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Note: This blog expresses only the opinions of the blog owner,
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Ups and downs

- Hong Kong films are going through a bit of a slump in Japan. From the weak box office of Battle of Wits to the recently-released Rob-B-Hood, the latest casualty is the number 8 highest Hong Kong grosser last year Dragon Tiger Gate. On about 40 screens nationwide, the film grossed only 5.9 million yen. That’s 11% of Seven Swords and 23% of Rob-B-Hood’s openings. Even The Queen managed a 5.59 million yen opening on one screen. Ouch.

- In good news for Hong Kong films, Johnnie To’s Triad Election (better known worldwide as Election 2), opening next Wednesday, got a really good review from Entertainment Weekly. Too bad it’s also a really short review.

- Earlier in the week I mentioned the Singapore Film Festival and the possibility that the Singaporean gay film “Solos” may be banned from the festival. In a compromise, the film will not be screened publicly at the festival, but will still be eligible for the awards because it will be screened privately for the jury instead.

- “The Good, The Bad, and the Weird,” the highly-anticipated new film by director Kim Ji-Woon (A Bittersweet Life, A Tale of Two Sisters) starring three of Korea’s biggest actors, is going to start shooting on Wednesday. Yay.

- This weekend at Japan Times, they have three new reviews - one for personal favorite (but also equally hated in other places) Babel, one for the limited-release Japanese comedy Tsukue no Nakami (it’s so limited that it’s only playing once a day at one theater), and for the equally limited-release Australian film 2:37.

Also, they have two interviews to go with the reviews - one with Babel star Rinko Kikuchi, and the other with Murali K. Thalluri, the director of 2:37 who won Un Certain Regard last year at Cannes.

- Speaking of Rinko Kikuchi, Hoga News also has more news about her first Japanese film since she shot to stardom with Babel, a strange little comedy about bugs.

Still keeping it short. More news coming up tomorrow, and a short review of Derek Yee’s Protege as well.

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