Showing posts from December, 2018

A Chinese Movie : Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy  葉問外傳:張天志,

Yuen Woo-ping's latest movie, Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy  葉問外傳:張天志, said to be a spin-off of the Ip Man movies since it focuses on the anti hero Wing Chun master, Cheung Tin Chi played by Max Zhang who challenges Ip Man and gets defeated in Ip Man 3, is a delight to watch. To a certain extent, Elizabeth Kerr of The Hollywood Reporter was right when she commented that the movie delivers on fights. When the master was pursued by gangsters in the early part of the movie, the ensuing cat and mouse chase  atop Hong Kong's neon signboards holds viewers in suspense as well as the  numerous well-executed fight scenes spread  throughout the movie. The plot isn't that bad. While a critic was of the opinion that the plot isn't something new, the movie isn't simply about a martial artist giving up fighting and is forced back into action in order to survive. The subplot featuring Michelle Yeoh as head of a triad and a protective sister is as interesting as the one featuring Da…

One Man's Success

Just the other day, when we were in Kuantan, my nephew treated me to the latest superhero movie Aquaman. The movie is a big hit and is said to have drowned the other big movie, Mary Poppins Returns, having made twice as much money. James Wan, the director whose name was also associated with horror movies like Saw, Conjuring and Insidious has been hailed as Malaysia’s biggest Hollywood success stories. Someone however pointed out the young director of Chinese descent was merely born in Malaysia and is actually an Australian, which of course, is true. His family moved to Perth, Australia when he was seven and it was in his adopted country that he attended school and university. Then, there was the question of whether he could make it if he has not left his birth country. With his talents, he probably would even with artificial obstacles stacked on him and one probably would either be left awed or envious.


Maggie Cheung Man-yuk 张曼玉, a famous Hong Kong star reportedly is a polyglot - that's someone who knows and is able to use several languages. In the 1991 Hong Kong film directed by Stanley Kwan, Center Stage, she switched from Cantonese to Mandarin and to Shanghainese and vice versa with ease; and in the film Clean directed by her ex-husband Frenchman Olivier Assayas, she performed in fluent English, French and Cantonese. The fashion icon from Hollywood Golden Age, star of My Fair Lady, the late Audrey Hepburn reportedly spoke five languages and probably is a polyglot too. Not so sure about Meryl Streep though. In Sophie’s Choice, Meryl Streep spoke Deutsch and Polish in various scenes but then she received language training courses before filming. Although she was of English and Germanic decent, having been born in America, she reportedly has not learned a second or third language. As for the Hong Kong star, her being raised in Hong Kong and England and ten years' stay in Pari…

Some Hollywood Chinese

Jon M.Chu, the director of Crazy Rich Asiansand a host of other noted Hollywood films such as Step Up 2: The Streets, Step Up 3D and G.I. Joe: Retaliation; has a rather long English name, Jonathan Murray; not very common, I suppose, for a Chinese. Born to a Sichuan father and a Taiwanese mother, the full blooded Chinese has been born and bred in Palo Alto, California and grew up very American, I suspect. The famed director even had an American girlfriend whom he married and had a daughter. A number of Chinese artistes in Hollywood have Western spouses or partners. Forget Bond girl, Michelle Yeoh who once had a Chinese husband from Hong Kong, Dickson Poon and later Western partners including Jean Todt  who seemed rather too old for her. Rita Chao of Joy Luck Club fame has a stud for a husband, Simon Templeman, the angel of death from TV series, Charmed. The couple met at the Mark Taper Forum and later wed and have two children. I'm just surprised that these artistes who intermarry …

A Chinese Eating Shop

Kopi Tiam kita. Our Coffee Shop. There is this eating place somewhere near Jalan Pengkalan Chepa, Kota Bahru, Kelantan run by a Chinese man who always wears a hat. Early one morning, my nephew took me there and was I surprised at the crowd! The patrons were mostly Malays and the walls of the shop were packed with framed photos of who's who of Malaysian politics and entertainment industry. There were lots of halal food to choose, from the usual nasi lemak, nasi dagang to some other lesser known food, all ready packed and I quickly grabbed one called nasi air dingin. My nephew asked me not to eat too much, surprising me for an instance. I learned then we were there for the shop's specialty - the roti titab, toasted bread with two lovely half-boiled eggs and kaya coconut egg jam to boot.  Hmmmm....nice..