Saturday, 31 December 2016

'A Thousand Dreams of You' - an UWS 1984 MV





Well, Tung Pang-fei must be happy now, for I have actually become a night-owl just to work on this United We Stand MV! Since I watched UWS last Oct-Nov, I have always wanted to make a noir MV, or at least an MV with the 1930s feelings. I love the fact that Michael and Barbara starred in a series set in a transition period like the 30s, where it's not wuxia anymore but certainly it is not a modern drama yet. Thus, for UWS, it has to be a 1930-1940 jazzy song as well. I sleuthed iTunes and YouTube for days until I came across Leslie Cheung's beautiful 'A Thousand Dreams of You'. Then, as I listened to that song, I realised that this is the perfect song for Michael and Barbara in UWS. And TBH, who can resist Leslie's deep beautiful voice?!

Oh, and Happy New Year, everyone! Let's hope for a more peaceful, healthier and happier 2017 for all... Blessings for you, and thank you so much for being with me throughout the year!

The song was written in 1937 by Fats Waller, but I daresay that Leslie Cheung definitely made this song popular. The Vimeo, Dailymotion and the second YouTube version (the total noir version) links are now here below.


Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Old photos of Michael Miu and Barbara Yung

My new favourite: MB singing (during a tour in Malaysia Singapore)

Hannah had given me a beautiful Christmas present yesterday by sending me her old collection of photos of Michael and Barbara. She also sent me photos of Barbara alone, Barbara with Kent, and Barbara with friends (including with Felix Wong, Maggie Cheung Man Yi and Andy Lau). I was very touched with the old photos of Michael and Barbara... the photos showed how close they were, how happy they were, that I can't wait till New Year to post them. Thus, my dearest readers, these are the old photos of Michael and Barbara, some of them very hard to find in the cyberspace. 

I will post other photos in due course. Thanks a lot, Hannah! Enjoy! 



Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Runaway Dragon and Missing Phoenix part 5 (prelude to deleted scene)


Belated Merry Christmas, guys! Sorry that I couldn’t post this last weekend, but Christmas has been busy for me… This instalment is the prelude to the deleted scene of Runaway Dragon and Missing Phoenix part 5. Contains a link to the real deleted scene…

Source 

He didn't mean to wake her up, but she stirred in her sleep as his fingers caressed her pure face.

"Sai Man..." she whispered his name even before she opened her eyes. Then, as she realised he was indeed in front of her, she grabbed his hand and pressed it to her face. "It's you! Tien, it's you..."

"It's me... it's me, Sik Sik..."

"I heard your proposal was accepted. Congratulations..." When he smiled to acknowledge her, she added, "It must feel so good now..."

Monday, 19 December 2016

Conflict of Interests

In which the authoress is overwhelmed by requests from her fictional (and non-fictional) characters...

Source

Chor Lau Heung: So... I heard, well, read that you're into Li Sai Man these days.

Me: Correct. And Chun Sik Sik. Why?

CLH (snuffing his snuff bottle): Don't you know he's a murderer? Like, he actually killed his girlfriend!

Li Sai Man: What, you're jealous? At least the deleted scene fics of mine and Sik Sik got hundreds of reads!

CLH: You're still a murderer!

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Runaway Dragon and Missing Phoenix part 5

On rescuing Chun Sik Sik, which almost took a village…of sort. I've made a label for this fan fiction series here. This is not the last instalment, but I hope the next chapter will be.

Seems perfect for a protective Li Sai Man and the pregnant Sik Sik (source)


Li Sai Man never thought of killing his brothers. That is, until one of them appeared unannounced in his estate the morning after Chun Sik Sik was kidnapped, and said brother didn't even bother to hide the indications that he was involved in the kidnapping.

Well, of course Li Yuen Gat didn't admit his involvement, but the way he asked where Li Sai Man's wife was (with the pretext to pay his respect to his pregnant sister-in-law) was very suspicious. Despite him boiling inside, Sai Man decided to follow the game and told Yuen Gat that Sik Sik was under the weather, hence she couldn't come out and greet him. The Third Prince smirked, fanned himself, and said,

"Oh, how unfortunate. I hope she's getting better soon. We wouldn't want you to miss the Court meeting tomorrow afternoon because your wife is... indisposed."

Friday, 9 December 2016

Runaway Dragon and Missing Phoenix part 4

On Chun Sik Sik returning to Cheung’on and the escalating conflicts of the Li princes. Special thanks to Hannah for providing me excellent ideas that I now use in the early and latter parts of this chapter. A ‘deleted’ scene link is already here, scroll down below! Part 1 is here, Part 2 is here, Part 3 is here.

-xxx-

Late Autumn, 625

Art by Ibuki Satsuki
Chun Sik Sik had only experienced two autumns in Fusu, but those two autumns had prepared her for the third autumn. She felt that she could tell whether the upcoming winter would be harsh or not based on the autumnal weather patterns. If this year's autumn continued like this, Fusu and its surrounding regions would experience another harsh winter.

Which begged another question: would Tang refugees come again to Fusu this autumn or winter? Li Sai Man's letters, faithfully written and dispatched regularly to her, described his endless fight in the Court to fix the system, but it might be years before the corrupt system was fixed. The last letter he had was almost three weeks ago, concerning a partial investigation team to address the village pilfering during last year's autumn. The lack of letter afterwards would have her worried, had a Fusu spy not informed her in front of King Yau that Li Sai Man had been busy with some court business, but he was safe and sound. Eventually, Sik Sik decided to trust Sai Man to Heaven. She couldn't afford to sleep in fear every night, that wouldn't do her good.

With these thoughts in mind, one late autumn night, after closing the veranda door that connected her private garden to her chamber in the Fusu Palace, Sik Sik changed into a white long inner garment and retired to bed. She was about to drift to sleep when she heard a rustling noise outside the veranda. She opened her eyes and stayed still but alert. The veranda was not accessible from the outside, hence anyone outside would need to jump from the roof into the garden first. At this late hour, anyone in that group would be classified as intruders. Had Sai Man's brothers tracked her whereabouts??

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Barbara Yung's letters part 3: The Foundation 1984

Barbara Yung as Chun Sik Sik, 'The Foundation 1984' (credit in the image)

My apologies for the two weeks’ absent. Been doing very busy and productive trips with my amazing team back home. Anyway, I’m working on Part 4 of ‘Runaway Dragon and Missing Phoenix’, which I hope will be online this weekend. Meanwhile, these are two letters of Barbara’s she wrote in September 1983 and in October 1983 containing, among others, the Foundation 1984 series.

From the letters, I learned at least that she was considering either buying a house or investing in a small business (letter Sept’83), that she really cared about her extended family (particularly her mum) and friends, that Kent Tong also cared for her family (sending gifts, Sept’83), and that she liked puppies (letter Oct’83). The last bit somewhat fits the (sad) fact that there’s a little dog statue on her grave in Cambridge… she was apparently a dog lover…

I also learned about some internal problems with TVB (was that one of the reasons why Michael decided to leave TVB and the whole industry after Barbara’s death?). Barbara and Kent seemed to be in a good relationship during the Foundation making; they went to Singapore together afterwards.

What can you learn about her from these two letters, my dear readers?


Sunday, 20 November 2016

Runaway Dragon and Missing Phoenix part 3

Artwork by Ibuki Satsuki

On Li Sai Man’s return to Cheung’on... without Sik Sik. Containing a link to a new ‘deleted’ (mature) scene. Part 1 is here, Part 2 is here. There is an artwork in this chapter that is poetic yet might also be interpreted as sensuous for some readers. Hence I have kept the link on, but I don't display it right on the chapter. 

-xxx-

Li Sai Man felt his senses returning after his internal storm abating. He turned to see his beautiful wife lying next to him, smiling dreamily at him. He smiled back and kissed her. Heaven, she was so beautiful, gentle, kind and precious…he always felt very grateful every time they communed. He asked Sik Sik how she felt, but she didn’t reply. Instead, she rose and reclined next to him, her long ebony hair caressed his chest. She caressed his face with a saddened expression. Then, just as he registered her sadness, from the corner of his eyes he saw Sik Sik lifted her arm high; her hand holding something shiny. His brain registered everything too late, for the next thing he knew was that blood splashed on his face and body. He gasped, a wild thought occurred in a flash that his wife just killed him. Has she actually never forgiven him all these years?!

Yet, he was quick to realise that he felt no physical pain at all. Then, with a sudden emotional pain, he realised that Chun Sik Sik just stabbed herself.

“No!!!” Sai Man bolted up and held the swaying body of his wife. Blood oozed from the large wound on her chest, right where her heart was. He cupped Sik Sik’s face in panic, trying to revive her. Yet, the light in her eyes was fading away too quickly as she whispered, “Now you can return to Cheung’on… without regrets…”

Sunday, 13 November 2016

United We Stand (生繡橋王) summary of episodes 10-12

Too cute not to post upfront: Fei kissing Barbara's forehead (Ep 12)

This is the last three episodes of the United We Stand (Saan sau kiu wong). Watch it at Yueyuyy (complete, annoying ads) or Youku (patchy, not so many ads). Or buy it from YesAsia (free international shipping!); mine arrived in less than two weeks. Special thanks to Sandy for filling me in on some plot holes. Click here for all UWS episode guides.


Ep 19 Yueyuyy (officially Ep 10)

Episode 9 ended with Tung Pang-fei, Andy Tai and A Hoi joined forces to reveal Mr Ho’s illegal weapon trade. They were supported by A Leung and Mr Leung, as well as the Lam family. However, when A Fei et al just found the weapons, some thugs hired by Mr Ho came and defeated them. A Fei recognised the thugs, hence A Hoi thought A Fei betrayed them. After the thugs left, A Hoi almost hit the unconscious A Fei had Andy Tai not intervened. A Hoi returned home and reported A Fei’s ‘treachery’ but his family was all lukewarm about it (because they knew A Fei was in their team).

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

United We Stand (生繡橋王) summary of episodes 7-9

 

I'm dividing the last half of the United We Stand (Saan sau kiu wong) into two parts, for I might pepper the episodes with screen shots later. Watch it at Yueyuuu (complete, annoying ads) or Youku (incomplete, not so many ads). Or buy it from YesAsia (free international shipping!). Special thanks to Sandy for filling me in on some plot holes. The next installment will complete the series (Eps 10-12). Click here for all UWS episode guides.

Ep 13 Yueyuyy (Ep 7a Youku)

A Leung talked to Barbara, apologising and asking her about Tung Pang-fei. I think Barbara said that A Leung is A Leung, Fei is Fei. Anyway, A Leung went home disappointed. Fei met A Leung and, in a very stylish scene, gave A Leung a pistol to shoot him, but A Leung just shot something else to vent out his frustration. Later, Barbara was courted by a rich young guy (seems to be the son of Mr Ho’s business partner or something like that). Fei was not happy to learn that Barbara was going out with this Chiu guy, but Fei had to tag along as an escort for Barbara. Later, Chiu directly told Fei to just walk somewhere while he and Barbara had a chat, but Barbara told Chiu that Fei was her friend, so it was okay for him to sit with them.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

What to bring while travelling

I have almost finished summarising United We Stand episodes 7-12 (until the last episode). However, I need to do some real-world stuff first today before being able to post the next UWS summary. It will take me at least three hours to do that, so I might not be able to post it today. But I'll try.

Meanwhile, here's something for you in case you're going to travel and in need of packing. I love travelling, but I hate packing with a passion, hence I created this joke below. It compares the items we pack these days to the items the wanderers packed during those jianghu era. The answer is below the break (have been updated to include some extra essentials).

Have a nice weekend!




Sunday, 30 October 2016

United We Stand (生繡橋王) episode summary 1-6

I’ve had a mixed feeling about watching ‘United We Stand’ (Saan sau kiu wong 生繡橋王) since last year. Because, after watching it, basically that’s it. No more Michael/Barbara new series that I could watch. Not that the other ones were not good, but I do want more...

Anyway, the bad news is, I found NO English subtitle for UWS, which means that I either have to watch Cantonese raw or Mandarin raw. Thank God that Yueyuyy.com and Youku have the Cantonese version. Both sites are not perfect. Yueyuyy is sourced from Tudou and VideoGet, all episodes are listed, but some links are broken. Yueyuyy also has loads of annoying ads. Youku’s ads are less annoying, but it’s missing many important episodes.

The other option is buying the original DVD from YesAsia, which I’ve done last week. It’s expensive (USD 45), but it arrived in Australia in less than two weeks (Update 11 Nov'16: shipped on 3 Nov, arrived on 11 Nov) and the quality is very good, considering it is an 1984 production (remastered in 2015).

Since I’ve actually watched the entire Dik Ching 1986 Cantonese raw without subtitles and provided the episode summaries, I think providing summary for UWS should be doable as well. It won’t be perfect, I yearn for a sudden ability to understand Cantonese (just listening will do, no need for writing). However, until someone translates the UWS into English, this is the only English summary available on the web. At least, to my knowledge. I hope you like it. Input into the general storyline, Cantonese romanisation etc. is definitely welcomed. Click here for all UWS episode guides.


Saturday, 29 October 2016

Runaway Dragon and Missing Phoenix part 2

Part Two of the Runaway Dragon and Missing Phoenix series (the Foundation 1984). Would Li Sai Man consider the request to return to Cheung’on? Click here for Part 1.

Cheung Cheut Chan and Li Sai Man (from Ep 5 The Foundation)

Runaway Dragon and Missing Phoenix part 2

The Lady with the Red Sleeves tentatively entered the veranda facing the back garden of the younger Li couple. She had read about the garden from Sik Sik’s letters, carefully sent to Tang through the Fusu spy network. Sik Sik never mentioned anything dangerous; just those mundane things of a peaceful life, like her vegetable and herb garden and how Sai Man got the hang of ploughing in the field. But through her letters, Cheung Cheut Chan could get a glimpse of a serene life that her surrogate little sister had been sharing with Li Sai Man.

Now, even in the darkness of the night lit only by two small lanterns, and despite her distress, Cheut Chan could feel the serenity of the garden that could only be created by a soul such as Chun Sik Sik. Cheung Cheut Chan traced her dainty fingers on the wooden railing, absentmindedly observing some pots of herbs adorning the simple railings. Her nose caught the whiff of roses and jasmines, and she wondered whether Li Sai Man would attempt to pick those flowers to appease Sik Sik. Perhaps some other times, when he faced less dire situations than this one.

Friday, 21 October 2016

"A Capital Mistake" - a Chor Lau Heung 1984 fanfiction

The dreadful feeling when Chor Lau Heung realised his mistake (Ep 27)

Chor Lau Heung made mistakes, but never at this scale. He beat himself for it, he tried to fix it, and he still lived with his regrets until quite some time. But someone needs to tell him to forgive himself. Hence this fanfiction, dedicated to all readers who have made mistakes in their lives...including me.

-xxx-


A Capital Mistake

That mistake shook Chor Lau Heung to the core. He had made mistakes in the past, of course, but not one of this scale. One that basically cost two noble lives, made a young man lost one arm, and blinded a very fine matriarch. In agony, he kept playing the scenes in his head. Him not listening to the Kams, him not stopping for a moment to calm down and consider that they might have been right all along. Him accusing them, him easily defeating them due to his superb skills.

Then...the heart-stopping moment, the fear that suddenly grabbed him mercilessly, the bitter truth moment when he realised he'd done a capital error that couldn't be fixed. The floor that suddenly seemed to dissolve and the feeling of the Earth swallowing him, such that he had to grab onto something to stabilise himself. The painful feeling that he'd done something so irreversible that he couldn't even contemplate to forgive himself. The nerve-wrecking guilty feeling he'd been experiencing to date, despite him having confronted the Kam family's attacker.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Runaway Dragon and Missing Phoenix part 1

Li Sai Man is a constant enigma; his unspeakable action towards Chun Sik Sik is a source of (heated) discussion among The Foundation 1984 viewers. This is my take on LSM, spinning off from Ep 11 of the Foundation 1984, inspired by the conversations in the comments section of the Maiden Phoenix Rising. Romanisation is mostly Yale Cantonese or at least a terrible attempt at it. The Foundation 1984 is the property of TVB Hong Kong, and it’s my love to Michael and Barbara that made me write this story. Rated S for “safe”. No, seriously, it’s safe ^_^

The hollow after the deed... Ep 11 TF 1984

"Sai Man, look! The rainbow is here!"

The cheerful girl turned her petite body towards her lover, her face glowing like the rainbow. Suddenly, she gasped when she felt a sharp metal object, its tip glowing in the morning sunlight, thrusted into her abdomen, piercing her light blue dress.

Then, upon entering her skin, the object stopped short from piercing it completely.

Although she suddenly felt a small but sharp pain, she also registered that the pain didn't go further. Confused, Chun Sik Sik looked up to see her lover, Li Sai Man, the second prince of the Tang Dynasty, looked back at her with mixed expressions. Cruelty was the first she registered, a cruel expression she never thought Sai Man had. Then she saw sadness and love. Immense love. Then regret.

Then her lover's expression changed. Determination was clearly etched on his handsome face. A part of Sik Sik screamed inside when he lifted the object, which was now clear to her that it was a knife, to another striking stance. He was going to kill her. The love of her life was going to kill her!

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Interview with Michael re LOCH 2017



Michael Miu was interviewed on 7 October 2016 on his recent roles in the Line Walker 2 (as Cheuk Sir) and in the Legend of Condor Heroes 2017 (as Huang Yaoshi). The followings are the translated and original versions of the interview. I have based my translation for the LOCH 2017 part from Google Translator, MDBG and the Kaypang Gallery Indonesian translation (thanks, Pangchu!). I translated the third and fourth parts myself from GT and MDBG. I didn’t translate part 1 about Line Walker 2; but I hopefully will in due course.

The original article can be found after the translation. It’s really nice to read the thoughts of our beautiful and wise Michael. Enjoy! Oh, and do correct me when you find mistakes in translation and interpretation, I surely have made some...

Update 9 Oct'16: Thanks to Krabs from SPCnet for editing some of my translation!


Sunday, 2 October 2016

Barbara Yung’s letters part 2: LOCH 1983

Barbara shooting her first LOCH scene with Felix Wong

Last month I promised that I’d post some letters of Barbara Yung regarding her experience with the Legend of Condor Heroes 1983. Apologies for taking so long, but I finally am able to sit down and copy her letters from Rob Radboud’s site.

Reading her letters again reminding me how beautiful she was, in and out. She was caring, loving and sensitive. The letters you’ll read below doesn’t only talk about LOCH 1983 of course, and there you’ll see how she cared for her family, in this case her mother, her uncle and Shela, her uncle’s partner (later wife). She also cared for her other friends, that they didn’t have enough money etc. I also found out that her family lived in Cambridge in 1982 (Letter 12 August 1982). Do they still live there now? For some reasons, I wonder whether they have moved out...

As for LOCH, Barbara did her audition on 13 August 1982 (Letter 12 August 1982). She had always wanted to do an ancient drama, so she was excited about her audience. However, since she had the audition for the most important role in the series, the announcement was not made until mid November (Letter 19 November 1982). She was of course very excited about it, but then she was also worried whether she’d be able to fill Michelle Yim’s shoes (Mie Shieh or Michelle Yim played as Wong Yung in LOCH 1976)(Letter 13 March 1983). 

Saturday, 1 October 2016

"Maiden Phoenix Rising" - The Foundation 1984 fanfiction

A seriously shivering scene from The Foundation 1984, ep 9

The “deleted scenes” after Sik Sik and Li Sai Man quarreled in Ep 9 and made up after he found out that Sik Sik used to be Kong Fung’s lover. From The Foundation 1984 (Michael Miu, Barbara Yung). Li Sai Man, Chun Sik Sik and the Foundation are the property of TVB Hong Kong, no copyright infringement intended. Dedicated to TinyGin, thanks for your suggestions! Rated R.

-xxx-

Sik Sik glared in disbelief at her lover.

"Look, if I still love Kong Fung, I don't have to hide it from you. I'd just leave you and go to Kong Fung instead!" Seeing how Li Sai Man still glared back also in disbelief, she vented our her frustration. "You have the rights to be angry at me for keeping you in the dark, but don't you ever doubt my feelings for you!" Since Sai Man still didn't respond, she stomped her foot and said, "I'll leave now if you hate me so much!"

With that, she turned to leave. Yet, her arm was held tightly by Sai Man. Forcefully yet slowly, the Second Prince turned her to face him. Then, he said quietly, very intensely and possessively,

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Xuan Zang 2016

Xuan Zang 2016 is not your usual “Journey to the West” movie. You won’t find flying monkeys there. Instead, you’ll find a realistic journey of an amazing Tang monk across the treacherous deserts, who spoke fluent Hindi when he was already in India and addressed the Indian monks/gurus as “Acharya” in such a respectful way. Copied from my other personal blog because it relates to Li Shimin (Tang Dynasty) and it gave me a thought about LOCH 2017.

I found Xuan Zang when I was on board Singapore Airlines from Hong Kong to Singapore (part of my lag from Washington DC to Jakarta). The good thing about flying with SIA is that you’d be guaranteed to have a wide array of Asian movies to watch. This journey was not an exception. I was weighing between Xuan Zang and another Asian movie, and in the end, boy I’m glad that I watched Xuan Zang.


The Chinese-Indian movie was directed by Huo Jianqi, produced by Wong Kar-wai (that name I know!) and starring Huang Xiaoming as the titular character. Never seen HXM in action before, but I was very impressed with his performance as Xuan Zang that he’s one of my favourite Mainland actors now. HXM made me thought that he was actually channelling Xuan Zang in the movie; his serene face and wisdom were so palpable, I wondered if he actually set aside time to meditate every day before filming. Actually, I would be glad to just sit next to him, listening to him chanting the sutras...

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

"The Dragon Dancing under the Moonlight" - a CLH 1984 fanfiction

The wedding night between the Wanderer/King of Thieves and the Princess. Shyly emerges, triggered by the very few sensual scenes between Chor Lau Heung and Song Siu Ching in the New Adventures of Chor Lau Heung 1984 (TVB Hong Kong). Rated R.

Being the 80s production, one of the very few electrifying scenes in CLH 84 is this...


-xxx-

Ignoring his thumping heart, the Wanderer opened the door and entered the bedchamber. A silver strand of moonlight fell into the chamber floor from the lattice window as the amber light of some candles warmed up the rose-scented bedchamber. The object of his excitements and anticipation was sitting on the bed, decked to the nines in red, glowing in the candlelight. He couldn't see her face right now, but during the ceremony a few hours ago, he did steal a glance to see the beautiful face thinly covered by a red veil. She was beautiful, like a mysterious flower; a rose or chrysanthemum, shyly smiling at him. Now, he saw her, his Princess, his Bride, his wife, her hands fidgeting with a red silk handkerchief. He realised she was nervous. The trouble was that, unexpectedly, he was too.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Barbara Yung's letters part 1: Chor Lau Heung

Barbara and Michael during a CLH 1984 press conference


I've been wondering for a while how Barbara was when she was alive. I wrote in May that she might suffer depression during her last months. But what of her in the beginning and midst of her career? What of her before that? Rob Radboud said that Barbara was a gentle person who would sacrifice everything for love. I watched a small documentary with her talking, she looked lovely and lively. But is there another way of understanding her aside from those sources?

Then it occurred to me after reading some unrelated (duh) letters of Van Gogh. Letters! Jane Austen left letters that made us understand who she was, what she was like. Also Van Gogh, and other authors/artists. Nowadays we can glimpse what a person is like through their social media postings. But letters are truer, for they are not intended for public viewing. Of course, unlike reading letters of Jane Austen or Van Gogh who had passed away centuries ago, it's more of a breach of privacy to read letters of the deceased when they passed away not long ago (Barbara is in this category). But Barbara's letters are already available online from Rob's website (previously hosted at www.barbarayung.net), hence I feel okay in discussing them here.

Monday, 5 September 2016

LOCH 2008 final impressions

LOCH 2008 poster, from Crunchyroll

"A mixed bag" is what I'd call LOCH 2008. Another way would be "good in small details, bad in big pictures". I originally wanted to write part 2 of the review after part 1, but then I didn't have time (and now I lean towards the don’t care attitude, sadly). Hence, this is a compilation of thoughts while watching eps 16-50. I will also comment on some characters that attracted my attention. I've only watched the 1983 ver so far (not planning to watch other versions, thank you), so inevitably I will compare it with the 1983 ver. Spoilers below.

Storyline

I find that the pacing is better in this series than the 1983 version. If you read my episode recaps of 83, you'll know that I complained about the almost two episodes devoted solely for the Dali story. This pacing wastage didn't happen in 08. They only spent about 15 min to explain the whole story between Southern Emperor, Yinggu and Zhou Botong. Which is great, cos I cannot relate to this ZBT at all. I find him annoying instead of endearing the way I feel for the 83 ZBT.

However, the compact storyline also sacrificed some aspects of the series, some of them major. As some past reviewers have commented, Guo Jing's childhood was skipped entirely. I'm not a fan of the 83 ver of having the eight first episodes dedicated to GJ's life in Mongolian; two episodes would do, I think. But I don't advocate wiping it out altogether either. Also, some crucial elements about Huang Yaoshi wasn't shown here, e.g. we didn't see the adorable Huang Yaoshi (Anthony Wong) looking for HR after she left the island after the contest between GJ and Ouyang Ke. Hopefully in 2017, we will be treated with that scene, for we have  a photo of Michael Miu's HYS on the lookout for HR onboard of a boat, just like in 1983.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Line Walker (TVB 2014)


A few days ago, Michael Miu posted a series of photo on his Weibo account, informing us of his new series, from TVB Hong Kong no less! He’s reprising his role as Cheuk Sir, a detective at the Hong Kong police squad, a role he had done superbly back in the well-received 2014 Line Walker. The new poster of Line Walker 2 is near the end of this article. The rest of the article is something I’ve written back in June when I watched Line Walker 1 cover-to-cover in less than a week (Cantonese version, yo!). Talking about addiction...I never got to post this commentary, but since Line Walker 2 is coming up, there's no better time than the present to post it! Apologies if it is rather incoherent; it was really a running commentary as I watched the series. 




I once said I wanna see Michael playing a modern hacker or "thief" to mirror his Chor Lau Heung. Well, we don't have Barbara now, so it won't be the same (her birthday and death commemoration are coming soon), and Michael never played that modern Chor Lau Heung before he retired in 1987. Besides, technology in 1987 wasn't that advanced yet for him to play a convincing modern CLH.

But now we have excellent IT etc. And Michael had returned to us more than a decade ago. Though he wasn't playing a hacker in Line Walker, the series gave him very sufficient screen time to display his excellence as a hacker (policemen can hack too), a detective (love it when he solved cases!!) and an efficient fighter (he knocked out several bad cops without a sweat, but he did really fight...not those annoying CGIs!). And to see him in suit is always a lovely sight...And his voice was still awesome. Almost unchanged. His voice... (to think that I won’t hear that voice in the Mandarin version of the LOCH 2017!).


Tuesday, 23 August 2016

LOCH 2008 first impressions

LOCH 2008 poster from Clapanuelos

In preparation of LOCH 2017, I thought I'd better watch LOCH 2008 to acquaint myself with the 21 CE wuxia style, particularly that of Jin Yong. I watch LOCH 2008 through KissAsian Jianghu. This post is for episodes 1-15 and I posted it with my iPad, so please excuse the brevity and mistakes.

I find the 2008 version having an interesting story telling with flashbacks. Sceneries, the grand scale of Heng Dian studio and cinematography definitely win against 1983. However, I still prefer the costumes of 1983, although they would be recycled later for other series (e.g. The Foundation 1984). And most definitely, the original voice wins against any dubbed versions. This is not just for the Mandarin-dubbed HK series, but also for Mainland dubbed series. I really don't get it. What's wrong with using Ariel Lin's real voice? I can see and hear how Huang Rong's voice was dubbed, for it's just too cute (in an annoying way) and too high pitched oftentimes.

I still much prefer the old 80s with minimum cables and real fist fights, somersaults and backflips from the actors and actresses. Exceptional mention is the Temujin vs Jamukha fight in Ep 2 or 3 win just fists and wrestles; now that was pleasing to watch! The theme song for that scene was great too. When Brian Leung's North Beggar arrived on screen, we then start to enjoy the older classical fighting scenes, cos Brian had solid kung fu, like those of the old TVB era. They actually even showed a Hong Qigong double doing sommersault, to my glee! I also like YK/MNC and YK/GJ close-distance sparring/fighting. It seems when it's not involving flying off the roof scenes, modern wuxia series actually can pull quite good fighting scenes. But once it involves anything resembling rooftop or height, it paradoxically falls to the ground.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

"Eyes on Me" - a Chor Lau Heung 1984 MV


"Eyes on Me" - a Chor Lau Heung 1984 MV from Icha74 on Vimeo.


I have loved "Eyes on Me" from Final Fantasy VIII since I found it in 2014. Then I stopped listening to it until recently, when I thought the theme would suit Song Siu Ching's feelings for Chor Lau Heung. I think I was right. "Eyes on Me" by Faye Wong, music composed by Nobuo Uematsu, English lyrics by Kako Someya. The English lyrics are below the break. I also included the original MV of "Eyes on Me" for FF VIII here. 

Enjoy!


Update 15 Aug'16: The Dailymotion version has been deleted by Dailymotion; I guess because of the song (Final Fantasy copyright?), not because of TVB. Dang... This is not a problem for those with access to Vimeo, but readers in Indonesia will have a problem with that, because Vimeo is banned in Indonesia (palm/face). Perhaps I need to make a Tudou account to upload this video? YouTube is out of question cos this is a video, not a collection of stills. Dang...

Monday, 8 August 2016

Yang's Saga 1985 review


Directed by Johnnie To, Raymond Lee and Siu Kin-hing, “Yang's Saga” is star-studded with important actors and actresses, minus my dear Barbara who passed away around the time of the filming or editing of this movie. Even the first scenes in Heaven had Dodo Cheng as Immortal Woman Ho, Mr Cheung Ying-choi (Master Ma Yu in LOCH 83 and the Emperor in CLH 84) as Royal Uncle Cho, Chow Yun Fat as Lui Tung-ban (Lu Dongbin), and Maggie Cheung Man-yeuk (Chang Man-yi) as the Divine Lady of Nine Heavens. We have Lisa Lui as Empress Li of Song and Margie Tsang as Tony's apsara girlfriend who was banished to the Earth because she was dating Tony Leung the Thunder Boy. Michael Miu was the Fourth Young Master Yang (Yeung Yin-fai, Yeung Sai-long), Mimi Kung (Wah Jan-Jan in CLH 84) played as his Song wife. Felix Wong was the Fifth Young Master Yang (Yeung Ng-long). Any Lau was the Sixth Young Master Yang (Yeung Yin-Chiu/Yang Yanzhao). Tony Leung was the Seventh son (Yeung Chat-long). Michael Tao was one of the brats in the nemesis Poon family. Kent Tong was the Eight Prince of the Song (Prince Bat Ying, or Zhao Defang). Chan Wing-chun (Wu Tit Fa in CLH 84) and Chun Wong (Old Imp, LOCH 83) were the two Yeung generals. Check this Wiki link for other casts.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Visiting Barbara's grave

Click this to read my visit to Barbara's grave in June 2017

Barbara Yung's grave, Cambridge 28 July 2016

Since I started writing posts about Michael and Barbara last year, I had wanted to visit Barbara's grave in Cambridge UK. I finally had my chance when the UK immigration finally granted me a tourist visa for a visit this July.

I went to visit Barbara's grave in Cambridge last week on Thursday (28 July). It was raining when I arrived around 2 pm at the Cambridge City Cemetery. I had with me two bouquets of roses: 10 yellow roses and 10 red, pink and white roses. I also brought a pot of small red roses, all for £10 in the Thursday Cambridge market.

Located at Lot 29, at the north corner of the Cambridge City Cemetery (diagonal from the main parking lot), Barbara's grave wasn't looking as sad as when Rob Radboud came in June 2012. Back then, a yellow rose bush was growing unattended, blocking the grave. Rob had to hack the bush with his own hands without garden scissors or a knife, for he wasn't expecting that the grave wasn't attended. This time, last Thursday, I saw "only" two bunches of flowers wrapped in plastic, half a bottle of mineral water that someone used as a vase, and growing weed. Still a mess though, which made me sad...


Wednesday, 27 July 2016

“You’re the best in this world” MV (Michael Miu as HYS 2017) & LOCH 1983 OST 3 translation




I just made this MV since we have now enough photos to make just one MV of Michael as Huang Yaoshi 2017. Since Michael played as the very memorable villain Yang Kang (Yeung Hong) in the 1983 ver of LOCH, I think it's apt to have the LOCH 1983 OST used for this piece. The OST is titled "You're the best in this world" 世間始終你好 sung by Roman Tam and Jenny Tseng. I have the YouTube, Vimeo and Dailymotion versions for Michael as Huang Yaoshi here. 

Since I'm also doing the translation of the LOCH 1983 OST, this post is also for that. Hence, the translation of "You’re the best in the world" (世間始終你好) is after the break. The MV of LOCH 1983 OST part 3 with Barbara Yung as Wong Yung and Felix Wong as Kwok Ching is after the translation. Romanisation is Cantonese Yale (converted from Jyutping using this site), translated into English and Indonesian.

I love this song so much, I think it's just slightly below the iconic part 1 (Iron Blood, Loyal Heart) theme song, so I enjoyed making the MV. I hope you like it too. Translation of 2nd LOCH 1983 OST will be done next week or so...


Monday, 25 July 2016

Legend of Dik Ching 1986 eps 11-20

Click this link to see the raw Cantonese episodes of Dik Ching

Seung Seung and Dik Ching shared their hearts, Ep 11

Ep 11: SS went to see the imprisoned DC and made up for their fights earlier. DC produced the jade arhat that SS once gave her, thus she knew that he truly loved her. Although her brother still dragged her away, she appeared again just before DC and his friend were guillotined. She threatened her brother that she'd commit suicide if DC was still killed, but the silly girl took a misstep and actually truly stabbed herself. She was still okay, but the Prince delayed the death punishment for DC. The next bit, I don't really get, but I think the Prince then offered DC freedom and gave his permission to marry SS if DC would reside with the Mongols. Or something like that, cos later the word "Fuma" (prince consort) was spoken by Chung tai-gor’s sister. DC refused, so he was imprisoned again. Then A Fuk and the girl came to the camp, and somehow managed to talk to DC. This is when DC asked the girl to talk to SS, I think telling SS that his refusal to be a Fuma (prince consort) doesn't mean he didn't love SS. That night, DC's colleagues tried to rescue him, but the idiots failed... 

Saturday, 23 July 2016

More photos of Michael Miu as Huang Yaoshi

Michael Miu has uploaded more photos of him as the East Heretic in his weibo. Rather than putting them in the older post, I'd put them here instead. I will also make an MV of him as Huang Yaoshi, if not this weekend, then next weekend (a very tiring week this week...), so watch this blog please...



The above is my favourite due to the saying. The right bottom corner says, "Travel somewhere new each year, and you just might find yourself along the way". On the left upper corner is Huang Yaoshi's name written in the traditional Chinese characters 黃藥師 (love it! I much prefer traditional than simplified characters due to the former's deeper meanings). Michael also wrote "If not now, when?". I think these simple sayings are very profound, it shows how much he was willing to explore by taking the role of the iconic Huang Yaoshi.

(or perhaps because he is already 58 years old now, he was concerned that he would not get the chance again in the future. Or both.)

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Legend of Dik Ching 1986 eps 1-10

Update: Have updated some aspects in the synopsis based on Wina's explanations and her great childhood memories!

Kitty Lai (Princess Seung Seung) and Michael Miu (Dik Ching) in DC 1986

The Legend of Dik Ching (狄青)was the Northern Song rom-com featuring Michael Miu and Kitty Lai as the leads. This was one of the first series Michael played after Barbara's passing in 1985 (the other one was Yang's Saga), which makes it paradoxically sadder to me due to its rom-com nature. However, Wina recommended the series to me. Since it's a Michael Miu series, I thought why not watching it. Plus, I love Kitty Lai as well since I saw her as Zhao Min in HSDS 86 three decades ago. The problem is that there is no English sub for DC, hence I had to just watch the raw version. I still opt to watch the Cantonese version though, at least I still can hear Michael's real voice. Now, the trick is, Youku does not have the complete DC episodes. Luckily, my persistent to view the Canto ver paid off, for I found this Yueyuyy website. Yueyuyy actually airs the Tudou and Youku links, but only Tudou links work. It doesn't have the sub, but that's the only complete collection I can find in Cantonese, so you better watch it soon if you are interested. Click here for the summary in the TVB channel (spellings are Mandarin Pinyin, mostly).

DC was the Northern Song version of Szeto Man Mo. DC's family held exclusive rights to trade salt and rice in the Song kingdom, and they had been doing a fair trade with the consumers. DC liked to prank and a bit good-for-nothing in the beginning, but actually had a golden heart. He had a childhood friend named Yeung Chiyan (Shalin Tse, the yellow-dressed maiden in HSDS 86) who loved him so much. DC worked for the Magistrate or something like that, I suppose after his mother rebuked him for being a lazy bone. Mum was Felix Wong's Kwok Ching's mum (Li Ping) in LOCH 83. DC had a loyal servant named A Fuk (who often became DC's sandbag in the earlier episodes or became DC's unsolicited adviser, though the results were not always guaranteed). DC's nemesis was Pon Sau, another royalty portrayed by the cute Michael Tao (Right Emissary Fan Yao in HSDS 86).