Top 10 Action Movies of the 2000s – Follow-Up

If I get my stuff together and turn this into a feature, I’ll properly revisit this list when I do the 2010s, but in the meantime, I cannot believe I forgot about a number of even personal favorites from the first attempt, including two critical omissions. So this is what the revised list will look like, as of now, forehead sweaty. … More Top 10 Action Movies of the 2000s – Follow-Up

Top 10 Action Movies of the 2000s

Writing that review for Unleashed, this question really stuck in my head: what were the action movies of the 2000s? It really was a rancorous time, despite being a very solid decade for movies overall. It saw Spirited Away, Children of Men, Lady Vengeance, City of God, No Country for Old Men, the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The Korean New Wave came into its own, David Cronenberg reinvented himself, but action and horror were a way’s off from their own resurgences. We were mired in their episodes of blockbusters and remakes respectively, reinforcing the creative depletion surely at the heart of either. I can’t say there was a truly great “pure” action movie made in the span of 2000 to 2009, between the highs of Hard Boiled, The Matrix, and T2 on one side and The Raid, John Wick, and Inception on the other. … More Top 10 Action Movies of the 2000s

Unleashed

Everything about this movie is profoundly strange. Kerry Condon is the too-young love interest, Morgan Freeman is the Magical Negro, the most prominent motif is Bob Hoskins getting injured in cars. Beneath the streets of Glasgow, rich businessmen bet on gladiator combat fought by emotionally-damaged S&M goths. Then there’s the story itself, where Jet Li plays Danny, a seemingly mute enforcer for a loan shark, only unleashed from a literal collar to apply whirling kung fu on unsuspecting thugs. After he’s taken in by a blind piano tuner and his white teenage step-daughter, Danny will surely regain his stolen humanity. What that means is we’re gonna see Jet Li observing the world and piecing things together like a cute Pixar robot, wearing pajamas and hiding under the bed, not to mention bursting into scenes with awkward lines like “My mother, she was a whore” instead of “Hello.” … More Unleashed

01/02/2022 – I Really Wanted to Love This

So, in the world of K-pop, SM Entertainment recently put together a supergroup made up of members of Girls’ Generation, Red Velvet, and Aespa, all led by the Queen of K-pop BoA (as if they weren’t busy enough?). With the rush of the holidays, I barely had time to even process this, because it’s an unreal lineup: you have the superstar vocals of Taeyeon and Wendy, the crazy dance talent of Hyoyeon and Seulgi. It’s also an opportunity to educate myself, as I’m not studied enough to be able to tell BoA from newcomer Winter. I know, it’s shameful, I’m sorry. Karina is easily identifiable because she’s the one who looks like Taeyeon. I mean, it’s uncanny. And the group is called Girls on Top, a BoA callback that’s only too appropriate given the star power. They debuted their first song at SM Town Live 2022 over New Years, and, uh, I don’t know. I don’t even want to say it for fear of turning into a pillar of salt, but it’s bad. … More 01/02/2022 – I Really Wanted to Love This

Don’t Look Up

This “review” contains immediate spoilers, so the short version is: do not recommend. The extra half-star is because it’s somewhat funny, and for DiCaprio’s performance, which is considered and against type, but still not enough to elevate the role to a character … More Don’t Look Up

12/23/2021 – That’s Messed Up, Yuri

Unless you’re a stranger ’round this way, you know that we at With Eyes East are big fan of Yuri. I’d say “fans,” but that’s a half-hearted ruse I can’t sustain for even one sentence. Born Kwon Yu-ri and famous for her membership in Girls’ Generation, Yuri quickly became one of my favorite idols for her charm and friendly demeanor. Unfortunately, we’re all subject to the old maxim: never meet your heroes, or contemporarily, never scroll through headlines. Had you not, you might’ve dodged this winner: “Girls’ Generation’s Yuri Under Fire For Eliminating A Contestant On “My Teenage Girl” For Her Visuals” from Koreaboo, with the brilliantly deadpan subheading: “She was criticized.” … More 12/23/2021 – That’s Messed Up, Yuri

Best of the Year: 2021

An annual tradition five or seven years strong is the Year End Review, in which, via podcast, I recount the ten best movies or TV shows I saw for the first time that year. Originally hosted on The Battle Beyond Planet X, it’s since migrated to Questions: We Don’t Have Answers. The three-part podcast with cohost Donovan Morgan Grant and special guest Stella Bowman is now up. The following is my individual top ten list, with Worst of the Year and Honorable Mentions thrown in for flavor. What were your picks of the year? Let me know in the comments! For once, I actually mean that. … More Best of the Year: 2021

The Princess Mononoke and I

What’s the best Hayao Miyazaki movie? You don’t know how much it drives me crazy that my answer is Spirited Away and not Princess Mononoke. Yes, the one about the little girl who gets a job at the spa, while the fantasy epic about war and gods doesn’t crack my Ghibli top five. How I wish it did! It’s the kind of movie I hope they make every time, but each successive adventure seems to shrink in scale, down to bean level. I’ve seen Princess Mononoke three times now, at different times in my life, and I’ve sat with the same conclusion each time: I just don’t like it that much. Very, very crazy. … More The Princess Mononoke and I

11/27/2021 – In Defense of Mass Effect Combat

One of the last games I was playing was the original Mass Effect, this time on PS3. I played the trilogy on the Xbox 360, and Mass Effect 2 multiple times, bought them all again on PS3 and played up to the quarian homeworld in Mass Effect 3, gave the original a shot on PC once, and started the original once more on PS3. I’d gotten to Noveria when I stopped, probably because other, more pressing things than a game I play constantly, had gotten in the way. And yet, as I write this, I’m paused on Noveria, about to speak with the shopkeeper jellyfish on the Mass Effect Legendary Edition for PS4. If I can get through these three in time, I’ll finally give Mass Effect: Andromeda another shot, though technically that should come between Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3, right? Anyway, this was another characteristically boring introduction to our first segment, on the combat in Mass Effect. … More 11/27/2021 – In Defense of Mass Effect Combat