Shang Chi seen by an Asian American

Last Thursday, I caught an early screening of Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. I’m so happy that this film exists. I’m excited for many around the world to learn about Chinese culture in an entertaining yet authentic way. Slight spoilers ahead.

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“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”: A Movie Review

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Hey everyone,

So the advanced screening of the new Hobbit movie was a joy! One of the actors from the movie came to watch the movie with us: Manu Bennett (who plays the leader of the Orcs). He’s from New Zealand and it was pretty cool that he joined us. He talked a bit about how he got cast and how filming was for him.

Manu Bennett: credits to Empireonline.com

Manu Bennett: credits to Empireonline.com

Without further ado, here are my two cents on the movie!

We begin where we left off in the last film, and Thorin and his crew must continue on their way to reclaim the dwarves’ homeland. Early on in the movie, Gandalf leaves the dwarves to go on a short quest of his own. The dwarves brave many obstacles to reach Erebor, and they must also figure out what to do with the dragon that sleeps amidst it.

We get to see Orlando bloom from the original LOTR movies again! Benedict Cumberbatch’s voice is amazing as Smaug. His voice as the necromancer sounds nothing like him, whereas you can really hear his voice in Smaug.

If you’ve read the books (NO SPOILERS SO KEEP READING), I can tell you that that certain plot points were changed. For one, Kili (the hot dwarf) and Tauriel the elf has a romantic subplot. There are others, but I would be spoiling if I said anything more. However, I am super excited for the ending now because I had some issues with how the books ended. Praying to God that things go the way I want with the rest of the movie!

I thought that they cut of the first movie wonderfully. The story arc of escaping from the orcs ended and although we know the movie doesn’t end, we are contented that some sort of conclusion was reached. The Desolation of Smaug’s ending was very unsatisfying. It may have to do with the fact that this movie branched off into a lot of subplots, so there was no good way to sum them up. If that is going to be an issue with you, maybe wait till the last movie comes out?

My final verdict? Great movie, glad they changed stuff from the book, but very unsatisfying in the end.

The movie opens on the 13th of December in Canada! Let me know what you think!

-Karen

“Gravity”: A Movie Review

gravity

Hello everyone,

So I just came back from an advanced screening of Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. Before I knew what this movie was about, I thought that this was going to be some sort of romantic comedy, simply because of the cast. Show how quick I am to judge.

So what is Gravity?

Gravity focuses on Sandra Bullock’s character, Ryan Stone, who is a medical engineer sent to space for the first time. She is accompanied by two other astronauts, one of which is George Clooney’s character: Matt Kowalsky. As she’s fixing something during a spacewalk, they get notice that Russians crashed a satellite, leading to a chain reaction of other satellites and structures to be destroyed from the debris. They had to get out of there. Quick.

Of course, not everything goes according to plan. We see Dr. Stone left adrift in the vast emptiness that is space. She starts to panic, but soon enough, Matt comes to her rescue and tethers her to him. Together, they try to return to their space vessel. This is only one of the first problems to come their way as they desperately try to find a way for them to return to earth.

I watched the whole thing feeling like I was going to have a heart attack at every scene. It was very stressful, but that’s not to say it was at all bad. If I had to name a movie you had to watch in 3D, this would most likely be it. Zero gravity and 3D works amazingly well together.

Asides from visuals and acting, the story itself made you ponder on how small you are. You are so insignificant, especially when compared to the huge unknown void that is space. What is the point?  We see Sandra Bullock’s character going through the same process, and well, I guess you’ll have to see how it ends for her.

Gravity comes out October 4th! If you’re okay with watching something pretty heavy, go watch it. Be prepared though! It’s a beautiful movie, with suspense around every corner.

– Karen

Contingent Contemplation: Harry Potter- End of my childhood

It all ends here...=(

So a day ago, I watched the last Harry Potter movie– Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. It was amazing. I re-watched Part 1 the day before and I was pleased to find that the two movies connected seamlessly! I was prepared for a sobfest at the cinemas so I was armed with 2 packs of tissue!

Waiting in line was not as long and tedious as I thought it would be! My friend Edna lined up for the whole day! Well…from 11:50am til the midnight premiere! And I got in line at around 3:20ish in the afternoon, prepared to be super bored while waiting– or at least super cold! But time flew by! We started off with some board games, namely Taboo and then moving it on outside with Cranium as we were sure to get loud and rowdy while playing! We took trips to the food court, Safeway and basically walked around Oakridge Mall several times. Later on at night, we started a game of Wizard Ninja, with more and more random strangers joining in! Super fun! We took pictures with some of the fans who dressed up as characters from the movie, watched people freestyle rapping and invented new spells! =)

Josh and I trying to reenact the part where Harry and Ron goes for the Gryffindor sword

Cranium to pass the time =)

Waiting...

When it was finally time to enter the theater, everyone was super excited! We all sat down waiting for the movie to start, and of course, everyone applauded when it finally came on!

It occurred to me the night before the midnight screening that my childhood was coming to an end. I am now seventeen and when you’re seventeen, you feel like you have grown up and left your childish ways behind. I like to think that way anyway. Harry Potter was a connection to my childhood. It seemed like only yesterday when I read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (yes, I read the 3rd book first. I don’t know why, but I was like 9-10 back then so don’t judge). I remember pre-ordering the last book back in Hong Kong and then reading it in Thailand after picking it up and then realizing I had to leave for my family vacation the next day. I also remember thinking “At least there is still the movie! Harry Potter does NOT end yet!”. But now, what else is there to look forward to? I will always remember the magical adventures that was Harry Potter…but that is not the point! I do not want it to end! Its end seem to symbolized an end to a period of time in my life where I was happier, more innocent and more carefree. A time when I actually checked my mail for my Hogwarts acceptance letter when I was 11! (I never did get one when I was 11…obviously. But at that time, I did not give up hope! I remember rationalizing to myself I would get it next year because my birthday was late and Hogwarts started before I turned 11.)

Anyway, I do have a bit of hope left for Harry Potter as my friend Josh introduced me to Pottermore. It was created by J.K Rowling so that the story never ends! I seriously NEED something like that in my life! I am super excited to see what will be in store!

Oh and before I forget, here’s a excerpt of a dialogue from the FAKE HARRY POTTER fans ahead of us in line that day. (We were second in line, so despite being fake fans, they were there first. Which pisses you off more.)

Fake fan #1: Hey, which house is Cedric Diggory in?   (Me: *Facepalm*)
Her friend: Either in Gryffindor or Hufflepuff, I think?
Another friend: Yeah, in Gryffindor I’m pretty sure.
*All murmurs in agreement with an “OH YEAH!” from Fake Fan #1*

I wanted to kill myself.

Credits to Josh for Photos, thank-you William for helping me get the tickets! TY ADRIAN FOR GETTING ME A PAIR OF THE 3D GLASSES!! EKK! Thanks to everyone else who helped make the time fly by!

Just had to include this! Stolen off Tiffany, but I'm sure she stole it off somewhere too =P JKS THX!!! XD