Archive for the Li Bingbing 李冰冰 Category

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan 《雪花秘扇》- Film Review (3 out 10) [Film Business Asia / Sweet and Sour Cinema]

Posted in China, Corporate Media Critique, Li Bingbing 李冰冰, Shanghai, Sweet & Sour Cinema on August 24, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Wendi Deng Murdoch’s first outing as film producer has flopped in the US, earning only $1 million on a reported $5 million production — maybe the timing of the release during the height of the Murdoch phone-hacking scandal wasn’t so synergistic. Will the nepotistic wife and clumsy bodyguard of evil media mogul Rupert Murdoch fail in her film production endeavors as MySpace did in China while she was on its executive board? Her (grossly-named) “BigFeet Productions” initial offering gets off on a bad foot, between the neoconservative Murdoch media empire’s current miasma of corruption tainting every Murdoch and Mrs. Murdoch’s questionable partner in the production company, wife of Henry Sloan (former CEO of bankrupt MGM studios). Perpetually overrated director Wayne Wang is justly called out on his mediocrity in this review. Film star Li Bingbing lost face in my opinion promoting this film with fashion mag shoots clinging to Mrs. Murdoch — given the timing, it was her lowest PR point since palling around with war-criminal-at-large Tony Blair at a Chinese charity event. S. Korean co-star Gianna Jun has never made a good film; whoever thought it was a good idea for her to be acting in dual unfamiliar tongues, English and Chinese? — Zuo Shou

By Derek Elley

25 July 2011

* Excerpted *

Fortune-cookie chinoiserie undercuts the novel’s plus points…

Now 62, Hong Kong-born, US-based Wayne WANG (王穎), who’s forged the best part of a career peddling Chinese cultural cliches to western audiences, hits close to rock bottom in Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (雪花秘扇)…The original 2005 novel by American writer Lisa SEE (herself one-eighth Chinese) is a cut above most of the Asian feminist-miserabilist canon by overseas Chinese writers that’s found a market in the West… But where the novel was entirely set in the past as a reminiscence by one of the characters in old age, Wang has insisted on a contemporary parallel story that disrupts the emotional flow and raises all sorts of extra problems.

The 19th-century story…is interwoven with a modern tale…that tries to create a way less believable friendship set in modern Shanghai featuring Snow Flower’s great-great-granddaughter. The problem is that there’s no convincing parallel between a deep friendship that was a formalised product of 19th-century social restrictions and one set in the 21st century which has none of those restrictions…

What the audience is left with are…acres of chinoiserie (picture-postcard Old China) and contemporary cliches (buildings being demolished in modern Shanghai, trendy nightclubs, etc.). What’s missing is any genuine emotion to ride above the cliches, especially with dialogue that’s as phoney as the snow in the Taiping Rebellion sequence.

One of China’s finest young actresses, LI Bingbing 李冰冰 gives her character the best possible shot in the circumstances, though her delivery in English-language scenes is stilted. Mouthing Mandarin but revoiced, South Korea’s Gianna JUN 전지현 (aka Jeon Ji-hyeon) is even more shackled by acting in two languages she’s not comfortable in, and lacks Li’s technique to rise above these obstacles. More importantly, the actresses have no special screen chemistry to convince the audience of their deep friendship…

…The film is the first production by Los Angeles-based BigFeet Productions, founded by Shandong-born Wendi DENG MURDOCH (鄧文迪), wife of Rupert Murdoch, and Kuala Lumpur-born Florence LOW SLOAN, wife of former MGM chairman/CEO Harry Sloan, and is partly funded by Beijing-based Sky Land Entertainment, set up to bankroll crossover projects for both Chinese and US audiences.

Full article link:


“Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame” – Sweet & Sour Cinema’s exclusive review [Sweet & Sour Cinema]

Posted in Andy Lau 刘德华, Jet Li 李连杰, Li Bingbing 李冰冰, Sweet & Sour Cinema exclusive flim review, Tsui Hark 徐克 on November 7, 2010 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Zuo Shou 左手

November 7, 2010

Andy Lau as Detective Dee and Li Bingbing in "Detective Dee & the Mystery of the Phantom Flame" (Photo: Film Business Asia)

Tsui Hark, the Hong Kong “New Wave” action auteur of the Film Workshop studio who’d been in a decline for at least a decade, finally stages his comeback with the intriguing “Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame”, which proved to be the most popular film release on the Chinese mainland during the competitive 2010 October 1 “National Day” holiday period.

The good news is that with “Detective Dee” Hark approaches, while not perhaps fully reclaiming, the heights of his own ’80s-’90s peak when he was producing and directing classic Hong Kong action films that repeatedly set new standards for the genre, especially that of wuxia.

It also seems like with “Detective Dee” he’s finally been provided with the production resources to realize his protean, inimitably Asian imagination.  While Hong Kong action/fantasy buffs have long been enchanted by his creative visions, a constant hindrance to more universal success was the obvious limits in his production’s quality set by a mix of small budgets, Hark’s own prolificness and typical on-the-fly directorial style.  Here everything looks as it should for audiences used to glossy CGI surfaces, with the only nitpick being some video/digital fuzziness in the outlines of some spinning figures in action scenes.

The plot involves the presumptive Empress Wu Zetian [Carina Lau], a historical character here presiding over a fantastical Tang dynasty who frees the titular political prisoner and problem-fixer Dee [Andy Lau] and restores a previous stripped judicial rank (“Imperial Commissioner”) to help her solve the case of some spontaneous human combustions in her court.  The deaths seem linked to the construction of a skyscraper-high statue of the monarch herself in female Buddha (Guanyin) guise, the completion of which is being rushed to coordinate with her official assumption of the Imperial Throne and which seems to be creating a lot of stress among both the court and many subjects unhappy with the Empress’ somewhat dubious claim to supreme authority.  Indeed, Detective Dee has his own issues with her; it was his opposition to the Empress years ago that resulted in his being stripped of office and imprisoned…

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Camera Begins Rolling on ‘The 1911 Revolution’ [ / Sweet & Sour Cinema]

Posted in Jackie Chan 成龙, Li Bingbing 李冰冰, Liaoning Province, Sweet & Sour Cinema on October 13, 2010 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Jackie Chan, Li Bingbing and Winston Chao celebrate as the movie "The 1911 Revolution" started filming in Fuxin City of northeast China's Liaoning Province on Wednesday, September 29, 2010. (Photo: CFP)

Movie stars Jackie Chan and Li Bingbing, who are co-producing the all-star film “The 1911 Revolution” (“Xinhai Geming”), celebrated as the movie started filming in Fuxin City of northeast China’s Liaoning Province on Wednesday (September 29).

Also in attendance were director Zhang Li and actor Winston Chao, who plays Dr. Sun Yat-Sen (Sun Zhongshan) in the historical film.

“The 1911 Revolution” is an artistic chronicle of the Xinhai Revolution that began in the year 1911 and eventually brought an end to China’s last feudal dynasty.

Major scenes will take place on a set built inside the National Mine Park in Fuxin.  Once Asia’s largest open pit coal mine, the site was picked as a guarantee that no modern buildings would be included in the shots, according to the film’s producers.

Article link with several more stills here

Final trailer of “Detective Dee” released (with English subs), plus review / 《狄仁杰之通天帝国》最后的预告 [ / Sweet & Sour Cinema]

Posted in Andy Lau 刘德华, Li Bingbing 李冰冰, Sweet & Sour Cinema, Tsui Hark 徐克, 李冰冰 on October 3, 2010 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Trailer link here; you will need to click on the small movie camera “Video” icon in the center of the linked page to view the trailer.

From the site:

“Director Tsui Hark’s latest work, “Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame”, is slated for public [Chinese mainland] release on September 29…
 A final trailer of the movie has been released by its producer, Huayi Brothers.

The final trailer reveals more information about the five lead characters. According to a survey by a consultation company in Beijing, the suspense film is the most anticipated film release during the [first week of October] National Day holiday period.  They interviewed 1,664 audience members from the cinemas nationwide for the survey.”

The literal English translation of the film’s title is “Imperial Commissioner Di Ren-jie”.
The film is given a rating of “7 out of 10” in a review in Film Business Asia, a “Variety”-type of media outlet.  The review accords with my own opinions, which were formed from viewing several of the film’s trailers.  Public scoring is also hovering around 7 out of 10 on the Chinese film website – Zuo Shou / 左手

Jackie Chan, Li Bingbing to Play Couple in New Film [ / Sweet & Sour Cinema]

Posted in Jackie Chan 成龙, Li Bingbing 李冰冰, Sweet & Sour Cinema on September 2, 2010 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Jackie Chan and Li Bingbing (Photo:

August 30, 2010

Jackie Chan and Li Bingbing will play a couple in the upcoming historical film “The 1911 Revolution” (“Xin Hai Ge Ming”), reports.

Chan will play revolutionary pioneer Huang Xing, while Li will play his wife, Xu Zonghan.

It will be the second time Chan and Li have worked together following “The Forbidden Kingdom” (“Gong Fu Zhi Wang”) in 2008.

Chan is also directing the new film as well as co-producing it with Li.

Shooting is expected to finish by September 2011, in time for the 100th anniversary of the 1911 Revolution the following month.

The film is expected to feature a stellar cast of up to 70 star actors, several of whom are already confirmed, including Winston Chao, Sun Chun and Jackie Chan’s son, Jaycee Chan.

Article link here