Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday Movie News

Yen will continue his action hero routines to play the head agent of the royal espionage network during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), a relatively dark period in China's history when the feudal court made unprecedented use of a spy system to run the ruling machine...

Peter Ho Yun-Tung - Once Upon A Time In Tibet

Variety: The Warrior and The Wolf review
A semi-mythical yarn that too often ends up being borderline incoherent...

Variety: Fireball (Thailand) review
Basketball becomes an underground bloodsport in "Fireball," a lively Thai actioner in which Bangkok's toughest street gangs smash each other senseless in the quest for championship honors.

Screen Daily: Paju (South Korea)
Korea’s Park Chan-ok takes a big step forward with her second feature Paju, a richly layered drama about the complicated relationship between a young girl and her brother-in-law.

Glenn offers us his thoughts on Francis Ng's Tracing Shadow

Imagi hitches rocket to 'Astro Boy'
“Astro Boy II” could soon be in the works if all goes well with this week’s release of the animated superhero movie “Astro Boy.” That would also spell a new lease on life for its production house Imagi and could redefine the concept of co-production in Asia.

Chinese directors pay tribute to quake-hit city
In the same style as the anthology films "New York, I Love You" and "Paris, I Love You," two Chinese filmmakers have profiled a Chinese city that was hit by a massive earthquake last year.
"Chengdu, I Love You" was conceived as a tribute to the southwestern city in Sichuan province that was decimated by a 7.9-magnitude quake in May 2008, leaving nearly 90,000 people dead or missing, Hong Kong director Fruit Chan said.

The Regency South Coast Village Theater will screen, in its West Coast premiere, John Woo's latest epic, "Red Cliff" (Oct. 15), the most expensive Chinese film ever made, followed by a Q and A with the director. In collaboration with the Richard Nixon Presidential Library & Museum, a series of ping pong tournaments will be held in South Coast Plaza to commemorate Nixon-era Ping Pong Diplomacy (Oct. 17-18). The Bowers Museum, South Coast Repertory, and the Orange County Museum of Art will also present "Ancient Paths" events.

Two Hollywood projects lined up for John Woo

THR: 'Ong Bak' team ready for English-language 'City of Angels'
Dwayne Johnson and Robin Shou to costar

THR: Disaster director ready for America
'Haeundae' helmer writing English comedy with Korean story

Fan Bingbing

With Wilson Chen Bo-lin
Fan Bingbing has started work in Chengdu on Li Yu's Guanyin Mountain which also costars Sylvia Chang. (

Ge You to Chair Macao Int'l Film Festival

Li Feier - newcomer in Wang Xiaoishua's Mosaic/Sunshine in Chongqing

Visitors From the Sui Dynasty - slide show
A time travel comedy.

China's Hottest Entertainers for 2009
Xiao Shenyang, Liu Qian, Li Yugang


Glenn, kenixfan said...

Thanks for the link! Maybe I should have taken more time when I was writing that review? LOL!

I preordered Tracing Shadow at YesAsia and it got to my house in less than 6 days from release which was nice!

Did this ever even play in theaters in Hong Kong?

dleedlee said...

As far as I can tell, it hasn't played in Hong Kong yet. Seems odd doesn't it?

Glenn, kenixfan said...

Yes, that is odd.

So Xie Na is a TV host of some sort? Having never seen her before, she reminded me of some weird combination of Sandra Ng and Barbie Hsu (!).

valerie Soe said...

IIC Tracing Shadow was dumped directly to DVD before it played in Hong Kong. Guess that Huayi Bros. thought the film might make more money with overseas fanpeople than with hometown viewers, which might be true, considering how popular Francis Ng is outside of Asia. Plus HB probably made back its investment in presales already, which were pretty widespread throughout the Asian territories. So, weirdly enough, even though the official box office was weak, the movie might still have made a profit.

dleedlee said...

I'm not familiar with her but there's a couple links on her hkmdb page that gives a better profile on her.

How was she in the film?

Glenn, kenixfan said...

She was okay but I can see why some would think she was vaguely annoying. I don't think she played her role as broadly as Sandra Ng would have played a similar role back in the day.

Is Francis more popular outside of HK? That's interesting. I wonder why?

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if Francis is more popular outside of Asia than he is within it but he's got a pretty big fan base among Asian genre film watchers, I think, based on movies like Y&D, The Mission and Exiled. Word-of-mouth in Asia about Tracing Shadow was pretty brutal (the twitterverse being especially cruel in that regard) but outside of Asia the response has been more positive. So maybe Huayi Brothers decided to cut their losses in Asia & go straight for the international DVD market, which had been less poisoned by the bad buzz about the movie.

RE: Xie Na, Sandra Ng. and Chinese television. I've only seen a few Chinese variety shows, including the one hosted by Xie Na, and they're pretty broad in their humor, with lots of those crazy visuals like big hearts exploding over people's head and loud boing! sound effects. Xie Na is just being Xie Na in Tracing Shadow, which means she mugs and overacts with abandon. I like to think that Sandra Ng has a bit more comic timing but I could be giving her the benefit of the doubt, since she starred in one of my all-time favorite movies, Juliet In Love. But I digress--