Talking about the latter, has anyone read Samurai Girl, the YA series of books by Carrie Asai? I first came across it when it aired on TV. Apparently ABC bought the rights to make the book series into a TV series. I thought the concept was interesting if a bit too cliché (Chosen One/Child of Prophecy Story #12899) and Western (evils of arranged marriage, etc) for a show called Samurai Girl. But I was able to enjoy it until I found out that this is one more victim of Hollywood's Delete-Minority-Character-Insert-White-C
As Tintin would put it:
It's almost amusing how I seem to look everywhere these days and find more and more reasons why the outrage over the Avatar casting isn't just a fan thing. Once again, I'm encouraging/imploring anyone who is even the slightest bit bothered by this pattern of behaviour in Hollywood to do something about it.
/takes a deep breath
Now, for more pleasant matters: the actual movie reviews.
The Golden Child (1986)
One of these days I'm going to learn how to create video clips from DVDs. But in the meanwhile, does anyone remember that scene in the Golden Child where Kee (a.k.a. the Ninja Chick) dies? It's just after Numspa (a.k.a. the Dark Lord) and his demons attack Chandler (a.k.a. the Chosen One) for the Dagger (of Destiny). Numspa is readying the bow to shoot at Chandler (who is just standing there), Kee runs past Numspa then does this high-speed, perfectly timed cart-wheeling run that lands her right in front of Chandler a split-second before the arrow that was meant for his body passes through her. It's an extremely cool scene from an extraordinarily cool movie (one of my all-time favorites) but even as a child, I always went a little cross-eyed at that scene. She runs past Numspa to sacrifice herself and there's no logical reason for it! She could have knocked the bow out of his hands or shoved him so that he mis-fired. But instead she kills herself. Why? What made her think for one moment that Numspa won't have simply notched another arrow and shot Chandler after she died and left him without protection? ::face-palm::
While watching this movie last week, it struck me just how flogged out and tired the whole (what I like to call) Twilight Zone genre is becoming. By Twilight Zone genre I mean the paranormal/sci-fi/fantasy time-travelling-with-a-twist phenomena-of-cause-and-effect genre. You know: Minority Report; A Scanner Darkly; Prestige; the Lake House… Or perhaps it's just my age showing. I could predict pretty early on that unless the film makers broke their own rules, Linda's husband was going to die regardless of what she did and Linda was going to cause his death. They didn't, by the way and that was nice. But they still 'cheated' with the scars of Linda's daughter's face which should have been evident pretty early in the movie; and they 'cheated' with Linda getting committed by her mother because she couldn't remember how her daughter got injured – which she ought to have. But continuity goofs aside, I enjoyed this film. I liked it less for the paranormal themes and more for the themes of family and love and faith. It's a tragedy of a story because Jim dies in the end. But there's a victory there as well when he decides – before the accident – not to cheat on his family. There's a victory in Linda finding it in her heart to forgive him before she even knows his decision, especially after she goes through a stage where she is convinced that he deserves to die. But what really sent the goosebumps crawling up and down my spine (in a good way) was when Linda goes to the Church. There the priest talks to her about the Fate of the Faithless: without faith a person's soul is an empty vessel that is vulnerable to evil spirits - spirits who can curse them with self-fulfilling prophetic visions. It's so rare to see Christianity portrayed in a positive light in mainstream movies that I nearly fell out of the sofa when I realized what was happening. (I always cringe a little when I see a Church or a priest come on scene because you just know it's a toss up between religion being played as a joke or being evil). But even better was the fact that though I have no idea if it's authentic dogma, the conceptof the Fate of the Faithless was sheer genius and fitted perfectly into the movie both in terms of theme and plot: it gave an explanation for Linda's time-walking but still kept it a mystery.