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Archive for the ‘technology’ Category

The Golden Rock - September 2nd, 2007 Edition

I apologize for the lack of news all around, but at least it makes the daily entries easier to read.

- Way to make a multimedia project - Japanese pop rapper Kreva’s latest single “Because” not only comes with a 9-minute short film (seen here, comprised of just two people talking a lot without subtitles), but also a mobile novel written by the same person who wrote the short film. That mobile novel is so popular that it received 10,000 hits in the first two days. Can anyone that understand Japanese watch the MTV and tell me if it’s THAT good?

- Twitch originally had more information about Koji Yakusho’s latest, but the site went down just as I’m writing this entry, so you can read it for yourself when the site gets back up.

- The same goes for their review of Alexi Tan’s disappointing Blood Brothers. But the review is written by contributor Stefan anyway. I would actually really like to see Twitch head honcho Todd’s reaction, especially after he looked so forward to it.

- Speaking of reviews, Mark Schilling of the Japan Times has a review of the drama adaptation film Hero, starring Kimura Takuya. Apparently this one is expected to do as well as the Bayside Shakedown series, but it has to be good first, don’t it?

- For your information, I wrote a short review of Alfred Cheung Kin-Ting’s Contract Lover, starring Richie Ren and Fan Bing-Bing, on the spin-off blog.

- The censorship of free information on the internet continues to rear its ugly head as the Thai government finally decided to lift its ban of Youtube only after the site has the technology to immediately remove any video that offend the king.

- In addition to the lead actor being Kenichi Matsuyama, there is finally more details about the Death Note spin-off film L, including additional casting and even bits of the plot. Please, please, please not let there be a cute kid involved.

- Apparently the opening weekend for the sexually explicit flick Shortbus was quite successful, making 2.69 million yen over two days, attracting audiences of all kinds. However, no admissions figures are available

The Golden Rock - August 13th, 2007 Edition

The Golden Rock is back, around the same size and hopefully the same quality. Now reporting from Hong Kong, posting times will naturally be different, but hopefully still daily.

- As always, let’s look at the Hong Kong Sunday box office. Pixar’s Ratatouille has a very strong second weekend, making HK$1.63 million on only 34 screens for a 14-day total of HK14.81 million already. This should have no problem getting past the HK$25 million mark set by The Incredibles. Meanwhile, the three opening films opened neck-to-neck, with The Simpsons Movie (whose Hong Kong dub version features Josie Ho, Wyman Wong, Denise “HOCC” Ho, and pop star Ivana Wong) leading the pack, making HK$1.24 million on 37 screens for a 4-day total of HK$3.92 million. While The Bourne Supremacy is in third of the three films in total 4-day box office (HK$3.8 million), it was just under The Simpsons with HK$1.1 million on 31 screens. This means Wilson Yip’s Donnie Yen lovefest Flashpoint made HK$1.01 million on 33 screens, but did better overall this weekend with the 4-day total of HK$3.89 million(although this actually include the HK$200,000 from previews last weekend). With fairly positive word-of-mouth amongst Hong Kong moviegoers, this should cross the HK$10 million mark.

Don’t count those leftover films out, though. Transformers is already near the HK$35 million mark after 18 days by making HK$940,000 on 34 screens; Jay Chou’s Jay Chou lovefest Secret actually continues to hang on (probably thanks to the Jay Chou fans) with HK$640,000 on 31 screens (Variety Asia reports its box office success elsewhere in Asia here); even Harry Potter made HK$230,000 on 17 screens for a 33-day total of HK$49.98 million. Invisible Target, which pretty much got pushed out of theaters, looks to end its run with HK$13.19 million. All in all, this was a pretty huge weekend at the box office, which was probably helped by the passing typhoon and just generally crappy weather.

- In Japanese audience rankings, Transformers got pushed all the way down to third place for its second week by Ocean’s 13 and Harry Potter, which is somewhat surprising because it’s done so well with word-of-mouth elsewhere. Ocean’s 13 is the only new film in the top 10.

This week, Hideo Nakata’s Kaidan dropped from 8th place to 10th place in its second week, meaning that despite being somewhat well-reviewed, it’ll go away quickly amidst the late-Summer box office. It’s also the only adult-oriented Japanese blockbuster this summer. Kaidan’s opening is only 51% compared to the star’s last film The Murder of the Inugami Clan
and only 81% of Nakata’s The Ring 2 (although I don’t know why Eiga Consultant chose to compare with that). Looks like summer is just not the time for this type of films.

- In the Korean box office, D-War wins its second weekend with a total 5.06 million viewers already after a roughly 50% drop in attendance. Don’t count May 18 out, though, as it has already attracted over 4.5 million viewers. These two films have already surpassed Voice of a Murderer as the two best-grossing Korean films of the year.

- While it’s cool that the American animated series Afro Samurai will see all 5 of its episodes in Japanese theaters, the cooler part of this report is that Samuel L. Jackson will be in a planned live-action version.

- Under “This cannot be good” news today, Eric Tsang (a producer that can be said to have pretty low taste - look at what he did to the ending of Men Suddenly in Black 2) is teaming up with Wong Jing (an even cheaper producer who’s intelligent but makes movies of low taste and lack of originality - look at all of his movies) to remake the 1970 film The Seven Colour Wolf (I can’t confirm this English title because of the Yesasia name for it. Can anyone?), with Chung Su-Kei (who has made shit like Feel 100% 2003 and Nine Girls and a Ghost) taking the director’s seat. No word yet on who will star, I believe.

- Again, an artsy Japanese film that drove audiences away has taken a major award at an European film festival. Masahiro Kobayashi’s The Rebirth won the top award The Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival. However, with two Asian films taking the top prize, the festival is apparently moving into the elitist artsy film festival that is drawing less interest from buyers.

- The Hong Kong entertainment news programs have been reporting for several days about Chung Siu-Tung’s latest period martial arts film (another one?!), this time with Kelly Chan in her first period role in a long time, Leon Lai, and Donnie Yen. It’s not very likely, however, that Yen will go topless in this one.

- In China, people are so insistent on seeing movies illegally and for free that they’re moving off the streets and into internet cafes.

- Under “who died and made him boss?” news today, Jackie Chan says that he hopes to finish the animated film Taiwanese director Edward Yang started working on for years before his death. Then again, the film IS based on Chan’s life, so I guess that would make him the new boss.

- Lastly, two major Thai directors are planning on developing the country’s first script development project, taking on 30 aspiring screenwriters on workshops and pitch meetings. This could, in the long run, breathe new life into the slowly-expanding Thai film industry.

Song of the Day will return some time this week, and expect something new with The Golden Rock this week as well.

The Golden Rock - August 13th, 2007 Edition

The Golden Rock is back, around the same size and hopefully the same quality. Now reporting from Hong Kong, posting times will naturally be different, but hopefully still daily.

- As always, let’s look at the Hong Kong Sunday box office. Pixar’s Ratatouille has a very strong second weekend, making HK$1.63 million on only 34 screens for a 14-day total of HK14.81 million already. This should have no problem getting past the HK$25 million mark set by The Incredibles. Meanwhile, the three opening films opened neck-to-neck, with The Simpsons Movie (whose Hong Kong dub version features Josie Ho, Wyman Wong, Denise “HOCC” Ho, and pop star Ivana Wong) leading the pack, making HK$1.24 million on 37 screens for a 4-day total of HK$3.92 million. While The Bourne Supremacy is in third of the three films in total 4-day box office (HK$3.8 million), it was just under The Simpsons with HK$1.1 million on 31 screens. This means Wilson Yip’s Donnie Yen lovefest Flashpoint made HK$1.01 million on 33 screens, but did better overall this weekend with the 4-day total of HK$3.89 million(although this actually include the HK$200,000 from previews last weekend). With fairly positive word-of-mouth amongst Hong Kong moviegoers, this should cross the HK$10 million mark.

Don’t count those leftover films out, though. Transformers is already near the HK$35 million mark after 18 days by making HK$940,000 on 34 screens; Jay Chou’s Jay Chou lovefest Secret actually continues to hang on (probably thanks to the Jay Chou fans) with HK$640,000 on 31 screens (Variety Asia reports its box office success elsewhere in Asia here); even Harry Potter made HK$230,000 on 17 screens for a 33-day total of HK$49.98 million. Invisible Target, which pretty much got pushed out of theaters, looks to end its run with HK$13.19 million. All in all, this was a pretty huge weekend at the box office, which was probably helped by the passing typhoon and just generally crappy weather.

- In Japanese audience rankings, Transformers got pushed all the way down to third place for its second week by Ocean’s 13 and Harry Potter, which is somewhat surprising because it’s done so well with word-of-mouth elsewhere. Ocean’s 13 is the only new film in the top 10.

This week, Hideo Nakata’s Kaidan dropped from 8th place to 10th place in its second week, meaning that despite being somewhat well-reviewed, it’ll go away quickly amidst the late-Summer box office. It’s also the only adult-oriented Japanese blockbuster this summer. Kaidan’s opening is only 51% compared to the star’s last film The Murder of the Inugami Clan
and only 81% of Nakata’s The Ring 2 (although I don’t know why Eiga Consultant chose to compare with that). Looks like summer is just not the time for this type of films.

- In the Korean box office, D-War wins its second weekend with a total 5.06 million viewers already after a roughly 50% drop in attendance. Don’t count May 18 out, though, as it has already attracted over 4.5 million viewers. These two films have already surpassed Voice of a Murderer as the two best-grossing Korean films of the year.

- While it’s cool that the American animated series Afro Samurai will see all 5 of its episodes in Japanese theaters, the cooler part of this report is that Samuel L. Jackson will be in a planned live-action version.

- Under “This cannot be good” news today, Eric Tsang (a producer that can be said to have pretty low taste - look at what he did to the ending of Men Suddenly in Black 2) is teaming up with Wong Jing (an even cheaper producer who’s intelligent but makes movies of low taste and lack of originality - look at all of his movies) to remake the 1970 film The Seven Colour Wolf (I can’t confirm this English title because of the Yesasia name for it. Can anyone?), with Chung Su-Kei (who has made shit like Feel 100% 2003 and Nine Girls and a Ghost) taking the director’s seat. No word yet on who will star, I believe.

- Again, an artsy Japanese film that drove audiences away has taken a major award at an European film festival. Masahiro Kobayashi’s The Rebirth won the top award The Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival. However, with two Asian films taking the top prize, the festival is apparently moving into the elitist artsy film festival that is drawing less interest from buyers.

- The Hong Kong entertainment news programs have been reporting for several days about Chung Siu-Tung’s latest period martial arts film (another one?!), this time with Kelly Chan in her first period role in a long time, Leon Lai, and Donnie Yen. It’s not very likely, however, that Yen will go topless in this one.

- In China, people are so insistent on seeing movies illegally and for free that they’re moving off the streets and into internet cafes.

- Under “who died and made him boss?” news today, Jackie Chan says that he hopes to finish the animated film Taiwanese director Edward Yang started working on for years before his death. Then again, the film IS based on Chan’s life, so I guess that would make him the new boss.

- Lastly, two major Thai directors are planning on developing the country’s first script development project, taking on 30 aspiring screenwriters on workshops and pitch meetings. This could, in the long run, breathe new life into the slowly-expanding Thai film industry.

Song of the Day will return some time this week, and expect something new with The Golden Rock this week as well.

The Golden Rock - August 3rd, 2007 Edition

Today’s the day. Your favorite blogger is heading to Hong Kong tonight, so this would be the final entry for a week or two. As a result, today’s entry is a little longer than usual.

- In Hong Kong on Thursday opening day, Jay Chou’s directorial debut Secret (with a BC Magazine review here and a fluff piece/review from AP here) opens pretty well with HK$720,000 on 35 screens for a total HK$870,000 already, including previews. Rely on the teens to show up to this one, and maybe it’ll go past the HK$10 million mark. Meanwhile, Pixar’s Ratatouille, whose Hong Kong version feature the voices of Ronald Cheng, Edmond Leung, and Cecilia Cheung, opened on 35 screens for a much better HK$1.11 million.

But the winner of opening day remains Michael Bay’s Transformers, which picked up another HK$1.34 million from 63 screens for an 8-day total of HK$21.32 million. However, with the ticket price inflation, the amount of admissions is probably around the same as Ratatouille. On the Hong Kong film front, Invisible Target passed the HK$10 million mark on Tuesday. Despite some multiplexes already playing less shows each day, it still managed to make HK$310,000 on just 18 screens for a 15-day total of HK$11.23 million. Will this make it to the HK$15 million mark and beat Love is Not All Around?

- It’s a miracle! The Korean monster film D-War, which took forever for a wide release in its home Korea despite being the touted as the most expensive Korean film ever made, has grossed US$2.9 million on its opening day. According to Korea Pop Wars, its two-day total is now US$6.1 million and should reach 2-2.5 million admissions by the end of the weekend. However, despite praises for the special effects, everything else is being panned, so word-of-mouth might not be too good on this one. By the way, the official budget of the film was locked at US$35 million, though about $40 million has been spent to start up a new special effects house that did this film. I’m sure distributor Showbox is kind of breathing a sigh of relief, though they still have plenty of money to make back.

- Yawn. Japanese copyright organizations continue in their endless effort to pressure Youtube Japan to weed out copyright violators. How about they work to make legitimate content easier to access before they cut all supplies? This stuff is like drugs - you cut them off, people will do anything for a fix.

- Meanwhile, The Computer & Communication Industry Association, which includes Google and Microsoft, has lodged a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission to protest copyright holders putting misleading warnings against copyright infringement that fail to educate consumers on fair use laws. Those named in the complaint include major movie studios, Major League Baseball, the National Football League, and of course, the MPAA.

- Director Edward Yang, who recently passed away at his home in the United States, is expected to be honored at this year’s Golden Horse Awards. Is it just me, or is the claim that he’s an “American” director going to piss off some people, seeing he’s one of the pioneers of NEW TAIWAN CINEMA?

- reviews time! We have Japan Times’ review of Hideo Nakata’s Kaidan by Mark Schilling, the Variety review of the hit Korean horror film Black House by Derek Elley, and I’m partially translating the very very limited release (one theater in my old neighborhood of Kwun Tong, to be exact) Hong Kong film Bar Paradise:

First, a little background: Bar Paradise is a 2005 film directed by Wing-Lun Mak, who’s directed some low-budget DV productions. It stars Julian Cheung, Gordon Lam, Candy Yu, and Eric Tsang. The original Chinese post in full is here. The following are excerpts translated -

在設計上,電影可算是十分趕客,單要觀眾適應片中對白的語言已經幾乎令人神經錯亂。泰語、粵語和普通話互通。其中余安安對著曾志偉,明明兩人懂粵語也在片中有粵語對白,偏要講出泰語來。張智霖和林家棟時國時粵時泰,看來買多數部「靈格風」也未必有耐性去理解。想看字幕?錯字大量供應,例如「道歉」因倉頡選碼誤選為「道欺」比比皆是。

In design, the film seems to be made to drive audiences away. Understanding the languages in the dialogue is enough drive audiences crazy. It switches between Thai, Cantonese, and Mandarin. For instance, Even though both Candy Yu and Eric Tsang speak Cantonese in the film and understand the language, they still speak Thai; Julian Cheung and Gordon Lam switch between Mandarin, Cantonese, and Thai, even buying an electronic dictionary won’t mean you’d have the patience to understand. Want to read subtitles? There’s a large supply of wrong words, such as “doh heep” (apologize) becomes “doh hei” (the second Chinese character looks alike, but oh so utterly wrong).

至於曾志偉,則在電影中飾演一名泰國軍閥政客,而附上「韓琛」式的例湯演繹。而余安安則佔戲不多,但又奇怪地加入一場穿黑色內衣褲色誘曾志偉的場面。中午時份播放,難怪股市也曾出現一陣「獲利回吐」,慶幸戲院並沒有出現嘔吐物。

As for Eric Tsang, he plays a Thai warlord politician in the performance style of the usual “Sam Han” (his character from Infernal Affairs). Candy Yu doesn’t have much screen time, but there is a strange addition in the form of a scene in which she seduces Eric Tsang in black panties. No wonder even the stock market experienced a “resurgence of profits” during its noon screening. Thankfully, no vomit appeared in the theatre.

劇情和演員拿出零分之餘,電影在拍攝技巧亦仿如恐佈片一樣,突然時跳到下一場不連配樂的情況也常出現。莫怪乎零五年的電影至今才出現。電影結局亦不明所以,令觀眾在大量無奈下離場。

With no effort from the plot and the actors, the film’s technique resembles a horror film, and sudden jumps to the next scene where the music don’t even match happen often. No wonder this 2005 film took this long to show up. Even the ending is incomprehensible, making the audience leave in a state of helplessness.

So in other words….this movie stinks.

- Along with the Kaidan review is Jason Gray’s interview with director Hideo Nakata, who made the original “Ring” film and is directing the Death Note spinoff L. Jason has more about the interview itself in his blog.

- Another film off the “milking the Nanking massacre for all its worth” assembly line, Simon West’s Purple Mountain, has started filming. This film is an adaptation of the controversial book “The Rape of Nanjing” by Iris Chang, and is the most expensive of the productions. West apparently wants to create the same type of impact as Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List.

Let’s see - Tomb Raider and Con Air vs. Indiana Jones and Saving Private Ryan. Don’t think that’ll happen.

- In a continuing lack of creativity in the world of Japanese television dramas (as is the case in television drama circles around the world), there are more comic adaptations coming to your small screens.

- Japan Times has a look at movies that deal with the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in light of the release of Steven Okazaki’s White Light/Black Rain.

- Twitch mistakenly links the website for Miki Satoshi’s latest Tenten, starring Satoshi favorite Joe Odagiri as the website for Odagiri’s directorial debut. Still, Tenten looks pretty interesting, and since the film is about two men walking across Tokyo, the advance ticket actually comes with a map of the locations they visit in the film. Now there’s a souvenir worth buying.

That’s it for now. The Golden Rock will be back in 1-2 weeks, with The Song of the Day feature continuing (wished more of you voted, though). There might be a few surprises and additions coming, so keep checking in starting next weekend. See you all on the other side of the world!

The Golden Rock - August 3rd, 2007 Edition

Today’s the day. Your favorite blogger is heading to Hong Kong tonight, so this would be the final entry for a week or two. As a result, today’s entry is a little longer than usual.

- In Hong Kong on Thursday opening day, Jay Chou’s directorial debut Secret (with a BC Magazine review here and a fluff piece/review from AP here) opens pretty well with HK$720,000 on 35 screens for a total HK$870,000 already, including previews. Rely on the teens to show up to this one, and maybe it’ll go past the HK$10 million mark. Meanwhile, Pixar’s Ratatouille, whose Hong Kong version feature the voices of Ronald Cheng, Edmond Leung, and Cecilia Cheung, opened on 35 screens for a much better HK$1.11 million.

But the winner of opening day remains Michael Bay’s Transformers, which picked up another HK$1.34 million from 63 screens for an 8-day total of HK$21.32 million. However, with the ticket price inflation, the amount of admissions is probably around the same as Ratatouille. On the Hong Kong film front, Invisible Target passed the HK$10 million mark on Tuesday. Despite some multiplexes already playing less shows each day, it still managed to make HK$310,000 on just 18 screens for a 15-day total of HK$11.23 million. Will this make it to the HK$15 million mark and beat Love is Not All Around?

- It’s a miracle! The Korean monster film D-War, which took forever for a wide release in its home Korea despite being the touted as the most expensive Korean film ever made, has grossed US$2.9 million on its opening day. According to Korea Pop Wars, its two-day total is now US$6.1 million and should reach 2-2.5 million admissions by the end of the weekend. However, despite praises for the special effects, everything else is being panned, so word-of-mouth might not be too good on this one. By the way, the official budget of the film was locked at US$35 million, though about $40 million has been spent to start up a new special effects house that did this film. I’m sure distributor Showbox is kind of breathing a sigh of relief, though they still have plenty of money to make back.

- Yawn. Japanese copyright organizations continue in their endless effort to pressure Youtube Japan to weed out copyright violators. How about they work to make legitimate content easier to access before they cut all supplies? This stuff is like drugs - you cut them off, people will do anything for a fix.

- Meanwhile, The Computer & Communication Industry Association, which includes Google and Microsoft, has lodged a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission to protest copyright holders putting misleading warnings against copyright infringement that fail to educate consumers on fair use laws. Those named in the complaint include major movie studios, Major League Baseball, the National Football League, and of course, the MPAA.

- Director Edward Yang, who recently passed away at his home in the United States, is expected to be honored at this year’s Golden Horse Awards. Is it just me, or is the claim that he’s an “American” director going to piss off some people, seeing he’s one of the pioneers of NEW TAIWAN CINEMA?

- reviews time! We have Japan Times’ review of Hideo Nakata’s Kaidan by Mark Schilling, the Variety review of the hit Korean horror film Black House by Derek Elley, and I’m partially translating the very very limited release (one theater in my old neighborhood of Kwun Tong, to be exact) Hong Kong film Bar Paradise:

First, a little background: Bar Paradise is a 2005 film directed by Wing-Lun Mak, who’s directed some low-budget DV productions. It stars Julian Cheung, Gordon Lam, Candy Yu, and Eric Tsang. The original Chinese post in full is here. The following are excerpts translated -

在設計上,電影可算是十分趕客,單要觀眾適應片中對白的語言已經幾乎令人神經錯亂。泰語、粵語和普通話互通。其中余安安對著曾志偉,明明兩人懂粵語也在片中有粵語對白,偏要講出泰語來。張智霖和林家棟時國時粵時泰,看來買多數部「靈格風」也未必有耐性去理解。想看字幕?錯字大量供應,例如「道歉」因倉頡選碼誤選為「道欺」比比皆是。

In design, the film seems to be made to drive audiences away. Understanding the languages in the dialogue is enough drive audiences crazy. It switches between Thai, Cantonese, and Mandarin. For instance, Even though both Candy Yu and Eric Tsang speak Cantonese in the film and understand the language, they still speak Thai; Julian Cheung and Gordon Lam switch between Mandarin, Cantonese, and Thai, even buying an electronic dictionary won’t mean you’d have the patience to understand. Want to read subtitles? There’s a large supply of wrong words, such as “doh heep” (apologize) becomes “doh hei” (the second Chinese character looks alike, but oh so utterly wrong).

至於曾志偉,則在電影中飾演一名泰國軍閥政客,而附上「韓琛」式的例湯演繹。而余安安則佔戲不多,但又奇怪地加入一場穿黑色內衣褲色誘曾志偉的場面。中午時份播放,難怪股市也曾出現一陣「獲利回吐」,慶幸戲院並沒有出現嘔吐物。

As for Eric Tsang, he plays a Thai warlord politician in the performance style of the usual “Sam Han” (his character from Infernal Affairs). Candy Yu doesn’t have much screen time, but there is a strange addition in the form of a scene in which she seduces Eric Tsang in black panties. No wonder even the stock market experienced a “resurgence of profits” during its noon screening. Thankfully, no vomit appeared in the theatre.

劇情和演員拿出零分之餘,電影在拍攝技巧亦仿如恐佈片一樣,突然時跳到下一場不連配樂的情況也常出現。莫怪乎零五年的電影至今才出現。電影結局亦不明所以,令觀眾在大量無奈下離場。

With no effort from the plot and the actors, the film’s technique resembles a horror film, and sudden jumps to the next scene where the music don’t even match happen often. No wonder this 2005 film took this long to show up. Even the ending is incomprehensible, making the audience leave in a state of helplessness.

So in other words….this movie stinks.

- Along with the Kaidan review is Jason Gray’s interview with director Hideo Nakata, who made the original “Ring” film and is directing the Death Note spinoff L. Jason has more about the interview itself in his blog.

- Another film off the “milking the Nanking massacre for all its worth” assembly line, Simon West’s Purple Mountain, has started filming. This film is an adaptation of the controversial book “The Rape of Nanjing” by Iris Chang, and is the most expensive of the productions. West apparently wants to create the same type of impact as Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List.

Let’s see - Tomb Raider and Con Air vs. Indiana Jones and Saving Private Ryan. Don’t think that’ll happen.

- In a continuing lack of creativity in the world of Japanese television dramas (as is the case in television drama circles around the world), there are more comic adaptations coming to your small screens.

- Japan Times has a look at movies that deal with the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in light of the release of Steven Okazaki’s White Light/Black Rain.

- Twitch mistakenly links the website for Miki Satoshi’s latest Tenten, starring Satoshi favorite Joe Odagiri as the website for Odagiri’s directorial debut. Still, Tenten looks pretty interesting, and since the film is about two men walking across Tokyo, the advance ticket actually comes with a map of the locations they visit in the film. Now there’s a souvenir worth buying.

That’s it for now. The Golden Rock will be back in 1-2 weeks, with The Song of the Day feature continuing (wished more of you voted, though). There might be a few surprises and additions coming, so keep checking in starting next weekend. See you all on the other side of the world!

The Golden Rock - August 2nd, 2007 Edition

- Looks like another case of misreporting box office figures in Japan. The latest Pixar film Ratatouille supposedly earned about 489 million over two days this past weekend. However, what Disney didn’t report is that the actual earning is actually 360 million yen, and the rest were made during the special sneak previews last weekend. That would make the opening a bit of a disappointment, as it’s only 95% of the opening for the last Pixar film Cars. However, the word-of-mouth for the film is actually batter than Cars (at least in the States), so it might come out earning more in the long run.

- It’s official, China has decided to not let the latest Jackie Chan Hollywood star vehicle Rush Hour 3 on Chinese movies screens. There are a couple of possible reasons for this - 1) China doesn’t like the content, especially the presence of the triads. However, how can that be true when the first two films featured triad villains? 2) China simply can’t stand all these Hollywood films dominating the box office and has implemented the usual summer policy of getting rid of Hollywood films to let Chinese films have their day. 3) It just got unlucky and couldn’t be secured as one of the 20 American films allowed to be shown in Chinese theatres each year. 4) The movie sucks, and the Chinese people shouldn’t be exposed to that type of crap. I got five bucks on numbers 2 and 3.

- Meanwhile, the trade reviews are out. Hollywood Reporter’s Michael Rechtshaffen says the routine goes awfully stale, while Variety’s Robert Koehler says that the adrenaline rush just isn’t there anymore.

- Variety has a few more Asian film reviews, one for the 2007 Korean hit Voice of a Murderer, Fumihiko Sori’s Vexville, and the Thai horror film Alone, which is currently a hit at the Korean box office.

- Kabuki’s bad boy Shido Nakamura has followed the steps of Last Samurai actress Koyuki and signed with Avex. With that, he has also officially joined the cast of John Woo’s The Battle of Red Cliff, which would make this his second Chinese blockbuster after Jet Li’s Fearless.

- If you’ll indulge me another game of multiple degrees of separation, Tony Leung Chiu-wai also stars in the Battle of Red Cliff, but he originally withdrew from the film because of the fatigue he suffered after making Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution. The film, almost or already completed, will compete in the upcoming Venice Film Festival. Though the film was originally submitted as a USA-China entry because there’s where the money came from. However, it almost brewed a small controversy when the nationality was changed to Taiwan due to director Ang Lee’s nationality.

- A nation at war turns to TV soap operas, culinary shows, and idol competitions. Surprisingly, it’s not the United States.

- Japan will be the first to see a MTV-created mobile social network, which will also feature pages created by Japanese pop stars. Do we really need to be THAT connected?

- Speaking of embracing the new media, another Japanese media producer has signed a deal with Youtube to upload promo clips and various content on the video site.

- Avril Lavinge’s album has sold a million copies in Japan, making her the first foreign artist to sell more than one million copies of each of her three albums. They’ll find a record for anything in Japan, especially when it comes to music.

- Twitch has an interview with director Steven Okazaki, whose latest film is the documentary White Light/Black Rain, about the fallout of nuclear warfare including the bombings of Hiroshim and Nagasaki.

- Japanese R&B/A Capella group Gospellers is teaming up with forgotten Backstreet Boys member Howie D for their latest single. Not to be a party pooper, but I think Howie needs the Gospellers more than they need Howie.

- With the 2008 Olympics approaching in a year, China has still yet to deliver the full media freedom they promised foreign journalists there. 95% of those who responded to the survey by the Foreign Correspondents Club of China says China’s reporting conditions are not up to what they call an “international standard.”

By the way, remember to vote for our poll. The future of The Song of the Day depends on all of you.

The Golden Rock - August 2nd, 2007 Edition

- Looks like another case of misreporting box office figures in Japan. The latest Pixar film Ratatouille supposedly earned about 489 million over two days this past weekend. However, what Disney didn’t report is that the actual earning is actually 360 million yen, and the rest were made during the special sneak previews last weekend. That would make the opening a bit of a disappointment, as it’s only 95% of the opening for the last Pixar film Cars. However, the word-of-mouth for the film is actually batter than Cars (at least in the States), so it might come out earning more in the long run.

- It’s official, China has decided to not let the latest Jackie Chan Hollywood star vehicle Rush Hour 3 on Chinese movies screens. There are a couple of possible reasons for this - 1) China doesn’t like the content, especially the presence of the triads. However, how can that be true when the first two films featured triad villains? 2) China simply can’t stand all these Hollywood films dominating the box office and has implemented the usual summer policy of getting rid of Hollywood films to let Chinese films have their day. 3) It just got unlucky and couldn’t be secured as one of the 20 American films allowed to be shown in Chinese theatres each year. 4) The movie sucks, and the Chinese people shouldn’t be exposed to that type of crap. I got five bucks on numbers 2 and 3.

- Meanwhile, the trade reviews are out. Hollywood Reporter’s Michael Rechtshaffen says the routine goes awfully stale, while Variety’s Robert Koehler says that the adrenaline rush just isn’t there anymore.

- Variety has a few more Asian film reviews, one for the 2007 Korean hit Voice of a Murderer, Fumihiko Sori’s Vexville, and the Thai horror film Alone, which is currently a hit at the Korean box office.

- Kabuki’s bad boy Shido Nakamura has followed the steps of Last Samurai actress Koyuki and signed with Avex. With that, he has also officially joined the cast of John Woo’s The Battle of Red Cliff, which would make this his second Chinese blockbuster after Jet Li’s Fearless.

- If you’ll indulge me another game of multiple degrees of separation, Tony Leung Chiu-wai also stars in the Battle of Red Cliff, but he originally withdrew from the film because of the fatigue he suffered after making Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution. The film, almost or already completed, will compete in the upcoming Venice Film Festival. Though the film was originally submitted as a USA-China entry because there’s where the money came from. However, it almost brewed a small controversy when the nationality was changed to Taiwan due to director Ang Lee’s nationality.

- A nation at war turns to TV soap operas, culinary shows, and idol competitions. Surprisingly, it’s not the United States.

- Japan will be the first to see a MTV-created mobile social network, which will also feature pages created by Japanese pop stars. Do we really need to be THAT connected?

- Speaking of embracing the new media, another Japanese media producer has signed a deal with Youtube to upload promo clips and various content on the video site.

- Avril Lavinge’s album has sold a million copies in Japan, making her the first foreign artist to sell more than one million copies of each of her three albums. They’ll find a record for anything in Japan, especially when it comes to music.

- Twitch has an interview with director Steven Okazaki, whose latest film is the documentary White Light/Black Rain, about the fallout of nuclear warfare including the bombings of Hiroshim and Nagasaki.

- Japanese R&B/A Capella group Gospellers is teaming up with forgotten Backstreet Boys member Howie D for their latest single. Not to be a party pooper, but I think Howie needs the Gospellers more than they need Howie.

- With the 2008 Olympics approaching in a year, China has still yet to deliver the full media freedom they promised foreign journalists there. 95% of those who responded to the survey by the Foreign Correspondents Club of China says China’s reporting conditions are not up to what they call an “international standard.”

By the way, remember to vote for our poll. The future of The Song of the Day depends on all of you.

 
 
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