Category: China

77 Heartbreaks – Film Review

77 Heartbreaks – Film Review

I watched this film late last night and I quite enjoyed it.  It was very interesting concept, pity the script was not well written. But there a very good germ of idea in there.  🙂

The story would have been more believable and would have appealed more to lovers and those who had broken up if the writer did not try to make the story a makjang or a series of circumstances.

The story is about a woman and a man who have been together for the last 10 years.  Over time, the woman started to feel as if she was taken for granted by her boyfriend.  She was not his priority anymore.

And just to elaborate on this, they were supposed to be going out for a movie, which the girl had bought tickets for two weeks ago.  She was waiting for the man, who said that he was in the middle of traffic, but really in a wine bar.

As she can’t wait any longer, the girl wandered into a shop, where she saw beautiful colourful notebooks, which has 77 written on the cover.  She got talking to the owner of the shop and apparently the notebook is some sort of diary.  To diarise transgression of a love one 🙂 ( I think, I was so tired I can’t cope with the subtitles).  Apparently 77 is the magic number or the maximum you can forgive faults of those you are in a relationship with.

Eva, the leading lady, bought a pink one and the first entry to her diary was the non-show of her boyfriend, Adam, to their movie date.

Before long, Eva had her 77 instances why she was falling out of love with Adam.  He was self-centred, immature, in with the ladies and lack common sense.  Who would buy a white chesterfield sofa, so huge there was nowhere really to put it?  Yes Adam.  Who in their right mind would say they quit their job while in the middle of foreplay?!!!  Adam! He was a lawyer but quit his job to become a mentor in kick-boxing.  Oh Adam! 🙁  Who would go on a holiday without finding out how to get to the destination?  Adam. Who would give a ring box without the ring but a pink paper folded in small heart shape, saying she has his heart.  Adam! 🙁  Who would go drinking and come home, half dead and sick.  Adam!  Who would comfort you when you have a family emergency, like when your father died?  Not Adam!

After so many of these unlovable moments, Eva had had enough and packed her bags.

Before Eva’s scent can fully evaporate around their flat, Adam brought home another girl and even promised to marry her.

The film is rather one sided.  Adam had so many faults but Eva have as well but the script did not show this.  I supposed the script was concentrating on getting the 77 heartbreaks 🙂 🙂 🙂

Anyway, Adam got hold of the diary and realised why Eve left him.  He was curious to know what was on the 77th?!!!  He told the current girl he was living with the he still loves Eve.

During a wedding party of Eve’s friend, Adam sabotaged the wedding presentation to proclaim that he wanted Eve back.  It was strange that the married couple did not scream and shout when their wedding day was hijacked?!!!

Anyway Eve had a change of heart when Adam said that Eve did not give up on Adam immediately because she knew that without her Adam is lost.

Awww

Next scene, Adam and Even went back to their flat.  While in the bathroom, Eve found a pick contact lenses case.  She then knew that Adam had had another girl staying in their flat.

She left again and this time for good, when it was the end of the film.

By the way the 77th reason was that Adam did not use protection with her, so she got pregnant.  Adam said that if she gets pregnant, there is no problem, as he will marry her.  Seeing that he was so immature and untrustworthy, Eve had an abortion without telling Adam.  She is a bit of hypocrite, how can she have an abortion without telling Adam.

I think the film is quite good, if only the script was written better.  In any case, it is worth a watch!

 

Once Upon A Time – Chinese Film

Yang yang & Liu Yifei

Once Upon A Time – Chinese Film

I have just finished watching this film.  It is a Chinese movie which made used a lot of CGI, comparable to any Hollywood blockbustre.  Imaginative and colourful.

It is a beautiful fantasy romance film, made more marvelous by the presence of the super gorgeous Yang yang.  He made such a fantastic looking crown prince Black Dragon.

The story is about… what was the story again.  The film is so fast paced and the English subtitles are so minute and sometimes transparent plus the fact the there are so many beautiful things to look at, that most of the times I have lost track of the story.

Thank goodness there are flashbacks of some sort.

Warning!!! Please do not read anymore if you are not after spoilers and precis of the story!

Anyway if I get this correctly some 90,000 years ago, Bai Qian (Liu Yifei) was a goddess and a disciple of a great warrior god, Mo Yuan (Yang yang).  Mo Yuan’ was able to defeat and seal in the demon lord , but by doing so he lost his soul and life.  Bai Qian encased his body in a block of ice to prevent it from decaying as she believes that he will come to live once again.

After so many thousands of years Bai Qian had to reseal the tomb of the demon lord.  This task meant that she has to undergo some training 🙂 to become a high goddess.  The training involved going to the lower region and becoming a mortal and face several trials.

As a mortal, she became Su Su (Liu Yifei) who lived alone in the mountainside.  One day she came upon a young man who had fainted from tiredness.

He was no ordinary man, he was Ye Hua, the crown prince black dragon, who had been fighting for 7 days non-stop and had collapsed from extreme fatigue..  Su su nursed him into good health.  The grateful Ye Hua asked Su Su what she wanted as a reward.  Su su, unaware that Ye Hua was a prince, innocently blurted out that she wanted him to marry her. After a few heartbeats, the gorgeous Ye Hua agreed.

After some romantic interludes, Su su got pregnant and also found out that Ye Hua was the crown prince and an immortal.

When Su su got into the upper realm and meet all the other deities, she also met a goddess who was the intended/betrothed to Ye Hua.  This resulted in jealousy, plotting and misunderstanding.

It was against the deities’ law for one of them to marry a mortal.  Ye Hua’s ex(goddess) plotted to separate Ye Hua and Susu by all means.  She lied and blamed Su su when she intentional fell but rescued by Ye Hua.  As a punishment from trying to hurt a goddess, Su su eyes were plucked out which Ye Hua as a crown prince, agreed to. But the spiteful goddess was not finished, she led the blind Su su, who was holding on to her new baby into the ninth platform.  She then told Su su that she was useless and Ye Hua wanted to be rid of her.  At the last minute, Ye Hua appeared and hug the sad and desperate Su su.  She held her baby to Ye hua and said to call him A Li, meaning parting and then she jumped to her ‘death’,

As she was falling into her death Su su, turned into a nine-tail fox.

She comes back as immortal again but not as Bai Qian but as Si Yin (Liu Yifei) who has no memories of the past as a mortal.  She drank from the magic fountain of lost memories :).

One day, 300 years later, at the heavenly realm, she went blindfolded to a deities gathering. She met a naughty little boy who stole her metallic fan aka weapon.  She run after the boy but the father turned up.  They had a brief ninja/sword fight.  It ended when her blindfold was removed.  The boy called her ‘mom’ and the man was Ye Hua who called her Su su, his wife.  Si Yin was completely dumbfounded.  She doesn’t know them.  She doesn’t have a family.

But everywhere she turned and went , Ye Hua and A Li were there.  They both came to live with her.  To cut the story short, they decided to get married.  But before they married, the ex was into mischief again.  She told Si Yin that as Su Su, being a mortal was nothing to Ye Hua.  He was now marrying her again because she has now some use being a goddess as well.

During the wedding ceremony Si Yin walked out.

She learnt that Su su soul/memory was in suspended vessel.  She asked Ye Hua for the vessel.  After so much angst and contemplation, she was given the vessel and she got her memory.  She remembered how Ye Hua saved his ex as she plunges from the ninth platform, she remembers how the crown prince allowed her eyes to be plucked out.  She remembers how the prince was always absent from her side.  She remember that she plunged alone.

She was very sad for Su Su and for herself.  She left the heavenly palace and the prince in despair.

But Ye Hua followed her and stayed watching her as she wallowed in self pity.

But sadly Ye Hua had to leave as the demon lord had been resurrected.

Si Yin’s  lady’s maid came to find her.  She told her that her memory was one sided.  Being a mortal Su su, she did not have any right against the deities.  When she was blamed by the ex, the crown prince did not have any choice but to grant the punishment of plucking her eyes, she then remembered that the prince whispered to her that he will be her eyes from then on.  He save the ex as she was a goddess and she can really make it difficult for Su su if she is not pacified.  And when she jumped from the ninth platform the prince did try to save her but he did not have much energy as he had been blasted by thunder and lighting, which zapped his strength as punishment for marrying a mortal.

The end was that Ye Hua defeated the demon lord and he had to seal in ice.  It also sealed him in a watery frozen grave much to the distress of Si Yin.

Many years later, when the ten miles peach blossoms bloomed once again, the ice case of Yo Muan started to break.

Next scene there amongst the blowing peach blossoms, Yo Muan/Ye Hua extended his hand and said “Sin Yin, come here!”

Awww

 

Steamed Sea Bass

 

Steamed Sea Bass, photo by Arnold Gamboa

Steamed Sea Bass

This recipe is everything.  It is healthy and it is delicious.

Ingredients:

  • sea bass, scaled and gutted (ask the fishmonger to do this if possible)
  • 250g cherry tomatoes
  • 20g fresh ginger, cut into thin strands
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and finely sliced
  • 300g (ml) hot water
  • 1tbsp light soy
  • 1tsp shaoxing wine vinegar
  • 1tsp fish sauce
  • 1 stalk Spring onion, slice finely on a diagonal
  • 1 red birds eye chilli, chopped
  • 2 clove garlic, sliced finely

Method of preparation:

The process of steaming your fish is entirely up to you.  It can be done using a large bamboo steamer that would fit the wok and then heat over your stove.

Otherwise, use a large roasting tin with rack; preheat the oven to 180C.

Score 3 or 4 lines across the skin of the sea bass at both sides.

If you are using a roasting tin like the above, flip the rack to give height to it.  Then lightly cover the rack with a bit of aluminium foil so that the vegetables won’t fall onto the roasting tin beneath it.  As much as possible use a roasting tin which would fit  the whole sea bass.

Stuff the belly of the fish with some ginger and  a bit of onion.

First arrange the tomatoes all over the rack, add the  in the rest of the vegetables over the tomatoes.  And then carefully put the fish of top of the vegetables.

Now season the hot water with soy sauce, shaoxing wine vinegar (or rice wine vinegar) and fish sauce. Stir in the chopped garlic as well.

Pour this stock directly into the roasting tray. Cover the whole tray tightly with foil – ensuring to enclose the entirety of the fish and no steam will escape. Cook for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and take the foil off (to prevent it cooking further).

Carefully transfer the whole delicate fish into a serving plate and arrange the vegetable around it.  Then spoon in the delicious stock over the fish.

To garnish with the spring onions and  chilli.

Served with rice and freshly perhaps a salad of blanched bok choy!

My Mr. Mermaid – Chinese Drama Review

My Mr. Mermaid – Chinese Drama Review

This Chinese drama is a timely replacement for the recently concluded Love ’til The End of Summer.

Yep the poster opposite is right.  The drama is full of hunky gorgeous young men battling the chlorinated water of college life.

Yun Duo (Tan Song Yun) is an intern journalist (sports writer?) whose first dabble to news reporting is to interview Qi Rui Feng, the Madman of the North, a multi-medalled best friend of Tang Yi Bai.

Tang Yi Bai previously was the undefeated swimming champion but fell from grace because he was disqualified from alleged drug taking.  Now he is making a comeback.

Also in the picture is Heng Ou Yang, who was Tang Yi Bai biggest rival.

I have only watched two episodes so far but I am hooked.

The swimming battles are very edge of seat kind of thing and not helping me as currently I am suffering from laryngitis.  Despite my hoarse voice and advise from my doctors not to use my voice too much, this drama is forcing me to shout my encouragement to the swimmers during their contest.

Yun Duo and Tang Yi Bai have such a cute chemistry fairly early on.  There is also a little bit of similarity with that Taiwanese drama Swimming Battle, where the main girl character has a deja vu of being saved by someone when she was drowning.

This drama is shown in China on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and will comprise of 36 episodes.

So far only two episodes have been fully english subtitled.  I hope those ingenious Chinese will take heed and help us out English speakers. (Thank you)

I am now watching episode 17.  The romance between Yun Duo and Yi Bai is going from strength to strength but I have to admit I quite like the story developing between Yun Duo and her intern assistant Lin Xi or James Lin.

Yi Bai’s mother is a hoot. I love watching her.  They should give more scenes between Yi Bai’s mum and Qi Ruifeng.  They are hilarious!

Pork Chopsuey Recipe

Pork Chopsuey, photo by Arnold Gamboa

Pork Chopsuey Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb pork belly, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced and cut into flowery shapes as per picture above
  • 1 small cabbage, chopped roughly
  • 1 medium onion, sliced roughly
  • 1 cup sliced baby corn
  • 1 cup sliced green beans
  • 1 cup trimmed mange taut
  • 1/2 small head of cauliflower, separated into florets
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced finely
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour, stirred into a cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 small bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a wok a large casserole pan.
  2. Saute the onion and garlic until fragrant and golden, not burnt.
  3. Add the pork, sauté for 5 to7 minutes or until brown on all sides.
  4. Pour in the soy sauce.
  5. Stir in the carrot and then cook for 3 to 5 minutes more.
  6. Add the bell pepper, baby corn, green beans, mange taut, cauliflower and cabbage. Stir-fry for a few minutes until just about tender.
  7. Pour in  cornflour mix. Stir and cook until the texture of the dish thickens.
  8. Adjust the seasoning by adding salt (according to taste) and pepper.
  9. Transfer to a serving plate. Serve.
  10. Enjoy with freshly boiled rice or fried rice.

Love ‘Til the End of Summer – Chinese Drama Review

Love Till The End of Summer

Love ‘Til the End of Summer – Chinese Drama Review

In this world, there are no geniuses, only lazy fools. – Fu Xiao Si

The first 4 episodes of this Chinese drama have just been subbed (subtitled in English).

I have watched the first episode and I am hooked.  Love the characters, who are of course, shiny and bright, well they are still pure and innocent, afterall it is only the first episode. 🙂

The drama started on how the main characters met in high school and from then on will forge a life-long friendship, according to the blurb anyway.  Apparently this drama is based on a spectacularly popular novel by Guo Jingming, Rush to the Dead Summer.  The novel chapters ten years in the lives of the friends from high school to when they spread their wings into the world and make and put mark into their own destiny.  (From 1995 – 2005.)

The friends were Li Xia, Xiao Si, Lu Zhi Ang, Cheng Qi Qi & Yu Jian

Apparently even if life is being rather shitty 🙂 all hardships are surmountable if love is present in your life!  I would like to see more of that!  🙂

Sounds interesting.

So far so good.

……

Li Xia, the leading female is supposed to be ultra sweet, pure and innocent.  But sometimes I find her rather annoying.  Her innocence goes beyond being sweet.  She is either a consummate flirt or stupid.  Fancy over-pouring chemicals into a beaker! She just wanted Xiao Si to hold her hands.  There are times also that she is lifeless, spaced out!!! You just want to shake her from her stupor.

Li Xia has pouted her way to episode 38.  Why can’t she be more animated?!!!

……

Updates:  Do not read if you do not want to know what is going on!

Just watched episode 38.  It is much darker than the sweet high school life of Li Xia, Xiao Si and Lu Zhi Ang.

Cheng Qi Qi is now a famous singer in a very cutthroat business and she was behaving like a tigress protecting her domain even from her friends.

Cheng Qi Qi saw Yu Jian as a potential rival that she personally ensured Yu Jian does not progress into her climb in the ladder of musical success.

The cute Lu Zhi Ang is still hung up on Li Xia but has found a cute girl, Yan Mo, who was a bit of a stalker.  She was too full on but she does grow on you.  She is feisty and spunky.

Xiao Si has been diagnosed with colour blindness, which is rather fatal to his career as a painter.  In fact he was being sued for fakery because his previous works were different from his current ones.

We all know that when the main characters have promised to be together forever no matter what during the course of the drama, it can only mean one thing, a nail in the coffin of their relationship.

And it comes in episode 41-42.

Qi Qi called Li Xia to ‘confess’ who the supposed father of her unborn baby.  It turned out it was Xiao Si from a drunken one night stand about 2 months ago.

Li Xia sought a break from her relationship with Xiao Si, she up and left.

Xiao Si then went to see Qi Qi, who was only too happy to meet up.  She said she wants to start over and raise a family together.  Xiao Si said that he will take responsibility for the baby( he does not remember if he did sleep with Qi Qi) but nothing else.  He then left immediately.

Behind the scene, Zhi Ang still played the protector to Xian Si, who was having trouble with a vengeful hard-done-by painter.  Unfortunately Zhi Ang half killed the painter resulting in Zhi Ang to run and be  fugitive from the law.

 

Episode 43

This is a sad one. I thought Yu Jian was going to get her forever happiness with the lovely Duan Qiao.  But on their way to their registry office wedding, Duan Qiao said he had to leave Yu Jian for a brief moment to get a surprise for her.  You are shouting no, don’t do that. You can see a mile off what was going to happen!  He was going to get run over!  And he did. Yu Jian was ‘widowed’ before even married.

…..

There are those who say that there are 48 episodes altogether but there those who say that there are only 46 episodes.

Anyway 45 & 46 have nicely concluded the drama, though some might say it is an open-ended one especially on the relationship between Xiao Si and Li Xia.  Earlier on, it showed Li Xia with a new man and looked like there were engaged and shopping for their new house.

Qi Qi is shown looking rather forlorn and all alone, no sign of a baby (I am not sure whether she made up the whole pregnancy thing as I can’t watch episode 44, it was a broken link).

Thank goodness, there is some sort of a happy ending with one of the couples.  Lu Zhi Ang, after his release from 3 years incarceration, and Yan Mo got married.

There was a rather poignant scene between Yan Mo and her father on the eve of her wedding, which is a very nice touch.

The last bit of episode 46 showed Xiao Si catching the wedding bouquet and the next scene was seeing Li Xia in front of him.  Awww Does it mean they are going to get it together again?!!!

Noodles for Longevity

Spaghetti Bolegnase, Photo by PH Morton

Noodles for Longevity

I was watching an episode of Father is Strange last weekend when there was a scene where the family insisted Joon-Young, who finally passed his civil service exam after many tries, to slurp the whole of the noodle strands rather than biting into it.

I was intrigued enough that I googled what it meant.  🙂

Apparently it is a Chinese tradition (or superstition), which seems to have a widespread effect that neighbouring countries had adapted it.  I know in the Philippines, eating noodles is a must during birthdays.  The long strand means longevity of life.  I was not aware though that you had to slurp the whole thing into your mouth and then chew, rather than biting a bit of it as you chew.

Anyway, it is encouraged to slurp the strand in all its length so that one does not cut off one’s span of life.

Thank goodness, this superstition is applied only on birthdays and other milestone celebrations.

I couldn’t be going to restaurants, especially posh ones, and slurping my pasta down my throat. It would be unethical and extremely embarrassing.  LOL

 

Must See Chinese Dramas (CDramas)

Destined to Love You

Must See Chinese Dramas (CDrama)

I love Chinese drama.  Of all Asian dramas, Chinese dramas have the most ‘feel’ of its Western counterpart.

My list is of course a work in progress and not in any order:

Fortune Cookie Tells All

Fortune Cookie, photo by JMorton

Fortune Cookie Tells All

My fortune cookie says that “Everything is now in place for you to make a major decision with ease.”

The fortune cookies came as a freebie with our Chinese take-away.

But did you know?  Fortune cookies are not a Chinese invention.  They are in fact American.  A Japanese restauranteur in San Francisco, apparently started the fashion of inserting little bits of thank you notes in their buns.

This proved popular which then copied by a nearby Chinese restaurant and instead of thank you, it started to tell ‘fortune’

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