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 ‘technology’ Category

The Golden Rock - December 12th, 2008 Edition

- Thanks to the extra IMAX gross and opening on 76 screens, the sci-fi film The Day the Earth Stood Still dominated opening day box office in Hong Kong. It made HK$2.11 million, which puts it as probably the biggest opening day Hong Kong has had in since The Dark Knight (I forgot how big the opening for The Mummy 3 because I didn’t blog at the time). It should have no problem making HK$10 million by the weekend’s over.

Sadly, its domination also meant the other films losing screens and audience. Four Christmases could only open at 3rd place with HK$107,000 from 28 screens, though Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn are not exactly big box office draws here. Even worse off is Tsui Hark’s All About Women (half a good film, totally overlong). From a modest 19 screens, the comedy made only HK$60,300, which is even lower than Missing’s opening from earlier in the year. Now it’ll have to rely on the Mandarin speaking terroritories to make its money back, although that was probably the plan all along. That’s all for the opening films, more on Monday when the numbers are out.

-Thanks to their three album releases this year - two of them compilations - Exile is the best-selling Japanese artist of the year, with 5.2 million copies of their releases sold. Arashi, however, also took the spotlight by having three singles in the top 10, while the biggest surprise is the game show-based “baka trio” Shuchishin having the 5th best-selling single in Japan this year.

- I was wrong about Thelma Aoyama and Soulja’s Soba Ni Iru Ne as the best-selling single (although it was at 7th place). Instead, it was the most downloaded song for cell phones in 2008. Mind you, that’s only the legal downloads.

- It’s trailers time! Two new discoveries on Youtube. First it’s the trailer for Andrew Lau’s Look For a Star, starring Andy Lau (welcome back to modern films), Shu Qi, and Denise “HOCC” Ho. It looks pretty, and it’ll probably open during Lunar New Year in Hong Kong.

Next is the second teaser for Casshern director Kazuaki Kiriya’s Goemon, which finally has actual footage from the film, and looks like a period version of Casshern. But it looks pretty as well.

Also, many of you probably caught this already: The full Japanese trailer for Dragonball Evolution. No, it’s not looking any better.

- The big thing at this year’s CineAsia convention in India is digital projection, which is looking to be the next big thing especially with China’s efforts to push that along with 3D films. On the other hand, 3D cinema only received a mixed reception, since Journey to the Center of the Earth seems to be the only true success story of the format in Asia so far (not sure if those 3-d animated films were successful because of the 3d or they were going to be successful regardless of the dimensions).

- I’m a few days behind, but in case you haven’t heard, the comic-style Japanese comedy TV drama Nodame Cantabile is going to the big screen. Twice. The show was fun and all, but does it still need two feature films after a 5-hour TV special and a 11-episode drama?

Tokyograph article 1
Tokyograph article 2
Screen Daily article

Lastly, reader YTSL requested this, so here ya go:

00114320db810aa5b46d3b.jpg
Ang Lee and Brigette Lin at this year’s Golden Horse Awards. You don’t need me to tell you who’s who.

That’s it for today. See you later in the weekend.

The Golden Rock - December 8th, 2008 Edition

- Dante Lam’s The Beast Stalker captured the top spot at the Hong Kong box office for the second weekend in a row. On Sunday, the melodramatic thriller made HK$539,000 from 34 screens for a 11-day total of HK$6.02 million. This is a 37% drop from last Sunday’s take, and signals that it’s slowing down a little quicker than Connected. Getting to the HK$10 million mark will be tough, but considering how Hong Kong films have done this year, this is a modest success for Emperor.

Cape No. 7 may have gotten a slight boost from its wins at the Golden Horse Awards, losing only 20% of last Sunday’s business for a take of HK$395,000 from 25 screens. After 18 days, the Taiwanese music-based romance has made HK$6.4 million. At this rate, the HK$10 million mark is looking more and more probable. On the other hand, Herman Yau’s True Women For Sale didn’t quite get the boost it needed from Prudence Lau’s Best Actress win. From 5 screens, the dramedy made HK$51,000 for a 4-day weekend total of HK$180,000.

The opening film with the best per-screen average is the Japanese film Ikigami. From just 4 screens, the high concept drama made HK$59,900 for a 4-day weekend total of HK$210,000. On the other hand, the best-performing opener was Wu Jing’s co-directorial debut Legendary Assassin. From 31 screens, the action film made just HK$336,000 at 3rd place for a 4-day total of HK$1.23 million. I guess all those Gold Label stars showing up didn’t help much.   The other Gold Label film , Patrick Kong’s Nobody’s Perfect, made another HK$189,800 from 34 screens, losing 45% of last Sunday’s gross. After 11 days, the identity-switching comedy has made HK$2.69 million.

The distributor of the American indie comedy What Just Happened? is probably asking that same question. From 13 screens, the Berry Levinson film made HK$111,000 on Sunday for a 4-day total of just HK$410,000. Quantum of Solace has made HK$18.91 million after 32 days, Beverly Hills Chihuahua has made HK$2.89 million after 18 days, and Burn After Reading has made HK$2.98 million after 25 days.

- Over to the Japan attendance figures, where Wall-E and the disaster film 252 finally came together to knock Red Cliff of its top spot for first and second place, respectively. The TV drama/comic-based spinoff Tokumei Kakaricho Hitoshi Tadano film (which looks terrible) got a 5th place debut. Surprisingly, Yukihiko Tsutsumi’s Where the Legend Lives saw a boost to 7th place this weekend after almost being knocked off the top 10 chart last week. However, like last week, its placing may end up being lower on the box office gross chart because it attracts an elderly audience, who pay a lower ticket price. More when the numbers are out.

- After months of production turmoil and coming in the midst of a political shuffle, Ong Bak 2 opened last Friday and is now projected to be the top local film this year. Kaiju Shakedown looks at some initial reviews, which reveal that it sets up for Ong Bak 3. I’ll be watching this in Hong Kong just after New Year.

-  In addition to the Golden Horse Awards, there was also a Taipei Projects Market (refer to my interview with Kenneth Bi to hear about how these things work), where two films had to share the top prize. A lack of high-profile projects (except for the Eat Drink Man Woman sequel NOT by Ang Lee and Pang Ho-Cheung’s The Bus) made it hard to find extended reports about it, but here ya go.

- Variety lines out the tough week the media had last week in Asia, and it was about more than giving away police strategies to terrorists and illegal airport blockages.

- Ryuganji translates a very long article in a Japanese magazine about the Japanese film business in the 21st century. Part one covers the overwhelming dominance of local distributor Toho.

- If you want to know what the most popular songs in Japan are, you should check out DAM’s (that’s a Karaoke machine) top 20 2008 Karaoke ranking because people tend to sing what they like, especially in a Karaoke-heavy country like Japan. As Tokyograph reported, here are the top 10 Karaoke songs of 2008:

1) Kiseki - GReeeeN (which has a great music video. You don’t need to know Japanese to be touched by it. Oh, alright, here’s an English-subtitled version.)
2) Lovers Again - Exile
3) Ai Uta - GReeeeN (This video, on the other hand, not so good)
4) Tsubomi - Kobukuro (I admit that I sang this a few times at Karaoke myself)
5) Soba ni Iru ne - Thelma Aoyama featuring Soulja (the no.1 selling single in Japan this year so far. Or some Arashi single might’ve already surpassed it.)
6) Ai no Uta - Kumi Koda (apparently the words Ai (love) and Uta (song) are huge in Japanese music)
7) Hanamizuki - Yo Hitoto (Apparently the only song she ever sings when she goes to the year-end Kohaku Uta Gassen every year)
8) Sakura - Kobukuro (The word Sakura is also huge in Japanese music)
9) Suirenka - Shonan no Kaze (which Hacken Lee covered in his Concert Hall II album. It wasn’t good.)
10) Ayaka - Mikatsuki

If you know Japanese and care enough about the rest of the rankings, check out the complete list here. By the way, my man Jero’s debut single Umiyuki got on the 15th place. Not bad for a kid from Pittsburgh.

- Korean auteur Hong Sang-soo has been announced as the first director of this year’s Jeonju Digital Project. Produced by the Jeonju International Film Festival, the Jeonju Digital Project is a trio of short films produced each year by three different directors. The other two directors for the upcoming festival’s project will be announced on January 13th.

- With China making the unusual choice of a sending a documentary to the Academy Awards Best Foreign Film race, some people in China wonder if the country’s even trying to get into the race anymore. At least it didn’t pick Painted Skin as its representative.

- Under “Japanese drama casting” news today, Arashi leader Satoshi Ohno will be doing his first comedic role in a TV drama next season.  Meanwhile, major film actor Koji Yakusho and popular actress Eri Fukatsu will be starring in a made-for-TV movie (I guess a drama special if you want to get all specific with names) with a script written 30 year ago.

- In order to encourage people to go to the cinemas, China has been trying to promote digital projection and 3D films in theaters. It’s so eager to it that its authorities even exempted Disney’s latest animated film from the 20 foreign films quota.

- Famed Japanese composer Minoru Endo, who has written 5000 songs in the last 60 years, passed away over the weekend. He was 76 years old.

The Golden Rock - September 9th, 2008 Edition

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

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

Originally found on the Hong Kong Film Blog as well.

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

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

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

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

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

The Golden Rock - August 30th, 2008 Edition

- Very sudden news out of Japan yesterday. Young Japanese award-winning actor Yuya Yagira was rushed to the hospital yesterday after an apparent suicide attempt involving lots of pills. Yagira bursted onto the Japanese film scene by becoming the youngest winner of the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival for Nobody Knows.

- It’s reviews time! Variety’s Jordan Mintzer has the first review of the Pang Brothers’ self-remake of Bangkok Dangerous, starring Nicholas Cage and his bad hair. From Venice are reviews of Takeshi Kitano’s Achilles and the Tortoise, first from Variety critic Derek Elley, then from Hollywood Reporter’s Ray Bennett. From Japan Times is Mark Schilling’s review of Toshio Lee’s Detroit Metal City, starring Kenichi Matsuyama. Also from Derek Elley is the review for Kelvin Tong’s Rule #1, which earned Ekin Cheng and Shawn Yue surely their first Best Actor awards.

- Meanwhile, the Pangs talk to the Hollywood Reporter, telling them that they actually prefer the Hollywood way of systematic filmmaking as opposed to the quick improvisational style of Hong Kong films.

- Jason Gray reports from director Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s appearance at the Foreign Correspondants’ Club of Japan for his award-winning film Tokyo Sonata.

- Nippon Cinema has the first trailer for the Takeshi Kaneshiro starring vehicle K-20. Turns out he’s not the villain - he’s just accused of being one. Looks like some old-fashioned adventure fun.

- Major Japanese network TBS will be offering pay-per-view office through their broadband TV service. The first major offering will be TBS’ latest film, which will be available online even before the film hits theaters.

- Users of iTunes China can rejoices, as the music downloading program has been unblocked by the Chinese authorities. The Songs for Tibet album, however, is now missing, and netizens are getting all irate, screaming for more boycotting and banning.

-I missed out on reporting the Tony Jaa-Ong Bak 2 mess because of work, but now I can finally get a mention in: Tony Jaa has returned to the film, but only as an actor. Word is that Jaa’s mentor and Born to Fight director Panna Rittikrai will be taking over the director’s chair to finish the film.

- This week’s Televiews column looks at Japan’s coverage of the Olympics. With incompetent interviewers and unbearable media pressure on athletes, it sounds like Japan didn’t do all that much better than Hong Kong television’s immature and one-sided coverage.

The Golden Rock - August 29th, 2008 Edition

- Time to look at opening day box office in Hong Kong. Journey to the Center of the Earth continues to hold onto the top spot, making HK$830,000 from 34 screens on Thursday for a 15-day total of HK$23.33 million. However, according to the Hong Kong Film blog, roughly 65% of that Thursday take is from the 3D version, which charges a significantly higher ticket price.

As for opening films, the Spanish horror film Rec has the best debut, making HK$456,000 from 29 screens. With a shorter length, more shows per day, and fairly aggressive marketing, the category III film should attract the younger 18-and-older audience over the weekend. Those who can’t get into Rec may try for Patrick Kong’s Forgive and Forget, but the weak performance of advance screenings last weekend carried over, as the romance-horror film made only HK$211,000 from 34 screens on its opening day. Where Patrick Kong goes from the film’s impending failure should be interesting, as young audiences are either getting tired of his contrived overdramatic teen romance shtick, or they just don’t find Alice Tzeng a good substitute for Stephy.

Attracting older audiences over the weekend will be the Hollywood romantic comedy My Best Friend’s Wedding II Maid of Honor. Even though it only opened with HK$266,000 from 25 screens on opening day, it should still get a good enough boost over the weekend to get it past the HK$1 million mark by the time the weekend’s over.

In more limited releases, Hana Yori Dango Final also joins in to attract the teen audiences (it’s the final weekend before school year starts in Hong Kong, and seems to work. On just 12 screens, the schoolgirls-oriented fantasy romance made HK$184,000. Looking at internet sales, some theaters are already moving to larger screens, which means it might be looking at a pretty big boost over the weekend. Lastly, the British romance The Edge of Love opened on 6 screens for a weak HK$58,000 take. More when the numbers come out on Monday.

-Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo on a Cliff By the Sea has passed another major mark, recording over 10 million admissions in Japan on the 41st day of release. In comparison, Spirited Away took 31 days, Howl’s Moving Castle took 44, and Princess Mononoke took 66 days.

- With the first installment of the mega-budgeted trilogy 20th Century Boys opening in Japan tomorrow (thankfully, it will open here in Hong Kong relatively quickly on September 25th), the Daily Yomiuri looks at how the long-planned adaptations came about.

And Jason Gray posted his thoughts on the film during my hiatus.

- Korean public broadcaster KBS has expanded their KBS Film Festival to 10 theaters nationwide for the first time. Also, they will also be making the films available online and through broadband television. In its 4th year, the KBS Film Festival brings over films from around the world that would otherwise never make their way into Korean theaters.

-  Yasufumi Terayaki, the younger half of the Aibou duo, will be leaving the hit detective show after its 7th 6-month season, which is slated to start in October. No word on how the actor’s departure will be dealt with on the show, and no word on whether the show will continue on without one of the show’s two stars.

The Golden Rock - July 23rd, 2008 Edition

It’s either a really slow news day, or it’s been a long day. Here we go:

How Much Money has Red Cliff Made in Hong Kong?

According to now.com, Red Cliff has made HK$20.36 million after 13 days.

- Johnnie To/Wai Ka Fai’s Mad Detective opened on one screen in America. With a total of 8 shows over the weekend, the film made only USD$2,682, which means each show only averaged USD$335.25. An average ticket cost from USD$8.50 to USD$11.50, which should tell you how many people went to see it. Even though it’s also playing through video-on-demand, it’s still pretty painful to report that number.

- Cyzo (Thanks to Ryuganji for the link) reveals the top 10 grossing films in Japan for the first half of 2008, which is any film that opened from December 2007 to May 2008.

1) Partners the Movie (Aibou) - 4.4 billion yen
2) I Am Legend - 4.3 billion yen
3) The Golden Compass - 3.5 billion yen
4) Doraemon - 3.37 billion yen
5) A Tale of Mari and the Three Puppies - 3.14 billion yen
6) The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian - 3 billion yen
7) Enchanted - 2.9 billion yen
8) National Treasure 2 - 2.6 billion yen
9) Detective Conan - 2.42 billion yen
10) Earth - 2.4 billion yen.

That’s 6 foreign films and 4 Japanese films, only one of which is live-action. Of course, we still have The Magic Hour and Hana Yori Dango to add to that second half 2008 list.

-It’s Japanese Oricon charts time! The Korean boy band TVXQ sets a record for foreign artists with their third #1 single (and probably another record for the longest song title ever). Yui Aragaki’s first single makes a 2nd place debut (surprising, considering this is how she sings). Kimaguren knocks GReeeN!!! off the top spot at the album chart with their latest album.

More at Tokyograph

- After Japan named its favorite robotic cat as its animated ambassador, Korea has unleashed their own robot as a “goodwill delegate” for refugees.

- After Dragonball, 20th Century Fox is apparently in the process of turning another Japanese animation into a live-action film.

- In the continuing series of ridiculous product lines for pachinko machines (refer to my Japan reports), director Hiroyuki Nakano has remade Kurosawa’s Seven Samurais for a pachinko machine. It even co-stars Sonny Chiba and featuring a soundtrack of Rolling Stone songs.  I have to say, Paint it Black sounds pretty good with samurai on horses.

- Last Friends villain Ryo Nishikido has found his next drama role, this time presumably the good guy with Johnny’s mate Kazunari Ninomiya for an adaptation of another popular novel.

- Ryuhei Kitamura has announced that he will be remaking his classic film Versus for America and that it will be “insane”, which means more of the same with better makeup?

- Not liking Ponyo is like wanting to hurt little puppies, and it looks like there are plenty of people who will want to hurt little puppies.

The Golden Rock - July 16th, 2008 Edition

Today we’re starting a new feature called “How much money is Red Cliff making in Hong Kong?” Why, you ask? Because we’re into fanning the hype around here.

According to Now.com, as of Tuesday, July 15th, John Woo’s Red Cliff has made:

HK$13.52 million after 6 days

In comparison, the dance-unintentional-howler Kung Fu Hip Hop (also the only other Chinese-language film playing in Hong Kong right now. No, I don’t count Kung Fu Panda) has made HK$80,000 after 6 days, and already lost 4 of its 13 screens on Monday.

- Time to report on what we really do here at Lovehkfilm. Boss Kozo has three reviews, including mega-super-duper moneymaker Red Cliff, Yoji Yamada’s Kabei - Our Mother, and the Western film Children of Huang Shi, which co-stars Chow Yun Fat in a supporting role. Yours truly turns in reviews of the wrestling comedy Gachi Boy - Wrestling with a Memory and the independent award-winning comedy Bare-Assed Japan.

Hollywood Reporter’s Ray Bennett also turns in a review for the Singaporean film The Photograph.

- As reported before, John Woo’s Red Cliff topped the Korean box office. It’s scored the highest opening ever for a Chinese film, and distributor Showbox (who cut the film by 9 minutes) is aiming at 3 million admissions. However, that depends on how The Good, The Bad, and The Weird will do next week.

More from Korea Pop Wars.

Meanwhile, The Good, the Bad, and the Weird has sold its American rights to IFC, who will be rolling the film out in a limited release early next year. No word on whether this will be the Korean cut or the cut that Kim said will include more references to classic Western flicks.  If i live in America, this would be exciting news indeed.

- For some reason, Box Office Mojo isn’t updating their Japanese box office numbers, which means I’m left in the cold for the second weekend in a row for number crunching. Thankfully, Mr. Texas over at Eiga Consultant is reporting the opening weekend gross for Gegege no Kitaro 2. Even though the last film went up against Spiderman 3 in its second weekend, the first film also opened a week before Golden Week, which boosted the film’s second weekend take, and it’s a luxury that the sequel didn’t get. The yokai fantasy film made 230 million yen from 313 screens, and it’s only 73% of the first film’s opening.  Mr. Texas contributes the comparatively lower opening to its seemingly darker tone, though I doubt that there’s an audience conflict with Hana Yori Dango (except for young WaT fans?).

Meanwhile, Ryuganji looks at the relative success of the Japanese newsroom drama Climber’s High, which is aiming for a 1.5-2 billion yen, and is a much-needed hit for all involved.

To no one’s surprise, major Japanese distributor Toho takes the top spot as the top Japanese studio for the first half of 2008, with 13 films passing the 1 billion yen mark.

- Gaga should also be slightly relieved that Climber’s High will probably make its money back, because they wouldn’t have to add it to the approximately USD$18.8 million losses they are forecasting from content alone.

- It’s Japanese Oricon charts time! Girl trio group Perfume gets their first #1 single, which is also the first #1 single for a technopop track. Meanwhile, Thelma Aoyama’s follow-up single to her mega-hit Soba ni Iru yo could garner only a 6th place debut. As for the album chart, Orange Range’s latest debuts as expected at first place, while the week’s only other new entry debuts all the way down at 9th place.

More at Tokyograph

- The Kimura Takuya drama CHANGE managed to gain one victory at the end of the Spring 2008 season. While it did not beat Gokusen for the top-rated drama of the season, it got the highest rating for any single episode all season with a 27.4% rating, and it even reached as high as 31.2% during its second half. Reportedly, the finale included a 22-minute speech by Kimutaku the Prime Minister, which sounds like a pretty ballsy move for a TV drama, and will likely be the most long-winded monologue ever recorded in a Japanese TV drama, and there are tons of those.

-  Universal is breathing a sigh of relief now, as The Mummy 3 has been officially cleared by Chinese censors after changes that, according to producer Bill Kong, were supposed “so minor that they scarcely amounted to a cut”, hinting that it may’ve simply cut some shots to make it suitable for all audiences. The film is expected to be released in China after the Olympics to increase its commercial potential.

- Hong Kong broadcaster TVB has signed a deal with Walt Disney to stream some of Disney’s American content on the TVB website free of charge 12 hours after their television broadcast in Hong Kong. Such shows may also include dramas from the Disney-owned ABC network such as Lost and Desperate Housewives. This, however, is not likely to prevent people from downloading shows within hours of their broadcast in America.

Ryuganji has more on director Akira Ogata’s first film since the 80s, which will begin shooting this month.

- (via Twitch) The Star Malaysia talks to John Woo about Red Cliff, in which he admits that he modeled some of his past action heroes after Three Kingdoms character Zhao Zilong.

-  Kaiju Shakedown reveals that when not making his “shit, piss, fart” comedies, Wong Jing actually produces some quality films. One of them is Ann Hui’s latest The Way We Are.

- A Japanese novel about a kid who bikes to search for his long-lost mother is coming to the big screen.

- Meanwhile, chalk one up for China, as a Chinese author has become the first winner of the prestigious Akutagawa Prize that is not a native speaker of Japanese.  The Akutagawa Prize is the top literary prize in Japan.

The Golden Rock - July 9th, 2008 Edition

- It’s Japanese Oricon charts time! GReeeN!!! rules the album charts for the second week in a row, fending off newcomers Ellegarden and Shiina Ringo (debuting at 2nd and 4th place, respectively). Meanwhile, YUI’s latest takes the top spot at the singles chart in its first week.

More over at Tokyograph.

- Not surprisingly, Kung Fu Panda has now made 135 million yuan in China, making it the highest-grossing animated film in China ever.

- Ryuganji translate an editorial that puts into simple numbers why TV drama adaptations will continue in Japanese cinema as long as just a fraction of its audience goes to see the films.

- Grady Hendrix of Kaiju Shakedown writes about Asian actors participation in the latest Batman flick, including thespian/photo-addict Edison Chen’s one line in the film.

- Under “casting news” today, Jun Matsumoto will be starring in a drama special that is part of Nippon TV’s annual charity program. Matsumoto, hot off the success of Hana Yori Dango Final, is one of the two hosts of the 24-hour program.

Meanwhile, Takako Matsu will be starring alongside Tananobu Asano in a new film based on a story by Osamu Daza. Actually, I don’t believe this is Matsu’s first starring role, since she did star in April Story, which runs just barely over feature film running time of 60 minutes.

Lastly, Hideaki Ito will be playing the villain in the troubled Yoichi Sai production The Legend of Kamui. Wait a minute, Ekin Cheng is in it too!

- Major Japanese film distributor Shochiku has finally started its own Youtube channel for their own trailers. My Youtube source got shut down recently, but trailers are not hard to come by if one searches harder for them anyway. They’re at least on official website (with the exception of Ponyo and many Hong Kong films, of course).

- Speaking of trailers, Nippon Cinema has the full-length trailer for Tetsuya Nakashima’s Paco and the Magic Picture Book, and I’d say it makes the film look a lot more promising than its teasers did.

-  China will be the shooting location for a new film that will be shot using the innovative 4k digital technology, which holds 4 times the data of a usual digital movie. Of course, the word “dragon” is required to be in the title.

-The poor 400 orphan films that lost their home when UK distributor Tartan went under 2 weeks ago have found a new home with a new distributor, who will continue to buy films with the Tartan name attached.

The Golden Rock - June 11th, 2008 Edition

- The Japanese box office numbers have come in at Box Office Mojo. As reported yesterday, Koki Mitani’s The Magic Hour made over 500 million yen this past weekend (which amounts to about 4.87 million in American dollars). I would guess the three big local openers caused everything else to lose business, but the next opener, The Taste of Fish, is all the way down at 7th place (probably at 6th place of the attendance chart because it attracted older audiences.), and Takashi Miike’s God’s Puzzle showed up all the way down at 12th place with just over 15 million yen from 198 screens.

The lowest drop in the top 10, for Kenji Uchida’s After School, was still at 35%. Even Aibou lost over 47% of its business while still managing to hang on at 3rd place, while Narnia is still doing huge business, despite losing 46% of business from the previous week. The biggest drop of the week goes to 27 Dresses, which lost a Hulk-sized 62% drop from its opening week. Ouch.

- It’s Japanese Oricon charts time! Kat-tun gets their 10th consecutive number 1 release with their latest album, and is only the 4th group to do so. Even SMAP hasn’t been able to pull that off yet. Meanwhile, GReeeN continues to hold onto their number one spot on the single chart, barely fending off challenger Tackey and Tsubasa’s theme for the drama Osen.

More at Tokyograph

- The Akihabara random stabbing case in Tokyo has caused TBS to pull an episode of their drama on Monday night because it features a street stabbing scene that may be too close to the real thing. Also, Sunday’s incident boosted NHK’s 7pm newscast on Sunday to a 21.0% rating, higher than the usual 15-18% rating that time slot gets on Sundays. This is also because NHK is probably the least sensationalist out of all the Japanese television news  media, who have jumped to label this guy as the “otaku monster” who uses his cell phone too much.

- China has began a strict registration system for Chinese citizens working for overseas media during the Olympics. The organization Reporters Without Borders is calling this Beijing’s way of restricting so-called “fixers” for oversea agencies. So how many initial promises for press freedom has the government broken by now?

- Kaiju Shakedown looks at the new low of the Korean film industry and wonders if it can be attributed to the reduction of the screen quota system last year.

- There’s still good news for Korea though, as TV drama Jewel in the Palace has become a massive hit in Hungary, scoring 30-plus% ratings.

- A new Korean film uses rotoscoping (think Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly) to not only recreate a 600-year old structure, but also to add Jennifer Aniston in the movie. That is cool, indeed.

-  With the crossover success of Koizora and other Japanese cell phone novels, you’d think that they’re only for teenagers. Apparently, housewives have plenty of time to read them too, if the content is right.

- Producers of Japanese content and hardware such as Disney, Sony, Universal, the “big three”, Sharp, among others have come together to form the Digital Entertainment Group. Together they will decide how to promote the next generation of digital entertainment. I hope that doesn’t include price regulations as well.

- Major Japanese film critic Haruo Mizuno has died at the age of 76. His influence was far and wide, including being credited with suggesting the Japan Academy Awards and commented on over 1200 films on a Japanese television program.

The Golden Rock - June 4th, 2008 Edition

- It’s Japanese Oricon charts time! GReeeN adds a new number one single onto their already-long list of accomplishments. They even managed to beat out V6 and Orange Range’s latest singles. Meanwhile, Mihimaru GT’s latest album takes number 1 on the album chart, but the biggest news is Shiori and her having the first indie album debut on the top 10.

Details at Tokyograph

- While Korean director Kwak Jae Young’s Japanese debut Cyborg She opened at a respectable third place, but Mr. Texas over at Eiga Consultant reveals that its opening was actually 75% of Windstruck. Since Windstruck made 2 billion yen in Japan, at least Cyborg She will pass the 1 billion yen mark.

Also, Sarah Polley’s Away From Her opened at one theater in Tokyo, with three out of four shows sold out on the second day (the film recorded an attendance of 1074 admissions out of a possible 1200). Mr. Texas wonders aloud whether the distributor would’ve opened it at a bigger theater had it won the best actress Oscar.

- At the Japanese promotional event for Indiana Jones, George Lucas says that he won’t rule out the possibility of setting the next movie in Japan. After seeing what Hollywood has done with Asia in the past, please don’t.

- Twitch has the Japanese trailer for the violent action flick Machine Girl. Of course, it being an official trailer means that it has to be considerably tamer than the ones that we’ve seen before.

- The Chinese music industry is coming together to condemn the search engine Baidu as “the largest and most incorrigible purveyor of pirated music in China”. What about the people that use it?

- With the Kimura Takuya Monday 9pm drama CHANGE failing to capture huge ratings (it finally fell below 20% this week), it’s already time for Fuji to get another reliable star for their next Monday 9pm drama. This time, it’ll be Bayside Shakedown star Yuji Oda as a “baka” schoolteacher.

- Variety’s Derek Elley has a short review of the Korean film Crossing, the latest from the director of Volcano High and Romance of Their Own,.

 
 
LoveHKFilm.com Copyright © 2002-2014 Ross Chen