Thursday, April 17, 2003

What the...?
Someone's hijacked my blog! What can I do?!
Lucky 13
Thirteen awesome new clips of different scenes in X2 have been posted at Countingdown!

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Movie Madness
I'm prepared to take the risk associated with being cooped up in a crowded room for the Hong Kong International Film Festival. I bought the tickets more than a month ago, and I'm not about to forgo the screenings.

Whilst I'm speaking about movies, there are a few coming out this year that sound like they will be worth the HK$50 ticket to see:

Ewan McGregor and Renée Zellweger play sparring lovers in (what only can be described as an homage to the gay - in all senses of the word - romantic comedies that starred Rock Hudson and Doris Day) Down With Love. Everything about it screams kitschy camp, from the director - Peyton Reed (whose first celluloid contribution was the seminal piece, Bring It On); to the setting - flashy 1960s New York; to the sets - all scenes were filmed inside a studio with painted backgrounds.

...and just when you thought things could not get more camp, a duet featuring the vocal stylings of Mr McGregor and Ms Zellwegger (and penned by the Hairspray team of Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman), titled Here’s To Love, will run during the film's credits.

...and speaking of romantic comedies, the absolutely adorable Kate Hudson and Naomi Watts play American sisters looking for love in Paris in Merchant Ivory's Le Divorce. The film also features Stockard Channing and Glenn Close. Je ne peux pas attendre!

Quentin Tarantion's fourth film, Kill Bill, may not be a romantic comedy, but it's definitely filled to the brim with kitsch. Dubbed THE "exploitation" film to end all exploitation films, it is a homage to the Shaw Bros martial arts films made in the 1970s (amongst many other things). Uma Thurman plays a female assassin, named "The Bride", who is seeking revenge against her former boss, Bill (David Carradine). Killing Bill isn't so easy (or the film would be pretty short), as along the way, she is confronted by a few of her former colleagues (the DiVAS), played by Lucy Liu, Darryl Hannah, Vivica A. Fox and James Madsen. The teaser looks hilarious!

Doesn't Uma Thurman's yellow tracksuit look familiar? Well, it's a reference to the outfit worn by Bruce Lee in his last film.

For more Kill Bill trivia, check out here. It comes out v. late in the year.

For those who cannot get enough of cheesy retro-references, go check out the full theatrical trailer for Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. Lot's of crazy costumes, funny lines, and wacky action... all set to that kitsch classic, My Sharona. Even Demi Moore looks quite sensational (in all her new plastic glory) as the former-angel-gone-bad Madison.

Is there anyone who doesn't know that Matrix Reloaded is coming out? There are some cool animation shorts at the Animatrix. It's a shame it goes into cinemas two weeks after the premiere of the most anticipated film pour moi.

In a mere two weeks... I'll be first in line to see you-know-what. Early reviews of the X-Men sequel, X2: X-Men United are v. favourable.

For a non-trailer preview, here is a clip, in which Iceman "comes out" to his family.

Monday, April 07, 2003

Mighty Atom
To the original go-go boy (look at those boots, that spiky hair, those tight black shorts and those machine-gun buttocks...), happy birthday Astro Boy!

When Osamu Tezuka dreamed up a lovable robot, called Tetsuwan Atomu, in 1951, he gave his creation a far-out birthdate of April 7, 2003.

Astro Boy was the star of Japan's first domestically-produced television cartoon show, in the early 1960s. However, it was with the broadcast of a second series in colour, in the early 1980s, which endeared the Mighty Atom to a generation of non-Japanese viewers. (So many hours were spent in front of the idiot box watching the ABC's after-school line-up... expect a fresh series to enchant another generation soon.) To many, it was our first salivating taste of Japanese anime.

Friday, April 04, 2003

School's out
The university has extended the suspension period for another week, till 14 April. Schools have a more cautious attitude and will be closed until 21 April.

Things are in disarray. When will the semester end now? Will the examination period stretch to the end of June now? When will I be able to go back to Sydney?

Thursday, April 03, 2003

Revelation 13:1–2
When senior medical officials inappropriately weep openly in front of members of the media or outrageously equate the spread of atypical pneumonia with the Holocaust, you know things aren't too well.

The local government severely underestimated the problem and is now paying dearly for their earlier complacency. Beijing's response to the outbreak until today can be only be described as pathetic. The lack of governmental leadership, guidance and reassurance has allowed for the spread of misinformation and rumour-mongering. Things don't look pretty; the whole city is completely demoralised.

Schools have closed indefinitely, streets are less crowded, restaurants and shopping malls are empty. University classes have been suspended until Monday. Many folks have braved the 8 hour flight and have flown home to Sydney.

At times of crisis, it is easy to see how people's sense of rationalism disappear - they turn into mindless automatons driven by a silly herd-like mentality. A little teenage nit-wit's tasteless April Fool's joke caused panic buying in supermarkets. The internet rumours he created stated that HK was declared an infected area, the Chief Executive resigned and the Hang Seng index collapsed. People believed in the absurd. The Government sought to quell the rumours and requested the six major mobile networks to broadcast a message to 6 million mobile phones. At least they are doing something decent now...