Acclaimed C-actor Chen Jian Bin Nets Triple Win at Star-studded 2014 Golden Horse Awards

The 51st Golden Horse Awards took place last night in Taipei to celebrate the best of film in Greater China for 2014. It was an unprecedented triple win for Chinese actor-director Chen Jian Bin (who walked the red carpet in sunglasses heh), currently still best known around the world as Your Majesty Emperor Yongzheng from the blockbuster C-drama Legend of Zhen Huan. Chen Jian Bin won in every category he was nominated in – Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, and Best New Director. Talk about being King of the World. Well deserved, Mr. Chen Jian Bin!

On hand to celebrate his win was C-actress wife the gorgeous Jiang Qin Qin as well as his costars from the movie The Farmer (his Best Actor win) and Service in Paradise (his Best Supporting Actor win). Despite the awards being held in Taiwan, it was the Chinese mainland movies that took home most of the awards including Best Picture going to C-movie Blind Massage. Ethan Ruan‘s first post-military movie Service in Paradise also netted a Best Supporting Actress win for Regina Wan but overall the wins were pretty spread out. Check out the fashion parade below for more awards dressing eye-candy. Continue reading

Live-action Attack on Titan with Miura Haruma Poised to Destroy Summer 2015 Japan Box Office

This past summer box office in Japan was owned by the two Rurouni Kenshin movie sequels starring the increasingly hot Sato Takeru, but the industry is already predicting the upcoming domestic movie that will destroy next summer’s box office in Japan. I totally agree with the pundits that the J-movie that will lead the pack (by a mile) will be the big-budget action-packed long-awaited live-action Attack on Titan movie adapted from the blockbuster manga. I’m in the group that thought Miura Haruma was miscast when it was first announced he was headlining the live-action movie but now am pleasantly surprised.

The just released excellent official movie character posters for the main cast washes away most of my initial doubts and showcases Haruma as leading man Eren Yaeger in all his angtsy kickass intensity. I love it! Mizuhara Kiko as Mikasa is primed for a major career breakthrough beyond being G-dragon‘s girlfriend while Ishihara Satomi as Hans (snuggling her rocket launcher) is the stuff that makes me giddy. The only kicker is – and the reason fanboys and fangirls are freaking out – the most popular character in the manga that is Levi is NOT in the movie. I repeat -no Special Ops Squad Captain Levi. Let’s have a group cry now before ogling all the awesome movie posters below. Continue reading

Media Fixates on Han Hyo Joo Maybe Showing a Double Chin at Blue Dragon Handprint Event

When I came across multiple articles in various languages whether it’s the Korean media or the Chinese news portals or even the Japanese entertainment rags all focusing on one thing, I knew it was time to get my eyes checked. Either that or ask if anyone else thinks Han Hyo Joo got fat(ter) recently? Han Hyo Joo made a public appearance last week at a ceremony for the previous year winners of the Blue Dragon film awards for a hand print ceremony.

I found it bizarre and sets off all my sexist alarm bells that the biggest story to come out of that low key ceremony with lots of celebrated other award winners was how Han Hyo Joo was showing off a double chin. Seriously, that was the lead off article on many publications. I went and pulled up countless pictures of her at the event and not only is she not remotely fat, she doesn’t even look like she gained any weight from her usual svelte form! The only thing she evidenced for all the ladies to take note – a turtleneck is not flattering to the jawline. Continue reading

Ha Jung Woo and Ha Ji Won Wrap Chronicles of a Blood Merchant

There are stories so profound that it is imprinted in the heart. Such is the novel (and later movie adaptation) of the C-novelist Yu Hua‘s most famous work To Live. I was so awestruck and emotionally devastated after watching the Zhang Yimou directed movie that it took me years later to get up the courage to read the novel itself. It’s both emotionally gutwrenching and uplifting in ways that never feel exploitative. With that said, I’ve been circling the wagons over whether to read Yu Hua’s second novel Chronicles of a Blood Merchant for years now, never getting up the courage to tackle something I know will move me while battering my heart.

The novel has gotten a K-movie adaptation coming out next year starring Ha Jung Woo and Ha Ji Won and the movie recently wrapped filming and will head into post-production. Ha Jung Woo will be taking on two more hats in addition to being the titular leading man, he wrote the screenplay adaptation and is also the director. The A-list movie star power of both leads managed to land a huge supporting cast for the movie with many top stars doing cameo appearances such as Joo Jin Mo and Yoon Eun Hye. The first movie stills are out and this movie has award bait stamped all over it. Continue reading

Rainie Yang Tries Out NYC Fire Escape Chic for New Album Photoshoot

It’s hard enough getting to the top of the entertainment food ladder in one category much less two, it’s way harder to stay put and consistently put out projects that the fans scoop up. Rainie Yang crossed the decade mark on her dual acting-singer career a few years ago at the height of her fame and has since then stayed comfortably in the limelight without excess adulation or disappointments. She’s in that sweet spot where even the general Taiwanese public likes her well enough plus she’s got a very strong dedicated fanbase.

A career’s longevity really hinges on winning the general public’s goodwill more than just a niche fandom. Her one acting project this year was in a C-drama that totally was not my thing so I can’t even comment on whether it’s worth watching or if her acting was good in it. Her music career is arguably more popular nowadays and I’ve grown to really love her song selection and improved singing skills. She’s releasing a new album this month that’s poised to be a big hit and for the album cover she went to NYC for a photoshoot that captures her daredevil-crossed-with-couture personality. Continue reading

One Crazy Red Dress Snatches the Buzz at the Lackluster 51st Grand Bell Awards

The 51st Grand Bell Awards went off without a hitch last night in Seoul, though apparently there was major behind-the-scenes conflict between the past and present organizers. It was also quite a dud of an affair with the wins mostly getting yawns or huhs from the netizens. That makes the ridiculous and unattractive red lace coochie showing bondage dress that budding actress Han Se Ah wore to the awards ceremony the most talked about “did you see that” moment of the entire event.

To think I was just feeling impressed that Korean awards attendees were all dressing well lately. Other than The Admiral: Roaring Currents making off with Best Picture and leading man Choi Min Shik getting Best Actor, the rest of the wins are a bit dubious if you ask me (and the majority peeved K-netizens). Check out the red carpet pics below with a full list of nominees and the winners. A lot of the nominees didn’t even attend the ceremony which further explains why it feels so underwhelming. Continue reading

The Leads of Healer Shine in New Visually Intriguing Character Stills

I’m seriously so enamored of whatever Park Min Young has got going on in Healer. It’s the combination of her cute new mussy shoulder length hair and the fact that she’s totally glowing. The fresh and understated make up doesn’t hurt either. I’m also seeing all the earlier mentions of the resemblance to City Hunter especially when Park Min Young is seen opposite high tech Healer Ji Chang Wook dressed all in black.

Lee Min Ho never worked for me as the dangerous City Hunter but Ji Chang Wook is tickling all my swoony nodes here with his Healer getup. I hope the drama provides an acceptable backstory for how Ji Chang Wook’s character has the expertise and knowledge to do all the whiz bang fighting, leaping, and general badassery he’s showing in the teasers. Or the drama can forego explanations and just show more of Ji Chang Wook’s impressive muscles as seen in the latest still below where he’s rocking a wife beater while pumping iron. Hubba hubba. Continue reading

New Arrival The King’s Face No Competition as Pinocchio Continues to Rise in Ratings

It’s worth checking back into the current Wed-Thurs ratings to see how the current drama crop fares with the new arrival of The King’s Face on KBS. The network has been guzzling the bitter broth of rating suck since Joseon Gunman went off air and both Mon-Tues as well as Wed-Thurs became seat cushions. Since JG sageuks haven’t been doing well in ratings in general as SBS is also experiencing a rare sageuk misfire with lowly rated The Secret Door.

The King’s Face had hard competition with the good start of Pinocchio on SBS and the even better start of Mr. Back on MBC. Since I didn’t watch the trailers or the drama itself, I don’t know if it’s a lack of quality in The King’s Face but the drama premiered with AGB 7.1% ratings for episode one which then dropped a whole point and episode 2 netted 6.1%. A ratings drop between episodes in the first week is never a good sign but TKF should be more concerned that Pinocchio had a noticeable ratings rise in the second week and episode 4 broke double digits in ratings with AGB 10.4%. Continue reading

Pinocchio Episode 4 Recap

I LOVE PINOCCHIO. Episode 4 sealed the deal for me. This episode was everything perfect in K-drama storytelling style, with tension and laughter and so much heart I was flailing through even the non-OTP scenes. The familial unit is fast becoming one of my all times faves even if Dad is currently not onboard any possibility of the Dal Po-In Ha ship. I know he’ll come around and his reluctance for now makes for great comedic fodder. Grandpa is precious beyond belief and the makeover and confession scene with Dal Po made me so deliriously schmoopy.

Even if news and reporter dramas aren’t all that interesting a setting, this story uses it correctly merely as a canvas to showcase dramatic and heartfelt character connections. That’s what makes Pinocchio so much win already in four short episodes. Park Shin Hye finally came into her own as In Ha and more than matches Lee Jong Seok’s brimming chemistry and intensity, making for double the pleasure and torrents of future epic romance to come. I’m so happy I could cry that the drama year is looking to end on a high note for me thanks to Pinocchio. Who needs truth when dramatic fiction is so stirring. Continue reading