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Archive for the ‘remake’ Category

The Golden Rock - December 2nd, 2007 Edition

- Let’s wrap up the week with some Japanese box office figure. Earlier in the week, we reported the disappointing opening of the Japanese blockbuster film Midnight Eagle in its native Japan. Now we can put it into comparison - According to Eiga Consultant, the 185 million yen opening is only 62% of Takao Ozawa’s previous film Life: Tears in Heaven (domestic total: 1.6 billion yen) and only 69% of Yuko Takeuchi’s previous film Closed Note (domestic total: 1 billion yen).

The film was also a day-and-date release in the United States. On two screens (one in New York and one in San Francisco), the aspiring blockbuster opened all the way down at 88th place with US$2,543. That’s just a per-screen average of $1,271. 12 shows over 3 days=a total of 24 shows nationwide. That means each show made just roughly $106 dollars. Still, considering it didn’t get enough of the promotional push it needed, it’s a good starting point.

- Meanwhil, Yon-sama seems to be doing much better in Japan. Bae Yong-Joon’s latest drama The Four Guardian Gods of the King is set to be shown digitally in Japanese theaters with one episode playing 3-6 days a week. Sold in sets, the drama has already sold 1047 sets of the 24,000-yen set tickets. I know the numbers don’t quite add up, but it still prove the power of a Korean guy in glasses has over Japanese housewives these days…

- According to Jason Gray, another major trend from a foreign country in Japan now is the trend of French filmmakers going to Japan to make their films. Jason even has a term for it: Nouvelle Tsunami.

- From this weekend’s opening of the Tsubaki Sanjuro remake, another trend in Japanese film seems to be filmmakers remaking classic films almost shot-by-shot under the guise that it would attract attention on the originals. Kon Ichikawa did it, Nobuhiko Obayashi did it. Hell, even Yasujiro Ozu remade his own film back it the day. Does that make it OK?

- Guess which Hong Kong director is going back into the well of used ideas? According to Ming Pao, Stephen Chow announced that he will be making not one, but two movies based on the Journey to the West story that he and Jeff Lau used for the Chinese Odyssey films. The article, which I will not be translating word-for-word, says that like the earlier films, he’ll be making a two-part film that is now possible thanks to the ability of computer graphics. He also said that he will be sticking closer to the source material, unlike the Chinese Odyssey films, which were only loosely based on it. One reason that he’s going back to Journey to the West again is that the Chinese Odyssey films were considered his breakthrough work in Mainland China, where they thought the comedy in his earlier films did not translate well to Mandarin.

Like the columnist points out, when is Chow going back to movies WITHOUT computer graphics?

- It just opened in Japan this weekend, but Kenta Fukasaku’s latest XX (X-Cross) is already set to getting a Hollywood remake. The last film to accomplish the feat of getting a remake before it opened is the Korean thriller Seven Days, starring Lost star Kim Yun-Jin.

- With the Simpsons movie opening in Japan next weekend, it’d be good for Japanese fans to know that their voices were heard, and that the original TV voice dubbing cast, instead of the usual celebrity voices, will be back on the film’s Japanese DVD. Somehow this reminds me of the episode where Burns got 4 actors, including Michael Caine, to impersonate the Simpsons for Bart.

- The Daily Yomiuri has a feature of The Rebirth, the latest film by arthouse director Masahiro Kobayashi that features almost no dialogue. Actually, I’m quite intrigued.

- Japan Times also has a feature on the Japanese online film festival Con-Can, which recently wrapped up its latest edition.

- the Hong Kong Films blog reveals that next year’s big Lunar New Year movie Kung Fu Dunk may not be the most original film of the year. Hell, they can’t even seem to design original production stills. Is anyone that is not a Jay Chou fan seriously looking forward to this movie?

- This week’s Televiews column on the Daily Yomiuri recommends the only two dramas still worth catching on Japanese TV this season.

- Meanwhile, Japanese public broadcaster NHK will be cutting back on their jidaigeki (period dramas) and use the free time slot to gear to those young-uns. But wait, isn’t Japan’s population getting older, not younger?

- Looks like EMI Japan looks to turn into a Johnny’s-sized company by expanding themselves into a management firm that will be taking care of all aspects of an artist’s career. However, it doesn’t seem like all of EMI Japan’s current artists will be joining the firm.

- Under “good for them” news today, Seagull Diner director Naoko Ogigami’s latest Megane will be heading to the Sundance World Cinema Competition next February.

Under “what the hell were they smoking” news today, Kenneth Bi’s The Drummer is also entering that category. It’s not even an independent film, people!

The full list of competition films at Sundance.

- Just for kicks, here’s an infomercial for the total Chinese rip-off that is the Vii.

The Golden Rock - November 18th, 2007 Edition

- Courtesy of Twitch, the first real teaser for the Death Note spinoff Change the WorLd is now out with actual clips from the movie. However, it won’t be released until February 9th in Japan, so I guess it’s too early to get excited about what’s on screen. Then again, my Japanese isn’t that good.

- In “they’re getting ahead of themselves” news today, America’s Summit Entertainment bought up the remake rights for the Korean film Seven Days, about a lawyer who must save a man on death row to save her own daughter, before it even opened in Korea. Sounds like a derivative thriller only Hollywood can make, so why don’t they just make the damn thing themselves? Oh, wait….

- It’s reviews time! Japan Times’ Mark Schilling reviews the low-budget V-Cinema film Sundome, which actually managed to get play in a hip Shibuya theater.

- Grady Hendrix writes about the current media situation in Pakistan during the current government repression. Case in point: they’re still releasing the country’s exploitation gory horror film.

- The Daily Yomiuri’s weekly Teleview column bashes the hell out of flopping drama Joshi Deka and writes about the sad sad ways Japanese comedians can make money through spelling simple English.

- According to usual Tony Jaa collaborator director Prachya Pinkaew, him and the action star had a falling out, and their future collaborations have been canceled. Did Pinkaew get pissed because Jaa’s directorial debut Ong Bak 2 has even less story than Ong Bak 1?

- The MTV concert series unplugged is finally going to China. Too bad I have no idea who the hell those two first artists are, and we know that Cantopop tend to suck too much to attract that kind of talent.

- Actress Rie Miyazawa talks about her latest film with the Daily Yomiuri. Miyazawa plays a woman who works with her late husband’s apprentice to keep a small town theatre running in the 1950s after the husband’s death.

The Golden Rock - October 29th, 2007 Edition

- Another Monday, another look at Japanese drama ratings this past week. Galileo holds on to its strong premiere ratings with a 22.1 rating for its second episode. Abanrenbo Mama with Aya Ueto also managed to hold on well, dropping only to a 14.2 rating after its 15.3 premiere episode.

Several episodes saw its ratings increased - Hataraki Man went up to a 13 rating from the previous week’s 12.3, Friday night TBS drama Utahime went up to a season-high 9.8 after a dip to 7.5, and Mop Girl’s ratings have risen for the second week in a row.

The season’s biggest disappointment (and there are quite a few already) may be the sequel Iryu 2. After premiering with a strong 21 rating, its rating has fallen dramatically to a 15.5 rating by its third week, despite the first installment being voted the favorite drama that season.

All Fall 2007 Japanese drama information here.

- The Australian film Home Song Stories, which scored several nominations at the Golden Horse Awards, just won both best feature and an award for achievement in acting for Joan Chen at the Hawaii Film Festival.

- After this year’s TV remake of High and Low, another Kurosawa film is going down the remake route: this time it’s Hidden Fortress, starring Arashi member Jun Matsumoto and Masami Nagasawa. Directed by Shinji Higuchi, who last directed the disaster spectacle The Sinking of Japan, the remake will start filming next month and set for a Golden Week 2008 release.

- The Tokyo Film Festival just wrapped, and the jury awarded the Israeli film The Band’s Visit with the Tokyo Sakura Grand Prix. Meanwhile, Jason Gray has a bit more on Japanese Eyes section winner United Red Army.

- Speaking of festival, the Cannes anniversary commemoration omnibus film To Each His Own Cinema will actually be released theatrically in France. Twitch has a link to the trailer, though it only features one still from each film. In case you don’t know, the omnibus features quite a few Asian directors, including Takeshi Kitano, Hou Hsiao-Hsien, and Zhang Yimou, among others.

- Why didn’t someone think of using the name manga.com earlier? Isn’t it such an obvious website name for legit Japanese comics?

The Golden Rock - October 22nd, 2007 Edition

Try not to be shocked - most of today’s news come from only Variety Asia and Tokyograph.

- Let’s do the Japanese drama ratings first (All drama information on Tokyograph) - a few more dramas premiered this past week, including the Monday 9 pm Fuji drama Galileo. With the hottest prime time drama spot, the Masaharu Fukuyama/Kou Shibasaki-starrer with a terrible theme song scored a very impressive 24.7 rating for the first episode. Meanwhile, the Aya Ueto drama Abarenbou Mama did OK in its premiere with a 15.3 rating.

Last week’s winner Iryu 2 (which may be getting its own movie with its strong ratings) saw a pretty big drop from its 21-rating premiere to a 16.8 rating for its second episode. Joshi Deka, the latest drama with Yukie Nakama, opened weakly with just a 13.4 rating playing at the same time as Iryu 2. Hatachi No Koibito, which the Daily Yomiuri’s Teleview column recommended this past weekend, saw its ratings drop even further to a 10.4 on Sunday night.

- Fuji TV is so happy about Galileo’s premiere ratings (the strongest since Saiyuki’s premiere back in January ‘06 for that time slot) that they’ve already greenlighted the movie version. The source material, a series of novels about a math genius, is probably all ready to be adapted, as soon as the movie makes Fuji a ton of cash.

- Variety Asia has a feature about the extent of Hollywood studios into foreign local industries. In Asia, the biggest Hollywood studios are Warner Bros. in Japan and Sony in Chinese-speaking territories.

- Under “Japanese adaptations and remakes” news today (in addition to Galileo), the fantasy trading card game Aquarian Age is heading to the big screen, and so is the successful daytime drama Sunadokei, which was based on a manga in the first place. Also, TV Tokyo is retelling the story of Sanshiro Sugata, a famous judo artist whose story was told by Akira Kurosawa in his feature film debut.

- Some film festivals that are not named Tokyo International Film Festival are also currently underway in Asia: The second annual Chinese Film Festival in Yokohama started today, with Feng Xiaogang and Zhang Yang expected to attend. Also, the first Phuket Film Festival started on Saturday as part of an ongoing effort to revitalize the coastal town after the devastating tsunami three years ago.

- If you stop by a certain chain of love hotels in Tokyo, you’ll get to watch the Hollywood thriller Vacancy for free in your room. Apparently, these people got the idea that watching a movie about a couple trapped by maniacs in a run-down hotel room with hidden cameras and snuff tapes will “deepen the love”. I think they’ll probably just have sex instead.

- Under “what’s the deal in Japan?” news today, major studio Nikkatsu has signed a deal with Madhouse toon house to invade the US market together with a brand-new office in LA. Then, American distributor of Japanese films FUNimation will be delivering their acquisitions to US theaters digitally instead of the traditional way of shipping film to them.

- It’s reviews time! Catching up from last week, Lovehkfilm updated with several new reviews. Kozo gives us reviews of Kenneth Bi’s well-meaning but ill-conceived The Drummer, Kim Ki-Duk’s Breath, and Ang Lee’s erotic drama Lust, Caution. Meanwhile, yours truly checks in with a review of idol nostalgia drama Yellow Tears and the “historical” Korean blockbuster Hwang Jin-Yi.

- Variety has named Lust, Caution star Tang Wei one of the 10 actors to watch.

- Lastly, yet another one of the many films based around the Nanjing Massacre has started filming. Actually, the next time anything about this should be news is when they’re done making it, not when another one starts filming.

The Golden Rock - October 15th, 2007 Edition

- The new drama season started in Japan last week (Fall 2007 drama information from Tokyograph), and Iryu 2, the sequel to the hit drama from Spring 2006, got off to an excellent start with a 21 rating on the ratings chart. Meanwhile, Dream Again, starring Takashi “Genghis Khan” Sorimachi could only score a 12.9 rating for its premiere. Another star who might not be such a star is Masami Nagasawa, as her latest drama Hatachi No Koibito got only a 13.5 rating for its first episode. More premieres to come this coming week, so look for a slightly more comprehensive wrap-up next week. It all depends how tired I’ll be, really.

Now, the wrap-up from Pusan International Film Festival:

- The competition section of Pusan, called New Currents, actually has the least well-known films. This is probably because the jury tends to pick heavy art films with social messages, and Variety reports that history has repeated again this year.

- Meanwhile, it seems like the Asian Film Market was pretty quiet in terms of sales, with distributors sending people to just look as opposed to buy.

- Despite the festival running into obstacles and just being generally bland this year, the attendance was still record-breaking.

And now, back to your regular news:

- Wong Kar-Wai was supposed to make a biopic about Bruce Lee’s master and it was supposed to star Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, who reportedly spend the last few years getting physically prepared for the role. However, his 5-year rights is expiring and Raymond Wong’s Mandarin Films (who last made the Donnie Yen lovefest Flash Point) is stepping in and make their own film about Bruce Lee’s master.

This is in addition to the planned film by Fruit Chan about two childhood friends in 1950s Hong Kong who split up on their own roads, one of them being Bruce Lee.

- The teaser trailer is out for the Hollywood remake of the Pang Brothers’ The Eye, and I guess it looks blah.

- Also, the second trailer for Feng Xiaogang’s The Assembly is online. I use Firefox, so I haven’t watched it, and I’ll probably watch the movie when it comes out anyway.

- In not-so-pleasant news for the blogging community, the Chinese government is continuing its crackdown of the internet ahead of the party congress.

- And yet, they decided to allow a shorter version of Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution, which was edited by Lee himself and is a few minutes longer than the Malaysian version, to play nationwide starting November 1st. Can someone tell me whether Lam Ka Tung makes an appearance at the end of the Mainland version? Someone who’s seen both Infernal Affairs and Lust, Caution should get this.

- Then again, despite the film having done very well in Asian territories, audiences in China may very well not even get what “the bad guy” in the movie does.

- China may seem pretty bad, but then the head of the Thai ministry of culture came out and pretty much says: 1) Thai audiences are not educated, and 2) just because said audience doesn’t understand a movie, it should be be classified and/or banned.

The Golden Rock - October 4th, 2007 Edition

- I’m sure you all now know how well the uncensored prints of Lust, Caution have done in Asia, but what about the censored versions? As far as I know, a version that’s been cut by 11 minutes have been playing in at least Malaysia and Singapore. However, Malay censors went ahead and cut and another 3 minutes and barred anyone under 18 from seeing it anyway. Still, the formerly-erotic espionage drama. According to the distributor, the film is still doing rather well considering the genre, despite netizens aware and complaining about the censorship.

- Speaking of censorship, how will they pull this off? China’s Shenzhen Golden Coast Film had just optioned the remake rights for a Spanish comedy about an encyclopedia salesman who turns to making porn. The film is due to start production in the fall, and will of course have to be clean enough to clear Chinese censors.

- Eiga Consultant, in light of the recent controversy surrounding actress Erika Sawajiri, posted poll results to why people showed up to her latest film Closed Note. The ratio of male to female audience is 37 to 63, and a majority of audiences are in their 20s and under. When asked why they decided to go watch the film, 26.8% said the content seemed interesting, and the second biggest reason, with 14.4% of audience choosing it, is actually because they were fans of Sawajiri (as opposed to fans of Yuko Takeuchi, which only made up 10.8% of the audience). How come no one says it’s because of the director, especially since he made one of the biggest Japanese romantic blockbusters in recent years?

- The first Asia Pacific Screen Awards, which isn’t even taking place in Asia, has announced its nominees. The fact that I don’t know most of the nominated films means that they really are trying to look for the best Asian films out there, rather than your usual crowd favorites. An especially pleasant surprise for me is Ryu Deok-Hwan’s best actor nomination for Like a Virgin. Who says you can’t give a great performance in a comedy?

- Under your daily Pusan Film Festival news today, Japanese broadcaster TBS (TV networks are actually the biggest film producers in Japan) is sending quite a few interesting films to the festival. While many people are surely interested in Takashi Miike’s Crow Zero, I myself find Kenji Uchida’s After School the most interesting after his promising debut A Stranger of Mine. Is it really not coming out until May?

- On the other hand, meet Korea’s latest export to Hong Kong - Korean idol Lee Jun-Ki has just signed with Hong Kong entertainment conglomerate EEG. Unless he speaks really good Cantonese already, I have no idea what EEG will be doing with him, except making movies where his voice will be dubbed anyway.

- Also, yet another Korean-Chinese-Hong Kong co-production is on the way. This time it’s the Chinese comedy Let’s Fall in Love, with no actors or directors announced yet. That makes this news a bit of a waste of space.

- After D-War/Dragon Wars have made millions and millions of dollars around Korea and North America, director Shim Hyung-Rae has announced several follow-up projects, including the film’s sequel and a movie called Fish Wars. Really, I’m not shitting you.

- This blogger’s idol Hikaru Utada has broken yet another record - she is now the first artist in the world to break the 10 million-mark in digital sales within a year. Too bad her works this year just haven’t been up to par.

- Forget about remaking films based on novels, Hollywood is now going straight to the source, as Fox is planning to adapt the Japanese novel Goth with publisher Kadokawa Shoten producing. At least now they don’t have to worry about people comparing it with the original Japanese film because it doesn’t exist.

- There’s an English-subtitled trailer for the Korean film Le Grand Chef, a film based on the comic by the same author of the comic Tezza: The High Rollers. It’s a bit of a stretch, yes, but it still looks pretty interesting.

- There’s a review for Feng Xiaogang’s war film The Assembly by Variety’s Derek Elley (aka the guy who inexplicably panned Lust, Caution), which just had its world premiere today at the Pusan Film Festival.

The Golden Rock - September 6th, 2007 Edition

We apologize for skipping yesterday’s entry, but school and movie stuff reared its ugly head at the same time, and this blogger chose to write a 3-page script for school than a really long entry in a news blog not enough people read. Plus waiting almost 3 hours to not be able to get Eason Chan tickets this morning really pissed us off. But we’ll make it up in a bit.

- Let’s go over the Oricon charts really quickly. On the single chart, L’Arc~en~ciel’s latest got its number 1 debut, selling over 110,000 copies. The second and third places were close, with Exile finally winning out Utada Hikaru’s latest by only 1,700 copies in total weekly sales. Exile (which really is just two guys singing and a bunch of people dancing) sold 95,299, and Utada Hikaru sold 93, 518. See how close that was? Next week, expect me to possibly not report the number 1 debut of Arashi’s latest single.

As expected, pop rap group Ketsumeishi (imagine a hybrid of reggae, hip-hop, and pop influence blended into one) saw yet another huge debut for their 5th album on the album chart. Selling 430,000 copies (this might be a decrease from their previous album), this makes the group’s 4th number 1 album debut in a row. Hell, I’ll eventually pick up a copy too. Meanwhile, rock-pop group Porno Graffiti’s latest did an impressive 140,000 copies, but could only muster a second place when up against the Ketsumeishi boys. Hideaki Tokunaga’s cover album continues to sell well enough to drop by just one spot. Next week, expect Dragon Ash’s two compilations (I really hate this new trend of releasing one compilation as two albums) to rule the chart.

- It’s reviews time! LoveHKfilm’s Kozo reviews romantic comedy stinker Contract Lover, Jingle Ma’s “where the hell did that come from” romance Love in the City, and the Japanese comedy Bubble Fiction: Boom or Bust. Sanjuro reviews the classic martial arts insult New Game of Death and the Japanese “pure love” film Angel’s Egg (Erika Sawajiri again??). There’s also a review of the Korean satire The President’s Last Bang by yours truly.

Hollywood Reporter has Ray Bennett’s reviews of Jiang Wen’s The Sun Also Rises and Lee Kang-Sheng’s Help Me Eros, the sole “Taiwan” representative at Venice. Lastly, Variety has reviews of Help Me Eros and Jia Zhangke’s latest documentary Useless.

- Speaking of Help Me Eros, Twitch has a link to the trailer. However, everything in that trailer feel so Tsai Ming-Liang, including the detached eroticism, that I’m honestly not all that interested.

- I first thought it was just a really funny rumor, but looks like Kirk Wong’s remake of The Five Venoms looks like it’s on. The funny part? It’ll star Edison Chen, Maggie Q, Leehom Wang, and Wu Jing.

- Under “silly China!” news today, the expected blackout date for non-Chinese/non-communist-patriotic films is coming up, as China comes up to its October Party Congress/Party establishment anniversary date. While it was expected that Hollywood would get blocked out, even Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution is getting delayed until the end of the Party Congress.

- Thanks to D-War and May 18, Korean films just had its biggest month, with the highest recorded amount of admissions within a month. Just August alone, Korean films took up 79.6% of the market.

- While Korean special effects blockbuster The Host took its special effects to Hollywood, a Hollywood film just took its special effects to Korea. OK, China/Hollywood co-production and all, but my point about the reversal remains.

- After news that Fruit Chan is making a film about a young Bruce Lee that’ll be produced by Terence Chang, another piece of news has come out reporting that Hong Kong’s favorite indie director will be directing an English remake of a Japanese horror film. According to the report, this is Chan’s attempt to no longer be labeled as an art-house director. He could’ve made a better choice, though.

Last, but definitely not least; Miyoshi Umeki, the first Asian to win an Academy Award for performance, has passed away. Our condolences to her family.

Coming up on the spin-off tomorrow: Review of Pang Ho-Cheung’s latest, and why the hell did i spend 3 hours to end up not getting any Eason Chan concert tickets.

The Golden Rock - September 6th, 2007 Edition

We apologize for skipping yesterday’s entry, but school and movie stuff reared its ugly head at the same time, and this blogger chose to write a 3-page script for school than a really long entry in a news blog not enough people read. Plus waiting almost 3 hours to not be able to get Eason Chan tickets this morning really pissed us off. But we’ll make it up in a bit.

- Let’s go over the Oricon charts really quickly. On the single chart, L’Arc~en~ciel’s latest got its number 1 debut, selling over 110,000 copies. The second and third places were close, with Exile finally winning out Utada Hikaru’s latest by only 1,700 copies in total weekly sales. Exile (which really is just two guys singing and a bunch of people dancing) sold 95,299, and Utada Hikaru sold 93, 518. See how close that was? Next week, expect me to possibly not report the number 1 debut of Arashi’s latest single.

As expected, pop rap group Ketsumeishi (imagine a hybrid of reggae, hip-hop, and pop influence blended into one) saw yet another huge debut for their 5th album on the album chart. Selling 430,000 copies (this might be a decrease from their previous album), this makes the group’s 4th number 1 album debut in a row. Hell, I’ll eventually pick up a copy too. Meanwhile, rock-pop group Porno Graffiti’s latest did an impressive 140,000 copies, but could only muster a second place when up against the Ketsumeishi boys. Hideaki Tokunaga’s cover album continues to sell well enough to drop by just one spot. Next week, expect Dragon Ash’s two compilations (I really hate this new trend of releasing one compilation as two albums) to rule the chart.

- It’s reviews time! LoveHKfilm’s Kozo reviews romantic comedy stinker Contract Lover, Jingle Ma’s “where the hell did that come from” romance Love in the City, and the Japanese comedy Bubble Fiction: Boom or Bust. Sanjuro reviews the classic martial arts insult New Game of Death and the Japanese “pure love” film Angel’s Egg (Erika Sawajiri again??). There’s also a review of the Korean satire The President’s Last Bang by yours truly.

Hollywood Reporter has Ray Bennett’s reviews of Jiang Wen’s The Sun Also Rises and Lee Kang-Sheng’s Help Me Eros, the sole “Taiwan” representative at Venice. Lastly, Variety has reviews of Help Me Eros and Jia Zhangke’s latest documentary Useless.

- Speaking of Help Me Eros, Twitch has a link to the trailer. However, everything in that trailer feel so Tsai Ming-Liang, including the detached eroticism, that I’m honestly not all that interested.

- I first thought it was just a really funny rumor, but looks like Kirk Wong’s remake of The Five Venoms looks like it’s on. The funny part? It’ll star Edison Chen, Maggie Q, Leehom Wang, and Wu Jing.

- Under “silly China!” news today, the expected blackout date for non-Chinese/non-communist-patriotic films is coming up, as China comes up to its October Party Congress/Party establishment anniversary date. While it was expected that Hollywood would get blocked out, even Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution is getting delayed until the end of the Party Congress.

- Thanks to D-War and May 18, Korean films just had its biggest month, with the highest recorded amount of admissions within a month. Just August alone, Korean films took up 79.6% of the market.

- While Korean special effects blockbuster The Host took its special effects to Hollywood, a Hollywood film just took its special effects to Korea. OK, China/Hollywood co-production and all, but my point about the reversal remains.

- After news that Fruit Chan is making a film about a young Bruce Lee that’ll be produced by Terence Chang, another piece of news has come out reporting that Hong Kong’s favorite indie director will be directing an English remake of a Japanese horror film. According to the report, this is Chan’s attempt to no longer be labeled as an art-house director. He could’ve made a better choice, though.

Last, but definitely not least; Miyoshi Umeki, the first Asian to win an Academy Award for performance, has passed away. Our condolences to her family.

Coming up on the spin-off tomorrow: Review of Pang Ho-Cheung’s latest, and why the hell did i spend 3 hours to end up not getting any Eason Chan concert tickets.

The Golden Rock - September 4th, 2007 Edition

- There’s not much to report in terms of box office numbers, but everyone was surprised as I was that Evangelion 1.0 opened so huge. It was apparently so huge (280 million yen on just 84 screens!) that one cinema couldn’t even accommodate the crowd after moving the film to a theater 5 times larger.

- Slightly outdated, but reviews for Shinji Aoyama’s latest Sad Vacation are coming in. Variety gave it a bit of a pan, while Twitch seemed to like it. Honestly, I’ve never seen a Shinji Aoyama thing, fearing that it’s not really my thing.

- Variety also has a review of Jiang Wen’s The Sun Also Rises, with Derek Elley calling the film’s enjoyment dependent on individual tolerance for cranked-up visuals and acting. Does that mean there’s not much beneath the visuals and acting?

- This has absolutely nothing to do with Asian films, but rather pure interest. Wes Anderson’s latest The Darjeeling Limited had its premiere in Venice, but sadly under the shadow of star/co-writer Owen Wilson’s suicide attempt. The reviews from the two big trade papers are out, with Variety saying that it’s closer to The Royal Tennenbaums than The Life Aquatic (that would be a good thing, although I liked both very much). However, Hollywood Reporter’s Ray Bennett calls it a third rate Hope and Crosby movie with no big laughs and nothing to say.

- Sorry to those who had tickets to the last two Jacky Cheung concert: the second-to-the-last show was canceled at the very last minutes because the legendary singer got ill and he claims that he couldn’t even sing one-third of the songs, failing his basic requirement as a singer. When his cold didn’t get any better, he canceled the final show last night as well. Still, I’ll bet he sings better than those Twin girls even when he’s sick…

Anyway, if you hold those tickets, go and redeem the tickets for the make-up shows at the end of January 2008.

- Imagethief goes over point-by-point on how the report of China Film Group chairman Han Sanping said about China needing more patriotic films is not something that should happen to the Chinese film industry. This quote sums it all up: “…government involvement in any aspect of popular culture, unless it is simply cutting a check, is generally bad form. This is because politicians and bureaucrats are, by and large, crappy arbiters of taste.”

- MCL, whose Kornhill cinema is honestly not that great, is working with a property firm named Shaw (not THAT Shaw, right) to open the largest multiplex in Hong Kong. I hope they have sound separation better there then MCL Kornhill.

- A trailer for the Hollywood remake for the Japanese horror flick One Missed Call is up. I never saw the original, but anyone still complaining about PG-13 horror movies should know that it didn’t even get any restrictive rating in Japan (maybe a PG-12?)

- The live-action Grave of the Fireflies has started filming, but there’s still no information on who’s behind the film.

- Not sure who’s interested, but the Canadian period film Silk, starring Michael Pitt and Keira Knightley (her in another period film??) will be closing the Tokyo International Film Festival this year.

The Golden Rock - September 4th, 2007 Edition

- There’s not much to report in terms of box office numbers, but everyone was surprised as I was that Evangelion 1.0 opened so huge. It was apparently so huge (280 million yen on just 84 screens!) that one cinema couldn’t even accommodate the crowd after moving the film to a theater 5 times larger.

- Slightly outdated, but reviews for Shinji Aoyama’s latest Sad Vacation are coming in. Variety gave it a bit of a pan, while Twitch seemed to like it. Honestly, I’ve never seen a Shinji Aoyama thing, fearing that it’s not really my thing.

- Variety also has a review of Jiang Wen’s The Sun Also Rises, with Derek Elley calling the film’s enjoyment dependent on individual tolerance for cranked-up visuals and acting. Does that mean there’s not much beneath the visuals and acting?

- This has absolutely nothing to do with Asian films, but rather pure interest. Wes Anderson’s latest The Darjeeling Limited had its premiere in Venice, but sadly under the shadow of star/co-writer Owen Wilson’s suicide attempt. The reviews from the two big trade papers are out, with Variety saying that it’s closer to The Royal Tennenbaums than The Life Aquatic (that would be a good thing, although I liked both very much). However, Hollywood Reporter’s Ray Bennett calls it a third rate Hope and Crosby movie with no big laughs and nothing to say.

- Sorry to those who had tickets to the last two Jacky Cheung concert: the second-to-the-last show was canceled at the very last minutes because the legendary singer got ill and he claims that he couldn’t even sing one-third of the songs, failing his basic requirement as a singer. When his cold didn’t get any better, he canceled the final show last night as well. Still, I’ll bet he sings better than those Twin girls even when he’s sick…

Anyway, if you hold those tickets, go and redeem the tickets for the make-up shows at the end of January 2008.

- Imagethief goes over point-by-point on how the report of China Film Group chairman Han Sanping said about China needing more patriotic films is not something that should happen to the Chinese film industry. This quote sums it all up: “…government involvement in any aspect of popular culture, unless it is simply cutting a check, is generally bad form. This is because politicians and bureaucrats are, by and large, crappy arbiters of taste.”

- MCL, whose Kornhill cinema is honestly not that great, is working with a property firm named Shaw (not THAT Shaw, right) to open the largest multiplex in Hong Kong. I hope they have sound separation better there then MCL Kornhill.

- A trailer for the Hollywood remake for the Japanese horror flick One Missed Call is up. I never saw the original, but anyone still complaining about PG-13 horror movies should know that it didn’t even get any restrictive rating in Japan (maybe a PG-12?)

- The live-action Grave of the Fireflies has started filming, but there’s still no information on who’s behind the film.

- Not sure who’s interested, but the Canadian period film Silk, starring Michael Pitt and Keira Knightley (her in another period film??) will be closing the Tokyo International Film Festival this year.

 
 
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