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Archive for the ‘DVD’ Category

The Golden Rock - December 4th, 2007 Edition

- In Japanese drama ratings (one day late), many of the dramas that hit their season-low managed to bounce back. That does include the gradually failing Hatachi No Koibito, which finally saw a week with improving ratings as it bounced back by 0.2%. Hell, even Joshi Deka finally saw a rise in rating, bouncing from an abysmal 7.8 last week to a 9.3 this week. The same goes for Iryu 2, which went up from a 14.1 to a 16.6 for its 8th episode. The hit Fuji Saturday night drama SP, however, dropped to its season-low this past weekend. A preview for next week: Galileo drops to its season-low.

- Just before Mad Detective had its massive opening weekend in Hong Kong, IFC (Independent Film Channel) picked up the North America distribution rights last Friday. They will show it in theaters, for also make it a day-and-date release for video on demand, which is wise since the Hong Kong DVD would be out by then.

- When you buy legit copes of American movies on Chinese DVDs, you’ll get a refrigerator magnet with Jackie Chan’s face thanking you for buying legit products. Wouldn’t that make me want to buy them less?

- In case anyone in Japan (or planning to download) wants to know, this is the full Kohaku lineup this new year’s eve.

- Let me ask a hypothetical question: say you’re a South Korean director and you would like to receive the French Legion of Honor. What do you do? Make over 100 movies and win a few prizes.

- The Taiwanese film The Wall picked up the best film prize at the India International Film Festival, which screened 176 films from 46 countries.

- Kaiju Shakedown, which was kind enough to recommend you all to this blog today, compiles a sample set of reviews for the Japanese failed blockbuster Midnight Eagle. Here’s also a compiled set of reviews from Rotten Tomatoes.

- According to Apple Daily in Hong Kong, Wong Kar-Wai’s English film debut My Blueberry Nights will open in Hong Kong on January 3rd, apparently a whole month ahead of the American release.  There’s even a real pretty website up now.

- An animation house named Animation Innovation Tokyo is doing what their name promises by setting up a new channel on Youtube to upload clips of potential anime series. Potential investors can watch these clips and decide to invest to make them into feature length films. They’re already asking for submissions for the 7th group of pilots.

-  While Yu Aoi getting cast in a Japanese TV drama is news, the bigger news here is it’s a 12-part series by 4 directors, and each director has complete freedom over the 3 episodes they’re in charge of - as long as they’re about lies.

- It’s reviews time! Variety has a review of Happily Ever After - or Jigyaku No Uta - by Russell Edwards.

The Golden Rock - October 18th, 2007 Edition

Three slow news days automatically add up to a slow news week in general. That means shorter entries. Expect short weekend entries if this keeps up. I may just post something in the spin-off instead.

- Lust, Caution’s chances at the Oscars has just decreased by quite a bit, as the Academy Awards foreign films committee disqualifies Ang Lee’s erotic drama as the Taiwanese entry because it’s not Taiwan enough. Essentially, the main gripe is that it doesn’t have enough Taiwanese involvement. That must suck for Lee, seeing that his Chinese movie for westerners, also known as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, manages to win best foreign film, while his Chinese movie for Chinese people gets disqualified.

Taiwan will submit Island Etude in its place.

- In another blow to the film (this ought to be the unofficial Lust, Caution blog), Chinese censors have apparently yet to screen the Mainland Chinese-safe version of the film, which means its November 1st opening date may get pushed further back. Meanwhile, pirated copies have finally gotten online, which may hurt the big chunk of change the film expected to make from the region.

- Meanwhile, Twitch has another update for the latest omnibus-film-in-a-city film Tokyo!. Apparently, Korean director Bong Joon-Ho’s section is done filming, with Michel Gondry’s getting ready to shoot later in the month. No idea when third director Leos Carax will be filming his, though.

Original Tokyograph story.

- Poor Twitch contributor Blake only got two questions with Park Chan-Wook because what was supposed to be a one-on-one interview became a roundtable with people asking about ridiculous rumors such as whether Park took a 5-year break to train being an astronaut. At least now you know he’s making a bat film for his next project.

- DVDTalk has a review for the American DVD of Kazuaki Kiriya’s Casshern, which boasts a so-called “director’s cut” that’s 25 minute shorter than the original Japanese cut. According to some poster on imdb, the DVD is missing not only scene selections, but the subtitles are also off-sync, and important bits are cut out.

- It’s no news, but Japan’s DVD market is still suffering, as sales for the first half year are down 2% from the same period last year.

The Golden Rock - September 17th, 2007 Edition

It’s still Sunday in the states, and Asian films didn’t win anything in Toronto, so there’s just not that much news out there today:

- Apparently there is such a thing called “sex radio” in China. At least, radio shows that talk about sex. However, I will never be able to find out what they’re like, because they just got banned. I really wanted to know about the “efficacy of certain drugs for sex” too.

- Yutaka Takenouchi, whom I always believed to be a cooler version of Takashi Sorimachi, is returning to film after he was in Calmi Cuori Appassionati 6 years ago. This time it’s an adaptation of the story “Wenny Has Wings,” about how a tragic accident strains the bond of a family. I was really hoping he would just lighten up and do a comedy.

- After Hong Kong-based Max Makowski works on the ill-advised remake of Shinobi (the one that will be about Hong Kong triads instead of ninja clans), he will help revive the 70s television series Kung Fu for film after Allen and Albert Hughes (these guys haven’t really worked for a while) decided to take on another project. Please don’t tell me this one will involve triads too - just because you’re based in Hong Kong doesn’t mean it always have to be about triads.

- It’s more French than Asian, but Variety’s Ronnie Scheib has a review of the French film Plum rain, about a stage director who goes to Japan to oversee his play being performed there. That in itself makes it worthwhile of the blog.

- If you’re in Spain in October, be sure to check out the Sitges film festival. This year, you would apparently get to see Dai Nipponjin, Vexville, and Sukuiyaki Western Django, among other films.
- How can Toho simply let people take their most acclaimed films get into the hands of pirates? A Tokyo court has now ordered a company to halt production on their Kurosawa collection. Er….doesn’t that mean it’s time for Toho to release relaible and cheap DVDs of Kurosawa films?

The Golden Rock - September 17th, 2007 Edition

It’s still Sunday in the states, and Asian films didn’t win anything in Toronto, so there’s just not that much news out there today:

- Apparently there is such a thing called “sex radio” in China. At least, radio shows that talk about sex. However, I will never be able to find out what they’re like, because they just got banned. I really wanted to know about the “efficacy of certain drugs for sex” too.

- Yutaka Takenouchi, whom I always believed to be a cooler version of Takashi Sorimachi, is returning to film after he was in Calmi Cuori Appassionati 6 years ago. This time it’s an adaptation of the story “Wenny Has Wings,” about how a tragic accident strains the bond of a family. I was really hoping he would just lighten up and do a comedy.

- After Hong Kong-based Max Makowski works on the ill-advised remake of Shinobi (the one that will be about Hong Kong triads instead of ninja clans), he will help revive the 70s television series Kung Fu for film after Allen and Albert Hughes (these guys haven’t really worked for a while) decided to take on another project. Please don’t tell me this one will involve triads too - just because you’re based in Hong Kong doesn’t mean it always have to be about triads.

- It’s more French than Asian, but Variety’s Ronnie Scheib has a review of the French film Plum rain, about a stage director who goes to Japan to oversee his play being performed there. That in itself makes it worthwhile of the blog.

- If you’re in Spain in October, be sure to check out the Sitges film festival. This year, you would apparently get to see Dai Nipponjin, Vexville, and Sukuiyaki Western Django, among other films.
- How can Toho simply let people take their most acclaimed films get into the hands of pirates? A Tokyo court has now ordered a company to halt production on their Kurosawa collection. Er….doesn’t that mean it’s time for Toho to release relaible and cheap DVDs of Kurosawa films?

The Golden Rock - August 30th, 2007 Edition

Call me lazy, call me tired, or just call it plain Thursday syndrome, but there’s again not all that much news out there.

- Everyone is trying to break into that China market, and the only way is co-produce them with China, and the only way to do that is to get Chinese government approval. The first successful Australian production to pull this off will be Roger Spottiswoode’s The Children of Huang Shi, co-starring Chow Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh. In traditional ethnographic gaze, the film will be about a British journalist who team up with an Austrlian nurse to rescue Chinese children oppressed by the Japanese during World War II.

- The Hong Kong Asian Film Festival (smaller than the Hong Kong International Film Festival and a different organizer) will feature some pretty huge films this year, including Ang Lee’s Lust Caution (which is opening the festival), Lee Chang-Dong’s Secret Sunshine, Jiang Wen’s The Sun Also Rises, and Jia Zhangke’s Useless.

- Speaking of Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution, Lee said that while his film did get the most restrictive rating the American censors could give (NC-17 - no one under 17 may be admitted), he hopes to use it to change perceptions about the rating itself. While I would like to see Lee pull that off, I doubt it would be an Asian espionage triller that will do it. An NC-17 itself means that it won’t reach beyond the urban areas because newspapers won’t even advertise them, and theaterowners are too conservative to show them.

On the other hand, category-III films (no one under 18 may be admitted) are able to get wide advertising and theater bookings here in Hong Kong. And yet, society is somewhat more conservative. What’s the deal here?

- This all sounds a little complicated (it’s easy to get broadband TV here in Hong Kong, but how do you do it in the states, where all kinds of infrastructure problems can prevent it), but there is now a new way to get Asian programming into your American homes, thanks to (for once) American Chinese video content distributor Tai Seng.

- Jason Gray continues to try to spread word-of-mouth for the Pia festival winning film This World of Ours. I just requested for a copy of the film with the director Ryo Nakajima, so I’ll be checking it out and hopefully help him spread word. Why? Because I believe in good karma, especially for an aspiring director like myself.

- About freaking time. NHK chairman actually asks at a committee meeting to reduce license fee by 10%. That way, corrupted producers will have less money to pocket.

- Remember that “Sing this song and you’ll die” movie with the creative advertising? Densen Uta opened this past weekend in Japan on 106 screens and managed to make only 31.21 million yen, outside of the top 10. That opening is only 74% of the opening for the last teen girl-infected horror film Ghost Train.

The Golden Rock - August 30th, 2007 Edition

Call me lazy, call me tired, or just call it plain Thursday syndrome, but there’s again not all that much news out there.

- Everyone is trying to break into that China market, and the only way is co-produce them with China, and the only way to do that is to get Chinese government approval. The first successful Australian production to pull this off will be Roger Spottiswoode’s The Children of Huang Shi, co-starring Chow Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh. In traditional ethnographic gaze, the film will be about a British journalist who team up with an Austrlian nurse to rescue Chinese children oppressed by the Japanese during World War II.

- The Hong Kong Asian Film Festival (smaller than the Hong Kong International Film Festival and a different organizer) will feature some pretty huge films this year, including Ang Lee’s Lust Caution (which is opening the festival), Lee Chang-Dong’s Secret Sunshine, Jiang Wen’s The Sun Also Rises, and Jia Zhangke’s Useless.

- Speaking of Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution, Lee said that while his film did get the most restrictive rating the American censors could give (NC-17 - no one under 17 may be admitted), he hopes to use it to change perceptions about the rating itself. While I would like to see Lee pull that off, I doubt it would be an Asian espionage triller that will do it. An NC-17 itself means that it won’t reach beyond the urban areas because newspapers won’t even advertise them, and theaterowners are too conservative to show them.

On the other hand, category-III films (no one under 18 may be admitted) are able to get wide advertising and theater bookings here in Hong Kong. And yet, society is somewhat more conservative. What’s the deal here?

- This all sounds a little complicated (it’s easy to get broadband TV here in Hong Kong, but how do you do it in the states, where all kinds of infrastructure problems can prevent it), but there is now a new way to get Asian programming into your American homes, thanks to (for once) American Chinese video content distributor Tai Seng.

- Jason Gray continues to try to spread word-of-mouth for the Pia festival winning film This World of Ours. I just requested for a copy of the film with the director Ryo Nakajima, so I’ll be checking it out and hopefully help him spread word. Why? Because I believe in good karma, especially for an aspiring director like myself.

- About freaking time. NHK chairman actually asks at a committee meeting to reduce license fee by 10%. That way, corrupted producers will have less money to pocket.

- Remember that “Sing this song and you’ll die” movie with the creative advertising? Densen Uta opened this past weekend in Japan on 106 screens and managed to make only 31.21 million yen, outside of the top 10. That opening is only 74% of the opening for the last teen girl-infected horror film Ghost Train.

The Golden Rock - August 14th, 2007 Edition

- The Japanese box office numbers are out, showing that Ocean’s Thirteen opened fairly well with 496 million yen, and Transformers dropping 36.5% in its second week, which again is somewhat surprising considering how well it has done with word-of-mouth elsewhere. Of course, its drop to third place is also because Harry Potter dropped only by 7% to keep its second-place spot.

However, the biggest drop in the top 10 goes to the latest Naruto movie, which lost 47% of its audience, while the smallest drop belongs to - and I’m almost kind of sad to say this - Monkey Magic, which lost only 3% of its audience to make 2.98 billion yen total, inching ever closer for Fuji TV to break even.

- According to Mark Russell’s Korea Pop Wars, turns out D-War is actually close to getting 5.71 million admissions and has already passed the break-even point at the standards of the reported budget.

- My new favorite weekly feature these days is the Teleview column on the Daily Yomiuri website. This week, writer Wm. Penn writes about what’s on Japanese TV this week and a possible ratings crisis on stations’ hands.

- And yet, Japan are still rolling out one drama adaptation film after another. The latest is the hit Kimura Takuya drama Hero, and a trailer is floating around online. Honestly, it’s not doing much for me, but that’s because I’ve never seen Hero…..Oriental 188 Mall, here I come.

- My bad. I totally forgot to acknowledge that Grady Hendrix’s informative Asian cinema blog Kaiju Shakedown is back, and in a much more complicated link. The link section shall be updated. Anyway, Grady reports today that Hong Kong video distributor Mei Ah’s remastered version of Patrick Tam Ka-Ming’s Nomad is actually not the director’s cut, and that the “corrected” version will be out in 2008.

- After a Tokyo multiplex found success with weekly showing of Korean star Bae Yong-Joon’s dramas, a smaller independent theater is doing the same with Korean star So Ji Sub’s Choa Choa (is that the real name? Or just the Japanese name?). If this is a success as well, then looks like the Korean wave isn’t so dead after all in Japan.

- The Japanese song “Sen No Kaze Ni Natte,” based on an English poem found at the World Trade Center in New York, has finally sold one million copies after becoming a huge hit the first half of the year.

- I don’t know if this can be considered a compliment to someone that’s already been in the business for 20 years - Director Peter Chan Ho-Sun said his biggest surprise from making the period action film The Warlords is Jet Li’s dramatic acting ability. Actually, that moment came for me while watching Fearless.

- I’m going to make a small private confession - I consider my most creative time in terms of scriptwriting to be right after I got dumped by my second girlfriend. During that period, I actually wrote 3 or 4 short film scripts, none of which I ended up making. I mention this because Kazuaki Kiriya, better known perhaps as ex-Mr. Utada Hikaru, seems to be going through a similar thing. Not only is he currently shooting a Japanese film, it’s actually confirmed that he also have his Hollywood debut lined up.

- In casting news today, Koyuki, whose most famous role is in The Last Samurai, has signed up to for Blood: The Last Vampire alongside Jeon Ji-Hyun (to be credited as Gianna Jun). These international Pan-Asian co-production in English just don’t seem to turn out very well (Dragon Squad, anyone?), so I don’t expect much.

Meanwhile, the television remake of Akira Kurosawa’s High And Low has signed up high-profile young actor Satoshi Tsumabuki as the kidnapper.

- The United States government’s bullying continues, as they have asked the World Trade Organization to put together a panel to settle their complaint against China over piracy of their films. Just what exactly are they expecting the Chinese government to do, ask for a couple of bucks from every Chinese citizen to pay off the MPA?

Oh, they want to work bilaterally, so that means they want to actually go into China and take down every single pirate vendors themselves.

- One place America doesn’t need to go to is Shenzhen, where crackdown on pirate vendors have caused the number of vendors to go from 1,000 to 50 in the last few years. Is that enough result for you, America?

The Golden Rock - August 14th, 2007 Edition

- The Japanese box office numbers are out, showing that Ocean’s Thirteen opened fairly well with 496 million yen, and Transformers dropping 36.5% in its second week, which again is somewhat surprising considering how well it has done with word-of-mouth elsewhere. Of course, its drop to third place is also because Harry Potter dropped only by 7% to keep its second-place spot.

However, the biggest drop in the top 10 goes to the latest Naruto movie, which lost 47% of its audience, while the smallest drop belongs to - and I’m almost kind of sad to say this - Monkey Magic, which lost only 3% of its audience to make 2.98 billion yen total, inching ever closer for Fuji TV to break even.

- According to Mark Russell’s Korea Pop Wars, turns out D-War is actually close to getting 5.71 million admissions and has already passed the break-even point at the standards of the reported budget.

- My new favorite weekly feature these days is the Teleview column on the Daily Yomiuri website. This week, writer Wm. Penn writes about what’s on Japanese TV this week and a possible ratings crisis on stations’ hands.

- And yet, Japan are still rolling out one drama adaptation film after another. The latest is the hit Kimura Takuya drama Hero, and a trailer is floating around online. Honestly, it’s not doing much for me, but that’s because I’ve never seen Hero…..Oriental 188 Mall, here I come.

- My bad. I totally forgot to acknowledge that Grady Hendrix’s informative Asian cinema blog Kaiju Shakedown is back, and in a much more complicated link. The link section shall be updated. Anyway, Grady reports today that Hong Kong video distributor Mei Ah’s remastered version of Patrick Tam Ka-Ming’s Nomad is actually not the director’s cut, and that the “corrected” version will be out in 2008.

- After a Tokyo multiplex found success with weekly showing of Korean star Bae Yong-Joon’s dramas, a smaller independent theater is doing the same with Korean star So Ji Sub’s Choa Choa (is that the real name? Or just the Japanese name?). If this is a success as well, then looks like the Korean wave isn’t so dead after all in Japan.

- The Japanese song “Sen No Kaze Ni Natte,” based on an English poem found at the World Trade Center in New York, has finally sold one million copies after becoming a huge hit the first half of the year.

- I don’t know if this can be considered a compliment to someone that’s already been in the business for 20 years - Director Peter Chan Ho-Sun said his biggest surprise from making the period action film The Warlords is Jet Li’s dramatic acting ability. Actually, that moment came for me while watching Fearless.

- I’m going to make a small private confession - I consider my most creative time in terms of scriptwriting to be right after I got dumped by my second girlfriend. During that period, I actually wrote 3 or 4 short film scripts, none of which I ended up making. I mention this because Kazuaki Kiriya, better known perhaps as ex-Mr. Utada Hikaru, seems to be going through a similar thing. Not only is he currently shooting a Japanese film, it’s actually confirmed that he also have his Hollywood debut lined up.

- In casting news today, Koyuki, whose most famous role is in The Last Samurai, has signed up to for Blood: The Last Vampire alongside Jeon Ji-Hyun (to be credited as Gianna Jun). These international Pan-Asian co-production in English just don’t seem to turn out very well (Dragon Squad, anyone?), so I don’t expect much.

Meanwhile, the television remake of Akira Kurosawa’s High And Low has signed up high-profile young actor Satoshi Tsumabuki as the kidnapper.

- The United States government’s bullying continues, as they have asked the World Trade Organization to put together a panel to settle their complaint against China over piracy of their films. Just what exactly are they expecting the Chinese government to do, ask for a couple of bucks from every Chinese citizen to pay off the MPA?

Oh, they want to work bilaterally, so that means they want to actually go into China and take down every single pirate vendors themselves.

- One place America doesn’t need to go to is Shenzhen, where crackdown on pirate vendors have caused the number of vendors to go from 1,000 to 50 in the last few years. Is that enough result for you, America?

The Golden Rock - July 28th, 2007 Edition

I apologize for the lack of post yesterday. At least it would make longer weekend entries.

- Sequels tend to open higher anywhere you look, unless when it looks very underwhelming. The rule applies to Hong Kong as well, which is why Michael Bay’s Transformers, despite all the hype and the worldwide invasion, had a spectacular opening with HK$2.8 million from 74 screens in Hong Kong on Thursday and still manage to look disappointing. The major sequels - Spiderman 3, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean - have all opened huge with HK$3-6 million opening days on some 100 screens. I keep telling myself that this, in all logic, is a huge opening and it can only get bigger. There must be some sickening obsession in me to see this one fail somewhere in the world.

In other movies, Harry Potter is beginning to slow down, making HK$690,000 on 50 screens for a damn good 16-day total of HK$41.17 million. Benny Chan’s Invisible Target looks to hold strong this weekend thanks to word-of-mouth, making HK$560,000 on 36 screens for an 8-day total of HK7.78 million. Look for this to pass the HK$10 million mark by Monday. There were two more openings this week - the latest Doraemon movie made just HK$160,000 on 21 screens (though business will pick up for the weekend, and these things do better on home video anyway), and Hula Girl made a sad HK$10,000 on 3 screens. If you’re in Hong Kong and haven’t watched Hula Girl, go. There’s a reason this ALMOST won the audience award at the New York Asian Film Festival, it’s a good syrupy crowdpleaser.

- There’s some rumors out there explaining why Kenneth Bi’s The Drummer was suddenly pulled from the Hong Kong International Film Festival Summer Pops lineup. Apparently, in order to get into certain festivals, films are required to not having screened in its country of origin(Can anyone confirm this?), which means Bi and Co. chose to get its film into a foreign film festival (in this case, the Locarno festival) for sales possibilities rather than pushing local buzz. I don’t blame them, but that’s a pretty major diss for the local audiences, and proof that perhaps Asian films are no longer made for their local audiences any longer.

Even Vexville, another competitor at the Locarno Film Festival AND part of the Summer Pops lineup, has yet to open in Japan.

- Hollywood has gotten out everything they’ve got for Comic-Con, where it’s not just about comics. It’s like the new ShoWest (a yearly convention for exhibitors) for the ticket-buying fanboys (or now, even film buffs).

- zzzzzzz, the MPA continues their crusade in Asia by bringing a 23-minute documentary to Indian students about intellectual property. I want to stop reporting this too, but I’m relaying it just to show how annoying they are about showing off their efforts.

- It’s redundant but less boring because of its ridiculousness, the Chinese government continues to dictate how to fuck up youths in their own special way by continuing to crack down on anything related to the Japanese comic Death Note. Now they have gone as far as shutting down websites that have anything to do with it. And the MPA is confused why people still violate intellectual property in China?

- Youtube is set to put in place their copyright recognition software, stopping any files that are copyrighted from being put on the site in September. This is going to mean that the Song of the Day feature would be in jeopardy, and also means your votes will fail to count anyway.

But hey, be sure to keep voting anyway, because democracy is fun and exciting.

- Korea Pop Wars writes about the new DVD set of Shin Sang-Ok movies. For those who don’t know, Shin is one of the most important Korean directors in Asian film history and has worked on everything from classic 60s films to the Three Ninja movies in Hollywood.

- The Daily Yomiuri has a review of the Nobuhiro Yamashita youth film Tennen Kokkeko. The Japan Times review from last week is here.

Tomorrow, more news and the final Golden Rock Podcast for a while.

The Golden Rock - July 28th, 2007 Edition

I apologize for the lack of post yesterday. At least it would make longer weekend entries.

- Sequels tend to open higher anywhere you look, unless when it looks very underwhelming. The rule applies to Hong Kong as well, which is why Michael Bay’s Transformers, despite all the hype and the worldwide invasion, had a spectacular opening with HK$2.8 million from 74 screens in Hong Kong on Thursday and still manage to look disappointing. The major sequels - Spiderman 3, Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean - have all opened huge with HK$3-6 million opening days on some 100 screens. I keep telling myself that this, in all logic, is a huge opening and it can only get bigger. There must be some sickening obsession in me to see this one fail somewhere in the world.

In other movies, Harry Potter is beginning to slow down, making HK$690,000 on 50 screens for a damn good 16-day total of HK$41.17 million. Benny Chan’s Invisible Target looks to hold strong this weekend thanks to word-of-mouth, making HK$560,000 on 36 screens for an 8-day total of HK7.78 million. Look for this to pass the HK$10 million mark by Monday. There were two more openings this week - the latest Doraemon movie made just HK$160,000 on 21 screens (though business will pick up for the weekend, and these things do better on home video anyway), and Hula Girl made a sad HK$10,000 on 3 screens. If you’re in Hong Kong and haven’t watched Hula Girl, go. There’s a reason this ALMOST won the audience award at the New York Asian Film Festival, it’s a good syrupy crowdpleaser.

- There’s some rumors out there explaining why Kenneth Bi’s The Drummer was suddenly pulled from the Hong Kong International Film Festival Summer Pops lineup. Apparently, in order to get into certain festivals, films are required to not having screened in its country of origin(Can anyone confirm this?), which means Bi and Co. chose to get its film into a foreign film festival (in this case, the Locarno festival) for sales possibilities rather than pushing local buzz. I don’t blame them, but that’s a pretty major diss for the local audiences, and proof that perhaps Asian films are no longer made for their local audiences any longer.

Even Vexville, another competitor at the Locarno Film Festival AND part of the Summer Pops lineup, has yet to open in Japan.

- Hollywood has gotten out everything they’ve got for Comic-Con, where it’s not just about comics. It’s like the new ShoWest (a yearly convention for exhibitors) for the ticket-buying fanboys (or now, even film buffs).

- zzzzzzz, the MPA continues their crusade in Asia by bringing a 23-minute documentary to Indian students about intellectual property. I want to stop reporting this too, but I’m relaying it just to show how annoying they are about showing off their efforts.

- It’s redundant but less boring because of its ridiculousness, the Chinese government continues to dictate how to fuck up youths in their own special way by continuing to crack down on anything related to the Japanese comic Death Note. Now they have gone as far as shutting down websites that have anything to do with it. And the MPA is confused why people still violate intellectual property in China?

- Youtube is set to put in place their copyright recognition software, stopping any files that are copyrighted from being put on the site in September. This is going to mean that the Song of the Day feature would be in jeopardy, and also means your votes will fail to count anyway.

But hey, be sure to keep voting anyway, because democracy is fun and exciting.

- Korea Pop Wars writes about the new DVD set of Shin Sang-Ok movies. For those who don’t know, Shin is one of the most important Korean directors in Asian film history and has worked on everything from classic 60s films to the Three Ninja movies in Hollywood.

- The Daily Yomiuri has a review of the Nobuhiro Yamashita youth film Tennen Kokkeko. The Japan Times review from last week is here.

Tomorrow, more news and the final Golden Rock Podcast for a while.

 
 
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