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Archive for April 17th, 2008

The Golden Rock - April 17th, 2008 Edition

- It’s Oricon charts time! As expected, Ayumi Hamasaki’s latest single tops the singles chart in its debut week, but only beating out the male group Shuchishin by only about 5,000 copies in sales (in fact, the Billboard 100 Japan tells the opposite story; more in a bit). Zard (aka Japan’s Tupac) sees her latest release debut at 3rd place. Meanwhile, YUI’s latest album debuts at first place on the album chart, while Hideaki Tokunaga’s box set debuts at 6th place.

More over at Tokyograph.

On the Billboard 100 Japan, Shuchishin takes the top spot purely based on sales alone, which would make it probably a rare occurrence in which the Billboard sales chart is in discrepancy with the Oricon sales chart. The Billboard 100 also count foreign singles (thanks to the radio airplay chart), so foreign acts such as The Hoosiers and Leona Lewis found themselves on the top 10 of the Billboard 100.

- Japan Zone introduces the next wannabe big R&B female singer in Japan, and she is Miho Fukuhara. But watching her video, she only seems like this year’s version of Ayaka more than her own thing.

- Twitch has a 5-minute preview of Tran Ahn Hung’s international thriller I Come With the Rain. I’m really surprised how good it looks and how much my expectation just shot up for this movie.

- I think I just found new plans tomorrow: Bandai just opened their first Asian game center in Hong Kong that will feature games that have not been released outside of Japan.

- This might get messy: A Korean production company signed a deal with a Japanese production company to make a live-action adaptation of the Japanese comic Captain Harlock. However, the comic’s creator has come out saying that he did not approve the film even though he knows about it. So what now? Lawsuits? Boycotts?

- It’s reviews time! Both from Hollywood Reporter today. First, Stephen Farber has his review of Forbidden Kingdom, which he claims “won’t enthrall anyone over 16.” Oh dear.

Then, Maggie Lee offers her review of Peter Chan’s award-winning The Warlords, though with a reported running time of 110 minutes, I suspect that it’s the non-director-approved international cut that Chan mentioned several months ago. Caution: it’s the cut that will be playing at the San Francisco International Film Festival.

- I only link this because I’m a fan: Japundit has a link to a very good interview with my favorite author Haruki Murakami.

- Japanese documentary filmmaker Tatsuya Mori writes an editorial in the Asahi Shimbun about the dangers of self-censorship, especially with the recent controversy about the documentary Yasukuni.

The Golden Rock - April 16th, 2008 Edition

- In South Korean box office, it’s amazing that Three Kingdoms has managed two weekends at second place (the power of Andy Lau, ladies and gentlemen), while An Empress and the Warriors flopped on its opening weekend. Also, The Chaser is still on the top 10, 2 months after its release. More over at Korea Pop Wars.

- It’s reviews time! All of them are from Variety this time and from Derek Elley, who offers his take on Pang Ho-Cheung’s Trivial Matters, as well as his take on Oxide Pang’s The Detective.

- After the success of the cell phone novel adaptation Koizora last year, Shochiku and Fuji television are teaming up to bring another successful cell phone novel to both the big and small screens. This time it’s Akai Ito, which apparently will feature more drugs, rape, and suicide involving teenagers. Do Japanese kids really like watching this stuff?

- Steven Spielberg and Dreamworks are planning to bring the classic animated film Ghost in the Shell into a live-action 3D feature. This feels kind of redundant, especially when I felt like I already reported this, except it turns out that I was thinking of the Leonardo DiCaprio-produced Akira.

- More animation news: The voice talent cast has been announced for Mamoru Oshii’s Sky Crawlers, and it features Oscar-nominated actress Rinko Kikuchi and Ryo Kase. With recent animated films choosing stars over experience, are Japanese animated films starting to become more and more like American ones?

-  The short animated film Megumi, based on a true story about a girl abducted by North Korean agents and produced by a government agency, can now be downloaded for free. Er….I’ll get to watching it sooner or later, I guess.

- The Weinstein Company has revealed some of the films they’ll be making with their so-called “Asian fund,” and while we all know about Shanghai by know, I did a mental spit take when I saw the other film they announced.

- I like well-done parodies, especially when they capture something that’s timely in a sharp manner without being childish. But do we really need a parody of a blockbuster film a month within its release?

 
 
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