01/20/2022 – Is It Disrespect?

I admit I felt a pang of embarrassment after having singled out Rekha Sharma when discussing Yellowjackets on the QNA Year End Review. After being the first actress you see on the show, she’s soon sidelined for a majority of the season and killed off in the finale. So, actually, it was a series of pangs. The funny thing is, in a post-show interview with the creators [which, naturally, I can’t find again], these two emphasized the ambiguity of plot events, that what you saw is not necessarily what it seemed, and the only thing they did confirm is that Sharma’s character is dead. What the hell? … More 01/20/2022 – Is It Disrespect?

01/18/2022 – Naeun’s Turn

I don’t know when you can consider yourself a fan of something, especially for things with prominent fan culture, like K-pop. For some, I imagine, being a fan is like taking on an identity. I certainly remember what it was like being a groupie, following the cast of a TV show around Hollywood for events and shows and things. It was pretty weird. I made some good friends, though. One of them so good, that when I was leaving Los Angeles last summer, he suggested we hang out and do a double feature of The Raid 2 and The Night Comes for Us, rather than go out to a bar — which I hate doing. Not a socialite, but I did sense that I was developing as a social creature with this new group, because barring my fellow Indonesian kung fu enthusiast, it was made up entirely of women. I’d had a single woman friend before – a token, but for a time she was also my only friend – but this was a new experience. Essentially, I had to learn how to talk to them, to make sure I was doing my part to maintain a good space. The show we were fans of was all about a diverse, inclusive world, so it would have been weird to not replicate it ourselves. For the most part, there was no drama, nothing weird happened, and unlike all my prior friend groups, there was no competition of any sort. No rivalries, no gatekeeping. … More 01/18/2022 – Naeun’s Turn

01/17/2022 – That’s Messed Up, Seohyun

Yeah, so this is a movie, and it’ll be out in a month. How I’ll be able to wait that long is anyone’s guess. I opened the Instagram app while the Yellowjackets season finale was paused and what was there to greet me? Seohyun’s latest post, this poster. It’s been over two hours now and I’m still shaking. That part at the end of the episode with Shauna and Jackie might be playing a part, also the incredible cold here in New England, but this is gonna distract me for a good long while. … More 01/17/2022 – That’s Messed Up, Seohyun

The Shadow Whip

There’s a scene where the heroine Yun enters a tavern and all the patrons look up from their tea and wine and my heart sank a little. What are they seeing? What are they thinking? There’s no spark, no grin threatening on Yun’s face at the realization she’s the baddest guy in the room. The problem is that Yun is played by Cheng Pei-pei, and this is a woman who doesn’t just walk into a tavern. Her debut character, Golden Swallow in Come Drink with Me, exuded such an aura of mystique, a gravity I’m missing in The Shadow Whip. What we have, then, is a study in functional direction, and how imprecision can be ruinous. … More The Shadow Whip

Great Fight Scenes | Throne Room, Star Wars: The Last Jedi

This sequence begins with the dialogue preceding the action. Supreme Leader Snoke has our heroine Rey in hand, and he’s confident that padawan Kylo Ren will strike her down (which doesn’t usually have consequences, as I understand it). The villain chatters on about destiny while Kylo surreptitiously turns the lightsaber toward him, a tense scene culminating in the shock of Snoke’s assassination. Rey and Kylo barely have time to make eyes because now the Praetorian Guard have been activated. … More Great Fight Scenes | Throne Room, Star Wars: The Last Jedi

New K-Drama Alert! Twenty Five Twenty One

As you can see, this is headlined by Kim Tae-ri, who I know from The Handmaiden but is also famous for Mr. Sunshine. In fact, the only thing I know about Mr. Sunshine is that image of her with a period rifle. Lookin’ good! But this is the first time it’s the behind-the-scenes personnel that’s claimed my attention, specifically the writer Kwon Do-eun, whose previous (and first) K-drama was Search: WWW, which I won’t shut up about and have more to talk about later. … More New K-Drama Alert! Twenty Five Twenty One

Spirited Away

Setting upon the ocean with her mentor Lin, our heroine Chihiro looks back to see No Face stumbling out of the great bathhouse. However much a ghost stumbles, he is dizzy after his recently ejected meal of three people. Chihiro calls out to him, “Over here!” and Lin just says, “We don’t need him.” You know, not “He ate and spat out three people,” which was only part of his earlier rampage. It’s a casual kind of absurdity, one that doesn’t tug at incredulity because it feels earned. In fact, this is a film that gets funnier as it goes on, which is the opposite of how these things usually go – you know, movies that make me cry. You want to start funny to soften up the audience, and then hit them with tragedy, but not this time. Spirited Away understands that half of any joke, same as any wisdom, is the person making it, so its breathtaking fantasy adventure is premise for revealing the depths of people – none of whom are “human.” … More Spirited Away

Rewaking into Dream: The Matrix Resurrections

After a second viewing of The Matrix Resurrections, special guest host Stella and I attempt to piece our feelings together. It’s a complicated story, isn’t it? A movie that shouldn’t exist but is entertaining. A good movie but maybe a bad sequel. An action movie with questionable action scenes? And this is assuming we understood it at all, which is very much up to debate. … More Rewaking into Dream: The Matrix Resurrections