Goals for 2019: Movie and Show Reviews

Entertainment programs come and go by so fast,  it is easy to  lose track. Fortunately, I jotted them down and will  review as many as I possibly can.

No Cable TV, Just Download

While we have cable TV, I do not watch ANY of it.

I download every entertainment program, watch it online, or borrow Blu-Rays and DVDs from the library. I never used to download, but when I upgraded from Windows XP (Microsoft’s “support” ended) to Linux, software such as VLC made it worthwhile. It is the best video application I have ever EVER used. Windows Media Player was a nightmare. Awful.

Drama, I Love

A majority of the online shows I watch are KDrama, although I doubt I will be reviewing any.

I have seen so many that I don’t think I remember any unless it was an outstanding show.

Korean movies I will likely review.

GOALS: The Review List

In no particular order, I want to write a post about the following, and of course, there will be more eventually:

  • Luke Cage (Season 2)
  • Jessica Jones (Season 1)
  • Daredevil
  • The Punisher (Season 1)
  • The Expanse
  • MacGyver
  • Bull
  • Criminal Minds
  • Bosch
  • Good Doctor
  • Titans
  • Shooter
  • Mars (Discovery Channel)
  • Nightflyer (SyFy Short)
  • Atlanta
  • Lost in Space
  • Altered Carbon
  • The Gifted
  • The Good Fight
  • The Good Wife
  • The Man in the High Castle
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So, President Obama Cannot Call A Black Woman “Best Looking”?

Spot Check: Controlling That Narrative About Beauty

I’m not the biggest fan of the man, based on his performance in office, but the shrieking and howling by the media is hilarious.

All I notice is that the biggest complainers of the President calling Kamala Harris, “The best-looking Attorney General in the country,” were white women in the media.

Folks, some people hate it when others are the center of attention. These white women, who claim to be feminists, but are really white women supremacists – in other words, everyone must worship them – just hate it when they are not the queen bees, beauty queens or objects of (sexual) attention for every man on the planet.

They complain too much about it for anyone to find them believable.

And it ain’t about sexism. That’s a phony cover. What actually made the comment objectionable for those white women complainers is that the President (who in their eyes is a black man) wasn’t doling out that delicious “Hotness Factor” to them. I can bet that if he said that about a white woman in the same position, none of these chicks would be whining about “sexism”.

He has, in fact, called Debbie Wasserman Schultz, “Cute“, and that was a while (months, maybe years) ago. Still haven’t heard a negative peep about it.

Kamala Harris
Kamala Harris

Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Debbie Wasserman Schultz
The pictures speak for themselves.

Cause I’ve yet to see one of them get as bent out of shape and indignant when other men, celebrity or otherwise, talk about how they are the absolute finest women around. And that’s regardless of whether it is true or not about a particular white woman – as long as her hair is bleached blonde.

Jealousy doesn’t look good on these people.

Poor President Obama. He told the truth (from his perspective) about a black woman (yes, I know she’s mixed) and the liberals, progressives and feminists who are supposed to be his best buds turned on him.

Don’t forget now, the biggest group of voters who didn’t support Obama the second time around were white women, but you’ll never see that in the mainstream media. They have a narrative to push. I’m surprised they didn’t try to turn his complimentary remarks into hate speech – against them.

Well, I suppose it is, once the man uttered the word, “Best-looking”, they heard nothing else.

Ever see that kind of nonsense run amuck for any other group of people?

Yeah, yeah, I know all the parties in question are mixed, but I’m going with a bit of social grouping here. This is for when you ask yourself, Why does a very famous, incredibly powerful and wealthy black man have to apologize for calling a black woman good-looking?

 

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Real Life vs Fiction: Faces of a Villain

Recently, I’ve been watching a thoroughly enjoyable crime drama. There’s always quite a number of them floating around: cop shows, superhero movies, episodic thrillers and the like. However, when it is really riveting – I’m reminded of the crucial aspect which makes them work.

A story with only an awesome protagonist lacks the essential element of a solid drama. Good art requires having an antagonist who’s a capable match with strengths similar to the hero, but riven with his or her own demons. Otherwise, we’re bored by the exploits of a leading man easily able to defeat his challenger.

I’ve seen my share of shows where the focus concentrates too much on the internal struggles of the hero. I believe that mostly works for a good book.

In a movie, if the only battle a hero has is against emotional despair, anguish, then recovery, essentially in a vacuum – well, to me, that’s not enough. That is why Superman Returns was a flop. Yes, it made decent box office bank, but it was not a good film. Superman’s most debilitating enemy was a rock, and a bit of emotional distress. The problem with film were: a lead actor who didn’t have the chops to pull off the emotional aspect, and a movie which couldn’t decide whether to be a cartoon, semi-serious comedy or both. And that’s not a good mix for a superhero like Superman if it’s not done well.

Here’s my list of villains that come to mind, whenever the show is sufficiently entertaining:

1 – The anarchist – He brings chaos from the jump, because he is chaos. Like Batman‘s Joker, sometimes his background – revealing the depths of a childhood trauma that made him what he – is told. In most cases, all we see is a character without a past, just a full-tilt off-the-walls bad guy. There maybe times, when he’s dying, he finally divulges who he really is. This happens when the writer(s) attempts to plug plot holes or present comforting resolutions.

Overall, this is a character who’s basically in it for the thrill of disaster and destruction. There is no other reason for it. He may provide excuses, but that’s because he likes the sound of his own voice. He doesn’t believe a word he says. And he’s the ultimate nightmare for the hero, because he’s unpredictable and doesn’t live by a rule book.

In real life, he’s the guy who blows down or shoots up places that are open to the public. Sometimes he leaves a bizarre manifesto, sometimes he offs himself after executing his evil deeds without a word. His true goal is infamy. And thanks to our media, he achieves it, with many copy cats ensuing.

2 – The disabled, disfigured, underestimated guy – The best villain I’ve seen in a while was the character, Roger ‘Verbal’ Kint, in The Usual Suspects. This film had the feel of a classic Albert Hitchcock movie or Agatha Christie novel. This bad guy hides in plain sight and you never consider him one, because his disability disarms you. Everyone treats him like a less-than and as a character we regard him as such. Yet, he’s hiding a cunning mind beneath the simpleton’s facade.

Update:

Shakespeare had fun with writing about King Richard III, an English monarch, one of the best known historical villains of all time. He wrote about a man who preceded him by 100 years, but that didn’t stop him from speculating about his morals, motives and machinations. There is hardly a movie I haven’t seen about this man. At one place I worked at, I recommended a co-worked watch any Richard III film to get an idea of the mindset of the people around us. She laughed at how accurate it was. Hey, people do not change.

Recently, the remains of King Richard III have been located, by the Richard III Society – who are also trying to reform his image. Yes, that’s the problem with bad guys, they’ve just misunderstood. They had to commit their deeds for the greater good. It’s all justifiable. Hmmm.

3 – The well-meaning scientist or professor who takes his theories a little too far. He meant well, but starts to develop a  messianic zeal to wipe the planet free of human beings in order to save it. Unfortunately, in this day and age, it’s hard to separate the nut job environmentalists making these kind of pronouncements – the human population  should be whittled down to 500 million, by any means – with the bad-guys scientists in Hollywood films. Spiderman (2012) had one of these characters.

One cannot blame doomsday preppers for their anxiety when supposedly sane, rational and well known scientists are making ending-the-human-species-is-good-for-the-earth kind of statements. We are animals, no different from the insects and mammals that are here. We are no worse or better than them in affecting the environment or the earth. People who talk about wiping off most human beings from the planet should just jump off the highest bridge they can find.

4 – The alpha male – He’s the perfect top flight above reproach male – as seen in the classic The Manchurian Candidate (1962). On the outside, he’s guileless: the man everyone respects, loves and adores. In reality, he’s been turned inside out. He’s often portrayed as a predictable and unassuming character, because he’s the first guy we often see in a film, but he’s a little too smooth and slick to believe.

Overall, we enjoy seeing that he is as corrupt as we initially suspected. The above reproach guy is the one we never liked that much in the first place.

5 – The beta male – He’s the disrespected sidekick to the alpha male. He feels he’s been hiding his true self while laboring in the shadow of the top dog male. He covets everything the alpha has: women, power, respect or fear and an almost extreme level of worship for his incredible prowess. In some stories, he wants the same woman, or women, of the alpha male. In the animal kingdom this happens all the time: the alpha male always has to keep the beta males in check or they will take his “throne.”

Good writing can make these story lines the best of all.

6 – The femme fatale – She does it because she’s bored, like Catwoman. She’s aroused by the pandemonium she causes, which serves to distract others from her real goals. She enjoys the havoc, but there’s no epic story here. She’s initially introduced as this retiring, shy, church mouse kind of person, when an earth-shattering event transforms her into a “dangerous”, sex-hungry, man-eating type of woman.

As is often the case, since men write this character, they show that they haven’t a clue as to how the female mind works. Rarely, are they accurate. But when done well, by the right actress, she can be fun and amusing to watch. Would be interesting if someone came up with a completely believable malevolent female villain. Although it was a comedy, The Devil Wears Pravda came close to how some women operate.

7 – The bent bastard – I was watching a British program, Line of Duty, and I grew to like this epithet. I heard it over and over again. At first, I wasn’t certain by what they meant. Then I realized it was a rather clean and clear expression of contempt. They meant someone corrupt, easily bought, with no morals or scruples. This is not a complicated villain with a higher calling or any of the other aspects we find in a typical one. He is the embodiment of the “good man” who stays silent, and does nothing, in the face of evil.

His sole objective is to get more by taking short cuts: shave the edges to make things go smoother, skim a little off the top. He has no ethics, so he’s easy to bribe and buy off. This character is a small time thief who usually ends up in trouble reaching far over his head.

What makes him a mark in the first place is that he’s a cop or a “good guy” who bends the line one time too many. His firm “rule of law” is a wet noodle. Eventually, his luck starts to run out, because he lets greed take over, unless the writer(s) decide to redeem him.

This was the case with The Shield, but I didn’t watch enough of it to see how far the writers went with the main character crossing the line into corruption. I suspected he went far enough at times.

8 – The antagonist – He’s the spiritual twin of the hero, in that he has an inflexible, unyielding moral code. He feel he’s too good for the world and must fix its flaws. He’s a highly intelligent and logical man, but he’s the worst kind of extremist. He rigidly abides by his own rule book, which leads to devastating consequences for everyone. He’s not someone satisfied with half-measures.

And he is truly the worst of the lot, yet an exquisite match for the hero. Think of  Professor Moriarty for Sherlock Holmes.

The hero is the one who has learned to accept the world as it is. The antagonist is the one who cannot. Hence, the eternal conflict between good and evil.

Ancient Parables

The original source of heroes and anti-heroes have their roots in ancient literature or religious documents. Our modern day superheroes are re-imagined demigods.

People have always hungered for a savior….

Update

Does anyone care to speculate which character-type Christopher Dorner would fall under?

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Open Forum: The Floor is Yours – Olympics, National News, etc.

I’ll come back later and write more…

I sense folks want to talk about many different subjects.

Links as usual are welcome.

Feel free.

Happy Sunday. 😀

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Added: Thursday, August 9, 2012

Olympics

Apparently, U.S. gymnast McKayla Maroney didn’t win a gold medal. Hence the scowl. Check the tumblr site satirizing her. Wee bit funny.

So, who is Lolo Jones and what was the hype all about?

The media has 2 memes: their chosen “winners” – the Maria Sharapova types, and then there are others who have to prove themselves and win a la Gabby Douglas. One gets the money upfront for having a certain “look”, the other has to break world records to get some cheddar.

Douglas was part of a US Olympic squad that hadn’t won a gold since 1996. She won gold in the all-around, becoming the first gymnast in American history to win the gold medal in both the team and all-around.

She had to earn it first to get the fame and money, but you know how it is. It’s alright though.

She has the best attitude.

Grabbed this image from – blackyouthproject.com – hope they don’t mind.

… And is the Olympics over with yet? Seems endless at this point. Should be a couple of sports, not judged by people, but scored by time and points only. Would be over within 3 days or less.

Serena and Venus Williams Continue to Break Records

No surprise there. They play tennis so fierce, they make it look easy. Soon they’ll have enough medals, trophies and awards to fill a museum.

They have four gold medals each, more than any other tennis player in Olympic history. If they can come back and get more, no one else will ever touch their record(s).

You go girls.

Message For Black Girls and Women

Get out of Blackistan. You cannot succeed or achieve your dreams surrounded by toxic people. The only folks you need are familial or reliable Gladiators. Serena and Venus had a Gladiator in their dad. I hope the people around Gabby Douglas step up and fill in that role. Young black women need more protection from the vampires out there. She, and others like herself, still need more time to mature before they get exposed to the “real world.” She’s just a teen, not a young adult. There’s a time and place for the interviews, social media and  face-time with the blood and soul suckers.

To become successful, join the mainstream, and find a safe haven. That means integrating with the rest of society. Social, environment and emotional segregation is a dead-end.

Focus. Don’t let the haters distract you, or you wont be able to get the gold. In this case, literally. I think a number of US failed just because of the distractions. Part of the battle will always be mental.

Your mind must go there first, before your body follows.

Don’t be afraid to dream big. And don’t tell certain people your plans – unless you are looking to be talked out of it.

Sometimes it’s best to do your thing and not talk about it first (or at all). It’s like waiting for permission. You shouldn’t give that kind of control of your life to anyone. They don’t deserve it.

Spike the ball. It’s okay to gloat once you’ve done your thing. Bragging is the best revenge. Yes?

Humility has it’s time and place. Sometimes you need to rub it in people’s faces just how awesome you are.

 

Serena Celebrates – got this image from – ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com. Hope they don’t mind.
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Media Watch: Korean Dramas – How the Media Creates or Changes Perceptions

Language Skills

I started watching these shows, since Hulu added this category. What’s interesting to me, is that I’m beginning to understand what the characters are saying in Korean. Words are floating around in my head, because they’re repeated so often. I can read a few words in some languages, but I’ve never picked up a language as fast as this one. I’ve always viewed myself as foreign language impaired. I’ve had Spanish in school. I’ve listened to Spanish for years, and I still cannot make heads or tails out of most of it.

In the Korean Dramas, the people speak slow enough that I can tie the English subtitles to the spoken words. The dialogue isn’t complex, very long or involved. On occasion, some characters that supposedly spent time in the US, or are Americans, make a determined effort speak to English. Although badly. Nearly everyone mumbles words they need to enunciate.

Media Image is Everything

Since watching these programs, I’ve come to realize that they aren’t made just for a Korean audience. They are created with an awareness that the rest of the world will be paying attention.

These shows have given me a different impression of Koreans, as opposed to the ones I’ve been acquainted with here in the USA. Do I see the portrayals as realistic? I don’t think that’s the point of the programs. Whatever images there have been of Korean men, have been modified, if not overhauled, by these shows.

According to a Washington Post article (from 2006), the success of the revamped or enhanced image of Korean men have done the following:

In recent years, the wild success of male celebrities from South Korea — sensitive men but totally ripped — has redefined what Asian women wantGone are the martial arts movie heroes and the stereotypical macho men of mainstream Asian television.

…Yoshimura signed up last year with Rakuen Korea, a Japanese-Korean matchmaking service, to find her own Korean bachelor. And she is hardly alone. More than 6,400 female clients have signed up with the company…

In part, the new allure of Korean men can be traced to a larger phenomenon known as the “Korean Wave”…

…the number of foreign tourists traveling to South Korea leapt from 2.8 million in 2003 to 3.7 million in 2004. The bulk of the growth, South Korean tourism officials say, stemmed from Korean Wave-loving Asian women. Partial statistics for 2005 indicate the feminine tide has not yet let up.

For the South Koreanswho have long suffered discrimination in Japan and who have hardly been known as sex symbolsit all comes as something of a shock.

Entertainment industry leaders in Seoul credit the phenomenon to good marketing coupled with an uncanny response throughout Asia to the expressive nature of the South Koreans — long dubbed the Italians of Asia. A hearty diet and two years of forced military duty, industry leaders and fans insist, have also made young South Korean men among the buffest in Asia. Most important, however, has been the South Korean entertainment industry’s perfection of the strong, silent type on screen — typically rich, kind men with coincidentally striking looks and a tendency to shower women with unconditional love….

Throughout Asia and other countries, women are watching TV shows and movies to such an extent that they have become enamored of the fictional representation of a specific group of men. So here we have proof that there is a direct connection between a positive image of a group and the corresponding response to it.

What Some of the Guys Look Like

I find some of the Korean male actors smoking hot, some cute and others moderately good looking. Although I find the “fashion” on the shows rather odd looking, but hey, I congratulate men who aren’t afraid of being edgy.

Cha Seung Won

Cha Seung Won: He's able to look so different each time.
Jung Gyu Woon: I have yet to see a show where he doesn't end up fighting.

 

Kim Sung Soo: Love those lips. Puts my dirty mind into overdrive.

 

Kang Ji Hwan
Kang Ji Hwan: I love his nose.

 

Positive propaganda: is enhancing imagery to increase the desirability of a group.

The entertainment industry, basically the media, alone is responsible for the complete overhaul of the image of Korean men, so much so it has made the men hot commodities for the women who travel the country looking for one as a husband. It’s overturned reality and made such an indelible impression on women just from watching Korean Dramas.

In case you ever wonder why black women have negative, degrading stereotypical images, always remember to thank Hollywood and our media. Think about it the next time you think it’s important to embrace the “othering” of black women with those “keeping it real” negative images.

If anyone really wants to improve the desirability, popularity and increase of desire for black women: the best looking have to be highlighted, the most sophisticated has to be highlighted and the most engaging, lively and lovely ones have to be embraced.

Otherwise, we’re just shooting ourselves in the foot.

So, think about who you are embracing if the only thing they highlight about black women is constantly negative or off-putting. Those people aren’t doing you any favors. They’re deliberately sabotaging you.

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Update: Korean Men Marriage Rates

I was asked to provide some data, so I dug up some stats. If they seem funky to anyone, please put up the correct numbers.

Throughout the world, more males than females are born. This imbalance is natural. However, in Asian countries it is exasperated by female reduction from sex selection in the womb (abortion), export adoption of girls, and other extreme methods. The result is a population of males outnumbering females. Based on the gender imbalance in Korea, social changes, population movement to urban areas, there are more men than women available and interested in marriage.

So, whom do Korean men marry? Funny enough, it turns out they marry all women. Although black women are a miniscule portion of the population in Korea, there are likely marriages between the two. With the USA having 1.3 plus million Koreans, it turns out that they are the East Asian men black women are most likely to marry. Certainly not in significant numbers overall, but it does happens.

And I’m just as surprised as y’all are by that information.

In 2005, 14% of all marriages in South Korea were marriages to foreigners (about 26,000 marriages); most were Korean men marrying other Asians. Government figures show the number of Koreans marrying foreign spouses increased from 4,710 in 1990 to 33,300 in 2009. And numbers are expected to continue rising. More than 100,000 women among South Korea’s 1.2-million foreign population are estimated to be foreign brides.

Bonus

YouTube link: the marriage between a Korean man and an African American woman. The wedding is awesome; sexy and sweet too.

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