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The Golden Rock - August 25th, 2007 Edition

- The independent 20-something drama Koisuru Madori, starring Yui Aragaki (who also stars in the recently-wrapped Papa To Musume No Nanakakan) and Oscar-nominated actress Rinko Kikuchi, opened on 13 screens last weekend, attracting just 4931 admissions and 7.77 million yen on its opening Saturday and Sunday. However, one theater in Tokyo’s Shibuya district actually accounted for 37% of the admissions with 1806 admissions and 2.85 million yen. That makes attendance at the rest of the 12 screens even worse.

Personally, I like these sunny urban 20-something romance pieces, and these usually attract a good number of audiences, so what’s up?

- With the deadline for submitting films for the best foreign film at the Academy Awards coming up, Asian countries are moving quick to find their best to represent them. While Peter Chan Ho-Sun is trying finish Warlords to get it into the Oscars (where I expect period epic fatigue to stop it from getting anywhere), three films from South Korea has been admitted, and Thailand has decided to submit the second film out of a trilogy about a legendary king.

- Twitch has a review of Asian-American director Justin Lin’s latest film Finishing the Game from the Dallas Asian Film Festival. The “review” is more of a review of the screening than a review of the movie, though.

- Speaking of reviews, Japan Times’ Mark Schilling reviews “J.J.” Sonny Chiba’s directorial debut Oyaji. My favorite part is his continuing description of how much Chiba still kicks ass in this movie, despite being 67 years old.

- A film that didn’t come out with reviews is Jet Li’s latest Hollywood B-movie War (named Rouge Assassin here in Asia). On the day of its opening, the two big trade papers already have reviews of it already. Variety’s Joy Leydon calls it a flabby and formulaic programmer. Meanwhile, Hollywood Reporter’s Frank Scheck calls it a thoroughly forgettable exploitationer that will not enhance its stars’ resumes. The saddest part is that I will probably go see it anyway.

- Two pirate DVD retailers in China have been ordered to over $27,00o to 6 Hollywood studios for selling pirated copies of their movies. Great, now these studios can cover their coffee cost for the month.

- Under “do we really need this?” news today, American pop duo Aly & AJ (umm…they’d actually have to be known to be “pop”) will be singing the theme for for Kenta Fukasaku’s horror flick XX (or X-Cross). Note to producers: Not every Japanese film needs a theme song.

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