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Everything posted by theoddone33

  1. No idea if there's any interest in this or not. I embarked on a journey to teach myself Korean a couple years ago, and while I've mostly failed I've picked up a lot of music along the way. Here's a few artists and samples that I find notable. Lots more depth at Ask a Korean, who has done a series of blog posts on important Korean artists. - Starting with my current favorite, Urban Zakapa. A trio of singers (2 male, 1 female) whose background I don't know much about. They've achieved some success in the k-indie scene with their jazzy pop ballads. Probably their biggest hit is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0AjYMW6Bm4. - Ballad singer Sung Si Kyung has one of the best male voices I've ever heard. An older single off his 2002 album: - Young pop singer Younha has achieved a lot of success in both Japan and Korea since her debut as a teenager in 2004. Her albums drift back and forth between upbeat songs and ballads, but lately she's been competing on a Korean music show covering 90's Korean hits and the results have been really amazing. Here's one example: - Mid-late 90's band Deli Spice is credited with bringing alternative rock into the mainstream in Korea. The Confession - Folk singer Kim Kwang Seok rose to stardom in the early 90s, but sadly took his own life at the age of 32. - No Brain probably remains the only pop-punk band to ever achieve notable success in Korea. - Indie duo JRabbit became popular through their covers on Youtube and are starting to gain recognition and a following in Korea after their second album. - Electronica indie trio Glen Check is pretty amazing, but still woefully unpopular in Korea. - Seo Taiji is known as the "godfather of kpop", but the amazing thing to me is that almost all of his music holds up well to this day despite it drifting through a number of musical styles in the last two decades. - Hip hop duo Leessang achieved huge success last year with thier seventh album. The success was driven by their regular roles on variety television, but they really stepped it up musically on that album as well. There are many many more, I think this list gives a good variety of quality stuff outside of Gangnam Style, though.
  2. Nice film, although I suppose the Netflix version was cut a little. The relationship is a little muddy in both time periods. I would have liked more interaction to figure things out. Bothered me a little that Gosling was the only one trying in the relationship and ended up being the one taking all the blame. Interesting setup in that Thought the scene with the wrestler was pretty obvious, she was mad at him for . Although thought it was interesting that while the film made it rather clear that Dean Rather mad that the film ends on a sad note, though it seemed as if it was intentionally ambiguous. Never having been involved in a marriage it's always made me a little angry that people can't grow up a little and make their relationships work. Sure they were immature, sure they rushed into marriage, but in the end the only reason it didn't work is because they're too selfish to try. But it's easier to judge from the sidelines than to actually do it.
  3. Lots of good games out this year. Dark Souls will keep me occupied for the rest of the year, but eventually I'd like to play Arkham City and Uncharted 3. I will probably go through the campaign of Modern Warfare 3 at some point as well. I haven't played Skylanders but it's sounding like the kind of thing that could end up taking a lot of my time and money.
  4. Having read a book on the Hoover-era FBI made up mostly of declassified memos, I have no interest in a film that portrays him positively at all. DiCaprio will do good job, but the aged version of the character does look a fair bit ridiculous in the trailer. Normally Oscar winning director plus Oscar winning actor would be a slam dunk... this may end up being quite an odd film.
  5. I actually thought that the Coen's choice of Leaning on the Everlasting Arms for the True Grit soundtrack was inappropriate as that hymn is forever associated with Robert Mitchum's preacher in Night of the Hunter... and the Coen's *have to* know that.
  6. Biggest one for me in this category is Before Sunrise. One of the most shallow relationships ever depicted onscreen, but people fawn over it. Also Dancer in the Dark. And reading back through the thread I have to say The Ice Storm as well. After that and Lust Caution I think I'm done with Ang Lee. Edit 2: Grave of the Fireflies also. I guess I have a lot of these...
  7. For me, Waking the Dead was one of my favorite films for a long time, but no one else seemed to like it or care about it that much. I need to watch it again and reevaluate. If the thread here is anything to go by... Thirst is another.
  8. theoddone33


    Watched it tonight, a little underwhelmed. The whole thing felt too contrived to be effective. I think the film was supposed to get progressively more absurd, but it's hard to say. It's all too arbitrary. It's impossible to figure out the parental motivations because they just do random stuff. Given how quickly it all unwound it's surprising they got this far with it. And the ending was... far too abrupt. Normally I'm pretty forgiving of abrupt endings but I don't think this film earned it.
  9. Netflix *appears* to have a DVD copy of In a Better World, but it's not yet available on Amazon. Considering bumping it up on my DVD queue since the writer/director combo is one I really love. Dogtooth is of course on Netflix streaming, watched it tonight.
  10. theoddone33


    The Silent Movie Theatre in LA is screening this all month. I may make it a double feature with The General next Wednesday, which would be quite the contrast I think. Still a little apprehensive about what I'm subjecting myself to by buying a ticket though.
  11. theoddone33

    44 Inch Chest

    Didn't see a topic on this after searching for the director's name, cast, and title. A little odd as I thought there were a number of Ray Winstone fans here. This came out on netflix streaming recently I believe. It's a pretty minimalist theatrical piece with a few highs but ultimately it ended up disappointing. But I thought it showed a lot of potential for rookie director Malcolm Venville. Notable inclusions are a series of great monologues, including an excellent one by Winstone, and a lengthy homage to DeMille's Samson and Delilah with a lot of footage. Marriage is a central topic, and although it's a fairly profane film its perspective on love and marriage is quite interesting. I kept wondering if it was a reference to the story of Job in any way. This film has been rated pretty poorly, and I understand why. It had built up quite a bit of potential based on its outstanding cast by the halfway mark, but things went nowhere. I can't tell if it was the script's fault or the director's, but I think Venville is one to watch in the future. Looking at IMDB I see that he has another film from last year starring Keanu Reeves and James Caan with a significantly higher IMDB average. Curious as usual if anyone else has seen Venville's work.
  12. I haven't seen it yet, not sure I will after the lukewarm reception here. But I've seen it expressed elsewhere that this could lead to a best actress nod for Portman. Is that far-fetched? Feeling a bit sad that Inception is still the best 2010 film I've seen. I was hoping this would be decent...
  13. Saw this the night it came out in L.A... a little over a week ago, I think. I guess this film was necessary given that the second movie didn't have an ending. This isn't really a trilogy, it's two movies where the second one happens to be 5 hours long and costs two ticket prices to see. This part wraps up everything so tidily that you expect "And they all lived happily ever after..." to appear before the title scroll. I read that the author had material for a number of additional books prepared... I'm not sure where he would go with it after this. From talking to a friend who read the novels, I suspect a lot was lost in translation. I wouldn't call this a bad movie really, but it doesn't stand on its own and neither this nor the second movie really deliver on the promise showed by the first movie.
  14. theoddone33


    Let the Right One In was good. I recall some unexpectedly good performances by young actors and great photography but I don't recall interesting characters with interesting inner conflicts. Their trajectories were pretty straightforward. Thirst hinges on its ability to assault the viewer in a way that's enjoyable (the same reason people watch Von Trier, I figure). I can understand how that puts people off. But it actually does have some interesting themes. Its take on guilt dissolving a relationship is both comical and frightening at the same time. The references to martyrdom vs suicide referenced above are still interesting. The final Mahjongg scene was superbly paced and filmed. I wish the priest-ness of the priest was explored more... although maybe additional viewings would reveal more. And there are ways to fall into depravity that are a lot more interesting than straight up lust... I wish films wouldn't go there so quickly and decisively. Anyway Oldboy is a good litmus test. If you didn't like that I wouldn't expect you to like Thirst at all.
  15. Yeah it's a big deal in the game industry, though "ban" isn't the right word. I personally don't see it as a restriction of freedom of speech, though every court that's considered it has (so far) disagreed with me. The big question is how far the difference between minors and adults goes when it comes to the first amendment... so far exceptions have only been made for obscene content rather than violent content. If the SCOTUS decides to create a new exception it will be interesting to see how far beyond video games it goes. But even aside from first amendment issues the law in question has huge problems. The video game industry already has a voluntary rating system which is enforced through retail partners. I was going to call it a "perfectly good" rating system, but then I remembered that I actually do have a number of problems with it. However it does address the same issues, making the CA law a bit redundant. The other problem is that the CA law in question is extremely vague. I'm oversimplifying it I'm sure, but it boils down to "if common sense dictates that the game is too violent for minors..." then it will be enforced. Common sense is great and all, but there's no solid basis for legislation here. Video game retailers cannot follow this law because they have no idea which games qualify and no way to find out until after the law has been enforced. Anyway, the oral arguments in the case were pretty interesting. I think a lot of us expected the SCOTUS to reject it outright, but more than one justice was actually quite sympathetic to the law's goals. It will be a couple of months before their actual decision comes out... I think people still expect it to be struck down, but perhaps by a more narrow majority than previously thought.
  16. theoddone33


    I guess this is the fifth Park Chan Wook film I've seen, and I think there's clear evidence that he's getting more and more effective with each film. Lots of interesting stuff in this one, like the conversation in the opening of the film about the difference between martyrdom and suicide and how it connects with the end of the film. The main character does something quite unexpected and out of character in the penultimate scene... how that relates to the previous question is very interesting. It lacks the emotional depth of Sympathy for Lady Vengeance and Oldboy and Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance were both more raw, but Park's brand of audacious, confrontational storytelling is something of a guilty pleasure for me, just like Kim Ki-Duk. On that level Thirst succeeded very well. I didn't like Let the Right One In so I'll crown this my favorite non-Murnau vampire flick.
  17. theoddone33


    Caught this tonight. Won Bin is really popular in Korea right now, and Bong Joon-ho is a solid director, so I figured it was about time to watch. It's not a happy movie by any means, but I found it to be pretty intense. Better than The Host but nowhere close to Memories of Murder, which I regard as the best suspense thriller I've ever seen. This one requires some attachment to the characters which maybe wasn't established well enough early on. I think it's a very good film, but understand why others may disagree. I think it's a worthwhile watch, especially being on Netflix instant.
  18. Starcraft II will be released in 8 days. I've been in the beta and have been spending almost every free moment playing this game, including some 5+ hour sessions on the weekends. It's great, although very addicting. And I'm bad at it... I lose quite a bit but still want to play. Starcraft is a tried and true RTS formula and the sequel only builds on it. Plus there are pretty extensive tools shipped with the game that allow people to make their own custom gametypes, even with a potential revenue stream for the creators of popular mods that seems to resemble the iphone app store a bit. I think this will be the game of the year on PC, but it probably has very limited appeal outside of the hardcore crowd.
  19. I might as well point out the next installment, Call of Duty: Black Ops, as I've spent the last ~2 years working on it. Here's our reveal trailer: I can't say too much about it, but the reaction to our press so far has been encouraging.
  20. Hello friends, it's been quite a while since I've posted here. I just watched this movie on Netflix and found it to be a pretty competent mystery thriller, though a bit over the top. Highly depressing at points and a little bit cliched near the end. However I'm interested in the second and third movies in the trilogy. I see that the second one is coming out quite soon, but I'm not sure I want to wait. Has anyone looked into procuring these on DVD from Europe?
  21. Seeing as I saw the Danish version a few short days ago, Wells' first critique definitely applies to that film as well. I recall it bothering me a small bit during the watching but I didn't make much out of it. There were some scenes in the first movie showing him lying about his experiences in the camp... from the trailer the US version seemed to be a scene for scene remake so I'm not sure what happened there.
  22. I've been playing a lot of a game called Demon's Souls recently on the Playstation 3. It's a medieval style action RPG with some unique online elements. The game's mechanics are partially based around... well... dying. You can play either in spirit or body form. Spirit form does more damage, but playing in body form allows you to summon other players as spirits to help you complete the game. But you can also be "invaded" by another player when you play in body form, setting up some 1 vs 3 PVP. This game has gotten a lot of hype because it's very challenging. The game uses "souls" as currency, which you get by defeating enemies. Souls are used to upgrade weapons, buy items, and increase your character's stats. But if you die, all of the souls you've accumulated get trapped in a "bloodstain" near where you died, you get sent back to the start of the level, and all of the enemies you killed respawn. If you manage to make it back to your bloodstain you can recover all of the souls you lost, but if you die again along the way they're gone forever. As challenging as it is, there's a lot of help along the way when you play online. Players can drop "messages" on the ground to warn other players of danger or give strategy advice on how to handle particular enemies or situations. Also you can click on any other player's bloodstain in the world and see the last 10 seconds of their life. This is often enough info to give you a clue as to how they died and avoid the same fate yourself. People are loving this game, and it's getting a lot of "game of the year" buzz even though it hasn't sold anywhere near as many copies as other GOTY contenders. Part of it is the game's depth, and part is the amazing atmosphere of the different zones. IGN review here.
  23. Curious how this compares to the original, which I just saw last week. The Danish version relied on the strength of its cast to get things done, and sadly I thought Ulrich Thomsen's transformation wasn't very convincing. From the trailer it seemed to me that the U.S. cast will be even less convincing. I'm not sure it will pick up well in the US either. This is a film where not much actually happens, and the trailer covered almost all of the events that actually did happen (save one fairly important one they're trying to leave as a surprise). But I'm interested in word of mouth from around these parts. Is the US version (released today, I believe) any good?
  24. Caught this tonight on netflix... I suspect it will have to sit for a while before I can really comment on it accurately. Well worth watching... most people seem to make films about how people collide and the effects of their collisions, but this one was more about how people who should collide don't. We're trained in a way to think that a happy ending is getting to the destinies of the characters, but this film stops just short. I'm not sure what to make of it, but the commentary above about death bringing rebirth and the symbolism of the (English) title are helpful. I gave it 4 stars on Netflix just for being something that will probably stick with me for a while. This is the quote that convinced me to watch it:
  25. Modern Warfare 2 is scheduled for a November release, I believe, and press is starting to gear up for it. I believe the first significant trailer for the game is scheduled to debut during the Eastern Conference Finals this Sunday. The game takes place in the COD4 universe, with the protagonist from that game leading the player's squad against a new terrorist threat. Released information so far is that there will be a level set in Rio, with the O Cristo Redentor prominently displayed, as well as snow levels and apparently some underwater action. Infinity Ward has made statements indicating that they intend to address the issues raised with COD4 about infinitely spawning enemy sections and the overall short length of the story mode. Also, they're planning to include a 2 player cooperative mode where they can feature one-off missions, but there's no word yet on if this will be online coop only or if it will feature split screen.
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