Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Chair

I have kept up with the training routine. Right now just three times a week, but I can already feel the kung fu power flowing through my veins. At least a little bit. Tonight my legs are sore. P90X plyometrics. It puts the 'X' in P90X.

I, along with Bob and Marc from the Toronto J Film Pow-Wow has some reviews published in the Directory of World Cinema: Japan. One lifetime goal completed. I have a little black book that houses my personal goals. Some annual. Some lifetime. They range from the obvious, having a review published in a book, to watching all the films in the Zatoichi series. Also on that list, making a feature film. That will be completed this year also. Next will possibly be the creation of a small child.

A Single Man - Not that I'm the biggest Oscar fan in the world, but man, this film should have been nominated for way more stuff. Granted its now 2010, but this has jumped on my favourite films from 2009 list. Everything about it was mesmerizing. I want to see it again. Soon. It reminded me a lot of Wong Kar-wai during the Christopher Doyle years. On a side note, we had some really good Gelato from some Gelato place down the street from the Mt. Pleasant theatre. I should go for strolls down yonder more often.

Bad Blood - This film, I liked. Yes, the plot is inane. Dennis Law seems to be getting lazier with his martial arts gangster films. It seemed he took story elements of Fatal Contact, which I really really enjoyed, and fused them with the gangster genre from Fatal Move, and then combined them into one film. Luckily, some of the fights are pretty spectacular, Jiang Liu-Xia blew my frickin' mind, and any can't get enough of watching Xiong Xin-Xin in action. That guys moves in such insane hypnotic circular movements its hard to imagine sometimes that he's human. But yes, Jiang Liu-Xia. I have yet to see Coweb, but I'm sold on her. That makes the film sound even more amazing. Xiong Xin-Xin, Jiang Liu-Xia AND Kane Kosugi. I must see more of her. And that film.

Monday, March 01, 2010


Saturday morning. Rebecca warned me I was running late, that I wouldn't make it to the van in time to move it before the ticket police arrived. You can only park for 2 hours at a time after 8am. It was 10:30am. As I stepped out the apartment door, seeing the ticket car several hundred meters up the street, I realized she was right. But there was hope! The ticket man was still a good 50 meters or so away from the van. If I ran, I could probably make it!

So I ran, full tilt. Now, it probably wasn't more than 500 meters, which isn't a lot, even if you are running as fast as you frickin' can. But as I closed in on the van, my legs started to slow down and my breathing became more laboured. Soon my chest was burning and I could feel my air passage swelling as my asthma was kicking in. But I pressed on. And not with a moment to spare.

I charged charged the car door and climbed in, just as the cop passed by. I made it. No ticket. However, I almost collapsed in the drivers seat, and spent the next 10 minutes trying to catch my breathe. My body was sapped of all energy. I ran for maybe a minute and I was spent. I realized then, I was terribly and awfully out of shape.

So today, I started to get back into shape. Although honestly, I always keep on starting, and then have trouble keeping it up. I really stink at motivating myself. When I'm in practice I'm fine. I need someone beside me, yelling at me to push harder, and I will. But on my own, I have trouble starting the engine. Hopefully this time things will change. Hope hope.


I watched Soi Cheang's latest and was blown away. I really liked Dog Bite Dog, but did find it a tad melodramatic. Shamo I wasn't a big fan of. But Accident hit all the right notes. He did't use an aggressive camera style to engage you, instead he used stasis to let Louis Koo give any amazing and subtle performance in a very 60's style film. It was pretty breathtaking. Reminded me a lot of The Conversation.

Bodyguards and Assassins

This film really didn't impress and I really wanted it too. Yes, the production design was breathtaking, and cinematically some of it was amazing, but damn, it's classic HK melodrama at its best and worst. Basketball giant Mengke Bateer is completely miscast as an outcast monk, who uses his basketball skills to render assailants useless with his throwing of vegetables. The Donnie Yen vs Cung Le battle started out great with a stunning foot chase, but the fight falls short. I was expecting a lot more. Now yes, I understand it was made during the 50th anniversary of the Peoples Republic of China, and it really plays on that aspect far too much, making much of the melodrama almost cringe worthy.