Archive | February, 2010

WIN DEAR JOHN MOVIE HAMPERS

26 Feb

GIVE AWAY
WIN DEAR JOHN MOVIE HAMPERS
February 26, 2010
 
 

We are giving away 20 sets of Dear John movie hampers, courtesy of Golden Village.

Each set contains a pair of movie passes and a movie poster.

To win, call Infoline at 1900-9140801 and answer this simple question:

Who play the lead couple in Dear John?

1. Richard Gere and Diane Lane

2. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams

3. Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried

The contest closes on Sunday at midnight. Each call costs 20 cents.

WIN AGORA MOVIE HAMPERS

We are giving away five sets of Agora movie hampers, courtesy of Shaw Organisation.

Each set includes a pair of in-season passes and a movie poster.

To win, call Infoline at 1900-9140801 and answer this simple question:

Name the actress who plays Hypatia of Alexandria in the movie Agora.

1. Kate Winslet

2. Rachel Weisz

3. Milla Jovovich

The contest closes on Sunday at midnight. Each call costs 20cents.

WIN GOEMON MOVIE HAMPERS

We are giving away five sets of Goemon movie hampers, courtesy of Innoform Media and Cathay Keris Films.

Each set contains a pair of movie passes and a Goemon file.

To win, call Infoline at 1900-914 0801 and answer this simple question:

Goemon is based on Japan’s popular folk hero. What is his occupation?

1. Ninja bandit

2. Ninja warrior

3. Ninja assassin

The contest closes on Sunday at midnight. Each call costs 20 cents.
 

The NewPaper

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THE REAL OSCAR BATTLE

26 Feb

FIRST OSCAR
THE REAL OSCAR BATTLE
Just who will come out tops as Oscar host, Steve Martin or Alec Baldwin?
By Jason Johnson
February 26, 2010
 
 

For more than 20 years, the Academy Awards has been hosted by just one master of ceremonies.

Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, Ellen DeGeneres and Hugh Jackman have all given it a go.

One has to look back all the way to the 1987 Oscars, hosted by Chevy Chase, Goldie Hawn and Paul Hogan, to find a multiple-host ceremony.

This year, Steve Martin, 64, and Alec Baldwin, 51, who co-starred together in It’s Complicated, will be dual presenters.

The question is, with so much scrutiny put on Oscar hosts, who will emerge the most exalted MC?

JASON JOHNSON, who accepts his award on behalf of the world’s children, breaks it down.

AWARDS EXPERIENCE

When it comes to Oscar experience, Steve Martin comes out ahead by a wide margin.

Martin hosted the Oscars in 2001 and 2003, to generally good reviews.

A successful writer and stand-up comedian, Martin had no problem keeping the attendees and nominees in good spirits with lines like: ‘Eight hundred million people around the world are watching us and they’re thinking the same thing: We’re all gay.’

Baldwin has never hosted a major awards ceremony, but he did host the Elle Magazine Women In Hollywood event this past October, where he brought the house down by joking about Julie Andrews sneaking into a men’s room with Robert Pattinson.

Baldwin also had the experience of actually being an Oscar nominee for The Cooler in 2004, an honour which has eluded Martin.

Even so: POINT, MARTIN.

COMEDY CHOPS

Martin has been one of the most respected comedians in Hollywood for more than three decades – yes, even after Cheaper By The Dozen, Bringing Down The House and The Pink Panther 2, he still commands respect.

An amazing feat.

From his classic slapstick appearances on Saturday Night Live (SNL) to his witty musings for The New Yorker magazine, Martin is funny no matter what the format.

Baldwin, formerly a very serious actor, has over the past several years developed into an outstanding comedian himself.

Like Martin, he has been an SNL favourite.

He has the power to elicit guffaws from talk show hosts like the hard-to-please David Letterman.

In TV shows and movies such as 30 Rock and It’s Complicated, he’s transformed from a handsome leading man into a lovable ursine doofus.

Hard one to call.

We’ll say TIE.

SONG AND DANCE

Billy Crystal, arguably the most successful Oscar host in history, was a song-and-dance man.

There’s no guarantee that Martin and Baldwin will be jazzing up the show with musical numbers, but here’s hoping.

For a funny man, Martin is surprisingly light on his feet, and has a real ear for melody.

A banjo enthusiast, Martin used music in his early comedy routines, as when he played the banjo classic Foggy Mountain Breakdown with a gag arrow through his head.

He also proved he can cut a rug in the weird little 1981 musical Pennies From Heaven.

As for Baldwin, not so much with the music stuff.

POINT, MARTIN.

HANDSOMENESS

Let’s face it, looking nice in a tux is a plus.

Jon Stewart came across as a sad little penguin during his Oscar stint in 2008, and the show paid the price in low ratings.

The supremely smart and stylish Hugh Jackman ‘handsomed’ things up last year, leading to a nice boost in viewership.

Though Martin isn’t an ugly guy by any means, he reeks of dork.

Baldwin, though getting on in years, still cleans up very well.

You can still see the ladykiller who starred in The Marrying Man and Prelude To A Kiss in his chubby face.

Let’s not forget that Baldwin was once married to bombshell Kim Basinger, which puts him in elite handsomeness territory.

POINT, BALDWIN.

AND THE AWARD FOR PROBABLE OSCAR HOST AWESOMENESS GOES TO…

Martin, whose experience and musical talent give him the edge over Baldwin and his pretty mug.
 

The NewPaper

WIN FROM PARIS WITH LOVE MOVIE TICKETS

26 Feb

GIVE AWAY
WIN FROM PARIS WITH LOVE MOVIE TICKETS
February 26, 2010
 
 

We are giving away 10 pairs of movie tickets to From Paris With Love, courtesy of Golden Village and MVP Entertainment

To win, call Infoline at 1900-9140801 and answer this simple question:

Name the director of From Paris With Love.

1. Pierre Morel

2. Luc Besson

3. John Travolta

The contest closes on Sunday at midnight. Each call costs 20 cents.
 

The NewPaper

THE ACCIDENTAL SPY

26 Feb

FIRST INTERVIEW
THE ACCIDENTAL SPY
February 26, 2010
 
 

Jonathan Rhys Meyers has come a long way from getting bit parts as assassins and gangsters to playing The King in the award-winning TV mini-series Elvis, as well as Henry VIII in The Tudors.

Now, the 33-year-old Irish actor explores the action genre in From Paris With Love, directed by Pierre Morel of District 13 and Taken fame, and produced by Luc Besson.

The action thriller, which opens here today, sees Meyers playing James Reese, a personal aide to the US ambassador in France who moonlights as a low-level CIA operative. Desperate for some real spy action, he readily agrees to be partner John Travolta’s special agent Charlie Wax. That’s when Reese learns the hard truth that a real-life spy is no James Bond.

What attracted you to From Paris With Love?

I wanted to work with Pierre Morel because I enjoyed Taken. I also wanted to work with John Travolta and Luc Besson.

I get to play a guy who has something kind of childish about him, though he’s very grown-up and a very responsible guy. But he has this idea of what being a spy is all about and it’s mainly stuff out of comic books.

That element makes him like a child in a sense, but then slowly he starts to realise that it’s not all James Bond cars, nice suits and covert operations. It’s very dirty, bloody, messy and disgusting. He is sort of living out his fantasy and the fantasy turns into a nightmare in front of him.

Were you excited to be making this action movie?

Yes, but it’s hard. When you’re making an action movie, the more enjoyable things are when you’re just doing acting scenes. And the reason is, action scenes look cool but are complicated, they are technically complicated to shoot. And there’s no flow, it’s all little bits, little vignettes and then you cut it together to make it look cool. But it’s not cool to shoot, it just takes time.

What’s your approach to a character like Reese?

I have a backstory for him in my head, what this kid could have been like, growing up, high school, night school, all these things. He’s not somebody who went to Harvard. He is someone who has to wear a facade a lot. But he’s not a character who’s burdened by complexities. Reese has a heart, he is a hopeful guy. He wants to think the best of people.

Reese is mesmerised by Wax. Was it the same for you working with John Travolta?

I wouldn’t say I was mesmerised but I’m so fond of him. We’ve had the greatest time together because he is a really genuine guy, generous and warm.

He has been in movies a long time, so he’s got a lot of great stories and a lot of experience. He is an icon of his time.

When Reese sees Wax, he’s mesmerised because it’s not what he expected. What he expected was somebody who’s neat and proper, and dressed in suits. What he gets is somebody who looks like he’s from a biker club in Florida. Wax wears loud jewellery and has a very intense, very big American personality. So Reese is shocked by meeting the opposite of what he thought he was going to be, he had a preconception in his head.

I had no preconception about John, but I just had a great time with him.

Would you say they develop a buddy relationship?

It’s a certain type of buddy relationship because it’s like a mentor-student buddy relationship.

I have to go through a lot of really dorky stuff, ethical issues, and Reese is far more ethical than Wax.

So it’s a buddy movie where there are people who have different ideals and you’re allowed to have different ideals, yet have the same goal that you’re going towards.

Could you tell us more about your female partner Kasia Smutniak, who plays Caroline?

Kasia is just great, a wonderful girl. She is Polish, which I like because I’m Irish and there’s a weird similarity there.

She’s an exceptional actress. You very rarely get an ex-model who really knows how to act. I don’t know why, maybe because for years they have to focus on the appearance, but she actually has chops as an actor.

I just thought the world of her. She was a lot of fun to work with. I think people are really going to like her in the movie.

How would you describe Pierre Morel?

I love Pierre. I think he’s nuts in all the right ways. He is a great technician, a great operator. He’s an easy-going guy, he works very, very hard, and he’s got a lot of energy, he’s very high energy. He’s smart too. I find myself very at ease with Pierre. He’s a cool guy and he’s a really good director.
 

The NewPaper

HOT OILY SUMMER

26 Feb

FIRST ASIAN
HOT OILY SUMMER
By Kwok Kar Peng
February 26, 2010
 
 

Onscreen, it was supposed to be the hottest summer in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shenzhen.

Temperatures soared to a sweltering 45 deg Celsius.

Off-screen, the cast for the movie Hot Summer Days had to look even hotter.

Babes like Vivian Hsu, Rene Liu and Barbie Hsu didn’t just have water sprayed on them to make them look like they were perspiring, they also had olive massage oil rubbed on their bodies.

The result: Glistening skin dripping with beads of perspiration.

5 love stories

The movie is, after all, co-directed by Wing Shya, one of Hong Kong’s top fashion, film and art photographers.

Hot Summer Days, made up of five different love stories, is co-directed by Tony Chan.

Vivian’s story takes place mostly in a sushi bar. Daniel Wu, who plays an uptight sushi chef, spurns Vivian’s character Wasabi as he feels he’s not good enough for her.

Rene and Jacky Cheung provide the laughs, playing a pair of blue-collared strangers who become acquainted serendipitously after he accidentally sends an SMS to her.

Angelababy and Jing Boran star in a heartwarming story of a village boy who braves 100 days under the heat to win the hand of the village belle.

Adding a sombre note to the movie is Barbie Hsu and Nicholas Tse’s relationship, which ends prematurely due to an illness.

The last story has Chinese actor Duan Yihong starring as a famous photographer who loses his eyesight suddenly. His assistant, played by Fu Xinbo, stays by his side as they try to find the model who has cursed him.

The movie opens here today.

While art mimics life, life isn’t always as pretty or glamorous as art.

Angelababy, a rising Hong Kong model-actress, told FiRST that she felt like an ‘oily chicken wing getting fried under the hot summer sun’ every day during filming.

‘It was also very dusty and I felt like a chicken wing sprinkled with pepper,’ the 20-year-old, said laughing.

She also had pimples breaking out on her face and body.

Taiwanese actress-host Barbie, 33, told us she felt like a suckling pig being roasted.

‘The crew would take a brush to smear me with oil and I’d spin around for them. It was very uncomfortable,’ she said.

The directors had ordered every inch of the cast members’ skins to be oiled.

Barbie said: ‘I felt hot, itchy and oily. Everywhere I sat, I left oil stains.

‘I could also hear groans of discomfort from the cast. The guys had it worse. They were perspiring and it was really disgusting to mix sweat with oil.’

Taiwanese actress-singer Rene, 40, said she perspired so much that she didn’t need to have a lot of oil smeared on her.

‘I wore a wig for the movie and we filmed during summer. It was like wearing a hairy hat. I perspired so much that the directors even asked me to wipe my sweat away,’ she said.

Vivian, 34, said the oil used was very expensive and of a very high grade.

She said: ‘Actresses usually have to use a lot of powder on our faces to reduce sheen but all of us went almost without make-up in this movie. So our skin was very moisturised with the oil.

‘But because we were so nourished and moisturised, my skin broke out in pimples after filming. I haven’t had pimples for a long time.’

Vivian also had to take care not to smear her branded sponsored clothes with oil during filming.

Her character Wasabi is decked out in Christian Dior and Ports International outfits, while Louis Vuitton and Christian Louboutin sponsored her stilettos.

Louis Vuitton also allowed the movie’s costume designer to pick limited edition handbags launched over the past decade so that Wasabi could have matching accessories.

Vivian naturally felt pressured not to dirty the items.

‘Once the director yelled ‘cut’, I spread my legs and arms out rigidly so the oil wouldn’t smear onto the outfits. It was terrible,’ she said.

But there were scenes which the Taiwanese actress-singer enjoyed thoroughly, such as her kissing scene with Daniel Wu, she said.

Vivian had told the media earlier that the hunky American-born Chinese actor was a great kisser.

She said she didn’t feel uncomfortable kissing him, nor did she want to push him away.

The couple did 20 takes for their smooching scene in a sushi bar owned by Daniel’s character Mr Soya Sauce.

The directors wanted a perfect scene.

So they filmed it from many different angles: A close-up, a half-body shot, from the top, from a wide angle zooming to a close-up, and even a 360-degree circular shot.

There were also technical NGs (no good takes) when the lighting wasn’t right.

Co-director Tony Chan said the scene took a full day to film.

‘We had time that day. Plus, it was quite fun watching them kiss,’ he said.

Another scene to look out for in the sushi bar is a cameo by veteran actress Maggie Cheung. This is her first Chinese movie in six years.

Other stars making guest appearances include Twins’ Charlene Choi, Grasshoppers’ Calvin Choy, Conroy Chan and Shawn Yue.

Maggie plays a woman who breaks down in the sushi bar after a tiff with her lover on the phone. She then shares her own experiences with Mr Soya Sauce.

While the role was created beforehand, the dialogue was changed after Maggie had a round of discussions with the directors.

Tony said Maggie got involved in Hot Summer Days as a favour to the movie’s other director, Wing, who is her good friend.

She wasn’t paid for the role.

All she got was sushi and a chance to catch up with friends and former colleagues.

Tony said: ‘We respect her so we didn’t want to appear to be using her to promote the movie or make money, so we didn’t mention that she was in it while doing publicity earlier on.’

This is also why they didn’t invite her to the movie’s gala premiere in Hong Kong in early February, and possibly why she was credited only as ‘Miss Cheung’ at the end of the movie.

‘I felt hot, itchy and oily. Everywhere I sat, I left oil stains.’

Barbie Hsu

HE ENJOYED HER FOOT MASSAGE

HONG Kong’s God of Songs Jacky Cheung is a hard customer to please when it comes to massages.

But he has finally found the masseuse with the Midas touch – his Hot Summer Days co-star, Taiwanese singer-actress Rene Liu.

Jacky, 48, plays blue-collar worker Ah Wah who works hard to support his young daughter after his wife abandons them.

Nothing is beneath this man, even walking around simmering Hong Kong dressed as a giant blue ice cube, inviting thirsty pedestrians to sip cool drinks from his costume.

He was instantly endearing when FiRST met him in Hong Kong recently at the movie’s gala premiere.

Jacky chatted and laughed easily and even made Rene blush when he told reporters from China and Singapore what a talented and pretty artiste she is.

Foot reflexology

‘I most enjoyed the scene where she massaged my feet. She isn’t just an actress, she’s really superb at foot reflexology,’ he said.

Rene plays Li Yan, a down-and-out pianist who ends up as a foot reflexologist to earn her keep.

The two strangers ‘meet’ when Hong Konger Ah Wah accidentally sends an SMS to Li Yan, who lives in Shenzhen.

So good is Rene at foot reflexology that she was able to tell the ailments Jacky was suffering from just by massaging his feet.

Said Jacky: ‘Something bad always happens after I get a massage, except for the time with Rene. I wasn’t able to move my body once after a massage following a concert.’

Rene also had nothing but praise for her co-star, saying: ‘I only need three minutes to know if someone is truly a good man or trained to be one. He’s the former.’

Before Jacky was hurried away by his publicist, a reporter asked him to critique Maggie Cheung’s cameo in Hot Summer Days.

Taken aback, he replied good-

humouredly: ‘I’m an amateur actor, she’s a best actress winner many times over. It’s hard to critique her.

‘Get her to sing and I’ll comment on her performance okay?’
 

The NewPaper

HK Singer Gigi Leung's Family Disapprove Of Her Beau

26 Feb

HONG KONG : Hong Kong singer-actress Gigi Leung has been dating her French boyfriend for over three years but he still has not met her family as they do not approve of him.

“My family is conservative, they could not accept my relationship with my foreign boyfriend right from the beginning, though they all respect my decision,” Leung told reporters at a store-opening of a fashion label on Wednesday.

Leung admitted that her boyfriend was perturbed by her family’s refusal to accept him.

However, the 34-year-old singer said that she would “let nature take its course” and “not rush things”. She also pointed out that they are “not considering marriage yet”.

Last year, Hong Kong media reported that the songbird was seeing a media-shy 40-year-old Frenchman, a furniture designer known only as Sly. Prior to that, Leung dated Hong Kong actor-singer Ekin Cheng for six years before splitting in 2006.

Leung’s boyfriend was not the only thing on her mind. She is working hard and saving up as she hopes to be able to buy a house as a gift to her family this year.

“I live in Central while my family lives in Sai Kung. I want them to move to somewhere near my home so we can see each other more often,” said Leung, adding that she had no specific budget and wanted to find a place her family likes.

Leung added that she is currently in the midst of preparing for her next Cantonese album but would still visit her family whenever she has time.

“I don’t know when I will need to fly off. When I travel, I might be gone for a whole month and will really miss my family,” she said.

– CNA/ha

Channel News Asia

Bintang Idola Kecil TV9 Dalam Misteri Rumah Tua

25 Feb

SELEPAS selesai mengikuti program realiti hiburan kanak-kanak Idola Kecil 2, kini mereka memanjangkan lagi bakat nyanyian mereka kepada lakonan menerusi drama bersiri Idola Kecil Misteri Rumah Tua.

Drama bersiri ini akan dibintangi peserta Idola Kecil 2 seperti Dayana (Siti Amirah Dayana Mohd Amerullah), Azzam (Muhammad Azzammuddin Lop Hisham), Arill (Muhamad Fhazrill Fesol), Maulud (Mohd Farid Mohd Azmi), Ain (Zur’Ain Abd Rahim), Fienaz (Syafienaz Shari), Tasha (Nurul Natasha Jaffri), Nurul (Nurul Ain Sollehah), Jiha (Noranajihah Yunus) dan Sam (Khor Sam).

Misteri Rumah Tua sudah memulakan penggambarannya di sekitar Hulu Pangsun, Hulu Selangor sepanjang cuti sekolah sempena sambutan Hari Raya Cina lalu.

Drama bersiri yang merangkumi tiga episod ini akan disiarkan di TV9 pada cuti sekolah iaitu 15, 16 dan 17 Mac ini jam 7 malam.

Peserta Idola Kecil 2 ini juga akan bergandingan dengan pelakon berpengalaman seperti Illya (Senario) yang melakonkan watak sebagai bapa tiri Dayana dan Arill serta Fizz Fairuz sebagai bapa kepada Azzam. Kisah ini bermula apabila Azzam yang baru kematian ibu sentiasa mengalami mimpi ngeri yang penuh misteri di mana di dalam mimpi itu Azzam sering bertemu dengan seorang kanak-kanak perempuan berpakaian gaun putih.

Kanak-kanak itu yang dilakonkan oleh Dayana seolah-olah mengajak Azzam ke suatu tempat seperti ingin menunjukkan sesuatu. Azzam menceritakan mimpi ngerinya kepada bapanya tetapi atas nasihat doktor, bapanya membawa Azzam pulang berehat di kampung kerana menyangka Azzam berada di dalam keadaan trauma kerana kematian ibu kesayangan.

Azzam ingin membuktikan bahawa itu semua tidak benar. Ketika pulang ke kampung, dia melihat sebuah rumah usang yang sering muncul di dalam mimpinya. Azzam dengan bantuan sepupu dan rakan-rakan, nekad untuk menyiasat rumah misteri yang sentiasa muncul di dalam mimpinya. Apabila tiba di rumah itu mereka dapati rumah itu didiami oleh seorang lelaki yang tidak pernah bercampur dengan jiran tetangganya.

Sikap ingin tahu Azzam berlipat ganda apabila dia melihat kelibat seorang budak perempuan di hadapan rumah itu yang seakan-akan budak di dalam mimpinya. Misteri mimpinya bertambah apabila budak perempuan di dalam mimpinya itu menangis dan meminta Azzam menyelamatkannya. Dengan ditemani sepupunya, Azzam berjaya memasuki rumah itu dan bertemu dengan Arill, seorang budak lelaki yang kurus yang diikat dan dikurung.

Segala teka-teki terjawab apabila Arill memberitahu ayah tirinya (Illya Senario) yang mengalami sakit jiwa mendera dia dan kakaknya, Dayana, setelah kematian ibu mereka. Situasi menjadi semakin cemas apabila lelaki kurang siuman itu menangkap dan turut mengurung Azzam di dalam rumah itu. Apakah kesudahan drama menarik ini? Sampai bilakah roh Dayana akan terus menghantui Azzam.

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