumoured to bring daughter into showbiz

Jackie Chan’s son caught dating a busty woman

November 12, 2010

November 12, 2010

Midnight Beating poster (Xinhua)

CRI: New Bruce Lee Film Premieres in Hong Kong

THR: 3D ‘Sex & Zen’ to Offer Pick and Choose Edits

Up to a dozen “tailor-made” versions of erotic 3D film Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy are set to spring up across the globe come the film’s release in the summer of 2011.

Multiplatform distributor Asia Crush will bring popular titles on Comcast and Time Warner Cable systems, which will reach more than 50 million U.S. households.(THR)

If you have ever wondered whether China has produced any cinema other than over-embellished period dramas, kungfu-style action flicks or soapy stories about who gets to hook the office stud, 101 Essential Chinese Movies might be a good place to start.

Unconfirmed rumors have Zhao Wei’s first film project since her pregnancy being ‘Fuchun Mountain’. The main story is about a famous Chinese painiting, ‘Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains’, with elements of spy drama, romance and adventure. Andy Lau, Lin Chi-Ling and Chen Kun’s names have been attached to the project. The actual painting, partially burned, exists in two pieces, one part in mainland China, the other in Taiwan. [Political metaphor? Hmmm.] (Sina)2

Li Bingbing

Li Bingbing appeared in Hangzhou for Piaget (Nov.11) (Xinhua)

Cherrie Ying, Jordan Chan

The couple will hold their wedding at Hong Kong’s Disneyland tomorrow. To support animal conservation,  they will not offer shark’s fin soup. As the soup is an indispensable status symbol, it was a big headache to come up with a substitute. Instead, they decided on red wine instead. Earlier, Miriam Yeung also announced that she was eschewing shark’s fin soup for her wedding banquet. (Xinhua)(Sina-slide show) According to this report, the wedding will be broadcast live at 14:30, Saturday. (Sina)

The official reason for Wang Bo-Chieh’s wrist injury was that he injured it playing a late-night drinking game with buddies and he cut it on a broken bottle. Producer Peter Chan and Sandra Ng called to check on his condition as he is scheduled to do voice work for Mr. and Mrs. Incredible which has now been delayed. (Sina)

Zhang Jingchu attending a brand event dinner

(Xinhua)(Sina)

16 year-old Zhang Ziyi from a TV liquor advert (Xinhua)

Scandals can do wonders for public profile

MSN: Cecilia Cheung and Lucas Tse to star in comedy flick together

MSN: Stephen Chow has a young new lover (Xinhua)

CRI: Michelle Reis: It’s a Boy!

Michelle Reis considered hiring surrogate mum

CRI: Gigi Leung to Hold Concert in Beijing on X’mas Eve

October 6, 2010

October 6, 2010

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , , , — dleedlee @ 4:50 pm

According to this report, Stephen Chow has invited Ethan Ruan to play the Monkey King and Aarif Lee Chi-Ting (Aarif Rahman) to portray the Tang Monk in his upcoming New Journey to the West (Journey to the West Enchantment of Tripitaka). Filming is planned to begin in February. (21cn)

FBA: Baihe (百合) (6/10)

Modest but solid migrant-worker drama, with a striking performance by Chinese newcomer Wang Zitong.

Chow Yun-Fat - The Founding of a Party

Chow Yun-Fat has begun shooting his part as China’s first President, Yuan Shikai

Hou Yong (front)

Zhao Benshan, Feng Gong

Feng Gong (Xinhua)(Xinhua-gallery)(Sina)

Director Ning Hao is recruiting new actors online for a free training course for a future film. (Sina)

Josie Ho leaving the set of Contagion for the day. (Sina)

Nick Cheung’s wife, Esther Kwan, is thought to be pregnant. Besides shopping for clothes for her daughter, Esther was spotted looking at newborn clothing. Hong Kong media reports that she recently underwent artificial insemination procedures but Nick has denied this. (Sina)

More photos from Kiki Seung Tin-Ngo’s wedding banquet

Margie Tsang, Tony Leung’s long-time girlfriend during his TVB years, Carina Lau

Acting course classmates: Lawrence Ng, Lau Ching-Wan, Michael Tao Dai-Yue, Sandra Ng, Margie Tsang, Carina Lau (Sina)

Speaking at a Milan fashion show on Sunday, the actress hinted at the reason behind her delayed pregnancy - she preferred to live a life of enjoyment.

The home boasts a magnificent sea view and a 37,000 square meters outdoor garden. It was also constructed out of premium raw materials only.

September 30, 2010

September 30, 2010

To mark the 100th anniversary of the International Women’s Day and changes of role of woman in modern society, 10 Mainland films made by women filmmakers over the past three decades will be shown in the “Chinese Film Panorama 2010: A Feminine Perspective” from October 14 to November 7.

FBA: Mei Ah takes Grand Master rights

The Grand Master, which takes another look at Ip Man, the martial arts ace credited with teaching the wing chun style of kung fu to Bruce Lee, is tentatively set for release at 2011 Chinese New Year (Jan-Feb).

CRI: ’Aftershock’ to Grab Oscar Entry

The blockbuster film, “Aftershock,” which is the most successful film ever made in China, has been chosen to compete for the nomination at the 83rd Academy Awards next February.

Entertaining but throwaway whodunit set in Ancient China.

Jackie Chan, Li Bingbing and Winston Chao celebrate as the movie “The 1911 Revolution” started filming in Fuxin City of northeast China’s Liaoning Province on Wednesday, September 29, 2010.

Jackie Chan, Li Bingbing, Winston Chao

(Sina-gallery)

More on Stephen Chow’s New Journey to the West. Chow has personally invited Maggie Cheung to appear in his film. In addition, Will and Jaden Smith may be guest stars. Taking advantage of the Monkey King’s legendary 72 transformation, Chow will use this as a premise to cast many celebrities and guest stars. (Xinhua)2 [I can see Maggie now as Princess Iron Fan!]

Josie Ho, Jude Law

Josie Ho was tight-lipped about working with Jude Law in Contagion but met at an event in Hong Kong. (Sina)

CRI: Cherrie Ying, Jordan Chan Publish Uniform Wedding Photos

Liu Ye in a fall/winter fashion shoot for GQ

(Sina-slide show)

Vivian Hsu

Vivian Hsu at a recent magazine promotion event (Sina-slide show)

Jet Li attending the unveiling of his wax (un)likeness at Hong Kong’s Madame Tussauds

(Sina-slide show)

Elaine Ng

Elaine Ng was in Hong Kong for a skin care brand yesterday. She resides in Shanghai and is a former actress most well known as the mother of Jackie Chan’s “Dragon Seed” daughter who is now 11 years old. Still unmarried, Ng says her daughter knows who her father is but they rarely discuss it. (Xinhua)

Fuzzy Photos Dept: Faye Wong recently celebrated husband Li Yapeng’s birthday in Beijing. At one point, Faye coaxed friend Zhao Wei on stage to join her for a karaoke rendition of a Karen Mok song, ‘He Doesn’t Love Me’.

Faye Wong, Zhao Wei (Xinhua)2

Carina Lau

Carina Lau recently posted a collection of photos from her 7-day ‘Roman Holiday’ on her micro-blog. (Xinhua-gallery)

George Lam, Sally Yeh

Despite regular rumors of divorce, Sally Yeh appeared at George Lam’s recent Hong Kong concert. The concert was recorded and will be released later as a DVD. (Sina)

Patrick Tse showing off his ‘guns’

“The Chinese Jack Palance”

74 year-old Patrick Tse was seen with girlfriend Coco (47 years her junior) at Shanghai Airport. (Sina)

Rosemary

Rosemary was officially charged with 3 misdemeanor counts for her auto accident involving the Reno arch: hit-and-run, illegal right turn and not having insurance. The trial date for these charges will be on Dec. 8. The court hearing date for the more serious felony drug possession arrest is on Oct. 19. (Sina)

Hong Kong model’s Reno trial set for Dec. 8 for crash into landmark arch

Stephen Chow’s mother

Young Stephen and family

Resigned to a bachelor son, declares Stephen Chow’s mum (Sina)2

September 29, 2010

September 29, 2010

HK Film Archive shows Mandarin and Cantonese classics to celebrate Cathay’s 75th anniversary

Hong Kong media reports that Cecilia Cheung will join Raymond Wong’s Lunar New Year film costarring Donnie Yen, Louis Koo and Carina Lau. New Year films are always fun, popular and an easy role for a mother like Cecilia. That, and the stellar cast were given as reasons for Wong’s ability to lure Ceci back. Besides the Hong Kong and Beijing premieres, Cecilia will not be required to participate in the normal publicity tour of cities. (Sina)(Xinhua)

New Westward Journey will begin filming in October. The Stephen Chow produced and written prequel to his earlier Monkey King films will be directed by Derek Kwok Chi-Kin. Casting was not announced but Chow has been recruiting new actors recently. (Sina)

Posters for Distant Thunder

Zhang Jiarui’s (Red River) new film is described as a mainland ‘Rouge’ (Sina)

CRI: Tang Wei to Drive Racing Car in New Movie

Tang Wei has signed up to join Hong Kong director Jingle Ma’s new film, “Race Car” .

CRI: ’Just Call Me Nobody’ Wraps up Shooting

Just Call Me Nobody” features Taiwan actress Kelly Lin and well-known Chinese mainland comedians Zhao Benshan and Xiao Shen Yang.

(Sina)

FBA: Hot Summer has its Day in US theatres

Hot Summer Days gets limited release in New York, LA

FBA: Pinoy Sunday (台北星期天) (7/10)

Vignettish “road movie” about two Filipino workers on their day off in Taipei is slim but likable.

Interesting note: As well as many filmmakers and delegations, foreign industry guests at the 12th Pyongyang Festival included Hong Kong producer Shi Nansun (with a new print of Tsui Hark’s classic 1984 comedy Shanghai Blues)(FBA)

The cast of Legend of the Fist held an event in Beijing to celebrate its box office success during the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday period.

Shu Qi

Anthony Wong on harmonica

Andrew Lau, Ryu Kohata

Andrew Lau, Shu Qi, Huo Siyan, Chen Jiajia, Anthony Wong, Ryu Kohata

Director Lau  revealed that in the first cut the original ending was eight minutes longer and that he hoped the scene would be used to open the sequel. (Sina-gallery)(Xinhua-gallery) With her string of successful films on the mainland since Confession of Pain, her films Blood Brothers, If You Are the One, Looking For a Star, and City on Alert have been big box office earners, Shu Qi’s being dubbed Queen of the Mainland. Elsewhere, it’s been reported that Shu Qi recently bought a 14M yuan villa in Beijing.  (Xinhua)

Zhou Dongyu

Shawn Dou Xiao

Yu Xinbo

Zhang Yimou returned to visit his alma mater, Beijing Film Academy, with the young stars of Under the Hawthorn Tree. (Sina-gallery)

Jennifer Tse promoting Breast Cancer Awareness (Sept.29)

(Sina)(Sina-slide show)

Vivian Chow

Vivian Chow, Kay Tse and Gong Xinliang attend a Piaget event. (Sept.28)

(Xinhua-gallery)

Jordan Chan and Cherrie Ying took retro photos for their upcoming November wedding banquet invitations.

Reminded me of this one with Fan Wei and Zhang Jingchu from The Road. (Sina)

Rosemary

Rosemary and boyfriend Jason return to Hong Kong from France where she’s been hiding out since mid-September after her Labor Day arrest in Reno, NV. Her demeanor was reportedly better now that her legal situation has somewhat eased. (Sina)

Hong Kong model’s Reno trial set for Dec. 8(HKStandard)(msnbc)

SG: Battle of the Queens: Shu Qi, Vicki Zhao, Zhou Xun

Edison Chen makes pop-art debut

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