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Archive for July 29th, 2007

The Golden Rock - July 29th, 2007 Edition

I had a Podcast ready and everything, but Audacity somehow manages to fuck up my introduction (one track suddenly silenced the other one for a certain period of time, even though I didn’t ask for the silence), and now no more Podcast because I have no energy to spend hours editing it again. So last week was the final Podcast for a while, and maybe we’ll try it all over again in Hong Kong.

- The opening of a major multiplex in Tokyo started a new trend - stage show on movie screens. There’s something similar to that here in the States, broadcasting concerts on a nationwide system of cinemas. The series of stage shows, 4 in all, sold 14,000 tickets during its run, so perhaps it’s no surprise that they already sold 5000 advance tickets for their latest show in 2 days. I can understand why people outside Tokyo might need something like this, but I already imagine live stage shows being better, you know……live?

- For some reason, wasn’t the news on the box office result of the American-produced documentary Nanking much better two weeks ago? With rich people shelling out donations and theaters reducing prices to get people into the theater, I thought it was supposed to be a hit in Nanjing. However, looks like it’s suffering under the Hollywood syndrome as well, where there’s just not enough screens to go around for it.

- The battle of TV continues in Hong Kong, as Hong Kong’s biggest cable provider i-Cable has started its own record label to directly challenge freecaster TVB’s monopoly on music artists.

- Variety has a little more on the Asian films that will be featured at this year’s Venice Film Festival, including an impressive four in competition.

Asian Popcorn has more specific on one of them - the long-delayed The Sun Also Rises by Jiang Wen.

- The Sun Also Rises co-stars Jaycee Chan, who is also currently in the Hong Kong action film Invisible Targets. His father Jackie has the soon-to-be-crappy sequel Rush Hour 3, which also stars Chinese actress Zhang Jingchu, who talks about her experiences on the set.

Just to finish playing that 6 degrees of separation game, Zhang was in Protege with Daniel Wu, who was in Twins Effects 2 with Jaycee. Boo-ya!

- Jaycee was in Twins effects 2 with Charlene Choi, who was in Love on the Rocks with Louis Koo, who is in the experimental Hong Kong Cannes participant Triangle by Tsui Hark, Ringo Lam, and Johnnie To. The official website for the film is up, and according to, the film won’t be coming out until….November?!

- We have two reviews from the Japan Times this week to share - Mark Schilling’s review for the animated film Kappa no Coo To Natsuyasumi, and Kaori Shoji’s review for Hong Kong director Andrew Lau’s Hollywood debut The Flock. How can a film sound good and crappy at the same time? Oh, it’s by Andrew Lau, that’s why.

- In case anyone that reads this blog ever becomes an ad executive in India, you might want to be careful when you do underwear ads.

Yeah, not much news today. Doing that Podcast took a bit out of me. See you back tomorrow.

The Golden Rock Song of the Day - 7/28/2007

Call it a half-joke song, or call it a bad choice, but I originally wanted another song from this album. Instead, I shall offer the more popular song from this soundtrack/short film combo.

Don’t laugh, it’s in the house, but this isn’t even mine.

From everyone’s favorite Goo Wat Jai, it’s Ekin Cheng showing his sensitive side with “The Weather’s Fault.” Hey, it’s perfect for typhoon season.

The Golden Rock - July 28th, 2007 Edition

I apologize for the lack of post yesterday. At least it would make longer weekend entries.

- Sequels tend to open higher anywhere you look, unless when it looks very underwhelming. The rule applies to Hong Kong as well, which is why Michael Bay’s Transformers, despite all the hype and the worldwide invasion, had a spectacular opening with HK$2.8 million from 74 screens in Hong Kong on Thursday and still manage to look disappointing. The major sequels - Spiderman 3, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean - have all opened huge with HK$3-6 million opening days on some 100 screens. I keep telling myself that this, in all logic, is a huge opening and it can only get bigger. There must be some sickening obsession in me to see this one fail somewhere in the world.

In other movies, Harry Potter is beginning to slow down, making HK$690,000 on 50 screens for a damn good 16-day total of HK$41.17 million. Benny Chan’s Invisible Target looks to hold strong this weekend thanks to word-of-mouth, making HK$560,000 on 36 screens for an 8-day total of HK7.78 million. Look for this to pass the HK$10 million mark by Monday. There were two more openings this week - the latest Doraemon movie made just HK$160,000 on 21 screens (though business will pick up for the weekend, and these things do better on home video anyway), and Hula Girl made a sad HK$10,000 on 3 screens. If you’re in Hong Kong and haven’t watched Hula Girl, go. There’s a reason this ALMOST won the audience award at the New York Asian Film Festival, it’s a good syrupy crowdpleaser.

- There’s some rumors out there explaining why Kenneth Bi’s The Drummer was suddenly pulled from the Hong Kong International Film Festival Summer Pops lineup. Apparently, in order to get into certain festivals, films are required to not having screened in its country of origin(Can anyone confirm this?), which means Bi and Co. chose to get its film into a foreign film festival (in this case, the Locarno festival) for sales possibilities rather than pushing local buzz. I don’t blame them, but that’s a pretty major diss for the local audiences, and proof that perhaps Asian films are no longer made for their local audiences any longer.

Even Vexville, another competitor at the Locarno Film Festival AND part of the Summer Pops lineup, has yet to open in Japan.

- Hollywood has gotten out everything they’ve got for Comic-Con, where it’s not just about comics. It’s like the new ShoWest (a yearly convention for exhibitors) for the ticket-buying fanboys (or now, even film buffs).

- zzzzzzz, the MPA continues their crusade in Asia by bringing a 23-minute documentary to Indian students about intellectual property. I want to stop reporting this too, but I’m relaying it just to show how annoying they are about showing off their efforts.

- It’s redundant but less boring because of its ridiculousness, the Chinese government continues to dictate how to fuck up youths in their own special way by continuing to crack down on anything related to the Japanese comic Death Note. Now they have gone as far as shutting down websites that have anything to do with it. And the MPA is confused why people still violate intellectual property in China?

- Youtube is set to put in place their copyright recognition software, stopping any files that are copyrighted from being put on the site in September. This is going to mean that the Song of the Day feature would be in jeopardy, and also means your votes will fail to count anyway.

But hey, be sure to keep voting anyway, because democracy is fun and exciting.

- Korea Pop Wars writes about the new DVD set of Shin Sang-Ok movies. For those who don’t know, Shin is one of the most important Korean directors in Asian film history and has worked on everything from classic 60s films to the Three Ninja movies in Hollywood.

- The Daily Yomiuri has a review of the Nobuhiro Yamashita youth film Tennen Kokkeko. The Japan Times review from last week is here.

Tomorrow, more news and the final Golden Rock Podcast for a while. Copyright © 2002-2024 Ross Chen