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Archive for the ‘Jay Chou’ Category

Asian guys in Hollywood, or everyone gets to be a ninja

Yay, Asian actors are working in Hollywood! It’s so awesome that Snake Eyes wants to shoot someone.

Snake Eyes
“………..”

Just a week ago, Korean actor Lee Byung-Hun made his Hollywood debut in G..I JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA. In celebration of Lee Byung-Hun - or LBH as we like to call him in these parts - joining an exclusive club including Ken Watanabe, Hiroyuki Sanada, Chow Yun-Fat, Donnie Yen, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Daniel Henney, Rain and Park Jung-Hoon (You all saw THE TRUTH ABOUT CHARLIE, right?), I’m going to talk about G.I. JOE. Well, Lee Byung-Hun’s part in it anyway.

Jackie Chan supports Lee Byung-Hun:

1_jackie_lbh.jpg
“This guy makes an awesome ninja!”

(more…)

2008 Midyear Evaluation

My job requires me to do midyear evaluations for my staff, an always pleasant experience that I look forward to with unbridled enthusiasm and delight. Really, I’m totally telling the truth.

Here’s a photo from one of my team meetings:

Babies
“It’s his fault.”

Anyway, as of July, I would consider these to be 2008’s Top 10 Hong Kong films. In no particular order:

Run Papa Run (the #1 choice, everything else is uncertain)
Sparrow
L For Love, L For Lies
Beseiged City
Hong Kong Bronx
Playboy Cops

Shamo
City Without Baseball
Yes, I Can See Dead People
The Moss

Wow, that’s a dismal list, isn’t it? Some of the stuff that made this cut was not very good, but I had a hard time leaving them off in place of other films. There was no way that Missing, Linger, Kung Fu Dunk, or Fatal Move was making this list. They’re all more likely to make the “Worst 10″ list, though naming that right now would be useless because not much more than 20 films have been released thus far in 2008. That low number makes this the worst output from the territory since way before I was born. And I was born a while ago.

This is usually where the expected “Hong Kong movies are really lousy” rant should occur, but I maintain that this is a numbers game that would be supported if Hong Kong produced more than 50 films a year. Back when Hong Kong made 300 or so movies per year, you could expect somewhere close to 60-100 good, or at least watchable films. Percentage-wise that’s not great, but apply that percentage to current times, and you get a little less than 20 good films per year - which is more or less accurate when applied to Hong Kong Cinema in 2005-2007. If my math is bad, I apologize.

There’s also a whole other discussion here about what’s hurting Hong Kong film - i.e., lack of local support, targeting China, undue hype from the Internet, etc. - but I’ll leave that for another day. That is, if I ever talk about it at all.

Some notes: Shamo and Beseiged City get included here because neither had wide theatrical release in 2007. Two films that would have made the cut are High Noon and The Way We Are, but both are thus far officially unreleased in cinemas so I’ll leave them out to see if they make the end-of-year cut. CJ7 misses the list not because it’s bad (it isn’t), but because the amount of disappointment that came with it is so disproportionally large that I couldn’t feel good about including it.

Also, I didn’t consider The Sparkle in the Dark because I haven’t seen it yet. I’m guessing it’s not going to be Top 10 material anyway.

Some quick performance evaluations:

  • Shawn Yue: A- (For making so many films, and turning in decent performances)
  • Patrick Kong: B (For continuing his streak of hit questionable-quality films)
  • Johnnie To: C+ (Sparrow and Linger cancel each other out; the “+” is complimentary)
  • Charlene Choi: A (She’s got a ton of projects lined up, plus she gets a sympathy bump)
  • Chow Yun-Fat: D (Where is he? If he does Red Circle, he could move up to “C” range.)
  • Sammi Cheng: B- (One upcoming film and numerous public appearances earns her some goodwill)
  • Louis Koo: A (Many movies, no stinkers. The guy’s on a roll.)
  • Stephen Chow: C- (CJ7 was okay, but Shaolin Girl hurts the Chow brand)
  • Jackie Chan: B- (Stretching in The Shinjuku Incident, but had less than 10 lines in Kung Fu Panda)
  • Gillian Chung: D (Cut from Mei Lan Fang, and The Fantastic Water Babes is still MIA)
  • Alex Fong Lik-Sun: B+ (Making strides)
  • Stephy Tang: B (Has shown some improvement, despite relative lack of talent)
  • Andy Lau: B+ (Still such a hard worker; now a Justice of the Peace in Hong Kong.)
  • Lawrence Lau: A- (He made two films! Neither is awesome, but it’s nice to see him)
  • Edison Chen: Incomplete (If Sniper and Jump get pushed to 2009, this becomes an F)
  • Jet Li: B (His projects are inconsistent, but everything is better than War)
  • Karena Lam: C- (Trying new things, but results have not been impressive)
  • Aaron Kwok: A (Agreeing to do Storm Warriors gets him an A)
  • Ekin Cheng: B+ (Storm Warriors gets him an A, but MIA film Rule Number One hurts him)
  • Kelly Chen: B (*cough*Empress and the Warriors*cough*, but she’s getting married. Congrats!)
  • Wong Jing: C (He passes with solid, average results)
  • Jay Chou: B (Because Kung Fu Dunk was not his fault)
  • Tony Leung Chiu-Wai: A (Hard to fault the guy for anything, really)
  • China: Incomplete (We’ll have to see how their approval board behaves post-Olympics)

If I remember, I’ll pass out final grades at the end of the year.

Here’s a photo for good measure:

Playing with the ball
In the middle of his freestyle rap,
Jay Chou was knocked unconscious by a flying basketball.

Damn You, Everyone! The Webmaster weeps for Hong Kong.

Hong Kong is so boring and cold. Nothing is happening at all right now.

Edison and Stephen
Stephen, you’d better wash your right hand.

Actually, unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you do know that something’s up, namely the ire of the populace and the local media thanks to the appropriately named Edison-Gillian-Bobo-Cecilia Scandal. I have been asked my opinion on this subject by about three people…so I’m going to post it on my blog!

To be honest, my response is a rather pedestrian one that really means nothing. Indeed, this whole fiasco really doesn’t bother me that much. I’m more bothered by the fact that it has delivered tons of useless traffic to my website, in the form of people desperately searching out photos of Edison and his conquests. I live in a small world.

But in the meantime, I’d like to say that this is an invasion of privacy and probably one of the stupidest things I’ve ever been witness to.

No, I’m not talking about the pictures themselves, which are someone’s private business and were taken by a bunch of consenting, but rather foolhardy individuals. Really, nothing is that shocking here, unless you’re so prudish that sex is a complete turnoff. So, young women have sex? Yes, they do. So, a dope kid like Edison takes pictures of his conquests and saves them on his hard drive? Hardly a surprise, considering the “I’m from the streetz” stereotype Ed seems determined to embody with every phrase or action that he’s party to. At least he never claimed to be a role model.

Basically, we’ve learned three things from this:

1. Edison Chen is someone who you would like to stay away from your sister.

2. Famous women can have bad taste in men, and can sometimes do stupid things just like regular women.

3. Hong Kong is full of people who should know better.

I say this last thing because some people seem to act like they have a right to own these photos. Currently, webmasters of forums that hosted the photos are being arrested, leading to outrage from the local citizenry. Results of a current Apple Daily poll are frightening. According to the poll, 76% of all respondents think the blame for this fiasco actually lies with the photographer, and not with the people who chose to illegally distribute the offending photos without said photographer’s permission. There’s even talk of some sort of protest or march in support of people who posted Edison’s private photos on their websites. Say what?

Sometimes I wish people would just learn to leave these things alone. Did we really have to see and share these photos? Artists are people, too. They don’t belong to us. We can make fun of them if they trip up publicly, but this is a case of criminals taking private property that belonged to someone and using it to damage them. The artists are the victims here. Even Edison.

I still wouldn’t want him to date my sister, though.

Let’s close this with a photo:

Jay Chou will beat up fans for money
“I’ll beat up anyone who says anything bad about Ryosuke.”

My favorite TV commercial. Well, maybe not.

I love You Tube. It allows me to write next to nothing and still pretend that my blog posts are substantial. I may never write a full post again.

For some odd reason, I feel like sharing this commercial with everyone:

Every time I turn on the television in Hong Kong, I see this ad. I’m not exactly sure why it happens, but it happens. I think it’s following me. Anyway, as a result of Daniel Wu’s convincing concern for my skin, I’ve just bought a case of that product.

Also, repeated viewings of the commercial have given me the opportunity to perfect my Daniel Wu impression, most especially his inimitable way of mixing Cantonese with English phrases. I demonstrated it at work the other day and people went insane. Of course, it could have been because I was wearing this outfit:

Jay Chou could be colorblind
Jay Chou’s washer/dryer combo fails him again

Yes, I used this photo last week. The above photo was from a Secret promotion in Korea. Afterwards, Jay Chou was voted as the worst-dressed celebrity in the country, an honor bestowed upon him by the netizens at sportsseoul.com. Really. I didn’t make that part up, unlike practically everything else that goes on this blog.

Oh, and this is my favorite commercial. It totally makes up for Chow Yun-Fat dropping out of Red Cliff.

By the way, Chow isn’t the only guy that pushes casinos:

I have no desire to stay at a hotel that lets its guests wear shoes in the pool.

In the interest of equal time, here’s a clip of Stephy Tang.

Commercials rock.

Next time: no words, only clips.

 
 
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