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The Golden Rock - November 24th, 2007 Edition

- It’s reviews time! This week we see why reading film criticism is like watching Rashomon - first a glowing review of the Japanese aspiring blockbuster Midnight Eagle from The Daily Yomiuri’s Ikuko Kitagawa, then a pan from Japan Times’ Mark Schilling. Who should we believe?

- The Daily Yomiuri is so enthusiastic about Midnight Eagle that they even have a feature on the actor who plays the Prime Minister in the film. No, he’s not the star, but he talks like one.

- If you’re in New York, Midnight Eagle is playing as a day-and-date release at the Imaginasian theatre in New York City.  Of course, if you’re not, then it doesn’t really mean anything to you.

- The first teaser for Stephen Chow’s CJ 7 is indeed out and a Chinese-subtitled version is all over Youtube. Thanks to Lovehkfilm’s Sanjuro, now I can actually link a version with English subtitles instead. By the way, the first time is mis-translated: it should say “stop yelling or I’ll throw you out to the streets.”

- Oh, no, it’s sex! Chinese doctors are so afraid of the impact of Lust, Caution - now on track to be the highest-grossing Chinese film of the year in China - that they have to warn people to not imitate the sex scenes from the uncensored version. If you get hurt doing them, they’ll probably arrest you for piracy.

- Under “piracy is bad, mmkay?” news today, The Korean Film Council will be launching a new anti-piracy campaign in South Korea, where box office gross is one of the highest in the world without the DVD sales to reflect it. Meanwhile, European businesses are putting the pressure on European Union officials to make China do something about their piracy problem. Lastly, five Hollywood studios have come together to sue a Chinese online service and an internet cafe in Shanghai for providing illegal downloads of films.

Quite frankly, short of shooting ballistic missiles at random Chinese vendors, Chinese pirates are harder to take down than Al Qaeda insurgents. But good tries, everyone.

Later today: Maybe a post in the spin-off.

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