Thursday, April 30, 2009

對不起,我愛你 - Su Mi Ma Sen, Love

對不起,我愛你 (Su mi ma sen, Love) is a 2009 film out of Taiwan starring Chie Tanaka and Wu Huai-Chung. They actually play themselves in the film.

Chie Tanaka, hot off the heels of Cape No. 7 is a model in Taipei from Japan that goes to Kaohsiung for a day off to recharge. Wu is a movie store and parts worker that journals his life. Wu noticed Chie at the movie store and chase begins. There is a certain purse that gets lost, a $500 dollar bill that plays into "fate". They meet up again in a church and the day spent around Kaohsiung begins. Along the way, they talk, get to know each other. Do they fall in love at the end? You'll have to watch and see.

Running in a brisk 73 minutes, it was a short and sweet film. I'll be honest, I was quite bored at the 45 minute mark and was ready to stop. But the last portions of the film brought it home and made up for it. It's a slow film, no doubt about it, but it's with a purpose.

Chie's Chinese seems to be better in this film, than in Cape No. 7. I wonder how much longer she's gonna want to do Chinese films.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lady Snowblood - 修羅雪姬

Lady Snowblood (修羅雪姬) is a 1973 film out of Japan.

The movie is a revenge assassin movie that influenced The Princess Blade and Kill Bill.

Lady Snowblood is out to avenge the four responsible for the murder of her father and rape of her mother. Trained for revenge and also a skilled pick pocket, Lady Snowblood isn't one you want to mess with.

As revenge movies go, this was pretty good. She got to all 3 of them as the mom killed one of them already before she was born.

The movie inspired Quentin Tarantino in certain parts of Kill Bill. The Princess Blade is said to be a remake on the plot side, but its based in 2076 (200 years after Lady Snowblood) and the revenge is very different.

The movie ran long for me. I think the last story arc was the weakest and should have been shortened. It was good enough for me to want to check the sequel.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Amazing Race 14 - Tammy and Victor - Leg 10

I caught 45 minutes of Leg 10 of Season 14 of The Amazing Race this past Sunday.

Tammy and Victor's Chinese did shine again in this leg. But they didn't shine during the challenges. The challenge I started on was finding the foot massage parlor which they came in 3rd. And the last challenge of syncro diving or 400 meter relay. They came in 3rd too.

But there's a twist! No one was eliminated. Hopefully, Victor's leg cramps won't prevent him from running. Eat some bananas!

Looks like Leg 11 is again in China. But it doesn't mention the city, but the task looks like getting dressed up in Classic Chinese Opera gear and looking for stuff.

Drama too! However, the drama was barely on Tammy and Victor. Good Luck.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Beatbox Battle Online World Championship

Daichi, a 18 year old beatboxer out of Japan has been making the rounds with his entry for the "Beatbox Battle Online World Championship". First in the Asian-American blogs and than on digg.

I remember beat box battles on the school yard play ground back in the 80s. It's nice to see it back in the public conscience again like it has.

While looking at the other wild card entries, I noticed Adiao. Adiao is a 15 year old female beat boxer thats showing some serious skillz.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

赤壁:決戰天下 - Red Cliff II

赤壁:決戰天下 (Red Cliff II) is 2009 film directed by John Woo. Starring Chen Chang, Lin Chi-Ling, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, and Wei Zhao. I had watched Part I last summer and had a first thoughts and review posts.

Red Cliff is based on the Battle of Red Cliffs. Because the storyline has so many characters and Kingdoms, I'll leave it to you to read up on wikipedia. I'll just be talking about what I thought of the film here.

Red Cliff Part 2 starts as Cao Cao's armies descend on the Red Cliffs. Zhou Yu and Zhugu Liang prepare for the coming onslaught. Some plot points that I thought were interesting. The plague victims from Cao Cao's camp are sent to Zhou Yu's camp. The plague plays a major point in the storyline. Cao Cao is reputed to be a wife stealer. Stealing the wives of his conquered victims. In this case, Cao Cao wants Zhou Yu's wife. There is espionage from both camps but Zhou Yu gets the better end of the deal. Zhuge Liang fortune telling turns the tide. Lin Chi-Ling is still hot in this movie.

The battle of the Red Cliff doesn't actually seem that intense. The graphics are good, but you can tell it is computer generated. The fighting incorporates wuxia elements for the generals. But supporting people do die. There's soccer?

Red Cliff Part 2 was awesome and it's a good sign for the Chinese movie audience and film makers. The sign that these kind of movies can be made and that the audience will support it financially.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

赤壁 - Red Cliff Part 1

赤壁 (Red Cliff Part 1) is 2008 film directed by John Woo. Starring Chen Chang, Lin Chi-Ling, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, and Wei Zhao. Initially thought of as one film when filming began. It was split up into 2 movies. Having seen both, the split was logical and its better as two movies versus a long condensed version. I had watched it last summer and had a first thoughts post.

Red Cliff is based on the Battle of Red Cliffs. Because the storyline has so many characters and Kingdoms, I'll leave it to you to read up on wikipedia. I'll just be talking about what I thought of the film here.

Red Cliff Part 1 has the job of introducing the cast and their importance to the story. So, there's a lot of character development here versus Part 2. But there's just as much action, if not more than Part 2. Two major battles are shown. One in the beginning where Zhao Yun saves Liu Bei's son. The other being the initial engagement between the allied forced against Cao Cao.

Through it all, characters are popping up and right. You do need to have a general knowledge of that era to understand the movie better. But pop up they do. This film also introduces Lin Chi-Ling's acting debut. Lin's been a top model and spokeperson for over 10 years now. But finally making the turn to acting now. And a good roll it is.

Takeshi Kaneshiro plays the iconic Zhuge Liang. Zhuge is like the "sherlock" of the Chinese world. Known for being an expert strategist and intelligence beyond all those around. Zhuge Liang is a reference in Chiense pop culture all the time.

Tony Leung's character of Zhou Yu does creep to the top of importance and prominence as Part I ends.

In all, I thought Red Cliff Part I was a great introduction to the characters and the eminent battle of Red Cliffs.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Best Job in the World Contest

If you haven't heard about "The Best Job In the World" contest, just means you don't watch that much local news. Since it's announcement when 2009 started, it has received thousands of submissions.

Two of the finalist hail from Taiwan and China.

Clare Wang is a 30 year old interpreter from Taiwan. From the entry and blogs, Clare's English is quite strong and I can hardly notice an accent.

Yi Yao is a 30 year old from Guangzhou China. Yi is into scuba diving and other water activities. From Yi's entry, Yi has a heavy Chinese accent when speaking English and his blog is in Chinese.

Of the two, my vote is for Clare Wang because her English is better and she runs a blog in English.

As for the chance of Clare or Yi winning? Its a none for Yi and maybe on the radar for Clare. My guess is that winner will be white and female. They are picking the winner in less than 2 weeks. As much as Clare and Yi pimp that they'll reach 1+ billion. I think only a few thousand will have interest in reading their blog from China.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

青少年哪吒 - Rebels of the Neon God

Rebels of the Neon God (青少年哪吒) is a 1992 film out of Taiwan.

The film in my interpretation is a take on religion in Taiwan. There are 3 main characters. The first is a school boy, the second is a hood living with his brother, and the last is a skate rink girl looking for love with her body. The school boy has failed to get into a school (I'll assume college) and is in a cram school for the entrance exams. The school boys parents have paid for the cram school and the school boy isn't cooperating. The hood lives with his career minded older brother in an apartment is is perpetually flooded because of a backed up drain. The skate rink girl seems to find comfort in the company of men. All their live are intertwined in an interesting way.

The movie is quite slow. The plot is never really explained much. The characters seem to drift through the days in a haze. There is love, betrayal, violence, and revenge. Yet, most of it takes a lot of brain power. Hey, but I was ready for it. I wasn't unprepared. I knew it was going to be a hard movie to watch, follow and eventually try to make sense out of.

Was I glad I watched it? Yes. Would I watch it again. Nope. Not even while I am washing the dishes.

I got it via Netflix.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Connected - 保持通話

Connected (保持通話) is a 2008 film out of Hong Kong starring Louis Koo and Barbie Hsu. This is actually a remake a Hollywood film called Cellular. I have not seen Cellular so I cannot do a comparison.

Connected starts by doing a little background feature on Barbie Hsu as Grace Wong and Louis Koo as Bob. We start with Grace as a single mother taking her daughter to school and gets kidnapped and finds a way to dial out. We than break to Bob as a collections drone who's a deadbeat Husband and Father. Bob's son is on his way out of the country with his sister. On the call, we find out the Bob's wife has left him and that Bob's not very good at keeping his promises. Grace can only dial out and her dialing is random, so she has to stay connected to the person on the other end or she will not be able to call that person again. Grace and Bob are connected via fate and via the call as Grace calls Bob.

The fun starts from there and its a pretty wild ride and I enjoyed it a lot. Louis takes up the majority of the screen time. Louis does a good job as a timid and un-action oriented Bob. Who's trying to see his son and save Grace's family.

I haven't seen Cellular before so I have no clue as to how much was taken from the original. But they only needed the main plot points to make a good movie.

You should check it out when it makes it to the USA on April 28th, but you can get an imported version via Ebay if you can't wait.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Amazing Race 14 - Tammy and Victor - Leg 9

I've caught about 3 of the 9 episodes for Amazing Race Season 14 so far. I've enjoyed it so far because of Tammy and Victor. The sibling pair are Chinese American and in episode 9, let there Mandarin Chinese shine. Both are ABCs and proud to be Chinese American. I am hoping I can get my two daughters to speak conversationally in Mandarin Chinese when they get older.

For Leg 9, they landed in Guilin, China. When I saw they were headed to Guilin, it brought back fond memories of my 2 rain soaked days there on a "Super Vacation" tour back in June 2000. My father also happened to be born there as well.

Tammy and Victor basically carried the other 2 tag along teams this week. Leg 10 is going to have them trek to Beijing. Victor also happened to be at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Hope they do well and come out on top. Of the remaining 4 teams, Asian or not, I think they've shown the best attitude and respect for the other teams.

Tune in and cheer on Tammy and Victor.

Natural City - 真愛傾城

Natural City (真愛傾城) is a 2003 film out of Korea. Natural City is a science fiction film in line with Blade Runner or Brazil. Robots, androids an cyborgs or common and technology is advanced. But there is still a dark and luminous feel to the story.

This movie is no Blade Runner or Brazil. However, when I rented this back in 2004 with bad subtitles and all, I was quite impressed. I had not seen science fiction from Korea and didn't know what to expect. I was quite impressed with the movie as a science fiction film. However, whereas I watch Blade Runner and Brazil about once every few years or so, this won't be among them. The characters flaws are quite exaggerated and there's no one I felt connected to when the movie was over. I was ok, its over, nice special effects. Nice city, nice futuristic city, but I didn't care much to enter that world again.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Casshern - 複製人卡辛

Casshern (複製人卡辛) is a 2004 film out of Japan. Based on a anime from the 1970s.

The movie is about humans that have evolved called Neo-Humans. Its a war between the two and its come down to a few bit players as portrayed in this film

Lots of nice special effects, a la 300, but the story is totally confusing. The characters aren't developed enough and I liked the premise. Just wanted more. Maybe this was better suited as a trilogy or something more. Some more character development.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

愛的發聲練習 - My So-Called Love

愛的發聲練習 (My So-Called Love) is 2008 movie out of Taiwan starring 大S, 彭于晏 and 張孝全. I had mentioned that I was looking forward to it last November, here.

The movie starts in the present time and than flashes back in time. Part of that flashback includes a flashback of 大S's mother abandoning her. Than the flashback moves to 大S in High School (I am predicting her Senior year in High School). 大S is looking for a place to stay and suddenly, gets a call from her mother. They reunite where 大S now has a sister and a step-father. But things do not stay sane and the step-father ends up being a peeping tom. 大S falls for Liam and they end up moving into a apartment together. 大S passes the exam for entry into a college, but not Liam. Liam ends up going to the army. Finances are not good. Loneliness creeps its way into everyone's lives. 大S cheats and the exploration into a self destructive life begins.

The movie was a major let down for me. There wasn't much hype about it, but I was looking forward to it. What was I expecting? I can only guess that I was expecting it to be good. Which it wasn't. It was slow, overly sensual (I didn't see a reason behind it), confusing, and generally morbid. 大S is the main star and her childhood paints a picture of her fear in dealing with issues and the ability confront things that would be considered "good" for her. On the verge of "happiness", 大S exhibits unexplainable self destructive behavior.

The movie has good music and is very stylish. But that can't make up for a slow plot, uninviting characters, and a morbid tone to the movie.

It's for import where you can find it and it comes with English subs.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Champions - 奪標

Champions (奪標) is a 2008 movie out of Hong Kong. It stars Dicky Cheung and a gazillion others. I am surprised that the movie was released after the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but it also makes sense.

The movie is about a athletics department sending their athletes to a sports completion. The 1936 Olympics. So, the the story goes into song and dance about what seems like propaganda for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Power of Chinese Athletics is a running theme. The story also has the athletes having to make enough to pay their way. There's a lot of fighting. A lot of drama. A lot of bad guys.

I would rate this film in the super cheesy category for its propaganda type theme for athletics. Cheese for the romances and bromances. Cheese in the acting. Dicky Cheung is not looking like a early 20s guy anymore.

Its also got like 5 sub plots that extend the movie to 2 hours. Bring a notepad to keep track of all the characters and their relations to Dicky.

Not a great film. Not even a good film. But its worth a watch, but just once.

Friday, April 17, 2009

星月無盡 - Our Island, Our Dreams - Upcoming

星月無盡 (Our Island, Our Dreams) is being released in Taiwan next Friday, April 24, 2009.

From the trailer, it looks like the focus is on the city next to an army base in Taiwan. In Taiwan, you serve in the army for 2 years and go back home. For the citizens of the town, people roll in and out of the city, you don't care to build a relationship with the army folk. Especially a dating relationship. Because they'll leave after they serve their time.

Looks interesting and I hope it makes it to LA with English Subs (I don't understand Taiwanese) soon.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Miami Vice - 邁阿密風雲

Miami Vice is a 2006 film starring Colin Farrell, Jamie Foxx and Gong Li directed by Michael Mann.

Gong Li plays the lover of a drug lord named Isabella, as well as a first or 1.5 generation Chinese Cuban. Apparently, Isabella and the drug lord, Montoya have a very open relationship. Because Isabella starts a very overt love affair with Colin Ferrell's character, Sonny Crockett.

In essence, Gong Li's character of Isabella is a fierce financial advisor. Very much a dragon lady role. Gong Li's English accent is unique as well. I recall that Gong Li was taught to have a Spanish accent while speaking English. Since Gong Li's English isn't an American accent, that made for an interesting mix. I wonder if Gong Li's picked up any Singlish.

I was a big fan of Gong Li back in the 90s. Since the late 90s, I've not been to interested in her projects.

As for Michael Mann, this was a disappointing feature. Heat, Ali, and Collateral are among some of the better films I've seen.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bangkok Haunted - 鬼債

Bangkok Haunted (鬼債) is a 2001 film out of Thailand. The film is actually 3 story arcs told by 3 women sitting in a cafe. One of the stories was filmed by Oxide Pang of the Pang Brothers.

The first story is about a drum. The second about a love potion. The the last is a police investigation.

All three story have nothing to do with each other. They also show different types of people and the different lifestyles of people.

I didn't care much for the film as I didn't know what was going on a lot. Confusing and forgettable.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

宅變 - The Heirloom

The Heirloom (宅變) is a 2005 film out of Taiwan starring Terri Kwan and Joseph Chang. The movie is a suspense and horror film rolled up into one.

5 very trendy and beautiful young professionals are featured in this film. Terri Kwan and Jason Chang are a couple and decide to get engaged and stay in Taiwan. Jason is the last heir to his families house. But his family has a dirty little secret. The family has in the past used ghost to gain fortune. However, the generation before, the cycle seemed to be broken and the fortune ended. And that's where the mystery and confusion start.

I liked the film in regards to its complicated storyline. This isn't your typical horror film as the cover suggest, but it builds up to the explanation of why things are happening and how to stop it. However, I was quite confused a number of times and had to re-watch a bunch of scenes to understand it completely. There were plot holes, but it didn't affect the over all story.

With this, Double Vision, and Silk, I believe the Taiwan horror suspense genre has curved out a very unique pattern. That it's more about the story and reveal than the slash and guts of things.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The One-Armed Swordsman - 獨臂刀

The One-Armed Swordsman (獨臂刀) is a 1967 Shaw Bros. film starring Jimmy Wang Yu directed by Chang Cheh.

The movie starts with Jimmy's father sacrificing his life to save the master. To repay this debt, the master accepts his elementary age son as his student. Fast forward to when Jimmy is a teenager. Jimmy still performs servant duties and is an excellent student of his teachers martial arts. But he is picked on by the master's daughter and other students from rich families. A duel is set between Jimmy and the other student. Jimmy shows his martial arts is far superior to all three of them combined. But the master's daughter in a fit of rage, chops off Jimmy's right arm. Jimmy gets away and is saved by a passing farmer girl.

Nursed back to health and without an arm, Jimmy accepts life as a peasant. But inside, Jimmy still longs for something more. And that eventually leads to the creation of a new style of martial arts based on a short sword and his one arm.

I thought the movie was great and the extras from the Dragon Dynasty release were excellent.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Chinese Language TV in Los Angeles, April 2009

So, a few things have happened for free Chinese TV in LA in the last couple of months.

18.6's TopTV is off the air. I think it was around early March that I noticed.

There is a new Chinese station on 44.7. Unfortunately, I can't find any information on it. Seems to be a channel from Taiwan.

18.8 and 44.6 have been awesome these last few months. Looking forward to 44.7 being regular.

Related Posts:
Chinese Language TV in Los Angeles
Chinese Language TV in Los Angeles, Part 2
Chinese Language TV in Los Angeles, Part 3
Chinese Language TV in Los Angeles, May 2009
Chinese Language TV in Los Angeles, October 2009

Drink Drank Drunk - 千杯不醉

Drink Drank Drunk (千杯不醉) is a 2005 movie out of Hong Kong starring Daniel Wu and Miriam Yeung. Miriam Yeung plays a frugal beer girl that hasn't gotten drunk before. Daniel Wu plays a world travel trained in classical French food. When they meet and fall in love. They must reconcile each others dreams and the reality of settling down.

I thought it was a touching film, but ultimately was a let down because I didn't fully believe the romance. The romance kind of just happened. There didn't seem like there was any chemistry between the two.

Also, the cover is whacked. Miriam's clothes never get that revealing. Also, I think its just Miriam's head photoshopped onto the cover body. Really bad cover. Selling something that never really happens.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

敲敲愛上你 - Knock Knock Loving You - Upcoming Part 2

I wrote about 敲敲愛上你 before here and here.

It's a day away from debuting in Taiwan (April 12). But the hype and promos for it are abundant on youtube. From the looks of a 9+ minute preview, the drama looks like it'll go from Shanghai to Taipei. With Jacqueline Li in Shanghai and Coco Jiang in Taipei. The three main leads are apparently in all the locations.

I am now looking forward to this more and more. So, I am guessing I'll get my hands on this in June or so here in LA.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Ip Man - 葉問

Ip Man (葉問) is a 2008 film starring Donnie Yen, Simon Yam, Lin Xiong Dai, Hiroyuki Ikeuchi, and Lam Ka-Tung.

Ip Man is a movie about the Ip Man's life in China around the time before and during Foshan's Japanese occupation of the Second Sino-Japanese War. The movie starts with a tranquil Foshan. Where people are well off and study martial arts as a hobby. Ip Man, played by Donnie Yen, has a son and wife and seem well to do. Ip Man does not have a job and trains in martial arts as a hobby. Apparently, everyone in Foshan recognizes him as the best fighter. I see this when some thugs burst into town and beat up all the heads of the martial art schools. Its up to Ip Man to show these thugs the exit. The movie than moves to the Japanese occupation and just how bad it is there. Ip Man and Wife are kicked out of their nice home and forced to pawn all belongings just for rice. Ip Man finally has to get a job and falls into a underground tournament set up by the commanding General. Ip Man eventually beats everyone and heads off to Hong Kong.

If you read the history of Ip Man and than watch this film, you'll know that its pretty much just using Ip Man, Foshan, and Wing Chun. Because, the movie and the facts don't jive. Putting that aside, the movie is half action and half drama. When the fighting is on, its on. Its crushing, has nice editing and is on point. When the drama is on, its to lead up to the fighting. You put those together and you've got a fighting movie that's entertaining and emotional.

It's a well made film and the English subtitles came in handy when they used paragraphs to advance the story and when there was Japanese dialogue.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

絕命派對 - Invitation Only - Upcoming

絕命派對 (Invitation Only) is being released in Taiwan on April 17th.

The movie looks like a slick horror slasher film that plays off a "Jason" vibe.

From the looks of the trailer, I'll probably be skipping this one, but since its a Taiwan movie, I thought I give it a holla here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Transporter - 玩命快遞

Transporter (玩命快遞) is a 2002 film starring Jason Statham and Hsu Chi directed by Corey Yuen.

The movie is about Jason. Jason plays a transporter. Someone who delivers stuff on his terms. Jason is ex-military and has skillz. Lots of skillz to pay the billz.

When he delivers a clients package. The receiver makes him an offer that's against his rules. Like he says himself, once you break the rules, things go bad. He breaks the rules and gets involved with Hsu Chi. He than takes on his new client who wants him dead. Than there's the police. Hijinx and lots and lots of action. Hsu Chi and Jason get it on too.

In the end, it was a guilty pleasure. Not a film to watch again, but enjoyable the first time around.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

玩命關頭4 - Fast And Furious - Box Office

Fast And Furious (玩命關頭4) took the number one box office postion for the latest weekend in the USA. Coming in at a cool $70,950,500 (USD) for Apr 3 - 5 weekend of 2009. A little lower than the estimated $72 million from Sunday night.

That's not a bad take for a fourth installment. What I am happy about is that Justin Lin is the director. I wrote about this back in February. This is just what Justin needs to help keep him making his indie stuff.

It's set for a April 17th release in Taiwan. Good luck to it in Justin's birth country.

The Tiger Blade - 魔劍刑警

The Tiger Blade (魔劍刑警) is a 2005 film out of Thailand. It's an action film that was dreamed up to rival b action films in the US and something different for the Thai audience.

The main story is a spy company who assist police to take down criminals. The group is set to help the police take down a rebel warlord. The people that are faced can have charms that prevent a gun from firing against him. From being harmed by bullets.

The action is elementary and suppose to be stylistic. However, the majority of the movie is quite cheezy and the plot has many holes.

This doesn't fall under the quilty pleasure category. It falls under the, I can't believe I just spent 90 minutes on it, I want my time back.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Bloody Ties - 死生決斷

Bloody Ties (死生決斷) is a 2006 film out of Korea. A unscrupulous police officer is trying to bust up a drug ring in his city and uses a street level drug dealer to get what he wants.

This movie had quite a few disturbing themes. Both characters featured are scum bags and there is no redeeming quality to their lives. At the end of the film, I hated both of them and wish them the worst of luck. I am surprised I made it to the end.

Bloody Ties and City of Violence are the main reason I haven't watched as many Korean movies since early 2007. There's nothing that makes me like the main characters. If that is the case, why make the investment to watch this crap?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Born Into Brothels - 小小攝影師的異想世界

Born Into Brothels (小小攝影師的異想世界) is a 2004 documentary about children of prostitutes in Calcutta's red light district.

The movie documents the lives of a handful of children that started taking a photography class. The assignments were to take pictures of their surroundings. The movie than dives deeper into each children's lives and tells their family life. The movie than documents the photography class teacher's efforts to get these kids into schools.

Its a touching documentary as you see the kids take their pictures and share them with the class, teacher, and world. The other side of the story is that these kids are children of prostitutes and their lives are tough.

There's a lot of emotions when the ghetto parts of society are highlighted. A range of emotions that are both uncomfortable and helpless.

I guess, that's what documentaries are suppose to do. In that sense, this was a good one.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End - 神鬼奇航:世界的盡頭

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End - 神鬼奇航:世界的盡頭 is a 2007 film starring Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, and Chow Yun-Fat.

Chow plays a pirate warlord based in Singapore named Captain Sao Feng.

If you watched the previous two Pirates installments, this one is no different. The Chinese in Singapore are dirty and ugly and have no honor.

If you're Chow fan, this is not a memorable role or film. And if you're Chinese, this is not a depiction you'd like very much.

I vaguely remember that there was some controversy about the depiction of Singapore in the 18th century by the current 21st century residents. Unfortunately, a quick Google search didn't net any good results.

You can rent it on Netflix.

Friday, April 3, 2009

痞子英雄 - Black & White - Upcoming

痞子英雄 (Black & White) is a highly anticipated Taiwanese Police Drama starring Vic Zhou and Janine Chang.

The trailer looks pretty awesome and I look forward to what looks like the "Miami Vice" of Taipei.

Set to broadcast on Saturday, April 11 in Taiwan on PTS. I'll probably have to wait until the summer to get my hands on it here in LA.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Departed - 無間道風雲

The Departed is a 2006 film starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, and Vera Farmiga. Based conceptually on the 2002 HK film, Infernal Affairs.

The high concept of the high is that the cops and mob send a mole into the others system at a young age. For the cops, a young recruit is asked to drop out and infiltrate the mob to relay information back to the captain. Vice versa for the mob. They get a young mobster to join the police department and pass information along so the mob boss can keep from getting busted.

Both "The Departed" and "Infernal Affairs" plays this concept.

But The Departed is based in Boston and with the Irish Mob. The undercover cop is played by Leonardo DiCaprio and the undercover mobster is played by the Matt Damon.

There are many many similiarities between the two films, but they are really different at the same time. Independently, The Departed can stand as a good film.

I however did watch Infernal Affairs back in 2002 and was completely blown away. I ended up watching the film with my wife and friends within a few weeks. It was one of those, we got to watch it together films so we can talk about it.

So, watching the departed and knowing many of the plot points, it wasn't as exciting and I wasn't in suspense.

However, I don't think you can watch both. You need to watch one or the other. Pick which one and don't compare.