Saturday, April 01, 2006

JY "Hey Guys" List v.2: Maggie!, last call for AAIFF, and Michael Bay's blockbuster clonefest

Well, it’s that time of biweek again, and another column is up at SFGate.com--a day late, but not, my editor assures me, a dollar short. This week’s col is about Maggie Cheung, arguably the most versatile--and certainly the most enduring--star in Hong Kong’s cinematic constellation. Though she’s shuttered back her output to one or two films a year (down from her late-‘80s peak of, er, 10), the quality of her work has risen proportionately. Maggie-maniacs will get a brief glimpse of her in Wong Kar Wai’s forthcoming 2046 (out on August 5 in New York and L.A.) and a healthier dose this fall, when Palm Pictures releases CLEAN, for which she won her first Palme D’Or. Though, we think, not her last. Here’s the link.

You could also head over to Asian CineVision’s annual Asian American International Film Festival, which goes on through this weekend at Manhattan’s Asia Society, and then heads out to Long Island’s Cinema Arts Centre:

The Asia Society and Museum
July 15-28
725 Park Avenue at 70th Street
New York, NY 10021
Box Office: 212-517-ASIA

Cinema Arts Centre
July 29-31
423 Park Avenue
Huntington, Long Island 11743
Box Office:
631-423-FILM (3456)
631-423-BOXO (2696)

The “Final Cut” party’s Saturday night--though you won’t see me there, as my nightlife now consists of warm milk and repeated recitals of “The Big Red Barn”…

Elsewhere:

This isn’t Asian pop related, but I had the chance this week to see a preview Michael Bay’s new excuse to break stuff, THE ISLAND, starring Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansen.

First impression: Noisy. Expensive. Scarlett Johansen is unusually hot.

Second impression: What do you get when you take The Matrix, Coma, Minority Report, Blade Runner, and Logan’s Run, slog in a few gallons of testosterone and enough product placements to fill an aisle at Target, blend, and serve?

Third impression: This has gotta be the most expensive Right to Life movie I’ve ever seen.

Final impression: If you should see it, and you’re welcome to do so, tell me that it doesn’t feel like it begins with a Calvin Klein perfume ad and ends with a Coke commercial.

I give it two Popstars out of five, one for the whizbang wanton destruction (and you know how much we love destroying those wantons!) and one for Scarlett Johansen’s unusual hotness.

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