Monday, June 24, 2013

Official Poster for Triumph in the Skies 2

Comment: Pretty ordinary poster, but I suppose it's the series itself that generates interest. Seeing the recent quality of sequels, I hope this is not going to be a disappointment.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Hidden Singing Talents (2)

A previous post revealed some of the hidden male singing talents within TVB. This post will uncover some of the female voices hiding away in TVB.

Kristal Tin joined ATV after winning a singing competition. She recorded several theme songs at ATV, including this song, "熱燙的宇宙", for the 1994 FIFA World Cup broadcast. She is planning to release an album in the near future.

Christine Ng won multiple newcomer awards with her song "失落於巴黎鐵塔下" (La Tour Eiffel). She discontinued her music career after three albums, but recently picked up the mic again to sing the theme songs for Beauty at War.

Elvina Kong participated in the 1985 New Talent Singing Awards (alongside the likes of William So, Hacken Lee and Vivian Chow), performing the song "再見 Puppy Love". After the competition, she had a brief stint as a singer before signing on with TVB in 1988.

Toby Leung & Macy Chan were both members of the group "Girl's Dormitory". Their music had a youthful vibe, as shown in this MV for "換個話題". The group disbanded after a year. Toby went on to release an individual album, while Macy's musical works were limited to stage performances.

Mimi Lo made a hit with the song "挑戰者", but shortly afterwards, her singing career was put on hold due to contract issues. Although she recorded cover albums upon her return, she was largely forgotten as a singer until an impressive performance on The Voice.

Paisley Wu was discovered by Tats Lau (of the Tat Ming Pair), who shared her interest in alternative style music. Tats was featured in her music video, "了了". She has also worked with Jan Lamb and Edison Chen. Her involvement with music in recent years is as the host of music programs.

Rosanne Lui is a veteran singer renowned for her beautiful voice and unique style. She was already performing in nightclubs at a young age, and has held numerous concerts in Hong Kong and overseas. Her representative piece, "星光背後", from her 2007 concert. 

Joyce Tang was a finalist in the 1995 New Talent Singing Awards (in the same year as Eason Chan and Miriam Yeung). Her musical career was short-lived and limited to children's songs. Nonetheless, her song "魔法咕嚕咕嚕" proved popular among kids.

Rain Lau is a familiar supporting actress in many TVB dramas, but few people know that she debuted as a singer in the early 1990s. Her first plug was called "I'm Sorry". She released three albums before turning to acting. She is now contracted to HKTV.

Mona Fong, wife of Sir Run Run Shaw, was once a popular nightclub singer. She performed many English and Chinese songs. Her song "花月佳期" was a popular hit in the 1950s. She ended her on-stage career to work as a television executive in the Shaw Brothers Studio.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Slow Boat Home Review

Producer: Leung Choi-yuen
Genre: Romance, comedy
Cast: Ruco Chan, Selena Li, Raymond Wong, Aimee Chan

Plot: A bunch of events happening on the island of Cheung Chau. (Overview - Slow Boat Home)

Slow Boat Home is a light-hearted drama that is nothing like Beauty at War or Bullet Brain. That’s enough to make this series appealing for some people. But upon closer examination, it is yet another drama with a sub-par plot and rushed ending. Had it been aired in another time slot, I suspect it would not get so much attention.

The storyline is neither unique nor interesting. For a romantic comedy, the love stories lack substance. Ruco and Selena were perpetually stuck in a cycle of reconciliation and break up. Elaine's appearance as the love "rival" was redundant. As much as I despise of love triangles, maybe a real showdown between Selena and Elaine would have added some spice. Aimee and Raymond's story saw more development, but I must have missed the part where she started liking him back because it came up out of the blue. Matt and Cilla's relationship was merely narrated in the finale. On the business side of things, the purported "grand" scheme to take over Cheung Chau amounted to nothing. And apparently it doesn't take much to build a successful business in Cheung Chau, whether it be a resort house or a restaurant chain. 

The characters don't generate much excitement either. Ruco is a filial son and all-around good guy with enduring love for his high school sweetheart. Ditto for Matt. Raymond, the typical lazy character who always accomplishes the most in the end. Cilla is the go-to spoiled HK girl. Aimee's search for her dad was a big yawn. Selena wasn't manipulative enough for my liking. Simply put, boring characters whom I never really cared about. 

Credit where credit's due, there are a few things that are commendable. You can admire the Cheung Chau scenery and shots from the Bun Festival. There was some decent acting from the leads (yes, even Mrs. Moses Chan). Aimee seems much more at ease in a modern, casual role where she is allowed to mix English and Chinese. Ruco and Selena have such amazing chemistry together that it's hard to believe this is only their first collaboration. The bromance between Ruco, Raymond and Matt is adorable, especially how they keep touching each other.

The not-so-praiseworthy: Ram Chiang's odd style was uncalled for. I always feel that Elliot Ngok's acting is OTT. Too much emphasis when he speaks and too much movement. Maybe Patrick Tang feels awkward filming with Selena, because he was terribly unnatural in those scenes.

Conclusion: A mindless series.

Rating: 2/5

Related Posts:
Historical Context: Cheung Po Tsai
Cheung Chau Bun Festival
Selena Beauty Tips

Monday, June 17, 2013

"Awfully Lawful" Theme Song

The theme song for Awfully Lawful is sung by Roger Kwok, Pal Sinn, Raymond Cho and Johnson Lee. The song is called "Half Mature Men" (半生熟男).

Overview - Awfully Lawful
Awfully Lawful Promo Clips

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Overview - Triumph in the Skies 2

After his beloved wife passes away, Francis Ng lingers in the U.K.on a long vacation, where he meets Fala Chen, a fellow traveller who is also mending a heart-break. When Francis returns to Hong Kong, he joins Skylette Airlines with a renewed passion for flying. However, his introverted personality puts him at odds with the flamboyant Julian Cheung. Coincidentally, Francis is the instructor for Julian's pilot captain training. To make matters more complicated, they both get involved with Fala, who has come to Hong Kong as a pilot trainee. The two men spar in their work and love lives...

Julian's sister, Myolie Wu, works as an aircraft maintenance technican with Skylette. She has a grudge against her brother because of certain events in the past. Ron Ng eventually helps the siblings resolve their differences, causing Myolie to develop feelings for him. But Ron is hestiant to start a relationship due to her fleeting resemblance to his late sister-in-law, fearing that it will trigger Francis's heart-breaking memories again.

Kenneth Ma is having difficulties choosing between his two girlfriends. He confides his problems with head stewardness Elena Kong and they become close friends. But one night, they end up in bed together... Meanwhile, former competitive swimmer Him Law is planning to become a pilot in his post-swimming days. He falls in love with stewardness Nancy Wu, who is serving as surrogate mother for a friend.

In between the flight arrivals and departures are stories of sadness, farewell, joy and reunion...

Organization Chart:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Overview - Karma Rider

A forbidden love story – ending with a death and a grudge – appears again, three centuries later, in the hometown of Liang Zhu...

As a child, the orphan Raymond Wong was rescued by a saviour. Growing up, he vowed to become a righteous, crime-fighting constable. On his first day on the job, he solves a big case, attracting the jealousy of head constable Matt Yeung. Matt purposely sends him away with the task of capturing the suspected killer Evergreen Mak. Thus begins a journey that will bring the characters together in a bewildering tale.

As Raymond pursues his mission, he encounters the petty thief Priscilla Wong. The guard and the thief initially cannot get along, but as fate will have it, Priscilla ends up bailing Raymond out time and time again. Discovering that Raymond constantly has dreams about the Liang Zhu tale, Priscilla enlists the help of her sisters (Cilla Kung and Kaki Leung) to trick him into believing that she is the reincarnated Zhu Yingtai, predestined to be with him. But instead, Raymond becomes infatuated with the daughter of a wealthy merchant (Yoyo Chen). This one-sided love affair leaves him severely ill, much like what had happened to Liang Shanbo. At this time, Raymond's childhood saviour suddenly reappears…

Comment: The story will revolve around aspects of the legend of Liang Zhu (aka "The Butterfly Lovers"), a tragic love story between Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai.

Trailer at FILMART
Promo Clips
Official Poster

Character Map:

Sunday, June 02, 2013

"A Change of Heart" Theme Song

The theme song is called "Heart Change" (心變), by Niki Chow.

The sub-theme song is sung by Bosco Wong, called "Final Blessing" (最後祝福)

An ode to Myolie? (Bosco says it isn't)

Overview - A Change of Heart
Promo Clips
Official Poster