HKMDB Daily News

August 10, 2010

August 10, 2010

Ouyang Sha-Fei (1923-2010)

Veteran actress Ouyang Sha-fei passed away last week at the age of 86 in Salt Lake City, UT. She had made over 200 films in her career. In 1940, Ouyang Sha-Fei was admitted to the Shanghai Venus Pictures Actors’ Training. Her 1946 film, Spy Number One, directed by her husband Tu Guang-Qi, was the top grosser that year. According to her husband, Ouyang Sha-Fei was already pregnant at the time and hid her stomach under a mink shawl. In 1949, she and her husband left Shanghai and moved to Hong Kong. For her role in MP&GI’s (Cathay) Devotion (1960), Ouyang Sha-Fei won the Best Supporting Actress at the 7th Asian Film Festival. In 1963, she joined Shaw Brothers and played Ivy Ling’s mother in Love Eterne. The actress won the Best Supporting Actress Award at the Golden Horse in 1968 for Too Late For Love. Ouyang Sha-Fei will be cremated and buried in Los Angeles next to her husband. The two divorced in the late 1970’s but reunited under the auspices of one of their daughters. (Chinapress)(ChinaDailyNews)(NextMedia)(Xinhua) [Thanks to Glenn!]

Making a song and dance for China - Disney’s High School Musical

CRI: 3D ”Don Quixote” Unveils Magical Scenes(Sina)

CRI: Donnie Yen to Star in “Wu Xia”

Takeshi Kaneshiro, better known to Chinese audiences as Jincheng Wu, has been confirmed as Yen’s co-star.

Variety: Storm Warriorshttp://hkmdb.com/news/?p=5775

Kenny Bee

Gan Wei

Kenny Bee and Gan Wei (Welcome to Shama Town) lead the cast in Land Without Boundaries. The star-studded supporting cast includes Rain Li, Patrick Tam, Francis Ng, Lam Suet, Roy Cheung, Mark Cheng, and Xiong Naijin (another ‘Little Fan Bingbing’). (Sina)

Veronica Yip and family visiting Taiwan

Veronica Yip is retired and currently living in the US

(Xinhua)2(Sina)

Jackie Chan breaks silence on ‘cancer shampoo’

CRI:: Miriam Yeung Shows High Heels Collection in MV

SG: Zhang Ziyi had suicidal thoughts

[In the Chinese reports, Zhang said watching Maggie Cheung's suicide scene in Centre Stage on TV spurred the thought.]

SG: Andy Hui resorted to abuse to get rid of girlfriend

SG: Aaron Kwok dumped girlfriend Lynn Hung?

SG: Ethan Ruan denies movie deal with Stephen Chow

Storm Warriors (Variety review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: — dleedlee @ 10:34 am

Storm Warriors
Fung wan II

(Hong Kong) A Universe Entertainment production in association with Sil-Metropole Organization, Chengtian Entertainment. (International sales: Universe Film Distribution, Hong Kong.) Produced by Oxide Pang, Danny Pang. Executive producers, Daniel Lam, Chiu Suet-ying. Directed by Oxide Pang, Danny Pang. Story, Ma Wing-shing.

With: Aaron Kwok, Ekin Cheng, Kenny Ho, Simon Yam, Nicholas Tse, Charlene Choi, Tang Yan, Wong Tak-bun. (Cantonese dialogue)

By RONNIE SCHEIB
Good, evil and f/x duke it out in “Storm Warriors,” the Pang brothers’ epically overblown sequel to Andrew Lau’s 1998 Hong Kong hit “The Storm Riders.” Character, plot, the fate of China — all are secondary to the cosmic power-mongering of the titular square-jawed, strong-armed warriors, hurling elemental projectiles — Earth, Air, Fire and Water — about in decorative, destructive patterns. Retaining “Riders’” heroic leads and adding arch-villain Simon Yam, the Pangs have painted their comicbook takeoff in somber hues. This brooding saga, whose protracted ending literalizes the term “cliffhanger,” will frazzle all but hardcore wuxia fans.

Pic finds the good guys incapacitated by the powerful poison of Lord Godless (Yam). Once rescued, they undergo a crash course in advanced combat: Cloud (Aaron Kwok) develops a signature sword-fighting style of landscape-altering energy fields, while Wind (Ekin Cheng) communes with the dark side — a risky shortcut to mastery that could cost him his soul. Wind’s compromised morality, making him as liable to unleash his lethal skills on his erstwhile partner as on his country’s enemy, satisfyingly reconfigures the f/x battles as three-way showdowns but carries no psychological resonance.

Camera (color, widescreen), Decha Srimantra; editor, Curran Pang, Danny Pang; music, Ronald Ng; production designer, Chung Man Yee; art director, Man Hung Lau. Reviewed at New York Asian Film Festival, July 1, 2010. Running time: 110 MIN.
Variety

December 31, 2009

December 31, 2009


THR: Storm Warriors review

Bottom Line: A martial arts fantasy with advanced 3D effects and two-dimensional characters.

Betty Sun Li in Jeff Lau’s Once Upon A Chinese Classic

Ronald Cheng (right) (Sina)

The Treasure Hunter

This Chinese so-called blockbuster easily wears the crown as the worst film of the year, with its cheap sets and amateurish action sequences and visual effects that rip off Western treasure-hunt flicks.

Taipei Times: FILM REVIEW: Treasure hunting is a dreary affair


We cannot help but be cautious that China’s film industry is repeating what destroyed Hong Kong’s film industry in the late 1990s: blind investment, neglect of film quality and the quest for cash and competition. Hong Kong director and producer Tung-Shing Yee sighed at the premiere of Overheard, stating that the Hong Kong film industry was officially dead. Chinese filmmakers need to be on guard so that we too are not mourning the death of the Chinese film industry in a few years time.

Worst 10 Chinese films of 2009

1. Wind Warriors (feng yun 2)

2. Gasp (qi chuan xu xu)

3. Looking for Jackie (xun zhao cheng long)

4. On His Majesty’s Secret Service (da nei mi tan ling ling gou)

5. My Fair Gentleman (yao tiao shen shi)

6. Radish Warrior (jue jiang de luo bo)

7. Copycat (dao ban mao)

8. Mulan (hua mu lan)

9. The Warrior and the Wolf (lang zai ji)

10. Wheat (mai tian)

49-year old Cherie Chong was said to have walked out of her sadness of losing of her husband and is planning to marry a Singaporean businessman next year. However, Cherie personally denies to this issue with her best friend Sylvia Chang exclaiming that it’s all a misunderstanding.

With the appearance of Mr L, her friends noted that her gloomy days are over. She has a smile across her face more regularly. However, being in love did not make her conscious of her weight and reporters claimed that she seemed at least 60kg.


Pop star Eva Huang Shengyi promotes new album in Shanghai

Sammi Cheng and guest Gigi Leung share a kiss on stage

Sammi, Gigi

Sammi, Jacky Cheung

(Xinhua)

Edison Chen accepted an interview with “GQ” magazine and mentioned about the sex scandal again.

Zhou Xun

Zhou Xun is on featured on the cover of France’s Le Point (Viewpoint) which focuses 80 pages on China’s rise as the new Asian power. Le Point is similar to the US Newsweek. (Sina)

CRI: Michelle Reis Looks Ravishing in Red

CRI: Ode to Cheongsam

Take a look at China’s notable stars dressed in gorgeously vying Cheongsams and see who looks the best.

Anita Mui’s brother mourned his sister’s passing yesterday on the 6th anniversary of the singer’s death. (Sina)

(Elsewhere James Cameron has been accused of plagiarizing from Miyazaki’s Castle in the Sky and Totoro.)

December 30, 2009

Storm Warriors (Hollywood Reporter review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: — dleedlee @ 5:57 pm

Storm Warriors

Bottom Line: A martial arts fantasy with advanced 3D effects and two-dimensional characters.

By Maggie Lee
HONG KONG — A tempest of CGI clouds the vision of “Storm Warriors II” but is not enough to smoke screen the action-fantasy’s lame plot and appropriation of Hollywood style, especially the grainy texture and buff males of “300″ and the production design of the third “Mummy” film. Its December release recorded a moderate take of about $1.8 million in Hong Kong and about $6.6 million in China over a three-week period. Followers of the careers of directors Oxide and Danny Pang (”Bangkok Dangerous”) may be tempted to catch this, but there is not enough authentic physical combat to satisfy the typical Asian genre film audience.

“Storm Warriors II” is a sequel to the 1998 Hong Kong mega-hit “Storm Riders,” which made memorable screen renditions of the original comic’s heroes — free-spirited but righteous Wind (Ekin Cheng) and cool but competitive Cloud (Aaron Kwok). Each action set piece in the first edition derived its own flavor from being choreographed to mirror the characters’ personalities and dramatize their rivalry.

By comparison, the sequel feels bland as it dispenses with the characters’ backstories, and abstracts the serpentine plot into a trite battle between good and evil. Even a 2008 animated version delivered a more polished storyline.

Wind and Cloud, played by the original Cheng-Kwok duo, are united against Lord Godless (Simon Yam), the wicked invader of China. After subjugating the Emperor (Patrick Tam) and the realm’s best martial artists, Godless and son Heart (Nicolas Tse) embark on an expedition to loot a dragon spinal cord on which the fate of China hangs.

Wind and Cloud seek the hermit-swordsman Lord Wicked’s guidance on how to defeat the invulnerable Godless. Wicked tells Wind to temporarily surrender himself to the Evil Path as a shortcut to enhance power. Wind is interrupted mid-way through his training and loses all reason. Cloud is taxed with foiling Godless’ conspiracy (with help from mentor Nameless), while keeping the possessed Wind out of trouble.

Eleven years after “Storm Riders” broke new ground in Hong Kong cinema for its use of computer graphics in martial arts choreography, “Storm Warriors II” has upgraded the technical razzle-dazzle. The 3-D effects are indeed eye-catching — the twister of swords conjured up by Nameless in the beginning simultaneously salutes and reinvents the low-tech, hand-drawn cartoons of flying daggers that characterize 1960s Hong Kong swordplay flicks.

The Pang brothers draw on their forte as colorists to create a universe of striking contrasts that distinguishes the film from recent martial arts epics of gritty realism. Most effective is when images are drenched of all but a few primary colors — blazing reds, frosty whites and luminous blacks — sharply toned to give additional dimension to human figures and key objects.

However, images that are at first atmospheric, like the curlicues of black-and-white smoke, lose their impact when rehashed in every major scene. There is also an overblown clunkiness to the action design, which does not correspond to the light, fluid quality of winds and clouds emphasized in the comic’s illustrations: The heroes’ opponents don’t just die; they crumble into black, chunky rumble. Caves, monuments and boulders explode with a crash-bang-wollop.

That aside, the real problem is that despite having a succession of large scale fight scenes, the lack of continuity does little to escalate the tension. The final mano-a-mano between Wind and Cloud lasts over half an hour, but the rapid turnover of slow motion, freeze frame and extreme close-ups of startled facial expressions only prolongs more or less the same physical moves.

While the film has assembled some of the most dashing male stars in Hong Kong cinema, they are only required to stand in cool poses with billowing manes. Charlene Choi and Tang Yan, who play Wind’s and Cloud’s love interests respectively, function as mere accessories. There is arguably more engaging human interaction in a computer game.

Opened Dec. 10: Hong Kong and China

Production Companies: Universe Entertainment Ltd, in association with Sil-Metropole Organization and Chengtian Entertainment
Cast: Aaron Kwok, Ekin Cheng, Simon Yam, Kenny Ho, Charlene Choi, Tang Yan, Nicholas Tse, Patrick Tam Yiu-man
Director-producers: Oxide Pang, Danny Pang
Based on the comic by: Ma Wing Shing
Executive producers: Daneil Lam, Ching Suet Ying
Production designer: Yee Chung Man
Costume designers: Yee Chung Man, Dora Ng
Editors: Curan Pang, Danny Pang
Sales: Universe Film Distribution Co.
No rating, 110 minutes
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/film-reviews/storm-warriors-ii-film-review-1004055775.story

December 16, 2009

December 16, 2009


Ekin Cheng, Aaron Kwok

Charlene Choi

Tiffany Tang Yan

Storm Warriors Hong Kong press conference banquet gallery (HunanTV) (Sina)

Aaron Kwok may not reprise role in ‘Storm Warriors’ sequel

Shanghai premiere of Bodyguards and Assassins

Fan Bingbing, Li Yuchun (Sina)

Bright Future - Alex Fong Chung-Sun

Liu Hua

Wang Baoqiang

Bright Future is a farcical comedy by first time director Deng Zhiyuan producer of Big Movie. The film opens Dec. 22 (Sina)

CRI: Lu Chuan to Focus on China’s Ancient Past

“Banquet at Hongmen” has become a colloquial Chinese term to refer to treachery or a trap hidden in an act of goodwill.

Screen Daily: The Actresses (South Korea)

A never before released Anita Mui 2001 concert video will be screened at the Hong Kong Exhibition Center Dec.29. Guests appearing in the concert include Kelly Chen and Jacky Cheung. Proceeds will be donated to the charity Oxfam. (Sina)

Jia Zhangke with French Legion of Honor (Sina)

2009 magazine covers Gong Li, Maggie Cheung, Zhang Ziyi, Zhao Wei  (China Daily)

Gong Li: January 2010 Harper’s Bazaar - HD gallery (Sina)

French rocker Hallyday out of coma, talking: spokesman

December 11, 2009

December 11, 2009

CRI: Descendant Says No to Commercial ‘Confucius’

“Hero” director targets youth with noodles

Internationally renowned director Zhang Yimou has changed his mode of operation in his latest film a bid to capture a dwindling cinema market – young people.

Check out Aaron’s tie

(Sina)

Storm Warriors - Taiwan premiere slide show (Sina)

Charlene Choi: Ekin finally treats her like a woman

Taipei Times: Pop Stop

Faye Wong

Faye Wong confirmed for CCTV Spring Gala. Hunan Satellite TV and Shenzhen Satellite TV had both invited her to perform for their shows but, finally, Faye accepted CCTV’s invitation. (cri.cn)

Zhou Xun, ‘I’m not pregnant’

Slide show with Miriam Yeung, Zhang Guoli, Daniel Wu, Raymond Wong, Johnnie To and FAMA at closing night of CineAsia 2009 (Sina)

Zhou Xun - Elle Magazine

Miao Pu attends a photo shoot for ‘In Style’ fashion magazine.


Vivian Chow was among the guests at Miramar Hotel for Cosmopolitan Anniversary Party Awards.

The article notes that her outfit’s shape was ‘hard to understand’. I agree, it looks like it was designed by MC Hammer, twenty years ago.(HunanTV) (Sina)

Nick Cheung, Sandra Ng, Joey Yung, Chan Wai-Ting, Jerry Lamb Slide show (Sina)


Miriam Yeung

Crystal frame with photo of  her husband

Miriam Yeung appearing in Hong Kong for Swarovski Crystal (HunanTV) Slide show (Sina)

Irene Wan

Irene Wan Pik-Ha attends opening ceremony for a skin care shop (Sina)

December 10, 2009

December 10, 2009

Lynn Xiong

Taiwan actress Feng Yuan Zhen, know as Little Lin Chi-Ling

Leon Jay Williams

He Jiong

Joe Ma announced in Beijing plans to film My Sassy Girl 2 with Lynn Xiong/Hung Doi-Lam and Leon Jay Williams/Li Wei-Lian.  (Sina)

Storm Warriors Hong Kong premiere

Slide show (HunanTV)

Bodyguards and Assassins - Shanghai promotion stop (HunanTV) (Sina)

CRI: Zhang Yimou’s New ‘Story’ Premieres

“A Simple Noodle Story”, the long-awaited new film by Zhang Yimou, premiered in Beijing on Wednesday

CRI: MV for ‘Noodle Story’ Theme Song


Prince of Tears (Hong Kong), City of Life and Death (China), No Puede Vivir Sin Te (Taiwan) make final list of Golden Globes Best Foreign Language Film. (Sina)

I spy: Zhang Ziyi getting in shape for Wong Kar-Wai’s Grand Master

(HunanTV)


Hong Kong Leukemia Foundation Ambassadors:

Ekin Cheng, Connie Chan, Karena Lam

Karena Lam (Xinhua)


CRI: Zhang Ziyi Defines Her ‘Good Man’


Female tycoon spotted at Edison Chen’s new Shanghai store


Cecilia Cheung aspires to have a brood of five children

December 8, 2009

December 8, 2009


True Legend poster (HunanTV)

Vivian Hsu - Hot Summer Days

Duan Yihong plays a fashion photographer (HunanTV)

Sina slide show

Confucius is scheduled to be released Jan. 28

Chow Yun-Fat

Zhou Xun (Sina)

Simon Yam

Charlene Choi

Gong Mi

Charlene Choi, Ekin Cheng, Aaron Kwok, Tang Yan

(HunanTV)

Storm Warriors tour ends in returns to Hong Kong, slide show (48)(Sina)

‘Little Cecilia’ Gong Mi among guests

Screen Daily: Song boards Korean remake of A Better Tomorrow

Profile: Vivian Chow, making a surprising comeback

CRI: Chen Kun Takes on Gangster Style

CRI: Vitas’ Mulan

Russian pop star Vitas has performed an emotional song for the new Chinese movie “Mulan”, which is currently being screened across China.

Michelle Reis (HunanTV)

CRI: Michelle Reis Graces Postage Stamps Slide show (14) (Sina)

Sammi Cheng working out to prepare for concert series, slide show (Sina)

HK actor Michael Miu once in celeb love triangle

Salt in her bra for luck

Norika Fujiwara keeps salt in her bra to boost her luck.

TV Programming note: Noticed that ThisTV is regularly airing 30 minute episodes of CCTV’s Journey To The West series. I’m not sure which year/version this is but I’ll set my DVR this week and see what I can find out.

December 7, 2009

December 7, 2009

HK Magazine: Wong Jing

CRI: Zhang Hanyu’s Transformation into Sun Yat-Sen

According to director Teddy Chan, he had shot four versions with each featuring a different actor playing Sun Yat-Sen. “Although it was really a hard decision to make, we eventually chose Zhang’s version for the completed film.” Slide show (Sina)

NYTimes: Martial Arts With a Digital Twist (Storm Warriors)

The brothers said they are keen to try new technologies to explore new ways of filmmaking. They have just finished shooting their first 3-D film, “Child’s Eye,” a supernatural horror movie that is set for release next summer.

Ekin Cheng, Aaron Kwok

Aaron Kwok

Ekin Cheng

Tiffany Tang Yan

Edison Chen

Edison Chen opened a new store in Shanghai and drew large crowds. Pals including Sam Lee were there to support Edison. (Xinhua)

Stephen Fung at recent style award ceremony

(Sina)

Jordan Chan promotes upcoming Christmas tour and EP

(Sina)

Chrissie Chau lights up green LED Christmas lights

(Sina)

December 2, 2009

December 2, 2009

Shu Qi, Chang Chen, Kwai Lun-Mei help open a new LV shop in Macau with Pansy Ho.

Shu Qi

Kwai Lun-Mei

(Xinhua) (Sina) (cri.cn)

Karen Mok was in Shanghai to promote her upcoming concert.

(Xinhua)

Simultaneous Press Conferences for Hot Summer Days

Barbie Hsu

Nic Tse

Angelababy

Barbie Hsu, Nic Tse, Angelababy

Vivian Hsu

Vivian Hsu, Daniel Wu

Bobo

Wei Shiya

Director Chan Kwok-Fai

Producer Fruit Chan

Hot Summer Days cast and crew held joint press conferences in Hong Kong and Beijing. Nic Tse, Angelababy and Barbie attended in Hong Kong while costars Daniel Wu and Vivian Hsu held a simultaneous press conference in Beijing (Xinhua) (2) (Sina) (cri.cn)

Film Archive to hold conference on history of early Chinese cinema

Top Asian cameraman expresses distaste of digital

Cannes-winning Taiwanese cameraman Mark Lee Ping-bing says in an interview published in “A Poet of Light and Shadow” — a collection of his still photographs — that shooting in digital format takes away the artistry of camera work and lighting because you can immediately see your work on a display monitor and fix it — as opposed to waiting to develop the film.

CNN: ‘1428′ tells Sichuan quake survivors’ stories

Storm Warriors Singapore promotion tour

Aaron and Ekin are such Storm troopers

Aaron Kwok on theme song duet with Ekin Cheng: his singing is not bad

Ekin Cheng: “I’m a romantic”

‘Warriors’ storm into M’sia

Chinese actress Li Bingbing married since 1999?

CRI: Leon Lai, Michelle Reis Reunite on, off-screen

Lin Chi-ling voted actress with “most beautiful breasts”

Carina jealous after Maggie Cheung said she wanted to squeeze Tony’s thigh

Loletta’s back and sexier than ever

Ssshhh… we’re married

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