HKMDB Daily News

January 18, 2010

January 18, 2010

Jackie Chan

Lin Peng

New Seven Little Fortunes

Little Big Soldier kicks off multi-city publicity tour in Shenzhen (Sina) (2)

Legend of Chen Zhen

Andrew Lau’s Legend of Chen Zhen has been quietly shooting in Shanghai. Recently, producers discovered a suspicious man in the studio. When detained and asked if he was an extra, the mysterious man was found to have a sophisticated pinhole pen camera on his possession. Producers found numerous scenes of high quality had been recorded. When questioned, the man did not reveal his motive and said he was a graduate and only fooling around. The pen and identity card were confiscated before allowing him the leave. The man later returned with police to retrieve his ID card and pen. But because of fear of leaks, security is high and all cast had signed confidentiality agreements, the producers were reluctant to release the pen camera. (Sina)

Zhou Xun, Chow Yun-Fat

Confucius - Shanghai publicity stop (13) (cri.cn)

AngelaBaby

AngelaBaby made a quick trip to Japan for a fashion shoot before beginning promotional activities for All’sWell Ends Well 2010. Young Japanese men and women sought her photograph and autograph and declared AngelaBaby ‘kawaii’. (Sina)

Li Bingbing

Expo ambassador Li Bingbing went to Shanghai for the opening of the China Pavilion

(Xinhua) HD (Sina)

Vivian Chow

Leo Ku

Vivian Chow helped open Leo Ku’s new shop for women in Tsimshatsui. Other celebrity guests included Vincy Chan and Sherman Chung. (Xinhua) (Sina)

CRI: Jordan Chan, Cherrie Ying to Tie the Knot on Valentine’s Day

If you happen to be in Las Vegas, it will take place in The Little White Wedding Chapel. According to this report, the reason for having the ceremony in the US is that all the banquet halls in Hong Kong were booked up for the year and the couple did not want to drag out the engagement. (Xinhua)

Tang Yu Ming, Tang Wei’s father

Tang Wei’s father, a painter, will have an exhibition in Hong Kong later this month. Tang said he didn’t know if his daughter would come to support him. When asked if he has seen Lust, Caution, he said, “I have seen the film, I feel her acting is good, but also nothing to object to, she is fighting for art everywhere.”

January 16, 2010

January 16, 2010

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , — dleedlee @ 5:20 pm

Jackie Chan aims at families with “Spy Next Door”

HK Magazine: Black Ransom

“Black Ransom” is a surprisingly decent film. Surprising, because most people had low expectations walking into the theater.

Korea Times

Attack the Gas Station 2 (South Korea)

Harmony (South Korea)

No Mercy (South Korea)

Wedding Dress (South Korea)

Woochi (South Korea)

TVB employees wear red and demonstrate for salary increases, bonus

Employees sign protests (Xinhua)

Andy Lau dropped from HK Actors Association committee due to secret marriage

MediaCorp’s “The Little Nyonya” makes its way into China

Long arms of Octopus snared acid suspects

ESWN: How Did The Hong Kong Police Track Down The Acid Attackers?

Eye in the Sky is not just a movie!

January 15, 2010

January 15, 2010

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , , , — dleedlee @ 10:42 pm

CRI: Zhang Yimou Eyes Another Suspense Comedy

Though its name is as yet unknown, it has been revealed that the new comedy will borrow a similar structure to the 2005 Oscar winner “Crash”, thereby telling the story of several unrelated characters, who become entangled in an unlikely event.

CRI: Jackie Chan Targets Kids with Low-Budget “Spy”

Biopic shows Confucius has new status in China

Hong Kong film development council to promote 3D movie making

Taipei Times capsule reviews

20th Century Boys: The Last Chapter - Our Flag

The final installment in this manga-sourced Japanese trilogy of kiddie-induced apocalyptic madness arrives in Taipei to a ready-made audience. Part 3 concentrates on the final stages of the attempt by doomsday cult leader Friend to destroy the world. His long-time opponents — a rock star and his female relative — attempt to frustrate him both within his organization and from the outside. It’s worth noting that this intriguing and sometimes disturbing mixture of cults, children, terrorism, pop music and religion could never have been made in the US.

Crazy Racer (瘋狂的賽車)

Frenetic Chinese action comedy involves a disgraced cyclist whom fate further mistreats by ensnaring him in a mish-mash of drug-running, spouse murder and even more nefarious activities. There’s action to spare and some innovative elements, too. Perfect for getting crazy on a brainless night out on the town. This is a follow-on of sorts from director Ning Hao’s (寧浩) Crazy Stone (瘋狂的石頭) in 2006.

The Warrior and the Wolf (狼災記)

Chinese director Tian Zhuangzhuang (田壯壯), who made the fine drama The Blue Kite (藍風箏), is a force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately, this strange, messy film may not enhance that reputation. Maggie Q (Die Hard 4.0) is a luckless widow, Japan’s Joe Odagiri (Air Doll, which also opens today) is a warrior and Taiwan’s Tou Chung-hua (庹宗華, from Lust, Caution) is a fallen general in this cosmopolitan action fantasy set thousands of years ago. The film offers two pieces of advice among the battles, rape sequences and pretty vistas: (1) Don’t fornicate with wolf-women and (2) Don’t assume eclectic Asian co-productions will make money.

CRI: Zhang Ziyi Sues Newspaper, Vivi Nevo Issues Statement

Zhang Ziyi strikes back at rumour mongers

Faye Wong’s comeback gets a little help from Botox

Faye’s back after five-year hiatus

Edison’s women slow to bounce back

Gigi Leung appearing at an art event (Xinhua) (15)

Zhang Yuqi at a shoe event (Xinhua) (11)(Sina)

Taipei Times: Pop Stop

Jay Chou, Lin Chi-Ling, Monga, Elva Hsiao, et al.

Struggle aka Loan Sharks features Sam Lee, Eddie Cheung, shot in Malaysia

January 11, 2010

January 11, 2010

Zhou Xun’s elaborate headdress in Confucius (Sina)

CRI: The Spy Next Door Premieres in Los Angeles

Screen Daily: The Spy Next Door

Yunnan clay and Taishan residents don’t mix (Sina)

Filming of Jiang Wei’s ‘Let the Bullets Fly’ raises ire of residents

Raymond Wong, Sandra Ng

Louis Koo

Lynn Xiong

Cast of All’s Well Ends Well 2010 attended a promotion event yesterday (Xinhua)

CRI: Is Vicky Zhao Wei Pregnant?

Another boy for HK actress Cecilia Cheung

Acid attacker still out there

The supposed attacker turned out to be simply an illegal immigrant with a fake identity card.

Red-faced officers had to admit yesterday that the culprit behind the latest attack, which injured more than two dozen people, is still at large.

The Spy Next Door (Screen Daily review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: — dleedlee @ 10:16 am

The Spy Next Door
Dir: Brian Levant. US. 2010. 94 mins.

Martial arts maestro Jackie Chan moves down a demographic agewise from his US hits Rush Hour and the Shanghai series with The Spy Next Door, a mirthless, unimaginative piece of entertainment aimed at the Spy Kids crowd.

While this may benefit from a general lack of family film competition domestically on its Jan 15 release – and throughout the month - poor word-of-mouth among Chan fans could quickly consign The Spy Next Door’s best commercial prospects to ancillary. Opening in China later this month to hit the Lunar New Year crowd and in Japan in June, this will test whether 55-year-old Chan retains the loyal fan base which has made him Asia’s biggest star, and opening footage drawn from Chan’s early Hong Kong actioners may help in that respect.

Chan, also appearing this June in Sony’s Karate Kid franchise reboot, stars as Bob Ho, a supposed pen importer who is really a foreign secret agent on loan to the CIA, where he works cases with Agents Colton (Billy Ray Cyrus) and Glaze (George Lopez). Bob dates single mother Gillian (Amber Valletta), whose three kids all think Bob is boring.

When Gillian goes out of town and Bob offers to take care of the children, however, they finally discover his true nature, and slapstick imperilment ensues, complete with buffoonish Russian villains led by Icelandic kids TV star (Lazytown) Magnus Scheving.

The Spy Next Door suffers from an overall lack of imagination as well as poor follow-through on even its most basic comedic set-ups. And Chan is just a tad too old, and ill at ease with romance, to spark much chemistry with Valletta, 20 years his junior. Since the film’s premise hinges on their attraction, it gets off to a shaky start from which it never quite recovers.

Chan’s age is only mildly reflected in the action, however, even if it is more heavily edited than previous movies. It’s mostly the trite, overly sentimental story, replete with clamorous sound effects, which will put off Chan fans.

Performance wise, the unfocused and uneven nature of the child acting further evidences Brian Levant’s poor direction. Chan, meanwhile, mugs mercilessly. The jokes may misfire, but his indefatigable effort and consistently sunny personality help make the characteristic English-mangling and action outtakes which again play over the end credits the film’s undisputed highlight.
Screen Daily

The Spy Next Door

Filed under: News — Tags: , — dleedlee @ 10:00 am

The Spy Next Door
A Lionsgate release of a Relativity Media production. Produced by Robert Simonds. Executive producers, Ryan Kavanaugh, Tucker Tooley, Ira Shuman, Solon So. Co-producer, Kenneth Halsband. Directed by Brian Levant. Screenplay, Jonathan Bernstein, James Greer, Gregory Poirier; story, Bernstein, Greer.

Bob Ho - Jackie Chan
Gillian - Amber Valletta
Farren - Madeline Carroll
Ian - Will Shadley
Nora - Alina Foley
Poldark - Magnus Scheving
Creel - Katherine Boecher
Larry - Lucas Till
Colton James - Billy Ray Cyrus
Glaze - George Lopez

By LAEL LOEWENSTEIN
It’s a sad day for Jackie Chan fans when the action-comedy star is reduced to a vehicle as lame as “The Spy Next Door.” As an undercover CIA agent ill-equipped to babysit his girlfriend’s three kids, Chan struggles gamely to charm, but the pic’s cartoonish jokes and misfired gags are likely to elicit more eye rolls than laughs. That said, little ones enticed by the trailer and devoted Chan fans may join forces to generate a decent opening weekend, followed by a sharp drop-off once this “Spy’s” cover is blown.

Chan plays Bob Ho, a mild-mannered pen salesman by day who moonlights as an international spy. He’s just the kind of simple, trusting guy his neighbor Gillian (Amber Valletta) wants in her life, but her three kids find him irredeemably boring. When Gillian is summoned out of town to care for a sick parent, Bob sees an opportunity, persuading her to leave him in charge of her brood: disaffected teenage daughter Farren (Madeline Carroll), nerdy prepubescent Ian (Will Shadley) and adorable 4-year-old Nora (Alina Foley).

A host of mini-crises ensue (a disastrous attempt to cook ends with smoke alarms blaring), all designed to spotlight Bob’s incompetence on the domestic front. Only when Bob pulls out his spy gear, installing closed-circuit cameras and kiddie LoJacks — parents take note — do things start to turn around.

At the same time, there’s also an international incident involving a sartorially challenged Russian villain, Poldark (Magnus Scheving) and a top-secret formula for bacteria-eating goop. Somehow, young Ian has intercepted and downloaded the formula on his iPod, a fact that immediately and inexplicably becomes known to the Russians, so it’s not long before Poldark and his cronies come after Bob and the kids. Final reel involves a blow-out fight that packs plenty of stunt choreography, physical humor and sight gags timed to coincide with Halloween.

Thematically, the pic borrows a thing or two from “The Pacifier,” the 2005 comedy in which Vin Diesel was the undercover agent left in charge of five kids. “Spy’s” most effective sequences involve Bob’s attempts to bond with the kids, in particular little Nora, which is understandable given helmer Brian Levant’s track record with family comedies (”Beethoven,” “Jingle All the Way”).

As for Chan, he’s far more persuasive as a comic charmer than as a romantic lead; he has much better chemistry with Carroll, Shadley and Foley than he does with Valletta. Now 55, Chan doesn’t have quite the loose-limbed elasticity of his glory days, and though he may still perform some of his own stunts, there’s a sense in “The Spy Next Door” of a star struggling to find a foothold.

It’s a feeling underscored by David Newman’s music, which strains toward the kind of cutesy, exaggerated playfulness that ought to have naturally emanated from the screen. As usual with Chan movies, the gag reel is not to be missed.

Camera (Technicolor), Dean Cundey; editor, Lawrence Jordan; music, David Newman; music supervisors, Happy Walters, Season Kent; production designer, Stephen Lineweaver; art director, Bryce Perrin; set designers, Paula Dal Santo, Derrick Ballard, Amahl Lovato; costume designer, Lisa Jensen; sound (Dolby Digital/DTS), Bill Daily; sound designer (Dolby Digital/DTS), Michael Payne; supervising sound editor, Mike Wilhoit; senior visual effects supervisor, Ed Jones; stunt coordinator, Bob Brown; assistant director, George Parra; casting, Jeanne McCarthy, Nicole Abellera. Reviewed at Lionsgate screening room, Santa Monica, Jan. 5, 2010. MPAA Rating: PG. Running time: 92 MIN.

Variety

January 9, 2010

January 9, 2010

All’s Well Ends Well 2010 poster (Sina)

CRI: ‘Confucius’ Preview Wins Acclaim

Chow Yun-Fat’s acting was described as energetic and intense, with some even predicting that the performance will see him nominated for a Best Actor this year.

Chow Yun-Fat, Johnnie To

Chow Yun-Fat received an award from Johnnie To for his 5 years continuous support of the Hong Kong Arts and Development Council.

Slide show (HunanTV)

Synopsis: THE SPY NEXT DOOR stars Jackie Chan as Bob Ho, an undercover CIA superspy who decides to give up his career in espionage to settle down with his next-door neighbor and girlfriend, Gillian (Amber Valletta). But Bob has one more mission to complete before Gillian agrees to marry him: winning over her three opinionated kids. When Gillian suddenly has to leave town, Bob volunteers to babysit the children so he can earn their approval. But when one of the kids mistakenly downloads a top-secret formula from his computer, Bob’s archenemy, a Russian terrorist, moves in for the attack, forcing Bob to juggle the roles of spy and prospective stepfather in the most challenging mission of his career! Martial arts superstar Jackie Chan is joined by an talented supporting cast featuring Amber Valletta. (gofobo.com)

Jackie Chan’s appearance on The Ellen Degeneres Show yesterday.

Recent photos from Edison Chen’s blog

Josie Ho

Eason Chan

And in case you missed it, EDC’s New Year’s Greeting (or threat, depending on your perspective)

HAPPY NEW YEAR to EVERYONE

another year has passed and gone

a new year is on the dawn

we leave the past behind and look towards the future

2010 promises to be a big year for ya boi EDC

i am going to be coming back HARDER than ever…(cont’d)

January 8, 2010

Jackie Chan’s The Spy Next Door

Filed under: News — Tags: , — dleedlee @ 12:39 pm

Jackie Chan - The Spy Next Door

Complete slide show (HunanTV)

Hulu video: Jackie Chan’s appearance on Conan O’Brien’s Tonight Show last night. Shows a clip from The Spy Next Door (opens Jan.15), telling a funny real-life fight story, and demonstrating Drunken-style fighting.

Part 1Part 2Part 3

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