Monday, March 8, 2021

[2021.03.09] UA CINEMA CIRCUIT CLOSES IN HONG KONG

Anthony Wong says that under the pandemic everyone stay at home and watch television, so television series and television movies won.  

The entire UA cinema circuit closed, yesterday its Mongkok cinema was already closed.

Director Sunny Chan says that the cinema is an important base for art and culture, and he hopes the audience would safeguard it.

Director Philip Yung feels the UA circuit closure is too sudden
courtesy of mingpao.com

The pandemic severely impacted the Hong Kong film industry. All Hong Kong cinemas closed three times. The third wave of the pandemic closed cinemas for over 70 days. They were opened again on the Lunar 7th (February 18th), but after 36 years the UA cinema circuit yesterday announced suddenly a complete circuit closure. Many in the industry lamented, but Anthony Wong Chau Sun felt it was the end of an era, and the beginning of another era. The pandemic has made people's life format electronic. "Now very obviously the way out has already appeared, in the future perhaps the home would become the cinema."

Anthony Wong Chau Sun lamented the end of an era. "It's over, without cinema do we go home and screen movies ourselves?" He said that when the cinemas opened up again occupany was limited to 50%, salary and rent had to be paid in full but the box office had to be halved. It was pouring water into the ocean! He felt that in the future the format of watching movies would change. "In the future the home may become the theater, because the pandemic made everyone use to work, learn and watch movies at home. Many people say that they are contributing money to help the film industry; otherwise film would have no hope. However it is impossible to be like the 80s. We shouldn't think about the past, we have to keep moving ahead. The world is already different, we have to accommodate and coordinate."

Wong Chau Sun said that when theaters developed into mini cinemas, then to out of business, naturally the home would become the cinema. "Now everything is electronic. Actually very obviously the way out is already here, changing the entire format. 5 years ago when I was chatting with Hollywood film friends, they already said that the American film industry was already beginning to change. They either made big productions or micro productions; many people switched to make television series and television movies. Under the pandemic, everyone stay at home and watch television, television series and television movies won everything. Of course they must be creative."

Sammo Hung Kam Bo was even more pessimistic. "Later maybe film and television would be gone. We would have to listen to the radio again. Everything is retro in Hong Kong!" He lamented the UA cinema circuit closing. "In the past we often went to the movies, every Saturday and Sunday we went to save our seats to see the audience's reaction. Now this song no longer exists." Simon Yam Tat Wa said, "It's very sudden, I am a little upset. Since it happened nothing could be done about it. Hopefully the pandemic would pass soon and every business and industry would get back on track." Richie Jen (Yam Yin Chai) felt that the situation should be confronted with optimism. "Everyone is working hard to make good movies, when the market recovers more cinemas would open up again. I used to watch movies at the UA. The pandemic's impact has been enormous. Many restaurants have closed. My heart really aches over it."

Ron Ng Cheuk Hei felt tha UA cinema circuit closure was regrettable but he could do nothing about it. "When I was little I often went to the Sha Tin UA to watch movies. I really grew up with it. I wish that the pandemic would quickly pass so cinemas can open up again." Jerry Lamb Hiu Fung suggested for cinemas to find even more exits to ensure space for survival. "Many people are saying that the times are changing. I feel cinemas can transition. For example when singers perform concerts and the venue capacity does not allow high occupancy, they can consider using cinemas for simultaneous broadcast so even more viewers would be able to watch them." Patrick Tam Yiu Man hoped that someone would take over the circuit.

MEN ON THE DRAGON (YIK LAU DAI SUK)'s director Sunny Chan Wing Sun posted on social media, "UA's closure of course has an impact on the industry. I wish that each colleague who works at UA would be able to find even better development. Another important point is, out of the 6 cinemas that provides descriptive video services for the visually impaired in Hong Kong, UA had 4. After the closure Hong Kong film descriptive video services for the visually impaired would take a few steps back. Cinema is an important base for regional art and culture, it must be safeguarded. Viewers and friends, please support the Hong Kong film industry. If possible in the future, see you at the movies, OK? Thank you."

PORT OF CALL (DAP HUET CHUM MUI)'s director Philip Yung Tsz Kwong lamented that several days ago he just watched KEEP ROLLING (HO HO PAK DIN YING) at an UA cinema. He never expected that it would close! If Hong Kong has no cinema, where would the movies be screened after they are made in the future?

[2021.03.09] SHOCK WAVE 2 TOPS THE BOX OFFICE AFTER CINEMAS RETURN

SHOCK WAVE 2
courtesy of mingpao.com

All cinemas in Hong Kong opened again on the Lunar 7th (February 18th), but the Lunar New Year's golden slot already passed. With the gathering restriction order, cinemas were limited to half capacity and the box office was drastically impacted. As of March 7th and 18 days cumulation, SHOCK WAVE 2 with HK$ 16.5 million took the top spot. In second was the animation SOUL with HK$ 15.5 million, then WONDER WOMAN 1984 with HK$ 7.7 million and THE WAY WE KEEP DANCING with HK$ 6.97 million. The first SHOCK WAVE made over HK$ 25 million, the first THE WAY WE DANCE made HK$ 13 million. From the current trend, the previous mark would be very hard to overcome. MONSTER HUNTERS, DETECTIVE CHINATOWN 3 and THE RESCUE only had average box office performance.

[2021.03.09] SAMMO HUNG MOURNS THE UA CINEMA CLOSURE: LIFE HAS NO HOPE

Sammo Hung returns to work after resting for a year or two 

Ron Ng would work anywhere as long as there is a good script

Jerry Lamb is afraid that his son would have no job after joining the business
courtesy of singtao.com

Simon Yam and Richie Jen are like brothers

Ron Ng, Jerry Lamb, Patrick Tam

Sammo Hung runs to his appearance
courtesy of on.cc



courtesy of mingpao.com

Sammo Hung Kam Bo, Simon Yam Tat Wa, Richie Jen (Yam Yin Chai), Alex Fong Chung Shun, Patrick Tam Yiu Man, Ron Ng Cheuk Hei and others yesterday attended the film BIN YUEN HUNG JEH (EDGE WALKER)'s production start worship ceremony in Yuen Long. Earlier rumored to have health problems, Sammo appeared to be in great spirit. Although he walked with a cane, he was still rather agile. Full of energy he ran to his appearance. His wife Joyce Godenzi also made the rare trip to keep him company.

In recent years Sammo's health condition caught attention. Yesterday he began work with his wife Joyce Godenzi (Go Lai Hung) by his side. He appeared to be in decent shape. He revealed that after the previous Lunar New Year film he has not made a movie in two years. This time would be a gues starring role as he would play a mob boss. Did he ask for ample time to rest during the shoot? He said, "Lately I have been resting everyday, I have been resting for a year or two. I am the happiest about getting to work. I haven't made a Hong Kong film in a very long time. Although it's a guest starring role, when Hong Kong film has work I have to keep working. It's absolutely something to be happy about. Hong Kong people make Hong Kong movies, I don't know when that will stop. Today I heard that the UA cinema circuit closed, maybe later we won't even have film and television. I would have to go back to listen to the radio, everything is retro in Hong Kong! I used to go to the cinemas for audience reaction all the time, now this song no longer exists."

Big Brother Big admitted that he admired film companies for still making movies under the pandemic. He on the other hand would not be able to. Would he take a pay cut to support his colleagues? He joked, "If the governmen asks me then I don't need to. (The government) has a lot of money, with colleagues I can negotiate. (Do you want the government to help the film industry?) No need to say more! Life has no hope, I only hope Hong Kong would still have air that is breathable. Now when I see the people's lives on television my heart aches, I want to help but I can't help much. The only thing I can help with is shedding tears."

Yam Tat Wa in the film played Siu Chai's "boss". In real life Siu Chai also treated him as the "boss". He said, "At first when I came to Hong Kong to make movies Brother Wa took care of me. We have the same last name, with his constant reminders I would get into character very quickly." Siu Chai in the film played a mobster who could be both good and evil, with large emotional swings. Thus he would move away from his family to avoid affecting them. He said, "I get into the character too much, and my emotions would go in and out. When I get home that presence would still remain. Sometimes when the children asked me about their homework my character would appear. Earlier when I made TRIVISA I was constantly mean and nasty, so I might as well move out."

Speaking of his friend Bobby Chan Sing confirmed that he had oral cancer, he said that he consoled him. Siu Chai sentimentally said, "Brother Tat (Ng Man Tat) passed away, some friends have health problems too. I wish everyone would be safe, the most important is health."

Simon Yam Tat Wa revealed that in the film he would traverse between both sides of the law and would have many car chase scenes. The film would also shoot on location in Hong Kong to show a different Hong Kong. The cast had a pleasant time working together, as he with singers and musicians Siu Chai, Danny Chan Kwok Kwan, Patrick Tam Yiu Man and Jerry Lamb Hiu Fung planned to formed a quintet after the completion of the film. . Brother Wa claimed to be a newcomer in music, and could sing and danvce. Siu Chai even had an idea for the music video. Brother Wa volunteered to personally shoot the music video. Some said that Brother Wa was a pandemic "miracle", under the pandemic he still had three movies. He said, "I really like the roast pork at the production start ceremonies, and I get cha siu rice boxes. I would be very happy when I get roast pork, as it represents movies for everyone to make."

Tam Yiu Man and Lamb Hiu Fung both agreed that the film market after the Lunar New Year improved. Tam Yiu Man said, "After the Lunar New Year it was a little better. I hope more people would get to work, make different types of movies and help the film industry thrive. Thus I hope everyone would obey and follow the pandemic prevention rules." Ah Lo chimed in. "Hong Kong film should rise again, just take a look at Tam Yiu Man and Ng Cheuk Hei. They have developed decently in the Mainland but they still came back to make the movie. It will work for sure." Ng Chek Hei admitted that this year he would focus on the Hong Kong market, but for now he still had no plan to return to TVB. Would he work on other series for other stations? He stated that he would work on anything with a good script.

Ah Lo's 17 year old son Lam Bo was rumored to be interested in the business. Ah Lo said, "He is only a guest model for his designer friends. My son sees very clearly, even if he gets into the business would he really have work. Not to mention right now school should come first. However, I hope (Peter) Lam Kin Ngok would support him. Mr. Lam is a big boss. Both of my sons have met Mr. lam. Even I always see Mr. Lam myself, haha."

[2021.03.09] FAREWELL, NG MAN TAT

Ng Man Tat's son carries his son to the hearse
courtesy of singtao.com

courtesy of on.cc


Ng Man Tat's daughter from his first marriage helps widow Hou Yin Shan to the crematorium hall

Mrs. Kwan Hoi Shan and Ting Yu pay their respect
courtesy of mingpao.com

Veteran actor Ng Man Tat passed away on the 27th last month from liver cancer. Two days ago a wake was held at the Universal Funeral Parlor and the farewell ceremony took place yesterday morning. The coffin then was transported to the Cape Collinson Crematorium. His family also followed Brother Tat's wishes as his ashes would be transported back to Malaysia for burial.

Yesterday Brother Tat's brothers and twin daughters arrived early. His widow Hou Shan Yin and their son Ng Wai Lun arrived around 10:10AM. When reporters rushed up for photos, the mother and son under family and friends' protection lowered their heads and hurried inside. Around 11:45 AM the farewell ceremony was completed. Ng Man Tat's coffin was transported to the hearse from the hall, his son Ng Wai Lun carried his father's photo and stepped onto the hearse. Widow Hou Yin Shan stayed in the hall for awhile before family and friends helped her into a vehicle.

After the hearse arrived at the Cape Collinson Crematorium, Brother Tat's son Wai Lun, daughter Hoi Yan and brother Ng Lei Tat stood next to the coffin and waited for Mommy before entering the hall together. At this time Hou Yin Shan carried a white rose. The entire cremation ceremony took around 20 minutes. When Hou Yin Shan departed the media asked when would Brother Tat's ashes be brought back to Malaysia for burial. She did not respond and left with her son. Brother Tat's brother Ng Lei Tat also said that he was uncertain when his brother's ashes would be buried.

Veteran voice actor Ting Yu and Kwan Hoi Shan's wife yesterday attended the farewell ceremony. Ting Yu said that Brother Tat was great. "Although at first he was very mischievous, when he went to work in the Mainland he still missed Hong Kong very much. He was very respectful to us elders, an invaluable talent in the art scene. We regret his passing very much. I would always miss him." Mrs. Kwan followed, "I was his Si Mo and I would miss him very much as well. Before going to the Mainland for a omvie he still had tea with me. When he got back he told me about how his operation went. His last words are still in my cell phone!"

[2021.03.09] LOUIS KOO'S LU BU ARRIVES IN NEW FILM TRAILER

Louis Koo as Lu Bu
courtesy of singtao.com

Han Geng as Guan Yu, Tony Yang as Liu Bei and Justin Cheung as Zhang Fei 

Some online says that Louis Koo as Lu Bu reminds them of his STEP INTO THE PAST role
courtesy of mingpao.com

The over HK$ 300 million film adaptation of DYNASTY WARRIORS (JUN SAM GOK MO SEUNG) is directed by Roy Chow Hin Yeung. Yesterday the film company announced that the film has been confirmed for an April 29th Hong Kong release and an April 30th Mainland release. Also releases were the first official trailer and 10 character posters; the film's giant billboards have already appeared in Mongkok. Based on the video game of the same name, DYNASTY WARRIORS

Earlier photos from DYNASTY leaked out. Yesterday the first all new trailer opened with the New Zealand snowy mountains, under which thousands began a battle. Various heroes fought on the battlefield, as Guan Yu (Han Geng) waved the Green Dragon yanyuedao and slashed at thousands; the heroic trio's battle with Lu Bu (Louis Koo Tin Lok) rocked heaven and earth, Cao Cao (Wang Kai) and Liu Bei (Tony Yang) had a duel atop a mountain with swords in hand; faced with thousands, Lu Bu and Cao Cao on horseback began their slaughter. Lu Bu attacked from the air and had everyone reeling. Later Diaochen (Gulnazar) tightly held Lu Bu as they descended the mountain, Liu Bei traveled swiftly with his bow drawn, Dong Zhuo (Lam Suet) raised his sword and killed his enemies, the visuals had variety and were rich. In addition, the armory master (Carina Lau Ka Ling)'s cold beauty and Yuan Shao (Ray Lui Leung Wai) also were bright spots with their apperaances.

Reportedly, the film from pre-production to production to post-producion took 3 years. The film was shot on location in New Zealand over four seasons, with over 1,500 post-production special effects shots. Actually the film already completed its post production last year, but due to the pandemic its release was delayed over and over.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

[2021.03.08] PATRICK LUI TEARFULLY MOURNS GARY TONG

Tai Chi performs in memory of their late member Gary Tong, as Patrick Lui breaks down in tears.
courtesy of on.cc

Tai Chi performs the Gary Tong written NEVER SAY FAREWELL AGAIN IN LIFE

Albert Lui calls from Canada to remember Gary Tong
courtesy of mingpao.com

The band Tai Chi's keyboardist Gary Tong Yik Chung earlier passed away possibly from heart disease. TVB two nights ago aired JADE SOLID GOLD REMEMBERS GARY TONG, and invited Tai Chi members and his cousin Jones Lee Chung Hei to share their experience with them. Everyone often got teary eyed while talking about him.

Joey Tang Kin Ming revealed that back then he played poorly. Gary sacrificed his play time to train him; Patrick Lui Yau fai would shared with Gary his heartbreaks and treated him like a hugging pillow. They also said that Gary aside from music was also great at eating. "On tour when we called room service, he would open the menu and order one of everything on the entire page. The entire table was full!" They also sang NEVER SAY FAREWELL AGAIN IN LIFE sorrowfully. Lui Yau Fai even broke down in tears. In Canada, Tai Chi member Albert Lui Yau Jiu revealed over the phone, "The first day I met him was when he was working at a piano shop. Every time I visited him he was playing the piano. He was the soul of the band." George Lam Chi Cheung, Alan Tam Wing Lun and Donny Summer (Ha Siu Sing) also sent videos in remembrance.

[2021.03.08] STEPHEN CHOW PAYS HIS RESPECT TO NG MAN TAT IN PERSON

Ng Tat Man in the eyes of his family was a filial son, a good role model, to his friends he was a good brother and big brother, and to viewers he was the irreplaceable "golden support player".

Andy Lau waves to the media before paying his respect
courtesy of singtao.com

Stephen Chow bid farewell to his former co-star

At the center are flowers from Ng Man Tat's wife, ex-wife and children

(front left) Ng Man Tat's brother Ng Hung Tat, Ng Lei Tat, twin daughters Hoi Yi, Hoi Yan and son Ng Wai Lun thank guests on behalf of the family

current wife Hou Shan Yin sorrowfully leaves the hall

Over 100 fans line up early to pay their respect

Tang Ying Man was in the same artist training class as Ng Man Tat

Chow Yun Fat sends flowers to pay his respect to his former classmate
courtesy of on.cc



Stephen Chow arrives with his sister Chow Man Kei.  His floral arrangement is placed somewhere well seen.



Ng Man Tat's widow Hou Shan Yin

Flowers from Chow Yun Fat and Jacky Cheung

Andy Lau puts his hands together toward the media as soon as he leaves his vehicle

Sandra Ng says that she did not know that Ng Man Tat was ill.  His passing was very sudden and she was heartbroken

Tin Kai Man and Ng Man Tat's brother Ng Lei Tat speak to the media.  Ng Lei Tat says that his brother was filial, cared about his family and was their role model

Brother Tat's 3rd TVB artist training class classmates 

Ha Yu

Already a colleague of Ng Man Tat since their TVB days, Johnnie To pays his respect

Vivien Leung and Chan Ka Fai pay respect to their TVB elder

Money Lo and  her husband Suen King On

Lok Ying Kwan bid his friend farewell



Ng Man Tat played a "patriotic scientist" in his final film COMMANDO WARRIORS
courtesy of mingpao.com

Comedy star Ng Man Tat last past from liver cancer on the 27th last month. Yesterday his services began at the Universal Funeral Parlor in Hung Hom, after today's farewell ceremony the remains will be transported to the Cape Collinson Crematorium and the family will take his ashes back to Malaysia to bring an end to his brillant film and television life. Stephen Chow Sing Chi yesterday appeared in person to pay his respect, after staying for 9 minutes he quickly left -- bidding Brother Tat a final farewell.

Outside the hall was a large television screen that played Brother Tat's film videos. In his photo Brother Tat was in a blue suit and holding up his chin with a smile. At the center was his current wife Hou Yin Shan and their children Ng Wai Lun and Ng Chor Yu's pink and yellow heart shaped flowers. Next were his first wife Mak Lei Lei and their two daughters Hoi Yan and Hoi Yi's flowers. The floral arrangement from Chow Sing Chi was placed somewhere eye catching. Lord Sing finally arrived around 4:10 PM with his sister Chow Man Kei, causing a stire. The usually low key Lord Sing and his siter entered the hall through different entrances. Dressed in black, a mask and a cap, Lord Sing lowered his head and remained silent and solemn. He stayed for around 9 minutes and left, did not respond to any media questions. He only waved and left in a hurry.

Many artists came to respect their respects at Ng Man Tat's wake. Aside form the "golden partner" Chow Sing Chi, "Heavenly King" Andy Lau Tak Wa arrived around 4:53 PM. In a cap and a white mask he put his hands together for media photos, stayed at the hall for 13 minutes and left.

Attendees included Sandra Ng Kwan Yu, Lam Tsz Chung, Chan Wai Man, Ting Yu, Lok Ying Kwan, Suen King On and his wife Money Lo Man Yee, Ha Yu, Johnnie To Kei Fung, Tang Ying Man, Poon Sin Kei, Ng Yun Chuen, Yen Mau Keung, Mak Chung Kong, Chan Kam Kuen and others.

Ng Kwan Yu said that she had many memories of Brother Tat. "I worked with Brother Tat on many movies, he played 'Uncle Three', my father, cousin, once I had to play a mob figure and Brother Tat played my father. He asked him, the drinking game expert, to teach me. I remembered that after the cameras stopped rolling we still kept playing. At the time I was so in character that I really treated him like Papa. I really have so many memories. Lately I wanted to ask Brother Tat to work together but, but his schedule was full." Kwan Yu got teary eyed as she said numerous times that Brother Tat's passing was sudden. "I didn't know he was sick, so it's very heart breaking and sudden. I never guessed it would be so soon. I didn't attend the viewing. I wanted to save my impression of Brother Tat, everyday I would take of him."

Tang Ying Man and Brother Tat were TVB artist training class classmates. Yesterday he with Poon Sin Kei, Ng Yun Chuen, Yen Mau Keung and others 3rd training class classmates went to pay their respect. Tang Ying Man said that back then he and classmates Ng Man Tat, Chow Yun Fat, To Kei Fung and others were very young. They went skinny dipping in a Tuen Mun beach. Brother Tat also taught him drinking games. He said that he was bold. Normally he would treat them to dinner. Several times after winning several hundred thousand from horseracing, he would again take them to harbor view restaurants. When he was in the abalone business he treated everyone to abalone. Did he have anything he would like to say to Brother Tat? He said, "In 2018 (Ringo) Lam Lan Tung passed, now Brother Tat ascended too. they can meet each other up there. Ah Tung can make movies up there, and brother Tat can keep acting. Later it would be my turn to go."

Brother Tat's son Ng Wai Lun arrived at the hall with family and friends around 2:30 PM. Tin Kai Man arrived after. He revealed that Brother Tat's ashes will be transported back to Malaysia for burial. His family around 5:30 PM arranged for the media to pay their respect to Brother Tat. At the family table was Brother Tat's brothers Ng Lei Tat and Ng Hung Tat, youngest son Wai Lun and twin daughters Hoi Yan and Hoi yi. Brother Tat's current wife Hou Shan Yin did not appear in front of the media. His second wife and daughter were absent. His first wife and daughter Chor Yu were overseas and unable to attend.

With almost half a century in film and television, Brother Tat made connections everywhere and was deeply respected by colleagues. The hall was filed with flowers, from Chow Yun Fat, Jackie Chan, Alan Tam Wing Lun, Leon Lai Ming, Jacky Cheung Hok Yau, Aaron Kwok Fu Sing, Lau Tak Wa, Louis Koo Tin Lok, Donnie Yen Chi Tan, Felix Wong Yat Wa and daughter Adrian Wong Chi Ching, Julian Cheung Chi Lam and Anita Yuen Wing Yi, Miriam Yeung Chin Wa and her husband, Mr. and Mrs. Nat Chan Pak Cheung, Margie Tsang Wa Sin, Carol Cheng Yui Ling, Teresa Mo Shun Kwan and her husband, Wong Jing, Mr. and Mrs. Simon Yam Tat Wa, Mr. and Mrs. Law Tsz Yik, Adam Cheng Siu Chau, Irene Wan Bik Ha, Lee Lik Chi, Mr. and Mrs. Chin Kar Lok, Mr. and Mrs. Wong Cho Nam and other.