The Admiral: Roaring Currents (2014)

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The box office statistics for this South Korean historical epic are really something to behold. It sold more than 17 million movie tickets, out of a population of approximately 50 million people. Outside of its home country, it did respectable, but not spectacular, sales. Sure, it’s a nationalistic puff piece, but these numbers suggest that The Admiral might be a film worth watching if only for the novelty of a South Korean mega-blockbuster.

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Scarface (1932)

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A few minutes into this film, both my wife and myself thought it seemed awfully familiar. It turned out that we had watched it before, probably a couple of years earlier when my wife wanted to sign up for a previous iteration of the same film course. Both of our memories must be failing for us to not have remembered it. But the movie is enjoyable enough that we had no difficulties with watching it a second time.

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Fanfiction recommendations

For the first time in a very long while, I’ve gotten ahead of the curve on writing a post for every movie that I watch. This gives me extra time to write about other miscellaneous stuff. So I thought this would be a good time to make a list of some of the fanfiction I’ve been reading and enjoyed. As always, the list is sorted in no particular order. It’s a long list because I’ve been reading a lot of the stuff over the past two years or so.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality (Ongoing)

I’ve posted about this before here and it’s still ongoing. The plan is apparently to finish it this year. I still enjoy a great deal but it’s now much darker and serious than when it started. Oddly enough, it’s also gotten so caught up in its plot that it’s much less of an author tract than it was originally intended to be.

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A Brighter Summer Day (1991)

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Our list of films to watch has grown so long that we can’t remember whether this one was added by my wife (because she remembers it being highly praised back when she was in high school) or myself (because it shows up often in lists of best films). Either way, this means that Edward Yang’s A Brighter Summer Day is a film that both of us really wanted to watch.

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Monkey Business (1931)

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Out of all the genres of fiction, I think that comedy is the hardest to cross cultural boundaries. It also doesn’t help this film’s case that while the Marx Brothers are well-known in the US, I don’t believe that they are quite so established internationally, compared to say Charlie Chaplin or even the Three Stooges. For my part, I knew next to nothing about them save that they exist and that the iconic Groucho glasses disguise comes from one of them.

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Applause (1929)

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With Applause, we move from the silent film era to the talkies. Surprisingly, this isn’t just one of the earliest talkies, it also pioneered a number of interesting innovations while being its director Roubien Mamoulian’s first feature film. Unfortunately, its technical achievements are much more interesting than its annoying characters, unsatisfying plot and simplistic moralization.

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Halting State

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Embarrassingly for someone who claims to be fan of science-fiction, it’s been a while since I last read a sci-fi novel. Most of my fiction reading these days are on the web, either web-based originals or fanfiction. I picked Charles Stross’s Halting State to read recently both because I’d previously read his Accelerando and thought it interesting and because this particular novel’s tie-in with online gaming worlds seems like a good fit for my own interests.

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The unexamined life is a life not worth living