Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Monday, September 29, 2008

Some Random Things

Originally posted on xanga.

The debate between Obama and McCain was quite troubling. As I see my 401K lose value everyday, I can't help but wonder if either of these guys can steer the ship back on course. And if these failed CEOs keep walking away with millions while we lose %s on our "nest eggs", I am throwing in the towel. What's the use of saving? You know, you say, in 30, 40 years, it'll grow. Of the 10 or so years I've been doing my 401 and IRAs, 7 of them have been down years. This sucks.

Ebay. It sucks. I look for an item on Amazon and than Ebay. Cheaper on Amazon 3 out of 4 times. The only things I order off Ebay now are Chinese movies or dramas I can't order off Amazon. Ebay continues to drop in stock value (I know, since I bought them at the wrong time and am paying the price now).

I lost a little steam with Fated to Love You. I haven't watched an episode this week. I've been re-watching the 2003 Alec Su 倚天屠龍記. Every time I watch the portion about 曾阿牛 (zeng ah niu), I get happy!

I am really forward to the new Jay Chau Album. Here's an MV from the upcoming album. Very very original.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Paul Newman: 1925-2008

Originally posted on xanga.

Wow. This blows me away. Paul was an amazing man. This is a brief bio from Yahoo:
"Paul Newman was a husband, a father, a grandfather, a philanthropist, an activist, a veteran, a race car driver, a director, and, for over 50 years, one of the greatest film stars in Hollywood".

There is a great article about Paul Newman from Yahoo.

As a kid, some of my favorite movies include Paul. The Sting may have been one of my favorites. I remember always trying to catch it whenever I saw it on the TV Guide. When I got a little older, I was able to catch The Color of Money. I haven't seen the prequel, The Hustler yet.

I have been a fan of his salad dressings as well. I like them and the fact that all profits go to charity.

Paul Newman lived a great life and will be missed. Rest in Peace Paul. The world was better with you here.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior

Originally posted on xanga.

As guilty pleasures go, this is probably one of them. It's like watching Herc or Xena from the 90s. You do it at home, but never admit to it if asked directly.

As is the case with The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior. This is the pre pre "The Rock" in the 2nd Mummy movie. The pre was The Scorpion King featuring The Rock.

It pretty fasted paced and takes you through the story quickly. Not really a time for resting.

So, if you liked the Hercules or Xena or Beastmaster or Conan TV series from the 90s. This is right up your alley.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Red Cliff Part 1 - 赤壁 - First Thoughts

Originally posted on xanga.

I just finished part 1 of John Woo's Red Cliff (赤壁). It was an intense movie with a lot of stuff going on.

Here are some thoughts:
I need to learn my Chinese history better
Lin Chi-Ling is pretty dang hot
Zhao Wei is looking like she shouldn't play early 20s rolls anymore
The Costumes are amazing
The special effects look real and fake at the same time
I can't wait to see part 2.
Too bad there's no part 3
I would want to play a video game based off this (in english, since my Chinese is useless)

Go see it. It won't blow you away, but its a good film.

Being sold for $3 in my local video rental places. Crazy cheap.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Angels - LAA

Originally posted on xanga.

I am mostly an LA sports fan. When it comes to sports, I'll cheer on LA based teams over other teams. In baseball, that's the Angels and the Dodgers. The football, UCLA and USC. The basketball, the Lakers, the Clippers, UCLA, etc.

So, I am very excited that the LA teams in baseball are all leading their divisions. The Angels have the best record in the MLB up to today and I think they can clinch it with 101 wins. They have 96 now. The Dodgers will need 5 more games to clinch a spot.

A freeway series is great for LA! Man, stadiums linked by the 5 freeway. However, the rest of the country can care less.

Ah, MLB, so many games a season. Its hard to follow it all.

Good luck to the LA teams.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

命中註定我愛你 (Destiny Love/Fated to Love You) 1st Thoughts

Originally posted on xanga.

I just started on 命中註定我愛你 a couple of days ago. I am only a couple of episodes in, but its pretty good. I like the story and hi jinx being explored.

Wth so many "idol" dramas from Taiwan, the stories can be very predictable coupled with descent to very poor acting. Sometimes, the actors are really dancers who sing and act as part of the company. It's not their fault for doing their best.

Back to the series. The main dude and gal have huge flaws and huge hearts. One minute, they are acting with a lot of emotion towards the bad. The next, acts of kindness abound.

With only a couple of episodes under my belt, I have to say that this is one of the better idol dramas. Its over the top characters and storyline keep you enthralled.

The drama received the best ratings for a drama in 2008. I can see why. While the show was being aired, it showed up regularrly on the top in views on TW Youtube. I couldn't make out all the comments, but they were some pretty intense fans.

The version I am watching isn't the best quality. It looks like a recording from TV transferred straight to DVD. Its good enough for me. Maybe I should have waited a few more months for the China or Singapore versions. I think the one I have is the HK one. the Taiwan ones are major bucks.

My guess is that it'll be shown on KSCI in the LA area at the beginning of 2009.

Friday, September 19, 2008

hooray for hollywood = lack of asian

Originally posted on xanga.

So, I wrote a blog post about White TV a few months ago. After reading it. I really let hollywood off the hook.

We'll be seeing plenty of Asians in movies and tv series this fall. However, less than a handful will have any meaningful or speaking parts.

A recent YouTube video really brought things back into prospective for me.

I've always had trouble with the white guy saving the [Insert Asian culture here]. From Last Samurai, Rambo 4, and the most recent Forbidden Kingdom. It sorta like slap in the face. 21 was blatant in that it was based off a true story about asians, but the leads were made non asian.

Check out the video:

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Forbidden Kingdom - 功夫之王

Originally posted on xanga.

The Forbidden Kingdom (功夫之王) stars Jet Li, Jackie Chan, Li Bing Bing, Collin Chou, and Liu "Cyrstal" Yi Fei.  The story takes some of the concepts and characters from "The Journey West". Specifically, the Monkey King.

The Forbidden Kingdom stars Jet Li, Jackie Chan, Li Bing Bing, Collin Chou, and Liu "Cyrstal" Yi Fei. The story takes some of the concepts and characters from "The Journey West". Specifically, the Monkey King.

There is actually a lot of action in this film and features a lengthy dual between Jet Li and Jackie Chan. The main protagonist is a white guy from South Boston getting sucked into Ancient China. After seeing the "making of" on the DVD, I can see how the movie was sold to a studio to fund. Its the white guys saving the Chinese. Since they can't save themselves. I digress.

The special effects are a little above average as a lot of it sorta looked fake. But overall, the fighting was quite good.

As for the storyline, you'll have to get over it. It's not that great. But the movie is beautifully shot. Uses lush landscapes and it shot entirely in China.

I hope a sequel comes of this. I'd like them to take more chances the next time around. But it'll still be geared towards an American audience.

I know that Crystal Liu had spent some of her pre teen years in New York. Seems that she never completely mastered it as she has a "FOB" accent. I don't know if it is on purpose due to the style of the film, all the Asian ppl that speak Mandarin, have a slight accent. Like Li Bing Bing and the supreme emperor seemed to have dubbed voices. Crystal can be a cross over star if she's willing to sacrifice projects in China in order to spend time in the US. Who knows. I hope she does stay mainly in China as production there is faster and you would see more of her vs. in the US, where productions take a long time and seeing her on screen is alot less.

As for Jet Li and Jackie Chan, they seemed to play off each other and I hope for more of this in the future.

I'll try to get a hold of the DVD when I see it in the 4.99 and under bins.

The movie pay homage to the Shaw Bro movies in a quite a few ways. The opening credits takes you through a bunch of the Shaw Bros artwork from the 60s/70s. Crystal Liu says "Come Drink With Me" in one of the fight scenes. Makes no sense. Its just an homage including the name Golden Sparrow.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Knot (雲水謠/云水谣)

Originally posted on xanga.

I finally finished The Knot (雲水謠/云水谣) today. I had been trying to watch the movie with my wife on and off for like a year now. I finally stopped waiting and finished the last 75%.

The movie stars Aloys Chen (Chen Kun), Vivian Hsu, Li Bing Bing, and Isabella Leong.

The movie starts in what appears to be New York and than jumps to a few other places. Some of the places are Taipei, Shanghai, and Tibet. There are quite a few more, but I wasn't paying all that much attention when they moved around a lot during the war segments.

Maybe because I didn't watch the whole movie at once, I didn't feel the connection between the main characters. I didn't get the point of the film in its entirety. The movie was "epic" in that it spans many years and the main storyline spanned 15 or so years.

Love is born. Love is forced to separate. Love is forced to wait. Is Love patient enough to let your life go to waste?

I've always wondered how these stories go. The Love that is born is in mere moments, but the wait is so long. So long that it is forced to die or leads to a life of confinement.

I guess if these types stories are based on true events, I feel very sorry for the parties involved. The agony of waiting and waiting. Is it the right choice? Should you just move on? What's the threshold?

I am a fan and Vivian Hsu and Li Bing Bing. I was hoping for more of the story to develop for Vivian Hsu, but it didn't happen.

I also noticed some veteran Taiwanese actors during the Taiwan segments.

All in all, I would recommend this. The production value was very high and the acting was very nice. However, the story is a little suspect and leaves you wondering. And not in a good way.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Originally posted on xanga.

I happened on Lenka around the end of July on KCRW. I heard "We Will Not Grow Old" and was blown away. I had to wait a few days before the song listings were displayed. Once I found out, I wanted to purchase stuff. I found out that an Album is dropping on September 23rd. This doesn't always occur to me, but I also found her page on Facebook and became fan #141.

Lenka's "The Show" was recently featured as the iTunes download of the week. I think I missed her on the late nite shows.

Lenka Kripac was also featured on the a couple Decoder Ring songs for the Somersault Soundtrack.

I highly recommend Lenka if you're into the non idol type female voices with a alternative pop sensibility. I can't really describe it. You check her out yourself. In today's internet age, artist music videos are just one website away. Is there really a need for me to descibe it when you can hear her yourself?

Lenka's Website
Lenka's MySpace
Lenka's YouTube

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Google Chrome

Originally posted on xanga.

Wow, Google Chrome. I am a believer. It's really fast, clean and smart. I didn't have to figure it out. The way I use IE7 and FF3 were all in Chrome.

There are some rough edges that will make me still use FF3 and IE7.

Here are the things I don't like
1. Hotmail doesn't work
2. Yahoo Mail (Classic version) - almost all the "extras" in javascript like address complete do not work
3. Task Manager - there's a chrome.exe for each tab open. Seems to add up to more than my FF did before.
4. Xanga! I can't add links to my blog.
5. Youtube replay! FF3, its broken too. WTH! IE7, it works fine. Make it work!
6. Something tells me that some server in the cloud has every move I make in Chrome recorded
7. Downloads, can't control where they go, no save as or save target to

Check it out here:

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Legend of the Condor Heroes - 射雕英雄传 2008

Originally posted on Blogger.

Legend of the Condor Heroes/The Eagle Shooting Heroes is a 2008 wuxia series out of China. 50 episodes of madness I tell you. The story does deviate from the previous ones from 1994 and 2003. I can't really remember the 1983/1984 too well now.

But the characters and elements of this story from 金庸 was quite amazing. Even with the deviations, the story turned out ok.

Ariel Lin was a great 黃蓉. I thought was both cute and devious at the same time. 楊康 was actually correctly cast as opposed to the 1994 and 2003 ones. I really bought into it that he was evil but had that tint of wanting to reform.

This drama really played up the "soap opera" parts. 歐陽克 and 歐陽鋒's father/son relationship was played up the maximum and helped drive some of the emotional aspects of the serious. I was actually sad for 歐陽克 and was pulling for him at the end.

In all, this was a memorable drama that I'll watch again in the future.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

ABDC VMA Challenge

Originally posted on xanga.

I caught the last episode of ABDC season 2 online. With the Olympics going on, I didn't really care to know what was going on there. Maybe they'll have a hip hop dance event at the 2020 Olympics.

Saw some of the crews perform and was generally disinterested and trying to figure out if I liked it or not. The West Coast featured 3 groups and it was just too many people onstage.

It was good to see Distorted X back. I wasn't happy to see them go so soon the first time around.

But what really caught my eye was this VMA thing they had. Something about competing to perform at the VMA this week.

5 crews battle it out to see who can perform at this years VMA and to donate $25K to a charity of the groups choosing. I may have to check into a VMA again. I think its been a very long time since I've checked it out.

I am super excited to see Kaba Modern back in the fold. They made ABDC Season 1 for me. If it were not for Kaba and Jabba, we wouldn't be talking about a season 2, 3 or VMA Challenge.

Check out Kaba's full time here: