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Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Detective C+侦探 by the Pang brothers

When I saw 'THE DETECTIVE' (Chinese title of the film translates as C+ Detective, a Cantonese wordplay for 'Private Detective') the newest film from the Pang Brothers two nights ago, my immediate thought was that Chewxy would have benefited a lot from watching it if this film had came out before he did his debut short film.

Returning to the filmmakers' roots, THE DETECTIVE is set entirely in Thailand, and the film begins with a Thai song. The story is simple, like an old-fashioned film noir, a nearsighted private detective Tam (Aaron Kwok) is visited by an acquaintance, Fat Dragon, one morning, who seeks his help in finding a woman named Sum (Fat Dragon claims that the woman is trying to kill him). So Tam takes this seemingly innocuous case that becomes increasingly complex as it goes on, especially when each lead he gets will bring him to a dead body.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Happy Birthday to ME

First off thanks to everyone who wished me Happy Birthday in the last post from Swifty. It was truly an amazing night involving handcuffs, baked goods, and far too much liquor. I am now officially an old man of 23.

The Sarah Connor Chronicles Pilot! Me luv Terminators!

Terminator 2 is one of my favourite action films of all-time, until this day, I don't think it had aged. The film IS. A. TIMELESS. CLASSIC!

The first Terminator, due to its low-budget, understandably didn't age very well, but it still has some good parts. But man, Terminator 2! So many awesome action set pieces balanced with great character moments that blockbusters these days are incapable of doing. Hell, I have to say that for me, Terminator 2 is THE ultimate James Cameron movie! (... you weren't expecting me to pick TITANIC, were you?)

I enjoyed Terminator 3 too, it knows that it'll never top Terminator 2, so it became a bit more self-referential and comedic, and seeing Arnold getting his butt whupped by a skinny chick in a toilet was just too funny. However, one thing that made Terminator 3 good was its nice 'twist' ending, where wimpy John Connor will finally assume his destined role as the leader of humanity after failing to stop the nuclear war. Without the redemptive ending, the movie would've sucked a lot!!!

One thing that bothered me was Sarah Connor's death in Terminator 3 (it happened before the events of the film). The idea of having the heroic Sarah Connor lose the fight against leukemia despite being able to survive and invincible cyborg like T-1000 is kinda sad. WHY????? (true story is that Linda Hamilton doesn't want to do T3 cos' she thought the script sucked)

When a Terminator series called The Sarah Connor Chronicles was announced last year, I felt a mixture of excitement and worry. Excitement because I'm a Terminator fan, worry because I fear the TV series would belong to the land of suckness, and it's just another stupid attempt to cash in on a venerable franchise.

My 'LUST, CAUTION' review quoted on Taipei Times!

Didn't know anything about this until Sebastian left me a comment at my 'LUST, CAUTION' review. Wow, my review got quoted by Taipei Times.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Monday, October 01, 2007

Mogwai - Hunted by a Freak

In this Mogwai video, CGI-animated animals are thrown off a building and die. That's all. I find it strangely satisfying and beautiful. It would have been rubbish with a different song, one that tried to 'play it up', but the somber music contrasts well with the visual style. Every time I watch a 3D animated film I usually imagine the annoying pseudo-cartoons dying in some way, so this was a huge relief. This is how they should all be killed: dispassionately, dropped from a great height, soundtracked by Mogwai. There's a great moment where it looks like a turtle is going to be saved, only to be immediately run over by a car. And another one where two animals try unsuccessfully to embrace in midair.

'Nana 2' needed Aoi Miyazaki

Watched NANA 2 during my flight home from Perth last week. I liked the first NANA a lot, the 2005 Japanese box-office champ was consistently entertaining and featured a powerhouse performance from Nakashima Mika (til this day, I tell everyone that I prophesized her superstardom when I first heard her 'HELPLESS RAIN' in 2001) as the gothic punk rocker Nana. And there was good chemistry between her and 'the other Nana' (Hachi) played by Miyazaki Aoi, so despite the film seemingly not resolving anything much (it was obviously leaving lots of room for a sequel) and I could never really buy into Nana's romance with Ren (Ren's too bland and boring for Nana), the first Nana film still managed to make me feel satisfied.

Satisfied enough to not ask for a sequel because it had a good enough open-ended ending.

I should have treated Nana 2 as some straight-to-DVD Disney sequels and disregard its existence, because, with the overhaul of cast members (three major characters are played by new cast members... including Hachi), I figured that the cast change thing will feel more like SPEED 2 and not DARK KNIGHT. Miyazaki Aoi had made Hachi her role, infusing the characer with such (sickeningly irresistible?) cuteness that replacing Miyazaki Aoi with Yui Ichikawa is like replacing Keanu Reeves with Jason Patric, it's not going to make the fans cheer like replacing Katie Holmes with Maggie Gyllenhaal in the upcoming Batman film!

Despite knowing that the film's been both a commercial and critical disappointment, curiosity got the better of me, and I chose to watch the film.