Jay Chou makes history with Now You See Me 2

Jay Chou makes history with Now You See Me 2

Taiwanese superstar and star of Now You See Me 2, Jay Chou, is the first Chinese artist to pen and perform music for a Hollywood film.

Simply titled ‘Now You See Me’, the upbeat track also marks the first time any Hollywood production features a Chinese-language song as its official theme song.

Although his vocals are also featured in Kungfu Panda 3’s ‘Try’, it is more a collaboration with Canadian-Taiwanese Patrick Brasca and contains more English lyrics.

Not only can Jay call ‘Now You See Me’ truly his own, he even takes over the director’s chair to create a dazzling music video for his second Hollywood venture.

Peppered with his signature style that fuses R&B, Hip-Hop and classical Chinese elements, this is the perfect song to introduce his musical genius to a global audience!

The song has been released as part of his latest and 14th album ‘Bedtime Stories’, and the video has already collected over 3 million views on YouTube!

Watch the video of ‘Now You See Me’ here:

Jay plays Li, a magic shop owner, in the Jon Chu-directed Now You See Me 2 – a sequel to 2013’s Now You See Me.

This is his second acting role in Hollywood and gladly, one that yields more commercial and critical success than his debut as Kato in Green Hornet (2011).

It helps that the 37-year-old singer-songwriter gets to share the silver screen with A-listers and Oscar nominees Mark Ruffalo and Jesse Eisenberg.

The calibre of his other cast members – Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and the refreshing Daniel Redcliffe – is also a big step-up from that in the lacklustre revival of the 1960s TV series.

This will undoubtedly open many more doors for him in Hollywood and beyond.

Despite some criticism of a flaky storyline, the crime thriller has grossed over US$238 million worldwide to date, against a budget of $90 million.

In fact, the stylishly-shot film has raked in $94m in China alone, reportedly a staggering 679 per cent up from the first installment. Looks like Lionsgate have Jay to thank for that!

A third installment is already in the works. Will Jay, who has a real life passion for playing magic tricks and unparalleled star power across Asia, reprise his role?

An Unconventional Day Trip in Malaga

Malaga is so much more than a destination for beach holidays or drunken parties.

The history of this vibrant coastal spot dates back to over 3,000 years ago when the Phoenicians arrived and named it Malaca. Then came the Romans, the Moors and the Christians.

An Unconventional Day Trip in MalagaThough Malaga had brief moments of prosperity, it wasn’t until the 1960s when tourism made the popular Costa del Sol city what it is today.

Yet, beyond rows of international chain stores and restaurants serving everything from pizza to chow mein, Malaga still holds onto fragments of its past – tucked away in different corners of the city.

Museo de la Cofradia de los Estudiantes

This little museum caught my eyes even before the famous Alcazaba.

Translating into Museum Collection of the Guild of Students, it is the home of many relics, with the floats being the most impressive displays of all.

I was in awe of the sheer size of the thrones of the Christ and Virgin Mary, and their opulent silver and gold structures.

They hynoptise even the least religious person with the detailed wood carving, elaborate floral arrangement and embroidery work.

An Unconventional Day Trip in MalagaThis place was packed with tourists and locals when I visited, probably because it was during the Holy Week (Semana Santa). But make sure you go up to the second floor for a full view of the figures.

Opening Times

Monday to Friday
10.30am – 1.30pm & 5.30pm – 8.30pm

Entrance Fee: Free (donations welcome)

Website here.

Teatro Romano & La Alcazaba

The Roman Theatre is right opposite the museum. To its right, you’ll find an information centre where you can grab a map of the city and find out about Easter procession paths and their starting times.

Keep going right and a steep path will lead you all the way up to this Moorish landmark.

The walk takes some time between 30-45 minutes at a casual pace. Take your time. Soak in the stunning view over the Mediterranean Sea, the ports, the promenade and the magnificent bullring.

An Unconventional Day Trip in MalagaOpening Times

Summer
9am – 8pm

Winter
9am – 6pm

*Closed on January 1, February 28 and December 25

Entrance Fee: €2.20

Lunch

Malaga’s city centre is absolutely jam-packed with restaurant and bars, living up to its reputation as a tourist hub.

We sat down at AlCasaBar, not far from the ‘real’ Alcazaba and quietly tucked away on Calle Poza del Rey.

Freshen up with a Pina Colada lassi. Enjoy a variety of crepes cheekily named after Hollywood icons like James Dean and Angelina Jolie. Can’t decide? Just order 5 tapas for €10.

Website here.

Catedral

An Unconventional Day Trip in MalagaOne may say the impressive Seville Cathedral dwarfs all the other cathedrals in Spain. But this Renaissance landmark in Malaga still stands out for me, as an Andalucia first-timer.

The vast size and grandeur of these Spanish religious establishments continue to amaze me. The choir stalls are adorned with 42 carved wooden statues, that are the fine work of sculptor Pedro de Mena.

On each side is an 18th century organ with over 4,000 pipes, decorated with elaborate sculptures that exude majestic elegance through the use of gold and green palettes.

At the end of your visit, admire the exterior of this architectural masterpiece and you’ll see why the ‘La Manquita’ (one-armed), even with an incomplete second tower, can rival other Spanish cathedrals.

Opening Times

Monday to Friday
10am – 6pm

Saturday
10am – 5pm

*Closed on Sunday and holidays

Entrance Fee: €5

Website here.

Museo Interactivo de la Música

The nightlife in Malaga is matched only by its taste for art, culture and history.

Classical singers belt out an aria outside the cathedral, whilst bold and creative street art command your imagination.

There are countless museums dotted around the city, ready to invite visitors on a journey to discover the Spanish way of life – from flamenco and wine to contemporary art and religious paintings.

The Picasso museum is the most famous of them all. Centre Pompidou is the newest, having opened its doors since March 2015.

An Unconventional Day Trip in MalagaI chose the Interactive Museum of Music. Although this is partly because most of the other museums had already closed up, I absolutely enjoyed the tour and would recommend it anyone with some interest in music – or those who want to try their hands at various different instruments in the ‘red rooms’.

‘The Flamenco Seen by Chinese Eyes’ exhibition was a pleasant surprise. The Museum partnered up with Minzu University of China and the Museum of Flamenco Dance to showcase the beautiful result of a meaningful exchange between the two dynamic cultures.

Just take a look at this astonishing piece of paper cutting artwork that represents Flamenco through the eyes of a Chinese student.

An Unconventional Day Trip in Malaga

Opening Times

September 7 – June 24
Monday: 10am – 4pm
Tuesday to Sunday: 10am – 7pm

June 25 – September 6
Monday: 10.30am – 4pm
Tuesday to Sunday: 10.30am – 7.30pm

*Closed on January 1 & 6, and December 25

Entrance Fee: €4

Website here.

Dinner

After a long beautiful sunset walk along Plaza de la Marina, Paseo del Parque and feeling the tourists buzz at Muelle Uno, we dined at Taberna el Trillo – just off Calle Marqués de Larios where the procession would take place.

An Unconventional Day Trip in Malaga

Malaga hosts one of the biggest and most spectacular processions during Semana Santa, so make sure you don’t miss it. They go on for all night until early morning, so if you’re driving back in the evening, check for alternative routes as some roads may be blocked.

This charming and energetic tune by Ana Mena gets played on the Spanish radio a lot, and it’s one of those perfect feel good songs for a carefree drive through the scenic routes. Check it out!

Brexit, My Passport & Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day

It’s a strange weekend.

Brexit, My Passport & Roland Emmerich’s Independence DayOn June 23rd, 2016, I went to the voting booth before work and put my two cents in the EU referendum debate, which had been dominating headlines for weeks and months.

That evening, I watched as voting closed and volunteers across the country worked tirelessly to make sure everyone’s vote was accounted for.

By the time I went to bed, the first counting result was yet to be announced. But there was an oddly justified sense of confidence that I would wake up to the same Britain.

On June 24th, 2016, I woke up to a worryingly divided nation instead, that was further handicapped by a lack of strong leadership.

As an immigrant living in the UK, a Vote to Leave is highly unsettling. How will this affect the economy and employment prospect? Is UK truly multicultural or am I not welcomed here?

***

A few hours later, I was on the phone with my parents.

“Maybe you shouldn’t renew your Hong Kong SAR passport,” they advised.

“Why?” I asked.

“You know, because of the missing booksellers,” they replied in a sombre tone.

Five members of staff of Causeway Bay Books had been ‘missing’ from Hong Kong since late 2015.

Though most of them have now returned safely, one remains in custody of Mainland Chinese authorities.

Lam Wing-kee is so far the only one who has spoken out, confirming what many of us fear and believe: they were kidnapped and illegally detained by Mainland China. Thus, sparking more protests and calls for independence.

Two of these men hold dual nationalities – one British and the other Swedish. Yet, the respective consulates are almost powerless in reaching out to the Chinese authorities.

According to Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman, ‘any Hong Kong resident who is of Chinese descent and … born in the Chinese territories’ are citizens of China.

The implication here is that the incident is ‘purely China’s internal affairs [in which] any foreign country has no right to interfere’.

Brexit, My Passport & Roland Emmerich’s Independence DayIn other words, holding my hometown passport nowadays could make me more vulnerable to China’s twisted legal system. It has come to a point now where having none is better than having one.

But with Brexit upon us, what will it mean to be a British passport holder?

***

The next day, I watched Independence Day: Resurgence in the cinema.

Brexit, My Passport & Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day

The main battle is obviously between the human race and the aliens. But it essentially represents a joint effort between the military, scientists and a friendly space bot taking on the hostile alien led by their queen.

The word ‘independence’ has been ringing in my head for the past few days. What does it mean? What do we want independence from, and how do we achieve that? What do we gain and lose in the process?

Doing something bold on your own could be scary. Doing it with the right people and with an effective leader – we can embrace and support one another on this bumpy ride.