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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Movie review: I Hate Valentine

Instead of studying, I watched I Hate Valentine when I got home from work today. I gotta say...don't watch it.

I love a good RomCom as much as the next chick but this one was just Not Good. In fact, Downright Bad is a better description. Bad dialogue. Not funny, it didn't even really have its moments. Even for a RomCom, it was much, much too cheesy. The storyline might have worked better with actors in their twenties (or at least actors that could pass for being in their twenties), but at pushing fifty it just wasn't remotely believable. It was kind of like watching Meryl Streep dancing around like a lovesick teenager in Mama Mia - awkward and a little bit creepy. Also, the actress (the one from My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which I liked) had this strange, fake smile plastered on her face the whole time and John Corbett just played the same guy he is in every movie except he didn't do it quite as well this time. He usually bores me but he seemed bored himself with this movie.

Anyway, the only slightly interesting moment for me was when she explores her deep-seeded issues about her dad cheating on her mom. Obviously that struck a bit of a nerve with me but I don't think they really did much with it, and even if they had it would have been a little deep for a RomCom.

In conclusion, don't waste your time. Leave that to me.


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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Formosa Betrayed - go see it now, don't make me buy you the DVD for Christmas or your birthday because I will

Taking a short break from my writer's block to attempt to write about something important.

Formosa Betrayed

If you are Taiwanese or have any interest in Taiwan, please go see this movie. Excellent historically based drama that attempts to educate the world about little known atrocities which occurred on the tiny island.

In a lot of ways the moral of the story is similar to the story of the reign of various dictators the world over during the Cold War. The U.S chooses what is presumably the "lesser" of two evils and looks the other way while a brutal dictator pretends to be a friend of democracy while coldly slaughtering and terrorizing his "own" people. The story is not unfamiliar, but it has never been told about Taiwan before.

The subject is close to my heart because my mother's family is Taiwanese and believe strongly in Taiwan independence. The ironic thing about Taiwan independence is that historically China actually opposed Taiwanese calling themselves Chinese (they thought those peasant islanders were beneath them)...until the nationalists (also known as the Kuo Ming Tang - Chiang Kai Shek's party) fled to Taiwan during the Communist Revolution. Then, all of the sudden, Taiwan was absolutely part of China!

Also ironic is that my dad's family is KMT, my grandfather was actually a high ranking general, a member of the first graduating class of Chiang Kai Shek's military school in China. After his family fled to Taiwan he was given a prestigious post overseeing the entire port. He waited an appropriate amount of time and then resigned his post because he refused to participate in the rampant corruption and mob ties and was afraid that this would bring negative attention to him and his family.

The scary thing and the reason why Taiwanese are so grateful that this movie has been made is that no one knows what happened in Taiwan. No one knows that on 2/28/1947 the KMT kicked off a week of terror which ultimately resulted in the deaths of 20,000-30,000 Taiwanese intellectuals. The KMT government systemically murdered those who might ever pose a challenge to them, doctors, lawyers, journalists, businessmen, politicians, professors...the father of my eldest uncle's wife was a doctor and he actually had to flee to China (more irony, I know) to escape being killed by the KMT.

The government terrorized people to keep silent to the point where my own mother who was born only five years later said she never even heard about 2/28 until she came to the US. Her parents were too afraid to speak about it even at home.

The KMT was only a small group compared to the Taiwanese population but they used brutal tactics to bully themselves into power. They would not allow the Taiwanese to speak their own language, forcing them to learn Mandarin. There was massive discrimination, Taiwanese were not allowed to hold prestigious positions, those were reserved for the KMT. And so on and so forth...

Before WWII the Japanese ruled Taiwan. My mom always tells me that at first the Taiwanese were very happy when the Chinese fled to their island. They welcomed them like brothers. And then they realized that the Japanese had treated them better and wished they could have them back.

Maybe it's just a general lack of interest that America has for Asian history, but I'm constantly surprised that Chiang Kai Shek is not demonized the way Stalin and Hitler and others are. As President Truman believed, CKS is undoubtedly the reason China was lost to the communists. CKS had strong ties to the triads and was supremely corrupt, working only towards his own benefit. I hope history paints him for the depraved monster that he is.

And as weird as this is to say, I'm really grateful to James Vanderbeek and all of the people who had a hand in creating this important movie. It may not receive critical acclaim, but it is telling a story that absolutely needs to be told.

The truth about the history of Taiwan must be revealed to the world.

Please go see this movie.

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Happy Friday!

Feeling under the weather and really, really exhausted. Don't have much to say except Star Trek the movie was awesome and you should definitely go see it.

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Stupid amusing liberal of the day: Leo

So Paul and I arrived home from our dinner at Auqa in Kowloon (which I'll write about later) just in time to hear Leonardo DiCaprio talking about his new movie with Russell Crowe about the war on terror. He was saying that though it is a political movie he doesn't believe they injected their political views into the movie because they "villify both sides equally" or something along those lines...

Um, Leo? Hate to break it to you buddy, but there's a significant portion of Americans who don't believe we're just as "evil" as they are. That IS your political view dumbass.

Don't you just love it when a bunch of liberals get together and try to make a political movie that "represents both sides" except they actually have no clue what the other side even thinks to begin with?

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Mama Mia!

Since Mama Mia! is actually one of my favorite plays (I've seen it in NY and SF) it really irks me that they've cast Meryl Streep as Donna.

Donna was supposed to have had Sophie when she was in her late teens so at MOST she should be in her late-thirties. Meryl Streep's nearly sixty! And she is not a hot mama the way Donna is supposed to be. I mean, who wants to picture Meryl Streep gettin' it on with three different dudes??


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Friday, June 20, 2008

Man of the Year

Fifty-seven minutes in and I'm ready to say, definitely not a great movie. It has it's funny moments but for the most part it's just not well thought out. It seems like they kind of just made the story (and dialogue) up as they went along. It's one of those movies where you just want to scream at the characters to JUST SAY IT ALREADY, OH MY GOD!!!!

Update: This movie is just so awkward. Actually, it's just the lead actress, she's involved in almost every single extremely painful and awkward moment of this movie.


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