Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ethan Ruan sued by ex-manager

Credits: Channel NewsAsia

TAIPEI: Taiwan model-actor Ethan Ruan's former manager has sued the star for NT$3 million (S$130,000) on Wednesday, alleging that Ruan signed with him while underage and then breached the contract, said Chinese media.

In addition to monetary reparations, Ruan's former manager Chen Xiao Zhi is also asking the "Monga" star to call a press conference within three days and issue a public apology.

Chen claimed that Ruan had signed a five-year contract with him in March 1991, and also signed with modelling agency Catwalk, contravening the terms of their contract.

The star's former manager was also upset that Ruan denied ever signing a contract with him when interviewed by the media about the matter, damaging Chen's reputation and harming his credibility.

Ruan's current management agency, Catwalk, expressed that it will support Ruan in the face of such allegations.

Catwalk responded to the matter on Wednesday saying: "Ruan had just turned 20 at the time and he did not have his guardian's written consent. Furthermore, Chen did not contact Ruan anymore after that.

"Ruan had been modelling for the past seven years and worked hard to become an actor. After going through such a tough journey, he has finally achieved some success. We do not wish to let Chen harm him with false claims. We will let our legal department this matter"

Chen had been demanding compensation from Ruan since May this year and claimed that he would donate the money to charity.

However, he was largely ignored by the actor, who questioned why his former manager only raised this issue eight years after he inked the contract.

- CNA/ha

Manga Scan Site Says It Will Remove Manga

One Manga, a site with unauthorized, translated scans of manga (scanlations), has posted a Thursday notice to say that "this is the last week of manga reading" on the site. The site cited what it describes as a recent change in the manga publishers' "stance on manga scanlations." According to the notice, all content will be gone from the site by early next week.

One Manga ranked #935 on Google's list of the 1,000 most-visited sites on the web in May. Another manga aggregator, MangaHelpher, announced last month that it is removing links while it prepares to launch OpenManga, a new platform to allow manga creators to distribute their work digitally.


Friday, July 23, 2010

A Korean Dancical: Sachoom

A short review of Sachoom or Love Dance is the abbreviation of "Dance When You are in Love" in Korean, a Korean Dancical.


Sachoom or Love Dance is the abbreviation of “Dance When You are in Love” in Korean, is a unusual non-verbal musical production about the story of three friends, Jun, Sun and Bin. It depicts their lives and their interactions, from the time they are babies all the way to their twenties. They take us through their life experiences through various genres of dance such as hip-hop, jazz, techno, break dance, pop dance, modern ballet, contemporary dance and much more. Although it is a non-verbal musical production, there are a few songs sang by the dancers. The entire story is expressed through dance movements that are vibrant and powerful, with no dialogue throughout the story... Read more>>

Friday, July 16, 2010

Taiwanese heart-throb Eddie Peng proves that he can hold a tune in his debut album

HIS manager for the last eight years had told the Taiwanese media that no one would dare produce his album. Apparently, record label BMG had signed him five years ago, but put him in cold storage, reportedly because his voice didn't match his good looks. But Taiwanese heart-throb Eddie Peng has silenced his critics.

In town over the weekend to promote his debut album Can't Not Love, the actor-singer sang live during his autograph session at City Square Mall on Saturday. Passers-by like 31-year-old business owners Jerome Lee and Carrie Lim, who weren't Peng's fans, said he sang in tune and had 'a nice, melodious voice'. So, were those Taiwanese reports correct?

Peng, 28, told The New Paper: 'I've had some disagreements with that manager who is now my ex-manager. He didn't let me do things that I wanted to do, for example, sing. So I've only been acting in movies and TV dramas.

'As for the record label, that was my decision at that time. I felt I wasn't ready to release an album. I'm not scared of what people would say. Criticism pushes me to improve myself.'

Five years ago, he found fame while playing a beach-loving dude in Taiwanese idol drama When Dolphin Met Cat. Other successful TV series such as Honey and Clover and The Concerto followed, spurring record labels to sign him. Singing didn't come naturally to him

Peng said that when actors have made a name for themselves in Taiwanese idol dramas, they would be offered the chance to release an album. This is because these actors have huge followings in Taiwan where idol dramas are the staple of the entertainment industry.

Peng said it was a blessing in disguise that he didn't start his singing career earlier as 'some things can be done right only in their own time'.

So what makes him think he can carry a tune better now? Despite having vocal training, Peng admitted his vocal abilities can't compare to those of 'professional singers'. He said acting was also a talent that did not come to him naturally.

'But I'm a workaholic and whatever I want to achieve, I make sure I practise really hard,' he said.

'Critics said I couldn't act when I started out. Now that I'm more seasoned, preparing for a role comes much easier to me.'

Of course, he has his looks. 'That is something I was born with. I wouldn't consider it so much a talent as a gift from my parents,' he said.

He added with a laugh: 'I'm lucky that I'm born with a face that doesn't scare people away.'

Peng said he hoped his snazzy dance moves would up the entertainment quotient of his performances. For the last two months, he has been hitting the dance studio for up to five hours a day. His Japanese dance teacher, who is responsible for Japanese band Exile's slick choreography, was flown in to train him.

Add this to the two hours of daily vocal training and it's no wonder the star of Hear Me - Taiwan's top-grossing movie last year - has lost 5kg. Peng, who grew up in Canada, is also on a strict diet that restricts fatty foods and sugar. He is now filming the movie Close To You, in which he plays a boxer. So when Peng is not dancing, he's boxing for up to four hours each time.

And this is why he is 'girlfriend-less'. He said: 'I really want to be in a relationship but I don't have the time. I do date and there are girls I'm going out with right now whom I really like. But it's not easy being my girlfriend. I won't have much time for her.

'I won't rule out dating a fan as she would be familiar with my work. What would be worse is if my girlfriend were some other celebrity's fan,' he joked.

Perhaps Peng is keeping the loneliness at bay by cosying up to the bevy of female celebrities he has worked with, thanks to his album's release. Not only did Taiwanese actress Kwai Lun Mei attend his album's promotional event, Taiwanese Eurasian model-actress Tiffany Hsu shared a long smooch with him in his Summer Around The Corner music video.

Hsu is attached to Peng's friend, Taiwanese actor Ethan Ruan. But unlike Hsu, who appeared in the music video for an undisclosed fee, Hong Kong actress Shu Qi did the job for free. She starred in his first music video, Can't Not Love as 'a favour' to him. Peng had met Shu Qi last year when he was on holiday in Thailand with Hong Kong actor Shawn Yue.

They bonded over a game of badminton where Peng made Shu Qi 'promise' to star in his music video if she lost to him. After admitting defeat, Shu Qi gamely flew to Taiwan in March - in between filming in Hong Kong no less - to honour the bet. Said Peng: 'We're now very good friends. When she comes to Taiwan, we'll meet up for meals and of course, badminton.

'Everyone knows that hiring Shu Qi to be in a music video is very expensive. If she didn't do it for free, I don't think I would have been able to afford her!'

The New Paper

SM vows to create better working environment for artists

Major South Korean talenthouse SM Entertainment (SM), pop group Girls' Generation and National Assemblyman Cho Moon-hwan have taken action to establish a better working environment for artists in the Korean entertainment industry.

The agency on Tuesday held a proclamation ceremony at Cho's office, where they announced that SM and Cho's team will join forces to protect the rights of artists and set up a mutually beneficial contract system across the industry.

The ceremony was attended by SM president Kim Young-min as well as Girls' Generation, the biggest name represented by the agency. Solo male singer Kang-ta participated in a press conference after the ceremony.

Cho, who sits on the National Policy Committee, has been looking into the conventional contract system between talent agencies and their artists since the annual government audit session held last October.

He had asked the Fair Trade Commission to carry out a thorough investigation into major entertainment agencies as well as smaller agencies, making sure the management contracts do not include any inappropriate content such as invasion of the artists' privacy.

Cho had continuously placed requests for an environment where a healthy contractual relationship could be formed between the artist and the agency.

During the months leading up to the proclamation ceremony, SM and Cho had discussed on several occasions how they can protect the rights of entertainers and create solutions that will benefit the industry on the whole.

SM, on its part, explained that it had drawn up contracts which reflected the reality of the entertainment business as well as the legal rights of entertainers, and had them signed with working artists and trainees at the agency.

The two parties have agreed to continue their discussions and cooperation in the matter.

"After putting in a lot of attention and hard work, the contract system in the entertainment industry is slowly seeing changes and moving towards a better environment," Cho was quoted as saying. "I hope that this proclamation ceremony will be an opportunity for more entertainers to recover their rights and create an environment where agencies and artists can trust each other."

"By establishing mutually beneficial contracts between artists and the agency, we will work harder in not only promoting the industry by expanding [the influence of] Hallyu (Korean Wave) but also creating added value for the country," said Kim Young-min, president of SM.

Founded in 1995 by former singer Lee Soo-man, SM quickly became one of the most influential talent agencies in Korea. Lee, who stepped down from SM's board of directors in February, has created and masterminded the successful careers of numerous K-pop artists including BoA, Fly To The Sky, H.O.T., SHINee, Super Junior and TVXQ.

SM also manages many songwriters, music producers, comedians and actors including Ara, Choi Jung-yoon and Lee Yeon-hee.

Super Junior KyuHyun, “I only had 20% chance of survival in the car accident 3 years ago”

Super Junior KyuHyun talks about the car accident he got in 3 years ago and tears as he expresses his gratitude to his father for protecting his dream to be a singer.

KyuHyun was on SBS Strong Heart on 13th July when he said, “I got into a car accident 3 years ago on my way home after work. The car really overturned and I was lying on the ground.” The car accident happened in April 2007.

He said, “Back then I thought that I am going to die. I was in coma for 4 days. The doctor said that I had only 20% chance of survival with my rib bones crushed into my lungs.”

KyuHyun added, “My father told the doctor not to take away my vocal codes in a bypass surgery I have to undergo as I am a child who sings. So the surgery was done bypassing the flank. After that, when I know the truth I cried. It because my dad had always objected me being a singer and yet he had protected my dreams to be a singer.”

KyuHyun took 5 months to recover from the accident, “I feel like I am living a new life.”

S: Newsen + kbites

Kangta says H.O.T. broke up over "small misunderstanding"

Korean singer Kangta confessed that the real reason behind the break-up of H.O.T., one of hottest boy bands during the late 1990s, was over a "small misunderstanding."

During a guest appearance on MBC celebrity talk show "Golden Fishery," which aired Wednesday evening, the singer spoke about why he and his band mates called it quits in 2001.

"H.O.T. broke up over a small misunderstanding," the singer said on the show. "At the time, Moon Hee-jun and I signed the contract at a later time [than other three members.] I think the parents of the remaining three members thought that there could be things they do not know about. It was really a minor misunderstanding.. But we were so young and those misunderstanding made us close our hearts."

Kangta explained that the only reason Moon and he signed the contract with agency SM Entertainment at a later time was because they were the last two members to originally join the group.

About a year after the group split, the members got together and worked out their misunderstandings "in just two words," the singer added.

After mentioning how the members of boy band Shinhwa fought like cats and dogs and have still managed to stay together, Kangta said he wonders if it would have been better for him and his group mates to have fought when they had complaints or misunderstandings.

He also said that he "wants to reunite with members as H.O.T." and give fans something to remember by performing and releasing albums as a group.

The singer had recently made the same remark at a press conference in China, which drew talks of a possible reunion. But an official at SM explained that Kangta only said so because H.O.T. bandmates Tony An and Lee Jae-won will be discharged from the Korean military next year and that "nothing has been set."

Kangta, whose real name is Ahn Chil-hyun, debuted in 1996 as the lead singer of five-member boy band H.O.T., the first idol group creation by major talent house SM Entertainment.

H.O.T., which stands for 'High-five Of Teenagers,' became one of the most popular K-pop acts in Korea and throughout Asia as well. They released five studio albums, two live albums and two greatest hits records before disbanding in 2001.

Kangta embarked on a solo career after the group broke up, releasing several solo albums and collaborating with other singers including a pop duo act with popular Taiwanese singer Vanessa Wu in 2006.

He will be giving a concert in China on July 24 and donating one million Yuan to the Chinese government for charity.


Fashionista Barbie Hsu Allows Chanel Counterfeit on Her Body

Source: UDN
Translated by: KAY @

Chanel is the favorite of all ladies and also the counterfeit market. Although they don't buy fake Chanel, but in many office ladies' closet there are still Chanel-styled jacket. In Episode 6 of idol drama "Summer's Desire," Huang Xiao Ming (plays Luo Xi) carefully put a blanket on Barbie Hsu (plays Xiao Mo). Lately some viewers contacted GTV, expressing they couldn't find this Chanel logo blanket in the counter; they wonder where they can buy it? After investigation, it's confirmed the crew bought it from night market and it's a counterfeit.

"Summer's Desire" features showbiz as its story background. Huang Xiao Ming and Barbie are big stars and their accessories and outfits are real designer brands. In real life, Barbie is also a fashionista. Would she feel embarrassed of putting on a fake Chanel product? Yesterday her manager expressed, during filming she couldn't possibly pay attention to the blanket. Artiste's responsibility is to focus in their performances. If the blanket is fake, should ask the crew for more details.

Crew of "Summer's Desire" expressed when staff went to find props, they bought this blanket at the night market. Maybe they aren't too informed about designer brands so they made this mistake. They would be more careful in the future.

As for Chanel, they expressed they aren't willing to promote for counterfeits. They replied in low-profile: "Never saw this product before."

You're Beautiful

The management company of the idol group A.N.JELL insisted on adding a new singer to the group as the lead vocal, Tae Kyung's voice was on the verge of being exhausted. However,the new member, Mi Nam, had to go to the States to repair a botched eye job just before signing the contract. His agent came up with the idea of having his twin sister, Mi Nyu,to stand in for him and pretend that she was her brother. The two of them grew up in an orphanage and Mi Nyu, who was all set to become a nun, agreed to this charade as she didn't want to spoil her brother's chance of fame which would make it easier to look for their mother...

Episode Guide
  • Episode 1
  • Episode 2
  • Episode 3
  • Episode 4
  • Episode 5
  • Episode 6
  • Episode 7
  • Episode 8
  • Episode 9
  • Episode 10
  • Episode 11
  • Episode 12
  • Episode 13
  • Episode 14
  • Episode 15
  • Episode 16

Nodame Catabile - The Finale

As Part Two begins, we find Nodame (Juri Ueno) still pining for Chiaki's (Hiroshi Tamaki) unconditional affection as she struggles to mature and find her own place in the musical world. The couple's quirky and farcically clumsy love affair begins to mature into a somber and serious adult love story as the final chapter unfolds. And with so much plot line riding on this final installment, the producers have pulled out all the stops with an all-star cast that includes most of the familiar fixtures of the series including: Eita, Asami Mizukawa, Keisuke Koide, Eiji Wentz, Becky, Yu Yamada, Takeshi Nadagi (The Plan 9), Seiji Fukushi, Michiko Kichise, Masato Ibu and Naoto Takenaka. The headlining star arguably remains the music itself as Nodame Cantabile Part Two offers a spectacular orchestral score, turning movie theaters into virtual concert halls. Throw in plenty of laughs, tears and emotion, and you get a spectacular climax to a growing legend that promises to settle once and for all the question of what lies ahead for Nodame and Chiaki. Will the Nodame-Chiaki concerto finally come to pass? And will their love triumph?

Read more>>

Part I here

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Despicable Me

In a happy suburban neighborhood surrounded by white picket fences with flowering rose bushes, sits a black house with a dead lawn. Unbeknownst to the neighbors, hidden beneath this home is a vast secret hideout. Surrounded by a small army of minions, we discover Gru (voiced by Steve Carell), planning the biggest heist in the history of the world. He is going to steal the moon (Yes, the moon!) in Universals new 3D CGI feature, Despicable Me. Gru delights in all things wicked. Armed with his arsenal of shrink rays, freeze rays, and battleready vehicles for land and air, he vanquishes all who stand in his way. Until the day he encounters the immense will of three little orphaned girls who look at him and see something that no one else has ever seen: a potential Dad. The worlds greatest villain has just met his greatest challenge: three little girls named Margo, Edith and Agnes.

The Karate Kid

In Columbia Pictures' The Karate Kid, 12-year-old Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) could've been the most popular kid in Detroit, but his mother's (Taraji P. Henson) latest career move has landed him in China. Dre immediately falls for his classmate Mei Ying and the feeling is mutual but cultural differences make such a friendship impossible. Even worse, Dre's feelings make an enemy of the class bully, and kung fu prodigy, Cheng. With no friends in a strange land, Dre has nowhere to turn but maintenance man Mr. Han (Jackie Chan), who is secretly a master of kung fu. As Han teaches Dre that kung fu is not about punches and parries, but maturity and calm, Dre realizes that facing down the bullies will be the fight of his life.

This movie was better than I expected. It was definitely worth watching: there were funny moments, happy and sad moments. And most of all the fighting scenes were cool.