vendredi 31 juillet 2009


Released in December 2007 in UK where it was a huge success (grossing more than £12 million), “St Trinian’s”, a schoolgirl comedy set in an anarchic highschool for bad girls, will finally hit the big screen in the USA in selected theathers on August 28th, 2009.

Between March 2008 and July 2009, the movie was also released in Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, Hungary, Germany, Poland, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Israel, Russia, Finland and Italy.

Based the famous drawings of Ronald Searle, one of the most famous British cartoonists, “St Trinian’s” was actually the sixth movie inspired by the artist’s work after “The Belles of St Trinian's” (1954), “Blue Murder at St. Trinian's” (1957), “The Great St. Trinian's Train Robbery” (1966), “The Pure Hell of St. Trinian's” (1960) and “The Wildcats of St. Trinian's” (1980 – which was a flop)

"St Trinian's" (2007) - Portuguese and US posters

Since July 6th, 2009, directors / producers Oliver Parker and Barnaby Thompson, have started the 8-weeks shooting of “St Trinians II: The Legend of Fritton’s”, with most of the cast of the previous movie like Talulah Riley, Rupert Everett, Jodie Whittaker, Juno Temple, Gemma Arterton, Russell Brand or Colin Firth. There will be some new face as well including David Tennant (“Doctor Who”) who’ll play the lead villain.

Official synopsis : “St Trinian’s II: The Legend Of Fritton’s Gold” sees the schoolgirls start a new term amidst the usual chaos and excitement. Rupert Everett returns as unconventional headmistress Camilla Fritton and Colin Firth as her old flame Geoffrey Thwaites. A rollercoaster-style treasure hunt for the legendary Fritton’s Gold ensues as they face their most fearsome establishment rivals yet, but the feisty and ever-resourceful girls of St Trinian’s are undeterred in their mission to outwit the villainous Pomfrey (David Tennant) and his sidekicks from the women-hating secret society known as AD1.

There’s also a “St Trinian’s 2” competition organised by Ealing Studios, on the official FaceBook page of the film. The 10 winners will have the opportunity to visit the set and become an extra. Closing Date is tonight, August 1st 2009 (00:00am) and the winners must be free on August 16th, 2009 (check out the rules HERE).

“St Trinian’s 2” will be release in UK on December 18th, 2009. US trailer of the previous movie below...

mardi 28 juillet 2009


Before gaining her fame in Hollywood with US blockbusters like “Mission: Impossible III” (2006) and “Die Hard 4.0” (2007), Maggie Q was already a star in Hong Kong, where she played in several movies since 2000, including Ching Siu-tung’s “exploit-action” movie “Naked Weapon” (2002). The following interview was made in Hong Kong in 2004 at the Drop, a club owned by Colette Koo, producer of “Taped” (photo below by Morgan Ommer), a short erotic drama directed by Antony Szeto (“Wushu”) that Maggie Q shot the year before ...

Frédéric Ambroisine: Is Maggie Q your real name ?

Maggie Q: That’s not my real name actually. My surname is Quigley which is Irish, because my father is Irish and my mother is Vietnamese. When I first landed in Hong Kong, people couldn’t pronounce it correctly, so they shortened it to Q, and after that everybody followed suit and that’s how it happened.

FA: Why did you come to Hong Kong to start your career?

MQ: Hmm. I didn’t have to come to Hong Kong to start my career, funnily enough. I was going to university in Hawaii. Simply I couldn’t really make any money. I was going to school. I was working retail. I was an athlet as well at school. It was very difficult to make enough money to be able to fund my schooling, to be able to pay the rent. So I left for two months because I had a few friends who were models in Hawaii. Very beautiful girls. And they used to come to Asia all the time to work. They said to me: “Why don’t you try it?”. And I was like: “But I’m not a model! I don’t know what to do!”. And they said: “Maggie, you don’t have any option. You don’t have money. Why don’t you just try it?” . So I ended up coming here (in Hong Kong) just to try for two months. And it’s been five years now. I spent a very little time modeling actually, it was about a year. And I didn’t like modelling to be honest. It was something that led me to something that I love. And I’m very thankful to it for that. But I honestly believed that It was a stepping stone. Modelling got me into the industry, but very soon after, I started working for television.

Maggie Q at the Drop (Hong Kong - 2004)

FA: When did you become an actress?

MQ: In 1998. I did my first TV series in Beijing, and I was there for four months filming. Then, when I got back from that, I got my first movie offer, with a company called Media Asia, which is one of the biggest film company in Hong Kong, and I started doing action films. I was signed by Jackie Chan’s company upon signing for “Gen Y Cops”. Because I was sporting, they thought it would a good idea for me to do action. Since then, I’ve been doing a lot of action ! But I kind of want to stay out of it and do different things.

FA: Did you learn Chinese when you were young ?

MQ: Oh, of course not, I didn’t know a word. It was kind of, for survival reasons, I had to pick it up.

FA: Before “Gen Y Cops”, you played in “Model From Hell”. How was this first acting experience in a feature film?

MQ: Ha ha ha. That was horrible! There’s an actor in Hong Kong called Simon Yam, who’s actually my friend’s husband. And he was supposed to do this film. And it was a very low budget, nothing sort of thing. And for some reasons, they wanted me to do it. I wasn’t really sure, and he said: “Oh, if you do it, I’ll do it. It’s a lot of fun. It’ll be a few weeks. It’s no big deal”. And it was more money than I ever made in modelling. So I thought: “I guess I’ll just try it”. I didn’t want to try it because I wanted to get into movies. It was just something, so I did it. It was an odd experience. I wouldn’t say it was a great experience, but It was great working with Simon. He’s a very generous and nice guy. I had a good time. I didn’t really fall in love with films or acting until 2000. I did a movie in 2000 in New York (“Manhattan Midnight”) that really made me feel that, this is what I was meant to do, instead of something that I was just doing.

Simon Yam and Maggie Q in "Model From Hell" (2000)

FA: So “Model from Hell” was your first Cantonese movie, right?

MQ: Yeah, so that was very difficult because at that time, I didn’t know anything. And they ended up dubbing me. But I still had to speak on the set, because otherwise none of the other actors would understand me. And it was really frustrating. It’s always hard to be working in a place that you’re not from. Because you’re sort in the business but not really, you know. It’s confusing at times. I didn’t want to disappoint anynone. I tried the best I could. The script was written in Cantonese, and I had a tranlator who translated it into English. And I had to tranlate it back phonetically into Chinese because obviously, I can’t read Chinese characters. It was so difficult, I can’t even tell you! It remains difficult until today but I’m lucky we do have movie companies in Hong Kong who are doing more international movies.

FA: “Gen Y-Cops”, your second movie was completely different?

MG: Yeah, That's right. It was a big budget movie, very different from the first one. It was a real movie ! [Laughs.]

FA: Did you meet Jackie Chan before playing in the movie ?

MQ: Actually they met me before I started acting. I’ve worked for some famous singers and actors in Hong Kong doing campains and things like that. And I guess because they were really famous, since I was standing next to them, people were like “Oh, who is that girl?”. They didn’t really know who I was, but people started knowking my name, and that’s when they got interested and said: “Oh, maybe this girl is something, maybe you should sign her?”. And actually, Jackie and my manager Willie Chan asked me to sign with them. And initially I said no. It was the opposite of maybe a normal person would have react.ed Somebody else would have been very exited: "Oh, he want me to sign with him. Of course I’ll work with him”, but I didn’t have that confidence. I needed to be at a certain level to work with them, and I knew I wasn’t. yet I mean, I had no experience! So I though:t “I don’t want to disappoint him, If I disappoint him that’s it for me!” (laughs). 6 to 8 months later, Media Asia said: “Hey look, we really want you to do this movie, It’s gonna be an American Hong Kong co-production, and we think you’re perfect for it”. So I told them: “If people start offering me things, I’d love to sign with you but until that time, there’s really no reason for me to sign with a management company because nobody wants me”. And they were like: “Ok, I guess so”. So when that movie came out, we decided to sign.

FA: How long was the shooting of “Gen-Y Cops” ?

MQ: It was up to 5 months, because there was a lot of action, a lot of CG. We had a robot in the film, which technically was very difficult. But it was such a great experience, because we had American actors on the set. We had young Hong Kong actors, myself who was neither, from here, nor there. And it was just a quite eclectic mix of young people. And we had fun with it. It wasn’t a very serious movie but we just wanted to do something young and something fun, and something with that we can catch young people’s eyes. And that’s what we did.

The young cast of "Gen-Y Cops" (2000)

FA: How was your working relationship with the film crew?

MQ: When I started that film, it was funny because some of the producers said: “Oh God, here comes this model on the set! Oh no, what will we gonna do? She’s not gonna be able to act etc.” And when we started working, I really tried my best, and It was from that film that I was offered other films. No matter what I do, whether I’m good or bad at it, because I’m doing it , there’s a certain little dedication, which is full. So I worked hard and I guess it paid off. Because after that, it really started rolling for me.

Anya and Maggie Q in Ching Siu-tung's "Naked Weapon" (2002)

End of part 1. Coming soon: Maggie Q about “Naked Weapon”


Last week, Variety reported - two days before the San Diego Comic-Con - that “Watchmen” and “Hellboy” (1&2) producer Llyod Levin acquired the screen adaptation rights of Terry Moore’s comic book series, “Echo”. The story is about Julie Martin, a photographer who becomes nuclearly powerful after being spattered by some liquid metal, because of a failed military experiment.

Terry Moore also created the popular "non -superhero" series “Strangers in Paradise”, a self-published black-and-white comic book drawn and written by him, about the love triangle between two women and one man. The series ended in 2007 after 14 years (the complete story – 2200 pages! - might be still available in a very limited edition. Check it out HERE).

Very pleased about the “Echo” movie adaptation project, Terry Moore also said on his blog that he plans to make “Strangers in Paradide” a TV series of quality (like a HBO one).

lundi 27 juillet 2009


One month after the two posters showing the lead male characters of Guy Ritchie’s “Sherlock Holdmes” (Robert Downey Jr. as Holmes and Jude Law as Dr. Watson), Warner Bros just revealed a third poster with the main (Canadian) actress of the movie, Rachel McAdams (“Mean Girls”), who plays the charming Irene Adler. This character featured in only one story written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (“A Scandal in Bohemia” – 1891), but she’s considered like the most interesting female character of the Sherlock Holmes stories (“She has the face of the most beautiful of women, and the mind of the most resolute of men”).

Also, between 1990 and 2004, American writer Carole Nelson Douglas wrote 13 mysterey novels and short stories leaded by Irene Adler. Concerning the movie (which is not a novel adaptation, but , a comic book one, created by producer Lionel Wigram – who put Doyle’s public domain characters in an original story) it definitly looks more like an action comedy than a suspense movie. US release: December 25th, 2009. French release: February 3rd, 2009.

Link: Who is Irene Adler?


Born in China in the early 40’s, Ivy Ling Po 凌波 was THE most popular Hong Kong actress and singer of Huangmei diao genre – to make it short, it’s a mix between musical and historical drama inspired by Chinese Opera - in the 60’s, with classics produced by Shaw Brothers studios, from “The Love Eterne 梁山伯與祝英台” (1963 – she received a special award for it at the Golden Horse in Taiwan) to “The Three Smiles 三笑” (1969).

In the second half of the 60’s, martial arts were becoming more and more popular in Hong Kong, and Ling Po tried this genre as well in some swordplay movies like “Temple of the Red Lotus 江湖奇俠” (1965) or “The Sword an the Lute 琴劍恩仇” (1967), where she doesn’t do much (physically speaking).

But in 1970, she started the shooting of her most intense movie, “The 14 Amazons 十四女英豪”, one of the biggest and craziest martial art epic ever produced by Shaw Brothers, where she played a warrior princess and tactician from the Nothern Sung’s dynasty, Mu Kuei-ying 穆桂英, who led hundreds of female warriors to avenge her husband (and most of the males of the Yang family) and defended the country against the invaders from the Western Xia.

Released for the first time in Hong Kong on July 27th, 1972, “The 14 Amazons” was screened in its restored version 34 years later, first in Hong Kong on January 5th, 2006, for a screening hold by Celestial Pictures and Women In Film and Television International (WIFTI) - Hong Kong Chapter. Then, “The 14 Amazons” was ‘officially’ screened in France for the first time (there were some unofficial screenings in the 80’s in a Chinatown theather in Paris) at the Cannes Film Festival (in the Cannes Classics section) in May 2006, before its official French theatrical release on June 7th, 2006.

The following 2006 interview of Asian Movie Queen Ivy Ling Po was previously used (in French), for “The 14 Amazons” French press-kit and an article for the magazine Kumite. It's published for the first time in English here on Action Queens. Enjoy...

Frédéric Ambroisine: The shooting of “The 14 Amazons” was announced by Sir Run Run Shaw in Hong Kong, on October 7th, 1970 at the Miramar Hotel during a press conference. You were wearing the outfit of your “Finger of Doom” character that day. Did you have to interrupt your shooting to attend this event?

Ivy Ling Po: Not really, because as a Shaw Brothers actress, the compagny was arranging all my schedules. I didn’t have to worry about anything. I was shooting Pao Hsueh-li's “Finger of Doom” indeed, and when the time for the press conference arrived, they arranged a car for me to go to the Miramar, and when it’s finished, they brought me back on the set. Usually on a movie, you take a break between each scene, when the technical crew is preparing the next one. So, this press conference was like taking a longer break. It didn’t affect my work at all.

FA: Officially, the shooting of “The 14 Amazons” took two years. But you were working on other Shaw Brothers movies at the same time, right?

ILP: Yes, I worked on other Shaw Brothers movies simultaneously during those two years. The shooting of “The 14 Amazons” took a long time because it was a very big production. There were so many people involved in the cast and crew. One day of change would affect a lot of things. That’s why it took a long time to coordinate the necessary ingredients. And sometimes, director Cheng Kang would make changes, like a lot of directors would, but for this movie, each change required a lot of coordination.

FA: Physically, “The 14 Amazons” was problably your most dificult shooting compared to your previous martial arts movies directed by Chui Chang-wan 徐增宏? (“Temple of the Red Lotus”, “The Sword and the Lute”)

ILP: There was more fantasy in the Chui Chang-wan movies. In his movies I usually play a great martial arts master who would just had to raise a finger to make somebody dies. So of course, I didn’t need to do a lot of physical work for those movies. Comparatively, the shooting of “The 14 Amazons” was harder, because I’m playing a normal person and the action scenes are more realistic. My character has to use a lot of courage to fight. Preparing those scenes required a lot of physical work. I wasn't known as a martial arts actress, so I was not expected to do too difficult martial arts scenes. Usually, for the action scenes, there’s an action director who trains you on the set. You just do it a few times before the shooting of the scene. Then you start to shoot until the director is satisfied.

FA: Director Cheng Kang was apparently under a lot of pressure during the the shooting of “The 14 Amazons”?

ILP: I think he was. Handling a big budget movie means that you’ll have pressure. Cheng Kang had to satisfy everybody. For example, Li Ching probably didn’t have a lot of dialogue originally, but since she was a big star, the director had to add more dialogue for her. I heard that Cheng Kang cried a few times on the set during the shooting and that Yueh Hua consoled him. So I believe he had a lot of pressure.

FA: How was your relationship with your actresses partners?

ILP: I had fond memories of the shooting of “The 14 Amazons”. Lisa Lu, who plays the Grand matriarch in the movie, came from Hollywood, so she had special care from the Shaw Studios, and we could all benefit from that as well. Also, most of the crew would eat usually at the Shaw canteen, but since Lily Ho’s mom lived very close by the Shaw studios, she would do some homecook meal for all of us and bring it on the set. The food at the canteen was so-so. Homecook meal was better. So we could all benefit from that as well...

...During the shooting of an outdoor scene, Li Ching and I were gambling. She challenged me “if you can eat ten eggs, I give you thirty dollars!”. And eventually, I ate eleven eggs! After than Chin Han told me “Are you crazy, you know you can die?! If you eat so much eggs, your inside will burst”. I was young and never thought of those things. Even half-way, after about 7 eggs, Lily Ho’s mother couldn’t bear it. “Aya! Ling Po! Don’t eat! I give you the 30 dollars!” and I said “No, no, no! I don’t cheat! I lose or I win”. And I carried on eating until the eleventh.

FA: What were the most difficult things that you had to do during the shooting of “The 14 Amazons”?

ILP: I was actually really scared to do the horse riding scene. There were previous cases of people riding horses in other movies who had terrible accidents. So I was very scared. But for the movie, I had to look very brave, and ride it. Once, the horse didn’t want to stop, and it scared the hell out of me. Eventually when I could stop the course, I cried for a long time. I was frightened.... Another scary moment was during the scene of the human bridge. I think I was on the top. I don’t remember exactly. I had to get up very high.

FA: “The 14 Amazons” will finally be released in the French theaters. What do you think about that?

ILP: I’m extremely delighted that this movie made almost 40 years ago, will meet a young French audience. I’m verry happy about that. Even if it was made a long time ago, the spirit of courage remains. It is something that will last forever. In the old days, there were women with courage. And it has not changed since. And I hope the French audience will carry on and support Hong Kong films.

(A big thanks to Patty Keung and Kenneth Bi for this interview)

Check out also: The 14 Amazons fan site - Ivy Ling Po filmography (HKMDB) - Yvy Ling Po: Gender Bender

dimanche 26 juillet 2009


That’s the best you will get from “Code Name: The Cleaner”, but it lasts only a minute (on a 88-minute movie). Leaded by actor/comedian Cedric Kyles, best known as his stage name Cedric the Entertainer, this action-spy comedy is available in France on DVD since July 1st, 2009 by Metropolitan as “Nom de Code: The Clearner”.

Imagine the annoying Bosley from “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle” becoming the lead character instead of the kick-ass ladies and you’ll know what to expect from “Code Name: The Cleaner”: Stupid jokes, overacting, a not a lot of action.

Cedric the Entertainer and Nicolette Sheridan in "Code Name: The Cleaner"

The story is about a guy who lost his memory and doesn’t remember if he’s a “cleaner” (hitman) or cleaner. The two women who cross his path during his recovery, are maybe his wife (Nicolette Sheridan – nominated for Worst Supporting Actress at the Razzie Award in 2008) and girlfriend (Lucy Liu – also executive producer of the movie) or maybe not...

Lucy Liu and Nicolette Sheridan in "Code Name: The Cleaner"

"Code Name: The Cleaner": Behind the scenes

The DVD also contains a 20-minute making-of featuring interviews of the cast (who also includes action actor Mark “Crying Freeman” Dacascos) and crew, and some behind the scenes footage.

Shooting the catfight scene.

Mark Dacascos (right): Alive and Kicking

lundi 20 juillet 2009


The first episode of "Spider-Woman" Motion Comic (a.k.a. “a hybrid of comic book and animation”) wrote by Brian Michael Bendis and illustrated by Alex Meleev, will have its worldwide premiere at the San Diego Comic Con between July 23rd-26th, 2009.

One year after DC’s "Watchmen: Motion Comic", the rival team, Marvel, hope to attract the comic fans but also the non-comic readers with this brand new and original concept, that they're also using for a remake of the "Astonishing X-Men" series by writer/director Joss Whedon ("Buffy", "Serenity") and comic artist John Cassaday.

Each episodes of the “Spider-Woman” Motion Comic series will be available on iTunes, one or two weeks before the printed comic version. Check out the official trailer of this very anticipated piece of work.


Less than 10 months before the official US theatrical release of “Iron Man 2”, the magazine Entertainment Weekly is publishing in its n°1057 issue (available from July 24th, 2009) exclusive photos from this very awaited sequel, including some showing for the very first time a redhead Scarlet Johanson as the Black Window, a Russian spy, skilled in martial art and weaponry, alter ego of Natasha Romanoff, the new assistant of the millionaire industrialist Tony Stark (a.k.a. Iron Man, played again by Robert Downey Jr.). EW website put online one week before the mag release the first official photo of the Black Widow (shot by veteran still photographer Francois Duhamel).

Also, Marvel Comics just announced that a 4-part miniseries about Black Widow's origin (entitled logically "Black Widow: Deadly Origin"), draw by comic book artist Tom Raney ("Annihilation: Conquest") wrote by TV and comic writer Paul Cornell ("Doctor Who") will debut next November.

"Iron Man 2" will be released theatrically in America on May 7th, 2010 and will probably be screened at the Cannes Film Festival as well.
dimanche 19 juillet 2009


Five years after the now famous Angel Locsin, the Filipina greatest comic book super heroine Darna, created in the late 40’s ’s by Mars Ravelo, will be played in a TV series remake named “Narda” (which is the name of the human alter-ego of Darna), by local actress and commercial model Marian Riviera. Facing her, the younger Iwa Moto will be Darna’s snakes-haired worst enemy Valentina.

Since the early 50’s, Darna was played for the big screen by Rosa Del Rosario (1951 & 1952), Liza Moreno (1963), Eva Montes (1965), Gina Pareno (1969), Vilma Santo (2 movies in 1973, 1 in 1975, 1 in 1980), Dolphy (1979), Rio Locsin (1979), Nanette Medved (1991), and Anjanette Abayari (1994)

The previous TV series, produced by GMA-7, the Philippines' n°1 television network, aired in the Phillipines between April 11th and November 25th, 2008, and did one of the biggest audience rating at that time. Also produced by GMA-7 and directed by Dominic Zapata and Don Michael Perez, the “Narda” series is slated to air from August 10th, 2009. Check out the following trailers and behind-the-scenes videos...

samedi 18 juillet 2009


Following the US DVD/Blu-ray release of the director’s cut of “Watchmen”, here come for Halloween, five official movie costumes from Zack Znider (best) movie.

Next September, guys will have the choice between the outfits of Rorschach (the mask, gloves and hat are already available), Nite Owl II, the Comedian or Ozymandias. Ladies will be able to wear the sexy Silk Spectre II costume only, which includes the gloves, belt, boot tops and romper with garters.
"Watchmen" movie posters (©Warner Brothers)

Silk Spectre II official costumes (left & right) + Malin Akerman in "Watchmen" (©Warner Brothers)

The costume worn by Malin Akerman in the movie, is radically different from the one in the original comic book series, as you can see below...

Silk Spectre II from the "Watchmen" comic book series (left & right) + Fan costume designed and worn by Ruby Rocket
The movie’s costume was designed by Michael Wilkisnson and Syren Couture, a L.A. based production house specialized in latex and leather designs for more than 17 years (they created the unforgettable Michelle Pfeiffer/Catwoman suit for “Batman Returns” as well).
"Watchmen" poster + promo still (©Warner Brothers)

Check out the following article from Syrnen website: Developing & producing the Silk Spectre II at Syren Couture.
jeudi 16 juillet 2009


A cheap but fun fake trailer, Grindhouse style (dust and scratches filters, bad acting on purpose, over-the-top voice-over etc...) featuring a high heeled blonde heroine in bikini and her (very big) gun, against a bunch of bad people.

Produced by SD creative Media (a San Diego based design company), this "Golden Slaughter" video was actually made to promote the Halloween Ball 2008 party at the Prado Balboa Park, an event organised by DJhere productions.

Directed by Roland Telebrico and edited by Kevin Falk (check out more stills of "Golden Slaughter" on his portfolio)

Updates Via E-Mail