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The Golden Rock - July 21st, 2007 Edition

- Monkey Magic and Pokemon better watch out in Japan this weekend, because Harry Potter has officially landed and is set wipe out everything in its way. Just last weekend, Potter managed to make 1.17 billion yen (US$1=121 yen, at least as of today) from three days of previews. That shatters the three-day preview record previously set by Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, which made 940 million yen during its 3-day previews. Looks like that 5.9 billion yen mark Fuji TV wants for Monkey Magic is looking tougher and tougher.

- The latest Harry Potter film is actually one of the reviews this weekend from Japan Times, whose Giovanni Fazio gives it a positive review. Meanwhile, Japan Times’ Mark Schilling reviews Nobuhiro Yamashita’s latest Tennen Kokkeko (You read right, this is already Yamashita’s second release of the year), which actually looks likes Yamashita’s back to its Linda Linda Linda youth movie roots (click on 予告 for trailers). From Kaori Shoji comes a review of Gus Van Sant’s 1984 directorial debut Mala Noche, which is playing once a night at a Tokyo theater.

- Then the Daily Yomiuri reviews Kishu Izushi’s “trilogy” film Lazurus. All three parts are currently playing at one Tokyo theater for another week. It’s pretty amazing that the credits on the poster show that this 200-minute trilogy is partly made by a committee of students.

- The saga with Hong Kong’s Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority continues after it was widely criticized by even mainstream newspaper for gripping their iron fist at the Hong Kong book fair. Now the head has come out and does what every salaried worker doesn’t want their managers to do: blame the little guys. More on this ongoing saga on the podcast tomorrow.

- Leon Lai and Zhang Ziyi are talking about the preparations they’re making to star in Chen Kaige’s latest film Mei Lanfang. One of them is applying a lot of hand cream before sleep, which I’m sure Leon does from time to time anyway.

- The Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival has just wrapped up, although its closing ceremonies and awards were handed out on Thursday. Korea Pop Wars has a small wrap-up of the festival, which is going down as one of the best in years.

- I didn’t know this was considered news - Taiwan television is actually churning out Japanese comic adaptations for dramas quicker than Japan. Sadly, Japan has caught on with those annoying-looking teen dramas.

- Speaking of Japanese dramas, last season’s ratings winner Proposal Daisakusen got a complete sweep at the Nikkan Sports Spring drama poll, including an overwhelming win for best drama and best actor. The surprise is that the two most popular dramas according to the Oricon satisfaction rankings - Liar Game and Kaette Kita Jikou Keisatsu - only got 4th and 5th place. Oh well, it’s not like they actually win any prize.

- Yet another copying incident with a Hong Kong pop star - Joey Yung’s latest MTV for her song “On Your Left and Right” has been revealed to be eerily similar (as in almost identical) to the Mandy Moore MTV Extraordinary (I didn’t know Mandy Moore is still singing, and I live in her target market). If this is true, this wouldn’t be Yung’s fault anyway, but it can’t be reflecting too well on her character after the “pirated wardrobe” incident earlier in the year. Click on the links next to the pictures to see the respective MTVs.

Still plenty of news coming tomorrow, as well as the Podcast. Sorry for the delays in replying to your comments, they should all be replied to by now.

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