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The Golden Rock - August 22nd, 2007 Edition

After a slow news day comes a really busy one.

- As usual, let’s look at Japan’s Oricon charts. During a slow week for the singles chart, veteran pop star Kazumasa Oda tops the chart with his latest single, selling just over 48,000 copies. With this, Oda now has the dubious honor of being the oldest artist to have a number 1 single at 59 years and 11 months old. Meanwhile, pop group Tokio follows closely at second place with 45,000 copies of their latest single sold, and the latest million-seller Sen No Kaze Ni Natte is still on the top 10 at 6th place with another 23,000 copies sold. Expect a more active singles chart next week, with Aiko’s latest expected to take the top spot.

On the album chart, Hideaki Tokunaga (whom you might remember for giving a borderline-creepy cover of Mika Nakashima’s Yuki Na Hana) takes the number one spot with his latest cover album, selling 115,000 copies. However, the two Zard compilations (as in a way to cash in on fans’ grief by charging them double for songs they probably already have) sold a combined 175,000 copies for second and third place, respectively. Next week, expect Tokunaga to take the top spot again, but with the usual drop in sales.

- In Chinese box office, Alexi Tan’s Blood Brothers opened quite well, with its opening gross being 104% of Flash Point’s opening 2 weeks ago. Then again, Flash Point’s gross actually went up in its second week, which is not looking like it will happen to Blood Brothers. Oh, if anyone cared, Alfred Cheung Kin-Ting’s Contract Lover starring Richie Ren and Fan Bing Bing opened with one-third of Blood Brothers’ gross, although I have no idea on how many screens it opened.

- Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution continues to prepare for its invasion of arthouses around the world with yet another film festival slot, this time as the opening film at Turkey’s Eurasia Film Festival.

- I was hoping to be the first to break this, but both Kaiju Shakedown and AP News beat me to it. Anyway, according to the not-very-credible Oriental Daily in Hong Kong (still the best-selling newspaper though), Fruit Chan confirmed that he will be making “Kowloon City,” a film produced by Terence “John Woo’s right-hand man” Chang about two young martial arts students that immigrated overseas during the 50s. One of them happens to be Bruce Lee. Chan is considering a wide talent search for his Bruce Lee, and would even abandon the project if he can’t find a suitable actor for the role.

- At this year’s New York Korean Film Festival, a panel of directors and scholars will sit down and once again discuss whether the Korean Wave is dead. I’m almost sure the answer will be “no, but __________”

- Warner Brothers, who dipped into Asian film in Taiwan and Japan, will now attempt to break into the Indian market with the film Made in China. Before you think it’s a satire on Chinese exports, the film will actually take on a crappier storyline about a cook mistaken for a martial arts hero.

- After Paris Je T’aime got me all hot for omnibus films about cities, I’ve been looking very very forward to the Michel Gondry/Leos Corax/ Bong Joon-Ho omnibus “Tokyo!” Now it’s been revealed that Yu Aoi and Teruyuki Kagawa will be starring in Bong’s short, about a shut-in that falls in love with a pizza delivery girl.

- I’ve seen the trailer for Peter Chan Ho-Sun’s The Warlords at almost every movie I’ve been to so far in Hong Kong, but I somehow can’t really get too excited about it. I know, it has Andy Lau, Takeshi Kaneshiro, AND Jet Li, plus a whole lot of killin’, but I don’t know how many more big-budget period epics I can take. Looking at how mediocre Curse of the Golden Flower did around the world, I’d say even the rest of the world are kind of tired. That’s not stopping Chan from rushing to finish his film and show it somewhere to get it eligible for a best foreign film Oscar, though.

- The two winners of the Chinese film competition are going to Hollywood to meet studio executives and visit film sets. I can’t wait to buy pirated copies of their movies.

- There isn’t much details, but a live-action version of the Studio Ghibli classic Grave of the Fireflies is in the works. Like all the versions of the story, this will be adapted from the original pseudo-nonfiction novel and be very very depressing.

- I never thought it would happen, but a program by Hong Kong’s TVB actually got nominated for an international emmy award. No, it’s not for a drama, but for a news programming, which is probably what TVB is best at anyway.

- I won’t be translating the whole thing, but there’s a Chinese review of Walt Disney China’s The Magic Gourd on the Chinese movie blog (what the shit is a gourd anyway?). Essentially, the review compares the film with an educational fantasy fairy tale for children, and that it does what it intends to do effectively. Basically, it’s not all bad, it’s just….you know, for the kids.

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