Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Jul 02 2004

According to the Central Weather Bureau, the eye o…

According to the Central Weather Bureau, the eye of Mindulle is passing down the street in front of our building as I write this. Or it would be, if Mindulle still had an eye. The storm has weakened considerably, no doubt due to my shoes’ still-considerable powers, and Taipei hasn’t seen anything more than a bit of rain. Frankly, I’m disappointed.

And now, some movies:

Kirk and I went to see Spider-man 2 last night at the Death Star Mall. I was initially afraid we were sitting too close to the screen to properly enjoy the film, but it was so good it didn’t matter. After seeing Shrek 2, which I enjoyed, and now this, I am beginning to wonder if the rule that Sequels Must Suck is as hard and fast as I once thought. Could The Empire Strikes Back be a precursor rather than an aberration?

One movie I saw that did suck was Love, Actually. If they had narrowed down the number of stories to a mere handful instead of the 27 relationships they glossed over instead, I might have liked it. Particularly as the film had such good actors. But there was nothing to grasp onto at all, leaving a very empty feeling not unlike eating a cheese puff and then wondering if you had one or not. It was as if they scooped out all the clips from Four Weddings and a Funeral‘s cutting room floor and made a movie out of it.

Under the Tuscan Sun, however, is a completely different story. I loved this film, not just for the beautiful scenery, subtle acting and sensual pace, but because it spurns the idea of the tradtional love story, preferring instead to explore more interesting aspects of self exploration. This is the route that Amelie should have taken after it’s phenomenally wonderful first act, but alas, they chose instead to fall into the traditional boy-meets-girl thing at the end. If Amelie, like Francis in Tuscan Sun, had realized how to be happy on her own at the end of the movie, it would have been ten times better and an pretty much a perfect film. Tuscan Sun seems to follow the old pattern in the first act and then quietly departs, the opposite of what happened with Amelie. In any case, normally this kind of film would bore me to tears, but it was so well done I felt watching it the second time was a real treat. And I do have Amelie on DVD as well. It’s not all sci-fi and action in my collection, you know. That said, I’m really looking forward to Zhang Yi-mou’s House of Flying Daggers. Just the title makes me think of my childhood…sniff.

In other news, I’ve been having some trouble applying for a new Hong Kong visa. Normally when a Taiwan passport holder applies for a Hong Kong visa, there’s no problem. But apparently my situation is so unique they feel it necessary to require me to jump through all kinds of hoops, even more than places like Australia or the US require. Hong Kong’s nice, but a trip there’s not quite worth sacrificing one’s firstborn offspring on a stone alter at midnight with a sharpened salamander. If it were New Zealand, meh. Well, maybe, but not Hong Kong.

posted by Poagao at 3:55 am  

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