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Monday, August 30, 2010

My place, my home, my country


Tomorrow is August 31st, Malaysia's Independence Day which we call Hari Merdeka. I have been very quiet on this, not really posting messages on such a day like I did year before this. Anyway I was watching TV and saw again the same old Ads of children of different races getting on really well. There is of course a message to that; live in harmony, start them young. What the ads should do is to show not children but adults at peace with one another because recent events clearly show the troublemakers are adults and not children. From politicians to religious figures to educators to even a rapper ... we are taught to be tolerant, we are told to be good to one another but why is it do I feel all I could feel is a one sided love? You can't clap with one hand! The children are fine. Really. What the country should bother with are the adults, now they are the ones in deep deep trouble. It has been more than 50 years since independence, but I feel we are back to square one. During one ramadhan dinner, I was urged to try the drink to see whether it was tasty and then urged to eat to see whether the stuff is good and these were by my Malay colleagues who had 10 minutes before they can start to eat. I even had one Malay colleague who was ok with me joining her and others for lunch at the pantry eventhough I kept telling her I just bought char-siew rice which is pork but she urged me anyways. I didn't of course, I am ok with eating and drinking during ramadhan month in front of them but eating pork? Out of respect I'd rather not. So I am surrounded by good tolerant people. So what's the problem? Those few bad apples. Instead of accusing everyone else of racism or inciting racism, why not just stamp out these original bad apples. The headmaster, the headmistress for a start. Until equal action with equal reaction plus equal justice and equal punishment is meted out to all involved equally, there can't be tolerance. One party can't keep being tolerant and the other just getting stepped over. I was particularly offended by one recent documentary on one of our former Prime Ministers, where certain racial riot was blamed squarely on a certain group of race. In fact I was very offended and thought how come that documentary producer was not arrested? You know what I mean, since they go threatening arrests to everyone reacting to the original racist remarks. Anyway doesn't matter. A few weeks later, we shall gulp down our ill feelings for one another, or rather one will gulp and the other satisfied that one gulped and we shall move on. As for me, I feel rather happy surrounded by understanding colleagues who does not impose on me the strict rule of fasting during ramadhan month eventhough I am the only Chinese and a handful of non-Malay colleagues in the place I work at. The headmaster and headmistress and all those I shall call the original incitor (no such word by the way but it is my creation!) could learn a thing or two from my colleagues and definitely from children everywhere.

And here I wonder when did our NATIONAL schools become RELIGIOUS schools to be imposed such strict rule? Even if there is ONE chinese or non-malay student in that school, it is my personal belief that the school canteen should be opened to feed that one child. Why? It is a school, not a business. If you can't anticipate the losses for that one month, pack up and let someone else who could run the canteen better and yet balance it with the fact that we are talking about NATIONAL school where religion has no place in it.

And I was having a chat with a fellow colleague and I did mention all these slurs that if we are not happy we can go back to China and I was saying I couldn't even  if I want to, as China won't accept me! Oh how she laughed! I did too when she agreed on India as well! I am a 3rd generation Malaysian, or is it 2nd? Anyway I am a Malaysian and I was born and bred here and I am proud to say that. I just wish all those naysayers who harbour deep hatred of my presence in my country will agree to that as well. Is it that hard to just share and share alike? Like I said, China won't have me and I feel nothing for China except with the knowledge and a proud one in my blood runs 5000 years of history but if comes a time I shall have to fight for my country, I will certainly hold my parangs and what nots for Malaysia, because this is the only home I have ever known and it hurts to be insulted that this is not my home. It is as much as my home as it is yours.

Anyway, HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Courage, bravery and the triumph of human spirit


33 miners in Chile trapped all in a 1 bedroom apartment for 4 months! How will they survive? Incredibly, they might be able to, and hopefully they can keep with this spirit! I hope they can successfully carry out Plan B. Read all about how they're coping here. Now this is courage, this is bravery and this is the best in human spirit. But if Plan B fails and Plan A kicks in, 4 months... 4 months.. can they survive 4 months?


Friday, August 27, 2010

Cats and dogs


Beyond cute even if photoshopped, they do look like a certain someone famous in the western world. Can you guess? The answer is in this link where I took the pictures. Some are really easy because their looks are iconic.








Can't Buy Me Love


UPDATES
I finally saw the 1st episode which is free to watch which quickly lays down the ground for Charmaine marrying Moses. First of all what is all these obsession with such huge hair these days? The costumes are beautiful, some maybe familiar and the make up not as scary as Beyond The Realm Of Conscience but the hair is god awful. The colour tone of the series is stage like and t6he entire atmosphere as I have mentioned felt like one long rehearsal. No one was funny, but Moses did try and he is in his element playing such character. One scene I did notice was how the princess got out of marrying to some barbarians in foreign country and chose to marry Moses, a local guy. The way she went it was supposed to be the princess using her wits to stay out of an unwanted faraway marriage, with tears, with pity, with in the end successfully culminating in changing the mind of... Empress dowager? The grandmother? Anyway Charmaine was god awful in that scene. She displayed none of these qualities, there was no such cunningness or wits or even energetic sparks. In fact she is too old for this role which requires a certain amount of youthful rebellious nature that is a young spoilt but cunning girl getting her way and if she can't, she will use emotional aspect, and she could do that as she knew how to manipulate people but she couldn't get her way with her husband after marrying him. I thought what the hell is wrong in that scene? Something was missing... and I concluded it felt tired. Absolute weariness. The quality to be had was ... remember Seven Sisters? Charmaine was in her element in the way of getting her way, in here... a definite miscast. In fact I thought I have seen Susannah Kwan in the same character in every series she has been in except for a different degree of nastiness. Here she is nice. Raymond Wong wasn't funny either but he played his earnest character with such earnestness it was rather sweet. Someone who is actually emoting accurately. Moses was Moses, he can do slapstick but even he looked tired and haggard. Still can't buy my love. This is not a comedy. This is a train wreck and wrecking some good reputation of certain stars in it. It is series like this with such awful casting and stupid hair that kills credential. Charmaine who got the praise deserves better material than this BUT frankly even with a better material Charmaine is the wrong choice to be the spoilt princess.

THE FOLLOWING WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED ON 23.08.2010

TVB's latest all star cast offering in the veins of Beyond The Realm Of Conscience meets Moonlight Resonance in terms of cast (minus Raymond Lam of course) but comedy that is Can't Buy Me Love was showing its previews over at ASTRO and as I sat there watching about 30 minutes of preview after preview it suddenly dawn on me I was like watching some rehearsal show or some hastily set up stage show or some poorly rehearsed scenes. The entire setting felt unreal, uninspired and the acting, ALL the acting felt forced and tired, except maybe for Moses Chan who is in his forte here. Kenneth Ma looked like he is in a dream, Fala should have been cast in another character, Linda Chung looks ridiculous with that hair, Sharon Chan seems to be the only with some fire in her delivery of lines, the rest seems tired and plodding along and worst of all, Charmaine Sheh looks like her heart isn't even there. In fact, she looks like she is making such an effort trying to act over the top because it is a comedy that it felt tired, her veins on her neck bulging with either effort or just they're there. Not God awful acting but rather uninspired acting. And please, she's not funny. Comedy killed Myolie Wu's credibility before she was ready to tackle comedy, are they trying to force upon us a non existent comedic timing in more than half the cast in this series?

It's like Beyond The Realm Of Conscience or War And Beauty gone wrong you know? Because both are very serious dramas, but imagine everyone in there trying to act funny whilst they're all so darn serious? And the themesong by Susannah Kwan was as tired and plodding along as ever. If this is supposed to be a merry noisy happy funny comedy, the themesong didn't help. Like the series and the acting, it felt insipid and uninspired.

Why does TVB wanna do that to some of the rising stars in there? It just makes them look awful. The hair looks awful. The costumes looks recycled. The story is recycled. The acting I just wish was recycled from good rubbish.

Can't Buy Me Love? Sorry but it should be retitled Can't Buy My Love, not even with this uninspiring oh so boring cast. Do we need a China production sort of casting policy for big productions? As long as you're famous, fit you with any role. As long as you're under my team or in a previously successful production, you got yourself a role. I mean ever seen Bobby Au Yeung in this group?

What a farce!


Thursday, August 26, 2010

New tactic?


Just read the news below ...

Teen raped by motorist who knocked her down

A 14-YEAR-OLD girl cycling home after school in Changkat Jong was knocked down by a motorist and raped by the man, reported Malaysia Nanban.

It said the girl was knocked down at about 6pm on Monday and she was raped in an oil palm plantation.

The girl later hitched a ride home and informed her parents, who took her to lodge a police report.


Is this a new tactic by rapists? Knock down people and then rape them?!


The Threshold Of A Persona


Why in god's name did TVB name "ID Jing Ying " (literaaly The Greats at Immigration Dept, I think) would name the English title The Threshold Of A Persona? Why? WHY?

Anyway watching this one, Roger a very good actor even if with a silly hairstyle and too much powder on his face. I was just so darn not shocked at how they portray the police and the immigration officers. Frankly I went to HK recently and the first I saw was of course the Immigration Officers and none of them were as friendly and smiling as the ones featured in the series. In fact Immigration Officers all over the world seem to have perfected the "flick your passport a few centimetres away when passing back to you instead of actually passing back the passport to you without flicking" kung fu method. In Harry Potter world, it would have been known as the "swish and flick" movement. The only smiling face was the security guard at the airport. I didn't see any police or police on bikes either, expect for one at the underground station and he was happily chatting on his handphone. Anyway such friendly officers in the series. But the police all look like they have a huge cactus up their butts. For example, Raymond Cho who is crazy in the series. The way he interrogated Claire Yiu, playing Roger's wife with a dark past about the death of a scoundrel who blackmailed her for money, tried to rape her twice and then fell to death himself was like over the top. Surely policemen are on the side of the good? I mean maybe she did kill him, maybe she didn't, but the way he went berating her was as if she killed the pope! Come on! Have a bit of realism. Even some police whilst doing their jobs and treat all criminals the same must have a soft spot for the desperate, and would be on the side of the good, and the good need not be the dead victim? So bloody typical and poor girl, the way she was berated, isn't there a law which says she can ask for legal representation? If she confessed that confession would be thrown out since the methods employed by Raymond's character is seriously flawed considering Claire's character is so soft spoken.


And when I say soft spoken, my god, I was darn annoyed with her soft spokeness to the extreme, talking in tiny breathy whisper, holding back on her actual volume and mind you the actress is already soft spoken as she was before in character!


That's the extreme of both sides; crazy cop, timid wife.

Yoyo Mung seems to be back after her zombie sleep walking for a lot of series before this, and I suppose she finally got over her day dreaming of her relationship with Ekin Cheng to realise when acting, leave your daydreaming out of the picture. Seriously, the moment she started dating Ekin Cheng her acting skills already debatable nose dived into worst of the worst, like she didn't care, putting no effort. Here she put some effort. And frankly the best actress and actor are the 2 children, especially the young boy playing Roger's son. So cute!

By the way Toby Leung is still speaking in monotone voice. Her character is a rather important one and a pity a far better young actress would have been better in this. She is rather.. bland.


Awesome deep sea stuff


I will let the pictures do the talking! A summary; super duper cute and super crazy amazing creatures! Read more here.







Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The biggest joke


This news made me shout "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?" What's next? Terrorists can claim for compensation from wrongful deaths or whatever despite them setting off the bombs?  Can the widow of a serial killer claim for compensation against the victim who killed the serial killer simply because as a widow she suffered too? Can the widows of those 911 terrorists claim compensation from USA for suffering as well?  Or to the point, can a widow of 911 terrorists insist her name and her husband's name be included into the inquest into the deaths when her husband was the cause of those deaths? How very arrogant of this woman to do such claims, and using legal aid! Legal aid is better spent on better more genuine cases than this ridiculous woman's claim.

‘There appears to be no material distinction between the victims’ families and the position of my clients as family members who, through no fault of their own, have equally suffered the loss of a relative.’

Well there are blacksheeps in the family. Clearly she did not known her husband to have called him a good person after what he had done. What have our world become? How stupid!


Horrible


This is terrible. And what's worse? Scroll down that page and see a bunch of airheads taking group picture in front of the bus! If that is not the definition of idiots, I don't know what is! Which reminds me; never go to that country. I never had a reason to anyway. I thought the police like French always do stormed in and had a shootout and killed the crazy man and then 11 others! Nope! He killed all of them! And the police waited forever! Haven't Waco thought the police force of all countries what NOT to do?

[UPDATE]

This is even worse than I thought. You read 8 people die and you thought horrible but in the end it is just a statistic until read personal stories such as this one. To me Mr Leung is a hero. A true hero. This is tragic! Imagine the wife survived only to have husband and 2 daughters dead and one son seriously injured. The Mrs Leung is the one we see in the pictures these few days, the woman whose face contorted in fear and pain and I didn't know why and now I know. I hope the son pulls through. Then there was another story of a couple released earlier, where a comment in the Daily Mail link wrote "The woman is actually mother of 2 of the kids. She cheated the gunman and told him that the other child was her relatives. In fact, that child is the son of another couples, who lost their lives. The boy's elder syster of 15 survived the gun battle with minor injuries. However, she does not know her parents are dead already." Very brave and very tragic.

Apparently my assumption was right. During rescue bullets were flying and 8 people killed, not necessarily by the gunman himself. It seems he opened fire when he saw on TV the news his brother was arrested on conspiracy [Source]. Then only the SWAT (swat flies must be their expertise) moved in and shot him dead and along the way may have shot civilians. The last part is a tactic that were seen by the French elite but this situation can be saved with swift action. It seems they were reluctant to kill a fellow policeman.

The cops were really really really incompetent. And those idiot female students I blogged about above are idiots. Such insensitive idiots. I shall post their picture because they deserve their "fame" for insensitivity and stupidity. Look they even smiled. How nice.

Here...



[MORE UPDATE]

The son survived! He will be fine!

Mrs Leung, you must live on! That's what Mr Leung died for; so that you have a chance to live! Don't give up!



Updates-New review


Added my review of the movie Inception in Movies.

If you any reviews for me, do send them to funnlim(AT)gmail(DOT)com


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Updates : One new review


After so many years of posting reviews, I just realise in my TVB section, this will be the first which starts with the alphabet "Y". Seriously? Anyway added my review of You're Hired in TVB section. Spoilers alert and fans of Charmaine Sheh who will not take no for answer is best advised to stay away. And if you're expecting indepth summary of the story, I didn't write that. As it is it is quite a struggle to articulate my thoughts already without remembering all the plot for this fast and furious sort of series.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Faith the 2 legged dog


I have seen this before some time ago but worth reposting. You have got to see this to believe it. And after that see the human equivalent here.


To the naysayers who said it ain't real, you must be blind.


Another one! Another one!


Did you read? Another one only this time Headmaster, not sure where. Perak Kedah! Some small town? Majority Minority is non Malay, the headmaster a muslim chastised some non malay students for eating in the common room for disrespecting muslim friends during ramadhan month. Already I heard school canteens closed during this month. Or maybe it has less stalls? Students eating banned from canteen? [Read here for some snippets. Indeed, canteen closed or like here said, may be opened but lights were off?] I have no other comment, no further comment except this, as an advice to our non-muslim children in schools; 

TA-PAU

As to where to eat, anywhere away from the headmaster.

If anyone got the link to the original first reported news on this great wise wonderful excellent headmaster, do post the link using Post A Comment.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

What do you think?


You think the following is real? For me it is because Roger Federer is a world class tennis player and that in the video should be not much challenge for him. Many said it is superimposed or CGI but I have a feeling it is real.



Thursday, August 19, 2010

Seriously, does anyone know?


Previously posted here and repost again because it is urgent.

My reputation is at stake here. My family will be going to Korea for a visit and my sister asked me to find out what's the name of the hotel used to film the series Hotelier. I told her if there is a real hotel used, surely the information can be found in the Internet or at least someone will answer me if they know.

So far my searches have come up empty and no one has replied me! Anyway reposted again, just in case YOU know...


Does anyone know whether the hotel location used in the Korean series Hotelier is really a hotel? If it is, is it filmed in one particular hotel? If yes, is there a name for this hotel and I mean the real name and if possible, where it is located?

Do you know? DO YOU?!

What did he/she/they/it say?


I am not a follower of 98.8fm and so I do not know what led to the "dismissal" of the Malay Chinese speaking DJ. Can someone enlighten me as to the contents of his show?

And it is August! Be ready for the onslaught of criticisms about "penumpang', "pendatang" and the likes. My only response is if I have to go back to China (even China won't take me in since I am  not from China), perhaps everybody else should go back to place of origin because the only original people here are the aborigines and they're, from the last time I check, Christians. Well most of them since they may have changed sides now due to many many reasons that I won't blame them. I am sure you're all aware of the now infamous Principal from Kulai, Johor and the filth she uttered. At least she told the Chinese to go back to China because what she said about the Indians were worse. What possessed her to say all that in a school assembly, like some questioned? Simple. Remember the term white supremacist? We now have whateve-is-her-colour-supremacist. Simply put, pure arrogance and bigotry. She thinks she can get away with it and indeed, she is getting away with it. How can such a principal command respect amongst students and teachers after such a shameful exhibit of her personal and may I say really wrong beliefs? I wonder does she punish the non-Malays more than the Malays? Does she appoint more Malay prefects than non-Malays? Clearly she had broken a few laws meant to protect racial harmony. To just dismiss her statements as misunderstanding is callous. I don't think more clearer words were used to articulate the thoughts in her empty head.

And then there's the whole statement about reasons for baby dumping. Well, even within their own fractions they have ermm.. fractions. Let's see what he said ...


celebrations like New Year and Valentine’s Day are among the main causes behind baby dumping
Wrong! Celebrations like New Year and Valentine's Day are among the main causes behind sperms being deposited in a ovulating woman's body thus causing pregnancy. Maybe. Baby dumping? People don't dump babies because it is the new year. They dump babies because the babies are unwanted for a variety of reasons, chiefly irresponsible men who doesn't wear condoms, religious views that says no sex before marriage (and will be punished legally if there is), and many more. Why not just say "holidays like Independence Day celebrations in the month of August is among the main causes of racist remarks uttered by racists?" Sounds more like it!

And I am surprised THIS MAN actually said something useful. How interesting. But hey, talk is cheap. Action counts! But you know, it is nice to know we have the right to ask because interestingly all the questions, shouting, screaming, wailing, begging, kicking, high jumping, double sommersaults and all and what do we get in reply? "SHUT UP" probably. There. We have questions, and that's the answer.

Explain to me the concept of 1Malaysia again? Yes yes yes, 1 + Malaysia. I think they were talking geography. Indeed, there is only 1 Malaysia in the map.

P/S: I am Chinese by the way, born, bred and will probably die and be buried in Malaysia. The only "pendatang" you can hurl at me is that I "came" from my mother's womb. I certainly can't go back in there. I am much too big for that. I have no desire to live in China by the way. I can't read and write Chinese anyway. I can however read and write Malay and do it quite well. What am I saying? Why am I justifying my existence in this country I call home who has people in it who keeps telling me it is not MY home? Well to all the naysayers I can only say, look, can't we all just shut up?


MBC's Hotelier


This is really urgent. 

Does anyone know whether the hotel location used in the Korean series Hotelier is really a hotel? If it is, is it filmed in one particular hotel? If yes, is there a name for this hotel and I mean the real name and if possible, where it is located?

Your help is needed. Thanks for any reply!


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Burning Flame III


I am watching Burning Flame III, the much maligned installment out of the 3. Never doubt my love for the classic Burning Flame, and Burning Flame II had its moments and could boast the best acting and sexiest fireman of the 3 and so I wonder how will I feel about Burning Flame III? So far I only notice how fit Wong Hei is, even Kevin Cheng has his shirtless moment and all of them so tanned. Even Bosco looked like he worked out. And Kevin so short next to the other fireman, and the sibling relationship between Elaine Yiu and Kevin Cheng so freaky because I thought they were lovers as she was part of hos hockey fan club and the way she looked at him and the way she was on top of him massaging his bare naked shoulder... I have digressed. Frankly the comraderie part of the firemen is a bit forced and is Kevin and Wong Hei supposed to be best friend? Like now they looked like they had a lover's tiff. HOWEVER what is nice though is the reality of the work; we have 2 teams in the fire department, 2 chiefs so to speak which is realistic since firemen are supposed to "work one day, rest 2 days" so some other team must takeover during the rest days.

I am not loving it, especially how they "persuaded" a (in TVB's own words) "suicidal crazy injured AIDS sufferer with a knife who has open wounds" to not kill himself. Do like Kevin did; kick him to the floor. Who needs a counsellor eh?


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Kau Ilhamku ~LYRICS~


The following is quite possibly my most favourite Malay song by Malaysian artiste, Man Bai. I find the Malay lyrics very beautiful and romantic ...



THE MALAY LYRICS

KAU ILHAMKU
Beribu bintang dilangit
Kini menghilang
Meraba aku dalam kelam
Rembulan mengambang
Kini makin suram
Pudar ilhamku tanpa arah

Sedetik wajahmu muncul
Dalam diam
Ada kerdipan ada sinar
Itukah bintang atau rembulan
Terima kasih kuucapkan


Izinkan kumencuri bayangan wajahmu
Izinkan ku mencuri khayalan denganmu
Maafkanlah oh...
Andai lagu ini
Mengganggu ruangan hidupmu
Kau senyumlah oh...
Sekadar memori
Kita di arena ini
Kau ilhamku
Kau ilhamku...

THE ENGLISH TRANSLATION
I know the lyrics but find it hard to explain since some words are rather formal. I thought ilham is inspiration but in another context it can be "You're my muse". However I find inspiration is a much more romantic word to use rather than muse which sounds like a professional relationship. Anyway my translation, not entirely accurate but I am not taking the literal meaning of the words...

YOU ARE MY INSPIRATION
Beribu bintang dilangit
Kini menghilang
Thousands of stars in the sky are disappearing

Meraba aku dalam kelam
As I wander in the dark

Rembulan mengambang
The rising moon

Kini makin suram
is now growing dim

Pudar ilhamku tanpa arah
My inspiration fades leaving me without any direction

Sedetik wajahmu muncul
Dalam diam
In the stillness a little of your face appears

Ada kerdipan ada sinar
There's a flicker, there's light

Itukah bintang atau rembulan
Is it a star or is it a moon

Terima kasih kuucapkan
Thank you I say to you

Izinkan kumencuri bayangan wajahmu
Allow me to steal a glance of (the shadow/silhouette of) your face

Izinkan ku mencuri khayalan denganmu
Allow me to steal some fantasy with you

Maafkanlah oh...
Oh forgive me

Andai lagu ini
Mengganggu ruangan hidupmu
If this song invades the space (privacy) in your life

Kau senyumlah oh...
Oh please smile

Sekadar memori
Kita di arena ini
Even if this is but a memory of us in this arena

Kau ilhamku
You're my inspiration

Kau ilhamku...
You're my inspiration


What utter nonsense!


What utter nonsense! Stupid really but mostly idiotic! Read the most insane piece of crap here.


China indeed got talent!


I was in shock watching the following video from Chinese Talent Show, probably China Got Talent. I won't tell you why, watch for yourself!


His name is Liu Wei and he brings new meaning to amazing human being and an even more amazing human spirit. Suddenly I feel so insignificant.


Maybe he hates his job?


I can see no reason why Obama agreed to a mosque being built somewhere near Ground Zero except that he really hates his job and wants to get out of it. Or maybe the rumours of a secret Muslim is true? Yes I respect Freedom of Religion too so technically you can build a devil worshipping temple on top of Ground Zero for all I care but frankly I also respect The Art Of Tact so to speak. What BS is this to safeguard the sensitivity and emotions and feelings of a group of religion worshipper and ignore the feelings and emotions and sensitivity of those who survived and the memories of the dead who died in spectacular fashion thanks to the worshippers of this particular religion? Yes the terrorists were crazy wrong about what the religion preaches but the fact remains; why is everyone so afraid of the religion? Why we are going all out to safeguard their feelings and ignoring everything else? On one hand we have genuine worshippers, on another I can see a new note from Osama Bin Laden (if he is still alive that is) writing "Wow prez! Thanks man for the mosque! Cool man! Oh yeah, enclose also is a jar of salt. Do rub it in eh? Ok?"

How stupid can you be? And Obama said "Let me be clear: As a citizen and as President I believe that Muslims have the same right to practise their religion as everyone else in this country.That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community centre on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable"

America, America, America...tact. Have tact. Why not just say "Look, now is not the time. Why not build here, here, here and here?" You know? We are not saying do not practice your religion but do it somewhere else, further away. If your religious faith is so strong, you will crawl a million miles to it. Again, tact.

Anyway what can I say? What right can I say when my own backyard is as messy? When again comes "You should be grateful" and "Don't stir up problems" and "Be sensitive to others" like clockwork every year? Look at me, I am damn sensitive ok. How more sensitive you want me to be? Cry at every alphabet?


Celebrities twittering away


I was updating my Twitter when I saw some recommended Twitterers for me to bookmark and I saw Joyce Cheng. Of course curiously I clicked on that name and indeed it is the real Joyce Cheng with plenty of pictures, etc. My god, she is so slim now. And all those self taken photos have the same quality as in all self taken photos; sort of like amateur dirty picture you know? Even if I were to take one of myself, somehow it has that amateur porn quality. Why?

Anyway I was rather interested in reading how they describe themselves, as in the "Bio" section.

For example,

Joyce Cheng says "the authentic Joyce Yan Yee Cheng of Hong Kong!". Very western. I put my foot down when it comes to my name. Surname comes first!

Sammul Chan with surprisingly decent English. I mean everybody at Twitter posts like for example "I am home!!!!!!!!!" sort of way so anyway, minimalist English but good enough and he says rather seriously " i'm an actor in HK/greater china"

Bernice also with "This is me!". Indeed!

That's about it. I remember seeing Vaness Wu. Do you know of other HK celebrities twitter page? I was tempted to twit back with some honest comments to Bernice but decided against it. It is her twitter, she should have complete and utter adulation.

As for mine, I can't remember how I came up with that but I did and I said "Pretty, gorgeous, beautiful, stunning"

True! True!

Anyway I am still not into Twitter. Limited words, limited ways to expressing myself and frankly I belong to a generation where the most minimalist style is to have at least proper sentence instead of "Shout out to da man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

I think it is the non-celebrities that seem to twitter like normal human being.



Monday, August 16, 2010

Updates- Reviews


Finally, something new!

2 reviews, one is Galileo[TV][Jap} and the other The Mysteries Of Love [TVB], both by Bridget Au. Links are added into the respective pages already!

And may I add, she has very good taste! Indeed! WE have very good taste!


[TRANSLATED LYRICS] Kau Ilhamku by Man Bai


The following is quite possibly my most favourite Malay song by Malaysian artiste, Man Bai. I find the Malay lyrics very beautiful and romantic ...



THE MALAY LYRICS

KAU ILHAMKU
Beribu bintang dilangit
Kini menghilang
Meraba aku dalam kelam
Rembulan mengambang
Kini makin suram
Pudar ilhamku tanpa arah

Sedetik wajahmu muncul
Dalam diam
Ada kerdipan ada sinar
Itukah bintang atau rembulan
Terima kasih kuucapkan


Izinkan kumencuri bayangan wajahmu
Izinkan ku mencuri khayalan denganmu
Maafkanlah oh...
Andai lagu ini
Mengganggu ruangan hidupmu
Kau senyumlah oh...
Sekadar memori
Kita di arena ini
Kau ilhamku
Kau ilhamku...

THE ENGLISH TRANSLATION
I know the lyrics but find it hard to explain since some words are rather formal. I thought ilham is inspiration but in another context it can be "You're my muse". However I find inspiration is a much more romantic word to use rather than muse which sounds like a professional relationship. Anyway my translation, not entirely accurate but I am not taking the literal meaning of the words...

YOU ARE MY INSPIRATION
Beribu bintang dilangit
Kini menghilang
Thousands of stars in the sky are disappearing

Meraba aku dalam kelam
As I wander in the dark

Rembulan mengambang
The rising moon

Kini makin suram
is now growing dim

Pudar ilhamku tanpa arah
My inspiration fades leaving me without any direction

Sedetik wajahmu muncul
Dalam diam
In the stillness a little of your face appears

Ada kerdipan ada sinar
There's a flicker, there's light

Itukah bintang atau rembulan
Is it a star or is it a moon

Terima kasih kuucapkan
Thank you I say to you

Izinkan kumencuri bayangan wajahmu
Allow me to steal a glance of (the shadow/silhouette of) your face

Izinkan ku mencuri khayalan denganmu
Allow me to steal some fantasy with you

Maafkanlah oh...
Oh forgive me

Andai lagu ini
Mengganggu ruangan hidupmu
If this song invades the space (privacy) in your life

Kau senyumlah oh...
Oh please smile

Sekadar memori
Kita di arena ini
Even if this is but a memory of us in this arena

Kau ilhamku
You're my inspiration

Kau ilhamku...
You're my inspiration


The most unexpected thing happened ...


Remember Jpopsuki? Remember how I ranted and all, being kicked out and all? Out of the blue I just thought I wanna see the main page again to rant again and suddenly the notice said...

Update: Accounts disabled because of Inactivity or failing to meet the minum ratio have recently been re-activated again! So check if your account that previously failed to work, works again now.

I thought it was a cruel joke. I used my username, password and the most unexpected thing happened! I got back in! My account, reactivated and I even have bonus of 39 points!

Is it my birthday today? Is it Christmas? Or suddenly Jpopsuki decides to play Santa?

I am, without any trace if sarcasm and truly honestly sincerely saying this, am very very pleasantly surprised.

If your account was disabled because of inactivity, go try now! Maybe it has been reactivated!



Saturday, August 14, 2010

I wish I can dance like that too!


One comment wrote "I wish I can dance like that" and my response when I watched this wonderful video of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers who both made dancing so effortless and so classy and elegant, I too went "I wish I can dance like that too!".





The other day I was watching The Towering Inferno again with the amazing Steve McQueen and I saw a really old Fred Astaire who could still walk with a strut at that age and he reminded me of the golden era of actors. Need not be tall, dark and handsome but he was a classy gentleman who can sing, dance AND act all at the same time. Gone are those era isn't it? And Steven McQueen was beyond cool. He was cool personified. His performance as the fire chief was just.. well.. cool!


The beauty of Auto-tune





As performed by these 3 lovely girls from a Japanese group called PERFUME. I am now kinda obsessed with this song partly because of

a. the auto-tune
b. the dancing- rather cute
c. the skirts, so short and yet not lewd and not exposed
d. what has it all to do with The Voice? Ahhh Japanese and their English lyrics, same like Koreans with their Japanese lyrics!


But I am pretty sure they're lip synching. That can't be live, even if with heavy duty auto-tune. Anyway lovely cute song though.

[UPDATE]

Even the Music video is weird but cute at the same time. Love the dancing part. Cute. Wholesome.





Even Youtube is into it!


Into what you ask? Well into subtitling videos and my god, what a great new feature! I laughed my head off! You must try. First of this is the wonderful fantastic Fred Astaire and his even more fantastic dance move. Anyway once there, click on the CC button and choose transcribe audio button, click ok and just watch! Fantastic eh?


Thursday, August 12, 2010

My reviews on Charmaine Sheh's performances over the years - Part 2


Part 1 is here. Continuation and hopefully the last one, I never knew I watched so many of her series.

Let's continue...

Another character which became more and more engaging as she had less and less to do is the character of Yee Soon, whose performance by Charmaine Sheh became better and better as the series went on and on. She wasn't good at first, in fact when she had to be emotional and do the dirty deeds I thought Charmaine didn't look despicable or ruthless enough. Her movements looked too deliberate instead of despicable type of calculative moves. She seems forever stuck in I am Charmaine Sheh mode and didn't quite fit into the character of Yee Soon...Charmaine Sheh excels in those quiet moments when she simply in a low voice speak her lines without shouting nor high screeching voice. She sighed a lot and to me that is appropriate. Her eyes was always downcast, she looked very pale and sickly, as if without much hope and her eyes always brimming with tears. I am very satisfied with her performance in the later part and I hope she will get to play more of such characters or maybe she will realise her strength as an actress is not to overact but to just act. [War And Beauty]

I did write episodic thoughts for this series which I enjoyed immensely from my memory. You can read them here.

Or maybe it was just pure bad acting or maybe like what I have said about Charmaine Sheh's acting performance, her As does not always connect with her Bs. She is a scene per scene actress and even until now she is still frustratingly a scene per scene actress that has no connection with one and the other. But even if she did, her character is truly pointless to the plot because even with all the action and the bad stuff happening to her, her character could be safely deleted from the script and her character won't be missed, except maybe on the virility part. And the worst is this character is very innocent and simple. Charmaine looks pretty, she can play innocent to the hilt and even simple but because she is much older now and she doesn't have that innocence that is so naturally seen in her earlier days. Time is cruel I suppose, and she could still play someone young but to play someone so young and wide eyed is not her forte anymore. [The Dance Of Passion]

And I went on and on and on about her performance. I must say that Charmaine brings out the essayist in me.

Charmaine Sheh's problem is not her performance. I thought her Chu Yuk Lan was endearing and in some good moments, she shows promise as someone who can be funny. Her lisp is cute, even if it is sometimes there, most of the time not. I notice it is there in her scenes with Roger but when she is by herself, the lisp is sometimes just not there. Even when she was cured of the lisp, one scene sounded she still had the lisp, but momentarily. So she's not consistent, and that is not the first time I have said that about her. But some scenes she was really cute, that I must admit. Like Liza Wang, she had a breakthrough. I remember in Country Spirit her character supposedly crawled back home but her hair and her face was perfectly in place and clean, respectively. I laughed at how "real" her acting was. But in here, some scenes were quite shocking; like the way she sits, squats, the way she walks, some of those little things. That scene where she found out her father sold the village home she said loudly and emotionally "How can I ever face my grandmothers? My great grandmother? My great great grandfather?!". That was funny, truly funny moment. Her performance of the Carmen song was particularly awful, not because her diction or singing was off (her diction was off, her singing at times was like screeching but nowhere as bad as Liza Wang) but because her dancing and performance was supposed to be full of sexual energy as Carmen and Charmaine Sheh, pretty, beautiful, graceful, ladylike, feminine, killer electric eyes, flirty, womanly... but sexy? She was hardly sexy. Flirty sometimes but flirty as in flirtatiously sexy is an overstatement. Her performance as Carmen felt flat and rehearsed, like move left, turn right, shake twice... without the passion that the dance dictates, without the forcefulness, anger or even sexual energy the song demands. Thereafter her every stage performance was awful, like getting on with the routine. It is unfair to ask an actor to be a singer as it is unfair to ask a singer to be an actor but once as an actor you step into the shoes of a singer, you must act like it. [Glittering Days]

That's it. I did see her other earlier series like Angels Of Mission, Drive Of Life, Forensic Heroes II, When Easterly Showers Fall On The Sunny West, Maiden's Vow, Always Ready, etc (about 95% of her series truth be told)  to which I did not write a review for. The later series I haven't seen and I am just about to finish You're Hired. I do plan to do a episodic thoughts for Beyond The Realm Of Conscience when it airs.

Anyway I do think I have been pretty consistent about her. I am still on more or less the same train of thoughts for her performance in You're Hired, but that you will need to wait for my review.


My reviews on Charmaine Sheh's performances over the years - Part 1


I had quite some fun walking down memory lane with my reviews on Kevin Cheng's performances over the years, I decided to do another one on one actress that I have followed since her first performance even if I don't always follow all her performances and that is Charmaine Sheh. Bear with me, because I did write a lot of reviews on her series. For your info, her first series I saw was Flying Fox Of Snowy Mountain although her first series was Time Off which I didn't know at that time. Flying Fox was released first before Time Off. Generally I believe I like her but not as an actress so I think this memory lane is really quite a walk! Many of these reviews were written just as I finished the series which you can imagine how long ago they were!

Insanely long post so click Read More link to read.




Let's see...

Worst Peformance
I take back what I have said about Lee San San.She is not the worst actress in TVB.Charmaine Sheh deserves this honour because she is consistantly bad in all her serials,with no sign of improvement.Now,I see hope in Lee San San but not Charmaine.Maybe it's her soft voice,her face that is always a frown here.I know,she can act with her face,if she is supposed to have this sad look for 20 episodes,but i suspect what she lacks is the ability to act with her body.She has absolutely no body language,she doesn't know what to do with her hands and her voice,she needs intensive training for that.Quite a pity,because she has this really elegant look here,but she just doesn't have the talent.Especially the scene where Ah Lik was insulting her and she got so mad that she begged him to stop and slapped him.What I wrote her could portray more of the emotional feelings in that charcater than she did in the serial.So I guess,she can't act.But I guess I'll have to wait for Flying Fox on Snowy Mountain,or something like that.Anyway,she is really bad here,so get ready for torture time.Even Yuen Yuen from War OF The Genders could act better.

If I Were The Scriptwriter…
Except for Charmaine Sheh who have spoiled this serial,the whole serial's plot is ok.Maybe change Charmaine for someone else,this would've been a glowing review. [Time Off]

Worst Performance
By a leading character,which would be Charmaine Sheh.I mean I love her character but the way I described the character I was putting a lot of my own words into it,her acting is not that emotionally expressive.Don't get me wrong.As the sweet Yeuk Lan,she was good.Smiling like a miss HK I guess is her best virtue.But when it comes to the later parts when she is supposed to be this woman consumed with hatred for Fook Hong Onn,that's when you see her flaws.At first she was too unbelievably sweet,and now too unbelievably no emotions whatsoever.She has the best character to play and she didn't excell in it.Frankly,this serial marks her first real acting job,and if I just ignore everybody else,she has improved.Unfortunately,I can't and she paled in comparison with everybody else.It;s her voice and her "I don';t know where I should put my hands" that's the problem.Everytime she screamed,"Wu Dai Kor", I could feel myself shivering.If she just stand there and just smile,she is good.She can be expressive through her face and I see potential with her eyes but like I said,her body language and her voice spoilt everything.And to be given such a good role to play and she almost killed it if not for the excellent writing of her character and the excellent acting around her that covered her flaws just barely,this review would have been very unfavourable indeed.I see Ruby Lin,but for HK counterpart,it should've been someone else,someone who can act better.Perhaps she should have played this role a few years later,maybe then she could interprete it better.But I do wonder,does she ever really look at her characters that she played and analyse them as to their actions rather than say,remember the lines,action,smile,scream,run and cut,job well done?A great pity indeed.But she has potential and she is pretty. [Flying Fox Of Snowy Mountain 1999]

Ahhhhhhhhhh....Charmaine Sheh. Some said she gave her best in here, some said her worst. No no no, she wasn't THAT bad, in fact I would say she is my idea of Chow Chi Yuek, LOOKS WISE. You see, when she first appeared, I thought she looked simply ravishing. She was glowing and her make up were perfect though her hair could have been less severe. When later she became evil, she had that purple colour tone in her make up and dresses and still she looked ravishing. My idea of Chow Chi Yuek, sweet looking, innocent and almost virginal. BUT the problem starts when she becomes evil Chow Chi Yuek. You could see all her weaknesses. She does not have consistency. One minute she is evil, next she is teary eyed, almost a bit of regret in her eyes and yet, not quite so. I still think she is a scene per scene actress and she has never quite grasp the idea of her character AS A WHOLE. She could definitely stare, and the scene where she was driven to desperation and she had to eat dried leaves to survive was quite ok but yet something was terribly missing. I feel she did a better job in Crimson Sabre than in here though in here she did a far better job than all her earlier works. No no, she was great and she wasn't bad. If I had to choose the worst performance, it had to be a tough fight between the old guy who played Cheong Sam Foong the monotone old man, the dead looking monotone John Tang and the scarred faced guy who delivered his lines like the Monkey King. I can't decide but what I am sure is the worst wasn't Charmaine Sheh but didn't give a good performance either. She gave a bad performance, and now that I think back, she didn't have much role in here! I really enjoyed watching Chow Chi Yuek but if this role had gone to a more accomplished and capable actress, like.....like....like...Xiao Qiang or perhaps....like..like..like..in TVB...like....oh my God, I can't think of one pretty enough!! Wait got one. If this role had gone to the younger Ada Choi it would have been better but Ada Choi is not pretty enough. Oh God, TVB desperately needs new talent. I really can't think of one to play Chow Chi Yuek!! Yes I got one. Cecilia Cheung. But her voice..... [Heaven Sword And Dragon Sabre 2000]

The Most Disappointing Performance
I am sorry to say this,but for all the hype about how good she was,how much she has improved,how great she was and how much she is begging you to see this serial for great improvement,I saw only bad casting,bad acting and overall annoying presence,in the form of Charmaine Sheh.Her performance of Kwan Hoe has no real depth.It's like a scene per scene performance,if that scene requires her to look lovingly into Julian's eyes,then yes,it's ok.If that scene requires her to look lovingly into Steven's eyes,yes,then she's ok.But put it all together there is no consistency in her performance as Kwan Hoe.Parhaps it is the writers' fault for giving us such a weak characterisation of a character but again,there are no bad movies,just bad actors.Here,she is one really bad actress.She is supposed to be a tomboy,but cutting your hair short,wearing pants and speaking 10 times louder does not make you a believable tomboy.Half way through the series,you see her in skirts and her feminine ways betrayed her in her attempt to act like a tomboy.I could not believe a girl as pretty as she is would have people saying," she is such a tomboy,she'll never find a husband",when she is much more feminine than Hoi Lam herself!To be fair,Charmaine tried really hard,sometimes too hard that you can see some actions to be deliberately non-deliberate,if you know what I mean.And I hate her voice now.It used to be tolerable because she spoke softly,but now in every few lines she would be screaming her lines,and I felt like gagging her and telling her to please speak softer.You do not have to scream your lines.Not shout,but scream !And her body acting,those body actions is so feminine,and frankly,the supposed mother-daughter relationship with Nancy is a bit lacking because of her non-acting with her body language.I do not feel nor see the closeness.But I have to admit,she is very good with intimate scenes,like she was with Sunny Chan in DIF IV and various other serials,so she is good in lovey-dovey scenes which requires her to be a bit flirtatious with the guy.But in emotional scenes,the best she could do is some watery eyes.I guess her failure in all her performances is that she either tries too hard or she does not try at all.It's either she could not grasp the essence of her character or she was badly miscast.In this case,she was badly miscast AND she could not grasp the finer virtues of this role and convey it out properly.Either she did not read the whole script and see the inconsistencies or she herself created the inconsistencies.

I am sorry I have to be so blunt but frankly,she is a very overrated actress for this series.So,as of 1/9/2000,she is still not good enough.In fact,she deproved in her acting.Please somebody tell her go back to girly roles and perfecting it before attempting soemthing that requires a real acting talent to pull it off if your own self aren't like that.

The "If I Were..." Factors

If I were Charmaine Sheh,I would... : Refrain from saying "I have improved" and just for once perhaps be brave enough and question the writers as to the way her character is written and to really do some research as to what a tom boy means and how a tom boy behaves.And go for some really expensive voice coach and some even much more expensive acting classes,so that we the viewers do not have to sit through hours of torture watching her act whilst wait painfully for the day she can act really well. [Return Of The Cuckoo]

And then there was the whole hacker thing in that review. Yes I still think her worst performance is in this series about a cuckoo!

Induces "What The?!@*%^&" Disorder
This is series has one of the most frustrating aspect in all TVB series. The casting decision. First of all, I will admit this much, Charmaine ain't that bad, because I have seen someone worse than her in this series alone, which was rare because usually she has the privilege to be surrounded by marvellous actors...I think I have said this before.

Let us just begin with the fact that Charmaine is a very pretty actress. Feminine and desirable as your type of cute soft spoken girlfriend. But in this series, she fails, not big time, but fails nevertheless to grip me with her performance with potentially the role that could have launched her as an actress, not just another popular tvb artist.

Based solely on looks, she was ok as Ah Gau but not as Princess Cheung Ping. SOme people are pretty, some has that extra oomph that seperates them away from the rest and distinguishable by their sophisticated and high class looks. Charmaine does not strike me as an intelligent princess, though she does give me an impression that she could be a compassionate person. As Ah Gau, she is fine, because nothing much in looks department. But we all know Ah Gau is Cheung Ping in disguise and TVB should have looked beyond just a pretty face and give use somebody that has the quality of a princess. Like if she just stand there you know there is something about that girl, maybe her feminine ways, maybe her aristocratic looks. But Charmaine looked like an ordinary Missy to me, not a princess. More so a strong willed, independant, sophisticated and troubled princess. That troubled part,she is good but Cheung Ping is not always in her FROWN mode. That is what Charmaine does best. Smile happily or frown, more to the point, a worried frown. When she is unhappy,she pouts and frowns, when she is angry she pouts and frowns, when she is really worried, she pouts and frowns. See a pattern here? I have said this in my Moonlight review so I shall not say much because I really do not want to be accused of Charmaine bashing and biasness because I could be biased. Because there are several scenes in here she could have done much more. Let's look at my short thesis below on the best actors around; [Crimson Sabre]

And I actually went on and on and on about her in that review although generally I kinda liked her performance because there was someone worse than her in that series.

Funny Aspect
We have Charmaine Sheh in a 5 minute scene. Some write why not Charmaine in a bigger role but that would spoil the fun of that 5 minutes which she did quite well, because her voice was dubbed by Marianne's voice and so it was less annoying and for once I was able to appreciate her somewhat improvement in her acting however forced her actions were. And I didn't realise how pretty she was until before that scene where Chor Chor first met Siew Tou and paid him to change her face for a few minutes and out she became Charmaine and wow. Beautiful Charmaine. And she was really funny in there. I didn't expect to see Charmaine so it was quite a pleasant surprise. And by the way, Charmaine may be able to play the nice Ling Wan without the drama but as Chor Chor, she will not stand out because she does not have the capacity to play an evil person. [Love Is Beautiful]

Charmaine Sheh
Fake. Just one word, fake. I can't believe it. As I write this review and at the same time watching her wonderful performance in An Herbalist Affair, I can't believe she could be so bad in one show and so good in the other. Of course An Herbalist Affair was much later. One telling scene where Charmaine has much to learn in her emotional output (other than the obvious shouting, screaming and her best asset, the ability to cry pitifully on cue) is the scene where she was wondering whether should she say yes to a marriage to Kwai Sang who was supposedly dead. She sat at the pier, looking at the calm river, thinking, contemplating perhaps the life she could only dream of, the freedom that she will never see again and being in a marriage to which she will gain no love but animosity (since step mum in law hates her). And how was her performance then? She looked blank, calmer than in later scene where she thought Ah Soon left her all by herself during the war. There wasn't a tear in sight, when that scene could have been more poignant if she had just silently shed a tear or two. None whatsoever. And the way she carried the role of Shun Fung towards the end, from poor stubborn girl to a proud manager of the Khoo family to at the end, absolutely bland boring woman in love. Of course we could say Shun Fung is actually a weak woman forced by circumstances to be strong but if you watched her performance from episode one, I am sure you would agree, her Shun Fung is more like a woman pretending to be strong when she is a (heaven forbid!) a closet-dependant woman clinging to her man like her life depends on it. I find that insulting for Shun Fung herself, because I was lead to believe she's much tougher than that. When she avenged for the insults she endured on the other characters, of course most would rejoice, after all these Khoo family, they're bad people. But I find her vindictive and the more her eyes wandered towards Ah Soon, the more I disliked her Shun Fung, because at the end of the day Charmaine's lack lustre performance gave me an impression her Shun Fung is such a "little" woman. If you know Cantonese you would know what I mean. [Country Spirit]

And a whole lot more discussion on her performance in that review alone. I realise I really like discussing about her!

Most Improved But Still Totally Lacking In Something Performances
Many have criticised me that I have been way too harsh and I should be lenient and say nice things instead of saying "Worst Performances". Hence this long title for these two names.

Charmaine Sheh
Why?!

The Inadequacy of the Character of Wong Yoke Cham & the performance of Charmaine Sheh
I have never had anything nice to say about Charmaine except for

1. she is pretty;
2. she can kiss/cry;and
3. she has potential.

In this series, she has a tailor made role just for Charmaine. I can't imagine anybody else whomcould play this spoilt brat that talks in that voice that will melt 100% of the male population, old, young and even babies in HK. She can really cry and her best scenes are always crying scenes or when she is "electrifying" some poor male costar with that voice of hers whilst grabbing their hands tightly. Poor old Grandpa Wong. In that aspect she did well. Her character in here is annoying, but her performance was far better than in Moonlight where she was wrong for the role of Chuk Kwan Hoe. She was far better here than in serious drama like in Crimson Sabre and HSDS 2000 which I had the misfortune of watching a few episodes. She is big time cute in here and clearly the babe and baby factor. You will feel like slapping her and yet hugging her. And she is pretty.

But one impression that I got from this character is that she must be really stupid or no-brainer, but still a nice kind girl however spoilt she may have been. I am not sure if that was supposed to be as such but I see a lot of similarities with Moonlight, only she is playing a feminine rude screaming girl instead of a tomboy like in Moonlight. Everything else was the same. [Seven Sisters]

And a whole lot more in that review.

Charmaine Sheh
I have always maintained that I like her as a person, but not as an actress. She seems likeable enough, but in her older series, she was always portraying weak characters, those that needed help. Later series and boom! She screams all her lines, her actions seems awfully deliberate and she is acting in a role which she is required to act. Calling her fake would be too much but calling her a sub standard actress wouldn't be too far from the truth. I have never really liked her characters, except for perhaps Miu Yeuk Lan in Flying Fox In Snowy Mountain, where her Miu was weak and yet strong at the same time as well as beautiful and gentle. You can't help but like her Miu.

In this series, I wouldn't call this character her breakthrough performance. Not there yet. But this character of Ah Bee is close enough and frankly speaking Charmaine Sheh totally owns this character and she was the one who made this series such a delight to watch. This character, Ah Bee is like specially written for Charmaine because I like to believe this is Charmaine. I guess from all her interviews I gather that she is a very feminine person, rarely shouts. This is what Ah Bee is. I believe there is plenty of Charmaine Sheh in Ah Bee as I believe Ah Bee is very close to the real counterpart. Of course perhaps Charmaine won't be as stubborn as Ah Bee towards the end of the series but the poise, the beauty, the cuteness, and of course the feminine side of her somehow shines through. He dressing in this series and her hair gives me an impression of a lady, and a very intelligent, understanding and very polite lady. I really like her Ah Bee and her chemistry with Roger Kwok is simply perfect. Whenever they smile, you will smile. Whenever they kiss, you will feel the passion even if the kiss is a bit PG-rated. And certainly whenever Charmaine smiles, the scene just lights up, there is obvious happiness and when she cries, I must admit this is one actress who can cry pitifully. This is not like Country Spirit where she is a cry baby. This series has a character that I supposed rarely cries and when she does, you will feel for her.

Again, I couldn't help but praise Charmaine for making this series such a delight to watch. I really do think her hairstyle suits her perfectly in here and her size is just right. Her dressing though simple, her make up though light and her hair though unadorned, she gives me an impression of a very well mannered lady. And certainly, very few TVB actresses exudes such natural sophistication, some could fake it but very few actually exudes it. In here, Charmaine's Ah Bee is simply elegance personified. I believe this is Charmaine Sheh as close as we could know her if we were to meet her in her own private time.

By the way, I do hope she will stop taking on roles such as those that requires her screaming, kicking, doing big actions and all. I want to see her as lady like since very few is actually feminine and lady like. Those kicking and screaming, can be done by any other actresses. I don't want to see her in cute roles either. The success of Ah Bee is she's not pretending to be cute but due to her likeability, I think of her as cute. This series offers a glimpse of Charmaine's potential in evil roles. I don't mean HSDS kind of evil, I mean Love Is Beautiful - Anne Heung kind of evil because one good thing about Charmaine, she can really stare. Another good thing? Her smile, very real and very genuinely happy. One more good thing? Her ability to cry on cue but it's not those big cries that I like but those small scenes, where she sits silently and her tears streaming down her cheeks, those are her best moments. And the last good thing? She can really kiss. And when I say kiss, I mean gentle kind of kiss, that is affectionate and very intimate without grossing you out.

This series has all that.

Effective and lovely performance. You may ask what is missing, why can't I say excellent? Coming from Charmaine I could say this is her best performance and definitely and excellent one but something is still not quite right. She's a natural in here, no doubt but somehow I believe she could have been much much a better. I am sure no other actresses could have made me cry or laugh with her every antics like she was in this series but somehow her movements remained mechanical, almost timed to the directions of the director though there're one very good scene, where she was running to the airport in a hurry and she was still holding her car keys and if I am not mistaken, her handphone. Certainly looked urgent in that scene. But notice her hands; she doesn't know where to put them which spoils her otherwise excellent performance. Maybe I am just picky but to me, her hands or rather what she didn't know what to do with her hands was distracting me from appreciating her heartfelt performance fully. [An Herbalist Affair]

I decided to repost my entire comments here because this is the only series I really liked Charmaine as an actress without much reservation or much critique.

Charmaine Sheh
Pretty, love her dressing in here, I think she improved a lot but I still feel An Herbalist Affair is her best work yet. In here she's again the rude, small minded, calculating one with one redeeming quality; she is nice. Is Charmaine a rude person in real life because most of her characters are mostly rude people? Add spoilt, perky and talk too loud. Her movements are still over the top, you know bigggg movements and pointing left right top and bottom and her acting is still scene per scene in this series but she's improving. Her fans will love her in here, since everybody loves cute Charmaine. I must say though she should stop posing in sexy dresses with tight or short clothings. She's still pretty in here but really she has no bum to show off. In recent pictures, with her untidy hair and really thin frame, her face looks long, she looks messy and very tired. I want her back to her old cute chubby self if I had my way. Hopefully her acting is not suffering from malnutrition like her body is. [The White Flame]

Charmaine is different. I was very very disappointed. She has improved I won't deny it but definitely not for the better in the sense of being an actress who understands and who sees her role wholly and not scene per scene. The most telling was after her mother died, cried like there's no tomorrow. And the next scene she looked surprisingly normal, even looked fresh. The make up department may have forgotten to make up her grief on her face but certainly the actress should at least behave the part. But she didn't. And then she came face to face with the real culprit and I don't even see hate in her eyes. Maybe you could say at that point Yuk Chu gave up hope but she didn't look like she gave up hope. She frowned, looked utterly unhappy and that was it. I was very very disappointed and I do wonder did she understand her Yun Yuk Chu? Her improvement is not towards best but towards mediocre/average. Which made me realise why I loved her in An Herbalist Affair; at least she was consistent in there. In this series she's not and again, disappointingly so. As for hugging Bobby, the way she hugged him was a bit too reserved, considering she was drunk, crying like mad and very unhappy. I see Yuk Chu as someone as passionate as she is temperamental. She can hate with a passion and she can love with a passion. Don't see that which is why I say their relationship is not sexual in any way, more buddy-buddy. Let's not talk about that one single kiss scene which is more like a brush of the lips totally devoid of anything sentimental, except for being sweet but as one reviewer in Point2e noted, sickeningly vomit inducing scene. Not that dramatic for me but I do feel it lacks something. Could it be Charmaine's too old for Bobby? Well, Charmaine is not exactly young you know, no it's just Bobby is not a good kisser on screen that's for sure as I am sure Charmaine is very good at kissing as demonstrated by her many kisses with her many male co-stars. And then there's her bad habit that I noticed ever since that series about that cuckoo in Macau. She has BIG movements, big voice. I don't that in here but it's very very irritating to see her swinging her hands left right, like someone whose walking BIG steps with BIG movements just a few minutes after her mom just died. Consistency! None!

But one redeeming factor about Charmaine Sheh; her Yun Yuk Chu is genuinely cute in here especially the scene she shared with Bobby. Other than being cute, nothing else if you look at the series as one whole piece instead of scene by scene. [Witness To A Prosecution II]

The character was already flawed but the actress who played this role was worse. Charmaine injected neither charm nor elegance into Cheung Ping. What I saw was a deliberate exercise in looking and sounding cute without the real cuteness. I missed the genuineness in Charmaine's soft spoken voice when she first started out. She looked wimpy, yes but she also looked demure and yet could be strong without sticking it into your face and screaming "I AM STRONG!". I remembered her Ah Man in DIF IV (bad acting but she was demure, learned to be less dependent), her best character and acting Ah Bee in An Herbalist Affair where she was everything and more, her Chow Chi Yuek in HSDS (bad series but she was beautiful and believably evil and demure at the same time) and her Princess Cheung Ping in Crimson Sabre whom I feel is my ideal Princess Cheung Ping.

Not many actresses can get a second chance in playing a well known character in two different versions. I don't expect same characters and feelings but I certainly didn't expect for her to do it almost right the first time and a complete mess the second time. The fault lies in the script and the direction and the focus but many more lies in the actor who can't inhabit the character. Or perhaps I am seeing shades of the real Charmaine in this Cheung Ping? Believe me, it's not a pretty sight.

Her voice was horrible. I missed the demure chicken voice. In this series filled with modern dialogue, the way she talked was lazy and unrefined. What is going on with Charmaine? [Perish In The Name Of Love]

I wrote episodic thoughts for Perish In The Name Of Love, I can't remember if it was my first though.

Always the best for last right? Not this time, I save the worst for last.

I can understand the loyalty of her fans, proclaiming this and every series she has been in as her best performance. I was very surprised not many mentioned An Herbalist Affair, her only performance that I genuinely loved. The rest are either forgettable or really bad. Mostly bad. What I don't understand is why they're so keen to give her praises when she has so much more to improve on?

I am getting very tired of repeating my views on Charmaine. I can honestly say she improved but I can't honestly say she was so good in here, or that she was good, period. Her performance lacked substance, it lacked personality. Charmaine has failed to transfer her usual sunshine self into this character and that means either she has grown past her age to play young girls or she has become too famous that she has lost her before she was famous type of charm.

I can only conclude, maybe just maybe this role wasn't hers to play because I am constantly reminded of An Herbalist Affair and how well she did in there.

Or maybe, just maybe, like most of her fans refuse to see it, maybe she has reached her limitations as an actress and this is the best she can give and to me it is still not enough. [Point Of No Return]

I did write a review for Detective Investigation Files IV which was my very first review I believe and I didn't have much nice thing to say about Charmaine although I was very critical of Lee San San. I actually liked Charmaine in there! A pity I lost the review. Anyway I decided to split this into 2 parts. It is getting way too long! But I have been pretty consistent.