Sunday, January 7, 2007

Dragon Boys Review

A two part miniseries airing today and tomorrow on CBC. It’s about a Chinese Canadian RCMP gang squad officer and westcoast Asian gangs.
When I read about it in the paper I expected it to be another bad Canadian production. Well, I watched it tonight and it was not as bad as I expected it to be. In fact, it was entertaining and there were talented actors, but nevertheless there was still a very Canadian production element.

The warning indicates, “Disturbing, realistic portrayal..” umm, the following scenes were very disturbing, and gave it a low-budget look. *Warning-Spoilers*

-The Caucasian girl in the yellow sportscar with a 1991 spiral perm drinking a bubble tea and smoking a cigarette. They should have saved her $8 extra wage and used it to buy some tea pots for the restaurant scenes, which brings us to:
-Jason working in his parent’s restaurant walking around with a pitcher of ice water. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a Chinese restaurant in Vancouver where the waiter/ess walks around with a pitcher of water.
-The hairstyle of “Movie Star”. It looks like a mullet. Horrible haircut. “Movie Star” actually has a handome face, but that stringy mullet is so distracting it takes away from the show.
-Movie Star in his black silk robe screaming at the girl on the couch to “Take a shower!”. That whole scene was just so bad.
-Why is it that Movie Star has an accent, but his brother Linkoln has no accent. “…we’re in this togedder”
-What is the point of the stripper and the RCMP officer having a sexual relationship. It adds no value to the show.
-Vancouver is known for having very good looking strippers. Why do they have to use one that looks so old??
-The soundtrack..
-At the crime scene when Willy gets shot, all the neighbours are outside the yellow tape. More than half of the spectators are Caucasian. Come on, it’s Richmond.
-The scene where “Movie Star” beats up the white guy outside his car for no reason.
-When the Cambodian model goes shopping with the big guy with tattooed tears, they’re obviously in some Asian mall store but there’s a white guy working there. That’s like an impossibility. And what’s with the strange dancing in front of the panda.
The OUTFITS on the younger actors
-The red fur coat on Jason’s friend, I saw it twice on the show, each time cringe-worthy
-Black thickly knitted sweater with shiny leather coat, cheap sunglasses, thick gold chain and fancy mullet on “Movie Star”. Come on now, Asians, and Asian gangsters dress really well. They don’t wear cheap ass International Clothier clothing.
-The supposed junkie white girl that assists in the home invasion, aside from her hair, she looks so healthy and fit.
-Tommy’s (RCMP guy) and Jason’s bitterness about Asian stereotypes.
-it seems like the junkie girl and Jason take a pretty long bus trip and stay in a motel (with sliding glass doors?!?) anyways, Jason goes to pick up some food, and during the time that he’s gone, junkie girl calls her boyfriend and he’s already at the motel.

I actually felt kind of embarrassed in some of the above scenes.

On the other hand, these features were really good.
Majority of the actors, especially:
-RCMP officer Tommy – Byron Mann
-Willy the duck – Eric Tsang
-The lady playing Willy’s wife
-one of the guys in high school, he really looked gangster, one of the three guys that go to the restaurant grand opening. The guy on the very right. NOT the albino with the blonde hair.
The sets they used, houses, condos, massage parlor and restaurant.

If they got rid of the scenes I mentioned earlier, it would have been sooo soo much better. And I don’t know why, but I really liked the scene where the guy comes out of the Casino.

I think if “Movie Star” had a normal haircut, the show would have been so much better. Or maybe Movie Star and Linkoln should have traded roles. I found Jason’s role (the son of the restaurant guy that gets involved in the home invasion) really annoying. In fact, I was hoping he would get beat up.
I thought it was cast well, but I think it might have been more interesting if Linkoln was the RCMP guy, Tommy was the "movie star", and "movie star" had a haircut.
Anyways, I’ll be tuning in tomorrow to watch the conclusion. I feel they jammed too much in during tonight’s show. They could easily spread it out over 8 hours instead and developed some of the side stories.

Friday, January 5, 2007

The Departed

I finally watched the Departed. Now I have questions. Warning! *Spoilers*
-What happens to the first envelope Leo gives the psychologist chick? The manila envelope. I see her open up the letter that gets mailed to Damon but not the manila envelope. I felt like I was just left hanging.
-How does Marky Mark find out about Damon?
I guess I'm supposed to conclude the shrink gives the manila envelope to Mark.
-I didn't think Jack Nicholson was a good pick for this role. He didn't seem very Boston to me either. A better replacement doesn't come to mind right now. I do think Seamus O'Reily (Kevin Conway) from Oz should have had a role as one of his men.
-I think Damon, Leo and Marky Mark were fantastic in this movie. I wonder if it would have been better if Damon and Leo had switched roles.
-A lot of times they make gangster life seem so glam in movies, but not this one.
-If someone told me this move was filmed 7 years ago, I would have believed them. The hairstyle and makeup of the shrink and some of the styles people were wearing looked really dated.
-Damon did such a good job at playing a hateable character. I find often in movies, even the bad guys, you can't help but like them or feel sorry for them, but not Damon. Joaquin Phoenix is also good at playing a hateable character (e.g. his role in Gladiator).

Rating out of five: 3.5
Would I buy the DVD: Yes. if it was under $10
Would I watch it again. Yes, but only for Leo.
Scariest scene: When Jack is in the theater with MD and pulls out a you-know-what.
Favorite scene: When MD and the shrink are having dinner and he asks her if he actually thinks he likes her.
The Departed is a remake of a Chinese movie titled Infernal Affairs.

Burglarized. Job postings.

Hee hee, this makes me laugh.

A few weeks ago, my place got burglarized. No one was home except for the cat. The idiot(s) busted down the basement door and took all valuables. On top of that, they watched some television and left urine on the toilet seat and floor. Of course we had no insurance which is really dumb because the insurance would have been less than $400/year.

Anyways, the cop we talk to tells us there is no point in the police coming to investigate. And that it’s okay to clean up the mess that was left behind. Two days later, some officers show up. (these guys were great, I wish one of them was assigned to the case) To take fingerprints and DNA of the urine. They tell me the guy I talked to made a mistake. Whatever. I then later find out my neighbor got robbed a week prior but they were home and they beat the wife unconscious. Nice neighborhood.

A half-assed cop story.
A girl in my old neighborhood got into a huge fight with her boyfriend outside his house. Because of all the yelling, some people came out to watch. She gets into her car, and rams her car into his car THREE times, plus hits another neighbor’s car in the process. Then she comes out of the car holding a pie and just stands outside her car crying. The cops come, The neighbor that got his car hit and myself tell the cop about the fight and what happened. The officer talks to Ms Crazy, and she tells him they were not fighting. She says something was wrong with her gas pedal, and that’s why she hit the two cars. The pathetic boyfriend actually backs her story up. The cop actually BELIEVES her. He writes some stuff in his notebook and leaves after like five minutes. Any moron can see she hit his car three different times.. How can it be a mechanical problem?? He just didn’t want to do the paperwork. Okay, I realize no one got hurt here, and there are more serious crimes like rape and murder, but why the heck should ICBC pay for this. In the end, everyone’s rates goes up. This girl obviously has issues. I’m sure if the guy was outside his house she would have rammed her car into him.

On New Year’s Eve, there was a huge accident in front of my friend’s house. It actually involved a very drunk driver hitting FOUR parked cars. The impact was so hard, his airbag went off, and one of the cars’ tire actually came off. The police were called, and although it was obvious he was drunk, they didn’t bother doing a breathalyzer. They just got his car towed and the drunk guy’s friend came to pick him up. They had already left before the tow truck driver came.

I know there’s some really good cops out there. But it seems they are understaffed and overworked. It’s unfortunate because most people don’t really have anything too nice to say about the police here. Like any business, there is always the handful of bad employees, but I think it has more to do with just not enough resources. Some people actually asked me why I even bothered filing a report about the burglary.
On that note, if you don’t want to be invited to any more house parties, apparently the Vancouver police is doing a lot of hiring right now. If you are a female, AND you are a minority, you have an even better chance of getting in. Please don’t apply because you like the power a gun provides..

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Eating out and supermarkets

I haven't cooked a meal since the 14th of December. Every meal I've eaten (including breakfasts) has been in a restaurant, fast food establishment, delivered to my door, or take out. It's crazy. My skin looks like a catcher's mitt and I always feel fatigued. Actually, on Christmas I had a home cooked meal. Oh wait, and I had homecooked spaghetti (sauce out of a jar) on the weekend. So I had two homecooked meal in like three weeks. Oh, and in the past five months, my total fruit intake has been: two bites of a banana, two mandarin oranges, and half a navel orange (which I had today). I tried to adopt a macrobiotic diet about five months ago, and the only thing that really stuck with me was avoiding most fruits.

Food shopping sucks.

When I do go food shopping, I like to go to the following places, (but most of the time I end up at Superstore and Safeway):

-Choices - I like their bulk foods and stock up on the Lundberg organic brown rice when bulk foods go on sale (sometimes 20%)
-Whole Foods in North Vancouver - I love this place. The service is good, the samples rock, but watch the price/100 grams if you buy anything from the prepared foods, I was shocked by my $16 chicken with fries.. I was too red-faced to give it back to the counter guy.
-Kin's farm market for vegetables - prices are good and they sometimes have coupons for free celery or onions in free newspapers like the Courier.
-Fujiya - kinda pricey, can find cheaper stuff like Japanese mayo at Superstore, but decent selection of Japanese foods and cheap bento boxes (I love the spicy chicken karaage). As for food products, always check the expiration date. They're kinda notorious for having expired items on the shelves.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

William Hung coming to Seattle

William Hung of Season 3 American Idol fame, she-bang she-bang, will be making an appearance at Alderwood Mall in Seattle at 11am on 1.13.07. He'll also be at the Spokane North Town Mall at 11am on 1.14.07. Here's a little tidbit, did you know he's sold over 100,000 albums??

Deal or No Deal Model Search coming to Vancouver

Did you know they're making a Canadian version of Deal or No Deal? There's some awesome Canadian game show hosts but I can't think of any good game shows filmed in Canada, if they follow the same format and set, maybe it'll be just as successful, although I'm shuddering thinking about the show Canada's Next Top Model that was on a few months ago..

Anyways, Deal or No Deal is looking for some suitcase wielding models, and if you can stand for like an hour in one place with a huge smile and make witty banter with Howie, they're auditioning across Canada starting tomorrow. Apparently natural charisma, wit, warmth and enthusiasm are a must. Translation: HOT. Here's some info:

DRESS CODE: Come dressed to impress the judges. A cocktail/party dress, or a skirt and sweater or blouse - whatever you feel presents you at your best. Pants are not acceptable, and dress shoes with heels are a must! Hey, why does it have to be a woman? I wouldn't mind seeing some guys holding onto the suitcases instead.

**Please be sure to check back at closer to your city's casting date to confirm time and location.
Vancouver: Wednesday, January 3, 2007 at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver located at 655 Burrard Street, Vancouver
Calgary: Friday, January 5, 2007 at the Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire located at 255 Barclay Parade SW, Calgary
Winnipeg: Sunday, January 7, 2007 at The Fairmont Winnipeg located at 2 Lombard Place, Winnipeg
Montreal: Tuesday, January 9, 2007 at the Hotel Omni Mont-Royal located at 1050 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal
Toronto: Friday, January 12, 2007 at The Royal York Fairmont Hotel at 100 Front St. W. Hopefuls will not be allowed to line-up outside the venue before 6:30am. Doors will open at 8 am, and close at Noon. Each contestant is allowed only one supporter.
**Those women selected to appear on the program will not be notified at the casting - they will be notified by producers at a later date.
**Due to the time constaints of a one day casting call, attendance does not guarantee an audition.

Dine Out Vancouver

What we in Vancouver lack in good shopping, we make up for in really yummy restaurants. Vancouver is hosting their fifth Dine Out Vancouver event starting January 19 and ending on February 4. Several upscale Vancouver restaurants will be participating in this prix fixe event, offereing three course dinners at either $15, $25 or $35. Some of these restaurants include Bacchus, CinCin, Il Giardino, Blue Water Cafe, La Terrazza, The Cannery and West. I was disappointed Lumiere and Feenie's wasn't participating this year, but I'm glad Chambar is.
These are the restaurants I'm trying to make reservations at:
The Ocean Club
La Terrazza
They've alphabetized the list, but they are alphabetizing "the", like instead of The Mill Marine Bistro & Bar being filed under "M", it's filed under "T".

I question why some of the restaurants are even on there since their regular menu stuff is below the 15/25/35 mark. If you're going to make reservations, make them now! This year some of the restaurants are allowing online booking, but the site is soooo friggin slow it might even be faster to keep hitting redial on your phone.