Sunday, February 28, 2010

Homeboy Vanness Wu in HK

Van Ness Wu and Phillip Wu made a mockumentary in the throes of HK. Vanness dons a funky British accent and tries to prove he's famous.

I was laughing pretty much the whole time. If you haven't been following Vanness's life these past 6 months, you'll miss the absurdly of lots of the conversation. Especially the "when is the last time you had...".

I am from The Heights area of the greater Los Angeles area and have actually seen Van around town. If I am not mistaken, Van resides in The Heights when he comes back to the US where his parents live. However, I've never seen anyone approach him for a photo. If I do bump into him in the future, I'll make sure to ask him to sign my death warrant.

If you're a Vanness Wu fan, you need to check the whole thing out. Props to Phillip for making it Blair Witch style but with less shaking.

There are way too many comments on the YouTube and AliveNotDead post, but it seems that the "mockumentary" part is lost on many. Mockumentary means that everything is meant to mock the premise of the film. The lady in the store was prolly in on it.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

America's Best Dance Crew - Season 5 - 2nd Challenge

A couple of nights ago was the fifth episode of America's Best Dance Crew (Season 5), Music Video Challenge.

In that episode, the remaining eight crews for season 5 took the stage, but in the end, Royal Flush bit the dust and is headed home.

The challenge was strange and thus the performances in general where awkward. Reading between the lines, it sucked. Shopping cars?! Props can suck and a shopping cart does suck.

I predicted a South crew getting eliminated this week. I think a West crew next week. Weak weak performances all around.

Celebs all around in the audience. Guess who showed up? Manny Pacquiao! I wonder if they let him sing 8 songs after the battles ended.

If the Lady Gaga challenge sucks, count me out until the finals.

Friday, February 26, 2010

2010 Winter Olympics Ladies' Figure Skating

Kim Yu-Na does the expected and crushes the competition by over 20 points. Living up to the hype and the weight of a nation's expectation. It was an pretty impressive showing. Yu-Na has a sensuality to her performances that I am sure she'll build on back in Korea.

Mao Asada may have been considered the best 4 years ago, she's only second best these days. Mao has an quirkiness about her that does go against her in direct comparison to Yu-Na. I expect her to come back and get the gold in 4 years after Yu-Na retires.

Homegurl Mirai Nagasu (home in terms of from Los Angeles) puts on her best show to date and says, watch out for me when I am 20.

I've always enjoyed figure skating as its both athletic and graceful at the same. Like gymnastics on ice.

Due to the current state of figure skating, this year was the best I've seen. The girls are pushing the spins to amazing levels. When are the women going to start doing quads?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Christine Fan Sings The Star-Spangled Banner

Christine Fan of Ohio sang The Star-Spangled Banner at a Nets game recently. Considering the Nets are 5-52 at the moment. I'll guess that the Nets lost the game. They haven't won a home game so far in February. Is this the same game in which Christine's longtime boyfriend, Blackie proposed to her?

In any case, Christine's rendition wasn't bad. But I don't know if anyone from that game is going to remember. Of the 100+ sporting events I've been to with the national anthem, I seriously remember ZERO of them. ZERO! Nada, none, nothing-O!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

2010 Winter Olympics Ladies' Figure Skating - Started

Last night, the 2010 Winter Olympics Ladies' Figure Skating started.

After the short program, 4 Asians are in the top 6. The leader at the moment is Korean superstar Kim Yu-na. Followed by Mao Asada. Miki Ando and Mirai Nagasu hold spots 4 and 6 respectively.

The LA Times article, "Young Asian American skaters dream they can soar" came out this past Sunday. In the article, "Coach Victoria Stratton said those Asian girls who most often excel at the sport are short and slim, and lack hips." Interesting.

In any case. The Asian sistas are laying a beat down on the rest of the group.

After seeing Kim Yu-Na for the first time since the 2009 worlds here in LA, I can't imagine anyone beating her. She really is that good.

In any other year, Mao would be the champ. Especially if you compare it to the 2006 scores. I think the 2002 games were on the previous scoring system that caused a lot of flack for tampering.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Free Hugs In Taiwan, Panda Style

I've been seeing this around the blog sphere recently. Jaeson Ma from the Los Angeles area of Chinese decent was in Taiwan and decided to give free hugs to random people at a night market in Taipei.

I'll be honest. If I saw a sign with someone saying "free hugs" or "free [insert the vice]", I would run the other way. But we're all different and these things attract people. If that hug made those people feel better, than the hug was a success.

I am going to give my daughters and wifey a big hug. If it could be everyday, I would make it everyday.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Fit Lover - 愛情左右 - 愛情呼叫轉移2

Fit Lover (愛情左右/愛情呼叫轉移2) is a 2008 film out of China. The film stars Karena Lam. A host of others make cameos throughout the film. Including Huang Bo, Nie Yuan, Alec Su, Huang Xiaoming, Deng Chao, Tong Dawei, Huang Lei, Fan Wei, Leo Koo, Lu Yi, and Lin Shen. Jessey Meng plays a best friend and sounding board. This film is related to Call For Love.

Karena Lam plays Bing, a talk show that gives really really good love advice. But Bing hasn't been successful in her love life. One foggy afternoon, afternoon, Bing receives a car from an angel. This angel tells her that she will meet 12 men via this vehicle and one of them will be her mate. But you must do it within 12 months or you'll never get hitched.

There you go, that is the movie. Bing goes on to meet 12 men. All 12 are very different and have qualities you either love or hate.

I wasn't into this movie as much as I was into Call for Love, its predecessor. But Karena put on a good show and even tried to change up her mando dialect to resemble Beijingers.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Call for Love - 愛情呼叫轉移

Call for Love (愛情呼叫轉移) is a 2007 film out of China. The film stars Xu Zheng and a host of women. Among these women include Fan Bing-bing, Eva Huang, Annie Yi, Ning Jing, Qin Hailu, and Bai Bing.

The movie starts with Xu Zheng as Xu Long getting a divorce from his long time wife due to boredom. As the divorce goes through, an Angel gives him a cell phone that will allow him to meet 12 women. Among these 12, he will find his next mate.

You guessed it, Xu dates twelve women that are all crazy in the head and hilarious situations ensues. Queue laugher and lol!

Xu didn't really fit the part, but very few men that originate from the China market have been able to do modern films well. Ancient films, no problem. Modern films in China, fail.

But all those women in the film. Most if not all are very easy on the eyes. I stayed around mainly to see who the next one was. And so should you. That can be your only reason.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

偷心大聖P.S.男 - PS Man - Upcoming

偷心大聖P.S.男 (PS Man) is an upcoming Taiwanese drama starring Bianca Bai, Sonia Sui, Blue Lan, and Wen Sheng Hao (James Wen). The idol drama is set to replace Autumn's Concerto on Sunday, February 28th.

There's been a lot of fanfare or media coverage of this series. Bianca Bia and Sonia Sui have promoted this in the past month and the ads are popping up on SETTV now.

From the looks of it, it'll be a fun and deary story. Fun in the sense of its coverage of showbiz, but deary with the subject of a child born before Bianca's character gets famous.

Friday, February 19, 2010

America's Best Dance Crew - Season 5 - First Challenge

Last night was the fourth episode of America's Best Dance Crew (Season 5), Chart Topper Challenge.

In last nights episode, the nine crews for season 5 took the stage for the first of many dance offs. In the end, Swagger Crew bit the dust and is headed home.

In general, it was a pretty boring night. No one stood out.

The east crews are looking better than the west and south at this point. I would expect another south crew to get eliminated next week.

I'll give it until the third challenge before I make the decision to continue on or not. I'll just skip a month and come back for the final two like last season.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Claustrophobia - 親密

Claustrophobia (親密) is a 2009 film out of Hong Kong. The movie stars Karena Lam and Ekin Cheng. Andy Hui plays a supporting role.

The movie is about Karena Lam as Pearl during a 1 year period. It follows Pearl's work life and her relationship with her co-workers. The movie actually starts in the present and goes backward episodically for 1 year from the opening story arc.

The movie is very slow and I was ultimately disappointed because the backward look didn't provide a resolution. Maybe it was on purpose to not provide closure.

I actually enjoyed the "behind the scenes"/"making of" segments better.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

王菲 - 傳奇 -- Faye Wong - Legend

Faye Wong's comeback has reached its current pinnacle with her performance of 傳奇 (legend) over the Chinese New Years.

As you can see, Faye is a bit older, but still retains her radiant elegance. Especially those psychedelic contacts.

The song itself isn't especially great and I've heard it dozens of times over the past 2 days. Pressing replay whenever I can remember on youtube.

Here's to hoping for some new and fresh Faye for 2010.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Kudos to Shen-Zhao and Pang-Tong

Kudos to the pair of Chinese for Pairs in Figure Skating. Shen and Zhao captured Gold after a rough free skate. Pang and Tong jump 2 spots to earn the highest free skate score of the night for the Silver. This is the first Gold medal for any Chinese pair.

NBC really strung out the showing of the Pairs until almost midnight here in LA. I think they can show the snowboarding stuff after. In any case, they showed most of the pairs after the first US team skated. Which I thought was quite interesting.

Interesting enough, I think all 3 pairs that represented China at Vancouver will be retiring. I wonder how China's going to retool.

It was great fun watching this and I am waiting for Apollo to get his 6th medal and for the Japenese ladies in Women's Figure Skating. Lot's of Olympics left!

Monday, February 15, 2010

刺陵 - The Treasure Hunter

刺陵 (The Treasure Hunter) is a 2009 film out of Taiwan. The movie stars Jay Chou and Lin Chi-ling.

The movie is about a city lost in the dessert. The city is suppose to contain a treasure. It is protected by a desert eagle. Jay Chou has come upon some relics that help him locate the area. In a sense, a treasure map. Lin Chi-ling's father helped Jay get the map, so she wants to see what this thing is that killed her father.

Off they go, looking for the lost city in the middle of the desert. Enter sub plots that get in their way.

The movie wasn't as bad as some others made it out to me. You must not have watched any of the mahjung movies from last year. I think the hype killed it as it made it seem like the next indy film, but for the Chinese audience.

Don't expect it. You should expect a lot of fighting, CGI, and Lin Chi-ling looking very sultry. What more do you want?

I liked the film but don't think I'll ever watch it a second time.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

新年快樂! 虎年到了! - Happy Chinese New Years!

Today brings forth the first day of the lunar calendar. Let the year of the Tiger start!

I was born durning the year of the tiger ions ago. My age is divisible by 12 this year. Not good.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Voting for Top 50 Hong Kong Films of the 1990s at LoveHKFilm has opened voting for the Top 50 list of HK films for the 1990s. I am currently working on a list but this would be my top 20. Unordered at the moment.

Here is my list, yet to be ranked:

  • Hard Boiled

  • Chungking Express

  • C'est la vie, mon chéri

  • Once Upon a Time in China II

  • Chinese Odyssey I & II

  • Swordsmen II

  • Bullet in the Head

  • City Hunter

  • A Moment of Romance

  • Once A Thief

  • The Bride with White Hair

  • Ashes of Time

  • Armour of God II: Operation Condor

  • Mermaid Got Married

  • Once Upon a Time in China IV

  • The Bare-Footed Kid

  • Legend of the Liquid Sword

  • Royal Tramp I

  • Tom, Dick and Hairy

  • The Longest Nite

In the meantime, you have until February 28th to submit your vote. Go for it!

I'll sit on this list for this week and make it final in a few days. The early 1990s were part of the golden era of HK cinema. So many films were being released on a weekly basis. Now, its more of a monthly basis. You can see how the digital era has affected HK films.

For me, I literally tried to watch everything that my video rental place would carry from 1991 to 1995. It is during that time frame that many of the movies on my list became ingrained into my psyche.

Friday, February 12, 2010

America's Best Dance Crew - Season 5 - West Regionals

Last night was the third episode of America's Best Dance Crew (Season 5), the West regional.

In last nights episode, it was the five crews from the West. In the end Poreotix, Heavy Impact, and Hype 5-0 beat out BreakEFX and The Blended Projekt for the three West spots.

My general impression was that they should just get rid of the south crews and let the East and West go at it. The five crews from this weeks episode where so much better than all of the South crews. It's a shame that 2 crews from the West had to leave.

They should really just forget the south this season. But you gotta get people from that area to watch the show.

Nichelle was a guest judge at the West regionals.

Crews from the South and East can be seen scattered throughout the audience.

The Asian representation on ABDC was bumped up quite a bit by all 3 West Crews. Let's see if America can handle this much.

My favorites are Poreotix and Blueprint Cru with Hype 5-0 and Static Noyze right behind. Although I think Saltare will go far with their gimmick. I didn't think SQ or Afroborike would make the finals of their seasons.

I watched all the Quest performances from Season 3 the past week to remind myself of how good they were. Beat freaks really gave them a run for the money. But in all, I thought the collection from Quest topped Beat Freaks by the slightest of margins. But that's IMHO.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Unfinished Girl - 第三個人

Unfinished Girl (第三個人) is a 2007 film out of China. The movie stars Gao Yuan-Yuan and Xu Zheng. The movie also features Tao Hong and Yan Po in supporting roles.

Gao Yuan-Yuan is Xu Zheng's sister-in-law. Xu is married to Gao older sister, played by Tao Hong. Towards the beginning of the film, you find out a little bit about Gao and Xu's life. Gao is a clerk and Xu is an insurance specialist. Gao however believes that Xu is behind the death of her parents. Gao eventually traps Xu at her residence and forces him to talk or to spill the beans.

The movie was really strange and slow. Xu isn't convincing as a lead, but Gao really lights up the screen. The movie is again quite slow and lots of time is spent on things that didn't flow well. The ending was a little bit of a surprise.

Unfortunately, I was not able to find a YouTube trailer for this movie.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

眼淚 - Tears - Upcoming

眼淚 (Tears) is an upcoming film being released in March. The movie features Doris of ChthoniC in a supporting role as a betelnut girl. Tsai Chen-Nan, ENNO, Serena Fang and Huang Jian-Wei round out the rest of the cast.

The trailer is super short and doesn't give you much to go on. The movie looks to be gritty and unglamorous.

Its mostly in Taiwanese from what I can tell, so I'll need an English subbed version when it make it here to LA.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Love Story - GE Healthcare In Rural China Commercial

GE ran a commercial in 2008 presenting a guy and gal chase. I actually saw the commercial during the 2008 Olympics. The song is called 在夏天 by 曹方. That would be "In Summer" by "Cao Feng". Although I would translate it to "during summer". Whatevers.

It's a pretty cute commercial and the two leads are quite easy on the eyes. However, they really stick out like a sore thumb in that environment. I would say it is like taking a one of the Duggers and dropping them in with the Kardashians. Country vs. City. Its so easy to tell.

To this day, I can't find any 411 on the 2 leads of the commercial nor have I seen them in anything else.

Anyways, I like the commercial and you should check it out.

I had mentioned this back in 2008 during my closing thoughts on the 2008 Olympics.

Monday, February 8, 2010

笑傲江湖 - Xiao Ao Jiang Hu - Broadcasting

笑傲江湖 (Xiao Ao Jiang Hu) is currently broadcasting in Taiwan now. The version they are broadcasting is from 2001 and it stars Li Ya Peng and Xu Qing. Faye Wong also sang the song for the ending credits.

This is my favorite adaption of the series. I had seen bits and pieces of the Richie Ren and Steve Ma versions. I do only slightly remember the 1984 one that starred Chow Yun-Fat. I watched the 1984 back in the 80s.

The story is pretty flat as Linghu Chong spends about half of the series in "hurt" state. Meaning, he wasn't able to fully utilize his martial arts. The story was quite dense and that made the ride worth it. It wasn't one dimensional at all.

The 2001 one with Li Ya Peng and Xu Qing was also being broadcasts during the fall of 2009 on 44.6 here in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to catch much of it.

I actually have this series in VCD form. 40 discs. Nice, I have to change the disc with each episode. You can see why I haven't re-watched this. It was a pain to watch it the first time.

I'll give it a go again as the teasers have peaked my interest again.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Taiwanese Stars sing 有隻老虎 - Tiger

I've been singing "兩隻老虎" (two tigers) to my daughter as part of our bedtime routine for the last couple of years.

So, when I saw 有隻老虎 (a tiger) on YouTube the other day, I checked it out and was pleasantly surprised at many stars of Taiwanese music industry coming together to do this song. The song is in celebration of the Chinese New Year coming up on February 14th to usher in the year of the Tiger.

Check it out and let it left your spirits. Sing it to your kids.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Blood:The Last Vampire - 血戰:最後的吸血鬼

Blood:The Last Vampire (血戰:最後的吸血鬼) is a 2009 movie. The movie stars Korean mega-star Gianna Jun (Jun Ji-hyun). Supporting roles are filled in by Allison Miller, Koyuki, and Yasuaki Kurata. This movie is based on the anime of the same name. Additional plot points are lifted from the Blood+ anime series.

Gianna plays Saya, a 400 year old half breed vampire. Saya has a human soul and hunts down other vampires with no soul. Ultimately, Saya is searching for Onigen, whom is responsible for Saya's father's death. The story comes to a head during the Vietnam war, on a US Armed Forces base in Japan and in the surrounding city.

The movie runs about 87 minutes. Any longer and it would have sucked even more. The movie was hard to watch and the action was a little absurd in its length and quantity. Too much for way too long. The climatic battle scenes were a let down due the heavy CGI.

I actually enjoyed the two "Making of..." segments more than the movie! Gianna is quite beautiful and her English is actually really good. You can notice the Korean "FOB" accent, but with a little more practice, it can be concealed really well.

I wanted to note that Gianna is her Westernized name. Jun Ji-hyun is the name most others know her by. If you remember, one of the "dream" sequences of "My Sassy Girl" was of Ji-hyun as a action fighter. Ji-hyun got that and much more with Blood.

Friday, February 5, 2010

America's Best Dance Crew - Season 5 - East Regionals

Last night was the second episode of America's Best Dance Crew (Season 5), the East regional.

In last nights episode, it was the five crews from the East. In the end Blueprint, Saltare, and Static Noyze beat out DraZtik and Legendary Seven for the three East spots.

My general impression was that they should just get rid of the south crews and let the East and West go at it. The five crews from this weeks episode where so much better than all of the South crews. It is a shame that 2 of these guys had to bite the dust.

They should really just forget the south this season.

I was hyped to see all 5 crews.

Kevin was a guest judge at the East regionals. Come back Jabba!

Once again, past crews can been seen throughout the audience.

With the East crews, my faith in ABDC is at least restored for one week.

You know that the West isn't going to disappoint. Considering every ABDC champion has come out of the west.

So far, the Asian representation on ABDC has been low. But you can guess that the West will bump that up.

I watched all the Kaba performances from Season 1 last week to get the south regionals out of mind. Kaba. Seriously, they are the best ever. Even if they don't play up the "hype boy" stuff for the crowd, they put on the best shows.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics - Upcoming

The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics are mere days away. It is scheduled to run from February 12th to 28th. I've always been a big fan of the Winter Olympics since the 1992 games. The 1992 games featured many Asians in sports. Specifically, figure skating as Kristi Yamaguchi and Midori Ito finished first and second respectively. Chen Lu from China also placed in the top 10. From than, there were no shortage of Asians as part of women's figure skating. It was always nice to see some Asian faces in national television.

For the 2010 games, Asians will most likely dominate the ranks again. Japan and Korea have 5 gals that can all challenge for medals.

Recently, there was an NY Times article about the increase in women figure skaters of Asian decent. The article could have been an reaction to Mirai Nagasu's qualification for the US team.

Short track speed skating also features Apollo Ono and a host of Koreans.

I was inspired to post this when I saw the VISA commercial posted below about the Zhangs at the 2006 games.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Isabella - 伊莎貝拉

Isabella (伊莎貝拉) is a 2006 film out of Hong Kong. The film stars Chapman To and Isabella Leung. Supporting characters include JJ Jia and Anthony Wong. Although this is a Hong Kong film, the story takes place entirely in Macau.

The film is set in pre-handover Macau. The police are cracking down on their rogue officers and sending them to jail. Chapman To is one of those rogue cops. One day, Isabella shows up and announces that she is his daughter. The two start a get to know each other. Along the way, Chapman is trying to avoid being the lone fall guy for these rogue cops.

The movie was slow, but quite entertaining. Isabella Leung became quite famous after this movie for good reason. Leung has since exited the film industry after marrying rich. Chapman also makes a good turn as a conflicted rogue cop and unsure father.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Post A Day For One Year

Yesterday was 365 straight days of posting. Today is 366. I didn't think I could pull if off, but the blogger tool is so much better than Xanga.

Part of the reason is that I can make drafts. I usually start a rough draft of a post right after I finish a movie or series so its fresh in my mind. As the week progresses and as I find time, I fine tune the draft with images and YouTube clips. Once its done, I try to proof it and than publish it. Doesn't always work out that way, but most of the time.

I don't know how much longer I can keep this up as it is kind of exhausting worrying about posting everyday.

But I won't be able to this year as I will begin traveling for work again in a few months. With work traveling, its impossible to stay on a normal schedule.

Thanks to you 4 to 5 followers of this blog! I hope my blog posts enlightens you in some way.

Monday, February 1, 2010

百戰鐵人王 - Wipeout

百戰鐵人王 (Wipeout) is apparently airing in Taiwan. I've been watching Wipeout since it started airing back in the summer of 2008.

It's one of those shows that you have on at 8pm while you're getting your kids ready for bed. The obstacles are ridiculous and the contestants have a screw lose upstairs.

The Taiwan version is dubbed into Mandarin. The Mandarin is also very ridiculous. I am pretty positive that it is not a direct translation of the actual English. The dubbed voice make references to Jin Yong terminology quite a few times.

If you're in Taiwan, give it a go as the show is stupid funny. The US version gives nicknames to its contestants. Looks like the Taiwan one does too, but the nicknames are a lot more "mean". Haha, let the world know Wipeout!