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31 March 2006 @ 09:00 pm
Caution: Filling is Hot-- and ALIVE!  
Well, I sort of dropped out of sight there for a while didn't I? *sweatdrop* The first week of classes always makes me sort of withdrawl into myself as I get used to my schedule and everything. ^^; Not much to report, save that classes are pretty good-- Astronomy is interesting, Physical Anthropology is workable, and Japanese History seems like it's going to be a lot of fun. I walked in on Tuesday to find Stacey was taking the class too, which is really cool. One half of our infamous Chinese History Gang of Four has been reunited!
... or something. ^__^

Still haven't managed to really get ahold of my advising professor about my thesis, but it's only the first week of school.

I'm switched my tutoring days to Tuesday, that way I can have Thursday all to myself. It makes for kind of a long day, but it's managable. I'm probably going to end up taking summer classes this year, since I'm just to the point where I want them to hand me my degree and be done with the whole business. ^^

In the meantime, I've been watching lots of MST3K ("If my deepest, darkest despair had choreography, this would be it!"), and then I rewatched Dreamcatcher, because I want to take Beaver home and give him cookies. With BSG off until October (October!!) and The 4400 still at the end of June, I'm not watching much in the way of non-DVD television.

So, in that spirit, here's some (mostly asian) film recs:


Further Ramblings of a Foreign Film Addict

The Bride With White Hair- I believe this was also released under the title 'Long Night's Ghost Story', or something like that. A Chinese period romance/kungfu film with one thing that caught my eye-- Joey Wong. She is an absolutely amazing actress, very elegant and poised. Unfortunately, she retired from acting to raise her child, but there are still a lot of awesome movies out there that boast her in their cast. Miss Wong plays Ni Chang, a young girl raised by wolves and later taken into the 'Evil Cult' and trained as a warrior. She kicks serious ass throughout the entire film, which I utterly adore. Dressed in flowing white veils, she kills scores of enemy soldiers with her hair. Her romantic opposite is Cho, a Han scholar/soldier with a serious attitude problem. He has some pretty funny quips-- he's a rebel, and the thing that irks his superiors the most is that he doesn't just think he's the best, he really _is_ the best. Until me meets up with Ni Chang. I could have done without the long sex scenes, as well as Ni Chang acting disturbingly coy, but this is a relatively small portion of the movie, and it helps that she summarily kicks his ass later on. This movie also features the bizarre Chi Twins (leaders of the evil cult) and Ho Lu Hua, the young woman who's been angling to be Cho's wife. She plays an interesting opposite to Ni Chang. The ending is awesome, though the credit theme is nothing to write home about. You can find this at the Hollywood Video, Yesasia.com, or Amazon.com.

The Twins Effect- released in the U.S. as 'The Vampire Effect'. (Dorky vampires! Amber, you would _love_ this movie.) Set in Cambodia, the film tells the story of a young male vampire hunter who's recently lost his partner. The Hunter's agency sends him a new partner, Gipsy-- a girl who is not content to take the back seat. Our hero's little sister is Helen, a skilled kungfu artist who is blissfully unaware of her brother's nocturnal hunts. All this changes when she meets Kazuf, the Fifth Prince of the vampires. Helen is feisty, pushy, and confident, so you'd expect her to be seduced by a dark, handsome, smooth-as-silk vampire, yes? No. Kazuf is the 'shameful' son of a vampire Lord, who refuses to kill to eat. Instead, he has a blood bank set-up which provides him with 'food'. His guardian is forever following after him in utter confusion, as Kazuf dorks his way around the city. This is the guy who moved into a church, rides his scooter down the aisle, and makes calls on his cell phone from inside his coffin. He also agrees to meet Helen for a date at noon...
GUARDIAN: You can't go!
KAZUF: Why?
GUARDIAN: Daylight!? You're a vampire!
KAZUF: Shit, I forgot.
Right. A bigger dork, you can not find. He's also hopelessly in love with Helen. When he tries to tell her he's a vampire, she bites him. ('Nyah!' she says, 'I'm a vampire too! You don't have to make up stories if you want to dump me.') The movie has an actual action plot, which revolves around The Book of Daylight-- a magical tome which can only be opened with the blood of all five vampire princes. Once the seal is broken, the vampire who opens it can gain the power to walk in the sunlight. Needless to say, Kazuf's the next target. The movie is a fun, utterly bizarre romp through vampire land that turns almost every cliche on it's head. So much fun. Again, Hollywood Video or Yesasia.com


Tsuki Ni Shizumu- translates, roughly, to 'The Sinking Moon'. This is a fairly short, artsy film made to accompany the release of Hamasaki Ayumi's 2002 single, Voyage. She also stars in the film, which is pretty much why I bought it. The story line is, at different points, interesting and a little cliche. This is improved by the wonderful sets, costumes and other eyecandy. Ayumi has, after all, an enchanting visage to go with her voice. I bought this while I was in Japan, so I didn't have subtitles-- the plot was fairly easy to follow, though. Don't know about the ease of getting a hold of this film in the US.

Premonition- What if, at the center of the universe, there was a place where all events are catalogued, frozen for all time? It's a creepy idea that loses a little in the execution, but the film is still very good. The plot revolves around a young husband who finds a newspaper dated the next day-- a newspaper which predicts a horrific car accident for himself and his family. Try as he might to prevent it, the accident happens. He and his wife survive, but their young daughter dies on impact. Fast forward years later-- he and his wife are now separated, both obsessed with the ability to predict the future. When their research leads them to the same conclusions, they team up on an expedition to find this eternal library. This film garners major points for being artistically terrifying, having interesting characters, and an ending that makes Butterfly Effect role over and die.

Marebito- (roughly 'The Stranger From Afar') A Japanese filmmaker takes Lovecraft, the Hollow Earth Conspiracy, and a myriad of other fringe theories, puts them in a blender and sets it on puree. The end result is a crazy ride through the mind of a Tokyo photographer obsessed with discovering the essence of fear. After filming the suicide of a man in a subway station, he's drawn into the mysterious sewer systems of the city, where he encounters all manner of strange things. Dead people, half-demons, and 'deros' (DEtrimental RObotS)-- not to mention a lovely young mute girl. The girl, whom he names "F", is found chained to the wall in a mysterious underground city. He takes her home, only to discover that nothing he feeds her will stay down. The reason quickly becomes apparent: F lives on human blood. This movie is bizarre with a capital 'B', but if you're in the mood for someone to take a two-by-four to your brain, I'd say go for it. It's worth one viewing just for the wild ride. I found this at Hollywood Video, so it should be easy to get ahold of.

Stay Alive- This movie is actually in the theater right now. I saw the previews and only had lukewarm hope for it-- it's the story of an underground beta-tested video game: if you die in the game, you'll die in real life... the exact same way. It looked like a remake of a Japanese horror movie, but I haven't been able to pin down which one, if any. But it has that feel. However, unlike the American versions of Dark Water and, to some extent, The Ring, it has its own unique flair. Actually, what probably happened was that someone watched the Japanese St. John's Wart one too many times, then sat down and wrote a screenplay. It takes place down south, and revolves around the lives of a group of friends-- most of them ardent gamers. What set this movie apart for me was that it had characters that didn't feel like cardboard cut outs. They had actual, fairly unique, likable personalities, and I didn't want any of them to die. What a change from most American horror flicks! There are historical inaccuracies out the whazoo on this one, but Finn and his sister October, not to mention Hutch (the hero) make it very much worth while. I was pleasantly surprised.

That's all for now. Take care, dolls. *smooch* ^_~
-Meredith
 
 
Emotional Temperature: calmcalm
The Band Plays:: "Goldrush"-- by Herbalizer
 
 
 
Amberminttown1 on April 1st, 2006 04:11 am (UTC)
I've been wanting to see Stay Alive for almost a year now, since I first read an article about it in a gaming magazine. Alas, it's not playing in Huntingdon. I'm glad to hear that it's good, though, since I do plan to see it eventually.
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: fab4garnettrees on April 6th, 2006 08:21 pm (UTC)
*grins* Well, I don't think you'll be disappointed. All the characters are quirky and interesting, especially Finn, who's actor I like a lot anyway. The gore wasn't over the top, either, unlike the trend these days.
I hope you get to see it soon!
-Meredith
Nebula: anya hugauthoressnebula on April 1st, 2006 11:58 am (UTC)
*hugs* Good to see you're doing well!

Astronomy's a ton of fun. I had a college course back in high school, and it was simply a blast. That's where my love of nebulas started. And good luck with all of your classes! *hughughug*

~Nebula
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: darla_dru2garnettrees on April 6th, 2006 08:22 pm (UTC)
*hugs back* Hey there, darlin'.

Astronomy fascinates me, as well. The universe is such an amazing clockwork mechanism, with all the odds stacked against life existing. And yet, here we are. Amazing.

*hugs some more*
-Meredith