HKMDB Daily News

February 16, 2010

February 16, 2010


THR: The Actresses (South Korea)

Bottom Line: A witty actresses’ ensemble piece disguised as a documentary.

Variety: Amphetamine

Beautifully lit and shot (by Pang Ho-cheung’s regular d.p., Charlie Lam), but archly written and played, “Amphetamine” will be a downer for any except gay male auds in search of some lusciously lensed softcore porn.

Variety: 72 Tenants of Prosperity

No fewer than 174 famous faces show up in the patchy Cantonese comedy “72 Tenants of Prosperity,” the latest reworking of a 1945 Shanghai play. All but eliminating the rotten landlords and corrupt officials who made life hell for downtrodden tenants in the original, this third pic-version is moderately chucklesome but sorely lacks the triumph-of-the-underdog factor that’s galvanized auds over the years.

THR: True Legend

Set in 1961 China – “a turbulent time,” according to the opening title - True Legend quickly dispenses with history lessons to deliver dark intensity and kung fu fighting sequences from the master of wuxia himself, Yuen Woo-ping.

THR: Echoes of the Rainbow

Alex Law and Mabel Cheung change roles for this bittersweet family saga which mixes nostalgia for the Hong Kong of 1969 with reflections on the transience of life, fortune and happiness.

Buzz Chung - Echoes of the Rainbow (THR)

Simon Yam

Sandra Ng, Simon Yam

THR: Kao joins “Snow Flower”

CSI star to play lead in 19th century love story

Jordan Chan marries Cherrie Ying in Las Vegas wedding

Due to his Jordan’s weak English, the 42-year-old misread his vows saying, “You are my best wife” instead of “You are my best friend, my wife”, tickling his bride and guests with his minor slipup at his wedding ceremony.
When it was Cherrie’s turn, the Taiwan-born actress amused her guests just as much as her groom did and started to rattle her vows in a string of fluent Cantonese, “The whole world does not understand you, I will do my best to understand you. The whole world leaves you, I will never leave you. I know you’re still a little kid, but you have a heart of gold. Don’t worry. I will take care of you.” [ Awww!]

Andy Lau sends New Year greetings after completing New Shaolin Temple.

Wishes everyone is happy, in harmony and lends a helping hand those in need. (Sina)

Wan Chi-Keung, former footballer and actor, passed away this morning after a long bout with  nasopharyngeal cancer.(Sina)

Michelle Yim (Mai Suet), his longtime girlfriend, reportedly married Wan Chi-Keung shortly before his death. Previously, she had been accused of misappropriating HK$2M in medical funds raised by friends like Alan Tam and Natalis Chan. (Sina) (2)

True Legend (Hollywood Reporter review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: — dleedlee @ 11:31 am

True Legend (Su Qi Er)
By Lee Marshall

Dir: Yuen Woo-ping. China-US. 2010. 116mins.

Set in 1961 China – “a turbulent time,” according to the opening title - True Legend quickly dispenses with history lessons to deliver dark intensity and kung fu fighting sequences from the master of wuxia himself, Yuen Woo-ping. Touching on a famous Chinese legend for the third time in his career - his 1978 film Drunken Master launched Jackie Chan in Hong Kong, while Heroes Among Heroes was also a hit in 1993 – Yuen has again chosen a lead (Vincent Zhao) for his fighting skills above all else.

Streamlined to four classic kung fu battles and one long classic ‘mountain training’ sequence, True Legend opened in China on February 14, aiming at the lucrative Lunar New Year market. Darker and lacking the antics normally associated with the kung fu master who fights best while drunk, True Legend features top class choreography and wire work which could well make a strong impact in the international marketplace.

Shot partly in 3D, it takes the novel approach of flashing little icons up on the screen to tell viewers when to put on their 3D specs, a device which allows the costume drama and the rural landscapes of the bridging scenes to be filmed in lush traditional widescreen, while the 3D fireworks are reserved for action sequences.

Su Can (Zhao) is a noble general and war hero who gives up a military career to return to his young wife Ying (Xun) and have a son. But Ying’s evil foster brother Yuang (On) has never forgiven Su’s father for killing his own biological father. Yuang has been coaching himself in the dark art of ‘the five deadly venom fists’, which he uses to kill Su’s father and take his sister and Su’s young son hostage.

The scene is set for Su’s two battles with Yuang. Poisoned by his nemesis after the first, Su is saved by Ying, and the two end up in the mountain refuge of a herbal healer played by Michelle Yeoh. Here, his fighting spirit broken, Su takes to the bottle – but is soon back in training again, helped by a mysterious whitebeard with long flowing eyebrows (veteran martial arts actor Gordon Liu) and The God of Wushu (Asian pop idol Jay Chou) – though Ying soon discovers that these masters exist only in Su’s alcohol-soaked imagination.

Su will soon prove his worth though – only to lose what he holds most dear. This tragedy sets the scene for the film’s final half hour, which can feel a little tacked on given that True Legend appears to already have completed its dramatic arc. But the showstopping last fight, in which the down-and-out, drink-addled Su takes on a group of huge Russian wrestlers – managed by a gambling den owner played by David Carradine in one of his very last roles – makes it all worthwhile

True Legend successfully blends the straight-faced, bone-crushing action of golden-age Hong Kong martial arts movies with the lush romance and landscapes of a Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, playing to a core male audiences with fight sequences and that are so well staged they don’t need flashy editing to work. It doesn’t confuse us with dynasties but taps into legend, fairy tale and nightmare to stand up a strong dramatic structure. And it looks ravishing.

Production companies
Focus Features International
Grand Plentiful Holdings Group
Shanghai Film Group
Beijing New Times Film Culture Development

International sales
Asia: Edko
(852) 2529 3898
Focus Features International
(44) 20 7307 1330

Producers
Bill Kong
Cary Cheng
Wang Tianyun
Xu Jianhai

Screenplay
Christine To

Cinematography
Zhao Xiaoding

Production design
Huo Tingxiao

Editor
Wenders Li

Music
Shigeru Umebayashi

Main cast
Vincent Zhao
Zhou Xun
Andy On
Guo Xiaodong
Jay Chou
Michelle Yeoh
Gordon Liu
David Carradine
Cung Le
Hollywood Reporter

February 12, 2010

February 12, 2010

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , — dleedlee @ 11:00 am

CRI: Berlin Film Festival Opens with Chinese Movie

CRI: [Photo Gallery] Berlinale Opening Day

Star-crossed lovers in China, Taiwan open Berlin film fest

In this film we see geographical distance but there’s also the question of time, a temporal distance, which gives rise to a rift between people,” he told reporters.

“Family unification is something that everybody in China really yearns for. These people are caught up in the flux of history and telling those stories is extremely important.”

Action director Yuen Wo Ping’s take on the legendary Beggar So comes with new elements in True Legend.

Donnie Yen aims to hone his acting chops

ESWN: Why Did Tang Wei Get Banned?

Tang Wei’s powerful enemies engineered her media ban

Lu said on his blog that there were two seldom-mentioned theories about why Tang was slapped with a media ban. The first is that the 30-year-old star had failed to attend a function by someone related to the political elite. The second is that another well-connected actress had turned party officials against Tang and engineered her ban.

CRI: 3D Kung Fu, Love and Laughs at the Movies

Bodyguards and Assassins gets 18 nods at Hong Kong Film Awards

Yu Nan, Rene Zellwegger - Opening ceremony

Berlin Film Festival (Sina)

Director Wang Quan’an, Lisa Lu, Monica Mok, Jin Na

Apart Together Red Carpet (Sina)

Yu Nan - Berlin Film Festival, Apart Together premiere

Yu Nan - actress, jury member

(Zimbio) Zimbio - premiere

Apart Together - Monica Mok (Mo Xiaoqi) (Zimbio)

Monica Mok - Opening party

(Zimbio)

Karen Mok 3rd party?

Karen Mok, Zhang Yadong

Karen Mok has recently been reported to be in a ‘close relationship’ with musician/producer Zhang Yadong who already has a girlfriend, an actress. (Xinhua) (Sina)

Vivian Hsu

Vivian Hsu formally announced her return to the concert stage in Tokyo after an absence of seven years. When asked if she still remembered her Japanese, Vivian demonstrated a series of tongue twisters and won the audience’s applause. (Xinhua)

Faye Wong dress rehearsal appearance for CCTV Spring Festival

(Xinhua)

February 3, 2010

February 3, 2010

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , , , , — dleedlee @ 3:23 pm

Kungfu epic ‘14 Blades’ expected to become blockbuster hit

Film producer says “Avatar” not pulled for “Confucius”

CRI: Stars Attend Premiere Ceremony of “Hot Summer Days” in Beijing

Captured by a fan at the premiere! :)

Maggie Cheung - Hot Summer Days

(Sina)

Tony Leung

Leo Ku

At a ceremony yesterday, Tony Leung was named Hong Kong Entertainment Expo amabassador for the sixth time. And Leo Ku was named Hong Kong Music Fair ambassador. Tony said that he still did not who was going to play his wife in Grand Master or whether Gong Li was still participating. (Xinhua)

THR: Hugh Jackman plucks ‘Flower’

Jackman’s publicist, reached in Los Angeles, countered that “at this point in time he is doing an unbilled cameo.”

Andy Lau

Nic Tse

Andy Lau and Nic Tse arrived in Shanghai where filming of New Shaolin Temple has moved. (Sina)

Jay Chou

(Sina)

Highlight of True Legend is a 20 minute martial arts action scene in 3D (8)(Sina)

Miriam Yeung, Alan Tam, Zhang Yuqi, Chang Chen

Miriam Yeung, Alan Tam

Chang Chen

Kitty Zhang Yuqi (Sina)

Miriam Yeung

Miriam Yeung, Kitty Zhang Yuqi, Alan Tam - Shanghai press conference for Here Comes Fortune (God of Wealth Arrives) (Sina) (2)

Twins

Charlene Choi

Gillian Chung

Twins publicity machine ramps up for their two date concert April 16 and 17 at the Hong Kong Coliseum. (Xinhua) (Sina)

Twins make a comeback

at17

at17, Eman Lam and Ellen Joyce Loo, held the first of a 5 nights of ‘until we meet again’ concerts in Wan Chai to mark 8 years together. They announced that for the next 2 years they would develop individually and regroup in 2012 to mark their 10th anniversary with a concert at Hong Kong Coliseum. Eman Lam will release a CD with her brother Chet Lam while Ellen will record a personal album. Fans did not know beforehand that the duo was separating.  (Sina)

Elton Loo (Law Kwan-Chor) dressed as Paula Tsui to promote his upcoming ‘fake superstars’ concert (Sina)

Jane Zhang

Kitaro and Jane Zhang arrive at the Grammys Awards at Staples Center

(Zimbio) (HD)(Sina)

Fung shui master, Tony Chan, has lost his High Court battle to inherit the estimated HK$100-billion fortune of the late tycoon, Nina Wang. In a judgement of more than 300 pages, Mr Justice Lam ruled that the will he submitted was a forgery. The judge said Mr Chan had lied and was not a credible witness. He awarded the entire estate to the rival claimant, the Chinachem Charitable Foundation, and ordered Mr Chan to pay its court costs…(RTHK)

January 19, 2010

January 19, 2010

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , , — dleedlee @ 1:44 pm

14 Blades poster

Wu Zun - more beautiful?

Donnie Yen - more MAN(ly)?

Media preview screening was held in Shanghai yesterday. Women journalists swooned at the sight of Donnie Yen’s chest and Wu Zun’s abdominal muscles.  (Sina) (2) (3)

God of Wealth Arrives poster

Stills featuring Kitty Zhang Yuqi and Chang Chen (8)(Sina)

Guangdong, Jan.18, Zhou Xun, Chow Yun-Fat

(Sina)

Confucius - Guangzhou opening ceremony HD(24)(Sina)

Confucius fails to impress critics

The film has aroused several controversies since it was launched in early 2008, from casting Chow Yun-Fat as Confucius, to trailers that revealed action scenes during which Confucius exhibits Chinese martial arts and a love affair with Nan Zi (played by Zhou Xun) unfolds. Carrying high expectations, the final-cut of the film was disappointing with the much-anticipated action scenes deleted and most of the controversy removed.

True Legend - fight scene in 30M well HD slide show (15)(Sina)

CRI: Tang Wei Renews Her Image in New Film

CRI: Feng Xiaogang’s IMAX Film “Aftershocks” to Hit N. America Cinemas

Director Feng Xiaogang’s upcoming film “Aftershocks”, scheduled for release on July 28 across Asia, will be shown in North America simultaneously, reports the Oriental Morning Post.

Cheung Tat-Ming to direct If I Had 3 Million

Following a stellar career spanning more than 80 movies, Cheung Tat-Ming, one of Hong Kong’s brightest comedy stars, will make his directorial debut in If I Had 3 Million, a Mandarin language motion picture aimed at redefining a new standard in mainland comedy filmmaking and set for production in May 2010…

http://www.ifihad3million.com/

Jordan Chan cried non-stop when he proposed to girlfriend Cherrie Ying

Nick Cheung forks out HK$200,000 in bid to get male heir

THR: ‘Avatar’ now No. 1 all-time in China

Exhibitors discounted Internet rumors that the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television would pull all “Avatar” prints from theaters on Jan. 23 to open more screens for the China Film Group’s feature “Confucius,” about the 6th Century BC Chinese philosopher…there are now 800 “Avatar” 3D prints in China.

UK: China censors to pull Avatar from screens

CRI: Avatar Paves the Way for Boomtime at Chinese Cinemas

ESWN: MTR Subway Pole Dancer

January 8, 2010

January 8, 2010

Future X-Cops’ new release date is Feb.25 (Sina)

CRI: In ‘Hot Summer Days’, It’s Getting Really Hot

The new Chinese romantic movie “Hot Summer Days” is about six stories set in an unusually sultry summer. Just how hot could this fictitious summer be?

CRI: Maggie Cheung to Make Guest Appearance in “Hot Summer Days”

Gillian Chung’s comeback movie showcases her first kiss and bedroom scene

Jeon Ji-hyun to star opposite Zhang Ziyi in new English movie adapted from bestseller

CRI: Fan Bingbing in the Onlookers’ Eye

Fan Bingbing is called a Chinese ‘Femme Fatale’.Maybe it is because her beauty is so blinding that few onlookers would look beyond her face and deep into her heart.

Fan Bingbing was the cover girl again for the February issue of ‘Marie Claire’ and an accompanied interview she emptied her heart to gave the readers a much closer look at this radiant star off screen.

CRI: Huang Yi Still Waits Her ‘Big Day’

Rumor has it that Huang Yi had a flash marriage with her fiancé, Mr. Jiang Kai, CEO of ChinaFund, LP last August. The actress denied the gossip in the accompanying interview, saying marriage seems to be complicated and she won’t take the plunge until she is very well prepared.

Taipei Times: Pop Stop

Lip-sync and other frauds

Andy On Chi-Kit gets painted for True Legend

(Sina)

Miriam Yeung is a magician for a beverage advert (Sina)

Donnie Yen

Donnie Yen repotedly made over RMB$200M last year, and over $10M for these underwear adverts. (Sina)

Karen Mok - One Life One Earth

From Karen Mok’s educational travel program One Life One Earth - Australia chapter (Sina)

THR: China blocks access to movie site IMDB.com unavailable since Wednesday, cause unknown

Variety: China reports 44% rise in box office(THR)

Multiplex growth averages 1.65 screens a day

China’s B.O. boom continued unabated last year as box office rose a muscular 44% to 6.2 billion yuan ($910 million) on a sharp rise in the number of cinema screens in what’s potentially the world’s biggest market.

The China Film Group had earlier forecast 40% year-on-year growth (Daily Variety, Dec. 29).

With this kind of growth rate, I am confident that in 2010, China’s box office will grow to a new height,” China Film spokesman Weng Li said. His remarks were based on data from the State Administration of Radio, Film and TV.

This means for the last six years, the Chinese film market’s box office has maintained an annual growth rate of more than 30%,” Weng said, adding that China produced 456 domestic films in 2009.

The main impetus behind the strong growth was the rise in screen numbers. Citing SARFT figures, Weng said China had added 1.65 new screens every day last year.

China imports around 20 foreign films a year for theatrical release. The two top movies of 2009 were 2012,” which took $67.5 million, and “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” which took $63 million.

Homegrown epic “The Founding of a Republic,” celebrating the People’s Republic of China’s 60th anniversary, made $61 million.

January 6, 2010

January 6, 2010

CRI: Jackie Chan’s ‘Little Big Soldier’

One is an old soldier who only wants to survive. The other is a young general who is aspiring to conquer. After a bloody battle, the two are the only ones alive.

Beast Stalker 2 [Stool Pigeon] wraps with Lam promising added action and drama

Cheung’s role as a cold-blooded killer in Beast Stalker helped him win the Best Actor Award at the 28th Hong Kong Film Awards. The sequel sees him take on the role of policeman, with Cheung promising a different side that audiences have not previously seen in his work…

“In the future, I would like to work with mainland directors who have fresh ideas, like Feng Xiaogang and Ning Hao.”

Zhang Mo

Shao Bing

Let The Bullets Fly (China Daily)

Let the Bullets Fly - Shao Bing, Zhang Mo new slide show (Sina)

THR: Chinese film pulled from Palm Springs fest

China Film Group yanks ‘City of Life and Death’

Catch Qi Yuwu in his upcoming movie, and also on TV - as a movie star

14 Blades costar profiled

Maggie Cheung introduces her personally developed skin care fragrance (Xinhua)

CRI: Yao Ming’s Wife Pregnant

Hong Kong model charged with drug possession

17 year-old Monique Chau placed on probation

Teen model’s drug shame

Bob Dylan to launch Asian tour

January 4, 2010

January 4, 2010

Surprising news: Faye Wong will sing the theme song to Confucius thus marking her comeback, even ahead of her reported Spring Festival appearance. The song (’Orchids Parade’?) is to be released on Jan.6. Faye was contacted back in April and the lyrics and music were constantly revised. The recording was only just completed on New Year’s Eve. Orchids Parade is an adaptation of Tang Dynasty poet Han Yu masterpiece and contains only 64 words. (Xinhua) Lyrics (2)

CRI: Pop Queen Faye Wong Back for Confucius

Release delayed

Scheduled for a Feb.5 release, Future Cop/Future X-Cops is now further delayed due to post-production not being completed. (Sina)

(Tom.com)

5 new stills from 14 Blades HD (Sina)

Barbie Hsu

(Xinhua)

CRI: Barbie Hsu’s Motorcycle Fetish in ‘Hot Summer Days’

9 new stills from Hot Summer Days featuring Barbie Hsu HD (Sina)

Feng Xiaogang’s guest cameo in Yuen Wo-Ping’s True Legend

Chinese Film: Happy Noodle Year

2009 has come to an end, but the battle for movie-goers has just begun.This season, the competition is more intense than ever. Take this downtown cinema; by mid-February it will have screened four dozen films since late-November. Film makers believe it’s this bumper holiday period, taking in Valentine’s Day and Spring Festival, that will lay the golden eggs…

The film market is like a highway. If too many cars take to it at the same time, there will be a traffic jam. In that case, even a BMW can’t drive at top speed.

The head of the cinema chain said to make the maximum profit out of the market, a film must enjoy at least one week free of competition before it’s joined by a new one. But now, cinemas are getting much busier than in previous years, as it’s common to put on several new films in a single day, resulting in vicious competition…

Francis Ng was released on bail while at the same time his wife was released from the hospital

(Sina)

Francis Ng to be charged with ‘wounding’ for New Year’s Day fracas?

Now, also a red light scofflaw. (Sina)

Sammi Cheng celebrates end of a 10 show run of concerts

Guests Michelle Reis and husband

Isabella Leong first appearance after childbirth (Xinhua)

France - Fan Bingbing photo shoot for Bazaar Jewelry

(Xinhua) Slide show (HunanTV)

Aaron Kwok, New Year’s Eve, begins the countdown to the Shanghai World Expo (Sina)

Huang Yi and Expo mascot Hai Bao (Ocean Treasure)

Huang Yi (HunanTV)

Vivian Hsu

Vivian Hsu was in Taipei to promote her new TV series ‘Love Strategy’. The series costars Korean Kim Jung-Hoon.

(HunanTV) HD slide show (Sina)

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 4, 2009

December 4, 2009

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , , — dleedlee @ 3:12 pm

Jacky Cheung, Director Eric Tsang

House of 72 Tenants completed shooting and held a closing press conference at Shaw Studios (HunanTV)

Anita Yuen

Bernice Liu

Charmaine Sheh

Stephy Tang, Linda Chung

Wong Cho Lam

Raymond Lam

Fama

(Sina)

True Legend (Beggar So) First Stills Released slide show (26) (Sina)

Zhao Wei

(HunanTV)

Zhao Wei celebrates 6 day, 50M box office for Mulan, slide show (Sina)

Photos of Zhao Wei drinking wine seem to disprove pregnancy rumors.

Storm Warriors promotion tour: BeijingChengdu

Taipei Times; Pop Stop

While on the set of the film Hot Summer Days (全城熱戀), which is set to hit theaters in February, [Vivian] Hsu found a way to rid herself of the copious amounts of sushi she was forced to eat for her role as a love-struck heiress, reported Sina.com.

“I didn’t want to gain weight. So when the director stopped filming, I’d throw up the sushi,” she said.

AngelaBaby

AngelaBaby helps open a new store in Hong Kong mall (Sina)

Miriam Yeung promotes eyewear (Sina)

Jennifer Tse Tingting promotes jewelry in Hong Kong

(Sina)

Kelly Chen wears D+G in a dress rehearsal for Uni-Power (Universal Music) show (Sina)

Is Vicky Zhao Wei pregnant?

ESWN: Tiger Woods Meets Apple Daily

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