The North American debut of Heavenly Kings for the SF Int'l Film Festival premiered at the Castro Theatre Friday night and it must have been a sweet moment for Berkeley-born, Bay Area-raised, local boy Daniel Wu who directed and stars in the movie. After graduating from the University of Oregon, Daniel stumbled into modeling and acting gigs while backpacking through Asia and became a bona fide heart-throb in China.
Heavenly Kings is very reminiscent of the mockumentary This is Spinal Tap, only taken to the extreme. Instead of merely spoofing the phenomenon of the incessantly growing boy-band, Cantopop culture in Hong Kong, Wu and his buddies actually formed a boy band (called "Alive") and unleashed their bad vocals and sappy lyrics on the public.
Two of Wu's co-conspirators were also California boys (Terence Yin--a Cal grad, and Andrew Lin who was working in special effects in LA) before both became movie stars in China. The fourth member of the group, the jocular, barrel-chested and slightly tubby Aussie, Conroy Chan, is clearly the Joey Fatone of the group.
The movie is pretty hilarious and even though it seems a stretch to call these men in their 30s "boys" they sure are pretty, so we'll give 'em a pass.
After the jump -- inside the Cantopop music machine, and shrieking Daniel Wu fans!!! Additional bonuses: The word "creamy-dreamylicious" is used, and there's a Tiger Beat-like picture of Daniel Wu.SFist Mihi goes Cantopop!