Fri, Jul 16, 2004 - Page 18 News List

Pop Stop

By Max Woodworth  /  STAFF REPORTER

This guy doesn't care how much money Jackie Chan donates to Taiwan, he doesn't want him in town.

PHOTO: TAIPEI TIMES

The superstar triumvirate in House of Flying Daggers -- Takeshi Kaneshiro, Zhang Ziyi (章子怡) and Andy Lau (劉德華) -- stormed into Taiwan this week along with the movie's director Zhang Yimou (張藝謀) to whip local audiences into a frenzy before the martial-arts flick's premiere tonight.

Anticipation for the movie runs high, but some questions were raised this week when Fox Films failed to organize a press screening of the movie until the last minute and somehow forgot to notify members of the media. One of Hollywood's sneakier and well-known tricks is to suppress pre-release screenings of total dud flicks so that the studios can at least squeeze maximum profit from the opening weekend before word gets out that the movie in question actually stinks. So, reporters on the beat in Taipei were left wondering this week if Hollywood's stealth maneuver was being applied to this movie or if Fox Films is just incompetent. It looks like we'll have to see the movie to find out.

Speaking of incompetents, Jacky Wu (吳宗憲) finally got his driver's license last week. The owner of five cars and drunk-driving delinquent passed the written and driving tests with flying colors, according to The Great Daily News (大成報). But there was some controversy over the legality of obtaining a license after a drunk-driving offense. Apparently a loophole in Taiwan's law allows offenders to pay the fine for driving without a license, then obtain a license and then pay the drunk driving penalty. No wonder Jacky is grinning from ear to ear in the report showing him holding up his spanking-new license.

Jay Chou (周杰倫) is probably also smiling this week after winning the Chinese Music Media Prize, whatever that is. Pop Stop was definitely smiling about it when reading the news on the English Web site of Xinhua, China's Communist Party lackey news agency. "The 25-year-old has been awarded Best Artist and Best Song, continuing his rap heat around the Chinese society with great vitality and creativity," read the report. Viva la Chinglish!

Other good news came for Jackie Chan (成龍) last weekend, when he was confirmed as one of three Chinese chosen to carry the Olympic torch on its last stages into Athens before this summer's games, according to the Apple Daily (蘋果日報). Chan, who's obviously very busy filming right now in Shanghai, is quoted in the report as saying: "All I know is it's on [July] 24 and that it's for one day. I don't know any of the details, but I'll definitely be there."

Chan did find time in his busy schedule to donate HK$1 million to Taiwan for the victims of floods caused by Tropical Storm Mindulle. That money should go some way to repairing his damaged reputation in Taiwan after he made jokes about the recent presidential election that were received here with very few laughs.

Money will also be raised for the flood victims by A-mei (阿妹), who is throwing together a benefit concert set for Thursday that should include some of the biggest Taiwanese pop acts. Watch for it in Taipei.

Last week, Pop Stop mentioned the second coming of pop singer Wen Lan (溫嵐) and her appearance at the Taipei Pop Music Festival as the moment to see how high her new star will rise. Well, she made it to the show, but then stepped off stage and fainted and was carted off to Renai Hospital to convalesce.

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