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Archive for the ‘United States.’ Category

The Golden Rock - June 6th, 2008 Edition

- Opening day at the Hong Kong box office saw two major films opening - Sex and the City and Chronicles of Narnia. Along with Indiana Jones, these three films have taken up a total of 156 screens in a city that has only roughly 200 of them. As expected, Narnia opens on top with HK$1.09 million from 67 screens, while Sex and the City made HK$811,000 from 44 screens. Of course, both films had their ticket prices inflated due to the long running time, but Sex and the City is obviously the more successful film because of the restrictive category-III rating and the higher per-screen average. Still, I still expect Narnia’s business to pick up considerably over the weekend from the family audiences. Indiana Jones falls far far behind with just HK$231,000 from 45 screens. But with a 15-day total of HK$23.28 million, it’s time for the young ‘uns to have their turn. More on Monday.

-  China is well on its way to top its record-breaking performance at the box office last year, thanks to a 45% rise in ticket sales in urban areas. And domestic films make up 61% of the market. I’m sure Korea is jealous of that number these days.

- Speed Racer is going down the animation “celebrity dubbing” route, with Aya Ueto signing up to dub Christina Ricci’s role in the Japanese release of the film.

- Wong Kar-Wai has officially signed on as the head of the jury for this year’s Shanghai International Film Festival, while organizers have announced their official competition lineup.

- Meanwhile, the goal for this year’s Shanghai Television Festival, happening concurrently with the film festival, is to attract more foreign television content, despite government objections.

- Also, the New York Asian Film Festival has announced their full line-up, which include 7 international premieres.

The Golden Rock - June 3rd, 2008 Edition

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

Box office gross from Korea Pop Wars

Attendance figures from Twitch.

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

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

Japanese drama sypnoses at Tokyograph

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Golden Rock - May 31st, 2008 Edition

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

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

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

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

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

The Golden Rock - May 20th, 2008 Edition

- As expected, The Chronicles of Narnia opened first place at the Korean box office. However, as Korea Pop Wars reports, the sequel opened slightly lower than the first film. Meanwhile, Speed Racer didn’t experience a real free fall, already having 745,000 admissions after two weekends, meaning it should move past the million admission mark. Iron Man continues to perform strongly with 3.7 million admissions after three weekends. Full chart over at Twitch.

- The full list of films to be featured at this year’s New York Asian Film Festival is out, and you can find a full list via Tokyograph. Also, Subway Cinema’s Brian offers his thoughts on this year’s picks.

- The Oriental Daily reported it, and now Variety’s Derek Elly confirms it in his review: The new Ashes of Time Redux isn’t much different from the original film in terms of structure and length, although the new score seems to make a world of difference.

- A new English-subtitled trailer for John Woo’s Red Cliff is now online. However, like the trailer for The Good, the Bad, and The Weird yesterday, there’s no guarantee how long it’ll be online. Besides, it didn’t really get me any more excited for the film.

- That was fas, after Thelma Aoyama’s “Soba ni Iru ne” broke the record for reaching one million cell phone downloads in the quickest time about a month ago, previous record holder GReeeen came right back and recaptured the record with their latest song.

- Film buyers, time to add another festival on your schedule: The popular Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival is launching its own film market for genre films. Question is, are there that many films for sale these days?

- The first posters for Derek Yee’s The Shinjuku Incident, featuring Jackie Chan in his first dramatic/non-action-oriented role, showed up at the Cannes film market. Also, someone in the comment section revealed that the film may be due for a ban in China because it involves the Japanese yakuzas, even though the film is a co-production that filmed in China.

- Those who don’t get who the newly popular Japanese male trio Shuuchishin is can get a brief explanation here. Japan has a thing for gimmick pop, and it looks like this is one of them.

- Lastly, the American sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live did a Japanese take on The Office that’s funny at first, but only ended up growing annoying as it went on. Still, at least the Japanese was correct despite the heavy accent. And Ricky Gervais is still brilliant.

The Golden Rock - May 5th, 2008 Edition

- It was a crowded weekend at the Hong Kong box office, though Sunday grosses were a bit lower than that of last Thursday’s public holiday. As expected, Iron Man topped the chart with HK$1.6 million from 60 screens on Sunday. After its opening last Wednesday, the superhero flick has now made HK$9.2 million, which is good though not exactly phenomenal. Meanwhile, Japanese doggie flick The Tale of Mari and Three Puppies made another HK$670,000 from 26 screens for a weekend total of HK$2.56 million. Wong Jing’s My Wife is a Gambling Maestro made HK$312,000 from 27 screens for a not-so-good weekend total of HK$1.35 million. The big limited release hit is the British melodrama The Other Boleyn Girl made another HK$193,000 from just 8 screens for a weekend total of HK$850,000. The film reportedly will expand to even more screens over the weekend. The crocodile thriller Rogue flops with HK$50,000 from 7 screens, and a weekend total of just HK$230,000. Lawrence Lau’s Besieged City, which opened on 7 screens, didn’t even make the top 10 on Sunday.

Meanwhile, The Forbidden Kingdom has passed the HK$10 million mark on Sunday with HK$559,000 from 38 screens. Barbara Wong’s Happy Funeral is hanging in with another HK$188,000 from 24 screens, many of which are only playing it only 1 or 2 shows a day.

HK$7.8=US$1

- Japan had a national holiday today (getting to the end of Golden Week), so box office figures won’t come out until tomorrow.  Same for the drama numbers.

-  After some very stupid word on radio earlier in the year, Japanese pop queen Koda Kumi is back. She’s now on tour, and she’s now the spokeswoman for a brand of razors. Insert inappropriate comment here.

- After Rinko Kikuchi had to drop out of the manga adaptation film The Legend of Kamui because of an injury, The Last Samurai’s Koyuki is now stepping in to take over her role in the Yoichi Sai-directed film.

- Variety has Robert Koehler’s review of The Children of Huang Shi, featuring Michelle Yeoh and Chow Yun Fat in supporting roles.

- There’s also a review of the Japanese film The Last Princess (aka remake of Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress) in UCLA’s Asia Pacific Arts magazine after the film had its premiere at USC.  It’s an extremely interesting read.

- In case you don’t know, American television satirist Stephen Colbert has been in a battle with Korean superstar Rain to become Time’s most influential person two years in a role, which culminated into this video. Now,most likely as part of his promotion for Speed Racer, he will be on today’s The Colbert Report for a special dance-off. By the way, they both lost the poll, though Rain did beat Colbert at the end.

- There’s no confirmation for this, but CCTV supposedly boycotted performers who were part of the Chinese talent shows Super Girl and Happy Boy during a show featuring the latest Olympic songs by intentionally not giving them any close-ups. Since this is supposedly from the blog of a CCTV director, no one knows whether the entry or the policy is true.

- Lastly, The Daily Yomiuri focuses on the audience response to the controversial Japanese documentary Yasukuni.

The Golden Rock - May 4th, 2008 Edition

- Drama adaptation Aibou opened this past week in the middle of Golden Week in Japan, and its opening day has already surpassed the opening day gross of distributor Toei’s biggest earner YAMATO. Since it opened in the middle of a week of holidays, it’s a possibility that its opening will surpass YAMATO, but may not have the legs to surpass it in total gross.

- Controversial documentary Yasukuni finally opened in Tokyo, and the first day showings were packed and thankfully without those pesky protests.

- The Japanese animated film The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, which I fairly enjoyed, is getting a limited release in the United States, but only in Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle.

- Apparently, you don’t need a dictatorship to take away human rights: Foreign reporters in China have not only experienced interference with their Tibet coverage, but they’re now also receiving death threats. Yes, that’s how you show your country has progressed in the last 30 years.

- Ryuganji translates a very interesting interview with Korean-Japanese director Yoichi Sai about his Korean production Soo and other stuff.

- This week’s Teleview column on the Daily Yomiuri looks at the several manga-based dramas on Japanese TV this season.

- Donnie “I have hair and I’m not afraid to show ‘em with my pumped abs!” Yen is set to invade over 1000 Chinese cinema screens come September with his latest film Painted Skin. How the hell did they already know how much money they can get from people’s pockets based on the number of screens?

- Five film distributors and three multiplex chains in South Korea has been fined by the Fair Trade Commission there for price collusion. Specifically, the film distributors sent a letter to the multiplexes, telling them to not offer discounts without consulting each other. Funny, Hong Kong multiplexes have been doing that with ticket price increases, so why don’t they get called on it?

- Jason Gray has a short review of Mamoru Oshii’s The Sky Crawlers, which sounds like a hell of a movie.

- Grady Hendrix wrote a while ago about Lawrence Lau’s film about the attempted assassination of ex-Taiwanese president Chan Sui-Bian. Now, there are actual stills from the movie and even an official blog for it. The film, starring Simon Yam, is set for release in August. It will be the third film released this year by the director after Besieged City and City Without Baseball.

The Golden Rock - March 4th, 2008 Edition

- It’s Japanese drama ratings time! Saito-san sees its season-low ratings, as well as One Point Gospel. The Negotiator wraps up with an OK-13.2 rating (not too far below its premiere’s 16.7 rating). Meanwhile, Honey and Clover’s freefall continues to 8.0 this past week, while Bara No Nai Hanaya managed to recover slightly with a 16.5 rating. Lost Time Life stays steady, Edison No Haha saw a pretty good boost, and Sasaki Fusai No Jingi Naki Tatakai’s ratings increase didn’t last longer than a week.

- This news was first found at Eiga Consultant. The 2005 German documentary Our Daily Bread broke attendance record during its 4-month run at one Tokyo theater. Both reports contribute the film’s success to concerns about food safety for Chinese-made food, but there’s also Japan’s tendencies to put wrong expiry dates and screws in food that added to the concern.

- Meanwhile, the controversial Bollywood epic Jodhaa Akbar has now surpassed the 1 billion rupee mark at the box office. Meanwhile, courts overturned the Madhya Pradesh government’s ban, while violent protests interrupt screenings and screenings are still blocked in some regions.

In case you want to know what the hoopla is all about, Hollywood Reporter has a review.

- Under “Edison Chen’s career freefall” news today, his latest Hong Kong film Sniper has now been pushed back to May from a planned March 29th release date. However, distributor Media Asia states that it’s because the Mainland Chinese authorities has yet to approved the film, which is necessary for all co-productions (this also means the cops win by default at the end of the film).

On a side note, distributors in Taiwan for Pang Ho-Cheung’s Trivial Matters has decided to add in the advertising that this film is Edison Chen’s final film before he announced his retirement from showbiz. This is inaccurate, since he still has Sniper and possibly Stephen Fung’s Jump.

-Poor China: The EU and the United States are always bullying the poor authoritarian country. First it was over intellectual property, and now the two political giants are going to the WTO over China’s block of foreign media agencies. China granted the Xinhua News Agency with sole discretion on giving out media license to foreign organizations, which apparently blocks out other news agencies such as Reuters and Bloomberg.

- Chinese TV and film writers, inspired by their American counterparts, met up to talk about how to protect the copyrights of their intellectual property. The thing is, unlike Hollywood writers, they’re not even looking for more money: They just want their rights protected and their work respected.

- I missed out on this a few days ago when it was on Nippon Cinema: There’s a teaser out for the sequel to the kiddie-oriented live-action adaptation of Gegege No Kitaro. It seems like they’re aiming for a more serious film this time around, but trailers have been deceptive before, so I’m being extremely cautious about this one.

-  Not only will the upcoming Japanese epic sci-fi trilogy 20th Century Boys be Japan’s highest-budgeted film ever at 6 billion yen, it’s now been announced that the film will feature a cast of 300 people. In other words, expect to see a lot of “policeman #_” when the credits come up.

- I never knew that Takashi Kitano has his own awards show, AND he gives awards to his own movies there!

- With actions being taken to help the industry and a reversal of the ban on Indian films, will Pakistani cinema slowly flourish?

-  Twitch has a link to an interview with former Ghibli studio head Suzuki Toshio, who talks a bit about Hayao Miyazaki’s upcoming Ponyo on a Cliff.

-  Believe it or not, Maggie Cheung has not appeared in a film since 2004, and she says she’s actually quite OK with that.

The Golden Rock - December 10th, 2007 Edition.

 Since we did do that minute-by-minute coverage of The Golden Horse Awards, I guess we should probably link you to the complete list of winners.

- Ahead of the award ceremony, Ang Lee also admitted that he made one important edit in the Mainland Chinese version of Lust, Caution at the request of the Chinese censors to make the heroine seem less sympathetic to Chinese traitors.

- Let’s look at the Japanese TV drama ratings. As previewed last week, Galileo dipped below 20% rating for the first time all season, though only to a 19.9 rating. It’s no disaster yet, but it’s still the lowest rating of the season, though its average rating is still at 22%. Other dramas that saw their season-lows this past week: Abarebo Mama (at 11.0), Suwan No Baka (at 6.8), Hataraki Man (which dropped ALL THE WAY to 7.9 from 13.2 the previous week), Kimpachi Sensei (at 7.1), Joshi Deka (at 7.1), Mop Girl (at 9.2), and as always - Hatachi No Koibito (at 6.4).

On a positive note, Iryu 2 is on an upswing, with its ratings going up for a second week in a row. Utahime is also climbing a slow road up, and SP is still as solid as ever with a 14.6 rating.

- As I report once in a while in my box office reports, Hong Kong theatres inflate ticket prices for films that run longer than 135-140 minutes (because it means less shows). It seems like they will be doing the same for the holiday season for films that don’t even run at that length. According to Hong Kong Film Blog, one theater is setting a policy where all ticket prices will go up by 5 dollars from the 18th to January 1st. While this theater is enacting the policy because of theater policy, another theater chain is only increasing ticket prices for the two biggest films of the season and blames the distributor for the increase. So who’s the villain? Theater chains or distributors?

- I saw Maiko Haaaan!!! at the Hong Kong Asian Film Festival and thought it was hilarious (A real review is still in the works).  However, not all of its humor will translate outside of the Japanese language (which is probably why there’s no Hong Kong distributor for it yet), Nevertheless, American distributor/champion of eccentric Japanese films Viz Pictures will be releasing the films in the United States in March.

- John Woo’s enormous and troubled epic The Battle of Red Cliff finally wrapped principal photography, though second unit photography is continuing until February. And by troubled, we mean there were rumors of deaths on the set, though producer Terence Cheng denies them.

- As the Korean Wave begins to recede, a new Japanese wave is slowly hitting the shore of Korea, as 21 films in the past 2 years were actually based on original Japanese content, much higher than the 5 produced between 2001-2005. Does it have anything to do with cramming too much into a marketplace that doesn’t have enough talents to begin with?

- Similar to the Animatrix project, Three Japanese animation house will produce several short animated films ahead of the release for that latest Batman movie, The Dark Knight.

The Golden Rock - December 4th, 2007 Edition

- In Japanese drama ratings (one day late), many of the dramas that hit their season-low managed to bounce back. That does include the gradually failing Hatachi No Koibito, which finally saw a week with improving ratings as it bounced back by 0.2%. Hell, even Joshi Deka finally saw a rise in rating, bouncing from an abysmal 7.8 last week to a 9.3 this week. The same goes for Iryu 2, which went up from a 14.1 to a 16.6 for its 8th episode. The hit Fuji Saturday night drama SP, however, dropped to its season-low this past weekend. A preview for next week: Galileo drops to its season-low.

- Just before Mad Detective had its massive opening weekend in Hong Kong, IFC (Independent Film Channel) picked up the North America distribution rights last Friday. They will show it in theaters, for also make it a day-and-date release for video on demand, which is wise since the Hong Kong DVD would be out by then.

- When you buy legit copes of American movies on Chinese DVDs, you’ll get a refrigerator magnet with Jackie Chan’s face thanking you for buying legit products. Wouldn’t that make me want to buy them less?

- In case anyone in Japan (or planning to download) wants to know, this is the full Kohaku lineup this new year’s eve.

- Let me ask a hypothetical question: say you’re a South Korean director and you would like to receive the French Legion of Honor. What do you do? Make over 100 movies and win a few prizes.

- The Taiwanese film The Wall picked up the best film prize at the India International Film Festival, which screened 176 films from 46 countries.

- Kaiju Shakedown, which was kind enough to recommend you all to this blog today, compiles a sample set of reviews for the Japanese failed blockbuster Midnight Eagle. Here’s also a compiled set of reviews from Rotten Tomatoes.

- According to Apple Daily in Hong Kong, Wong Kar-Wai’s English film debut My Blueberry Nights will open in Hong Kong on January 3rd, apparently a whole month ahead of the American release.  There’s even a real pretty website up now.

- An animation house named Animation Innovation Tokyo is doing what their name promises by setting up a new channel on Youtube to upload clips of potential anime series. Potential investors can watch these clips and decide to invest to make them into feature length films. They’re already asking for submissions for the 7th group of pilots.

-  While Yu Aoi getting cast in a Japanese TV drama is news, the bigger news here is it’s a 12-part series by 4 directors, and each director has complete freedom over the 3 episodes they’re in charge of - as long as they’re about lies.

- It’s reviews time! Variety has a review of Happily Ever After - or Jigyaku No Uta - by Russell Edwards.

The Golden Rock - 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.

 
 
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