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The Golden Rock - August 18th, 2007 Edition

- Under “where did this movie come from?” news today, director Derek Chiu Sung-Kei is actually working on a new film called Brothers that reunite four of the five TVB Tigers from the 80s (they were previously in a film called….The Tigers in 1991). This time, Tony Leung is the missing one. Some has rumored that it’s because his salary is too high, which doesn’t make sense because I suspect Andy Lau’s asking price would be just as high, and the official excuse is that Leung couldn’t be in it because of the schedule. Who’s replacing the role meant for Leung? Eason Chan. I think I hear some collective groans, but I remain optimistic.

By the way, the five TVB Tigers were Andy Lau, Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Miu Kiu-Wai, Felix Wong Yut-Wah, and Ken Tong Chun-Yip.

- For those in Japan that wanted to see Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodridguez’s Grindhouse films in their original double feature form, the U.S. version will be playing for a week in Tokyo and Osaka start August 24th. Those that want to see the director’s cut can wait until next month. Don’t think you’re saving money watching the double features - they’re charging 3000 yen, or the price of two student tickets, for the 3-hour film.

- Speaking of Hollywood in Japan, it’s no secret that Japanese films have been doing worse than last year at the local box office. Thanks to that, Hollywood films have taken back the reins, with box office for Hollywood films in Japan up 22% from the same period last year. On the other hand, the box office for films by the Japanese big 3 is down 13%. Ouch.

- Sadly, some of the biggest films of the year have been drama adaptations such as Unfair the Movie and Monkey Magic. In addition to Hero with Kimura Takuya in September, now we have Hana Yori Dango coming to a big screen near you next summer. To retain objectivity, I shall avoid cursing and hoping for the film’s failure, because we know that just won’t work. The least I can hope is that it won’t offer scenes such as this.

- Opening this weekend in Japan is the animated film Vexvile, the latest by Fumihiko Sori (who directed the live-action Ping Pong and produced the cult favorite Appleseed). It looked pretty promising, but the review in Japan Times by Mark Schilling might change my expectations a bit. Still, one negative review won’t stop it from getting its distribution rights sold to 129 countries.

- Yesterday’s Hong Kong newspapers offer a second full-page ad for the Wong Jing/Eric Tsang-produced remake comedy Beauty and the 7 Beasts. In addition to the femme fatale Meng Yao (whom the poster describes as a cross between Ti Na and Miriam Yeung), the “seven beasts” will be Eric Tsang, Nat Chan, Gordon Lam, Eddie Cheung Siu-Fai, Chin Kar-Lok, Lam Chi-Shin, and Wong Cho-Lam. We can expect this soon-to-be-appreciated-only-in-Europe masterpiece by the mid-autumn festival, which is around the end of September. What we don’t know is how many people will pay to watch it. Well, that’s at least one here……

- They’re break-dance fighting! MTV China is teaming up with an Italian apparel company for a reality show that would give the best dancer in China an all-expenses-paid trip to go meet Justin Timberlake. To show the amount of quality expected from the show, Edison Chen will be one of the on-air commentators.

That’s it for today. Expect some (relatively) good news from Hong Kong films tomorrow, and some other stuff, I guess. In case someone happens to be reading out there.

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