Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Hero Never Dies

Martin at A Hero Never Dies has been running a "10 Favorite (or Favourite, as you will) Hong Kong Movies" feature with lists and brief discussions from a lot of very knowledgeable viewers of the jade screen--and me. I was somehow included among those who actually know something. It is a fun bunch of lists, not the Ten Best or Ten Most Important, but just those liked the most for any reason at all. In addition to Hong Kong output A Hero Never Dies is an excellent portal to sites and sources for cult and action movies from everywhere.
A Hero Never Dies

Zhao Wei gets a giant key in Jilin City

Vicki Zhao Wei journeyed to Jilin City in the far northeast where they specialize in making keys and locks for really big doors, behind which live the model municipal workers that she was in town to honor. She was onstage for about 20 minutes, passed out a few autographed pictures, probably reminded everyone that Dangerous Liaisons will be opening soon and was whisked away to her next stop.

No worker came forward to claim the award nor were any identified, but one imagines that a model municipal worker in Jilin City or anywhere else in China would rank between the Stakhanovite ideal and the Beijing traffic police. Aleksey Stakhanov was the real life USSR version of the semi-mythical John Henry in the United States although John Henry was a steel drivin' man while Stakhanov was a coal miner. Beijing police officers were criticized when they wrote tickets for cars that were covered with debris or disabled by floodwaters during the recent flooding.

International Herald Tribune; Xinhua; Global Times; RT; ibiblio

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tang Wei builds a drain in Shanxi

Here is Tang Wei taking part in either re-enactment of part of the bourgeois element send into the countryside for reeducation by the peasants or in one of the worst planned and executed publicity photo-shoots ever.

Taken at face value the pictures tell a story of public improvements in remote areas of the People's Republic of China being done by young girls without tools, proper protective gear or even gloves and boots. In Shanxi, necessary drainage is constructed with bricks placed by hand at the bottom of a ravine. No earth-moving equipment is required; picks and shovels aren't necessary. Or it may simply be a movie star with a photographer and a few others in tow arrives at a school in the mountains. The girls at the school serve as props in a muddy ditch while Tang Wei hands them a few bricks.

The whole affair has such an air of unreality that one wonders why it was staged and recorded for fans of Tang Wei (or for fans of child labor).


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Li Bingbing in climate change campaign posters

Even though the People's Republic of China burns 48% of the coal used in the world, is the manufacturer to the rest of the planet and therefore emits more greenhouse gases than any other country while facing a "grim" future of domestic food and water shortages, Li Bingbing and the 21st Century Business Herald want everyone to know that they are committed to fighting the pernicious effects of climate change and have the posters to prove it.

Chinese Films; MIT News; Source Watch; Reuters

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Cherie Chung in Beijing

Cherie Chung was a featured guest at a benefit for the Smile Angel Foundation in Beijing. Here are some pictures from the event because she is Cherie Chung and is stunning. Wearing a nondescript looking dress that didn't really fit--it just hung there in its satiny pleated dullness--no accessories other than earings and her hair in a simple piled-on-her-head updo, she was drop dead gorgeous.

She has a devastating smile--a face that could launch a thousand ships.

Like the organizers at the Smile Foundation, the editors at Sina know a good thing when they see it. Lots more images there.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Yang Mi goes on her honeymoon in "Holding Love". She brandishes a spear and winds up in chains.

Yang Mi and Hawick Lau, her real life main squeeze, star in a romantic comedy with bondage and fierce indigenous warriors. They play a couple on their honeymoon, having married shortly after meeting for the first time and gotten some really bad travel advice.

From stills released in advance of the August 23 mainland premiere it looks like there will be enough chains, cuffs, ropes and gags for all but the most committed fetishists.

Xinhua; Chinese Films

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Half-naked Actresses in Bath Scenes

Who could resist such a headline? Well, probably a lot of people but I am not one of them. This feature has been on the front page of Chinese Films as the "Editor's Weekly Pick" for about a month and I wanted to capture it for the diva-starved masses before it disappeared. They rounded up the usual suspects including Maggie Cheung and Joey Wong from "Green Snake" (above) and the recently released "Painted Skin 2" with Zhao Wei and Zhou Xun.


Several others made the editors' list. Huang Yi from "Happy Hotel".

Newcomer Zhang Zilin from "He Man".
Many more at Chinese Films

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Cecilia Cheung turns to wax while waiting for "Dangerous Liaisons" to open

The much anticipated and more than adequately hyped premier of "Dangerous Liaisons" is scheduled for September and the distributors are so bereft of ideas for publicity that they have released a set of stills that were initially sent to the press (and printed) several months ago. Here, for example.

They must be pretty happy with them but these images are good (or bad) examples of dodgy digital editing with the smooth/blur/soften tools set at infinity--unless Cecilia Cheung's skin has the texture of a Honda Civic dashboard.

Looks like there will opulent settings, costumes and even cars with the film in the Shanghai in the 1930s era which seems to be one of the safe times and places for Chinese films to look back upon nostalgically.

Lots of places to find these and other pictures of Cecilia looking pensive or puzzled: Chinese Films; Sina; Xinhua