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Archive for February 28th, 2008

The Golden Rock - February 28th, 2008 Edition

- Courtesy of the informative EastSouthWestNorth is an entry from Danwei about the current state of Chinese cinema. Yes, it’s making money, but where is it headed?

- Jason Gray has a advance review of Gururi No Koto, Ryosuke Hashiguchi’s first film in six years. The teaser on the website (click on the link next to “information”) doesn’t say much, but that, along with the review, has gotten me fairly excited about the film now.

By the way, the film stars Lili Franky. Yes, the Lili Franky who wrote Tokyo Tower - Me, Mom and Sometimes Dad.

- Actress Takako Matsu, usually seen in TV dramas and films, just picked up the Best Actress Award at the Yomiuri Theater Awards for her performances in two stage productions.

- Even though I’m a bigger fan of another author named Murakami, it’s worth reporting that Ryu Murakami’s novel Coin Locker Babies’ film adaptation, which has been on-and-off for years, may still be happening……eventually?

- Watch out, Oricon, the Billboard charts is heading to Japan. It will be compiling data from radio airplay from 33 radio stations and sales figures from 3,000 retailers to make a top 100 chart that will likely differ from the weekly Oricon singles sales chart.

- It may seem strange to those who don’t really know the Japanese film industry, since you may expect a film studio to so something like this instead: major television network NTV has announced its slate of film for the 2008 fiscal year, which will range from the latest film from Hayao Miyazaki to a crime film starring Takeshi Kaneshiro as a killer in 1949 Japan. Most mainstream films in Japan are actually at least partially financed by major television networks. NTV, for one, have made a ton of money from the Death Note films (including the currently-in-release spinoff L: Change the World).

- Japanese actress Youki Kudoh, who was last seen in L: Change the World, will be in her second Jim Jarmusch film, about a “mysterious loner working outside the law.” Whatever that means.

- Lastly, Variety’s Derek Elley gives a brief review to the hit Korean handball movie Forever the Moment.

The Golden Rock - February 27th, 2008 Edition

- The Japanese box office numbers are out, and L: Change The World is hanging on surprisingly well, losing only 17% of its business from the previous week. I guess people will watch detective L in anything. Meanwhile, the standings with money figures in is slightly different from the previously reported attendance figures, as Kabei and Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium draw the “cheap ticket” audience, ie the old and the young, which would have an impact on final figures. If you see, Magorium’s take is actually fairly close to Earth’s take.

Meanwhile, box office was also somewhat impact by the previews for The Golden Compass. No word on how many screens it was shown on, but it managed to take a fairly strong 270 million yen over a 2-day period. That’s 155% of last year’s Springtime blockbuster Night at the Museum. It’s set to open on a whopping 700 screens this Saturday, and will probably open big to knock L right off the top spot.

- It’s Oricon charts time! On the singles chart, Arashi has their 10th consecutive number 1 single, selling 324,000 copies. But consider their thunder stolen by Jero, the first African-American enka singer whose first single debuted at 4th place with 35,000 copies sold, making it the best debut by a solo enka singer.

On the albums side, another compilation tops the chart, while Yuna Ito and pop/rock group TOKIO saw fairly weak debuts.

More details at Tokyograph.

- The Bollywood epic film Jodhaa Akbar has now grossed US$18.5 million worldwide, and it still have a holiday weekend coming up. The blockbuster has garnered plenty of controversy for inciting riots, leading to its ban by the regional government in the state of Madhya Pradesh.

- Japan’s Takashi Miike will be the director for a major TV drama project that will run a rare 51 episodes. However, other directors will also come in a direct some episodes as well. The drama is about a high schooler who works with a cell phone robot against internet-based criminal organizations. Wicked.

- China Film Group’s Han “China needs more movie like Pursuit of Happyness” Sanping announces that the Christmas and Lunar New Year period was phenomenal for Chinese films at the box office. Of course, he didn’t say that they didn’t play fair by completely blacking out non-Chinese films for 3 months.

- As reported a while ago, there are two movies about Bruce Lee’s master Ip Man in the works. One of them is the one directed by Wong Kar-Wai and starring Tony Leung Chiu-Wai. I had thought the other one will be by Fruit Chan (whose film will be about Bruce Lee as a child in Hong Kong?), but turns out it’ll be directed by Wilson Yip and star none other than Donnie Yen (DONNNNNIIIEEEEE!!) and Sammo Hung.

 
 
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