Friday, April 22, 2011

4.22.2011 - News

THE WARRING STATES officially opens today here in the US via AMC Theatres, as well as various other countries. So be sure to catch it and support the latest film from China Lion Film Distribution. Okay, The Warring States sounds like it might be a vanity production, albeit star-laced, but still...

FBA: The Lost Bladesman review (6/10)
Serviceable costume action drama that's just about held together by its starpower.

CF: Latest Photos of "Till Death Do Us Part"
CF: Feng's Banquet
"White Vengeance," the next likely blockbuster from director Daniel Lee, unveiled its cast at a press conference in Beijing Tuesday, with William Feng [Feng Shao-feng] selected to play the main role of Xiang Yu,
CRI: Feng Xiaogang's Next Film to Begin Shooting in Oct.
China's entertainment group, Huayi Brothers, announced Thursday that director Feng Xiaogang's next film would be "Memory of 1942".Chinese director Feng says next disaster pic set against 1942 drought that killed 3 million
Feng Xiaogang announced in a live webcast on Chinese portal on Thursday that he will adapt Liu Zhenyun's 1993 novel called "Remembering 1942." Liu's work examines the suffering in China's Henan province when the then-ruling Nationalist Party was preoccupied with a Japanese invasion.
THR: Shanghai Film Festival Launches Mobile Film Competition
Organizers of the first mobile phone film competition at The 14th Shanghai International Film Festival will accept submissions until April 30 and announce the final selections in mid-May, offering the winners in June more than $15,300 in cash prizes.
THR: China's Phoenix New Media plans U.S. IPO Worth up to $200 mln
The company, which traces its roots to Hong Kong-based Mandarin-language TV network Phoenix Satellite Television Holdings Ltd. -- one of whose major shareholders is a News Corp.

Change of plans

John Woo's "1949" (aka "Pacific Steamer") which ran aground due to copyright issues may be restarted and begin production in the autumn of this year. If so, this would push back his Flying Tigers film to 2012. Announced in May 2008, plans were scuttled for "1949" in March 2009 after a dispute over copyrights surfaced; Chang Chen and Song Hye-Kyo (Reign of Assassins) were initially cast. Recently, a company in Zhejiang obtained the rights and made agreements to collaborate with Lion Rock's Terence Chang and John Woo. In addition, Flying Tigers is rumoured to be financially underfunded. (Sina)

The Detective 2 has escaped the censors scissors. Oxide Pang's latest film has managed to avoid the fate of earlier Hong Kong film like Election, Election 2, The Mad Detective, Protege, Running on Karma, etc, through a combination of timing and talent.

A Sentimental Story with Huang Xiaoming and Angelababy

A Sentimental Story, directed by Gao Qunshu (Wind Blast) is filming in the high altitudes of Shangri-La in Yunnan. Huang Xiaoming has an English teacher accompanying him so he can practice his English. The story involves a young policewoman trying to recover national treasures. (Xinhua)

Louis Fan Siu-Wong uses one-armed style in A Chinese Fairy Tale (Sina)

CF: Zhou Xun Graces "ADStyle" Magzine
TaipeiTimes: Pop Stop
Lin Chi-Ling, Mavis Pan, and Taiwan prostitution ring

An inside look at the late Anita Mui's residence which her estate is giving up 7 years after her death. The reason is that due to litigation (with her mother) the cost of administering her estate has exceeded 10M yuan. In addition, Mui's mother receives 1.2M per month for living expenses and 107,000 per month for the lease of the residence.

A1: Donnie Yen throws surprise birthday party for wife
Hong Kong action superstar Donnie Yen held a million-dollar birthday party for wife Cecilia Wang recently.

Edison Chen held a press conference for his new album "Confusion" in Beijing at the International Gallery of Exhibition last night.

MSN: Lynn Hung said to have brain tumour?
The Hong Kong actress clarified that she was only suffering from gastritis
MSN: Kenny Bee asks ex-wife Teresa Cheung to move on
MSN: Selina Jen tours the Taipei International Flora Expo

CDT: Tiananmen Confucius Statue Relocated
Third day of Shanghai strike threatens China exports
Striking truck drivers protested for a third day on Friday in Shanghai's main harbor district amid heavy police presence and signs the action has already started to curb exports from the world's busiest container port.


Anonymous said...

I'm going to see The Warring States tonight, along with a certain Francis Ng fan.

I'll report back tomorrow! :)

Anonymous said...

I'm going tonight too! Oh wait--

dleedlee said...

I'm trying to go on Sunday. :D

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Anonymous said...

The Warring States was OK. Definitely not great, but worth checking out on the big screen. However, you must either like or be accustomed to Asian standards melodrama, otherwise you might have a hard time with some of the scenes. All in all, it's nothing new, but Sun Honglei and Jing Tian kept me engaged.

So far it's gotten a few reviews:
NY Times
LA Times
The Vancouver Sun

dleedlee said...

I'm definitely going in with lowered expectations. :D The comments from (selective) Chinese viewers were somewhat scathing.

Thanks for the links, I'll wait to read them after I see the film.

Anonymous said...

The movie was not bad, although it wasn't as gripping as it could have been. I think there could have been more impalements, but that's just me.

Francis is Francis, so that's always a big plus. Sun Honglei is also fun to watch, even in a quirky role like this one. And the art direction is gorgeous and expensive-looking--so many variations on the up-do, both male and female, plus those little metal hair-cage things on the top of the head, and the beaded thingies dangling in people's eyes.

I was happy just to be able to see it on the big screen--I'm looking forward to more of these day & date releases. Wish I could see Let The Bullets Fly in a theater!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, why can't they bring Let The Bullets Fly? That's one I'd love to see big screen. Maybe Jiang Wen is holding out for a better distribution offer.

dleedlee said...

Wow, I'm surprised, Derek Elley gave it a 8/10 in his review today.

Yeah, why can't they bring Let The Bullets Fly?

I guess it opened too early in the year for the AMC-China Lion deal.

Sounds like A Beautiful Life might be the next film. Shu Qi isn't too shabby a consolation prize. :D

Anonymous said...

That is a surprisingly good review. I must concur that Sun Honglei's performance threw me for a loop. I wasn't quite sure if the film was sort of a comedy or if he was kind of a Forest Gump figure. After I while, I just decided to roll with whatever came. I was also impressed by Jing Tian. Is she the one for whom this is supposed to be a vanity project?

Anyway, let us know how you like it!

I'll be there for A Beautiful Life. I hope AMC and China Lion keep doing this. The audience on Friday was fairly small. Hopefully, word of mouth will steadily bring in more folks.

Anonymous said...

Another positive review:

@durian: Yes, jing tian is the person whose vanity project this purported to be. I thought she did a good job, mostly, and was properly fierce when she needed to be. Though her part was more central than it needed to be, imho. I thought the Sun Bin/Pang Juan relationship was much more compelling, but clearly I'm biased ; )

Anonymous said...

Sorry V.! No room for bromance in Jing Tian's vanity film. ;p

dleedlee said...

must concur that Sun Honglei's performance threw me for a loop. I wasn't quite sure if the film was sort of a comedy or if he was kind of a Forest Gump figure.

Earlier, I had read an article that compared his performance to a typical Ge You character, now that's a good thing to me!

I was surprised on the positive report on Jing Tian, too.

It's too bad there's so little/no English advertising for the AMC-China Lion films. All the films I've been to have been very sparse.

dleedlee said...

Saw Warring States this afternoon and I really enjoyed it. I was originally bracing myself for a stinker something along the line of The Promise, The Banquet or Curse of the Golden Flower but I found it entertaining and engaging. Maybe it's from being unfettered with any actual knowledge of Chinese history? Okay, I fell for the My Sassy Girl-ish opening half.

Jing Tian certainly was credible and acquitted herself well enough (as well as Sun Honglei - I don't know why he's backed away from his performance as I think I've read). I'd watch her again! And forgive me, but Jing Tian kept reminding me a lot of a certain HK actress.

Yeah, Francis Ng seemed relegated to supporting role status. And I was bit disappointed in not seeing more of Kim Hee-Seon, too. Both could have stood some more fleshing out but I guess that would have required adding another hour to the film.

Ninjas, chariot racing and congee, all in one film, woo-hoo! What can I say I'm easily entertained. :D

Anonymous said...

"Jing Tian kept reminding me a lot of a certain HK actress."

Her nose looks alot like Ceci's, imho.