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Archive for April 27th, 2007

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. Copyright © 2002-2024 Ross Chen