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The Golden Rock - February 24th, 2008 Edition

- It’s reviews time! From Berlin (I guess it was a market screening) is Variety’s Derek Elley’s review of Chung Siu-Tung’s Empress and the Warriors, starring Kelly Chen, Leon Lai, and Donnie Yen (DONNNNIIIIEEEEE!!!). Wait, did that just say Donnie Yen emphasizes character over martial artistry? THIS I have to see.

- This week on the Daily Yomiuri’s Televiews column, Wm Penn writes about the upcoming Spring season the networks already have in store for us since Winter isn’t working out so well for them.

- According to director/actor Stephen Fung, the future of his Stephen Chow-produced dance film Jump is actually still up in the air (no pun intended, really!). Colombia Pictures wants scenes of star Edison Chen removed, but Fung is now insisting that his part stays in since Chen has apologized for his actions and that he gave an excellent performance in the film. So is it going to be Fung vs. Hollywood? Will Stephen Chow join in the fray, or will he just step back until the dust settles?

- Under “potential new crappy horror franchise” news today, there will be a sequel to the Japanese horror film Kuchisake-Onna, also known as The Slit-Mouthed Woman. Actually, it’ll be a prequel of sorts, which doesn’t matter since it’s all the same to people these days.

- Under “they already made a crappy version of this” news today, there will be another Street Fighter film made, and the only reason to care is because legendary martial arts star Cheng Pei Pei will be in it. Still, this one can’t even get someone with the same caliber as Jean-Claude Van Damme, AND it’ll be directed by the director of masterpieces such as Romeo Must Die and Exit Wound. How good can this possibly get?

Japan has finally found its best-selling single, and it isn’t even on CD! The 1975 children’s song “Oyoge! Taiyaki-kun” sold 4.5 million copies when it was first released, and Guinness managed to find out that it’s actually the best-selling song ever in Japan. With renewed popularity, it will finally be released on CD next month.

-  Shochiku, one of the major distributors of Japan, has announced its slate of 16 films for 2008-2009, and they are aiming for a total of 20 billion yen in box office gross. On the other hand, major rival Toho will be aiming for 60 billion yen. Burn!

- Twitch has a trailer for the Korean gangster film A Destiny, which looks like plenty of homoerotic macho gangster action goodness. Look at those abs!

- Japan-born cinematographer Tetsuo Nagata has won his second Cesar Award for his work in the film La Vie En Rose, the biopic about singer Edith Piaf. That award is French, by the way.

- Japanese movie critic Yoshio Tsuchiya shares his thoughts about late director Kon Ichikawa with the Daily Yomiuri. It’s an excellent piece about an excellent director.

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