Call Me Stormy

Finding righteous currents in turbulent times

Archive for the tag “Hong Kong”

Next Media Under Attack

We frequently run Next Media Animation videos here. The company’s newspapers in Hong Kong have come under mysterious attack from masked thugs wielding knives and meat cleavers. The string of attacks have accelerated leading up to July 1 — the anniversary of the day that Hong Kong fell under the domain of mainland China.

Extradition Debate Begins

Now that former CIA employee and NSA contractor Edward Snowden has disclosed he’s the source responsible for leaking details of the NSA’s top-secret surveillance campaign, speculation has turned to whether the US will obtain his extradition from Hong Kong or whether the former crown colony might grant him asylum. Snowden has been holed up in a Hong Kong hotel, but also has said he might eventually want to resettle to Iceland because of its strong positions upholding Internet freedom.

Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow

Today’s Trillion Dollar Movie, Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow, helped transform an upstart 24-year-old actor into the world’s most recognized martial arts star. The performer: Jackie Chan. While the film Drunken Master was Chan’s first huge breakout hit, Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow — shot immediately before Drunken Master in 1978 — gave Chan his first genuine opportunity to define his acting style and create the screen persona that his legions of fans would come to cherish.

Here, he begins to experiment with all of the signature elements of his style — the slapstick gags, the self-effacing humor, the exuberant fight scenes choreographed with pinpoint precision. The stuntwork is perhaps more rudimentary than in Chan’s most eye-dropping features, but this role still puts him through his paces, involving plenty of agility and physical stretching as a performer.

He plays a naive, bullied janitor, Chien Fu, who serves as a sort of a human punching bag at a local martial arts academy. His life is miserable until he’s accepted as a protege by Pai, a crafty old master trained in the Snake Fist fighting style. Pai’s motives aren’t entirely altruistic. He’s one of the last of his breed, as a rival school, the Eagle Claw, has waged a protracted war against the Snake Fist fighters and nearly wiped out the entire society. Pai sees Chien Fu as perhaps the last hope to defend the Snake Fist clan and prevent its extinction.

Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow not only established Chan as a rising star, but also burnished the reputation of first-time director Yuen Woo-Ping. On the basis of his work here and in Drunken Master, Woo-Ping enjoyed a long career as one of Hong Kong’s most successful action filmmakers, sought out by Hollywood to stage the fight scenes in The Matrix as well as Kill Bill. Enjoy, and do return again next Friday for another Trillion $ Movie.




Crackdown on Public Pooping

The Hong Kong metro wants to wipe out an unsanitary practice: Some of its patrons, supposedly mostly Chinese tourists, are defecating in public places at train and subway stations.  As part of its campaign, the metro has posted signs advising travelers to seek out toilet facilities and otherwise not to poop on the premises. H/T Apple DailyEnglish

Now That’s a Croc

A 36-year-old IT specialist in Hong Kong was arrested at the Kowloon Tong Station after police observed him taking upskirt shots of women using a miniature camera embedded inside his Croc shoes. He even installed a battery so he could film for longer. H/T Apple Daily English

Go! Girl! Go!–Cuarenta y Ocho

Allyson Chang Yen goes wild in the 1967 Hong Kong romantic comedy They All Fall in Love, an unsung release from the Shaw Brothers studio. Allyson never achieved leading lady status, which is a shame, because this scene suggests she had the magnetism and glittery presence to handle stardom.

Go! Girl! Go!–Treinta y Tres

Dance, drink and free-flowing, lustful poetry draw out the spirits of the Green Snake (Maggie Cheung) and the White Snake (Joey Wang) in the 1993 Hong Kong period fantasy Green Snake. Tsui Hark directed, adapting a classic Chinese folk tale about two snake sisters.

Real-Life Barbie Dolls

Why are women around the world undergoing extreme makeovers so they can look like Barbie dolls or Japanese anime nymphettes? Next Media Animation out of Taiwan introduces a few of the women on the forefront of this New Wave of fashion, including Valeria Lukyanova and Anastasiya Shpagina, from Ukraine, and China’s walking-talking Barbie dolls Wang Jia Yun 王嘉韻, Koko Wang 王尒可 and Tina Leopard 蒂娜.

Here is a make-up tutorial by the 19-year-old Shpagina, showing how she achieves her doe-eyed look. It takes her about a hour to transform herself into a real-life anime character. Although on her v.k. page (Europe’s answer to Facebook), she writes, “I’m not a like a doll, a doll is like me.”

Get up close and personal with Wang Jia Yun, 17, who resembles a living, breathing blow-up doll. Born in Kowloon, Hong Kong, she’s now studying in Shenzhen, China.


Princess Dragon Mom

Today’s Trillion Dollar Movie, Inframan, is a 1975 film from Hong Kong that can stake out three claims to fame — some of the wildest mutant monsters on the planet, ferocious kung-fu action and the vixenish villainess, Princess Dragon Mom, a power-mad dominatrix who cracks a mean whip and looks like a cross between a Valkyrie and a K-pop star with bleached-blonde hair.

The film doesn’t waste any time. Hong Kong is practically leveled within the first three minutes, as Princess Dragon Mom awakens from a 1,000-year sleep, causing her volcanic lair, Mount Devil, to erupt and transform before our eyes into a skull-capped peak. She quickly summons her minions — the Octopus Mutant, the Laser Horn Monster, the Giant Beetle Monster, the Driller Beast, the Emperor of Doom, the Iron-Fist Robots, the She-Demon and her hordes of Skull Warriors. They stand ready to back up her nefarious plans for world dominion, which she plainly announces:

“Greetings to you, Earthlings! I am Princess Dragon Mom. I have taken over this planet. Now I own the Earth and you will be my slaves for all eternity.”

Just a few of Inframan’s foes.

Not so fast, Dragon Mom. At Science Patrol headquarters, Professor Chang scratches his loose-fitting toupee as he ponders how to protect the planet from a fate worse than death. His answer: Subject his willing assistant Rayma to a near-lethal dose of radiation. As a result of this bionic process, Rayma will become InfraMan, a flying superhero with X-ray vision, who can withstand “the suffering of hell” and fight back with Thunder Ball Fists.

Inframan was made by the Shaw Brothers, who cranked out fast-punching, hard-kicking kung-fu movies by the dozens. Here, they not only add a cool, sci-fi veneer, but also many wonderful layers of campy silliness. You won’t soon forget the sight of the mutant monsters dancing inside the cave they call home.  A Japanese superhero with his own TV show, Ultraman, inspired this Hong Kong knock-off, and both, in turn, served as forerunners for the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Enjoy the fun, and do return next Friday for another Trillion $ Movie.

Batman: Dark Knightfall

In an impressive first-effort at stop-motion animation, Hong Kong-based Derek Kwok and Henri Wong have created a fan tribute using Batman toys. They’ve elicited a flood of positive comments from viewers. A sample by Louis Tristram, “So much better than The Dark Knight Rises! Amazing stop frame. AMAZING!”

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