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Archive for July 24th, 2007

The Golden Rock Song of the Day - 7/24/2007

Continuing with the quality boyish pop songs motif from yesterday, today we have a song from Japanese pop duo Chemistry’s 2005 album Fo(U)r. It’s Almost In Love.

The Golden Rock - July 24th, 2007 Edition

- The numbers for the Japanese box office is out from Box Office Mojo, but just as Warner Bros. has done in the past, it seems like they’re over-reporting their gross again. Box Office Mojo reports that the film made 2.27 billion yen, including supposedly 2.05 billion yen over the two-day period of July 21-22 because it opened on a Friday. Now, those who read Eiga Consultant (i.e., me) know that just ain’t true, because Potter made 1.12 billion yen from three days of previews last week (cue WB spokesperson - “Our wizardry will fight any typhoon that comes our way.”), so Potter actually made just roughly over 1.1 billion yen. While the gross after the first weekend beats the previous film, hence making it the highest-opening Harry Potter film, the 2-day gross is actually only 84% of the previous film. Then again, why am I painting a movie that opened with over 1.1 billion yen as disappointing anyway? It’s the misreporting that pisses me off more.

In the rest of the top 10, Pokemon suffers the largest drop of 50%, while Monkey Magic’s near-40% drop isn’t boding well for those early estimates, and even Indie dark comedy hit Kisaragi somehow made it to the top 10, thanks to the convenient omission of the Anpanman movie from the Box Office Mojo charts.

- I feel like I’m just repeating myself in saying that foreign films have yet again dominated the South Korean box office. There’s a bright spot, though - a Thai horror movie has managed to score 295,000 admissions to the 4th place of the top 10. I’ll let Mark Russell at Korea Pop Wars do the work again.

- Speaking of Mr. Russell, there’s an interview by him with Jeong Tae-Song, the head of Korean blockbuster distributor Showbox. A little disappointing, however, that Jeong couldn’t dish out more explanation towards his company’s actions, including why it pulled out of Kim Ji-Woon’s The Good, The Bad, and the Weird.

- Don’t worry, Korean cinema, Japanese distributors are still buying your movies.

- There’s word out there that Andy Lau is signing on to star in the remake of the 1967 version of a Better Tomorrow, which inspired the John Woo classic. Don’t mistaken this for the Big Media-backed Another Better Tomorrow. In other news surrounding the film, Stephen Fung is in talks to direct, I assume after he finishes the Stephen Chow-produced Jump.

- And who stars in Jump? None other than Hong Kong’s handsomest and richest bad boy Edison Chen. Over the years, he’s had his run-ins with the paparazzi and the generally unfriendly Hong Kong print press. On his blog, he finally decided to fight back and snap a couple of pictures of his tormentors. Of course, I wouldn’t be as stupid as to tell people to “piss or spit in they food” (jeez, thanks for promoting the stereotypes of bad Asian English), but I’m mildly entertained by this. The blog post even ended up on Oriental Daily’s Entertainment page’s top story (probably because the photographers in the blog post aren’t theirs), but you know the reporting isn’t going to be fair and balanced….just like this blog.

Is it just me, or isn’t it kind of ironic that he asks people to support the “underground” when he’s always pimping out mainstream hip-hop fashion and artists from Japan and the States?

- Everyone watch out, Andrew Lau is directing again! At least he usually goes away in just two hours when he’s making movies, but now he’s making a television series.

- A subsidiary of Japanese public broadcaster NHK has taken getting copyrights a little too seriously by registering the trademark of the name for a drama they haven’t even started showing yet. By trademarking the name, they want to collect 3% from each business that wants to use the name in the future. And they wonder why youths don’t respect intellectual property.

- There’s another review for the Hong Kong action film Invisible Target by Benny Chan.

- EastSouthWestNorth wants to remind everyone that there’s no active censorship in Hong Kong. Perhaps I’ve been a little rash in my opinions, when I’m really just mad at the lack of flexibility and common sense on the part of the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority of Hong Kong when classifying “indecent” material.

- I swear I thought that AZN Television, the American cable network targeted towards an Asian American audience, was all but dead, especially when there’s no more new original programming coming out. But perhaps they’re not quite going away for a while after all.

- Lastly, as a matter of personal interest, the trailer for the new Wes Anderson film The Darjeeling Limited is out. I’m a big fan, so I’m already looking forward to this even before the trailer’s out.

The Golden Rock Song of the Day - 7/23/2007

Today’s Song of the Day blasts back to an era when wardrobe like the one in the video(s) are still acceptable. From Japanese most modest-looking pop star, and can be found on his 2004 compilation, it’s Noriyuki Makihara’s Mou Koi Nante Shi Nai.

Then, found on any Leon Lai compilation such as this one, it’s his classic cover “My Love.”

Why, yes, that IS Anita Yuen.

The Golden Rock - July 23rd, 2007 Edition

- After what’s been a somewhat disappointing summer for Hong Kong cinema, there’s finally some good news to report. According to the Sunday numbers from Hong Kong, Benny Chan’s actioner Invisible Target made an impressive HK$1.31 million on just 36 screens (and it’s been sent off to the smaller screens in almost all the multiplexes it’s playing in thanks to Harry Potter). After 4 days, the Nicholas Tse-Shawn Yu-Jaycee Chan starrer has made HK$4.6 million and word-of-mouth may bring it to the HK$10 million mark, which has become a sad sad standard for success.

Meanwhile, Harry Potter did actually win Sunday, making HK$3.1 million on 83 screens (see what I mean about Invisible Target getting shafted?) for a 12-day total of HK$37.03 million. Now that it’ll be passing the HK$40 million mark in a day or two, let’s start looking towards 50 mil, which I’m sure no one will be surprised about. Meanwhile, the Japanese animated film Keroro 2 (which apparently is only out on a Cantonese dub in theatres?!) makes HK$790,000 on 28 screens, many of them not playing it past 5 pm, for the 4-day total of HK$2.32 million.

From Hollywood, the Nicholas Cage sci-fi thriller Next makes HK$220,000 on just 15 screens for HK$780,000 after 4 days, and Quentin Tarantino’s talky Death Proof director’s cut makes just another HK$60,000 on 5 screens for a 4-day total of just HK$300,000. I’m not surprised that more visually exciting Planet Terror will end up doing better, especially when Tarantino’s self-indulgent talk about grindhouse movies won’t translate quite well in Chinese.


- This week, Lovehkfilm has a review of the aforementioned Invisible Target, the straight-to-video (at least in America) stinker Kung Fu Fighter, the Singaporean comedy Just Follow Law by Jack Neo, the Japanese blockbuster sequel Limit of Love: Umizaru, Korean-Japanese filmmaker Sai Yoichi’s Korean debut Soo, and the Shunji Iwai-directed documentary Filmful Life (with the last two by yours truly).

- In Japan audience rankings, who honestly didn’t expect Harry Potter to take the weekend? That bumps everything down a spot, except for 300, which gets bumped off of the top 10 along with Zodiac by the animated film The Piano Forest.

- In the Chinese city of Nanjing, the American-made documentary Nanking is a hit, with theaters lowering ticket prices and donors pouring money to make sure as many people get to see it as possible. Anyone see an agenda in Chinese people making a Chinese government-approved documentary a hit?

- Time for endless analysis of Japanese drama ratings. Fuji’s big Monday drama First Kiss gets a Joudan Janai-sized drop from a promising 19.7 rating (about 12.8 million) the first week straight down to a 13.2 (about 8.6 million) for its second week. The “Taiwan got them first, now we’re taking them back” comic adaptation dramas Hana Zakari No Kimi Tachi He and Yamada Taro Monogatari saw one fall slightly and the other got a bit of a bump. Hana lost about 200,000 viewers, while Yamada gained about 400,000 viewers. Don’t worry, they’re on different nights and different time slots anyway.

Meanwhile, the critical favorite/Freaky Friday-ripoff Papa To Musume No Nanakakan got a season high of 14.1 rating (roughly 9.15 million), and Fuji’s experimental Saturday 11pm time slot drama Life hangs on with a 10.9 (7.1 million), which is the same as last week. Oh, and Yama Onna Kabe Onna continues its slow drop to a 12.1 rating (7.9 million viewers) this week for its third episode.

As always, all the information for this season’s drama can be found on Tokyograph.

- After the earlier reported Joey Yung=Mandy Moore MTV discovery, netizens have found yet another MTV by the same director that seems to be derived from an original Japanese source. Except unlike the Joey Yung incident, where EEG and Yung herself seem to simply ignore the complaints, the Taiwanese pop star actually released a statement within hours acknowledging the complaints. Then her manager released his own statement, apologizing and stating that he has asked video play to stop immediately. And then after all of that does the director finally apologize, saying that he did watch YUI’s MTV as a learning tool, but didn’t intend to copy. However, he has not acknowledged copying Mandy Moore’s video.

Nevertheless, this is worth mentioning because the star knows that it’s not her fault, but at least she took the effort to clear her name and apologize, unlike the EEG/Gold Label attitude, where they use “coincidence” as the ultimate excuse for everything.

- That was fast. Milkyway screenwriter Yau Nai-Hoi’s directorial debut Eye in the Sky literally just left theaters this past weekend, and a DVD has already been announced for August 4th.

- playwright-screenwriter-sometimes-director Koki Mitani is back with a new film after the ensemble hit The Uchoten Hotel (a great comedy, by the way). This time it’s a darker piece about a gang thug who brings in an actor to pretend to be an assassin when he can’t find a real one. Apparently he’s promising three laughs a minute (at least that means it won’t run too long like Uchoten Hotel did). Sanspo also does some over-reporting and predicts it might make 12 billion yen based on the Mitani’s films’ box office pattern. Please fuck off with that kind of stuff already.

- Speaking of “what the fuck?” The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Hong Kong comedy legend Stephen Chow will play Kato in the Green Hornet movie alongside…….Seth Rogan?! Who the hell put together that dartboard?

Thankfully, a closer look shows that the news is from an LA Times blog that reports Seth Rogan WANTS Stephen Chow for Kato. Chow has NOT officially signed on. In fact, he probably hasn’t even been pitched the idea yet.

- Oh, my bad. The controversial Bangkok International Film Festival got under way last Thursday, but hasn’t really seen much clear success in attendance.

- Speaking of festivals, the Toronto Film Festival has announced most of its midnight madness lineup, which includes Wilson Yip’s Flashpoint and Hitoshi Matsumoto’s Dai Nipponjin.

- Lastly, Hollywood Reporter gives brief reviews of Shinya Tsukamoto’s Nightmare Detective and Lee Sang-Il’s Japanese Academy Award winner Hula Girl. Copyright © 2002-2024 Ross Chen