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Archive for April 25th, 2007

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.

Everybody’s a little guilty

Just watched Hot Fuzz, the latest from Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg of “Spaced” and “Shaun of the Dead” fame. As many know, this time Wright and Pegg take on the action genre, and as expected, it’s a ton of fun. Unlike spoofs, which mocks the cliches of the genre it’s taking on, Hot Fuzz embraces the action genre, taking every editing, sound, visual cliche from Hollywood and blows them up to the max. It’s so into it that audiences who aren’t in on the joke will probably love it at face value, when the filmmakers are probably making fun of them for buying into its Hollywood counterparts. On the other hand, those who “get it” would probably still find it pretty cool.

- Continuing with the previously-reported story about the appearance of pirated Spiderman 3 DVDs on the streets of China, 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!

- It’s time for Oricon rankings. On the singles chart, concocted pop boy duo Takki and Tsubasa’s latest single gets the number one spot with only 65000 copies sold. As predicted, all but two on the top 10 happen to be new singles, including the new single by AAA, SEAMO (who hit it big with his 2006 single Mada Aimasho), and Spitz, all selling less than 35,000 copies in their first week. Next week’s sales should be healthier, as KinKi Kids’ latest already sold over 40,000 copies on its first day.

As for the albums chart, Kat-tun’s second album rule the charts with 270,000 copies sold. The surprise, at least for me, was Avril Lavigne’s second place debut with her latest “The Best Damn Thing,” selling 220,000 copies and making her an even richer woman for having not all that much talent. Why?! How?! Which?!

- Japan has a new pop group, which features a former Morning Musume member (I suspect there are a lot of them out there floating in the J-pop world anyway). This time, the gimmick is the “gyaru” image, and the pop group name is - you guessed it - “Gyaruru.” I’ve seen these “gyarus” in Tokyo before, and they’re not really all that appealing to me. Who wants to guess that they’re not gonna go very far?

- 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.

- To show those Americans that China takes copyright very seriously, a Chinese courts just found Yahoo! China guilty of copyright violation because the site provide links to sites with unauthorized MP3 downloads and lyrics.

- On the other hand, Chinese public television broadcaster CCTV has nothing to complain about, seeing how they just found a distributor for their content, thanks to the BBC.

- But then, 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.

- Those who loved Hong Kong director Soi Cheang’s Dog Bite Dog are surely looking forward to the director’s latest, the Japanese comic adaptation Shamo. Even though it’s not being released in Hong Kong until September, the film will be shown at the Cannes film festival for potential overseas buyers. The bad news? Unlike Dog Bite Dog, which is category III due to violence and subject matter (meaning no one under 18 may be admitted, PERIOD), Shamo will only be category IIB (which is the equivalent of an R, except anyone can get in).

- When people watch Hong Kong film credits, they usually see the same guy for sound: Kinson Tsang. Honestly, I don’t know how that guy manages to do sound for almost every single Hong Kong film, but guess what? There’s actually another sound guy out there in the Hong Kong film world, and his name is Martin Chappell. KFC Cinema has an interview with him, and it’s quite informative.

- Director Mira Nair, who’s made films from Mississippi Masala to Monsoon Wedding, is getting the Pride of India award at the Bollywood Film Awards next month. Good for her.

- Lastly, in light of the “surprise” success of Hong Kong film Love is Not All Around, Ming Pao has a column on possible direction Hong Kong films can go:


Youth romances are popular in Korea and Japan, but those in Hong Kong have seen low box office gross. That’s because there’s a problem with market calculations. Theoretically, the market has shrunk, and the audience that remains are mostly teens, who see moviegoing as a date activity. But Hong Kong film lacks youth romance.


The primarily reason is that romance is a weakness of Hong Kong films. It’s not that they don’t exists, they just amount to very little. The artists that have talent in that aspect have grown old, and their mentalities have matured. Older audiences like those films, but youths can’t connect with it. Sadly, mature audiences mostly don’t go to cinemas anymore.


Hong Kong’s biggest market is in action films. It may only earn a couple of million Hong Kong dollars locally, but there’s an audience for them in the Mainland, Europe, and America. The budget can go to tens of million dollars. Triad films and horror films have overseas markets as well.


The market for youth romance in Hong Kong is too narrow; budget can’t be high, or the risk is too much. With a small budget, the cast can’t be too great. Even if they attract the big stars, all the big stars are past their prime.


Korean and Japanese action films aren’t as huge as Hong Kong’s, but the market for romance exists. The budget is higher, hence visuals, production values, music, etc. are done better than Hong Kong films. The romantic feeling is stronger. Actually there is quite a bit of space to make good romance, but Hong Kong film studios put their investments in films they are more confident in instead of making romances. This prevents the cultivation of talents for those type of films.


Hopefully, the success of “Love is Not All Around” can bring more films that can connect with the young audiences of Hong Kong.

Original Chinese article

There are quite a few romances aimed at youths. Too bad the ones that exist - My Sweetie, Love@ First Note, and Super Fans - happen to be really crappy and manufactured to please record companies/Karaoke joints. Thing is, are the Japanese and Korean youth romance films all that much better? Copyright © 2002-2024 Ross Chen