Archive for August, 2011

Memento

Wow~ first movie review in a lloonngg time~

Plot: 5/5
A man, suffering from short-term memory loss, uses notes and tattoos to hunt for the man he thinks killed his wife.

I’ll give points to that summary just because it’s a hard as hell plot to describe! You either need to be paying attention really well on your first watch, or go back 2-3 times to make sure. The story is about a man who, because of an injury, has no short term memory. He can remember everything from before his accident (namely the rape and murder of his wife), but has lost the ability to make any new memories and cannot remember something for more than a few minutes. To compensate for this he leaves notes for himself, pictures with descriptions written on them. This man is after the man who killed his wife, because of a lead he found the police refuse to follow. Anything he finds out about the mysterious “John G” who killed his wife he tattoos to himself, so he can always remember what to look for.

Acting: 4/5
It’s very well done, considering the complex nature of the movie. Guy Pierce is the lead with the girl from “The Matrix” taking up the role of supporting actress. It is hard to rate the acting, just because it is such a plot based movie does not change that fact~ Some scenes are good, others are kind of rough. It is a good performance by these actors. Not really award winning in my book, but definitely high on the list.

Directing: 6/5
There are a lot of representativve shots meant to jog the viewers memory. It is very action-based in the film department at least. The director did an amazing job filming this movie for one solid reason: it plays backwards. You literally start at the very end of the movie and each scene takes place before the one you just watched. The scene or action plays until it reaches the point where the previous scene ended…. That was very unclear, lol. Think about it like this: you brush your teeth, then the next scene is you waking up. It takes a bit to get used to, which is probably why you need 2 views, but it is worth watching just to see how they manage to pull it off!

Other Things

It’s a very… slow movie. There are a couple of storylines really, the hunt for his wife’s killer and a relationship with a girl named Natalie. They all come together by the end of the movie, and if you’re careful you can predict it. But the problem with a story driven movie is that action fans won’t like it. You do have plenty of that, but not enough. It is dialogue-heavy, really.

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Rant #24- English in Kpop (I swear this one is different from #23)

I know it’s been said by a lot of critics, but I feel like I have to address this here… There is way too much of it.

In Korea speaking English is VERY popular, and foreigners are still a kind of oddity (not so much in Seoul, but in other parts). I lived there for 10 months, trust me. I’d be stopped in the street for someone to take their picture with me, or interviewed, or filmed by the news because they wanted a shot of a foreigner for their report (this happened twice).

English is hugely popular, and most schools require at least some English courses. I get that groups want to sound cool by including the English in their songs, but I think the composers and lyricists take it way overboard.

Companies like JYP and SM are iffy, sometimes there is a lot of English, and sometimes they hardly have any (Hands Up by 2PM is pretty saturated, but It’s You by Super Junior is fairly weak on that edge), but the companies outside of the big 3 (SM, JYP, and YG) are where you see this a lot (and YG seems to be having more and more lately).

It seems the more obscure and unknown a company is the more English is in their song. Yeah, you’ll attract the foreigners because they can understand more, but I think it looses its… Korean-ness (for lack of a better word).

Korean music, in my opinion, should be IN KOREAN. Little lines in English are fine, but songs like ZE:A’s “Mazeltov”, 4 Minute’s “Muzik”, and T-ARA’s “YaYaYa” are way too saturated. It seems lately these three groups are swinging back towards having more Korean-oriented music, and that’s a relief, but a lot of groups still use far too much.

I was trying to get my older brother into SNSD/Girls’ Generation because I thought he’d like their music and I was in Korea so I could send him home a CD if he wanted. He tool one listen to their song “Mr. Taxi” (he studied Japanese for years and prefers it to Korean) and he said “Ugh, no way. The song is JAPANESE, but there is WAY too much English.” and I’ve heard the same thing about their Korean songs from other friends.

I really hope the general trend continues swinging back towards more Korean-oriented K-pop. It’s kind of disappointing how English-saturated the field is becoming.

See? Told you it was different from Rant#23 (which is about how said English usually makes no sense grammatically or within the song itself).

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Mozeltov- ZE:A

I’d highly recommend ignoring this MV entirely and just skipping to their later stuff… I was personally looking forward to their debut until I heard this song, and so I ignored them until now. I consider them part of the BoyBand-Trio (ZE:A, Teen Top, and Infinite who seem to have had a similar debut and seem to promote at the same time). I’ve decided to give the whole trio a second chance, so here we go…

Lyrics: -5/5
… don’t look at me. I still can’t figure out what the hell this song is supposed to be about. It is filled with random English, only half of which even makes any sense (“Red Beat Down”???????????????) and randomly the world “Mazeltov” is mixed in. And I think this is where the blasted Rebecca Black got that stupid name-the-day-of-the-week thing… As far as I can tell it’s either about being left by a girl you love and trying to move on and have strength to live through the week… but it could be the other way around, with them telling the girl to have strength??? IDK, I’m not sure they even know what the song is about…
Mazeltov/ have strength/ mazeltov/ laugh/ mazeltov/ monday, tuesday, wednesday, thursday/ friday, saturday, sunday/ mazeltov/ monday, tuesday, wednesday, thursday/ friday, saturday, sunday

Dance: 4/5
There seems to be a little too much of standing in lines to show off how many members they have (9). We get it, you’re a big group, but with a song like this the dance really needs to kill. It’s not bad, I just think if the dance was supposed to clarify the meaning of this weird-ass song then it should have been a little more representative. It seems to mix haphazardly between styles- being arm-heavy and leg-heavy and including popping or a kind of jazz feel…

Story: NA
It’s just set-based for this MV (again, that would have helped explain what is going on…). It’s meant to show off the members and the group as a whole, nothing much else. And there are very very few solo shots. Some solo camera work is done even with the members dancing in the background, again reinforcing the whole group. AND CAN SOMEONE EXPLAIN TO ME WHY THERE IS A NAKED BOY IN A GLASS BOX IN THE BEGINNING?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Additional Notes
If the song made sense I would have rated everything much higher. The dance can’t make sense if the song doesn’t. You have to ensure they match, and it’s just kind of disjointed. Change the song and I’m happy.

The little clips I’ve seen of ZE:A since this MV show an incredible improvement (AKA- the song doesn’t blow). It has a good rythm and feel, but there is an incredible amount of English, 99.999% of which does not fit with the Korean… Heck, 70% of the English doesn’t fit the rest of the English. And from what I’ve been told of the group isn’t a member from the US or lived there for a time? The English should have been run by him…

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Mr. Simple- Super Junior

Super Junior is finally making their comeback! This is the title song for their last album before they take a hiatus while members do their military service required by Korean law.

Lyrics: 10/5
This song has to have the best message ever. The lyrics aren’t about love or a breakup or anything like that, it’s basically “Shit happens, deal with it”. The song is really just advice. It’s saying grades and test results go up and down, there is no use sweating all the little details. When things get tough don’t keep pushing, take a step back, go drink with your friends (a major social thing in Korea) or spend a night out having fun and relax a bit before tackling the issues. They say things like “Miss Simple, you’re pretty just the way you are” and other little encouraging messages to both men and women. It can be summed up to “Shit happens” and “don’t sweat the small stuff”.
Look Mr. Simple Simple you are cool the way you are/ Look Miss Simple Simple, you are pretty the way you are (SJ Call)/ Look Mr. Simple Simple you are cool the way you are/ Look Miss Simple Simple you are pretty the way you are (SJ Call)/ Lets go lets go, hurry lets go/ when we get blocked let’s go back/ if you’re stressed to death let’s hang out for the day/ anyway, if I run endlessly in this rough world I’ll get tired/ wait, shake it off/ because your day will come soon

Dance: 6/5
The dance has to be one of SJ’s best. Choreographers met with each member individually and had them make up a dance step or series, they combined these with some of their own choreography so that this dance has elements from every member. The dance solo in the middle is, as always, Eunhyuk and Donghae. With them is their pet-project DanceKyu (a member who was previous the “Dance Black Hole” of the group whom they are trying to improve) and Sungmin, a member who has not been included in an SJ dance solo since Super Junior’s “Miracle” MV over 5 years ago!

Story: NA
The teasers suggested a story MV, but that might be coming out later. For now there is no story to the MV, like with “Sorry, Sorry” and “Bonamana” (though there is more color in their outfits). They revealed there is also a Japanese version of the MV that will be released at an undisclosed date, so that may be the story that was appearing in the second teaser (a man or woman tied up with red ropes and a man covered in some kind of plaster or whatnot that he was trying to break free from).

Other Things

Super Junior announced just before the MV was released that this will be their last album before the group goes on a hiatus while the older members enter the Korean military for their mandatory 2 year service (all men must complete this before they turn 30). In light of this they said they will take their time promoting this thoroughly and not rush any aspect. They will also be releasing a repackaged version of Mr. Simple in a month or two with a second MV, just like with all previous albums (Sorry Sorry=Neorago, Bonamana=No Other).

I’m still not seeing the “Ubersexual” concept SM said they would have (at least not outside the teaser images!), but it does have a very cool feel. There is none of Super Junior’s trademark hip-thrust move, but the dance is cool and very well put together.

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