28 April 2012

“School on Fire (學校風雲)” Location: Forever Changing Hong Kong

Last month, I came across Daniel Thomas' great blog “Hong Kong On Film,” which is all about filming locations, locations and locations of various Hong Kong films. He has a “Help Me!!!” page where he lists screen captures from various films for which he cannot figure out actual locations. Out of curiosity, I tried and managed to find some of the places listed on the page, and the process was so much fun!

One of the films in question was “School on Fire (學校風雲),” a 1988 release directed by Ringo Lam (林嶺東). One of its filming locations I figured out was the junction of Portland Street (砵蘭街) and Prince Edward Road West (太子道西). Wah Lok (華樂) restaurant, where Roy Cheung (張耀揚)s character Brother Smart (瀟洒哥) frequented, and the nearby brothel where poor Fennie Yuen (袁潔瑩)s character Chu Yuen-Fong (朱婉芳) was forced to work, were aptly situated on Portland Street, Hong Kongs infamous red light district. Ringo Lam is well known for his realistic approach to film making, and I suppose it is reflected on this selection of location as well. (On this film, you can see the windows of the brothel are coated with paint. I don’t know if the work was done for the film or an actual brothel was used…could be the latter…)

27 April 2012

Review: A Simple Life / 桃姐

Hong Kong, 2011-2012
Director: Ann Hui (許鞍華)
Cast: Andy Lau (劉德華), Deanie Ip (葉德嫻), Amanda Qin Hai-Lu (秦海璐), Wang Fu-Li (王馥荔), Paul Chun (秦沛), Anthony Wong (黃秋生)

“A Simple Life,” which won the 31st Hong Kong Film Awards’ five major categories earlier this month, is based on a true story, of its producer Roger Lee (李恩霖) and his family’s late servant Chung Chun-Tou (鍾春桃). The anecdote itself is not necessarily dramatic but, as the film’s title suggests, quite simple. After the Leong family (Lee’s surname has been changed to Leong in the movie) immigrated to San Francisco, the long-serving family maid Chun-Tou - nicknamed A-Tou (阿桃) or Tou-Je (桃姐), played by Deanie Ip - is left in Hong Kong just to look after the young master Roger (Andy Lau). One day, Tou-Je has a stroke, and after recovery, decides to move into an old people’s home.

27 March 2012

"Tong Que Tai (銅雀台)" is "The Assassins" in North America

A few industry media have reported that "Tong Que Tai  (銅雀台)," a Chinese film directed by Zhao Lin-Shan (趙林山) and starring Chow Yun-Fat (周潤發), Crystal Liu (劉亦菲), Alec Su (蘇有朋), Hiroshi Tamaki (玉木宏)...and supposedly and hopefully Roy Cheung (張耀揚)...will be released in North America under the name of "The Assassins."

The rights for the territory have been secured by Well Go USA Entertainment, a distributor who in the past released Asian films including "Ip Man (葉問)," "Shaolin (新少林寺)," "1911," "The Stool Pigeon (綫人)," "Let the Bullet Fly (讓子彈飛)" and "Flash Point (導火線)" on DVD/Blu-Ray and/or in theatres across the USA and Canada.

Although Well Go USA is yet to issue an official press release, and the film's English title sounds rather generic, this is great news!


24 March 2012

Roy Cheung (張耀揚): Attending Timmy Hung's Wedding / Papped Again on Street

Sammo Hung (洪金寶)’s son Timmy Hung (洪天明) held a star-studded wedding banquet on 23 March at Hong Kong’s W Hotel. Among the 800 invited guests, including Eric Tsang (曾志偉), Aaron Kwok (郭富城), Teddy Robin (泰迪羅賓), Sam Lee (李璨琛) and Michael Tse (謝天華), was Roy Cheung (張耀揚) who was dressed in a black jacket (with a bow tie) and...blue jeans. (No, I don't think he was in a rush...) The first banquet held two days earlier was attended by Jackie Chan (成龍), Andy Lau (劉德華), Jacky Cheung (張學友), etc. 

The photo below was posted on Sina Weibo microblog by his friend Jordan Chan (陳小春). The man on the left is another actor friend, Ken Wong (王合喜). Timmy, Ken and Roy were all at Jordan's wedding back in November 2010.

On the same day, an entertainment tabloid Sudden Daily published a photo of Roy and fellow actor Tommy Wong (黃光亮) smoking cigarettes in front of a Vietnamese restaurant in Kowloon City, Hong Kong, on 13 March. There is also a video footage of this, edited together with Hong Kong government’s ‘quit smoking’ campaign clip with hotline numbers…How considerate of Sudden Daily…

I’m looking forward to Roy’s news regarding his professional works (but not his…er…drinking or smoking on the street), but unfortunately, this is all we can get at the moment. Well, at least he still has some media interest. Let’s put it that way…

And, wow, Tommy Wong! I haven’t seen him for ages. He and Roy collaborated on quite a few films back in the 80’s and the 90’s. (In the above photo, the two actors could look like they are playing cops on a stakeout, but that's just my imagination.) It’s nice to know that they have kept in touch after all the years.

To read all previous news/gossip on Roy Cheung, please click "Press Archive" under LABELS.

12 March 2012

Roy Cheung (張耀揚): Drinking (and Driving) in LKF Caught by Paparazzi

Roy Cheung (張耀揚) was photographed on the night of 9 March 2012, around 11 p.m. local time in Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong Island. The media reports say that within 15 minutes he drank two cans of beer on the street, while chatting with two male and one female friends. (Two of them, including the woman, were Western-looking.) Once his two male friends left, Roy pulled out his mobile phone and asked the female friend's phone number. After that, he seemed to realise that he was being photographed, tossed a beer can into a bin, and drove away in his BMW.

The reports pointed out his drink-driving, calling his behavior "self-contradictory," as Roy had commented on the danger of drink-driving when he was asked about his friend Remus Choi's car accident and arrest last year. 

I have some mixed feelings about this:
  • Drink-driving should not be tolerated...
  • But, I don't know if his blood alcohol level was exceeding the limit prescribed in Hong Kong...
  • I feel sorry for him (or any celebrity for that matter) for being photographed his private moments...
  • But, this was right out on a public street...(Is drinking cans of beer on a street common in Hong Kong?)

There is also a video report by Apple Daily HK... here, if you are interested.

07 March 2012

"Prison on Fire (監獄風雲)" New Digitally Remastered DVD

On 13 April 2012, Paramount Pictures in Japan will release a digitally remastered DVD of "Prison on Fire (監獄風雲)" and "Prison on Fire II (監獄風雲II 逃犯)". Its retail price, JPY 1,500 each, is much lower than versions that have been previously available in the country. (It'll be even cheaper if you buy them from Amazon Japan.) The DVDs will feature the original Cantonese language with Japanese subtitles.

"Prison on Fire" is a 1987 classic directed by Ringo Lam (林嶺東) and starring Chow Yun-Fat (周潤發), Tony Leung Ka-Fai (梁家輝) and Roy Cheung (張耀揚). Unlike Blu-ray, DVD versions of this film have not been widely available or affordable in the Asian market for the last few years...it' a welcome release! 

04 March 2012

Review: Life Without Principle / 奪命金

Hong Kong, 2011
Director: Johnnie To (杜琪峰)
Cast: Lau Ching-Wan (劉青雲), Richie Jen (任賢齊), Denise Ho (何韻詩), Myolie Wu (胡杏兒), Cheung Siu-Fai (張兆輝), Stephanie Che (車婉婉), Terence Yin (尹子維)

Johnnie To’s 2011 release, “Life Without Principle,” is about people’s greed and obsession with money. The story develops around the three key characters - Police inspector Cheung (Richie Jen), Teresa, a bank’s sales clerk (Denise Ho) and Panther, a low-rank triad member (Lau Ching-Wan) - whose lives are indirectly connected.

Cheung, devoted to his work, is pressured by his wife (Myolie Wu) who wants to buy a particular apartment urgently, before other bidders get their hands on it. Teresa, with her performance score being at the bottom of the sales team, is in distress as she may lose her job if she doesn’t talk her customers into buying a high-risk, high-return investment package. Panther, simple-minded and loyal, finds himself in situations where he has to operate various “fund-raising” activities to save his friends and colleagues.