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Archive for April, 2007

Best of Golden Rock - April 23rd to April 29th

The following is a compilation of the most notable news covered by The Golden Rock from April 23rd to April 29th.

- Everyone is picking on poor China. After the United States filed a formal complaint with the World Trade Organization over China’s rampant piracy of Hollywood films, Japan is now planning to file their own complaint against China as well. Oh, and sources say the EU is planning to do the same. Talk about the dirty Capitalists ganging up on the poor giant Communist.

- In true Japan fashion, while they blame the Chinese for not doing enough, the Japanese also have to praise themselves for cracking down piracy the right way. Oh, and they’re blaming foreigners for that too! I wonder if those Japanese street vendors at Osaka’s Electronic Street are still working the streets as if nothing is happening….

- British Airway wants to provide the latest hit movies for their passengers, but it doesn’t want to do it if a rival airline and its chairman show up in it. In a petty immature fashion, BA decided to cut out Virgin Atlantic chairman Richard Branson’s cameo in the latest James Bond film Casino Royale. They also blurred out the appearance of a Virgin Atlantic plane in the film. Oh, behave!

- Some sad news to report in the Asian cinema blogsphere. Hoga News, run by Michi Kaifu, will no longer be updated. Hoga News has been a great source for news even before this blog started, especially for someone who can only understand maybe about half the Japanese cinema news stories out there. Michi has been there to put things into perspective (and not to mention English), and Hoga News’ presence on the Japanese news front will be missed by all. Hopefully, my Japanese is still good enough to read Eiga Consultant’s entries, whose links I originally got from Hoga news. Best of luck to you, Michi!

- Hey, America, you ain’t so bad, with your formal complaints and shit. We Chinese already have pirated copies of your most anticipated movies a week and a half before anyone else is supposed to see it. Of course, it’s probably a scam set to cash in on the hype cheating the poor bastards who think they lucked out, but still, how about them apples?

Sony has confirmed that cheap suckers have been scammed by those amateur entrepreneurs. That’s right, the poor bastards who thought they got a chance to watch Spiderman 3 before everyone else in the comforts of their own home spent their hard-earned renminbi for just another copy of Spiderman 2 packaged as Spiderman 3. Ha-ha!

- In something that comes as absolutely no surprise, Hollywood has come out saying that they are backing the United States government’s complaint against China for intellectual copyright. In fact, they’re even threatening a ban, which means it might just rescue China from crappy Hollywood films, only to be replaced by more happy Chinese blockbusters promoting messages of peace and communism.

However, Silicon Hutong suggests that Hollywood might be bluffing because it probably needs China more than China needs them.

- The Asian media is not quite happy about how they are always in the shadow of Western media. They complain about how Western media only represents 1/7 of the world’s population, yet they control 2/3 of the world’s media, blah blah blah. Well, guess what, this report is right: Asian media does kind of suck. When they decide to stop sensationalist, inaccurate, and xenophobic reporting, then maybe someone will pay attention to you.

- Remember, Johnnie To’s Election and Election 2 is currently under a 2-week run at New York’s Film Forum. They even decided to add one more showing of Election starting tomorrow, Friday the 27th! Greencine has a round-up of reviews around the net, which seems to be generally positive, even though no one seems to be picking up the political implication in especially Election 2.

- After being on every Asian film buff’s shit list for buying up Asian films and either cutting them or leaving them on the shelf (in most cases, both), the Weinsteins now figure why do the buying and cutting when they can just make the damn things themselves? Honestly, I am almost sure no good films will come out of this deal, but I’m a pessimist by nature.

- A new Chinese film producer is making their big debut at Cannes this year, and they managed to find some big Hong Kong market players like Nansun Shi to help them out. Among the five films they’re bringing to Cannes is the latest by Tsui Hark, Ann Hui, Stanley Kwan, and Stephen Fung. Too bad all of them are “Chinese films,” not “Hong Kong films.”

Getting it out of the way

Lots and lots of news today, because I’m going to be participating in this tomorrow:One Day Blog Silence

- Hong Kong’s BC Magazine - THE magazine for foreigners in Hong Kong - has not only an article of Dancing Lion co-director Marco Mak, but if you scroll down, you’ll also see an interview with Ming Ming director and Hong Kong MTV legend Susie Au.

- Too bad Ming Ming is flopping in Hong Kong. According to those nasty Sunday numbers, Ming Ming only made HK$140,000 on 12 screens for a 4-day total of HK$570,000. At least Ming Ming isn’t doing as bad as Dancing Lion, which only made HK$100,000 on 19 screens on Sunday for a 4-day total of HK$350,000. As expected, Love is Not All Around (Which Lovehkfilm’s Kozo is already calling one of the worst of the year) rules the weekend again with HK$660,000 on 38 screens for a 11-day total of HK9.36 million, which can only suggest that the HK teen audience is only as shallow as Hollywood’s teen audience.

Meanwhile, Spider Lilies, which Kozo also reviewed this week, is beginning to die down a little bit with only HK$80,000 on 9 screens for a 18-day total of HK$3.01 million, which is pretty good for a limited-release Taiwanese film. The Painted Veil actually shows some staying power with HK$100,000 on 5 screens for a 11-day total of HK$910,000. This week’s best limited release goes to opener Paul Verhoeven’s Black Book, which made HK$70,000 on just 2 screens for a 4-day total of HK$180,000.

For reference: US$1=HK$7.8

- In my attempt to do what Hoga News did with its translation of Japanese news site Sanspo, the new adaptation of the classic cartoon Gegege No Kitaro opened on Saturday just in time for Golden Week in Japan. Shochiku, not embarrassed enough from their miscalculation of Tokyo Tower’s box office, saw opening day’s audience number was 150% of the opening day for Takeshi Miike’s The Great Yokai War, which made 2 billion yen. So they decided to declare that Gegege is going to make 3 billion yen. Should I buy into that estimate? I think not…

- In other Japanese box office news, the trend of small animated films making it big continues with the 9-screen opening last weekend of the “Dengeki Bunko Movie Festival.” According to Eiga Consultant, the Tokyo theater it played in found 4155 people over its opening 2 days. That’s 415.5 people per show, which is pretty good, considering the biggest screen on the multiplex holds 426 people. On 9 screens, the film opened with a 15.82 million yen, which seems to be encouraging the distributor to expand it all that much more.

On the other hand, Eiga Consultant also looks at the first wide weekend of Rocky Balboa last weekend. While the film opened to around the same numbers as Sylvester Stallone’s last starring role in Driven in North America, it ended up making more than double Driven’s final gross. On the other hand, Rocky Balboa only opened in Japan at 58% of Driven, which grossed 1.6 billion yen. Can Rocky stay a few more rounds in Japan, or will it always remain the film that “only almost beat Driven?”

- A while ago, I reported Korean star Lee Byung-Hun putting a cameo in Kimura Takuya’s latest film, the film adaptation of the drama Hero. Now, see the man on the set for yourself.

- The 43rd Baeksang Film Awards in Korea happened last week, and if an award can make it to its 43rd installment, it’s gotta be pretty respectable, right? Twitch has the results.

- New news source Filmphilia has details about personal favorite Edmond Pang’s latest film Exodus, which sounds like a dark comedy in the vein of Men Suddenly in Black. But his next film, which he recently got funding for at Filmart, sounds even better.

- Apparently, Quentin Tarantino is going to be bringing more of his “Grindhouse” installment Death Proof to Cannes - 30 minutes more???!!!! As if Tarantino didn’t have enough self-indulgent show-off dialog already, he actually managed to find more to put more into what is essentially a self-masturbatory short film with no plot and a kick-ass car chase. With that said, I still would like to check it out.

- Oh, and there’s a review for the modern Japanese pink film The Glamorous Life of Sachiko Hanai.

Next, best of the week, and look for a revised report of the my SFIFF experience. By the way, because of the feature, there’s no song of the day today.

SFIFF Report: After This, Our Exile - Director’s cut.

Stop moving when you talk!!!!!

Director Patrick Tam introducing the film.

Roger Garcia and Patrick Tam at the after-screening Q&A, where I actually asked a question. For those at the Q&A, I was the kid that asked about Aaron Kwok shedding his pop star image, to which Tam actually called Aaron Kwok a very smart man.

I apologize for the bad quality of the pictures, which is partially due to the low lighting and not enough time to mess with the camera setting. With the sign strictly prohibiting photography, I wasn’t sure if I should attempt taking a picture, but when several audience member took pictures of Tam himself (with flash, no less!), I decided to give it a try as well.

Anyway, this is my first viewing of After This, Our Exile on the big screen and with an audience. I was a little hesitant because of the length of the director’s cut (160 minutes!) and a possibly unappreciative audience (i.e. those who don’t know HK cinema), but I’m very glad I decided to sit through the film again. As far as I can remember, there aren’t any huge changes from the theatrical cut to the director’s cut. The extra 40 minutes of footage is spread out pretty evenly throughout the film, and some were cut probably not for length, but for language. There were at least three scenes where the “forbidden” Cantonese swear words were used, which would’ve landed the film in category III territory (no one under 18 admitted). Some of the notable changes, not in order, include (and I can’t be sure all of these were new scenes, nor can I guarantee these are all the changes):


Aaron Kwok’s character having to break the lock he used to lock in his wife, played by Charlie Yeung, along with him swearing.

We realize Aaron’s character isn’t much of a cook.

The man that Charlie Yeung’s character is seeing is actually a much cleaner-looking and a suit-wearing Aaron Kwok. Yup, the mother is attracted to a version of her husband that can offer her the opposite of what she’s going through.

An extension of the scene in which Aaron is threatened by loan sharks. He goes back into the kitchen and gets into an heated argument with his co-worker, which probably led to his firing.

The entire sequence where Aaron’s character plays pimp to his prostitute girlfriend, played by Kelly Lin. Turns out the customer is an 80-year-old man on vacation, and Aaron’s character says he needs the money to send Kelly Lin’s character to study abroad.

Before Aaron Kwok’s character decides to abandon Boy for England, they have one last dinner together, where Aaron serves his son beer.

Boy beginning to realize why his mother left him, the argument that ensues between him and his father, and Boy wandering away again. Also, the scene afterwards feature Aaron almost becoming a thief himself.


And obviously, there are small moments scattered here and there that I didn’t list and can’t recall right now. But I’m sure the question is: how is the director’s cut? Anyone who felt that the theatrical cut moved too slow is obviously gonna find it even slower, as the film’s methodical pacing really shows here. Anyone who felt the epilogue is too short and sudden (like me) is gonna find that the epilogue is exactly the same, except the second viewing and Tam’s explanation of the ending really helped me warm up to it. Some of the abrupt breaks in storytelling (like how the father and son decide to leave the house they live in during the first act) are still there, but the addition of the small moments really help to smooth out the story as a whole. There isn’t any significant plot point added, but it’s amazing none of the scenes added felt like filler. Every scene seems to be where they’re supposed to be (except an awkward music cue around the middle, you know which one I mean), and After This, Our Exile remains a great film. It was also interesting to hear how the audience was into it based on their reactions - ranging from disgust for the actions of Aaron Kwok’s character to nervous laughter.

Oh, anyone that wanted more of the sex scenes won’t get any - they remain the same in the director’s cut.

Random trivia about the film:

The idea came from Tam’s student, who found an article in the newspaper about a father who forces his son to break into houses to steal for him. He brought the idea to Tam, and they began to craft the screenplay from there.

The screenplay was completed in 1996, and contained 135 scenes. The final product has 77. So the theatrical cut pretty much contains only half the original story.

The English title - “After This, Our Exile,” comes from a Catholic prayer.

The music in the film was personally picked by Tam himself, and many of them played very personal roles in his life, from his favorite Malaysian pop songs to his mother’s favorite piano piece.

Other starstruck moment: I was standing only 5 feet away from Hollywood Elsewhere’s Jeffrey Wells. I was tempted to walk up and talk to the man, but I was just standing in line. I don’t think he went to the screening though.

Of course, only a film geek like me would consider seeing Jeffrey Wells, Roger Garcia, and Patrick Tam in one day an extremely rewarding day.

NOTE: Patrick Tam will probably be at all the remaining screenings of the film, so do check it out!

The Golden Rock song of the day - 4/28/07

Today comes another joke song. A song worthy of an album title, it’s Europe’s “The Final Countdown.”

Why? I’ve been watching reruns of the great TV comedy Arrested Development on TV, and its use of the song prompted me to use it today. It needs very little introduction and reason anyway. It’s more 80s greatness, courtesy of The Golden Rock and Youtube.

Here is one of the numerous uses in Arrested Development

A little help

- Yesterday, I wrote about the relatively weak performance of the new Kenichi Matsuyama film Shindo. Turns out Japan Times has a review for it this weekend, in case you’re curious. Sounds like an interesting character drama.

Meanwhile, Japan Times finally gives a positive review to a big blockbuster. This time it’s Spiderman 3, which Japan will get to see on Tuesday during their big Golden Week holiday. As always, they’re also covering small films, including a review for Michel Gondry’s The Science of Sleep (which comes with an interview with director Gondry himself) and Cannes Grand Prix winner Flandres (again with an interview with the film’s director Bruno Dumont.).

- While Hollywood is threatening to boycott China to back up the complaint by the United States government at the World Trade Organization, Silicon Hutong suggests that Hollywood might be bluffing because it probably needs China more than China needs them.

- After being on every Asian film buff’s shit list for buying up Asian films and either cutting them or leaving them on the shelf (in most cases, both), the Weinsteins now figure why do the buying and cutting when they can just make the damn things themselves? Honestly, I am almost sure no good films will come out of this deal, but I’m a pessimist by nature.

- A new Chinese film producer is making their big debut at Cannes this year, and they managed to find some big Hong Kong market players like Nansun Shi to help them out. Among the five films they’re bringing to Cannes is the latest by Tsui Hark, Ann Hui, Stanley Kwan, and Stephen Fung. Too bad all of them are “Chinese films,” not “Hong Kong films.”

- Someone in China finally fought the censors, and she won! Read about her story.

- Jeff Lau, the man responsible for the great Stephen Chow Chinese Odyssey movies and the shitty A Chinese Tall Story, is continuing Alex Fong Lik-Sun’s reign of terror by casting him in his latest film, also starring Gillian Chung of the Twins. The rest of the report is gossip, so you can just read it in Chinese here.

That’s it for today. Tomorrow - San Francisco International Film Festival for the screening of the After This Our Exile director’s cut, hopefully with Patrick Tam in attendance. Reports and more news to come then.

The Golden Rock song of the day - 4/27/07

Today’s song is a bit of a back-up for when I can’t think of any songs to put on here. From Shunji Iwai’s brilliant film Swallowtail, and from its promotional tie-in album Montage by Yen Town Band, it’s Chara’s interpretation of the classic song “My Way.”

Why? It deviates from the traditional way of interpreting the song (the American Idol, let’s scream it like you mean it way), and it’s one of the best moments of the film.

A little up, a little down

Watched The Break-Up starring Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston last night, and was a little pleasantly surprised. I was only going to watch it for about 40 minutes before going to bed and ended up watching the whole thing until almost 3 in the morning. Anyone expecting a light romantic comedy can probably stay away from this, because the title itself should suggest that this movie isn’t gonna be romantic, and this sucker can really sting. While the trailer may suggest this to be a fluffy battle of the sexes, it actually gets pretty down and dirty. The film pretty much chronicles the ugly break-up of a couple and the brief aftermath, and there are even some hidden truths in it. Sure, Vaughn plays his character a little too much on the creep side (even when he’s actually one of the producers and helped craft the story), but he begins to grow on you at the end. And who knew Jennifer Aniston had a mean side to her? Looks like a mainstream commercial comedy, tries to be a commercial comedy, but at the heart of it, it’s a little too close to comfort for the masses. It’s good, it’s occasionally funny, it’s entertaining, just don’t expect to come out too happy.


Actually, I would rather see the alternate ending where the two characters meet again, only to find that they’re both dating people that look like them (Vaughn’s new girlfriend looks like Aniston, and vice versa). The ending now seems too tacked on.


- The big news out of Hollywood is the death of former MPAA head Jack Valenti, who is known as the father of the American rating system. Some may blast him for that rating system, but considering that this is the man who helped eliminate the Hays code, he deserves all the respect he can get.

- Despite all the hoopla about Kenichi Matsuyama’s rising popularity thanks to the Death Note movies, it seems like that guy just can’t catch a break. After the abysmal ratings for his new drama “Sexy Voice and Robo,” his new film, Koji Hagiuda’s musical prodigy drama “Shindo,” opened on 35 screens in Japan this past weekend with only 15.68 million yen. According to Eiga Consultant, that’s 26% of Honey and Clover’s opening, although Honey and Clover opened on 110 screens. Still, for a limited release with a rising star, it’s not a real impressive opening at all.

- Meanwhile, it’s another opening Thursday at the Hong Kong box office. As expected, Love is Not All Around is at the top again with HK$380,000 on 35 screens for an 8-day total of HK$7.16 million. It’s going to surpass the total for the team’s last film Marriage with a Fool (sounds like a metaphor for the viewing experience itself). Meanwhile, the “modern wuxia” flick Ming Ming by MTV director Susie Au opens real weak with only HK$110,000 on 12 screens. That’s probably because the hipster who wanted to see it already saw it at the Hong Kong International Film Festival. Francis Ng/Marco Mak’s Dancing Lion flops on its opening day with just HK$70,000 on 20 screens. Ouch.

As for limited releases, the Genghis Kahn movie flops even worse in Hong Kong than it did in Japan, with only HK$30,000 on 8 screens. Paul Verhoeven’s Black Book does slightly better with HK$20,000 on 2 screens. Looks like it’ll be a pretty boring weekend at Hong Kong cinemas this weekend.

- Twitch has a friendly reminder that the DVD for Park Chan-Wook’s I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK is coming out on DVD next Friday, May 4th. Expect a Hong Kong edition to come within the month.

- The new film Dark Matter, starring Chinese actor Liu Ye and Hollywood legend Meryl Streep, is being delayed indefinitely due to the film’s subject matter being too close to the Virginia Tech Shootings. OK, let’s delay all war movies from release until the war’s over too, while you’re at it, Hollywood, in respect for the 200 people killed in Iraq during that same week.

- A huge move in the gaming world, as Sony Game Unit CEO Ken Kutaragi, the man credited as the creator of the Playstation console, has stepped down as a way of taking responsibility for the failure of the Playstation 3. Meanwhile, Nintendo has reported soaring profits for 2006 thanks to the DS and the launch of the Wii.

- Sony has something else up its sleeves, though. They just announced the Sony eyeVio, a Youtube-like service that allows people to post videos 24 hours at a time for free. It’s not exactly what people are asking for, but it’s a good start.

That’s it for today. Gotta save some of these news for the weekend.

The Golden Rock song of the day - 4/26/07

In the last entry, I mentioned Japanese pop group Dreams Come True’s double-header “Mirai Yosouzu” (Map of the Future) I and II being adapted into a film. It jumped up in my mind because “Mirai Yosouzu II” happens to be one of my girlfriend’s favorite songs. Only available in compilation albums these days (the two songs were from two different albums), today’s song(s) of the day are Dreams Come True’s “Mirai Yosouzu” - part I and II.

Why? the songs do seem like they’re riped for adaptation, as the lyrics seem to tell a story rather than expressing a feeling. Other than that, they’re pretty good songs to begin with, so why not?

Part I

Part II (Personally, I think this is the better song)

Around the corner

- The San Francisco International Film Festival is coming around the corner, and the local San Francisco newspapers have been running features for a while now, so I figure I should probably at least link one of them. From the San Francisco Bay Guardian, there’s a feature dedicated to Daniel Wu’s recent award-winning mockumentary The Heavenly Kings. Too bad I haven’t seen one mention of Patrick Tam’s After This, Our Exile in these features, considering that it’s the heralded return of Wong Kar-Wai’s mentor.

- Remember, Johnnie To’s Election and Election 2 us currently under a 2-week run at New York’s Film Forum. They even decided to add one more showing of Election starting tomorrow, Friday the 27th! Greencine has a round-up of reviews around the net, which seems to be generally positive, even though no one seems to be picking up the political implication in especially Election 2.

- Jason Gray writes about his recent contributions to Screen International, all of which I will actually link to the Variety or Hollywood Reporter version (sorry, Jason!). He also has some new tidbits about Japanese cinema, including a new title for “For You I Go To My Death,” and even a shoutout to this here blog.

- As Jason mentioned in his entry, Shochiku is sending three more films over to the Cannes market - a horror movie, a romantic drama from the director of “Trick,” and most notable for me: A film based on the songs “Mirai Yosouzu” I and II (it’s misspelled in the Variety report) by the pop group Dreams Come True. Probably thanks to the success of “Nada Sousou” (Tears for You), looks like Shochiku decided to cash in on Toho’s idea with a hit “pop song adaptation” of their own with Hiroshi Chono making his feature debut. Look at The Song of the Day to see why this is such a big deal to me.

- The other news in Jason’s entry, and obviously good news again, is about the first Doraemon film to ever be shown legally in China. The comics have been hits for years in the region (I myself own all the comics from the Hong Kong version when it was still called “Ding Dong.”), but the films have never gotten a decent release in China. Finally, someone got off their ass and decide to actually release one of these things in Chinese theaters come July. Too bad it’ll be the movie from last year, not the recent hit.

- It was previously thought that Asian films might be a tad underrepresented this year at the Cannes Film Festival. Well, turns out Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s latest film “Looking For the Red Balloon” is getting a chance by opening the Un Certain Regard Section. It’s only kind of an Asian film, seeing how it’s more French than Asian and it stars Juliette Binoche, but hell, we’ll take what we can get.

- It has nothing to do with Asian films, but since we’re writing about Europe, and this happens to be an European film I liked, it’s worth talking about. Apparently, there’s a debate going on in Germany about the critically-acclaimed film The Lives of Others. The film portrays a captain for East Germany’s secret police that becomes sympathetic to the man he’s assigned to investigate, but a former Stasi member has come out and criticize the film for portraying something that couldn’t possibly have happened. Of course, while that takes away some of the credibility of the film (at least in the latter half. The stasi member still praises the film’s first half as being an accurate portrayal of the former communist government), but The Lives of Others is still a great movie worth watching.

- Back in Asia, Korea Pop Wars have the latest box office chart for last weekend. Paradise Murdered, as reported earlier, tops the chart, and Danny Boyle’s Sunshine continues its disappointing Asian run with just 68,100 viewers nationwide for its first weekend.

- Another film with a disappointing run pretty much all over the world is the prequel that no one asked for - Hannibal Rising. According to Eiga Consultant, the film opened with 150 million yen for a 5th place opening (wow, Box Office Mojo has a pretty comprehensive ranking this week). While that’s a sad 46% of Red Dragon’s opening (another Hannibal Lecter film), it’s still 126% of the opening weekend for the Black Dahlia, which earned 650 million yen in Japan. It’ll make a decent 800 million yen or so, but it’s definitely not a hit.

- Poor Hong Kong Disneyland - it was made fun of as the smallest member of the family, it was overcrowded with tourists who don’t know what “no spitting” means, then employee scandals popped up all over the place. That’s OK, Hong Kong Disneyland is actually still quite popular - in fact, people enjoy it so much that they’re buying up annual passes.

- The first two Pirates of the Caribbean films were banned in China, and the third one was threatened with banishment as well (you’d think Disney would stop trying by then). But lucky for them, it’s looking like it’s passed the censor board (though it didn’t come out unscathed) and will open in China in June. Disney sure isn’t worried about people not getting the film - its audience probably saw the first two films on pirated discs already! Anyway, Chinese report excerpts as follows:


Reports on the internet last night say that the film has gotten a permit to screen and is tentatively set to open nationwide on June 15th. When asked for confirmation from Hong Kong Disney, the spokesman says he hasn’t heard the news. Once he can confirm the news, he will officially report it to the public.


The distributor, in order to avoid the fate that fell upon the first two films, has made cuts as a compromise.

Original Chinese report

Not that Pirates of the Caribbean should be mistaken as “art,” (you know it’s a cash cow meant to show off the latest digital effects Hollywood can offer and how crazy can Johnny Depp act without seeming like he sold his soul to Hollywood) but it’s always a shame to see films get censored.

- Twitch has a teaser poster for the remake of Tsubaki Sanjuro. Why just a teaser? The film isn’t even opening until December.

The Golden Rock song of the day - 4/25/07

Today’s song of the day is another blast from the past. While she’s gone the “eccentric quirky pop” route with her last album “Extraordinary Machine,” Fiona Apple was even weirder and darker back then. Today’s song of the day is probably the closest thing to pop she’s done, and naturally it would be her first hit. From her debut album, it’s “Criminal.”

Why? Because it’s the easiest Fiona Apple music video to find, and before she went all Jon Brion (which I really like), I didn’t really pay attention to her music after this. So this is the best I can think of. Yeah, these songs of the day thing is getting to be a stretch. Copyright © 2002-2019 Ross Chen