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Archive for the ‘Aaron Kwok’ Category

Five abandoned blog entries

NOTE: For this edition of Damn You Kozo, I’m combining a number of topics I was planning on writing separate blog entries about. Due to various reasons it’s been difficult getting anything off the ground, so I figured it was everything or nothing. Sadly, I have too many ideas to list everything, so why don’t we go with just five? Sounds like a plan.

Anyway, let’s get this over with.

Abandoned Blog Entry #1
OBAMA WINS, I CONSIDER MOVING BACK TO THE UNITED STATES

This is kind of cool:

Obama

(more…)

A concert, a wedding, and more Random Crap

I should not call what I’m doing blogging, because I don’t actually blog. I just post every month or so.

I would apologize for this long absence from Damn You, Kozo!, but that would assume that people actually read this thing. In many ways, LoveHKFilm.com is what it is because I assume nobody ever reads it. Our lack of attentiveness to our visitors is also why we’re totally behind, and why many other sites have leapfrogged us in traffic, popularity, and online self-congratulation. It’s also why I named this blog Damn You, Kozo!, because aside from completely usurping another person’s real name and identity, Kozo simply can’t keep up with the Joneses.

Bruce Lee said it best:

“I told you not to leave the lights on in the kitchen!”
“DAMN YOU, KOZO!”

Ah, that feels better.

Anyway, in recent Hong Kong news, this person is getting married:

Kelly in white
NOTE: Not an actual wedding photo

Everybody loves Kelly Chen - provided that you talk to the correct six out of ten people. Chances are that the four out of ten people who actually liked An Empress and the Warriors can be found in those six, and why not? The film features Kelly in heavy armor, plus the wonderful sight of Leon Lai spitting on Kelly’s bare back:

I heal you
The magic of the movies!

This picture cracks me up:

Kelly looks unhappy
You could interpret this photo at least three different ways

About Empress, someone should really talk about the genius casting one day. Thanks to the triumvirate of Donnie Yen, Kelly Chen, and Leon Lai, every audience member is guaranteed to dislike at least one person in the starring cast. Could it have killed them to cast a single actor who doesn’t have active detractors?

Viva, Sina.com!
If you hate Hui Siu-Hung, you will go to hell

Empress and the Warriors also marks the first Mei Ah Blu-ray Disc. Ownership of a PlayStation 3 has put me on the Blu-ray bandwagon, and despite not being entirely enthused about Empress, I will be buying it. Other titles on my Blu-ray to buy list include the Infernal Affairs Trilogy, Chungking Express, and nearly anything with Tsui Hark’s name on it - short of Black Mask 2 and Missing, that is. I’d still pick up The Legend of Zu.

“I’m sorry for Black Mask 2!”
“Wow, I’m really sorry about Missing!”

He better be.

I doubt that the victory of Blu-ray over HD DVD will inspire a flood of Hong Kong catalog titles onto Blu-ray Disc. Such a flood did occur during the late nineties when DVD first hit the market, but even now, Hong Kong home video is beset by a terrible, terrible scourge that has destroyed home entertainment:

VCD
This logo is evil

Illegal downloading is the evil stepchild of the above, and is responsible for far more lost revenue, but I sincerely believe that crappy VCD quality - and its willing acceptance by Hong Kong consumers - is indicative of how the populace as a whole thinks of entertainment. Basically, everyone here is okay with watching movies with poor resolution, bad color, and zero features. Given that, is it a surprise that everyone’s okay with watching the latest and greatest in Asian Entertainment on You Tube?

We all download
Everyone in this photo illegally downloads

Back to Kelly’s concert:

Kelly the warrior
Probably one of Kelly’s more conservative outfits

Kelly announced her upcoming marriage at the final show in her recent Hung Hom Coliseum concert series - a nice touch, since hers was the final appearance from a big star before the venue undergoes at least a year of renovation. I actually attended an earlier show (a.k.a. not the one where she said she was getting married), and here was my vantage point:

My Vantage Point

Kelly has always been a decent, if not spectacular singer - and really, she’s much better at singing than acting. The main draw here was her eye-popping assortment of wacky costumes and themes, which ranged from the cute bear-headed thing:

Kelly Bear
Love the boots

To the mermaid thing:

Kelly the mermaid
Hopefully Disney won’t sue

To the midriff-baring thing:

Kelly and her navel
I think this was my favorite

To the white futuristic outfit with mega-huge goggles thing:

X marks the spot
In the future we’ll all dress like this

Here’s one with Leon Lai as an accessory:

Kelly and Leon
Too bad Donnie wasn’t there

Special mention must go to Kelly for her various yoga poses and exceptional good humor, which was evident because she didn’t act bothered by the people leaving their seats during her concert. For some reason, it seemed like every number was a new excuse for a bathroom break for the audience. Some people even got up to leave early. I felt like I was at a Laker game.

Anger Management
“Is this concert EVER going to get any better?”

In general, the concert was a fine diversion, but it was also curiously low-energy. Having attended a few other concerts in my time in Hong Kong, I must rate Kelly’s as the most non-crucial of the bunch - at least, from an audience standpoint.

About her marriage, it managed to occupy all the newspapers for a good 2-3 days here in Hong Kong - a nice change, since the news was entirely positive, and had nothing to do with scandal, judgmental mud-slinging, or accidental exposure. Sadly, it’s the exception to the norm over here.

Anyway, seeing Kelly allows me to check off yet another on my “Stars I Want To See Live, But Not Necessarily Meet” List. Now that Kelly is out of the way, my number one is sadly Leon because I’d like to see him, but yeah, meeting him is not a priority at all. If a meeting ever occurred, this could be my reaction:

So Sleepy
An actual photo from the Kelly Chen concert

If someone asked which celebrity is the one I would most like to meet, that’s obvious: Ekin Cheng is still the number one. I hope it occurs one day, simply so we can take a picture and I can send a general “nyah-nyah” in the direction of those who think I don’t like Ekin Cheng.

Ekin and Charlene Choi on the set of Storm Warriors:

Storm Warriors
I think they’re made of wax

By the way, I still have not written about my Aaron Kwok concert experience. It may never happen now. I’m sure he’s all broken up.

Here’s a pic of him anyway:

Aaron Rides Again
“Tetsuooooo!!!!!”

Aaaand one last photo of Kelly:

Kelly cries
She has something in her eye

Photo credits: As usual, thanks to Apple Daily - with an assist from Ming Pao, Sina.com, plus the World Wide Web.

Kozo & Yotsuba in Italy: Part 1

I figured I had to get this thing started sooner or later. I’ve neglected to write about so many things that this blog will soon turn into some sort of 20/20 hindsight memoir. I still haven’t blogged about the Aaron Kwok concert experience - and that was like 4 months ago.

Aaron again
“What, you still haven’t blogged about me?
But I’m just so bloggable!”

You sure are.

Anyway, since I’m now 10 reviews into the 24 movie backlog I’ve amassed - with absolutely no guarantee that I will actually be able to review all 24 films - I figured I should get started with the blogging too. It’s not like I have to get my whole trip out in just one post. Worst case scenario is I only get one part done and I forget the rest. It wouldn’t be the dumbest thing I’ve ever done online. The dumbest thing? Probably admit that I enjoy Seven Swords.

Tsui Hark lives
“Thanks! You may be the only person in
Hong Kong who still thinks I can direct!”

Anyway, on to the trip.

I think Hong Kong people primarily take pictures of two things: toys and food. Not to be outdone, I did exactly the same during my trip to Italy. I also took pictures of people and buildings, but I consider that a moot point because we all take pictures of people and buildings. I just didn’t take any photos of myself.

Regardless, this is a rare photo without food or Yotsuba in it.

First night in Udine
In Italy, the cars are small

Not too long ago, I managed to journey to Italy for the Udine Far East Film Festival. This photo-essay is pretty much all I brought back, besides a copy of the 10th Anniversary Book and the Festival Catalogue, which features more information about Asian films than I could ever pretend that I know. And I can pretend that I know a lot.

Before I left for Italy, Yotsuba sat on my office desk with a couple of her friends:

Yotsuba in Office
Having a plush CJ7 may somehow be more
satisfying than owning the DVD

After we got to Italy, this is what she looked like:

Yotsuba in Venice 2
“This canal behind me smells great!”

Yotsuba is a fine toy to bring on trips. Not only is she small and poseable, but she’s got an interchangeable head so you can pretend that she’s experiencing mood swings. It’s like bringing another person along, except this one doesn’t speak or hit you up for money.

Oh, yeah, I went to a film festival. From the outside it looked like this:

Far East Film
Nobody in this photo enjoyed Empress and the Warriors

The fest is located in Udine, a small city about a two-hour train ride from Venice. My photos of Udine are like the one four photos up: empty and quiet. Udine is a peaceful place, and much nicer to walk around in than, say Venice. Just compare these photos:

Udine
Udine

Venice
Venice

Big difference, eh? I’m not a crowd person, so yes, I much prefer Udine to Venice. So does Yotsuba. When faced with crowds, she gets murderously angry. This is Yotsuba with her unhappy face:

I will shoot someone
Someone must pay

I went to Venice on the film festival’s Horror Day, so I ended up skipping a whole day of blood and screaming and exchanged them for wall-to-wall tourists and overpriced gelato. One could argue it was exactly the same experience, only with more walking.

Anyway, since I was on vacation, I had gelato at 12:16 pm.

Gelato at noon
My crappy Swatch is proof of my poor eating habits

I had some nice food in Italy, too - like this insanely huge calzone that ended up counting as 2.5 meals.

Mmmm, calzone
I ate this in three bites

Of course when you’re on vacation you have to eat well. I was lucky and got to attend many nice dinners with insane spreads that tripled my calorie count. Like this one:

Wow…that’s a lot of food
The reason for my current two-month period of fasting

If I were to rate my trip on the food experience alone, I’d probably give it an A-minus. I won’t give it a solid A because I never give anything a solid A. The film reviews I write are proof of that.

No trip to Italy would be complete without a shot of a gondola in a canal:

Required photo of Venice canal
Rush hour!

A picture of a dog chained to a wall is required, too:

Dog in Italy
The black terror of Venice

In the interests of equal time, here’s a cat:

Cat!
He’s relaxed because the dog is chained up

I also took a picture of one of these:

Vespa!
Vespa!

Plus another one of food:

Green Risotto
To clarify possible confusion, I should note
that this picture was taken BEFORE eating.

By the way, the above picture is of wild herb risotto, and it was excellent - though a quick glance may make someone think ”partial digestion”. I shan’t elaborate. 

That pretty much wraps up Part One of my Italy trip. Part two will probably talk more about movies and my general impression of the Udine Far East Film Fest. Here’s a spoiler: I enjoyed myself. Unfortunately, none of the enjoyment mentioned in this post has anything to do with Asian film, meaning I’ve broken the #1 rule of LoveHKFilm.com Blogs: stay on topic. The #2 rule is try to blog at least once a week. Looks like I’ve broken that rule, too.

Let’s leave with this photo:

Lam Suet and some other guy
Me and some guy I met at the airport

I hear he had a good time in Italy too.

This summer, you’ll find me at 7-11

One of these days soon, I’ll get around to updating this blog with:

- A minor photo essay on my trip to Italy
- A new edition of Kozo’s Shopping Cart of Crap

Somewhere in there I’ll squeeze in the 10 or so reviews I’m working on.

In the meantime, here’s some awesome personal news: my local 7-11 just got a brand new Slurpee machine:

 The Tai Kok Tsui Slurpee Machine
My best friend this summer.

This means two things: A) now I can get Slurpees near my home to help combat the oncoming muggy days of Hong Kong Summer, and B) it’ll actually function properly because it’s new. A few years back, I tried out a Slurpee machine in Wanchai, but it was apparently old and ignored, because it dispensed a Slurpee that was 80% syrup and 20% everything else. After drinking that Slurpee, my blood sugar level hit an all-time high of 90%.  The sugar high was so great that I woke up the following morning in Aberdeen on a junk, sans wallet. At least I still had my pants.

So this summer, if I miss a site update, that’s probably where I’ll be: getting a Slurpee at 7-11. Maybe nobody else cares, but I sure as hell do. In my book, Storm Riders 2 has nothing on this news.

These guys probably wouldn’t care to hear that.

Aaron and Ekin
“No set visit for you!”

Holy crap! There’s going to be an Ekin Cheng concert!

I have yet to share my experience at Aaron Kwok’s recent Hong Kong concert, though this picture is likely worth a thousand words:

Aaron rules
“I’m just acting! Really!”

I’ll remember to talk about it in detail one day, but I can probably sum it up right now in one word: fabulous.

Back to the main subject of this post: Ekin Cheng’s manager, Sandy Lamb San-San reportedly told media today that Ekin would hold a concert somewhere in Hong Kong to celebrate his twentieth(!) year in the entertainment industry. It likely won’t be at the Hung Hom Coliseum because sadly, Ekin probably isn’t big enough for that venue anymore.

But who cares? It’s an Ekin Cheng concert and I’m in Hong Kong to see it. I can’t begin to tell you how long I’ve waited for this day.

I predict my experience at the concert will involve the following:

- The concert will start late because all Hong Kong concerts start late. I predict at around 8:15 pm.
- Ekin will wear something shiny.
- Jordan Chan will be the guest performer and they’ll talk about how old they are.
- I will bring a neon sign with “梁詠琪” printed on it.*
- At 8:18 pm, I’ll attempt to throw a DVD copy of For Bad Boys Only at Ekin’s head to let him know that I’m still upset about paying to see it in the theater. Thanks to YesAsia.com’s previous “Buy 3 Get 1 Free” campaign, I now own multiple copies of the DVD so I’ll have multiple chances to tag him in the noggin. If I bring some VCDs, I can double my ammunition.
- I’ll hire someone to run up on stage to heckle Ekin for every single time he killed or help kill Roy Cheung or Francis Ng in a movie. I count six times, for Young and Dangerous, Young and Dangerous 3, Young and Dangerous 4, Born To Be King, A Man Called Hero, and Heroic Duo. I’ll throw in a seventh and eighth time for Infernal Affairs 2 because both Roy and Francis died in that, and I believe Ekin was responsible even though he didn’t appear in the film.
- At 8:23 pm, I’ll fend off my first attack from irate fans. I may bring pepper spray.
- At 8:27 pm, I’ll be escorted out by 4 security guards, one of whom will say to me, “I love your site, even though I don’t always agree with your reviews.”
- On my way out I’ll buy a ticket for the second concert to continue pursuing my dream.

Sadly, I probably won’t even be able to make it inside the second concert because members of the Ekin Cheng Forum will show up in force to stop me, likely assisted by their irate boyfriends, who have been forced to skip a PSP ad-hoc wireless party to beat up some guy outside the Ekin Cheng concert.

I cannot predict the outcome of the ensuing melee, but I hope Roy Cheung or Francis Ng appear to back me up. Roy and Francis, if you’re reading this, please show up. Thanks to Exiled and Once Upon a Time in Triad Society 2, I believe you both have the ability to kick ass.

If you’re in Hong Kong at the time, I welcome you to show up and support my cause. If anyone needs extra incentive, I found this photo on my hard drive:

Ekin is the best!
T-shirts don’t lie

Actually, I would like to own a shirt like that too.

*梁詠琪 = Gigi Leung Wing-Kei

Two down, two to go…plus a couple of holidays and other random crap

Happy Lunar New Year!

You should see their other photos
Former softcore pin-up girl with current hardcore pin-up guy

Oh wait, the above photo has THAT GUY in it! You know, the one who’s at the center of Hong Kong’s bizarre media circus that needs its own Wong Jing parody film. Frankly, the “thing involving the pictures that resemble people who’ve worked with Charlene Choi” is all anyone can talk about over here. I would add to the constant buzzing in your ears, but it’s still not over and it seems that I change my mind about it every single day. Maybe I’ll say something afterwards.

A week or so ago, I said I wouldn’t make fun of it because it involved criminal activity and frankly, I was tired of the media coverage. I’m still tired of it, but now the whole thing has escalated to the point where I have to make fun of it simply because it’s the only way I can deal with the constant barrage of news and gossip related to He Who Shall Not Be Named.

No, not Voldemort. I’m talking about this guy again.

He’s livin’ large.
“I’m a good person!”

Um…no, you’re not.

At this point, everyone will come out of this debacle looking bad, including the participants, the victims, the media, the police, and the overexcited and frankly overjudgmental public. I’d give everyone a giant raspberry, but it’s so cold that I feel drained of the required energy to complete such an action. Instead, I’m providing this picture to illustrate how I see the entire mess:

FIGHT!!!
I’m betting on the kangaroo.

Sudden subject change: some weeks ago, I blogged briefly about my Andy Lau concert experience. Basically, it consisted of me marveling at the man’s endless energy, willingness to put himself in danger, and his unparalleled pitchman abilities. The concert was fun, because Andy Lau was Andy Lau. Accept no substitutes.

You won’t find any pictures of me!
“Thanks, Kozo!”

However, Andy Lau’s concert was only the second I’ve attended in my three years since moving to Hong Kong. The first one was Sammi Cheng’s back in May. Actually, I’ve seen her in concert twice before in the states, so basically this latest Sammi concert I attended was just like old home week. The fact that Sammi and I have both aged adds to the metaphor.

I actually wrote a Life with Kozo column about my Sammi Cheng Hong Kong concert experience back in May 2007, but it never saw print because I never got around to posting it. It’s buried somewhere on my hard drive along with some, uh, pictures I don’t want anyone to see.

Ed the Player
These pants no longer contain any mysteries

Thankfully, I attended my third concert just recently. I lucked into a ticket to one of Jacky Cheung’s remaining concerts here in Hong Kong. Here are some shots from Yahoo HK:

Jacky Cheung sings
“This one’s for you people in the crappy seats!”

Jacky and two others
Only Jacky is allowed to wear a jacket.

 

Jacky said during the concert that the dancers were all masked in order to make him look better. Personally speaking, I don’t think Jacky is all that bad looking, though someone I once knew had him classified in the “ugly guy, good singer” category, the implication being that there’s a category called “pretty guy, bad singer.” You can figure out who goes into that category yourself.

But I enjoyed Jacky’s concert a bit more than Andy Lau’s, to be honest. Andy is pure entertainment, but as a singer, Jacky clearly wins. Also, I sat in the cheap seats so I had no choice but to appreciate Jacky for his vocal range and ability to act effeminate without ever threatening his manhood. The man is multi-talented.

A sample of my perspective that evening:

Where I sat
The lightsabers were free

Sadly, Jacky did not have a guest performer - which really sucked because I was expecting something like this:

Jacky and Jacky 2
The number of people in this photo also attended Nick Cheung’s last concert

Now that I’ve seen Jacky Cheung, I’ve officially attended concerts for two of the Sky Kings. That’s two down, and two to go. Who are the remaining two? Well, there’s this guy:

Leon drinking
He’s been at this all morning

And this guy:

Aaron and pal
Aaron Kwok and a, uh, Golden Horse

I’m actually betting that Mr. Golden Horse will be the next one I see. After all, Aaron Kwok does have a concert going on right now in Hong Kong. Maybe I’ll luck into some tickets, and hopefully he won’t wear something like this:

Greatest Photo Ever
Insert your own caption here

By the way, we just had Valentine’s Day here in Hong Kong. Two years ago on Valentine’s Day, I went and hung out with a friend - who we’ll call Mr. G - in Lan Kwai Fong. We went to a party attended by other single people who had no Valentine’s Day dates. I actually didn’t want to go, but I went as his wingman. I still paid for my own drinks.

The highlight of the evening came when he introduced me to a pretty girl who worked in Central. Mr. G said to her, “This guy runs a famous website! It’s all about Hong Kong movies!”

“Really,” she said. “About Hong Kong movies?”

“Yep,” was my reply. My beer was warm.

She arched an eyebrow. “But Hong Kong movies are shit.”

Kenichi Matsuyama will tell you how I felt:

You suck!
“You suck, Kozo.”

Being single is tough.

A final dating tip for all the guys. If you want to do well with the ladies, you need one of these:

Edison’s Tool of choice

Just learn how to repair it yourself.

Photo credits: Yahoo HK, Apple Daily, a borrowed digital camera, and my hard drive.

 
 
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