Three films to screen in N. American theaters

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Pick us over the other two films! We brought Elsa, dreadlocks, and the Cheshire Cat back to ancient China.

Zhong KuiSnow Girl and the Dark Crystal (Chen Kun, Li Bingbing, Winston Chao, Yang Zishan) began screening in selected U.S. theaters on Feb. 27th.  I’m guessing that the run has ended for most places, but it can’t hurt to check. Check times here and read the review by Variety’s Maggie Lee here.

The White Haired Witch of the Lunar Kingdom (Fan Bingbing, Huang Xiaoming)  –  FREE in selected U.S. cities via Well Go USA. More information on airing times here, and review here. The film is in general not hightly-rated, but you get to see the leads’ gorgeousness on the big screen, and hey, it’s free so why not.

Lost and Love 失孤 (Andy Lau, Jing Boran)‬ screens with China on March 20th as a rare not-super-commercialized film distributed by China Lion Film in the U.S. and Canada. Read the overall positive review by Variety’s Maggie Lee here. More on screening information here. I’m mostly giddy that baby Jing got good reviews, and sad it’s not airing near a theater near me.

Although it soft-pedals the dire situation of human trafficking in China, the result provides poignant insight into the victims’ psychological scars. …Jing, on the other hand, outshines the rest of the cast by not sweating it, limning small-town insouciance while hinting at deep emotional scars.

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You know, usually people (and dogs) do this with things that are suppose to go in your mouth, like  spaghetti. This is a  gratuituous Love Across Time Time screencap
via Weibo.

Matt Damon, Andy Lau, Jing Tian team up for Zhang Yimou’s “The Great Wall”

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Director Zhang Yimou‘s first Hollywood flick, The Great Wall, will feature Andy Lau,Jing TianZhang Hanyun, Eddie Peng, Lu HanLin Gengxin, Zheng KaiChen Xudong, Huang Xuan ,TF Boys’s Wang Kaiyuan, alongside Hollywood actors Matt Damon and Williem Dafoe.    They’re really covering all the fan bases, but I’m hoping some of those will be cameo appearances since some of them really can not act.

Plot (script is written in English by a non-Chinese team) as follows per Hollywood Reporter, although Sina also mentions a female general aka stereotypical Asian love interest:

Damon, who is in final negotiations, will star as a soldier who is part of a group of mercenaries traveling to China in order to bring back gunpowder to Europe. When the group is attacked by mystical beasts, the man finds himself in a war between a secret warrior clan and the beasts.

sources: Legendary Pictures@Sina; Hollywood Reporter

Fan Bingbing is still China’s biggest star

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Fan Bingbing tops the Forbes China Celebrity List for the second year in a row, which means I get to reuse the same photo as last year.

Riding on her foray into Hollywood, actress Fan Bingbing has retained her top-ranking position on the Forbes China Celebrity List. The list, which ranks the top 100 Chinese celebrities based on media exposure and income, sees more Mainland stars this year than ever before, with 60 (or so) of the listees basing their careers in Mainland China. Aside from a handful of actors, however, the biggest A-listers were overwhelming from Hong Kong or Taiwan, with 14 of the top 20 hailing from either of the two islands.

According to Forbes, Fan raked in nearly $20 million last year, putting her on par with Jennifer Aniston and Kanye West. The celebrity with the deepest pockets, Jay Chou, banked $25 million, around the same as Ben Affleck or Buffy creator and Avengers director Joss Whedon.
Despite the success of China’s biggest stars (this year’s top 10 took home $20 million more than last year’s), the overall earnings of the Celebrity 100 decreased for a second consecutive year, accumulating $65 million less wealth than the year before. However, the celebrities still managed to bring home more than half a billion dollars between them.

Actors and actresses made up the bulk of the list, accounting for 72 of the celebrities. It is common for celebrities to both sing and act in the Chinese entertainment industry, however, and several were identified as both.
Of the 29 singers and musical groups on the list, only six were from Mainland China. Of those six, five were involved in reality television singing competitions, with the exception of Hong Kong-launched Faye Wong.
Mainland Pianists Lang Lang and Li Yundi maintained their presence on the list, with Li (ranked 56) overtaking Lang Lang (57) for the first time.

New entrants to the list include Tiny Times author Guo Jingming who debuted at 27, model Zhang Liang of Where Are We Going, Dad? fame, and I Am A Singer runner-up G.E.M and Taiwanese actor Kai Ko just sneaking onto the list at 91 and 97 respectively.

Meanwhile, notable dropouts include Taiwanese film director Ang Lee (previously ranked 29), Hong Kong funnyman Stephen Chow (24), Jet Li (41), Nobel laureate Mo Yan (16), Olympic gold medalist Sun Yang (31), former Super Junior member Han Geng (87), and Super Girls Chris Li (15) and Jane Zhang (45).

Rank Name   Income (million RMB) Income (million USD) Income rank
1 Fan Bingbing 范冰冰 122 19.5 4
2 Andy Lau 刘德华 89 14.2 5
3 Jay Chou 周杰伦 156.5 25.0 1
4 Huang Xiaoming 黄晓明 66.5 10.6 10
5 Zhang Ziyi 章子怡 56 9.0 14
6 Yang Mi 杨幂 52 8.3 18
7 Lin Chi-ling 林志玲 60 9.6 13
8 Li Na 李娜 141.5 22.6 2
9 Nicky Wu 吴奇隆 67 10.7 9
10 Jackie Chan 成龙 54 8.6 17

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Register for The Voice of China auditions (the real one, not the fake ones)

Bye bye, Harlem. We won't miss your sleeveless tees. Oh, those sleeveless tees...

Bye bye, Harlem. We won’t miss your sleeveless tees. Oh, those sleeveless tees…

There have been reports of fake Voice of China auditions taking place in parts of Northeast China, where hopeful singers were charged a fee to perform before a panel of equally fake “producers.” The scam was apparently incredibly realistic, with official Voice of China and sponsorship logos adorning the set and promotional materials, and even a replica of the iconic “V” hand statue. The real producers of the show issued a reminder that Voice of China auditions are always free to enter.

Already registered for The Voice of China 2014 auditions? No? Well, why not?
Online registrations for the upcoming Voice of China season opened earlier this month. If your excuse for not signing up is that you were too busy waiting for the I Am A Singer finale, but were so disappointed by its execution that you lost faith in reality singing contests altogether… then you’re excused. For everyone else, get your applications in. More details below.

The third season of the top-rated singing show is scouring for new mentors after the departure of Harlem Yu. Hong Kong megastar Andy Lau reportedly declined the RMB30 million (US$4.8 million) offer to fill the swivel chair, citing scheduling conflicts with filming Huayi Brothers’ next movie, Lost and Lonely 失孤. Wang Leehom, with concerts, film promotions and an album release later this year, also turned down the role. Rumours now suggest Taiwanese industry veteran Jonathan Lee is in talks to replace Harlem.

Need motivation to audition for The Voice? Yao Beina, second-season contestant and “Let It Go” singer, commands appearance fees in the seven-figures (RMB1,000,000 = US$160,000). And she didn’t even make it into the finals, so how about that. If you want to be the next her, here’s what you have to do: Continue reading

Theme song released for upcoming movie The Switch

There is a room of glowing blue fetuses in this film. We can safely argue that it will be somewhat interesting.

(jjss08: Credit for the following belongs to idarklight. This was from a post she did on the movie on the dramaddicts site, and was too well-written for me to ignore). One of the Ten Famous Chinese Paintings,  Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains also has symbolic value, although the advertising seems to avoid the political significance of the film.  It was burnt into two pieces in 1650. In the 1950′s, one of the pieces was taken to Taiwan, where it remains in the National Palace Museum in Taipei. The other piece is currently in Hangzhou.  In 2010, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao used the painting as a part of a response to a question on cross-strait trade relations by a Taiwanese reporter.

“In the Yuan Dynasty, there was a painter called Huang Gongwang. He painted a famous painting, Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains . Hundreds of years later, the painting passed down many hands, but now I know that half is in the Hangzhou museum and part is in Taipei’s National Palace Museum. I hope that one day, the paintings could reunite to become one again. When even paintings are like this, what about people?” Wen said.

In 2011, with the help of Liu Changle, CEO of Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV, the two museums collaborated to unite the two pieces in Taipei for a special exhibit. Since then, Wen Jiabao has commented painting in both 2011 and 2012 in response to questions about Taiwan, each time with his signature poetic eloquence.

Look below the cut for gorgeousness from Lin Chiling, Tong Dawei, Zhang Jingchu, and Andy Lau. 

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“Mei Ren Xin Ji” and “Di Ren Jie” Concept Art

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Let’s indulge in one of my favorite aspects of the movie/drama making process which is the concept art (the non-CG concept art). There is a simple beauty in the sketches of the characters. A few strokes of a pencil, and it becomes the first visualization of a full-fledged character. “Mei Ren Xin Ji”  (translates roughly to Calculating Beauties) which is a 50 million yuan drama production revolving around three shrewd women, the much coveted lead role played by Ruby Lin, and two secondary female leads played byWang Likun (Infernal Lovers) and Yang Mi (Chinese Paladin 3).

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TV and Film versions of Di Ren Jie in production

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Fu Dalong as Di Renjie in the upcoming TV adaptation

While I have to roll my eyes at how certain things in China get filmed in abundance around the same time (two versions of Hong Long Meng, countless Jing Yong) , I’ll give this some slack because Di Ren Jie has innumerable stories to base on, and new productions keep adding new material. Di Ren Jie was a high-level official during the Tang Dynasty, under Empress Wu Zetian, exiled at one point by her, and then recalled, a fact that the movie version takes off from. He is credited with advising during her ruthless reign, bringing the Tang dynasty order and efficiency, and has been through several later media adaptations portrayed as a crime-solver.

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Are you in Olympics withdrawal?

I think Jackie Chan is. He posted massive amounts of pictures on his blog about the good times he had as a volunteer for the Olympics, and the famous people he got to meet. Feast your eyes on this quartet you boyband lovers.

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These guys know no generation boundaries: L-R Emil Chau Jackie Chan Liu Huan and Andy Lau

But unlike most of us, Jackie doesn’t have to go cold turkey. He will be performing at the first concert event of any kind held at the Birds Nest, along with people who can actually sing/make music, including world famous pianist Li Yundi, old school Chinese singer Song Zuying, and Supergirl Li Yuchun. This is a show for charity.

Tickets will be tight probably since they’ve covered a broad range of fans from the classical to folk to pop to “other” (whatever Jackie Chan’s music would be called) , but don’t worry, if you can’t make the Birds Nest, you can still get tickets for the Musical Watercube Extravaganza.

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