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As of 2020, Michelle Yeoh is dating Jean Todt. RELATIONSHIP DETAILS BELOW ⤵ Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Michelle Yeoh Choo-Kheng is a Chinese Malaysian actress, best known for performing her own stunts in the Hong Kong action films that brought her to fame in the early 1990s. Michelle Yeoh's Personal Life. Michelle Yeoh is engaged to her longtime partner, Jean Todt in 2008. She confirmed her engagement during an interview with Craig Ferguson on CBS’s The Late Late Show. Though the couple is engaged, they are yet to marry. Moreover, they started dating in 2004 and still going stronger. More About Michelle Yeoh: Michelle Yeoh was born in Ipoh in West Malaysia as Yeoh Chu-Kheng on August 6, 1962, to her parents Janet Yeoh and Yeoh Kian Teik, who are of Chinese ethnicity. Michelle, who is also known as the queen of martial arts, had her first passion for dance. She started the formal training for ballet from the young age of 4. Relationships. Michelle Yeoh was previously married to Dickson Poon (1988 - 1992).. About. Michelle Yeoh is a 57 year old Malaysian Actress. Born Michelle Yeoh Choo-Kheng on 6th August, 1962 in Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia, she is famous for Action movie star in Hong Kong, Miss Malaysia 1983. Michelle Yeoh is a well-known Malaysian actress with a net worth of $40 million. She rose to fame with Hong Kong action films. She achieved fame in the early 90s after starring in the series of Hong Kong action films in which she performed her stunts, such as Yes Madam(1985), Police Story 3 Supercop (1992), and Holy weapon(1993). In 2004 Michelle Yeoh started dating Jean Todt, a French engine sports official and previous convention co-driver, in July 2008 she affirmed her commitment to him during a meeting with Craig Ferguson on CBS's The Late Show. Michelle Yeoh Height. She is 1.63 m tall. Michelle Yeoh Networth. Michelle Yeoh has an expected net worth of $245 million. Scroll below to check who is Michelle Yeoh dating now, Michelle Yeoh's Boyfriend, previous dating records & relationship history. Learn details about who has she dated previously & Michel's Boyfriend name, marital status & Husband. Here are the details stats about her relationship, hookup, Marriage & Rumors. Michelle Yeoh’s Foot Deformity Catches Attention By addy on February 19, 2019 in Hot Gossip! , NEWS 56-year-old martial arts star Michelle Yeoh ( 楊紫瓊 ) has been dating 72-year-old French motor sports executive Jean Todt since 2004, and life for the longtime couple has been none the less relaxing. Michelle Yeoh and Sandra Oh have joined the cast of 'The Tiger's Apprentice'. ... Sharon Stone wants to write a book of short stories about her 'dismal' online dating experiences. Michelle Yeoh Husband, Children, Boyfriends & Dating History: Yeoh was married to Hong Kong business visionary Dickson Poon, owner of business, for example, Harvey Nichols and Charles Jourdan, from 1988 to 1992. In 1998, Yeoh was locked in to Alan Heldman, an American cardiologist.
Tomorrow Never Dies (Bond 18 Review)
2020.08.27 23:15 Cyborg800_2004Tomorrow Never Dies (Bond 18 Review)
A common opinion among the general public is that Pierce Brosnan’s debut was his only good film. I find it to be an unfair one, especially since GoldenEye was the first Bond film in six years and part of a huge hype train. I, for one, was born almost a decade later and found it to be a good, but not great Bond film. It is in my top 10, but unlike the higher ranked films, GoldenEye never truly excelled in any of its categories. From Russia With Love had a much superior cast and plot, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was a visual powerhouse with a phenomenal score, and Licence To Kill, despite feeling “Americanized” and suffering from a rather lackluster production and cast, is greater than the sum of its parts because of the performances of its protagonist and antagonists as well as some of the best stunts and action of the franchise. Another reason why I am not the biggest fan of GoldenEye is because I always preferred its successor: Tomorrow Never Dies. Unlike Brosnan’s other three films, it never tries to break new ground. As a result, it never squanders its potential as a result of a fear of taking risks or breaking formula. The story is familiar, taking from Lewis Gilbert’s films, but gives it a stylish 90s update. Brosnan never fully distinguished himself from the other actors in his debut. He stated a couple of years ago that he felt “phony” doing the one-liners and I felt this was prevalent in his first performance. The script was written with Dalton in mind, and the inserted humor felt like too much of a course-correction after the humorless Dalton films. Brosnan is much more comfortable in his second film, fully establishing himself as a more action-packed version of Connery, with the constant quips of Moore. Brosnan is better with the quips and even more so in the serious moments; Paris’s death builds upon Trevelyan’s line about Bond losing himself in the arms of women to forget about those he lost (Tracy) and is also called back to in Brosnan’s later films. The supporting cast is just as good as in GoldenEye, but they do not overshadow Brosnan. Michelle Yeoh is great as Wai Lin. She gets far more opportunities to show her physical prowess than prior “action girls” and Michelle Yeoh lived up to the role by doing some of her own stunts. Teri Hatcher annoyed me in a previous viewing with her poor delivery, but I do appreciate the dynamic between Paris and Bond. He quickly moves on from her death, but it is a nitpick considering World War III was a more important matter. Jonathan Pryce is a fresh take on the classic Bond megalomaniac. Unlike Stromberg and Drax, who rather flimsy wanted to commit genocide because of their obsession with the sea/space, Carver wants to make news. His manipulation of the media and his unique villainous plan are rather relevant in the internet age and helps the film to age much better than Brosnan’s other films. The film is less original than GoldenEye, but its use of the Bond tropes is much more imaginative. Lin and Carver are unique characters despite not being the most developed and the action scenes outpace GoldenEye’s. The dam jump is breathtaking and the fight between Bond and Trevelyan is intense, but the tank chase is really overrated. On the other hand, we have a pre-title sequence that like Octopussy’s, is explosive and has some nice gags, but would not rank among the top openings for me. The BMW chase has Bond controlling the car via remote control and is a thrill to watch. The bike chase is easily one of the best Bond action scenes ever made. Bond and Lin work together to survive with the bike jumping over a helicopter being especially awesome. To see Brosnan’s films go from having some of the best stunts to using dated CGI is hugely disappointing. Some have mentioned that Brosnan’s Bond becomes an action hero in the climaxes of his first two films as well as his last, donning combat gear and even firing akimbo machine guns in this film. Like Licence To Kill being “too eighties” with its climactic action scene, I forgive Tomorrow Never Dies for being “too nineties.” I have not seen every eighties and nineties action movie, but the two aforementioned Bond films are much more creative in their action. David Arnold, whose absence from Craig’s final film is baffling, made his debut as composer here. He makes heavy use of the Bond theme after its relative absence in GoldenEye, and Arnold proves his worth as a successor to John Barry. I noticed references to prior cues, such as “James Bond Back in Action” from Goldfinger, but Arnold’s techno spin on the classic Bond sound is great. “Hamburg Break In” has an especially memorable part where Bond finds the encoder. Tomorrow Never Dies is by far my favorite Brosnan film. I keep forgetting The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day, despite being a guilty pleasure, loses points for being too outlandish. As for GoldenEye, it moves at a slower pace, fails to deliver on any of its metacommentary, and never does anything outstanding in its categories like Tomorrow Never Dies does. It is a far more confident film, with Brosnan getting the chance to make the role his own, a memorable Bond Woman(!) and villain, and some of the best action in the franchise, all bolstered by a modern, yet familiar, score. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service has been re-evaluated since the eighties. Licence To Kill has received the praise it deserves from fans, though still not critics and general audience. Quantum of Solace, despite having great cinematography and action, gets some deserved flack for the bad editing and undercooked script. Tomorrow Never Dies, at least for me, is the most overlooked Bond film.
Date started: 1/3/20 Film #31 A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Date watched: 3/22 2.5 stars A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood was really not what I expected going in, and while I’d like to say it was a pleasant surprise, I felt like there was a lot of missed potential. While Mr. Rogers is definitely a gigantic part of the film, I just didn’t get as much of him as I wanted. I’m sure no one will be surprised to learn that Tom Hanks’ performance was an incredible, genuine, heartfelt tribute to Fred Rogers and his impact on those who enjoyed his show. But the script has flaws. The protagonist, Lloyd Vogel, transitions through intense emotional growth and somehow only goes from being completely unlikable to moderately unlikable. There’s also a really weird dream sequence that really left a bad taste in my mouth. I think one’s enjoyment of the movie really depends on how much you’re invested in Hanks’ performance. Film #32 Curse of the Golden Flower Date watched: 3/23 2.5 stars I know this is going to sound strange, but I really feel like I should be giving this a higher score than I am, suspectedly due to some cultural dissonance I experienced when watching the film. The sets and costumes were among some of the best I’ve seen on screen, and really contributed to a vibrant and engaging mise-en-scene. The acting was mixed across the board, some good and some pretty bad, though it’s clear the film was very well directed. The story was compelling, though, and the battle scene at the end was wild from start to finish. I just wished they would have explained some things more clearly, or provided some more background details on some of the characters. Film #33 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Date watched: 3/24 2 stars I was eager to jump into this one as a noted classic. While I can definitely see why this film gets so much praise, I definitely do not hold it in such high esteem. Don’t get me wrong. There was some really great action throughout, and some great acting from Chow Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh in particular. However, some of the more acrobatic feats and stunts were a bit ridiculous (a chase through the treetops was particularly egregious), and it ultimately detracted from the film as a whole. That was likely supposed to be the case, but the movie definitely suffers from a case, albeit fairly mild, of what I call “willing-suspension-of-disbelief-abuse.” I also felt the film ran long, and looking back there was a decent bit they could have cut. Contradicting this idea, however, I actually really wished they would have expanded on certain character backgrounds and plot points, specifically regarding the antagonists. Having said all that, there is definitely a lot fans of the genre will love. Your mileage will definitely vary. Film #34 Imitation General Date watched: 3/24 2.5 stars I have a soft spot in my heart for both comedy and war films from “back in the day,” so I was excited to jump into this one. Imitation General is the story of MSgt. Murphy Savage, a charming solder who dons the uniform of his slain general to inspire the men and prevent a German advance from breaking the lines of disheartened American troops during World War II. The film has some solid laughs, charming dialogue, and some exciting action relevant to its time. Glenn Ford and Red Buttons play off each other really well, and have some good dialogue as a duo. Taina Elg offers a charming performance as Simone, a French woman with no knowledge of English whose house is used as an HQ by Savage. This was a simple all-American film, nothing flashy but one with a lot of heart. Film #35 X-Men: Dark Phoenix Date watched: 3/26 1 star This may have been the worst superhero film I’ve seen to date that I can remember. From a terrible story to all around lackluster performances from all involved, I really have nothing to say about this one. I struggled to stay awake. Edit: Grammar.
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2020.05.24 23:09 finnagainsUnexpected Movie Masterpieces to Watch in Quarantine - by David Sims (The Atlantic) 10 April 2020
Some were blasted by critics, some flopped at the box office, and all are ripe to attain cult-classic status. With new cinema releases grinding to a halt in response to the spread of the coronavirus, I’ve used these weeks of self-quarantine to cast an eye backward over the cinematic canon, to rewatch old favorites, and to fill in viewing gaps. Now I’ve begun evaluating films that, for whatever reason, didn’t get a fair shake when they were released. Some were blasted by critics, and others simply made no impression at the box office; all of them are available to watch online, just waiting to become cult classics. The 30 films I’ve chosen as the most underrated are all from the past 25 years, and many belong to genres (rom-com, sci-fi, thriller) that are overlooked in serious critical circles. Some of my selections might seem obvious and others ludicrous, but all were made in the spirit of enjoyable debate and discovery. the Box-Office Flops Kino Lorber Archipelago (2010, directed by Joanna Hogg) Joanna Hogg broke out in American art houses last year with her wonderful autobiographical work The Souvenir, but she’s been making terrific indie films for years. Archipelago might be her best. A quiet drama, it sees Edward (played by Tom Hiddleston, a year before Thor catapulted him to fame) gathering with his family on the remote British island of Tresco after quitting his job to travel the world. Many long-simmering tensions boil to the surface; Hiddleston (who is in most of Hogg’s movies) gives one of his best screen performances, and Hogg depicts subtle, polite infighting with humor and insight. No filmmaker has a better handle on the ridiculous foibles of the English upper-middle class. Watch it on: Vudu, Prime Babe: Pig in the City (1998, directed by George Miller) George Miller is the master of sequels. Each of his installments in the Mad Max series is innovative; his Happy Feet Two is quietly underrated. But he’s never made a follow-up as strange and beguiling as Babe: Pig in the City. Miller wrote and produced the first Babe, a charming, Oscar-winning success. In the director’s chair for part two, though, he turned the sweet fable of a pig who wanted to herd sheep into a grim fairy tale about life in the big city. The movie was a commercial disaster, but it’s a rewarding, beautifully designed work set in a fantasy city that mashes up landmarks from every modern metropolis. The plot, such as it is, follows Babe as he goes on a trip and mixes it up with more streetwise animal brethren (the director Noah Baumbach once said that the film’s closest thematic companion is Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut). Watch it on: Hulu, HBO Beyond the Lights (2014, directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood) A gorgeous romantic drama about the pain and pleasure of pop stardom, Gina Prince-Bythewood’s remarkable Beyond the Lights made little impression at the box office on release, despite a star-making turn from Gugu Mbatha-Raw. The actor plays a Rihanna-esque figure named Noni Jean who falls for a police officer (Nate Parker) and tries to escape the limelight. Prince-Bythewood, who also wrote and directed the incredible Love & Basketball, is one of only a few people in Hollywood still trying to film genuine love stories, and she deserves many more chances to do so on the big screen. Watch it on: Vudu, Prime Cadillac Records (2008, directed by Darnell Martin) The smartest music biopic from a decade full of them (including 2004’s Ray and 2005’s Walk the Line, to name a couple), Darnell Martin’s portrayal of the rise and fall of Chess Records was woefully underseen in 2008. The film digs into the exploitative dynamics at work in so many early rock-and-roll labels, examining the troubled relationships between Leonard Chess (Adrien Brody) and his biggest stars: Muddy Waters (Jeffrey Wright), Etta James (Beyoncé Knowles), and Howlin’ Wolf (Eamonn Walker). The film has a harder edge than its contemporaries, and the musical performances are particularly sensational. Watch it on: Crackle Cloud Atlas (2012, directed by Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski, and Tom Tykwer) This is the most dizzyingly ambitious project in the Wachowski sisters’ expansive filmography. Adapting David Mitchell’s novel of the same name, Cloud Atlas encompasses six distinct stories, beginning with an 1849 naval adventure and zipping through the 1930s, the ’70s, and the present day before blasting to the clone-filled future of 2144 and ending in a postapocalyptic 2321. Members of the ensemble, including Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, and Doona Bae, play different characters in each story line, and the film jumps backward and forward through time to reveal surprising thematic links. As with many a Wachowski project, you have to make a few logical leaps to get on board, but if you can, there’s no movie experience like it. Watch it on: Vudu, Prime 20th Century Fox Film Corp. Down With Love (2003, directed by Peyton Reed) This knowing throwback to the “no-sex sex comedies” of the late ’50s and ’60s (like the Doris Day–starring Pillow Talk and Lover Come Back) was too clever for its own good on release. But it’s a fabulous, entertaining, and singular creation, both celebrating and subverting the innuendo-filled rom-coms of yesteryear. An impeccably styled Renée Zellweger and Ewan McGregor star as lifestyle writers who form a friendly rivalry in 1960s New York. Sarah Paulson and David Hyde Pierce round out the cast, and Peyton Reed (who had just directed Bring It On in 2000) plays off the visual language of his source material in stylish, innovative, and cheeky ways. When you watch, be sure to stick around for the fantastic musical number over the closing credits. Watch it on: Vudu, Prime Dredd (2012, directed by Pete Travis) Perhaps the best comic-book movie of the past decade was Dredd, a gritty adaptation of the Judge Dredd series that was a financial flop on release. Set in a dictatorial future in which armored policemen are empowered to dispense lethal justice for almost any crime, the film takes place entirely within a colossal tower block, following Dredd (Karl Urban) and a new trainee as they do battle with a sadistic mob boss (Lena Headey). It’s a gruesome but smart movie, at once lionizing and satirizing the ruthless efficiency of its hero. The film was written and produced by Alex Garland (Ex Machina, Annihilation), who has since become one of the most exciting sci-fi directors working today. Watch it on: Vudu, Prime Killing Them Softly (2012, directed by Andrew Dominik) Killing Them Softly is Andrew Dominik’s brutal follow-up to his painterly revisionist Western, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Also starring Brad Pitt, Killing Them Softly takes George V. Higgins’s hard-boiled ’70s crime novel Cogan’s Trade and updates it to the present day, following a mob robbery that goes wrong and the assassin (Pitt) hired to clean everything up. Dominik turns the web of competing criminal interests into a broad metaphor for the quagmire of the Iraq War. Killing Them Softly may have been too weird and slow for general audiences (it’s one of the few movies ever to earn an F on CinemaScore). But it’s bleakly funny and impressively acted by a cast that includes James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta, and Ben Mendelsohn. Watch it on: Netflix Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005, directed by Shane Black) The film that put Robert Downey Jr. back on the map was critically praised but ignored at the box office in 2005. An extremely metatextual crime comedy, it follows a thief (Downey Jr.) pretending to be an actor who gets mixed up in a murder and goes on the lam with his acting coach, a private investigator (Val Kilmer). The story line is as complicated as it sounds, but the thrill of Shane Black’s film lies in his hilariously punchy dialogue and his skill at making the most convoluted plotting flow with ease. The movie reintroduced Downey Jr. as a leading man after he’d spent years struggling with addiction: He was hired to play Iron Man mostly on the strength of this performance. Watch it on: Vudu, Prime Premium Rush (2012, directed by David Koepp) David Koepp’s bike-messenger thriller is far more robust than that description might suggest. Set on New York’s crowded streets, it follows Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a deliveryman who picks up a package that’s tied to a criminal conspiracy; soon enough, he’s being chased around town by a crooked cop, Bobby Monday (Michael Shannon), who’s intent on taking him down. The story is told with unrelenting silliness, and Koepp translates Wilee’s brash confidence about weaving in and out of traffic into a visual roller-coaster ride. The highlight, though, is Shannon’s performance—he turns Monday into a living Looney Toon, gnashing his teeth and bulging out his eyes in fury with abandon. Watch it on: Vudu, Prime Solaris (2002, directed by Steven Soderbergh) Steven Soderbergh’s sci-fi opus was decried on release for daring to re-adapt a novel (by Stanisław Lem) that had already been turned into a film masterpiece (Andrei Tarkovsky’s sprawling 1972 work of the same name). But Soderbergh’s movie is a very different beast from Tarkovsky’s, stripping the story down to 99 minutes and focusing on the haunting romance at the center of the book. George Clooney plays Chris Kelvin, a psychologist haunted by the suicide of his wife, Rheya (Natascha McElhone). After hearing the mysterious distress signals sent out by a distant space station, he travels there—and finds Rheya, somehow re-created by the planet that the station is orbiting. The film includes stellar supporting performances by Viola Davis and Jeremy Davies, a beautifully understated score from Cliff Martinez, and some of the most compelling world-building in Soderbergh’s career. Watch it on: Hulu Sunshine (2007, directed by Danny Boyle) This stunning space-mission drama from Danny Boyle and the screenwriter Alex Garland might be the Oscar-winning director’s best film. A wildly intense thriller about a last-gasp effort to restart the dying sun, Sunshine pits an outstanding cast (Cillian Murphy, Michelle Yeoh, Chris Evans, Rose Byrne, and more) against a monolithic enemy: the star at the center of our solar system, which Boyle depicts as an immovable, godlike force. As the voyagers’ ship gets closer to the sun, everything on board goes more and more haywire, and Boyle—who can depict the onset of madness better than almost anyone working—dials up the chaos. Watch it on: Vudu, Prime Talk to Me (2007, directed By Kasi Lemmons) Kasi Lemmons, whose most recent work is 2019’s Harriet, has long been one of Hollywood’s most criminally unheralded directors, and Talk to Me never got the wide audience it deserved in 2007. It’s a biopic of the controversial Washington, D.C., radio host Petey Greene (Don Cheadle) that’s unafraid to be messy, reflecting its subject’s surprising rise to fame as someone who fearlessly speaks his mind on the social and political issues of the 1970s. The film is grounded by excellent performances from Cheadle, Taraji P. Henson, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, who plays Greene’s put-upon manager, Dewey Hughes. Watch it on: Hulu, Sling What If (2013, directed by Michael Dowse) Also known as The F Word (its title was changed in America for obvious reasons), this extremely charming slow-burn rom-com was unfairly overlooked on release. It follows two people (Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan) who become friends but spend the entire time wondering if they’d be better off as lovers. Many relationship hijinks ensue, but the movie works because of the performances at its center, along with energetic supporting turns from Adam Driver and Mackenzie Davis, who were both on their way to bigger, franchise fame. Watch it on: Prime The Yards (2000, directed by James Gray) Back in 2000, James Gray’s operatic crime thriller was dumped unceremoniously into theaters by Harvey Weinstein and ignored by audiences. Like all the director’s films, though, it’s well worth viewing, combining hard-boiled storytelling with graceful visuals. Mark Wahlberg gives one of his best performances as Leo, an ex-con who returns to the fold of his shady New York family and gets tangled up in city corruption surrounding the subway system. A shifty Joaquin Phoenix plays Leo’s ne’er-do-well friend who is embroiled in a dramatic relationship with a young woman (Charlize Theron), while James Caan is suitably menacing as Leo’s morally dubious benefactor. The Yards also showed the first signs of Gray’s considerable talent; he’d go on to make We Own the Night, Two Lovers, The Lost City of Z, and Ad Astra. Watch it on: Vudu, Prime the critical bombs Warner Bros. Addicted to Love (1997, directed by Griffin DUnne) All of Griffin Dunne’s films (including the delightfully bizarre Practical Magic) deserve more appreciation, but Addicted to Love is a personal favorite of mine, a largely forgotten romantic comedy that satirizes gooey Hollywood storytelling tropes. It casts Meg Ryan and Matthew Broderick, two stalwarts of the rom-com genre, as a bitter pair united by a hatred of their respective exes, who are now dating each other. Ryan and Broderick spy on their former partners and, of course, eventually fall for each other, but the film never sacrifices its acidic tone, even as their relationship turns tender. Watch it on: Vudu, Prime Armageddon (1998, directed by Michael Bay) If nothing else, Armageddon is a crucial cultural artifact: a portent of American culture’s jingoism in the 2000s, when blockbuster action sequences had the tone and tenor of Budweiser commercials. Where Michael Bay’s prior film, The Rock (which is much better regarded), had tapped into the U.S. military’s dysfunction and despondency post-Vietnam, Armageddon sees the country uniting to obliterate an evil asteroid by turning to … the oil industry. (It also spends a good chunk of time mocking post-Soviet Russia.) Despite the ridiculous plotting and Bay’s frenetic editing of every set piece, Armageddon is the clearest distillation of his macho brand of propaganda, designed to have audiences cheering by the end (against their better judgment). Listen to Ben Affleck’s gleeful commentary to triple the entertainment factor. Watch it on: Hulu, HBO Blackhat (2015, directed by Michael Mann) Five years ago, one of the great contemporary directors still working made a globe-trotting cyber thriller starring Thor himself and was completely ignored. Booed by critics and dumped by its studio into the doldrums of January, Blackhat made only a shocking $8 million at the domestic box office. Yet it’s a terrific entry in Michael Mann’s esteemed body of work (which includes other movies, such as Heat, Miami Vice, and Manhunter, that were underrated in their day). Chris Hemsworth plays a hard-bodied hacker who’s released from prison to battle a shadowy online terrorist; like many of Mann’s later films, Blackhat is a story of the analog world’s struggle to confront its digital future, wrapped up in a very masculine action saga. If you can, try to catch the director’s cut, which cleans up some of the film’s dense plotting and airs regularly on FX. Watch it on: FX The Box (2009, directed by Richard Kelly) This is the third film directed by Richard Kelly, a onetime wunderkind who burst onto the scene with the 2001 cult hit Donnie Darko. The Box is also his best, though few have recognized it as such. It was a bomb on release, getting poor reviews and the rare dishonor of an F from CinemaScore. But its wild ambition is second to none, spinning Richard Matheson’s mordant short story “Button, Button” into a paranoid 1970s epic—part domestic drama, part psychological horror, part sci-fi fantasy revolving around a NASA expedition to Mars and magic portals. This movie has short, simple scares that I’ve never forgotten, and a plot convoluted enough to obsess over forever. I live in hope of a fourth film from Kelly. Watch it on: Vudu, Prime Constantine (2005, directed by Francis Lawrence) Fifteen years after its release, this remains one of the best and cleverest comic-book adaptations ever made, and probably the most underrated entry in Keanu Reeves’s cinematic career. This is a horror thriller that dives into biblical fantasy, casting a varied ensemble (Tilda Swinton, Djimon Hounsou, Gavin Rossdale, and Shia LaBeouf) as various angels and demons doing battle in modern-day Los Angeles. Based on Alan Moore’s Vertigo comic Hellblazer, Constantine junks a lot of the established hallmarks of the character John Constantine (he’s supposed to be a witty Brit who looks like Sting), but that doesn’t matter. Reeves’s laconic style is a perfect fit for the cynical antihero, and Rachel Weisz thrives in twin roles as sisters on either side of an infernal crime that Constantine is called to investigate. Watch it on: DC Universe The Counselor (2013, directed by Ridley Scott) Of the seven films made by Ridley Scott in the past decade, none is more critically reviled than The Counselor, a knotty crime drama written by Cormac McCarthy and featuring an all-star ensemble that includes Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, Michael Fassbender, Penélope Cruz, and Cameron Diaz. Summarizing its noir-ish plot, which revolves around the Juárez, Mexico, drug trade, is impossible, but the film is worth watching simply because there’s nothing like it. McCarthy’s florid dialogue and Scott’s hazy visuals are bewitching, and every actor gives an energetic performance pushed to ridiculous heights (one scene in particular, involving Diaz and a Ferrari, is hypnotically baffling). The Counselor is a dark acquired taste, but a deeply satisfying one. Watch it on: Vudu, Prime Universal pictures The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006, directed by Justin Lin) After the success of the first Fast and the Furious movie, in 2001, Vin Diesel’s car-racing franchise struggled to stand out until 2009, when its original cast returned under Justin Lin’s direction for the surprise smash Fast & Furious. But the groundwork for that revitalization had been laid three years earlier with Tokyo Drift, Lin’s debut film in the series. Though Tokyo Drift introduces Sung Kang as the fan-favorite character Han, none of the series’s other beloved characters appears. Yet Lin’s skill with crisp action and quick-paced banter—built up in his fantastic breakthrough, Better Luck Tomorrow, which also starred Kang—makes this one of the best in the franchise. Watch it on: Vudu, Prime Hulk (2003, directed by Ang Lee) Coming off the resounding success of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Ang Lee could’ve made any film he wanted. He picked an adaptation of Marvel Comics’ most tortured star, the Hulk (Eric Bana). At the time, the movie was seen as odd, mocked for its wobbly CGI, and suffered one of the largest box-office drops in history for a blockbuster after its opening weekend. Viewed now, given the cookie-cutter format of contemporary superhero movies, it’s a startling experience. Lee turns his film into a living comic book, zooming in and out of boxy frames and inventing a visual language that could’ve become an exciting norm for the medium. The story, which sees the Hulk doing Freudian battle with his demonic father (Nick Nolte) and unearthing dark family secrets, is bizarre, and thrillingly so. Watch it on: Starz In the Cut (2003, directed by Jane Campion) Every film Jane Campion has directed since her Oscar-winning The Piano (1993) is underrated and underseen, but In the Cut was perhaps her biggest flop on release. That was partly because it subverted Meg Ryan’s usual bubbly onscreen persona, casting her as Frannie Avery, an introverted English teacher who starts dating the detective (Mark Ruffalo) investigating a murder case in her apartment building. It’s a sweaty, grisly, and sexually charged thriller that swerves from strange comedy to gory horror from scene to scene. But that tonal whiplash is one of Campion’s smartest storytelling tools, properly rattling viewers and plunging them into Frannie’s mixed-up headspace. Watch it on: Crackle Jennifer’s Body (2009, directed by Karyn Kusama) This is the movie that landed Karyn Kusama in “movie jail” for almost a decade: a gleefully bloody teen-horror comedy that was undone by the high expectations for its script. The writer, Diablo Cody, had won an Oscar the previous year for her Juno screenplay, and though this follow-up had that film’s humor, its intense gore and flippant humor were too much for critics at the time. Fortunately, Jennifer’s Body is already being reevaluated as a trashy classic, a nastier update of movies like Heathers that turns the social competition of high school into a literal bloodbath. Kusama has also reemerged as a filmmaker, with the excellent indie horror The Invitation. Watch it on: Vudu, Prime Universal pictures Josie and the Pussycats (2001, directed by Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan) This knowing revival of the Archie Comics series was a failure on release, but has deservedly attracted a cult following in the years since. It’s a pitch-perfect parody of the manufactured pop pipeline in the early 2000s, watching as the chipper rock band comprising Josie (Rachael Leigh Cook), Melody (Tara Reid), and Valerie (Rosario Dawson) is run through the major-label mill. Parker Posey and Alan Cumming play perfect corporate villains, and almost every scene is suffused with ostentatious subliminal advertising, with au courant brand names crowding the frame. It’s a bitingly clever work, with a great power-pop soundtrack that includes contributions from the late Adam Schlesinger. Watch it on: Hulu with Cinemax, Xfinity Jupiter Ascending (2015, directed by Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski) In the 2010s, blockbuster studio filmmaking made a hard pivot to existing intellectual property for its biggest movies: Star Wars, comic books, anything audiences might have nostalgia for. The Wachowskis, as they often do, went their own route. After giving cinema one of its greatest franchises in 1999 with The Matrix, the duo took a different direction in 2015 with a loopily operatic sci-fi epic rooted in nothing but their own imaginations. They were pilloried by critics. Jupiter Ascending is a wonderfully absurd space fairy tale starring Channing Tatum as a dog-man, Eddie Redmayne as an immortal arch-capitalist villain, and Mila Kunis as a secret princess who unwittingly owns the property deeds to our solar system. If you can get on this movie’s wavelength, you’ll find much to enjoy in its many flights of fancy. Watch it on: Netflix Non-Stop (2014, directed by Jaume Collet-Serra) Since the surprise success of Taken in 2008, Liam Neeson has played a broken-down man forced to take the law into his own hands in countless mid-budget action dramas: Unknown, Cold Pursuit, The Commuter, Run All Night, and many more. Non-Stop is easily the best of them, partly thanks to Jaume Collet-Serra, a Spanish director who is one of the finest purveyors of modern pulp cinema (along with many Neeson movies, his other credits include The Shallows and Orphan). Set entirely on an airplane flying from New York to London, Non-Stop follows an alcoholic air marshal who gets caught in a deadly battle when a terrorist starts texting him. Perfectly befitting its setting, this thriller has the plot of the best kind of airplane paperback, with just the right number of twists and turns. Watch it on: Sling Ocean’s Twelve (2004, directed by Steven Soderbergh) Despite coasting to box-office success, Ocean’s Twelve was disliked on release for swerving in the opposite direction from the über-cool Ocean’s Eleven. Critics dismissed it as overindulgent, pretentious, and ultimately pointless: The heist plot is nigh-impossible to understand, most of the crucial exposition is entirely absent, and there’s a subplot in which the character played by Julia Roberts pretends to be the real Julia Roberts. In hindsight, though, the film is a perfect deconstruction of sequel logic, showing the difficulty of finding new directions for a beloved cast of characters. Where Ocean’s Eleven was all smooth style, Ocean’s Twelve is a knowing subversion that lays bare the ridiculous fallacy of movie-star charm. It also happens to be very, very funny. Watch it on: Vudu, Prime Pain & Gain (2013, directed by Michael Bay) Practically every Bay film has been dismissed by reviewers on release, and often for good reason. His high-octane storytelling style makes the simplest scenes of dialogue utterly hyperactive, and most of his recent efforts are about talking robot toys. But Pain & Gain was a sly departure for this director, a low-budget (by his standards) crime comedy that feels like a Coen Brothers movie on growth hormones. Based on a true story, Pain & Gain is about three bodybuilders (played by Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, and Anthony Mackie) who embark on a harebrained kidnapping scheme for easy money; naturally, things quickly go awry. Bay doesn’t abandon his trademark energy, but instead deploys it as satire—these characters might think they’re in a flashy action movie, but their circumstances are far more mundane and depressing. Watch it on: Vudu, Prime https://www.theatlantic.com/culture/archive/2020/04/30-underrated-films-watch-quarantine/609784/
2019.12.01 15:44 Romt0nkonWhat movies did you watch last week (24.11.2019 - 30.11.2019)?
Hello, FG The weekly thread is back. Only one movie from me this time (I tried to watch the new season of "South Park", but it's so shit right now that I see no reason why I should bother writing about it). I'll write a couple of phrases about it as soon as I finish my homework. LAST CHRISTMAS (2019) - 7/10
Kate is a young woman subscribed to bad decisions. Her last date with disaster? That of having accepted to work as Santa's elf for a department store. However, she meets Tom there. Her life takes a new turn. For Kate, it seems too good to be true.
I, initially, wanted to watch another movie, but came in a theater late, so decided to chose this one, because it was directed by Paul Feig and had Emma Thompson in it. I enjoyed it. That's all I can say. As a light-hearted romantic comedy, it works. It's amusing, good-natured, beautiful to look at, has excellent performances by Emilia Clarke and Michelle Yeoh and British accents here are not annoying. What else you could from this kind of film? Also, I have to say that I was surprised by a plot twist. I mean, I knew that this would happen... and it did. But after that, another thing happened, and I was like: "Wow, I didn't expect that!".
2019.08.19 14:09 pegi3Interesting read on how Schumi's first retirement came about (Credit to Tom Rubython, BusinessF1)
(Credit to Tom Rubython, BusinessF1) The dramatic circumstances of the Italian Grand Prix and Michael Schumacher’s retirement will live on for a long time. After his rival was sidelined by a bizarre stewards’ decision, Schumacher won the race and then announced his retirement. But it was an amazing few hours, worthy of a scripted piece of drama. BusinessF1 retraced the moves that led to that startling finish. On Sunday 10th September 2006 at 3:25pm, precisely the same time as Michael Schumacher passed the checkered flag to win the Italian Grand Prix, the staff of Ferrari’s press supremo, Luca Colajanni, started handing an A4 sheet of paper to journalists outside the team’s motorhome. It was a one-page press release announcing the retirement of the most successful racing driver in history, a driver at the top of his game challenging for the world championship. Colajanni had been given precise orders by Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo about just what he had to do and when he had to do it. It was strange timing, as Schumacher was about to make the announcement himself in the winner’s press conference after the podium ceremony. Normally press releases are handed out after an announcement has been made, or during it – but rarely before. It takes away the point. As so it turned out when half an hour later Schumacher found himself announcing what everybody already knew. The Ferrari team’s haste to announce its driver’s retirement was indeed bizarre. Colajanni had wanted to pre-empt the driver’s own announcement as if to make sure there was no turning back. Montezemolo had exercised a strong presence in the Ferrari garage at Monza Park all weekend. On qualifying day he hovered around the Ferrari motorhome waving away journalists’ enquiries about what was going on. On race-day he had arrived with John Elkann, the most senior member of the Agnelli family working at Fiat, and Sergio Marchionne, the chief executive of Fiat. He also had Piero Ferrari in his party. One observer was mystified at the presence of all these big guns and said: “It was as though Luca wanted reinforcements.” But reinforcements for what? It was soon to become clear. Although everything looked normal in the Ferrari garage and motorhome, underneath the surface a civil war was concluding, in Montezemolo’s favour. It had run all summer, but was finally coming to an end. All that Montezemolo now required was for Jean Todt, the team principal, and Michael Schumacher, the number one driver, to run up the white flag. In truth no one knew what was about to happen. Schumacher didn’t want to retire, at least not that day. And he thought he still retained enough power to get his way. But Montezemolo had long before given him a deadline of Monza and told him (expressly against Jean Todt’s wishes) that it was either driving alongside Kimi Räikkönen in 2007 – or retirement. In a previous age no one had dared tell Michael Schumacher what to do. He had been king of Formula One for 12 years and for half of them was easily the sport’s most powerful man, eclipsing even Bernie Ecclestone. Montezemolo hated this situation and had also come to resent Jean Todt’s role in the Michael Schumacher show. He took the Enzo Ferrari view that drivers were employees who performed at the behest of their employers. Todt on the other hand took a collegiate view; the top people at the team, including Schumacher, were his close friends and far from being his employees. But there is no doubt that this combination of opposing management styles got the job done. And for that reason each had tolerated the other. Only once before in the 11 seasons that Schumacher had been a Ferrari driver, in 1999, had Montezemolo insisted on getting his way. Officially, of course, none of the above occurred. The official line was that Schumacher had simply decided to retire many months before and that Ferrari had signed Räikkönen to take his place, end of story. In fact, Todt suggested anyone who thought any different was “stupid”. Everyone, then, is stupid. There was clearly tension between Todt and Montezemolo that weekend in Monza. On Friday and Saturday, there had been an uneasy peace as both men went about their business. Then, on race-day, with less than 15 minutes to the start, Montezemolo broke away from Ferrari on the grid and went up to Räikkönen’s car. He leaned over the cockpit and gave a thumbs-up sign, as if indicating that all was going to plan. It was a strange action to pursue with his team’s close competitor at Ferrari’s home race. After Schumacher’s race victory, Montezemolo was delirious with joy and, flanked by Elkann and Marchionne, in the full glare of television, he embraced Jean Todt and kissed him. But as Montezemolo kissed him Italian style and threw his arms around his shoulders, Todt quickly turned away. It resembled the scene in ‘The Godfather Part III’ when Michael Corleone embraces his brother Fredo whilst whispering his death sentence. Then it was Michael Schumacher’s turn. After being pecked by Montezemolo, he too resisted his boss’s celebratory embraces and looked blankly over his shoulder. For Montezemolo, as he embraced the two men he knew the press release signalling his victory was being handed out to journalists. It was now clear to insiders that Montezemolo had won his internal battle with Todt to turn Räikkönen’s option into a firm contract drive for Ferrari in 2007. And it was clear that Schumacher’s ultimatum of ‘Räikkönen’s or me’ had been ignored. It was a battle Montezemolo had been determined to win. Six years earlier, to give the team the very best chance of winning, he had wanted to hire Mika Häkkinen as team-mate to Schumacher. But he had been blocked by the twin powers of Schumacher and Todt. This time he was determined to prevail. He wanted Räikkönen, and if that meant Schumacher’s departure, then so be it. And he also made it clear he was not prepared to carry on paying Schumacher his US$45 million a year in his twilight years. In any case that money was no longer available, it had been allocated to Räikkönen in a deal skilfully negotiated by the driver’s manager David Robertson. In truth Schumacher was not simply being pushed out of Ferrari, he was not prepared to carry on under the terms that were being offered. So he reluctantly decided to retire. And in any event it was good timing – he was going out at the peak of his powers. Naturally, in the circumstances, the two press conferences, first for TV and then for the press were sad affairs. Schumacher was very morose. He clearly saw no happiness in retirement. But he played the company line and did not vent any feelings of being pushed out. That was not Schumacher’s way. And the timing of the press release before his own announcement had given him no room for manoeuvre. It was done on the express orders of Montezemolo to ensure that he, and not Schumacher, was setting the agenda. The sense of despair from Schumacher was obvious. He is the one driver on the grid who genuinely loves Formula One. He lives and breathes it. Whilst some other multiple world champions have rushed into retirement, he seemed set to drive on into his 40s. He was clearly not ready to retire after 16 seasons of racing, nearly double the average career span and equalling the career of Ricardo Patrese. But at the age of 37, he found, like many others, that as far as Montezemolo was concerned he was past his sell-by date. As Schumacher’s long-time manager, Willi Weber, woefully observed in a passing comment to a journalist at Monza: “Michael found he no longer has the power he thought at Ferrari.” So Schumacher’s retirement was just as controversial as his entry into the sport at the Belgian Grand Prix in first practice on Friday 23rd August 1991. The countdown for Schumacher’s demise had begun on 25th August 2005 when Räikkönen signed a one-year option which gave Ferrari the right, within a certain time period, to employ him, at a salary of around US$45 million, for three years from 2007 to 2009 with options to renew beyond that. The option price had never been confirmed but was rumoured around the paddock to be US$5 million. Everybody knew that the drivers’ market was headed for a shake-up in 2007. It became clear that the contracts of the three best drivers in the world, Schumacher, Räikkönen and Fernando Alonso were all expiring at the same time – at end of 2006. It was a unique event in Formula One history and meant that all three could be driving at different teams in 2007. In normal circumstances one or two of the top drivers might be out of contract at the same time, but never three. However, in truth nobody expected any of the three to move from their incumbent teams. Schumacher was an absolute fixture at Ferrari and showing no sign of retiring. Alonso was winning everything at Renault so why would he move, especially as Flavio Briatore, the Renault team principal, was his manager? And Räikkönen, despite coming to the end of his contract, had options for the future and really nowhere else to go. And that was how it looked in the summer of 2005 as Räikkönen’s manager, David Robertson, and McLaren Mercedes team principal, Ron Dennis, sat down to discuss the Finnish driver’s future. It was to be the first of the big driver negotiations for 2007. As far as Robertson was concerned, it was all going to be pretty straightforward. He couldn’t comprehend Räikkönen leaving. The contract was up but Dennis had options to renew it well into the future. These options all stemmed from the original contract Räikkönen had signed in September 2001. Dennis had paid a small fortune to secure Räikkönen’s services including a rumoured US$14 million to compensate Peter Sauber. It was a complex contract – two years (2002 and 2003) at a modest salary and then three years (2004-2006) for a much larger retainer culminating in the near US$45 million he was being paid in 2006. But Räikkönen was far from a free agent at the end of his McLaren contract. By all accounts it was at Dennis’s option to take up another three years if he was willing to pay an escalating salary. Dennis had security, but at a price. There is no way of telling what that price was but it was likely to mean Räikkönen receiving at least US$60-US$70 million a year by 2009. But Dennis, who had been bamboozled into agreeing the high price four years before in 2001, just before the 9/11 terrorist attacks when economic conditions had been very different, did not want to pay, although he still wanted Räikkönen to drive for him. By all accounts Robertson was somewhat surprised, even if he didn’t show it, when Dennis said he wasn’t taking up the option. Although there is no independent confirmation of this it appears that Dennis believed he could cancel the option, and thereby his commitment, and open negotiations with Robertson at a more sensible retainer. After all Dennis believed, and it certainly looked the case, that Räikkönen had nowhere else to go. It appears Dennis genuinely believed Robertson would simply agree a lower retainer, probably something nearer US$35 million. But it proved Dennis did not know the man at all. Robertson is an extremely shrewd individual. Even his critics say he can read the minds of team principals. He is believed to study their psyche in his spare time so that he can deal with them more effectively. In his short career in the paddock he has already negotiated with Frank Williams, Flavio Briatore, Ron Dennis and Jean Todt, and bested all of them. Anyone who has had negotiations with him of any kind is aware of his skills. As one associate says: “He is the sort of man, and this is not said impolitely, with whom one counts ones fingers after shaking his hand. He probably secretly relishes that reputation.” It is important to emphasise that at that stage of the 2005 season, in spite of Robertson’s reputation, Dennis thought he held all the cards. Räikkönen was dominating the latter half of the 2005 season and McLaren was the top team. Conversely Ferrari was in the doldrums – why would Räikkönen want to go there even if he could? And Renault was out of the equation. Everyone thought Alonso was a fixture at Renault. When Dennis let Räikkönen’s option lapse he knew, or at least thought he knew, that he could simply wait for Robertson to accept his offer. But Robertson sensed something different. He sensed discontent in the McLaren organisation, a sense of drift. He had picked up that Adrian Newey was leaving and that Nick Tombazis might do the same. He also thought most of Ferrari’s problems were tyre related and solvable; he knew that Ross Brawn and Rory Byrne had not suddenly become bad engineers. But Robertson kept his counsel with Dennis and said he would get back to him. Robertson considered his options and marched over to the Ferrari motorhome to get the lie of the land. He imagined negotiations with Todt alone would be a waste of time. So he sought to engage Montezemolo and Todt together. Again the wily operator had picked up their differences on his radar and thought he might be able to divide and conquer. He was absolutely correct. Whilst Todt was cool to the idea of hiring Räikkönen, Montezemolo was more than keen. But there were complications. Ferrari already had an option with Valentino Rossi and Todt doubted openly that Schumacher would want Räikkönen alongside him. But Robertson spoke privately to Montezemolo. Soon the two men agreed to sign Räikkönen to an option in Ferrari’s favour for a year, and to pay for the privilege. But Robertson was not out of the woods. At that point he did not think Ferrari would actually sign Räikkönen. But it was his leverage on Ron Dennis. Robertson made sure by judicious leaks to journalist friends that it got around the paddock about Ferrari’s option. Dennis’s bluff had been publicly called. And so matters rested, until the end of the season when Dennis heard on the grapevine that Räikkönen had signed for Ferrari. Although it was only an option he guessed immediately what was going on and decided he was not about to be kept on a string for a year whilst Ferrari decided his future. By then the situation with the third driver in the loop, Fernando Alonso, was becoming clouded as rumours spread that Renault would withdraw from Formula One at the end of 2006. One very highly placed pundit whispered in Dennis’s ear that he had heard this would definitely happen. As sad as that might be for Formula One, Dennis realised it was very good news for him. As the rumour gained currency, whatever its truth, it effectively put Alonso into play. Dennis made an approach for Alonso. He understood, as did everyone else in the paddock, that at around US$6 million a year, Alonso was underpaid. Dennis offered Alonso US$16 million a year. The timing of the move was perfect. At that point Renault’s prospects for 2007 were at their lowest and McLaren’s, after its storming season, at their highest. McLaren had also just announced it had signed Vodafone as title sponsor for 2007; it had more cash than ever. With all things considered Alonso’s manager Flavio Briatore had no choice but to advise his driver to accept Dennis’s offer. He knew Renault at that moment in time would not match it (although later the situation was to change). Dennis attached one condition to his offer – he wanted to announce it immediately despite the disruption it would cause to his existing drivers. Close friends say he was driven by a desire to get back at David Robertson and tell the Formula One world how clever he was. Alonso’s signing was announced to an unsuspecting world just before Christmas 2005. It caused a sensation, mainly revolving around Briatore’s position and the obvious conflict of interest. Briatore took it all in his stride. Interestingly he and Dennis came up with entirely different stories of how Alonso was signed. But by then it didn’t matter. After the ravages inflicted on his bank account by David Robertson, Dennis considered it a good day’s work to get Alonso for just US$16 million. But Dennis had seriously piqued his existing drivers and when they heard the news both vowed to leave the team at the end of 2006. They felt they had been double-crossed. Räikkönen’s position for 2007 suddenly looked precarious. Over at Ferrari, Michael Schumacher was as entrenched as ever and the Italian team had signed an option with Valentino Rossi for 2007, this one at the driver’s behest. If Rossi decided to take up his option there would be no room for Räikkönen. The situation was slightly complicated when Rubens Barrichello read the tea leaves and saw that he also would be out at the end of 2006. Honda was desperate to sign him and he negotiated a release from his contract to take a big money, three-year deal. To replace him the team signed Felipe Massa on a one-year contract as a stop-gap. Schumacher expected that it would be him and Rossi in the cockpit for 2007. But as 2006 began, Montezemolo realised he didn’t want that. Signing Rossi was Todt and Schumacher’s plan. He wanted Räikkönen, his man, in the car for 2007, and started scheming to get his way. It may seem ridiculous that Montezemolo had effectively to politic within his own company, but that is the way it was. Todt had made Ferrari his own fiefdom, much to the annoyance of Montezemolo. The two had already clashed earlier this year when Montezemolo wanted to take Marlboro off the car for 2007 and find a non-tobacco sponsor. Todt wanted to stay with an eager Marlboro. Montezemolo tried everything he could to find an alternative and even invited Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive of WPP Group, the world’s biggest advertising agency group, to visit him in Maranello. Ostensibly he wanted to discuss whether WPP and its network of sponsorship agencies could help with finding a new title sponsor for 2007. But Todt found out about Sorrell’s visit. And when Sorrell arrived at Maranello, he did not meet with Montezemolo but with the Frenchman. Predictably the discussions went nowhere. Todt told Sorrell he already had a title sponsor for 2007 and asked him why he was there. Sorrell wondered that himself and the visit had effectively been a waste of his time. But as Sorrell was leaving, walking down the corridor on his way to Ferrari’s reception, Montezemolo jumped out of a door in front of him and ushered him into a small adjacent conference room. He asked him what had been discussed with Todt and when Sorrell told him, begged him to find an alternative to Marlboro. It was all over in 10 minutes and Sorrell left Maranello shaking his head at the shenanigans he had witnessed between the two men. Sorrell had no intention of wasting his time trying to find a title sponsor for a team that already had one. Todt had already told Sorrell he had done a deal with his friend Louis Camilleri, the chairman of Altria, the Marlboro parent company. Camilleri had agreed a five-year deal from 2007 to pay US$200 million a year. It was the biggest sponsorship deal ever in Formula One and an offer the team could not turn down. Montezemolo was in despair after the Marlboro deal was signed. It made Todt, now seen as a top rainmaker, even more powerful inside the team. In fact Montezemolo had begun to feel like a stranger in his own factory. Continually away on Fiat and Italian business, Montezemolo realised he had made a mistake when he had promoted Todt the year before to head the whole Ferrari car factory. He had expected him to fall flat on his face but instead he rose to the task and Ferrari, which had been in the financial doldrums, began a remarkable recovery under Todt’s stewardship. Montezemolo felt he had created a monster in Todt that he could no longer control. Although the two men had worked together for more than a decade, they were like chalk and cheese. Behind the rough exterior, Todt is a self-made, cultured man, an art lover with impeccable taste. In 2005 he had teamed up with Hollywood actress, Michelle Yeoh, got engaged to her and was in many ways beginning to outshine Montezemolo himself. By contrast Montezemolo is a proud aristocrat. A member of the Agnelli family by any other name, he is regarded within the Fiat empire as a marketing wunderkind. No one in Maranello can understand why the Todt-Montezemolo alliance has lasted so long. One observer said: “It is a mystery, Todt’s not Luca’s sort of person and vice versa.” It was never part of Montezemolo’s plan to get rid of Todt, he simply wanted to break up the Todt-Brawn-Schumacher alliance that so effectively controlled the team. And it appears that the battleground was drawn over Michael Schumacher, with both men determined to get their way. But Montezemolo was more determined. Montezemolo was not overawed by Michael Schumacher as so clearly was Jean Todt. That was shown in 1999 when the two men faced up to each other after Schumacher broke his leg at the British Grand Prix. Even after he had recovered enough to go testing Schumacher announced on Sunday 3rd October that he would not be fit enough to take part in the remaining two races of the year in Malaysia and Japan. After the accident Eddie Irvine had taken up the running for the world championship title and badly needed the help of a strong team-mate. But the last thing Schumacher appeared to want was his team-mate to win the world championship and he had clearly decided, with Todt’s collaboration, to see the last two races out. Irvine pleaded with Montezemolo to intervene. What happened next was instructive in the differing relationships Schumacher enjoyed with Todt and Montezemolo. On the afternoon of Tuesday 5th October 1999, Montezemolo rang Schumacher at his home in Switzerland to ask if he would change his mind and drive. But Schumacher’s young daughter Gina-Maria answered the phone and told Montezemolo that her Daddy was “getting out of his football boots”. Montezemolo questioned the little girl more closely and ascertained that she and her brother had been enjoying a rough game of football in the garden with their father. When Schumacher finally came to the phone, Montezemolo asked him if indeed he had been playing football. The German had no choice but to be truthful. Once Montezemolo heard that, he said to him that if he was fit enough to play football he was fit enough to drive in Malaysia and Japan. When Schumacher resisted, Montezemolo reminded him that he was being paid US$2 million a race and would do as he was told. Schumacher had no choice but to comply and on Friday 8th October the team announced he would indeed be returning for the last two races. The incident had been a lesson for Montezemolo, who realised that a secret conspiracy existed between Todt and Schumacher. He had run up against it before when he had wanted to hire Mika Häkkinen to partner Schumacher. Then Todt had told Montezemolo that Schumacher would not have it and would leave. In effect Schumacher was so powerful he could dictate terms and Montezemolo could not risk calling his bluff. But Montezemolo believed Schumacher would have stayed and was left smarting by his rebuttal at the hands of the two men. So when the chance came to sign Kimi Räïkkönen in the summer of 2005, Montezemolo was determined to grab it. After a poor season when the team had won nothing bar the controversial United States Grand Prix, Montezemolo sensed that Schumacher’s reign was coming to an end. He would be nearly 38 when his last contract ended in 2006. So when David Robertson came calling, Montezemolo was all ears. Robertson brilliantly played off Montezemolo and Todt against each other. According to sources at Ferrari, Montezemolo didn’t want to get into a situation next year where he was looking for a top-line driver and everyone was signed up. Montezemolo is in instinctive man and, as one person close to Ferrari observes: “He decided to put the bunsen-burner under the situation.” That person confirms that Montezemolo had been bitterly disappointed when he couldn’t sign Häkkinen and it had always rankled: “The aggravation with Todt has been there the whole time but came to a head at Monza. Luca had wanted to see Häkkinen in the other car. He believes it is 200 per cent about the drivers.” During the 2005 season Montezemolo decided he didn’t want Valentino Rossi even though he had a firm option to join the team. He persuaded Rossi not to take it up and stay in MotoGP. This decision upset Schumacher who could see what it meant. Rossi had had a programme mapped out to familiarise himself with the car prior to a 2007 debut. Schumacher said at the time: “We are sad not to see him here. I think he has a very high talent and could have done it in terms of driving.” Ross Brawn, the Ferrari technical director and a strong Todt-Schumacher ally was also upset and said: “We were very impressed with what he was able to do. It would have been very exciting. He was very impressive in all the running we did, otherwise we wouldn’t have taken him so seriously. It would have been a nice challenge to have. It’s a shame.” Rossi’s announcement fuelled speculation that Ferrari had already decided upon its 2007 driver line-up and that Kimi Räikkönen would be named as Michael Schumacher’s team-mate for next season. But by midsummer it was far from decided and a full-scale battle was going on inside Ferrari. There was a stand-off, which would continue until the deadline to take up Räikkönen’s option. Meanwhile, David Robertson was sensing that Ferrari might not take up Räikkönen’s option and that Schumacher would not drive alongside him. That prompted him to renew relations with Ron Dennis and make sure his options were still open there. But with McLaren’s 2006 car having flopped and the three top technical men, led by Adrian Newey, having left the team, conditions were totally different. So in May, Robertson started serious negotiations with Flavio Briatore to take Räikkönen to Renault. Robertson found a team principal who very badly wanted to do a deal. The downside was that the retainer was half what he had been getting at McLaren and half of what he had been offered at Ferrari. But against that was a very competitive car; in May it was the most competitive car. The negotiations were a surprise as Briatore had clashed with Robertson in 2001 and openly criticised him and his methods. But now the Italian turned on the charm offensive and entertained Robertson, and his son Steve, on his boat in Monte Carlo. He also introduced them to his ravishing new girlfriend, Elisabetta Gregoracci, and she worked her own charms on the two men as they toured the Renault team principal’s new yacht in Monaco harbour. Briatore was ready to forget the past if there was a deal to be done. And he badly needed the deal. By this time his position was very different to how it had been in December 2005. Now the future was clear and Carlos Ghosn, the Renault chairman, had made a long-term commitment to the team and even turned on the cash spigot. Briatore was able to offer Räikkönen a decent retainer, said to be US$21 million but with the added opportunity to accept outside endorsements, which could have been worth another US$10 million. The two men held detailed negotiations and Briatore personally spent a lot of time wooing Robertson. Later Briatore would angrily tell friends that he felt Robertson had been wasting his time and had been committed to Ferrari at the same time as he was offering Räikkönen to Renault. However, this was not the case. Robertson had been negotiating in the genuine belief that Ferrari would not take up its option because of Schumacher. All through the early summer, civil war raged behind the scenes at Maranello. But Schumacher found his power to get his way had gone. Montezemolo appeared not to care whether he stayed or went. At the German Grand Prix, which Schumacher won with Massa second and Räikkönen third, the Ferrari number one driver put on a very public show of affection for his team-mate and totally ignored Räikkönen. It was a classic Schumacher display: he was demonstrating publicly to Montezemolo how he wanted it to be and how good it could be. But Montezemolo was totally unmoved. In fact insiders say it hardened his resolve to dislodge the superstar. And in August, Robertson was proved wrong when Montezemolo signed the contract with him. No one close to Ferrari was surprised, as one insider says: “Luca, being the politician that he is, closed off every rat hole.” When Schumacher learned the news, he told Montezemolo he wanted until the end of the season to make up his mind about whether he would stay and partner Räikkönen. In the meantime, he didn’t want any announcement made about Räikkönen. But Montezemolo was not having any of that. He wanted the situation resolved and told Schumacher he wanted his decision by Monza, when he would announce Räikkönen. By then it appears Ross Brawn had also decided he would leave if Schumacher did. That news was leaked to journalists to pile pressure on Montezemolo. The writing was on the wall. Montezemolo had come this far and was not about to turn back. Montezemolo won the battle: Schumacher would not drive with Räikkönen and would instead announce his retirement. But the decision was very much against his will. He would have rather carried on with Felipe Massa as his team-mate. Now the seven times world champion, still only 37, has to decide what to do next and where life will take him. Meanwhile, none of the pronouncements so far can be taken for granted. Despite the 17 years since Enzo Ferrari’s death, Ferrari is still a very Machiavellian organisation and Jean Todt, predictably, is seething about losing this public battle with Montezemolo. He knows he will never have the same type of relationship with Räikkönen that he has had with Schumacher. Insiders, however, insist that Todt’s job is safe and that he has too many friends inside Fiat for Montezemolo to contemplate sacking him. And they add that Montezemolo, who is not regarded as malicious, genuinely doesn’t want that and knows Todt is the best man to run Ferrari. One says: “Whatever Luca is, he isn’t stupid.” But another outside observer says that Todt has been wounded by what has transpired and doesn’t believe the story is concluded, as he says: “Todt is the most malicious person on two legs and he will hold that against Luca.”
2019.06.14 02:07 stilltiltingJust Finished S2 Discovery: Good Trek, Not Great...Yet?
I don't quite love the show yet but I definitely don't hate it. I like it and I hope it gets better and better. Spoiler warning if you haven't yet seen both seasons of Discovery and given the way you have to watch it I assume lots of people haven't yet. I didn't start watching S2 until all the episodes were out so I could do it all in one month so I was behind and sorry if these thoughts of mine are all old hash by now. But here they are. The title sums up how I feel after two seasons. Discovery is pretty good Trek. It's not great Trek. But when I compare it to the first two seasons of the two shows I would put in that category--DS9 and TNG--it actually holds up pretty well. I hope that like those two shows it finds its stride, builds on its strengths, trims some of the weaknesses and can compete for my favorite series someday. And I really do hope it succeeds. I don't understand some of the hate that has been spewed at this show. I also don't understand rooting for it to fail or saying it will NEVER be as good as whatever a person's favorite Trek is already. Sure, I love DS9 and it's hard for me to see anything being better but I sure HOPE something will top it someday. Because I want to see that show! And Discovery COULD be because I've seen some flashes of brilliance and just overall goodness. Let me start with that and then offer what I think are some fair critiques. I like most of the characters and they are generally well acted. Saru might be my favorite. Or maybe Tilly. No, I take that back. It's probably Georgiou. Both versions. I think Michelle Yeoh just captures your attention whenever she's on screen. And I love the fact that like on DS9 my favorites are ensemble characters or even recurring guest stars in a lot of cases. I liked both Lorca and Pike. Tig Nigaro was awesome as the engineer they meet along the way! Spock's portrayal was different but on the whole I thought it was interesting. This is a younger Spock before he was Kirk's first officer. And even later on in life don't forget that he leaves Starfleet and goes off only to fail kohlinar (sp?) and then just as abruptly shows up again on the Enterprise. We see some early traces of those inner conflicts and changes. Production value is great. Effects, sets, etc. (Though for the love of all that is holy please stop with all the lens flare!). I like the uniform aesthetic that genuinely seems like a bridge between ENT and TOS. Speaking of bridges, can I say that the Short Treks between S1 and S2 were probably among my favorite "episodes" the show has had to date? I especially loved the one with Tilly and the one that took place on the ship...in the future? That one was a bit confusing and mysterious but was just really cool sci fi. The Mudd one was decent, too. I do think the whole Kelpian arc was super rushed, though, and that will serve as my bridge to my critiques... My main critique is that too much is crammed into too little screen time. Call it the Game of Thrones S7-8 problem. Maybe I'm just used to 90s TV when we got 26 episodes per season. They had to do entire "ship in a bottle" shows that only used existing sets to stay under budget that had to be small and character focused. Things like DS9's "In the Cards" or "Lower Decks" on TNG. Stuff where you just got really deep character development. Maybe something light hearted or just goofball like "Bride of Chaotica." If you've only got like 10-12 episodes you can't devote a full 45 minutes to playing on the holodek (and yes, holodek episodes are overdone but you get the idea). Short Treks was the only place we got to see even a little of this. Discovery has really cool characters but the breakneck pace of the plot makes it so that yes, they are "crying too much." I'm not opposed to crying. I mean Major Kira breaks down crying at the end of Duet in S1 of DS9 which is an amazing episode. Sisko has the breakdown to end all breakdowns in one of my favorite episodes of any TV show ever in "Far Beyond the Stars." Picard in "Family." But those moments could be fewer and farther between because there were 26 episodes in a season. So I don't agree with people who think this or that character is bad or that the series itself is bad because there are emotional or romantic or whatever other kind of moments. But it would be nice to have a breather between those. To go back to "In the Cards", that and "The Sound of Her Voice" came in between some really heavy drama where the Dominion got its foothold in the Alpha Quadrant and almost blew up Bajor and the true start of the Dominion War in "Call to Arms" which is my favorite season finale of any Trek tied with BOBW. These episodes offer amazing character development. Some humor. I mean the whole "plot" of In the Cards is Jake going through hilarious machinations to get his dad a baseball card. And the bigger plot--the Dominion--is there in the background and ominous but the episode has space to breathe. I think Discovery really needs this. So yeah. That's my main critique. The fact that it is so condensed makes the plot twists seem a bit too trite and too forced. Even the "spore drive" is kind of like the "fast travel" meme in the flesh of a tardigrade. (sp?) Burnham/Spock's parents just showing up all of a sudden was one of those wtf moments that happened again and again in the latest seasons of Game of Thrones as well. Sorry for all the Game of Thrones references but I just see that main issues of two seasons of those shows that have run over the past two years as being so similar. So in the end I hope we get MORE Discovery, not less. I think more of it would actually help some of the show's problems. I don't quite love the show yet but I don't hate it. And I hope it gets better and better.
2019.05.13 02:09 fxb1984Constance Wu’s tweets prove that CRA was nothing more than a grand farce for the Asian American community:
I have been wanting to give my two cents on CRA for a while—now that Ms. Wu has gotten herself in a controversy of her own making, this seems like appropriate time to call out CRA for the farce that it is: • It features a “heroine/protagonist” with a racist self-hating streak that boasts of having an Asian guy freeze-out with her equally self-hating friends. • It normalizes, justifies, and rewards the racist double standards most Asian women in the West impose on Asian men in dating (if they date AM at all lol)—an Asian guy has to be phenomenally attractive, wealthy, etc. in order to considered whereas any white guy with a smile and clean t-shirt is acceptable. • The entire Asian female cast only dates white men in real life and the director is married to a white woman. And now, in my daily routine, I flat out don’t see Asian American men and women interacting in any way (seen more AMWF than AMAF not counting 1st gen mainlanders), so I’m baffled as to who this romantic fantasy/farce was even made to serve. • The hapa male lead is moving on to a white role while the full Asian men are not much better off than they were before. (For hapas who might be offended by this statement: what have you done recently for the Asian community? If nothing, why do you feel entitled to what full Asians create without contributing anything of your own? I’m all for collaborating with and rewarding hapas who do their part, but too many are operating like Henry Golding and double dip without giving back). • Practically all the Asian actresses have gone on to take non-Asian roles instead of fostering projects that benefit the Asian community unlike Kevin Kwan—which leads me to the lady in question: Constance Wu is pissed because she feels like she has done her part for the “Asian community” (LOL -- who is she kidding?) in bitching about The Great Wall (a wholly Chinese backed and funded film, so she was ignorant in that regard) and appearing in CRA, that she should be getting “non-Asian roles” like Gemma Chan in Captain Marvel, Awkwafina in Oceans 8, Michelle Yeoh in Star Trek Discovery (with a French last name LOL), Sandra Oh in Killing Eve (with an English last name, what an honor!), and Lana Condor in who knows and who cares. Even Fan Bingbing was tapped by Jessica Chastain for some project before getting yanked out of sight by Chinese authorities over her tax scandal. Wu used her Asian identity to “call out,” “clap back,” and grandstand when it suited her, and now that she’s rode it out for all its worth, she ready to be done with being “Asian” and wants a white role with a Western last name and her own magazine cover in the white “liberal” press. It genuinely cracks me up that so many Asians didn’t see this coming LOL.
2019.04.21 23:05 philwelch"I don't care what happens to these people": The characters are the fatal flaw of Discovery
In an older and wiser age of Internet discussion, Dorothy Heydt coined the "Eight Deadly Words" that tend to encapsulate why an audience stops caring about a work of fiction. This is, in my opinion, the most important issue with Discovery. The frequently nonsensical plot and world-building do throw an extra sheen of stupid over the entire thing, but somehow these issues weren't fatal to the rest of the franchise even though they have been endemic for decades. For me, the eight words taken literally are a slight overstatement, because I still slightly care about some of those people. The problem is, the characters I'm invested in are stuck in a weird state of arrested development and the characters I've totally given up on get more and more and more screentime devoted exclusively to their most annoying traits. Let's start from the good in Season 2 and go from there. Pike is a character with a truly heroic arc. We see in "New Eden" that Pike is one of the few characters actually capable of cultural understanding and tolerance when he doesn't treat the residents of Terralysium as backwards peasants. The unnecessary exploration of his history with the Talosians is somewhat enlightening, and his acceptance of the future sacrifice he will predestine himself to in the caves of Boreth have a truly epic, heroic quality. The only failing of Pike is his unusual tolerance of utter insubordination and disrespect from many of the other officers. Perhaps he's at a loss because he's used to dealing with Number One and Lt. Spock. Or, at the bare minimum--used to dealing with officers who act like professionals. I'm gonna miss this guy. Reno is likable and amusing. I think she's one of the most authentic Chief Engineer characters we've seen, actually--if starships are anything like servers, it seems like a requirement to have somebody blunt, sarcastic, and grimly determined to keep them running, and that's Reno. Saru is, with few reservations, a strong character with a compelling arc. A man of overwhelming drive and determination, he overcomes the constant, chronic fear that defines his life every single day. The next and most important question is: what happens when that fear is taken away? We see that it unbalances him a bit--he turns into a bit of an asshole, frankly--but that's to be expected and he soon regains his balance, though a bit abruptly, almost as if the writers had forgotten that he had a character arc in the first place. Also, it was a nice character moment for Saru when he let Culber and Tyler brawl in the mess hall. Culber is a fairly realistically-portrayed minor character who pretty much behaves with just as much disorientation and confusion as you'd expect from someone who came back from the dead. Stamets remains the multifaceted character he was before; capable of being an impatient dick at some times and a deeply compassionate friend at others, and reacting realistically and sympathetically to the truly weird series of events he has to deal with this season. Owo, Detmer, Random Communications Officer Man, and others don't really have a chance to rise above being talking parts of the set this season, which doesn't make them bad characters per se, but also doesn't give much of a reason to care about them. Although Owo does break the annoyingly long streak of casting African-American actors to play African characters (as Oyin Oladejo is Nigerian). Airiam is pretty much in the same position except for the episode that was blatantly constructed as an exercise in "getting to know Airiam before we kill her". Here's a writing tip: audiences are smart, and if you pick a random episode to suddenly start developing a minor character who was there all along, we know they're gonna die. The whole point of having arcs and continuity is so you can start planting seeds ahead of time. But, no. So far, so good. Now let's see where character development went wrong, and what can be salvaged. Leland is roughly a zero, or at least a missed opportunity to have a character. Leland follows a vague pattern introduced earlier with Lorca: if a vaguely militaristic male character is introduced early in the season, he must be transformed into a cartoonish villain by the second half of the season. For the flip side of this, consider Georgiou, or at least Mirror Georgiou. Literally a genocidal dictator who eats people, Georgiou is somehow, by writing fiat, treated more as a misunderstood antihero. Unless the writers have a Dukat-style betrayal in store for Season 3 (which seems unlikely given the actress being planned to star in her own Section 31 series), this is a completely nonsensical character development. The only saving grace is Michelle Yeoh's charisma, which is almost enough to pull if off when you're actually watching the show, albeit less so when you have a chance to think about it for a little bit. Speaking of genocidal dictators who eat people but are somehow treated sympathetically, L'Rell also exists. Ash Tyler is bad worldbuilding encapsulated into a character. He's effectively another zero, but that's frustrating because his actions are somewhat duplicitous: when he's by L'Rell's side he seems to believe that he is Voq, and when he is on a Starfleet vessel he seems to believe that he is Tyler and that Voq is "gone forever". Spock is hard for me to judge because the recasting of the character was utterly unconvincing to me. If you've seen Leonard Nimoy for as many hours as most of us have, it's hard to accept substitutes. It breaks my heart to see what the writers have done to Tilly. In the first season, Tilly was slightly overwhelmed and chatty, but when she was put in a position of having to imitate a Terran captain on the spot, she was momentarily flustered and then regained her composure. We saw Tilly as a young officer slowly gaining confidence in herself, with flashes of potential. In the second season, she was Flanderized to an accelerated degree, getting constantly flustered at everyday situations like "meeting a starship captain" and even starting to get annoying at times. Tilly regressed as a character in the second season. Which is really a big shame, because she was one of my favorite characters in the first season and the one I was most looking forward to watching develop. And so it comes to Burnham. I didn't mind Burnham in the first season. The second season is different. Since there is always a hushed undertone of accusations of bias whenever they say they don't like characters like Burnham, let's get that into the open. The problem is not that Burnham is a strong female character, or even that she's a flawed-but-strong female character. There's a platitude about writing: "show, don't tell". The opposite of this is to tell, but not show, certain information. There's a step beyond this where we're told one thing and shown the exact opposite. We are told that Burnham is a strong female character, but we are shown a character whose behavior is erratic, childish, petulant, and emotional. We are told, from her amount of screen time alone, that Burnham is meant to be the protagonist whom we follow and care about, but we are never shown a reason to care about her. We are told that she is heroic, by the fact that she is shoehorned into the "hero" slot in the story, but we are shown very few instances of Burnham acting heroically, or even professionally. We are told to be emotionally invested in her by how much the show explores her emotions, but we're never shown anything that inspires that empathy. Instead, we are shown long self-absorbed monologues and childish reactions. And worst of all, we're told that Burnham was raised by Vulcans, but we are shown the least stoic character since Deanna Troi. If Burnham was written the exact same way and appeared in TOS, we would dismiss her as a dated, sexist portrayal of what a woman officer would be like. Speaking of TOS, let's take an extended look at the beginning of the TOS writer's bible:
CAN YOU FIND THE MAJOR STAR TREK ERROR IN THE FOLLOWING "TEASER" FROM A STORY OUTLINE? The scene is the Bridge of the U.S.S. (United States Spaceship) Enterprise. Captain Kirk is at his command position, his lovely but highly efficient female Yeoman at his side. Suddenly and without provocation, our Starship is attacked by an alien space vessel. We try to warn the alien vessel off, but it ignores us and begins loosening bolts of photon energy-plasma at us. The alien vessel's attack begins to weaken our deflectors. Mister Spock reports to Captain Kirk that the next enemy bolt will probably break through and destroy the Enterprise. At this moment we look up to see that final energy-plasma bolt heading for us. There may be only four or five seconds of life left. Kirk puts his arms about his lovely Yeoman, comforting and embracing her as they wait for what seems certain death. FADE OUT. (END TEASER)
Unbelievable. Why the correct answer? Simply because we've learned during a full season of making visual science fiction that believability of characters, their actions and reactions, is our greatest need and is the most important angle factor. Let's explore that briefly on the next page. NOW, TRY AGAIN. SAME BASIC STORY SITUATION, BUT AGAINST ANOTHER BACKGROUND. The time is today. We're in Viet Nam waters aboard the navy cruiser U.S.S. Detroit. Suddenly an enemy gunboat heads for us, our guns are unable to stop it, and we realize it's a suicide attack with an atomic warhead. Total destruction of our vessel and of all aboard appears probable. Would Captain E. L. Henderson, presently commanding the U.S.S. Detroit, turn and hug a comely female WAVE who happened to be on the ship's bridge. ....No, Captain Henderson wouldn't! Not if he's the kind of Captain we hope is commanding any naval vessel of ours. Nor would our Captain Kirk hug a female crewman in a moment of danger, not if he's to remain believable.
(Yes, I'm aware this actually happens in a TOS episode. The TOS bible was largely intended as an effort to stop doing dumb shit like that in Season 2.) Burnham utterly fails this test--not the specific one about hugging and kissing cute officers, but the believability test--all the time. Let's try some of Burnham's most annoying scenes over again against another background:
The time is today. We are in the central Mediterranean aboard the carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. In Syria, Assad has acquired new supersonic anti-ship missiles from Russia and has started to use them, sinking offshore guided missile destroyers and cruisers that are providing fire support to Syrian rebels. The Lincoln is under 2 hours away from launching a nighttime airstike against the new missile site. Leading the airstrike is Commander Sarah Gates, a seasoned pilot decorated for valor and well on the fast track to commanding a carrier herself one day. Suddenly, Commander Gates' parents, a US Senator and his wife, board the ship for a teary reunion where they discuss how much they love each other even though Senator Gates hasn't always been a good father.
The time is today. We are aboard the submarine USS Pasadena in the South China Sea. A SEAL team is currently aboard. The navigation officer, LCDR Maria Gomez, learns that her parents' accidental death in a shipboard explosion in the mid-1990's was due to a SEAL mission that went wrong. She lashes out by viciously berating her ex-boyfriend, one of the members of the SEAL Team, for joining the Navy SEALs.
The time is today. We are in the sands of northern Iraq, where elements of 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit are on the ground to rescue downed pilots from an ISIS prison camp. Hard-charging platoon leader 2LT Aisha Sarhan liberates the camp and starts loading the prisoners onto an Osprey for extraction, only to discover one of the prisoners is her long-assumed-dead mother, who was actually under deep cover for the CIA before her cover was blown. The elder Sarhan insists on reporting directly to the MEU commander. Lt. Sarhan is affronted by this and insists on speaking to her mother directly, publicly showing up her commanding officer.
And so, that is the root problem with Discovery. Bad science and plot holes are part and parcel of the franchise at this point, but we can forgive them most of the time. What we can't forgive is a protagonist who is completely unrealistic and whom we have no reason to care about, surrounding characters who are too often either nonsensical in their motivations, Flanderized to oblivion, or otherwise non-entities, and too little screen time left to explore the characters who are actually worthwhile. It's not that I don't care what happens to these people: it's that I never get to see what happens to the people I care about because the writers are obsessed with people I don't care about and who don't act in believable ways. And without having grounding to realistic characters, I'm left grasping for straws and the rest of the nonsense only becomes more and more apparent.
There is nothing more powerful in this world than a determined Michelle Yeoh. In the prologue to this film, arriving rain drenched to some fancy London hotel whose staff refuse to acknowledge her reservation, you wonder how these men are not rendered dead under her gaze. She has a better way to exact revenge though, and one phone call to her husband finds the hotel brought out from under them. She owns it now. Twenty years later her son is living a life of mostly quiet anonymity in New York, dating an economics professor who remains oblivious to the fact that he seemingly comes from one of the wealthiest families alive. You can imagine the hijinks that will ensue when he takes this American commoner back home to meet the family before his best friend's wedding. Like, literally you can though. I guess wherever you go in the world privilege is always going to beget privilege, and once you get money everyone's priorities tend towards the same direction. Of course this interloper is some golddigging bitch, of course the elders aren't going to approve of their unsophisticated ways and there of course will be those who are charmed by them given the opportunity. Just as all the best romantic comedies though, it finds definition in its specificity and the goddamn bomb ass cast Jon M. Chu has put together here. Like, I have to put Michelle Yeoh at the top because she's a literal legend and is completely untouchable in this joint. Awkwafina builds on her great year and literally every move she makes seems to be right. Gemma Chan puts in some real strong work in a somewhat underwritten sub-plot about her husband having an affair and leads Constance Wu and Henry Golding are pretty great on their own but outside their final scene together seem to exhibit pretty much no chemistry with each other. Which, to me, seems to be a problem. The couple whose wedding they are attending get a single scene at the open before we see them get married. In that moment they build up a connection far more authentic than that of the two leads. It's rough. When she complains at one point that all she wants is more time alone with him, I kinda wonder why. They're fine together, but that's it. Fine. After that exchange we cut to her having lunch with her best friend, she has far more fun with her. It's like they just forgot to give her beaux a personality or anything, he's dependable. But who can depend on him is the big question. He's the family's heir, will he give it up for his one chance at true love? At least the film has the decency to make the conflict human. This family has no problem accepting the flamboyant gay cousin, he's family and you look out for those. It's how you stay safe, its how you stay strong, it's how you keep the capital from escaping into the lower classes. The film perhaps don't go as far as I'd like it its criticism of the 1% of the 1%, it's certainly not above depicting their outrageous expenditures but it usually only does so under the guise of taste. When they helicopter out to a rented cargo boat for a bachelor party it's bad, but when the groom and best man fuck off outta that and take the helicopter to have beers on a specially constructed bamboo raft floating in some far flung and idyllic lake it's a good cool thing to do. I dunno, I probably shouldn't hold my hatred of capitalism against the film, but you'd think an economics professor might have something to say about the situation being thrust upon her. Maybe I'm just boring, a film in which the heir is seduced by a radical Marxist who's convincing him that he needs to radically redistribute the family's wealth would slap for real though. I'd also like to be rich. Let's not overlook that this is the first entirely Asian led Hollywood blockbuster in over twenty years. That's dope. I'm actually trying to remember now the last time I saw a romance with an Asian lead at all and I can't remember and there's so much in here that's tenderly, lovingly, mockingly realised. Stereotypes at play that as so ingrained as to be second nature to the intended audience, but only glimpsed most of the time in media that will regard them as the other. Here the gossipy aunts, overachieving siblings, social media socialites are seen complete. Photographed with understanding of what their inclusion in a picture means. That's the true triumph of Crazy Rich Asians, and it’s why we need more films like it. If you enjoyed this review you can find more here.
2018.08.21 21:04 popsicleskyWhat standards can we now expect from movies with Asian American leads? (CRA, To All the Boys)
Unsurprisingly, the presses are churning out comparisons between Crazy Rich Asians and To All the Boys I've Ever Loved (see the end of this post for links to some examples). I get that this comparison can seem unfair for a number of reasons. But I can't ignore that, next to the exacting standards of race-sensitive representation in CRA, To All the Boys comes off as...careless, to put it kindly. (To be fair, I haven't watched To All the Boys -- teen romance isn't my thing -- so I welcome the insight of folks who have seen the movie.) Consider this regarding CRA (source: Rebecca Sun and Rebecca Ford, Hollywood Reporter):
Everyone [working on CRA] was on the lookout for potential blind spots and cultural cliches. [Constance Wu] convinced [Jon M. Chu] to remove dialogue from the book wherein Rachel boasts about never dating Asian men. [Michelle Yeoh], touring Eleanor's kitchen set, pointed the finger at a packet of MSG. "You can't have that on the table!" she exclaimed, but Chu reassured her that no one would notice. (She was later vindicated when the director sent a snapshot of the pair on set to his father — owner of the deceptively old-school Silicon Valley power spot Chef Chu's — who ignored the film icon next to his son and instead complained about the MSG in the background.)
versus this regarding To All the Boys I've Ever Loved (source: Inkoo Kang, Slate), bold emphasis added by me:
Of course, All the Boys isn’t just another The Kissing Booth. It stars an Asian American lead and features a biracial family with a white dad, a mother of Korean heritage, and hapa siblings No doubt some viewers, especially young ones, will be comforted by seeing a family like theirs on screen. But I also cringed when Lara Jean mentions that one of her favorite movies—the one she forces her new fake boyfriend to watch pretty much immediately—is Sixteen Candles, which includes the character of Long Duk Dong, i.e., one of the most blatant examples of anti-Asian racism in all of American film. The affection that Lara Jean and her 11-year-old sister have for Sixteen Candles appears to be an addition by the filmmakers, as the John Hughes movie is not mentioned in the book. The sisters acknowledge that Sixteen Candles is “extremely” racist, but that they love the movie anyway because of its (white) heartthrob. I don’t want to generalize: I’m sure Sixteen Candles boasts fans of all races. We all have our problematic faves. But the highly unnecessary scene dedicated to two young Asian Americans proclaiming their love for a movie that mocks their race underscored to me that neither writer Alvarez nor director Susan Johnson seem to come from an Asian background.
2018.08.21 16:11 shadowsweepCrazy Rich Asians: A Trojan Horse with hapas, Asian male minstrels, and “I avoid Asian men” Asian women inside.
Asians in the West are starved for humanizing portrayals in the media. Our standards have plummeted as a result.
● Reward infamous Asian male minstrels? Yes. ● Reward a team of nearly all afwm actresses? Yes. ● Based on a book filled with self hate that paints Asian culture as backwards and misogynistic like Joy Luck Club? Yes.
The beauty of the West’s starvation tactic is that the victims are trained to become grateful for a bowl of dirt[Crazy Rich Asians] instead of a bowl of shit [Joy Luck Club].
Here’s a comparison table if you don’t believe me. Notice the striking similarities.
Joy Luck Club
Crazy Rich Asians
anti Asian orientalist source material
anti Am source material (eg Toxic Asian Masculinity)
Thanks to the following people for their excellent insight and commentary: ● Ogedei_Khaan ● historybuff234 ● Ifou0 ● the0clean0slates1Fan ● Thegoldenharvest ● fullasiancuq ● thanksagainx1 ● 1UPZ ● overhead3plates ● maddox2500
Special thanks to Natallie_Ng for helping with the edits.
Sadly, this movie is not the panacea that Asian Americans have been looking for and is exploiting the AsAm community to further the individual careers of those involved in the project. The white-worshipping is evident by casting a half British romantic male lead and the erasure of darker skin Asians. Full blooded Asian men (especially darker skinned men) will continue to be seen as undesirable, and Asian women will want to pro-create with white men in order to have half white children that look like Henry Golding. Look no further than the female cast, who are all dating or married to white men.
[–]Ogedei_Khaan 30 points 6 days ago First the source material is shit peppered with self-hate. Second the actors involved are people who are basically Asian minstrel show performers. That's enough reason to be skeptical of this film. Why should I blindly support a movie that's made up of negative components? Simple math dictates two wrongs don't make a right.
[–]historybuff234 12 points 2 days ago* Ultimately, the test for me is whether we can safely show the film to our children without their getting bad ideas about their Asian identity from it. I can imagine the first question I get from the children even scrolling to stream the movie would be, why does the Asian male lead have a white last name? The following question is, are we Asians "crazy and rich"? Even before starting the stream, I will already be stuck making long explanations and caveats. And if I get them through the film, talking them through Ken Jeong and Jimmy Yang, I will need to have even longer talks when the children start looking up the personal lives of the actors and actresses on the internet. Can you imagine what young Asian boys who develop a crush on Constance Wu would feel when they see pictures of her with her real-life partners? I suppose some are satisfied with seeing shirtless AM. But there is far, far more at stake here. Years from now, we may have an article asking if we can "forgive" "Crazy Rich Asians" just like we have one today telling us to "forgive" "Joy Luck Club."
[–]historybuff234 7 points 2 days ago Taizong, I don't deny your enjoyment of the movie. I'm not saying your viewpoint is not legitimate or well-reasoned. We just look at things differently. As an older man, my foremost concern is the children of the Asian community, the ones who have no voice and the ones who bear the long-term impact of the events today. When I read about the movie, I imagine a young Asian boy. He has a crush on Constance Wu or Gemma Chan and finds out from Google that they don't actually like Asian men. He is ridiculed and bullied at school after imitating Ken Jeong's mannerisms. He is forced to confront, as an adolescent insecure in his identity, why the male lead of a movie that ostensibly celebrates being Asian has a white last name and doesn't quite look like him. On the flip side, I also picture a young Asian girl. She wonders why Constance Wu or Gemma Chan date and marry white men in real-life. And she learns to follow their example when reflecting on Ken Jeong's behavior and Henry Golding's casting. Maybe you optimists will be correct. I certainly hope you are correct. But my experience counsels me otherwise. As a student of history, I will also say that there is very little historical or empirical ground for optimism. At the best, "Crazy Rich Asians" will do as much for the Asian identity as "Braveheart" did for the Scottish identity. I will only point out that, even after "Braveheart," the Scots ultimately voted against independence and remain subject to the whims of the English today.
● What have I always told you about the absolute need to inflict consequences on anti Asian people such as sellouts?
[–]Thegoldenharvest -1 points 2 days ago To me this movie has rewarded lus, chans and asian sellouts under the guise of helping asians. I'd be genuinely surprised if i see any of these asian men go beyond this movie.
[–]Ogedei_Khaan 10 points 4 days ago* My issue is why should we reward the likes of Constance Wu, Ken Jeong and other Asian minstrels? By supporting this movie, we also justify their place in Hollywood as our "representatives." I'm unwilling to support people like that. It's like telling black people to support a movie with known self-hating blacks actors, that portray black people as stereotyped caricatures and then guilting other black people who don't want to support it as butthurt and bitter? I'm just not that mentally flexible to be a brain contortionist.
● The real reason the lead is a hapa male instead of a full Asian male.
[–]fullasiancuq 6 points 1 day ago Stop giving the same excuse, everybody knows he's half white as an actor and that sends a message that full Asian men are not good enough. If he does not look white then why didn't you use a full Asian actor?
[–]fullasiancuq 17 points 1 day ago You know there is a reason why white people claim Genghis Khan was mixed with white blood. It's because despite how Asian someone looks, having white blood still matters that much to them. To them, only a person with white blood can achieve amazing feats. When they see how Henry Golding has made it, the hegemony will claim it's because of his white blood he's a talented actor, and Asian Americans will unfortunately believe it.
[–]oompaloofah_ 6 points 1 day ago It's the same reason why white people try to "claim" Bruce Lee too. Even though he looks 100% Chinese, grew up in Hong Kong, speaks Chinese, understands Asian issues, practiced CHINESE martial arts, identifies as Chinese/Asian, pretty much acted like full Chinese 100% of the time, even 1 drop of white blood, and white people will try to claim him as theirs and say that it was his white blood that made him so amazing. What a joke.
>1 We should take baby steps This is not materials science. This is fiction. We can make people fly with the stroke of a pen. The limit is our imagination, not the laws of physics. Sessue Hayakawa achieved superior representation before any of us were born at a time when our population was vastly smaller than it is today.
>2 Henry Golding looks Asian just like a Filipino or Malay. Both groups have Caucasian admixture.
>3 It's ground breaking. There’s nothing ground breaking about this except for the fact that it doesn’t totally ridicule Asians.
>4 The lead is hapa. He is a great guy
[–]thanksagainx1 25 points 2 days ago* 27:11 Oh wow, Henry Golding, MAN UP and answer the fucking question. Golding: It's not a particular role that's written for an Asian character. my next film is called a simple favor. I'm Blake Lively's husband Anna Kendricks love interest and my name is Shawn TOWNSEND room erupts in laughter* It's not necessary to explain my ethnicity. ... but that doesn't mean I'm not going to be taking Asian roles. He wants to have his cake and eat it too. Take up the racially ambiguous roles that his looks qualify for but at the same time take Asian roles that should have gone to full Asian actors. All this wrapped up in the language of activism as if he's doing us a favour. Golding: My third movie I'm playing a gay Asian. He's gonna play a stereotype next? Going from the problematic CRA to playing a gay Asian. If this guy isn't looking more and more like a Chan I don't know who is.
[–]historybuff234 6 points 2 days ago Interesting point. So when Golding plays an Asian character he is either "crazy rich" or "gay" but bears the last name of "Townsend" when playing Blake Lively's husband. Can anyone give me a positive reason why we should accept him as our representation?
[–]1UPZ_ 8 points 2 days ago You won't really see half-Asian actors with hopes of getting more Hollywood exposure FIGHT for Asians... because they want to be considered for "white" roles and not be associated with the typical Asian role. They want the best of both worlds... be considered for Asian leads and then also be selected for "white" roles.... its about survival in Hollywood and the movie industry afterall. Only when Asian leads become the "hot" trend will you see half Asians claim to be "proud" Asians.
>6 It was soo positive for Asian men! It’s true that a few Asian men looked good on screen with money shots eg abs. However, ● The hottest full Am is a cheater ● Another full Am is a wingman [ok, this gets a pass] ● Harry Shum Jr gets only 5 seconds of screen time. So I saw CRA this weekend. My thoughts? They completely fucked up on AM representation (spoiler alert) : EasternSunRising https://www.reddit.com/EasternSunRising/comments/98u26s/so_i_saw_cra_this_weekend_my_thoughts_they/ This is good? Your expectations are so low.
>7 You hate hapas! That’s why you dislike Henry Golding
[–]overhead3plates 11 points 3 days ago Nobody hating on hapas We recognize that it was not goldings decision to cast him there instead of a full blooded asian. However, the reason he is casted because he is closer to being white, we are criticizing that decision by whoever made the call. And considering that decision maker has financial stakes in the film, i wont watch it. Also it is very relevant that the MALE LEAD is hapa while all females and support cast is full Asian [except for one hapa female support role]. That is at the very least very suspicious Lastly, people have talked about other casting decisions, especially one concerning full Lu cast lead by non other than leader of the WMAF clan constance.
[–]fullasiancuq 4 points 19 hours ago If they wanted hapa representation, they could've made the supporting actors hapa instead of the leading role. After all, isn't it their excuse that supporting actors are at least portrayed well and we should be happy about it since it apparently makes no difference whether it's the leading role or not? So if that is the case then why didn't they make the supporting roles hapa while the leading role remains full Asian? I am deeply disappointed that this piece of shit movie is getting hailed as some kind of breakthrough. Just smh.
[–]maddox2500[S] 11 points 2 days ago My thoughts that I posted as a reply to some guy CRA is a hollywood backed movie that was a shot for a full asian man to be the lead romantic role. it was a chance for a full asian man to be recognized as a sex symbol and do interviews on all the morning shows, today shows and whatever shows in america. that's never going to happen for another 50 years now in america. half asian half white men will be cast as full asian men in mainstream media lead hollywood roles for the next 20 to 50 years like half white half black women have been cast as full black (passing in the eyes of non black) women for romantic roles for the last 50 years. even crazier is there's a movie being made called "The Sun Is Also a Star" based on a book by a black woman married to a korean man. starring a half asian half white guy but every other secondary character they cast is guess what, full asian. funny enough the black romantic lead girl is also only half black. they'll take a little bit of an ethnicity but not the whole thing for leading roles. but secondary characters yeah full asians are fine. good for hapa men, arguably harmful to good for full asian men. there was no chance of getting full asian men cast as romantic leads in big mainstream hollywood backed productions so it was always expected. we'll have mulan and that'll be the last. by some miracle the romantic male lead is full asian in that. to all the crappers i ever loved is some netflix romcom and this sub has given that book hell and that author hell every time i've seen it brought up and that was the point of my post. oh and full asian women will continue to be represented by full asian women just like black men are represented by full black men. it's creepy if i'm right and that's what it's looking like. that's what i think will continue to happen here's your "full" asian lead role for that movie Charles MELTON and here's his full asian secondary character older brother (also a racist who frowns upon their interracial relationship in the context of the book. making him the evil bad guy of the book) https://m.media-amazon.com/images/M/MV5BN2YyNWM5ZDMt[email protected]._V1_UY317_CR130,0,214,317_AL_.jpg
Note: If this film succeeds, they’ll claim it was because of the hapa and hapas will get more roles. If it fails, they will blame Asians. How do I know this? I study white people history. America is a white “Christian” country unless Black athletic slaves are earning medals at the Olympics for them. Asians are uncreative chinks but their output at the national labs are “American” innovations. You thought the quote, White man speaks in forked tongue, was a joke?
The place of honor on Carol's Qing dynasty Huanghuali bed was always reserved for Eleanor Note: Dat Toxic Asian Masculinity
PART 1: CHAPTER 11
For Rachel, the problem began practically the day she hit puberty. She began to notice a phenomenon that occurred whenever an Asian of the opposite sex entered the room. The Asian male would be perfectly nice and normal to all the other girls, but special treatment would be reserved for her. First, there was the optical scan: the boy would asess her physical attributes in the most blatant way--quantifying every inch of her body by a completely different set of standards than he would use for non-Asian girls. How big were her eyes? Were they double-lidded naturally, or did she have that eyelid surgery? How light was her skin? How straight and glossy was her hair? Did she have good child-birthing hips? Did she have an accent? And how tall was she really, without heels on? (At five foot seven, Rachel was on the tall side, and Asian guys would sooner shoot themselves in the groin than date a taller girl.) If she happened to pass this initial hurdle, the real test would begin. Her Asian girlfriends all knew this test. They called it the "SATs." The Asian male would begin a not so covert interrogation focused on the Asian female's social, academic, and talent aptitudes in order to determine whether she was possible "wife and bearer of my sons" material.
Note: Dat Toxic Asian Masculinity
PART 1: CHAPTER 14 footnote
Not to be confused with the Singapore academy where the students are taught in--horrors—Mandarin
PART 1: CHAPTER 15
Every man cheats. This is Asia. Every guy has his mistresses, girlfriends, flings on the side. It's a normal thing. A status thing. Get used to it. Great-grandpa had dozens of concubines. Uncle Freddie had that whole other family in Taiwan. And how many mistresses has cousin Eddie had by now? I've lost count.
Note: Dat Toxic Asian Masculinity
PART 1: CHAPTER 16 (Meeting the Gohs)
Everyone went around shaking hands with Rachel, who couldn't help but notice that none of them happened to be over five foot five
PART 2: CHAPTER 2
Whether the Chinese want to admit it or not, the true connoisseur-ship of Asian art was outside of China for much of the last century, so that's where a lot of the museum-quality pieces ended up--in Europe and America.
Note: Silly me. I thought it was due to the invasion and plunder of China by pious white “Christians”.
PART 2: CHAPTER 5
But then Michael appeared, and suddenly everything went into slow motion. He was taller and bigger than most Asian men
Note: Played by Henry GOLDING, the "superior" man with half white genetics
PART 2: CHAPTER 13
"That's not the case over here. No matter how advanced we've become, there's still tremendous pressure for girls to get married. Here, it doesn't matter how successful a woman is professionally. She isn't considered complete until she is married and has children.
Note: Dat Toxic Asian Masculinity
PART 3: CHAPTER 3
"Yes, yes, you've said it for years. You have nothing to leave me, I'm the girl, everything has to go to Teddy," Amanda lamented sarcastically.
PART 3: CHAPTER 7
"And you know how Malcolm is. He's a traditional Cantonese man--what remaining money he has will all go to his eldest son."
Note: Dat Toxic Asian Masculinity
PART 3: CHAPTER 7
"Who's the guy with her? The one in the diamond-studded jacket who looks like he's wearing eye shadow?" Rachel queried. "Yes, and they even have three children to prove it. You have to understand, many Hong Kong men revel in being fashionistas--they are dandies in the truest sense of the word. How flamboyantly dressed they might be is no indication of which team they play on." Note: Dat alternative masculinity
PART 3: CHAPTER 20
(Rachel's mother recounts her childhood) It was so hard to get into university in those days, especially if you were a girl,
Note: Dat Toxic Asian Masculinity
Kevin Kwan reduced South Asians to the role of servants in a story set in their own region.
2018.08.19 21:42 aznidthrowMy thoughts on Crazy Rich Asians as I watch it.
These are my thoughts as I watched through the movie. Hopefully this will shed some light on Crazy Rich Asians for those who choose to not watch it.
Asian mom (Michelle Yeoh) serves it to racist white hotel manager by buying the hotel.
Stereotypical "I'm all in." during a poker game.
Male lead looks Filipino. Not really liking the British accent.
Texting/social media transition after the Asian woman in the diner discovered who Nick Young was dating was pretty cool.
Rachel's mom plays her role well. It's like watching my mom.
Introductions of Nick's relatives...Alistair looks half Asian, Eddie seems okay, Astrid seems like a typical super rich girl
Why if they have their bags and literally everything taken care of at the airport in New York do they need to lug around their luggage like plebeians in Singapore?
Do Asian people hug strangers they just met that much in real life?
I'm glad they cast Colin as someone masculine.
How aren't they constantly mobbed in the public food market if they're so famous?
Nice shower scene for Michael, the commoner.
Awkafina's character is a little over the top at the beginning.
Ken Jeong having a fake Asian accent and then admitting it's fake
Awkafina's brother looks and acts like a fucking creep. Why did they put that in?
Don't wear red to meet a super rich family. Got it.
Having Walk of Shame clothes in the trunk is a little unnecessary for her
Meeting the mom went pretty much how all my interactions meeting mothers went.
Suspicious text on Michael's phone that Astrid sees. If you're cheating why would you leave your phone on the table?
Made a stereotypical gay cousin.
I didn't know people cared that much about flowers
The grandma is kind as usual
Bachelor Party on a container ship. Nothing else spells debauchery.
Ex-gf Amanda turns out to be a bitch who would have thought?
Is it weird if I want to see Rachel and Astrid end up together?
Mom's mean during the dumpling making
lol make over scene -> ends up looking the same
I wish they didnt make the Asian guy cheat.
Yet ANOTHER monkey wrench in their plans
Mahjong scene to solidify her win.
That emerald ring at the end was a nice touch
Overall: This is a typical romantic comedy with Asian/half Asian actors and actresses. It doesn't emasculate Asian men and portrays them in a decent light except for Awkwafina's brother and Jimmy Oyang's over the top character. AMs aren't portrayed as the hero or anything, but that's not be expected in a rom-com. The one thing I do have an issue with is Kitty Pong's character. She makes AFs seem like money grubbing gold diggers. Having seen A LOT of rom-coms I think Crazy Rich Asians is a good one. It's not super ground breaking, but it's one of the first western films in a long time that don't portray Asian men as the sidekick, androgynous/gay friend, tech nerd, etc. Nor does it portray Asian females as the best friend #2, prostitute, or damsel in distress for a WM to save. It's a step in the right direction, but there's a lot of work to be done.
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%; 83 Reviews Counted with 7.8 out of 10 average. Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus:
ith a terrific cast and a surfeit of visual razzle dazzle, Crazy Rich Asians takes a satisfying step forward for screen representation while deftly drawing inspiration from the classic -- and still effective -- rom-com formula.
Metacritic: 76 with 32 critics Counted Description: Crazy Rich Asians follows native New Yorker Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) as she accompanies her longtime boyfriend, Nick Young (Henry Golding), to his best friend’s wedding in Singapore. Excited about visiting Asia for the first time but nervous about meeting Nick’s family, Rachel is unprepared to learn that Nick has neglected to mention a few key details about his life. It turns out that he is not only the scion of one of the country’s wealthiest families but also one of its most sought-after bachelors. Being on Nick’s arm puts a target on Rachel’s back, with jealous socialites and, worse, Nick’s own disapproving mother (Michelle Yeoh) taking aim. And it soon becomes clear that while money can’t buy love, it can definitely complicate things Release Date: Aug 15, 2018 (North America) Starring:
Jimmy O. Yang
Director: John M. Chu (Now You See Me 2) Writers: Peter Chiarelli (The Proposal) & Adele Lim (Reign, Tv Series) Running Time: 120 Minutes
Fans of Kwan’s books will not be disappointed by Chu’s adaptation, as “Crazy Rich Asians” lovingly brings to life some of the novel’s standout scenes, even as Chiarelli and Lim’s screenplay snips away subplots that detract from Rachel’s journey.
In a crisp, authoritative, sometimes startlingly vulnerable performance that never lapses into dragon-lady stereotype, Yeoh brilliantly articulates the unique relationship between Asian parents and their children, the intricate chain of love, guilt, devotion and sacrifice that binds them for eternity.
it's both a relief and a pleasure to report that this high-gloss rom-com — based on the bestselling novel of a Singaporean author, directed by an Asian-American and featuring an all-Asian cast — is such a thoroughly captivating exploration of the rarefied question of whether true love can conquer head-spinning wealth.
Emotionally layered, culturally specific, and frequently hilarious, Crazy Rich is a transportive delight, with food montages to die for (the film offers a splendid showcase of Singapore’s justly celebrated street-food scene) and a wedding processional so exquisite I started crying at its sheer beauty.
Jon M. Chu’s film certainly delivers on the lavish trappings of the former interpretation, but if the latter is meant to be the mood of the film, it falls a little short. I wanted things to be a little crazier, I guess, wild high-society intrigue staged with the satisfying bite of mean, wicked satire.
the storyline is strictly something old and borrowed, though, a peek at the crazy-rich rainbow of Asian experience — even one as razzle-dazzlingly too-much as this one — feels not just new, but way overdue.
Don’t worry: “Crazy Rich Asians” won’t bomb, and while it won’t beat “Black Panther” either, the film is every bit as exciting in the way it takes an ethnic group that is seldom given more than one or two supporting roles per movie and populates an entire blockbuster with memorable, multidimensional Asian characters
Ultimately, the film delivers as a blockbuster romantic comedy: It’s joyous, decadent, and yes, extremely predictable. But seeing new characters inhabit and thrive within a story we’ve seen countless times before is a major achievement in itself. Who said blonde-haired, blue-eyed Cinderella had a monopoly on the happy ending?
For all its good intentions and potential value as a studio gamechanger, Crazy Rich Asians is frustratingly run-of-the-mill in its storytelling and overly enraptured with the second word in its title. As a glorified tourist brochure showing us upper-class Singapore, it will show you the sights and make you very hungry for local cuisine. But if you’re not someone who enjoys the mere sight of ridiculously wealthy people joying their (mostly inherited) extravagance, the Jon M. Chu-directed adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s novel is often a chore for its middle 75 minutes or so. On top of that, its core romantic pairing is one rooted in overt dishonesty and inexplicable obliviousness.
This might sound bizarre to say about a romantic comedy, but I deeply wished critics were screened Crazy Rich Asians in IMAX. Formulaic concept aside, this is a spin on the tired genre that, under the lush direction from Jon M. Chu (adapting Kevin Kwan’s best-selling novel from a script penned by multiple names) knows to focus on the aspects that separate this experience from the rest of the dirty mold.
So is Crazy Rich Asians, the much-anticipated adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s novel, worth its weight in gold? That’s a yes on the opulent surface. The joyful confection is coated in a sparkly gloss, bright enough to gleam from the darkest, most cynical corner.
To be sure, there are meaningful observations here about the ways that money warps relationships and how children struggle with their heritage. But by trying so hard to concoct a blowout party, the movie exhausts and frustrates as much as it enlightens and delights.
2018.02.20 05:52 TheWhiteFalconThe Living GoldenEye is Enough - thoughts on the Dalton/Brosnan era.
Had some delays in watching DAD, or this would have been done a few weeks ago, but here's my thoughts on the Dalton/Brosnan era. For the curious, my posts on the other Bonds are linked below. Connery/Lazenby Moore The Living Daylights: A fun film. We get the movie I think Octopussy wanted to be, and it's nice to see it work out much better this time. The Mujahedeen scenes do seem a bit dated, but not over the limit. Dalton is wonderful as Bond (indeed, probably the most believable), Necros is a great henchmen (shoutout to Green Four), and the score is the usual great Barry magic. License To Kill: In the same way TLD felt like an Octopussy redux (but in a good way) this feels like Miami Vice meets For Your Eyes Only, with Bond taking the revenge role from Melina. Whether it was the intention, it was a good way for Dalton and John Glen to finish their time with the franchise. Pretty much everything in this film works for me (minus the semi-truck side wheelie, which made everyone watching groan), but it's also only a movie concept I'd want to see Bond do once, which…yeah. GoldenEye: Brosnan brings Bond back to the big screen, and in a good way. The stuntwork is done well here, and the casting was excellent for the most part. Some of the computer stuff is Hollywood, but for 1995 I'll give it a pass. Nice to see Bond have some reflective moments (which seems to be a trait Martin Campbell appreciates) though I question the internal timing - Bond seemingly waits a while to go after Trevelyan? But…all films have their problems, and Xenia is a big one here. She's just too over the top, and never really shown to be that dangerous, especially for a Bond villain. Likewise, I get that they left Natalya at Severnaya to "have a witness to the GoldenEye" but that then leads to the issue of "how do we get her back with the baddies", with a somewhat dull method employed. Tomorrow Never Dies: This one is certainly watchable but not without problems. Michelle Yeoh and Brosnan have zero chemistry, and Yeoh puts very little emotion or effort into her performance. On the other hand, I thought Brosnan did a great job with the Paris scenes, in particular when he finds her dead. You can tell he's upset for the rest of the scene. The whole martial arts scene in Wai Lin's base feels contrived, in a "well, we got Michelle Yeoh, we might as well have her do her stuff" way. And Brosnan's line of "Never argue with a woman. They're always right." is just…huh? My favorite little detail is when they're on the US airbase. Brosnan hands the GPS encoder over to the expert, then turns and looks at Wade (while the audience is expected to be focusing on the expert), looks him up and down, and shakes his head. I'd love to know if that was ad-libbed or intentional. The World Is Not Enough: There have been a few points in this series rewatch where I've been afraid that I'll end up having my fond memories trashed, as I had with Thunderball. TWINE was definitely in that category, especially after seeing a lot of the common complaints here. I have to say from the start: I love this movie. It knows it's a Bond film, it doesn't care, and it's all the better for it. Valentin Dimitrovich Zukovsky is a delight and helps add in some humor to an otherwise serious film. The score is good, the open is good, and Denise Richards' acting is honestly in the "so bad it's good" category for me - as if she really were a nuclear physicist who was thrown onto the set and told to act. It's not perfect - Bond is a little too quippy in the first half of the film, and the score is merely good for most of it, not great. All that being said, easily one of my favorite Bond films. The final scene with Elektra and Bond is classic, as is M's reaction when she comes into the room and sees what Bond has to do as part of his job - shame they didn't expand on that in DaD. One quirk: It seems like Brosnan slips into an Irish accent on the inspection rig at one point when he says "Faster!". And, a last note here; it's funny that this is the last film with a traditional gunbarrel opening (DAD does the stupid bit with the bullet and Craig's have all been sloppy and/or wrongly placed) as in many respects it's the last classic Bond film that didn't totally jump the shark. I'm hoping Bond 25 can rectify both these. Die Another Day: Up through Blades is a good film (great even, at moments), though the intro with Jinx has some truly cringeworthy dialogue, and the sex scene is oddly explicit for Bond. Then we hit the ice palace and things get a bit wobbly but come back…and then the lasers show up. That whole fight with Mr. Kil is just stupid. Then we get back on track…then the ice surfing. The SFX themselves don't bother me as much as Brosnan not looking like it's costing him any effort to surf - it looks too much like he's just standing in a room (which he obviously was). The car chase…yes, it's over the top, but it's so much fun that I don't care. Might be the best in the series - the catank/boat chases are at least one thing Brosnan's era did right. The big giant space mirror gun thingie: Look, I get they were paying homage to Blofeld's diamond space laser, but it's dumb. Sure, it can automatically defend itself from one missile - just launch two, one from each direction, and it's toast. I guess that didn't happen because Generic Government Employee #12 was somehow in charge of the whole thing. That weapon worked in the 1970's, but not in 2002. My main complaint with the film is really the use (and overuse) of "bullet time" segments. Yes, The Matrix was still the hot thing, but EON needs to get better at knowing when to use, and when to innovate. Bond should set standards and trends, not constantly follow them. Also, Jinx is way worse than Christmas Jones, to me. Super suit is stupid. Moon's motivation isn't that great either. On the positive side: Good car chase, good score, Rosamund Pike is great as Miranda (though I feel like she should have shown a little reluctance/remorse over betraying her country). Toby Stephens is so wonderfully arrogant as Graves, and the Drax callbacks are nice. So, overall, for me TWINE is the best Brosnan film, and GoldenEye a solid second. Kind of a toss up between TND and DAD. I'll probably do a total series ranking when I do the Craig era and decide then. As for Dalton, I like both films a good deal for being different. I'd probably give the nod to LTK simply due to TLD's last act having aged rather poorly.
2017.09.25 12:23 c0de_in_troubleStar Trek Discovery: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly. (includes some light spoilers)
Here is my assessment so far, being a long time Trek fan. Take it as you will.
Let's all just admit that we have been wanting to see what amazing things they can do with CG in a new Trek Series. And it looks like CBS has delivered the big studio goods when it comes to the SFX. There is even plenty of Lens Flairs for those JJ Abrams Film fans. It is full on blue screen, and it looks much more modern. Personally I love the upgraded bridge look.
Klingon's speaking Fucking Klingon, Finally! subtitles included. At first I was a bit worried how they would portray the Klingon empire with a new look, but those studio bucks mean some pretty damn good makeup-fx and some really intricate costume & ship design. These klingon's are honorable and ready for battle.
Looks like we will get to have a lasting story arc right from the beginning when it comes to following Michale's story line. Which means less "bottle episodes", and a more progressive arc over the season.
Lead Female Roles in Sci-Fi! Trek has always been progressive when it comes to equality, TOS crossing boundaries for black and female actors. I was so happy to see a female dominate bridge crew. Plenty of cool new diverse characters of new species to explore going forward. But following the plot line of Michale ensure a new male lead. (take that as you will, more on that later)
Bring on the politics, looks like we might get to see some great development when it comes to the Klingon, Vulcan, and Federation dealings in the early stages.
Michelle Yeoh, but only as a guest star. She bust out some kung-fu, and is a great star-fleet captain. Clearly commanding the character even if some lines don't quite land.
Heavy hitting Vulcan theme, mind melds, back story, and the exploration of Vulcan abilities.
New title sequence, I like it, some might not, but at least its not Faith of the Heart. Even holds true to some of the original score.
Flash backs, while sometimes they help the character development along, in Discovery it seems to only weigh the show down. All Trek before we have had to discover the characters though the writing and how they interact with each other. These flash backs are forcing development for a bigger plot line, as if we are suddenly watching "season 2"?
The plot line does not look like it will give us our classic Trek episodes where each one explores something new from the perspective of the bridge crew. We will be following the story from (ex) First Officer Michale's POV more perhaps going into the series. Leaving less room for natural development of other crew members. (hence the flashbacks) Defiant and part Vulcan, her actions just do not seem logical.
Not so canon. We are certainly seeing a more modern depiction of Trek in this series. Teleportation, Holographic Communications, an advanced AI "computer", all very new for a starship so young in canon. Even the uniforms look a little too new for the time period.
The Abrams effect. Simply put, lots of odd (dutch) camera angles, quick cuts, lens flairs, cheesy backgrounds, and tons of blue and orange. Not such a bad thing if you have a killer TV, but certainly not the wide direct steady shots we are used to seeing.
The time line for TOS and Discovery doesn't really match up, but what do you expect, have you seen the last couple movies? Canonical timeline does not seem that important when it comes to Trek in the first place, hell we still haven't quite figured out how star dates work.
"I thought we were explorers...", yeah but I guess if you work for CBS you are going to war! Exploration is very much secondary in this series.
CBS All Access only! Episode 1 aired on CBS in the US, but after that, you will need a $5.99 subscription to watch the rest of the episodes. ($10.99 for commercial free) Netflix has the series outside of the US about 6 hours after airing in the US. Other "sources" seem to have the series available around 9PM EST.
Flashbacks, did I mention endless flashbacks? By the start of episode 2 we already know we are going to see lots and lots of flashbacks, a la BSG, but not nearly as coherent or divisive. These first two episodes are a bit all over the place, but most Trek was pretty bad first season.
SPOILER ALERT EPISODE 3 DO NOT READ AHEAD: A preview of Episode 3 really shows us the rabbit hole we are about to enter...
Michael is no longer first officer, and so we must follow that story line for god knows how long.
Starship Discovery is captained by a male role, switching the dynamic cast to something more predictable and pedantic.
Major build up of characters only to see them lost in the first couple episodes, leaning on a fast paced rotation of story lines.
TL;DR: if you have gotten this far you might as well watch the show. It really is pretty damn good, sans canon and all.
2017.09.25 00:01 NicholasCajunStar Trek: Discovery - Series Premiere Discussion
Premise: 10 years before the Enterprise, the U.S.S. Discovery sets out to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before. The first episode will air on CBS, subsequent episodes will air only on CBS All Access.
The show will premiere at approximately 8:30 PM ET (football may alter this time) on CBS and CBS All Access (a subscription streaming service). Following the premiere of the pilot, the second episode will become available on CBS All Access. Subsequent episodes will be available at 8:30 PM ET on Sundays.
Both episodes will premiere on the Space Channel at 8:30 PM ET, with subsequent episodes airing at 8:30 PM on Sundays. Space subscribers will have the episodes available in the Space GO app, and the show will also stream exclusively on the CraveTV streaming service starting Sept. 25th at 10:00 PM ET.
Discovery will be available on Netflix on Monday at 8 AM BST / 9 AM CET. Spoilers: both episodes are premiering together so expect untagged spoilers for both episodes in the comments of this thread.
2017.06.09 05:05 the0clean0slateThere is no correlation between likelihood of white worship and attractiveness of the Asian girl
You often see this kind of argument
Only ugly Asian girls date white Good looking AF usually only dates Asian guys Ugly Asian girl can't find an Asian guy and they have to date white
This is a coping strategy. Not reflective of reality. And below I will explain why it is very unhealthy and just ends up being harmful to our goals. We need to stop resorting to this coping strategy. 1) This perpetuates a negative stereotype that AMs have spoiled requirements on the female body and we are shallow and intolerant of different body types, while perpetuates a false and positive stereotype that WMs are "more tolerant" and "can appreciate a woman for who she is". The more you repeat this, the more you fuck us over as being perceived misogynistic and aid the perception of yts as saints. 2) Yes, you can make the argument that ugly girls are more prone to date out, because they suffer from less options with only in-race dating and get more options that way. But you can make the same argument that the most highly valued AFs tend to have less consequence if they date out, because they got a lot more backup options. They are the least afraid of the ostracization tactics. They know they will always have attention, so wouldn't give two shit if you try to shame them. Thus both ugly and pretty AFs have equal degree of factors causing them to date out. 3) Even if the girls who date out are below average, so what. It doesn't make the situation better. There are just as many below average Asian males who could have a mate. Normally these dudes would have below average AFs attracted to them, but due to your false bravado, these AFs end up being pushed away right into the arms of 0/10 neckbeards. Be honest, if these 2/10 or 5/10 AFs pursues matching AMs as hard as they go after 0/10 WM losers, these AMs would gladly reciprocate. 4) This is a self deluding coping strategy that reduces the motivation to change the situation. It deludes into thinking the situation is alright. It deludes us into feeling self satisfied "we all still get to date pretty AFs". 5) Simply not true when you look at celebrity circles. Asian female celebrities have disproportionate tendency to date/marry white, even more than average. Looking at HK entertainment circles
Michelle Yeoh, Maggie Q, Maggie Cheung, Gigi Leung, Christy Chung, Karen Mok, majority of the Super Models (Juju Chan, Helena Chan, etc etc) Lori Chow.
These are the most famous models/actresses/singers who have married mediocre white. Their mate choices are pretty much either Asian billionaires/actors or average white guy. Imagine the 2nd tier and 3rd tier ones, who don't have the tip top tier Asian dudes surrounding them. This is absolutely horrendous and yet I still see some HK chans dismissing this problem using this coping strategy. 6) This kind of mentality tends to turn AMs into incels. (1) After seeing too much lu-ery, you end up justifying your singleness by saying that you have higher requirements than those whites. (2) So you end up raising your standards to unrealistic heights, further narrowing down your potential mate pool. (3) This ends up deprive you of dating experiences, further damaging your status in the dating market. (4) go back to step 1. It is a bad feedback cycle. 7) You are going to sound like a typical alt right butthurt white supremacists when they see white girls dating black men. Nobody believes them and we all know they only said this because they are butthurt. Everyone can see through it. Do you want to sound just as pathetic as them? 8) Calling Lus ugly (no matter what their true SMV is) drives away woke AFs who might look exactly like them. Our movement can not move forward unless we get rid of this coping strategy. I hope I made a strong case for it and we can now all identify this harmful practice. In the future, we need to learn to point out the white worship attitude of the AF without commenting on her looks. Attacking a women for her looks is bad overly emotional rhetorics and just makes us the bad guys. Attacking her for her racist and white worshipping attitude is legitimate sharp rhetorics and makes us the good guys.
2017.04.15 22:10 autotldr'Star Trek: Discovery' Is Still Searching For A Premiere Date
This is an automatic summary, original reduced by 65%.
Star Trek fans were excited to learn that their beloved science fiction franchise would be returning to television for the first time in over a decade since Star Trek: Enterprise went off the air. It's been something of a tumultuous ride through production for Star Trek: Discovery. In an interview with Vulture, CBS interactive president Marc DeBevoise says they still have not pinned down a release date, or even a release window, for Star Trek: Discovery, though he makes it clear that the show is coming along nicely. Star Trek: Discovery was originally slated for a May debut, but a production delay pushed the release window back further. Star Trek: Discovery takes place roughly a decade prior to the five-year mission of Star Trek: The Original Series. Star Trek: Discovery's cast also includes Jason Isaacs as Captain Lorca, Rainn Wilson as Star Trek: The Original Series character Harry Mudd, James Frain as Sarek, Spock's father, and Michelle Yeoh as Captain Georgiou, the captain of another Starfleet ship, the Shenzhou, which will be important to the plot of Star Trek: Discovery.
2017.01.18 20:00 autotldr'Star Trek: Discovery' casts Spock's father, but pushes premiere date
This is an automatic summary, original reduced by 59%.
While certain creative and production issues were a factor when Discovery was originally pushed from February to May, we're hearing lately the drama is on track under new showrunners Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts. While May would have been a strong premiere month for the project since Discovery will launch on the CBS broadcast network before moving to the streaming service, given that Discovery will normally live on All-Access there's no pressure to fill a specific time slot. Reached for comment, CBS Television Studios issued this statement: "Production on Star Trek: Discovery begins next week. We love the cast, the scripts and are excited about the world the producers have created. This is an ambitious project; we will be flexible on a launch date if it's best for the show. We've said from the beginning it's more important to do this right than to do it fast. There is also added flexibility presenting on CBS All Access, which isn't beholden to seasonal premieres or launch windows." Discovery takes place roughly a decade before the events in The Original Series, so its events predate Mr. Spock and Captain Kirk joining forces on the Enterprise. Last month, Martin-Green was cast to star as a lieutenant commander on the Discovery. Also cast: Michelle Yeoh will play Captain Georgiou, the Starfleet Captain aboard the Starship Shenzhou; Doug Jones will play Lt. Saru, a Starfleet Science Officer and a new alien species in the Star Trek universe; and Rapp was cast as Lt. Stamets, an "Astromycologist," fungus expert, and Starfleet Science Officer aboard the Starship Discovery.
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Added some new user flairs that have ethnic and continental focus, check them out. Chinese users specifically are encouraged to identify with flairs. On the right hand side underneath "Subreddit Info" Click "edit" and select flair.
Random fun fact, google search "sino" to see us among the top results.
"What is CIWO?" It is a database sub that contains sourced information on a variety of common topics about Chinese/China. Covers politics, military, history, myths, etc. See the Table of Contents to view the topics.
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Our very first cultural exchange here. Our second cultural exchange here Feel free to discuss if you would like to participate in more of these.
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