Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Review: Fast & Furious (and the whole series in general)

I admit that I was really excited to watch this movie. On my computer.
When I heard that another Fast and Furious movie, with the original cast, was coming out, I almost peed my pants.

So they came out in this order:
-The Fast and the Furious, directed by Rob Cohen (xXx, Stealth,...)

-2 Fast 2 Furious, directed by John Singleton (Boyz N the Hood, Four Brothers,...)

-The Fast and the Furious Tokyo Drift, directed by Justin Lin (Better Luck Tomorrow,...)

-Fast & Furious, directed by Justin Lin (Movie poster at the very top)

In my personal opinion, both 2 Fast 2 Furious and Tokyo Drift never happened. Neither were adequate sequels to The Fast and The Furious. A lot of people actually liked Tokyo Drift.
I don't know why. Was it the cars? Was it the girl? Was it the "drifting?" Or was it cause Brad Taylor from Home Improvement (Zachery Ty Bryan) was in it? I don't know. I can't figure out why people like Tokyo Drift so much.

I don't even remember what 2 Fast 2 Furious was about. All I remember is Paul Walker's car getting shot at by the FBI with some weird futuristic power draining gun, and then monster trucks coming out of a warehouse followed by a bunch of souped up rice burners. Oh yea, and Jin...
I'd also like to forget that Eva Mendes was ever in that movie.

After careful "analysis" I've come to realize that my love for the original, The Fast and The Furious, is primarily based off of hilarious quotes. Can you recall any lines from 2 Fast 2 Furious or Tokyo Drift? Actually I do remember a line from Tokyo Drift. When Lucus Black says, "I ain't no gaijin" with that ridiculous hillbilly accent. "Gaijin" is Japanese for foreigner.
So he says in the movie, "I ain't no foreigner." If you haven't seen Tokyo Drift, the majority of the movie takes place in TOKYO, JAPAN. Yes, he is a foreigner. I don't know why they threw that line in there...

The newest installment of The Fast and Furious series, cleverly (not really) titled, Fast & Furious, is in between TERRIBLE and AWESOME. But definitely more towards terrible than awesome.
I'm glad that the original gang got back together. Dom, Letty, Mia, and Brian. These guys are always getting into crazy shenanigans! They definitely got props for going with the O.G. gang.

Basically this movie takes place in between the first movie and Tokyo Drift. We know this because Han (who dies in Tokyo Drift) is in it.

You can definitely tell that Fast & Furious (from now on called F&F), had a bigger budget.
But there were still a number of things that I had a problem with. Each movie has at least one race scene. In one of the race scenes in F&F, they all use GPS systems. But for some reason, half of the race was shown in the perspective of the GPS. These GPS systems aren't like the ones we are used to seeing. They were in 3D, and had graphical representation of the other racers on the screen. Totally stupid.

Another thing that bothered me was that F&F stopped a trend. If you recall in The Fast and The Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious, and Tokyo Drift, there was a rapper in the movie.

Ja Rule


(Lil') Bow Wow

THERE WAS NO RAPPER IN F&F! Why break the trend? Why? I'm sure it would have helped with ticket sales too. Not that they really needed the help. But why mess with "tradition?"

Like I said before, the movie was OK. There weren't any hilarious/powerful quotes like in The Fast and The Furious. They used cool looking cars. I think. I don't know too much about cars. I know what a decent car is, but I couldn't tell you why a Honda Accord is better than a Toyota Camry, or vice versa.

Overall, I wasn't that impressed with F&F. I had really high expectations. Especially because of the cast. I was expecting some AWESOME lines. I won't even bother typing out the quotes here because they just aren't as awesome when you read them.

I was expecting epic scenes. Something to surpass one of the most iconic scenes of our generation:
(Rick Yune as Johnny Tran in The Fast and The Furious)
I know most of you know what happens after this picture...ONLY THE BEST SCENE IN THE MOVIE. (HINT: "TORRETO! SWAT, CAME INTO MY HOUSE...")

Don't get me wrong. I still think F&F is the only true sequel to the first movie.

But nothing can beat the original:

My final verdict is: 2.75 Pandas

**Which is pretty good since it's a scale from 1 to 5.
I'm being a little more forgiving for F&F though, simply because it's the only REAL sequel to one of the greatest movies of all time. And when I say "greatest movies of all time," I mean that it was so bad, that it was amazing. Unlike Dragonball Evolution. Which was so bad, I wanted to forget my childhood.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Review: Dragonball Evolution

I grew up watching this show, sort of. And I admit, that during the time I was watching Dragonball Z, I wished for a live action movie.

Luckily, or unluckily for us, a live action Dragonball movie came out under the moniker "Dragonball Evolution" on April 10, 2009 (aka 6 days ago)

The movie is roughly based on the original Dragonball series. Not to be mistaken for Dragonball Z. Although both Dragonball and Dragonball Z were written by Akira Toriyama.

Dragonball Evolution was directed by James Wong (Final Destination, The One, Final Destination 3). The Screenplay was written by Ben Ramsey (The Big Hit) and James Wong, and it was produced by Stephen Chow (Shaolin Soccer, Kung Fu Hustle) and James Wong.

I don't want to ruin the plot for those of you who have yet to see this movie, and still plan on watching it. Although, I'm willing to bet that most of the people who actually watched this movie, are/were fans of Dragonball/Dragonball Z. And If you haven't seen the movie, and you are a fan, nothing should be a surprise to you in the movie...or should it?

Lets start with some of the characters:

In the original Dragonball, the story in which this movie was based off
of, Goku was a little boy, but for Dragonball Evolution, they made Goku, and everyone else his age (Chi-Chi), 18 year-old high school students.

Goku, the main protagonist of the Dragonball series, is played by Justin Chatwin (War of the Worlds, The Invisible). I honestly know nothing about this guy. He looks like he should be in a Green Day tribute band. I haven't seen War of the Worlds, and I haven't seen The Invisible either. But judging from his performance in Dragonball Evolution, he's an average actor, at best. I don't think this role was for him for several reasons. I'm not going to name all of them, but I will name two:

1) The original Goku (Manga/Anime) is very naive, and not cocky at all. Goku is in fact, good natured. Justin Chatwin's Goku is slightly emo, and socially awkward (in the worst way possible).

2) He's WHITE.

Bulma is played by Emmy Rossum (The Phantom of the Opera, The Day After Tomorrow).
Much like in the original story, Bulma and Goku team up to collect all
seven dragonballs. I have not seen The Phantom of the Opera, but I did see The Day After Tomorrow. Honestly, I hated The Day After Tomorrow. She's a very attractive girl, and plays the part of Bulma well enough. Bulma is very adventurous and temperamental, and Emmy Rossum portrays those traits very well.

Yamcha is played by Joon Park. Joon Park is a Korean singer/actor. He used to be in, the now disbanded K-Pop group, g.o.d.. He actually graduated high school in California, so his english is very good. He had a cameo in Speed Racer, but other than that, he's a nobody in the US.
Much like in the manga, Yamcha is a thief. Joon plays Yamcha decently, but I never really liked Yamcha, so he isn't going to get much love from me. I have one problem with Joon as Yamcha though. I know it's not his fault, or decision, but Joon's Yamcha has blond highlights. Joon is Korean. He has black hair. Yamcha has black hair. They couldn't just give Joon's Yamcha black hair? Whatever. At least he's asian.

Master Roshi, played by Chow Yun-Fat (Hard-Boiled, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), is a wise martial arts master. He's also a perv. Let me just say, I like Chow Yun-Fat as an actor.
Yes. He's had some questionable roles (i.e. Bulletproof Monk), but I've enjoyed almost all the movies I've seen with him in them. Chow Yun-Fat played the "old, wise martial arts master" part well. He's had roles like this before, duh. Play the part of a pervert though, is a whole new ball game. When an anime character is perverted, it's not much of a surprise. I mean come on, no offense, but lots of weird stuff has come from Japan. But when live action Roshi starts acting perverted, it's just weird. Roshi is also supposed to be really old. Chow Yun-Fat is old, but he doesn't look like an "OLD, wise martial arts master."

Grandpa Gohan is played by Randall Duk Kim (The Matrix Reloaded, Kung Fu Panda). Much like in the manga/anime, Grandpa Gohan, finds Goku, and adopts him. Although, in the original story, he doesn't really train him to fight. Also, Grandpa Gohan is killed by Goku in the original story, when Goku turns into a giant ape (Oozaru), although this is not the case in Dragonball Evolution. I like Randall Duk Kim, so seeing him as Grandpa Gohan wasn't too bad. I don't know much about Grandpa Gohan anyways, besides the fact that Goku names his first son after him.

Piccolo is played by James Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer). I don't know anything about this dude, except that he played Spike on Buffy. I was very curious as to how they were going to portray/cast Piccolo. Basically Piccolo is your typical villain. He's hell bent on destroying the world. I hated Dragonball Evolution's version of Piccolo. He looks like a villain from Star Trek. Also, this Piccolo should not be confused with the Piccolo from Dragonball Z. The DBZ one is Piccolo Jr., and eventually becomes a good guy.

Last but not least, Chi-Chi, who is played by Jamie Chung (Real World: San Diego). I guess she really wants to get into acting. Chi-Chi is Goku's love interest and I guess she plays that part well? I have to apologize for the picture above. The picture of Anime Chi-Chi is inaccurate. This picture is from Dragonball Z. The Chi-Chi from Dragonball, is supposed to be a kid. I don't really have much to say for Jamie Chung's Chi-Chi. She's hot?
She's not bad.

So we covered most of the characters in the movie. Overall, there were no Oscar worthy performances. But that was to be expected.

I did not enjoy this movie. I thought Goku was annoying, and found Piccolo to be very stale, and not menacing at all. I understand it's very difficult to cover a whole manga/anime series into 84 minutes, but I think they could have put more effort into making this story more true to the manga/anime then they did.

After watching this movie, I took back my wish for a live action Dragonball movie. Too late for that though, right?

I have created an "official" rating system. A panda scale of 1 to 5. 1 being AWFUL and 5 being AWESOME.

I rate Dragonball Evolution 1.5 pandas:

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


On my next few posts, I will be reviewing recent movies that I have seen.

Dragonball Evolution: Best. Movie. Ever? We shall see.

Yay, now I have more reasons to watch movies!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tough Times

Life is lame right now. I'm stuck at home, and I still don't have a job.

I had a phone interview with OMD today. I can't say that it went great.
Honestly, I was WAY more nervous on the phone, than any other in-person interview. At least if I'm in front of someone, I can see how they react to what I say. Or I can change how I speak, or how I act, accordingly. Over the phone, it's so impersonal, and I'd like to think that my speaking skills are okay, but at times I felt like I had no idea what I was talking about (referring to my phone interview earlier).

I know that it's just a screening process. They pick out candidates, interview them over the phone, weed em out, then schedule in-person interviews for candidates that they prefer.
I really hope I'm a candidate. I would like to at least prove my worth to them in person.

The position is in Los Angeles. I can't say LA is my number one choice. Every one knows that my number one city of choice is New York City. Who knows, LA could be great. I bet it is. But for different reasons. Reasons I don't know because I haven't really experienced life in California. I've been there, yes. On vacation. But never have I lived there.

At least I know what life is like in New York. I've lived there, albeit a short 3 months, but I was working, and exploring, and meeting people, and having a good time. Just the thought of California, right now, is not 100% appealing to me, simply because it's so far. Although in the future, like more than 10 years from now, I'd like to live on the west coast. And maybe if things work out now, and I do get an interview at OMD, and I do get offered a position, I might just take that chance and move out there.

You stop getting opportunities the moment you stop taking them.

But if this all doesn't work out, what do I do? I'll keep searching of course. But, I have an opportunity to go to Korea, for say, 6 months. Do the Yonsei KLI program. I could spend valuable time with my family, and perhaps travel a little. All while getting better at Korean.

I don't know. I hope that I find a job. But I also want to go to Korea. I can't have both. Although my situation has a time table. If I go to Korea, I would go to June. So, if I don't have a job by June, I'd go to Korea.

I feel so little in this world. Not like how I felt during MAIP.

Twitter is getting annoying now. Servers are always backed up, and I get images of the "fail whale," which I love, but get annoyed with. Twitter is going through a BOOM.

Slowly, a few Facebook friends were joining Twitter, and then all of a sudden, a large chunk of them starting joining Twitter, and now people are saying how cool Twitter is, and how much they hate Facebook because it copied Twitter.

Please. Facebook may have a similar micro-blogging format, but Facebook is SO different. In fact, I'm still more of a Facebook fan than Twitter DESPITE how UGLY Facebook has become.

Don't get me wrong, I still like Twitter, and reading people's posts and I like the links they put up and pictures, but there is this one thing. Some people have Twitter apps on Facebook, so that when they update their Twitter, it shows up on their Facebook.

That application isn't appealing to me. Mainly because those tweets show up on people's Facebook as status updates. I don't update my status as frequently as my post on my Twitter. I like to treat them both as two different things.

I don't think Twitter will surpass Facebook. That's just my opinion.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April Angst

I kinda hate the word "angst", but I like alliteration.

I just finished my April Playlist. It's a little late, and a little rushed, but am satisfied with the collection of music. I made things interesting and added two Korean songs.

For those of you who have never listened to Korean music, I would encourage you to listen to these two songs:

-One by Epik High
-Fly by Epik High

The songs won't play in order. I made it so that the songs shuffled. Sorry if that bothers you.
You can always just click on the song you want to play.

I don't know much about Korean music, and to be honest, I don't like the majority of Korean music. I hate the whole gender band thing. Think boy bands and girl bands (N'Sync, BSB, Spice Girls, Pussycat Dolls, etc...) Although I have been known to sing a BSB and/or Spice Girl song at Karaoke.

Epik High is just two guys who rap. Yes. Rap. In Korean. It gets a little getting used to, but I think Epik High's raps are pretty catchy and good. I like their beats, and the songs are just well made. They always have guests to sing in their songs, like female singers.

I am feeling more and more confident with my almost complete album. I am listening to my songs in iTunes over and over, to see what I like and don't like about em, and I've sort of gotten used to the sound of my own voice. It still bothers me at times. Like when you hear yourself talk in a video and you go, "Ugh, I sound like that?"


That's what I do...