Annyeong!

So, I know I haven’t posted anything in awhile.  I’ve been busy, and to be perfectly honest, it’s a pain in the butt to get things together and post without an internet connection at home.  But, I find myself needing to share a little with anyone who’s willing to listen.

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K-Album Review: A.Tract – 1st Maxi Single

I happened across this band while I was searching for some Korean music that’s NOT pop/dance/hip-hop.  Of course, I’m already a fan of Yoon Do-Hyun Band, San-Ul-Lim and other great rock bands, but I always keep my eyes open for new ones and here’s a winner.  A.Tract. Or A-Tract.  Whichever.  They use both.  The average age of this band? Seventeen and a half.  But you’d never know it by listening to their music.  For Korea, they have a very fresh sound and I was pleasantly surprised by their album.

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Korean Drama Review: Jumong

Makes me want to learn archery…

Well, after 81 episodes, 6 months, and oodles of melodrama Jumong is finally done

!  (This drama originally aired in Korea in 2006.) I have been borrowing this from the local library and had to wait between discs a lot, sometimes even forgetting what was going on in the show.  As one of the most watched and most loved shows in Korea I had to watch it.  I’m glad I did too, even  if I fell asleep a lot and fast forwarded quite a bit.  Haha…  I didn’t know what I was in for when I first started.  I only knew that it was a historical drama and was very popular.  I didn’t even know how LONG it was!  Aigoo!  It’s actually a relief to be done.  It’s a challenge to really summarize this series – so I’ll make it pretty brief. (SPOILER ALERT.  Of course, if you don’t plan to watch this, or you have any knowledge of Korean history it probably doesn’t matter.)

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Indian Movie Reveiw: My Name is Khan.

What the heck was THAT?  Is about all I could think while walking out of the theater.  I was expecting…something more.  Something very different to be sure.  Karan Johar and Shahrukh have disappointed me for the first time.  I felt insulted and kind of angry after this film ended.  Not to mention disappointed that the inclusion of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna & Kal Ho Naa Ho on the soundtrack were just fillers and not enticing secrets to be held in the film.  I think that Shahrukh and Kajol acted the heck out of this film, but aside from that I was left highly disappointed  I think that the assumptions of how things really happen here in the US and the reality were so far apart that it was unbelievable and miss Sita-ji and I laughed our way through this ridiculous movie.  There was so much that could have been done to save this film, but they neglected to think about who the real target audience of this film is.  Sure, there were hoots and whistles during some scenes that had great lines about equality and being non-racist, but for a film that is essentially AGAINST racism; I found it to be, well, rather racist itself.  Apparently there are only two nice white people in the US along with some hillbilly African-Americans from 1920’s Georgia to be had here.  I agreed with the main theme of the film, that it’s wrong to assume something about someone merely based on their culture/origin/last name, but to turn around and show no respect back to the same culture that they are asking to give respect is a bit hypocritical if you ask me.    Kajol was lovely and I loved their chemistry together in the first oh, 40 minutes, but from there the film took a steep dive downhill.  A friend I went to the movie summarized it very well: “It’s like the Indian Forrest Gump!”  Yes, Yes it is.

3.5 out of 10 Stars.

Korean Movie Review: Thirst

ThirstAnother great film by directer Park Chan-Wook.  If you haven’t seen any of his stuff, this is probably not the best introduction.  It features heavy nudity/sex scenes and also a brilliant violent streak pretty typical of his stuff.

Starring Song Kang-Ho (surprise, surprise!) as a priest who becomes part of a study to cure a disease that has been plaguing his followers.  When the study goes horribly wrong he finds himself driven by a thirst for blood and more earthly desires.  As he begins to fall deeper under the spell of the vampire urges Sang-Hyun gives in to his thirst for blood and his sexual desire for the wife of a childhood friend(Kim Ok-Bin as Tae-Ju).  I’ll leave the rest up to the film, because there are so many twists and turns in this film that I’d give away a lot if I said much more.

I’m glad that Park Chan-Wook directed this film.  It’s something that only he can do, and it’s almost a given that he will draw the best performance possible of his actors.  I know Song Kang-Ho can act up a storm after his performances in Chan-Wooks previous works, but I was absolutely blown away by Kim Ok-Bin.   She started the film with such vulnerability and innocence and worked through such rage, madness and tenderness that I was just simply left in awe of her.  If you watch the film for no other reason than her acting you will be very impressed.  The violence of the film was necessary and when things seemed to be almost too graphic they always cut away very tastefully.  I highly recommend this movie.  9/10 (Down 1 point because of the violence, which isn’t my favorite thing, but the acting and plot made up for it in a big way!)

Ninja Assassin: The Review (mild spoilers may be included)

Ok folks.  I saw the film opening day, and I was kind of disapointed that the theater I went to pushed it to a tiny side theater.  Oh’s well’s.  Here goes.

 

When you see a Wachowski brothers movie you have to expect the unexpected.  They pull out all the stops visually and sometimes things don’t make the most sense the first time around.  Unless you’re REALLY paying attention – and believe when Rain’s on screen, I’m paying attention!  First of all, this film did not let Rain stretch his acting muscles – just his physical ones. (Which, as a squeeling fan-girl I appreciated very much.)  His English is much improved over older clips and songs, I know he’s working hard and that over time his abilities will increase 10 fold.  That said, what did I think of the movie?  Man, what a bloody, bloody splash fest of a film THAT was!  Dear me.  I was prepared slightly by the local newspaper reviewer.  (“Ninja Assassin sets a new standard for film gore.”) So, I knew it was going to be bad, but not bad enough to make this non-squeemish girl cringe and try VERY hard not to look away.  I will say this, if you can make it through the opening scene, things get better and if I may say so – a bit more stylized and less, um, blech-y.  Naomie Harris was very good in her role and I liked her.  She was a good strong character who wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty, but knew better than to just jump into the middle of a fight thinking she could help (most of the time.)  I was disapointed by how little dialogue that Rain had.  Did the directors think he couldn’t handle it, or was it part of his ninja character that he had to stay mysteriously quiet?  I’m not entirely sure.  I do know that I probably got a few dirty/quizical looks or questioning thoughts during one scene where a random henchman-like character says:  **SPOILER ALER** “He doesn’t look like a killing machine to me, He looks like he belongs in a boy band.”  OH MAN.  That almost had me on the floor rolling with laughter.  I had to cover my mouth and take deep breaths to calm down.  In the heavier fight scenes Rain wowed and proved that his 8am-5pm everyday for 9 months training paid off – in a big way.  I only spotted a few scenes that were obviously  his stunt double.  Other wise the man whooshed his way through the choreography.  I remember thinking 3/4 of the way through the movie “Poor Rick Yune!” Poor man has only one scene in which you can actual see his face, not very good for an actor that already has very few apperances in films.   I find it funny that for most of the articles about this film he was billed before Rain.  Kind of ironic if you ask me.  In all, this film really was all about the action, and it’s nearly non-stop.  I think critics are generally full of crap and they get movies wrong.  Most of them are looking for films to be artsy, realistic and have deep meanings.  In general, the public like movies that are entertaining and show them something they don’t see in daily life or have never seen before and in this sense, Ninja Assassin delivers.  I want to warn anyone who is slighly squeemish or can’t handle violence against seeing this movie.  Wait for the DVD and fast forward through the tough stuff and you’ll get to at least see Rain for a few minutes!  My final rating:  6.5/7 out of 10.

Rain

Rain worked very hard for Ninja Assassin!

If you like action/kung-fu/martial arts movies or Rain – check out Ninja Assassin!

Hey Playa!

This weekend I watched Main Khiladi Tu Anari

(& Saif Ali Khan)

(& Saif Ali Khan)

I had started the film a couple weeks ago, but didn’t quite get into it after the un-subtitled rendition of My Adorable Darling with Saif looking obnoxiously adorable himself:

D'aawww

D'aawww

I was highly distracted by two (major) things during this song sequence.

#1) Guys in weird0 shirts:

::snort::

::snort::

#2) The same kind of weird light effect they used in the first Khiladi film:

hmmm

hmmm

I know that actors age and get older and this was one of Saifus’ first films, but I never did get over how different he looked.  I’ve decided that the main thing just might be the smile lines around his lips.  Because otherwise I can’t put my finger on it.  (Obviously his hair is different, but heck, it was the early 90’s and I’ll cut him some slack!)

Baby Saifu!

Baby Saifu!

This might have to be an purchased movie. . . not many get that award, so it was pretty good! (8.5/10)