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Archive for July 30th, 2007

The Golden Rock Song of the Day - 7/30/2007

After spending last week with the guys, this week we look to turn to the girls. From the great album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, it’s my favorite Lauryn Hill song - “Ex-Factor.”

The Golden Rock - July 30th, 2007 Edition

Hong Kong box office and Korean box office charts aren’t up yet, so today’s entry is slightly shorter than usual.

- We’ll start with the Japanese audience rankings. As expected, Harry Potter stays on for another week, but suffers a pretty huge drop (a preview of things to come when the full chart comes out for tomorrow). Ratatouille, the latest film from Pixar Studios, opens at number 2, and everything down to number 7 gets bumped down. Meanwhile, the animated film Summer Days with Coo (Kappa no Coo to Natsuyasumi) opens at 8th place.

Sadly, that 8th place, 26.7 million yen opening in a crowded kids film market (Pokemon, Harry Potter, Monkey Magic, The Piano Forest) means that the film opened only at 13% of the director’s previous film.

- The full Korean box office top 10 isn’t up yet, but I can tell you that the “historical” drama May 18th, which is getting bad reviews on its accuracy but apparently getting good word-of-mouth everywhere else, is now the hit of the year. On its first weekend, it beat out Voice of a Murderer for the best opening of the year by attracting 1.45 million admissions, even beating out Ratatouille and Die Hard 4.0 for the top spot.

I asked in the Podcast that never got uploaded whether Korean films can survive the rest of the year with its upcoming slate of genre films, but looks like May 18th just saved the industry as we know it. For now.

- The Japanese elections on Sunday meant that there were no dramas on, but there were still a bunch of season lows posted this past week. The Monday 9 pm Fuji TV drama First Kiss rebounded from its disastrous second week by scoring a 15.2 rating for its third episode (roughly 9.87 million people), while Hanazakarino Kimitachihe hangs on with a 16.6 rating (10.8 million or so). Yama Onna Kabe Onna rebounded slightly to a 12.7 rating (8.24 million). The hostess drama Jotei continues to drop with a 10.9 rating for its third episode (roughly 7.1 million). Sushi Ouji, whose movie version has already been greenlit, saw a somewhat disappointing start with only an 8.8 rating (roughly 5.7 million), the lowest premiere rating for that time slot since the fall 2006 season.

- Lovehkfilm sees reviews for the Japanese tearjerker Tears For You, the relatively unknown new Francis Ng film The Closet (note: Not a film with homosexual issues), and for the Japanese romantic comedy Christmas on July 24th Avenue by yours truly.

- Twitch also has a bunch of reviews - one for the Japanese horror film The Slit-Mouthed Woman, one for Studio Ghibli’s Tales From Earthsea, and one for Wilson Yip’s actioner Flashpoint.

- There’s a rumor going around that Rush Hour 3 might be banned from China because of its “anti-Chinese elements.” The first two films belittle and make fun of the Chinese plenty, but they weren’t banned, so why now? Then again, there are plenty of reasons why China would not want to “ban” a Hollywood film now anyway.

- The lineup for the Asian Film Festival of Dallas is out. It’s no New York Asian Film Festival, but the lineup is fairly solid anyway.

- Taiwanese cinematic auteur Hou Hsiao-Hsien is set to receive the Leopard of Honor at the upcoming Locarno Film Festival, where his first French film (psss…..Cafe Lumiere wasn’t in Chinese either, Variety) Flight of the Red Balloon is set to screen.

The Golden Rock Song of the Day - 7/29/2007

Today’s song wraps up the unofficial theme of the week, which is male quick pop songs (except for the Ekin song, of course). From the album Good Job, it’s Rip Slyme with Sunset Surround. Don’t worry, unlike their latest MTV, this one is work-safe.

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 - 7/29/2007

Today’s song wraps up the unofficial theme of the week, which is male quick pop songs (except for the Ekin song, of course). From the album Good Job, it’s Rip Slyme with Sunset Surround. Don’t worry, unlike their latest MTV, this one is work-safe. Copyright © 2002-2024 Ross Chen