HKMDB Daily News

September 16, 2010

September 16, 2010

THR: Detective Dee

Bottom Line: Breathtaking sets and effects give this youthful martial arts film a modern air.

Global Times: Deconstructing Detective Dee

Li Bingbing (Xinhua)

FBA: Taipei Exchanges (第36個故事) (5/10)

Beautifully mounted but wafer thin story of two sisters running a boutique Taipei coffee house.

Global Times: Ice Kacang Puppy Love

Writing, directing and starring in romantic film Ice Kacang Puppy Love, Malaysian singer/ songwriter Ah Niu is enjoying his broadened repertoire and spoke with the Global Times after the film’s Chinese mainland premiere Monday in Beijing.

Feng Trilogy concludes with A Romantic Affair

After spy suspense film The Message (Fengsheng) and Western action film Wind Blast (Xi Feng Lie), director Gao Qunshu announced the third of the Feng Trilogy A Romantic Affair (Yichang Fenghuaxueyue De Shi) Thursday in Beijing.

Zhang Yimou’s new simplicity

Zhang Yimou’s latest work Under the Hawthorn Tree opens nationally on Thursday with the famous filmmaker meeting the press Sunday evening in Beijing, talking about his choice of young actors, film festivals and the ideals of love.

Dou Xiao, Zhou Dongyu, Zhang Yimou

Zhou Dongyu (Sina)

CRI;”Legend of the Fist” Returns

Legend of the Fist poster (Sina-gallery)

A Seven Little Fortunes reunion? Jackie Chan and Yuen Biao are trying to bring the old gang together. Besides Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, Yuen Wah and Yuen Qiu, Eason Chan and Ronald Cheng are said to be in the cast.  The film would be about the history of the Seven Little Fortunes and is reported to start shooting in October. (Sina)

FBA: Stephen Chan to face corruption charges

THR: Former TVB GM charged with corruption

Former general manager of Television Broadcasts Ltd. Stephen Chan Chi-wan has been charged by the Independent Commission Against Corruption for alleged corruption and conspiracy to defraud offenses when handling TVB business affairs, the ICAC announced on Thursday.

Color Me Love poster and trailer release conference in Beijing (Sept.14)

Director Alexi Tan, Yao Chen, Zhu Hong, Monica Mok (Mo Xiaoqi)

Monica Mok, Yao Chen, Zhu Hong

Joan Chen called in to the conference from the US. (Xinhua-slide show)

CRI: ”Color Me Love” Releases out Trailer

Wang Xinjun, Andy Lau in costume for Founding of a Party (Sina)

Reign of Assassins: Jung Woo-Sung, Michelle Yeoh, Su Chao-Pin

Wedding scene stills (Sina-gallery)

Kelly Lin, Guo Xiaodong poster

Don Quixote poster featuring Miao Pu

Miao Pu

(Sina-gallery)2

Sleeping Beauty

Shu Qi napping before Beijing premiere after dressing and makeup, taken by hairdresser Sev Tsang

(Xinhua)

SG: Karena Lam married in June

Jay Chou adds another title to his resume: TV host

August 19, 2010

August 19, 2010

Concept poster for The Man Behind The Courtyard House starring Simon Yam and Zhang Jingchu

(formerly Watchman/Watchmen here)

Thrillers fans are enjoying a wave of new films with the recent releases of Illusion Apartment, Curse of the Deserted, and the upcoming Midnight Pulse and The Island. (Sina)2

NPR: Giving ‘Charlie Chan’ A Second Chance

China: no film ratings, restated censors role (THR)

SARFT vice minister sees more cinemas, cheaper tickets

CRI: It’s Not Time for Film Rating System

THR: Thomas Mao

Bottom line: A fresh and delightful crossover between art and life, documentary and fiction, dream and reality.

Writer-director Felix Chong’s light satire on gangster dramas is hit-and-miss.

The upcoming Hong Kong cops and gangsters film “The Stool Pigeon” was screened for the press in Beijing recently, and proved the film had passed the Mainland examiners and would be presented in its original form without any cuts.

Reboot of John Woo classic focuses on drama

When the Korean remake of John Woo’s seminal, genre-defining shoot’em up, “A Better Tomorrow” rolls out in multiplexes all over Korea during next month’s Chuseok holiday, don’t expect a faithful update.

Michelle Ye (and Aaron Kwok) won 3rd place prize

front: Chin Kar-Lok, Ng Ka-Lok, Michelle Ye, Aaron Kwok, Ekin Cheng

Chin Kar-Lok placed second to winner Ng Ka-Lok in Jet Li’s One Foundation Celebrity Charity Cup race in Shanghai.

Jet Li and volunteer Lin Peng

Lin Peng

(Xinhua-slide show)(Sina)

While Vicki is willing to give the marriage time, she is said to be taking on jobs to ensure that she has a steady income in the event of a divorce and she needs to fight for custody of her daughter.

She even met up with a famous Chinese scriptwriter to discuss plans for her movie, which will be her first self-directed feature.

Karena Lam (Sina)

HK actress Karena Lam goes back to school

Karena Lam’s management company has released an official statement on Wednesday, clarifying that the 32-year-old had not completely left the industry but has gone back to school, reported Chinese media.

SG: Irene Wan shows her motherly side

After 10 years of marriage, former sex-bomb Irene Wan has given up on trying to conceive and decided to adopt instead.

CRI: Chinese Women’s National Volleyball Team Triggers Debate in Hong Kong

May 14, 2010

Taipei Exchanges (Taipei Times review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: — dleedlee @ 10:02 pm

‘Taipei Exchanges’ juxtaposes capitalism against a more idealistic way of life in the form of two sisters, one practical, the other utopian
By Ho Yi

Taipei has recently been portrayed as an exotic landscape for a Swedish mother and her son in Miss Kicki (霓虹心) and as a city of romance in Au Revoir Taipei (一頁台北). Now comes television commercial director Hsiao Ya-chuan’s (蕭雅全) Taipei Exchanges (第36個故事), which was commissioned by the Taipei City Government’s Department of Information and Tourism (台北市觀光傳播局). The movie attempts to downplay the city’s reputation as a center of capitalism populated by money-grubbing consumers by limiting much of the action to a cafe where an idealistic young woman opens a side business based on bartering.

The film begins with Doris (Guai Lun-mei, 桂綸鎂) fulfilling a dream by opening a coffee shop in an artsy neighborhood. Doris wants the store to look elegant and tasteful, but after a party to celebrate the establishment of her business she finds it piled with odd gifts such as a recipe written in Thai, a wig and a life-sized, anatomically correct doll.

These unwanted housewarming presents give Doris’ sassy younger sister Josie (Zaizai Lin, 林辰唏) the idea to run a bartering business out of their shop. Soon Doris’ dream comes to look more like a warehouse than a cafe.

Doris, the more pragmatic of the two sisters, decides to put up with Josie’s shenanigans as more and more customers are drawn to the cafe looking for things to exchange. “They will order more coffee when they try to figure out what they want to barter with,” Josie says to Doris.

One day, a man named Chou (Chang Han, 張翰) walks into the store and wants to exchange the 35 bars of soap he has collected from 35 different countries for something, but he’s not sure what that something is. Chou becomes a regular at Doris’ coffee shop, and each time he visits, the traveler recounts a story about one of the bars of soap.

Captivated by Chou’s stories, Doris starts to dream again. Only this time, in her dreams she is visiting the places Chou has been talking about, encountering people and having experiences that will give her her own stories to tell.

Given its director’s background in an environment that prizes efficiency, Taipei Exchanges paints a surprisingly sweet, romantic portrait of a Taipei where capitalism is superseded by a barter economy, and memory and relationships are more valuable than commerce and commodity. The film neatly plays with the two distinct value systems as represented by the two sisters, one practical, the other utopian, and aims for a reconciliation between the two.

The movie is well-crafted, and its fairy-tale feel is charmingly enhanced by artist Wu Meng-yun’s (吳孟芸) child-like illustrated art, and a warm, comforting score by Summer Lei (雷光夏) and Ho Zhi-jian (侯志堅). The narrative flow is sometimes interrupted by footage of street interviews with real-life Taipei residents, who comment on the choices Doris makes in the film.

But with 80 percent of the film taking place inside the coffee shop, Hsiao stretches his already thin material a bit too much and loses the momentum he would have needed to make a serious statement. Much like the pretty drawings and postcards on display in the cafe, the film’s characters seem to live exclusively in delightful vignettes that are inspired by the real world but not truly rooted in it.

Doris’ Coffee Shop (朵兒咖啡館) was built from scratch by the film crew in an old apartment on Taipei’s tree-lined Fujin Street (富錦街), an area that is home to an assortment of interesting boutiques and other shops. It became a real coffee shop after the shooting of the film, and it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if this stylish cafe becomes a popular tourist attraction after Taipei Exchanges hits theaters across the country.

Taipei Times

May 14, 2010

Variety: Chongqing Blues

An irreparable father-son bond triggers a study in bleak cityscapes and pervasive intergenerational malaise in “Chongqing Blues.” Initially as glum as its title would suggest, Wang Xiaoshuai’s poignant if plodding ninth feature — which follows an absentee father trying to glean information about the dead son he never knew — eventually opens up with a handful of quietly affecting moments, but elsewhere bogs down in psychodramatic flashbacks that ultimately sentimentalize as much as they clarify. http://hkmdb.com/news/?p=5453

Screen Daily: Chongqing Blues

A strong performance by Wang Xueqi as the father provides emotional ballast but fails to make up for the glacial pacing of the drama; and although there are some effective emotional tugs and an evocative use of the film’s dirty industrial city setting, the audience’s investment in the slowbuild structure is never paid back in full. http://hkmdb.com/news/?p=5456

THR: Wang Xiaoshuai returns to Cannes

CRI: “Chongqing Blues” Screened at Cannes Film Festival

Fan Bingbing

Li Lingyu, Zi Yi Cannes red carpet (Xinhua)

Fan Bingbing in dress from Elie Saab for film’s premiere (Sina)2

He Yumeng

Be sure to check out ewaffle’s take on the premiere’s red carpet.

CNNGo: Josie Ho in Dream Home: Incredibly gruesome must-see slasher film

Jeon Do-Yeon - Cannes (Sina)

Tasty, full of black humour, but finally upended by the mannerist games it plays so ably, erotic thrillerThe Housemaid is a smart but shallow remake of Kim Ki-young’s cult 1960 Korean movie of the same name.

THR: The Housemaid

Bottom Line: An operatic, sensuous social satire that dares to be different from the original classic.

Screen Daily: Sandcastle (Singapore)

Sandcastle marks a quietly assured debut feature from writer/director Boo Junfeng. The blending of guilty family secrets and the ghosts of Singapore’s recent past create an involving narrative that is related with tenderhearted understatement.

Variety: Bedevilled (South Korea)

A young mother understandably wants to get off a remote island filled with violent and misogynistic miscreants and slave-driving old hags in “Bedevilled,” a confused genre hodgepodge that marks the feature debut of Kim Ki-duk’s former assistant director Jang Cheol-soo. Part limpid study of city-country contrasts, part one-sickle-kills-all revenge fantasy, Jang’s film drifts from one genre to another without ever fully coming into its own.

Taipei Times: Taipei Exchanges

‘Taipei Exchanges’ juxtaposes capitalism against a more idealistic way of life in the form of two sisters, one practical, the other utopian.

Eight films and two TV dramas in the works

First up for Chan himself is the martial arts film “Drunken Master 1945.” Though neither a remake nor sequel to Chan’s 1978 hit “Drunken Master,” the new film is intended to capture the martial arts spirit that the earlier film also celebrated.

Beginning in August, Steve Woo will direct “The Break-Up Artist,” a Chinese Mandarin-language romantic comedy about a young woman who runs an agency that helps couples break up.

Jackie Chan a ruthless boss?

Ken Lo, William Duen Wai-Lun sacked with little compensation; Xinhua2

Zhao Benshan as a river pirate in “Laughter of the Water Margins”

Director is Chu Yen-Ping (TreasureHunter)

(Sina)

Ning Hao’s No Man’s Land too dark? (Xinhua)

Former Olympic diver Tian Liang has joined the cast of Andrew Lau’s love story Beautiful Life

Beautiful Life stars Shu Qi, Liu Ye (file photo) (HunanTV)

CRI: Tsui Hark’s 3-D Animation “Animen” to Hit Cinemas on Children’s Day(Sina)

Opening in China, Europe and US simultaneously

Rumor Mill:  Previously, Edko announced that Tsui Hark would remake a 3D version of New Dragon Inn. No cast has been announced yet. Earlier rumors has Gui Lun-Mei and Ethan Ruan as Tsui Hark’s favorite candidates. A current rumor from an ‘insider’ on the micro-blogosphere has Jet Li, Li Yuchun and Zhou Xun in the new love triangle with filming to begin in September. (HunanTV)

Taipei Times: Pop Stop - Mother’s Day

Huang Yi and her cat

Practicing her piano (Photos from micro-blog)

CRI: Gigi Leung Breaks up with French BoyfriendChannel NewsAsia

Gigi Leung breaks up with French boyfriend of four years

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