Friday, 21 October 2016

"A Capital Mistake" - a Chor Lau Heung 1984 fanfiction

The dreadful feeling when Chor Lau Heung realised his mistake (Ep 27)

Chor Lau Heung made mistakes, but never at this scale. He beat himself for it, he tried to fix it, and he still lived with his regrets until quite some time. But someone needs to tell him to forgive himself. Hence this fanfiction, dedicated to all readers who have made mistakes in their lives...including me.


A Capital Mistake

That mistake shook Chor Lau Heung to the core. He had made mistakes in the past, of course, but not one of this scale. One that basically cost two noble lives, made a young man lost one arm, and blinded a very fine matriarch. In agony, he kept playing the scenes in his head. Him not listening to the Kams, him not stopping for a moment to calm down and consider that they might have been right all along. Him accusing them, him easily defeating them due to his superb skills.

Then...the heart-stopping moment, the fear that suddenly grabbed him mercilessly, the bitter truth moment when he realised he'd done a capital error that couldn't be fixed. The floor that suddenly seemed to dissolve and the feeling of the Earth swallowing him, such that he had to grab onto something to stabilise himself. The painful feeling that he'd done something so irreversible that he couldn't even contemplate to forgive himself. The nerve-wrecking guilty feeling he'd been experiencing to date, despite him having confronted the Kam family's attacker.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Runaway Dragon and Missing Phoenix part 1

Li Sai Man is a constant enigma; his unspeakable action towards Chun Sik Sik is a source of (heated) discussion among The Foundation 1984 viewers. This is my take on LSM, spinning off from Ep 11 of the Foundation 1984, inspired by the conversations in the comments section of the Maiden Phoenix Rising. Romanisation is mostly Yale Cantonese or at least a terrible attempt at it. The Foundation 1984 is the property of TVB Hong Kong, and it’s my love to Michael and Barbara that made me write this story. Rated S for “safe”. No, seriously, it’s safe ^_^

The hollow after the deed... Ep 11 TF 1984

"Sai Man, look! The rainbow is here!"

The cheerful girl turned her petite body towards her lover, her face glowing like the rainbow. Suddenly, she gasped when she felt a sharp metal object, its tip glowing in the morning sunlight, thrusted into her abdomen, piercing her light blue dress.

Then, upon entering her skin, the object stopped short from piercing it completely.

Although she suddenly felt a small but sharp pain, she also registered that the pain didn't go further. Confused, Chun Sik Sik looked up to see her lover, Li Sai Man, the second prince of the Tang Dynasty, looked back at her with mixed expressions. Cruelty was the first she registered, a cruel expression she never thought Sai Man had. Then she saw sadness and love. Immense love. Then regret.

Then her lover's expression changed. Determination was clearly etched on his handsome face. A part of Sik Sik screamed inside when he lifted the object, which was now clear to her that it was a knife, to another striking stance. He was going to kill her. The love of her life was going to kill her!

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Interview with Michael re LOCH 2017

Michael Miu was interviewed on 7 October 2016 on his recent roles in the Line Walker 2 (as Cheuk Sir) and in the Legend of Condor Heroes 2017 (as Huang Yaoshi). The followings are the translated and original versions of the interview. I have based my translation for the LOCH 2017 part from Google Translator, MDBG and the Kaypang Gallery Indonesian translation (thanks, Pangchu!). I translated the third and fourth parts myself from GT and MDBG. I didn’t translate part 1 about Line Walker 2; but I hopefully will in due course.

The original article can be found after the translation. It’s really nice to read the thoughts of our beautiful and wise Michael. Enjoy! Oh, and do correct me when you find mistakes in translation and interpretation, I surely have made some...

Update 9 Oct'16: Thanks to Krabs from SPCnet for editing some of my translation!

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Barbara Yung’s letters part 2: LOCH 1983

Barbara shooting her first LOCH scene with Felix Wong

Last month I promised that I’d post some letters of Barbara Yung regarding her experience with the Legend of Condor Heroes 1983. Apologies for taking so long, but I finally am able to sit down and copy her letters from Rob Radboud’s site.

Reading her letters again reminding me how beautiful she was, in and out. She was caring, loving and sensitive. The letters you’ll read below doesn’t only talk about LOCH 1983 of course, and there you’ll see how she cared for her family, in this case her mother, her uncle and Shela, her uncle’s partner (later wife). She also cared for her other friends, that they didn’t have enough money etc. I also found out that her family lived in Cambridge in 1982 (Letter 12 August 1982). Do they still live there now? For some reasons, I wonder whether they have moved out...

As for LOCH, Barbara did her audition on 13 August 1982 (Letter 12 August 1982). She had always wanted to do an ancient drama, so she was excited about her audience. However, since she had the audition for the most important role in the series, the announcement was not made until mid November (Letter 19 November 1982). She was of course very excited about it, but then she was also worried whether she’d be able to fill Michelle Yim’s shoes (Mie Shieh or Michelle Yim played as Wong Yung in LOCH 1976)(Letter 13 March 1983). 

Saturday, 1 October 2016

"Maiden Phoenix Rising" - The Foundation 1984 fanfiction

A seriously shivering scene from The Foundation 1984, ep 9

The “deleted scenes” after Sik Sik and Li Sai Man quarreled in Ep 9 and made up after he found out that Sik Sik used to be Kong Fung’s lover. From The Foundation 1984 (Michael Miu, Barbara Yung). Li Sai Man, Chun Sik Sik and the Foundation are the property of TVB Hong Kong, no copyright infringement intended. Dedicated to TinyGin, thanks for your suggestions! Rated R.


Sik Sik glared in disbelief at her lover.

"Look, if I still love Kong Fung, I don't have to hide it from you. I'd just leave you and go to Kong Fung instead!" Seeing how Li Sai Man still glared back also in disbelief, she vented our her frustration. "You have the rights to be angry at me for keeping you in the dark, but don't you ever doubt my feelings for you!" Since Sai Man still didn't respond, she stomped her foot and said, "I'll leave now if you hate me so much!"

With that, she turned to leave. Yet, her arm was held tightly by Sai Man. Forcefully yet slowly, the Second Prince turned her to face him. Then, he said quietly, very intensely and possessively,

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Xuan Zhang 2016

Xuan Zhang 2016 is not your usual “Journey to the West” movie. You won’t find flying monkeys there. Instead, you’ll find a realistic journey of an amazing Tang monk across the treacherous deserts, who spoke fluent Hindi when he was already in India and addressed the Indian monks/gurus as “Acharya” in such a respectful way. Copied from my other personal blog because it relates to Li Shimin (Tang Dynasty) and it gave me a thought about LOCH 2017.

I found Xuan Zhang when I was on board Singapore Airlines from Hong Kong to Singapore (part of my lag from Washington DC to Jakarta). The good thing about flying with SIA is that you’d be guaranteed to have a wide array of Asian movies to watch. This journey was not an exception. I was weighing between Xuan Zhang and another Asian movie, and in the end, boy I’m glad that I watched Xuan Zhang.

The Chinese-Indian movie was directed by Huo Jianqi, produced by Wong Kar-wai (that name I know!) and starring Huang Xiaoming as the titular character. Never seen HXM in action before, but I was very impressed with his performance as Xuan Zhang that he’s one of my favourite Mainland actors now. HXM made me thought that he was actually channelling Xuan Zhang in the movie; his serene face and wisdom were so palpable, I wondered if he actually set aside time to meditate every day before filming. Actually, I would be glad to just sit next to him, listening to him chanting the sutras...

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

"The Dragon Dancing under the Moonlight" - a CLH 1984 fanfiction

The wedding night between the Wanderer/King of Thieves and the Princess. Shyly emerges, triggered by the very few sensual scenes between Chor Lau Heung and Song Siu Ching in the New Adventures of Chor Lau Heung 1984 (TVB Hong Kong). Rated R.

Being the 80s production, one of the very few electrifying scenes in CLH 84 is this...


Ignoring his thumping heart, the Wanderer opened the door and entered the bedchamber. A silver strand of moonlight fell into the chamber floor from the lattice window as the amber light of some candles warmed up the rose-scented bedchamber. The object of his excitements and anticipation was sitting on the bed, decked to the nines in red, glowing in the candlelight. He couldn't see her face right now, but during the ceremony a few hours ago, he did steal a glance to see the beautiful face thinly covered by a red veil. She was beautiful, like a mysterious flower; a rose or chrysanthemum, shyly smiling at him. Now, he saw her, his Princess, his Bride, his wife, her hands fidgeting with a red silk handkerchief. He realised she was nervous. The trouble was that, unexpectedly, he was too.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Barbara Yung's letters part 1: Chor Lau Heung

Barbara and Michael during a CLH 1984 press conference

I've been wondering for a while how Barbara was when she was alive. I wrote in May that she might suffer depression during her last months. But what of her in the beginning and midst of her career? What of her before that? Rob Radboud said that Barbara was a gentle person who would sacrifice everything for love. I watched a small documentary with her talking, she looked lovely and lively. But is there another way of understanding her aside from those sources?

Then it occurred to me after reading some unrelated (duh) letters of Van Gogh. Letters! Jane Austen left letters that made us understand who she was, what she was like. Also Van Gogh, and other authors/artists. Nowadays we can glimpse what a person is like through their social media postings. But letters are truer, for they are not intended for public viewing. Of course, unlike reading letters of Jane Austen or Van Gogh who had passed away centuries ago, it's more of a breach of privacy to read letters of the deceased when they passed away not long ago (Barbara is in this category). But Barbara's letters are already available online from Rob's website (previously hosted at, hence I feel okay in discussing them here.

Monday, 5 September 2016

LOCH 2008 final impressions

LOCH 2008 poster, from Crunchyroll

"A mixed bag" is what I'd call LOCH 2008. Another way would be "good in small details, bad in big pictures". I originally wanted to write part 2 of the review after part 1, but then I didn't have time (and now I lean towards the don’t care attitude, sadly). Hence, this is a compilation of thoughts while watching eps 16-50. I will also comment on some characters that attracted my attention. I've only watched the 1983 ver so far (not planning to watch other versions, thank you), so inevitably I will compare it with the 1983 ver. Spoilers below.


I find that the pacing is better in this series than the 1983 version. If you read my episode recaps of 83, you'll know that I complained about the almost two episodes devoted solely for the Dali story. This pacing wastage didn't happen in 08. They only spent about 15 min to explain the whole story between Southern Emperor, Yinggu and Zhou Botong. Which is great, cos I cannot relate to this ZBT at all. I find him annoying instead of endearing the way I feel for the 83 ZBT.

However, the compact storyline also sacrificed some aspects of the series, some of them major. As some past reviewers have commented, Guo Jing's childhood was skipped entirely. I'm not a fan of the 83 ver of having the eight first episodes dedicated to GJ's life in Mongolian; two episodes would do, I think. But I don't advocate wiping it out altogether either. Also, some crucial elements about Huang Yaoshi wasn't shown here, e.g. we didn't see the adorable Huang Yaoshi (Anthony Wong) looking for HR after she left the island after the contest between GJ and Ouyang Ke. Hopefully in 2017, we will be treated with that scene, for we have  a photo of Michael Miu's HYS on the lookout for HR onboard of a boat, just like in 1983.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Line Walker (TVB 2014)

A few days ago, Michael Miu posted a series of photo on his Weibo account, informing us of his new series, from TVB Hong Kong no less! He’s reprising his role as Cheuk Sir, a detective at the Hong Kong police squad, a role he had done superbly back in the well-received 2014 Line Walker. The new poster of Line Walker 2 is near the end of this article. The rest of the article is something I’ve written back in June when I watched Line Walker 1 cover-to-cover in less than a week (Cantonese version, yo!). Talking about addiction...I never got to post this commentary, but since Line Walker 2 is coming up, there's no better time than the present to post it! Apologies if it is rather incoherent; it was really a running commentary as I watched the series. 

I once said I wanna see Michael playing a modern hacker or "thief" to mirror his Chor Lau Heung. Well, we don't have Barbara now, so it won't be the same (her birthday and death commemoration are coming soon), and Michael never played that modern Chor Lau Heung before he retired in 1987. Besides, technology in 1987 wasn't that advanced yet for him to play a convincing modern CLH.

But now we have excellent IT etc. And Michael had returned to us more than a decade ago. Though he wasn't playing a hacker in Line Walker, the series gave him very sufficient screen time to display his excellence as a hacker (policemen can hack too), a detective (love it when he solved cases!!) and an efficient fighter (he knocked out several bad cops without a sweat, but he did really fight...not those annoying CGIs!). And to see him in suit is always a lovely sight...And his voice was still awesome. Almost unchanged. His voice... (to think that I won’t hear that voice in the Mandarin version of the LOCH 2017!).

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

LOCH 2008 first impressions

LOCH 2008 poster from Clapanuelos

In preparation of LOCH 2017, I thought I'd better watch LOCH 2008 to acquaint myself with the 21 CE wuxia style, particularly that of Jin Yong. I watch LOCH 2008 through KissAsian Jianghu. This post is for episodes 1-15 and I posted it with my iPad, so please excuse the brevity and mistakes.

I find the 2008 version having an interesting story telling with flashbacks. Sceneries, the grand scale of Heng Dian studio and cinematography definitely win against 1983. However, I still prefer the costumes of 1983, although they would be recycled later for other series (e.g. The Foundation 1984). And most definitely, the original voice wins against any dubbed versions. This is not just for the Mandarin-dubbed HK series, but also for Mainland dubbed series. I really don't get it. What's wrong with using Ariel Lin's real voice? I can see and hear how Huang Rong's voice was dubbed, for it's just too cute (in an annoying way) and too high pitched oftentimes.

I still much prefer the old 80s with minimum cables and real fist fights, somersaults and backflips from the actors and actresses. Exceptional mention is the Temujin vs Jamukha fight in Ep 2 or 3 win just fists and wrestles; now that was pleasing to watch! The theme song for that scene was great too. When Brian Leung's North Beggar arrived on screen, we then start to enjoy the older classical fighting scenes, cos Brian had solid kung fu, like those of the old TVB era. They actually even showed a Hong Qigong double doing sommersault, to my glee! I also like YK/MNC and YK/GJ close-distance sparring/fighting. It seems when it's not involving flying off the roof scenes, modern wuxia series actually can pull quite good fighting scenes. But once it involves anything resembling rooftop or height, it paradoxically falls to the ground.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

"Eyes on Me" - a Chor Lau Heung 1984 MV

"Eyes on Me" - a Chor Lau Heung 1984 MV from Icha74 on Vimeo.

I have loved "Eyes on Me" from Final Fantasy VIII since I found it in 2014. Then I stopped listening to it until recently, when I thought the theme would suit Song Siu Ching's feelings for Chor Lau Heung. I think I was right. "Eyes on Me" by Faye Wong, music composed by Nobuo Uematsu, English lyrics by Kako Someya. The English lyrics are below the break. I also included the original MV of "Eyes on Me" for FF VIII here. 


Update 15 Aug'16: The Dailymotion version has been deleted by Dailymotion; I guess because of the song (Final Fantasy copyright?), not because of TVB. Dang... This is not a problem for those with access to Vimeo, but readers in Indonesia will have a problem with that, because Vimeo is banned in Indonesia (palm/face). Perhaps I need to make a Tudou account to upload this video? YouTube is out of question cos this is a video, not a collection of stills. Dang...

Monday, 8 August 2016

Yang's Saga 1985 review

Directed by Johnnie To, Raymond Lee and Siu Kin-hing, “Yang's Saga” is star-studded with important actors and actresses, minus my dear Barbara who passed away around the time of the filming or editing of this movie. Even the first scenes in Heaven had Dodo Cheng as Immortal Woman Ho, Mr Cheung Ying-choi (Master Ma Yu in LOCH 83 and the Emperor in CLH 84) as Royal Uncle Cho, Chow Yun Fat as Lui Tung-ban (Lu Dongbin), and Maggie Cheung Man-yeuk (Chang Man-yi) as the Divine Lady of Nine Heavens. We have Lisa Lui as Empress Li of Song and Margie Tsang as Tony's apsara girlfriend who was banished to the Earth because she was dating Tony Leung the Thunder Boy. Michael Miu was the Fourth Young Master Yang (Yeung Yin-fai, Yeung Sai-long), Mimi Kung (Wah Jan-Jan in CLH 84) played as his Song wife. Felix Wong was the Fifth Young Master Yang (Yeung Ng-long). Any Lau was the Sixth Young Master Yang (Yeung Yin-Chiu/Yang Yanzhao). Tony Leung was the Seventh son (Yeung Chat-long). Michael Tao was one of the brats in the nemesis Poon family. Kent Tong was the Eight Prince of the Song (Prince Bat Ying, or Zhao Defang). Chan Wing-chun (Wu Tit Fa in CLH 84) and Chun Wong (Old Imp, LOCH 83) were the two Yeung generals. Check this Wiki link for other casts.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Visiting Barbara's grave

Barbara Yung's grave, Cambridge 28 July 2016

Since I started writing posts about Michael and Barbara last year, I had wanted to visit Barbara's grave in Cambridge UK. I finally had my chance when the UK immigration finally granted me a tourist visa for a visit this July.

I went to visit Barbara's grave in Cambridge last week on Thursday (28 July). It was raining when I arrived around 2 pm at the Cambridge City Cemetery. I had with me two bouquets of roses: 10 yellow roses and 10 red, pink and white roses. I also brought a pot of small red roses, all for £10 in the Thursday Cambridge market.

Located at Lot 29, at the north corner of the Cambridge City Cemetery (diagonal from the main parking lot), Barbara's grave wasn't looking as sad as when Rob Radboud came in June 2012. Back then, a yellow rose bush was growing unattended, blocking the grave. Rob had to hack the bush with his own hands without garden scissors or a knife, for he wasn't expecting that the grave wasn't attended. This time, last Thursday, I saw "only" two bunches of flowers wrapped in plastic, half a bottle of mineral water that someone used as a vase, and growing weed. Still a mess though, which made me sad...

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

“You’re the best in this world” MV (Michael Miu as HYS 2017) & LOCH 1983 OST 3 translation

I just made this MV since we have now enough photos to make just one MV of Michael as Huang Yaoshi 2017. Since Michael played as the very memorable villain Yang Kang (Yeung Hong) in the 1983 ver of LOCH, I think it's apt to have the LOCH 1983 OST used for this piece. The OST is titled "You're the best in this world" 世間始終你好 sung by Roman Tam and Jenny Tseng. I have the YouTube, Vimeo and Dailymotion versions for Michael as Huang Yaoshi here. 

Since I'm also doing the translation of the LOCH 1983 OST, this post is also for that. Hence, the translation of "You’re the best in the world" (世間始終你好) is after the break. The MV of LOCH 1983 OST part 3 with Barbara Yung as Wong Yung and Felix Wong as Kwok Ching is after the translation. Romanisation is Cantonese Yale (converted from Jyutping using this site), translated into English and Indonesian.

I love this song so much, I think it's just slightly below the iconic part 1 (Iron Blood, Loyal Heart) theme song, so I enjoyed making the MV. I hope you like it too. Translation of 2nd LOCH 1983 OST will be done next week or so...