Comments, Rotten Tomatoes and the like

There is always room for improvement; leave a comment tell me what you think. And please, be brutal. Nothing like being eviscerated by the general public (though in reality no one reads this so maybe not so general public).

28 5월, 2008

Pipe Full of Dreams

Probably the man with the longest reach in the Korean music industry JYP (Park Jin-Young's initials in the English-friendly name order), a.k.a Rain/Bi's former producer, is certainly a force to be reckoned with. After conquering the Korean market he helped bring forth the Hallyu wave to the rest of Asia by engineering the rise of one of the biggest stars there is over there; Bi/Rain. There are other groups that he has produced as well, but since I really do not give a could care less, they shall not be mentioned.

Rain and himself parted company last year, due to creative differences. Ever since then I have gotten repeated whiffs of someone trying to be younger than he really is. Especially when he dances. Justin Timberlake and Usher certainly don't move anything like Chris Brown and Omarion. Why? With age comes the realisation that sexy does not necessarily mean flashy. In trying to go up against his younger, hotter, better looking, if slightly (read: a heckuva lot) dumber ex-protege he has gone through all manner of age-defying processes all of which has done nothing but earn him the moniker "gorilla".

Rumours of plastic surgery, extreme weight loss and dodgy taste in clothing aside, JYP is still a good producer. Good as in not revolutionary, as in a 6 on a scale of 1 to 10. He's good enough to have worked with some of the bigger names in the American music industry, but on a personal note, it tends to be the music I skip, because everyone else produces music in a similar manner in the R&B/hip hop field nowadays, less than memorable album filler that masquerades as a mjor release (don't worry I won't start that again). On the other hand I have liked the production on Rain/Bi's albums including my current favourite "With U".

Which brings me to the ultimate reason for this post: his latest bid to take over the world (i.e. the American music market) involves five gamine girls aged 15 to 19 called the Wondergirls. Winsome and pretty with voices that can barely hold a tune (think Cassie), I shocked the living daylights out of myself by actually liking their new single "I'm So Hot". Light, frothy and which as much depth as a hair on a mosquito's behind, it is the type of song that could have been a summer hit in the US. Enjoy!

26 5월, 2008

Out Of Korea, AFRIKA?

What do you get when you mix gambling cops, bumbling gangsters, guns, and four girls on the run? The result is a Set It Off-lite movie A.F.R.I.K.A (2006), which varies from lightly amusing comedy to boring, pseudo-moralistic tripe about the power of friendship.
Two college girls off to the beach stumble upon a supposed toy gun in the back seat of the car. Unbeknownst to them, the vehicle has been stolen and the guns are real, having being lost in a game by the aforementioned cop and gangsters.
By some inane and downright unbelievable plot devices, the girls pick up a waitress/hostage/hooker/getaway driver and a "mysterious" girl and make their way to Seoul, robbing people who--by movie standards I guess--supposedly deserve it, all for personal gain. Cue montage of girls getting their hair "did", buying expensive phones and living in luxurious hotels. In an incredulously short amount of time the girls bond and become fast friends, but not before they end up pointing the guns at each other once or twice for some drama and garnering a fan club A.F.R.I.K.A (Adoring Four Revolutionary Idols Korea Association. Does that even make sense?) for which they are named. They apparently love the derrings-do of the girls, enough to grant them cult status.
What is sadly lacking is actual character development, or anything that allows us a real connection with the ragtag theiving crew. All the circumstances created to promote pathos for anyone (all seeming to revolve around men doing a female wrong) sadly falls flat and really seems almost petulantly childish. The anticlimatic finale is the icing on this very, very disappointing cake, making this a miss in my book.

1 out of 5 for being made.

24 5월, 2008

And I So Should Not Have Wasted Bandwith

Pygmalion and its retelling as the classic movie My Fair Lady (1956) is a perennial favorite with movie makers. A makeover story with a dab of fiery, combative romance and a surefire ending guaranteed to please the sensibilities of any dewy-eyed lover of love, it seems fairly straightforward that at least some passable fare could be created, but no. I guess Ovid never counted the ineptitude of the director of My Dream Girl to screw up something so simple, so royally.

The director had all the ingredients; beautiful people, montage of fun makeover scenes, the cheating girlfriend of the lead dude. It all comes across however as flat, humorless and seemingly without a single thread of thought to keep the movie flowing seamlessly between the scenes. Instead, scenes vary from incredibly rushed to absolutely pointless and a blooming waste of film.

Crappy, disappointing and my now hard drive a much poorer piece of a equipment for it, my ratio sacrificed.

0.5 out of 5. That's only because...forget it 0 out of 5 for ruining my day

11 5월, 2008

Go Rain Go!

Speed Racer finally premiered on May 9th 2008 after much anticipation, drooling and chomping at the bit. The Wachowski brothers' live-action adaptation of a much beloved children's anime from Japan which I'm sure they still show in Nigeria. Heaven knows the programming doesn't change much. Anyhoo, one of the biggest Korean megastars--actor, singer, dancer and all around hottie-McHot-hot Bi/Rain (real name Jung Ji Hoon)-- made his first appearance in a Hollywood production as Taejo Togokhan a Japanese racer with an axe to grind with bad guy Royalton. I must say, he acquitted himself nicely. He gave a solid performance, and even though I don't quite understand why the Taejo ends up cheering wildly in the end, I think he did a credible job. His "anglais" needs much work for his next feature Ninja Assassin (again them Wachowski boys)but time and editing might help sort that out.

A couple of things to note:

After watching this movie, you will end up colourblind. The at times stunning, other times miasmic, colour palette will end up painfully and permanently soldered to your retinas rendering you incapable of anything other than black/white differentiation.

I caught Bi dancing during his fight scenes. Oh dear. Let's hope that no-one else noticed.

The producers/directors decided to add hints of Bi's Korean heritage by having his character's first name as Taejo, meaning "great ancestor" (according to wikipedia). Then they decided to have a Japanese company use Korean script to write stuff on their banners, banking on the fact that most audiences won't be able to differentiate between Japanese and Korean. Oh for shame. Or I may be casting aspersions as to their motivation for doing something so daft. Not cool.

Even though this isn't quite a review, I will give it a 3 out of 5 + 0.5 for having Bi in it