Wednesday, August 30, 2006

THE HOST goes digital

Warner Bros. is pleased to announce that THE HOST will be the first Korean film released locally on a digital print.

From September 7th, audiences can watch THE HOST in its full technical brilliance at five digital halls in Singapore - Orchard Cineleisure, Suntec, Jubilee, Toa Payoh and West Mall.

THE HOST – A critically-acclaimed success and box office hit, the film centres on a mutant monster that emerges from the Han River to wreak terror on unsuspecting park-goers.

The creature was created as a result of the collaboration between two accomplished and reputable special effects studios - The Orphanage (Superman Returns, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), and WETA (The Lord of the Rings trilogy).

The Orphanage has won rave reviews for their startling effects design and screen magic in blockbusters such as “The Day After Tomorrow” and “Sin City.”

WETA has won three Oscars in a row for its innovative and stunning special effects for The Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong. Creature effects in THE HOST are created to a high level of realism by WETA. WETA has constructed exceedingly detailed and realistic miniature models of the creature, which served as a cornerstone for the digital and optical effects that were added later. The result is so convincing that it has earned this positive comment – “The design of the creature itself speaks for it all, and its quality is at a level that any top quality VFX guru will acknowledge.”

Warner Bros. General Manager, Ng Peng Hui, says, “The CGI is one of the best we have seen in an Asian film and we feel that this digital release befits the spectacular technical achievement of THE HOST.”

Since its release on July 27th in Korea, THE HOST has been the Number #1 box office champion for five straight weeks. It has garnered an impressive 12,055,447 admissions, with more than USD 86,799, 218 at the Korean box office. This outstanding new record has surpassed the previous record of 11.7 million admissions held by TAEGUKGI in 2004. The all-time hit film in Korea is KING AND THE CLOWN with 12.3 million admissions. Still, it took 74 days for KING AND THE CLOWN to gather 12 million admissions, which THE HOST accomplished in less than half the time - 32 days.

Click to our THE HOST movie page

Updates on John Woo's Red Cliff

John Woo's "The Battle of Red Cliff" had just found a new partner for the joint production of this historic war epic. During the signing with their new partner Chinese Film Group, John Woo announced that Chow Yun Fat, Tony Leung Chiu Wai and Taiwanese supermodel Lin Chi Ling had signed on for this film. The rest of the cast will shape up after the script is completed.

"The Battle of the Red Cliff" recounts the decisive battle between the allied forces of the southern warlords (Liu Bei and Sun Quan), and the northern warlord Cao Cao, during the period of the Three Kingdoms.

For this war epic, John Woo is planning to set up six units to capture different scenes simultaneously and will be using 4 US-based effect companies for the special effects. The set will be located at Hebei Province and construction has already started. Film production will begin by March next year.

For more info and pictures, click to

Friday, August 18, 2006

Chai Lai Angels Singapore Gala

On the 17 August of 2006, three beautiful angels, Katesarin Akethavatkul, Supaksorn Chaimongkol and Bongkoj Kongmalai from Thailand descended to Great World City's Golden Village Grand for the Gala Premiere of their new film, Chai Lai Angels.

This film marks the start of the week long Sawadee Film Festival that is co-organized by Innoform Media and Golden Village. Golden Village CEO Kenneth Tan states that this is an important first time collaboration for Innoform Media and Golden Village to bring in more quality films from Thailand for the Singapore viewers, providing Singaporeans with a greater diversity of films to enjoy.

The lead actress of Chai Lai Angels, Bongkoj Kongmalai also agreed with Kenneth Tan and mentioned that Singapore is a ideal place to showcase Thailand movies as more Singaporeans are moving forth into supporting local and other Asian movies, and not just movies from Hollywood. Based on the reaction during and the film, it's safe to say that majority of the audience did enjoy the film and the actresses' performance.

Before the angels could leave, they were surrounded by flashing cameras and autograph seekers, which they gracefully posed and signed for their new fans. But before everyone got their fill, the angels were ushered off and just like that, the angels had ascended back to heaven.

Catch Chai Lai Angels at Golden Village from 24 August 2006 onwards.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Co-produced by Hong Kong’s Media Asia Films and China’s Huayi Brothers, the US$20m (HK$160m) epic “The Banquet” held its Asia-Pacific press conference in Hong Kong yesterday (Aug. 14). Director Feng Xiaogang led his stellar cast of Ge You, Zhou Xun, Daniel Wu and Huang Xiaoming to meet the press, but actress Ziyi Zhang was unfortunately absent due to filming commitments in the U.S. As this is the film’s first press conference in Hong Kong, it attracted numerous press representatives from Hong Kong, Macau, Shenzhen, Guangdong, Taiwan, and across Southeast Asia. The film is scheduled to open nationwide and throughout Asia in mid-September.

During the conference, director Feng Xiaogang praised the performance of every cast member in his film. He felt safe to have Ge You in this picture because he was a bankable actor with acceptable pay. He then brought down the house with laughter by noting that unlike in Hong Kong and Taiwan, it was tough to find a handsome actor in China, so Ge was the best he could find! The director confessed that he had had second doubts about casting Daniel Wu initially, lest his acting be incompatible with his Mainland co-stars. But after viewing the dailies, he was totally relieved. Feng then wished that Huang Xiaoming’s recent popularity in TV serials would contribute to the film’s success.

People often assume mega stars within the same picture will be at loggerheads when off-screen. But Feng assured everyone that it never happened in this film. The two female leads, Ziyi Zhang and Zhou Xun, became close friends after the film and went out for dinners and movies together. At the Cannes Film Festival, Zhang often took care of Zhou and walked side by side with her in front of the cameras, as Zhou was a lesser known actress internationally.

Zhou Xun has just won the Best Actress kudos at the Hong Kong Golden Bauhinia Awards on Aug. 13, but she was not able to receive the award in person as she had to complete shooting a commercial in Guangzhou. When director Feng and co-star Huang Xiaoming admired how she could garner three kudos within a year, Zhou smiled and noted that she had simply picked the right film. She also expressed gratitude towards the Hong Kong audience and industry professionals for their recognition of her work. When asked if she would request a pay raise, the actress noted that money was not vital, and it was up to her company to decide. When asked which award she would like to get next, Zhou quoted Chinese athlete and world record holder Liu Xiang: “Diligence is a necessity, but it also depends on timing, people, and luck.” She felt all these elements contributed to her win, yet she was more aspired to playing a great role.

Renowned for his comedies, director Feng Xiaogang felt that making “The Banquet” was actually easier because it was not as exhausting. He had paid especial attention to the script this time, since most audience turned away from major productions because of inferior stories.

Actor Ge You thanked the director for his praises, adding that these were Feng’s friendly but truthful comments. Although this was the first collaboration between Ge and Ziyi Zhang, he found her performance had reached a higher level than in her previous works. There was an intimate scene where Ge had to massage oil on Zhang’s naked back. When asked how he felt, Ge laughed and confessed that he felt nothing because it’s plain acting. Some noted that Zhang used a body double for this scene, and Ge admitted it to be true because the scene required the actress to lie down for a long period of time, but the massaging hands were definitely his very own. He then stated that it was a normal practice to employ body doubles in films, and audience often could not tell the difference. So it would be better if the general public knew less about the movie magic, or it would simply spoil the fun for them. Ge is famous for his aerophobia, so he had to take a 25-hour train ride to Hong Kong for this press event. But he will have no choice when he heads to the Venice Film Festival later.

“The Banquet” is one of the most extravagant historical epics in Chinese cinema, and it will open nationwide and across Southeast Asia in mid-September and is officially selected for the Venice Film Festival. The Hong Kong gala premiere that is scheduled on Sept. 12 will be sponsored by Christian Dior. The event will open with a star-studded charity banquet to match the night’s theme, complemented by a fashion show and a charity auction on behalf of the HKU Spinal Cord Injury Fund. One of the featuring auction items will be an enormous fan-shaped poster with the five main cast members in costumes along with their autographs. It will definitely be an invaluable collector’s item. Media Asia Films will also organize a pan-Asian props and costume exhibition beginning Aug. 17, and will tour Taipei, Singapore, and Hong Kong during this month.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Ai YO YO, our favourite Teacher is back!

Innoform Media is proud to present their latest movie "Sorry, Teacher "with veteran Media Corp actress Chen Liping, and especially so to a hall full of Kong Hwa Primary School students last friday, 11 August 2006. Chen Liping's bubbly personality as the kind hearted teacher whose trademark use of "aiyoyo" has since etched her mark in the minds of many local television serial viewers, and now she is back in yet another teacher-student movie.

In "Sorry, Teacher", Chen Liping's character, Chen WanZhen, faces life-threatening brain cancer and as a compassionate teacher who often goes beyond the call of duty, she delays her much required operation in order to help the worst primary 6 class in the cohort with their studies. This film goes on to explore the different sets of problems that 5 kids from that class have and how Chen WanZhen attempts to help each one overcome those problems throughout her biggest life crisis.

As proclaimed by the MC, who hosted the show, tears are bound to flow since most of the cast of the show did well enough to tingle those tear ducts of most viewers. It also effectively presents the lack of communication between students and teacher, amongst friends and even children-parents paradigm that echos the likes of I Not Stupid 2.

Judging from the responds of the children in the hall, "Sorry, Teacher "look set to be very popular with the auidence whom the movie is targeting as the children responded to most of the humourous scenes with collective laughter and collective gasps during the climatic ones. With many teacher-student series and movies under her belt, "Sorry, Teacher" look set to help cement Chen Liping's repuation as one of the most popular and well-loved actresses to play the teacher role in Singapore.

"Sorry, Teacher" Dvd and Vcd is out in stores now.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Batman goes "Brokeback"


From Warner Bros. News:

As a follow up to last year’s blockbuster Batman Begins, Christopher Nolan is set to direct Warner Bros. Pictures’ The Dark Knight, written by Jonathan Nolan, based on a story by Christopher Nolan and David Goyer. The film will be produced by Emma Thomas, Charles Roven and Christopher Nolan. Additionally, Christian Bale will resume his role as Bruce Wayne and Academy Award nominee Heath Ledger has been cast as The Joker. The announcements were made today by Jeff Robinov, President of Production, Warner Bros. Pictures.

Christopher Nolan revamped the Batman franchise in 2005 with the immensely successful Batman Begins, starring Christian Bale in the title role, which chronicled the early years of the superhero. Nolan first garnered attention from critics and fans in 2000 with the groundbreaking drama Memento, which he wrote and directed. He went on to direct the thriller Insomnia, starring Al Pacino and Robin Williams, and recently wrapped production on The Prestige, with Hugh Jackman and Bale.

Bale was most recently seen in the ensemble cast of Terrence Malick’s The New World. His other credits include Little Women, Portrait of a Lady, Metroland, American Psycho, Laurel Canyon and Steven Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun, which was his first starring role.

Ledger most recently earned Oscar, Golden Globe, BAFTA and SAG Award nominations and won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Ennis Del Mar in the award-winning drama Brokeback Mountain. His other credits include Casanova, Monster’s Ball, Lords of Dogtown, The Brothers Grimm and The Patriot.

“Chris’ unique vision is what made Batman Begins such an outstanding film and we could not imagine anyone else at the helm of The Dark Knight,” said Robinov. “We also can’t wait to see two such formidable actors as Christian and Heath face off with each other as Batman and The Joker.”

“I'm excited to continue the story we started with Batman Begins,” added Nolan. “Our challenge in casting The Joker was to find an actor who is not just extraordinarily talented but fearless. Watching Heath Ledger's interpretation of this iconic character taking on Christian Bale’s Batman is going to be incredible.”

Production is set to begin on The Dark Knight in early 2007.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


The trailer for the Hollywood remake of Infernal Affairs – THE DEPARTED is now online.;_ylt=An2P2fGVeSB_X5iQQKht6rVfVXcA

Directed by Martin Scorsese and stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen and Alec Baldwin.

The Departed is set in South Boston, where the state police force is waging war on organized crime. Young undercover cop Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) is assigned to infiltrate the mob syndicate run by gangland chief Costello (Jack Nicholson). While Billy is quickly gaining Costello’s confidence, Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon), a hardened young criminal who has infiltrated the police department as an informer for the syndicate, is rising to a position of power in the Special Investigation Unit. Each man becomes deeply consumed by his double life, gathering information about the plans and counter-plans of the operations he has penetrated. But when it becomes clear to both the gangsters and the police that there’s a mole in their midst, Billy and Colin are suddenly in danger of being caught and exposed to the enemy – and each must race to uncover the identity of the other man in time to save himself.

The Departed opens in Singapore on 12 October 2006.