Don’t Go Breaking My Heart

I couldn’t help myself since once again, courtesy of Netflix that I dived into this one.

This was one of the few times that I watched Gao Yuan Yaun since I wasn’t a major fan of her back in the days. It wasn’t her fault–as I later realized–because she was often cast in similar roles so I thought her acting was lacking. However, I felt that she did better in modern series and/or movies than in ancient settings. She was so lively and lovable that lit up the whole movie and set the stage for what was to come. So, we soon found out that her life was much more complicated than the early morning wakeup scene led on. However, her sorrowful days were short-lived–thanks to her encounter with Kevin and how they ended up changing each other’s life perspectives for the best. That also unleashed a chain of events as she became more confident with herself and took notice of her surroundings thus leading to her finally meeting Sean. Her world became quite chaotic and unpredictable as her fate was tied with Sean for the upcoming years. However, in some ways, she still retained her innocence and kindness. Sure, she could get so mad and became so scary at times, but overall, she was a gentle person. I felt Yuan Yuan brought out all those sides of Chi Yan really well. It was like walking into her world and going on a journey with her–whether through the good or bad. It was somewhat addicting to watch in a sense. Sometimes the plot was ridiculous–to say the least, but her character was never dull.

Despite reading a bit of spoiler–mostly how the second movie was perceived, I felt like I enjoyed the second movie more. Yes, I said it. The first movie was somewhat innocent and genuine–mostly because of Chi Yan’s personality and how she saw the world along with Kevin’s character. Yet I felt the second movie had its own charm. Although there was a lot of repetition of the first movie playing itself into the second movie, I felt it worked well with tying in with the first one because it reminded us of how such details in life could repeat or could also happen to someone else. For instance, Paul and Yeung Yeung having a pet octopus, Genie, like how Chi Yan and Kevin had Froggie. Interestingly, both pairings also failed in the end. The similarity with how Sean also filmed Yeung Yeung and tried to guess her song–but failed. Hilariously, his ring ended up being used by Paul to propose to Yeung Yeung later when he told her he had figured out the song she was singing already.

Daniel’s lack of appearance in the second movie angered many people–as I read various reviews. I totally understand that for loyal fans of the first movie–and also for his own fans as well. However, I felt the addition of Mariam and Vic–although sending the plot off the rails–made the movie tenfold more hilarious and also cranked up the hype. Daniel fans will probably kill me for it, but I felt the first movie was really bland at times with Daniel’s story. I guessed his character was supposed to be a counterbalance to Louis’ craziness, considering how they were from the opposite spectrum. However, I think I lost interest in his character around the time he became perfect when he met up with Chi Yan again. I didn’t want him to continue moping in sadness and drowning in his wine. Yet I felt his perfection was a turn off for me, feeling like his character just stepped out of an idol drama, too good to be true. Although it completely made sense with Chi Yan’s decision at the end of the first movie with her choosing Kevin, I felt they could have developed her story with Kevin a little more. It was like Johnnie To was already planning the second movie hence leaving it open or something. Because seriously, I saw it coming a mile that it wasn’t going to end well, especially how she looked back when she saw Sean on the way to the restaurant right before the proposal happened. There was still too much baggage and too many unresolved feelings. Not to mention how I was never completely sold on their pairing because of their lack of chemistry. They radiated off the “friends” vibe major time. Yes, they had some intense scenes and even shared a passionate kiss near the end of the first movie, but I didn’t feel anything at all. Hell, I felt Yuan Yuan had way better chemistry with Vic–who was supposed to be portraying her brother. Perhaps, that was why Vic was chosen and how it ended up being a misunderstanding for the majority of the parties thus leading to the big fight near the end of the second movie.

Once again, although having Mariam and Vic in the second movie sent the plot off the rails, it had somehow in its twisted way helped majorly with the main plot. It ripped right through the so-called normal lives of the others–or how Chi Yan had wanted to move on and was ready for the wedding ahead. What brought the second movie to a whole new level of craziness was the confrontation between Sean and Chi Yan and eventually leading to the big fight in Suzhou. I couldn’t even imagine what in the world the plot was going toward even. Everything was so chaotic, so random yet had to happen for things to finally resolve. In fact, the big fight wasn’t the highest level of craziness either. Because at least that fight was somewhat relating back to the fight between Sean and Kevin like the first movie. In actuality, the plot reached peak craziness around the time the wedding rolled around. Who could have guessed Sean would pull such a move? He scared half of the population present to death–while the other half just wanted to film it on their cameras to share it online (probably). What made it crazier yet hilarious was the part where Paul decided to spring a proposal and added to the already chaotic atmosphere after Kevin and Paul had succeeded in rescuing Sean from his crazy climb. I literally laughed out loud because I couldn’t believe it. We got to hear Vic sing “It’s Not That Simple” (沒那麼簡單) but that was seriously random. Also, Paul acted like it wasn’t a big deal after he got rejected and then even jumped into the pool to retrieve Yeung Yeung’s other shoe before heading to the elevator to send her off and even helped her put ’em back on again.

Many are probably thinking that I side with Louis’ character, Sean, hence downplaying Daniel’s character, Kevin. But honestly, I didn’t even like Sean at all throughout. Partially, it had to do with the plot. But overall, he was a let down throughout. Okay, saying “at all” might be a stretch. I actually quite liked his character as the movie started–as it was with Daniel’s character as well. I initially thought his character had more depth than that. Seeing how he saw her and wanted to cheer her up. I knew he had a crush on her at the beginning and was trying to get her attention. It was cute and all. But it went completely downhill as in he was dead to me right after he fell to temptation and slept with Angelina. He didn’t have to explain anything to her, seriously. She misunderstood. If he didn’t show up, it was obvious that she got the wrong idea. So if he wanted to be a gentleman and explain, fine, do it and leave. Yet it turned out, he was just using his weakness as an excuse. Whether his high testosterone issues were a real medical condition or not, it was never addressed throughout. So that led me to assume that it was just there to add to the humor, which wasn’t funny to me. It just degraded women or put the blame on them just because he couldn’t control himself. With Angelina, it could be said that she tried to seduce him but it was his choice to react or not. But the other women appearing throughout in there? It was hard to swallow with making it like it was partially their fault or something for dressing sexily. Then there was also the whole saying about there were two types of men, etc. Sean wasn’t the only one who said it but Joyce also said it later to Sean. I felt it was a slap in the face that it was a principle in general that they just accepted. (Not to mention how it wasn’t just sending a message to women to just accept it or live alone in misery–or something to that extent, but also send out a message that men are all alike–aka generalizing them.) So yeah, those two things combined made me despise Sean even more. Sure, it was his life, he could live it however he wanted. But I found it super hypocritical that he would get overly jealous–whether it was Chi Yan or Yeung Yeung–when they were spending time with another man. Then what bugged me more was seeing how his turnaround after his failed proposal to Chi Yan had led to his out of control womanizing schemes. It reminded me of the whole disaster with How I Met Your Mother steering Barney right back to his old habits just like that and dismissing his past growth completely. Anyway, contrary to the character, I felt Louis’ portrayal was very convincing.

In a way, to sum up Sean, Chi Yan, and Kevin’s relationships all around, Kevin was actually the one who brought Sean and Chi Yan together. If it wasn’t for Kevin, Chi Yan wouldn’t be able to change her outlook on life and gain her confidence again thus finally seeing Sean–who was trying to get her attention for so long. Their links were different on many levels but it wasn’t possible without one or the other being because their course of actions had affected all one way or another. Again, I seriously felt Chi Yan was better off with Kevin like the first movie had ended, considering how it was ironic that she ended up with such a womanizer–and how she had detested what her ex-boyfriend did to her. But I guess the second movie wanted to take back Chi Yan’s safe choice and chose to let her end up with the one she actually loved–for better or for worse. It was just how Yeung Yeung said, telling her not to hide anymore.

Aside from that, I felt that it was such a shame that Paul and Yeung Yeung couldn’t end up together. It would be seriously chaotic if they did since Yeung Yeung and Sean would end up in the same family. Well, even more chaotic than before. But I felt it was just a shame that Vic and Mariam didn’t end up together. Their chemistry wasn’t bad at all. I enjoyed watching the scenes where they went out to eat and talked and just be random at times. Their interactions were so natural and so addicting to watch. The fact that both of their portrayals were so on par that saved the movie a little more.

After all that was said, my favorite character was surprisingly John. Yes, John was such a minor character or so it seemed yet I found him hilarious throughout. Regardless of how intense the main plot got, he was always there to contribute with much humor. Of course, he had no clue how comical he was yet his silly actions seemed to dissolve somewhat of the hectic atmosphere. I initially thought he would be Chi Yan’s asshole boss who would eventually fire her. The reason why I thought that was because during the meeting at the beginning of the first movie, he was trying super hard to deescalate the situation during the meeting and he was sweating so bad, I thought he would use Chi Yan as a scapegoat to get past that obstacle. But it turned out, he was really supportive of her and actually acknowledged that she was really hardworking and talented. He even risked his job to defend her when she saw Sean and called Sean “asshole” but he diverted it to himself. He also tried to convince Chi Yan not to quit and later became her ally with spying on different parties for her and reporting the events to her. It was refreshing, especially how it was known within those industries that there was major backstabbing going on. In the second movie, he was seen chiding Chi Yan and telling her that he shouldn’t be seen with her because he might get fired yet he still managed to give her information at times regarding Sean–or others. Yes, he seemed nosy overall but he truly cared for Chi Yan as a friend.

*All images were collected around the net hence belonging to their rightful owners.

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S Storm

It has been a while since I watched a serious movie. I especially watched this because of Vic. Yes, I liked some of the other cast members too, but when I saw Vic’s name while browsing on Netflix, I had to jump in. And for the record, I didn’t watch the previous movie, Z Storm. Like I said, I was just jumping in for a Vic movie, considering how I haven’t watched him since The Flame’s Daughter. So how was it?

First off, the many familiar faces were making me feel nostalgic for some reason. Then there were the fresh faces to keep the balance with the rest of the audience as well. It was a typical cop movie yet brought forth many interesting characters to crank up the hype for the plot. I especially enjoyed Louis and Julian’s, Luk Sir and Lau Sir, banters at various points. I also loved Ada’s Wong Man Ling’s cleverness and her quick-witted nature. She proved to be a great asset for the team with her deduction skills and her fast reactions at times. Moreover, Tammy Tam’s kickass scenes brought another level of greatness into the movie. We got to see her contribution to the team as an overall when she was with them, but also individually when she was sent to Shenzhen to track a certain lead. It was intense and showed her capabilities at the restaurant. Although she encountered a setback during the fight scene, it showed a realistic side of the situation. That little delay didn’t deter her though since she soon got up after having some help and chased after the two suspects and managed to get their license plate as well.

Perhaps, the weakest link among the many characters and/or cast was Dada Chan’s Ebby Lau. I felt her best scenes were actually with her brother, Lau Sir, and not Vic. The highlight of her appearance (and it showed through her acting) was the part at the bar where she confronted her brother–even if she didn’t say it out directly in regard to their relation, but just told their tragic story from her point of view. Moreover, the scene where she called Luk Sir to the bar wasn’t too much of a scene for her, but it showed that she cared for her brother, despite her tough words previously. It was hard not to soften a bit after witnessing her brother’s devasted state. Her second touching scene with her brother was obviously the scene where he came to negotiate the terms and exchange himself for her. It showed their bond and it made her realize that he had changed, no longer the gambling addict like in the past. He was willing to sacrifice himself for her, that they were family. If I was able to list all the good parts of her, why was she the weakest link, right? I thought her playful scenes were a bit out of place for the rest of the movie–although that was just a part of her character. I felt she was a bit unnatural when she was interacting with Vic’s character, trying to get him to notice her more. Perhaps, her playful side and her carefree nature were what drawn Song Yan Sheun in, and made him realize other things in life. Yet Dada’s performance wasn’t as solid as the scenes that I mentioned above. I liked the serious talk at times that she had with Vic’s character though. In those scenes, she seemed more natural. Perhaps, she wasn’t that good with comedy? I never watched her before so I don’t know. But that was my interpretation when I saw her in this movie.

Although I said Dada was the weakest link in here, she was still crucial to the plot–especially tying back to Vic’s character. However, I felt the most irrelevant character must be Bowie Lam’s Terry Lun. Sure, he was the one who leaked the information to ICAC about the misdeeds within the Jockey Club thus leading to the launch of the investigation in the first place, setting forth a chain of events. Yet I felt if it wasn’t him, it could just be anyone else discovering it and leaking the information out. That same principle applied to the pen that he discovered later thus leading to his death. Anyone else could have discovered and died too and it wouldn’t make a difference if his character wasn’t there. I felt having the character around was just a notch too bloated for the already crowded star-dubbed cast. It didn’t really contribute much to the plot as an overall. It only stretched out some more details and a side distraction regarding Luk Sir’s background. Sure, having his character there made him suspicious and sort of covered up who the real culprit within the club was–as it was revealed near the end. Yet again, as I mentioned before, they could have just plugged in some random person at that club and it would have the same effect. Considering how he wasn’t the main villain–or wasn’t even one of the masterminds of the grand scheme anyway, it was a waste of time for his story arch, to say the least.

The ending? It made me feel like I was choking by the time the final battle scene rolled around. The fact that they teased us with allowing Vic’s character, Song Yan Sheun, to be present for the most crucial moment was clever in some ways. However, it turned out to be a major disappointment as seconds passed and he was out of the picture again. It seemed like a slap in the face for Vic fans. I knew that Luk Sir and Lau Sir were the highlights of the movie, considering how they were introduced and how their story played out later. However, considering how Vic was listed among the top three main leads, I felt it was justified that the rest of us felt robbed. He also appeared first as a setup for the first nerve-racking chase scene and later became the reason for half of the police force’s headaches. Perhaps, having him appearing less throughout created this mysterious aura for him. Yet it didn’t make me feel better with all the teasing throughout with the occasional scenes here and there of his background. Then, it was humanizing him during the scenes with Ebby. To finally, dismissing him completely as another character among all these twisted schemes by the so-called masterminds.

What saved the ending for me was knowing that Shek Sau’s character, Ha Chi Yin, didn’t escape in the end. He was caught by Luk Sir’s team when he was at the airport, attempting to make a clean exit out of the country. If he had escaped, I don’t think anyone would’ve lived it down. But I had to admit having him being the villain was a surprising twist for me, considering how I was betting (pun intended) Bowie Lam’s character to be the villain-aka the one being in cahoot with the other dude.

So recommended? I felt it was a really good movie on its own. Since I didn’t watch the other movies relating to the theme–as said before, I can’t comment. But by itself, it was good. It was just not a good movie to catch for Vic fans. Sure, his role was unique in its own way. I felt he lived up to the challenge of taking on yet another role in a serious movie. However, if you were fangirling, there was no point, lol. Let’s face it, any fangirl would be greedy to want more of their favorites. I’m guilty of that too and I’m not going to lie.

*All images were collected around the net hence belonging to their rightful owners.

Top 50 Actors of 2018

(image credit: as marked)

Once again, here’s the list of the most popular people based on searches on Weibo.

Translations:

1. Yang Yang / Dương Dương

2. Hu Ge / Hồ Ca

3. Zhu Yi Long / Chu Nhứt Long

4. Wang Jun Kai / Vương Tuấn Khải

5. Lu Han / Lộc Hàm

6. Jackson Yee / Dịch Dương Thiên Tỉ

7. Wu Lei / Ngô Lỗi

8. Deng Lun / Đặng Luân

9. William Chan / Trần Vỹ Đình

10. Li Yi Feng / Lý Dịch Phong

11. Jin Dong / Cận Đông

12. Lay Zhang Yi Xing / Trương Nghệ Hưng

13. Zhu Ya Wen / Chu Á Văn

14. Huang Zi Tao / Hoàng Tử Thao

15. Wang Kai / Vương Khải

16. Wallace Chung / Chung Hán Lương

17. Luo Jin / La Tấn

18. Cai Xu Kun / Thái Từ Khôn

19. Zhang Jia Yi / Trương Gia Dịch

20. Ray Ma Tian Yu / Mã Thiên Vũ

21. Liu Hao Ran / Lưu Hạo Nhiên

22. Zhang Yi Shan / Trương Nhứt Sơn

23. Roy Wang / Vương Nguyên

24. Elvis Han / Hàn Đông Quân

25. Huang Xiao Ming / Huỳnh Hiểu Minh

26. Zhang Han / Trương Hàn

27. Allen Ren / Nhậm Gia Luân

28. Yu He Wei / Vu Hoà Vỹ

29. Shawn Dou / Đậu Kiêu

30. Kenny Lin Geng Xin / Lâm Canh Tân

31. Michael Chen He / Trần Hách

32. Louis Koo / Cổ Thiên Lạc

33. Lei Jia Yin / Lôi Giai Âm

34. Johnny Bai / Bạch Vũ

35. Bai Jing Ting / Bạch Kính Đình

36. Deng Chao / Đặng Siêu

37. Wallace Huo / Hoắc Kiến Hoa

38. Alan Yu / Vu Mông Lung

39. Dylan Wang / Vuong Hạc Đệ

40. Mark Chao / Triệu Hựu Đình

41. Huang Xuan / Huỳnh Hiên

42. Wu Xiu Bo / Ngô Tú Ba

43. Bosco Wong / Huỳnh Tông Trạch

44. Zhang Dan Feng / Trương Đan Phong

45. Nicholas Tse / Tạ Đình Phong

46. Ma Ke / Mã Khả

47. Chen Kun / Trần Khôn

48. Guo De Gang / Quách Đức Cương

49. Song Wei Long / Tống Uy Long

50. Zhou Yi Wei / Châu Nhứt Vi

The Handsomest Men of the (Ancient) World

(image credit: as marked)

I just stumbled upon this MV and couldn’t help but share. (Click here for the original on Weibo and here for Vietnamese subs of the song.) The song is Zhang Jie’s “Tian Xia.” I used Ken’s picture because that was where I first saw the video being shared.

Anyway, did you see your favorites in here?

Forbes China – Top 100 Successful Celebrities 2017

(image credit: Zhao Li Ying’s Studio Weibo)

I usually don’t do this, but I just thought I do it since year since I saw the list the other day.  (Go here for the list in its originality.) And I know she’s not ranked first, but I just like the picture, lol.

Anyway, here goes the translation for the list:

  1. Fan Bing Bing / Phạm Băng Băng
  2. Lu Han / Lộc Hàm
  3. Yang Mi / Dương Mịch
  4. Zanilia Zhao Li Ying / Triệu Lệ Dĩnh
  5. Yang Yang / Dương Dương
  6. Tamia Liu Tao / Lưu Đào
  7. Jackie Chan / Thành Long
  8. Angelababy / Yang Ying / Dương Dĩnh
  9. Jay Chou / Châu Kiệt Luân
  10. Wu Yi Fan / Ngô Dịch Phàm
  11. Li Yi Feng / Lý Dịch Phong
  12. Deng Chao / Đặng Siêu
  13. Betty Sun Li / Tôn Lệ
  14. Tiffany Tang Yan / Đường Yên
  15. Chen Kun / Trần Khôn
  16. Huang Xiao Ming / Huỳnh Hiểu Minh
  17. TFBOYS
  18. Hu Ge / Hồ Ca
  19. Cecilia Liu Shi Shi / Lưu Thi Thi
  20. Lay Zhang Yi Xing / Trương Nghệ Hưng
  21. William Chan / Trần Vỹ Đình
  22. Wallace Huo / Hoắc Kiến Hoa
  23. Crystal Liu Yi Fei / Lưu Diệc Phi
  24. Jing Bo Ran / Tỉnh Bách Nhiên
  25. Huang Zi Tao / Hoàng Tử Thao
  26. Wu Xiu Bo / Ngô Tú Ba
  27. Andy Lau / Lưu Đức Hoa
  28. Vicki Zhao / Triệu Vy
  29. Li Bing Bing / Lý Băng Băng
  30. Huang Bo / Huỳnh Bột
  31. Wallace Chung / Chung Hán Lương
  32. Lin Chi Ling / Lâm Chí Linh
  33. Jia Nai Liang / Giả Nại Lương
  34. Chris Lee / Li Yu Chun / Lý Vũ Xuân
  35. Sally Jing Tian / Cảnh Điềm
  36. Mark Chao / Triệu Hựu Đình
  37. Di Li Re Ba / Địch Lệ Nhiệt Ba
  38. Tong Li Ya / Đồng Lệ Á
  39. Zheng Shuang / Trịnh Sảng
  40. Cheney Chen Xue Dong / Trần Học Đông
  41. He Jiong / Hà Cảnh
  42. Wang Kai / Vương Khải
  43. Kenny Lin Geng Xin / Lâm Canh Tân
  44. Xue Zhi Qian / Tuyết Chi Khiêm
  45. Faye Wong / Vương Phi
  46. Eddie Peng / Bành Vu Yến
  47. Lu Yi / Lục Nghị
  48. Shu Qi / Thư Kỳ
  49. Nicky Wu / Ngô Kỳ Long
  50. Jin Dong / Cận Đông
  51. Liu Wen / Lưu Văn
  52. Guo De Gang / Quách Đức Cương
  53. Michael Chen He / Trần Hách
  54. Li Chen / Lý Thần
  55. Jiang Xin / Tưởng Hân
  56. Jacky Cheung / Trương Học Hữu
  57. Eason Chan / Trần Dịch Tấn
  58. Donnie Yen / Chân Tử Đan
  59. Zhou Xun / Châu Tấn
  60. Louis Koo / Cổ Thiên Lạc
  61. Huang Lei / Hoàng Lỗi
  62. Wu Lei / Ngô Lỗi
  63. Sun Hong Lei / Tôn Hồng Lôi
  64. Show Luo / La Chí Tường
  65. Tony Leung Chiu Wai / Lương Triều Vỹ
  66. Ryan Zheng / Trịnh Khải
  67. Ruby Lin / Lâm Tâm Như
  68. Sun Yang / Tôn Dương
  69. Zhang Yi Shan / Trương Nhứt Sơn
  70. Zhou Dong Yu / Châu Đông Vũ
  71. Ni Ni / Nghệ Ni
  72. Yang Zi / Dương Tử
  73. Victoria Song / Tống Tây
  74. Xie Na / Tạ Na
  75. Hawick Lau / Lưu Khải Uy
  76. Mayday
  77. Huang Xuan / Huỳnh Hiên
  78. Sandra Ma / Mã Tư Thuần
  79. Guan Xiao Tong / Quan Hiểu Đồng
  80. Chen Dao Ming / Trần Đạo Minh
  81. Carina Lau / Lưu Gia Linh
  82. Jolin Tsai / Thái Y Lâm
  83. Nicholas Tse / Tạ Đình Phong
  84. Aaron Kwok / Quách Phú Thành
  85. Gao Yuan Yuan / Cao Viên Viên
  86. Olivia Wang Zi Wen / Vương Tử Văn
  87. Kevin Tsai / Thái Khang Vĩnh
  88. Liu Hao Ran / Lưu Hạo Nhiên
  89. Han Han / Hàn Hàn
  90. Feng Xiao Gang / Phùng Tiểu Cương
  91. Xu Zheng / Từ Tranh
  92. Zhang Jia Yi / Trương Gia Trạch
  93. Zhang Ruo Yun / Trương Nhược Quân
  94. Ray Ma Tian Yu / Mã Thiên Vũ
  95. Jason Zhang Jie / Trương Kiệt
  96. Zhang Hui Mei / Trương Huệ Muội
  97. Zhang Yimou / Trương Nghệ Mưu
  98. William Feng Shao Feng / Phùng Thiệu Phong
  99. Lin Qin / Lý Thấm