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Thread: THE SUPERPOWER - Chow Yun Fat, Tony Leung series (1983)

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Default THE SUPERPOWER - Chow Yun Fat, Tony Leung series (1983)

    One of the more surprising DVD releases by TVB in recent years is 1983's THE SUPERPOWER, which TVB issued simultaneously in both DVD and VCD formats about a year ago. It's a rare chance to see Chow Yun Fat and Tony Leung in a TVB series together (Chow was in the twilight of his TVB career and Leung was just at the dawn of his), and it's an even more rare chance to see TVB tackle *science fiction.*

    1982/1983 was the year of the friendly alien. Not only was E.T. the best-selling film of 1982 internationally (and went on to become the best-selling film of all time for many years until TITANIC's phenomenal run in 1997/1998), but MORK & MINDY (about an alien, played by Robin Williams, living with a twentysomething girl in Denver, Colorado) was a big hit on U.S. television.

    So Hong Kong decided to do its own "MORK AND MINDY" with THE SUPERPOWER, with Chow Yun Fat playing the role of Tin-Yat, an alien from a distant water planet.

    It was an interesting and quirky series, probably unique in the TVB catalogue, but nobody could say it was a series of major importance. I was quite surprised that it was released on DVD because I thought everybody had forgotten this series.

    It's fun enough to watch, although you get the feeling that the acting talents of Chow and Leung were a bit underused in this series.

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    Senior Member almo89's Avatar
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    Chow was underused or was he mailing it in?
    "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.

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by almo89 View Post
    Chow was underused or was he mailing it in?
    I feel that he was still trying at that point. His performance as Tin-Yat was spirited and enthusiastic, but it seemed like a waste of his abilities to play a generally clueless and often weird (as space aliens are wont to be) extraterrestrial. This was the actor who played Hui Mun Keung in THE BUND just three years earlier; the role of Tin-Yat the space alien seemed almost a bit degrading for him.

    Maybe it's roles like this that disillusioned him and caused him to mail it in during the last two years or so of his TVB career.

    All that said, this is by no means an unentertaining series. It's lots of fun (especially at the beginning), but not exactly the kind of material that Chow or Leung would offer as their best work.

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    Senior Member almo89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    I felt he was still trying at this point. His performance as Tin Yat was spirited and enthusiastic, but it seemed like a waste of his abilities to play a generally clueless and often weird (as space aliens are wont to be) extraterrestrial. This was the actor who played Hui Mun Keung in THE BUND just three years earlier; the role almost seemed a bit degrading for him.

    Maybe it's roles like this that disillusioned him and caused him to mail it in during the last two years or so of his TVB career.

    All that said, this is by no means an unentertaining series. It's lots of fun (especially at the beginning), but not exactly the kind of material that Chow or Leung would offer as their best work.
    From what I heard his 70s work was pretty good too, but it seemed after the Bund, he didn't have any good roles that show off his acting abilities.
    "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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by almo89 View Post
    From what I heard his 70s work was pretty good too, but it seemed after the Bund, he didn't have any good roles that show off his acting abilities.
    He was awesome in the 1970s. If you did a count of the Top 10 Most Memorable Scenes In TVB History, Chow would be in at least three of them, I think.

    His absolute peak was 1979-1981...a real tour de force starting with THE MAN IN THE NET (officially known as THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY), THE BUND, and THE BROTHERS. Three of his best performances back-to-back-to-back.

    He was still solid and dependable up until 1982, but by then, TVB was beginning to give the lead roles to the emerging Five Tigers. It's probably being relegated to back burner status around 1982 that put him into the "mailing it in" phase.

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    Senior Member almo89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    He was awesome in the 1970s. If you did a count of the Top 10 Most Memorable Scenes In TVB History, Chow would be in at least three of them, I think.

    His absolute peak was 1979-1981...a real tour de force starting with THE MAN IN THE NET (officially known as THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY), THE BUND, and THE BROTHERS. Three of his best performances back-to-back-to-back.

    He was still solid and dependable up until 1982, but by then, TVB was beginning to give the lead roles to the emerging Five Tigers. It's probably being relegated to back burner status around 1982 that put him into the "mailing it in" phase.
    Which one was The Brothers? You have the chinese title?
    "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.

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by almo89 View Post
    Which one was The Brothers? You have the chinese title?
    It was called "Chen Ching" (not to be confused with the more recent "Jen Ching" from the late 1990s). Chow's character was "Muk Jui Fai." Simon Yam was his half-brother. Dodo Cheng was the female lead.

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    Senior Member almo89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    It was called "Chen Ching" (not to be confused with the more recent "Jen Ching" from the late 1990s). Chow's character was "Muk Jui Fai." Simon Yam was his half-brother. Dodo Cheng was the female lead.
    Yes! I didn't even know that was the english title. I so wanna see this series. I heard his Muk Jui Fai character is really famous back then. "Em hai meh ah"
    "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.

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    Ken,

    Rare to see Chow Yun Fat and Tony Leung together in a TVB series? I can name at least 3 others in a flash.. Police Cadet 85, Angel and Devils, they were alos both in Yangs Saga.

    Superpower started off as a great show, but just got crappier towards the end.
    Last edited by shadow8899; 08-24-07 at 01:42 PM.

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by almo89 View Post
    Yes! I didn't even know that was the english title. I so wanna see this series. I heard his Muk Jui Fai character is really famous back then. "Em hai meh ah"
    For awhile back in 1980/1981, his famous slogan was all the rage in Hong Kong.

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadow8899 View Post
    Ken,

    Rare to see Chow Yun Fat and Tony Leung together in a TVB series? I can name at least 3 others in a flash.. Police Cadet 85, Angel and Devils, they were alos both in Yangs Saga.
    A whopping four series in TVB's catalogue...only one of which is currently available to the public. Both appeared in the YANGS' SAGA, but not together.

    So yeah...*rare*.

    Superpower started off as a great show, but just got crappier towards the end.
    The series jumped the shark after Tin-Yat started losing his extraterrestrial powers. The main selling point of the series was this alien using his fantastic superpowers to help out his friends on Earth. When the powers began to fade, so did the appeal of the series.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng View Post
    A whopping four series in TVB's catalogue...only one of which is currently available to the public. Both appeared in the YANGS' SAGA, but not together.

    So yeah...*rare*.
    A whopping 4 series these days is nothing, back then, it's a pretty good number, if you think about it. What 2 other stars with Tony Leung and Chow Yun Fat's caliber (not even as a movie star, but just as a TVB star) have starred in that many shows together?

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