Entries from July 2008 ↓

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008) – Movie Review

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor which also known as The Mummy 3 is the sequel to The Mummy and The Mummy Returns with Brendan Fraser reprising his role as Richard “Rick” O’Connell.

SPOILER WARNING: Plot and/or ending details follow.

Jet Li as the Emperor Han in "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor "
Jet Li as the Emperor Han in "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor "

Emperor Han (Jet Li) is a tyrannical emperor who wants to dominate the entire world and has managed to conquer everything except his age. As he is slowly aging, his mission is to find immortality. Han commands his general, Ming Guo (Russell Wong) to bring a sorceress called Zi Juan (Michelle Yeoh) who happens to know the way to immortality to him. When Zi Juan says she doesn’t have but only know where to find it, Han warns Ming Guo to escort her but not to touch her as she belongs to the emperor.

During the search for immortality, Ming Guo betrays the emperor’s trust by having an affair with Zi Juan. When Ming Guo and Zi Juan return to the emperor, the emperor punishes Ming Guo by having his arms and feet tied to the horses. Han suggests to Zi Juan to give herself to him if she wants to live, but she promptly refuses. As a result, Han commands his armies to tear Ming Guo apart while he stabs a dagger onto Zi Juan. Before long, Han and his armies turn into statues as a result of the curse cast by Zi Juan earlier.

The movie fast forward to 1940, which Rick O’Connell (Brendan Fraser) and his wife, Evelyn O’Connell (played by Maria Bello as Rachel Weisz has dropped out) are retired from their exploring jobs. Their lives now are boring and simply monotonous. When the opportunity to go to Shanghai to return an ancient artifact to the government of China, the O’Connell takes the chance without a second thought Evelyn’s brother, Jonathan Carnahan (John Hannah) runs a nightclub in Shanghai.

The O’Connell are tricked into General Yang’s (Anthony Wong) plot of resurrecting Emperor Han and his terracotta warriors and are forced to prevent Yang’s absurd ambition. Coincidentally, it was their son, Alex O’Connell (Luke Ford) who has earlier discovered the terracotta warriors. Lin (Isabella Leong) shows up and tells Alex that she’s the guardian of the tomb, but when a fight ensues between General Yang’s men and the O’Connell, the resurrection potion falls and it has awakened Emperor Han.

Anthony Wong and a Yeti in "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor "
Anthony Wong and a Yeti in "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor "

Then, come the part where the O’Connell family chases Emperor Han and General Yang in order to stop them from reaching to a place called Shangri-La, where Han will be able to resurrect his armies. The cat and mouse chasing is quite fun but the plots are predictable.

Lin even summons the Yetis to fight along side the O’Connell as they are outnumbered by General Yang’s armies.

Jet Li turns into a three-headed dragon in "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor "

But, despite all the efforts to stop Han, he finally manages to find Shangri-La and after he jumps into the pool of immortality, he emerges as a three-headed dragon and flies back to his base in order to resurrect his terracotta warriors. In order to fight back, Zi Juan and her daughter sacrifice their immortality to bring back the undead who are buried by Emperor Han during the construction of the Great Wall of China.

Although the fight between the terracotta warriors and the undead are impressive, the movie is brought to an abrupt ending when Han is easily killed by Rick and Alex who fight hand-to-hand combat with Han. Overall, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor is quite disappointing especially in terms of plot and fighting scenes where the real actions are missing. Perhaps, like The X-Files, people are already bored with Rick and his adventures of killing mummies. Somehow, in the last scene, Jonathan is seen holding the valuable piece of diamond artifact to Peru — hint us the next Mummy movie will be set in Peru. After all, after having done with Egypt and China, Peru’s ancient Moche pyramid is very likely the next target.

My ratings: 7 out of 10.

Kung Fu Hip Hop (2008) – Movie Review

Kung Fu Hip Hop as the name has suggested, is a movie about hip hop dancing with some kung fu in it, starring Jordan Chan, Fan Bing Bing and Korean Poppin Hyun Joon. Originally titled as Kung Fu Pop in China — but possibly re-titled for Hong Kong because the China name sounds like a soft drink.

SPOILER WARNING: Plot and/or ending details follow.

Kung Fu Hip Hop Poster
Kung Fu Hip Hop Poster

This is a story about Chu Dong (Jordan Chan) who has to look after his partially-blind sister, Ya Ya (Wang Yue). In order to collect enough money for an operation to save her sight and to make ends meet, he sells trinkets and works as a mechanic during daytime.

His talent for dancing is discovered one night when his nifty moves outside a club is caught on camera by accident. The club’s deejay, Tina (Fan Bing Bing) is impressed as Chu Dong’s gyrations makes her fingers feel “resurrected”.

The club’s resident dance king and everybody’s darling, Shaoxiong (Poppin Hyun Joon, who is Korean superstar Rain’s choreographer and the holder of the Asian Dance King title) feels threatened when he learns about Chu Dong’s dancing skills.

Tina persuades Chu Dong to enter a dancing competition in order to pay her back the money that was taken from her handbag. Chu Dong decides to give it a try since he needs the money for his sister’s crucial operation. To enter the competition, he ropes in his garage pals (played by China dance group Kung Fu Pop) at the car workshop he works at to form his dance team, and call his group, "Kung Fu Kids". Chu Dong does not take too much time in training his group members to learn how to dance from the basic since all of them have kung fu backgrounds.

Shaoxiong also enters the contest as his boss has threatened him to enter the contest or else…

Jordan Chan does not disappoint but his performance lacks behind when compared to that of Poppin’s.

Only watch this movie if you are a dance enthusiast, otherwise, you will feel the nonsensical of disco lights and noise constantly flashing and banging at your face as the entire movie is about dancing.

Overall, it is another movie which tries to incorporate kung fu in something else but fails miserably. It also has poor product placement of Pepsi soft drink.

My ratings: 6 out of 10.

Joker Arrested for Stealing

The police mugshots of Spencer Taylor (AP / The Associated Press)
The police mugshots of Spencer Taylor (AP / The Associated Press)

A man wearing a purple suit, a green wig and face paint in the style of Batman’s nemesis, Joker, in The Dark Knight was arrested for trying to steal posters and other items related to the new Batman movie from a cinema lobby in Three Rivers, Michigan.

He must be a die-hard Batman fan, or more precisely, Joker’s number one fan.

Discovery Channel: I Love the World Commercial

I simply love this commercial by Discovery Channel. The world is just awesome. Indeed.

Former Google Employees Start A New Search Engine Called ‘Cuil’

Cuil

Former Google Employees has unveiled Cuil Inc (pronounced “cool”), a new search service at www.cuil.com that the company claims can index, faster and more cheaply, a far larger portion of the Web than Google, which boasts the largest online index. Cuil claims it boosts an index of 120 billion web pages, and is the most comprehensive search engine on the web.

Tom Costello, Cuil co-founder and chief executive, said in a statement.

“Our significant breakthroughs in search technology have enabled us to index much more of the Internet, placing nearly the entire Web at the fingertips of every user.”

A search of the term "yowazzup" shows 13,548 results compared to 11,000 at Google. However, Cuil only shows up to 23 pages, which means a maximum of 230 web pages.

When I go to the Preferences and turn on "Safe Search" and "Typing Suggestions", the term "yowazzup" shows zero result.

Cuil may be cool but it still lacks something that Google has.