Sunday, February 13, 2011

S.Korea - The Host

My all time favorite monster movie - with some of the best special effects ever. One of the most amazing things about this movie is that the great big bad monster shows up in less than 15 minutes. So you are not sitting there like an idiot wondering when - and if - the monster is worth your time and the price of a ticket. It is action, good writing and excellent visuals from the beginning to the end. I had the pleasure of seeing this movie a few years ago when I was in Seoul. In addition to the big screen, and super sound and special effects, seats are always reserved. The ticket clerks decided I should have a love seat - wonderful!

The movie begins in English. So what happens when the US military decides to dump a seriously toxic chemical in the Han River - well, bad things happen. Then I watched the rest of the film in the Korean language. Even with my limited language skills there is enough action to keep you right up there in the film. And like so many foreign films - no matter what is happening - there is always a bit of good humor.

If you pick up this film on video in the US as I did, be sure that it has subtitles and is not dubbed as mine was. There is nothing worse that listening to bad English dubbing which does not fit the film at all. In fact it is distracting and annoying. Better to listen to the natural language and just watch the film.

So now what beverage to drink with the monster? Well, when I was living in Seoul, my friend Christine and I put our lips on everything that had green tea, this includes ice cream, excellent lattes and even cups of good green tea. But more often we were sitting in a Hof somewhere enjoying a good draft beer. Here is a link to both in one: a beer made with green tea! Enjoy it with the film! And keep scrolling for more film reviews!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Liberia - Pray the Devil Back to Hell

Looking for a good time and a good foreign film? How about a beverage to go with it all?

Well, here's the film from Liberia - with 7 awards.

"Pray the Devil Back to Hell"

The power of the title captured me. What devil? - and sure dragged back to hell is fitting. When I got the documentary video, and saw it was about women in Liberia - knowing the horrors they were experiencing at the hands of...well, a devil, I thought it would depress me. But wait - these were women in Africa who have often effected stunning change. And this is what happened in this astounding film. The women said they were in essence "Sick and tired of being sick and tired!" (thanks Fannie Lou Hamer for saying this first) and they were going to do something about it. They started a peace movement, and they were not going to wait years for this to happen - it was NOW! Right now!

This bit of world history explains why Liberia has the first woman president on the African continent. Both Christian and Muslim women united and took on the corrupt regime - and ended it. They reminded us that women united is a force to be reckoned with - I wish all women knew this.

Meet the women who put on white t-shirts and started out one day to change the course of their history, the history of their children and the history of their country. Their peace movement effected the change that was a long time coming. Bravo!

What beverage to enjoy?

About half way through the film I thought I should have a stiff shot of gin. Just pause the film and go throw it back and calm down. And at the end of the film, I felt another shot and then wait 10 minutes and have some champagne to celebrate. But I am not a gin drinker and had no champagne. I'm a big tea fan so I settled down and had some super hot steaming, soothing Macha tea - the Japanese green tea.

Here is a link to help you pick a Japanese green tea:

Enjoy the film - enjoy the tea - and don't apologize for your amazing power. Whew!