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Archive for August 2nd, 2007

The Golden Rock Song of the Day - 8/2/2007

Today’s Song of the Day isn’t the version I like, simply because this was 1) the shorter version, and 2) the version with a more famous producing team. In fact, the other version happens to be my favorite Utada Hikaru song. Lucky I found 30 second clips of them. From the album Distance, it’s “Addicted To You.

Here are the two commercials featuring the other version of the song.

The Golden Rock - August 2nd, 2007 Edition

- Looks like another case of misreporting box office figures in Japan. The latest Pixar film Ratatouille supposedly earned about 489 million over two days this past weekend. However, what Disney didn’t report is that the actual earning is actually 360 million yen, and the rest were made during the special sneak previews last weekend. That would make the opening a bit of a disappointment, as it’s only 95% of the opening for the last Pixar film Cars. However, the word-of-mouth for the film is actually batter than Cars (at least in the States), so it might come out earning more in the long run.

- It’s official, China has decided to not let the latest Jackie Chan Hollywood star vehicle Rush Hour 3 on Chinese movies screens. There are a couple of possible reasons for this - 1) China doesn’t like the content, especially the presence of the triads. However, how can that be true when the first two films featured triad villains? 2) China simply can’t stand all these Hollywood films dominating the box office and has implemented the usual summer policy of getting rid of Hollywood films to let Chinese films have their day. 3) It just got unlucky and couldn’t be secured as one of the 20 American films allowed to be shown in Chinese theatres each year. 4) The movie sucks, and the Chinese people shouldn’t be exposed to that type of crap. I got five bucks on numbers 2 and 3.

- Meanwhile, the trade reviews are out. Hollywood Reporter’s Michael Rechtshaffen says the routine goes awfully stale, while Variety’s Robert Koehler says that the adrenaline rush just isn’t there anymore.

- Variety has a few more Asian film reviews, one for the 2007 Korean hit Voice of a Murderer, Fumihiko Sori’s Vexville, and the Thai horror film Alone, which is currently a hit at the Korean box office.

- Kabuki’s bad boy Shido Nakamura has followed the steps of Last Samurai actress Koyuki and signed with Avex. With that, he has also officially joined the cast of John Woo’s The Battle of Red Cliff, which would make this his second Chinese blockbuster after Jet Li’s Fearless.

- If you’ll indulge me another game of multiple degrees of separation, Tony Leung Chiu-wai also stars in the Battle of Red Cliff, but he originally withdrew from the film because of the fatigue he suffered after making Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution. The film, almost or already completed, will compete in the upcoming Venice Film Festival. Though the film was originally submitted as a USA-China entry because there’s where the money came from. However, it almost brewed a small controversy when the nationality was changed to Taiwan due to director Ang Lee’s nationality.

- A nation at war turns to TV soap operas, culinary shows, and idol competitions. Surprisingly, it’s not the United States.

- Japan will be the first to see a MTV-created mobile social network, which will also feature pages created by Japanese pop stars. Do we really need to be THAT connected?

- Speaking of embracing the new media, another Japanese media producer has signed a deal with Youtube to upload promo clips and various content on the video site.

- Avril Lavinge’s album has sold a million copies in Japan, making her the first foreign artist to sell more than one million copies of each of her three albums. They’ll find a record for anything in Japan, especially when it comes to music.

- Twitch has an interview with director Steven Okazaki, whose latest film is the documentary White Light/Black Rain, about the fallout of nuclear warfare including the bombings of Hiroshim and Nagasaki.

- Japanese R&B/A Capella group Gospellers is teaming up with forgotten Backstreet Boys member Howie D for their latest single. Not to be a party pooper, but I think Howie needs the Gospellers more than they need Howie.

- With the 2008 Olympics approaching in a year, China has still yet to deliver the full media freedom they promised foreign journalists there. 95% of those who responded to the survey by the Foreign Correspondents Club of China says China’s reporting conditions are not up to what they call an “international standard.”

By the way, remember to vote for our poll. The future of The Song of the Day depends on all of you.

The Golden Rock Song of the Day - 8/1/2007

Today’s Song of the Day bends the rules a little bit by offering a duet, so it half-follows the week’s theme. But it’s OK, because its classic status makes it worth bending the rules for. By Chiang Chi Kwong (who actually retired from singing because of the pressure to follow up such as hit) and Wai Yi Shan, it’s “Why Meet, Though We Have Known Each Other.” (Don’t ask, it’s a Chinese phrase) You can find this on many Cantopop duet compilations such as this one.

Here’s just the song

Here’s a live version (if you watch TVB, then you can probably recognize Chiang Chi Kwong. He wrote the song as well)

And here it is immortalized by Stephen Chow….in a different Chinese dialect (don’t ask)

The Golden Rock - August 1st, 2007 Edition

- Let’s start with those Oricon charts today. On the singles chart, Ai Otsuka’s latest single debuts at number one, selling just over 68,000 copies, making it her first number 1 single debut since 2005. Rip Slyme’s latest single, despite having lots of sexy ladies in its MTV, scored only a third place debut with only 30,000 copies. Last week’s winner, Ayumi Hamasaki’s latest, dropped significantly from 110,000 copies to just 23,000 copies this week. Expect next week’s singles chart to be between two boy bands - Dong Bang Shin Ki and Hey! Say!. Luckily I won’t be around to report that debacle.

On the albums chart, Orange Range ruled it, selling a combined 420,000 copies of their latest set of compilation albums (210,000 copies each). Far behind in second place is the debut of Canadian-Japanese band Monkey Majik’s second album, selling 82,000 copies, and bumping KinKi Kids’ latest down to 3rd place with 72,000 copies sold after debuting 300,000 copies last week. Bonnie Pink’s latest album debuted with a weak 53,000 copies sold for a 5th place debut. Next week, the pop duo Sukima Switch should take the top spot with a quieter chart.

I was just about to report the drama satisfaction rankings on the Oricon site when I noticed that the Tokyograph blog talked about it too. So I think I’ll leave it to them to report it.

- The Hong Kong Films blog in Chinese has an interesting feature about how Hong Kong box office numbers are reported. Apparently, only the Association of Hong Kong Films gather the numbers and figures by telephone polls. They simply call theaters at different times of the day and ask for each theaters’ sales figures for each film. This primitive human reporting also means the figures are prone to error. Has anyone heard of such cases?

- The new Nobuhiro Yamashita film Tennen Kokkeko opened this past weekend on three screens in Tokyo, and it attracted a very strong 3212 admissions/5.07 million yen over 2 days. Considering that means an average of 123 people at each showing, and since the average capacity of each screen is 149, I’d say that’s pretty good.

- Darcy Paquet’s Korean Film Page has a review of a rare film from North Korea that apparently swept the nation since, well, it was probably the only thing playing.

- Meanwhile, South Korean artistic auteur Hong Sang-Soo is working on a new film that was originally planned to be in French, but will now just be filmed in France.

- It’s war. Hong Kong animation firm Imagi, who did the last Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, has just hired yet another animation veteran from Dreamworks animation. One of the major animators of the Shrek trilogy, who got promoted to co-director by the third film, is from Hong Kong, so this kind of evens things out.

- American distributor Funimation has picked up a couple of films for distribution - the not-so-surprising one would be Fumihiko Sori’s Vexille, and the surprising ones are Yoji Yamada’s Love and Honor and Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Hana. Oh, they got that damn Genghis Kahn movie too.

- Note to Hong Kong people - Wilson Yip’s Flashpoint may be opening officially next week, but there are some “secret announcements” of advanced showings this weekend. The picture in the entry was taken at Kwun Tong’s Silver Theatre, which is not exactly Hong Kong’s finest.

- It’s teasers time! Twitch has the teasers to the direct remake of Tsubaki Sanjuro and the Universal Pictures-funded Japanese action film Midnight Eagle.

- Then Variety has profiles to two rising female figures in the Asian cinema world - director Naomi Kawase (whose The Mourning Forest is not doing too well in Japan as expected) and award-winning actress Jeon Do-Yeon.

- The French film censors want to step up their authori-tie by looking to extend its powers to also review films that play in France as part of film festivals. But instead of giving ratings, they have to right to not allow the film play at French festivals. I would rather they just rated them instead.

The Golden Rock Song of the Day - 8/1/2007

Today’s Song of the Day bends the rules a little bit by offering a duet, so it half-follows the week’s theme. But it’s OK, because its classic status makes it worth bending the rules for. By Chiang Chi Kwong (who actually retired from singing because of the pressure to follow up such as hit) and Wai Yi Shan, it’s “Why Meet, Though We Have Known Each Other.” (Don’t ask, it’s a Chinese phrase) You can find this on many Cantopop duet compilations such as this one.

Here’s just the song

Here’s a live version (if you watch TVB, then you can probably recognize Chiang Chi Kwong. He wrote the song as well)

And here it is immortalized by Stephen Chow….in a different Chinese dialect (don’t ask)

 
 
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