Posts tagged with "movies"

Love Them Or Leave Them

I have a love/hate rela­tion­ship with Hong Kong films. I’m glad that OMNI 2 has become an eth­ni­cal­ly diverse chan­nel, but every time a Hong Kong movie comes on, I’m not sure whether or not I should make some pop­corn or put an axe through the TV.

I love the movies because they remind me of every sin­gle thing about Hong Kong that has so poignant­ly affect­ed me (and I feel smart when I get the jokes).

I hate the movies because 90% of them end up being crap like Love Undercover 2: Love Mission. It’s all a reminder of the sad state of affairs that Hong Kong pop­u­lar cul­ture is in right now.

Shopping For Movies

The only movie I haven’t been able to find on DVD in the last four years that I real­ly want­ed was Nell. Fox decid­ed that they aren’t going to release it to DVD, which is too bad since I don’t have a VCR, and would­n’t real­ly want to buy it on VHS if I did any­way. I was able to find it here on VCD, for the first time ever, so my col­lec­tion is now com­plete. Nell must be the only movie I own with a clean, hap­py end­ing.

On a relat­ed note, I bought the Three Colors Trilogy today, com­prised of Bleu, Rouge, and Blanc. I don’t real­ly con­sid­er it an essen­tial part of my col­lec­tion, but def­i­nite­ly a box set well worth hav­ing, espe­cial­ly since it’s only $50 CAD, tax free.

Kill Bill: A Review

I was a lit­tle dis­ap­point­ed by Kill Bill, and I did­n’t even go into the the­atre expect­ing too much. The main prob­lem was the fact that the fight­ing was bor­ing. Everything was shot too close up to tell what was going on and the angles changed too much (all to hide the fact that the actors and actress­es don’t actu­al­ly know how to fight — where­as Uma may have tak­en months of train­ing, actors in true Hong Kong fight­ing movies have tak­en a life­time). The cam­era was just way too close to the action so every­one just looked like they were swing­ing katanas around with­out see­ing any actu­al tech­nique. I felt like the fight­ing was too sim­ple, unsat­is­fy­ing and anti­cli­mac­tic; the pro­tag­o­nist sim­ply kills each per­son with one final blow. I would rather have her adjust to each char­ac­ters’ fight­ing style and adapt her abil­i­ties in an intel­li­gent man­ner. The clas­sic “good guy los­es at first then fig­ures out a weak­ness and wins in the end” could have been tak­en from. A good exam­ple would be in Return of the Dragon where Bruce Lee switch­es up his fight­ing style against the big boss or the famous final mir­ror scene in Enter the Dragon where he puts the last boss at a dis­ad­van­tage by smash­ing in all the mir­rors. When the action, which is sup­posed to be the main part of the movie, isn’t very good the film falls flat.

The revenge scenes did­n’t have too much of a lead-up either, caus­ing them to be rather point­less. There were no training/practicing scenes, no test of abil­i­ties before fight­ing, and a rather shal­low “get sword” prepa­ra­tion, caus­ing there to be no real dri­ve for the pro­tag­o­nist to kill, oth­er than what we were told about her attempt­ed mur­der. It all made the fight­ing not as sat­is­fy­ing as it could have been, which was sup­posed to be anoth­er big draw of the film.

I did enjoy the hom­mage to Game of Death (a very sim­i­lar revenge movie) with the yel­low jump­suit and the trib­ute to Darren Aronofsky’s orig­i­nal cam­era work in the lead up to the lethal injec­tion scene. There was one extreme­ly chal­leng­ing shot in the club that went on for about a minute, rem­i­nis­cent of what P.T. Anderson does in the first five min­utes of Boogie Nights, although Anderson is much bet­ter at it (a dozen char­ac­ters, mul­ti­ple floors and rooms with­out cheat­ing in an open stu­dio). I enjoyed the gory humour and Tarantino’s exces­sive wit, pos­si­bly the best thing of the movie. My favourite part is when O‑Ren Ishii per­forms to-rei.

Kill Bill was sup­posed to draw from Hong Kong action cin­e­ma, but it end­ed up just being a movie with Tarantino style and some bor­ing action thrown in. If I want­ed to see a grit­ty Hong Kong action movie, I’d rather watch Hard Boiled. If I want­ed to see authen­tic Chinese weapon fight­ing and mar­tial arts, I’d rather watch Shaolin Temple. If I want­ed to see a sat­is­fy­ing revenge movie, I’d rather watch Titus. If I want­ed to watch some sick and gory ani­me, I’d rather watch Kite. If I want­ed to see a movie with Tarantino styling, I’d rather watch Pulp Fiction. All the parts of the movie that are sup­posed to be good have been done bet­ter else­where. The film draws from lot of things, but does­n’t excel in any area. There’s no doubt in my mind that Tarantino is a born direc­tor, but he has­n’t devel­oped a decent action style yet. The movie is worth watch­ing once sim­ply because he’s the direc­tor, but a sec­ond view­ing is rather unnec­es­sary.

Janus

Sometimes I see the same movie twice with a large gap of time between view­ings, and I under­stand the char­ac­ters, thoughts, emo­tions, and actions very dif­fer­ent­ly each time.

A few days ago, I came to the real­iza­tion that I’ve been a dif­fer­ent per­son in every rela­tion­ship through my eight year dat­ing peri­od. Not all of me has changed, but there are a few aspects which I believe would be impor­tant in such a bond.

I’ve gained more matu­ri­ty and more con­fi­dence. I’ve gained a fair amount of intel­li­gence (though I still feel like I have infi­nite­ly more to learn). I’ve changed career goals, rela­tion­ship goals, and hap­pi­ness goals. I’m more out­go­ing, more tol­er­ant, more secure, less pre­ten­tious (I hope), less arro­gant, and less igno­rant. I’ve changed my opin­ions on chil­dren, abor­tion, and reli­gion. I’ve even changed my actions based on these shift­ing beliefs.

Although I view most of these changes as being good things, they may put strain on a rela­tion­ship nonethe­less. After all, change is change, and unless a rela­tion­ship is strong and flex­i­ble enough, it can­not endure such stress. It’s a lit­tle scary to think that I may be bring­ing extra strain into a rela­tion­ship, sim­ply by being myself.

At one point in my inex­pe­ri­enced youth, after hav­ing changed a fair deal already, I believed that I would­n’t change any more. Now I real­ize how stu­pid­ly obliv­i­ous a com­ment that was, and am of the belief that I’ll nev­er stop chang­ing.

The most impor­tant thing to keep in mind through all of this is whether the change is for the bet­ter, and as Tom has helped me real­ize, rela­tion­ships (friend­ships or oth­er­wise) should form around this idea.

Whether or not a rela­tion­ship will work out in the end is not based on one per­son, but the foun­da­tion and dynam­ic of two peo­ple.

Nocturnal Living, Self-Grooming Arches, Tricky Brains

Living as a noc­tur­nal being over the last week has caused me to sleep improp­er­ly. I wake up every three hours, drowsy and feel­ing exhaust­ed, unable to fall back asleep again. This is the first time in my life that I haven’t real­ly cared about my sys­tem too much. I only eat two meals a day now and go to bed between four and eight in the morn­ing. It’s all worth it.

I’m think­ing of buy­ing Dolly a self-groom­ing arch because she seems to enjoy rub­bing her cheeks against my stiff-nee­dled brush. With the arch I won’t have to hold the brush against a sol­id sur­face for her, and she’ll be able to groom her whiskers when­ev­er she wants. I set up a lit­tle perch for her at the sun room win­dow so that she can look out­side and smell the air. I made a lit­tle stair­case for her using some milk crates and wick­er bas­kets, but she has­n’t fig­ured out how to use them to get to the high­est point yet.

I watched Tricky Brains again yes­ter­day. The only oth­er time that I’ve seen it in my life was when I was too young to remem­ber much about it. I do remem­ber that I real­ly enjoyed it though, and that it was one of the more emo­tion­al Steven Chow films. This is Chow at his best and the gags nev­er stop com­ing.