July 31, 2009

East Asian Films At 66th Venice Film Festival

The feature films competing for the Golden Lion at the 66th Venice Film Festival has just been announced and three East Asian films have made it into this prestigious list:

Pou-Soi Cheang's Yi Ngoi (Accident) from Hong Kong starring Louis Koo, Richie Jen and Michelle Ye.

Shinya Tsukamoto's Tetsuo The Bullet Man from Japan starring Eric Bossick, Akiko Monou and Shinya Tsukamoto himself. The third instalment in the cult Tetsuo franchise, this one is unique cos it's actually in English! Check out this intriguing eight-minute clip of the film shown at the recent Comic-Con that I found on YouTube:

And last but not least, Yonfan's Lei Wangzi (Prince of Tears), a Taiwan / Hong Kong co-production starring Chih-Wei Fan, Terri Kwan, Joseph Chang and Kenneth Tsang.

Two East Asian films are screening out-of-competition: Mainland Chinese film Chengdu, I Love You directed by Fruit Chan and Cui Jian (selected as the closing film for the festival):

and Japanese animated film Yona Yona Penguin:

You can find the full list of films here. Good luck to all the films competing for the Golden Lion.

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July 22, 2009

Korean Movie News - The Host Sequel and Jang Dong-Gun returns to big screen

Two recent news reports made me pretty excited - the official sequel to the Korean mega-blockbuster The Host is in the works and popular Hallyu actor Jang Dong-Gun will be returning to the silver screen after an absence of four years.

The Host 2
According to this article, Singapore's Boku Films will be co-producing the sequel to The Host (tentatively named The Host 2) with Korea's Chungeorahm. The director has not been announced yet ... hopefully it will still be the original director of The Host - Bong Joon-ho. The film is scheduled to be completed sometime in 2010. Besides this official sequel, there is a Chinese language sequel that is also in the works, this version will be directed by Ning Hao who is most famous for his dark comedy Crazy Stone. The Chinese sequel was annnounced last June and there were some rumours late last year that popular Hong Kong actor Andy Lau will be the lead actor, but since then there have been no further news or confirmation of this on the web.

Jang Dong-Gun's New Movie
After an absence of four years from Korean moviedom, Jang Dong-gun is finally returning to the big screen. He will star as a very handsome President (see pic below for how good-looking he is ;-P) in a new comedy entitled Good Morning, President. The movie also stars Han Chae-Young (of Sassy Girl, Chun-Hyang fame) as the handsome Pres's love interest (lucky gal!). The film is currently in production and is set to be released in South Korea in October this year. Before this Jang was in the English-language historical action flick The Warrior's Way (formerly known as Laundry Warrior) which is set to be released in the U.S. and U.K. this September. Check out the promo trailer for The Warrior's Way here. I know I will be looking forward to both films ;-)

http://enjoy.eastday.com/e/20081024/u1a3938570.html, http://popseoul.com/2009/07/21/good-morning-jang-dong-gun/, http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/art/2009/07/135_48739.html

Pic from http://popseoul.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/jangdonggun_090721_20_289_29.jpg

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June 30, 2009

Yoon Eun-Hye's New Drama - Lady Castle

Update 7/22: Lady Castle has underwent a name change and is now My Fair Lady. The posters for the drama are up too, check them out here. Yoon Eun-hye looks really good...

Yoon Eun-Hye, the sweet, lovable star of popular Korean dramas like Goong and Coffee Prince finally has a new Korean drama in the works - Lady Castle! Yup, the long wait for her new drama is at last coming to a close!

Lady Castle is about three very rich sisters who live in a huge mansion and their romantic entanglements with a poor but scheming male housekeeper who wants to make their inheritance his own.

And it has just been announced that the male lead (i.e. the scheming housekeeper) is going to be played by Yoon Sang-Hyun, whose heartthrob status has risen considerably after starring in Queen of Housewives so much so that he has even been termed the Goo Jun-Pyo (Boys Over Flowers heartthrob) for the thirty-something crowd.

Based on the little info that I have about the plot, Yun Eun-hye's character is the extremely beautiful middle sister who is unfortunately also haughty, self-centered and stubborn. But at heart, she is actually a poor little rich girl who is lonely and longs for romantic love. She gets involved in a love-triangle with the housekeeper and a rich suitor. And I just found out that this rich suitor could be played by Jung Il-Woo who starred as Iljimae in The Return Of Iljimae although it's not confirmed as yet. But I still have not found any news on who will be playing the other two sisters...

The series will begin filming in July and is scheduled to air on Korean TV channel KBS in August this year.

Source: http://www.dramabeans.com/2009/06/yoon-sang-hyun-storms-the-lady-castle/, http://wiki.d-addicts.com/Lady_Castle, http://www.hancinema.net/chanmi-s-drama-news-new-drama-starring-yoon-eun-hye--20010.html, http://www.allkpop.com/index.php/full_story/jung_il_woo_joining_lady_castle/

Picts from http://wiki.d-addicts.com/Yoon_Sang_Hyun, http://wiki.d-addicts.com/Yoon_Eun_Hye

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June 21, 2009

Chinese Movie News From The Shanghai Film Festival

There has been a flurry of news on upcoming Chinese movies at the just concluded Shanghai Film Festival.

1. The creators of the upcoming big-budget Chinese film Bodyguards and Assassins unveiled their huge HK$50 million film set to the press. The film set is a replica of 1905 Hong Kong and is as big as 10 football fields. Part of the star-studded cast including Donnie Yen, Eric Tsang and Fan Bing Bing attended this so-called "opening of the city" ceremony. You can see more scenes of this replica of old Hong Kong city in this new promotional trailer below:

2. Stars of the upcoming period movie Mulan including Vick Zhao (who stars as wartime heroine Hua Mulan), Hu Jun, Xu Jiao (young Mulan) and director Jingle Ma went on a promotional blitz at the festival, including organizing a special "Mulan Night" dinner party. Here is a trailer of Mulan than I found on Youtube.

3. Chinese film The Search won the Grand Jury Prize and Hong Kong star Aaron Kwok's new period movie Empire of Silver won the Jury Prize at the SIFF. Empire Of Silver is about a powerful banking family at the end of the 19th century whilst The Search is a film about a director's search for a missing man. Aaron Kwok will also be in the new Hong Kong movie The Murderer which will also be out in theatres in Hong Kong in July.

Empire of Silver trailer. Looks pretty good...

4. New trailer of upcoming sci-fi comedy Kungfu Cyborg which is scheduled to be released in August. This is definitely one of the campiest trailers I have ever seen... ;-P

5. Feng Xiaogang's highly anticipated upcoming US$18 million disaster movie Aftershock will be the first Chinese film to be in IMAX format. Aftershock is about the life of a girl who survived the 1976 Tangshan earthquake. The film is set to begin filming next month and will be released in IMAX theatres in China and other Asian territories in July 2010. Box-office expectations for this movie is sky-high as director Feng Xiaogang previously helmed such massive box-office hits like If You Are The One, Assembly and The Banquet.

6. Ip Man 2 will start filming in August and Ip Man's disciple Bruce Lee will also make an appearance in the film. Donnie Yen will be reprising his role as Ip Man, but there is still no news yet on who will be playing Bruce Lee. There is another biopic of Ip Man that is also in the works - The Grand Master which will be directed by Wong Kar Wai and stars Lust, Caution star Tony Leung Chiu Wai.

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May 26, 2009

Kimura Takuya Continues Winning Streak

The ratings for trendy dramas in Japan have been rather low since the start of this year but trust the ever-popular Mr. Kimura Takuya to put things right. His new drama Mr. Brain jumped to the top of the ratings charts on its very first episode on Saturday, leaving the competition in the dust.

Mr. Brain's rating of 24.8% is the highest rating for doramas to date this year and cements Kimutaku's reputation as the ratings king in Japan's television drama land. In Mr. Brain, Kimura Takuya plays a club host who unexpectedly becomes a genius after suffering brain injuries from an accident (wow, that's... er... incredible!). He joins the police force and becomes the resident neuroscientist who uses his newfound brain power to solve the most complex crimes. Like his previous drama series Hero, this drama series also has different guest stars for each episode. And in the first episode, the guest star just so happens to be Ryoko Hirosue, who was last seen in the Oscar wining film Okuribito. Future guest stars include pop idol Gackt and pop group KAT-TUN's Kazuya Kamenashi.

Mr. Brain also stars Ayase Haruka and Mizushima Hiro. Here is one of the trailers for the TV series:

Source: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/features/arts/20090515TDY14004.htm, http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/MR.BRAIN

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