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Note: This blog expresses only the opinions of the blog owner,
and does not represent the opinion of any organization or blog
that is associated with The Golden Rock.

Everybody’s a critic

Today’s a big day. All the news I have on hand are all going out. So here we go:

- Anyone in an office box office pool is gonna lost big time. People have been predicting trashfest Grindhouse to own the weekend. Estimates such as 20, 25 million were thrown around, TV advertising were pumped up, and guess what? It only made an estimated 5 million on opening day with an estimated weekend take of 11.9 million. But I personally 11.9 is a little low, I predict just a tad under 15 if the 5 mil opening day holds up.

- The Police apparently were big enough in Japan that the opening weekend of its documentary attracted 911 people the first weekend at a 180-people theater in Tokyo’s Roppongi Hills multiplex. Of course, that’s partly because the director showed up on opening day. This also apparently comes after Roppongi Hill’s successful performance for limited release such as Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth and the director’s cut of the Korean film April Snow. Seems like it’s becoming quite a trendy place for hip limited releases these days.

- While Spiderman 3 got through those strict Chinese censors, not even Chow Yun Fat can get Pirates into China. According to Hong Kong’s Ming Pao, seems like China has rejected the latest Pirates of the Caribbean film because it’s too “gross.” I assume they’re talking about the all that special effects with squids, not the movie’s quality. Excerpt is as follows:

從知情人士處獲悉《魔盜王終極之戰》已送審,但電影局在審片時,對片中角色造型並不滿 意。有指去年第2集《加勒比海盜﹕決戰魔盜王》中充斥骷髏、章魚的嚇人造型,已被電影局審片負責人一句「太惡心」,就把該片否定,未能上映;而現今《魔盜 王終極之戰》亦有很大機會失去進軍內地的機會。

Sources report that Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End has been screened, but when the Film Bureau was screening the film, they weren’t pleased with the characters’ looks. Apparently, the second installment “Dead Man’s Chest” was filled with skeletons and scary octopus makeup, and it was criticized by a Film Bureau official as “too gross,” so it was banned. Now “At World’s End” may very well also lose its opportunity to enter the Mainland.

The report also says that 300 was also banned because of the violence. What the hell does it take to please those people?

Original Chinese report is here.

- Japanese television strikes again, and this time it’s in TBS’s hands. A variety show sent its crew out to Akihabara to interview passerbys, hoping to catch a couple of otakus to answer some questions about current events. Now it’s been exposed that one of those guys were actually contacted in advance to have him just happen to be there so he can get interviewed. Honestly, how quickly can Japanese television’s reputation fall before it’s in the shitter?

- Jason Gray goes to the suburbs of Tokyo to catch another obscure Japanese film (this time an adaptation of an Edogawa Rampo story). The more interesting part is the video of his walk from the train station to the movie theater. Man, I miss Tokyo.

- Being a casual watcher of TV Japan here in the US, which is the subscription-only channel of Japanese programming, mainly from public broadcaster NHK, I realize that NHK news really loves to track the progress of Japanese baseball players who’s made it in the States. They did it for Nomo, they still do it for Ichiro, they now do it for Boston Red Sox’s latest recruit Daisuke Matsuzaka. And now Japan’s finance minister’s had enough, criticizing NHK’s coverage of the pitcher after a recent cabinet meeting. The man has a point, but does he have something personal against Matsuzaka, or he just waited a really long time to let out his opinion?

- Japan Time’s review this weekend includes a review for Yukihiko Tsutsumi’s “Taitei no Ken.” It apparently contains alien and sword action. Whoa.

- Yesterday I posted a link to Asian Cinema - While on the Road’s review of hairy thriller Exte, and today it’s the link to four (!!) Korean film reviews.

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