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Archive for December 16th, 2007

A Golden Rock Short Review - Trivial Matters

Cantonese film is sadly dying a slow death. Last year, the Mandarin film Curse of the Golden Flower ruled the box office, though Andrew Lau/Alan Mak’s Confession of Pain gave it a run for its money. This year, the big Chinese flick is once again a Mandarin film, though the director and one of its star are Hong Kong-based. Thankfully, Pang Ho-Cheung comes to the rescue with Trivial Matters - an adaptation of seven short stories Pang wrote and directed himself. This time, Pang and producer Chapman To called in all their favors and got a ton of young stars - including Eason Chan, Edison Chan, Juno Mak, Gillian Chung, Stephy Tang, Stephanie Chang, Chapman’s wife Crystal Tin, Jan Lam, Shawn Yue, Conroy Chan, and even director Feng Xiaogang and composer Peter Kam.

The films themselves range from 3 minutes to 15-20 minutes, and push the limits of the II-B rating. It’s amazing that they would give Mad Detective a category III for an ear slicing when Trivial Matters got passed with a II-B, despite Cantonese curse words, nudity, sex, and drug content.

There are short clips from almost all the short stories floating around online, but I won’t post them here. I can assure you that not watching these clips actually help the enjoyment of the film, though they really helped raise expectations. I can also tell you that the good shorts far outweigh the bad. The only one that really didn’t need to be there is the short 3-minute film (more “scene” than “film”, really) with Edison Chan and Stephanie Chang that is completely in English. Amusing, but needless.

So instead of watching a ton of money spent on screen blowing shit up, why not spend a few bucks to support the last true Hong Kong movie of the year? I highly recommend Trivial Matters.

The Golden Rock - December 15th, 2007 Edition

I apologize for the incomprehensible front page blurb yesterday, and kids: remember to actually click “publish,” even when you’re too sleepy.

-  It’s review time! Twitch has two reviews of Peter Chan’s The Warlords: review one, review two.

I know no one wants to know what I think about The Warlords, but I’ll say it anyway: Battle of Wits was a better war movie. The Warlords had better drama. You know what that means? Peter Chan: Stick to what you know best.

Japan Times’ Mark Schilling has a review for the Japanese tearjerker Little DJ, and Kaori Shoji reviews the French-Chinese film Les Filles du botaniste, which is actually banned in China for its depiction of homosexuality.

The review of the last film also comes with an interview with the director.

- From the Daily Yomiuri is the Teleview column’s yearlong Teleview Awards, who gives the best drama award to the Winter 2007 hit drama Haken No Hinkaku.

- One drama that will probably not end up winning a Teleview Award is the Japanese drama adaptation of My Sassy Girl coming in the Spring starring SMAP member Tsuyoshi Kusanagi and Rena Tanaka. Still, it might actually be entertaining for what it is, or it could contrived and needlessly melodramatic. In case of most Japanese dramas, it’ll probably be both. They’ve got a SMAP member playing a Marine Biology Professor, for crying out loud.

That’s it for today. Tomorrow - perhaps a short review of Pang Ho-Cheung’s latest Trivial Matters. We’ll see how we recover. Copyright © 2002-2018 Ross Chen