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The Golden Rock - September 4th, 2007 Edition

- There’s not much to report in terms of box office numbers, but everyone was surprised as I was that Evangelion 1.0 opened so huge. It was apparently so huge (280 million yen on just 84 screens!) that one cinema couldn’t even accommodate the crowd after moving the film to a theater 5 times larger.

- Slightly outdated, but reviews for Shinji Aoyama’s latest Sad Vacation are coming in. Variety gave it a bit of a pan, while Twitch seemed to like it. Honestly, I’ve never seen a Shinji Aoyama thing, fearing that it’s not really my thing.

- Variety also has a review of Jiang Wen’s The Sun Also Rises, with Derek Elley calling the film’s enjoyment dependent on individual tolerance for cranked-up visuals and acting. Does that mean there’s not much beneath the visuals and acting?

- This has absolutely nothing to do with Asian films, but rather pure interest. Wes Anderson’s latest The Darjeeling Limited had its premiere in Venice, but sadly under the shadow of star/co-writer Owen Wilson’s suicide attempt. The reviews from the two big trade papers are out, with Variety saying that it’s closer to The Royal Tennenbaums than The Life Aquatic (that would be a good thing, although I liked both very much). However, Hollywood Reporter’s Ray Bennett calls it a third rate Hope and Crosby movie with no big laughs and nothing to say.

- Sorry to those who had tickets to the last two Jacky Cheung concert: the second-to-the-last show was canceled at the very last minutes because the legendary singer got ill and he claims that he couldn’t even sing one-third of the songs, failing his basic requirement as a singer. When his cold didn’t get any better, he canceled the final show last night as well. Still, I’ll bet he sings better than those Twin girls even when he’s sick…

Anyway, if you hold those tickets, go and redeem the tickets for the make-up shows at the end of January 2008.

- Imagethief goes over point-by-point on how the report of China Film Group chairman Han Sanping said about China needing more patriotic films is not something that should happen to the Chinese film industry. This quote sums it all up: “…government involvement in any aspect of popular culture, unless it is simply cutting a check, is generally bad form. This is because politicians and bureaucrats are, by and large, crappy arbiters of taste.”

- MCL, whose Kornhill cinema is honestly not that great, is working with a property firm named Shaw (not THAT Shaw, right) to open the largest multiplex in Hong Kong. I hope they have sound separation better there then MCL Kornhill.

- A trailer for the Hollywood remake for the Japanese horror flick One Missed Call is up. I never saw the original, but anyone still complaining about PG-13 horror movies should know that it didn’t even get any restrictive rating in Japan (maybe a PG-12?)

- The live-action Grave of the Fireflies has started filming, but there’s still no information on who’s behind the film.

- Not sure who’s interested, but the Canadian period film Silk, starring Michael Pitt and Keira Knightley (her in another period film??) will be closing the Tokyo International Film Festival this year.

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