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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,
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Archive for the ‘News Links’ Category

Joey Wang Still Has A Full Head Of Hair

A groundswell of reader interest (two e-mails! + one blog comment!) prompts tonight’s blog post …

Hong Kong nation was abuzz earlier this week when rumours emerged on July 6th suggesting that Joey Wang (aka Joey Wong Tso-Yi) had become a Buddhist nun.  Supposedly, Wang entered a Buddhist temple in the Vancouver area and had her head shaved because she had become distraught upon hearing rumours that her old flame Chyi Chin (齊秦) was about to marry model/actress Stephanie Siao (蕭薔).

As he was at the root of the rumour, Chyi Chin reportedly began frantic attempts to contact Wang to confirm the reports.  While Chin was unable to talk with Wang herself, he was able to reach Wang’s uncle who assured Chin that the rumours were false.  Speaking to the press on July 8th, Chin told reporters that Joey Wang wrote “there is no such thing” when she and her uncle exchanged text messages about the matter.  Further, Wang’s uncle told Chin that the talk probably started because Wang joked with her friends recently about becoming a Buddhist nun.

JOEY WANG PROFILE:

Birthday: January 31st, 1967

Past Rumoured Relationships:

  • Sam Hui Kwoon-Kit (while working together on WORKING CLASS BLUES)
  • Lawrence Ng Kai-Wah
  • Tony Leung Chiu-Wai (while working together on A CHINESE GHOST STORY)
  • Peter Lam Kin-Ngok (Media Asia chairman, son of tycoon Lim Por-Yen)

Confirmed Relationships:

  • Chyi Chin (16 year on-again, off-again relationship that began in 1989 while working together on the film PRETTY GIRL)

First Film: HOW TO CHOOSE A ROYAL BRIDE (1984)

Breakout Hit: A CHINESE GHOST STORY (1987)

Final Film: SHANGHAI STORY (2005)

Retired to Vancouver, Canada area in 2005

Last photographed: September 2005 while shopping with an elderly lady — believed to be her mother — in the Vancouver area

Joey Wang, circa 2005, on the streets of Vancouver with an elderly lady

RELATED LINKS:

Image credit: Xinhua

News Links: July 8th, 2009

READERS, I CANNOT TELL A LIE …:

I’ve had to retire the “Because I’m Not On Twitter” sections of this blog because I’m actually now on Twitter.  Don’t expect too much over there, I only joined to follow the Twitter feeds of the guys at PTI and The Sports Guy Bill Simmons.  I didn’t realize until after I joined that I could actually follow them WITHOUT joining.  Then, I started getting notices that people were following me on Twitter so I started feeling compelled to tweet.  I think this is how people get sucked into quagmires.  They all start off with simple aspirations that get increasingly complicated.  You know, you start off just wanting to get your Dad’s approval, then that leads you to ignore the findings of the CIA, which leads you to invent an excuse to invade Iraq, which leads to …

It’s like the old woman who swallowed a fly, she had to swallow a spider to catch the fly, then she had to swallow a bird to catch the spider, then she swallowed a cat to catch the bird … what happened to her in the end?  Oh that’s right, she died …

Jo Koo in THE VAMPIRE WHO ADMIRES ME
Here’s a picture of Jo Koo in a tank top to distract you from today’s grim blog post.

Sorry to start off this post on such a grim note but it seems we’ve been surrounded by death of late.  From Shih Kien to David Carradine to Michael Jackson to Alexis Arguello to that Nanjing drunk driving accident last week to Steve McNair killed in a murder-suicide on the weekend to the riots in Xinjiang.

Speaking of the riots, I wonder if the Kozo Entertainment Group’s health plan covers treatment for post traumatic stress disorder because I think I may be getting PTSD from looking at the Chinese media coverage of the Nanjing drunk driving accident and the Xinjiang riots.  Unlike the Western media, the Chinese media and news blogs have no compunction about showing graphic images with nary a warning.  As a result, I saw some things in the past few days that I won’t be able to scrub from my mind any time soon.

When I had my own site a few years back, I caught a lot of heat for posting a link to a picture of Leslie Cheung’s body covered by a sheet next to a pool of blood.  It was, admittedly, a mistake.  I think this was karma’s way of getting back at me for it.  The pictures of the Nanjing accident were especially grisly — the twisted, mangled corpses, the disemboweled pregnant lady … I initially thought some of those pictures were of the remnants of the smashed watermelon stand … if only …  I’m normally not a proponent of capital punishment but, in this case, not only should this scumbag be shot, his next three incarnations should be summarily executed as well.

Ah well, that’s the price you have to pay when you’re scouring the Internet for news links.  Sometimes curiosity gets the better of you and you click on a link you probably shouldn’t click on.

If only I was involved with a hot starlet who allowed me opportunities to hang around and eat roast pork with the likes of Dante Lam, Michelle Ye, Richie Ren and Leon Lai

Uh, oh.  Manny Kok — my Kozo Entertainment Group handler, uh, manager — is giving me the evil eye.  I better shut up.  Don’t want to get “frozen”.  :-)

Anyway, my point is that because I’m now on Twitter, I can no longer use “Because I’m Not On Twitter”.  I’m changing it to “Sesame Seeds and Mung Beans” after the Chinese phrase “芝麻綠豆小事” or “small, inconsequential matters/things like sesame seeds and mung beans”.

The latest edition of “Sesame Seeds and Mung Beans” appears after the news links update which begins with …

BRUCE LEE:

Examiner.com review of the documentary HOW BRUCE LEE CHANGED THE WORLD

Plans for Bruce Lee Museum get off the ground, finally

Bruce Lee’s former Hong Kong residence to be transformed into museum

MURDERER:

Aaron Kwok: New role boosts acting credentials

Crime and Complexity: bc Magazine feature on MURDERER director Roy Chow Hin-Yeung

Aaron Kwok promotes Longines watches at the premiere

Others in the photos: co-star Janine Chang, the lovely Maggie Cheung Ho-Yi, Ekin Cheng with members of Grasshopper

More Photos from the gala premiere

In addition to stars Aaron Kwok, Janine Chang and Eddie Cheung, Ekin Cheng, Grasshopper, Wong Yau-Nam, Josie Ho, William So Wing-Hong and Leo Koo Gui-Gei attended

FEAUTRES:

Date With Eason: The Sun Daily (Malaysia) on Eason Chan

Being Edison Chen: Bangkok Post feature on ol’ EDC

RELATED: Sina.com High Definition Photo Gallery of store opening

HK Magazine Online feature on Gillian Chung

Mirror, Mirror …: bc Magazine feature on Wai Ka-Fai

A Filmmaker Finds Her Play Is the Thing: New York Times on Sylvia Chang

RELATED:

HK Magazine Online feature on Jeff Lau (KUNG FU CYBORG)

Dead Factory Blues: bc Magazine feature on Mainland director Jia Zhangke (24 CITY)

RELATED:

DOUBLE TROUBLE: Pop duo BY2 grateful for fans’ support, including leering older men who pester them

PRODUCTION NEWS:

John Woo to make film about Flying Tigers:

Behind the scenes: Bodyguards and Assassins

Young Bruce Lees Wanted for Ip Man 2

Ron Ng, Sammul Chan feature in Michael Tse’s movie for free

RELATED: Xinhua article

Opening lens ceremony held in Huangzhou for Feng Xiaogang’s new film AFTERSHOCK

‘Spying Rose’ Yu Na 

The Crow re-boot news

Chen Kaige Braces for Battle of Impressions

Shandong and Metan are ‘Golden’

COMING SOON:

‘Overheard’ a Crime Thriller

RELATED: Sina.com Photo Gallery

TRACING SHADOW: Mental makes a big move

RELATED: Photo gallery of Franics Ng and Pace Wu promoting the movie in Beijing

MOTHERLAND (Director: Doris Yeung;  Cast: Francoise Yip Fong-Wah, Kenneth Tsang Kong):

New Posters of “The Message” Released

New Film Release: MCDULL KUNG FU DING DONG

PHOTOS: Louis Koo in ON HIS MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE

RELATED: Photos courtesy Sohu.com

New poster for SOPHIE’S REVENGE (Zhang Ziyi, Fan Bingbing)

New “Ani-Men” Animation to Become Mini-Franchise

FOUNDING OF A NATION: All star blockbuster “Jian Guo Da Ye” opens official web site

GENERAL NEWS:

Rumours: Cecilia Cheung expecting again!

Kelly Chen’s Active Bundle of Joy

Jetsetter Li: Earth is his home

Aaron Kwok: still passionate, but only about his music

Miriam Yeung forced to postpone wedding

Michelle Reis Now Says No to Surrogate Mother

Andy Lau:

Fan Bingbing Wins ‘Plastic Surgery’ Case

Liu Ye’s Big Day

RELATED: Sina.com High Definition Photo Gallery of Liu Ye’s wedding

Vivian Hsu Denies Relationship with Stephen Fung

Zhou Xun Plays Down Breakup at Public Appearance

Long-delayed ‘Sniper’ to Screen in Taiwan

Coco Lee’s memories of Michael Jackson and Neverland

BUSINESS/INDUSTRY NEWS:

Raymond Wong launches Hong Kong production outfit Pegasus

Hong Kong’s TVB set to take control of pay-TV unit

Star unveils slate of Chinese movie acquisitions

China media body gets new film boss

Bank of China to invest in media

OPINION: How the West can win in Asia

MOVIE REVIEW:

Review of MAGAZINE GAP ROAD (Jessey Meng, Elvis Tsui)

BEYOND HK:

South Korea: 19% of Actresses Forced to Provide Sex for Career

Stefanie Sun back with a bang after two years

Taipei Times Pop Stop on the Golden Melody Awards

Taiwan TV declines broadcast of A-mei’s video

Vincent Fang to direct film insinuating Jay and Jolin’s romance

Ethan Ruan Loves Older Women, Cheryl Yang’s The Role Model of Girls

Z-Chen: Fish Leong unlikely to withdraw from showbiz after marriage

Mavis Hee insane? Music producer clears her name

Tank wants to hook up with Jolin Tsai

Rain not falling for hot Fox

Harlem Yu: Perfect romance only happens on reel

AROUND TOWN:

Cecilia Yip Tung, Kristy Yang, Linda Wong Hing-Ping and Catherine Hung Yan

The ladies were among those who attended a charity event at a MTM skin care products store earlier this week.

Lin Chi-Ling, Pace Wu, Eunis Chan Ka-Yung, Lisa S. and others at an event for Swarovski

Gillian Chung

Gillian Chung did an interview for HK Commercial Radio on July 7th in which she was coy about her relationship with Juno Mak.  She does, however, plan on inviting him to see her upcoming play.  Also, she did not hear the news about Cecilia Cheung’s supposed pregnancy but plans to contact her and wish her well.

Vivian Hsu was in Hong Kong last week to promote laser hair removal for Dermes

Ruby Lin and Aloys Chen at an event for Gucci

Rosamund Kwan Chi-Lam

Kwan was a celebrity guest at a charity event for an education fund.  HK$1.7 million was raised.

Kelly Lin at an event for Bobbi Brown Cosmetics

Daniel Wu at a promotional event for a soft drink

AD WATCH:

Jolin Tsai and a cyber version of Jolin Tsai shoot an ad

Zhang Ziyi, Carina Lau: Celebrity Cheer for Launch of ‘Lan’ Jewelry

Hu Jing Shoots Clothing Ad While Four Months Pregnant

STALKIN’ THE STARS:

Zhang Ziyi wears a surgical mask while shopping in Hong Kong

Tony Leung Chiu-Wai

My cousin Tony met up with some friends on the night of July 4th.  He, reportedly, celebrated his 47th birthday recently by having a quiet dinner at home with his wife Carina Lau Ka-Ling.

PHOTO GALLERIES:

Crystal Liu Yifei’s photo spread for the June-July 2009 Chinese edition of HARPER’S BAZAAR

Michelle Ye (FIRE DRAGON, VENGEANCE)

Mainland model/actress Zhou Weitong

Catherine Hung Yan and fiance Zhang Danfeng

Angelica Lee Sum-Kit poses for the July edition of Dairizi

Charlene Choi gallery on the Arabic version of People’s Daily

CULTURAL NEWS:

China to spread the news in English

Chinese writers pen ‘instant’ Jackson bio

芝麻綠豆 (SESAME SEEDS AND MUNG BEANS):

Honest Croatian politician is not a breath of fresh air

Miniskirts, cleavage upset male South Koreans: survey

Image credit: Wong Jing’s Workshop Ltd. (Still from THE VAMPIRE WHO ADMIRES ME)

About Gillian, On HKSAR’s 12th Birthday

I know I’m a few minutes late — I got home after midnight because the holiday fireworks show was scheduled to start at 10:15 pm but didn’t get going until just before 11 pm.  Be that as it may, Happy Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day everybody!

And to my fellow Canadians, Happy Canada Day!

A news post featuring Gillian Chung today starting with this link:

Gillian Chung Returns to Work with Pride

* * * * *

Gillian Chung is returning to the stage just not for a concert series at the Hong Kong Coliseum.  At a press conference on June 23rd, it was announced that EEG is producing a run of the award-winning Neil Simon stage play I OUGHT TO BE IN PICTURES.  The play tells the story of an aspiring actress who re-unites with the screenwriter father who abandoned her sixteen years ago.  Chung will play the aspiring actress while veteran stage actor Chan Suk-Yi plays the father.  Veteran stage actress Siu Mei-Kwan (you may remember her from an appearance in SIMPLY ACTORS) plays the father’s love interest.

Chung, who has never done live theatre, told reporters that she is feeling an immense amount of pressure because her part is thick with lines and the nature of a live show means an actor cannot make mistakes.

On the other hand, she revealed that she is looking forward to working with two veteran actors whom she has long admired because she can learn from them.

The rest of the article contains that nonsense about the botox injections to her “elephant legs”.

RELATED LINKS:

EEG, sadly, is not paying me to post the last link.  I’m doing it for the benefit of faithful reader Glenn who is making a trip to HK in August.  I’m sure he wants the opportunity to have some, uh, pictures taken with Ah Gil. :-)

SEXY PHOTOS GATE UPDATE:

Bobo Chan emerges from the dark

To me, Bobo Chan is the biggest victim of this mess.  She wasn’t even in the entertainment circle when the scandal hit.  She parlayed her fame into an engagement with a rich dude but lost it because of the pictures and is now a nail salon owner.  Not that there’s anything wrong with being a nail salon owner but if you had to choose between small business owner and rich dude’s wife, wouldn’t you pick rich dude’s wife?

AD WATCH:

Joey Yung shoots another ad for Broadway

AROUND TOWN:

Athena Chu, Gigi Leung Wing-Kei and Rain Li Choi-Wah

Chu, Leung and Li join William So Wing-Hong and Ella Koon at the Dragon Bowling centre for a charity bowling event for the Yan Oi Tong charity fund.

Sorry, I’m not going into this article any further because it hurts too much, too damn much, for me to read about Athena Chu ever since she eschewed my love, MY LOVE, for that rapscallion Paul Wong.  What does he have that I don’t have?  Talent, pffft.  Fame, pschaw.  A celebrated career, hrmpph.  I could understand when she spurned me for Stephen Chow but Paul Wong?  Paul freakin’ Wong?

EDITORIAL NOTE FROM SANNEY’S KOZO ENTERTAINMENT GROUP MANAGER MANNY KOK:  To the legal representatives of Paul Wong and Athena Chu, I’m confident that Mr. Leung is merely being facetious for humourous affect.  Quite simply, he thinks he’s being funny.  No need to initiate proceedings for a restraining order.  Then again, Mr. Leung does have that shrine to Ms. Chu in his bedroom.

EDITORIAL RESPONSE FROM SANNEY: Uh, that’s a shrine to the Greek Goddess Athena.  Yeah … that’s right … the Greek Goddess Athena.  And what the hell were YOU doing in my bedroom Manny?

RELATED LINKS:

Gaile Lok:

Lin Chi-Ling at a promotional event for Pantene

Apparently, Pantene didn’t have the money to pay the appearance fee for Lin Chi-Ling’s legs as they were kept mostly under wraps.

Rosamund Kwan Chi-Lam

Still gettin’ it done, Rosamund Kwan attends Emmanuel Lejeune’s Spring/Summer 2010 Fashion Show.

Lynn Xiong and Angelababy were celebrity guests at a model search event

PHOTO GALLERYS:

Michael Jackson

Photos of Michael Jackson (circa 1987) during a brief visit to TVB Studios.  The photo of Jackson and Fiona Leung Pui-Ling (aka Leung Ngai-Ling) is totally surreal.

Ge You poses for the Chinese edition of Harper’s Bazaar

芝麻綠豆 (SESAME SEEDS AND MUNG BEANS): 

How Confucianism could curb global warming

LA TIMES: How would we have reacted if TMZ had been wrong about Michael Jackson’s death?

Still not giving credit where credit is due.  Admit it, TMZ got the scoop.  They beat out the LA Times and CNN.  This article is nothing but a whole lot of “Yeah, but …”.

News Links: June 29th, 2009

South Garden

Coming to you today from the south garden of my mother’s palatial estate rather than the ol’ home office …

PRODUCTION NEWS:

Dante Lam to direct ‘Dragon Tiger Gate’ sequel

Focus Films launches Fight with ‘Fists’

Vincent Zhao Wenzhou to play Beggar Su in new Yuen Wo-Ping film

Zhang Yimou starts shooting Coen brothers remake

Photos: Production and set design for THE MESSAGE

First Bites: LITTLE BIG SOLDIER … JACKIE GOES BACK IN TIME

‘Biggest Loser’ comes to Asia

COMING SOON:

MULAN: Ancient heroine hits Shanghai Film Festival

FEATURES:

Charlene Choi:  THIS HALF IS GETTING HOTTER

MORE AH SA: Choi misses Twins’ Chung 

bc Magazine feature on writer/director James Yuen Sai-Sung:  A Sort Of Love

A New Calling: bc Magazine feature on Tats Lau Yee-Tat

Lights, camera… film school: Article on Hong Kong Baptist University’s Academy of Film

HK Standard on David Carradine and Shek Kin: Kung fu icons kicked

Asian Movies All Over the Map: New York Times on the New York Asian Film Festival

Best wishes for a hugely successful event.  One of these years, I’ve got to get myself out to New York City for the event.

MOVIE REVIEWS:

Review of WRITTEN BY: Wai Ka-Fai’s latest starring Lau Ching-Wan and Kelly Lin

bc Magazine reviews PLASTIC CITY

The Holllywood Reporter reviews the Mainland film PARK SHANGHAI

SEXY PHOTOS GATE:

Edison Chen not ready to return to showbiz

Edison Chen not ready for lead roles after scandal

For Edison, fans queue overnight

Gillian Chung avoids bumping into Edison while in KL

Gillian Chung’s secret to slimmer legs: Botox

I thought botox was used to make things look fuller not slimmer.  Anyway, there’s plenty of evidence out there to show that you shouldn’t be messing with the stuff.

Leon Jay Williams: His big Jump forward

Taiwanese actor replaced Edison Chen in JUMP

GENERAL NEWS:

China Film Association Names Best Chinese Films of 2008

Shek Kin Death PortraitA funeral was held for veteran HK actor Shek Kin on the evening of June 25th at the Hung Hom district’s Universal Funeral Parlour.  Among those in attendance were Connie Chan Bo-Chu, Nancy Sit Ka-Yin, Gordon Liu (Lau Ka-Fai), Ken Lo Wai-Kwong, Alan Tang Kwong-Wing, Wu Fung, Kenneth Tsang Kong and Ng Man-Tat.

The next morning, Shek was cremated.  His ashes were then buried next to those of his deceased wife at the Pok Fu Lam Christian Cemetery on Hong Kong Island.

Shek died of kidney failure on June 3rd.  He was 96 years old.

RELATED LINKS:

Taipei Times Pop Stop: Shu Qi on marriage and motherhood, A-mei and more

Carina Lau once rejected Tony Leung’s proposal

Nnadia Chan sued for failing to pay manager

New Straits Times entertainment round-up: Nic Tse; Frankie Lam and Kenix Kwok

Zhou Xun Breaks up with Stylist Boyfriend

RELATED: Flashback of Zhou Xun and Li Daqi’s Five Years in Love

Karen Mok back with Digital Album

RELATED LINKS:

Jackie Chan Promoted Patriotic Song in LA 

Grasshopper on being Cool Dad: Be the child’s idol!

‘Taking Woodstock’ to Screen in Woodstock

Chinese censors tinker with ‘Transformers’

China Web boycott called to mark filter debut

GOLDEN MELODY AWARDS:

Jay Chou, Eason Chan sweep Melody Awards

RELATED:  A list of winners at the 20th Golden Melody Awards

Eason Chan, Jay Chou win Mandarin pop music awards

Taitung aboriginal settlement boasts eight Golden Melody Awards

Jay Chow, Sandee Chen crowned at music awards

Stefanie Sun: Her thigh steals the thunder

Crowd Lu: Crowd winner

Jay Chou challenges the fairness of Golden Melody Awards

Awards Preview: Only the best

Zhong Yong-feng: The poet behind the music

BEYOND HK:

Taipei Film Festival:

Jay Chou and Jolin Tsai just friends

Fish Leong accepts marriage proposal

Stage collapses at Jerry Yan’s autograph session

Jacky Wu: I’m not retiring

Claire Kuo a former slave to debts

Taiwanese actor Ethan Ruan: My KISSES speak volumes

Maysian Lim (aka Masia One): I don’t want my kids asking: ‘Why is Mummy naked on a car?’ 

Xiang Yun finds warmth in family ties

STALKIN’ THE STARS:

Kelly Chen out on the town

  • Reportedly, Chen — whose child is due in August — is opting for natural childbirth because she does not want the scars that a C-section entails.
  • Yankees cap … I wonder if she can even name three players on the Yankees.  Oh well, at least it isn’t one of those pink hats. 

AROUND TOWN:

Maggie Siu Mei-Kei shows off her shoulders while at an event for Easy Pha-Max health care products

Lynn Xiong at an event for Rimodesio

Michelle Yeoh at an event for luxury moblie phone maker Vertu

Ruby Lin promotes Estee Lauder nail colour

Charlie Yeung Choi-Lei attends the opening of a Causeway Bay area restaurant

AD WATCH:

A press event formally unveiling Cherie Chung Chor-Hung’s ad campaign for Reenex skin care products was held on June 25th. Inevitably, Chung was asked if the campaign was the “first step in a comeback to the entertainment circle”.  Her response:

“I never said that I had left so how can there be a comeback?  All along, if a good brand had asked me to be their spokesperson, I would have done it.  Right now, I have no plans to get back into movies.  Although many directors have contacted me about it, at this moment, I want to be a part of the audience more than I want to be a part of the movie.  Right now, I’ve found happiness in my life.  I don’t need to be involved with life on the silver screen to get it.  Although it’s just a normal person’s lifestyle, it’s more than enough.”

RELATED LINKS:

Lin Chi-Ling and Lin Chi-Ling’s legs sell some shoes

Zhang Ziyi goes to New Zealand to shoot a jewelry ad

RELATED:  Zhang Ziyi Interprets ‘Precious Woman’ 

Bossini joins forces with Smiley World and Charlene Choi to promote the Bossini “Be Happy” clothing line

RELATED: Bossini press release

Landy Wen sells some lingerie

Vivian Hsu in her newest ad 

PHOTO GALLERYS:

Fan Bingbing Covers COSMO July Issue

Fan Bingbing Cherishes Memories of the Past

CULTURAL NEWS:

Hong Kong Disneyland to expand

TV staff rapped for June 4 footage

芝麻綠豆 (SESAME SEEDS AND MUNG BEANS): 

Jackson, Fawcett, McMahon: The “Celebrity Death Rule of Three”

Unique tribute to Michael Jackson by Columbian artist Anubis Vrussh (WARNING: Not safe for work)

* * * * *

Miss Hong Kong Pageant 2009 Contestant #4 Sandy Lau Sin-Ting

Is it just me or does anyone else feel uninspired by this year’s 10 Miss Hong Kong finalists?  Are these really the ten best “jade babes” that the Hong Kong nation has to offer?  Makes me wonder if the Pageant is losing its lustre or if TVB just doesn’t have the pull that it once had.

If I were a rich tycoon’s heir, I’d have my sights set on #4 Sandy Lau Sin-Ting.  Did I say that out loud?  Uh, I mean if I had more than just a passing interest, I’d be cheering for Miss Lau.  There’s a little Jo Koo-quality to her looks that I find compelling.

Miss Hong Kong 2009 will be crowned on August 22nd, 2009.

RELATED LINKS:

* * * * *

A quick thought on the Shek Kin item above.  I can’t remember how we got onto the subject but, one time, I had a long discussion with one of my pals about “death portraits”.  We couldn’t decide if the death portrait should be a photo of you in your prime or a recent photo.  Take, for instance, Shek Kin’s death portrait.  Being confronted with the picture of an old man may be disconcerting to those who remember him in their mind’s eye as the villain in ENTER THE DRAGON.  On the other hand, it may be disconcerting to family members to see a photo of a young man when they’re used to seeing the old man.

You see, it’s quite the mind-bending conundrum.

Yeah, it’s not all Patriots versus Steelers, Ronaldo versus Messi, STAR WARS versus STAR TREK, Peking Duck versus General Tso’s Chicken, Jo Koo versus Karena Lam talk at the ol’ home office.

By the way, the correct answers are: Patriots, Messi, STAR TREK, Peking Duck and, of course, Jo Koo.  Always, Jo Koo.  :-)

Production News: June 26th, 2009

News on a couple of major productions that were announced this week:

Lau Ching-Wan and Louis KooOn June 23rd, China Star held an opening lens ceremony for their new project POKER KING (撲克王). The film stars Lau Ching-Wan as a gambling mogul and Louis Koo Tin-Lok as a gambling master. Stephy Tang Lai-Yan will play Louis Koo’s love interest.  Also appearing in the movie are: Cherrie Ying Choi-Yi, Josie Ho Chiu-Yi, the lovely Jo Koo (Kuk Tso-Lam), Wong You-Nam and newcomer Jacky Heung — the son of China Star head Charles Heung Wah-Keung. The duo behind last year’s LA LINGERIE, Chan Hing-Kai and Janet Chun Siu-Jan, will be behind POKER KING.

During the press conference, Lau Ching-Wan revealed that he is not much of a gambler in real-life as his gambling is limited to playing mahjong with friends and relatives during Lunar New Year and the occassional purchase of a lottery ticket.

As for Louis Koo, reporters seemed to be more interested in rumours that he was about to buy a HK$150 million luxury flat in Repulse Bay than anything related to POKER KING.  Koo admitted that he has looked at property in the area but that since it is a family matter, he does not want to comment further on the issue.  Back on the subject of the film, Koo has been preparing for his role as a gambling master by practicing card tricks for hours on end. He has practiced so much, his fingers have started to feel numb.

Stephy Tang, who plays Louis Koo’s love interest in POKER KING, revealed that she has no “heavy romance” scenes with the Tanned One but she is nevertheless feeling very nervous because she has never worked opposite actors of the calibre of Lau Ching-Wan and Louis Koo.  While her character in the movie is a gambling addict, she finds gambling distasteful and would not want a boyfriend who likes to gamble.  Asked what else would take a guy out of the running to be her girlfriend, Tang replied: “I don’t want a boyfriend who is obssesed with video games because I’ve no interest in that.  I’d really hate it if my boyfriend made me play video games with him.  He’d have to make a compromise.”

Quick Notes and Thoughts:

  • Looks like it’ll be an amusing movie.  I’ll see anything with Jo Koo in it.
  • It does feel like a step up for Stephy Tang.
  • Jacky Heung … Boy, I don’t know … Then again, the bar will be set pretty low.
  • This will be Cherrie Ying’s second HK movie of 2009.  The first was the little seen KUNG FU CHEF with Vanness Wu and Sammo Hung.  This one will be higher profile.  After her run as a minor “It Girl” earlier this decade, she’s been working mostly in the Mainland.

Related Links:

Aaron Kwok and Shu QiOn June 24th, an opening lens ceremony was held at the Yuen Long district’s Clarence Film Studio for the Universe - Enlight Pictures co-production CITY UNDER SEIGE (全城戒備).  Directed by Benny Chan Muk-Sing (CONNECTED), the actioner stars Aaron Kwok Fu-Sing, Shu Qi, Collin Chou, Zhang Jingchu and Jacky Wu Jing.  With a budget in excess of HK$100 million, the movie will be heavy on special effects and spend more than one year in post-production.  Producers hope to have it ready in time for a National Day 2010 holiday release.  Billed as “China’s answer to X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE“, the film tells the story of circus performers played by Kwok and Chou who develop super-strength after accidentally inhaling a gas.  Shu Qi plays a reporter.

Although a descendant of Lee Chum-Foon, the hero in Gu Long’s Little Lee Flying Dagger book series, Aaron Kwok’s character is an unremarkable, low-lever circus clown/knife thrower. Admitting that while playing a “down in the dumps” character will be a challenge, Aaron Kwok anticipates that working in front of blue screens will ultimately be the bigger challenge.

Reporters spent most of their time with Shu Qi asking about her love life but when talk centered around the film, the leading lady revealed that she was going to request that she be allowed to do her lines in Mandarin because she felt her Cantonese was rusty.  Unfortunately, when it came time for shooting, she was asked to do her lines in Cantonese.  When the subject turned to how many action scenes Shu Qi has in the movie, co-star Kwok joked: “She has many ‘mind versus heart’ action scenes”.

CITY UNDER SEIGE is the first collaboration between Shu Qu and Aaron Kwok since STORM RIDERS in 1999. Asked for thoughts on the issue, Kwok replied: “I hope that the roots we laid down ten years ago will bear fruit for this project.”

Collin Chou plays a circus troupe leader in the film.  His character and Aaron Kwok’s character start off as “hing-dai” (兄弟) but end up as bitter rivals when the gas not only gives Chou’s character super-strength, it turns him into a villain.  Commenting on his participation in the film, Chou revealed that, so far, it is the most satisfying filmmaking experience of his 25-year career because director Benny Chan has given him a lot of creative space and allowed him much input into the development of his character.

As she plays a cop in the movie, Zhang Jingchu was ready to engage in heavy training for action scenes.  However, preparation time for the film was limited so she will be a “projectile weapons expert” and her action scenes will be done predominantly in front of a blue screen.

Shooting for most of CITY UNDER SEIGE should be completed this summer but, because of the long post-production process, shooting may continue until next April.

Quick Thought:

  • Sounds like it will be good but I fear that there’s also great potential for sucky, bloated mess — especially with the heavy reliance on special effects.

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Rest in Peace: Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett and, shockingly, Michael Jackson …

Accuse me of having the mindset of an old Italian woman if you must but these things really do come in threes …

Setting aside, for the moment, the legacy of the self-proclaimed King of Pop, an interesting study of new media versus old media is emerging.  TMZ.com, of all places, was the first to break the story yet no one in the traditional media is giving them props for the scoop.  Conversely, if the TMZ report had turned out to be false, I’m 100% sure that the traditional media would be lining up around the block to slag TMZ and dismiss it as a “blog” or a “celebrity entertainment website”.

To many, Michael Jackson is going to be remembered as “the King of Pop”.  Others will remember him as a “freak” or an “alleged pedophile”.  I think my mental epithet for him will be “tragic figure”.  The guy had all the talent in the world yet suffered through a messed up childhood and an even more messed up adulthood.  This is tragedy on a Shakespearean level.  It rivals that of Othello, Macbeth, King Lear and Hamlet.

Favourite Michael Jackson songs: “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”, “Rock With You”, “Smooth Criminal” and “The Way You Make Me Feel”.  To be honest, I don’t think the songs from THRILLER have aged that well.  It could be that I hang out with a bunch of creeps and degenerates but no one I know thinks, anymore, that “Beat It” is a cool song.  Whenever the subject of the song comes up in mixed company, someone inevitably cracks a masturbation joke.

Favourite Michael Jackson video (YouTube link):  It’s actually not one by Michael Jackson but a spoof video about Michael Jackson from the folks who used to do IN LIVING COLOR.   Before today, I hadn’t seen it in sixteen, seventeen years but the first line of the second chorus still cracks me up.

“Yeah but how does this affect ME?”: Feeling incredibly old today.  Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson were icons from my youth — especially Farrah and Micheal Jackson.  THRILLER was the first album I bought with “my own money” and I believe, at one point, I owned Farrah Fawcett’s famous poster.  (It was either the Farrah poster or the Loni Anderson poster.  Maybe I had both?)  Anyway, nothing makes you feel older than hearing news that an icon from your youth has passed.

Farrah Fawcett poster     Loni Anderson poster

Laugh at me now young ones but — hopefully not until many, many years later — you’ll be feeling aged when the Jackie Chans and Sammo Hungs of the world depart to join Bruce Lee, Shih Kien and Kwan Tak-Hing up in the sky for the greatest martial arts cast ever assembled.

Image credits: Sohu.com (Louis Koo, Lau Ching-Wan), Sina.com (Aaron Kwok, Shu Qi), Life Magazine (Farrah Fawcett)

 
 
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