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Archive for the ‘Hollywood’ Category

The Golden Rock - June 19th, 2008

- New Lovehkfilm reviews are up. First from Boss Kozo is the Tsui Hark flop Missing, the Japanese comedy In the Pool, and the Vietnamese action film The Rebel. Then from yours truly are reviews of the Japanese comedy Fine, Totally Fine, the Japanese arthouse horror flick The Wall Man, and the Korean comedy Radio Dayz.

- It’s Japanese Oricon charts time! As expected, Glay’s latest single debuts at the top of the chart, just beating Koda Kumi’s first post-scandal single. Worth noting is the 7th place debut of DOZHI-T’s single, which is slowly creeping into Japanese media and is likely to have long-term legs like “Soba Ni Iru Yo” earlier this year. Meanwhile Kyosuke Himuro’s 20th anniversary compilation tops a quiet album chart, with Asian Kung-Fu Generation managing a 2nd place debut, and Coldplay all the way down at 5th place.

More at Tokyograph

- Mainly for record keeping, when Paramount wants to use the figure to boost their opening weekend box office: the latest Indiana Jones film had a weekend-long preview screenings in Japan on an astounding 772 screens, which include both subbed and dubbed versions. Over two days, it made a very impressive 597 million yen, which should tell you what kind of competition other films are coming up againist. Despite not opening day-and-date with the rest of the world, it’s looking at becoming the first 10 billion yen-grossing film of the year.

- An Indian entertainment conglomerate is looking to invest USD$500 million into Hollywood studio Dreamworks, which would allow the company to leave its current deal with Paramount Pictures and back to working at being an independent studio once more. This is especially important in terms of Asian entertainment news because while there have been quite a few Asia-Hollywood co-productions, this is the first time an Asian entertainment company is investing such a heavy amount of money into a major Hollywood studio.

- Kung Fu Panda had its Chinese premiere at the Shanghai International Film Festival, who decided to not allow the public in at the last minute. Attendees reportedly said liked the film and said it represented Chinese values.

Of course, there are always party poopers who want to ruin things for everyone else, although I can see why they’d be pissed about a Hollywood studio making money off two of Chinese culture’s biggest stereotypes.

- Grady Hendix over at Kaiju Shakedown also show how the Chinese media are trying to keep a nation of restricted media receivers entertained. As I mentioned on the random thoughts bar, Kelly Chan’s wedding announcement ended up in the middle of the Hong Kong news page, because I’m sure everyone in Hong Kong cares about the star of The Empress and the Warriors getting married.

-As expected, entertainment spending in the Asia-Pacfic region is currently growing the fastest, which means major markets such as Hollywood will likely continue try and break into the market in the coming years.

- Hollywood Reporter’s Maggie Lee turns in a review of Kim Jee-Woon’s The Good, the Bad, and the Weird, which is now easily my most anticipated film of the year. Yes, more so than Red Cliff.

- From Nippon Cinema is a write-up of the upcoming Gegege no Kitaro sequel, along with the latest trailer. I wouldn’t be so trusting of that trailer, though: The first film was advertised as a serious supernatural adventure as well, but it turned out to be a kids film.

- Indonesia, in a move to boost the local advetising industry, is banning all foreign-made advertisements and commercials. One foreign professional must be accompanied by three local staffs.

- Well-known Japanese novel Shayo, which was released post-World War II and examined the need for a social change in Japan at the time, is being adapted into a feature film. The question is how timely and how much of the novel’s social change environment will be retained.

- Kaiju Shakedown also looks at Asian movies going to North America, including Eye Infinity, which is actually a title closer to the Pang Bros.’ preference, since they called the third installment of the film The Eye 10 for similar purpose. Of course, then Lionsgate went all oriental but putting the Chinese characters for eye on the DVD cover, although the film’s Chinese name doesn’t have the word  “eye” in it.

- Lastly, Japanese pop star Hikaru Utada has her own way to remind everyone in Japan to tune in for the finale of the hit drama Last Friends tonight on Japanese TV. Utada sings the theme song, which you can hear pretty much everywhere these days.

(note: it’s a parody of the drama’s poster)

The Golden Rock - June 13th, 2008 Edition

I’m going away for the weekend, so this is either a compressed weekend entry, or I may be able to cram in one more on Sunday night.

- The Japanese government, with their aggressive policy towards the coming switch to total digital broadcasting, will provide poor households with digital TV tuners so they can continue watching TV after July, 2011. Hey, I’m too poor to buy a digital TV, too, but I’m in no rush if it just means 3 more TVB channels.

- I can’t say that I’m well-versed in American 80s culture, but I know enough to ask who the hell asked for this?

- The Thai film ratings system, which is completely pointless in the fact that the government can still cut films, is being delayed for a few months as details are still being worked out.

- I expected Japan Times’ Mark Schilling to give a review for Gururi no Koto after two interviews for the filmmaker and the lead actor was on the Japan Times yesterday. But instead, he turns in a review for Takashi Miike’s flop God’s Puzzle. Even Japanese multiplexes are quickly reducing the number of showings after only a week.

- A Chinese internet music distributor is taking their lawsuit against search engine Baidu all the way to an American court, as their first lawsuit is still pending in China. A search engine that allows users to find illegally uploaded music, Baidu has been the target of attacks from the music industry. However, a 2006 case brought by Western companies lost, while this distributor’s lawsuit has been in limbo for almost a year.

- A Malaysia film production company is making their first big venture into Hollywood with Deadline, a low-budget thriller about a screenwriter in an abandoned house.

- Meanwhile, a Japanese talent agency is expanding into film production by taking over everything from production to distribution for a new film. Talent agencies have a huge role in Asian entertainment, and can be a well-known label (even to the general public) that helps a aspiring idol to stardom. Think Johnny’s in Japan (though their artists are scattered in different record labels), EEG or Gold Label in Hong Kong, and SM in Korea.

The Moscow International Film Festival will be giving Takeshi Kitano a Lifetime Achievement Award in its latest edition. Cool.

The Golden Rock - June 10th, 2008 Edition

Lots of number crunching today, so here we go:

- As expected, Narnia got a huge boost over the weekend at the Hong Kong box office as the younger audience turned up in droves over the holiday weekend. On Monday (the public holiday), the adventure epic made HK$3 million from 72 screens for a 5-day total of HK$11.27 million. Meanwhile, Sex and the City didn’t its Narnia-sized bump because of its restricted rating, although it didn’t do too damn bad either. From 43 screens, the TV adaptation made HK$6.38 million over the 5-day weekend. Of course, remember that both films had a ticket price increase due to their lengths, so it may not necessarily reflect attendance.

Meanwhile, all the openers from last weekend dwindled down to 5-digit numbers this past weekend. Penelope leads the pack with HK$93,000 from 15 screens for a 12-day total of HK$2.86 million. The Moss is struggling to get to The Pye-Dog’s gross with only HK$57,000 from 13 screens and a 12-day total of HK$1.22 million. It deserves better. Shaolin Girl took a big dive in its second weekend, with just HK$25,000 from 14 screens on Monday, and a 12-day total of HK$1.25 million. And despite being the Academy Award winner for best foreign film, The Counterfeiters doesn’t seem to be destined for limited release success, with only HK$250,000 after 12 days on 3 screens.

Lastly, Indiana Jones finally passes the HK$25 million mark after 19 days, while Iron Man is still on the top 10 after 41 days with a HK$21.69 million total.

- The Japanese entertainment news media had a busy weekend, as the “big three” (Toei, Toho, and Shochiku) each had a wide release this weekend. As expected, Koki Mitani’s The Magic Hour took the top spot in the attendance chart. According to Variety, it made a spectacular 506 million yen from 379 screens over the opening Saturday and Sunday. Since The Wow-Choten Hotel never made it to Hong Kong, I’m even going to venture into this while I’m here and see what the fuss is all about (although I’m sure I won’t understand half the movie).

Meanwhile, the Tsukiji movie (now named The Taste of Fish as a first in a planned yearly series) is relying on word-of-mouth it make it profitable with only a 6th place opening. Takashi Miike’s God’s Puzzle didn’t even make it in the top 10 in attendance and is not likely to gross enough to surpass 27 Dresses in gross. At least Toei still has Aibou the movie, which is still in 3rd place this weekend. More when the numbers are out.

-  Things are depressing in South Korea, as local films made up only 7.8% of total market share at the box office in May, making it Korean cinema’s worst month ever since the relevant authorities started counting.

Meanwhile,  June isn’t starting out very well, with only one Korean film making the top 10 this past weekend all the way down at 5th place. Last year, the similar happened with the endless summer assault of Hollywood blockbusters, but things may even be worse this year.

- It’s Japanese drama ratings time! As the season moves closer to the end, several dramas hit their season low. These dramas include Zettai Kareshi, Osen, Puzzle, Around 40, Kimi Wa Hanin Janai yo ne?, and Ryoteki na Kanojo (My Sassy Girl) at 12.1%, 8.4%, 8.0%, 13.3%, 7.7%, and 6.3%, respectively. Baseball drama Rookies started its second part with an average 15.4% rating, while Gokusen fell again slightly to a 21.3% rating, and remains the highest-rated drama of the season so far. Kimura Takuya’s CHANGE is high up at 2nd place, but fell below 20% for the first time. As it reaches the middle just when other dramas are hitting their finales, I think Fuji is trying to boost ratings as the only drama still on the air for the season when everything else is over.

- Zhang Ziyi is heading to Hollywood once again, acting opposite Hugh Grant this time as a Chinese director working with a top British star and a translator in their way.

- It’s trailers time! Nippon Cinema has a trailer for Monster X Strikes Back, about a monster named Gurara attacking the G8 Summit and Beat Takeshi showing up to save mankind. It’s all in the trailer. Twitch has the link to a trailer and comparison shots for the newly redrawn and re-sounded Ghost in the Shell 2.0. Lastly, Kaiju Shakedown links us to the full-length trailer of Detroit Metal City, which looks like a fun dose of absurd Japanese humor.

- In related news, a single featuring Detroit Metal City star Kenichi Matsuyama as two characters will be released along with the film.

- Variety’s Justin Chang offers up a review of the new Japanese sports film Dive!, which opens this weekend in Japan.

- Under “celebrities looking for a PR opportunity from natural disaster” news today, director Chen Kaige will be taking a break from post-production of his latest film to direct a short film for the victims of the Sichuan earthquake about successful Chinese sports player to show Chinese people overcoming difficulties. I’m sure after The Promise, he needs all the goodwill he can get for his latest. Why, yes, I have been told that I’m cynical.

A Bee Gee member jumps on the bandwagon to criticize China for something. Granted, said Bee Gee member is the head of the CISAC, and he’s talking about something legitimate like rightful royalty payment to artists that are not being paid, but really, take a number and get in line.

- Bittorrent Japan has made 27 films and animation videos available for free for 3 days ahead of the Interop conference in Tokyo. Here’s the page.

The Golden Rock - June 3rd, 2008 Edition

- Korean cinema takes a huge tumble this past weekend at the Korean box office, with foreign films taking 9 out of 10 places in this past weekend’s chart. And the only Korean film only made it to 9th place. Ouch.

Box office gross from Korea Pop Wars

Attendance figures from Twitch.

- Prince Caspian seems to be staying at the Japanese box office charts for the long run, losing only 16.2% of its opening weekend gross this weekend. Aibou is in it even longer, continuing to lose only single-digit percentage (9.5% this week). Meanwhile, Cyborg She’s opening of 178 million yen. I guess The Bucket List is a favorite among adult audiences, making enough money to surpass 27 Dresses for 6th place in the gross ranking and losing only 16.4 of business (though 27 Dresses ranked higher on the attendance chart). Kenji Uchida’s After School also played strongly in the second weekend, losing only 11.7% of business on the same amount of screens. Oh, and Shoot ‘Em Up opened at 16th place.

-  I seemed to have forgotten to report the Japanese drama ratings for last week. Everything seems to be floating in the weeks leading to the finales. Only two dramas - New Investigator Mariko and Shichinin no Onna Bengoshi - hit their season high with 14.2 and 11.4, respectively. Last Friends got a big boost again up to 18.8% after two weeks of slipping ratings. CHANGE and Gokusen risk falling down below 20% (it actually finally happened to CHANGE this week, but more on that next week), although Gokusen rose slightly in the ratings for its latest episode. And Ryoteki Na Kanojo (My Sassy Girl) is the only drama to hit a season-low this week. And to think the producers expected a 20% rating for this.

Japanese drama sypnoses at Tokyograph

- Finally, an American remake of the hit Death Note films has been announced. Though no word whether they’ll try to cram both films into one.

-  The bus stop ads for Lawrence Lau’s City Without Baseball has been changed after one person complained to the bus company about the upper male nudity in the poster. The film’s co-director has snapped back, complaining that Hong Kong is becoming increasingly conservative. I guess one person can make a difference in this world after all.

- It’s trailers time! Twitch has uploaded an extended trailer for the first installment of the comic adaptation 20th Century Boys. Also, Nippon Cinema has a short trailer for the live-action version of Grave of the Butterflies.

- Fans of Weezer and/or BoA, you now have a reason to pick up the Japanese version of Weezer’s latest album.

- What was meant to be a promotional event for a drink by American group The Black Eyed Peas is now a charity concert for the Sichuan earthquake fundraising efforts. Good for them.

- Grady Hendrix over at Kaiju Shakedown covers the messy situation going on between Raymond Wong and Wong Kar-wai over the title for their Yip “master of Bruce Lee” Man movie. Sorry, Mr. Wong, I’m putting my bet on Wong Kar-Wai to make the better movie anyway.

-  Japanese pop star/Nana-in-real-life Mika Nakashima is forming a band with a comedienne trio. No word on the comical or musical value of the product.

- Warner Bros. continues to expand its presence in Asia with a new deal to make an animated film about birds in India.

- Rinko Kikuchi would like to expand outside her cultural zone and play….a half-Japanese role.

The Golden Rock - June 1st, 2008 Edition

- Exile was the big winner at the MTV Video Music Awards Japan, picking up three awards - Best Video, Best Album, and Best Karaoke Song. Yes, Japan has an award for Best Karaoke Song.

- Twitch has a trailer for the upcoming Thai fantasy film Queens of Langkasuka.

- Under “idols!!!” news today, the Japanese 18-member group Idoling!!! is now a 17-memeber group, as one member who joined in April has already decided to retire from show business. Korea’s SM Entertainment is expanding with a new division devoted to musicals starring their artistes. Lastly, the Tokyo girl performing troupe AKB48, who also has a recording career, is expanding their performances to Nagoya after performing in Tokyo over the years.

- The Japanese extreme violence film Tokyo Gore Police will be making its premiere at the New York Asian Film Festival.

- This week’s Televiews Column on the Daily Yomiuri explores the use of the term “monsuta” on Japanese television.

- Variety has a feature on Hollywood and Japan outsourcing their animation and effects work to Hong Kong firms.

- Jason Gray shows how hard Haruki Kadokawa is trying to promote his latest producing effort God’s Puzzle.

- Sardonic Smile covers rock goddess Ringo Shiina’s 10-year history with a major record label. I include this because I’m a fan. Too bad I’ll be missing the concerts in August.

The Golden Rock - May 31st, 2008 Edition

- It’s Taiwanese music charts time! Japanese boy band NEWS tops the chart with their latest album with 5.63% of total sales, while Vitas Lu’s debut album hits second place with 3.07% of total sales. The other debut album this week by Hsiao Hung Jen could only muster a 16th place debut with 0.69% of total sales. Also, Ai Otsuka’s latest single only debuted at 18th place, although it may be due to the fact that it’s a single. The only album on the chart that rose in the standings is the original soundtrack to the drama Honey and Clover. Lastly, the album that dropped the steepest is last week’s winner Jesse McCarthy, who dropped from first place to 9th place this week.

- With Mongol coming soon to American theaters, Variety has a piece on the foreign language film market in America and why the market is a bit depressing.

- It’s reviews time! First, Mark Schilling has reviews of up-and-coming director Yuya Ishii’s two films that are finally reaching the big screen. I’ll be reviewing Bare-Assed Japan for this site soon. Meanwhile, Hollywood Reporter’s Maggie Lee sends in a review of the Singaporean film My Magic.

- Who has the balls to go up against the Japanese box office giant that is Studio Ghibli this year? Believe it or not, it’s Pokemon.

- A veteran Hollywood producer is now onboard for the upcoming Korean robot blockbuster Robot Taekwon V. Please don’t let this be the next D-Wars.

The Golden Rock - May 27th, 2008 Edition

- As expected, Indiana Jones also dominated at the Korean box office. In the opening weekend, Steven Spielberg’s adventure film already passed the 1 million admission mark. This ate into Chronicles of Narnia’s second week, and it has still not passed the 1 million admissions mark after two weekends. Of course, neither has Speed Racer after three weekends. Ouch.

More over at Korea Pop Wars.

- Katsuhito Ishii’s Yama No Anata opened at 6th place on the attendance charts with 520.9 million yen from 158 screens. That’s 102% of the opening for Hana (the Kore-eda film). According to Mr. Texas of Eiga Consultant, the male:female ratio of the audience was an overwhelming 26:74, with those in the 20s taking up 31.7% of the audience. Does this mean that female Smap fans are the one mainly showing up?

- Good for them: Kadokawa’s animation division will begin uploading their animation onto Youtube and allow legit posters to do so by putting ads on their pages on an ad revenue sharing system. This is how you embrace new media.

First found on Japan Probe

More details on Variety.

- On a related note, the Japanese government is planning to adopt a “fair use” system on copyrighted literary works, which allows people to use copyrighted materials for analyses, research, criticism, and media reporting. Currently, the law is so strict that posting a picture of an animated character in a public place on the web can be considered a violation.

- The planned Amazia multimedia trade show that would’ve conflicted with Singapore’s Asia Television Forum has now been canceled. How many trade shows can the market allow per year anyway?

- After Hong Kong filmmakers announced possible plans to make a film to raise money for the Sichuan earthquake relief efforts, Feng Xiaogang has announced his own plans to make a movie about an earthquake. However, his movie is a dramatic work on the Tangshan earthquake that’s not done to raise money for any charity. The film is now in the script stage and plans to start shooting next year.

- (via EastSouthWestNorth) A BBC reporter who had just covered the devastation left by the Sichuan earthquake writes about his coverage of the disaster and whether they took the right approach. At least they didn’t shove a camera into the injured’s faces and keep asking how they feel in order to squeeze out a few extra pennies from Hong Kongers’ pockets.

- The Japanese animated film Tokyo Marble Chocolate just picked up the Grand Prize at the Seoul International Cartoon and Animation Festival.

a Hollywood studio is looking at buying the remake rights for the upcoming Japanese film Kansen Retto, about the outbreak of an unknown virus in Japan. Didn’t they already make this movie already?

The Golden Rock - May 25th, 2008 Edition

- It’s Taiwanese music charts time! Energy member Milk Yeh’s debut album could only muster a 2nd place debut behind Jesse McCartney’s album with 2.9% of total sales. The slow sales gave Victor Wong and Kenji Wu a chance to climb back up on the chart. Coco Lee’s relevance in Chinese pop may’ve just been proven, as her latest compilation could only get a debut at 11th place with just 0.86% of total sales. Khalil Fong also made it back into the top 20 at 17th place with 0.7% of total sales.

- Congratulations to Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Tokyo Sonata, which picked up the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. NHK News is already all over this.

- It’s reviews time! First up is Derek Elley’s review for Kim Jee-Woon’s The Good, The Bad, and the Weird. I can’t wait to watch this now. Mark Schilling of Japan Times also has a review of a film I’m anticipating - Kenji Uchida’s After School, his follow-up to the smart A Stranger of Mine.

- The Daily Yomiuri’s Televiews column looks at the ratings for the some of the dramas this season, as well as a brief review for Kimura Takuya’s CHANGE.

- Instead of paying for that expensive making-of DVD for Aoi Miyazaki’s latest film, now you can just catch clips of them at theatres, one clip at a time until its release in February.

- According to a research on the media, the American cable news networks have been giving less coverage of the Asian disasters than viewers demand. However, I watch CNN International here in Hong Kong, and the amount coverage has actually been quite balanced, with news getting fairly equal time, other than the live shows from the American CNN, of course.

- After a drama and two hit movies on deep-sea divers, there will be a Japanese drama on doctors who rescue people on helicopters. With a slate of promising young actors (plus a boy band member), the drama is coming this summer.

- I forgot to include the several deals that Fortissimo was also able to get at Cannes, which includes oversea distribution for Tokyo Sonata and Ashes of Time Redux.

- Japan takes successful adaptation one step further. After the film and TV drama versions of Ima, Ai Ni Yukimasu (Be With You), the tearjerker fantasy novel is now coming back as an audio drama. The news also mentions that a Hollywood remake starring Jennifer Garner is in the works. Actually, I can see her in the Yuko Takeuchi role.

- Twitch has an English-subtitled trailer for Go Shibata’s acclaimed Late Bloomer, which has been picked up for North American release by the up-and-coming Tidepoint Pictures.

- Apparently, Zhang Ziyi is quite upset that a group of people in Cannes doesn’t know much about China earthquake, accusing them of not knowing what’s going on on Earth. In related news, Zhang Ziyi doesn’t know how to spell “hypocrisy”.

The Golden Rock - May 22nd, 2008 Edition

- It’s reviews time! Hollywood Reporter finally updated their review page with the latest from Cannes. From reviewer Maggie Lee are reviews of the Korean thriller The Chaser, the omnibus film Tokyo!, Jia Zhangke’s 24 City, and the Korean horror The Guard Post. Meanwhile, Peter Brunette has a review of Wong Kar-Wai’s Ashes of Time Redux.

In addition, Twitch’s Todd Brown has a review of Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Tokyo Sonata and for the Japanese wrestling comedy Gachi Boy (Wrestling with a Memory).

- While we’re on the subject of Tokyo!, an American distributor recently bought up the film at Cannes, but it may not be the best distributor out there.

- Ryuganji has the second part of a Japanese magazine interview with mega-producer Haruki Kadokawa. He makes more sense in this part.

- Japanese actress Saki Takaoka will star in the American film The Harimaya Bridge. She will play the girlfriend of a dead American man who helps his father retrace his life in Japan.

- The announcement came at the Avex party over at Cannes, where an extended trailer for John Woo’s Red Cliff was shown, as Avex is one of the film’s major investors.

- Japanese public broadcaster NHK has come up with a new way to irritate non-fee payers into paying: put a big bold warning across their screens. I had fee collectors come to my door when I was in Japan, but I’m pretty sure the text across the screen is more annoying.

- Ex-NHK Morning Drama Chiritotechin has apparently earned itself a spinoff with an 8pm time slot. You had no idea how much I had to resist using “Chiritotechin After Dark” to start this item off.

- Shipping of a popular Japanese comic and its DVDs had to be stopped after finding out that one of the scenes included arabic text that was taken out of the Quran.

- Mark Russell over at Korea Pop Wars writes about going to recent copyright-related forums and writes his own thoughts about why piracy may not always be the consumers’ fault.

The Golden Rock - May 21st, 2008 Edition

- The Japanese box office numbers are out. Aibou topped the chart for the third week in a row, losing only about 27% of business from last last week. The drama adaptation has now made nearly 2.7 billion yen with no signs of stopping. Meanwhile, Kurosawa remake The Last Princess dropped by nearly 40%, and has made just over 500 million yen so far. If word-of-mouth doesn’t pick up on this, it may be a disappointment for Toho. However, Toho still has the successful Conan film and Shaolin Girl (nearly 1.3 billion yen) to back them up.

On the other hand, The Mist lost only about 30% of last week’s business, and The Sand Chronicles is also hanging in there, losing only about 28%. The Bucket List also managed to stay at 2nd place not only because of Charlie Wilson’s War’s soft opening, but also because it lost only about 33% from its opening week.

Remember the percentage change is only a rough figure due to fluctuating currency from week to week.

- It’s Japanese Oricon charts time! This week, KAT-TUN sees their latest single debut at number 1, making it their 7th consecutive number 1 single, while Ayaka’s latest single could only debut at 6th place. On the albums chart, Superfly’s debut album debuts at number one, while actor Yutaka Mizutani’s self-cover album debuts at number 2. More at Tokyograph.

- The name My Sassy Girl just doesn’t mean much anymore: While the Japanese drama version is flopping on the ratings chart, the American remake is now sent directly to video without a theatrical release.

- The European Union is reporting that they are seizing less pirated entertainment than before, and such goods from China also fell by 20% (from a whopping 93% the year before). However, that could just mean that people are finding better ways to get them in or not getting caught.

- Variety reports that Hong Kong director Yui Lik-Wai’s Plastic City now has Hong Kong’s Sundream Pictures and Japan’s Bitter End on board, while Hong Kong’s Ming Pao adds that it stars Hong Kong’s Anthony Wong and Japan’s Jo Odagiri as father and son.

- Meanwhile, John Woo announced at Cannes that his next movie will be the Chinese epic 1949, chronicling events that occurred at the end of World War II and the Chinese civil war. While it’ll supposedly be a love story, the fact that Woo is trying to finish the film by the 60th anniversary of the founding of the PRC should tell you that it’s a China-approved love story.

- Also, a British film following the rise of Mao Zedong is in the making……with Vietnamese soldiers. This movie may not be China-approved.

- It’s reviews time! Hollywood Reporter’s Maggie Lee chimes in on Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Tokyo Sonata, while Variety’s Leslie Felperin has a review of Possession, the Hollywood remake of the Korean film Addicted.

- While we’re on the topic of remakes, Dreamworks really went through the old inventory and manage to buy up the remake rights to the 2003 hit Japanese film Yomigaeri. By the way, the Dreamworks-produced A Tale of Two Sisters remake is now called The Uninvited - the name of another Korean horror movie.

- Apparently, the critical and commercial failure of that Genghis Khan movie really got to Haruki Kadokawa’s head….now I’ll go swing my wooden sword a few thousand times.

- Tartan USA, who brought Oldboy and the Election films to America, has sadly closed down.

- Koizora, based on the internet novel about the trials and tribulations of a young Japanese girl, is now going to TV after the film was one of the biggest theatrical hits last year. The director and the production crew from the film are returning, though the cast will not.

 
 
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