Saturday, March 10, 2007

On The Threshold Between 哥哥 And "Uncle"

I was going to write an entry on ISABELLA and its young star Isabella Leong Lok-Si for today's post but that would mean I'd have to talk about an actress who was born after 1980. As one of your fellow readers chided me for in an e-mail about my last post, all the actresses I mentioned were, as Jessica Simpson would say, "ancient". I even mentioned one, Ha Ping, who was born in 1937 -- 1937! In my defence, I did mention Joyce Cheng Yan-Yee (born 1987) and came close with Niki Chow Lai-Kei (born 1979). In the future, I promise I will write posts extensively slurping the likes of Crystal Liu Yifei (born 1987), Katrina Bowden (born 1988) and Sarah Carter (born 1980) but, for now, I'll stick to my old-fogeyism and talk about items I recently discovered on some favourite actresses born before 1975 -- even though it puts me perilously close to crossing the threshold between being called 哥哥 ("gor-gor" or brother) and being called "uncle".

Here we go:

  • Ruby Wong Cheuk-Ling is now Mrs. Ruby Yu Cheuk-Ling. Reportedly, she got married in Las Vegas during the summer of 2005 to a non-entertainment circle personality named "Mr. Yu". This probably spells the end of her acting career.

  • Blasts from the recent past: Carrie Ng Ka-Lai, Yvonne Yung Hung, Kathy Chow Hoi-Mei (not to be confused with Kathy Chow Man-Kei, model/sister of Niki Chow Lai-Kei), Loletta Lee Lai-Chun (Lee in action) and Christy Chung Lai-Tai were all contestants last year on LET'S SHAKE IT (舞林大會) -- a Mainland television station's version of DANCING WITH THE STARS. (Click links to see promotional stills of the actresses.)

    Other HK personalities that participated included: Law Kar-Ying, Shing Fui-On (I guess Baat Leung-Gum aka Bobby Yip King-Sun was busy), Michelle Mai Suet, Lawrence Ng Kai-Wah, Wong Hei, Elvis Tsui Kam-Kong,
    Karen Mok Man-Wai, Gigi Leung Wing-Kei and EEG starlets: Yumiko Cheng Hei-Yi, Charlene Choi Cheuk-Yin, Gillian Chung Yan-Tung and Joey Yung Tso-Yi.

    While it's nice to see Carrie Ng actually doing something (I don't think she's been in a film or made a significant television appearance in more than five years), it's a shame that one of the better actresses of the 1990s -- she won the HKFA Best Supporting Actress award for her performance in Jacob Cheung Chi-Leung's vastly under-appreciated
    THE KID -- can't get good work.

    Related LET'S SHAKE IT links:
    Official site (as with most Mainland sites, it's very slow), promotional poster, Elvis Tsui (1, 2, 3), Joey Yung, Charlene Choi (1, 2) and Gillian Chung (YouTube video of Gillian Chung dancing).

  • As far as movies are concerned, it appears Sammi Cheng Sau-Man continues to be missing-in-action. Meanwhile, Miriam Yeung Chin-Wah is working on a Milkyway Image film called HOOK ON YOU with Eason Chan Yik-Shun. The romantic comedy has the two playing fishmongers. Sounds cute. By the way, Miriam Yeung spent part of 2006 working on a Mainland television series.

  • Fennie Yuen Kit-Ying is not doing much besides getting photographed going out to various spots with friends. As far as I can tell, her latest appearance was in an August 2006 episode of the TVB show BEAUTIFUL COOKING (video highlights from the show). Sadly, her skin-and-bones look at the taping (1, 2) has re-ignited suspicion that she's suffering again from an eating disorder. Also, there were rumours that she is involved in a same-sex relationship. Related link: Fennie Yuen photo gallery courtesy Sing Tao Net.

  • Michelle Reis (Lee Ka-Yan) is supposedly going to marry a rich tycoon sometime this year but he, uh, has to finalize his divorce first. They've been seeing each other for several months and have, reportedly, already made wedding plans. I'm not a fortuneteller but I could see this coming (Michelle Reis marrying a rich guy not the "have to get divorced first" part) since about, oh, 1993.

  • Pinky Cheung Man-Chi is wrapping up her contract with ATV then exploring opportunities elsewhere.

  • ... and, finally, on a few actresses born after January 1, 1975: Yoyo Mung Ka-Wai, Niki Chow Lai-Kei and Fiona Yuen Choi-Wan are all working for TVB in various capacities. On the personal front: Yoyo Mung is involved with Kozo's boy Ekin Cheng Yi-Kin. Niki Chow is rumoured to be dating TVB co-worker Kevin Cheng Ka-Wing while Fiona Yuen is supposedly going out with some Canadian dude. Unfortunately, the Canadian dude is not me.


And now for some non-actress related items:

  • Heavenly Kings Round-Up: It appears Andy Lau Tak-Wah is still the hardest working man in the entertainment circle while Leon Lai Ming is making more news for being in a relationship with Gaile Lok Gei-Yi than anything else (he has, however, a concert series coming up in April). Aaron Kwok Fu-Sing got some dap for his performance in AFTER THIS OUR EXILE while Jacky Cheung Hok-Yau had problems with a domestic worker in between appearances at various events that included the recent Asian Games.

  • Would some kind soul do me a favour and save me the effort of looking up how THE PROMISE and THE BANQUET were received last year? Did they get acclaim or did they stink the joint like previous bloated and over-hyped attempts for international prestige? Are they worth watching? Surprisingly, I've seen THE PROMISE on the shelf of my local Blockbuster.

    Also, anyone know what's up these days with Stephen Chiau Sing-Chi?


Bringing a close to today's post:

Some things never change. Back in December, when I heard about Yumiko Cheng Hei-Yi's "wardrobe malfunction", I thought it was much ado about nothing. I mean, you didn't really see anything, so what's the big deal -- right? Of course, at that point, I hadn't been exposed to Chinese-language media for ten months so I had forgotten some of its idiosyncracies and its fascination with things like "revealing points" and "accidental exposures". It's hilarious that this photo of Charlene Choi Cheuk-Yin (courtesy PhoenixTV.com) qualifies as an "accidental underpants exposure" (露底):


This just goes to show how sexually-repressed Chinese culture still is in the 21st Century. Then again, it's only been 95 years since the Qing Dynasty ended (February 12, 1912) so "one step at a time". After all, China is only just now trying to get a man on the moon (something the Americans did almost 40 years ago) so it'll probably be thirty some years before a young Chinese starlet shaves her head bald, smashes a car with a golf club and goes in-and-out of rehab, four, five times a day. I was going to use an Anna Nicole Smith analogy here but well it's, uh, already sort of happened in the entertainment circle milieu. Remember Pauline Chan Bo-Lin?

14 comments:

YTSL said...

Hi Sanney --

Thanks for uncovering the news that you have, especially about two favorites of mine in Ruby Wong (now Yu) and Carrie Ng. (And yes, agree with you that a Golden Horse Best Actress as well as HKFA Supporting Best Actress winner looks to have been as under-utilized in recent years as the latter.)

Also, call me an Aunty but I don't mind your focus on the older actresses at all! ;)

As for your comment that "This just goes to show how sexually-repressed Chinese culture still is in the 21st Century...": I dunno, Sanney, since in certain areas, Chinese culture seems quite...enlightened? ;b

http://www.bigwhiteguy.com/archive/2007/03/03/titillating_twins/

GurlonFilm said...

The Promise isn't worth watching, save for the opening sequence of the bulls and Jang Dong Kun's very fast, comical running. I'd liken it to Blue's Clues Steve's (or his brother Joe's if you prefer) running in front of the green screen, only speeded up. It's Hilarious!

The Banquet is slightly better than The Promise. Both have ridiculous moments - the slaughtering of the actors in the compound was frigging hilarious. Ge You's line readings really got to be quite grating.

It seems Ge You's recently been implicated in some pyramid marketing scheme in China.

Mashimaro said...

If you can make it through the first 30 minutes of 'The Promise' (which, in all reality, isn't that BAD...just a little CG-Heavy/Bizarre) it becomes better.

'The Banquet' isn't a bad film, and I really want to like it...but I can't bring myself to watch it all over again a second time. Get used to nothing but be-darkened interiors for most of the film.

P.S. last I heard...wasn't Sammi Cheng seen showing off paintings??

sakura said...

Welcome back Sanney, I was an everyday lurker on your HKEntReview. I'm so glad to see you're back into the cyberspace. So I guess I'll resume my lurking here from now on that I just found out about this new place of yours on my google search.

It'd be great if you can focus your thoughts and opinions on older actors and actresses, like the 70s-90s. While I'm aware of the new generation of artists, I'm lack of interested about their affairs :)

Maybe in the future, you might consider Zip.ca for your HK movies? I don't know... but I've been with Netflix and have rented many HK movies there. anyway, just a thought!

Good luck always!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks to The Promise, I had a good sleep during the flight while it was broadcast on the plane.

Shaolin Soccer said...

Stephen Chow is making a sci-fi movie called "A Hope". He plays a poor father who can't afford toys for his kids so he finds one in a garbage dump and it turns out to be something from space.

"Kung Fu Hustle 2" is on the backburner.

el fakir said...

Oh Sanney, you just have a thing for the older ladies, I'm there with you man, nothing to be ashamed about...

I just saw that Sammi is going to have a concert series in May, so that's something. Jessica Hsuan filmed a series in Singapore and is currently filming TVB's THE DRIVE OF LIFE and is apparently on the market! I wonder how Maggie Shiu has that much time to do all her movies when she is filming a massive 80 episode series for TVB along with Ada Choi and Gigi Lai, I guess unless she dies half way into the series. As for Stephen Chow, I would think he is working on the post-production work for YANGTZE RIVER 7. There was a delay when the lead actress had some cosmetic eyelid surgery right before filming and Stephen and the producers did not like the new look and had to look for a replacement in the last second.

I am surprised that Kozo deemed BATTLE OF WITS as essential viewing when it didn't even make it to his top 10 of 2006. MY MOTHER IS A BELLYDANCER is good and interesting but ultimatly not great. Also I read some good reviews about CRAZY STONE (from China) but have not had the chance to watch it yet (too busy watching reruns of TVB's STATE OF DIVINITY (aka THE SMILING, PROUD WANDERER) staring Jackie Lui, which is surprisingly very well done so far.)

Anonymous said...

- "I wonder how Maggie Shiu has that much time to do all her movies when she is filming a massive 80 episode series for TVB along with Ada Choi and Gigi Lai, I guess unless she dies half way into the series."

Well, it's a Chik Kei Yi production so I doubt he'll let that happen. He's always given her meaty roles even when the rest of TVB wants her to be some up-and-comer's mother. Sometimes TVB actresses film 2 series at once, so filming a series and a movie at the same time isn't too much of a stretch.

Abit belated, but it's great to see you back Sanney =) And you're already providing information too - you've mentioned some stuff on some actresses, news that I didn't know, and I've actually been around for the past year!

Regarding a couple of actresses you mentioned in your last post and haven't mentioned in this post...N(n)adia Chan filmed a series for TVB, and then she had abit of a health issue earlier last year, but it should be all good now.
Article:
http://jaynestars.com/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=294

Christine Ng has been filming 'Welcome to the House' for most of last year, a long TVB sitcom (Virtues of Harmony style). It had relatively low ratings, and it's about to finish airing. In between she filmed another series at the same time (CIB, which is good) and apparently spent so much time at the studio that she just started bringing toiletries so she could brush her teeth etc at work.

I quite like news on older actresses, that's where the talent is anyway (ok - so abit of a generalization).

ironic said...

Hi, Sanney.

A little update about Flora Chan:
She was married to her manager Mike Chung Ka Hung last year.
Career wise, she had a mainland tv series "Wolf Smoke" 《狼烟》with Gallen Law Kar Leung. She probably will be back to TVB second half of this year.

On HK movies:
Suzie Au, well known mv director in the '90s, has a movie "Ming Ming", starring Zhou Xun. It will be shown in HK film festival later this month.

I read some news about Maggie Shiu's movies. (Can't wait for the TACTICAL UNIT).
Aren't all the mentioned movies shot last year? And as far as I know, she has the lead role in TACTICAL UNIT only. Looks like her major is still in the tv series.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm.... three posts, three 30 Rock references. Are you a fan?

eliza bennet said...

The Promise is not a good film but it is very unintentionally entertaining and you can see how Nic - Ceci romance rebloomed during the filming in the extras (this is maybe just my romantic nature but I remember mentioning that to another HK film & entertainment fan at the time.)

Thank you for the updates and looking forward to read your thoughts on Isabella (the film is one of my faves and I liked the actress too)

el fakir said...

also Nnadia Chan's father died... Anita Yuen and Chilam Cheung had a baby... Sunny Chan also had a baby... so did Patrick Tam... Roger Kwok married Cindy Au... Lee San San broke up with Chin Ka Lok... Yammie Nam is still in bad shape (which is very sad)... Esther Kwan is back with TVB...

I know actors/actresses sometimes film a series and a movie at the same time (like Charmaine Sheh did for her latest movie), but usually they do it during a small 20-ep production, but for someone to do 2-3 movies while filming an 80-ep production, he/she must be getting red bull & vodka interveniouly or something. I guess ironic is right and most of the films with Maggie Shiu are already in the can and in post-production waiting for Johnnie To. Johnnie To is probably the second hardest working guy in HK entertainment after Andy Lau.

johnny's agent said...

Good to see you back on the web.

The CGI on The Promise were laughibly bad, but the story was ok and I thought Nic Tse did a good job. It doesn't achieve great height, but it's an ok Friday night.

I don't mind you talking about older actresses, but I hope you won't neglect younger ones. After all, Charlene Choi is on the cusp of becoming an oldtimer; time marches on.

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