Posts Tagged ‘Mahjong

15
Dec
12

I’m Thirsting for a Good Movie

They look more animated here than in most of the movie.

Thirst is a South Korean movie from 2009, directed by Chan-Wook Park. The only other movie of his that I’ve seen was Oldboy, and that was fucking great. Full of beatings, amnesia, incest, murder, and mayhem, it was a cinematic treat and a delight for all ages. Thirst, however, is none of those things.

This is technically a vampire movie, although you wouldn’t really know it until about halfway through. The pacing is so goddamn lethargic that virtually nothing happens for the first hour. A Catholic priest named Sang-hyun is inadvertently infected with some kind of vampire blood during a transfusion (I thought hospitals screened for that kind of stuff), and slowly transforms over the course of the movie. But it takes so fucking long, and they try to portray it as realistically as possible, that it isn’t interesting at all. It’s like they were trying to make the Batman Begins of vampire movies. LOLĀ OH LOOK IT’S SO REALISTIC IT’S TOTALLY PLAUSIBLE THAT THIS COULD HAPPEN IN THE REAL WORLD LOL.

Continue reading ‘I’m Thirsting for a Good Movie’

12
Mar
11

Akagi – The Gurren Lagann of Mahjong Anime

Akagi is a badass.

Akagi is a 2005-2006 anime series about Mahjong. But it’s not really about Mahjong. It’s about kicking ass. And it’s about doing it in a way that mindfucks the enemy.

Akagi is a really difficult series to talk about. It’s hard to quantify what it is exactly. It’s simplistic yet complex. It’s subdued yet exciting. It’s superficial yet incredibly deep. It’s like a shounen fighting series yet it isn’t. What Akagi does extremely well is present itself in a certain light, only to change that presentation in the midst of watching it. You don’t realize things are changing. There isn’t any abrupt bait-and-switch tactic. It moves quickly and subtly, and so deftly that your perception of what is happening can change without you realizing it until much, much later.

So, what is Akagi about? On the surface it features the titular character, Shigeru Akagi, as he plays Mahjong against various opponents. But it’s not about playing Mahjong. It isn’t about strategy or tactics or cheating at Mahjong. Hell, it isn’t even about winning Mahjong. It’s about how Akagi is able to delve into the psyche of his opponents, discover their weaknesses, and exploit them in order to triumph. From the onset you know Akagi is going to win, there’s no question about that. You are watching Akagi to see how he is going to win. This series is really more about the means rather than the end. Continue reading ‘Akagi – The Gurren Lagann of Mahjong Anime’




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