Monday, August 25, 2014

甜蜜殺機 Sweet Alibis (2014)

甜蜜殺機 Sweet Alibis (2014)

I finally saw it! Oh my gosh, I had been waiting for this movie for such a long time and I have to say, it did not disappoint at all.

Yes, cliches were all over the place, but I could care less as my laughter and sniffling from the movie overshadowed the problems.

The movie was very cute and fast moving. I actually had to watch it twice to catch some of the additional subtle parts and jokes (a lot of in-jokes that I surprisingly got, hahaha).

Alec Su played Wang Chih-Yi, a very talented detective that also exceedingly talented at avoiding any dangerous cases. He's a complete slacker even if he's a perfect marksman. It was revealed early on that Chih-Yi avoided danger because he has lost his whole family (parents, brother, sister-in-law) early on and has been raising his nephew. He has been paired with Gao Yi-Ping, played by Ariel Lin, a rookie that was overly enthusiastic to prove herself, for example, by constantly pulling out her gun in very single situation possible. An deliberately odd pairing thrown together because Yi-Ping was the daughter of the Police Chief and Dad wants to make sure his daughter will be safe. They also have a bet going on about Yi-Ping's ability to be a cop. So Dad was definitely cheating. Hehe.

Even as the two get thrown the easiest of easy cases, it all ended up being this interconnected web of murder that dealt with the local drug trade. For a hilarious comedy, the movie actually injected a lot of depths and background to the array of cast. Almost every character had some background as well as motives for their actions. You end up sympathizing with quite a lot of the characters. I can't really write anything about the whole storyline without giving the plot away given how everything was really connected and very well portrayed. Instead, I'll have the spoiler part after the trailer.

I would definitely recommend people to watch this.

Plus, is had Alec Su in it. Lol. Yes, I was a childhood fan. I also have enjoyed a lot Ariel Lin shows and the fact the movie had both of them was a no brainer for me. And the fact it's a comedy. I love comedies.

Okay, obvious spoiler time...

Are you sure you want spoilers?

Okay, okay, the more spoilerish review:

This was a very good story despite a few cliche moments and a lot of suspension of disbelief at how much coincidence had to be involved.

A drug deal gone wrong had a few people wounded. To keep Yi-Ping off the case, she and Chih-Yi were sent on a case of doggy death. It ended up being not as simple as they thought and linked back to the drug deal. From there, murders abound. Almost half the secondary characters died. For such a happy show, there were certainly a lot of deaths. At the same time, the writers/directors were amazingly good at making you care about the deaths. Almost in a way where you felt guilty for not caring about each murder when it happened. The filming was amazingly good. The colors and placement - well, maybe a little too much flashback, but it was a good technique to kind of show you what really happened.

At the end, I was not too surprised at how the story ended. It was still fun to watch though.

Almost every single character was connected by something or another, which also made the movie more fun to watch. No wasted moment. I liked how everyone had a drive and every character had their own motives and lives. Even the most standard paper cut-out character had something or another going on.

Chih-Yi was a very talented person, but at the loss of family, decided to always err on the safe side. He also desperately wants to get married and goes through a matchmaker. He might be a slacker, but at the same time, he was respected by his teammates. He's also the only one that knew how to work with Yi-Ping, to the amazement of his teammates. He had his ups and downs and when he found out about his nephew's involvement, Chih-Yi reacted pretty realistically.

Yi-Ping Gao was a very privileged young woman and she knew it, ergo, it made her try even harder to prove herself and her own abilities. At the same time, it made sense that she still needed to be rescued by both her Dad and Chih-Yi because the story did want to illustrate how she had glamorized the lifestyle. It definitely did not keep her down though. :) I liked how she was still the more dominant one in the relationship.

The drug dealer/movie star - this actor was hilarious at portraying both. One of the lighter moments in the show.

It was rather obvious from the start that the nephew was involved. Even though I still felt the nephew was an idiot, he was written/portrayed with understanding. His lack of family also made him easily manipulated by his teacher/father figure.

The teacher had a minor channeling of Walter White. Lol, very minor though. Again, the writers were great in showing how he went into drug making to get money for cancer treatment for his wife. Even though he ended up causing almost all the deaths in the movie (including the poor doggy), his death was incredibly sad when you saw how much he and his wife loved each other.

Chih-Yi's matchmaker I mentioned earlier? Well, the matchmaker ended up being the side of life, running a drug ring. The guy is hilarious, but also deeply loving at the same time. The fact he was moved by the teacher's plight was a good example of how there was more depth to him than we were initially led to believe. His death was at first hilarious, then went rather sad when you realized how much he and his sidekick loved each other.

I would not say there was an incredible amount of character growth, but just enough to make it realistic and fun. The story/movie actually stayed very grounded. The plot was interesting with a bunch of twists, subtle hints everywhere. It was equally ridiculously funny at times, even at the end. Again, all the coincidences actually made it fun to watch and follow.

The romance was cute and subtle enough without it overtaking the entire plot. At the same time, it was believable enough that I could see sequels...or a tv series. Hey! That's a great idea! I would totally watch a TV show with Alec Su and Ariel Lin as partners solving crimes. Someone get on it!

If I did have a complaint, it would still be the lack of female characters. Even though there were quite a few and they all had their own personalities, most were still plot devices and background characters.

I will definitely be looking for a copy of this for keeps and for enjoyment in the future.

If you have an hour or two, go look it up and enjoy. Also, Alec Su. ;) Ok ok, done joking. Sort of. :P

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Updates of Ms. Alys

Hey hey dear readers, my apologies for a lack of posts the past few months. Real life has not been too pleasant and a few key events had taken up most of my free time. Partially due to be exhaustion, my thinking processes had been fried. I guess the correct term is burnt out.

Still, I had been thinking about my tiny little blogging world and now that I finally forcibly took some time off from work, I figured, write now or I am going to forget all over again.

(Rusty napping during the summer)
To catch up:

1) I am currently trying to make a career move after some very foul and sour events had occurred at my current place of work. I accept full responsibility for losing my cool and broke through my professional demeanor twice in my entire career. For that, I really do feel bad. Yet, that does not chance the absolutely pitiful situation at my work. I am not sorry I told them what was wrong, because they are in the wrong. Think something similar to The Office, British version and with bosses with no sincerity and compassion, loyalty or leadership skills. When I say it has been bad, I really mean it. This place has now gone on par with one job that, to this day, I hate and refuse to buy anything from.

Thus, job change.

(Me getting pretty)

2) So, while I have been interviewing, I came across a every "interesting" situation. A recent place I interviewed at was transparently obvious in that they did not want me and spent most of the time lecturing me about having a real career choice. At least the individual was honest about the job and the fact said person did not like the fact I changed jobs 3x in the last 6 years. In my defense, that first job was low end entry level thus a year there was the best we could I make out of the situation. I needed experience, but gone are the days where people stay at jobs for 10-20 years. Really.

As much as I would like to have a job where I start and retire from, the companies these days do not even attempt to keep their employees. I really don't want to go into a whole social-political-economical debate here. There's no point. We all have our ideas and the chances of people changing their minds is next to nil.

I used to try really hard to see things from other people's perspectives because I was taught that way. We all have good points and if we disagree, it helps to hear the other side. The problem was that this courtesy has never, maybe one person or two, been reciprocated. Not they need to agree with me, but I am tired of always being seen as the problem because I don't agree with them. Life sucks. Deal with it.
 (Exhaustion after weird interviews)

Back to the interview. So, out of all the interviews, why this one stuck out in my mind was this. I received the most bizarre comment that the interviewer was not being worried I would take their job. I mean, what?! Why would I take your job? We don't even do the same things. Plus, that right away should be a sign I wasn't going to get hired. Luckily, I didn't really want that job after hearing how it's high workload, no room for rising up, and nothing new for me to work on. Just repetition.

Either way, I am thankful for the experience interviewing again and for the partial honesty. I just wished it had been any other day than that day. Since it took three hours out of my time.

I had a bunch of other stuff to do...

Which was the day before the Book Smuggler publishing submissions!!!! GAHHH!

3) Yes, you heard right. I submitted my short story to The Book Smugglers. Honestly, I am being absolutely honest and not fishing for any compliments at all, but I know I won't get published by them for this story. I don't need anyone saying "oh, you'll never know" or "wait until you hear back." No, thank you dear. I already know it will not be accepted. I know because I had not written a full length story in at least 5 years. I barely wrote at all. My skills, even as I was editing, revealed itself have completely deteriorated and morphed into this juvenile and weak scrawl. I almost quit. I think I even stopped writing for a few weeks/days and didn't even want to look at it anymore.

BUT. I didn't. I still went back to it and I wrote. Instead, I gave myself a new goal: to finish my short story, then submit it to The Book Smugglers. And I succeeded both. :) To me, that's all that mattered. I succeeded!

So I made another decision/goal. Once I get the confirmation that the story has not been accepted, I possibly post it here. If not the whole thing (it is 24+ pages), I want to at least over of the process of writing this and the summaries and stories. :)

In the meantime, I have at least been able to catch up on a little more reading. I just would need some more time to write it out. Hopefully, I can get to writing the new reviews for the movies and books soon. The TV series will have to take longer. Much longer. TV show reviews are surprisingly hard to me to write. -_-

So stay tuned!