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Archive for August, 2007

The Golden Rock Song of the Day - 8/26/2007

Today’s Song of the Day is a song I will shamelessly say is one of the few songs I still can’t pull off well at Karaoke after 5 long years. From the no longer-around boy pop collective VRF and their second EP New World, it’s “Delusion.”

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.

The Golden Rock Song of the Day - 8/26/2007

Today’s Song of the Day is a song I will shamelessly say is one of the few songs I still can’t pull off well at Karaoke after 5 long years. From the no longer-around boy pop collective VRF and their second EP New World, it’s “Delusion.”

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.

The Golden Rock Song of the Day - 8/25/2007

As it is for many, I’m sure, knowledge of today’s song comes from the cult favorite comedy Office Space. It’s not hard to guess which song stood out the most from that movie. From any greatest hits album such as this, it’s Geto Boys’ “Damn It Feels Good to be a Gangsta.”

As much as I wanted to put the original video on, this is the only uncensored version out there. NOTE: LANGUAGE IN VIDEO IS NOT WORK-SAFE

Here it is used in Office Space:

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.

The Golden Rock Song of the Day - 8/25/2007

As it is for many, I’m sure, knowledge of today’s song comes from the cult favorite comedy Office Space. It’s not hard to guess which song stood out the most from that movie. From any greatest hits album such as this, it’s Geto Boys’ “Damn It Feels Good to be a Gangsta.”

As much as I wanted to put the original video on, this is the only uncensored version out there. NOTE: LANGUAGE IN VIDEO IS NOT WORK-SAFE

Here it is used in Office Space:

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.

The Golden Rock Song of the Day - 8/24/07

Yesterday I had Inkpot, which Hong Kong’s People Mountain People Sea group PixelToy covers in their latest album. Today, we have an actual PixelToy song for the Song of the Day, and the wait was because I had no idea PixelToy is one word, not two. What a fan I am. From their first album The Science of Love, it’s “Try Speaking”

The Golden Rock - August 24th, 2007 Edition

- It was another active day at the Hong Kong box office on Thursday opening day. However, the bad news is that only one film actually did well. Granted, all 5 opening films got into the top 10 slots, but none of them opened on more than 30 screens. That’s why the top film was the box office flop Evan Almighty. On 29 screens, the Steve Carell-starring comedy made HK$780,000 on its opening day. Very far behind is yet another box office flop, The Invasion starring Nicole Kidman. On 28 screens, the remake of The Invasion of the Body Snatchers made just HK$360,000, doomed to repeat the same fate it did in the United States. Even the Thai horror film Alone, which I’m sure got some publicity from having its ads and trailers censored, got a better per-screen average, making HK$250,000 from 16 screens.

Now we’re down to the floppers. Not even the Wu and Woo names could get audiences to go catch Blood Brothers (I did though). On a meager 20 screens, the period action-drama made just HK$130,000. Doing a little better on the per-screen is the Japanese animated film The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, featuring the voice of pop star Janice Vidal (er…last I checked, she couldn’t even speak Cantonese properly) on 15 out of its 16 screens, made just HK$110,000. Expect one of these to do better during the weekend, and it ain’t the one I’ve seen.

As for the holdovers, Rush Hour 3 is good as dead with just HK$310,000 on 34 screens for an 8-day total of HK$5.43 million (remember Jackie Chan himself has a stake in this, as he owns the distribution rights for the Chinese-speaking regions), and Wilson Yip’s Flash Point with Donnie Yen is not looking to get to the HK$10 million mark with HK$8.28 million after 15 days. I thought it was good enough to make more, but hey, that’s just me.

- With the news yesterday about the new Japanese film database by Eiren, Jason Gray shares a few more already existing Japanese movie databases. Yay, more references to cross-check.

- China box office is on the rise, expecting to make 3 billion yuan. However, quite a big chunk of that has been from those really huge Hollywood movies, though a lot of that is expected to be from the high-profile Chinese films at the end of the year.

- It’s from those guys at Oriental Daily again, which is strange because they keep picking up the only stories that at least two other major Hong Kong newspapers don’t pick up. This time, Soi Cheang’s Dog Bite Dog has been sold to be remade in India. I’m hoping that no song and dance is involved, and that the assassin won’t be from Pakistan (props to those who get the reference).

By the way, producer Sam Leung is apparently looking to do a sequel to Dog Bite Dog with the original cast. Having watched the film, how the hell are they going to pull that off?

- In more reports from Chinese newspapers, The Pye-Dog starring Eason Chan, which has yet to get a release in Hong Kong, will be heading to three different films festivals - Stockholm International Film Festival, the Asia Oceanic Film Festival (?), and the German International Innocence Films Festival (???).

- With Takeshi Kitano’s Glory to the Filmmaker (Kantoku Banzai) heading to Venice, the organizers have decided to establish a new award, and Kitano’s getting it. The name of the award? “Glory to the Filmmaker!”

 
 
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