Tuesday, May 17, 2005
cinema gorging

In preparation for a new video project for CoHi, I've been making efforts to increase my film consumption these past few weeks. I'm not quite up to a "1 movie, 1 day" intake, but I'm getting there - last week I watched The Incredibles, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Taegukgi (Brotherhood), 2009: Lost Memories, Team America, Final Fantasy: Spirits Within, and Equilibrium. Most of them were good, or at least entertaining in some way... though, Y Tu Mama Tambien definitely was not enjoyable. Irritating, really.

The latest devoured:

Spy Girl - A Korean romantic comedy that got so-so reviews, so I had low expectations before watching it, but I actually didn't think it was too bad. The main character, Hyo-jin (Kim Jung Hwa) is a female North Korean spy sent to retrieve a rogue spy, but ends up working at Burger King by impersonating the daughter of a fellow NK spy. A slacker student at a nearby school, Ko-Bong (Gong Yoo) sees her and falls in love with her, taking pictures of her to post on the internet site that ranks "Angels" - beautiful girls. Hyo-jin starts dating Ko-Bong to get him to take down the pictures so she can keep her cover.

My favorite scene: Hyo-jin goes paintball shooting with Ko-Bong and his friends.

On a sidenote, the movie does lightly show the drama of being drafted into the Korean army and the mixed feelings many have over the North-South split.

The script/plot of this movie was pretty ridiculous, and while there are a couple of funny moments, the story really drags when Hyo-jin and Ko-Bong aren't interacting together. The chemistry between the two leads is the only redeeming part of the movie. The "hot tough girl + bumbling sensitive guy" idea is obviously jacked from My Sassy Girl, but it still works well enough here.

Too bad it wasn't focused on more, but maybe there'll be a sequel, eh?


Swing Girls - This movie came out while I was in Japan, and I was reminded about it in a November 2004 post on this blog.

Made by the same team that produced and directed the original Japanese Shall We Dance?, this movie really grew on me despite the "Disney family film" feel to the characters and plot. The beauty of the movie lies with the simple, straight-forward story - a group of high school girls stuck in summer school math class wind-up in playing in a jazz/swing band via a twist of fate. Despite its classic underdog / "zero to hero" trappings, the plot surprisingly does have its twists and turns, though nothing too unconventional.

My favorite scene: band practice in a karaoke room. You have to visit Japan to know how funny that is.

Overall, a very uplifting movie to watch... some better reviews can be read on the Japan Times or here. In fact, I'm thinking of buying a copy for myself... guess I can't recommend a movie more highly than that.


The Machinist (El Maquinesta) - This is the movie that Christian Bale dropped 60 pounds to make (from 180 to 120) and to see his performance in this film gives me a lot more hope that Batman Begins won't suck.

In the movie, Bale plays Trevor Reznik, a regular guy who works at a machine shop, who for some reason, can't eat or sleep. To give away anything more about the plot would be to ruin the movie, so I recommend NOT READING ANY REVIEWS before seeing the film. If you consider yourself a fan of Alfred Hitchcock, the old Twilight Zone, or of psychological suspense movies, I really recommend watching the movie. Definitely a treat for cinemaphiles.

My favorite scene: a metaphoric carnival ride through "hell".

I'm surprised that more people aren't talking about this film, because I believe it's really that good... along the lines of Memento, Fight Club, Donnie Darko and 21 Grams... and like the aforementioned films, I have a feeling some people will hate it. I dug it, though.


The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - I went to see this with Mel and Chris because we missed the showtime for Unleashed on a busy Saturday for me. It was OK, though the things that I liked best about the film - Mos Def's performance and the "guidebook effects" (you have to see the movie) were not as common as I'd like them to have been. The inclusion and over-focusing on a romantic subplot was also annoying, but at least they kept the book's original, off-beat sense of humor.

In a Godless, near-world future, I really can imagine the planet Earth being demolished to make way for a intergalatic freeway. Life can be absurd like that sometimes.


Movies still to see in theatre:

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Layer Cake
Born into Brothels


Episode III! catchin' it this Saturday...hopefully it'll live up to the hype. if not, hey, there's the previews which should kick major sphincter.
reg- wow, you're brave. this weekend is gonna be nuts at the theatre.
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in?scrip?tion (n-skrip-shun)n.
1. The act or an instance of inscribing.
2. Something, such as the wording on a coin, medal, monument, or seal, that is inscribed.
3. A short, signed message in a book or on a photograph given as a gift.
4. The usually informal dedication of an artistic work.
5. Jeremiah 31:33

the facts.
name. Gar AKA "that Chinese guy" "Sleepy.McSleeping"
ethnicity/nationality. Chinese/American, 4th gen.
location. Sea-Town, WA, USA Kawanishi, JAPAN
occupation. less-cynical poor grad student
age. younger than you think, older than you know



UnseenGC @ AIM
(myname) @ gmail.com



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