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Monday, June 3, 2013

Taiwanese Movies Part 1

Hen Ma Ke's rating system:

1 = Soft as shite!  (Utterly shit don't watch!)
2 = I wear pink and will bitch slap you.  (OK if you wanna waste some time)
3 = Not gonna fuck you up, not soft as shite, just somewhere in the middle like Tottenham!  (this film is alright and worth a watch.)
4 = Hard as nails!  (Good film, will deliver some knock out blows, and killer punches.)
5 = It's gonna fuck you up!  (this film is that good, it's gonna fuck you up big time!)

Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale




Seediq Bale is a movie about a group of aboriginal Taiwanese people.  They are called Seediq.  They historically live around and come from Hualien County and Nantou County.  They speak their own language also known as Seediq and they are recognised as Taiwan's 14th indigenous group.   

The movie centres around the Wushe events, when the Japanese Imperial Army invaded, then controlled Taiwan.  They set up a road building program  that brought them into the indigenous people's territory. This was seen as invasive. Contacts and conflicts escalated and some indigenous people were killed. In 1901, in a battle with the Japanese, indigenous people defeated 670 Japanese soldiers. As a result of this, in 1902, the Japanese isolated Wushe. Between 1914 and 1917, Japanese forces carried out an aggressive 'pacification' program killing many resisting people. At this time, the leader of 馬赫坡社, Mona Rudao, tried to resist rule by Japan, but he failed twice because his plans were divulged. At his third attempt, he organized seven out of twelve groups to fight against the Japanese forces.  



I think this is an amazing movie, basically the plot centres around Mona Rudao and the people of his village.  The Japanese stop them from continuining their customs, which include cutting off the heads of people they have killed in battle, and hanging them up.  The Japanese would force them to do cheap manual work, and also make them buy groceries on credit.  Meaning they were keeping them trapped in the same shitty situation.  One of the main things to really piss people off is they were stopped from tattooing their faces.  The Seediq believed that if they did not tattoo their face, they would not cross the rainbow bridge to the other side when they died.  

The seediq men sat around drinking and sulking about this, but some of the younger men wanted to fight against the Japanese and kick them off their land.  The Japanese were unaware of the rising tensions in the village with the Seediq.

On October 27th The Seediqs attack the Japanese during a sports event taking place in the village, all Japanese men, women and children are killed in the attack.  

The movie is directed by John Woo.  It is very good and full of a lot of action scenes.  Unlike big western movies that come out right now, it has a unique plot, a good story and good action.  It does not just rely on one point to sell the movie.  This is awesome and highly recommended by me!

One key point I would say if try and get a hold of the version they released in Taiwan because they made into two parts.  In Europe it got cut, and reduced into one shorter movie meaning they probably messed it up!




Rating - It's gonna fuck you up! 




You Are the Apple of My Eye  (warning has spoilers!!!)


This movies starts in 1994 at a school in Changua, Taiwan.  The movie centres around two main characters and their friends.  The main male character is Ko Ching-teng.  He is a mischievous character and is always getting into trouble at school with his friends. One day, he gets caught bashing one out in the back of the classroom, his teacher is disgusted and she doesn't know what to do about it.  The outcome was that he had to sit in front of honour student, Shen Chia-yi who could keep an eye on him and make sure he was doing his work!  

Ko Ching-Teng claims he does not fancy Shen Chia-Yi even though loads of the other boys in class do, including a lot of his friends.  He also makes a claim he is a better student than she is and could beat her on any test that they get!  Shen Chia Yi takes him up on his challenge and even decides to help him by giving him advice on which questions to check for the test.  As expected Ko Ching Teng does shit, but he claims he was just letting her win anyway, to be a gentleman and all that as you do.  

Then there was a moment in English class when Shen Chia Yi forgets her textbook and the teacher is pissed.  You do not forget a textbook in Taiwan, this is not a good idea!  So the teacher is going full on ape shit, thinking oh my god how the hell can an honour student, who is the greatest at everything she does forget her book.  Then low and behold Ko Ching Teng slips his textbook back and pretends that forgot his.  So he takes all the punishment for forgetting the text book and Shen Chia Yi is touched by his kindness. 


After this as is to be expected they became good friends and she even tries to help him get good grades and study harder.  They eventually become an item and have a long relationship.  Some of the relationship is long distance, and Ko Ching Teng calls Shen Chia Yi every night.  He then decides to organise a fight night, so he can get her down to watch to show how strong he is.  She arrives for the fight night, he gets knocked out straight away and she is so angry with him for doing something where he could of been badly hurt.  They have a massive argument and break up.  All his friends then have a mad dash to Taipei to comfort her and have a chance of getting with her. 

At the end of the movie she gets in touch to say she is getting married and would like him to come to her wedding.  

This is based on the story of the director and his life at school.  I really enjoyed this movie a lot.  They say it is a romance movie but I would say it was more a drama/coming of age movie myself.  Had a lot of laughs in it, and moments where you wanted to cringe.


Rating - Hard as nails!



Secret


This is a Taiwanese movie with very high ratings.  The story was interesting but I thought it just dragged along very bloody slowly.  Jay Chou, and Gwei Lun Mei are absolutely huge movie stars here in Taiwan.  They both play the main characters in this story about two university students who are studying music, and specialising in piano.

Gwei Lun Mei is already at the university playing a tune on the piano.  When Jay Chou shows up to begin life at Tamkang University.  He hears her rocking out the piano and thinks, "oh yeah this is a tune!"  Then he goes to find out who it is playing the piano, he seems infatuietated with her, then they start a little romance.  Yadda yadda I actually didn't watch this to the end because it really bored me, and it was moving at a pace that was slower than slower.  


Id still recommend people to watch it mind you, my lovely girlfriend loves it and it really is very popular here, just not my cup of cha innit!

Rating - Not gonna fuck you up!, not soft as shite!, just somewhere in the middle like Tottenham!

Zombie 108



The best thing I can say about this film is don't waste your time!  Didn't know if it wanted to be a horror, a zombie movie, or a gore fest and ended up being a big stupid pile of shitty wank!  Uber turbo shit!!

Rating - Soft as shite!

Love

This is a movie about 8 people who are all in love, or looking for love.  At different points all their lives interchange and become connected.  I didn't actually originally watch this film because I wanted to.  At first I got it because it was a typhoon day and me and my beautiful girlfriend didn't know what to do.  

So I decided seeing as there is a typhoon and it is belting it down, the only sane thing to do would be get a film and pizzas and sit in and watch them.  Let the weather get on with things outside.  So being the man of men that I am, I normally pick men movies.  As I was at the dvd shop looking for something more acceptable for both of us, this was the top rented movie.  I asked if they had English subtitles, they did and I got it.  I mean its called love, and it does not have 1 romantic angle it has 4 so what on earth could go wrong!  Women will love this kind of movie.

When I was watching it, I thought shit man.  Do I really like a romcom!  I am not ashamed, I think I liked it a lot more than my beautiful girlfriend did.  The reason I liked it a lot was because it didn't follow the same goddamn stupid pattern that all American romcoms do.  

It was enjoyable by far.  The story basically follows their lives and relationships and how they collide into other peoples lifes and relationships.  I think a lot of people will be surprised by this film and no I am not a puff or an uber gay boy because I liked a film called love!  I know my sexual orientation biaaaatch!


Rating - Not gonna fuck you up, not soft as shite, just somewhere in the middle like Tottenham!