February 28, 2010

《意外》 (2009)

Posted in Entertainment, Movie at 7:13 pm by ryushin

Maybe it isn’t very hyped, but I found the concept to be quite refreshing, and deserves a mention. When something unfortunate happens, is it really an accident? Or could it have been an elaborate murder execution in disguise. Some things are not so readily obvious.

Watch as a team of professional killers do their job. The long long process of planning and waiting for the right opportunity for everything. It is definitely not quick and dirty, like the usual 1 man assassin who are supposed to do a clean job. No matter how clean it is, the obvious thing is that is murder. So what these bunch of ppl wanna achieve is to have everything turn out to be accidents. And man are they good? Not once have they been found out, or is that really the case? Watch the show to find out yourself. I can’t say it’s a happy ending. Actually it is kinda depressing. Boo

p.s. (For my uni mates wondering how the hell I have all the time to seemingly watch so much stuffs during this apparent hectic period, I don’t… unfortunately. These are all the wonderfully stocked up drafts for rainy days like this.)

February 21, 2010

The Pianist (2002)

Posted in Entertainment, Movie at 10:03 pm by ryushin

Many years ago, I wanted to watch this, but I didn’t have the chance to. Recently (meaning a couple of months back), I finally watched this, and did it leave an impression on me? This film is so powerful, so emotionally-charged, that it will be sure to leave a mark in the memories of people who see this.

This film recounts the encounter of one talented pianist, Wladyslaw Szpilman, an unfortunate Polish Jew who happen to live in the Warsaw region during the horror years of WWII. It quickly descends into hopelessness and brutalities the Jews face under the harsh Nazi regime. It was terrible, it was mind-wrecking. I am not ashamed to say that I shed some tears in the duration of the film. Yes I know we have grown accustomed to deaths on screen. But whatever you see on this film couldn’t have been further from the truth of what happened those fateful years ago. The Holocaust…

Poland, where the story takes place, is the worst hit area by Nazi extermination of Jews. The minority who survived, like Szpilman, is truely one based on sheer determination, luck and a continuous dance with death. You witness the atrocities of the Nazi regime, and the abuses the Jews are subject to, and you can’t help but wonder how those bastards can take pleasure from such things.

My heart goes out to all the victims of the Holocaust, and all those who survived without a complete family as well. Yes this includes director Roman Polanski. Of course due respect have to be given to the righteous people, including the non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews. Particularly one true figure was depicted in this show, and it sent a warm feeling to the heart knowing that such people exist. German military officer, Captain Wilm Hosenfeld, is worthy of our respect. This was a man who was disillusioned with the atrocities of the Nazi rule, and assisted in hiding many refugees, yet he couldn’t save himself in the end.

P.S. No offence to Germans. I have shown my stance that not all Germans are the same, and that it all happened in the past anyway.

February 17, 2010

An Uneventful CNY

Posted in General at 2:40 pm by ryushin

Oh well, this entry marks the end of any festivities (if any) during my so uneventful CNY, which on the contrary has some rather unpleasant happenings. 家家有本难念的经… Boohoo whatever no point mulling over that now. What I should really be doing is making sure I do what I am supposed to do well, so that things will hopefully be better in the future, if needed.

So what am I supposed to be doing well now? I suppose it falls into the academic category. Yes its already more than 1/3 way into the semester yet I am still somewhat slacking. Need to change this! Maybe I’m supposed to be thankful that I’m single, so the wonderful clash of CNY with Valentine’s Day didn’t affect me. Not that it matters, I’m supposed to indulge in all the wonderful projects and assignments. HAIZ

February 12, 2010

《Laughing Gor 之变节》 (2009)

Posted in Entertainment, Movie at 8:14 pm by ryushin

This movie is actually partly derived from the drama 學警狙擊, when the character Laughing is so popoular that it spun off a story of his own. And so we get a prequel of sorts to the drama depicting the early life of Laughing. I rate the drama highly, and I rate this movie highly. Laughing is a complex yet simple man. After all the respect he garnered in the drama, this movie serves to amplify the respect you will give him.

The plot is simple yet complex. You never know who to trust. Undercover is a thing of the past. How about ex-undercover cop turned triad boss? Or a cashier turned triad undercover turned double agent turned cop undercover? Now what happens if you are in a romantic relationship with a girl whose triad boss brother doesn’t want his sister to be attached to a triad member? Or how about an undercover for a triad boss sneaking into the ranks of another triad boss, but you never know if anyone is really an undercover cop? Hahahaha… Nevermind all of that, at the end of the day, it all pans out, and there is only 1 thing to be sad about… oh my Fala…

Granted, it must have been a way to explain why her character did not appear in the drama, as with all the rest of the important people who are promptly eliminated. But thats where the consistencies end. We know that this Fala as Karen is his girlfriend, but he had a different one in the drama, who also conveniently did not appear in the movie. Plus the scene and context of his entering the police academy is soooo different between drama and movie. Had they been able to get rid of these inconsistencies, it would have been perfect imo (hardly easy considering the “prequel” is produced afterwards).

The ending has a nostalgic feel to it, when our protagonist probably first met Ron Ng and Sammul Chan in their cameo roles as patrol cops on the beat (the 2 stars of the drama series), as well as him muttering about approaching a prominent triad boss that feature in 學警狙擊.

If you like the drama, watch this too! Btw Fala rocks my world.

February 8, 2010

Drag Me to Hell (2009)

Posted in Entertainment, Movie at 10:30 pm by ryushin

Dadum, one of the few, or perhaps the only horror show I watched recently. I can’t really say that this genre fascinates me because alot of them are really cheesy, and are numbingly horror-ish just for the sake of it. So usually I try to wait for positive reviews to check out what are watch-worthy. Another reason is because there is no one to watch these kind of movies with me at the theatres…

Ok so this movie actually has a decent plot, and a brilliant take-home message for all of us. The movie opens with a past depiction of an encounter between a medium and something, this invisible something being the Lamia which we will learn later in the story. The story proper starts with the introduction of a bank loan officer, Christine Brown. Now the bank she is working on, there is a vacant position for the assistant manager. Brown is constantly vying with colleague Stu for the position. In trying to prove herself to the manager that she can make tough decisions in the interest of the bank, she denies a loan extension to an elderly lady who had to be evicted from her home.

What we soon find out is that the elderly lady is a gypsy (good luck Christine!) who subsequently places a curse on Brown. Brown decides to approach a fortune teller because she feels uneasy. But in their first meeting, the fortune teller seems to see something halfway and jump out of his seat, requesting that she leave. Brown encounters some horrific experience that night, and tries to seek out the gypsy who unfortunately has passed on. Desperate, she returns to the fortune teller, who now promptly inform her that she is haunted by the Lamia. The Lamia is a powerful demon that will torment the victim for 3 days before dragging the person to hell. The rest of the story shows how the people deal with this horror.

One thing that caught me about this movie is it being more gross that horrifying. Maybe it is just me. I know it is scary, and it did made me feel uneasy at times, but frequently you knew what to expect. And as usual, it is usually the music and sounds that make it scary. However, the few gross encounters with the gypsy is just eeeww. Luckily I did not have a full stomach. Anyway in the movie the Lamia is a goat-like demon (and you can see the silhouette). But based on my puny knowledge on fantasy and mythology, most portray it as snake-like instead of goat-like. Even for the goat version, in fact all versions, the upper body is a woman, so it doesn’t coincide with the movie haha. But nevermind, nobody knows for sure. Overall, it is definitely worth a watch.

February 3, 2010

《风云II》 (2009)

Posted in Entertainment, Movie at 11:01 pm by ryushin

Well at first I thought that I would be able to write a mega long entry on this dissecting the woeful elements and details of this screen adaptation. But I kind of realised I couldn’t do it because it was quite awful.

There was alot of hype before the movie releases, and there was alot of bitching ater it did. For one, people say the amount of dialogue is so bare, but I can live with it. After all, when Wind became demonic he doesn’t speak, and Cloud is someone who doesn’t like to speak anyway. Secondly, its the sheer amount of CGI and slow-mo (with sudden rapid fast-forward-like sequences) fights that are really bleahz. It is lacking alot in conventional sword bouts, further added by the fact that powerful characters often use long range “special attacks” not unlike what you see in video games. It seems like there is plenty more to offer in this aspect…

Another major problem is how the whole plot pans out. Quite a number of people are bothered by why the supposed “boss” villain is killed quite early on and the rest of the movie revolves around Cloud fighting Wind. But I think a bigger problem is how logical are the actions of people in the show. I find it humourous that Heartless is just standing around doing nothing in the Dragon Tomb and nobody bothers about him. YES NOBODY. So after witnessing the epic battle in it, he can gleefully walk away and decide to hijack the dragon spine. Way to go dude… Next, the instant freeze power of Wind apparently only works when the plot dictates it to, no matter how powerful the opponent is… hint hint Lord Godless. But when in the area of people who the plot decides be left alone, they will be, even if you come into contact for the most number of times… yea yea thats you Cloud. Oh 1 more point, personally I felt the opening to be quite abrupt. They just throw you in on the long end and start with the China martial artists already captured, with sweeping text explaining.

Finally, inconsistencies with the actual story. I know its an adaptation and sometimes some things can be changed, but not when certain things are critical to the future. Based on long forgotten memories from ancient past (I may be wrong on these), here are various stuffs that are well, different.
– When Nameless learn the epic 万剑归宗
– The lack of Wind’s mother’s involvement in this whole conflict
– Did I see Chu Chu fight better (aka did not get injured) than Second Dream before Wind broke out of the Demon Pool?
– Did I see Chu Chu die?!#$!$!%!%!?! (We will be needing a phoenix down from Squaresoft to revive her. Otherwise it will be a major obstacle for any future sequels…)

Ok I can’t go on. Tralala… Waited all these years for nothing.