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The Golden Rock - August 16th Edition

As usual, there’s not really much news on Thursdays, and there’s even a bit of a Hong Kong slant on things today.

- Most of the Toronto International Festival lineup has been announced, and the Asian selection looks real yummy. This year we have Ang Lee, Edmond Pang, Alexi Tan’s Blood Brothers (although the words “cautionary tale” has me cautious), Nobuhiro Yamashita, Hur Jin-Ho, Johnnie To/Wai Ka-Fai, Takeshi Kitano, Aoyama Shinji, and Im Kwon-Taek.

- Forgot to mention this for a few days, but Lovehkfilm has a review of Wilson Yip’s loving tribute to Donnie Yen and his bloody face Flash Point.

- Writer/director Koki Mitani, who last wrote and directed the chaotic and often funny The Uchoten Hotel, has upgraded his predictions for his next film The Magic Hour. Now he’s promising 10 laughs in three minutes instead of his earlier prediction of 3 laughs a minute. I’ll be counting, ok?

- After Monkey Magic became the widest release for a live-action Japanese film, that record is about to be quickly broken, and by another SMAP member, no less. Kimura Takuya’s drama adaptation film Hero is set to open on 470 screens (again, the blog post says it’s the widest for a Japanese film, period, but who can confirm this?). With ratings topping at over 30%, can the film’s demand meet the supply come September?

- Under “it’s worse than I thought” news today, a full page ad for that Eric Tsang/Wong Jing collaboration, now named Beauty and the 7 Beasts, was on the pages of Hong Kong newspapers today. The woman on the poster, according to the comment section, is Meng Yao, who played DJ Sammy’s wife/manager in the comedy shitter Super Fans. According to the ad, that is the woman that is supposed to “make your mouth dry, have a fever, suffer from increased heartbeats, make your body grow stiff, and cause your nose to bleed.” Is it just me, or is Hong Kong cinema getting increasingly out of touch with reality?

- Remember Lost in Beijing? The film by Chinese director Li Yu that suffered a bunch of cuts for its Chinese release, but even is uncut version as found to be not that big of a deal. Nevertheless, even though the film has cleared the censors, its release is still being put off to “create a healthy and harmonious environment” ahead of the Chinese communist party’s congress. They ought to know that to really bury a film is to release it in so little screens that no one cares, not allow such news to go out.

- On the other hand, China has finally cleared the Japanese disaster film The Sinking of Japan for theatrical release. It’s a movie where Japan sinks, so why wouldn’t China allow it?

- A trailer for Asian-American star Daniel Henney’s latest film My Father is out. This one looks pretty demanding in terms of acting skills, but after Seducing Mr. Perfect, it’s going to take a hell of a lot more than a trailer to convince me that Henney might be able to act.

- In more “silly Chinese censors” news, the government television agency killed off a talent show called “The First Time I was Touched.” I think the word touched is to mean emotionally, not physically. Still, censors says the show create a negative social effect and is damaging the medium of television. How fucking ironic is that?

- When I signed up for internet/broadband TV last week, the service was promoting the new English Premier League service. That’s why I don’t blame Hong Kong pay TV for going after bars that not only steal cable, but use it to make money.

- Apparently, the latest Lee Myung-Se film M is finished. For those that don’t know, Lee made a huge splash with Nowhere to Hide, but pissed a lot of people off with Duelist, so let’s see how this one goes.

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