Category Archives: Ronald Cheng

32nd Hong Kong Film Awards 2013 香港電影金像獎 – Winners and Nomination List and Detailed Analysis

Analysis and Coverage by: Andrew Chan AACTA FCCA FIPRESCI
Attended as guest of the 32nd Hong Kong Film Awards 2013 in Hong Kong on April 13th.
Also published in various Australian and Chinese media.

The 32nd Hong Kong Film Awards 2013 was held on the 13 April 2013 at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. What impressed me about the event is the audience are kept mostly entertained for the entire duration, whether it is the singing acts in between or the in-jokes cracked by the various presenters. It is usually the highlight of the annual film award show in Hong Kong.

COLD WAR

This year’s biggest winner remains the highly overrated “COLD WAR“, winning in 9 categories, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Newcomer and Best Screenplay. “COLD WAR” isn’t a bad film, but it is at best an average film event that is done on a larger scale. The first half of the film is certainly stunning as wall to wall tension is constantly built, however, the film fails miserably in the second half as everything seems to point to an inevitable sequel. Still, Tony Leung Ka Fai is fully justified in receiving the Best Actor award as his menacing and controlling performance is second to none and is at his expressive best. A deserved 4th Best Actor crown for a true veteran of Hong Kong cinema. With that being said, multiple award winners Longman Leung and Sunny Luk does craft a wonderful script, but the film suffers from rather average direction and overall pacing issues. Another aspect worthy of debate is the terrible performance by Best Newcomer Alex Tsui, who looks nothing like an ICAC commissioner, despite being one himself in his other lifetime. It is shame as there are others far more worthy contenders in that category.

VULGARIA

The other big winner of the night, is one of my favourite Hong Kong movies of 2012, “VULGARIA“. Ronald Cheng deservedly steals in show in “VULGARIA” as the lavish mainlander with a definite odd taste for food, women and the star of the show – Donkey. Cheng won the Best Supporting Actor award as he tells of his former life as spoil brat and how Andy Lau’s words of wisdom made him a changed man. A wonderfully timed emotional moment for both Cheng and the crowd. The biggest surprise of the night goes to winner of Best Supporting Actress, Dada Chen, who gracefully accepts the award. It is certainly Chen’s best performance, if you count “LAN KWAI FONG”, as she is able to engage the audience with laughter and provides an adequate chemistry with co-star Chapman To, which in turn is the driving force to the success of “VULGARIA“. However, I stand by my words, Chen does adequately without being entirely successful, and could have expressed more from her character rather than being one dimensional. Still, I am sure Chen with the encouragement of the award will continue to strife for better things and improvement.

Pang Ho Cheung / Miriam Yeung

While Pang Ho Cheung didn’t win any awards directly, both his films “VULGARIA” and “LOVE IN THE BUFF” featured heavily in almost all the major acting dons, including Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Actress. Miriam Yeung is a bit of a dark horse, while her performance is certainly natural and have shown improvements from her numerous romantic comedy roles, there was a striking lack of chemistry between Shawn Yue and Yeung. While “LOVE IN THE BUFF” is easily a good film, I thought mainland actress Mini Yang flairs just as well comparatively, if not better. However, Yang is not nominated in any category this year. Nothing can be taken away from what Yeung is able to achieve and like how she puts it herself “many people may not consider this to be my best performance, but I know I will continue to improve to that level.” Still, the award is probably deserved as she is the only nominated role that clearly portrays a highly local Hong Kong female character in the most natural manner. Although many will argue that Sammi Cheng is unlucky not to win the award, as she was almost flawless in “ROMANCING IN THIN AIR“.

Jacky Cheung singing
The highlight of the night goes to Jacky Cheung, who clearly sang the roof off in his rendition for “THE LAST TYCOON“. His ability to draw the crowd in and climax at the most crucial moments is one of the reason why Cheung remains the best singer of the four heavenly kings. Another high point goes to Anthony Wong’s series of remembrance after a decade of the late Leslie Cheung and Anita Mui.

Overall, Hong Kong Film Awards Association should be complimented for putting on a good show as the audience is constantly entertained and the presenters selection is pretty much spot on. As for the awards, it always open to debate and I am sure they have good reasons for winners of every category, even if you don’t entirely agree. Once again, congratulation to all the winners of the 32nd Hong Kong Film Awards 2013 and see you all next year.

*Winners in BOLD

Best Picture
Vulgaria <低俗喜劇>
Motorway <車手>
The Bullet Vanishes <消失的子彈>
The Viral Factor <逆戰>
Cold War <寒戰>

Best Director
Cheang Pou Soi (Motorway)
Pang Ho Cheung (Love in the Buff)
Law Chi Leung (The Bullet Vanishes)
Dante Lam (The Viral Factor)
Longman Leung and Sunny Luk (Cold War)

Best Screenplay
Pang Ho Cheung, Luk Yee Sum, and Lam Chiu Wing (Vulgaria)
Pang Ho Cheung, Luk Yee Sum (Love in the Buff)
Law Chi Leung, Yeung Sin Ling (The Bullet Vanishes)
Longman Leung, Sunny Luk (Cold War)
Alan Mak and Felix Chong (The Silent War)

Best Actor
Nick Cheung (Nightfall)
Chapman To (Vulgaria)
Sean Lau (The Bullet Vanishes)
Tony Leung Ka Fai (Cold War)
Tony Leung Chiu Wai (The Silent War)

Best Actress
Zhou Xun (The Great Magician)
Miriam Yeung (Love in the Buff)
Sammi Cheng (Romancing in Thin Air)
Elanne Kong (Love Lifting)
Zhou Xun (The Silent War)

Best Supporting Actor
Ronald Cheng (Vulgaria)
Liu Kai Chi (The Bullet Vanishes)
Gordon Lam (Cold War)
Chapman To (Diva)
Alex Man (The Bounty)

Best Supporting Actress
Susan Shaw (Vulgaria)
Dada Chen (Vulgaria)
Jiang Yiyan (The Bullet Vanishes)
Elaine Jin (The Viral Factor)
Mavis Fan (The Silent War)

Best New Performer
Zhang Lanxin (CZ12)
Joyce Feng (The Last Tycoon)
Jayden Yuan (Tai Chi 0)
Alex Tsui (Cold War)
Sammy Sum (Lan Kwai Fong 2)

Best Cinematography
Andrew Lau and Jason Kwan (The Last Tycoon)
Chan Chi Ying (The Bullet Vanishes)
Kenny Tse (The Viral Factor)
Jason Kwan and Kenny Tse (Cold War)
Anthony Pun (The Silent War)

Best Editing
Yau Chi Wai (CZ12)
David Richardson and Allen Leung (Motorway)
Chung Wai Chiu (The Viral Factor)
Kwong Chi Leung and Ron Chan (The Bullet Vanishes)
Kwong Chi Leung and Wong Hoi (Cold War)

Best Art Direction
Yee Chung Man and Eric Lam (The Last Tycoon)
Yip Kam Tim (Tai Chi 0)
Lau Sai Wan (The Guillotines)
Silver Cheung and Lee Kin Wai (The Bullet Vanishes)
Man Lim Chung (The Silent War)

Best Costume Design and Make-Up
Yee Chung Man and Jessie Dai (The Great Magician)
Yip Kam Tim (Tai Chi 0)
Dora Ng (The Guillotines)
Stanley Cheung (The Bullet Vanishes)
Man Lim Chung (The Silent War)

Best Action Choreography
Jackie Chan and He Jun (Chinese Zodiac)
Sammo Hung (Tai Chi 0)
Chin Ka Lok and Wong Wai Fai, Ng Hoi Tong (Motorway)
Dante Lam, Chin Ka Lok, Wong Wai Fai, Ng Hoi Tong (The Viral Factor)
Chin Ka Lok and Wong Wai Fai (Cold War)

Best Original Film Score
Chan Kwong Wing and Yu Peng (The Last Tycoon)
Teddy Robin and Tommy Wai (The Bullet Vanishes)
Peter Kam (Cold War)
Eman Lam and Veronica Lee (Diva)
Chan Kwong Wing (The Silent War)

Best Original Song
定風波 (from The Last Tycoon)
刀鋒偏冷 (from The Guillotines)
DoReMi (from Romancing in Thin Air)
戀無可戀 (from Lan Kwai Fong 2)
追風箏的風箏 (from Diva)

Best Sound Design
Kinson Tsang (The Guillotines)
Benny Chu and Steve Miller (Motorway)
Phyllis Cheng (The Bullet Vanishes)
Kinson Tsang (The Viral Factor)
Kinson Tsang (Cold War)

Best Visual Effects
Han Young Woo, Victor Wong, Patrick Chui, and Seong Ho Jang (CZ12)
Chas Chau, Kim Ho, Ng Yuen Fai, and A Law (Tai Chi 0)
Victor Wong (The Guillotines)
Law Wai Ho and Hellowing Cheung (Motorway)
Cecil Cheng (Cold War)

Best New Director
Chow Hin Yeung (Nightfall)
Brian Tse (McDull: The Pork of Music)
Fung Chih Chiang (The Bounty)

Best Film of Mainland and Taiwan
Back to 1942 <一九四二>
Gf*Bf <女朋友。男朋友>
Love is Not Blind <失戀33天>
Painted Skin: The Resurrection <畫皮II>
Love <愛Love>

Princess and Seven Kung Fu Masters 笑功震武林 (2013) – Hong Kong / China

Review by: Andrew Chan FCCA AACTA
Review Date: 13th March 2013
In cinemas Hong Kong and China from 7th March 2013

Directed by: Wong Jing, Venus Keung
Starring: Ronald Cheng, Sandra Ng, Wong Cho Nam, Eric Tsang, Sammo Hung, Kimmy Tong

Hong Kong Box Office Takings: HK$3,184,910

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I don’t exactly know what is a bigger surprise, the world didn’t end in 2012 or Wong Jing have managed to pull off two good movies in a row. After the above average “The Last Tycoon”, prolific Wong Jing goes back to his comedic roots in the ridiculously titled “Princess and Seven Kung Fu Masters”. The good news is that this is Wong Jing’s funniest comedy in years and lest rejoice.

Packing a steady pack of veteran comedians in Ronald Cheng, Eric Tsang, Sandra Ng and Wong Cho Nam, the film already have the comic appeal and winning presence. What Wong Jing does well in this film is that he manages to put together some decent kung fu sequences (thanks to the sharp action choreography by Phillip Ng) and plenty of good kung fu prowess in Sammo Hung, Dennis To and Phillip Ng. The result is easily winning the audience attention through some truly funny gags and quality kung fu on display. It’s been long overdue, but Wong Jing finally deliver what he does and can do best, in making good commercial cinema.

This is really an ensemble cast performance. Ronald Cheng continues his good streak of form in yet another welcoming comic display. As usual, Sandra Ng is funny with a welcoming presence, Eric Tsang gets an extended role and is already wonderful to witness alongside longtime TVB partner in crime Wong Cho Nam. Sammo Hung flairs well with some good kung fu chops, as does up and coming martial artists Dennis To and Phillip Ng. As usual, what Wong Jing film can be completed without a flower glass and Kimmy Tong (who has been a regular in Wong Jing’s films for the past year) fits the bill without being demeaning.

All in all, I know I haven’t been the nicest of critics of Wong Jing in recent years, but as the old saying goes, you are only as good as your last film. Then Wong Jing career have seem to revive in both “The Last Tycoon” and now this film. Credit should always be given when due and this is no exception as “Princess and Seven Kung Fu Masters” is easily Wong Jing’s funniest and best comedy in years and a fine return to form. I don’t know how long this streak will last, but for the sake of the weeping and dwelling Hong Kong cinema fans, let’s hope that this is the beginning of a new chapter in Wong Jing turbulent career. (Neo 2013)

I rates it 7.5/10

Hotel Deluxe 百星酒店 (2013) – Hong Kong / China

Review by: Andrew Chan FCCA AACTA
Review Date: 19th February 2013
Releasing in cinemas in Hong Kong, 7th February 2013

Director: Vincent Kok
Cast: Sandra Ng, Chapman To, Ronald Cheng, Teresa Mo, Lynn Xiong, Raymond Wong, Fiona Sit, Eric Kot, Karena Ng, Yu Bo, Janelle Sing, Jim Chim

Hong Kong Box Office Takings: HK$19,469,958

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Setting an entire film within a hotel is not something new, as Michael Hui did it to a certain degree in “Funny Business”, the Japanese followed suit in “The Uchoten Hotel” and most recently China scooped in with “Happy Hotel”. The latest Vincent Kok’s lunar Chinese New Year film comes in the same format with “Hotel Deluxe” and follows the same formula as the predecessor, while without the same effect.

There is no denying that Sandra Ng, Chapman To, Ronald Cheng and Theresa Mo have great rapport and an instant undeniable chemistry. The instant chemistry provides the audience with plenty of spontaneous laughters. When the cast is clearly having fun acting, the feeling is easily translated to the audience. However, as a lunar new year film, it feels rather empty and at times losing the Hong Kong flair in the midst of a Chinese co-production. Director Vincent Kok tries hard to keep the film afloat and manages to scrap through with the cast of experienced comedians and Lunar new year films alumni.

Ronald Cheng gets the most screen time and brutally overacts to maximum comic effect. Cheng in recent years have finally reached a stage of maturity and seemingly grown out of the previously castes shadow as Stephen Chow’s predecessor, to be a character actor in his own right. Here we see an extremely likeable Cheng that is funny rather than annoying. Theresa Mo is always wonderful in film like these and provide an excellent presence. Mo in many ways seems to be leading the pack like a mother. Sandra Ng once again impresses the audience by inducing plenty of laughter in her role as the hotel keeper/ cleaner. The man of the moment (2012 in particular), Chapman To is only given limited screen time, but the audience has gotten used to To’s style of antics, that he is funny regardless of what he does. Karena Ng is largely underused and her career seem to be stale since “Magic to Win”. Fiona Sit is essentially Fiona Sit and her sub-plot with Ronald Cheng manages to be most interesting part of the film. Although 2012 was a big and active year for Sit, but none of the roles requires her to go further in her acting depth. It is a shame that Sit’s best work remains her chapter with Jaycee Chan in films like “2 Young” and “Break Up Club”. As usual, what new year film can be without producer Raymond Wong and surprisingly he doesn’t ruin the film with his presence this time around.

All in all, “Hotel Deluxe” is really light weight lunar new year entertainment that manages to be decent due to the calibre its experienced cast and crew. It is a shame that more is not made out of its Hotel premises and director/writer Vincent Kok does not take more leaves out of the Korean and Chinese earlier versions. Still, in terms of light hearted entertainment, “Hotel Deluxe” manages to be decent, if only a little empty. (Neo 2013)

I rated it 6.5/10

[36HKIFF] Vulgaria 低俗喜劇 (2012) – Hong Kong

@ 36th Hong Kong International Film Festival – International Premiere
Review by: Andrew Chan (Neo) FCCA
Review Date: 11 April 2012

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Pang Ho Cheung does it again and this time, he goes over the top in creating possibly the most foul language film of Hong Kong cinematic history and the most laugh-out-loud movie event of the year…

Reviewer note: However, knowledge of Hong Kong cinema, language, culture and everything else is a must for full enjoyment.

“Vulgaria” is very much a local Hong Kong fair and for that alone it is worthy of its admission price. It’s been a long time running since, I laughed out loud together with a full-house screening of a Hong Kong movie. In fact, it is probably since “Hang Over” that I laughed so much continuously at a cinema screening. There is no question about “Vulgaria”‘s entertainment value and in terms of that; it is truly up there with the best. Director Edmond Pang Ho Cheung once again strikes a chord with the local audience and this time, he succeeded in creating a laughing cord connection. Comedies are never easy, but black comedy and satire is truly Pang’s forte. Think no further than his debut work (still one of Pang most hilarious and smart film) “You Shoot, I Shoot”. What makes this film a success is very much due to ability of Chapman To to deliver an all-out comedic performance and a clever script to boot?

Chapman To is one fine actor. I still remember the lad appeared in almost every other Hong Kong movies back in 2003-2005 periods. In recent years, To have proved to be as much a capable leading actor in combining dramatic and comedic roles in particular “La Comédie humaine”, in which he delivered one of his finest performance. In “Vulgaria”, the To is able to own the film in a manner where he is truly coming of age and becoming a star in his own right, own style and own flair. It is not since Stephen Chow that there is a second coming and while To may not have the same star power, his performance here is second to none. Likewise the Chow heir apparent, Ronald Cheng overacts as the rich Mainlander provides a perfect combo To-Cheng duo act as the two play of each other and radiates the screen, whenever they collides. Unfortunately the weakest link of the trio comes in the form of hot and sexy Dada Chen. While Chen is hot whenever she comes onto the screen, she is unable to create a character in a role that require much more. Not unlike “My Name is Fame“, where the aspiring actress Huo Siyan is able to make the role her own; the same cannot be said about Chen. Surely a step up from her steamy hot performance in “Lan Kwai Fong“, but still a far cry from the rest of the cast. Despite, her limited screen time, veteran Susan Shaw is perfectly casted as herself in a straight talking role that actually contributes to one of the funnier moments on the screen.

All in all, Pang has hit the jackpot once again and it is not surprising, considering he is one of the few directors to never having made a bad movie. In fact, all his movies are smart and somewhat refreshing and in “Vulgaria”, Pang goes all out to create smart and efficiently scripted cheap and effective laughs. It’s not every day we watch a movie where the actors and crew have so much fun in rooting animals and using popping candies as a sexual foreplay. Adding with some strong performance from Chapman To and Ronald Cheng, Pang is able to deliver one of the freshest and funniest entry to 2012 Hong Kong cinema. Although the film may not appeal to the older generation and some may even find it offensive, but for an age group of 20-40, this is surely a film not to miss. “Vulgaria” may not win any awards, but in terms of entertainment value, Pang has done it again…(Neo 2012)

Neo rates it 9/10