Saturday, October 31, 2009

The First 7th Night - 頭七

The First 7th Night (頭七) is a 2009 film out of Hong Kong. The movie stars Gordon Lam, Julian Cheung, and Michelle Ye. Supporting cast include Eddie Cheung and Tony Ho.

The movie is about Julian Cheung asking Gordon Lam to lead him to Sun and Moon Village. No other taxi driver seem to know the way. As they start for the village, Julian and Gordon start to talk about the restaurant that burned down in town. Gordon tells his version of the story and Julian than tells his version of the story. Both are very different.

I can't go further or I will spoil the movie for you. It was an interesting twist to the ghost and spirits movies that come out of the Chinese market. Because of many traditions, ghost and spirits are usually associated with it. Unlike the US horror market where there really is no rhyme or reason to the horror.

If you like spooky thrillers, you won't want to miss this one. It may make your Halloween spookier!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Career As a Teacher - 我的教師生涯

Career As a Teacher (我的教師生涯) is 2007 film out of China. It stars Tony Leung as Chen Yu and Qin Hailu as his wife Zhou Min.

The movie spans roughly 60 years. From 1963 to 2000. The movie starts with Yu being sent to the country side in 1963. There he starts his life as a teacher and meets the city that he'll spend the rest of his life in. Yu was not a teacher before and has to learn it on the go. The classroom next door is lead by Zhou Min. The two eventually marry and have a kid named Taotao.

The movie starts at 1963, jumps to 1968, 1984, 1998, and finally ends on 2000.

It is an epic movie as it covers roughly 40 years of the life of someone who started his career during the cultural revolution. And in 2000, when China was emerging as the next world power. Along the way, you see the upgrades to life at school, around the city, and in their home.

It was pretty slowed paced and I fast forwarded all the walking, silent stares, and bike riding. You should to.

I couldn't find much english information about this film and youtube didn't net any good results.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

淚王子 - Prince Of Tears - Upcoming

淚王子 (Prince Of Tears) is being released in Taiwan tomorrow, Friday, October 30, 2009. Just in time for Halloween. The kind of terror you'll see isn't going to be ghost and goblins, but White Terror.

The movie stars Joseph Chang, Terri Kwan, Zhu Xuan, and Jack Kao. Helmed by Hong Kong director Yonfan, the trailer looks amazing.

I am looking forward to this film as the cast looks great and its a slice of Taiwan that few have looked at before.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Overheard - 竊聽風雲

Overheard (竊聽風雲) is a 2009 film out of Hong Kong. The film stars Sean Lau, Louis Koo, and Daniel Wu. Supporting cast members include Alex Fong, Zhang Jingchu, Michael Wong, and Dominic Lam.

The movie is about a sting operation lead by Dominic Lam and Alex Fong. Sean Lau, Louis Koo, and Daniel Wu are the main operatives in the sting. Sean is in a relationship with Zhang Jingchu, who is in the process of getting a divorce from Alex Fong. Louis Koo is a father of 4 and his son needs special medical assistance.

The sting is to breakup a boiler room type trading firm. Louis Koo and Daniel Wu overhear a stock that will rise. And they get in on the action. Because of this, it leads to major problems down the line.

An intense triller and totally unpredictable. All three actors give an intense performance. One of the better HK films out in 2009.

This was a classic HK film. Dives into the heart of greed and the consequences. And if you know what classic HK means, you can guess how it ends.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

海派甜心 - Hi My Sweetheart - Upcoming

The hype machine for 海派甜心 is going strong this week. They have officially given this idol drama the name of "Hi My Sweetheart". And, this past Sunday, in its future broadcast slot, showed a whole "watch me" hype show titled, 你是海派我甜心.

Many a teasers were released this week as well. From the new stuff the hype show, I am looking forward to this. It gives me the feeling that this will be as good or better than Corner * With Love.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Equation of Love and Death - 李米的猜想

The Equation of Love and Death (李米的猜想) is a 2008 film out of China. The film stars Zhou Xun, Zhang Han Yu, Deng Chao, and Wang Bao Qiang.

Zhou Xun is a taxi driver named Li Mi in Kunming. Li Mi drives people around asking them if they've seen her boyfriend. Who disappeared from her life four years ago. But during these four years, Li Mi's boyfriend has periodically sent her letters. These letters tell of what he's up to and professes his love to Li Mi. Even though he is not around.

Things turn strange when a couple drug smugglers enter the picture. In a bizarre chain of events, Li Mi finds the answer to why her boyfriend has gone missing.

The English title is weird to say the least in relation to the Chinese title and to the story of the film. The title in my translation, means, "Li Mi's Suspicion". Which is only apparent 75% into the film. There is love and death and the movie starts with Li Mi rambling numbers off in hops that there is a pattern.

In any case, I enjoyed the movie, even though it was a tough watch. I really enjoyed the dialects and the urban city.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan - 愛奴

Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan (愛奴) is 1972 Shaw Bros. film. The movie stars Lily Ho and Betty Pei. Both actresses originated from Taiwan.

In context to the year and era this film was released, the subject matter is quite daring. The movie as a whole is a revenge movie. Ainu, played by Lily Ho, is kidnapped from a distant land and sold to a brothel. Ainu is initially very rebellious and causes a lot of trouble. But Ainu eventually forced into the brothel business and her spirit is broken. Betty Pei plays the brothels madam who has no appetite for men. Because this madam is a jiang hu lesbian. The madam and Ainu begin a 2 year relationship. The madam spoils Ainu and eventually teaches her some world class martial arts.

Ainu is in a class of her own in terms of status. Ainu gets to pick whom she takes company with. Ainu eventually starts her revenge process. One at a time, the people that forced her into the brothel business will feel her wrath.

The movie felt very dated to me. Both in subject matter and the fighting. Unfortunately, a lesbian revenge movie is no longer a shocking storyline as compared the year 1972, when it was release. However, the sets were beautiful and the 2 lead actresses kept me engaged. This is considered a classic Shaw movie for its subject matter and beauty.

I have a problem with the English title of the movie. The Chinese title is 愛奴. 愛 is love and 奴 means slave. Put together, it means a love slave. And Lily Ho's character was named 愛奴. How the English title came about is beyond me. Slave and Courtesan hold very different meanings.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

桃花小妹 - MoMo Love - First Episode Impressions

MoMo Love (桃花小妹) started broadcasting last week. I had a chance to watch the first episode via YouTube.

My first impression is that I laugh a lot and was sucked into the absurdity of it all. The presentation of the 4 brothers was quite something. You had to enjoy how superhuman they are and how much they love their sister.

I like how this takes the story to the College level. If this were a High School story, I don't think it would as believable (I don't think that's a focus).

In all, I am looking forward to this drama making it to DVD here. I won't have the patience to watch it on my computer.

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Chinese Tall Story - 情癲大聖

A Chinese Tall Story (情癲大聖) is a 2005 film out of Hong Kong. The movie stars Nicholas Tse and Charlene Choi.

The movie is based on the Journey to the West characters.

Over a two day span, I tried many times to watch this movie. I failed each time. I either fell asleep or fast forwarded it. It got to the point of, what the heck am I watching.

At around the 45 minute mark, I gave up. Good luck if you decide to watch this.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Red River - 紅河 (綻碩)

Red River (綻碩) is a 2009 film out of China. The movie stars Nick Cheung and Zhang Jingchu. Danny Lee and Rachel Lee (Loletta Lee) have supporting roles.

The movie is centered around Zhang Jingchu's character of Tao. Tao had a normal upbringing, but witnesses her father's death via a land mine in Vietnam. Tao is special as she is a little mentally challenged. Tao sneaks into the China side of the Red River where she works as a cleaner for her aunt, Shui, played by Rachel Lee. Tao befriends Sha Ba on a visit. Sha Ba is also from Vietnam and takes a liking to Tao. Tao bumps into Xia, a Karaoke street vendor. Xia hires Tao to sing as people walk by. They strike up a good relationship as Tao thinks Xia really looks like her father.

The movie is quite slow but also quite amazing. This is a slice of life of the Chinese on the Red River that I've only heard about. To see it on film was quite something.

I wasn't able to find a trailer via YouTube.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Written By - 再生號

Written By (再生號) is a 2009 film out of Hong Kong. The movie stars Sean Lau, Kelly Lin, and Mia Yam.

The movie starts with a blacked out conversation between father and daughter about ghost. The father is about to reveal if he believes in ghost. But they have an car accident. The daughter becomes blind and the father dies. The mother and brother are also in the car and they survived as well. A brief glimpse into their immediate grief is explored. But you're fast forwarded 10 years and the mother hasn't gotten over the grief yet. In order to help with the coping, the daughter suggest to write a story. But this story will have the father surviving the crash and receiving blindness, but the other 3 dying. And in this story, the father is going to write about himself seeing the ghost.

Get that, you're basically going to get 3 different stories. The first 2 layers are reality based, but the third is not. As ghost and magically things happen.

The movie was short and the mind trip only lasted two thirds of the movie. In the end, you're left with grief but hope for the lone surviving person.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Protégé - 門徒

Protégé (門徒) is a 2007 film out of Hong Kong. The movie stars Daniel Wu and Andy Lau. Supporting cast include Louis Koo, Zhang Jingchu, Anita Yuen, and Hu Mei-Tian.

The movie is about the drug empire run by Andy Lau. Andy Lau plays Quin whos had a long and successful run as the king of drugs in Hong Kong. The police have been trying to bust him for years. Quin is getting up in years and wants to find a successor. Quin takes Nick, played by Daniel Wu, as a protégé. Quin likes Nick so much that he even sets him up with his oldest daughter. And Quin's last step in the process is taking Nick to Thailand to speak directly with his source to do the "hand off". Little does Quin know, Nick is actually a undercover cop. Nick has finally got enough evidence to crack the case. Little by little, Quin's empire starts to crumble. And they find out its Nick in court.

A side story to this is Nick's relationship with Fan, played by the extremely lovely and talented Zhang Jingchu. Fan's husband is played by Louis Koo. Fan has run away from him to start living clean, because of her elementary age child. Nick befriends the child and eventually Fan. Little by little, Nick falls for Fan, but tragedy strikes when the husband finds her again.

I mention that I loved this film back in the day. The film did well at the 27th Hong Kong movie awards as well. It was well deserved recognition for a very well made film.

I watched a China version from back in the day. I need to make time and rent the Dragon Dynasty one.

Monday, October 19, 2009

天龍八部 - Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils - Tian Long Ba Bu

天龍八部 (Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils/Tian Long Ba Bu) is a 2003 wuxia series out of China. The 3 main male stars are Hu Jun, Jimmy Lin, and Gao Hu. Female supporting cast include Liu Yi Fei, Liu Tao, Christy Chung, and Yang Rui. This wuxia series is based on the novel of the same name by Jin Yong.

The wuxia series follows the lives of the three main male stars. The majority of the focus is on Hu Jun's character, Qiao Feng. Jimmy Lin plays the heir to Dali's throne, Duan Yu. Gao Hu as Xuzhu, a shaolin monk. Qiao Feng is the head of the Begger's Sect and has helped the Song army defend against Khitan invaders. But a big mysterious plot unfolds before us regarding Qiao Feng's origins.

Along the way, Duan Yu gets girls to fall for him left and right. It isn't until Duan Yu meets Liu Yi Fei's Wang Yu Yan that his story gets interesting. Duan Yu is very smart but very lazy at learning kung fu. Duan Yu learns some of the most powerful kung fu by accident. Because its by accident, Duan Yu has trouble using the skills on a consistent basis. Which gets him into trouble.

Qiao Feng is the head of the Beggars Sect and is considered the most powerful master. But he's framed for many murders and than finds out he's not even Han, but Kitan.

Xuzhu stumbles upons his skills. But the skills he acquires are quite powerful.

These 3 somehow become sworn blood brothers.

This Jin Yong adaption is one of my favorites. All three main characters had things going for them. Qiao Feng with his righteous look on life. Duan Yu with his undying love for Wong Yu. Xuzhu with his innocent take on life.

In the mist of it all, I was instantly taken away from Liu Tao's performance as Ah Zhu. It's a shame that Ah Zhu had to die and that the story was very heavy in it's ethnic exploration.

I first learned about this series as Faye Wong sang the ending credits song. It wasn't long after that I watch the series withing days.

If you're a wuxia series fan, this is a must watch.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I Corrupt All Cops - 金錢帝國

I Corrupt All Cops (金錢帝國) is a 2009 film out of Hong Kong. The main stars are Anthony Wong, Tony Leung, Alex Fong and Eason Chan. Supporting cast include Wong Jing, Liu Yang, Kate Tsui, and Bowie Lam.

The movie is about the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s corrupt Hong Kong police force. Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) is the play on the acronym. Being transformed to "I Corrupt All Cops". My translation for the title is the emperor of the gold country.

The movie follows the Tony Leung as Lak, Eason Chan as Gale, Alex Fong as Bong, and Anthony Wong as Unicorn. Lak is the head of the police force and with Gold, played by Wong Jing, established a bribe system for local gangs and police. Gale runs in Lak's inner circle and is presented as an all around good guy. Unicorn is a hot headed police officer that gets on the wrong side of Lak and is demoted to patrol the water bank. The first half of the movie is to present the current situation of bribes for police and system of corruption. The second half is the formation of ICAC and how it brings down Lak's circle and tries to weed out corruption in the police force.

The movie was pretty intense and I loved the subject matter. It brought back memories of Andy Lau's Lee Rock film series. But the story telling was very unfocused and the character development seem forced. In the end, I didn't care for these guys much. Liu Yang had a breakout performance as Rose and hope to see more of her.

BOTY 2009 - World Finals Results

Results for 2009 Battle Of The Year World Finals
1. Gamblerz (Korea)
2. Top9 (Russia)
Best Show: All Area (Japan)

Gamblerz (Korea) vs. Phase T (France)
All Area (Japan) vs. Top9 (Russia)


Saturday, October 17, 2009

桃花小妹 - MoMo Love - Upcoming

MoMo Love (桃花小妹) is an upcoming drama out of Taiwan. It is set to start broadcasting tomorrow, Sunday, October 18, 2009. The stars of the series are Cyndi Wang, Jiro Wang, and Calvin Chen. Cyndi's character has 5 brothers played by Ken Chu, Lan Jun Tian, Ding Chun Cheng, Godfrey Gao, and Jing Wong. But the one supporting cast member that I am looking forward to is Li Jia Ying!

From the teasers and super long previews, it looks pretty interesting. But I wasn't really on board until I found out Li Jia Ying is in this drama too.

I'll give it go when it makes it to LA in DVD in 2010. Until than, you can catch it via CTS/GTV or on the web.

They were making the rounds on the variety shows in Taiwan this past week. I caught them on KangXi. Youtube clips included.

BOTY 2009 - World Finals Today

The 2009 world finals is today in Volkswagenhalle, Braunschweig, Germany.

Crews I am looking out for are:
Formosa (Taiwan)
Gamblerz (Korea)
All Area (Japan)

Let's see if Formosa can repeat and get into the final 3 like in 2008. If it does, it officially moves Taiwan b-boys into the international realm.

Good look to the Asian crews.

Friday, October 16, 2009

海派甜心 - Sweetheart - Upcoming

海派甜心 (Sweetheart) is an upcoming idol drama out of Taiwan. Set for broadcast starting November 1, 2009 on CTS starring Show Lo and Rainie Yang.

As you can see from the pictures, the drama isn't going to be taking itself very seriously.

I am looking forward to this as I like both the stars and the very lovely Maggie Wu is on in a supporting role.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Once Upon a Time in China III - 黃飛鴻之三獅王爭霸

Once Upon a Time in China III (黃飛鴻之三獅王爭霸) is a 1993 film out of Hong Kong. The movie stars Jet Li, Rosamund Kwan, and Max Mok. Hung Yan Yan and Lau Shun round out the supporting cast.

In this installment, Wong and company head to Beijing. Wong's father, Wong Kei Ying, is part of the Cantonese Association of Beijing. Once there, they are faced with the many martial arts schools engaged in public fights and lion dance competitions. Wong tries to play the middle man and to settle their scores. The head general of the imperial forces calls for a lion competition to strengthen Chinese morale. But this just leads to back stabbing among those that want to join. Also in this installment, Wong expresses his desire to marry 13 Aunt, breaking generational rules considered taboo. Wong's father eventually comes around and notes that old things should be thrown out.

This one is in the middle of the pack for me. No major fights with someone of similar caliber fighting skill. And I am not a fan of lion dances. I flat out get bored. The antagonist seemed to come from 3 or 4 different areas and it wasn't easy to follow. The quirky HK cheesiness didn't work well either. I would watch 1,2 and 4 before this one.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

火鍋 - Hot Pot

It starting to get into the low 60s here in SoCal. That means we turn on the heaters and bring out our sweaters!

It also means that its time to hot pot without sweating.

Here are some pics of one of the meals we had over the weekend.

Man, I could eat Hot Pot everyday during the cold season. Growing up, 火鍋 was a treat as it was on the expensive side. Nowadays, with so many Chinese markets competing, the prices are much more affordable.

With the steam, you know its time to dig in and chow down. Time to get your hot pot on.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Karmic Mahjong - 血戰到底

Karmic Mahjong (血戰到底) is a 2006 film out of China. The movie stars Frances Ng, Cherrie Ying, and Liang Jing.

The movie doesn't really include mahjong as the focus like the HK ones. The movie is about Francis Ng. He has some extremely bad luck. Along the way, he makes bad decisions upon bad decisions.

The movie was a total mess. I don't know how I didn't stop watching. Maybe it was for Cherrie Ying.

No Youtube clips available.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Beast Stalker - 證人

Beast Stalker (證人) is a 2008 film out Hong Kong. It stars Nicholas Tse and Nick Cheung. The film was nominated for 5 awards at the 28th Hong Kong film Awards and walked away with 2.

The story revolves around the life of Nicholas Tse playing Tong Fei. Fei is the head of a narcotics group. The film starts with the group eating at a breakfast joint and than heads for a drug bust. During the bust, a few things go wrong and Fei vents on a few people. After the bust, Fei with Sun, played by Liu Kai Chi, find a getaway car. They spring into action and eventually capturing the guys in the getaway car. Fei stops them by firing a few rounds into the trunk and another hitting the driver. Little does Fei know, there's a little girl in the trunk and he inadvertently kills her. Deemed an accident, Fei transfer to another group and goes into a long guilt trip and befriending the little girls younger sister.

But things turn for the worst, the mother of the two sisters is the main lawyer seeing the case against the head of the criminals in the get away car. The criminals kidnap the younger sister and demand that the mother switch the blood samples. Fei is there as the kidnapper, played by Nick Cheung, appears. The chase is on.

The movie was a wild ride. Very intense and at the same time, very trilling. I was drawn in right away and didn't want to stop. Zhang Jingchu was amazingly beautiful as the protective mother and torn lawyer.

HK cinema at its peak in 2008. Don't miss this one.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Longest Night in Shanghai - 夜.上海

The Longest Night in Shanghai (夜.上海) is a 2006 out of China. The movie stars Vicki Zhao and Motoki Masahiro. The supporting cast includes Sam Lee, Dylan Kuo, Takenaka Naoto, and Kitty Zhang.

Vicki Zhao plays a taxi driver that drives recklessly. Masahio Motoki plays a Japanese make up artist. On one faithful night, they meet for The longest night ever in the history of Shanghai!

I think the description from Netflix does it more justice:
A successful Japanese make-up artist collides with a tough-talking Shanghai taxi driver in this romantic dramedy that twists traditional roles by making the beauty expert a male and the cab driver a feisty female. Although he works in a glamorous industry, Naoki Mizushima (Masahiro Motoki) can't help but notice that his life is anything but beautiful. Can the uncouth Lin Xi (Vicki Zhao) help him make over his life for the better?

While watching the film, its funny that Naoki speaks to Lin in English, but Lin speaks to Naoki in Chinese.

The majority of the film is Japanese with it switching to Chinese when Lin is around.

An interesting international feel.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Look For A Star - 游龍戲鳳

Look For A Star (龍戲鳳) is a 2009 film out of Hong Kong. The 2 main stars are Andy Lau and Shi Qi. The other 2 couples make up the other 2/3 of the 3 couples. They are played by Zhang Han Yu with Denise Ho and Dominic Lam with Zhang Xin Yi. David Chiang and George Lam make appearances.

The movie follows the funny and rocky beginnings of how 3 couples seek and find love. Andy Lau is a real estate tycoon with his executive assistant Denise Ho and driver Dominic Lam a la Happy Hogan and Pepper Potts. Andy is in Macau for business and bumps into a card dealer there played by Shu Qi. Shu Qi doesn't know that Andy is a tycoon and they eventually fall for each other. Denise Ho is a very powerful women and very in control. However, she's presented as a complete failure in her love life. A carpenter played by Zhang Han Yu steps into her life. Dominic Lam is a very very picky man. He's gone through dozens of dates without finding someone of interest. Andy sets him up for a blind date with Zhang Xin Yi. But there is a catch, Xin Yi has a elementary age daughter.

The movie goes from the wooing stage, to the honeymoon stage of a relationship, and the cold realities of when real life gets in the way. Most things us regular folks can only dream about.

In the end, they somehow get on a television show that matches people up.

This is part romantic comedy and part soap opera. If you're a Andy fan, you can't miss this. If your into Andy's romantic flicks, you can't miss this one.

The star of this film was Zhang Xin Yi. With a weird hairstyle, her beauty stood out and I looked forward to her short story arcs.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Once Upon a Time in China II - 黃飛鴻之二男兒當自強

Once Upon a Time in China II (黃飛鴻之二男兒當自強) is 1992 film out of Hong Kong. The film stars Jet Li and Rosamund Kwan. Supporting cast include Donnie Yen, Max Mok, David Chiang, and Zhang Tielin.

The movie starts with the White Lotus sect demonstrating their religion. The movie than shifts to Wong Fei Hung, 13 Aunt, and Leung Koon on a train. Wong has been invited to give a demonstration on Chinese Medicine at a "Western" medical school in Guangzhou. While in Guangzhou, they have run ins with the White Lotus Sect on a few occuasions. Along the way, they meet Sun Yat Sen at the school.

This is my favorite Once Upon a Time in China of the six. The reason is because there are 3 major fights in the movie. The first time Donnie Yen and Jet Li meet, they have an exchange. Wong than has a fight with the White Lotus Sect. The final final fight with Donnie Yen is quite awesome.

The movie improved on story telling, technique and style from the first one.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

On the Edge - 黑白道

On the Edge (黑白道) is a 2006 film out of Hong Kong. The movie stars Nick Cheung, Anthony Wong, Francis Ng, Rain Li, and Derek Tsang.

Nick Cheung plays Harry. Harry was an undercover cop for 8 years. After Harry helped bust his triad boss, Harry is not back in the police force. But those 8 years as an undercover triad member are causing Harry some extreme internal and workplace conflicts. Anthony Wong plays Lung, Harry's new partner. Lung doesn't go easy on the triad members he come in contact with. Many times, Harry is at odds with Lung because of this. Back at home, Harry's girlfriend and best friend are from his triad days. They don't like that he's a cop and conflicts are ever present.

The movie was pretty entertaining for the most part. The undercover cop story gets another unique turn with this rendition. Worth a watch.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Sniper - 神鎗手

The Sniper (神鎗手) is s 2009 film out of Hong Kong. The movie stars Richie Ren, Edison Chen, and Huang Xiaoming. The movie is about a Hong Kong police sniper team.

Richie Ren as Hartman is the captain and top shooter of the sniper team of the Hong Kong police department. Edison Chen as OJ is a new recruit to the marksmen squad and is out to be the top shooter. Huang Xiaoming as Lincoln is the villain and is out for revenge.

Hartman bumps into OJ during a sting and is impressed with OJ. OJ is invited to the sniper team and immediately excels and becomes the top of the class. Hartman is the captain and top shooter of the group. Lincoln is a former member of the group but made a mistake that landed him prison for 4 years. Now that he's out, Lincoln is set on revenge. Taking revenge on those that him deems caused his downfall.

Its an exciting film and the main storyline revolves around Hartman and Lincoln. OJ's part is quite minimized. I'll guess that the movie would have included more OJ back story if there wasn't a Edison photo scandal. This movie was set for a May 2008 release, but sent to 2009.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Once Upon a Time in China - 黃飛鴻

Once Upon a Time in China (黃飛鴻) is a 1991 movie out of Hong Kong. It was also a spark of what would be a long line of martial movies that dominated the HK film industry in the 90s. This movie is the first of 6. The movie starred Jet Li, Yuen Biao, Jacky Cheung, Rosamund Kwan, and Kent Cheng.

The film begins with a lion dance demonstration. Jet Li as Wong Fei Hong shows off his skills to the locals and foreigners on hand. Wong is ask to lead and train a local militia to defend civilians from both locals and foreigners. From here, we're slowly introduced to the many members of Wong's militia. Including the very fresh faced Jacky Cheung. Lots of lowbrow hijinx ensue, but we get a glimpse of Wong's kung fu artistry. The main protagonist is a band of local gangsters that are in cahoots with the Americans to sell local gals as prostitutes in America. Wong must face them when they capture 13 Aunt, played by Rosamund Kwan.

This isn't among my favorite films by Jet Li and is probably 3rd on the list for the series of 6. But I remember watching this back in 1991 and thinking how awesome it was. The epic ending battle was a masterpiece. I still enjoy putting this on in the background while I wash dishes and can't really pay that much attention. Tsui Hark followed "The Swordsman" with a totally new style of Kung Fu presentation that dominated the 90s wuxia landscape.

Back in 1991, my grandparents live in Monterey Park and we would visit them every month or so. When it was a bigger gathering with other cousins. We would run off to the local video store and rent the latest HK movie. I remember how much I enjoyed this. And it is fond memories of my teens with relatives and my late grandfather.

Monday, October 5, 2009

12th Asian Moon Festival at Puente Hills Mall, CA

I got the chance to attend the 12th Asian Moon Festival at Puente Hills Mall this year. It was a 2 day event organized by the Yes Marketing Group. I was able to attend the 2nd day and got there around lunch. I had my family with me so it was hard to get around with a stroller and got a little burnt.

I got a few "small bits" from a couple of vendors including Stinky Tofu, grilled pork/squid sausage and green onion pie. Even picked up a $1 Viet styled iced coffee.

I did pick up some bargain DVDs from a local vendor with a booth. 4 drams for $20 and 3 movies for $10. You'll be seeing those reviews next year. My queue is already extremely backed up as it is.

In all, it was a good time. My daughter really enjoyed the children's talent show.

I'll try to make the 1st day event next year. I hear its super crowded.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

下一站,幸福 – Next Stop, Happiness – Upcoming 2

The hype machine for 下一站,幸福 (Next Stop, Happiness) is starting strong as its set for broadcast today in Taiwan.

From the teaser that was released a couple of weeks ago, the story seems like a rehash. Rich guy, poor gal.

Tiffany Hsu may play the third wheel.

I am looking forward to this because of Ady and Vanness.

Hurry up and get to LA in DVD form already.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Dragon Reloaded - 龍咁威2之皇母娘娘呢?

Dragon Reloaded (龍咁威2之皇母娘娘呢?) is a 2005 film out of Hong Kong. It stars Ronald Cheng and Miki Yeung. This is a sequel to Dragon Loaded 2003.

The movie is about a trio of cops that go on vacation to an island. When they get there, a statue is stolen and they're set on finding it. Along The way, Ronald finds the lovely Miki Yeung and Wing Chun.

A silly film through and through. Don't expect much and go with the flow. Try not to get annoyed by the local jokes and complete lack of taste. Please laugh on queue.

Friday, October 2, 2009

America's Best Dance Crew (Season 4) - Final thoughts

Season 4 is over now. A couple of Sundays ago, We Are Heroes was crowned America's Best Dance Crew.

We Are Heroes was a group that I didn't think could last until the end. But against the odds of landing in the bottom 2 three times, they made it to the end and got the votes. Looking the sum of all the parts, I am not surprised We Are Heroes is ABDC.

I did watch bits and pieces of the season. Unfortunately, if I were to look at all the groups individually, I wouldn't have thought any of them would have made it to the end.

Apparently, there will be a season 5. Maybe they'll try an all stars for season 6.

I still find myself going back to Season 1 to watch Kaba and Jabba. It was less than 2 years ago that this ABDC madness started.