Friday, June 29, 2007

The Golden Rock - June 28th, 2007 Edition

- Michael Bay's Transformers have started its rampage around the world in South Korea, where it has seen the best advanced ticket sales so far this year. People seem to love it too. One dubious section in the report regarding the spokesperson of distributor CJ Entertainment:

"'Movies that do well in South Korea tend to do well in other parts of Asia,' Kim said, attributing the trend in part to the growing popularity of South Korean movies, TV dramas and music across the region.

'A movie's popularity in Asia seems to be affected by its popularity in South Korea,' she said. 'In that sense, South Korea has emerged as an important movie market in Asia in recent years.'"

Right, that's why someone wrote this article. And that's why Japan has been hosting huge Hollywood world premieres all summer, including the Harry Potter premiere just yesterday.

Meanwhile, Hollywood Reporter just put up their review today (I don't know why Variety had their review up so early when there's an embargo on it until today/tomorrow Asia time), and critic Kirk Honeycutt says right out that it's an extravaganza rather than overwrought excess. I might actually pay to see a Michael Bay movie....well, matinee price, at the most. I only paid US$4 to see The Island.

For more Hollywood news, we'll be looking at the opening for Die Hard 4 in North America and Asia tomorrow.

- Lovehkfilm updates with a review of Hong Kong's first summer hit Simply Actors (which, pardon my pun, simply doesn't sound that good. It also sound like Chan Hing-Ka's overloaded hit-or-miss comedic trend continues). There's also a review for Waiting in the Dark, by Daisuke Tengan (the son/screenwriter for legendary director Shohei Imamura) and starring Taiwanese actor Wilson Chen. There's also a review for the Korean film A Day for an Affair written by yours truly, and I can confess here that yes, I totally mean that it's watchable.

- As Lovehkfilm reported, Barbara Wong's Wonder Women has been chosen as the "official handover anniversary film. It opens next week, and a trailer is on the website. It doesn't really show much, and it's not subtitled.

- Keita Motohashi's Tobo Kusotawake, about two misfits who go off on an aimless adventure, is going to the Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival in Korea. There's not even an official website for the film yet, but you can read the director's blog, who reports the film will open in limited release in October.

- I don't know what the Macao Studio City will be like, but at least I know it'll have a Playboy Mansion. That means more places for girls like her to go to (don't worry, link is work-safe...unless you're an animals rights activist).

- The only Bollywood film I've ever seen is Lagaan, the 4-hour epic about Indian farmers playing crickets to beat their oppressive English landlord, and it's better than it sounds. Anyway, it's finally coming in a super-duper special edition DVD, and if you have a few hours to spare, I highly recommend it.

- I always complain about how Japanese entertainment producers are so protective about their work and always work too slow to distribute them. Turns out a government advisory panel agrees with me and wants some of those protective rights pulled for easier distribution of content. I would like to think that what I write here makes a difference, but I know it doesn't. At least someone finally came out and did something.

- But which government isn't letting uncut movies in? The Chinese! A blogger writes about a possible reason why some Chinese people end up buying pirated works - to see how Chow Yun-Fat vilifies Chinese people. Note that the link is a translation of the original Chinese entry from last week.

- I think it's been pretty widely reported that Martin Scorsese is working on adapting the Japanese novel Silence, about the persecution of Catholics in 16th century Japan. Apparently, it's actually a "remake" of the 1971 film by Masahiro Shinoda, and now the Shinoda film is finally coming to the States soon.

- Jason Gray has more about Shaolin Shojo, the Stephen Chow-approved Japanese spin-off of Shaolin Soccer that will move the action to Lacrosse and have a better-looking protagonist.

- Twitch has some more reviews from the New York Asian Film Festival, including the director's cut of After This, Our Exile.

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