MC Jin takes it step by step.

I am up such a major shit creek without a paddle right now, but leave it to Jin to make things better, if only for 12 seconds. I'd put this video up there with his TVB anniversary rap and his Moonlight Resonance freestyle as Real Men of Genius moments.


歲月神偷 ('Echoes of the Rainbow') wins the Crystal Bear in Berlin.

Here's a movie I want to see...歲月神偷 (Echoes of the Rainbow). It just won the Crystal Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, an award that honors movies that pass on cultural heritage. This film stars Simon Yam and Sandra Ng as parents of two boys, one of whom likes to wear a fish bowl on his head, in 1960s Hong Kong. Despite hardships, the family perseveres, as such movies go. Nice to see something outside the triad/action/kung-fu genres getting recognition. There is hope!


Donnie Yen = 'The King in Bed'.

Just what the title says. (And I still think his 14 Blades body got some CGI assist.)


'14 Blades' (錦衣衛) trailer.

I can't say I'm eager to see this one, even if Donnie Yen can't seem to keep his shirt on. The movie appears to have no plot, judging from the trailer. I guess that's the norm these days. It is a Chinese New Year release after all. Anyway, it looks like a study in fancy headgear.

News for 2.5.10

  • Proof that you should read an article to the very end. I was not very taken with the blue rose until I saw that according to a Chinese folk tale, 'the blue rose signifies hope against unattainable love'. Not that this applies to me at the moment, film and television stars excepting.
  • Spy school. Before the current push for Mandarin education, the British were schooling recruits on a language they'd never heard spoken in a place they knew nothing about. Sounds familiar.
  • So many things that could have been studied, like the science of gun fights. In which case I might have interviewed Hong Kong filmmakers.
  • The Great Atlantic Television Debate continues thanks to The Daily Mail. Yes, I actually read it. They assert that American television trumps all (see Lost, Mad Men, Wire, Sopranos, West Wing...), but I really think they are neglecting simple business principles; you don't import duds. In the States, for every ER, there's a Three Rivers (apologies to Daniel Henney), every Office-like remake hit, a Life on Mars type failure. Easy as pie.
  • I won't be watching the Super Duper Bowl this weekend but will be cheering for Scott Fujita. Show your love for this outspoken progressive white dude adopted by a Japanese American father by supporting the Saints. And I can't believe my Rams-loving ass just said that.
  • In another bad case of just-discovering-itis, I finally stumbled upon this Johnny Weir character that everyone's been on about, at least in the skating world. I stumbled upon a zexy photo of him in only leggings and a pair of killer stilettos and thought I owed it to his fashion sense to check out his skating. His Poker Face exhibition routine. Purr.

'Gen X Cops' trailer.

Some things defy commentary, and the English Gen X Cops trailer is one of them. As Lady Gaga puts it, "Oh boy, you've left me speechless. You've left me speechless, so speechless."


IronKey or 'Iron Monkey'?

This is frustrating. One of my daily websites continues flashing ads for something called 'Iron Key'. Of course my Donnie Yen-saturated mind keeps seeing 'Iron Monkey'. If only actual Iron Monkey ads popped up instead of plugs for 'the world's most secure flash drive'. One of these things will make me feel safe and you don't stick him in a computer.


2010 Hong Kong Film Critics Society winners and Oscar nominations.

Results for the 16th Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards came in a couple weeks ago. There were a few interesting winners that infused some light into the dying Hong Kong cinematic fire. Best Picture went not to a shoot em up stuffed with stars but to KJ (音樂人生), a documentary about a local music prodigy. Meanwhile, Kara Hui (惠英紅), added another Best Actress trophy to her Golden Horse win for her performance as a distressed single mother in At the End of Daybreak (心魔). Mainland actor Wang Xueqi (王学圻) elbowed out all the other bodyguards and assassins, including Hu Jun, Tony Leung Ka-Fai, Leon Lai, Nic Tse, Eric Tsang, Simon Yam, and Donnie Yen, for the Best Actor prize in that movie (十月圍城). Of course it wouldn't be a proper Hong Kong film awards without some recognition for the star-laced hits that keep the industry afloat. Best Director went to Alan Mak and Felix Chong for the cops v financial industry thriller Overheard (竊聽風雲). Another Lau Ching-Wan film, Written By (再生號), took the top writing prize.

Shortlists include: Prince of Tears (淚王子); Tactical Unit - Comrades in Arms (機動部隊 - 同袍); McDull Kung Fu Ding Dong (麥兜粛噹噹); Michelle Ye; Zhang Jingchu (張靜初); Sammi Cheng; Ada Choi; Liu Kai-Chi (廖啟智); and Simon/Ching-Wan/Louis.

On the other side of the International Date Line, the Academy announced nominations for the 82nd annual awards. Entirely predictable in the categories that people care about, meaning that Avatar and The Hurt Locker cleaned up with nine nods a piece. Up in the Air grabbed the most acting nominations with 3 for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress(es). As usual, I have not seen most of the films but will be rooting for one of the 3 that I did see, In the Loop, which is up for Best Fucking Adapted Screenplay. Oscars drop March 7.

MC Jin's 'Big Boys Club' debuts.

Grandmaster Jin has some impressive credits to his name. After pounding the competition in 2001 on Freestyle Friday, a freestyling competition during BET's music video countdown show, he successfully dropped albums in English and Chinese, becoming insta-hero for every Asian American kid in town. His presence in the music scene invited all sorts of criticism though from folks who thought there was no place in hip hop for some Chinese dude. Clearly they didn't know who they were messing with because Jin has since gone on to conquer Hong Kong. I mean, you don't get your 5 foot mug on buses and billboards if you don't have the goods.

So, with now classic anthems like ABC (where he talks about learning Chinese from TVB...genius) and stints as a vocal campaigner for Barack Obama and Vita lemon tea, he got fans wondering about his next big move. Just how do you top off all that goodness? The answer is obvious - your very own TVB chat show. That's right, MC Jin, the guy who tore down challengers week after week on 106 and Park, is now co-hosting a show called Big Boys Club (兄弟幫). No joke. Just a couple guys shooting the shit with celebrity guests. Think The View in sneakers and with large tubs of popcorn. It's that awesome.

Alright, I jest. Given Jin's professed love for the network, a sincere congratulations for even landing on the station is in order. There are worse things than being an indentured TVB servant; you could be one to ATV. But let's be honest, Jin + fluffy white couches and silver pillows? He's already hurting for street cred. If the first show was any indication of what is to come - and I hope it is not - he can forget about facing down fellow MCs back home. Or he better pray that no one ever finds tape of him and his co-hosts waxing lyrical about body hair (lack thereof) and substances excreted while sleeping (again, lack thereof). I won't condemn the project based on one episode, and in fairness, the conversation did evolve. A cute anecdote about a love note gone awry and one not so cute story about spending a couple nights in jail capped off the day's topic - what makes a boy, um, big. Hopefully with that question out of the way, even if not fully answered, Jin and his buddies can move on to more innocuous slumber party topics that delight the Hong Kong male. Not sure what those might be, but that's why I'll be tuning in tomorrow.

No matter what the big boys are talking about though, as long as Jin keeps spitting fun rhymes about everyone's favorite tv channel, I'm a fan. Here, he and his friend, MC KT, break down a popular show about mooncakes. That's right, mooncakes. And it's a sequel to a show about abalone. Take that, Showtime.

Drake + Eminem + Lil Wayne @ 2010 Grammys.

So Taylor Swift digs these guys, huh (3'43")? Keep swaying to the beat, honey.