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The Golden Rock - August 26th, 2007 Edition

- The problem with being a director that makes the highest-grossing film that year is that expectations suddenly grows high on everything you do. This is the case with Isao Yukisada. After Crying Out for Love in the Center of the World made a ton of cash in Japan, Yukisada’s work has been hit-and-miss, with studio films Kita No Zeronen and Haru No Yuki. Then he returns to write and direct Into the Faraway Sky, a children’s fantasy film that he started working on from scratch for 7 years. However, his name is the only thing that the film had going for it, and 27.04 million yen on about 120 screens. That opening is only 15% of The Great Yokai War. Would this mean Yukisada is going back to studio-friendly big movies?

- Apparently, there’s a trailer for the sequel to the hit film Always: Sunset on Third Street that I can’t get to work. Anyway, director Takashi Yamazaki returns to the director’s chair (apparently, no one called him to make Returner 2)

- Speaking of Returner, Takeshi Kaneshiro is apparently director Peter Chan Ho-Sun’s Robert De Niro, as Kaneshiro will be starring in his third Chan film in a row. This time, it’s back to the vein of the romance genre about a pair of lovers who wait 18 years for each other. Note: the link in that post to the Mainland Chinese website no longer works, so I have no idea whether this news is true or not.

- Did anyone notice a pretty big absence from Hong Kong’s Golden Bauhinia Awards? It was Derek Yee’s Protege - the film had only one nomination (for music), but it somehow made the award’s 10 Best Chinese Film list. The list is as follows:

Protege, The Postmodern Life of My Aunt, After This Our Exile, Exiled, Crazy Stone, Still Life, Isabella, Election 2, Battle of Wits, and Curse of the Golden Flower. Where’s Exodus, the film that got the most nomiations?

Source: Oriental Daily

- The Japanese action flick Midnight Eagle, co-produced by Universal Pictures, will get its premiere in Los Angeles thanks to its Hollywood connections. This is to build momentum for the upcoming American film market, as well as its screening at the Tokyo International Film Festival. For some reason, the trailers I’ve seen just can’t get me excited about this film at all.

- A modest worldwide action star vs. an arrogant worldwide action star. Who to believe? Jackie Chan (that’s the arrogant one) wrote that his fight with Jet Li on Forbidden Kingdom was fast and natural and will probably be equivalent to Jesus rising up to save the world. However, Jet Li says that don’t get your hopes up and that he and Chan are both getting too old for this shit.

- Stephen Gauger’s The Owl and Sparrow won the narrative award at the Asian Film Festival of Dallas. Here is a list of winner from Twitch.

- Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell) is making a follow-up to his film “Tachiguishi Retsudan” with the omnibus film “Shin. Onna Tachiguishi Retsudan.” One of the six films will apparently feature a 17-minute long monologue….with the short film just running 23 minutes long.

- China bans yet another TV show, this time about cosmetic surgery and sex changes. However, the authority does mention that the show contain bloody images, so maybe it was riped for a ban, unlike some stupid talent show.

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