Friday, May 18, 2007

Differing opinions

As the Cannes Film Festival gets its gears rolling, the fallout from the chilly reception of opening film My Blueberry Nights continues.

Well, perhaps not so much fallout. I'll leave to the Hollywood Reporter to talk about that.

Premieres of works by major Asian directors continue, as the Tsui Hark/Ringo Lam/Johnnie To collaboration "serial film" Triangle and Taiwanese filmmaker Hou Hsiao-Hsien's The Flight of the Red Balloon both received their premieres out of competition, with reviews coming in already.

Variety kind of likes Triangle, noting that "Lam and To come off most successfully, while Tsui's material seems unnecessarily complex and fussy." Sounds like typical Tsui Hark stuff to me.

Hollywood Reporter pretty much hated it, calling it "an inedible mess where ingredients war with one another and no one has paid any attention to the poor fellow who must consume the meal."

As for Hou's "Flight of the Red Balloon," I swear that I saw a Hollywood Reporter pan on it earlier in the morning that's no longer on the site. On the other hand, Variety sees it as business as usual for Hou, whose penchant for medium long takes has divided audiences for years.

- With Lee Chang-Dong's latest Secret Sunshine in competition at Cannes, the Korean Film Council has published an English book on the director, which is free for download on their website.

On to other news:

- The Korean film wave is slowly on its death rattle in Japan, so now they're trying to incorporate Japanese elements. Such is the cast with the film "Virgin Snow," which stars Korean actor Lee Jun-Gi and Japanese actress Aoi Miyazaki. According to Eiga Consultant, the film opened with 30.2 million yen, which is good enough for a 9th place at the rankings. That's only 26% of Miyazaki's previous film "Tada Kimi Wo Aishitteru" and 95% of The King and the Clown's opening in Japan. However, Box Office Mojo's ranking shows that it opened on 9 screens....with only $25,352, which is only 3.04 million yen. Did the Mojo leave a zero out, or did Eiga Consultant added a zero in? I myself trust the rankings from Japan.

- Variety finally catches on with how Japan uses classy ads to attract audiences into small arthouse films. The key: appeal to young hip Tokyo girls.

It's that kind of thinking that managed to create such a kick-ass poster for Election, although I doubt that it'll appeal to any girls. That's my carpet in the background, by the way.

- I don't usually try to plug Yesasia directly, though they're great enough to actually put up what I write. This is really more of a plug for the Sakuran DVD, which is coming out on August 3rd with English subtitles.

- Under "shitty movie wannabe" today, we finally have the trailer for Jet Li's latest "War," originally named "Rogue." As much as I like Jason Statham AND Jet Li together again after "The One" (Oy vey....), I agree with Twitch: it looks pretty shitty.

- I still haven't seen Dennis Law's Fatal Contact yet, thanks to the traumatic experiences that were Marriage with a Fool and Love @ First Note. Anyway, the Weinsteins have just bought the North American rights to it, and since the title is so derivative already, I don't think they even have to rename it.

- Remember a few months ago when everyone expected the worst when Edison Chen was meeting with Stephen Chow on a collaboration project? Turns out that project is actually Stephen Fung's latest film about dancing. Edison Chen is starring, in a role where he can probably just play the spoiled hip-hop boy he is in real life, and Chow is probably producing. Just read the original Chinese report that mentions it.

- I was going to write a review of Matsuo Suzuki's Otakus in Love (Koi No Mon) a few years ago, but I found it so crazy and overloaded with excess silliness that I didn't know how to quite approach it. It was simply too much of what it had for its own good. Anyway, Suzuki's latest Welcome to the Quiet Room (which seems to be based on his own novel) has a teaser on its website.

- Sony may be (barely) making big bucks with Spiderman 3, but its Playstation 3 is sinking the company fast. Because of the Playstation 3 (which I still believe is being released way too ahead of its time), Sony is now operating at a US$573 million loss. I'll buy one eventually, I'm sure, but I just don't see it happening this decade.

- Breathe slowly. Robert De Niro and Al Pacino had just signed on to a film where they'll spend 90-95% of their screen time together. I don't even care if the movie's going to be crappy, or that the two have been making crappy movies (De Niro WAY moreso than Pacino), it's finally happening, baby.

- Chen Kaige is going back to the well that brought him international fame. Somewhat reminiscent of Farewell My Concubine, Chen's latest film is the biopic Mei Lan-fang, about the famous Peking Opera singer of the same name. Good news: The film will cost half of what The Promise cost. Bad news: Leon Lai is in the starring role.

- China is beginning to soften their stance against bloggers, stopping their campaign for mandatory registration of real names for all Chinese bloggers. Instead, they'll just "encourage" blogging companies to do so. Blogger doesn't have my real name, does it.....?

2 comments:

glenn (kenixfan@hotmail.com said...

"Anyway, the Weinsteins have just bought the North American rights to it, and since the title is so derivative already, I don't think they even have to rename it."

LOL! Too funny and too true.

munin said...

Ouch for Triangle; being an incoherent/disjointed picture is pretty much what I feared it would become. Still, I give little credibility to Hollywood Reporter reviews nowadays. Gotta wait for some more impressions...