HKMDB Daily News

November 3, 2009

Talentime (Malaysia)(Variety review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: , — dleedlee @ 10:49 am


(Malaysia) A Chilli Pepper Films production. (International sales: Primeworks Studios, Selangor, Malaysia.) Produced by Mohammad Effendy Harjoh. Executive producers, Ahmad Puad Onah, Faszil Manap. Directed, written by Yasmin Ahmad.

With: Pamela Chong Ven-teen, Mahesh Jugal Kishor, Mohammed Redzuan Adamshah, Jaclyn Victor.

Somewhere between understated and underdeveloped, “Talentime,” the swan song of Yasmin Ahmad, who died in July at age 51, reveals a writer-director granted insufficient time to reach her full potential. The story of two school talent-show contestants and their extended families, this slight pic offers a cross-section of contempo Malaysian life with hints of its religious, racial and social complexities. Already the subject of a 2006 Tokyo fest retro, Ahmad has received similar tributes — with “Talentime” headlining — across the fest circuit this year. But even within Southeast Asia, the pic underperformed in commercial venues.

Love blossoms (but drama plods) as comely singer Meleur (Pamela Chong Ven-teen) falls for mute student Mahesh (Mahesh Jugal Kishor), who’s assigned to drive her to rehearsals. Whether it be Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” or Pete Teo’s cute love songs, music provides a much-needed boost to Ahmad’s material, but unscored sections are marked by awkward silences, with clumsy comedy relief. Thesps utter jokes and straight lines with little sense of their meaning, as if the dialogue had been rehearsed to death. Snappier editing could get the pic up on its feet.

Camera (color, HD-to-35mm), Low Soon-keong; editors, Raja Affandy, Raja Jamaluddin; music, Pete Teo; production designer, Wong Voon-leong. Reviewed at Tokyo Film Festival (Winds of Asia), Oct. 20, 2009. (Also in Pusan Film Festival — Winds of Asia.) Malay, English, Tamil dialogue. Running time: 115 MIN.

September 15, 2009

September 15, 2009

Copy Cat opens Sept. 25

( (

John Woo

A four hour director’s cut of The Founding of a Republic will be broadcast on TV to include all the scenes deleted in the theatrical version.. Director Huang Jianxin also clarified that the participation of Stephen Chow was only a rumor. Stephen Chow called Han Sanping to offer his services but the film had already finished shooting and he could only say, ‘Thank You”, to his offer. (

Tian Zhuangzhuang, Maggie Q, Joe Odagiri


Maggie Q, Tian Zhuangzhuang, Joe Odagiri

The Warrior and the Wolf (CRI)

The film “The Warrior and the Wolf” by Chinese director Tian Zhuangzhuang premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 13, 2009.

Variety: Chengdu, I Love You

The bloody carcass of a planned three-part movie set around Sichuan’s provincial capital (and its earthquake traumas), “Chengdu, I Love You” hobbles onscreen minus one leg in unmarketable condition.

Li Bingbing - The Message

After a 13 minute reel preview of The Message, Li Bingbing was praised for her performance  (

John Woo

Producers Terence Chang, John Woo, Director Lee Gui-Yuen

My Fair Gentleman promotion activity (

Aaron Kwok

Janine Chang Chun-Ning

Aaron Kwok and Janine Chang Chun-Ning open Murderer in Taipei (


Gillian Chung

A 8 minute 34 second video by Jiang Zhi  of Gillian Chung is the highlight of performance video exhibition in Shanghai. In the video, it shows a closeup of Gillian at first with a peaceful smile but as time progresses Gillian becomes sadder, heartbroken and she begins to frown, then her lips tremble and eyes begin to tear, finally, unable to hold it in she starts bawling and weeping. (

AMFF pays tribute to Yasmin Ahmad

This year’s Australian Malaysian Film Festival (AMFF) from Oct 4 to 7, at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Federation Square, here, pays tribute to the memory of Malaysian filmmaking legend Yasmin Ahmad.

August 28, 2009

August 28, 2009

Shing Fui-On passed away last night at 11:45pm at Hong Kong Baptist Hospital

Shing Fui-On passed away last night

Despite his poor condition Shing checked out of the hospital a couple days ago to be home because he did not like the feeling of loneliness at the hospital. Two days later his condition worsened dramatically and Shing returned to the hospital. Nick Cheung, Michael Miu Kiu-Wai, Eric Tsang visited him and others visited him. (Thanks, to Fan)

The fourth of five brothers, Shing quit school and joined his brother at Shaw Brothers at age 15 (some say 13) to work in the props department

Later he joined Golden Harvest but a downturn in the industry forced him to find work in a ballroom as a guard (?).
HK actor Fui-on Shing dies of cancer

Hong Kong Actor Fui-on Shing Dies of Cancer

Big Silly character debuted in 1985 Chase a Fortune

Big Silly (middle) with two cousins
Before he was fierce (center, with two cousins)
Disco era Big SillyFull fierce on
Once claimed in an interview that he joined the triads but later recanted

Xinhuanet coverage’s coverage of Big Silly’s passing

Opening ceremony for Fire Dragon

NY Times: Film on Confucius Resurfacing
Fei Mu’s Confucius being restored

No Kungfu and No Charity for Jet Li in Ocean Paradise

Daughter Cast in Director John Woo’s New Film

Two more sneak into Toronto lineup
The Toronto International Film Festival on Thursday made two last-minute bookings for Iranian director Hana Makhmalbaf’s “Green Days” and “The Warrior and the Wolf,” a combat epic from Chinese director Tian Zhuangzhuang.

Taipei Times: Hear Me review
A love story in silence
Blatant product placement for the Taipei City Government mars an otherwise enjoyable boy-meets-girl tale

Taipei Times - short takes

Let’s Fall in Love (尋情歷險記)
Also making use of Chinese Valentine’s Day is this up-close-and-personal Taiwanese documentary enjoying a proper release with a new promotional campaign. Twenty-odd married couples come under the spotlight with their relationship problems and weaknesses, together with the intriguing matchmaker-counselor whom all of them share. From award-winning director Wuna Wu (吳汰紝), who had to solicit hundreds of small investors to get this film into theaters.

The Forbidden Legend: Sex & Chopsticks 2 (金瓶梅2:愛的奴隸)
Sweaty and kinky sex for its own sake is a rare bird on the Taiwanese big screen these days. We haven’t had a soft porn extravaganza since, well, the original Sex & Chopsticks late last year. Japanese hardcore actresses Hikaru Wakana (with head still shaved), Kaera Uehara, Serina Hayakawa and Yui Morikawa secure another Hong Kong work visa to tell, for the umpteenth time, the misadventures of barely robed courtesans. But tableware fetishists will likely feel misled all over again; the Chinese title (“The Golden Lotus 2: Slaves of Love”) is more faithful to what’s on show.

Rookies: Graduation
And so, back to a movie based on a Japanese manga. A bunch of good-for-nothing punks regain self-respect and team spirit after their charismatic high school teacher shapes them into a formidable baseball team. This is a theatrical follow-up to a TV series based on the popular manga series Rookies. But unless you’re a baseball tragic or swoon at the sight of “bad boys” with trendy shocks of hair and perfect skin, this attempt at inspiration won’t mean a pitcher’s mound of beans. The Bad News Bears it ain’t.

KJ (音樂人生)
The poster for this Hong Kong documentary says it all: a boy sitting alone in an auditorium. The boy is “KJ,” a brilliant pianist with a bright future in store, though the film covers much wider, and occasionally darker, ground, which makes it an ideal companion to Four Minutes. With respected director Ann Hui (�?�) as consultant, this study of individual genius in a society that tends to stifle it has the stamp of quality. Six years in the making, KJ is screening exclusively at the Wonderful Cinemas complex in Taichung.

Yasmin Ahmad tribute

Shawn Yue speaks up for Stephy Tang
Stephy criticized for potentially spreading H1N1 at typhoon fundraiser

The husband of Lee Young-ae publicly speaks about his wife

Felicia Chin breaks down at ongoing rumours of plastic surgery

Taipei Times: Pop Stop

Karen Mok

Karen Mok promoting her new digital album

Zhang Ziyi endorsing watch brand

Taiwan actress Yu Ke-Hsin lost Andy Lau to Carol Shu many years ago and suffered depression for some 15 years

Yu Ke-Hsin
Andy’s partner pregnant?
Is Lau’s long-term partner expecting a baby?
The women in Andy Lau’s life - captioned slideshow
[*According to Chinese custom, following the death of a father, the couple must marry within 100 days or wait 3 years. Others say AFTER 100 days otherwise bad luck for the bridegroom. You pick, I guess.]

Vivian Chow paintings selected for exhibition

Josie Ho
Josie Ho shows off a purse she designed featuring a gun

She joked that there are two meaning to the gun, to promote world peace and to keep evildoers away from her husband. Her father, Stanley Ho, remains in the hospital resting and recuperating from surgery.

Photos from Gillian Chung’s stage performance I Ought To Be in Pictures

More photos

Gillian Chung’s stage debut

Li Bingbing opens a flagship store in Ningbo

Michelle Reis slide show

August 3, 2009

August 3, 2009

Michelle Ye in Cheang Pou-Soi’s Accident (formerly Assassins)

Hong Kong art-house director Stanley Kwan tackles science fiction film

Zhang Yimou’s Three Guns story summary
The comedy-thriller is about the owner of a Chinese noodle shop whose plan to kill his cheating wife and her lover “spins out of control after the introduction of a gun into the lives of characters more accustomed to knives and swords,” Sony Pictures Classics said in a statement sent to The Associated Press late Friday.

Hong Kong cartoon piglet debuts - McDull
CCTV video in English

Nick Cheung – a late bloomer
CCTV video version (English)

Tangshan Earthquake represented on big screen
CCTV video in English
 Huayi Bro. Denies ‘If You Are the One’ Sequel in the Pipeline
Feng Xiaogang has decided that following his current project “The Tangshan Earthquake”(formerly named “Aftershock”), he will film a comedy but he has yet to choose a story.

Hollywood Reporter: Meat Grinder — Film Review
Thanks to “Meat Grinder,” Thai cinema now boasts its own Sweeney Todd in the form of a female psychopath who grinds her victims into meatballs for noodle soup

NY Times: Chasing Society’s Hidden Dragons - Ang Lee

Venice Launches 3D Film Prize, Ang Lee Heads Jury Panel

‘Talentime’, Yasmin’s final masterpiece?
[Related note: iTunes Store has three free podcasts available with interviews/discussions with Yasmin Ahmad and Sharifah Amani]

Actress Lee Sinje bags beauty ambassador role
Lee Sinje in Singapore as SK-II beauty ambassador - photos

Andy LauGong Li
Patrick TseKelly Lin, Simon Yam
Kenny BeeJordan ChanAndy On, Jennifer TseJet LiLau Ching Wan
Stars open Lan Kwai Fong Hotel in Macau promote child adoption - photos

More photos

Aaron Kwok Taipei concert

Photo gallery

SCMP: Gillian Chung interview with subtitles
Plays Carmen Mok in remake of Neil Simon’s I Ought To Be in Pictures

July 28, 2009

July 28, 2009

Jet Li
Still from Sylvester Stallone film The Expendables - Jet Li

SCMP: Daniel Wu discusses new film ‘Overheard’
Zhang Jingchu, Lau Ching-Wan
Overheard takes in 35M yuan in the opening weekend

‘Tracing Shadow’ Premieres

More photos of premiere

Peter Chan wanted to cast Michelle Reis ten years ago when Bodyguards and Assassins was first planned

Additional photos of Michelle Reis on set of Bodyguards and Assassins
Andrew Lau received a 1905 HK$10 bill as a reward and commemoration for his efforts
Peter Chan, in a surprise, introduced Andrew Lau on the last of shooting. Lau had been called in to assist due to an unnamed large crisis.
‘Infernal’ Lau joins ‘Bodyguards’

Shing Fui-On
Shing Fui-On suffers recurrence of nasopharyngeal carcinoma

The 54 year-old actor was treated in 2004 with chemo and radiation therapy and he lost 45kg in weight. He also lost his sense of taste and hearing. Nonetheless, Shing was elected village head in Sai Kung and later ran for election to the legislature but was defeated.
Nick Cheung, also a Sai Kung resident, went directly from shooting To Live and Die in Mongkok to visit Shing at the Hong Kong Baptist Hospital. He is due to be released in a couple days.

Prison on Fire
1988 - The Greatest Lover
2001 - ATV series with Japanese beauties
Secret Lover, 1995The Detective, 2007
2003 running for legislative council member

Shing Fui-On continued auto racing even after first being diagnosed in 2004

Zhang Ziyi Interview: From Actress to Producer (Thanks, to duriandave, for pointing it out)

Chinese filmmaker Feng Xiaogang begins shooting earthquake movie
“Aftershocks” tells the story of a seven-year-old girl who survived the quake that killed more than 240,000 people.

Hong Kong filmmaker Lee Kung-lok’s romantic comedy Let’s Fall in Love starts shooting in Beijing on July 24.

MIFF weighs future of Chinese pics
Claustrophobia, Miao Miao also withdrawn

Hollywood Reporter: Haeundae - film review
Bottom Line: Korea’s first disaster movie is slow to reach a crest of excitement but eventually delivers shiploads of action and visual spectacles.
Disaster film a Korean BO success

Comic-Con ‘Thirst’ panel with director Park Chan-Wook

Sassy Girl Returns as a Cyborg (video/photos)
Sassy girl returns as robot in Cyborg She

HK singer Eason Chan’s marriage in trouble?

Donnie Yen’s birthday party
Donnie Yen and wife
Raymond WongLynn XiongCheung Tat-MingVincent Kok
Roy CheungLeon LaiAndrew Lin
Donnie Yen celebrates his 46th birthday with friends

Additional photos

Yasmin Ahmad

  • Touched by her maternal glow
  • Friend to All
  • Tears and tribute

    ESWN: Young Models At The Hong Kong Book Fair

    SCMP: Anti-model activists protest at HK Book Fair

    SCMP: Kobe brings MVP skills to HK

  • July 27, 2009

    July 27, 2009

    Message of ‘Overheard’: Don’t Be Greedy

    McDull’s Big Success at Box Office

    Latest Stills of ‘Bodyguards and Assassins’

    Michelle Reis
    Michelle Reis in costume for Bodyguards and Assassins

    Shaw Bros. returns with trio of films
    Aptly named ‘Turning Point’ [English name for the Laughing Gor film ]to lead new slate, August release

    In addition to “Turning Point,” the studio is now developing three films, two of which will begin production this year. The first is the US$5 million ensemble comedy “House of 73 Tenants,” a sequel-of-sorts to a 1973 Shaw Brother blockbuster, executive produced by Hong Kong multi-hyphenate Eric Tsang and co-directed by Tsang and Riley Yip
    The story revolves around the lessees of a Hong Kong market-styled shopping mall made up of tiny stores. Filming will commence in September at the Shaw Studios for a 2010 Chinese New Year release date.

    Hong Kong film “Overheard” premieres on mainland

    HK indie filmmakers taking the lead
    Three independent Hongkong productions due for release this year

    » Break Up Club (director: Barbara Wong): The director con-tinues to focus on Hongkong’s youth culture, with Jaycee Fong and Fiona Sit starring as young lovers dealing with broken hearts.

    » Dream Home (director: Pang Ho-cheung): Josie Ho plays a local girl who’ll do anything to get the house of her dreams – even murder. With Eason Chan and Anthony Wong.

    » Christmas Rose (director: Charlie Young): The former pop idol’s debut as a director looks at a young man who succumbs to greed and temptation when he enters the world of big business

    Donnie Yen magazine spread

    Aaron Kwok plays a werewolf type character in Benny Chan’s City Under Siege

    Tortured soul - Aaron Kwok’s Murderer

    Jia Zhangke released an English verison of his book Interview with Chinese Workers - 24 Cities at the Hong Kong Book Fair

    Jia to make first big-budget film
    Hong Kong director Johnnie To, known for his stylish action thrillers, is the producer.

    Gillian Chung gets a visit from Joey Yung and Kenny Kwan before rehearsing for upcoming stage musical “I Ought to be in Pictures” - photos

    Screen Daily: Malaysia’s Yasmin Ahmad dies aged 51
    Yasmin Ahmad laid to rest

    A couple of the Sam Hui songs used in Yasmin Ahmad’s Sepet

    Blink and you missed it, the theme from Shanghai Tan/The Bund by Frances Yip

    July 26, 2009

    July 26, 2009

    Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , — dleedlee @ 10:55 am


    OBITUARY: Yasmin Ahmad, the film legend
    Yasmin Ahmad laid to rest
    Yasmin will forever remain a film guru

    Film director Yasmin Ahmad dies
    Friends and colleagues pay tribute
    Malaysia director of race-themed films dies at 51
    The Passing of a Legend

    Just a sample of Yasmin’s many wonderful adverts
    Tan Hong Ming was awarded a Gold Medal at Cannes last year.
    Petronas is a multinational oil and gas company owned by the Malaysian government and Yasmin Ahmad has produced numerous adverts for them.

    Yasmin’s death also felt in Singapore
    Her death, caused by a stroke, raised questions on what would happen to ‘Go, Thaddeus’, a film that she was to direct, which is still in its early stages of production.

    Park Chan-wook’s ‘Thirst’ is a vampire film sans cliches

    Karen Mok
    Karen Mok in concert in Tianjin

    Actor Andy Tsang Tak-Wah arrested on sex related charges

    He attempted to rape a secondary school student he met on the interet under the pretext of photographing her in a hotel.
    Even more interesting is that the accompanying photograph looks like it was taken from HKMDB’s own image gallery!
    What do you think?
    The caption credits Hong Kong’s Wen Wei Po newspaper.
    Wen Wei Po article

    Sam Hui will hold a series of concerts in September to celebrate his 61st birthday
    Always low key, Sam did not hold a press conference but simply placed a newspaper advertisement. He will be introducing a new song that pays tribute to Leslie Cheung, Anita Mui and Roman Tam.

    Chang Chen
    Chang Chen was among celebrities who attended the 100th anniversary of Audi brand

    Zhang Ziyi issued a statement via her lawyers denying reports that her marriage plans with Vivi Nevo were postponed due to his having HIV. These rumors had spread via the internet earlier last week.

    Chinese News Channel Punished for Airing Obscene Ad

    July 25, 2009

    July 25, 2009

    Hu Jun
    Hu Jun featured in this Kungfu Cyborg poster
    Sun Li
    Sun Li

    Wu Jing

    Gan Wei

    Gan Wei, Jeff Lau, Sun Li

    Gan WeiSun Li
    New Kungfu Cyborg posters released at Beijing press conference

    Andy Lau
    Rain causes delay on set of Detective Dee at Hengdian

    Chinese director Jia Zhangke to make 1st big budget film
    He is currently filming a documentary about the history of Shanghai, but his next project will be a kung fu epic set in early 20th century China called “In the Qing Dynasty.”

    Chinese govt called director over Australian film boycott
    China’s Opposition Boosts Rebiya Movie

    News from KOFIC
    Long Awaited Tsunami Movie Haeundai about to Hit Korea
    For what maybe the longest possible wait for an internationally released movie to hit its own shores, Haeundae is about to be released in Korea. Back in April the film sold to a number of territories at the Hong Kong Film Mart. The CJ released film then went on to repeat its success at Cannes. Given its star pull and its sizable success overseas, there is much anticipation for the film here in Korea.

    The film headed by director Youn J.K. is set in the southern tip of South Korea in the city of Pusan. The city which is the name sake of Asia’s largest international film festival also boasts the seaside resort of ‘Haeundae’ a beach which can attracts a million people a day at the height of summer. This sets the scene for gigantic tidal wave that is about to engulf the city at just this time – Summer, as it is in Korea now. Ironically the film, which was filmed partly in California, is a more human story focusing on Man-sik, a local who runs a small seafood restaurant. After losing a friend to the sea a year before he can never go back. Later, while running into a stream of complications he is forced to confront his fear in the shape of a 500 mph wall of water.

    Haeundae stars SUL Kyung-gu (Public Enemy, Voice of a Murderer) as the title character and HA Ji-won of BABO fame. It is set for release July 23.

    JANG Dong-kun for president
    Star director JANG Jin got Korea’s leading man JANG Dong-kun to try his hand at comedy for the first time. JANG is set to play a young charismatic president in the upcoming KnJ Entertainment production Good Morning President. The explosive combination of JANG Jin and JANG Dong-kun turns it into a highly anticipated fall release.

    HAN Chae-young has been cast in the female lead role. The story will be about three persons who get to meet the president. With JANG Jin at the helm, the film will be spiced up with JANG Jin’s characteristic peculiar humour. JANG Dong-kun told reporters that except the young age of the president, the film has no similarities to current U.S. President Obama’s story. Good Morning President is scheduled for an October release in cinemas.

    JANG Dong-kun has been absent from the big screen for four years, since he appeared in 2005’s Typhoon. He’s best known for the films Friend and Tae-guk-gi. JANG Dong-kun returns this year with two films. Besides Good Morning President, his English language film debut The Warrior’s Way – alongside Kate Bosworth and Geoffrey Rush – is also set for a 2009 release.

    Update: Yasmin Ahmad has died
    Yasmin Will Be Remembered For Her Quality Works

    Yasmin still critical, says brother

    Zhou Xun
    Zhou Xun helps open a boutique in Shanghai

    Tien Niu
    Actress Tien Niu helps launch a fashion program in Beijing

    Race Wong
    Show me the money!
    Race Wong sold 7000 photo album books at the Hong Kong Book Fair

    Kobe Bryant hoops it up in Hong Kong

    July 24, 2009

    July 24, 2009

    New Film Guarantees Laughs and More - On His Majesty’s Secret Service
    Sandra NgBarbie Hsu

    Donnie Yen
    Donnie Yen gets in shape for 14 Blades

    Jiang Wen’s Let The Bullets Fly photos - more

    [Looks like an Abercrombie and Fitch advert!]

    Bodyguards and Assassins publicity director denies Cecilia Cheung cameo

    Also denied that Faye Wong will sing the theme song. However, he revealed that Michelle Reis will appear!

    Never a McDull moment

    Overheard - Tapping into the craze for stocks

    Should Kato be played by a woman in the new ‘Green Hornet’ movie?

    Red Cliff - the short version

    China tells TV to get history right
    Online commentators were critical of Tian’s performance and costumes and of the show’s use of “Matrix”-like fight scenes and rap music stylings in songs sung by actors playing gods

    Yasmin Ahmad suffers stroke
    Yasmin’s condition being closely monitored
    Film Director Yasmin Ahmad Admitted In ICU

    Plastic City - This city sinks

    Variety: ‘Forbidden Door’ nabs PiFan prize
    Dante Lam wins best director in Puchon

    Taipei Times: Film review
    An attractive young teacher hits on a novel way to motivate a group of nerdy junior high students in ‘Oppai Volleyball’
    The world of modern art gets a roasting in Takeshi Kitano’s morbidly funny ‘Achilles and the Tortoise’

    Jackie Chan to Donate All Property after Death

    Agent Denies Zhao Wei’s Hiatus Rumor
    Update: Zhao Wei to marry boyfriend

    Taipei Times: Pop Stop
    Don’t skip the story on Xiao S!

    Faye Wong denies National Day concert comeback rumors

    Not joining Andy Lau, Jacky Cheung

    The latest rumor concerning Kelly Chen’s baby
    In this version, according to netizens, the baby is actually the illegitimate offspring of Kelly’s brother and a model. Because Kelly and her husband cannot have a baby of their own, they have agreed to accept her brother’s child as their own. The surrogate mother story becomes a handy smoke screen in this scenario.
    Update: English version - Kelly Chen faked pregnancy?
    Kelly's brother

    Ronald Cheng and Gillian Chung’s fathers spotted by press leading to marriage speculation

    Li Xiaolu magazine photos

    Karen Mok shoots an MV to promote environmental awareness

    Supports Hong Kong’s new plastic bag fee

    Shanzhai Lin Chi-Ling Chen Si XuanLin Chi-Ling
    Shanzhai Lin Chi-Ling denies any plastic surgery

    SCMP: Take the Hong Kong Entertainment Quiz

    SCMP: Vitasoy chairman Winston Lo drinks to healthy future

    Grilled fish dish a worthy catch at Danny Lee’s new restaurant

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