TVB celebrates its golden jubilee with its grand anniversary gala.


TVB, the largest television station in Hong Kong celebrates its 50th anniversary recently in a grand fashion. Its dramas have been accompanying me for over 20 years. Despite the criticisms of having poor dramas in recent years, facing lack of talents and with many good artists leaving the station, it is undeniable that the station is the home that have trained many superstars we saw today. It is undeniable that the station is the home for all the classic series that we remembered till this day. It is undeniable that the station has had impacted lives of over millions of Chinese not only in Hong Kong or China but also throughout the world where there is Chinese people.

Since it is TVB’s grand golden jubilee, I would not want to miss the chance to watch its 50th Anniversary Gala last evening. The scale of the show is noticeably upgraded but there is still more that can be done. Since it is their golden jubilee, they should have some sort of fireworks display too to celebrate this significant occasion. The show should have been extended to 3 hours rather than the typical 2-hours time to allow for more performances. Celebrities who attended the show are Liza Wang, Eric Tsang, Carol Cheng, Nat Chan, Simon Yam, Ray Lui, Wayne Lai, Kristal Tin, Nancy Wu, Ruco Chan, Kenneth Ma, Vincent Wong, Benjamin Yuen, Wong Cho Lam, Ding Dang, Pakho Chau, Nancy Sit, Michelle Yim, Susanna Kwan, etc. Besides than Simon Yam and Ray Lui, I was actually expecting more heavyweight stars (formerly TVB artists) to attend the show.

It is also very obvious that the front segment of the show is heavily inspired by the movie ‘La La Land’ with the similar musical score. The performances by the 50 male artists and the 50 female artists are too ordinary and boring. They could have done much more (something challenging?). It is also very obvious that the singing by the artists are pre-recorded (I can see clearly the lip-sync by almost everyone). The ones not doing that are the three singers performing at the last section of the show and hence, you will noticeably hear poor live singing. And what are the three singers (from various countries) doing here? I thought they would be singing classic TVB theme songs. Totally irrelevant for that part. While I admire the ‘Hidden Heroes’ segment that honors all the less-known frequent faces in the past dramas, the way it is executed by ‘Fuk Luk Sau’ team (Wong Cho Lam, Louis Yuen, Johnson Lee) is awkward.

Besides that, too much time has also been wasted for excessive advertisement and segments showing the prizes that will be handed out for the evening (the 2-hour show is already not enough!). The one great section of the show that I enjoyed is the ‘recruit’ sketch by Eric Tsang, Kristal Tin, Wayne Lai, etc. The scene with Kenneth Ma and Bob Lam is particularly hilarious. The scene with FAMA who tries to imitate Carol Cheng and Eric Tsang is also funny to watch. This year’s gala show is certainly much better than last year but I was still slightly disappointed that the organizer didn’t want to further elevate it up. And when is this year’s TVB Anniversary Awards going to be held? Until now, there has been no news or date announced for the awards. There is speculation that the awards will be pushed to January next year. Does that mean from now on, the TVB Anniversary Awards will be held on January every year or this schedule only occurs for this year? This will mess up the standard annual schedule.

I’m particularly excited for this year’s best actor and actress race (forget about most favourite male and female characters’ categories). Out of sudden, Kenneth Ma is rising to be a top contender for this year’s awards due to his strong performance in the currently airing ‘The Exorcist’s Meter’. Before that, Vincent Wong is at the top of the pack in terms of the chance on winning the best actor since he has won at the Singapore’s Starhub TVB Awards and is rumored to win the same at TVB Star Awards Malaysia to be held this week. I’m picking Kenneth as he has been much longer in the industry that Vincent and he is really good in ‘The Exorcist’s Meter’ to my surprise. I find that it is a bit too early to hand in best actor to Vincent Wong. For best actress, I’m rooting for Kristal ever since I saw her performance in ‘Destination Nowhere’ early this year. There is no other strong contenders but I have a feeling that Kristal may not win in the end. What do you think of the gala show and the best actor and actress race this year?

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

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TVB 50th anniversary celebration begins with the usual lighting ceremony


This year, Hong Kong’s biggest television station TVB is celebrating its 50th anniversary. In conjunction with this significant and historic golden jubilee, the station has released many big-production series this year that includes many artists that we have not seen for a long time (although the overall quality is still questionable). So far, I have watched over 12 TVB dramas this year and I’m expected to watch few more before the end of the year. This makes 2017 the year with highest number of dramas that I have watched.

The anniversary celebration started with a lighting ceremony held last weekend. It is attended by Liza Wang, Carol Cheng, Ha Yu, Louise Lee, Michelle Yim, Moses Chan, Kristal Tin, Kenneth Ma, Bosco Wong, Vincent Wong, Maggie Shiu, Elena Kong, Sharon Chan, etc. It is the standard practice by the station to have this lighting ceremony to mark the start of many anniversary events to follow and also to introduce the anniversary dramas and programmes. Before this ceremony, there has been many speculations that there would be 7 anniversary dramas this year, rather than the typical 3 or 4. To allow all these dramas to finish airing and compete for this year’s awards, there has been rumour that TVB is pushing its annual TVB Anniversary Awards to early next year rather than in their usual mid-December slot.

The lighting ceremony has squashed all the rumours. There is only 4 anniversary dramas and they are ‘Heart and Greed’, ‘Oh My Grad’, ‘My Ages Apart’ and ‘The Exorcist’s Meter’. ‘Oh My Grad’ which is the third series in ‘Inbound Troubles’ franchise headed by Wong Cho Lam is currently airing and I am watching it too. Wong Cho Lam only has a very minor role in here and the result is there is not much fun and humor to be enjoyed from this series as expected earlier. The other series currently airing that I’m also watching is ‘Line Walker: The Pelude’ which is a prequel to the successful 2014’s Line Walker series. It is not bad but not up to the intensity and drama we have seen from its predecessor. I’m surprised that it is not selected as one of the anniversary dramas. On the other hand, I’m surprised that a supernatural drama (The Exorcist’s Meter) is one of the anniversary dramas. This genre usually doesn’t appeal to most audiences and are usually delivering mediocre result and yet is picked as one of the highlight of the station’s 50th anniversary. Hmmm…

I’m now only excited for the release of ‘Heart and Greed’, the third entry of the famous ‘Heart of Greed’ franchise about family feuds. The first two are classic and I hope this one could live up to that but I doubt it. I’m happy that the veteran cast are all back (Ha Yu, Louise Lee, Michelle Yim and Susanna Kwan) but I don’t like the junior line-up. It would be awesome if the previous cast (Moses Chan, Raymond Lam, Tavia Yeung, Fala Chen, Linda Chung, etc) all return but that would be impossible since most of them has gone their own way and left TVB.

So now this means that the ‘Deep in the Realm of Conscience’ (sequel to ‘Beyond the Realm of Conscience’) and a series starring Dicky Cheung (forgot the title) are not anniversary dramas and will only be released early next year. Media have been reporting on them since early this year and everyone is hyped but now they are pushed to next year. I can understand that since the station is not able to fit in all these dramas before the end of the year which is now fast approaching. So I guess these dramas will not be competing for this year’s TVB Anniversary Awards too. The awards will be held on end of December most probably, a week before Christmas. Before that, there will be the Anniversary Gala to be held on mid of November. There would be a special party next month to celebrate 50th anniversary of Liza Wang in the station too.

(Image in this post is from TVB’s Facebook page)

Highlight of the 50th Golden Horse Awards


Golden Horse Awards is an annual awards presentation in Taiwan to honour the best of Chinese films. Regarded as the ‘Oscars of the Chinese-speaking world’, this year marks the 50th edition of the awards. Couldn’t believe that the awards had been held for half a century. In conjunction with its 50th birthday, everything gets much larger and prestigious and the awards receive the highest ever global media exposure and interest of the worldwide audiences.

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Maggie Cheung, the four-times best actress winner (highest number of wins) was the ambassador of the awards while the critically-acclaimed two-time winning Oscar director, Ang Lee was the head of jury. Films from Taiwan, mainland China, Hong Kong and Singapore were nominated this year. The awards ceremony was attended by the largest ever superstars whom include Andy Lau, Sammi Cheng, Aaron Kwok, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Nick Cheung, Sean Lau, Carina Lau, Carol Cheng, Zhang Ziyi, Jackie Chan, Sylvia Chang, Tsai-chin, etc. I recognized mostly Hong Kong artistes only. Kevin Tsai hosted the show.

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Hereby is the list of nominations released early October with the winner highlighted in bold.

Best Feature Film
Drug War (China/Hong Kong)
The Grandmaster (Hong Kong/China)
Ilo Ilo (Singapore)
Stray Dogs (Taiwan)
Touch of Sin (China/Japan)

Best Director
Chung Mong-hong, Soul
Jia Zhangke, Touch of Sin
Johnnie To, Drug War
Tsai Ming-liang, Stray Dogs
Wong Kar-wai, The Grandmaster

Best New Director
Anthony Chen, Ilo Ilo
Hsu Chao-jen, Together
Longman Leung, Sunny Luk, Cold War
Juno Mak, Rigor Mortis
Zhao Wei, So Young

Best Leading Actor
Nick Cheung, Unbeatable
Lee Kang-sheng; Stray Dogs
Tony Leung Chiu-wai, The Grandmaster
Tony Leung Ka-fai, Cold War
Jimmy Wang, Soul

Best Leading Actress
Sammi Cheng, Blind Detective
Gwei Lun-mei, Christmas Rose
Cherry Ngan, The Way We Dance
Shu Qi, Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons
Zhang Ziyi, The Grandmaster

Best Supporting Actor
Chen Tian Wen, Ilo Ilo
Huang Bo, Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons
LI Xuejian, Back to 1942
Eddie Peng, Unbeatable
Tong Dawei, American Dreams in China

Best Supporting Actress
Crystal Lee, Unbeatable
Lin Mei-hsiu, To My Dear Granny
Susan Shaw, Tales from the Dark Part 1
Xue Hong, Longing for the Rain
Yeo Yann Yann, Ilo Ilo

Best New Performer
Dong Zijian, Young Style
Huang Shao-yang, Together
Koh Jia Ler, Ilo Ilo
Kuo Shu-yau, Step Back to Glory
Yang Liang-yu, A Time in Quchi

Best Original Screenplay
Anthony Chen; Ilo Ilo
Robert Chou, Zhang Ji, Aubrey Lam, American Dreams in China
Arthur Chu, To My Dear Granny
Jia Zhangke, A Touch of Sin
Wai Ka-fai, Yau Nai-hoi, Ryker Chan, Yu Xi, Drug War

Best Adapted Screenplay
Stephen Chow, Derek Kwok, Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons
Li Qiang, So Young
Liu Zhenyun, Back to 1942

Outstanding Taiwanese Filmmaker of the Year
Yeh Ju-Feng
Liao Ching-Song
Tsai Ming-Hsiu

Best Cinematography
Nakashima Nagao, Soul.
Lu Yue, Back to 1942.
Yu Lik Wai, A Touch of Sin.
Philippe Le Sourd, The Grandmaster.
Liao Pen Jung, Shong Woon Chong, and Lu Qing Xin, Stray Dogs.

Best Visual Effects
Chang Hong Song, Back to 1942.
Pierre Buffin, The Grandmaster.
In-Ho Lee, Jong Pill Kim, Ken Law, and Wing Tsang, Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons.
Enoch Chan, Rigor Mortis.
Chau Chi Shing, Chas, Chan Chi Ho, Lewis, Johnny Lin, and Shaun Su, When a Wolf Falls in Love with a Sheep.

Best Art Direction
Chao Shih Hao, Soul.
Shi Hai Ying, Back to 1942.
Li Yang, So Young.
William Chang Suk Ping and Alfred Yau Wai Ming, The Grandmaster.
Penny Tsai Pei-Ling, When a Wolf Falls in Love with a Sheep.

Best Make-Up and Costume Design
Tim Yip, Back to 1942.
William Chang Suk Ping, The Grandmaster.
Bruce Yu Ka-on and Lee Pik Kwan, Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons.
Miggy Cheng, Phoebe Wong, Heidi Chun, and Kittichon Kunratchol, Rigor Mortis.
Dora Ng, American Dreams in China.

Best Action Choreography
Jackie Chan, He Jun, and JC Stunt Team, CZ12.
Shing Mak, The Way We Dance.
Yuen Wo Ping, The Grandmaster.
Ling Chi Wah, Unbeatable.
Stephen Chow and Ku Huen-chiu, Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons.

Best Original Film Score
Ricky Ho and Lin Ching-tai, Beyond Beauty, Taiwan from Above.
Patrick Jonsson, Bends.
Lim Giong, A Touch of Sin.
Wu Rui-Ran, A Time in Quchi.
Owen Wang, Zone Pro Site.

Best Short Film
DOWNSTREAM.
The Busy Young Psychic.
A Breath from the Bottom.
Butter Lamp.

Best Documentary
Boundary Revelation.
Pusu Qhuni.
Bridge Over Troubled Water.
Beyond Beauty, Taiwan from Above.

Best Original Film Song
“I Love You.” Lyric: Spark Chen. Composer: Spark Chen. Performer: Sleepy Dads. (Rock Me to the Moon).
“Make a Film.” Lyric: Ah Di-zai. Composer: Ah Di-zai and Liao Wei Chieh. Performer: One Two Three (Forever Love).
“To Youth.” Lyric: Li Qiang. Composer: Dou Peng. Performer: Wang Fei. (So Young).
“Jin Ma Mo Un.” Lyric: Ma Nien-Hsien. Composer: Ma Nien-Hsien. Performer: Ma Nien-Hsien. (Zone Pro Site).
“Old Love Song.” Lyric: Sonia Sui and Suming.Rupi. Composer: Suming Rupi.Performer: Kenny Bee. (Together).

Best Film Editing
Matthieu Laclau and Lin Xudong, A Touch of Sin.
William Chang Suk Ping, Benjamin Courtines, and Poon Hung Yiu, The Grandmaster.
Azrael Chung, Unbeatable.
David Richardson and Allen Leung, Drug War.
Xiao Yang, American Dreams in China.

Best Sound Effects
WU Shu-Yao and Lee Yu-Chih, Pusu Qhuni.
Tu Duu-Chih and Kuo Li Chi, Soul.
Robert Mackenzie and Trithep Wangpaiboon, The Grandmaster.
Phyllis Cheng, Unbeatable.
TU Duu-Chih and Kuo Li Chi, Stray Dogs.

Audience Choice Awards – The Grandmaster.

FIPRESCI Prize – Rigor Mortis.

Lifetime Achievement Award – Chen Chen.

‘The Grandmaster’ which received 11 nominations, the highest ever, won 5 (not including the audience choice awards), hence still becoming the biggest winner of the awards. However, the top honour; best feature film goes to ‘Ilo Ilo’, a Singaporean film which also won 3 other awards. It’s quite surprising that this Singaporean film could achieve that much. For the best leading actor, I was stunned when Lee Kang sheng for ‘Stray Dogs’ won it while earlier, I totally predicted that it was a fierce fight only between the three Hong Kong highly professional actors; Nick Cheung, and the two Tony Leung. I was wrong. I knew earlier already that Zhang Ziyi would win the best leading actress, but my favourite is still Sammi Cheng. She still had no fate with awards. Hope she will win best actress in near future as her acting is nevertheless impressive. In the media reporting after the awards, Ang Lee mentioned that Zhang Ziyi actually edged out Sammi Cheng closely in the best actress race after three rounds of voting. Luck is not on her side in the end.

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On the other hand, I am also glad that Tsai Ming-liang won the best director because he is actually from Malaysia (now living in Taiwan). Same goes to Yeo Yann Yann who won best supporting actress (also from Malaysia but live in Singapore now). The show started from 5.30pm for a star-studded red carpet segment of one and a half hour, before moving on to the awards presentation itself that took five hours. It finally ended on 12am midnight. What a long show. The attendees must be very hungry and tiring for sitting in so many hours straight. I watched several parts of it, and the ones I like the most are the clip showing of the former 49 best actor and actress winners. I was awed too by the last segment on which around 40 former best actor and actress winners came to stage with glamour to accompany Ang Lee and Hou Hsiao-hsien (Chairman of Golden Horse Film Festival Executive Committee) to present the final award; the best feature film.

(Images and information in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web).

An in-‘deppth’ look to Johnny Depp’s success over the decades.


I don’t think I need to introduce Johnny Depp. He is such a famous Hollywood actor known for his ever-changing, dynamic, vibrant or colourful styles and appearances in every films he involved in. He was born in June 9, 1963, which means that today is his 50th birthday. Happy birthday to this spectacular actor! Let me take an in-‘deppth’ look to Johnny Depp’s successful and award-winning career over the decades.

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Depp was born in Owensboro, Kentucky, and raised in Florida, as the youngest of four children of Betty Sue Palmer, a waitress, and John Christopher Depp, a civil engineer. The family moved frequently during Depp’s childhood, and he and his siblings lived in more than 20 different locations, and finally settling in Miramar, Florida. He encountered problems from within his troubled family and also from his love relationship with partners that each didn’t last long. But that is not the case for his critically-acclaimed acting career that span for almost three decades.

Depp’s first major role was in the 1984 classic horror film A Nightmare on Elm Street, playing the boyfriend of the heroine. In 1986, he appeared in a secondary role as a Vietnamese-speaking private in Oliver Stone’s Platoon. In 1990, he undertook the quirky title role of the Tim Burton film, Edward Scissorhands. The film’s success began his long association with Burton. Depp, a fan and long-time friend of writer Hunter S. Thompson, played a version of Thompson (named Raoul Duke) in 1998’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Depp later also starred in The Rum Diary in 2011, based on Thompson’s novel. 

The first major film that turned Johnny Depp to a box office star is the Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl in 2003. Depp’s performance as the pirate captain Jack Sparrow was a major draw for audiences. He then continued as the main lead in the three  subsequent sequels; Dead Man’s Chest, At World’s End and On Stranger Tides that performed very well in worldwide box office. He had also starred in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street in 2007 directed by Tim Burton which won Depp the prestigious Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy in Golden Globe Awards. He had been nominated several times in Academy Awards for best actor too. The many faces of Johnny Depp in films:

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Johnny Depp’s other notable works including Sleepy Hollow (1999), Finding Neverland (2004), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Corpse Bride (2005), Public Enemies (2009), Alice in Wonderland (2010), The Tourist (2010), Rango (2011), Dark Shadows (2012), etc. His upcoming work would be The Lone Ranger which he played as an American Indian spirit warrior. The film is scheduled to be released next month. He had also been the director, producer or writer of several of his films. Okay..I better stop here. If I am to continue on writing his success story, this post would becomes a long essay. He is no doubt a talented actor that need no explanation any more. Happy birthday to Johnny Depp. He had made a powerful impact to Hollywood big screen.

(All images and information in this post are from various credible sources throughout the world wide web)

October 5th picked as Global James Bond Day


Tell me, who doesn’t recognize the logo above? It’s 007…James Bond. (Image source: http://thecontrolleronline.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/007-Legends-logo.jpg)

Today, 5th October 2012 is the day celebrating 50th anniversary of first James Bond film entitled ‘Dr. No’. To mark the very much success of this heroic character in Great Britain’s film industry firstly introduced half a century ago, October 5th has been dedicated for Global James Bond Day. Hence, this day is not only celebrated in UK, but also all around the world since the popularity of this character had gone beyond international scale earlier.

What’s so iconic to me from this character is the unforgettable classic soundtrack the franchise offered. 23 films had been made based on this very iconic characters, and had been portrayed by several famous actors. But for my generation so far, it’s Daniel Craig that took the role including the latest film in the franchise entitled ‘Skyfall’ to be released end of this month or early next month. This character is so symbolic to Great Britain that it is even featured in the recent London 2012 Olympic Games’ opening ceremony with a little parody involving the Queen. It has somehow becomes a very important symbol representing UK.

I’m not going to miss ‘Skyfall’ and I think it would be an exciting movie not to be missed this year. Furthermore, the singer that gets to sing for the theme song of this film is one of my favourites, and she is Adele. The song had been released yesterday and I have heard it just now. The song is quite impressive; it gave us some classic feel unexpectedly and is performed brilliantly with a superb voice by Adele as usual, the biggest winner of Grammy this year. Hmm…I think the song would fits the film well.

So far, this Global James Bond Day which had just been introduced did not get much attention here in Malaysia. It seems like not many people here knew about this special day dedicated to honour this iconic James Bond character. But even if we had the intention to organize something in conjunction with this day, what can we do actually that relates to that famous franchise and character? Anyway, Happy James Bond day to everyone who had once fall in love with James Bond’s films and of course to the stars that had portrayed the character before, particularly the very cool Daniel Craig. Looking forward to James Bond’s 23rd film, ‘Skyfall’.

(Image source: http://borgdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/50-years-of-james-bond.jpg)