LOVEHKFILM.COM
- reviews - features - people - panasia - blogs - about site - contact - links - forum -
 
 
Search LoveHKFilm.com
Site Features
- Asian Film Awards
- Site Recommendations

- Reader Poll Results

- The FAQ Page
 
support this site by shopping at
Click to visit YesAsia.com
 
 
 
 
 
We do news right, not fast

Note: This blog expresses only the opinions of the blog owner,
and does not represent the opinion of any organization or blog
that is associated with The Golden Rock.

Archive for the ‘India’ Category

The Golden Rock - February 27th, 2008 Edition

- The Japanese box office numbers are out, and L: Change The World is hanging on surprisingly well, losing only 17% of its business from the previous week. I guess people will watch detective L in anything. Meanwhile, the standings with money figures in is slightly different from the previously reported attendance figures, as Kabei and Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium draw the “cheap ticket” audience, ie the old and the young, which would have an impact on final figures. If you see, Magorium’s take is actually fairly close to Earth’s take.

Meanwhile, box office was also somewhat impact by the previews for The Golden Compass. No word on how many screens it was shown on, but it managed to take a fairly strong 270 million yen over a 2-day period. That’s 155% of last year’s Springtime blockbuster Night at the Museum. It’s set to open on a whopping 700 screens this Saturday, and will probably open big to knock L right off the top spot.

- It’s Oricon charts time! On the singles chart, Arashi has their 10th consecutive number 1 single, selling 324,000 copies. But consider their thunder stolen by Jero, the first African-American enka singer whose first single debuted at 4th place with 35,000 copies sold, making it the best debut by a solo enka singer.

On the albums side, another compilation tops the chart, while Yuna Ito and pop/rock group TOKIO saw fairly weak debuts.

More details at Tokyograph.

- The Bollywood epic film Jodhaa Akbar has now grossed US$18.5 million worldwide, and it still have a holiday weekend coming up. The blockbuster has garnered plenty of controversy for inciting riots, leading to its ban by the regional government in the state of Madhya Pradesh.

- Japan’s Takashi Miike will be the director for a major TV drama project that will run a rare 51 episodes. However, other directors will also come in a direct some episodes as well. The drama is about a high schooler who works with a cell phone robot against internet-based criminal organizations. Wicked.

- China Film Group’s Han “China needs more movie like Pursuit of Happyness” Sanping announces that the Christmas and Lunar New Year period was phenomenal for Chinese films at the box office. Of course, he didn’t say that they didn’t play fair by completely blacking out non-Chinese films for 3 months.

- As reported a while ago, there are two movies about Bruce Lee’s master Ip Man in the works. One of them is the one directed by Wong Kar-Wai and starring Tony Leung Chiu-Wai. I had thought the other one will be by Fruit Chan (whose film will be about Bruce Lee as a child in Hong Kong?), but turns out it’ll be directed by Wilson Yip and star none other than Donnie Yen (DONNNNNIIIEEEEE!!) and Sammo Hung.

The Golden Rock - February 23rd, 2008 Edition

- It’s Taiwan music charts time! This week, sales are pretty evened out, as Gary Chaw’s album managed to take the top spot again, thanks to a new version of his album. It knocked off Aska Yang’s album from its 4-week streak at the top too. Meanwhile, only one album debuted on the top ten, and that was Koda “I’m like…really sorry” Kumi’s latest album with 2.47% of total sales.

- The Hong Kong Film Festival tickets went on sale today. This year, the festival includes several premieres from established Hong Kong directors, including Ann Hui’s The Way We Are, Lawrence Lau’s City Without Baseball, and film critic Shu Kei’s co-directed effort Coffee Or Tea. I have tickets to none of those, and yet I got tickets to 10 other films. It’s a crowded festival, indeed.

- Continuing with yesterday’s story about Shukan Bunshun’s worst films of 2007, Ryuganji has a thorough report on not only on the worst 10 list, but also the so-called best 10 list that they put together as well.

- After a serious of violent demonstrations over its historical inaccuracies, authorities in an Indian Hindu region has suspended screenings of the big-budget film Jodhaa Akbar, the latest film from the director of the Oscar-nominated Lagaan. The distributor/producer has vowed to fight the suspension.

- It’s review time! This week, Japan Times’ Mark Schilling reviews the running-themed drama Naoko, starring Juri Ueno and was mentioned earlier this week in the box office report.

- I’ve learned two things from the user-voted results of the Yahoo! Music Awards in Japan: Singing three albums’ worth of cover songs can get you Best Male Artist, and someone who had a PR disaster from being extremely rude at her own film’s premiere can still have a successful music career.

- In an effort to try and push its box office to match Kung Fu Hustle, CJ7’s distributor have lowered ticket prices to HK$45 for all general admissions at all cinemas (a general admission ticket costs anywhere from $55 to $75 in Hong Kong). That strategy isn’t going to work when the film had only so-so word-of-mouth, but good luck anyway!

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 - November 25th, 2007 Edition

 - I’ve been meaning to post this for a while: Hong Kong distributor Golden Scene uploaded the trailer for Edmond Pang Ho-Cheung’s latest Trivial Matters on Youtube. The trailer is unsubtitled, but I can tell you it includes references to ejaculation, Isabella Leung and Gillian Chung pretending they can sing like pop stars (kinda like real life), it has Shawn Yue smoking a bong, and Edison Chan pretending to speak like a rapper. In other words, it’s not really safe for work.

Just in case you need reminding, Trivial Matters is a film adaptation of 7 short stories all originally written by Pang himself. He also directed all 7 films.

- It’s reviews time! Variety has a review of Samson Chiu’s Mr. Cinema, one of the three Hong Kong handover commemoration film from this past summer.

- In case you haven’t watched any of Akira Kurosawa’s classic films, some of them are now public domain and can be downloaded legally for free. I’m somewhat embarrassed to say I have not seen Ikiru, Stray Dog, and Sugata Sanshiro.

- Han Jae Rim’s The Show Must Go On picked up the best film award at the Blue Dragon Awards. The film’s star Song Kang-Ho also picked up a best actor for playing the role of a gangster who has to balance family and his work in crime. Meanwhile, Jeon Do-Yeon picked up another best actress win for Secret Sunshine, Hur Jin-Ho picked up best director for his latest film Happiness (I can’t wait to see this), Kim Han-Min picked up best director and best screenplay for Paradise Murdered, and *gasp* Daniel Hanney picked up a best new actor award for the melodrama My Father. I guess they mean that he didn’t really act in Seducing Mr. Perfect.

Full winners list here

- Under “Pakistan sure knows how to send out conflicting signals” news today, the government has pressured the authorities in Dubai to shut down two Pakistani television news channels with no planned dates to bring them back on the air. Meanwhile, the Pakistani censor board has cleared an Indian film that will become the first Indian film to open in Pakistani theaters since the countries banned each other’s movies simply because of some financing loopholes. Yay for international co-productions!

- The Daily Yomiuri has a feature on Japanese genre director Ryuhei Kitamura’s decision to go to Hollywood. I thought it was a typo when it says his last Japanese film Lovedeath runs at three hours. Turns out it’s 160 minutes long. It doesn’t look like it deserves 160 minutes.

- The Daily Yomiuri also has a column about NHK’s efforts to boost ratings for its yearly Kohaku Variety show, including making it more concentrated on the strength of music. Wait, wasn’t the show supposed to be about the music in the first place?

In order to get to that, they have invited Akihabara-friendly idols AKB48, Shoko Nakagawa, and Leah Dizon to perform in this year’s show. Somehow I think this music strength thing is going to be a gradual change.

- Again from the Daily Yomiuri is a feature on the current state of Otaku-ism in Japan and its influence in America.

- If you’re in the area of Rotterdam around the end of January, you can get your Asian film fix at the Rotterdam Film Festival, where several Asian films are competing.

-  And if you were asking repeatedly when will someone make an inspirational movie about the game of darts, your prayers have been answered.

- Which country is affecting the growth digital TV broadcast signals? Not America. Not Japan. Not even South Korea. It’s China.

The Golden Rock - October 19th, 2007 Edition

Today is a public holiday in Hong Kong, so no box office reports. However, from unscientific research (looking at the ticket sales on the internet and from my observation last night at the cinema), it’ll be between Derek Chiu’s Brothers (Four of the five tigers in one film! Review later on the spin-off) and the Japanese drama adaptation Hero. Andy Lau says he’s hoping for $HK8-10 million total gross. Can they pull it off over the holiday weekend? We shall know on Monday.

And now, your daily Lust, Caution news:

- EastSouthWestNorth has some stories about Lust, Caution’s Mainland release, including the fact that you don’t have to trek all the way to Hong Kong to see THE shot and how even the man who’s supposed to protect copyright in China can’t even believe there’s no pirated copy of the film out there.

Back to reality:

- The Tokyo International Film Festival is just getting underway, but don’t expect lots of reporting about the market there, especially when the tepid Asian Film Market just wrapped up a week ago at Pusan. More tomorrow when we get the news from The Daily Yomiuri.

- Twitch reports that Johnnie To’s Mad Detective, starring Lau Ching-Wan, has been bought up by the Independent Film Channel in North America. They will likely release the film in a small limited release before releasing it on DVD. Don’t take my word for it, though; I only said “likely”.

- It was much ado about nothing as an Indian court has officially dismissed a lawsuit challenging Eklavya’s entry to the Academy Awards.

That’s it for today. Come back tomorrow for another shortened entry for The Golden Rock.

The Golden Rock - September 29th, 2007 Edition

Today is like the TV edition of the The Golden Rock:

- Variety Asia has a feature on the state of Asian TV - Japan wants you to know that they are actually exporting more than they seem to, Korea is hoping that people will keep watching their dramas even if they don’t watch their movies, Hong Kong’s legally-obligated-to-be-there TV network is hoping to find enough stuff to fill four new networks at the end of the year, and Chinese TV should be lucky that they can find something the government approves of.

- Speaking of TV, Japan national broadcaster NHK, which charges pretty much every Japanese household a mandatory fee, saw its latest business plans rejected by the government because they’re making too much money. Making too much money means they are charging too much.

- Courtesy of EastSouthWestNorth, Danwei raises a few points over the dubious banning of the Chinese crime reenactment show Red Question Mark, which feature reenactments of crimes committed by women. After running for 3 years, the show was banned because it was “vulgar.” That would be the reason to ban most of American TV.

- In India, possibly racially derogatory comments made by a radio host about the winner of the talent show Indian Idol led to an angry demonstration which injured 60 people and forced police to impose a curfew in the area. Man, Clay Aiken fans just aren’t as crazy as ought to be these days.

- On a personal note of interest, one of my favorite directors Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest film There Will Be Blood was the surprise closing film of the Fantastic Fest, and the enthusiastic word-of-mouth are pouring in, first from the Hollywood Reporter, then from Twitch’s Peter Martin. I’m extremely excited to see this, but I know I probably won’t get to for a long long long time. Instead, I’ll probably go watch another Pang Brothers movie or something.

By the way, look for a new post or two at the spin-off this weekend.

The Golden Rock - September 26th, 2007 Edition

- As we usually do on Wednesdays, let’s look at the Oricon charts. As expected, Ayumi Hamasaki’s latest topped the singles chart in its first week, selling just over 70,000 copies. However, that actually seems pretty spectacular when its closest competition, the latest from boy group Dong Bang Shin Ki, only had to sell 33,000 copies to get to second place. Looking further down, You Hitoto’s latest could only muster a 10th place debut after selling just over 12,800 copies of her latest. Expect the charts to be extremely quiet next week, with Ayumi Hamasaki winning the chart for a second week in a row.

Things were a little better on the albums chart, where Angela Aki’s second album topped the charts with 88,000 copies sold. Young enka star Kiyoshi Hikawa’s latest album is far behind at second place with almost 42,000 copies sold for his latest album. Leah Dizon’s debut album is already all the way to 24th place from 9th place last week, and expect things to be very quiet here as well next week when Angela Aki will probably lead the chart again.

- Hero, the Japanese drama whose film version is filling seats at movie theaters these days, remains a hit on TV. It’s not a new TV special, but a new cut of the TV special Fuji TV aired this past weekend. While it didn’t hit the original rating of 30.9 from last year, a 22% rating is still pretty damn good, considering how weak TV ratings have been overall these days.

- India decided to pick the commercial flop Eklavya: The Royal Guard to compete with films around the world for one of those final five spots in the Academy Award for best foreign film. Theoretically, it needs to be better than Laagan, the last Indian Oscar nominee in that category. Will a guy named Eklavya beat the 4-hour cricket drama?

- After actor Masahiko Tsugawa had a decent small hit with the comedy Nezu no Ban, he’s moving on to an adaptation of the historical novel Jirocho Sangokushi, which actually inspired 13 films between 1952 and 1965.

- Today is Japanese commercial day at The Golden Rock.

First, we present the latest Softbank ad featuring Brad Pitt. In case you don’t know, this series of ads for the mobile phone service provider feature a Hollywood star walking down a street talking on their cool Softbank phone (for example, here’s one with Cameron Diaz, who’s in at least 3 of these things). This ad is no different, except this one is directed by Wong Kar-Wai. According to Apple Daily, the shooting of the “long take” (the cutting point is the pole, in case you don’t notice) took 3 days and 200 extras.

Second, Japan Probe brings us an ad for a Nagano newspaper by animation Makoto Shinkai, who scored a minor hit with his latest 5 Centimeters per Second. The animation is quite stunning, considering the plot is damn near non-existent.

Lastly, Japan Probe also has all 10 commercials Hollywood actor Tommy Lee Jones starred in for a brand of Japanese coffee. They are very very funny stuff, especially number 6.

The Golden Rock - September 8th, 2007 Edition

- Reviews for this year’s Venice surprise film - Johnnie To’s Mad Detective starring Lau Ching-Wan - are out from the two big trade papers. Variety’s Derek Elley calls it a neat idea that doesn’t quite hit the bull’s eye, and that it’s a rewrite or two away from achieving the rigor of a To movie. On the other hand, Hollywood Reporter’s Ray Bennett, who can’t seem to spell “Johnnie” right, is a lot kinder, calling it concise and artful.

- Sony is changing their focus, putting more emphasis on foreign films when they realized that these foreign films don’t need investors, but rather a widespread distribution network that Sony can offer.

- Takashi Miike’s latest Sukiyaki Western Django had its screening at Venice. However, responses from journalists and festival audiences are quite different. Sorry, guys, I can’t get excited about a Takashi Miike film as some of you may do.

- Leah Dizon is really starting to get huge not just in Japan (forget the fact that her last single didn’t sell much), but in the rest of Asia as well. Her debut album, which will no doubt feature lots of easy-to-sing song with carefully pronounced Japanese, will be released simultaneously in 9 countries. However, I doubt a number of her fans are fans because of her singing. I suspect this might have something to do with it.

- It saw a screening at Venice, and it opens this weekend at home: Japan Times’s March Schilling has a review of Shinji Aoyama’s latest Sad Vacation, which supposedly wraps up a Kita Kyushu Saga. Along with that, Japan Times also has an interview with Aoyama himself. In addition, it’s been out for a while, but there’s also a review of the documentary The Cats of Mirikitani.

- Twitch has a review of Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution from Toronto, calling it the most disappointing film at the festival so far. Ouch.

- By the way, Jacky Cheung is singing the theme song for Lust, Caution, presumably before he got sick and canceled his concerts

- The Singapore-based Asian Film Archive is getting a donation of 90 Malaysian classic films that will be restored and archived (but of course. That’s what an archive is for).

- They never succeed, but they keep trying: a Hong Kong-based sports media company has signed a deal to broadcast National Football League (American football) games across Asia. This comes after several hurdles to bring NFL outside the United States, including the postponement of an exhibition game in China and the closure of the NFL European League.

- They’re outsourcing everything to India these days. Even Sony is outsourcing the production of their direct-to-video sequel to the animated film Open Season to India and New Mexico (that’s in America, not Mexico).

The Golden Rock - September 8th, 2007 Edition

- Reviews for this year’s Venice surprise film - Johnnie To’s Mad Detective starring Lau Ching-Wan - are out from the two big trade papers. Variety’s Derek Elley calls it a neat idea that doesn’t quite hit the bull’s eye, and that it’s a rewrite or two away from achieving the rigor of a To movie. On the other hand, Hollywood Reporter’s Ray Bennett, who can’t seem to spell “Johnnie” right, is a lot kinder, calling it concise and artful.

- Sony is changing their focus, putting more emphasis on foreign films when they realized that these foreign films don’t need investors, but rather a widespread distribution network that Sony can offer.

- Takashi Miike’s latest Sukiyaki Western Django had its screening at Venice. However, responses from journalists and festival audiences are quite different. Sorry, guys, I can’t get excited about a Takashi Miike film as some of you may do.

- Leah Dizon is really starting to get huge not just in Japan (forget the fact that her last single didn’t sell much), but in the rest of Asia as well. Her debut album, which will no doubt feature lots of easy-to-sing song with carefully pronounced Japanese, will be released simultaneously in 9 countries. However, I doubt a number of her fans are fans because of her singing. I suspect this might have something to do with it.

- It saw a screening at Venice, and it opens this weekend at home: Japan Times’s March Schilling has a review of Shinji Aoyama’s latest Sad Vacation, which supposedly wraps up a Kita Kyushu Saga. Along with that, Japan Times also has an interview with Aoyama himself. In addition, it’s been out for a while, but there’s also a review of the documentary The Cats of Mirikitani.

- Twitch has a review of Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution from Toronto, calling it the most disappointing film at the festival so far. Ouch.

- By the way, Jacky Cheung is singing the theme song for Lust, Caution, presumably before he got sick and canceled his concerts

- The Singapore-based Asian Film Archive is getting a donation of 90 Malaysian classic films that will be restored and archived (but of course. That’s what an archive is for).

- They never succeed, but they keep trying: a Hong Kong-based sports media company has signed a deal to broadcast National Football League (American football) games across Asia. This comes after several hurdles to bring NFL outside the United States, including the postponement of an exhibition game in China and the closure of the NFL European League.

- They’re outsourcing everything to India these days. Even Sony is outsourcing the production of their direct-to-video sequel to the animated film Open Season to India and New Mexico (that’s in America, not Mexico).

The Golden Rock - August 24th, 2007 Edition

- It was another active day at the Hong Kong box office on Thursday opening day. However, the bad news is that only one film actually did well. Granted, all 5 opening films got into the top 10 slots, but none of them opened on more than 30 screens. That’s why the top film was the box office flop Evan Almighty. On 29 screens, the Steve Carell-starring comedy made HK$780,000 on its opening day. Very far behind is yet another box office flop, The Invasion starring Nicole Kidman. On 28 screens, the remake of The Invasion of the Body Snatchers made just HK$360,000, doomed to repeat the same fate it did in the United States. Even the Thai horror film Alone, which I’m sure got some publicity from having its ads and trailers censored, got a better per-screen average, making HK$250,000 from 16 screens.

Now we’re down to the floppers. Not even the Wu and Woo names could get audiences to go catch Blood Brothers (I did though). On a meager 20 screens, the period action-drama made just HK$130,000. Doing a little better on the per-screen is the Japanese animated film The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, featuring the voice of pop star Janice Vidal (er…last I checked, she couldn’t even speak Cantonese properly) on 15 out of its 16 screens, made just HK$110,000. Expect one of these to do better during the weekend, and it ain’t the one I’ve seen.

As for the holdovers, Rush Hour 3 is good as dead with just HK$310,000 on 34 screens for an 8-day total of HK$5.43 million (remember Jackie Chan himself has a stake in this, as he owns the distribution rights for the Chinese-speaking regions), and Wilson Yip’s Flash Point with Donnie Yen is not looking to get to the HK$10 million mark with HK$8.28 million after 15 days. I thought it was good enough to make more, but hey, that’s just me.

- With the news yesterday about the new Japanese film database by Eiren, Jason Gray shares a few more already existing Japanese movie databases. Yay, more references to cross-check.

- China box office is on the rise, expecting to make 3 billion yuan. However, quite a big chunk of that has been from those really huge Hollywood movies, though a lot of that is expected to be from the high-profile Chinese films at the end of the year.

- It’s from those guys at Oriental Daily again, which is strange because they keep picking up the only stories that at least two other major Hong Kong newspapers don’t pick up. This time, Soi Cheang’s Dog Bite Dog has been sold to be remade in India. I’m hoping that no song and dance is involved, and that the assassin won’t be from Pakistan (props to those who get the reference).

By the way, producer Sam Leung is apparently looking to do a sequel to Dog Bite Dog with the original cast. Having watched the film, how the hell are they going to pull that off?

- In more reports from Chinese newspapers, The Pye-Dog starring Eason Chan, which has yet to get a release in Hong Kong, will be heading to three different films festivals - Stockholm International Film Festival, the Asia Oceanic Film Festival (?), and the German International Innocence Films Festival (???).

- With Takeshi Kitano’s Glory to the Filmmaker (Kantoku Banzai) heading to Venice, the organizers have decided to establish a new award, and Kitano’s getting it. The name of the award? “Glory to the Filmmaker!”

 
 
LoveHKFilm.com Copyright © 2002-2017 Ross Chen