Monday, October 26, 2009

赤壁 (Red Cliff)

♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

I try to avoid Chinese movies because they usually just fly and kill each other. In this movie they fly less and kill more. And Gong Li is nowhere in sight. This movie is based on that video game called Dynasty Warriors (Battle of Chi Bi, in particular), which is based on that novel called Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which is supposedly based on real events from China's feudal past. Sword fight, sword fight. I burn your navy, bitch. Arrow to the head, arrow to the head! I use VCO for my hair, look how it sways. Blood on the forehead, blood on the forehead! Shameful as it may seem I admit I fell asleep.

I think it is based on the video game because even the physical appearance of the characters are almost the same! Well except maybe for Zhuge Liang (Kong Ming) because they asked Takeshi Kaneshiro to play the role. Come on. Zhou Yu is the narcissistic Pantene model. And we've always thought that Zhuge Liang is gay (who goes into battle with a fan? He is a strategist. Hmmm... okay...). And where are all the Wei generals? Only Cao Cao is here, boring. Zhang Fei and Guan Yu here really resemble their PlayStation counterparts.

(500) Days of Summer

♣♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Roses are red. Violets are blue. Fuck you whore. Loneliness is overrated. I don't know how to tell you this, but there is a Chinese family in our bathroom. Nice to meet you, I'm Autumn. These are just some of the lines that stand out from this movie. Some are full of wit while some are just downright sarcastic but one could not help but smile when they are recalled. A romantic comedy with a lot of quotable quotes is a well-written movie worth a second, third, endless reruns. I am definitely buying the DVD. This is one movie that you will never get tired of seeing over and over again.

Like the narrator states, this is not a love story but rather another boy-meets-girl kind of thing. Romantic comedies are all recycled and you tend to know at once what happens and how it happens. The difference is all about the presentation, how the plot unfolds. This movie is just, oh, so unique. The different film techniques used contribute a lot to the entertainment value, of which this film has a lot.

Julie & Julia

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

This is based on the book of the same title published by one of the main characters in the film. It is NOT a biopic of Julia Child. In fact, it is actually more of a narrative of Julie Powell's extended quarter-life crisis and how some aspects of Child's life helped her move on from that particular experience.

The movie is fun to watch mainly because of Streep's dead on portrayal of Child but what I really appreciate about the movie is how the director has managed to translate that affinity that Powell feels for Child into a visual experience which reminds us that we are all connected to each other somehow; that one human being could serve as an inspiration for another even with the absence of any personal relationship. Personal hero thing.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Spring Awakening (Atlantis Productions)

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

I have not seen the original Broadway version, but I think this one just lacks the intensity. The premise itself is daring enough, but I think it is up to the cast to make the material more edgy.

Totally Fucked, without a doubt, is the musical highlight of the show. All the angst that seems to be lacking from the earlier musical numbers are released here, and you can just feel the energy of the cast rocking the stage. The Song of Purple Summer is well sung, perfect blending of voices just apt for a finale.

My favorite scene would be the whipping scene where Wendla begs Melchior to beat her. It is a rather funny scene, but I can just feel her numbness. I think the scene means something more symbolic, a metaphor. It is not numbness in the literal sense but more of the effect of being overprotected, or the exact opposite. You have been so accustomed to pain, or the lack of it, that you do not feel it anymore, and you beg for it just to prove to yourself that you are still human. Living.

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