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Money Enough, So Breakthrough “Money No Enough 2” Created

31 Jul

SINGAPORE : A decade ago, with not that much money, Jack Neo went from a TV funny man who dressed up as an old lady, to create Singapore’s top grossing local film, “Money No Enough”.

As other film successes followed, the Cultural Medallion award winner is a film-maker who may just strike it rich again with the sequel “Money No Enough 2” despite little change to his movie making formula.

The winning formula is due in part to his two long time buddies, Mark Lee and Henry Thia, who along with Neo play the role of brothers facing different financial struggles in contemporary Singapore.

Meeting the funny men, it seemed clear that it couldn’t have been too difficult for the three, who seem like brothers in real life, to get into character!

As they teased and took digs at each other, I couldn’t help but feel at times that I was just a mere spectator at a larger than life family gathering.

Getting serious, Neo revealed that their latest project together was upsized with a S$1.5 million budget, his largest movie budget ever.

This allowed Neo to experiment more freely with special effects in the movie but rest assured that what drew the crowds, the ordinary Singaporean’s heart and struggles, remains core in the movie.

While there will be a good dose of laughter, just like life, there will also be some tears although it is totally unintentional says the film-maker/actor.

“Actually, I have never especially tried to make people cry,” said Neo, “Whenever I film a movie, I always use my heart to understand what’s going on. In real life, there are a lot of these (moving) issues (that are explored in the movie).”

What is different in “Money No Enough 2” besides a bigger budget, is Neo’s commitment to making new grounds once again.

For starters, the movie touches on several sensitive topics but survives the censorship board unscathed.

In terms of stars, look out for a guest appearance by Member of Parliament, Michael Palmer, TV actress Vivian Lai and half of the singing Ming Zhu Sisters, Zhu Ling Ling, all starring in their first big screen roles.

It’s a gutsy move by Neo, who is feeling the pressure of having to live up to the previous instalment’s performance at the box-offices.

“Of course (there’s stress),” said Neo almost immediately when the question of stress popped up.

“When the first instalment was released, people weren’t prepared for the socio-commentary that was being thrown their way. So whatever was shown, they would’ve been happy.

“But now, with the second instalment, people start having expectations. The biggest challenge would be for people to go in with an open mind” offered Neo.

Trying to lighten the stress, Lee showed his mathematical acumen by adding that the inevitable stress also comes from trying to match dollar to dollar, the previous S$5.8 million performance.

“Let’s analyse it this way, if the box office sales this time round are also S$5.8 million, it would mean that fewer people are coming to watch the movie. In the past, movie tickets cost S$5.50 or S$6.50. Tickets nowadays cost S$9.50, S$10!”

Although scheduled for release on July 31, there’s already been a huge volume of pre-sales, meaning Neo and the cast of “Money No Enough 2” are well on their way to breaking their own record… without too much stress.

– CNA/os

Channel News Asia

This Is For My Ex-Wife

11 Dec

SINGAPORE: Huang Yiliang did it again – made another controversial speech involving former wife Lin Meijiao.

At Sunday night’s Star Awards, which were held at the St James Power Station for the first time, Yiliang won the Best Supporting Actor Award for his role in the drama Women of Times.

When he went on stage to accept the award, he said he wanted to give the award to Meijiao. In the same speech, he also thanked his current wife. It was a speech that raised eyebrows, not least due to the little-known fact that he has remarried.

In 2003, when he won the same award, Yiliang mentioned Meijiao in his thank-you speech, comparing her to a giraffe and saying her neck had grown from yearning for an award.

Meijiao was not present at Sunday night’s show.

Backstage, Yiliang lost his cool when quizzed him about the speech.

“Meijiao is more talented than me but she doesn’t have my luck,” he said. “I’ve always wanted her to win something so I’d like to give this award to her.”

He claimed he was simply voicing the wish of his daughter with Meijiao. He has been married for three years to Lily Liu.

“When I made that speech in 2003, I only had good intentions. I regret that it’s a joke that fell flat, I shouldn’t have made it.”

Visibly annoyed, he added: “Do you know how influential the media is? If you write bad stuff about me, that’s the end of me. Please spare me. I don’t have any bad intentions.”

Meanwhile, the Best Actor and Actress Awards were won by Li Nanxing and Ivy Lee, respectively, while Hong Huifang nabbed the Best Supporting Actress Award. Bryan Wong won Best Variety Show Host, while Kelvin Tan won Most Popular Newcomer.

The top 10 Most Popular Male Artistes were: Christopher Lee, Gurmit Singh, Tay Ping Hui, Vincent Ng, Edmund Chen, Qi Yuwu, Mark Lee, Kelvin Tan, Elvin Ng and Bryan Wong.

As for the women, the top 10 were Kym Ng, Huang Biren, Xiang Yun, Rui En, Michelle Chia, Jeanette Aw, Felicia Chin, Fiona Xie, Quan Yifeng and Jesseca Liu. – TODAY

Channel News Asia