Wednesday, September 08, 2004

More movie reviews!

As I alluded to earlier, it was a busy weekend in my corner of the world. Besides weeding and Metallica, I also managed to see Hero with Jeff, Chuck and Craft on Labor Day. It's a gorgeous beyond belief movie about the art of sacrifice for the big picture.

Given that director Zhang Yimou is more notorious for getting in trouble with the Chinese government for films such as Raise the Red Lantern, Ju Dou and Shanghai Triad, I was amazed to hear that the Chinese government actually gave him a green light to distribute this film. After seeing it, it's not hard to see why. It's very, well, Asian in its outlook.

Eastern philosophy believes in placing the group over the individual -- which clashes with the entire idea of "the only person that matters is you" in Western philosophy (yes, I know I'm broadly characterizing). Frankly, Pop Matters has a better explanation that what I can do and they do a better critique of the film in these times that we live in.

All I can say is that movie was damn pretty. Christopher Doyle's cinematography is absolutely beautiful -- the reds, greens, blues and even whites are supersaturated, glorious and gorgeous. The wire-fu fighting is fantastic. It's all just so damn gorgeous that it's like staring at Orlando Bloom too long -- you fear you're going to go blind.

I'm also a sucker for Asian melodrama (for some reason, I can buy Chinese melodrama over American melodrama -- maybe it's an inherit ethnocentricity in me) and this had plenty of it. I was sniffing in the theater with Flying Snow and Broken Sword's relationship. While it didn't have me sobbing like a baby like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon did, it was still good.

The other big news of the weekend was seeing the little sister and her husband who were in the state for a wedding over Labor Day weekend. They're heading to Yale next year as he pursues his post-doctorate career. While he may say, "It's only Yale," I'm the one going "DAAAAAAMMMMMNNNN." But they're both brilliant in their own way.

It was funny being home for that day -- a lot has changed. Where there were fields we once hunted crayfish, mice and other random animals in, there's houses now. The trees in our backyard are huge and everything just seems so different. But this is the price I pay for going home only about two or three times each year.

But it was a good time. Even though we don't talk much or see each other often, whenever we get together, it's just effortless. Neither of us have to force conversation or try for Hallmark moments -- they just seem to happen now, effortlessly.

One thing though -- she's a mean tickler. It's not fair that I'm so ticklish that she just has to twitch her fingers in my general direction and I fall down and she isn't ticklish if she doesn't want to be. Next time I see her, I'm stealing that secret from her.

Note for Keidra: I asked her about Twelib Kweili and she knows who he is and thinks that he's good. As for the Black Eyed Peas and Fergie, all she said was something along the lines of, "Well, they wanted to sell more records." Take that for what it's worth.

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