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Archive for the ‘Jackie Chan’ Category

Karate Kid “Konundrum”

With THE KARATE KID (2010) set to hit North American movie theatres in a week, the publicity machine for the film is starting to hit top gear.  Since it has yet to be screened for critics, the early press has been mostly positive because it’s just been the people behind the movie who have been talking.  Will Smith and his family appeared on Oprah last month and, earlier this week, producer James Lassiter spoke to The Los Angeles Times.

Last Friday, a review appeared on Ain’t It Cool News declaring THE KARATE KID (2010) to be a “worthy successor to the previous incarnation”.  On Monday, Todd Brown at Twitch said the movie was “better than good”.  Also on Monday, Gregory Ellwood at HitFix.com speculated on why it might be “June’s breakout hit”.

All of this positive buzz has created a bit of a conundrum for me.  Going back to February 1996 and the North American release of RUMBLE IN THE BRONX, the only Jackie Chan movie I haven’t seen during its opening weekend was THE SPY NEXT DOOR - and that was mostly because I wasn’t a 7 year-old kid.   However, I was going to skip THE KARATE KID (2010) next week in favour of THE A-TEAM.  Based on the trailer that I saw before IRON MAN 2, THE A-TEAM looks like it’ll be a whole lot of fun while my pre-conceived notions for THE KARATE KID (2010) are not compelling me to rush out and see it.  My pre-conceived notions:

TORTILLA SOUP poster1. There are only really two legitimate reasons to remake a movie.  The first is technology now exists to update it.  It’s like putting a new coat of paint on an old house.  There’s nothing wrong with the house but it just may look better with a new coat of paint.  See KING KONG (2005) and CLASH OF THE TITANS (2010).  The second is a remake set in a different culture than the original.  Keeping the premise but putting it in a completely different setting gives people the opportunity to explore the original themes and ideas from a different angle.  See DEATH AT A FUNERAL (2010), THE DEPARTED (2006) and TORTILLA SOUP (2001) - the thoroughly enjoyable Hispanic remake of Ang Lee’s EAT DRINK MAN WOMAN.

Otherwise, remakes are usually just tepid versions of their originals because it’s hard to live up to the challenge of competing with the legacy of the originals while establishing a new identity, a new raison d’être.  See: THE TAKING OF PELHAM 123 (2009), THE INVASION (2007), THE WICKER MAN (2006), PLANET OF THE APES (2001), PSYCHO (1998) and THE PINK PANTHER (2006).

THE KARATE KID (2010) faces a similar problem.  From the fish-out-of-water premise of the “Joisey” kid moving to California to the “You’re The Best Around” montage to the over-the-top bad guys (”Get him a body bag! Yeeaah!”), the original KARATE KID is great because it has a unique combination of cheesy chemistry.  Re-creating that chemistry is a “lightning strike twice” situation, not impossible but highly unlikely.

2. Will Smith is producing the movie.  On the upside, “Big Willie Style” means a big budget and excellent production values.  On the downside, Smith casting his son Jaden in the lead screams “vanity project”.

3. I’m obviously not in the target demographic for this movie.  I’m not a child and I’m not a parent of a child.  The original had a 21 year-old Elisabeth Shue as the “compelling hot babe”.  The “love interest” for 11 year-old Jaden Smith is played by a similarly young Chinese actress named Han Wenwen.  Definitely not — unless you’re under 12 years old -  “compelling hot babe” material.

4. As I don’t want Skynet/the Cylons to keep track of my web surfing activities, I have my browser cache and cookies cleared before I shutdown my computer.  Consequently, I lost a link to an article from earlier this week where someone wrote that the Jaden Smith-Jackie Chan relationship in the movie serves as an allegory for how America needs China and China needs America.

“Child, please”, as Chad Ochocinco would say.

A publicity photo for THE A-TEAM movie.

Before this week, all of these pre-conceived notions had me leaning towards going to see THE A-TEAM next weekend instead of THE KARATE KID (2010).  However, after being subjected to the Sirens’ call of the publicity machine, I started thinking that I might have to check out THE KARATE KID (2010) first.  Then, I read this whopper of a quote from producer James Lassiter in The L.A. Times article “‘Karate Kid’ update breaks down some Chinese walls”:

The people run the country.  So if people didn’t want you shooting in their neighborhood, there’s no authority that can tell them they have to. That’s why it’s called the People’s Republic of China.

Like a splash of cold water to the face, that quote snapped me out of the stupor created by the publicity machine.   Yes, GeekPadre and Todd Brown gave positive reviews but, like early returns on election night, that doesn’t mean anything.  I’ll wait until other critics get a chance to see the movie but unless reviews are overwhelmingly positive, I’m probably waiting until a cheap night Tuesday or a second-run discount theatre or possibly even a video rental before I see THE KARATE KID (2010).

Only my brain, with its bothersome thinking and dilemmas and conundrums, is compelling me to see the remake.  My heart is telling me I’ll have a much better time at THE A-TEAM.  “Don’t think! Feel!”, noted 20th Century philosopher Bruce Lee said in ENTER THE DRAGON.   THE A-TEAM it is.

RELATED LINKS:

Images credits: Samuel Goldwyn Films (TORTILLA SOUP poster); 20th Century Fox (THE A-TEAM publicity image)

Three Views On Chinese Movies In The 2000s: Part II

Before continuing with the look back at the movies of the 2000s, a few thoughts on some news tidbits that have emerged lately:

1. Hong Kong Film Awards Nominations

I said it the day after last year’s awards and I still believe it to be true in spite of the buzz for Wang Xueqi’s work in BODYGUARDS AND ASSASSINS:  Simon Yam will win a Best Acting award at the HKFAs this year.  It may be a “lifetime achievement” type deal but I think he’s due.  He got two nominations in the Best Actor category this year for NIGHT AND FOG and for ECHOES OF THE RAINBOW so here’s hoping …

More thoughts on the HKFA nominations:

- Nice to see Zhang Jingchu get nominated for her solid performance in the grim tale that was NIGHT AND FOG.

- As a fan of schlocky HK comedies of the 1980s and early-1980s, it’s great to see Stanley Fung Shui-Fan get a Supporting Actor nomination for ACCIDENT.

- Biggest snub: Why no Supporting Actor love for Michael “Stone” Wong’s work in OVERHEARD?  He made that movie 25% better with his channeling of Stallone’s Rocky Balboa Italian twang in his introductory scene and his cheese-tastic delivery of “I got my own car!” at the end. :lol:

Michael Wong Man-Tak in OVERHEARD

2. 2010: The Year of EDC

This is probably only amusing to me because I have the mind of a randy teenager but I couldn’t help but chuckle when I read the following on Edison Chen’s blog:

2010 promises to be a big year for ya boi EDC
i am going to be coming back HARDER than ever

Talk about unintentional comedy.  The capper is that he capitalized “harder”.  Does anyone NOT think of those infamous photos after reading that?

3. Edison Chen: “Why was I the bad guy?”

In an interview in the Chinese version of GQ, Edison Chen said that he still doesn’t understand why he was the bad guy in the Sexy Photos Gate scandal.  He said: “… was I really a bad person? I wasn’t. People just needed a scapegoat”.

He’s right.  He was a victim of a crime.  However, he presented himself as a hip-hop, bad-boy type which plays well to his target demographic but not so well to the broader, more conservative, mainstream Chinese audience.  So it’s not surprising at all that the general public turned against him.  Put it this way, it’s wrong to hit someone in the head with a steel chair but people cheer anyway when a heel character in pro-wrestling gets nailed with one because it happened to somebody who presented himself as a “bad guy”.

It’ll be interesting to see if 2010 will be remembered for a Chen resurgence or if it ends up being more like the Summer of George.

4. Gilllian Chung’s comeback continues

Gillian Chung continues on the comeback trail with an EP, a movie and a Mainland television series coming down the pipe.  Yet, it feels like she’s still fighting border skirmishes rather than making any serious assault on the capital.  Sorry, THE FOUNDING OF A REPUBLIC remains on the brain.  An EP isn’t exactly the same as a full album and a concert series.  The movie isn’t exactly a high-profile project slated for a big holiday release and the Mainland television series is a Mainland television series.

When you read her interviews, it’s clear that the comeback narrative her handlers at EEG have settled upon is “more mature, tough, resilient, plucky girl who is holding her head up high and refusing to let the scandal keep her down”.  It’s puzzling, then, that they are allowing her to hang on to that “naïve and innocent” schtick.  In articles that popped up last month about her new movie with William Chan Wai-Ting, she talks about being “embarrassed” because she had to do a kissing scene with Chan.  Is that the kind of talk you hear from tough, resilient girls?

Trying to do “tough and resilient” while hanging on to “cute and innocent” won’t work.  If Ah Gil wants substantial success on the comeback trail, she’s going to have to go full-bore on “tough and resilient” and drop the innocent act.  Besides, the “cute and innocent” road is still littered with the skeletons of Sexy Photos Gate like the Highway of Death was littered with the carnage of the First Gulf War.  All she’s doing when she plays “cute and innocent” is reminding people why she is on the comeback trail in the first place.

Now, fans of Ah Gil are probably thinking: “What are you talking about?  EEG is re-uniting her with Charlene Choi and Twins have a concert series and a new album coming out.  Isn’t that an indication that EEG thinks the comeback is going strong?”

EEG may, in fact, feel that way but I believe the re-unification of Twins is more about seeing if there’s any milk left in that cash cow and less about restored faith in Gillian Chung’s star power.  I think EEG is re-uniting Twins in spite of Gillian Chung’s situation rather than because of it.  It would, after all, be nutty to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Twins in their 11th year.  I’d wager EEG is looking at a boost in Ah Gil’s profile as a possible collateral benefit of the Twins reunion rather than as the main impetus for it.

5. Jackie Chan in THE SPY NEXT DOOR

I was all ready to beat my chest in mourning for Jackie Chan’s career after reviews came out uniformly crushing THE SPY NEXT DOOR (it currently sits at 8% on Rotten Tomatoes).  Then, a week later, The Rock came out with THE TOOTH FAIRY and it occurred to me that the villain in this story shouldn’t be Jackie Chan for cashing in and taking the paycheque.  Only a naïve and innocent fool would refuse to sell a tiny fraction of their dignity for a multi-million dollar payday.  The culprits are movie studios that have failed to realize that it’s been twenty years since KINDERGARTEN COP made US$91.4 million and that it did well because it was more a “cops and robbers” film than a kids’ movie.

Here’s hoping we don’t see Bruce Willis in MY GRANDFATHER IS A HERO or Jason Statham in a remake of MR. NANNY.

6. Skynet/Cylons one step closer to taking over humanity

With the unveiling of a life-sized sex robot named Roxxy at the Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas in January, can the Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 or the Cylon Centurion be that far away?

Roxxxy The Sex Robot

RANDOM NONSENSE:

After seeing Simon Yam’s performances in ELECTION and NIGHT AND FOG, I think the HK Movie Gods should decree that if you want to show a character is a bad guy, just show him fishing.  After what Yam’s characters did in those two movies, “Fishing = Evil” is now the equivalent of Blofeld stroking a white cat in Bond movies, the Snidely Whiplash moustache and Spock with a goatee in “Mirror, Mirror”.  If perpetual movie good guy Jackie Chan ever has occasion to play a villain, all the director has to do is show a goateed Big Brother fishing while playing with a white cat.

Enough ado, let’s get on to the without further … my list of the “Best Films of the 2000s”.

Previously: Three Views On Chinese Movies In The 2000s: Part I

6. RIDING THE TIGER

Writer/director Herman Yau Lai-To brings his deft, low-key touch to the high octane Sexy Photos Gate scandal in this “ripped from the headlines” film.  By eschewing the sex part of the scandal and focusing on the fame part, Yau offers a contemplative look at the nature of celebrity and how it really is like “riding a tiger into battle”.  It’s great when the tiger is with you and you’re able to easily do what you want on the battlefield.  It’s not so good when the tiger turns against you and you have no control over what happens.

OK, OK that film never happened. I just wanted to throw some appreciation towards Herman Yau.  While he doesn’t blow you away with his films like Wong Kar-Wai or Johnnie To, he does offer up solid work and is, in many ways, the “quintessential” Hong Kong director.  He makes movies, like TRUE WOMAN FOR SALE, that tell Hong Kong stories.  He also works in genres that are entirely “of Hong Kong”.  Movies like GONG TAU and SPLIT SECOND MURDERS are unique to the HK movie industry, they can’t be made anywhere else.

Yau started off the 2000s strong with the Buddy Film Creative Workshop films KILLING END and NIGHTMARES IN PRECINCT 7.  He had a bit of a lull in the middle of the decade with ASTONISHING and DATING DEATH but he bounced back with a solid run that began with ON THE EDGE.  If you’re not familiar with the work of Herman Yau, get yourself to the local Chinese video store and pick up a few of his films.

5. KUNG FU HUSTLE

In the 2000s, Stephen Chow made three of the top-10 grossing HK movies of all-time: KUNG FU HUSTLE (HK$61.2 million currently number one), SHAOLIN SOCCER (HK$60.7 million, currently number two) and CJ7 (HK$51.4 million, currently number seven).  So, you have to figure that one of Chow’s films has to be on the list.  Sitting at number one and number two, it’s basically a coin flip between KUNG FU HUSTLE and SHAOLIN SOCCER.  Like any good comrade — just checking if you’re reading Mainland censors — I side with the people and KUNG FU HUSTLE.

While SHAOLIN SOCCER had the bigger laughs and more significance as a milestone of Stephen Chow’s career, KUNG FU HUSTLE is the more accomplished film because it had a higher degree of difficulty.  SHAOLIN SOCCER could hang its comedy bits on the backbone of a conventional “underdog sports team” plotline.  KUNG FU HUSTLE was built entirely on film craftsmanship intangibles like charisma, tone and rhythm.  It could have easily all gone wrong but, instead, it all went right.  Look at some of the elements of the film: a dance number introducing the villains, a protagonist who disappears for a large chunk of the movie and sequences that belong more in a Looney Tunes cartoon than a smash kung fu flick.  Usually, those elements congeal into a lame and cheesy mess but Stephen Chow somehow combined them into a mesmerizing classic that thoroughly engages the audience.

4. ELECTION

Continuing what he started with Milkway Image in the late-1990s, Johnnie To had a prolific 2000s with commercial successes like NEEDING YOU, personal projects like THROWDOWN and SPARROW and philosophical pieces like RUNNING ON KARMA.  Three to five of his films could legitimately be placed on any “Best of the Decade” list of HK films but I chose to put ELECTION on this one because - twenty, thirty, fifty years from now - ELECTION is going to be the one most HK film fans will recall.

 Cecilia Cheung and Lau Ching-Wan in LOST IN TIME

3. (tie) LOST IN TIME / THE WAY WE ARE

The two best “Hong Kong stories” films of the 2000s.  One conventional, the other unconventional, both provide a fascinating glimpse into the day-to-day rhythms of Hong Kong life.  They show that Hong Kong isn’t just about gangsters that struggle for power or cops chasing bad guys, it’s also about normal people just trying to get through the day the best they can.  They show that Hong Kong isn’t teeming with playboys, golddiggers, gu wat jai (古或仔), psychopaths, super cops and mad detectives.  Instead, it’s filled with normal, decent people like the minibus driver who helps out a overburdened woman burning the candle at both ends, the fruit lady from the supermarket who recognizes that her neighbour is lonely and the father who seems hard-hearted but, in actually, just can’t admit how much his daughter means to him.

The movies also contain two brilliant “show, don’t tell” sequences that are enshrined in my pantheon of all-time great HK movie scenes.  In LOST IN TIME, there’s a sequence that shows Cecilia Cheung’s character going through her day balancing her job as a minibus driver and her role as the caregiver to her dead fiancée’s son.  In THE WAY WE ARE, the compelling scene showing Chan Lai-Wun’s character cooking dinner is the embodiment of Bruce Lee’s notion of “emotional content”.  Both are simple segments yet they express many complex ideas and sentiments.

2. INFERNAL AFFAIRS

If there was a “Hong Kong Division” for my “Most Valuable Film of the 2000s” blog post, the choice would clearly have been INFERNAL AFFAIRS.  With HK$55 million in box office earnings, the movie currently ranks fifth in the list of top 10 highest grossing HK films of all-time.  It spawned a prequel and a sequel and it acted as a defibrillator to the ailing heartbeat of Hong Kong cinema.  From Kozo’s review of the film:

Cries of “Box Office Miracle” were trumpeted by Hong Kong’s so-called fourth estate, which advanced the opinion that Hong Kong Cinema was revived.

It put Alan Mak and Felix Chong on the map which led to movies like INITIAL D, MOONLIGHT IN TOKYO, CONFESSION OF PAIN, LADY COP AND PAPA CROOK and OVERHEARD.

Like CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON, my pick for “Most Valuable Film of the 2000s”, INFERNAL AFFAIRS also had influence internationally:  A Hollywood remake, THE DEPARTED, finally earned Martin Scorsese a long-deserved Best Director Oscar.

1. (tie) IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE / LUST, CAUTION

Through exquisite film craftsmanship and outstanding acting, IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE and LUST, CAUTION are two movies that offer insightful looks into the nature of love and human connection.  I made them co-number ones because a couple of things keep me from picking one over the other.  First, LUST, CAUTION isn’t a “pure” Hong Kong film.  Second, IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE feels like a 1990s movie to me.  I actually did a double take when I looked up its release date and saw that it was September 29th, 2000.  I could have sworn it was released in 1999.  I probably feel this way because, back when I had my own site, I was translating articles about the production at least two years before it was released.

Moreover, as much as it pains my inner Vulcan to admit, 2046 sullied my affection for IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE.  While they are two separate movies and I shouldn’t let one affect my view of the other, I just can’t like IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE as much after seeing 2046.  What seemed exciting and stylistically cool in 2000 seemed tired and tedious just four short years later with the release of 2046.

Going off on a tangent, if you take anything from away from those films, it has to be to have a carpe diem attitude towards love and prospective mates.  If you like somebody and there seems to be a good chance that they like you, take a shot and do something about it.  Otherwise, you may end up whispering your regrets to a hole in the wall at Angkor Wat or, even worse, facing a firing squad.

Tony Leung Chiu-Wai in IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE

Going off on another tangent, there has been a decade long debate about what to name the 2000s.  Some have suggested the “Naughts”, others have said it should be the Oughts.  Then there are the “Zeroes”, the “Double Zeroes”, the “Os” and the “Twenty-Ohs”.  If you take a look at my list of the decade’s best HK films, you’ll see that my cousin Tony stars in the top three movies.  Call me biased but I think the decade should be called “The Leung Dynasty”.

Next time: The part I had the most fun writing: “Personal Favourites of the 2000s, uh, The Leung Dynasty.”

Image credits: Film Unlimited (Michael Wong), 69adget.com (Roxxy the Sex Robot), China Star Entertainment (Cecilia Cheung, Lau Ching-Wan), Jet Tone Productions (Tony Leung Chiu-Wai)

Why You Wouldn’t Want To Be Jaycee Chan: Reason #218

Compiling a news links post which should be appear shortly but I couldn’t resist throwing in my two cents after coming across this item about Jackie Chan:

Jackie Chan praises kung fu of Will Smith’s son

RELATED: Jackie Chan’s blog post about THE KUNG FU KID

Once again, Jackie Chan throws his son under the bus.  It’s weird that he constantly feels the need to take these public digs at his kid.  What’s even more off-putting about this instance is that Big Brother Jackie seems to be doing it for thirty pieces of silver.  Doesn’t it come across a little bit as him singing the praises of Jaden Smith because he’s sucking up to Will Smith?  There have got to be countless ways to make the same point without going out of his way to slam his own flesh and blood.  Did he really need to say this: “He put my son to shame!  I provided my son with the best martial artists in the world, and he could not be persuaded to try it.”

Isn’t this odd behaviour for a public figure?  How many famous people continually denigrate their offspring in the pubic eye?  When Richard Li and Isabella Leong announced the birth of their son last month, Li Ka-Shing didn’t go on Twitter and tweet about how he wished his son spent more time making money and less time having children out of wedlock with starlets.  Instead, he told the press that he was happy to be “promoted to grandfather status”.

Jackie Chan’s behaviour reminds me, a bit, of something the great Tracy Jordan said in the 30 ROCK episode “Tracy Does Conan”.  In it, he revealed:  “I like to walk around my house naked, to remind my oldest son who’s still got the biggest ding-dong.”

With an old man like Big Brother Jackie, it’s remarkable that we haven’t had any news stories of Jaycee Chan crashing his Ferrari in the Central district or inappropriately touching a taxi driver while in a drunken stupor.

ADMINISTRATIVE NOTES:

- A quick merci to m for the French lesson in the comments section of the last post.

- Speaking of comments, I’m temporarily switching the blog’s discussion function to “moderated” because the comments section has been overrun, of late, with spam.

Back later with a news links post.

News Links: April 30th, 2009

Before we get to the latest links, a box office report:

As of April 26th, Jackie Chan’s SHINJUKU INCIDENT is sitting at a box office take of HK$13.79 million from 25 days in theatres.  It has a shot at breaking the HK$15 million mark but it may not match the business of THE MYTH — which ended up at HK$17.06 million.  For the record, here are the box office numbers for Jackie Chan’s last five Hong Kong films:

ROB-B-HOOD (2006): HK$23.05 million

THE MYTH (2005): HK$17.06 million

NEW POLICE STORY (2004): HK$21.1 million

THE ACCIDENTAL SPY (2001): HK$30 million

GORGEOUS (1999): HK$27.5 million

I’m not including the numbers for his Hollywood films because they do relatively weak business in Hong Kong.  Some examples:

RUSH HOUR 3 (2007): HK$8.1 million

THE MEDALLION (2003): HK$7.2 million

THE TUXEDO (2002): HK$5.7 million

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS (2004): HK$3.13 million

THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM, with a take of HK$11.7 million, broke the HK$10 million mark but that was likely because Jet Li was in the film as well.

As of April 26th, eighteen days into its run, THE SNIPER has earned HK$6.1 million.  It appears that the presence of Edison Chen neither hurt nor helped its business as it’s doing about the same level of box office as recent Dante Lam films.  THE BEAST STALKER (2008) ended up with HK$7.95 million while UNDERCOVER HIDDEN DRAGON (2006) pulled in HK$8.12 million.

MOVIE REVIEWS:

bc Magazine review of I CORRUPT ALL COPS

bc Magazine review of THE HORSEMEN (Dennis Quaid, Zhang Ziyi)

FEATURES:

Speechless About The Dark: bc Magazine talks to Wong Jing and Ann Hui about NIGHT AND FOG

Daniel Wu: A Vase No More

Russell Wong takes his turn behind the camera

IN PRODUCTION:

Media Asia adds Dante Lam, Ning Hao titles to Cannes slate

Zhang Yimou to shoot ‘Three Guns’

Huayi Brothers’ Tracing Shadow sells across Asia

An Early ‘Sound of the Wind’

Vivian Hsu Plays Mom Role in New Film

SEXY PHOTOS GATE:

Jail looms for Edison sex-pics copier

Computer technician who leaked Edison Chen’s sex photos found guilty, faces jail time

Jail set for computer technician over Chen sex photos

Edison Chen sex photo thief found guilty in Hong Kong court

Edison Chen behaving jittery in Beijing

Taipei Times Pop Stop: Cecilia Cheung among other items

JACKIE CHAN:

Jackie Chan, Stanley Tong to co-direct action adventure

China Daily: Elaborating on freedom and discipline

New York Times: ‘Controlling’ the Chinese People

East South North West: Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mainland China Reacts Differently To Jackie Chan’s Comment

East South North West: What did Jackie Chan say?

cfensi: What Jackie Chan Was Really Talking About

CONCERT REVIEW:

George Lam is the real deal

GENERAL NEWS:

‘The Horsemen’ could be banned in China

THE HORSEMEN: A step down for Asian actors?

Zhang Ziyi attends romantic wedding of Salma Hayek

CRI English Movie Guide:  I CORRUPT ALL COPS

CRI English Movie Guide:  COWEB

Daniel Wu, Xu Jinglei: “Shinjuku” Stars Are Digital Products Fans

CITY OF LIFE AND DEATH: Lu’s City Of Life And Death heats up Chinese cinemas, Chinese massacre movie reports strong opening, Lu’s ‘City’ draws raves, death threats

RELATED: Movie made me cry like a little girl! 

“Forever Enthralled” Is Students’ Favorite 2008 Film

‘John Rabe’ tops Germany’s Lolas

RELATED: Photos for the Beijing premiere of JOHN RABE

Banned Chinese director enters film at Cannes

South Korea: Woo Seung-yeon found dead, Actress hangs herself

PHOTO GALLERYS:

Jessica Hsuan, Sunny Chan

Jessica Hsuan (Suen Huen), Sunny Chan Kam-Hung and other cast members attended  a publicity event on Tuesday for their new TVB series JUST LOVE II.  The show debuts on TVB Jade on Monday, May 4th.

Ray Lui, Kenix Kwok

Ray Lui Leung-Wai, Kenix Kwok Ho-Ying and Nancy Sit Ka-Yin shot a wedding scene for their new 40 episode TVB drama BORN RICH (富貴門). 

Sheren Teng, Suki Tsui

Sheren Teng Sui-Man, Suki Tsui Suk-Man, Kara Hui (Wai Ying-Hung) and Ben Wong Chi-Yin were out promoting their new TVB drama A ROSY BUSINESS (巾幗梟雄)

Lynn Xiong 

On Tuesday, Lynn Xiong Dai-Lin attended a publicity event at the Pacific Place.  Xiong, who played Ip Man’s wife in IP MAN, recently “stole the thunder” at the red carpet for the Hong Kong Film Awards with a nipple slip.  She is rumoured to be dating Aaron Kwok Fu-Sing.

Lynn Xiong at an event for Swarovski watches

Publicity photos for Nicholas Tse’s new music special

Publicity photos for Richie Ren’s new music special

Leon Lai attends an environmental protection event at Ocean Park

Charlene Choi at a store opening in Macau

Michelle Reis at an event for Chow Tai Fook jewellers

CULTURAL NEWS:

Chinese dilemma: Chinese writers fail to find global voice

* * * * *

Pacquiao vs. Hatton Promo Pic

There’s only one Ricky Hatton and I’ve done my share of walking along and singing the song walking in a Hatton Wonderland but it’s hard to be Asian and not cheer for the remarkable Manny Pacquiao.  I don’t know who’s going to win on Saturday night.  I do know that it’s going to be one heckuva fight.  Go Manny!

News Links: April 25th, 2009

I’m sure you’re probably tired of hearing about Jackie Chan but just one note before we move on to other topics.  Has anyone seen a Chinese transcript of Big Brother Jackie’s remarks?  I’ve found the YouTube video of his remarks but the only Mandarin that I understand is the lyrics from 對面的女孩看過來 so I’ve been looking for a transcript.  I’ve Googled high and low yet nothing!  You’d think that with the abundance of media sources out there today, someone would put up a transcript.  There’s over a billion Chinese people on this planet.  Aren’t there other Chinese geeks like me who want to know what he actually said and the full context in which he said it?

It probably doesn’t really matter anymore because Big Brother Jackie has already been covered by the stink.  In reality, he may not have said that “Chinese need to be controlled” but the general perception is that he said it.  It’s like when I was playing on the junior high basketball team and eight kids were stuffed inside a van going to another school for a game.  Someone in the van farts.  It doesn’t matter whether or not you were the one who farted, if everyone else thinks you were the one who dealt it, you were the one who dealt it.  I think Jackie Chan is now in the same boat.  Maybe he’s looked at the situation and said, it doesn’t matter what I say, the damage is done.  Maybe the best way to minimize the damage is to ignore it.

Watching this story develop over the past week has made the entertainment circle fan in me a bit sad.  I think what I am feeling now is Muhammad Alisimilar to what Muhammad Ali fans must have been feeling towards the end of his illustrious career.  Ali took a couple of horrible beatings in his last two fights.  I’m sure that a lot of his fans — who were electrified by his wins in the Rumble in the Jungle and the Thrilla in Manilla — wished that he would have retired earlier.  I think I’m starting to feel that way too.  There was no greater thrill in HK entertainment than watching Jackie Chan films like PROJECT A, POLICE STORY, MIRACLES and DRUNKEN MASTER II.  Watching him now with his various gaffes and his starring roles in tired films like RUSH HOUR 3 and potential cheesefests THE SPY NEXT DOOR and the yet-to-be-named Jaden Smith KARATE KID project, you sort of wish he’d stop trying to be an alpha dog and scale back to being a dignified elder statesman (like, say, Jet Li).

Ultimately, these scanadals — Dragon Seed, drunken behaviour, unfortunate remarks — will all be footnotes to a glorious career but you always want your heroes to go out with a bang befitting their greatness and not with a whimper.  Ali fans had to watch as the Greatest of All Time suffered the indignity of losing badly to a journeyman in his last fight.  I hope Jackie Chan fans are spared the sight of Big Brother Jackie’s career ending in ignominy amidst a series of box office bombs.

I’ll shut up now.  Here are the links:

JACKIE CHAN NEWS LINKS:

New York Times: Jackie Chan Strikes a Chinese Nerve

Jackie Chan chooses to ignore backlash

Singapore reaction to Jackie Chan’s comments

Hollywood Reporter: Jackie Chan books 100th movie

Electric New Paper: Close to Singapore, but not the actresses?

IN PRODUCTION:

Newly-crowned HKFA Best Actress Bau Hei-Jing showed up on the set of Ivy Ho’s CROSSING HENNESSEY earlier this week to shoot a wedding scene.   In the film, Bau plays the mother of lead actor Jacky Cheung Hok-Yau’s character.  Danny Lee Sau-Yin plays her husband.  The film also stars LUST, CAUTION sensation Tang Wei.  Asked what it was like to work with the ingenue, Heavenly King Cheung replied: “She’s a very hard-working actress who puts a lot of heart into her work.”

In related news, Jennifer Tse Ting-Ting (sister of Nicholas, daughter of Patrick) paid a visit to the set.  Her rumoured boyfriend, Andy On Chi-Kit, has a role in the film.

RELATED LINKS:

GENERAL NEWS:

Spencer Lam Seung-Yi (1934 - 2009; LoveHKFilm People Page):  `Uncle Spencer’ dies

Johnnie To thriller faces off against heavyweights at Cannes

Shu Qi among Cannes Jury

Wong Kar-wai launches regional events company

RELATED: Sina.com video and photos from event

Fortune Star revamps site

TVB.com partners MSN for online MyTV service

Jill Vidal pleads guilty to heroin possession

Patrick Tse: Son merely putting on airs

The ugly side of Andy Lau?

Charlie Yeung, Miriam Yeung, Louis Koo help UNICEF raise funds for Sichuan

Michelle Yeoh uses star power to promote road safety globally

RELATED: Ferrari’s ex-CEO finds “second home” in Malaysia

Taipei Times Pop Stop: Lin Chi-Ling - “Toilet Prince” rumours; more

RELATED:  In an interview for Hunan Satellite Television, Lin Chi-Ling refuted rumours that she has had breast augmentation surgery.

Singapore: Zoe (Tay) shoots Fann (Wong) over & over again

Taiwan: Suzanne Hsiao absent thrice for community service and risks retraction of probation order

Japan: SMAP star arrested for alleged indecency

South Korea: Activists to stage alternative beauty pageant

FEATURES:

HKFA Best Actor winner Nick Cheung Ka-Fai: Patience Rewarded

The Rape of Nanking: 1 Massacre, 2 Films and 3 Perspectives

PHOTO GALLERYS:

Richie Ren shoots a music video with Taiwanese model Bianca Bai

Bernice Liu Bik-Yi, Irene Wan Bik-Ha and Joyce Tang Lai-Ming attend promotional event for a coffee maker

Jolin Tsai from January to December

Image credits: Library of Congress (Muhammad Ali)

 
 
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