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Archive for September 22nd, 2008

The Golden Rock - September 21st, 2008 Edition

Since I took the weekend off, this is an extra-packed edition of The Golden Rock

- The big news this weekend is the announcement of the new Green Hornet movie. Sony Pictures, who co-produced Kung Fu Hustle and CJ7, has signed Stephen Chow to star in the film along with Seth Rogen. He will also make his English-language directorial debut with the film, which now has a release date of June 25th, 2010. Supposedly, this will come after Chow finishes up Kung Fu Hustle 2, a news that just came out of nowhere for this blogger.

- Back to the usual box office news. The critically acclaimed Japanese drama Departures opened last weekend at 5th place in the attendance charts, but both the positive reviews and holiday weekend opening date helped it scored a surprisingly high opening. On 220 screens, the dramedy made 348 million yen over the 3-day weekend. Even though the distributor expected it to appeal to an older audience, the demographic was wider than expected. With the surprising opening, Shochiku has now adjusted their expected gross of 2 billion yen to 3 billion yen.

-Despite the usual netizen complaints, The Mummy 3 has now passed the 100 million yuan mark at the Chinese box office after only 2 weeks. Of course, Variety points out that it’s still no Red Cliff.

- It’s reviews time! From Japan Times’ Mark Schilling is the review for the controversial and potentially disturbing Kodomo no Kodomo. Fortunately he says it’s not all that disturbing. From the Daily Yomiuri’s Christph Mark is a review for Takeshi Kitano’s Achilles and the Tortoise.

- CNN recently compiled a list of the best Asian films, which not only included classics such as Akira Kurosawa’s Ikiru and King Hu’s  A Touch of Zen, but also recent films such as The Host, In the Mood for Love, and (somewhat head-scratching) Infernal Affairs.

- Under “Asian film festivals” news today, the Hong Kong Asian Film Festival has announced its extensive list of 75 films, which will include the Taiwanese hit Cape no.7, Koki Mitani’s The Magic Hour, the omnibus film Tokyo!, Herman Yau’s True Women for Sale, and Ivy Ho’s Clustrophobia. Needless to say, I’m going to quite a few of them.

As previously mentioned, the Tokyo International Film Festival also announced its lineup. In addition to closing film Wall-E, it will also feature Clustrophobia (Asian premiere) and 3 other premieres. Astonishingly, the programmers also decided to include the Korean commercial blockbuster/cheesy nightmare D-War in the lineup as well.

With only a few days to go, organizers at the Bangkok International Film Festival decided to pull Junji Sakamoto’s Children of the Dark from its lineup after sponsors argued the film “does not fit in Thai society”, even though it was a co-production between a Japanese and a Thai production company.

- This week’s Televiews column on the Daily Yomiuri looks at the latest NHK daily morning drama. The timeslot has been going through a gradual descent in the ratings, and NHK has brought back the stars of the highest-rated morning drama in the last 11 years in a hope for a repeat.

-  Han Cinema has a feature on award-winning actress Jeon Do Yeon, whose first post-Cannes film was released in Korean theatres over the weekend.

- Shiina Ringo (or her record company) just keep on celebrating her 10th year with EMI: A set of her remastered albums, as well as extra goodies, will be released in November after releasing a set of B-sides and concert DVD earlier in the year. My wallet is already screaming out in pain.

-  The Daily Yomiuri has a feature on Japanese singer-lyricist-composer Suga Shikao, whose new album was recently released.

- Lastly, we are sad to announce the sudden death of Japanese director Jun Ichkawa, who was the first director to take on Haruki Murakami for the big screen with Tony Takitani. He was 59. Copyright © 2002-2018 Ross Chen