Wednesday, February 29, 2012

藍色矢車菊 - The Blue Cornflower - Upcoming

藍色矢車菊 (The Blue Cornflower) was released in Taipei last December, 2011. I just been waiting to post on it. The movie stars Chang Chen, Alex Fong, Fann Wong, and Jiang Yi-Yan.

From the trailer, it's a romantic comedy that brings people together through happenstance. I am always a sucker for these type of films. I'll look for it around LA on DVD.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Hangover Part II - 醉後大丈夫2

The Hangover Part II (醉後大丈夫2) is an 2011 film. The movie stars Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis. The supporting cast includes Justin Bartha, Ken Jeong, Jamie Chung, Mason Lee, and Paul Giamatti. The film is set in Thailand and its capital city of Bangkok.

The movie is like the prequel, the three guys wake up and have no clue what happened the night before and have to backtrack. This time, they are joined in by Ken Jeong for an extended period of time and Paul Giamatti makes them sweat a little. Jamie Chung plays Stu's fiance in waiting and the reason they are in Thailand. In the end, they make it to the wedding.

The movie rehashes what the prequel had and than some. Letting Ken Jeong loose was a good idea and he steals the movie when he's on. Jamie's turn as Stu's fiance is the highlight of the film. If you liked the first, you'll get a little of the same and a little extra in this film. The Asian factor is turned up because they are in Bangkok.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Full Contact - 俠盜高飛

Full Contact (俠盜高飛) is an 1992 film out of Hong Kong. The film stars Chow Yun-fat, Ann Bridgewater, Simon Yam, and Anthony Wong. This was one of Chow's last movies before heading out to the US in the 1990s. I watched this back in the 1990s in Mandarin dubbed, but recently in English dubbed. Directed by that era superstar, Ringo Lam.

Chow plays the a bouncer at local club in Malaysia. When his friend gets in trouble with a loan shark, Chow comes to the rescue but makes enemies with all of the underground. On the run, they hook up for a armed car robbery heist that goes wrong. Betrayed by one of his friends, he loses a couple of fingers and the love of his life. On the mend, Chow learns to do everything with his left hand and gets back into the game. However, his former best friend is now number two and with his girl. In the shadows, he starts to set in motion his revenge. The final showdown is pretty graphic and very much what made HK films so great from that era.

Chow plays a really really really bad ass. Someone that can fight and shoot a gun. So good, even when he loses fingers from his right hand, he learns with his left. The pace of the movie is hectic and character development is at a minimum, but its one of those guilty pleasure films. Every character here is over the top and you love it. I love it. Cheezy to the max and it makes no apologies. A must watch for fans of HK's silver era of films, the 1980s and early 1990s. A Ringo Lam film for the ages.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Cowboys and Aliens - 星際飆客

Cowboys and Aliens (星際飆客) is an 2011 film. The movie stars Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, and Olivia Wilde. Directed by Jon Favreau and released along with the other summer blockbusters.

Daniel Criag wakes up in the middle of the desert and doesn't remember who he is, but he can kick some @$$. He take out 2 scalpers and heads into town for a drink. There, he gets into a fight and is thrown into jail. That night, a bunch of towns folk are captured by strange flying things. Released, Craig shoots one of them down with something connected to his arm. Slowly but surely, he starts to regain his memory and the towns folk want to get their loved ones back. Among those taken is the local warlord's son. Together, they gather up a troupe to go and take out the aliens and get their loved ones back.

The movie moved quite slow in the beginning and the back story on Craig's character was slow to develop. However, when all the character development was done, the payoff with the action wasn't there. The fight between the humans and aliens should have been really one sided based on the aliens powers, but the humans come up with some "team" moves yo kill them. Not very believable and it slowly lose credibility with me. In all, it wasn't a good nor bad movie. Enjoyable to watch just once. No repeat viewing necessary.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Better Tomorrow 2010 - 英雄本色:無敵者

A Better Tomorrow 2010 (英雄本色:無敵者) is an 2010 film out of Korea. The movie stars Ju Jin-mo and Song Seung-hun. The supporting cast include Jo Han-sun and Kim Kang-woo. This movie is a remake of the 1986 Hong Kong film helmed by John Woo and starring Ti Lung, Chow Yun-fat, and Leslie Cheung.

Ju and Song play gun smugglers trying to get out of the business. When a up and comer betrays Ju, leading to his arrest and imprisonment in Thailand, Song takes revenge and kills those he believes are directly responsible. Back in Korea, Ju's long lost brother from the North is found and despised him for abandoning his family escaping to the South. The little brother refuses to reconcile and goes in the opposite direction and becomes a cop. Since Song's revenge rendered him cripple, he's taken on odd jobs to stay afloat, waiting for Ju to get back so they can get back on top. However, things go wrong on a huge arms deal and an climatic showdown is needed at the end to settle all scores.

This movie was very hard to watch. The story about brothers separated between North and South may be appealing to those in Korea, but I found it very hard to relate to. When the two brothers reunite and cannot reconcile, the story gravitated toward the cheezy. Is this a cultural thing? I can't claim to understand all the nuances of the story, so it was really hard to follow. The acting also seemed very forced and the "brotherhood" aspects didn't feel natural. In all, I watched it all because I thought it was going to end soon, but the movie went 2 hours long. I thought it was only going to be 90 minutues. Big difference and a big bore at the end. I would skip this and watch the original. I have put the orignal in my Netflix queue to get this taste out of my mouth.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Ugly Lost For Jeremy Lin

Jeremy Lin had his worst game as a starter in a lost to the Miami Heat last night. Jeremy Lin was 1 for 11 from the field with 8 points, 3 assists, 3 steals, and 8 turnovers. Not a good night.

Before the game, the Heat must have been waiting for Jeremy to finally show up. The only story to over shadow them this season.

The offense and defense where not in mesh last night.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Blowout Win For Jeremy Lin

The Jeremy Lin era moves to 9-2 with a stellar performance against the shorthanded Hawks. Jeremy Lin put in an efficient 17 points, 9 assists, 2 steals, 2 rebounds, and 4 turnovers. The Knicks lead by 25 points at halftime and up to 30 in the third. The game was essentially a blowout.

The game was rather boring even though Jeremy was in complete control. The bench came off and did good things as well.

Next up are the Miami Heat, whom have the leagues best record and are on a roll. This is the true test of the Jeremy Lin era. Beating a terrible road time in the Lakers is not surprising and beating the Mavs was conceivable since it was an home game. But this is Jeremy Lin going to Miami. Also looking forward to the All-Star weekend.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Moneyball - 魔球

Moneyball (魔球) is an 2011 film. The film stars Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill. The supporting cast includes Philip Seymour Hoffman, Chris Pratt, and a few retired baseball players turned thespians.

The Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane, played by Brad Pitt, has limited funds but wants to win badly. Seeing how the scouting team seems to put items like people's girlfriends as a evaluation point, he seems feed up. When Billy visits the Cleveland front office to offer a trade, he notices Peter Brand, played by Jonah Hill, help in a decision to stop a trade. Intrigued, Billy offers Peter the job as the Oakland A's assistant GM. Once Peter arrives in Oaktown, Billy uses his method of evaluating players based on their stats and salary to make some decisions. Essentially boiled down to "buying wins" with their limited funds. Billy feels push back from his scouts and the manager of the team, Art Howe, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman. As the season goes on, however, the A's turn it around and make the playoffs.

I don't know if you would like this movie if you didn't understand baseball. It has a lot of sport jargon that needs to be explained. Like ERA, OBA, etc. Things that only baseball freaks understand. Yes, there's the human element of Billy Beane's battle with old boys club of scouts that have run the show for generations. And there's the part of the movie where Billy balances being a exec of a MLB team and that of a father. And there's the human element of how the front office deals with its players whom are essentially assets for their business. All those make the movie something worth seeing as well. But not understanding essentially why the movie is called "Moneyball" may disappoint you. However, if you do understand, you NEED to see this film. And if you're a fantasy baseball junkie, you MUST see this film.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Melo-Lin Does Not Win

The Knicks fell to their cross town rivals, the Nets last night behind the 21 points, 9 Assists, 7 Rebound, 4 Steals, and only 3 turnover effort by Jeremy Lin before fouling out with a couple minutes left in the game. The Knicks roster also welcomed back NBA vets Carmelo Anthony and Baron Davis. This was also JR Smith's second game with the team. Injuries also sidelined Iman Shumpert and Billy Walker. The team that won 7 in a row and worked hard on defense was not present. Today's game wasn't as much about the offense as it was a lack of defense. The Nets were 15-31 from three point land. Anytime a team puts up 30+ 3 point shots and shoots 50% or higher, they are on fire. Tyson Chandler was also in constant foul trouble, making the paint easier to score in. The SI cover curse sprouting its ugly head? I don't think so and I hope it's just a matter of the Nets feeling responsible for putting Lin in the headlines all of 16 days ago. Deron Williams had one of his best games ever. Both starting point guards would foul of the game. Davis is no longer the explosive point guards that played on the Hornets and Warriors. Having seen him play at UCLA and than a couple of years as a Clipper, the ball movement on offense was gone during most of the 9 minutes he was in the game.

I missed out on watching the full Nets vs. Knicks on February 4. The game that sent Lin into the NBA stratosphere. However, after getting NBA League Pass, I was able to watch the game last week. Lin was a total surprise and the game announcers were totally surprised as well. I think the Nets have had to sit on this "Linsanity" the last week and everyone pointing to that game as his launching pad. And that Jeremy Lin did it against an All-star caliber point guard in Deron Williams. D. Will if I may seemed on a mission to go around as many Utah Jazz style screens to get off. They wanted to make Jeremy Lin work on defense so he wouldn't be able to just save it for the offense side. It worked in a sense, D. Will got his, 38 points and a win.

Iman Shumpert and Billy Walker being out of the game also seemed to mess with their defense. Shumpert is fast and has long arms that he's super good on defense. If they could play have played him on defense, it may have turned the tide. Who knows, it seems that after the Knicks rolled to a 10 point lead in the first quarter, they though the game was over. I started watching the Knicks from the Jazz vs. Knicks game on Febuary 6. Before that, I caught some of the game between the Knicks vs. Lakers on the Dec. 29 just to watch if Lin would play. I did, but it was for only a few minutes. So, my point of reference for the Knicks has started on February 6. Before, I don't know how they played. However, if you asked me how the Lakers or Clippers played, I could talk to you for hours on end about their offense and defense. Now, after Jeremy Lin's games, I can do something similar but only with the context of Jeremy Lin. One of the things I saw in last nights game and the game with NOLA, was that the timely shots did not fall and the defense relaxed when they had a lead. Hey, that sounds a lot like my Lakers.

With teams seeing more tape and more games of Jeremy Lin, he's still putting up good numbers. Today however, he wasn't getting to the rim like he usually does. The tough makes after contact in other games were not falling today.

I've watched the last couple of press conferences of Jeremy Lin. When the press from Taiwan asks questions in English, I am truly embarrassed. Their English is so poor. Today's was "not so good team" in reference to the Nets. Please Taiwan press, send people that can speak better English. Do you want o hire me?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Jeremy Lin Back On Track With 14 Assists

Yesterday, Jeremy Lin faced what many have said to be the toughest test of the Jeremy Lin era. The Dallas Mavs came to town with a 6 game win streak and appears to be getting into championship form. Jeremy Lin didn't seem too bothered and dropped 28 points, 14 assists, 5 steals, 4 rebounds, and his usual, 7 turnovers on the Mavs to help his Knicks win 104 to 97. The game seemed a game of runs as the Knicks had a 17-0 run in the first and the Mavs stormed back to lead by 10 in the third only to lead by 10 again in the fourth. Throughout, Lin's hand was all over the Knicks offense and defense. Jeremy played 45 and a half minutes. That's less than 2 and a half men...I mean minutes of rest! JR Smith also made his debut after playing in Zhong Guo since the lock out started. 6 different Knicks players scored in double digit, a common occurrence in the Jeremy Lin era. It's gonna be a crowded backcourt for the 2 and 3 spots. You have Fields, Shumpert, Smith, Novak, and Melo fighting for those minutes. Add on that you also have Davis coming back. Wow, the Knicks seemed loaded with talent. I would love to see a LA vs. NYC finals. However, my beloved Lakers can't seem to get things right on the road.

Since Friday nights lost, there's been a lot of things happening around the Jeremy Lin effect. ESPN didn't get away with calling Jeremy a "chink" with the Headline "Chink In The Armor". ESPN actually acted quite swiftly and seems to have "resolved" the situation. However, the apology from the ESPN newscaster Max Bretos of, "My wife is Asian, would never intentionally say anything to disrespect her and that community." does not mean one is immuned from saying racist things about Asians.

Jeremy Lin movie? Better not rewrite it for a "white" lead. Better make it with an "Asian" lead. I would love to see one of the YouTube guys do it like Ryan Higa, Kevin Wu, or Phillip Wang. Or even Freddie Wong or his bro Jimmy Wong. Make it happen. Dood, can Justin Lin direct? Dreams can come true...please?

SNL had to go pretty tasteless and drop as many racist slurs and epitaphs as you can imagine into the open sequence of this past weekend episode. As much as comedy is used to lesson the blow, its still racist in my book and I was offended. I don't expect a apology just like I didn't expect the guy in line with my daughter and I the other day to offer one after he dropped "I thought this was an English speaking.... store" under his breath.

People also seem to be "out to get" Jeremy Lin, basically crediting the SYSTEM for 90 to 100 percent of his success. Meaning, he's be nobody elsewhere, look at Golden State or the Rockets. Yupe, look at those Warriors and Rockets make their push for the 11 or 10 seed in the west. In the Knicks offense, he's free to survey and make things happen. Makes me happy to think whenever I play ball, I am just like Jeremy Lin!

Jeremy Lin and his old schools are making the rounds. As are anyone that brushed paths with him in the past. Even Spike Lee got in on the fun by wearing a Palo Alto HS jersey last Friday and a Harvard one yesterday. Amazing.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Thoughts On The 84th Academy Awards

Not sure why I even bother with the Oscars. The show and the nominees are usually not much interest to me. The show garners a lot of attention for Hollywood during the awards seasons. For some reason, the awards do give substantial boost to films that merit attention. Since I follow movies releases in the US, Taiwan, HK and Zhong Guo pretty regularly, I know what I want to watch. I've already seen the trailers, looked up the movies where possible, and made up my mind if I want to see them or not. In most cases, I'll miss them in the theaters and look for them on DVD/Blu-ray. Since I am from LA, I do not have problems renting US releases, I just need to be patient. However, the Taiwan, HK, and Zhong Guo releases require some hunting on my part.

Back to the Academy Awards. In general, the movies I've liked and the movies highlighted by awards do not align with my taste. The awards do not like comedies, sci-fi, and foreign films in general. This is a general analysis. I have no stats to back me up. However, I did do it for this year for some reason. The big four awards are Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress. Of the pictures, actors, director, and actresses nominated, I have barely watched the films. Of that lot, I've only seen Moneyball and Tree of Life. Why? They are out on DVD. I've elected NOT to watch The Help even though it has Emma Stone and Jessica Chastain.

Why would I care about the awards if I haven't seen the majority of the films? And I doubt I'll watch the majority of them when they do get to DVD/Blu-ray. Comparing it to the Box Office totals to those nominated from the big four awards, only The Help was in the top 20. Looking at the top 10 of 2011 in box office totals, I've seen all but Cars 2. I liked the majority of these films. But they were largely ignored by the Academy.

So what's my point? My point is that I could care less about the Oscars and I'll continue to ignore taglines of "Oscar" winner. I'll continue to ignore any awards in general and just watch what I want to watch. There, I've said it, I will continue to be selfish and do my own thing.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

First Lost Of Jeremy Lin Era

Jeremy Lin and the Knicks failed in there bid for 8 straight wins by falling to the woeful New Orleans Hornets, 89-85. Jeremy Lin had 26 points, 5 assist, 4 Steals, and 9 turnovers. Since Lin's emergence 12 days ago, Lin's battle with turnovers has been the glaring shortcoming for the breakout star in the making. Even he noted it with his tweet, "9 TOs wont get it done...gotta learn from my mistakes and move on to the next one. See you guys sunday!" A redhot Dallas Mavericks team makes their sole MSG appearance on Sunday. Better get those TOs down Jeremy!

On another front, Jeremy Lin's play has caught the US sports world by storm. Resulting in the NBA forcing Jeremy Lin into the NBA's All-Star weekend festivities. Jeremy Lin is set to participate in the Rising Stars Challenge and the Slam Dunk contest. I've been pretty disappointed with the All-Star game since it went to "cable" years ago. Even though I've been on "cable" since getting FiOS a couple of year ago, I still don't have much interest in it. BUT this year, me and my friends will get together during the weekend and make an event out of it. Yupe, the NBA did the right thing and got Jeremy Lin in there. He's not in the All-Star game, he's part of other stuff. So you don't have to get upset to call him an All-star, he's not yet. Maybe next year when he's a starter for the Lakers (HA! I can wish right?!)

In other news, Jeremy Lin will be gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated this week. In the wake of the annual swimsuit issues making the show biz rounds, Jeremy Lin's cover stole the thunder!

Not to be outdone, the Asia version of the TIME magazine will also feature Jeremy Lin on its cover. Unfortunately, I won't be able to get my hands on one without some work. The Asia edition is sold in Asia and I live in Los Angeles. I asked my friends that might be traveling through Asia to find one, but they are primarily sold in airports.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 - 暮光之城:破曉Ⅰ

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 (暮光之城:破曉Ⅰ) is an 2011 film. The movie stars Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner. The rest of the cast is too numerous to name, but I do want to note Anna Kendrick and Justin Chon making cameo appearances during the wedding scenes. This is the fourth installment in the current Twilight film series. If you haven't been living in a cave, you might have heard of this book/film series.

The movie starts off with the wedding between Bella and Edward. Jacob makes an appearance during the wedding before his typical anger tantrum requires him to jet. Edward takes Bella to a remote island in Brazil for their honeymoon. On their first night there, they consumate their marriage, but Edward damages the room like a rock star. From that point on, Edward refuses intimacy with Bella for fear of killing her. Bella however pushes the envelop without success. However, 14 days into the honeymoon, Bella becomes pregnant. Which is an mystery to the rest of the clan and they bring Bella back to the safety of the gloomy skies of Seattle again. Jacob finds out about this and finds Bella. The wolf brood find out and make it a mission to destroy the child. After a extended stand-off between the Cullens and the wolves, the baby is born and gets an imprint from Jacob. At the end of the movie, Bella is turned into an vampire. The easter egg at the end of the movie is of the Volturi being informed of an addition to the Cullen Clan.

As for a fourth in the installment, this was the least entertaining. As much as I like Bella and Edward, the wedding and honeymoon were really boring. I presume they wanted to develop their "love" relationship more onscreen. The flashback to a certain period in Edward's life away from Carlisle was a highlight that I hope they dive deeper into. The wolves being unreasonable seemed forced and I didn't really believe any harm was going to happen. Since I didn't read the books, I rely solely on the movie to develop the story for me. But since I like the mytos of this film series, I enjoyed it nonetheless. However, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone that hasn't seen the previous 3 film installments.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Jeremy Lin Leads Knicks To 7th Straight With 13 Assists

Jeremy Lin had another stellar night with 13 points with 10 points as the Knicks opened up a large lead in the second quarter and never looked back. Jeremy Lin did not even play in the fourth quarter in the blow out. However, Jeremy's nemesis, the turnover was hanging around as he ended the game with 6 turnovers.

I am actually extremely upset that NBA League Pass is whacked. Whacked because most of the games are NOT HD. Whacked because they didn't give me the MSG broadcast today, but the Sac town one. The production value was quite different and I was forced to watch "highlights" from the Kings.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Jeremy Lin Hits Game Winner! - Happy Va-LIN-tine's Raptors

Jeremy Lin adds another tag to his growing mystic. Cold blooded assassin. Last night in Toronto against the Raptors, Jeremy Lin had another ugly game, but calmed down enough in the second half to help lead his team from as many as 17 points down to a game winning shot with .5 seconds left. Yes, Jeremy Lin just added a game winning shot into his arsenal of weapons.

Just today, I went through mixed emotions about whether I should buy the NBA league pass. I can't watch the non-national televised games. With only 30 minutes left, I decided to purchase it. I was able to watch the second half and watched the first half on repeat. But it was the second half that mattered. Jeremy Lin rebounded from a semi-poor first half. Again, the critics will note his 8 turnovers as a black eye against what has been a great feel good story.

Because there was 2 days between the last game and now, there's been a lot of non game talk. Specifically about Jeremy Lin's ethnic background and why has he been overlooked for so long. Bad stereotyped jokes and the Larry Bird analysis were both thrown in his direction. Jeremy hasn't had to directly respond nor should he. The talk doesn't merit and good journalist asking him. And the third thing is the comparison to Tebow.

The history of racism against Asians in the US has a long history. The two major groups were the Chinese and Japanese. You have the Chinese Excursion Act and the Japanese internment camps. Both sore spots in US history. Subjects I studied and sought out while in college. In general, even today, when racism is evident against Asians in the US, there is little to no consequences. Many because the majority of those affect will not speak up against it or the numbers to make a difference are too little. However, with this generation, social media is now one of the major ways to get this stuff out there.

Back to the question of Jeremy Lin's ethnic background. As I mentioned in my other Jeremy Lin posts, it does matter that he's Asian. One born in the US, raised in the US, and educated in the US. Jeremy Lin is AMERICAN. Depending whom you're talking to, his ethnic background is either Taiwanese or Chinese. Because I also fall into that grey area of being both Taiwanese and Chinese, I see the arguments from both sides. But lets not forget that Jeremy Lin is first and formost an AMERICAN. And because he's the first ASIAN-AMERICAN in this generation to be doing this, it has and will continue to attract interest. Not only in the US, but throughout Asia. Taiwan and China are not the only countries in ASIA that have picked up Knicks games.

In general, I normally stay away from calling things, people, and anything American or even Western. Unfortunately, both terms are so ingrained into our nomenclature and culture lexicon that using either terms gets the message across.

Jeremy Lin has not only been a Godsend for the NBA, its been rude "look at us" to the rest of the US. "Look at us" is all of the Asians that had to endure generations of ridicule and stereotyping on the athletic fronts. In the next few generations, you'll see more and more Asians emerge on the sports front. By the numbers, it won't be a lot nor will it ever get close to a majority. You're more likely to see mixed ethnic individuals than for a lack of a better term, "full" Asian make it.

Sad that my jerseys are still weeks away. I don't wan the cheap cafepress junk with a various "LIN" stuff on it. I already regret never pulling the tigger on the Golden State Lin jersey.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Shaolin - 新少林寺

Shaolin (新少林寺) is an 2011 film out of Hong Kong. The movies stars Andy Lau and Nicholas Tse. The supporting cast includes Fan Bing-Bing and Jacky Wu. For some reason, they list Jackie Chan as an cameo. Jackie Chan's role is much more than an cameo. The abbot of Shaolin appeared in the first Shaolin temple movie of 1982 alongside Jet Li.

After the Qing Dynasty, there was this Warlord Era in Zhong Guo. During that time, warlords fought for territory amongst each other. Andy Lau plays one of these warlords and is shown to do anything to retain his power, even take the life of his shown brother. Nicholas Tse plays Andy's right hand man. Fan Bing Bing plays Andy's wife. On a night when Andy was to rid himself of his shown brother, he is betrayed by Nicholas. Whom takes the power of both warlords in one night. Andy's chased down by men trying to eliminate him and escapes to Shaolin with his injured daughter. However, the mortal wounds are too much and the daughter dies. Andy is than taken in by Jackie's character, a cook at the foot of Shaolin Mountain. It is there that Andy comes to grips with the consequences of his power struggle and joins the monk-hood of Shaolin. However, when Nicholas is found to be an evil general causing innocents to die, Andy steps out to make a difference.

The movie was well made and well paced. But I had very little emotional attachment to Andy's character. Through the reform, I didn't care. Which made for a long 2 hour watch. Long 2 hour watch. I am saying it again, 2 plus hours! Wow, they could have done this movie in one and a half hours. Because there was so little character development, many extra exercises were forced on the audience to see the just how bad or good one of the characters are.

As an high profile movie that was even shown in the theaters in the US, this movie was well made and had extremely good looking actors. However, the entertainment value could have used some help and the length trimmed. In all, I can't recommend this movie due to its excessive length in light of the story told.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Warrior - 戰士

Warrior (戰士) is an 2011 film. The movie stars Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton. The supporting cast includes Nick Nolte, Jennifer Morrison, and Frank Grillo.

Tom Hardy plays a ex-marine that's gone back home, named Tommy. Tommy's return home isn't warm or fuzzy. In fact, it's a shock to his formally abusive father, Paddy, played by Nick Nolte. Tommy joins a former boxing gym turned MMA gym around the corner to start working out. While there, Tommy knocks out one of the top 10 fighters in his weight class and it goes "viral". From that notoriety, he's asked to join a grand prix type tournament put on by the Tap Out folks. In another neighborhood, Paddy's other older son, Brendan is an school teacher trying to make ends meat. Brendan looks for a second job and ends up losing his primary job when he's beat up bad. Brendan was a former primetime MMA fighter that didn't have much success. Now, a bit older and in need of money, he travels the night circuits to make money. When he's about to lose his house to foreclosure, Brendan also joins the Grand Prix. It's only when the brackets are annouced that Brendan and Tommy see they're fighting each other.

Like many people in the 1990s, I rented and watch UFC 1 and UFC 2. They were such spectacles back then. Settling the age old questions of Karate vs. Sumo and so forth. However, when the grapplers took over, I quickly found it boring and stopped watching. However, face forward to the mid 2000s. Reality shows like the Ultimate Fighter and the IFL started to sprout up on cable. Eventually leading to EliteXC being on CBS. Since around 2007, I've be a regular follower. I follow MMA like I follow the NBA and NFL. I follow MMA more than MLB now. As I haven't had any martial arts training since elementary school, I am only a fan of MMA. But I am a very knowledgable fan. I pretty much can hang with any regular MMA fan for hours. The movie from the MMA front was pretty entertaining. It was actually pretty realistic and they had true life MMA fighters in some of the fights.

In all, the movie was very good. It's an story of two brothers that had a family tragedy, moved on in their lives, and are trying to reconcile their relationship in the aftermath of a reformed abusive alcoholic father. The MMA just adds to the uniqueness of the film and the glue to the overall storyline.