Sunday, January 31, 2010


PTU is 2003 film out of Hong Kong. The movie stars Simon Yam and Maggie Siu.

The movie follows two PTU groups during the events of one night. One group is lead by Simon Yam and other is Maggie Siu. Apparently, theirs a little bit of a competition between the two groups. It follows them into a gun fight and the resolution. The action is intense and the stress level is really high.

Johnny To's ode to how police use "special" means to get information from the guys on the street. The movie also deals with the relationship of the street foot soliders and the officers that sit behind a desk passing down orders.

A must watch for any HK film fan. Don't miss this. I need to get the Dragon Dynasty version to check out the extras.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Rebellion - 同門

Rebellion (同門) is a 2009 film out of Hong Kong. The movie stars Shawn Yue as an undercover chop. Chapman To and Elanne Kong play significant supporting roles.

The movie is set 15 years ago around 1995, prior to the handover. The HK Police department has a new initiative to take down the strongest crime syndicate. The syndicate is headed by "elders" and has 4 branches that have their own bosses. Each of these bosses have a second in charge. Shawn Yue is an undercover cop that has infiltrated up to the level of bodyguard for one of the bosses. Shawn's boss gets shot and all hell breaks lose within the syndicate with the other 3 bosses and their 2nd in charge. Each of the other 3 bosses have their distinct leadership styles. Chapman To and Shawn are in the same group. Chapman is the 2nd in charge but is not promoted to boss when his boss is injured. Chapman plays a hot headed 2nd in charge that wants to eliminate the other 3 bosses and become the ultimate boss. Shawn Yue gets stuck in the middle as he tries to help his police handler bring down the syndicate.

The movie was a unique spin on yet another undercover triad HK movie. Shawn's turn as a hungover conflicted undercover agent is apparent. Elanne gives a nice performance as a "soft" side. Chapman To goes "Francis Ng" style and wants to cause havoc wherever he goes.

I do recommend this film if you're still not bored with the undercover triad movies. The story has another twist and pretty well made.

Friday, January 29, 2010

America's Best Dance Crew - Season 5 - Premiere

Last night was the premiere of America's Best Dance Crew (Season 5). The show will feature 3 episodes of a "dance off" between the three regions, South, East, and West. Each section had 5 crews, but only 3 would move on. Like the format for the first 4 seasons was to start with 9 crews until there is one with the remaining 8 episodes.

In Last nights episode, it was the five crews from the South. In the end Jungle Boogie, Royal Flush, and Swagger Crew beat out Ghost and X-treme Motion for the three South spots.

My general impression was that I didn't really like any of these 5 crews all that much. If I had to pick only one, I would side with Swagger Crew because their style is the closest to the type I like.

Hok was a guest judge at the south regionals. Come back Quest!

The audience seemed to be filled with former crews dotting the landscape.

Here's to hoping the East and West give us some good crews. If they were to the same caliber as the south, I'll have to abandon this season much earlier than I did for Season 4.

Because the premiere episode was so disappointing to me, I am going to go watch some of season 1 and 3's premieres to lift my dancing spirits.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wanee and Junah - 戀愛素描

Wanee and Junah (戀愛素描) is 2001 film out of Korea. The film stars Kim Hee-sun and Joo Jin-mo.

The movie is about a relationship of convenience for Wanee, played by Kim Hee-sun, and Junah, played by Joo Jin-mo. Wanee is an animator in a predominately male profession and Junah is a struggling screenwriter. We see the two in the same house that Wanee grew up in. The two seem to float through life together, no matter the ups and downs. However, when Wanee's half brother returns, things get interesting. Because of Wanee's taboo crush on her half brother. How will Wanee decide?

I rented this movie from my local Chinese video store back in 2002. The movie had been dubbed into Mandarin. I picked it up mainly for Kim Hee-sun. Because Kim Hee-sun is amazing beautiful and this film doesn't try to hide it either. But the story was very slow paced and than the whole half brother thing came up.

A very good watch indeed. Kim Hee-sun is a sight to behold and the movie itself is pretty darn good. But be prepared to put your thinking cap on.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

倚天屠龍記/新倚天屠龍記 – Yi Tian Tu Long Ji – Heavenly Sword and Dragon Sabre – 2009

倚天屠龍記/新倚天屠龍記 (Yi Tian Tu Long Ji/Heavenly Sword and Dragon Sabre) is a 2009 wuxia series based on Jin Yong's book of the same name. The series stars Deng Chao, Ady An, and Liu Jing. The series runs 40 episodes.

YTTLJ starts off about 100 years after the events of The Return of the Condor Heroes. There are 2 items in wulin (martial world) that can allow you to rule it via your supreme martial arts. The Heavenly Sword and Dragon Sabre. The Dragon Sabre is discovered and the rest of the wulin is out to get it. Wu Dang sect is no expection as they send out the 3rd hero of the Seven Heroes of Wudang, Yu Daiyan. Daiyan and Yin Susu fight for it and Susu wins. Susu sends Daiyan back to Wu Dang. Along the way, Daiyan is injured and crippled. Susu goes and displays the Dragon Sabre in a gathering. Xie Xun shows up and takes it. Susu is there with Zhang Cuishan and they get taken on a boat. But the boat runs into problems that get stranded on a fire and ice island. Susu and Cuishan become wife and husband and give birth to Zhang Wuji. Xie Xun is blinded and becomes Wuji's god-father. But they don't want Wuji to spend his life on the island. So after 10 years, they make a boat and set sail for the mainland so they can find Wuji a mate. Unfortunately, the martial world's problems follows them and Cuishan and Susu commit suicide. Wuji is also kidnapped and injured. This injury is a poison and he will eventually die.

Wuji somehow makes his way to a hidden valley and finds the Nine Yang Manual and learns it. This manual eventually helps him get rid of his poison. A beneficial side effect is that his inner chi is extremely powerful now. Wuji sets back into the martial world and becomes the leader of the Ming Sect.

Wow, what a mouthful. And that summary only covers the first 12-13 episodes. Deng Chao as Wuji is in roughly 28 episodes. The first 12 where back story on CuiShan/Susu and Wuji as a kid.

I zoomed through the first 30 episodes, but took a really long time to finish the last 10. I just lost interest in the story and the characters. However, the last 5 were pretty good and brought everything together. The ending however was a little strange.

How does this compare against the 2002 one? I liked the 2002 one much better because I liked the 2002 actors better and the story was more fluid. The 2009 seemed to spend episodes on a plot lines that I found boring. The 2009 version also censored out Shaolin and Persia. Very strange. I may have to get the Taiwan version to view the uncensored text. The 2002 version had a much lower production value. The 2009 version was made as an "epic", which include beautiful scenery and highlighting the old buildings of China.

Should you watch this? Yes if you are a Jin Yong fan. The story was pretty good and it was "epic" in comparison to the other older versions.

Previous post about the 2009 version:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Kudos to Zheng Jie and Li Na

Zheng Jie and Li Na became the first Chinese pair to reach the quarterfinals of an grand slam in Women's singles a couple of days ago. Now, after Li Na defeated Venus Williams, they are the first Chinese pair to reach the semis of a grand slam.

Zheng Jie is ranked 35th in the world and has been a grand slam winner in doubles. But if you remember, Jie had an epic run at the 2008 Wimbledon in Women's singles. Jie made it all the way to the semis there as well.

Li Na is traveling uncharted territory. Na is ranked 15th in the world and has steadly climbed the rankings the last few years.

Congrats to both for an epic run and good luck in the semis. Maybe they'll meet in the finals. Keep your fingers crossed.

The video below is NOT of the 2010 open, but highlights both Zheng Jie and Li Na.

Bichunmoo - 飛天舞

Bichunmoo (飛天舞) is a 2000 film out of Korea. The film stars Kim Hee-sun and Shin Hyun-jun. At the time of the films release, it had been the most expensive Korean film to make.

The movie is about Shin Hyun-jun as Jin. Jin is a descent of a long line of great martial artists. Jin grows up with Sullie, played by Kim Hee-sun. The two fall in love. But Jin's bloodline would prevent him from staying around. Sullie is married off to another noble and Jin wants to kill Sullie's father.

Lots of fighting happens. Lots of background stories are also explored.

When I went looking for this film in 2001, it was very much hyped because it was the first big wuxia film from Korea and the lead lady, Kim Hee-sun, was amazingly beautiful.

Was I disappointed? Yes. The story was quite hard to follow and the fighting seemed a little d-list. Would "wuxia" type films from Korean improve in the future, you bet your heart out. But as the first major entry into the wuxia genre, this was acceptable. But by wuxia standards, it was quite cheezy.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Mob Story - 人在江湖

A Mob Story (人在江湖) is a 2007 film out of Hong Kong. The movie stars Julian Cheung, Cheung Tat-Ming, Ivy Yi (Yin Shin), and Mandy Chiang. Cameo appaerances by Tina Chou (Chou Yi Chun) and Lisa S. The movie starts and ends in Hong Kong. But the 75% in the middle is based in Taiwan.

Seven played by Julian Cheung is a top assassin in the HK underground. His reputation is that death follows him wherever he goes. Seven accepts a job to assassinate the fiance of a triad boss, played by Mandy Chiang. Seven however does not hit his mark, he saves her. Off he goes to Taiwan to find his childhood friend Ghost, played by Cheung Tat-Ming. Ghost has been in Taiwan for the past 10 years, but hasn't made much of himself and carries some gambling debt to a local triad boss. Ghost is also deeply in love with Chi-Ling, played by Ivy Yi. As Seven is hiding out, Ghost gets into more trouble. Ghost however drags Seven into these troubles.

I liked this movie due it being around 85 minutes. Didn't seem like a lot of wasted time. Ivy Yi was quite amazing as beetle nut girl. And the movie was in Taiwan. Tina Chou of 7 flowers made a 2-3 minute cameo and shows up in the "making of". This wasn't a great movie nor did it suck.

The Chinese translation for the title is "person in Jiang Hu". Jiang Hu in wuxia terms is the martial world. The world of non regular people. In this case, its the triad or crime syndicate. But, "Person in the Mob" would sound a little weird.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

混混天團 - Gangster Rock - Upcoming

混混天團 (Gangster Rock) is a upcoming film out of Taiwan staring Van Fan of Cape No. 7 fame. Leon Jay Williams seems to be in this one as well.

From the trailer, it looks like Van is the lead singer of a band and they want to get signed and played on the radio. Leon Jay Williams goes about trying to make this happen.

Looks interesting. I am guessing they'll release it in Spring or at the beginning of Fall to avoid the mad rush of films from the US.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Lethal Weapon 4 - 致命武器 4

Lethal Weapon 4 (致命武器 4) is the 1998 film that introduced Jet Li to the North American audience. I caught this on TNT last night while I was washing my dishes.

If you know anything about the Lethal Weapon films, it stars Mel Gibson and Danny Glover as LAPD cops. In the fourth installment, the plot of the film revolves around their investigation of an Chinese immigrant smuggling operation. Glover happens to take in a guy that was smuggled into the US.

Queue racist Chinese jokes. Queue racist Chinatown stereotypes. Queue stupid ching chong music. Queue all that crap and you have Lethal Weapon 4.

Jet Li plays a boss from Hong Kong. He has some nasty ponytail and only wears kung fu gear.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Sonia Sui and Bianca Bai

Sonia Sui and Bianca Bai appeared for a promo shoot for their upcoming Taiwanese Drama, 偶像劇偷心大聖PS男.

Man, its not fair to have two of the most beautiful Taiwanese actresses do this to people. Because of these two, I've got PS男 on my radar now.

Bianca Bai has been a favorite since her turn in Angel Lover and Sonia Sui has continued to sizzle since her supporting spot in Black and White.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Joint Security Area - JSA - 共同警戒區

Joint Security Area/JSA (共同警戒區) is a 2000 film out of Korea. The film stars Lee Young Ae, Lee Byung-Hun, and Song Kang-ho.

The movie is about murders at the North/South Korean DMZ zone. A special international force is brought in to investigate so that both sides are addressed. Layer upon layer of mysteries are unraveled to get to the truth.

This is one of the first Korean films I watched back in 2001. Up to that point, Korean cinema didn't even register on my radar. Korean dramas were just starting to flex their muscle in the Asian markets. The movies didn't lag behind too much. I was entertained by the movie and it was a glimpse into a world unknown to me. When I think of this movie, I also think of the planet b-boy promo clips at the DMZ.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

獵豔 - Zoom Hunting - Upcoming

獵豔 (Zoom Hunting) is set for release on April 9th in Taipei. The movie stars Janine Chang as a Photographer.

From the trailer, looks like she takes pictures of a couple and something strange or violent happens. Looks like there's a lot of skin too to draw in the crowds.

The movie looks like it'll be good and I am looking forward to it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

America's Best Dance Crew - Season 5 - Upcoming

America's Best Dance Crew (Season 5) is going to premiere on Thursday, January 28th! The promos are starting and Facebook feeds are getting updated.

I wasn't a big fan of Season 2 or 4. I didn't think the level of the "groups" were even like it was in Season 1 and 3. My favorite crew is still Kaba Modern followed by Quest Crew and JabbaWockeeZ.

From the promo of the crews they've shown, I may not be a fan of this season either. Here's to hoping Season 6 is a "All Star" season, bringing back crews like Kaba and Beat Freaks to compete again.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Cow - 鬥牛

Cow (鬥牛) is a 2009 film out of China. The film stars Huang Bo and a cow. Yan Ni does show up from time to time.

The film is about Niu-er (牛兒). He's the lone human survivor of his village. Niu-er's cow Jiu-er is also a survivor and a couple of crickets. As Niu-er explores the village, we are exposed to how we got to the situation in a series of flashback. The the current storyline goes on.

I don't know how else to explain the film. The movie was a trip and the dialect of these village folks was crazy (hard to understand). I would classify this as an episodic type of film. Each flashback is an episode into the past. Each current event is an episode broken up by the flashback.

I can see why Huang Bo won a Golden Horse, that guy put on a masterful performance.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

500th Blog Post

Officially, this is my 500th blog post. I hit my 300th post on July 3, 2009 and posted about it. Including some of the same format from that post. Not really much happened in these last 200 post outside the norm. But the most viewed blog post today had not yet been written when I hit 300.

There are lots of other sites and blogs that do a much better job of giving the "up to date" info on HK, Taiwan, and China entertainment in terms of music, dramas, and movies in English. This blog is like the delayed gratification type. I rent all my stuff on DVD or watch snippets via YouTube. Very lo-fi and old skool. But you don't get any gossip from me, because I could care less.

My personal friends have been finding out about this blog, but they don't give a hoot'nanny about Asian entertainment. So I try to explain. I get the proverbially, "so, what is your blog REALLY about." To which I end up saying, "It's a blog about my viewing habits, a record to help me keep track of all the crap I've watched". Of which, other than watching my Los Angeles Lakers, 75-90% of what I watch is Chinese language now.

History of Populasian
I would be lying if I said I came up with the term Populasian. It was actually a "project" that sprung to life in the fall of 1999, almost 10 years ago. A get together of a bunch of people that had grown up together from the late 80s through the mid 90s happened. We had all grown up, but now went to different universities and relocated out of the area. But, for some reason, we all got together that one day. As a result of that get together, we said, let's put up a website where we can keep track of each other and "write" stuff about the Asian American experience (much like what a facebook group does). Many names where thrown into the pot for the name of the website. I cannot remember the name I suggested. Populasian eventually became the unanimous winner. So, I happened to be the tech geek and set up the website. The website never came to be much other than me parking it as participation became like pulling teeth. Now, its resurrected as the name for my blog.

History of Populasian as a blog
Started September 2006 over on Xanga (no longer updating)
Switched over to Blogger/Blogspot in November 2008
Started a mirror at Wordpress for my Taiwan posts in February 2009

Top 5 Most Viewed Posts
1. Chinese Paladin 3 - 仙劍奇俠傳三 - 仙劍三 - 仙劍3 - 仙劍奇俠傳之靈珠神劍
2. Chinese Language TV in Los Angeles
3. 敲敲愛上你 - Knock Knock Loving You - Upcoming Part 2
4. 痞子英雄 - Black & White - Upcoming
5. 倚天屠龍記 - Yi Tian Tu Long Ji - Heavenly Sword and Dragon Sabre - 2009 - Upcoming

I Recommended These Other Posts To Get To Know Populasian
1. The Heights - Hacienda Heights, Rowland Heights, Walnut, and Diamond Bar
2. 天使情人 - Angel Lover
3. Amazing Race 14 - Tammy and Victor - Leg 12 - Finale
4. Dance Of The Dragon - 龍之舞 - 龙之舞
5. 不能沒有你 - No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti
6. Taiwan KFC Egg Tart
7. Chinese Paladin 3 – 仙劍奇俠傳三 – 仙劍三 – 仙劍3 – 仙劍奇俠傳之靈珠神劍 - OST - 電視原聲帶
8. 風聲 - The Message
9. 練‧戀‧舞 (練戀舞) - Step by Step
10. Basic Love - 愛情故事
11. 停車 - Parking
12. 天龍八部 - Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils - Tian Long Ba Bu
13. 火鍋 - Hot Pot
14. Mad Wolf Mongolian Barbecue in Fullerton, CA
15. 痞子英雄 電視原聲合輯 – Black And White OST
16. 聽說 - Hear Me - Upcoming
17. 痞子英雄 - Black And White
18. A Look Back at 2009 in Taiwanese Dramas
19. 2010 - Looking ahead - Movies
20. Summer Palace - 頤和園

Twitter -
Drama Wiki -

Saturday, January 16, 2010

熊貓人 - Pandamen - Upcoming

熊貓人 (Pandamen) is a drama where Jay Chou was the producer, director, and actor. The series is set to premiere on January 17. But I don't think it'll happen due to some legal stuff.

However, a 8 minute trailer was released into the wild last week. In the trailer, it's a who's who of Chinese entertainment. You see Jay Chou, Eric Tseng, Jerry Yan, Shawn Yue, Tang Yan, and Will Pan in the trailer.

Looks exciting because the production value looks pretty high. But its splattered with some crazy cheezy dialog.

If this is the "Chinese" attempt to create a Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Batman mytho, I think they'll gravely miss the mark if it goes international. I personally think Chinese mythos are more interesting to explore than to repackage comic book heroes for the Chinese market.

Friday, January 15, 2010

2010 Asian American Expo

2010 Asian American Expo (AAE) happens January 16-17, 2010 in Pomona in the Greater Los Angeles area.

I made my first trip to this expo some 20 years ago while in High School. Back than, I was more out of obligation. Now, I go there to look around and see what's up with the latest in the Chinese American culture of Los Angeles.

It has a whole lot of people crammed into a very tiny space. I would liken the busy times of the AAE to the light periods of the night markets in Taipei. Lots of people, but never as crazy as it gets in Taipei.

I've been coming since 2007 and its been quite enjoyable and I actually look forward to these type of festivals in the Los Angeles area. Growing up, there were festivals, but they were small and a little ghetto. Its still ghetto, but its less every year.

If I end up remembering to take pictures, I'll post them here. But like whenever I go out these days, I have to chase around 2 kids and keep 'em safe.

Face - 鬼變臉

Face (鬼變臉) is 2004 film out of Korea. The film stars Song Yun-ah and Shin Hyeon-jun. This movie would fall under the horror genre.

Shin Hyeon-jun as Hyun-min is a face reconstruction expert. Hyun-min has quit the force to take care of his daughter fulltime. Dr. Yoon, played by Song Yun-ah, brings the fragments of a skull for a new case to him. Hyun-Min says no at first, but eventually starts to work on the face. As he does, things get revealed ever so slowly one by one.

I thought the movie had a pretty good premise and finished strong even though the middle of the film's reveals of girl in white robe was overkill and not needed. One of the better and original Korean horror films out there.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Top 10 Hong Kong Films Of The Decade 2000-2009

Last month, I voted for my Top 10 favorite HK films for the years 2000-2009 over at has finally published the full list of movies voted on.

Here is my REAL Top 10 after seeing everyone else's and thinking about it for the last couple of weeks:

  1. In The Mood For Love

  2. Shaolin Soccer

  3. Infernal Affairs

  4. Hero

  5. Fulltime Killer

  6. Red Cliff

  7. Fatal Contact

  8. SPL

  9. Kung Fu Hustle

  10. Throwdown

I made the mistake of voting for Fatal Move when I was really voting for Fatal Contact. I also dropped Invisible Target out of my Top 10 and added Throwdown.

I plan on re-watching all of these during the next year and reviewing the five I haven't posted on before.

If you look at the list of 177 movies voted on from, I've seen only roughly half of those. I had a really bad HK movie dry spell from 1998-2004. I just wasn't really going out of my way to rent them. But I did still manage to see all the major ones from that era.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Marrying The Mafia - 黑道千金逼我嫁

Marrying The Mafia (黑道千金逼我嫁) is a 2002 film out of Korea. The film stars Kim Jung-eun and Jung Joon-ho.

The movie is about a gangsta family of 3 guys and 1 sister. These 3 brothers are set on getting a "good" guy for their precious sister. And they goto extreme means to find this person and to eventually set them up. Just from that premise. You can guess that this is a comedy and that it'll use "gangsta" stereotypes and "good" boy stereotypes.

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie for its premise and for Kim Jung-eun. Jung-eun was entering her prime and made the female part compelling.

There are 2 sequels to this that do not feature this storyline. I haven't seen them nor plan on seeing them.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bad Blood - 滅門 - Upcoming

Bad Blood (滅門) is being released in Hong Kong on January 21. I don't normally do upcoming posts for HK films, but the trailer for this film looks insane. The Chinese title loosely translates to "clan extinction", which could mean "Bad Blood".

Check out the crazy trailer and visit the site while its still up. From the trailer and interviews. The action is going to be crazy. Looking forward to this.

Monday, January 11, 2010

新倚天屠龍記 - Yi Tian Tu Long Ji - Heavenly Sword and Dragon Sabre - 2009 - Broadcasting

新倚天屠龍記 (Yi Tian Tu Long Ji/Heavenly Sword and Dragon Sabre) started broadcasting in Taiwan on December 28, 2009. It's two episode a night Monday through Thursday. Which would lead it to a conclusion on January 28.

The CTS version is prefixed with "新" signifying that it is "new". Instead of going with the year of first broadcast.

I myself just finished it last week after spending a good full month watching it. I'll be writing it up during the next couple of week as free time is hard to come by these days.

I have been eagerly awaiting this since last January. I had a follow up in May 2009, another follow up in July 2009, another follow up in the beginning of November 2009, and another follow up in in the middle of November 2009. I've been tracking this series for awhile.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

泡沫之夏 - Summer's Desire - Upcoming

泡沫之夏 (Summer's Desire) is set for broadcast in the next few months, but I noticed the extended trailer for it from GTV today. I've posted it below.

Pretty long teaser, but nothing out of the norm. But no release date mentioned.

It is an Taiwanese drama with a male lead from China. One of few if not the first (minus HK). But its already strange as his Mandarin is distinctly China style and very far from Taiwan Mandarin.

Looking forward to Serena Fang, Coco Chiang, and Maggie Wu's participation in this series.

The Chinese title translates roughly to "bubbles of summer". Summer is in the English, but Desire is not part of the Chinese. But whatever, the Chinese titles are never as provocative as their English translations. But the title is a play on the Barbie's characters name of 夏沫 and 泡 meaning abandon. This series had "Summer's Bubble" attached to it for some time.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

就想賴著妳 - Down With Love - Upcoming

就想賴著妳 (Down With Love) is about to start broadcasting in Taiwan on January 24th. It is is the highly anticipated return of Jerry! From the 4 teasers, it looks like its going to be a lot of Jerry style. You can tell from the restaurant scene and the near accident.

I am not an Ella fan. But this will be the first time watching her in a series. If I wanted to watch average looking people live out "drama", there are plenty of reality shows here in the states. But it is what it is, Ella is very popular in Taiwan. Maybe this series will make me a fan.

In any case, F4 or S.H.E. fans take note, Down with Love is starting and let the fandom rejoice.

The title is loosely translated to "want to catch you" to me. To each there own as they've named it "Down With Love".

Friday, January 8, 2010

王菲 - Faye Wong is Back

王菲 (Faye Wong) is back singing the theme song for the upcoming Confucius movie.

Faye has been missing in action since 2003 (new material). Which isn't super long, but long for her considering how much stuff she released the ten plus years prior from 1992-2003.

The song is pretty nice and its good to hear Faye. Faye is the reason I got into Chinese language music in the 90s. Although music is much less of a priority for me than moving pictures in the entertainment sense, I still like to listen stuff.

Welcome back Faye!

BTW - The picture is a scan of a Faye concert picture book from the 90s.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Taegukgi - Brotherhood - 太極旗生死兄弟

Taegukgi (太極旗生死兄弟) is a 2004 film out of Korea. The movie stars Jang Dong-gun and Won Bin.

Jin-tae, played by Dong-gun is the older brother. Jin-seok, played by Won Bin is the younger brother. The Korean war starts and both brothers serve for the south. But in one of the battles, Jin-seok is injured and Jin-tae presumes he's dead after a strike. Jin-tae turns his back on the South and joins the North. After Jin-seok recovers enough to travel, he goes north to find his brother.

The movie has "saving private ryan" type war scenes, but its sprinkled with human elements of the bond between the two brothers. How strong is this bond?

At one point, the highest grossing Korean film, until "The Host". A must watch for fans of Korean cinema.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Welcome to Dongmakgol - 歡迎來到東莫村

Welcome to Dongmakgol (歡迎來到東莫村) is a 2005 film out of Korea. The movie stars Shin Ha-kyun, Jeong Jae-yeong, and Kang Hye-jeong.

The movie is about soldiers from North and South Korea that find refuge in a village in the mountains. This village is in a "where time stands still" type of state. The villagers do not even know that theres a war between the North and South. Tensions flare when the opposing soldiers first meet. But they reconcile their differences and make up for their mistakes.

The movie was both political, funny, slap stick, and action packed. The movie kept me engage from beginning to end. I primarly picked up this film because of Kang Hye-jeong's involvement. But her role was mainly supportive.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Myth - 神話 - Broadcasting

The Myth (神話) just starting broadcasting in China a few days ago. If you didn't know, The Myth was a Jackie Chan fronted movie from 2005 that is now a wuxia series. Hu Ge is playing the Jackie Chan role that goes between modern and ancient times.

I'll be looking forward to the series when it finishes broadcasting so I can pick it up here in Los Angeles in DVD form.

In the meantime, you can catch clips and the full episodes online.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Guns and Talks - 殺手公司

Guns and Talks (殺手公司) is a 2001 film out of Korea. The film stars Shin Hyun-jun, Won Bin, Shin Ha-kyun, Jeong Jae-yeong, and Jeong Jin-yeong. Ko Eun-mi and Oh Seung-hyeon play supporting roles. Many of the faces here became mainstays in the Korean film industry up to today.

The movie is about a group of assassins and what seems like a 10-20 day span. The leader of the group is played by Hyun-jun as Sang. Sang's younger brother, Ha, is played by Won Bin. The other two that form this foursome are Ha-kyun as Jung and Jeong Jae-yeong as Jae. They operate out of their flat and take pictures with their clients. A police inspector, Cho, has started to get on their trail. The cat and mouse chase begins. Who will make it out?

When I saw this movie in 2002, I was completely blown away. Up to that point, I had really only seen Shiri and Bichunmoo in terms of Korean films. So, I was looking to be impressed. What I got was completely out of left field. The movie was both serious and comedic at the same time. It explored the mundane lives of assassins and those that chase them. Seriously blew my mind.

Does it stand the test of time, 8 years after. Recently dug up, I think it does. This is prior to all four members blowing up in Korea.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Look Back at 2009 in Taiwanese Dramas

2009 has now come and gone and it was a pretty good year in terms of dramas. My two favorites of 2009 are:

痞子英雄 (Black and White)

Black and White was the best action drama series I've seen out of Taiwan ever. Vic Chou gives a dynamic performance of both confidence and insecurity at the same time. How can that be? I don't know, Vic pulled it off and had me hooked. Mark Chao was introduced to the Chinese market with this series and his star is just going to keep rising. Mark gave a solid performance for a new comer and held his own with his father. Janine Chang continues to mesmerize me. Janine's turned in a CSI type performance. Black and White also introduced me to Sonia Sui. Sonia was sexy and in control. I couldn't take my eyes off Sonia. Amazing drama. I am looking to re-watch this around the March and April timeframe.

心星的淚光 (Starlit)

Jerry's return to romantic flare was welcomed in my book. After 籃球火 (Hot Shot), I didn't want Jerry in any "hard" roles. Starlit didn't let me down. Jerry was his emotional self that took the series to uncharted territory for him. Although I am not a Terri Kwan fan, her presence in the drama didn't affect me. Alice Tzeng was beautiful and played a very vulnerable role. Alice was beautiful as always and was in the series far too little time. The surprise of the series for me was the supporting role of Zhang Xi Xi. Xi Xi stole the show for me everytime she appeared. Xi Xi was seriously underused in the series.

The only other drama of 2009 that I was able to watch completely was:
敗犬女王 (My Queen)

This started 2009 with a bang. Recording the highest ratings of 2009 (I think some Taiwanese language serials had higher ones). It also solidified Ethan Ruan as a legitimate leading man. I had mixed feeling about this drama as I really enjoyed the first third, hated the middle, and only mildly enjoyed the ending. The one bright spot was Jessica Song's involvement. They should have incorporated Jessica Song into the drama more.

I started on these, but have not finished:
福氣又安康 (Easy Fortune Happy Life)

Got through the first 5 episodes. Haven't picked it up since. I do intend to finish this, but it is not a great series by any stretch of the imagination.

敲敲愛上你 (Knock Knock Loving You)

I got a version that was so bad, I couldn't stand watching it even for more than 10 minutes. Awaiting a better version to arrive in Los Angeles.

協奏曲 (The Concerto) - I watched about 3 episodes. I think I stopped it in the middle of an episode, threw my arms up in disgust and tossed the DVD box somewhere I can't find anymore. Lee Wei, not a fan. Esther Liu, annoying personality. Edde Peng? I know its gonna be a "coming of age" story for him, but his before is totally bad.

微笑在我心 (Always Smile!) - Ming Dao being green. Green! Zhang Jia Ni and Zhang Xi Xi. I am into the first third and like it. It's not officially Taiwanese, but its a Ming Dao fronted drama! I'll finish this soon and write it up.

老王同學會 (Lao Wang Tong Xue Hui) - About a third in. The story is for a father thats a little further along than me, but I completely get his POV. I'll finish this someday.

I have these, just haven't started:
幸福的抉擇 (I Do?) - Got this in the bargain bin a few months ago.
愛就宅一起 (ToGetHer) - Got this the other day. I have too many things to watch.

I want to watch these, maybe someday:
波麗士大人 (Police et vous)
那一年的幸福時光 - I'll need the Taiwanese translated for me. Until than, I'll be avoiding this. Even though Sonia Sui is in it.
閃亮的日子 (Bling Days) - Can't past up Biance Bai and Linda Liao!
魔女18號 - Looks interesting, probably never going to watch this.
我在1949,等你 (Letter 1949) - Good: only 12 episodes. Bad: finding time for 12 episodes with my backlog.
王子看見二公主 (Prince + Princess 2) - If I see it in the bargain bin.

These 3 are still broadcasting, will watch for sure:
下一站,幸福 (Autumn's Concerto)
海派甜心 (Hi My Sweetheart)
桃花小妹 (Momo Love)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2010 - Looking ahead - Movies

Last year around this time, I welcomed my second daughter and also started to post on a daily basis. In the tradition I started in 2009, I do it again in 2010. Most of these movies will be released in the first quarter of 2010 (Q1).

14 Blades (錦衣衛)

Confucius (孔子:決戰春秋)

Futute X-Cops (未來警察)

True Legend (蘇乞兒)

Little Big Soldier (大兵小將)

艋舺 (Monga)

From the posters and trailers, looks like 2010 is starting out with a injection of kick @$$. But I am sad to see that Vicki Zhao, Zhou Xun, and Michelle Yeoh are in such plum roles again. It's time to let some new blood in. Please...I beg you casting directors. Please.

Some films from the US that I am gonna want to catch. Iron Man 2 will be the only one I'll see in the theaters. But the rest are going to be top priorities when I rent.

The Book of Eli (奪天書)

Clash of the Titans (超世紀封神榜)

Iron Man 2 (鋼鐵人2)

Toy Story 3 (玩具總動員3)