Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

2016 In A Nutshell

How have you been? I have been quiet this year. Quite quiet. I try to be genuine on my blog since it is usually the only place I feel I can be genuine, but I suppose that I just couldn't spitball and shoot jokes off the cuff like I used to for a good while. I couldn't review much of anything because I could not focus. I could not focus because my mind had drifted off elsewhere. 

In a sense 2016 has been a very dark period for me. 

But I suppose everyone gets a good fall every now and then and getting up is hard sometimes. 

As a person I am an introvert. I try to use humor to make my interactions with other people easier, but when I'm not feeling funny I am a dreadful bore to be around. Unpleasant, even. I just want to be left alone and by myself most of the time. And when I do want company I am unsure and afraid of trying to ask for it. 

I suppose everyone is their own worst critic, but I am truly my own worst enemy. 

I think the reason it was so hard for me to recover this year was because I stood in my own way. I do many things the right way and still tell myself something is still wrong. Which they are because no one is perfect, but sometimes saying that isn't good enough. 

But when I really do something wrong like trusting the wrong people my self-criticism is pretty much crippling. 

I fell short of my standards this year. Far short. 

But... I wouldn't allow myself to get back up and that made things even worse. 

As of this writing, I've pretty much regained my inner zen. I am fine. As long as I stay within my safe haven. 

If I can just avoid the users and abusers of this world I will stay fine. Of course, I cannot avoid evil people completely, but I can limit my contact and touch with them. 

A few months ago there was a new hire at the company I work at, but he did not work there long. He murdered somebody. I saw it on the news. He was an 18 year old kid I had seen only a few hours at work before he did his deed. I told him to wash his dishes and then go on home, but he did not go home. He went somewhere, but not home, I imagine. In the early hours of the day he killed someone and it was clearly not in defense. 

I saw him on the news, contradicting himself as the cameras were held to his face. The police escorting him made the mistake of taking to the wrong car and so the murderer got to have even more camera time where he talked and talked about just casually killing someone in his ghetto-talk. 

Obviously, he lost his job after his 15 minutes of fame. 

I knew he was a piece of shit from the get-go, but even then I didn't quite think he was a murderer. Still, I've worked with seedy people before and I know I work with some thieves at this very moment. It's scary. Very scary. Still, to have worked with a murderer is shocking. 

People like that are the reason I just shut myself off and stick to anime and manga and music and movies. 

And that very thought is what got me back on my feet again. Interactions just are not my thing, it seems. I got burned this year by two people. Burned bad and I did not know how to handle it. They were not murderers or anything like that, but they were abusers of trust. 

It was my fault for associating with them, but I've learned my lesson. I know what people are capable of now. To quote Dr. Cox from Scrubs, "People are bastard-coated bastards with bastard filling."

I'm standing on my own two feet again and I am happy to be focused again. I may not sound happy, but I am. 

I am very glad 2016 is coming to an end. I am hoping 2017 won't be a bastard, but I am learning quickly how to handle bastards. 

I apologize if this entry sounded bleak or cryptic. Christmas is almost upon us and I am feeling festive, but I also know that my mother is sick right now. There's no tree for us this year. Probably not any gifts, either. And there are some rotten people in this world stealing money from people that trust them and they get away with it. 

And Goddamn it, if Donald Trump is president-elect....

This world can seem so beautiful, but it's hard to think it isn't completely wicked, too.


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Hope (Sowon)

It's been so long since I got my Korean movie fix. Over a freaking year. I suppose part of that is because I just haven't been blogging, but another part is I gave up Netflix for close to a year.

I decided to pick it back up recently because I did miss it quite a bit. It was nice to see the Korean drama Iris (not the crappy movie version) on Netflix and I watched the first episode again. I enjoyed it, but not quite as much as the first time. Still, good memories. 

The episode did make me think about all of the cool Korean flicks I used to watch often.

I am not sure why I chose this movie in particular. I think the five star rating on Netflix helped, but it was mostly just a random "Hey, fuck it, this might be good so I'll watch it" sort of decision. Like, you know, pretty much all my other decisions are. The movie seemed like a bit of a family movie based on the thumbnail/poster, but the description sort or... well, scared me a bit.

This was the description:

After 8-year-old So-won narrowly survives a brutal sexual assault, her family labors to help her heal while coping with their own rage and grief.
Needless to say this subject matter is not for everyone. I did not even know whether I should give it a try, but I had faith that this film would not be tasteless. My Korean movie choices have yet to let me down for the most part and I was sure that this movie would not, either. 

Everyone's tastes vary and I am sure that many people would not find any merit in this movie simply because it's subject matter is very difficult.

It's hard to watch without a good share of rage-induced cussing.

But I found myself rewarded greatly by this movie by the end.

I won't really comment on the need to make movies from controversial subject matter because I'm not going into that. I applaud the makers of films like this and Silenced because I view them as the artistic awareness pieces that they are. Other folks may view this as an attempt to make some sort of exploitation attempt, but I don't see it. I've seen many exploitation films and this isn't among them.

This film is equal parts horrifying and beautiful. The idea that the cute young girl in this film is going to have her life torn apart is brutal. Thankfully, the "scene" happened off screen. We were shown enough to get an idea that something terrible happened and then we were told the rest through the conversations of other characters. Anything more would have been too overbearing and would have broken this film's watchability.

Our cast is pretty effective if not outstanding. Our male lead, Sowon's father, is a hard character to like at first and after the assault it is tough to know where his character is going to go. This could be his redemption to the wife and daughter he has neglected or it could be his damnation.

I suppose it might be spoiling things a bit, but his redemption is something this movie needs to survive and so it obviously gives it to us. His attempts to cheer up his daughter by dressing up as her favorite character are sweet. Although it is kind of fucked up that it took his daughter being raped and nearly dying to make him a somewhat decent human being again and I don't know how to feel about that. But then the story would have been a mess since it is really all about the father's attempts to heal his daughter.

So... I dunno, I guess it works because the plot makes it work. It's almost like being emotionally conned into liking him in the end. Or maybe it is just good filmmaking. It's hard to be critical of this film or down on it since it is just so damned charming. I'll just say it's good filmmaking and be done with it.

It felt strange to feel all warm and fuzzy at this movie's conclusion. Mostly because I didn't expect it. Although I guess I should have since it shows us everyone all happy go lucky in the movie's poster. Still, I know movie posters lie all the time so I didn't trust it. But now I see the poster in a completely different light.

You'll know what I mean if you've seen the film yourself, I think.

Anyway, that pretty much concludes my first review in ages. Hope ya'll had fun.

P.S. - I did recognize a member of the cast and at first I could not place him, but I knew I had seen him before. After a Google search I discovered that the dickhead father's boss was the trusty sidekick in City Hunter. So that is a neat little sidenote.