Tag Archives: crying

Natural City: The Sci-Fi Korean Drama

I really didn’t know what to expect when I started watching this movie. What I wasn’t expecting was the formulaic Korean drama. What do I mean by that? Simple.

A Korean drama is one in which a couple in love usually has one of the lovers die in a horrendously heart wrenching way. This leaves the other lover alone to mourn and deal with all their feelings. This is a sci-fi film about cyborgs, androids, and

The picturesque cityscape really stands out in this film.

humans and a plot to bring down the futuristic city from within. I had no idea the Koreans could incorporate such a soap opera-y plot into such a steampunk film. Good on ’em for that one.

So “R” (Yoo Ji-tae) is a policeman in a futuristic society in which people can’t tell humans apart from androids and cyborgs. There’s a distinct difference though. Androids were never human; cyborgs have been outfitted with a cybernetic chip that controls and

Blood and love. All in one.

helps them function. R is one of those rogue cops who never follows the rules and does his own kickass thing. After botching up a destruction mission at a local processing plant, R must reconcile with the consequences.

R has fallen in love with a table dancing cyborg. Ria (Seo Lin) has but a few days left to live, and this film follows R’s decisions into how to save her from decimation. He finds salvation in an orphaned prostitute named Cyon (Lee Jae-eun), and finds that her existence is also in the interest of the androids attempting to use human DNA for some nefarious purpose. With the strange Cypher (Jeong Doo-hong) on the loose, R and the police force must find their own means to an end.

The look and feel of the film is very 1980’s Bladerunner feel. Yoo Ji-tae functions as a suave and gritty Harrison Ford,

Damn it, gotta love those views.

patrolling the streets for his own personal gain. There’s not much to speak of with character development on the side of the androids or cyborgs, but the presence of these untraceable electronic beings is a frightening concept. They can knock a man’s leg clean off with one punch for God sakes! Never thought I’d see that kind of special effect in my life.

Tell me that’s not Bladerunner, right?

The guns are clunky, the special effects and digital graphics are dated (even for 2003), but I liked the storyline all the same. It was more of an artsy film than anything else, and it was all about the feels. The emotional range required for understanding this movie from start to finish is not for the weak willed. It has undertones of dystopian elements, and questions just exactly what it means to be human. The ending is long and tragic, and is obviously created to pull at the heartstrings of those who watch it. It got me there towards the end, and I’d love to know what other people thought of it who saw it. Good or not? Let me know!

I’ve always liked Yoo Ji-tae (I hope I’m not spelling that incorrectly…) since I saw him in Oldboy, and I find his acting

A bit of fighting for the action fans.

style to be brutal at the same time that he is a fragile human being, just like the rest of us. This pretty boy can pack a punch with his acting, and I’d advise watching out. He just might lay you out on your back.

All the feels.

There’s no true way to describe what/how to take anything away from this movie. It’s one of those seeing and believing situations where you just have to watch it and attempt to understand what the movie is throwing at you. I’m not entirely sure what I was shown in this movie and if I even got it. So just check it out for yourself, especially if you’re always ready for a melodramatic cry. It’s a good one for that. 7.2 out of 10.

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Dance Moms: My Only Reality T.V. Obsession

I have to admit here at the very beginning that I, for some strange reason that has sucked me into it, love Dance Moms. I can’t get enough of the fighting, the drama, and all the strange and delirious opinions that Abby Lee holds inside of her enormously inflated head. I’ve watched every episode, enjoyed the dance segments (as small as they are) and analyzed them with my long time dancing girlfriend and before mentioned, Kim. We had caught an episode or two in the past and I had tuned in and out with my mom and sister to see what all the fuss was about.

At first, I hated the crap out of it. I found it to be degrading, conflict infested, and just downright train wreck level television. I thought there could be no way this would ever catch on. Something I still don’t understand is why any of those upset women wouldn’t just stage a walkout and tell everyone not to go to

The wonderful children of Dance Moms:
Nia, Paige, Chloe, Maddie, and Kendall. (There are more)

Abby Lee’s Dance Company. If they all did, she loses business and gains a reputation as a terrible woman. That’s something this show has done for her, but that’s besides the point. She should realize even she’s replaceable. Three girls on the show have shown that so far. But this show has caught on, and its won my heart.

The beast rears its ugly head!

Should I even divulge any of the premise of this show to those of you who unfortunately happen to come across this blog in my post? Let’s see…. Well, the show starts off with the degrading pyramid. Although most of the girls at some point made it to the top, Maddie erroneously held the top for far too long. I don’t want to degrade any of the girls because they are all wonderful little people. But Maddie (the “star” of the show) has to realize that saying arrogant things on camera and crying when you don’t win are things you learn when your mother tells you not to cry in the meanest tone and you always win. Anyways, this whole post is gonna be one long rant.

Next comes a confrontation between one of the moms and Abby Lee or another mom. They train, for 5 days it always seems, and then comes the competition. In between that comes some of the most

The guns, one of Abby’s questionable decisions.

incredulous backstabbing, loud and obnoxious drinking, and one of the most refined, well spoken, and intelligent women I’ve seen on T.V. Nia’s mother, Holly. For that show, Holly is a godsend. She is a rock among the turbulent tides that is the other Dance Moms. And her daughter, although not treated as well as the other girls because she struggles to keep up, still wins when she is given the chance and helps the group win. She wouldn’t be included if she didn’t have the potential and the talent.

All too common in Dance Moms…

Then the competition comes. Maddie (or Chloe) wins and the group comes in 3rd to 1st. And if they don’t, it’s the girls’ faults, not Abby Lee’s. Watch some of these episodes. Marvel and wonder at how she never blames herself, knowing we are all humans and people make mistakes. Every episode, this woman makes mistakes. She is just such a ridiculous woman, I am awestruck at every turn and utter from her croaky voice (what speech problem does this woman have? Or does she just yell all the time because she’s so unhappy with everything?) and the morbidly obese body that at one point performed dances. She has her extreme faults and her struggles with her “nemesis” Cathy from Candy Apples in my home state of Ohio, which is somehow stupidly depicted as farm country. She lives in Canton, a suburban/city town next to Akron. Get your stuff right Lifetime.

There’s a final confrontation, sometimes between moms and who should have won, and then the show ends with the best cliff hangers I’ve ever seen provided from a show. That’s where I’d give the Bravo! Bravo! Encore! Encore! in this. And that’s it. Take that formula and repeat 13 times each season. And then what?!?!? Abby Lee gets put in her place and leaves on hiatus? This is perfect. If I, at any point in this show, could have sat Abby Lee down and shown her every time she was wrong or a Hitler himself in this show, she probably wouldn’t change, but I’d feel better. That woman needs to learn.

And she will never learn. These wonderful children will never know a more enjoyable dance experience. These moms (the few who just don’t understand) will

The best episode of all time. This is all that needs be shown.

never learn. And the cycle will continue. And I will continue to watch. I can’t get enough of this car accident dance television. And it’s not that the show, from a filmmaking standpoint is any good. Who knows if it’s scripted. But, in the end, the show is only good for human’s sick addiction to reality crap television. As much as I’ll fight it, this will be around for a while. God save us all. Overall, this show gets a 3.5 out of 10. May good things always be on these girls, and karma prepare a slap for everyone else. Me as well.


Clannad: After Story

This is the one where the water works are gonna start. Taking place a few months after the first series, Clannad: After Story is about two high school sweethearts, Tomoya and Nagisa. This series goes farther than the other series by setting events as far as 7 years after the first. This allows Tomoya and Nagisa to develop into a wonderfully loving couple, scraping through their lives right after high school. All of the characters have parted ways and Tomoya has gotten himself a little apartment with a meager paying job. In a slice of life anime/drama, this focuses on the lives of those people trying to develop a life for themselves, if they can.

And, boy oh boy, you’re gonna feel your heart out for Tomoya and Nagisa. You’ll root for them and cry far more than you

Ushio, the cutest of babies.

thought you ever could. I don’t want to reveal too much, but this one is better than the first, if you haven’t seen either, it’s time to start now. Clannad is used as a springboard for After Story and creates a sound basis for you to connect with them in later life. For the younger viewers of this anime, it may become hard at this point to relate to characters who are growing up faster than their own legs can carry them in 20+ episodes. Starting a life and making a career is realistically portrayed in this anime more than I’ve seen in most T.V. show dramas here in the states. This is refreshing to see on a lot of levels and makes it all the more real with all you’ll see over time.

The wonderful, loving family.

I would urge those of you who read my blog and who will take my advice and watch this anime to take it slow through the anime. Yeah sure, watch the first one faster than After Story. But realize, when you get into Clannad, you may not want it to end so quickly. And you may need some time to dry your tears. That’s some real truth coming from this guy over here. I would probably give this anime a spot in my top 20 and that’s no joke there.

The wonderful cast, and an X-mas to remember.

There’s a baby, and some wonderful father and daughter love. Tomoya has a wonderful support network and flourishes under the pressures that are placed on him. This show is really about the triumph of the will and the importance of family and love. Because, in this anime, the dividing line between distance and connection is the finest of lines. With a wonderful Japanese voice acting cast and tears hidden around every corner, you won’t know just when to be happy or sad. Oh, and that robot and the girl? That’s all explained in After Story. So grab your tissues for this 8.7 out of 10 anime.


Clannad: The Wonderful Beginnings of an Anime

It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed an anime, and this is the perfect one to come back to. Clannad is the wonderfully touching story of a group of high schoolers and their lives as they grow with one another. Focusing primarily on the central relationship between Tomoya Okazaki and Nagisa Furukawa, these two lead tragic lives that have become better because they found each other. It all started one day at the bottom of the hill to the high school with “anpan”, and blooms into a wonderfully dynamic and free flowing friend group. The main plot behind this first series is that Nagisa wishes to create a drama club at her school. It is used indirectly to raise her self esteem and confidence.

Where should I start when talking about this anime? This has the elements of a slice of life anime, thrown in with a bit of humor and comedy from Fuko Ibuki, the starfish obsessed wonder. The anime flows over a few arcs focusing on secondary characters that attend the high school, ranging from freshmen to seniors. All of the main characters are mostly seniors, and this transitions into their graduation and life around the town. It is good to see that, although this anime has the beginnings of a harem with only one true central male character, but it is happily thwarted by Youhei Sunohara, the blond haired foil

The starfish and the Dangos!

character to Tomoya’s passive aggressive antics. Their dialogue and chemistry onscreen is infectiously hilarious and comes across as amazingly absurd and out there. It’s perfect to offset the harrowing topics of the anime.

Not to ruin anything about the plot, but the characters focused on are all tragically tainted. Tomoya is an out there delinquent bad boy who was maliciously beaten by his drunken dad in a fight one day. He lost his mother and the two had been drifting apart for years. His dad coped with drinking, and Tomoya did with bad behavior. This doesn’t really seem to ruin his reputation at school, but it ruined his arm and his chances at playing basketball. Damn. For Nagisa, her debilitating health has kept her back a year in school, losing friends, yet allowing her to meet Tomoya. And, for the others, it’s about watching the show to discover what’s so sad with each character. If you don’t cry at least once, where’s your soul?

The dynamic duo, Tomoya and Youhei!

It wasn’t really a decision at the beginning on whether to watch subbed or dubbed. As a rule of thumb, if it’s a show with a lot of crying or sadness, it’s better portrayed in Japanese. Tears=subbed, comedy=dubbed. Remember that. I was surprised to find this show was based on an interactive text video game (one of those simulated dating things, but a manga followed the game soon after, giving a structure and not choices to the anime in the direction the plot would take. The voice acting is really well done and will make you laugh and cry (tears of some sort) and it’s worth watching the first half in order to reach the even better Clannad: After Story. In order to love and care about the characters, you watch Clannad, but once you’re established in that love, then comes the After Story tears. They will flow.

Other than that, I don’t have many complaints with a show that has come out in the last ten years. Animation was crisp and clean, the plot moved along at a reasonable pace, and there’s a character for everyone to connect to. It’s the story of growing up, of high school, of conquering your fears and finding love. It’s a true humanistic story of discovery. I think it’s good for people of all interests and (being the secure man I am) found it rather heartwarming. So leave yourself a few weeks to savor the flavor of the Dangos, and enjoy this 7.7 out of 10 anime.

A possible couple? You’ll see…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And this is the song that’ll make you cry.