09/20/2021 – The Dollars Trilogy Machete Order

After far longer than I realized, I’m returning to Sergio Leone’s Dollars Trilogy. I was very much into them during high school, but my attention then shifted entirely to Once Upon a Time in the West. Leone’s final western was important to me at that point in my life, anticipating and then entering film school, as it’s a genre deconstruction, film as myth, dense with symbols, et cetera. With, perhaps, the help of Christopher Frayling, Once Upon a Time in the West opened up to me as a movie to analyze, and I never spared the same approach to the trilogy. These days I’m far less insecure about my movie taste, and this has granted me welcome revelations. Especially since, to be honest, I could hardly follow what was happening in these movies. … More 09/20/2021 – The Dollars Trilogy Machete Order

The 20-Year Marketing Legacy of “Training Day”

Filmmakers can be sensitive sometimes. David Fincher still won’t talk about Alien 3, a 25-year-old wound by the time he produced Mindhunter, co-starring Holt McCallany (from Alien 3). Maybe on the promotional circuit, McCallany mentions that he first worked with David on Alien 3, and the director has to sit by silently — we apply the Eisenstein montage to his blank face and imagine the inner turmoil. Once a film has been made, it’s printed onto public record, and may follow its filmmaker through their career. I understand via pop culture osmosis that Stephen King wants to be known for The Dark Tower, but everybody talks about The Stand instead. You may not get to choose, as budgets inflate and stakes raise and the realities of showbiz bear down on creative passersby. … More The 20-Year Marketing Legacy of “Training Day”

08/29/2021 – Train to Busan Remake

The reviews are in! First of all, before mentioning the personnel involved in the Train to Busan remake — I hate this, and it broke wide yesterday. Now, I understand the sentiment, because Hollywood has had a bad track record remaking Korean movies, from The Lake House to Oldboy, but I have to emphasize that this example is different. The director is Timo Tjahjanto, a horror filmmaker in the clique with Ti West and Gareth Evans (in that they’ve all contributed shorts to the V/H/S series) who also happened to direct The Night Comes for Us. This is an Indonesian guy, and he was hired by James Wan — neither are Korean, fine, but it’s not the usual Wonderbread cash grab. … More 08/29/2021 – Train to Busan Remake

Afghanistan

Originally posted on Questions: We Don't Have Answers:
Who to Follow Rukhshana MediaSharing Women Voices through Women ReportingTwitter: @Rukshana Media | Website Sahar SpeaksNurturing Afghan female reporters.Twitter: @Sahar_Speaks | Website Rangina Hamidi“The Afghani Education Minister Rangina Hamidi is refusing to leave her office after the Taliban take over of Afghanistan and Kabul. She is…

Happy Birthday!

know I mentioned this last year, but I can’t get over the coincidence. Today is my birthday — thank you, thank you — but it’s also Yoon Bomi’s, with the time zones. Still, I don’t know what to do with this information, that my favorite K-pop idol was born hours after myself, on August 1993. … More Happy Birthday!

07/20/2021 – Summer Red Velvet Maybe

I realize I hadn’t done even a brief write-up on Joy’s solo debut as I had Wendy’s, but that’s partly because it dropped at a busy time. See, I’d been preparing to move from Los Angeles back home, as the dream is over or what have you. The video for Joy’s “Hello” is a sweet and surprisingly emotional piece, trading the CG dreamscapes of Red Velvet past for an indie-movie feel — the earthy color palette and road trip narrative. Joy, overcoming a Wendy-approved breakup, packs up for vacation and encounters a little girl trying to get home. Here we have very human moments like the dad squeezing his daughter in the end, which is a different kind of special effect, to be terrible. “Hello” is a really big song and Joy bursts with soaring energy. However, it’s an interesting approach to a Joy debut, not only being an album of cover songs, but I thought her whole thing was “sexy dynamite.” I expected it to be closer to something like Namjoo’s “Bird,” at least in terms of visuals. So it’s a nice surprise, and very Red Velvet — refreshing, like a summer breeze. … More 07/20/2021 – Summer Red Velvet Maybe

My Favorite Shots from “Wind Flower”

Mamamoo’s 2018 single “Wind Flower” is one of the best songs I’ve ever heard, and its corresponding video is a nice surprise, a Hong Kong-set mood piece with echoes of Wong Kar-wai. Although, my second thought watching the video was, “Is that true, or is it just the blue fluorescent in the noodle shop?” Maybe for Hong Kongers, Wong doesn’t solely define the city, but nevertheless, the four members of this group do their part in staring sadly across wide spaces and dancing in private. As this is the first real mention of Mamamoo on this site, I’ll introduce each member as they come and try to give you a sense of the group. … More My Favorite Shots from “Wind Flower”

My Wife is a Gangster 3

There’s a tropey thing in movies where the badass hero guy goes big-league, demonstrating killer skills outside his usual environment. Maybe it’s Ray Liotta pistol-whipping the guy in Goodfellas, or Jason Statham beating up the basketball court in The Expendables. We know they deal with bigger threats, so this one’s just for fun — applied badass. I went looking through the Goodfellas listing on TV Tropes and didn’t find anything, though the scene is considered, among others, an example of their trope “All Girls Want Bad Boys.” True enough, in both cases, the badass application makes audience of a woman (“I gotta admit, It turned me on,” says Karen Hill). … More My Wife is a Gangster 3

Search: WWW | Recommended Korean Drama

“Give me Cha Hyeon,” Ga-kyeong says, and as the scene whips between reaction shots and the music swells, I’m bouncing the iPad on my knees, making a positively indescribable noise. Search: WWW often shocked me like this, inducing so much excitement and even dread, then clocking me square in the stupid grin. It was urgent somehow, to even process my experience with it — but I couldn’t. Perhaps it left me feeling so much that my thoughts were annihilated. I’d like to recommend it, but where do I even start? … More Search: WWW | Recommended Korean Drama

06/12/2021 – “We’ve Found Ourselves in a Village, a Resident Evil Village”

Resident Evil is a great stress test for my unified transmedia theory! That’s redundant, but I’d like to emphasize my concern here. In any given entry in the long-running zombie series, you’ll see inappropriate martial arts, superpowers, pretty boys, meme-making dialogue, boulder-punching, and a bestiary of such zoological scope it’s breathtaking. In that regard, it’s far closer to Pokémon than most movies of its ilk and their galdern, premature satisfaction with the simple zombo. So much to say, Resident Evil is weird. … More 06/12/2021 – “We’ve Found Ourselves in a Village, a Resident Evil Village”