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The Golden Rock - August 14th, 2007 Edition

- The Japanese box office numbers are out, showing that Ocean’s Thirteen opened fairly well with 496 million yen, and Transformers dropping 36.5% in its second week, which again is somewhat surprising considering how well it has done with word-of-mouth elsewhere. Of course, its drop to third place is also because Harry Potter dropped only by 7% to keep its second-place spot.

However, the biggest drop in the top 10 goes to the latest Naruto movie, which lost 47% of its audience, while the smallest drop belongs to - and I’m almost kind of sad to say this - Monkey Magic, which lost only 3% of its audience to make 2.98 billion yen total, inching ever closer for Fuji TV to break even.

- According to Mark Russell’s Korea Pop Wars, turns out D-War is actually close to getting 5.71 million admissions and has already passed the break-even point at the standards of the reported budget.

- My new favorite weekly feature these days is the Teleview column on the Daily Yomiuri website. This week, writer Wm. Penn writes about what’s on Japanese TV this week and a possible ratings crisis on stations’ hands.

- And yet, Japan are still rolling out one drama adaptation film after another. The latest is the hit Kimura Takuya drama Hero, and a trailer is floating around online. Honestly, it’s not doing much for me, but that’s because I’ve never seen Hero…..Oriental 188 Mall, here I come.

- My bad. I totally forgot to acknowledge that Grady Hendrix’s informative Asian cinema blog Kaiju Shakedown is back, and in a much more complicated link. The link section shall be updated. Anyway, Grady reports today that Hong Kong video distributor Mei Ah’s remastered version of Patrick Tam Ka-Ming’s Nomad is actually not the director’s cut, and that the “corrected” version will be out in 2008.

- After a Tokyo multiplex found success with weekly showing of Korean star Bae Yong-Joon’s dramas, a smaller independent theater is doing the same with Korean star So Ji Sub’s Choa Choa (is that the real name? Or just the Japanese name?). If this is a success as well, then looks like the Korean wave isn’t so dead after all in Japan.

- The Japanese song “Sen No Kaze Ni Natte,” based on an English poem found at the World Trade Center in New York, has finally sold one million copies after becoming a huge hit the first half of the year.

- I don’t know if this can be considered a compliment to someone that’s already been in the business for 20 years - Director Peter Chan Ho-Sun said his biggest surprise from making the period action film The Warlords is Jet Li’s dramatic acting ability. Actually, that moment came for me while watching Fearless.

- I’m going to make a small private confession - I consider my most creative time in terms of scriptwriting to be right after I got dumped by my second girlfriend. During that period, I actually wrote 3 or 4 short film scripts, none of which I ended up making. I mention this because Kazuaki Kiriya, better known perhaps as ex-Mr. Utada Hikaru, seems to be going through a similar thing. Not only is he currently shooting a Japanese film, it’s actually confirmed that he also have his Hollywood debut lined up.

- In casting news today, Koyuki, whose most famous role is in The Last Samurai, has signed up to for Blood: The Last Vampire alongside Jeon Ji-Hyun (to be credited as Gianna Jun). These international Pan-Asian co-production in English just don’t seem to turn out very well (Dragon Squad, anyone?), so I don’t expect much.

Meanwhile, the television remake of Akira Kurosawa’s High And Low has signed up high-profile young actor Satoshi Tsumabuki as the kidnapper.

- The United States government’s bullying continues, as they have asked the World Trade Organization to put together a panel to settle their complaint against China over piracy of their films. Just what exactly are they expecting the Chinese government to do, ask for a couple of bucks from every Chinese citizen to pay off the MPA?

Oh, they want to work bilaterally, so that means they want to actually go into China and take down every single pirate vendors themselves.

- One place America doesn’t need to go to is Shenzhen, where crackdown on pirate vendors have caused the number of vendors to go from 1,000 to 50 in the last few years. Is that enough result for you, America?

2 Responses to “The Golden Rock - August 14th, 2007 Edition”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    “Choa Choa” seems to be the “Joa Joa” in the list here, or here, among others, so it would be a phonetic approximation of the original Korean title.

    There’s even some clips from it on YouTube - if you haven’t seem them, do watch this one first, for maximum effect - it starts off with a spoof of the “lighting up with a $100 bill”, and Mark Gor’s hit scene from “A Better Tomorrow”, of all things! WTF? Well, turns out there is a good reason for that, of course, but along with part 2, there is Mandarin dialogue dubbed on top of the original Korean! Must be kind of disturbing, if you understood both. At least it’s subtitled, though in Simplified.

    This one has been dubbed into Mandarin, with the Korean track turned off :), and the Chinese title handily - or rather literally, depending on how one sees it - explains what the original is meant to imply.

    - NK

  2. Etchy Says:

    ha, does anyone believe there are only 50 pirate DVD vendors in Shenzhen?

    I’m sure I’ll be asked to buy DVDs more than 50 times before I get out of the border station at Lo Hu!

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