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Thread: Once Upon A Time In Shanghai 《新上海灘》

  1. #41
    Senior Member MysticDust's Avatar
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    well, I am currently watching this series. It's quite good actually, and many characters are likeable, and some are hateable too, of course. I like Sunny and Noel best. Don't really like Nnadia so far, and don't know why Sunny likes her. I can see why she likes him (since he's cool, has morals, and rescued her), but what makes him like her? So far, there's no occassion where she shows she's nice, generous, or even has a good personality. She have yet to work a day in her life, and well she's kinda annoying. Is it b/c she likes him (which is very obvious) and it's flattering? But many other girls like him, so that must not be it.
    How come most 江湖 (jiāngh) wanderers never worry about money? I wonder how a 大俠 (dxi) make a living...does meddling in people's business and righting wrongs pay well?

  2. #42
    Moderator Suet Seung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MysticDust View Post
    well, I am currently watching this series. It's quite good actually, and many characters are likeable, and some are hateable too, of course. I like Sunny and Noel best. Don't really like Nnadia so far, and don't know why Sunny likes her. I can see why she likes him (since he's cool, has morals, and rescued her), but what makes him like her? So far, there's no occassion where she shows she's nice, generous, or even has a good personality. She have yet to work a day in her life, and well she's kinda annoying. Is it b/c she likes him (which is very obvious) and it's flattering? But many other girls like him, so that must not be it.
    Heh! I don't care. I'm going with my own ending. But then Nnadia and Sunny don't pair up at the end anyway. Sunny's official and only wife in the story is Noel.

    I might rewatch this series sometime.
    I just love how you Captivate My Mind

    Self reminder - Update blog more often and continue editing/writing for TOV fanfic.

  3. #43
    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Hint from a bitter old man:

    If the original BUND (1980) is available to you, you don't need to watch this series.

  4. #44
    Senior Member MysticDust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    Hint from a bitter old man:

    If the original BUND (1980) is available to you, you don't need to watch this series.
    Even though "once upon a time in shanghai" is a remake of the bund, I am sure a lot have been changed. It's not bad, even for a remake. And well, the bund have suffered much b/c of time. I have seen clips, and I don't think it aged as well as die-hard fans want us to believe. lol Though I am sure the content is still good, the modern first-time viewers might not be able to handle the technological and budget restraints of older productions. That said, I will still watch the bund if I can get my hand on a copy, since I am a fan of Ray, and it would be fun to play the game of "spot the well-known extras."

    To Suet Seung: according to my sis, he thinks of Nnadia when he was dying. Why not Noel, I say. They are cuter together, and he actually marry her. Shouldn't he love her more? Blah, I say, blah.
    Last edited by MysticDust; 09-03-08 at 09:06 PM.
    How come most 江湖 (jiāngh) wanderers never worry about money? I wonder how a 大俠 (dxi) make a living...does meddling in people's business and righting wrongs pay well?

  5. #45
    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MysticDust View Post
    Even And well, the bund have suffered much b/c of time.
    Why would time have any negative effect on THE BUND's quality? It's not like THE BUND was dependent on then-cutting edge special effects that have since become laughably obsolete (like the early 1980s wuxia adaptations). This series made its legend on its timeless story, its unforgettable characters, its brilliant writing, and its inspired acting. It's still the standard by which all TVB productions should be measured, and probably will be for years to come.

    I have seen clips, and I don't think it aged as well as die-hard fans want us to believe.
    Then don't take our word for it; GET it and WATCH it. You will be converted, I promise you.

    Though I am sure the content is still good, the modern first-time viewers might not be able to handle the technological and budget restraints of older productions.
    If THE BUND were LOCH '82 or SPW '84, whose appeal lay in large part in their razzle-dazzle special effects that aren't so razzle or dazzle anymore after a quarter century, this would be a stronger argument, but as it is THE BUND was the perfect example of how to make great drama WITHOUT blowing the budget. Its setting in the 1930s means you can't really date it to the 1980s (they were wearing 1930s clothing and using 1930s artifacts as props). The only thing you might be able to say is that the extras had bad late 1970s/early 1980s hairstyles, but who cares what the *extras* look like?


    That said, I will still watch the bund if I can get my hand on a copy, since I am a fan of Ray.
    Do that. Ray Lui gave the performance of a lifetime in this series.

  6. #46
    Senior Member adamcheng22447's Avatar
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    I was watching "The Making of Once Upon a Time in Shanghai" and came across outtakes scenes from the series. It's freaking hilarious!

    Sorry about the quality because it's TV-ripped

    http://hk.youtube.com/watch?v=0BfxeHC1rpQ
    ♥ Adam

  7. #47
    Senior Member MysticDust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    Why would time have any negative effect on THE BUND's quality? It's not like THE BUND was dependent on then-cutting edge special effects that have since become laughably obsolete (like the early 1980s wuxia adaptations). This series made its legend on its timeless story, its unforgettable characters, its brilliant writing, and its inspired acting. It's still the standard by which all TVB productions should be measured, and probably will be for years to come.



    Then don't take our word for it; GET it and WATCH it. You will be converted, I promise you.



    If THE BUND were LOCH '82 or SPW '84, whose appeal lay in large part in their razzle-dazzle special effects that aren't so razzle or dazzle anymore after a quarter century, this would be a stronger argument, but as it is THE BUND was the perfect example of how to make great drama WITHOUT blowing the budget. Its setting in the 1930s means you can't really date it to the 1980s (they were wearing 1930s clothing and using 1930s artifacts as props). The only thing you might be able to say is that the extras had bad late 1970s/early 1980s hairstyles, but who cares what the *extras* look like?




    Do that. Ray Lui gave the performance of a lifetime in this series.
    What I was actually refering to was picture quality and settings, moreso than anything else. It would be very hard or absolutely impossible to find a fully restored version, where picture quality is up to par. If you notice, older series tend to be fuzzier (almost have a dream-like quality) and the color oftentimes seems a bit off, which to some viewers (like myself at times) can be distracting. Also, due to budget constraints, the settings and background would not be as good as say, the new Chinese produced Bund. If you have seen this series 20 years ago, and you are rewatching it because it's a long-time favorite, then you tend to overlook these drawbacks. However, if you are a first time viewer, you might find it highly distracting. An example I would like to give is the old series "Glittering Fortune" starring Dicky Cheung, Nathan Chan, Margie Tsang, etc. Since it's my all time favorite series, I re-watch it at least twice a year for the last 15 years or so (wow, I feel old). However, my cousin, who saw it for the first time last year, thought the quality was really bad and couldn't get into it.

    Also, since I am vietnamese, I would have to find a viet-dubbed version (which actually is probably easier than finding the Canto version), but if you compare the dubbing of say 10 or 20 years previous, to the stuff of today, you will realize it's really different and sometimes really hard to handle (it's mostly due to the accent. older series dubbers have a northern dialect, while the modern ones are easier to handle if you are a viet living in the U.S. during this day and age). Two years ago, I tried to rewatch the 80's ROCH and the voices really grates the ears. Now, if I could find a eng. subbed cantonese copy (or even a mandarin copy), I would be really happy, but I am pretty sure that's not available as of now (though if it is, someone should really let me know).

    So, as of now, I am content with watching Once Upon a Time in Shanghai. Judging it w/out comparing w/ other versions, it's a good (if not great) series in my opinion. As a fan of Sunny, Noel, and Nnadia (but not in this series), I quite enjoy the show. I think the character developments are good. Some say that the show is kinda slow-paced, but so far, I don't think so. I am starting to see why Sunny's character likes Nnadia's, but I am still not all that convinced.

    Like Suet Seung, I think Sunny and Noel makes a better couple.

    The only major drawback to this series so far for me is Gordon Lam. I personally think he's by no means a good actor, esp. during the time this series was made. I could name a dozen guys who would have been better suited for the role, and since his relationship w/ Keung was such as major part of the series, a better actor would make for a better series imo. This realization makes me more curious to see Ray's portrayal, but that's a mission for another day.
    How come most 江湖 (jiāngh) wanderers never worry about money? I wonder how a 大俠 (dxi) make a living...does meddling in people's business and righting wrongs pay well?

  8. #48
    Senior Member almo89's Avatar
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    I was finally able to rewatch this one in its entirety. I remember it being good when i was a kid, but it's not the same watching it now. If Adam Cheng wasn't in it, i don't know if i was able to finish the series. It seems like Adam Cheng was in it because Sunny Chan and Gordon Lam wasn't able to carry the torch themselves. Comparing it to the original, it was not even close. Minus all the technology stuff, the story telling was WAY better in the original. The acting from Chow Yun Fat, Ray Lui and Lau Dan couldn't be matched by the remake. Many classic scenes in the original just looked goofy in the remake. I'll stick the the original. So when will the DVD come out?!
    "If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put it in a bottle it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow, or it can crash. Be water my friends.

  9. #49
    Moderator Suet Seung's Avatar
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    I wish there was a pictorial comparison of the characters from the original and remake like some people did for the Jin Yong adaptations.
    I just love how you Captivate My Mind

    Self reminder - Update blog more often and continue editing/writing for TOV fanfic.

  10. #50
    Senior Member almo89's Avatar
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    Also, the brotherhood between Man Keung and Ding Lik was not evident in this one. In the original, u could feel that they were brothers even when they were on opposite sites. Best example was when Ding Lik chopped off Man Keung's finger. Wow was that scene was gripping.
    "If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put it in a bottle it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow, or it can crash. Be water my friends.

  11. #51
    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MysticDust View Post
    What I was actually refering to was picture quality and settings, moreso than anything else. It would be very hard or absolutely impossible to find a fully restored version, where picture quality is up to par.
    Until TVBI gets off its duff and remasters the original film/videotape for DVD release, all that's out there are the ancient videotapes and the butchered VCD. This is, however, a fixable problem...and only a matter of time.

    If you notice, older series tend to be fuzzier (almost have a dream-like quality).
    Which is an important part of their appeal. The older series have a certain timeless look that doesn't feel as cheap or as cheesy as newer series.

    Also, due to budget constraints, the settings and background would not be as good as say, the new Chinese produced Bund.
    If a series is dependent on budget, settings, and background to carry it rather than the quality of the screenwriting, directing, and acting, that's already a huge, huge problem right there. It's likely to be all flash and little substance.

    Also, since I am vietnamese, I would have to find a viet-dubbed version (which actually is probably easier than finding the Canto version), but if you compare the dubbing of say 10 or 20 years previous, to the stuff of today, you will realize it's really different and sometimes really hard to handle (it's mostly due to the accent. older series dubbers have a northern dialect, while the modern ones are easier to handle if you are a viet living in the U.S. during this day and age). Two years ago, I tried to rewatch the 80's ROCH and the voices really grates the ears.
    OK...now this is a legitimate problem. Series are probably best conveyed with the original actors supplying the voice track...preferably recorded live rather than dubbed in later. Overdubs seldom work well. In THE BUND, Chow Yun Fat, Ray Lui, Angie Chiu, etc., acted as much with their voices as they did with their facial expressions and body language. Having someone else overdub voices later really damages the integrity of the original product - that much is true.

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