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Archive for the ‘Canada’ Category

The Golden Rock - September 9th, 2008 Edition

- Kaiju Shakedown’s Grady Hendrix writes a report from the Toronto Film Festival about the screening of Wong Kar Wai’s Ashes of Time Redux and the changes made from the original film.

- Hong Kong is getting another IMAX theater, this time at the far more convenient tourist-friendly neighborhood of Tsim Sha Tsui. The extra-large screen will be part of a 900-seat/5-screen theater that will also include two “premium” screens. Here’s hoping the other two auditoriums will be 200-seat+ large auditoriums.

Originally found on the Hong Kong Film Blog as well.

- The Warner Bros. lawsuit against an Indian studio over the kids film “Hari Puttar” has started, and funny enough, the judge subtly suggests that 20th Century Fox should be suing because it looks more like a rip-off of Home Alone, a charge that the studio has denied because it features musical sequences and animated sequences.

- Under “movies that will open film festivals” news today, Woody Allen’s latest will be opening the always troubled Bangkok Film Festival this year. Meanwhile, the Kazakhstani film The Gifts to Stalin will be opening this year’s Pusan Film Festival.

- Major Asian music presence EMI has decided to shut down its operations in several Southeast Asian territories, including Hong Kong. The affected areas will see their operations turned over to Warner Bros. In Hong Kong, EMI was once home to Gold Label and Denise “HOCC” Ho. On the other hand, Taiwan, where EMI has a fairly huge operation, is not one of the affected areas.

- Bae Yong Joon (aka Yon-sama) is looking at starring in a new drama next year, and his management company is seizing the chance to make money by taking on production duties themselves.

- At the ongoing Asia Media Summit, despite Asia looking at continuing growth, increasing costs and the post-Olympic hangover period mayput a stall on growth. On the other hand, it’s looking like India still has the potential to be the next big thing. Of course, China is still looking to be to be huge, especially in internet media, but a lack of transparency continues to dampen things.

The Golden Rock - September 6th, 2008 Edition

- It’s review time! With the Venice Film Festival wrapping up and the Toronto Film Festival just starting, the trade paper film critics are going to be very busy, which also means more review links popping up here on The Golden Rock. First from the Japan Times is Mark Schilling’s review of the award-winning drama Okuribito (or Departures).

From Variety is a trifecta of Japanese film reviews.  From Dennis Harvey is a review for Kenji Uchida’s After School and a review for Koki Mitani’s crowdpleasing The Magic Hour. From the mysterious “Variety Staff” is the review for Mamoru Oshii’s The Sky Crawlers.

From Hollywood Reporter’s Maggie Lee is a review of the wonderful All Around Us and also her take on Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Still Walking.

- Forget about the animation competition going on at Venice. Both Japanese animated films in competition are going home with prizes at the digital cinema competition.

- The Toronto Film Festival has barely started, and sales for Asian film are already starting. I don’t remember Toronto being acquisition-heavy festival, but we’ll keep track of things here.

- After last year’s pop song-inspired Signs of Love, TBS will produce a 3-part drama, with each part inspired by a Mariya Takeuchi song. As expected, the drama will be shown just after the release of her latest compilation album. What a coincidence!

Korean president Lee Myung Bak continues his promised deregulation of media by annoucing a series of proposals that will encourage more media congolmerate through the softening of ownership laws and an increase in the budget for cultural promotion, with the former a likely point of contention with naysayers.

- After Taiwan quickly chose its representative at the Oscars this year, Singapore has also made its choice, sending Eric Khoo’s My Magic to the Academy Awards after it represented the nation at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

- This week’s Teleview column on the Daily Yomiuri takes a digression into CNN’s coverage of the Democratic and Republican Conventions (um….I don’t think Wolf Blitzer makes any editorial calls. His producer does.). But before that is a brief mention of Edo “GU~~~” Harumi’s 110km marathon at last weekend’s NTV 24-hour telethon.

- And just to show that anyone can make up a TV drama nowadays, TV Asahi is putting together a TV movie featuring three stories by three celebrities.

That’s it for the weekend! See you on Monday.

The Golden Rock - September 2nd, 2008 Edition

- It’s Korean box office time! Strangely, two of the top ten films this weekend are not supposed to open until this week, but preview screenings for them were counted in the box office gross this weekend anyway. One of them is the Korean period epic The Divine Weapon, which attracted 230,000 admissions from the two days of preview screenings alone. Meanwhile, The Dark Knight tops the chart for another week, while The Good, the Bad, and the Weird is officially the biggest film of the 2008 Summer.

More over at Korea Pop Wars.

-  (Via Jason Gray’s blog) Jason Gray writes on Screen Daily about the grosses of 20th Century Boys‘ and Hancock’s opening weekend. Actually, the reason why Hancock sits on the top of the box office chart is because Sony has taken the liberty of including last weekend’s preview screening grosses, which means 20th Century Boys probably won both weekend grosses and per-screen average (625 million yen from a surprisingly small 310 screens). Also, Toho now expects the first film to make over 5 billion yen, which certainly bodes well for parts II and III, considering all three films cost a total of 6 billion yen to make.

- It’s review time! From Twitch are reviews of 20th Century Boys, the Korean film A Man Who Was Superman, and Rian Johnson’s The Brothers Bloom, which is here because Rinko Kikuchi has a supporting role.

From Variety is Derek Elley’s review for the Chinese film Perfect Life, which was a surprise film at the Venice Film Festival.

- Speaking of the super-efficient Yukihiko Tsutsumi, Nippon Cinema has the latest clips for his November release Maroboshi no Yamataikoku.

- Under “awards” news today, two Japanese films have taken major prizes at the World Film Festival Montreal. Meanwhile, Taiwan has already picked Cape No. 7 to be its representative at the Academy Awards this year. Not much hope for their output for the next 3 months already?

- Hong kong director Pang Ho-Cheung goes to his second Asian film market of the year, joining 31 other directors to the Tokyo Project Gathering in late October to pitch his latest project.

- Korean studio Chungeorshm, who had a major hit with The Host, will next produce the big-budget action film 29 Years, which has a surprisingly heavy political and historical tone for a typical blockbuster.

The Golden Rock - May 1st/May 2nd, 2008 Edition

- It was a public holiday in Hong Kong on Thursday opening day, so the box office gross were fairly high.Iron Man, which opened on April 30th here, had a pretty big May Day with HK$2.6 million from 57 screens for a 2-day total of HK$4.09 million. It should have no problem with hitting that HK$10 million mark by the end of the weekend. Another film with an impressive per-screen average is the period drama The Other Boleyn Girl, which made HK$254,000 from just 6 screens on its opening day. There’s also the Japanese film Mari and Her Three Puppies, which made HK$772,000 from 22 screens (with only one playing the original Japanese version). Wong Jing’s latest My Wife is a Gambling Maestro got past the HK$10,000 per-screen average as well with HK$371,000 from 27 screens on opening day. Hell, even crocodile thriller Rogue made HK$73,000 from 7 screens. Sadly, Lawrence Lau’s Besieged City made only HK$38,000 from 6 screens.

- It’s Oricon charts time! Korean boy band TVXQ’s latest single debuts on top yet again, with male trio Shuchishin staying at 2nd place. Meanwhile, Arashi’a latest album tops the albums chart, with Bennie K’s compilation debuting far behind at 2nd place.

More over at Tokyograph.

- On the heels of L For Love, L For Lies‘ success, writer/director Patrick Kong is already shooting his next film, though with the cast of Alice Tzeng and Andy On instead of Stephy Tang and Alex Fong Lik-Sun. Is he trying to move into auteur territory here?

- In related news, Stephy Tang has just started work on her latest film, a Chan Hing-Ka-directed comedy in which she plays an underwear inspector. The film also features Ronald Cheng, Andy On (the man’s got a lot of work lately), and the Shine Boys. Didn’t Chan Hing-Ka already make a comedy about underwear?

- Japanese newspaper Nikkan Sports have been revealing the winners for their yearly drama Grand Prix all week. Here are the winners:

Best Drama: Yukan Club
Best Actor: Jin Nakaishi - Yukan Club
Best Actress: Maki Horikita - Hanazakari no Kimitachi e
Best Supporting Actor: Shuichi Nakatsu - Hanazakari no Kimitachi e
Best Supporting Actress: Yu Kashii - Yukan Club

Be sure to remember that the winners were voted by the general public, and both these dramas feature popular idols. This means the result may not reflect the true quality of these shows.

- Organizers at the Cannes Film Festival have announced Blindness, the latest from City of God director Fernando Meirelles, as the opening film. This marks the first time a Japanese film has been selected as the opening film at Cannes because the film is actually a co-production between Brazilian, Canadian, and Japanese production companies. It also features Japanese actors Yoshino Kimura and Yusuke Iseya. Jason Gray has more details about the co-production deal.

- Under “various Korean film news” today, Twitch has a teaser for King and the Clown director Lee Jun-i’s latest Sunny, about a Korean woman who joins the entertainment troupe to find her husband fighting in the Vietnam War. Meanwhile, a Korean dance group will join the production of the latest Hollywood teen-oriented dance movie Hype Nation, with 60% of the film to be shot in South Korea. Tezza director Choi Dong-Hoon is now working on a big-budget superhero film. Lastly (because it’s only somewhat related), the horribly-titled multi-national martial arts film Laundry Warriors has wrapped filming.

- Emperor Motion Pictures hasn’t really had it hit in a while, so I’m just wondering, where did they get the money to finance in a major Hollywood production?

- In a recent visit to The University of Southern California, Chinese director Feng Xiaogang talks about how much he hated Forbidden Kingdom. These are his words translated (original Chinese text from Apple Daily):

“The film’s story itself is already problematic. It’s a mess. I just couldn’t keep watching. I don’t know why it’s doing so well at the American box office. I would not dumb down something to simply please the American audience. ”

I didn’t like the film either, but dyamn!

The Golden Rock - April 23rd, 2008 Edition

No, Gabriel, I’m not in Udine with Kozo. I’ve just been too busy to write

- And since I missed the Sunday box office on now.com, this week’s Hong Kong weekend box office report comes from the Hong Kong Film blog. Muay Thai action film Chocolate retained its lead with a boost, making HK$710,000 from 33 screens for a 4-day weekend total of HK$2.25 million. With The Forbidden Kingdom opening next week to fill the action gap, Chocolate may not have a chance in passing the HK$5 million mark. Meanwhile, Run Papa Run overtook Street Kings‘ 2nd place opening with HK$550,000 from 28 screens thanks to good word-of-mouth (but those last 10 damn minutes…). After 2 weekends, Sylvia Chang’s comedy-drama has made HK$5.34 million. Three Kingdoms is still in the game with HK$420,000 from 37 screens for an 18-day total of HK$16.28 million. This proves that yes, Hong Kong people will watching anything with Andy Lau. Lastly, the idols-filled Love is Elsewhere didn’t get that huge boost over the weekend with only HK$340,000 from 27 screens on Sunday for a weekend total of HK$1.26 million.

In foreign films, Street Kings did only OK with HK$542,000 from 29 screens and a weekend total of HK$1.81 million. Rambo has already made HK$3.14 million after 11 days, despite the category III rating and the lack of box office appeal for Stallone movies in Hong Kong. We Own the Night lost the “Hollywood cop dramas” battle hands-down with only HK$33,000 from 4 screens for a 4-day total of about HK$130,000.

- In Japanese box office attendance figures, the latest Conan the Detective film is at the top, as expected. Crayon Shin-Chan’s latest is right behind it, while Lions For Lambs opened at 4th place. The TV drama adaptation film Sushi Ouji (greenlit before the drama was even aired) opened only at 6th place, which must’ve been a disappointment to Warner Bros. Japan. More when the numbers come out.

- Not much excitement from the Korean box office, except that Three Kingdoms is inching slowly towards that one million admissions mark. Oh, hi, The Chaser, you’re still around. Good for you.

More at Korea Pop Wars.

- Time for Japanese drama ratings! The big news is the third installment of Gokusen premiering at 26.4%, which is almost a full point higher than the premiere of the last installment. Meanwhile, Last Friends recovered slightly from its disappointing premiere episode with a 15.9% rating. I think it has something to do with either Masami Nagasawa getting beat up, or Juri Ueno giving her a long peck on the lips. This week’s disappointing premiere is probably Ryoki teki na Kanojo, aka the Japanese drama remake of the Korean film My Sassy Girl. Despite the popularity of the original and starring popular SMAP member Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, the comedy only scored a 13.5% rating in its prime Sunday night spot. Lastly, I predict this season’s freefall drama to be Muri Na Renai, which lost 30% of its audience in its second week. It was a little creepy to begin with anyway.

Info on this season’s Japanese dramas on Tokyograph

- The all-powerful State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television is planning to continue reforms through changes in the market. Hey, how about working on getting movies like Summer Palace and Lost in Beijing unbanned first?

- Apparently, Hong Kong pop duo Twins member Gillian “So naive, so foolish” Chung has been cut out of Chen Kaige’s latest film. Co-star Sun Honglei was quoted as saying that Ah Gil has not been in the right shape to work ever since “Sexy Photos Gate” broke. Don’t worry, we got a bit of Edison in this here post too.

- Jason Gray writes about the three possible Japanese candidates this year at the Cannes Film Festival, all of them I am now looking forward to immensely. I hope I can catch Kore-eda’s film when I’m in Japan in June and actually come out understanding at least a portion of it (with it being un-subtitled and all).

- Japanese film distributor Gaga Usen was slowly becoming one of the big boys with foreign acquisition such as Earth and The Golden Compass making some money in Japan. However, they weren’t enough to keep it alive, and now Gaga will no longer be involved in film production or distribution, presumably after they release their planned slate. No longer Gaga for Japanese films, indeed.

- (via Japan Probe) There’s a trailer out for the animated version of Winter Sonata. Can anyone confirm that Yon-Sama was actually say nice things, or did he just say “What the hell am I doing here again” for a minute and a half in Korean.

- Also, viz Ryuganji’s awesome news feed is the teaser trailer for Detroit Metal City, which looks………..metally?

- Argo, the distributor for the controversial Japanese documentary Yasukuni, has finally found 8 theaters nationwide that found some balls to show the film starting in early May.

- There’s a teaser out for mega-sized Japanese blockbuster 20th Century Boys, but it fulfills the definition of a teaser extremely well, as in it only teases.

- Under “the stupidest thing you will see on TV over the next 3 years” news today, Japanese TV stations may have a warning across the screens of their programs starting from July telling people that they are watching their programs in analog.

- If you want to make movies in Korea, be sure to watch out for CJ Entertainment head Kim Soo-Jung - he’s literally the most powerful man in the Korean film industry right now.

- There’s a second teaser out for the second Gegege no Kitaro film. They really are trying to sell this as more than the kids film the first installment was. I really hope that’s true, but it probably isn’t.

- Who would’ve thunk that the top-grossing Canadian-English film this month is a documentary about a dam in China without even a trailer as part of its advertising campaign?

- Japanese band B’z will be releasing two compilations albums this year to rip off their fans celebrate their 20th anniversary.

- Hey, I told you there will be Edison Chen in this entry.

The Golden Rock - November 9th, 2007 Edition

- Earlier in the week I wrote that the Japanese film Always 2 opened at 150% of its sequel’s opening. Thanks to Eiga Consultant, I now realize I was wrong. At 550 million yen, its opening is actually 256% of the original’s opening, which means if the word-of-mouth holds up, Always 2 may be heading for the 5 billion yen mark to become the second-biggest film of the year behind Hero.

- Speaking of Always 2, the Daily Yomiuri devotes some time to the blockbuster sequel, first with what seems like a pseudo-review for the film, then with a short feature on star Hidetaka Yoshioka.

- Under “big TV network exploits small town troubles” news today, Japanese network TBS will produce a drama about the troubles of Yubari, Hokkaido when the town literally went bankrupt. Who knows? Maybe it might turn out good. It probably won’t.

- The Academy has announced their final list of qualified films for the best animated film awards - Japan’s Tekkonkinkreet and the Hong Kong-produced TMNT are on that final list. Note that this does not mean they are now Oscar-nominated films; it just means they may be.

- In more Imagi news, the Hong Kong animation firm has acquired screenplay rights for Fluorescent Black, an original story that will first be adapted as a “graphic novel” before becoming an animated film. This is the first Imagi project that isn’t based on an established story.

- Lust, Caution is not only a commercial hit in Mainland China, the censored version, which still has several nudity-less sex scenes, has touched off a massive internet debate about sexuality on screen and even Mainland censorship.

- Speaking of Chinese censorship, the Canadian Broadcasting Company has reportedly pulled a documentary on the persecution of Falun Gong members in China after pressure from Chinese diplomats. It’s hard to believe that Canada has to be afraid of China when Hong Kong police don’t even stop Falun Gong demonstrators from putting up a huge sign saying “Destroy the Chinese Communist Party” in the middle of the busiest district in Hong Kong.

- In Hong Kong, director Christopher Nolan says that he did not take out a scene in which Batman jumps into Victoria Harbor due to pollution, but because of a script change. In fact, he said he would have no problems dumping actors into pollution anyway. Christian Bale must be thanking someone that it didn’t happen.

- Independent Korean directors are celebrating the opening of Indie Space, the first theater in South Korea dedicated to showing Korean independent feature films and short films.

- The Yomiuri’s Teleview column writes about the role of the middle-aged people working in Japanese television.

The Golden Rock will be going away for a few days. This blogger will be shooting his final project this weekend while some administrative stuff gets taken care of. We’ll be back on Monday, when we might have a little surprise.

The Golden Rock - October 26th, 2007 Edition

The start of another weekend, and the beginning of spreading news out over 3 days. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of news all weekend.

- Last week I linked to the review for Suzuki Matsuo’s Welcome to the Quiet Room, which opened on 13 screens last weekend. With one theater in Shibuya seeing full house all day on opening day, the comedy-drama made an impressive 15.47 million yen, surely scoring the best per-screen average amidst the weak box office.

Meanwhile, Japan Times’ Mark Schilling chimes in with a review.

- There are also a ton of stories about the animated series Afro Samurai, which is seeing its extended cut get a theatrical release in Japan this weekend.

First, there’s a report from The Associated Press/The Daily Yomiuri about the reaction to the first series.

Then the Japan Times has a feature on what’s next, including a comic book version by the creator himself.

And then comes the confirmation that creator Okazaki is now working on the production of the second series.

- Don’t think I forgot about the Tokyo International Film Festival. Actually, I’ve been waiting all week for a review anywhere for the opening film Midnight Eagle. But the only news about the film so far is that it’s been sold to a few more territories, including this blogger’s current city of residency Hong Kong.

- At least we know Tokyo is the real land of opportunity: Even a movie a written by the writer of the Tony Jaa starrer Tom Yum Goong can win the Tokyo Project Award out of 37 other movies.

- Meanwhile, another film festival is underway. In addition to the Sylvia Chang tribute, the World Film Festival of Bangkok opened with the unintentionally funny historical epic Genghis Khan: To the Ends of the Earth and Sea (lovingly called here as “that Genghis Khan movie).

- Also, the Reel Asian International Film Festival in Toronto announced its lineup. Try to avoid the self-promotion along the way.

- Lastly, in your daily Lust, Caution news, the Philippines will be getting a full uncensored version of Ang Lee’s erotic espionage drama in its theatres while those in neighboring countries are stuck with a censored version.

Sadly, it has also become the little puppy without a home, as the Hong Kong Film Awards have also disqualified the Asian co-production because it doesn’t feature eight Hong Kong residents in key creative roles.

That, and a ton of other unfairness in the world from Kaiju Shakedown.

The Golden Rock Best of the Week, Part 1 - September 15th, 2007

You may say I took a “break” in blogging this past week, but I was certainly not in a relaxing mood. In fact, it’s more like a “I have no time to blog” week for me. Nevertheless, I’m back now, and posts will continue next week (despite at least 6 short film shoots coming up), and let’s let things get back to normalcy around here. That means a ton of news here and a ton of complaining in the spin-off.

Instead of just going over the news of the weekend. The following are some of the most notable news of the week:

- In Oscar submission news around Asia, South Korea has decided to submit Lee Chang-Dong’s Secret Sunshine as its representative to compete for the best foreign film award at the Academy Awards. Meanwhile, Japan has decided to submit Masayuki Suo’s mainstream successful I Just Didn’t Do It for its best picture nominee, as opposed to Naomi Kawase’s artsy The Mourning Forest. I haven’t seen any of these films, but in terms of award pedigrees, it seems like Secret Sunshine has a better chance of making it.

- It’s reviews time! Lovehkfilm has a review of Pang Ho-Cheung’s dark comedy-drama Exodus and Carol Lai Miu-Suet’s long overdue The Third Eye. Meanwhile, Twitch has a somewhat inexplicably positive review of Alexi Tan’s Blood Brothers (1930s China looks like it only consisted of 5 sets, for crying out loud) and a pretty positive review of Johnnie To/Wai Ka-Fai’s Mad Detective.

As for festival reviews, Variety has one from Toronto for Takashii Miike’s Sukiyaki Western Django, while Hollywood Reporter has one from Toronto for Pang Ho-Cheung’s Exodus (However, I disagree that Pang has been striving for seriousness that hard. Beyond Our Ken has a pretty mean serious streak beneath it, and Isabella has a surprising amount of comedy as well.)

Oh, Hollywood Reporter also has a review for the Korean blockbuster D-Wars, which they dared to open on wide release this weekend in North America. Why didn’t they submit this for best foreign film instead?

- Speaking of Toronto, seems like this year’s best performers are not your usual Western-oriented festival fodder, but rather Asian films. However, it seems like reviews are not out yet for many of these Asian films, so how successful are they exactly?

- Two bad news for the Japanese entertainment world - not only has video sales fallen for the 4th year in a row (probably with some type of correlation with the fact that prices for Japanese home videos have risen), Japanese films have lost to Hollywood films pretty badly this past summer. It’s pretty sad when Monkey Magic is your best performer of the summer.

- While Europeans continue to complain complain complain about piracy problems in China (valid, but honestly very redundant), Taiwanese law enforcers have taken down two peer-to-peer site in a week, pissing off many Taiwanese youths who want free entertainment, I’m sure.

- John Woo’s turbulent shoot of the epic Red Cliff is slated to end on time next month. However, the film(s) still have a long way to go, as it hasn’t found an American distributor yet, who will have to pay a hefty price to help Woo and Co. make back that US$80 million investment. I hope someone doesn’t screw up and lose all the footage while doing the special effects.

Part II, with box office reports and all, tomorrow.

The Golden Rock Best of the Week, Part 1 - September 15th, 2007

You may say I took a “break” in blogging this past week, but I was certainly not in a relaxing mood. In fact, it’s more like a “I have no time to blog” week for me. Nevertheless, I’m back now, and posts will continue next week (despite at least 6 short film shoots coming up), and let’s let things get back to normalcy around here. That means a ton of news here and a ton of complaining in the spin-off.

Instead of just going over the news of the weekend. The following are some of the most notable news of the week:

- In Oscar submission news around Asia, South Korea has decided to submit Lee Chang-Dong’s Secret Sunshine as its representative to compete for the best foreign film award at the Academy Awards. Meanwhile, Japan has decided to submit Masayuki Suo’s mainstream successful I Just Didn’t Do It for its best picture nominee, as opposed to Naomi Kawase’s artsy The Mourning Forest. I haven’t seen any of these films, but in terms of award pedigrees, it seems like Secret Sunshine has a better chance of making it.

- It’s reviews time! Lovehkfilm has a review of Pang Ho-Cheung’s dark comedy-drama Exodus and Carol Lai Miu-Suet’s long overdue The Third Eye. Meanwhile, Twitch has a somewhat inexplicably positive review of Alexi Tan’s Blood Brothers (1930s China looks like it only consisted of 5 sets, for crying out loud) and a pretty positive review of Johnnie To/Wai Ka-Fai’s Mad Detective.

As for festival reviews, Variety has one from Toronto for Takashii Miike’s Sukiyaki Western Django, while Hollywood Reporter has one from Toronto for Pang Ho-Cheung’s Exodus (However, I disagree that Pang has been striving for seriousness that hard. Beyond Our Ken has a pretty mean serious streak beneath it, and Isabella has a surprising amount of comedy as well.)

Oh, Hollywood Reporter also has a review for the Korean blockbuster D-Wars, which they dared to open on wide release this weekend in North America. Why didn’t they submit this for best foreign film instead?

- Speaking of Toronto, seems like this year’s best performers are not your usual Western-oriented festival fodder, but rather Asian films. However, it seems like reviews are not out yet for many of these Asian films, so how successful are they exactly?

- Two bad news for the Japanese entertainment world - not only has video sales fallen for the 4th year in a row (probably with some type of correlation with the fact that prices for Japanese home videos have risen), Japanese films have lost to Hollywood films pretty badly this past summer. It’s pretty sad when Monkey Magic is your best performer of the summer.

- While Europeans continue to complain complain complain about piracy problems in China (valid, but honestly very redundant), Taiwanese law enforcers have taken down two peer-to-peer site in a week, pissing off many Taiwanese youths who want free entertainment, I’m sure.

- John Woo’s turbulent shoot of the epic Red Cliff is slated to end on time next month. However, the film(s) still have a long way to go, as it hasn’t found an American distributor yet, who will have to pay a hefty price to help Woo and Co. make back that US$80 million investment. I hope someone doesn’t screw up and lose all the footage while doing the special effects.

Part II, with box office reports and all, tomorrow.

The Golden Rock - August 28th, 2007 Edition

- It’s reviews time! Hollywood Reporter has a surprisingly informed (i.e. references to director’s earlier films) review of Wilson Yip/Donnie Yen’s Flash Point. Todd Brown also reviews Flash Point with mixed enthusiasm. Lovehkfilm’s Kozo chimes in with a review of Blood Brothers. Actually, AP’s Min Lee also chimes in with a review of Blood Brothers. Lovehkfilm’s Sanjuro writes a review for Nana 2, or how to ruin a franchise that couldn’t retain its actors. Lastly, there’s a review of Takashi Miike’s Ryu Go Gotoku by new guest reviewer at Lovehkfilm Jmaruyama.

- The return of Grady Hendrix’s Kaiju Shakedown is slowly rendering this blog useless. For one, he’s packed a whole weekend’s worth of Hong Kong film news into one entry, though some have already appeared here already.

- I was pretty young when I watched that animated series City Hunter on TV. Of course, with the time slot of after-midnight on Hong Kong’s TVB, it was like eating the fruit that is close to the location of the forbidden fruit (which would probably be say…porn), and it should tell you how far it has slip into the back of my mind, considering how young I was when I lived in Hong Kong. Now someone (the news didn’t specify) is bringing it back as a live-action drama with a Korean actor in the leading role.

- Taiwan is pissed because someone who writes for the Venice Film festival identified Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution and Alexi Tan’s Blood Brothers as being from “Taiwan, China” while the Taiwanese art film Help Me Eros used just “Taiwan.” However, the two films are actually Taiwan/China co-productions, so could someone have just gotten lazy with their slashes?

- Apparently this is how the Japanese distributor of Craig Brewer’s Black Snake Moan decided to promote the film. Fitting or tasteless?

- Know how to tell that Jackie Chan is getting old? He’s hurt himself again on the set of his latest movie, but this time is because he triggered an earlier injury from another movie. Those back pains are no joke at his age.

- Another addition to the Tokyo International Film festival is Jigyaku No Uta (or “Happily Ever After) starring Miki Nakatani and Hiroshi Abe. Naturally, Kaiju Shakedown already has more.

- Aubrey Lam, whose Twelve Nights is a personal favorite, has a new film coming out called “Anna and Anna” starring Karena Lam. However, its plot description of two women in difference places that look the same sound somewhat similar to The Double Life of Veronique.

 
 
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