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Archive for October 15th, 2007

The Golden Rock - October 15th, 2007 Edition

- The new drama season started in Japan last week (Fall 2007 drama information from Tokyograph), and Iryu 2, the sequel to the hit drama from Spring 2006, got off to an excellent start with a 21 rating on the ratings chart. Meanwhile, Dream Again, starring Takashi “Genghis Khan” Sorimachi could only score a 12.9 rating for its premiere. Another star who might not be such a star is Masami Nagasawa, as her latest drama Hatachi No Koibito got only a 13.5 rating for its first episode. More premieres to come this coming week, so look for a slightly more comprehensive wrap-up next week. It all depends how tired I’ll be, really.

Now, the wrap-up from Pusan International Film Festival:

- The competition section of Pusan, called New Currents, actually has the least well-known films. This is probably because the jury tends to pick heavy art films with social messages, and Variety reports that history has repeated again this year.

- Meanwhile, it seems like the Asian Film Market was pretty quiet in terms of sales, with distributors sending people to just look as opposed to buy.

- Despite the festival running into obstacles and just being generally bland this year, the attendance was still record-breaking.

And now, back to your regular news:

- Wong Kar-Wai was supposed to make a biopic about Bruce Lee’s master and it was supposed to star Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, who reportedly spend the last few years getting physically prepared for the role. However, his 5-year rights is expiring and Raymond Wong’s Mandarin Films (who last made the Donnie Yen lovefest Flash Point) is stepping in and make their own film about Bruce Lee’s master.

This is in addition to the planned film by Fruit Chan about two childhood friends in 1950s Hong Kong who split up on their own roads, one of them being Bruce Lee.

- The teaser trailer is out for the Hollywood remake of the Pang Brothers’ The Eye, and I guess it looks blah.

- Also, the second trailer for Feng Xiaogang’s The Assembly is online. I use Firefox, so I haven’t watched it, and I’ll probably watch the movie when it comes out anyway.

- In not-so-pleasant news for the blogging community, the Chinese government is continuing its crackdown of the internet ahead of the party congress.

- And yet, they decided to allow a shorter version of Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution, which was edited by Lee himself and is a few minutes longer than the Malaysian version, to play nationwide starting November 1st. Can someone tell me whether Lam Ka Tung makes an appearance at the end of the Mainland version? Someone who’s seen both Infernal Affairs and Lust, Caution should get this.

- Then again, despite the film having done very well in Asian territories, audiences in China may very well not even get what “the bad guy” in the movie does.

- China may seem pretty bad, but then the head of the Thai ministry of culture came out and pretty much says: 1) Thai audiences are not educated, and 2) just because said audience doesn’t understand a movie, it should be be classified and/or banned.

The Golden Rock Box Office Report - 10/15/2007

- In Hong Kong, Lust, Caution wins the Sunday box office yet again, making HK$1.25 million from 52 screens for a 19-day total of HK$30.06 million. Not only has Ang Lee’s erotic thriller now become the highest-grossing Chinese film of the year in Hong Kong, it is also now the highest-grossing category-III film (no one under 18 admitted) in Hong Kong history.

In the rest of the box office, the Hollywood romantic drama No Reservations is the strongest of the newcomers, making HK$340,000 from 28 screens for a 4-day total of HK$1.19 million. Tony Gilroy’s Michael Clayton, starring George Clooney, did only ok (for a film of its kind, that is) with HK$200,000 from 17 screens for a 4-day HK$700,000 total.

Now we’re down to the disappointments - Kenneth Bi’s well-meaning but disappointing drama The Drummer made only HK$60,000 from 18 screens for a 4-day total of just HK$210,000. HK$30,000 of those came from opening day. Ouch. Death Sentence, starring Kevin Bacon, had a Drummer-like per-screen average and made only HK$40,000 from 12 screens for a 4-day total of HK$160,000.

In holdovers, Resident Evil 3 had a pretty solid second weekend with HK$600,000 from 36 screens on Sunday. After 11 days, the horror-action flick has made HK$8.95 million. Oxide Pang’s The Detective continues its slow fade with only HK$90,000 from 18 screens for a 18-day total of HK$5.22 million. Sadly, Wong Jing’s Beauty and the Seven Beasts had a higher per-screen average with HK$70,000 from 8 screens. Its 19-day total is only HK$2.88 million.

- In Korean box office, it was such a slow week that even The Nanny Diaries and Becoming Jane made the top 10. Hur Jin-Ho’s Happiness leads the chart again. Can anyone tell me whether it was any good?

- In Japanese box office, no numbers yet, but the audience ranking says that Closed Note is still doing quite well (despite never having made it to the top spot), Peter Berg’s The Kingdom made second place, and people are actually still going to watch A Perfect Stranger. Scary.

The Golden Rock Song of the Week - 10/14/07

The Golden Rock should be back from its break tomorrow. Until then, it’ll slowly get back onto schedule.

This week’s artist was almost completely forgotten by this blogger until he started listening to their last album on MD. It’s kind of commercial, and I expect choosing it would make my credibility as a music critic go down further, but I’ll risk it. From A Rush of Blood to the Head, it’s Coldplay’s The Scientist. Copyright © 2002-2024 Ross Chen