Monday, January 16, 2006

Awards Fever

We've been trying to catch up with the Big Ones..

and so far in the past couple of weeks, have watched...

Memoirs of A Geisha

I gotta be proud of Michelle Yeoh, our very own Malaysian Miss Malaysia/Bond Girl.

One thing that I have in common with Michelle is, ironically, she still cannot read Chinese and she has to have Chinese script read to her and memorizes them phonetically to some extent. Er..well, I can read SOME elementary chinese but I'd get lost in China without some kind of subtitles.

I CAN CONVERSE in Mandarin and at least 2 other Chinese dialects, but READING chinese characters is something I need to work on.

Thing is, they had Chinese women play all the main Geisha roles, not that they didn't do a great job, but it just begs the question, "Why didn't they get Japanese actresses?"

Gotta go find out.

p/s: Great movie, visually stunning. And with music from John Williams, with a little bit of Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Pearlman for good measure, you can't go wrong.

Cinderella Man

Tagline: One man's extraordinary fight to save the family he loved

Cinderella Man is a great movie about humanity, hope, triumph and is possibly one of the best movies about the Depression since The Grapes of Wrath.

p/s: I had to hold my hands to my ears during the boxing scenes to keep from hearing all the bone crunching special effects sounds, and took solace in the fact that even Rene Zellweger has "full" cheeks

Great acting from everyone, great direction from Ronny Howard

The Matador

Love this quirky movie with an even quirkier very-unBond-like Pierce Brosnan, produced by his own production company - one of the reasons he gave for why he could now branch out to NON Remington Steele and James Bond roles

I hate to call this a "buddy flick" but Pierce and Greg are great together as an unlikely duo in their respective roads to self discovery.

The Constant Gardener

Synopsis : A widower is determined to get to the bottom of a potentially explosive secret involving his wife's murder, big business, and corporate corruption.

Good movie, just ultra sad in the end, with very stark representations of Africa ( we thought Cindy would appreciate that the most, as she goes on a Medical Mission to Zambia every year )

As Ebert and Roper say it, " "The Constant Gardener" begins with a strong, angry story, and peoples it with actors who let it happen to them, instead of rushing ahead to check off the surprises. It seems solidly grounded in its Kenyan locations; like "City of God," it feels organically rooted. Like many Le Carre stories, it begins with grief and proceeds with sadness toward horror."

Others we've seen over time:

Kung Fu Hustle ( Best Foreign Film contender, believe it or not!)
Chronicles of Narnia
King Kong
Syriana ( well, David has, but I'm so a-political, he watched it on his own )

Gotta watch movies....gotta watch movies.....


Jaxon S said...

now reading the constant gardener. will catch the movie later. still trying to get used to le carre's narrative

K. Restoule said...

Been want to see Memoirs of a Geisha. I hear it's really good, but I'm not motived to see the others. No even King Kong (I can wait for DVD for that one).

Oh and we have something else in common. I can't read Chinese as well

makuahine said...

Ooooh I so want to see Memoirs of a Geisha, need to go see that, need to go see that...

H. (aka. NC_State_Gal) said...

I must agree with your comments about Memoirs of a Geisha. Although Michelle Yeoh is absolutely stunning, I know of several talented japanse/american actresses that would have been just as suitable for the roles. Well, the book itself is a misrepresentation of life in that time and space as interpreted by a Gai-jin anyhow. C'est la vie.

Concrete Angel said...

I cant wait to see Memoirs of A Geisha, but I wanna finish reading the book. It looks SO good!

Big Gay Sam said...

I absolutely adore Michele Yeoh. She's a superb actress. As to the non japanese main characters? That's Hollywood. They wanted actresses that are marketable. Ethnicity be damned. Michelle Yeoh and Ziyi Zhang are recognizable because of successful movies like Crouching Tiger, Hero, and House of Flying Daggers. They wanted actresses that can sell tickets.

That kind of attitude has been going on for a long time in Hollywood. Like the movie Cheyenne Autumn. The native folks in that movie weren't even Cheyenne. They were Navajo. The language you hear them speaking is Navajo (nasty stuff too. noone knew what they were saying and they had a lot to say).
Dances with Wolves? Most of the Natives in that movie weren't Lakotah. Windtalkers? The main character wasn't Navajo. For mainstream America they couldn't tell the difference. Those of us that could? It grated on the nerves. Oh well, that's Hollywood. I can't wait to see Memoirs. :P

Thao said...

It makes sense to have Japanese actors to play the roles but that's the way of Hollywood. It's no different when they hire American/British actors to play Irish/German/Scottish/what have you. It's just acting.

Animesh said...

Well well, I actually understood that!
And about your not knowing Chinese, my boss in KL was also a Chinese woman who didnt know chinese. She once told me that the traditional Chinese would call her a banana, ie yellow on the outside but white on the inside!!!

Animesh said...

Oh, forgot to add - terima kasih!

Monica said...

I missed all those movies , maybe one day Ill see them!

Rowdy Theologian said...

My wife (who's Japanese) said it was like having a Mexican play Kunta Kinte. On the other hand, my dad (who's not Japanese) said it's no different than the Australian Mel Gibson play a Scotty in "Braveheart." Personally, I think there's so much Japanese talent out there that we ought to introduce them to US movie goers. I was glad at least to see Ken Watanabe in the film.

Ams said...

Out of that list I've only seen Memoirs of A Geisha. It was amazing. I'm not sure why they got Zhang Ziyi/ Ziyi Zhang to play the lead role. I assumed it was because she was a well known actress and she is gifted at her craft. I thought she was amazing in the role. And for her English to improve so much is simply amazing. She is really talented.

ashleymclure said...

movies? what are movies?

a*c said...

memoirs--one bad movie packed full of great actors. good to see more asians on the screen but comon, give us somethign to work with!

i'm with you letti i can pick out my last name in chinese. and i can write grandma. lol

c o n s u e l a said...

I've been wanting to watch "Memoirs of a Geisha" since it came out but end up postponing it to another time. And I just had Constant Gardener burned onto a DVD...Hopefully this weekend will be my movie-watching weekend :)

Btw, you been tagged! :)

Have a wonderful weekend, Letti

Anonymous said...

watched Geisha yesterday. Good stuff. P/S you;ve been tagged :)