Fri, Sep 07, 2012 - Page 11 News List

Pop Stop

Compiled by David Chen  /  Staff reporter

Sonia Sui: Self-aggrandizing prima donna.

Photo: Taipei Times

The newest iPhone is going to be announced next week, which for one Taiwanese entertainer, has meant the perfect opportunity for shameless self-promotion.

Jimmy Lin (林志穎), a B-list singer/actor/tech entrepreneur who’s big in China (isn’t everyone these days?), has been in the news for tweeting a snapshot of himself tapping and swiping what he claimed to be an unreleased model of the iPhone 5.

Along with the photo, Lin wrote that he was “confirming” the rumors that the latest version of Apple’s smartphone was going to be longer but thinner and would have a bigger, 4-inch screen.

Lin’s post on Weibo (微博), China’s version of Twitter, won’t be anything new to rabid Apple fans who constantly monitor the industry rumor mill for tantalizing clues about the next version of the Jesus phone. Still, his post proved link-bait worthy, scoring almost 190,000 hits.

The ever-reliable Apple Daily got on the case, quoting an Apple spokesperson who said that Lin’s purported model was “absolutely not real.” The paper provided Lin’s track record on past predictions, which included a posted photograph of himself holding a “mini-iPad” in 2010 — a product that has yet to materialize.

Lin took back his comments with a follow-up tweet, saying that he never meant to claim the phone was real and the unit he held in the photo was a mock-up sample from a parts manufacturer in China. He also told an interviewer on a Chinese television show, “This is definitely not self-promotion — I don’t need to do this kind of thing. I didn’t receive any fees to promote a company, I was just sharing some information.”

In any case, Lin probably shouldn’t expect an offer to star in a future Apple commercial anytime soon.

Taiwan’s latest home-grown box office hit is The Fierce Wife: Woman Onerous, Seeking Mr Right (犀利人妻最終回: 幸福男,不難). This big screen spin-off of a popular TV soap opera raked in a very respectable NT$130 million in ticket sales, but the celebrations have been tepid.

The cast and crew, which includes heartthrobs James Wen (溫昇豪) and Sonia Sui (隋棠), held a press event to celebrate breaking the NT$100 million mark, but the media in attendance were more preoccupied with the fact that the proceedings seemed unusually dispirited and “low-key,” and the cast did not come across as properly “sincere.”

One reason, the Apple Daily suggested, was the film’s unfavorable critical reception. Common gripes included the “crude” product placement in the film and the low-production values — the movie looked more like a television show than a film. This was causing the Fierce Wife’s silver screen debut to be regarded as an example of “bad taste” in Taiwan’s film industry, the paper wrote.

The backstage discord hasn’t helped the film’s public image, either. Our sister paper the Liberty Times reported that the cast and crew had characterized Sui, who starred in the film, as an insufferable, self-aggrandizing prima donna. And according to the Liberty Times report, the producers admitted that they declined to hold a test screening for the media for fear of negative reviews.

But hey, haters gonna hate, right? As Wen points out, he and his fellow cast members have showed up to over 90 screenings across the country to promote the film, and the fans that line up afterwards aren’t interested in engaging in a “Q and A” about the film — they’d rather get their picture taken with his fellow star, actor Chris Wang (宥勝), and talk about what the film plot touches upon: romantic relationships.

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