Saturday, March 30, 2013

Battle of Changsha Novel Excerpt "Wedding Night" + Fan-made MV

In the original novel, Gu Qingming never officially proposes to Xiang Xiang with a bouquet of red roses. The drama series romanticizes the relationship a bit more.  They actually "married" in haste with no formal wedding ceremony. The "wedding" itself was just a simple dinner with Xiang Xiang's family. Below is a tough translation of a novel excerpt of the wedding night after the family dinner which "officializes" Gu Qingming as Xiang Xiang's husband.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Chen Xiao reveals spoilers for Legend of Lu Zhen

In a recent interview with Teng Xun, Chen Xiao discloses quite a few important plot detail about Legend of Lu Zhen. The details are both good and bad. First, I'll reveal some non-ending tidbits. As previously revealed in the 30-minute trailer, Zhao Liying's character Lu Zhen and Yang Rong's Xiao Huanyun (Yang Rong's original character name "Xiao Guanyin" has been changed to Huanyun due to SARFT's intervention) share an uncanny resemblance to each other. When Chen Xiao's Gao Zhan falls in love with Lu Zhen, Xiao Huanyun consequently interprets that Gao Zhan has only fallen in love with Lu Zhen because the latter looks a lot like her. Chen Xiao clarifies that though the two ladies may look "alike" in the story, but Gao Zhan's love for Lu Zhen is profoundly genuine and has little to do with her physical similarity to Xiao Huanyun. He further describes Gao Zhan is not as good and "nice" as what the trailer portrays. Being a devoted lover to Lu Zhen is definitely not his only attribute. In Chen Xiao's words, Gao Zhan can be "ruthless/cruel." The guy is filled with ambition, and he strives to regain what he feels should rightfully belong to him.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Yang Zi turned wooden shooting kiss scene with Wallace Huo in Battle of Changsha

Attention to Battle of Changsha aficionados, I would like to present one funny tidbit about the shooting if you haven't learned about it already on baidu forum. I had wanted to wait until the official episode of this talk show A Very Quiet Distance to air before writing about it, but I couldn't resist the temptation to talk about it now! I just want to share the laughter. A few days ago, Wallace Huo was invited to be interviewed by famed host Li Jing. Yang Zi was the "surprised" guest.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Chen Xiao is no longer Liu Fuling in Yu Zheng's adaptation of Yun Zhong Ge

It has just been revealed on Yu Zheng's microblog that there is some drastic cast changes for his upcoming project Da Han Qing Yuan 大汉情缘, which is based on Tong Hua's novel Yun Zhong Ge. Chen Xiao will no longer portray the kind and devoted Han Dynasty emperor, Liu Fuling. Instead he will play the conniving nephew, Liu Bingyi, who would sacrifice everything for power. Liu Bingyi is  the only emperor in Chinese history to spend his early toddler years in prison and would become one of the more successful Han Dynasty rulers. Su Qing, who previously acted as the child Empress Zhang in Scheme of Beauty, will play Liu Bingyi's love interest, Xu Pingjun.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Poignant 23-minute trailer for Battle of Changsha with English Substitles


After watching the official trailer, I am now completely 100% enthralled with Battle of Changsha. I usually try to avoid drama series set during World War II because they are just loaded with tragedies and melancholy. But I'm just superficial and just like to watch pretty guys in pretty military uniforms. Then I decided to read the original novel and got hooked. Anyway, the critically-acclaimed director, Kong Sheng, for this drama series definitely did not disappoint in his storytelling. I'm loving all the changes they made to the novel. I think this TV adaptation will surpass the novel itself. They greatly expanded the role of Gu Qingming (Wallace Huo) and added a lot more details to the development of the OTP. I can also tell a lot of effort has been put into executing the action scenes. There are also no bad CGIs battle scenes nor any cheesy romantic lines. After the sour aftertaste from watching The Swordsman and bitter disappointment regarding the release of Legend of Lu Zhen, Battle of Changsha is a very welcome change.

I love the subtle poignancy that the whole drama emotes. The acting seems to flow naturally. Wallace Huo and Yang Zi's onscreen chemistry is even much better than I expected. I think Yang Zi is actually one of Wallace's best onscreen partners. Though some Chinese netizens feel rather awkward about the 13-year age gap between Wallace Huo and Yang Zi, I'm more than happy about this pairing. Their age gap is consistent with the characters in the original novel. Yang Zi's Hu Xiang Xiang started out as a 16-year old girl while Wallace Huo's Gu Qingming was already in his 20s. I'm even happier at the fact that the scriptwriter/or whoever decided to add in a kiss scene. EDIT: it was just revealed in a recent talk show that Wallace Huo was the person who requested to add the kiss scene. Lol.

Monday, March 11, 2013

False Alarm: Legend of Lu Zhen is not airing this month!

SORRY READERS!! After a public announcement on weibo yesterday saying Legend of Lu Zhen would be the next drama to get aired, Hunan TV decided to flush their professional integrity down the toilet and pull out Legend of Lu Zhen from their March time slot. Chinese netizens on Sina weibo are fuming mad. I am furious beyond words and just wanted to tear them to pieces for giving us false hope. Everything seems so finalized yesterday. The weekly schedule on the official website was even updated to reflect Legend of Lu Zhen's episode broadcast. Numerous articles were released today to confirm this broadcast. I just can't believe they have the audacity to make such last minute changes. From now on, I'm not going to trust any public announcement from Hunan TV until I see the series actually gets aired!! I don't to make the same mistake for the third time!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

New Wallace Chung's Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils 11-Minute Trailer

Just when I was prying for more news on Legend of Lu Zhen, the newly released 11-minute Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils trailer caught my attention.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Legend of Lu Zhen (formerly Female Prime Minister) coming soon?

Rumors having been circulating wildly online after a major internet broadcaster Teng Xun announced that Legend of Lu Zhen will air in mid-March and even posted a "March 19th" release date. Then the official Hunan TV microblog refuted the claim and said the TV station had no intention of releasing Legend of Lu Zhen as its next primetime drama. Fortunately after some back and forth confusion today, Hunan TV microblog finally corrected itself and said chances of Legend of Lu Zhen airing this month is very HIGH!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Tribute to Varioius versions of Qiao Feng and A'zhu in Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils

After digging into Wallace Chung's latest adaptation of Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils, I became nostalgic of the older versions. Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils is filled with a multitude of colorful characters and many story arcs. The story is a bit too complicated to summarize in a few words for those who aren't familiar with this classic Louis Cha's wuxia novel (Louis Cha is also known as Jin Yong 金庸). Like many others, I inadvertently learned a lot of my Song Dynasty foreign relations history from watching Louis Cha's wuxia dramas. LOL.