Yang Mi, Liu Shi Shi, Tang Yan = my young golden three
thats the thing it all comes to opinion. being an old tvb series fan, i don't mind the fake sets etc. the cgi is tolerable since like i said they film a 1 year series all in 3-6 month with editing etc because of hu ge accident.
beautiful scenery etc is cool but theres no point really if the viewers aren't drawn to the characters playing the role as well as the ost. like i said i like all of zjz other productions besides rotch06(its cool but too lovey dovey and music was horrible), but most his productions focus too much on scenery, costumes, they forget viewers like to empathize with the characters and good music helps.
hsds09, watching even the first ten minutes, i was like what, even if this follows novel closely i don't care about that, i like a series that draws the viewer. like i said the series is very slow pace, the actors/actress didn't fit their roles, having been said countless times i do respect that some could act but you gotta fit your role at least. i would've prefered the 03 cast replace this cast then it would've been good series.
ady is cool, but i think her other predecessors were more mature for the role. they gave off that cunning innocent loveable evil zm. i actually thought gigi lai did good, i guess people hate her because she plays in too much series? alyssia was good as well as kitty lai, and lady from tiawanese 94 version with steven ma. ady looks just too cute i guess, she would've fit more of zzr role.
you guys may not have like the 08 condor heroes, but i like how they toke a different path, if you notice i don't mind if you don't follow the novel i actually encourage it to be different, i mean i don't want to watch a series played by different people but with same storyline over and over, its too predictable. you sympathize with all the characters, their struggles, and choices they had to made or how society would look at them.
nonetheless, the i enjoyed every hsds remake except this one so far. every old folk i know said the same thing, these productions try too hard but instead end up messing up. i mean i'm watching the series as i type, but to basically fast forward every second til the main character shows up gives me a bad impression for the series. usually i would watch a series to see how each character progress then anticipate the big fight scenes where the main characters will show off their abilitites, but this series doesn't get me hype.
I really love ZJZ's XAJH and LOCH but i feel that his later JY productions have grown somewhat pretentious, unprofessional and commercialized. I don't really blame ZJZ though 'cause most of the time, the pretentious and "artistic" scenes are really a result of Yu Min's ideas.
I absolutely agree with the point on music though and am seriously disappointed and appalled by the poor quality of music for ZJZ's later JY works, especially when compared to the brilliant scores for LOCH, XAJH and even TLBB. That coupled with haphazard pacing (sometimes too fast, sometimes too slow) and bad editing are the major flaws of ZJZ's recent productions. Despite these major faults however, I still enjoyed this adaptation of HSDS mainly because of the unique performances by the leads, the gorgeous scenery (though i dislike how the sickly yellow colour scheme destroys some of the scenes) and fight scenes, the latter two which i find much more superior compared to the past HSDS adaptations.
As for Ady's ZM, I really don't understand why some feel that she's not matured (in portrayal or looks?) when compared to her predecessors. I for one find her ZM more multi-faceted, complex and layered when compared to the past ZMs, even Gigi Lai's ZM who I really like as well. Imo, an example of a flat and immature portrayal of ZM is that from the 2003 adaptation. That said though, its really to each his/her own.
On the topic of LGL, I really can't see where the fantastic-ness of his productions lie in and have always attributed the popularity of his series to his young and attractive cast. I must admit that I did enjoy his earlier works and found his wuxia-pop style rather refreshing in the beginning but have since grown really tired of seeing the replicated cast and style across most, if not all of his works. Yes, his wuxia productions have pretty memorable and unique music which is a mix of traditional and modern but other than that, I dont think his works offer much else. And pls don't shoot me LOCH'08 fans, but I find that adaptation incomparable to LOCH'03 in pretty much every aspect except maybe for some of the cast members.
Last edited by sunnysnow; 12-31-09 at 07:01 AM.
There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.
Warning: really long entry....
In terms of the scenery, I think it is important cause it is the setting of the story. It helps to make the story being told feel more real. And I do like how Zhang Ji Zhong / Yu Min showcases the vastness of China and films at the actual places of the story sometimes. Although I do feel like they could improve on the usage of the filming sets. 1) That they use the same shallow, stoney river scene for practically every horseback-riding travel scene. 2) And the same stoney arch for when Zhao Min comes back to the Central Plains from Ling She Dao and is scared stiff cause she doesn't know where she is, is the same stone arch going from the hermit couple's cottage to Shaolin's temple. 3) The same misty stoney walkway where Yang Xiao brings a young Zhang Wu Ji and Yang Bu Hui where they first met is the same setting that a lot of the Wudang scenes are. 4) Yang Bu Hui's room in Guang Ming Ding is the same as the dead-end room they found Yang Ding Tian and wife. The list goes on and on, but those are the ones that I remember clearly. I know I am being picky.
Regarding the fight scenes, I thought this version had pretty cool ones. I mean, I think anything flying around and CGI-ed in wuxia series is going to look a little weird and fake, but how would it be possible to film the Qi and internal strength and awe-inspring fighting techniques without it? Sometimes I miss the old days of hand-to-hand combat like in old HK series, but it's pretty funny that each move is at such a regular and steady rhythm. And with the constant "hoah, hoah, hoah" shouting for each move.
So right after I finished watching this online, my parents bought the DVD set without my knowing and am watching it now. They hardly watch this type of shows and have never seen any of the actors/actresses. I asked them about their thoughts on the girls. At first, they thought that Yang Bu Hui and Yin Li are pretty while the others range from average to sucks. Towards the end, they said that Zhao Min is getting prettier cause her looks are the kind that grows on you. But that Yang Bu Hui is still pretty.
My own opinion, I never thought that the one who acted as Ding Ming Jun was anything close to pretty. I thought the 2003 one was better (not prettier) cause she seriously looked *****y. I don't remember how the 1986 one was though I watched that too. And I thought the fight for the prettiest actress in this series was between Yang Bu Hui and the unknown extra of an ErMei disciple who spit a shooting dart to kill Xie Xun at Shaolin. I thought she was pretty stunning. Another random thought, the scene that I remember most is of a 100-something Zhang San Feng walking the sick, young Zhang Wu Ji (who was on a horse) all the way to Shaolin and getting rejected. Dang, that hit my tearducts really hard.
I felt that Ady portrayed Zhao Min to be quite understanding and mature. I liked her layers, and was quite touched by how understanding she is towards Wuji. Her portrayal of Zhao Min's arrogance was the most I've seen, and cool. But it disappeared pretty fast, though that's how it was written in the book. Probably cause it'd be hard to transition from one arrogant enemy to the one we are supposed to fall in love with. I don't really know why Zhao Min falls in love with Zhang Wuji just because he tickled her feet, that's why I am glad this adaptation puts a teeny bit more development in their romance. But I do still feel her portrayal contains traces of the Taiwan idol drama-style of acting cause she does enlarge her eyes quite a bit and the whole acting-cute thing sometimes. It doesn't help that her fake eyelashes are the very vertical and noticable (to me) that makes her eyes even more exaggeratedly wide open. And I really dislike her white costume at Lu Liu Manor which is too reminescent of Xiao Long Nu's costume, displays a very improper amount of cleavage, which also looked very pushed up and unnatural, and also the weird-looking headgear. Overall, it was not the right costume to do hanging upside-down scenes in. Her other costumes are so much better in comparison. I think the previous Zhao Min's I've seen (excluding Zhang Min's) was more of the adorable/lovable/cutesy type while Ady's is the more likable in a mature way. Maybe cause Ady shines in the serious scenes.
Deng Chao portrayed Zhang Wuji to be so decisive and manly and confident. Yes, this makes the character more attractive. But to me, it really doesn't seem like his character is Zhang Wuji anymore. And I didn't feel like this Zhang Wu Ji had much chemistry with Zhao Min either. It felt like a very "keep an arm's distance away" type of relationship which developed at most to an "Ai Mei" attraction only. I am pretty glad they didn't make him do the ridiculous arm wave thingie for Qian Kun Da Nuo Yi that they made Tony Leung do in 1986. For someone who practiced the Tai Qi movements around what, ~2 weeks?, he looks pretty good and centered at doing it cause he is getting down and really bending his knees. Overall, I felt that this Zhang Wu Ji kept too much distance towards the girls and sort of only let Yang Bu Hui and Xiao Zhao a little bit in.
Liu Jing as Zhou Zhi Ruo is still a very doubtful decision to me. Yes, she gives off that icy-cold, elegant air. And she does look better in action than in pictures. And she did act quite well in some scenes like the stabbing Wujii scene and the crazy, haunted one at the end. But she looks too mature, frowns and pouts too much (or maybe just has very droopy lips?), rolls her eyes, undeveloped acting skills that looks too fake at times. She was very unconvincing as an Er-Mei leader cause she doesn't have the presence even when she was evil-Zhiruo. Didn't like the scene where she was teaching the Er-Mei disciples the Jiu Yin Zhen Jing skills for the first time and was supposed to be watching them contentedly/menacingly cause it looked too fake. The one really good feature she had, and they didn't use, and that was her voice. She had a very pleasant voice and I assume a Mainland accent that was in line with the other dubbers, so I don't really understand why they chose to dub her over. Maybe she was preoccupied afterwards filming Three Kingdoms. I don't even want to compare her to the previous Zhou Zhiruo's I've seen.
He Zhuo Yan as Xiao Zhao was more convincing as the very young, meek and unobtrusive servant-girl, devoted to Wuji. When I think of Xiao Zhao, I think of someone quite small-sized, super adorable and pretty. In this sense, He Zhuo Yan fits as Xiao Zhao the most. The Xiao Zhao in 1986 was very adorable and pretty, but she looked bigger-sized than Tony Leung's Zhang Wuji which made it quite puzzling to me. Florence Tan as Xiao Zhao in 2003 was pretty but her portrayal wasjust normal, in my opinion, although hers seemed to show her role as confidante to Wuji the best. He Zhuo Yan isn't that pretty, but had the advantage of being very young and small-sized and acting babyish. I thought her last few scenes with Wuji was done quite well. Although the book never really said how good Xiao Zhao's real martial skills are, this adaptation showed her in action a bit more than before, but still didn't make good use of He Zhuo Yan's skills. Saw some clips of her practicing some fighting movements, and she looks like a natural. I don't really know about acting, but I have a positive impression of this actress as someone who is very diligent and works really hard.
Zhang Meng as Yin Li was quite good acting, cute, pretty, eccentric but somehow managing to be likable. I think hers is the most likable out of the other Yin Li's (although 2003's was quite good too). Nothing bad to say, other than not enough screentime. Yang Buhui was pretty, quite good, not enough screentime. Something about her scrunched-up shoulders, maybe supposed to be portraying her awkwardness or internal conflict. Xie Xun was okay, nothing too good or too bad, maybe cause I'm more impressed by the 1986 one. The Quanzhen 7 Heroes were okay, some were pretty good, but miss the brotherhood love and comraderie of the 1986 version.
finally got up to ep 27, overall i didn't like how they do the fight scenes, the cgi weren't well done or even fight scenes choreography weren't good compared to zjz other series.
Nice review. I agree with what you said, but I think it's odd that you dislike the occasional cute elements in An Yixuan's mostly mature performance while describing Zhang Meng - whose interpretation makes Alyssa Jia's Zhao Min look positively Oscar-winning - as a good actor. Personally, I reckon An Yixuan's approach - although not perfect - is the way forward for wuxia TV, while Zhang's symbolises many of the things that the industry needs to leave behind.Originally Posted by wuxiagurl
I'm currently watching the episodes I missed out on, and the over-the-top, ubiquitous saturation of the visuals is really getting on my nerves.
Sure, Yin Li and Zhao Min are different characters. But my complaint isn't that Yin Li is acted differently; it's that she's acted badly. Overexaggeration, melodrama, and affectation are bad acting whether you're playing a serious character or a comic one.Originally Posted by leorio
I've seen Zhang Meng's style used by dozens of other actresses across dozens of different characters; and every time, it's the same zuozuo, 'acting-like-you're-acting' stuff. I would say therefore that Zhang's performance actually has little to do with Yin Li and a lot to do with this stock style. To me, it's a substitute for a genuine interpretation of a character. The ultimate blame lies with the directors who perpetuate this style, rather than the actresses themselves.
I've done a little bit of acting in the past. (Just plays at school and university. I'm not Huang Xiaoming or somebody posting under a pseudonym, unfortunately...) The first thing I learned is that it is the easiest thing in the world to act in the stock style that Zhang and others use. You need no talent whatsoever to do it. (I certainly didn't.) I think that's why I have a much lower tolerance for the style than other posters do.
There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.
got a couple questions, so i'm watching the 2000 version just to compare again with this version that went up to 27 when they are on snake island, well anyway, in the beginning of the series, this version, how old is wuji? and how old is he when he meets zzr? then after butterfly valley, and finally after learning the 9 yang manual?
in the tvb 2000 version, not sure tho but it didn't say how old he was but assuming from the actors the little kid before his parents death i would assume he's around 8-10, then when he grew older they changed character, then later at the butterfly valley meeting the omei mother n daughter and curing hur, he said he haven't seen her for 10 years, so i was assuming when they changed actors he should be around 18. then after learning the 9 yang manual does it say in the novel how old he was then? it would've seem like he been there for 2-5 years, assuming living in a cave without any special treatment, he would look older since he is malnutrious etc. i can see why they replace the actor in 2000 with lawrence ng, since he looks way older and i guess thats what they were going for.
i mean living i a cave without grooming yourself etc your bound to look more older, ie like staying up all day, you would notice your facial hair(for guys) would grow faster as well as panda bear looking eyes etc.
but so far the tvb besides the fake props, i like all the actors in the series overall. they look more appealing, cherry lin( i think, girl who plays yin lin spider girl) looks very cute, and some reason i find some of the actress who plays the omei girls very cute, she's the one who finds wu ji and yang fu ho(not sure how u spell it, omei lady daughter) but then she lets them go.
the actress who plays zzr she has that elegant yet pitiful sad look going. she's good using her eyes to distinguish her emotions which is very good at makng the character look very cunning, smart, and sad looking.
gigi lai has zm, i think she did really good, she is always smiling looking very cunning and intelligent. her remarks and the way her facial expressions n eyes shows it all. and she doesn't act childish, i don't know why zm was arguing with zzr character in 09 version in the cottage throwing hay at each other, it was sorta out of zm character.
also i like there costumes, they didn't look old or anything, but actually shows all of the guys and girls actors making them look handsome and beautiful. and fight scenes wise there not much camera movement so you actually see the choreography and the graphics is actually better how they distinguish the colors of the 9 yang manual, or the magic stance of meng.
i also like how it shows more interaction between yang bu ho n the 4th brother is it, how she actually falls for him pretending to be a ghost to scary the omei lady etc. in the 09 version she just falls for him after he got paralyze, sorta weird.
also i like how there more chemistry between the actors n actress. their dialogue are very nice and shows very good character development etc. ie wuji as teen, he was always back talking etc other people, then after years of being in a cave, logically without anyone else to socialize with, he became too kind hearted which makes sense.
also i like how wu ji has more interactions with the wu dang heroes and the meng sect as well as his mothers caretaker i think.
so far i actually enjoy the 2000 version more then 09, the music in the 2000, ost when main character comes out or fight makes the fight scenes more interesting since it hypes me up as how the characters shows off their moves etc. also the fight in meng mountain is way way better then in 09 imho, there was like 2 fights with wuji in this 09 version which really didn't show off his magic stance and also they didn't show zzr intelligence at analyzing other peoples martial arts and finding their weakness for wuji to defeat, which made zzr in 2000 version more smarter.
if any of you that didn't watch tvb 2000 version, besides lawrence ng being the main n logically speaking without grooming yourself and being locked up with out good food to eat and nutrition you would look and age quicker. so give the 2000 version a try, all the actors/actress costume dialogue is very good, its so far my 2nd favorite after the 80s with tony.
I'm more bewildered that Zhiruo seems to stand on solid ground at the tent entrance. Shouldn't she be swaying a little at least from the vehicle's movement?
ZM: Love thoe boots! Where can I get some too?
I agree with you here, Trinie. Then again, I haven't seen any China series CGI that really impresses me...or any that don't show blatant editorial ignorances.Originally Posted by Trinie
I'm a fan of LGL's works - more notably the HK golden 80's, but I think he has grown rather heavy handed with directorship. For example, Ariel is phenomenal if you let her inject a bit of creative freedom into her own interpretation of the character, LGL however, didn't really allow for this. Despite this, Ariel still managed to give a stirling portrayal of HR. Now, if Ady got to play HR, that would be interesting...although, I'd say she's too tall for the character. She definitely doesn't come across as a 15-16yo. Have to get a very tall GJ for her.Originally Posted by Mido-Ban
I respectfully disagree. I think the only comparable 'cunning' ZM to Ady would be Ye Tong in HSDS94. I actually re-watched HSDS86 recently, let me say, watching it with almost a 18 year difference between watches, one realizes how um...devoid of sharp mental criticism one has at around 8-9yo. Anyway, I had once thought Kitty Lai pretty good as ZM. That perspective has disappeared from existence. Her only good performance was when she snobbed ZWJ the first time he tries to catch her attention...I thought it was hilarious. Otherwise, Kitty showed: 80% cool/detached, 20% anguished, 10% totally not there...unfortunately, in often inappropriate times. One of ZM's major scenes - attack of Wudang - she was so 'not there' in the eyes...I thought maybe she was either lacking in sleep from finishing a prior project, doing simulataneous shows, or plainly not focused. In moments when mental involvement was expected, Kitty affected the cool/detached look, but sometimes to the point of it being a 'default' stance. She definitely didn't have the range of expressions/gestures that Ady showcased as ZM, nor the finesse in transitioning between them.ady is cool, but i think her other predecessors were more mature for the role. they gave off that cunning innocent loveable evil zm. i actually thought gigi lai did good, i guess people hate her because she plays in too much series? alyssia was good as well as kitty lai, and lady from tiawanese 94 version with steven ma. ady looks just too cute i guess, she would've fit more of zzr role.
I can't imagine one can be cunning without being mature. They sort of go hand in hand in my mind. Without a superior awareness and understanding of the situation, key players involved, and an high sense of intuition (as described by Jung, not the general definition of intuition) to achieve high accuracy of predictable outcomes, I can't see how a lack of maturity could enable the latter. Ady as ZM was no doubt cunning...it was the first time I saw a blatant inflection in her performance to link the point of her asking ZWJ to lend her DS as a strategy to keep him from personally heading the war against the Mongols. (Sorry, that was breathlessly wordy).
I suppose some didn't like her 'cutesy' performance? I find some of the faults in her performance not of her own, but rather the script and directorship. If you want to see Ady mature, go see her in Autumn Concerto (fab performance). Sometimes, I felt there was this 'impatience' to her performance...a sense of disrupted candence, that made me want to grind my teeth, because I know Ady if given the space, can do better than that.
Wouldn't one desire open eyes for acting? Full exposure of pupil size flux and eye colour density are keys to attraction between humans - at least that was what I learnt in Neurophysiology of Behaviour. Ady/ZM is trying to 'attract' ZWJ in a way, and her audience...I'd prefer her to have open eyes than appear half asleep to me. I didn't think her eyes overly wide either...no blatant strain of ocular musculture, nor wrinkles to indicate as such.Originally Posted by wuxiagurl
How can one tell eyelashes are fake? Most reliable source of evidence to me would be: A. Ady admits as such, B. expert analytical beautician, C. cosmetic surgeon, D. trace the supply of fake eyelashes from source of purchase to Ady's trailer. Scusi, I'm very stubborn with reliable sources of evidence.
RE: Low-cleavage costume, Baidu post made an actual search of the Mongolian-Ming costume. Paintings from that era did indeed show low-cleavage dresses worn by high-ranking noble ladies. Even though everyone is familiar with the style from Tang, doesn't mean socio-cultural trends do not repeat themselves.
owbjhx, I have nothing to say to you! I always seem to agree with everything you post. Say something disagreeable to me so I can respond! That's an order cadet!
Ditto...HXM is a fine specimen of men. Although, I like him offscreen rather than on...I don't care much for his acting.Originally Posted by ChineseChik525
(I know, nitpicky me)
The whole sequence of scenes when ZM and ZWJ visit the Cowherd couple "feels unnatural" if you ask me. I don't even remember ZM opening her eyes for a tad too long. I suppose there are some pluses to having low expectations (which I usually reserve for ZJZ's productions)Originally Posted by leorio
Then again, there is a fine line between an obvious reaction to something, and timing may appear different to some *shrugs*. Too much subtlety = no expression/under acting, too obvious/protracted performance = annoying. I think the happy medium is for the audience to decide, rather than it be an abosolute reflection of what the actor or actress does.
I was wondering how one could tell they were fake eyelashes, not that I do or do not find them distracting. If one were to judge eyelashes fake because of the feelings of annoyance it elicits, err, that's kind of a strange way to determine things to me.And whether or not the eyelashes are fake, they can be distracting, to the point that I started noticing how the other characters' eyes are not ringed with such prominent eyelashes.
So, lets just say they are indeed real eyelashes, does that mean genetically and/or phenotypically, an individual cannot have really obvious, long, and attractive eyelashes?
Forgive me, I'm being in a "nit picky" mood too. And maybe trying to play the devil's advocate . The fun!
In 100% agreement there . His so much more better in interviews though...no obligations to share his mediocre acting. When HXM appeared with Ady in a Taiwan interview, he was sooo sauve, polite, and oozing handsomeness.lol. i dont really care about his acting, just looking at him is good enough.
If he played ZWJ, I wouldn't care how wussy his character is I think (as long as he doesn't do a Yang Guo again...shudders at that sort of over-acting). He could carry it with his eyecandy factor
Though confidently, I can say that Deng Chao almost never over-acts. Might speak more about the lead roles once I've finished with the episodes I haven't watched.
(Still several more episodes to go - if only I could watch them while working )