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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.

Happy Holidays: HK Entertainment Circle Style

Hi.  I’m Sanney Leung.  You may remember me from such blog posts as Yummy Mummy Without A Tummy, Out With The Old, Part II and Sympathy For Mr. Imprudence.  It’s the season of Peace on Earth and Good Will Towards Men so, with apologies to Kozo, I’m going to interrupt the voting for Best Of The Decade and wish everyone a Happy

Holiday.

As this is a HK entertainment website, here are my wishes to you for 2010:

May your life be as rich and full as Ekin Cheng’s hair.

Ekin Cheng

May your future be as bright as Zhang Jingchu’s smiling eyes.

Zhang Jingchu

And may your secrets stay secret longer than Andy Lau’s relationship with Carol Chu.

With that, I’m off to observe my holiday tradition of watching my favourite Christmas movie DIE HARD.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Christmas just isn’t Christmas until I see John McClane decorating Karl’s brother Tony with a holiday motif.

Karl’s brother Tony from DIE HARD

* * * * *

P.S.: I was going to go a different way with this post so, this morning, I spent some time scouring the Internet looking for holiday-themed pictures of HK starlets.  I came across this one of Twins back in December 2007 (who could predict the turmoil that loomed for the girls just one short month into the future).  You’d think that this photo was for some holiday-related EEG project but, this is HK we’re talking about here, so it should come as no surprise that it was from an ad promoting

Hong Kong tourism and the “winter shopping festival”.

Twins Christmas Shopping Ad 2007

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not sitting atop

Sanctimony Peak, proclaiming that people in HK are godless heathens who worship the Almighty Dollar.  This was basically just an excuse to post a photo of two lovely women in short skirts.

Back soon with my HK$0.15 on the Best of The Decade.  Until then, have a safe and merry holiday.

Image credits: Tungstar (Ekin Cheng, Zhang Jingchu), Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation (DIE HARD screen grab), Discover Hong Kong (Twins)

A Claustrophobic Return

Returning to The House Where Words Gather after an extended absence, it’s time to clear out the cobwebs and sweep up the dust.  It’s also time to explain where I’ve been for the past little while.  Please indulge me as I do it CLAUSTROPHOBIA style …

claustrophobia_1.jpg

ONE NIGHT AGO …

Why, oh why, did I agree to carpooling?  I already spend eight hours a day with these people at the office.  Why did I allow myself to be trapped in a car with them for an hour each morning and another hour each evening?  We really need to develop mass transit here in Canada.  The MTR in Hong Kong is fabulous, so is The Tube in London.  Why can’t we have something like that here?

Man, Jewel just will not shut up.  Going on and on to her boyfriend about what she wants to have for supper tonight.  She’s cute and all but, wow, that inane chatter gets tired after a while.   Here we go … look at that bulging vein on Uncle Karl’s neck, he’s either going to have a massive stroke or he’s going to turn around and yell at Jewel to shut up.  Same thing every single day.  I wonder how long it’ll be before Mount Karl erupts.  I put the over/under at one minute and fifteen seconds.

I hope I get home soon.  I’ve definitely got to sit down and bang out a blog post tonight.  Kozo’s been so gracious with his patience and beyond generous for not busting my chops for taking a long hiatus.  Granted, I did have to spend a night at his luxurious Repulse Bay mansion but it wasn’t too bad.  The only really bad thing about it was having Yotsuba stare at me the whole time.  Just thinking about that creepy stare gives me the shivers.

claustrophobia_2.jpg

ONE WEEK AGO …

Hmmmm, Pearl looks preoccupied.  She’s probably distracted thinking about that guy who showed up at the office today to take her out to lunch.  They’re probably going out.  Damn, I thought I had a chance with her …

Oh well, time to move on and forget about Pearl.  I’ve got to concentrate and come up with something for my return blog post.  I still haven’t been able to think of something amusing.  Maybe I should say that I went to America or Japan or England for “a class”?

When I did my old site, stories about marginal HK talent going to America or Japan or England for a couple months to “study” acting, singing, etc. were always good for a laugh.  You were always left speculating why they had to be away from the entertainment circle for a little bit.  Sometimes it would be because they were getting their image “enhanced”.  Most times, it was just because they needed to get away from the grind but they — or more precisely, their management — couldn’t admit that they needed a break.  It was always because they were “hard at work” improving themselves.

claustrophobia_3.jpg

THREE WEEKS AGO …

Good golly Miss Molly, Pearl is looking mighty, mighty fine today.  A month ago, she dressed like a dowdy librarian complete with old lady glasses.  Now, she looks smokin’ hot.  She looks a lot like that HK starlet … what’s her name?  Karena Lam Ka-Yan.  Yeah, she looks a lot like Karena Lam.

There’s either a man in her life now or there’s a man she’s interested in.  Could that man be me?  You know, Pearl is kind of nice in her quiet sort of way and this change in wardrobe does coincide with my arrival on the scene.  Boy, wouldn’t that make being trapped in a car with people that I already see at the office for eight hours every day worth it?  It’d totally be worth enduring the daily routine of Jewel’s prattling inevitably provoking an old guy rant from Uncle Karl.

OK, quit daydreaming.  I’ve got to do a blog post but what to do, what to do?  How about the old “I was frozen by the Kozo Entertainment Group” gag?  No?  How about a bit where I suggest I went away for “male enhancement”?  Nah, that’s limp.  I need to come up with something better.

ONE MONTH AGO …

Athena ChuFinally!

After a long wait for an installation appointment, I’m finally back on the Internet.  I’m not going to be a contrarian-hippie and claim that being off the grid was “refreshing” but it was oddly enjoyable to not have TV or Internet for a little while.  But, enough of that, bring on NFL Sundays, bring on new episodes of CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM, THE BIG BANG THEORY, THE OFFICE and LAW & ORDER.

I’ve also got to get online and see what became of the manhunt for Noriko Sakai.  More important, I’ve got to see if Athena Chu has finally come to her senses and dumped that goofball Paul Wong.

Don’t worry baby, there’s more than enough room in my heart for you and your eight dogs.

SIX WEEKS AGO …

I just became a nodding acquaintance with my neighbour on the left.  She seems like a nice Muslim lady.  I’m guessing she’s Muslim because she’s wearing a head scarf.  It’s not one of those full-blown burqas where you can’t see anything but her eyes.  You can see her face and her forehead.

Kaley Cuoco in THE BIG BANG THEORYNot that there’s anything wrong with living next door to a nice Muslim lady but, damn, why can’t I ever get a hot-blonde Kaley Cuoco-type for a neighbour?

I saw my other neighbour a couple of days ago but he gave me the high hat when I gave him the ol’ International Rescue Tracy family head nod.  Granted, he may have been preoccupied with wrangling the huge mastif he was walking.  All I know about him is that he must be from Cambodia because of that small Cambodian flag he hangs on his front door.

Oh well, I probably would have alienated him anyway by doing something stupid like asking him if his name was Anketell Brewer.

SEVEN WEEKS AGO …

Driving on Highway #17 just north of Sault Ste. Marie, I’m scanning the radio hoping to find something to get a sense of the local culture.  Lady GagaI land on a station that has light rock with some Taylor Swift/Carrie Underwood type singer.  She’s singing a song that has lyrics which include phrases like “I’m giving myself to you”, “I’m submitting myself to your will” and “take my body and my soul”.

Oooh, I start thinking to myself, is it my imagination or are those lyrics kind of explicit?  It’s one thing for Lady Gaga to sing about “bluffin’ with my muffin” and wanting to take a ride on a “disco stick”.  It’s another matter all together to be singing about allowing someone to do what they will with your body and soul.

As those thoughts race through my mind, the song ends and a radio station tag goes on: “You’re listening to CHIM (pronounced “See Him”), Canada’s Christian Radio Network”.

Oh, I think to myself, turns out there was nothing wrong with the song, I’m just a pervert with a sick mind.

TWO MONTHS AGO …

5:36 am:  It’s a cool, crisp 8°C morning.  The sun is just peeking above the Eastern horizon.  It’s quiet.  Through my bedroom window, I can smell the morning dew on the grass.  I can also hear the tranquil sound of some birds chirping.  The peaceful scene outdoors belies the clamour in my mind and in my heart.  I’m leaving Saskatoon in a couple of hours.  As is the case with any major life decision, I have mixed feelings about moving.  I’m optimistic and hopeful about the future yet I feel wistful and, even though I haven’t left yet, nostalgic about a city that’s been my home for many years.

I turn on my MP3 player and the Steve Miller Band’s “Jet Airliner” starts to play.  Before I went to sleep last night I picked the song to play first thing in the morning because it captures sentiments that I’m feeling as I start a week-long drive out to Eastern Canada:

Goodbye to all my friends at home
Goodbye to people I’ve trusted
I’ve got to go out and make my way
I might get rich you know I might get busted

I’ve got to keep on keepin’ on
You know the big wheel keeps on spinnin’ around

And I’m goin’ with some hesitation
You know that I can surely see
That I don’t want to get caught up in any of that
Funky shit goin’ down in the city

 

Image credits: Irresistible Films (CLAUSTROPHOBIA screen captures), Warner Bros. (Kaley Cuoco), Haus of Gaga (Lady Gaga)

Yummy Mummy Without A Tummy

Part two of the news links catch-up but first some reader interaction …

In the comments from News Links: July 27th, 2009, Gleen Glenn writes:

What are your thoughts on Kelly Chen babygate?  Did she fake the pregnancy?  It’s someone else’s baby?  Just nasty gossip?

When I first read the rumours about Kelly Chen’s pregnancy being an elaborate cover-up for a pregnancy caused by her brother Victor Chen, my initial reaction was: “What?  Is this the 1950s?  Would someone really bother to concoct such a complex scheme in an age where the term “baby daddy” has become firmly entrenched in the cultural lexicon?  Do families still send their pregnant kids away to “distant relatives”?  Do “rest homes” that cater to unwed single mothers still exist?  Didn’t Richard Li and Isabella Leong just proudly celebrate the birth of an out-of-wedlock child?”

Then, I put aside my Western sensibilities and remembered that we’re talking about the shame-based Chinese culture where “young models” are a source of controversy for the Hong Kong Book Fair so, yeah, maybe someone would go to ridiculous lengths to cover-up a pregnancy.  Like the earlier rumours about Ronald Cheng’s extra-curricular activities involving photos of Charlene Choi, these rumours are so absurd, you can’t possibly have formed them just out of your imagination.  It’s like the Little Vito shower situation in the “Chasing It” episode of THE SOPRANOS, you don’t just dream up scenarios like that without some sort of real-life kernel inspiring it.

So, do I think the rumours are true?  Not really.  Some HK girls are alarmingly thin but otherwise healthy, like my 89-pound cousin Agatha, so it’s not like Kelly Chen’s slight weight gain is out of the norm for HK women.  However, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it turned out, years later, that the rumours were true (see one Bobby Darin).

I can’t believe that I just spent time breaking that down …  :-)

Onto some links …

PRODUCTION NEWS:

BODYGUARDS AND ASSASSINS:

‘Infernal’ Lau joins ‘Bodyguards’

Latest Stills of ‘Bodyguards and Assassins’

After 112 days of shooting, principal photography of BODYGUARDS AND ASSASSINS wrapped on the weekend.  Among those present was Michelle Reis who has a small part playing a woman who has a “profound effect on Leon Lai’s ‘beggar’ character”.

RELATED LINKS:

Shaw Bros. returns with trio of films

Sundream joins IHQ and Polybona for Let’s Fall in Love

HK indie filmmakers taking the lead

Production still of Jet Li in THE EXPENDABLES

This film look likes it’ll be dynamite but, with such a star-studded cast, they couldn’t make room for Jean Claude Van Damme?  I can understand not wanting Steven Seagal (since he looks like he weighs 300 pounds and has less mobility than Zhang Fei in DYNASTY WARRIORS 4) but no love for The Muscles From Brussels?

One more comment, a project like this is what Jackie Chan should be doing instead of KUNG FU KID.

Chinese filmmaker Feng Xiaogang begins shooting earthquake movie

COMING SOON:

Message of ‘Overheard’: Don’t Be Greedy

McDull’s Big Success at Box Office

FEATURES:

Lee Byung Hyun (Korean actor who has a role in G.I. JOE: RISE OF THE COBRA):  You can’t see his face on the posters

EASON CHAN:

HK singer Eason Chan’s marriage in trouble?

Eason Chen breaks down in tears during his concert

Photo of Constance Chan and Hilary Tsui at the Beyond concert where Eason Chan was a guest performer

AROUND TOWN:

‘Tracing Shadow’ Premieres

More photos courtesy Xinhua (Gotta love that dress on Pace Wu)

Donnie Yen celebrated his 46th birthday on July 27th with a party at a HK nightclub.  Among the attendees were his real-life wife Cissy Wang, his on-screen wife Lynn Xiong, producer Raymond Wong, Andrew Lin Hoi, Vincent Kuk Tak-Chiu, Cheung Tat-Ming and Leon Lai.

RELATED LINKS:

Jessica Hsuan, Kate Tsui, Amanda Strang and Ivan Ho Sau-San attended a press conference on Monday for their new TVB documentary series 《活着》 (trans. LIVING). For the series, the artistes will visit Ethiopa, Kenya and Sawarak among other locales.

PHOTO GALLERYS:

Li Bingbing on the cover of the August issue of Harper’s Bazaar

Sina.com slideshow featuring Vicki Zhao Wei

Donnie Yen on the cover of L’Officiel Hommes

BRUCE LEE:

Bruce Lee legend remains strong in Hong Kong 36 years after his death

Hollywood Reporter:

HK Standard: New Bruce Lee flick to focus on his life and loves

Xinhua: Kungfu star Bruce Lee’s new movie to be shot

Associated Press: Bruce Lee’s siblings authorize Chinese biopics

Variety:  Bruce Lee museum, biopic unveiled

Design competition held for Bruce Lee museum

New York Times: Design Competition for Bruce Lee Museum

BEYOND HK:

Ken Zhu hopes to take nude photos of Kelly Lin

Vic Zhou: I won’t conceal my future relationships

Jolin launches own fashion label in America

CULTURAL NEWS:

Alarm sounded as youth ditch reading for idol worship

Book fair seeks model behavior - or else

Drug war and sexy models spice Ani-Com 

* * * * *

Best wishes to Shing Fui-On who, according to reports in HK papers, has suffered a recurrence of the nasopharyngeal cancer that he battled in 2004.  Incidentally, this is the same kind of cancer for which I received treatment.

News Links: July 27th, 2009

Apologies for the recent lack of posts.  While Asia was plunged into darkness by a total eclipse of the Sun last week, I was plunged into darkness by a total eclipse of the heart, getting a little bit nervous that the best of all the years have gone by.

Kidding, kidding.  No need to worry for my mental health.  I’m not sitting in the dark, drinking myself into a stupor like a TVB protagonist after he’s had a stupid misunderstanding with his love interest.  It’s just that talk of the eclipse put Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” back onto the radio for a couple of days and the tune turned into a mindworm that burrowed itself into my brain.

If you want to worry about something, worry about how Earth’s brilliant scientists missed spotting an object as big as the Pacific Ocean approaching Jupiter.  If they didn’t see an object that size gunning for Jupiter, how are they going to spot massive objects coming towards Earth?  Disconcerting — no?  Related links:

Now that I’ve planted seeds of anxiety in your mind, allow me to distract you with some links.  As I’ve missed almost two weeks, I’m splitting the links up into smaller more manageable posts.  Here’s post number one:

FEATURES:

Stephen Chow’s Short List

The rise and fall — and rise? — of Hong Kong cinema

Aaron Kwok: Tortured Soul

Everything Will Change: An Interview with Wai Ka-Fai

Charmaine Sheh: Charmaine speaks her mind

RELATED LINKS:

Moses Chan: The pursuit of happiness

RELATED: Moses Chan only loves coffee and not women?

Michael Hui: Just For Laughs

Carl Ng (son of Richard Ng Yiu-Hon):  Journey to the East

My Interview with Francoise Yip

Regular reader Glenn nabs an interview with Yip Fong-Wah.  There’s a link to his review of MOTHERLAND below.

Stefanie Sun: The Stage is a Career and a Challenge

PRODUCTION NEWS:

Wong Jing  to live and die with ‘Mongkok’

DETECTIVE DEE:

Looking for Kung Fu Girls for Andy Lau’s New Film ‘Unshakeable Military Orders’

Stanley Kwan, Christopher Doyle Chase Solar Eclipse for New Film

37:

POKER KING: The Asian Poker Tour Macau To Star As Backdrop For New Chinese Poker Film

Stephen Chow salvages romance ‘Jump’

Preview of the Set in Zhang Yimou’s “Three Guns”

Chinese director Jia to make 1st big budget film

COMING SOON:

OVERHEARD:

ON HIS MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE:

MCDULL KUNG FU DING DONG: Never a McDull moment

The Storm Warriors to create new Wuxia world with more special effects

Battle Film “Wheat” to Be Released in September

RELATED: Sina.com Photo Gallery

Critics Give Thumbs-up to “One Night in a Supermarket” Ahead of Release (Link to Variety review below)

Ge You ‘Gasps’ out Funny English

MOVIE REVIEWS:

MURDERER reviews: Hollywood Reporter, HK Magazine, bc Magazine

WRITTEN BY: bc Magazine review

SOUNDLESS WIND CHIME: bc Magazine review

PLASTIC CITY: Channel News Asia review

ONE NIGHT IN SUPERMARKET: Variety review

MOTHERLAND: Review from A Pessimist Is Never Disappointed

GENERAL NEWS:

Vicki Zhao:

Kelly Chen:

Hong Kong Book Fair:

Charlene Choi: Ronald Cheng is not a Casanova

Nicholas Tse encourages wife to have second child

Sonija Kwok searching for Mr. Right

Leon Didn’t Announce Wedding at ‘Dream Wedding” Concert

Edison Chen re-engaged as jeans endorsee

Taipei Times Pop Stop: Edison Chen, Zhang Ziyi

Jackie Chan to Donate All Property after Death

Taipei Times Pop Stop: Jackie Chan, Little S, more

Shu Qi seen in Stephen Feng’s house

RELATED: Photos courtesy Xinhua

Zoe Tay, Stephen Fung graces Cartier’s flagship opening

Raymond Lam:

Denise Ho:

Fann Wong plans to follow Kelly Chen’s footsteps

Paulyn Sun: Wealthy ex walks free after model punch rap

Ekin Cheng promotes HK tourism in Japan

CoCo Lee goes futuristic gold for East To West

BEYOND HK:

Phyllis Quek (you may remember her as the compelling hot babe from Aaron Kwok’s 2000 AD): You Can’t Have Best of Both Worlds

RELATED: Phyllis Quek loses sleep over her role as Kidnapper

Rocker Wu Bai refuses to be a “Fashion Dog”

Andy Lau and Jingle Ma inaugurate Cheryl Yang’s journey in showbiz

Sam Lee Sheng-Chieh: This balladeer’s shy about ballet past

Fiona Xie:

HONG KONG MOVIES ABROAD:

Asian American International Film Festival debuts in NYC

Box Office News and Numbers: July 20th, 2009

BOX OFFICE NEWS:

Johnnie To’s VENGEANCE is indeed hitting the screens in Hong Kong on August 20th.  For more information, you can check out the official English-language website at:

http://www.vengeance-lefilm.com/_en/vengeance.html

In answer to the question by EverSoFine from Coming Soon: Release Dates for Upcoming HK Movies about availability in the United States, it’s impossible to say when foreign films will get a theatrical release in the United States.  Sometimes, they are released within weeks.  Other times, it may take years for a foreign film to reach American shores.  It all depends on distribution deals and so forth.

Most times, the DVD of a Hong Kong film should be easily available to people in North America at a local Chinese video store or an online merchant like YesAsia.  Generally speaking, you can get your hands on the HK DVD of a film within a couple of months of the HK theatrical release.

BOX OFFICE NUMBERS:

Bad word of mouth didn’t stop MURDERER in its tracks because, as of July 16th, it has made HK$7.68 million (33 screens, 9 days in theatres).  WRITTEN BY, the new Wai Ka-Fai/Lau Ching-Wan effort, has taken in HK$2.59 million (20 screens, 9 days).   On its way out, appearing on only a handful of screens, SHORT OF LOVE has earned HK$3.76 million from 21 days in theatres.

As it was everywhere else it was released, HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE was the top-grossing release in HK last week.

 
 
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