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The Golden Rock - June 10th, 2007 Edition

- Two NHK mini-dramas were recently announced, but the reason we care here is because one of them is a milestone of sorts. The six-episode drama Shanghai Typhoon will be the first NHK drama to have a non-Japanese lead with Taiwanese star Peter Ho. Apparently, he will plays a Chinese exchange student in Japan that will be a romantic interest for the female lead, played by Tae Kimura. According to Ming Pao, it’ll play at the very time slot that the hit Korean drama Winter Sonata played in 3 years ago, and Ho said like Winter Sonata star Bae Yong-Joon brought on the Korean Wave, he hopes to bring in the Chinese Wave. I doubt it, but go for it, Peter.

- The winners of the 44th Grand Bell Awards have been announced (didn’t I just write about the nominees last week?). Family Ties picked up best picture, while The Host still managed to grab best director. My favorite win of the whole award, though, is Ryu Deok-Hwan’s best newcomer award for Like a Virgin. It’s most definitely well-deserved!

- Lovehkfilm has a couple of new reviews, including one for the Hong Kong romantic comedy Single Blog, the “where the hell did that come from” Chinese film Sweet Revenge, and the delightful Japanese girl power music film Linda Linda Linda.

- Speaking of Linda Linda Linda, the songs the girls cover are by the Japanese punk band The Blue Hearts. Two of its members - vocalist Hiroto Komoto and guitarist Masatoshi Mashima - actually went on to form The High-Lows, and since last year, they have been playing as the Cro-Magnons. So even though the Blue Hearts have been broken up for 12 years now, their spirit is still very much alive. Anyway, the Cro-Magnons will be doing their first movie theme for the film Waruboro, though it’s not clear if The High-Low or The Blue Hearts have done any movie themes before.

- Twitch offers us another review of the over-the-top Singaporean horror comedy Men in White, and the conclusion is pretty much the same as last time.

- The Fujimoto prize, which recognizes producers and directors, was recently given in Japan. TBS has now officially shown their strength over Fuji Television as its producers picked up an award for their ten films last year, including the hit films Tears For You and The Sinking of Japan.

- The restructuring Bangkok International Film Festival has announced a preliminary lineup for its competition, which includes the Chinese film Lost in Beijing and two Thai films as well, one of which is Pen-ek Ratanaruang’s latest Ploy.

- The region 1 DVD of Hot Fuzz is coming July 31st!

- It’s getting more and more dangerous to be an otaku these days in Japan, as crimes in Akihabara has gone on the rise after extensive construction to change the face of the electronic town has brought out more otakus than ever. Of course, it seems like another concern would be whether these otakus would do their part to stop crime (that’s two links there at the end).

- The latest trailer for Ping Pong director Fumihiko Sori’s Vexville is up, and it still looks very technically impressive. I might even be tempted into checking this one out.

- As random as it sounds, Korea Pop Wars has some random notes, including the poor start for the hyped historical epic Hwang Jin-Yi. We’ll find out more about Hwang’s weekend in the next few days.

- Jason Gray reports that Japanese director Sabu’s (whose Dead Run I sort of liked) first foreign language film Arrested Memories, which Gray did the English translation for, has been green-lit.

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