- reviews - features - people - panasia - blogs - about site - contact - links - forum -
Site Features
- Asian Film Awards
- Site Recommendations

- Reader Poll Results

- The FAQ Page
support this site by shopping at
Click to visit
… On this day, I see clearly, everything has come to life.

Note: This blog expresses only the opinions of the blog owner,
and does not represent the opinion of any organization or blog
that is associated with 聚言莊﹕The House Where Words Gather.

Archive for the ‘Gigi Leung Wing-Kei’ Category

News Links: March 27th, 2009


Before we get to today’s links, I want to clear a few items off of the little notebook I keep to remind me of things that I want to mention on this blog.

Item #1: About this article: Stephen Chow target of criticisms once again

Robert Morse as Bert CooperIn the words of MAN MEN’s Bert Cooper, “who cares?”  So Stephen Chow can be a bastard in the workplace … who cares?  Isn’t this par for the course for some successful people?  The notion that some successful people are high strung and very demanding shouldn’t be a shocking revelation.  It’s not like Stephen Chow puts out this image that he’s a great, easy-going guy who’s kind and benevolent to his workers. If he did that and then this talk came out then it’s a different story but this is just “well, he can be hard to work for”.

Moreover, it’s not like he goes out of his way to destroy the careers of those who have crossed him.  My memory may be faulty but didn’t he let Cecilia Cheung out of her contract early so she could make millions while the fire was hot after her debut in KING OF COMEDY?  If he was the vindictive type, Eva Huang Shengyi would have had her career crushed.  She wouldn’t be getting more face time in the new RACE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN (a reported 45 seconds) than ol’ EDC in THE DARK KNIGHT?

Besides, it’s impossible for anyone to be 100% nice, 100% of the time.  I’m sure that somewhere out there, someone has something bad to say about even the most pious of men like Pope Benedict or the Dalai Lama.  This reminds me of an e-mail that I got a few years back when I ran my old site.  I think it was around 2003 or 2004.  Someone claiming to be a Cathay Pacific flight attendant e-mailed me to complain about Gigi Leung Wing-Kei.

Gigi Leung Wing-KeiApparently, she and one of her co-workers were working a flight on which Gigi Leung was a passenger.   Her co-worker was a Gigi Leung fan so she asked Leung for an autograph and a picture.   Gigi Leung happily posed for a photo then gave her address to the flight attendant because she wanted a copy of the photo.   About a month later, Cathay fired the flight attendant because, allegedly, Gigi Leung complained to the airline that she was bothered during the flight and offered the photo as evidence.   The e-mailer thought that this was a stone cold move by Gigi Leung so she wanted me to run the story on my site and expose Gigi Leung’s hard-hearted nature.   As I didn’t have the time or the inclination to chase down other sources for confirmation, I didn’t publish the story.

Manny Kok, my manager here at the Kozo Entertainment Group, is screaming at me right now.  He’s yelling: “DISCLAIMER! DISCLAIMER! YOU HAVE TO PUT IN A STRONG DISCLAIMER!” So, let me be perfectly clear, the above story is unsubstantiated hearsay.   I only told it to illustrate my point that every celebrity, every person of note probably has a negative story about them floating around somewhere.  I am, in no fashion, trying to impugn the character of Gigi Leung Wing-Kei.  She is, after all, a member of the Leung clan — a clan to which I myself belong.

You know, I wish the story was different. I wish I could have said: “This one time, I got an e-mail from a Cathay Pacific flight attendant and she said she was a fan of my site. She said she and one of her co-workers wanted to get together and take some colourful photos that I can store on my hard drive.”

Item #2: Edison Chen: Paragon of Filial Piety

Earlier this week, 52 year-old Chen Chak-Man (陳澤民)– the father of disgraced HK celebrity Edison Chen — filed for bankruptcy.  The economic downturn has left him with a rumoured HK$1 billion in debt.  Chen, however, insists that it is only HK$20 million.

What does this have to do with the entertainment circle?  Well, Ming Pao reported that Edison Chen has been helping his father out financially even though his income was greatly reduced due to Sexy Photos Gate.  Also, this quote from Chen the Elder appeared on Apple Action “If my son is able, he will be looking after my expenses in the future.”

Now, a cynical person would say that this is just another attempt to rehabilitate Edison Chen’s public image but … OK, I’m a cynical person, I think this belongs in the same file as the “Edison is now a Christian who prays every day” stories that were floating around last year.

More EDC foolishness:  A report surfaced on Tuesday night alleging that, upon hearing news of his father’s bankruptcy, Edison Chen committed suicide by flinging himself off a building in Beijing. Obviously, the report was false.

Still more Edison Chen news, SNIPER had its gala premiere in Hong Kong this week without EDC in attendance.  Also, the film is apparently going to be banned in Mainland China.

Item #3: Gillian Chung in W.

Oliver Stone was in Hong Kong this week for the Hong Kong International Film Festival.  During an event for his latest film W., he talked about how he financed it mostly through Hong Kong sources.  He also praised Gillian Chung as a “capable actress” but lamented that her scene (a belly dancing scene for Saddam Hussein) had to go because of time.

The regular DVD edition of W. does not have deleted scenes but the Blu-Ray DVD version contains six deleted scenes.  Fans of Ah Gil may want to check that out if they want to see her “Hollywood breakthrough”.  Previously on this blog, I shared some thoughts on the film.

Item #4: About this article: Joey Yung has no love for Edison Chen; only resentments

Thanks to my battle with the Big C, there’s an 18-month long gap in my entertainment circle database.  As a result, I missed Joey Yung’s ascension to the “Queen of Pop” title.  Is it my imagination or is Joey Yung feeling her oats?  She seems more assertive and opinionated these days.  I don’t recall her being this outspoken in the past.

On to the links:



Q&A: Tsui Hark


Sequels in the works for PAINTED SKIN and IP MAN

Raintree, Wayne Wang prepare Singapore historical thriller

Juliette Binoche plans film with Chinese director

Door opens for Tibet film from Dai Wei


Faye Wong makes return with S$4million advertisement

China takes on Hollywood in box office battle

HAF lauds Charlie Yeung for financial acumen

Tony Blair and Jet Li sign cooperation plan on climate

Taipei Times Pop Stop: Zhang Ziyi, more

False pregnancy? Andy Lau cancels wedding

Sonija Kwok Sin-Lei: She saves maid’s life but ends up bitten

“China’s Oprah” signs for Hollywood representation

MC HotDog: No hard feelings between Jolin & me



Malaysia Star review of Oxide Pang’s LOVE TRIANGLE


Leon Lai, Zhang Ziyi’s ‘Paper Handcuff Fame’

- RELATED: Zhang Ziyi and Leon Lai promote FOREVER ENTHRALLED in South Korea

Q&A with Lu Chuan the director of NANKING! NANKING!

Eileen Chang: A great 20th century writer, as depicted in movies spanning 60 years


‘Ashes of Time Redux’ Premieres in Beijing

Hong Kong International Film Festival kicks off

Kelly Chen at the Hong Kong premiere of MONSTERS AND ALIENS

Gigi Leung celebrates her birthday by promoting her new album (Fans from HK, China and Korea gathered at an event where Leung celebrated her birthday and promoted her new album.  Asked what her birthday wish was, Leung replied: “Good health and strong record sales.”)

Irene Wan Bik-Ha at a promotional event for a spa

Lin Chi-Ling promotes Armani in Shanghai

Tang Wei promotes Armani in Changsha

* * * * *

Rest in peace, Dan Seals.  It’d been more than twenty years since I heard “Bop” but, upon the news of Dan Seals’ passing yesterday, I heard the song on the radio twice.  It immediately made me flashback to the ol’ school gym and boppin’ like mad to the song with Tracy Vogel.  For a moment, it was a night like it used to be, when our hearts were young and our souls were free.

Image credits: AMC (Bert Cooper), (Gigi Leung)

Out With The Old, Part II

It’s time.

It’s definitely time.

It’s time for me to come in from nude sunbathing out on the beach and get to work on my first post for 2009 — a post about my “mosts” of 2008.

Before I begin, a caveat:  If my picks for the “mosts” of 2008 seem a bit vanilla, a bit uninspired and a bit dated, it’s because torrents and illegal downloads have killed my local Chinese video store so I now have to order in HK films.  As a result, I’ve been limited to the major releases (like RED CLIFF) or films that I have an interest in seeing (like Tissot Presents CONNECTED: A Motorola Film Presentation).  I’ve had to pass on films with negative reviews (like AN EMPRESS AND THE WARRIORS) and the marginal titles (like those Wong Jing productions: MY WIFE IS A GAMBLING MAESTRO and THE FORBIDDEN LEGEND: SEX & CHOPSTICKS).  Ah, who’s kidding who?  I’m going to be seeing SEX & CHOPSTICKS at some point in my life …

In the past, I would have seen everything but having to pay fifteen to twenty bucks to see a film is a much different steaming tray of cha siu bao than having to pay four bucks to see a film.  I need to save some money for hookers and blow … OK, OK, the truth … Doritos and porn.  ;-)

Brendan Gleeson (left) and Colin Farrell in IN BRUGESI saw 24 Hong Kong films in 2008 (yeah, I keep movie-viewing stats … a side effect of being a sports geek) but a number of those were catch-up titles from 2007. Consequently, some older titles will be in my “mosts” selections.  I’m also not going to be able to offer any “diamond in the rough” suggestions like CLEAN MY NAME, MR. CORONER.  The closest I can come to making a recommendation of that ilk is the Martin McDonagh film IN BRUGES.  It tells the tale of two hitmen who are forced to cool their heels in the Belgian city of Bruges and has some definite Hong Kong movie DNA in it.  In fact, it reminded me a lot of EXILED.  So, if you like Johnnie To films and the “honour among thieves” genre, I think you’ll enjoy giving IN BRUGES a look.

On to my “mosts” of 2008:

Most Enjoyable Film Experience: RED CLIFF

Since the phenomenal success of CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON, movie fans have been left looking in dismay over an immense wasteland filled with the carcasses of ambitious but fatally flawed “costume epics made for the international market”.  Look over there!  It’s the empty shell that used to be known as THE BANQUET.  And here, we have the corpse of THE PROMISE.  What’s that smell?  It’s the rotting flesh of SEVEN SWORDS.

Finally, after eight long years, a big-budget, star-studded production has come along and delivered on its promise.  Unlike some of its predecessors, it doesn’t leave viewers feeling disappointed (I’m looking at you THE BANQUET), puzzled (SEVEN SWORDS) or laughing derisively at the unintentional comedy (THE PROMISE). While RED CLIFF VOL. 1 (volume 2 comes out later this month) isn’t a pantheon-worthy masterpiece, it is solid entertainment and thoroughly enjoyable.  It’s well-made with the familiar Woo style, doesn’t indulge in over-production, tells a coherent story that satisfies and, while the comedy can be a bit corny, viewers are likely to laugh with it instead of laugh at it.Some of you may be thinking that RED CLIFF was OK but it wasn’t the most enjoyable film experience of 2008.  Well, it was the most fun I had watching a movie from the three Chinas (Mainland, HK, Taiwan).  For the record, the most fun I had at the movies in 2008 was IRON MAN.

Two factors enhanced my enjoyment of the film:

One, I’m a ROMANCE OF THE THREE KINGDOMS geek.  I own the book.  I own the original KOEI PC game when everything fit on one 5 1/4″ inch diskette and used less memory than a Lin Chi-Ling JPEG.  Even though they are all essentially the same game, I own the PS2 versions of DYNASTY WARRIORS 3, DYNASTY WARRIORS 4 and DYNASTY WARRIORS 5.  By the way, my high score at the Battle of Chi Bi is 1383 KOs with Zhao Yun.  Yes, I am a true hero of the Three Kingdoms. :-)

Hulk HoganTwo, I’m a John Woo fan.  A BETTER TOMORROW and HARD-BOILED are enshrined in the Republic of Sanneyistan movie pantheon.  Coupled with the fact that John Woo had not directed a Chinese film since 1992, I was all geeked up for RED CLIFF and the familiar John Woo flourishes: the bromance, the notion of honour between men, the slow motion shots and, of course, the pigeons.  It’s sort of like how WWE fans go insane whenever Hulk Hogan appears.  It doesn’t matter that he’s well into his 50s and that he has the agility of a hippopotamus.  People still go nuts whenever “Real American” starts blasting on the loudspeaker and he does the familiar posedown, the waving at the fans to cheer and the leg drop. Whatcha gonna do when John Woo unleashes a bromantic action drama on you?  Sit back and enjoy it, that’s what.

One more thought about RED CLIFF:  Before I saw her performance in the film, the prevailing image I had in my mind of Taiwanese Lin Chi-Ling dancing with Terry Guosupermodel Lin Chi-Ling was of her dancing with business magnate Terry Guo.  Apparently, back in February 2007, she was paid to make an appearance at a business dinner thrown by Guo and somehow ended up dancing with him.  It caused a minor brouhaha when director Tsai Ming-Liang spoke out against her by saying that making such appearances was “cheap” and “disgusting”.  The incident sticks out in my mind not because I worship at the Temple of Righteous Propriety with director Tsai but because I saw the pictures and thought to myself: “whoa, Lin Chi-Ling is kinda hot.”

I know, I know, you’re probably thinking:  “Lin Chi-Ling is hot.  What a revelation.  What’s Sanney going to discover next?  The sky is blue and snow is cold.  Is he going to kiss a girl and like it?”  In response, let me just say that I see gorgeous beauty every day when I look in the mirror so it takes a lot for me to recognize beauty in others.  :-)

Basically, I wasn’t expecting much from Lin Chi-Ling beyond the usual “flower vase” routine.  To my surprise, Lin turned in a decent performance and held her own opposite my cousin Tony, Takeshi Kaneshiro and that scene-stealing but peculiarly-clean newborn foal.  I wouldn’t put it in the same league as some outstanding debut model-actress performances — like Qi Qi (aka Mrs. Simon Yam Tat-Wah) in the criminally underappreciated THE KID and Yoyo Mung Ka-Wai in EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED –  but it isn’t bad for a rookie.

Most Disappointing Moment: Sexy Photos Gate

No, no, no.  I’m not going to be like the Hong Kong Performing Artistes Guild and descend from Sanctimony Peak to deliver a lecture on how Sexy Photos Gate was a tragedy for society and a tragedy for members of the entertainment industry.  Yes, having very personal photos exposed for all the world to see is beyond the pale and very traumatic and very mortifying for those involved.  However, if you create an interest in yourself so that you can profit from that interest, you can’t really complain when that interest turns on you in ways you can’t control.  If you live by the sword, you can’t complain if you end up dying by the sword.

Nope, my “disappointment” with Sexy Photos Gate is actually more of a lament.  For the past few years, news about the health of the Hong Kong movie industry has been grim (read Tim Youngs’ article in Time Magazine about the issue for a good overview).  However, I’ve always believed that the industry would survive because I’ve seen what the ingenuity and grit of Hong Kong people can do.  I was confident that the industry would find some way to keep going.  It’s like what the Jeff Goldblum character said in JURASSIC PARK: “Because the history of evolution is that life escapes all barriers.  Life breaks free.  Life expands to new territories.  Painfully, perhaps even dangerously.  But life finds a way.”  I was sure the industry would find a way.

Athena Chu Yan and Monica Chan Fat-Yung in THE LOVE AND SEX OF THE EASTERN HOLLYWOODNow, I’m not so sure.  Why?  Because no quickie “ripped from the headlines” movie about Sexy Photos Gate has popped up.  During the Asian Economic Crisis of the late-1990s, the industry still managed to produce THE LOVE AND SEX OF THE EASTERN HOLLYWOOD — a movie based on rumours that swirled around Maggie Cheung Man-Yuk, Sandra Ng Kwun-Yu and Veronica Yip Yuk-Hing among others.  After the tech bubble burst, not one but two movies about an infamous murder case turned up: THERE IS A SECRET IN MY SOUP and HUMAN PORK CHOP.  Mere weeks after the Melody Chu Mei-Fang sex scandal broke, the HK movie industry offered THE PEEPING.  Yet, almost a year after the first photos surfaced, no “ripped from the headlines” exploitation flick based on Sexy Photos Gate has been released.

Perhaps there is some reluctance to produce a movie because of the rumoured triad connections involved but you would think that the money a Sexy Photos Gate film could generate would be too enticing to pass up.  Maybe the physical and fiscal risk outweighed any potential reward.  Maybe the industry is too weak for a movie on the biggest scandal of this decade to generate any significant profit.  Whatever the case may be, it is another sign that the health of the Hong Kong movie industry isn’t as robust as it used to be.

Most Shameful Moment: Watching CJ7

If I lived on Sanctimony Peak with the Hong Kong Performing Artistes Guild, I’d go on a self-serving pious rant about how my most shameful moment as a HK entertainment fan came when I was looking at those Sexy Photos Gate pictures.  Alas, I’m a ham sup lo so I had no compunction about looking at the photos.  I’m not condoning the actions of those who were rabidly waiting for the latest pictures or those who were obsessed with collecting every last image.  I’m just saying that the natural reaction of any normal fan would be to look at the pictures so — despite the whines and moans about the destruction of society — no one should feel shame for looking at the photos.

Kitty Zhang in CJ7

No, my most shameful moment came while I was watching Stephen Chow’s CJ7.  Here I was watching a warm-hearted family movie about the relationship between father and son yet I was constantly distracted by salacious thoughts about Kitty Zhang.  I kept thinking how different my life would have been if I stayed in Hong Kong and was schooled by hot women wearing tight-fitting cheongsam instead of the likes of the stern Father Ernie and dour Sister Olga here in Canada.  One thing’s for sure, if I never underwent the tutelage of Father Ernie and Sister Olga, I’d be feeling no shame over, uh, admiring Kitty Zhang. ;-)

On a side note, anyone out there see Kitty Zhang in SHAOLIN GIRL?  Kozo killed the film in his review so I’ve stayed away but is it enjoyable on a “turn off your brain and look at the pretty pictures” level or is it, as Kozo contends, so bad that I’d get more enjoyment lighting the $16 the DVD costs on fire and watching the money burn?

Most Egregious Use Of CGI: KIDNAP


Bugs BunnyIf you’ve seen KIDNAP then you probably know precisely what I’m going to write about: the scene where Karena Lam Ka-Yan’s character gets nailed by a car.  The effect was so cartoonish and so out-of-place for the taut thriller that director Law Chi-Leung had going, I half-expected Bugs Bunny to poke his head through the pavement and say: “… I knew I shoulda taken that left turn at Albuquerque … {sees the body of Karena Lam’s character} … oooh, that’s gotta hoit.”

Instead of using that ridiculous CGI, it might have been more effective (and cheaper) to do it old school — the way they did it in Shaw Brothers movies and TVB dramas before the advent of computers — stick a bad wig on a stuntman and do the stunt for real.

Most Memorable Scene: The Stephanie Cheng Yung - Edison Chen Kwoon-Hei scene from TRIVIAL MATTERS

Stephanie Cheng Yung and Edison Chen Kwoon-Hei in TRIVIAL MATTERS

I wish I could say that the scene sticks in my mind because of the cute as a button Stephanie Cheng Yung.  Sadly, no.  The scene sticks in my mind because of the warped notion of “good citizenship” espoused by Edison Chen.  The stupid scene stuck in my mind like an ear worm every time I visited a public toilet in 2008.  It didn’t matter where I was: a pay toilet near the famous Piazza San Marco in Venice, a washroom in a pub just off of Leicester Square or the downstairs facilities in the Columbia Icefields Visitors’ Centre, I couldn’t help but think of Edison Chen’s idea of “public service”.   Thank you Edison Chen.  Thank you Pang Ho-Cheung.

I suppose that I must now make the obligatory comment about how it’s ironic (or at least prescient) that the scene involved a certain part of the male anatomy that Chen would, months later, go down in history and become synonymous with due to Sexy Photos Gate.

Most Memorable Moment Of Bad Acting: Gigi Leung Wing-Kei in WONDER WOMEN

I don’t mean to single out Gigi Leung as a “bad actress” with this selection.  On an absolute scale, her acting skills are fairly decent and I saw many, many poorer performances in 2008.  However, her work in WONDER WOMEN is the bad performance I remember most out of all the ones I saw last year.  Overall, Leung’s effort in WONDER WOMEN is pretty good, it’s just that in key moments she’ll use an exaggerated expression or an exaggerated gesture that belongs more in a TVB drama than a sweeping epic about Hong Kong since the Handover.

Kevin Cheng Ka-Wing (left) and Gigi Leung Wing-Kei (right) in WONDER WOMEN

The moment that sticks in my mind is early in the film shortly after she discovers that her trusted “uncle” (played by Hui Siu-Hung) is conning her with a real estate scam.  Instead of attempting to portray genuine emotion, she uses one of those melodramatic TVB “hrrmph” expressions that’s so jarring it kills the narrative momentum of the film.  Sure, an argument can be made that the entire production is plauged by such inconsistency but a really good actress should have the ability to rise above bad directing and bad production (Karena Lam, for instance, has delivered the goods in many questionable movies).   It’s this lack of acting chops that kept Leung from progressing beyond the “It Girl” level earlier in her career.

Most Memorable Moment of Good Acting: Eddie Cheung Siu-Fai in KIDNAP

Eddie Cheung Siu-FaiThere wasn’t any particular instance of great acting that prompted me to pick Eddie Cheung for this section.  It’s just that while I was watching him in KIDNAP, it dawned on me that Cheung is an outstanding actor.  I never really noticed it before because he started his career playing thankless roles in TVB series.  From the late-1980s to early this decade, Cheung spent his time at TVB playing villains, dorks or the third wheel in romantic triangles.  Consequently, you never really paid attention to him because the focus was always on the leading man and the leading lady.

Since leaving TVB, Cheung has put together a nice string of supporting roles in some notable movies (from RUNNING ON KARMA to THROWDOWN to MAD DETECTIVE).  In the past couple of years alone, he’s played a supremely competent badass cop in KIDNAP, a sympathetic hardass cop in DOG BITE DOG, a jerkass police superintendent in CONNECTED and an explosively violent personality in MAD DETECTIVE.  Here’s hoping that his talent, his skill and his range are recognized someday with a Hong Kong Film Award.  Hong Kong Movie Gods, I beseech you, please make it so.

Looking Ahead To 2009: Growing a Lamstache

George Lam Chi-CheungNow that I’ve finally put 2008 to rest, here’s what I plan to do in 2009: grow a George Lam Chi-Cheung style moustache.  Why?  In real life, the guy is married to Sally Yeh.  In his last two movies, his characters were married to ones played by Gigi Leung Wing-Kei and Loletta Lee Lai-Chun.  In addition to having such good luck with the ladies, he played a badass gangster in THE PYE-DOG.  Surely, the secret to his success is the ’stache. :-)

OK, OK, maybe I’ll take a pass on the idea of the Lamstache.  What I will do in 2009 is wait for the Hong Kong Film Awards nominations to come out and see all the nominated movies and performances.  I have a feeling that means I’ll be seeing films like RUN PAPA RUN and THE WAY WE ARE.  Of course, I’ll be seeing RED CLIFF 2.  In fact, if I was a crazy rich guy, I would hop a flight to Hong Kong just so I could see the movie instead of waiting for it to come out on DVD.  Alas, I’m not rich, just crazy.

Do any of you have suggestions on movies from 2008 that I should see?  Does the accumulated babeage in LA LINGERIE make it worth a look?  How about NOBODY’S PERFECT?  Is there enough Jo Koo in THE VAMPIRE WHO ADMIRES ME to justify a purchase?  If there’s a film that you saw in 2008 that tickled your fancy, let me know.  It doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I enjoy the fartsy just as much as the artsy.

* * * * *

Be seeing you, Patrick McGoohan.

Image credits: Blueprint Pictures (IN BRUGES still), WWE (Hulk Hogan), Wenhui Xinmin United Press Group (Lin Chi-Ling/Terry Guo), Mei Ah Entertainment (THE LOVE AND SEX OF THE EASTERN HOLLYWOOD still), Star Overseas (Kitty Zhang), Bugs Bunny (Warner Bros.), Not Brothers (TRIVIAL MATTERS still), Mandarin Films (WONDER WOMEN still), George Lam’s Official Website (George Lam) Copyright © 2002-2021 Ross Chen