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May. 28th, 2011

Movie reviews - POTC4, Thor

So I watched the latest Pirates of the Caribbean last weekend when it came out and I just saw Thor today. I figure I'd get both of them in the same review. Spoilers ahoy!


Thor )

I have less high hopes for Green Lantern now, but hopefully it can still surprise me. And of course, then there's the Captain America film that I'm very much awaiting with baited breath. Not just because Totally because Cap/Iron Man is my new OTP.

Jun. 30th, 2009

Movie Review - Disney's Earth

First, disclaimer - I'm not actually 100% sure the download I watched was actually the same Disney's Earth that played in theaters. Apparently there was another version made earlier in England but had a different narrator. So, I dunno, even if it was the original film from England, everything except the narration was supposed to be the same as the actual theater one, and I didn't watch it for the narrator anyways, so I guess it still counts...

The good, the bad, the different )

Overall: If you love shiny and cuteness, go see it. If you care about the science, go watch National Geographic instead to get it out of your system, then turn off your brain and go see it. You'll never be able to see a real documentary reach these levels of eye candy. I take that last part back, since they apparently swiped the scenes from BBC.

WTB DVD rip/BT download of BBC series...

Jun. 26th, 2009

Movie Review - Angels and Demons

Overall, I was pretty disappointed in this film. It didn't live up to the expectations set by DaVinci Code at all. I think they were trying to much to make it into a(n average blockbuster) "thriller" and forgot to include many of the elements that made DaVinci Code good - the riddles, the problem solving, the complicated plans, the outrageous daring on the parts of the protagonists...

Specifics )

Feb. 3rd, 2009

LnC videos

Been watching a few eps/clips on google video and found a site that has what appears to be most of the first two seasons uploaded.

Tudou (Chinese subtitles):
1st season:
2nd season:
3rd season:
4th season:

Episode guide:

Lois kick ass - especially in The Prankster (single-handedly captures the villains) and Wall of Sound (Lois 3, Amazon bouncers 0).
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Jan. 12th, 2009

赤壁 movie review

link to cashew's reviews

赤壁 (Chi Bi) is supposed to be a remake of the famous battle in the middle of the Three Kingdoms period. I heard from somewhere that it's one of the most expensive movies produced in China to date - although, it's hard to tell where all that money went. The director claims that he was trying to move away from the ROTK standards and stereotypes that was set by the classic novel of the Ming Dynasty and the original TV series, and instead be more faithful to the historical documents on the era. Unfortunately, his attempts seem to have failed.

Overall Impression:
In my opinion, Chi Bi is the Chinese equivalent of Troy. A purposeful maligning of classical stories and history with modern "reinterpretations" and Hollywood flash-over-substance. And worse still, it's apparently only the first movie in a duology or even trilogy (cuz I certainly can't imagine them being able to finish the story in just 1 more movie given the pace the storyline is moving). The characters and characterizations have been modernized and "humanized" to their detriment, and have lost many of the qualities that made these characters into cultural heroes in the first place. In the end, the movie leaves the audience (as long as they are not ignorant of Chinese culture and history) with the impression that the Chinese filmmakers have sacrificed their own cultural heritage in order to make a film through the eyes of the modern western world on one of the most famous times of Chinese history. And that is just sad.

More wall of text )

Aug. 8th, 2008

Review of the NBC version of the Olympics opening

Disclaimer: I feel extreme dislike for NBC and what it stands for right now. Some comments might have bashing be biased. Caveat lector.

ADD: Just learned from the net that Canada was in the same boat as the US. Some station bought all the broadcast rights and enforced its monopoly in the same draconic way as NBC.

cut for length )

In summary: CCTV version is 200% better.

Jun. 8th, 2008

Movie Review - Kung Fu Panda

Absolutely hilarious. From what I recall, PIXAR has never yet disappointed me.

I mean, how can you go wrong with a huge chubby panda as your main character? Especially one that apparently is a masochist.

Although I think all of the characters are adorable. The sifu... (uh, I still can't tell if he's supposed to be a rat or some other rodent; someone tell meeeee) is also adorable when he's getting the "mystical kungfu" grief from *his* master. The flashback to baby Tigress and baby Tai Lung just makes me go *squee* and want to hug them and kiss them and call them-- ahem. ^^;

Mantis' "skills" at acupuncture is great, especially in the end credits. Poor crane is so put upon; must suck being the only one who can fly and thus get turned into transportation. Though, ok, it's not like Mantis had it any easier being left as the only one holding up a freaking rope bridge while everyone's jumping on it.

Snake is awesome. I think it's incredible how they can get the CGI to do that - animation that looks like kungfu without the benefits of any limbs.

(It makes me think of the trailer for the Star Wars animated movie that was in the previews. In comparison, that movie seems to be made with action figures for all the facial expressions that you can see on the characters. Lucasfilm, I'm afraid that animation is really not your strength. Then again, I don't think that franchise will lack of viewers regardless. *rolleyes*)

As for the story... ok, some parts of it were cliche, sure. But the humor that it was all done in makes up for it. And there were quite a few original things about it. How master turtle started the whole ball rolling with his prediction - so very Greek Tragedy. The messenger goose was the most Chinese of the whole cast - typical court bureaucrat. And the best thing about an original story is, it wouldn't have to endure being compared to much greater classical works (Forbidden Kingdom I'm looking at you).

Anyway, great movie. Must watch. And I need a panda icon.

Oct. 18th, 2006

《封神演义》 发花痴-ing (pt. 3)

I knew I was forgetting something. This is the last part. Previous two posts: 1 2

Caution: Graphics Intensive )

The end.

Oct. 12th, 2006

《封神演义》 发花痴-ing (pt. 2)

Continued from previously

Caution: Graphics intensive )

End part 2, tbc.

Go to part 3

Oct. 8th, 2006

《封神演义》 发花痴-ing (pt. 1)

Because I am totally heads-over-heels for the Yang Jian (杨戬) of this show and thus must share my screencaps (and probably not-so-witty commentary). Do note that he doesn't show up until halfway through the show and it's only that half I'm posting.

Caution: graphics intensive )

OK that's probably enough for one post if I don't wanna kill people's bandwidth or something... Will continue in future posts.

Go to part 2

Sep. 20th, 2006

Journey to the West II

Yeah my mom bought me the complete set when she went back to China. I've been watching the DVD and I'm halfway through the sequel. It's not too bad. Granted it's not on par with the original, but the original was a classic in its own right, and I doubt anyone expected the sequel to surpass it. But it do an adequate job on its own.

The basic concept behind the sequel is that we start off with the group back at the Tang Imperial court and they mention a couple of interesting incidents while the emperor was looking at the sutras they brought back. The emperor asks them to tell him the story of what happened. And cue flashback sequence that lasts for the rest of the series.

The Good

- So far all the stories have come from the original book canon. They didn't just make up new adventures on the way to the West. There was the Sun Wukong and his doppleganger one and the one where the Jade Emperor was doing the petty vengeance thing which were pretty cool to see.

- Nice chemistry between the actors. A lot of Bajie/Wukong horsing around that really looked like *cough* another kind of playing around. Some Tangseng/Wukong & Tangseng/Bajie stuff to, which had me giggling even though it kinda reminds of Saiyuki and thus gives me creeps.

- The choreography was pretty good. While they needed to have wire-fu for midair and underwater fights, I was glad to see they didn't go the whole Matrix CGI-fu route or Ranmaesque CGI-chi-blast route (I'm looking at you, 神雕侠侣 retake #564). And they had a decent amount of ground fights.

- Bajie is kinda cute in his dumbness, and not just in the way he always picks on/get picked on by Wukong.

- Nezha! Wai! *coughahem* omgsuchagirlandbitchslapman *cackles*

- I think I'm in luv w/ the crown prince of the Dragon King of the East... ok I'll stop fangirling now.

The Bad

- The SFX was better than the original, which really can't say much, especially when I can look at the scenes and think - that looks like something a newbie to photoshop could do in 10 minutes. You'd think they'd improved a little more since the original series in the intervening years.

- The costumes. While better than the average cosplay reject, was still very fake. Heck, I think Star Trek TOS did a better job 40+ years ago with the makeup department. Then again, all that fake cheesiness does sorta grow on you... *headdesk*

The Ugly

- The songs/soundtrack. I mean... pop music? Even if you're not willing to reuse 敢问路在何方 or the opening theme, at least come up with a decent replacement that's within the same spirit as the original.

- OFC girls trying to marry or otherwise going after Tangseng (even if the concept itself is canonical). I guess the producers threw them in to attract the post-pubescent male demographic. But still...

- Sometimes, the dialogue is... well we know even the original version didn't lay it on thick with the (pseudo-)ancient Chinese talk (as opposed to ROTK), but some of those lines are way too modern, folks!

Jul. 25th, 2005

Movie Review: Charlie & the Chocolate Factory (2005)

Okay, first thing I need to tag on is that I'm going to be rambling freely about the movie, so there may well be spoilers in this entry for anyone who doesn't want to be spoiled (mindboggling as the thought might be for as well known of a story as this).

Read more... )

Jul. 16th, 2005

Book Review: Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince

Warning: This contains spoilers. You have been warned.

Read more... )

Nov. 21st, 2004

Movie Review: The Incredibles

I was out running errands today and walked past the theater and thought: "why not"?

The Review. Spoiler warning. )

Well, I'm sure there are other issues I had with the movie, but these are the ones that come to me right now... I'll edit others in if they come to me.

Aug. 29th, 2004

Movies Gallore

So [info]cashew and I had a girls day/night/day out yesterday and today, our last day(s) of freedom before classes start... tomorrow. *sobs*

Anyhow, we rented three videos from Blockbusters yesterday evening - "Big Fish" and "Once Upon A Time In China" I & II. This afternoon we saw "Hero" in the theaters. So yeah, reviews are as follows:

Big Fish review )

Once Upon A Time In China review )

Hero review )

Aug. 16th, 2004

Recap for Saturday

Making up for old news that I was too lazy to write about previously...

On Saturday I met up with two of my friends from high school. One also goes to Berkeley and I believe is doing a business/math double major. The other is home on break from UC San Diego, where she's also doing an engineering major like me. The latter friend was meeting up with me for a quick lunch and then seeing movie; her little sister and another friend's little sister were tagging along for the movie. The friend from Cal was just meeting us for lunch.

Anyhow, since I don't want to have to put this entry under friends-lock, I won't name any names or go in too deeply about our lunchtime conversation.

The movie we saw was Spider-man 2. And I have to say that my overall impression of that movie has been very similar to my reactions of most previous Marvel movies with the sole exceptions of Xmen and sequel.

Spider-Man 2 review )

Aug. 12th, 2004

Day's Digest

So I went up to Cal yesterday for a fun day out with [info]cashew now that she's back from China. Though, in retrospect, I guess we should've waited until after she got rid of her jetlag. Oh well, I guess sleep just such an overrated commodity. :p ^^;;

We had lunch at Gypsy's. It's been a long time since we ate there. They still haven't lost their touch. Yummy and filling entrees. Cashew got a veggie dish and I got a seafood dish. Mmmm... calamari & mussels. :)

Then we went to B&N for a while. I skimmed a few manga volumes - nothing that good, though I did get halfway through the first volume of Fruits Basket, which seems rather interesting. Maybe I'll follow up on that series later. Cashew was trying to reread Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but she was also in a constant struggle against good 'ol sleep. :p

After that we went to Oaks Theater to see the 3rd Harry Potter movie... only to get there to find that they're not showing it anymore. Grr. Bakas. So why did you still have it listed up on Yahoo!Movies?! So instead of watching the movie, we took a stroll through the nearby Half-price Bookstore (they didn't have any of the textbooks for our Philosophy class) and then grabbed something at Jamba Juice before taking the bus back to the downtown Berkeley. (Oh, and because I don't have a Class Pass anymore, I had to spend $3 roundtrip for bus tickets. Geez.)

So we went back and ended up watching "I, Robot" at the UA Theater instead...

I Robot review )

FAKE manga review )

Anyways, after we were done with the manga, we had pizza for dinner at Blondies before I went home. Not a bad day, all-in-all. ^_^

Jul. 17th, 2004

Book Recs - Digital Knight, Planets of Adventure

I decided it was way too hot for me to go to the bookstore today, so I decided to browse the Baen Free Library instead. Found two pretty good reads that I thought I'd recommend...

Digital Knight, by Ryk Spoor )

Planets of Adventure, by Murray Leinster )

Jul. 3rd, 2004

Manga Reviews

First, I got Pet Shop of Horrors 7! *loves* And goodness is Leon still in denial. My favorite story was the one with D's "sister". Ha! The artistic differences between the two of them are so small that they might as well be clones of the same person. Heh. "So who looks better in a dress" indeed. :D

Also read Vampire Game 7 today too. Funny as ever. Ishtar just lives to make Duzzie's life difficult, doesn't she? And we can see that Duzzie is certainly getting contaminated by their association together - if you can consider Ishtars special brand of airheadedness contagious. He's become fond of her, which would certainly be a problem if she does turn out to be the reborn Phelios. Heck, Duzzie is even aware of that, 'cause he states that he sees Phelios when he looks in her eyes, and ponders if he might've made a mistaken determination that first time he bit her, since he was so new into the world. The intrigue that goes around our main characters is deliciously twisted. I mean, the captain of the guard in Xi Canda (the guy who mistook Du for a girl and Ishtar for a boy) turns out to be the half brother of the princess... and they're in love with each other. Heh. All the descendants of Phelios are seriously messed up. Must be all the inbreeding.

Psychic Academy 3 has come out. Still a disturbing escapee from the fashion police, but I think we're actually starting to see some semblance of a plotline, not to mention character growth. I find myself liking Zero a lot, even if he wears metal underwear on the outside of his pants, and acts like such an melodramatic dork.

xxxHolic 2 sheds more light onto the cosmology of the Clamp-verse. We now know that it takes place in the same universe as Card Captor Sakura. The dimension witch also hints that she and Clow Reed (from CCS) had met Mokona, the creator-deity from Magic Knight Rayearth, in the past.

Yu Yu Hakusho 4 is out, and we get to see more of Kurama in the new arc. ^_^ My my, flower boy has quite a reputation among youkai. Looks, brain, and power. Hah. Oh, and Hiei's cool too. Not much else about that series interests me though. If I wanted martial arts powerfests, I could get more laughs out of Ranma 1/2.
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Jun. 14th, 2004

Sleipnir by Linda Evans

Right, so yesterday I was playing catchup with the YvtW Afterlife arc. I had saved the storyline up to where we'd just entered Hades, which means that I lost all of what happened in Hades, and most of what happened in Helheim, the OMGU, and Egypt. Le sigh.

I'd finished writing up the scene with the shades in Hades and our encounter with Tiresias, and just had us arrive in Helheim, when I decided to do a little (re)research on the descriptions of the place and the inhabitants.

Somehow, a search for the hellhound Garm and the Moghud (or however you spell it), led me to a page in the middle of a Baen Free Library novel. I skimmed through it, in case there was something useful, and noticed that the chapter seemed to be about some mortal guy trying to work his way physically into Helheim. The book is Sleipnir, by Linda Evans.

Well, I thought: "Hey, cool, the main character's sorta doing what we're doing. Maybe I'll read this novel and see if I can pick up some ideas!"

So I did. (Note: Spoilers) )

One of the ideas I liked from the book was that Balder could be a helpful presence to our heros in Helheim. Of course, I have no idea if the MU version of the Norse pantheon has Balder in Hel... [info]ossian? Do you know?
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Jun. 13th, 2004

Reviews - Shrek 2, Hyperion/Fall of Hyperion

Right, so I was out for the most of yesterday. Woke up late, had lunch, then went to the movies to see Shrek. Then I holed myself up in Barnes & Nobles until their closing time before dragging myself back home again. A good day, all in all. ^_-

Shrek 2 )

Hyperion/Fall of Hyperion )

Jun. 11th, 2004

HL Reviews - TAGD, Judgement Day/OMTM

Yep, three more eps this time. Some long episode names though, so I acronymed it in the title. Also, I think this is all the Methos episodes. Too bad. Well, I suppose the other eps might have some merit to them. But it's just not the same with my favorite 5K Immortal. *pouts*

*hearts Methos some more* ^_~

Through a Glass Darkly )

Judgement Day/One Minute to Midnight )

Jun. 10th, 2004

HL Reviews - Deliverance, Methuselah's Gift, Till Death

Watched 3 eps today. All Methos eps, of course. I just wuv wuv WUV him, the dearie. *hearts Methos* ^_^

Deliverance )

Methuselah's Gift )

Till Death )

Jun. 8th, 2004

HL Reviews - "Chivalry" & "Timeless"

I'm impressed with the USPS.

Last Monday (5/31) I ordered the the season 4 DVD's for Highlander: the Series. Amazon sent me an email confirmation on 6/3 (Thursday) saying that they've shipped it out. According to the post office's tracking service, it arrived sometime on Saturday, 6/5. Though, I didn't see the package at my doorstep until yesterday afternoon, since I normally come and go by car/garage instead of the front door.

I think that was the fastest that anything I've ordered has ever gotten to me. It didn't even take the standard 5-9 business days! ^_^

*wonders if ossian got his package yet*

So after getting the DVD's, I watched 2 episodes yesterday. It's pretty noticeable from the packaging and the quality of the extra stuff (like interviews and extra footage) that 1) the show wasn't really high budget and 2) it was done in the early days of that kinda thing. (HLtS went off the air like in '95.) I mean, the lady who was talking about the makings of the show was reading her lines off a script in her lap! I'm guessing they got her to do that part at the last minute or something. :p

But what do I care? I only got the thing so I could drool at Peter Wingfield/Methos anyhow. ^_^

Chivalry Review )

Timeless Review )

Jun. 5th, 2004

Day Report (& Harry Potter 3 review)

Well, this morning just dragged on and on. I got up early so I can finally get [info]ossian's bday present mailed. Managed to get out of the house at like... 8:30 or so.

Spent ~2 hours just figuring out *how* I was gonna do this. What with packaging and boxing and whatever. I think I spent maybe 1 hour of it in the car just wrapping/packaging. Maybe 15-30 minutes of that time was spent on the road... specifially, spent on getting lost on the road. Driving by memory for me isn't really a good idea, even in my home city, which is a really really sad testament to the state of my memory. ^_^;;

Then spent half an hour or so in line at the post office and then sending the sucker off. I used express mail, since I spent so much time on the thing already that I might as well make it worth my time. This means that it'll get to the destination really fast (hopefully). It *should* get to Edmonton on Monday, or at least that's what the ads claim. But at the very latest it ought to get there by early next week. I think you may have to sign for it though, [info]ossian, so let's hope it gets there when you're home, else you might need to drop by the post office for it. :p But hey, at least it'll get there on time.

After that I decided that since it's close to noon, I might as well grab some fast food and go see a movie. Since I figured there'll be eateries next to the theater, I went there first...after some more confused directions and driving (*sweatdrop*). Got a ticket for the 12 o'clock Harry Potter 3 showing, which left me with like 30 minutes to run down a block or so to Burger King and grab something to go. I finished a small chocolate milkshake on my way back (it's really hot out today) and managed to sneak in a to-go bag with a 8-pc box of chicken tenders to the theater. I'm so bad. :p

spoilers ahoy for the movie )

Well, that's enough yakking for now. I'm pretty much out of stuff to say. Hope that review was informative. Maybe I'll go see Shrek 2 some other time.

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