Day: April 17, 2010

Trigun in the Ming Dynasty

This doesn't look like Trigun at all... really.

This doesn't look like Trigun at all.

It’s been a quiet time for good martial arts movies now that Jackie Chan and Jet Lei are getting kinda old and shit. It’s pretty refreshing to see a nice, standalone martial arts entry like Little Big Soldier (which I’ll be reviewing soon) But we do see a return of that other dude from Hero, Donnie Yen

Chinese Cinema GO!

It all focuses around a dude who carries a box with… you guessed it, 14 blades.

What’s with movies and their loaded plots these days… here’s another entry from wiki… goddamn.

During the late Ming Dynasty, the Chinese imperial court is plagued by corruption as eunuchs usurp state power and the reigning emperoris deemed incompetent. The Jinyi Wei (literally: Brocade-clad Guards) is the government’s secret police, trained in clandestine combat since childhood, they are in charge of conducting missions to ensure peace and stability within the empire. They have the authority to prosecute anyone deemed as an enemy of the state and they devote their lives and lethal prowess to serving the emperor only. When the organization was first founded, the Jinyi Wei took orders directly from the emperor, but now they are under the control of the eunuch faction. The chief eunuch Jia Jingzhong is plotting with an exiled noble, Prince Qing, to rebel against the emperor and seize power. Jia orders Qinglong, the Jinyi Wei chief, to kill the Imperial Councilor Zhao Shenyan and take Zhao’s safebox, which supposedly contains a list of names of traitors.

However, Qinglong discovers later that he had been used, as the safebox contains the Imperial Seal, a symbol of the emperor’s authority, and Jia wants to use it to legitimize Prince Qing’s actions for convenience when the rebellion begins. Qinglong is betrayed by his fellow guards and becomes a fugitive when Jia denounces him as a traitor and issues an order for his arrest. Qinglong escapes and joins the Justice Escort Agency, where he strikes up a romantic relationship with Qiao Hua, the daughter of the agency’s leader. Qinglong is determined to fulfill his loyalty to the emperor and continues to search for evidence of Prince Qing’s rebellion plot and undermining Qing’s plans. He is joined by the Heaven Eagles Gang, a group of bandits led by the Judge of the Sands. Standing in Qinglong’s way are Jia Jingzhong’s lackeys and his former Jinyi Wei fellows, as well as Prince Qing’s goddaughter Tuotuo, a highly-skilled female pugilist.

Yeah, it didn’t make much sense to me either… normaly this is is that part where I get all irritated and talk about the numerous plot holes and the numerous times I said WUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUTTTTT. But I can actually let that all go. The costume design rivals those of Oscar nominated movies here in the states. And the fighting is just as good as any kung fu flick… which means it’ll blow your fucking mind (see: scene with coin and bowl) and Tuotuo is hot, fast, and can kill with all the fenese of her male counterparts.

The ending is very sweet as well. It brings everything to s definite close… unlike most movies these days. And what’s this, a PLAUSIBLE love story in a kung fu film? Nice. Again… this is one flawed piece of film, but it’s going to show up on my top ten of the year for sure.

Dear Roger Ebert…

Hello Ebert.

This blog is for you. For you to learn why video games are art!

I can agree with you in some ways though Roger (do you mind if I call you Roger?) I’ve seen my fair share of video games that can not be classified as art in any way. I mean the game to the right (Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing – 2004 for PC) has been rated the worst game of all time. I mean look at that! The numbers don’t fit in the boxes, the truck has no color, and the terrain doesn’t have much going for it either. Honestly, who in their right mind would waste their creative ability on making such a worthless pile of crap? Let alone expect a poor helpless soul to waste hours of their breathing while playing this pile of crap. These are things that probably make you look and say, “Wow, video games aren’t art! Maybe some can be, but if they all can’t, then there is no way they can be considered an art form!”

Well can’t the same be said for your preferred art source Roger? (Really, is it okay if call you Roger?) Take this hunk of junk movie for example, “Epic Movie.” I searched all over your site for a review but came up with nothing. Was it not worthy of your standards? I mean this movie was god awful! But is it so bad that it isn’t art? I mean I’m not going to say that this movie should not be classified as an art form, but let’s be honest here, where the f**k is the “art” in this movie? If you’ve ever watched this (which I’m guessing you haven’t, because I had to be lured into a living room containing a pizza box and an attractive girlfriend to begin my viewing of this masterpiece) you too will have feelings of despair, anger, and disgust (similar to your thoughts on Kick-Ass) and probably demand the last 90 minutes of your life back.

But according to you Roger, Film is art. So there for Epic Movie is art. It’s good art as a matter of fact. As long as it’s not a video game, It can be art!

Roger, video games are animation. Animation unlike that of Disney/Pixar or Dreamworks. This is animation that has to be able to react to millions, maybe even billions of possible movements you as the player can make. Take a look at this game for example. (Not like I expect you to watch the video below, but it’s always worth a shot.)

God of War III is one of the most graphically stunning games. Don’t even give me that “it looks so gory and repulsive” garbage, because you’ve enjoyed plenty of movies with just as much as this game. The critic uses the phrase “film like sequences.” Did you hear that Roger? He compared a video game to your beloved art form of film! What a disgrace!

I’ve felt more emotional during video games than movies Roger. You control the story in a video game, you are the main character, and you need to finish the story. You can only watch and wish you could do that while watching a movie. Video games make that dream come true.

Take care now.

I’m Sorry Ebert. You’re Just Wrong Today.

No this isn’t about Kick Ass… though you were wrong about that one too. But let’s get down to business.

I read your article saying “Video Games Can Not Be Art.” This is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve heard from a man I usually agreed with since I was ten years old and decided to go into movies and writing.

Ebert, I’m sure you’ve never sat down and actually played through a single game in your life.

This is certainly not art.

I can agree with you that video games have degraded a LOT in quality since the days of games like Super Mario World 2: Yoshis’ Island (left). However, you can’t say there’s not a equal amount if not more effort put into some games to truly make them beautiful. Why do you think Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg opened up game studios in the last couple of years? They’ve seen it’s a great output for creativity… and it’s quite profitable if you churn out a decent product.

I was correct when I wrote, “No one in or out of the field has ever been able to cite a game worthy of comparison with the great poets, filmmakers, novelists and poets.” To which I could have added painters, composers, and so on, but my point is clear.

Okay, I also have a little problem with this. Even if you look at some great artists, many of which didn’t get jack until they were dead or just died young anyway. We won’t know for many years yet how much influence Metal Gear or Sonic have on our films and our writing. One thing I can honestly say… the things I write, not all, but a lot have heavy influence from the games I’ve played over the years. Think of it as a movie where you have complete control over what happens. It can really get the ideas flowing during a bout of writers block… but you’ve said it yourself before, it’s not perfect, but you had fun. That’s exactly how it works for games and well is film. Not all movies are art… but some art. Most games are not art, but some really shine. Games are a new medium for storytelling. The first films weren’t complete gems, but look at them now. I’m guessing it was the same for music, and even the first cave drawings. But I’m rambling.

Besides, I wouldn’t dare compare any modern writer to Poe, any musical artists to Mozart or Michael Jackson, or Jackson Pollack to anyone. They’re all great, but it’s all apples and oranges… mmm oranges. I could use one right now.

I suggest Mr. Ebert you go play Heavy Rain on Playstation 3 and get back to me. But I don’t know if I can change your mind after saying Katamari and Braid… two of the most original and beautiful games I’ve played in years, aren’t art. That’s just crazy. Why don’t you give them a quick play. You might just like them, who knows.

I still look forward to your reviews and greatly respect you. But you’re just wrong today. I’d love to debate this farther with anybody.

EDIT: I forgot about the most beautiful game I’ve ever played… Okami


If this isn't art. I don't know what is.

Yes

Kick Ass

To be honest I wanted to make a mediocre pun out of the title but my mind went dry. Sorry about that.

If you look up Kick-Ass on IMDb and check the genre of this movie, you get a list of: Action, Comedy, Drama. Frankly, that’s exactly what this is. A super movie about super heroes.

Within the first five minutes of the movie, it is well established that this wasn’t going to be a typical sob story with a cliche plot to a driving victory leaving us with a happy conclusive ending.

David Lizweski is exactly what his last name suggests, a total loser… ski. Total lame-o at school, with lame friends, lame glasses, and a lame awkward life. He dared to ask a question no one ever thought to ask, “Why don’t people go be super heroes?” It’s not a bad question actually. David even brings up Bruce Wayne. No superpowers, just super stuff. So David decides to hit up a generic online store in his generic MacBook pro and order a scuba- I mean super suit. His first attempt at fighting crime? Well, let’s just say everyone thinks he took it up the butt. No, that is not a figure of speech. His little incident turns everyone towards the belief that David is gay, including the girl of his dreams. David plays the gay card, and I can’t blame him; WHO WOULDNT?!

David gets the guts to go out again. Thanks to our technologically filled generation, David’s superhero antics are caught on camera, and everyone LOVES him. An overnight sensation to say the least. This just happened to be at the same time a drug dealer/mafia leader finds out a superhero is killing his men. You can guess where this is going.

The last tidbit I’ll say is that this movie has one of the best fight scenes I’ve seen to date. If you check out the movie you’ll know what I mean.

I’m just glad Nicholas Cage is going to have some money to pay off those loans.

Go see this. NOW.