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… 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 ‘Sonija Kwok Sin-Lei’ Category

The Top 10 Entertainment Circle Stories of 2007

Happy New Year! … even though everyone knows that the “real” New Year doesn’t begin until February 7th. ;-)

In my usual timely fashion, I’m going to start off 2008 by talking about 2007. On New Year’s Day, I went out for dim sum with my family. As most dim sum “Oil-Fried Devils”delicacies and, sadly, “oil-fried devils” (油炸鬼, my favourite Chinese food: fried doughsticks) remain beyond my eating and digestive capabilities, I nursed a bowl of congee while enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of a busy teahouse. I also picked up a copy of “Oriental News Weekly” — a free Chinese-language newspaper distributed to Chinese communities here in Western Canada. Inside the paper was an article by an unnamed author listing the “Top Ten Entertainment Circle Stories of 2007″. Surprisingly, I was aware of eight of the ten stories. I guess my entertainment circle database isn’t as out-of-date as I thought. Although, I would categorize most of these stories as news about entertainment circle personalities rather than actual entertainment circle news. Nevertheless, sharing the article with you guys will help get the ol’ writing and translating skills rolling again so, without further ado, the “Top 10 Entertainment Circle Stories of 2007″:

10. Ada Choi Siu-Fan Reveals Relationship, Announces Forthcoming Marriage

Max Zhang JinOn December 10th, Ada Choi Siu-Fan released a four-hundred word statement to the press revealing that she and Mainland actor/stuntman Max Zhang Jin have been dating for four-and-a-half years and that they planned to marry in the near future. In the statement, which featured nineteen exclamation marks, Choi gushed about her future husband and called him a “man of the highest grade”.

Choi, 34, won the Miss Hong Kong Pageant in 1991. Zhang, 33, worked as a stuntman on CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON and HERO. He can be seen in the movies CHINESE HEROES, THE UNDISCOVERED TOMB and SHAOLIN VS EVIL DEAD 2. The couple reportedly fell in love with each other during shooting for the Mainland television series PARADISE (水月洞天).

(NOTE: Choi and Zhang married on January 12th, 2008.)

Related Links: Official site for PARADISE; Max Chang photo gallery from Baidu

9. Cathy Chui Chi-Kei Gives Birth To A Daughter

Shortly after actress/model Cathy Chui Chi-Kei (aka Cathy Tsui) married Martin Lee Ka-Shing (the second son of billionaire businessman Lee Shau-Kee — the founder of Henderson Land Development) in December 2006, rumours emerged alleging Chui was pregnant. On July 17th, 2007 those rumours came true as Chui gave birth to six-pound, eight-ounce baby girl Leanna Lee Hei-Tung. Similar to their opulent wedding in Sydney, the couple threw a lavish banquet in October at Hong Kong’s Four Seasons Hotel celebrating their baby daughter’s “eighty-day” milestone. The event was attended by most of Hong Kong’s wealthy and influential business people.

(SANNEY: How does this qualify as a “top ten” story? Was 2007 a really dull year for the entertainment circle?)

8. Lydia Shum Tin-Ha’s Continuing Health Struggles

Lydia Shum being wheeled into the Queen Mary Hospital in late November 2007.After being diagnosed with liver and gallbladder cancer in 2006, Lydia Shum Tin-Ha, 60, has been in-and-out of hospitals. In October, she was rushed to Queen Elizabeth Hospital and treated for pleural effusion — a complication of liver cancer. She recovered sufficiently to receive a lifetime achievement award in November at TVB’s 40th Anniversary Gala. Days later, while in Macau for a banquet, Shum was taken to a hospital after she collapsed. She was transfered to Hong Kong’s Queen Mary Hospital later that week where she remains today.

Related Link: Lydia Shum biography at Hong Kong Cinema: View From The Brooklyn Bridge (scroll down to bottom of the page)

7. Moon Lee Choi-Fung Divorces After Dirty Laundry Aired

Former “Girls With Guns” star Moon Lee Choi-Fung, 42, got divorced from husband Dennis Law Kai-Yan in 2007 after Law allegedly discovered Lee having an affair with their twentysomething godson. Supposedly, Law walked in on Lee and Moon Lee Choi-Fung at an event in Hong Kong in Janaury 2008.the godson — who worked for Law’s performing arts company — while the two were intimately involved. Exposing the alleged affair to the media in June, Law declared: “No matter how you look as it, as a husband or as a godfather … to discover something like that in your own bedroom … of course, it’s a shock and something that’s very hard to accept. What hurts most is that a loving family and marriage have been destroyed. After I learned the truth, I found out that this affair was an open secret among many people at the performing arts company.”

In response to Law’s declaration, Lee took out an ad in a newspaper denying the allegations. Reportedly, Law and Lee have now divorced with Lee receiving US$12,000 per month in alimony.

Lee, best known for the “Angel” series of action movies, married Law — a surgeon turned artistic company director — in 2000. The two formed Sight, Sound & Action Ltd., a production company that has staged successful musicals such as HEAVEN & EARTH and TERRACOTTA WARRIORS.

Related Link: Moon Lee’s blog (Chinese language only)

6. Yumiko Cheng Hei-Yi Reveals Two Points In Toronto

After suffering a wardrobe malfunction that exposed her thong at the 2006 Tung Wah Charity Show, EEG starlet Yumiko Cheng Hei-Yi suffered another wardrobe failure in 2007 as she unknowingly flashed her nipples on June 23rd while performing at Canada’s Wonderland for the New Talent Singing Awards Toronto Audition Show. Not only was the exposure shown on the stage’s big screen, it was uploaded onto YouTube where it became one of the most viewed clips.

5. Carmen Choi Ka-Man, Daughter of Toy King Choi Chee-Ming, Marries

(SANNEY: Let’s skip this one because I have no idea how this is related to the entertainment circle. As far as I can tell, Miss Choi is not involved in the entertainment business. Also, she married a man from another rich family and not some actor or singer.)

4. Michael To Dai-Yu Denies That Sonjia Kwok Sin-Lei Is “The Other Woman”

TVB star Michael To Dai-Yu and his wife Wong Wai-Bo divorced in March 2007 following six and a half years of marriage. Shortly after, Wong reportedly told “a friend” that TVB leading lady Sonija Kwok Sin-Lei was the “third party” responsible for breaking up her marriage. Despite strong denials by To, the allegation provoked a hailstorm of negative publicity that caused Kwok to flee Hong Kong for her native Vancouver for three months.

Kwok, a “rumour queen” who has been linked to many of her TVB co-stars, announced in December that she will not be renewing her TVB contract when it expires this year. She will instead concentrate on building her career in the lucrative Mainland market.

3. Jacky Cheung Hok-Yau and May Lo Mei-Mei Blacklisted

Jacky Cheung Hok-Yau and his wife May Lo Mei-Mei were blacklisted by the Philippine Consulate General in September 2007 from hiring any more Filipino maids. Reportedly, the Consulate General labeled the Cheung family a “substandard employer” after they allegedly went through twenty-one maids in three years. Responding to the move, Cheung told the media that he was an “ordinary employer” who has often rehired maids after their contracts expired and only fired the ones who weren’t “helpful”. He blamed the high turnover rate on a number of maids who resigned because they could not deal with the numerous stairs of his four-story home.

In addition to the ban on hiring new maids, the blacklisting means that Cheung will not be allowed to renew the contracts of his current maids when they expire. May Lo reportedly appealed to the Consulate General but to no avail.

This is the not the first time the Cheung household has had problems with Filipino maids. In December 2006, one of Cheung’s maids was convicted for stealing a letter and three photos from Cheung.

2. Singer/Business Executive Stephen Gan Fock-Wai Arrested For Indecent Assault

Pak Fah Yeow executive Stephen Gan Fock-Wai, 45, was arrested in October 2007 for an alleged indecent assault on a white_flower_oil.jpgmale taxi driver. Reportedly, on a taxi ride home following a night of drunken celebration, Gan touched his taxi driver inappropriately then tried to make amends by leaving a HK$500 bill.

In addition to his duties as an executive for Pak Fah Yeoh — makers of the popular remedy “White Flower Oil” — Gan has dabbled in music, releasing seven albums since 1987. He had his first hit, “Love for Another 80 Years”, in 2007. The song served as the theme music for a “White Flower Oil” ad campaign.

In the past, Gan has been linked romantically to actress Fennie Yuen Kit-Ying. There are also rumours that he is bisexual.

1. Father Of Obsessed Andy Lau Tak-Wah Fan Commits Suicide

The father of an obsessed Andy Lau Tak-Wah fan killed himself on March 26th by jumping into the sea off Kowloon after escorting his daughter to the star’s birthday party. The man, 68, left a twelve-page suicide letter stating that the trip to Hong Kong from their home in Lanzhou bankrupted his family and the least Lau could do was give his daughter, 28 year-old Yang Lijuan, a private audience.

According to media reports, Yang has been obsessed with Lau since she was 15 and had quit school and refused to work in order to be a full-time Lau fan.

The suicide set off a wave of condemnation in the Mainland media against over-indulgence of children and celebrity worship.

Image credits: Wenhui United Press Group (”Oil-Fried Devils”), Baidu.com (Max Zhang), CRI Online (Lydia Shum), Moon Lee (Moon Lee), Pak Fah Yeow (While Flower Oil bottle)

The Comeback Post

 

Roast Suckling PigWelcome to the new home of The House Where Words Gather. I’ll explain my four and a half month absence in a minute but, first things first, let’s start off properly by appeasing the Internet Gods and Computing Spirits with an opening blog ceremony — complete with burning joss sticks and roasted suckling pig.

Since it’s still just me and my staff of ten fingers, no celebrities are around for this shindig. However, if I were to have celebrities, I think I’d go for the 千金小姐 (chin kam siu je, Thousand Pieces of Gold Girls) or the “Briefcase Models” from the Hong Kong version of DEAL OR NO DEAL. I bet that you could get all the models to come to your opening festivities for the price of one Joey Yung Tso-Yi. While having the Briefcase Models is not as awe-inspiring as having a big Cantopop star, being surrounded by a sea of legs and cleavage still presents a formidable image:

Michael Hui Koon-Man and HK’s DEAL OR NO DEAL Briefcase Models

Enough of the hijinks … When I last left you, I was having an angel versus devil debate over buying the LEGEND OF THE CONDOR HEROES 1983 DVD set. Well, the devil won and I ended up getting it. Little did I know that this was a gateway victory for my mind devil that led to a summer where it beat down my mind angel like the New England Patriots have been routing its competition this season in the NFL:

Me: Gee, it’s been two weeks since I’ve posted on the blog. Maybe I should put something together?

Mind Devil: Nah, you don’t want to that. It’s a nice evening, why don’t you enjoy the weather, take in the sunset and go out for a walk?

Me: Boy, it’s been a month since I’ve posted on the blog. I really should put something up.

Mind Devil: But didn’t you want to see KNOCKED UP? It’s 36°C today. Why sit and sweat next to a computer when you can enjoy the air-conditioned comforts of a movie theatre?

And so it went. In my defense, the Summer of 2006 wasn’t the most pleasant of times for me so it may have contributed to my going overboard in enjoying the Summer of 2007. Also, I had a surprising number of family and friends decide to spend part of their vacations visiting me so many days were filled with catching up and reminiscing over old times. Nevertheless, I should have been more disciplined. Looking at the comments that have accumulated on the blog in my absence, some of you were worried that my silence meant that I suffered a setback healthwise. I’m touched by the concern and feel doubly bad for my laziness and irresponsibility. Please accept my apologies.

Britney Spears at the 2007 MTV VMAsNow that I’ve explained myself, I’m going to pull a “Britney Spears” by stumbling and bumbling my way through the rest of the post with some thoughts that are marginally-related to the entertainment circle. My Summer of Sloth means that the HK entertainment circle database in my brain is even more badly out of date than it was earlier this year so don’t expect any piercing insight. I am, however, studying up on burning issues like: Who is Fala Chen and why should I care what she’s up to? In short order, I expect to be able to crack bad jokes about notable, and not so notable, entertainment circle happenings. Until then, these thoughts will have to do:

- In spite of the lukewarm reviews, I went to see RUSH HOUR 3. Initially, I thought it was an OK time at the movies but then, during my walk from the movie theatre to the parking lot, I started feeling a bit sad as I remembered the way I felt during the same walk after RUSH HOUR 2 in August of 2001 and RUSH HOUR in September of 1998.

After RUSH HOUR, I felt incredibly proud of Jackie Chan for finally breaking through in Hollywood. After RUSH HOUR 2, I left exhilarated — excited by the action scene flurry during the finale at the Red Dragon Hotel and Casino. By stark contrast, after RUSH HOUR 3, my feelings of indifference were quickly replaced by a wave of melancholy as I realized that the RUSH HOUR franchise is getting old and tired, Jackie Chan is getting old and tired, Chris Tucker is getting old and tired and I am getting old and tired. ;-)

Chris Tucker seemed, to me, like he was just going through the motions. Jackie Chan has clearly lost a step. In the opening sequence where Chan chases Hiroyuki Sanada’s character into an alleyway, it’s obvious that a stuntman leaped over the dumpster not Big Brother Jackie. I’m not trying to slight Jackie Chan here. The guy is in his 50s and you can only push your body so far. It’s the inexorable course of nature. I’m just saying that it was little things like this that made me feel like the whole RUSH HOUR milieu is old and tired.

What did you guys think?

One last thing about RUSH HOUR 3. In one scene, Jackie Chan’s character is looking at a photograph while pining for his ex-girlfriend Isabella. The first thing that came to my mind was: “When I get home, I got to see if there’s rumours between Jackie Chan and Isabella Leong Lok-Si.”

Then I realized that “Isabella” was Roselyn Sanchez’s character from RUSH HOUR 2. Funny how my mind went straight to rumour and innuendo even though I haven’t been doing a HK entertainment news site for a year and a half.

Maggie Q in LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD- I was pleasantly surprised by Maggie Q’s performance in LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD. She was impressively “bad ass” in the movie. It almost — almost — makes me want to rent MI:3 and check out her work in that film. Sadly, when I see Tom Cruise these days, all I can think of is him jumping up and down on Oprah’s couch and him lecturing Matt Lauer about psychology. As an admirer of Vulcan philosophy, I should be able to overcome such feelings. Alas, I am human so I cannot. ;-)

Anyone out there seen MI:3? Is it worth a rental? Does Maggie Q have more than three lines in the movie?

- When I read that Nicholas Tse Ting-Fung and Cecilia Cheung Pak-Chi named their baby boy Lucas, my first thought wasn’t “I wonder if they named him after Geroge Lucas.” Nope, my first thought was: “When Lucas is sixteen years-old and ready to sign a multi-million dollar contract with EEG, his half-brother Nathan is going to suddenly show up and stir up trouble.”

My second thought was: “I used to watch too much bad TV.”

My third thought was: “I can’t believe it took me a season and a half to dump ONE TREE HILL from my TV viewing schedule.”

Bai Ling (left) and Tila Tequlia (right)- Speaking of bad TV, three Sundays ago, I was flipping between three football games when I stumbled across some sort of dating show starring an Asian-looking woman. Not only was she choosing between guys, she appeared to be choosing among women as well. At first glance, I thought this woman was Bai Ling. It turned out to be a woman of Vietnamese-descent who calls herself Tila Tequila. Prior to the dating show (A SHOT A LOVE WITH TILA TEQUILA), her claim to fame was having a lot of friends on her Myspace page. Not to sound like an old fart but it’s amazing how little you have to do to be famous these days. Once you get beyond the initial titillation of the bisexual factor, Tila Tequila and the contestants don’t have enough charisma to hold your attention. I’d definitely be watching the show if crazy, nutty Bai Ling was the one looking for love amongst a pool of male and female prospects. Tila Tequila? I’d rather waste my time watching something else … like MY SUPER SWEET 16. ;-)

Sonija Kwok and Eric Tsang (left); Kwok and Carlo Ng Ka-Lok (right)

LOOKIN’ GOOD: Sonija Kwok Sin-Lei turned some heads on Halloween Night at the Intercontinental Hotel as she did a little song, a little dance and put a little seltzer in some pants during a 43-table fundraising banquet for the Hong Kong Performing Artistes Guild. Kwok, Miss Hong Kong 1999, is currently under contract with TVB and was associated, earlier this year, with rumours that she was the “third party” behind the marriage breakup of fellow TVB actor Michael Tao Dai-Yu and his wife.

Related images: 1, 2 (courtesy The Sun); 3 (courtesy Xinhua)

Michelle Yeoh and Jean Todt

LOOKIN’ GOOD, PART II: As you can probably tell, I didn’t follow the HK scene too much this summer but, every two weeks or so, I would catch a glimpse of Michelle Yeoh during Formula 1 race telecasts. Yeoh is currently involved with Ferrari head man Jean Todt. I’ve got to rent SUNSHINE one day and check out Michelle Yeoh’s work. Any one seen it? Is it any good?

IMAGE CREDITS: Apple Daily (Michael Hui and DEAL OR NO DEAL briefcase girls), Associated Press (Britney Spears), 20th Century Fox (Maggie Q), Asiance Magazine (Bai Ling), Tila Tequila (Tila Tequila), Wen Wei Po (Sonija Kwok and Eric Tsang), The Sun (Sonija Kwok and Carlo Ng), Formula One Administration/TSN (Michelle Yeoh and Jean Todt)

 
 
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