Seediq Bale 2 (賽德克‧巴萊 (下)
The legend of Sediq leader Mouna Rudo and his clans continues as the second part of Wei Te-sheng’s (魏德聖) epic hits theaters today. With the first part having filled in the necessary social and historical background, the second half concentrates on ingeniously staged action sequences and is interspersed with poignant moments, such as the scene where a group of tribeswomen hang themselves rather than be a burden to their fighting men. The English subtitled versions of both parts are showing at Showtime’s Shin-shin branch (欣欣秀泰影城), 247 Linsen N Rd, Taipei City (台北市林森北路247號), tel: (02) 2537-1889.
It’s not surprising that The Change-Up has some major similarities to The Hangover. It was written by the same guys, and clearly they had used up whatever ideas they had in the first movie. The Change-Up is just a sequel to The Hangover with a stale body-swap angle. Remember Freaky Friday? Well, just add in references to body functions, sex games and lots and lots of swearing. Men drink too much, and then they revert to little boys. That said, the two boys, Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds, do a fine job with the second-rate material given to them, lifting the film out of the gutter for some good laughs, even when you’ve heard the joke before.
A film that tells the story of Rebecca (Eve Green), who falls in love with Tommy (Matt Smith) only to lose him in a random car accident. She then decides to give birth to his clone. It’s an intriguing premise, but it is handled with such self-conscious languor that even the gorgeous scenery of the North Sea coast and the beauty and talent of Green are not sufficient to hold the audience. This is the first English-language film by young Hungarian director Benedek Fliegauf, who has been much feted on the European festival circuit. Womb degenerates into a rather ordinary mother/son drama, leaving behind its more fantastic and exciting conceptual elements.
High-concept space drama that fails to deliver. Decades-old footage of NASA’s abandoned Apollo 18 project provides suggestions of why the US dropped out of the space race. The conceit — laboriously established in the film’s publicity — that this is a documentary providing a factual insight into historical events fails to carry through effectively into the film, which is just a space-station horror flick with one or two good scares. Shades of The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity, Cloverfield and a host of other films are just too obvious to ignore, and the jumpy, hand-held camera work not only fails to create any sustained sense of dread, it is just downright annoying. Despite some carefully crafted moments of suspense, the film collapses under the weight of its pretensions. Showing at Vieshow Cinemas (Xinyi) (威秀影城信義), Showtime Cinemas (Today) (秀泰影城今日), Showtime Cinemas (Shin-shin) (秀泰影城欣欣) and CINEMA7 (Spring Cinema Galaxy) (絕色影城). (Theater information on page 17.)
Chen Zhiwu (陳志武) says that the COVID-19 crisis puts into sharp focus that we are in a new cold war, with China and the US being the two protagonists. “It’s almost literally in front of us,” says Chen, Director of Asia Global Institute and Chair Professor of Finance at the University of Hong Kong. Political observers were hesitant, Chen says, even up to the beginning of this year, to confirm a new cold war was underway. “But ... the coronavirus has made clear the clash in values and way of life between what China would like to pursue, and what
For tourists visiting Hualien, Taroko National Park (太魯閣國家公園) is the first order of business. But if you find yourself in the city with half a day to spare — your train back to Taipei will leave mid-afternoon, say — it’s hardly worth busing out to Taroko Gorge. Instead, borrow or rent a bicycle or a scooter, or hail a cab, and set out for one of these attractions. At only one of these places is there an admission charge. CISINGTAN SCENIC AREA A literal translation of Cisingtan (七星潭) would be “Seven Stars Pond,” but there’s no pond here, just the vast Pacific
To bring sustainability and prosperity to their farms, some agriculturalists in southern Taiwan have embraced innovative types of companion planting. In contrast to the monoculture that dominates much of the rich world’s farmland, companion planting is the cultivation of different crops in proximity, usually to optimize the space, for pest control or to enhance pollination. The symbiotic relationship between cacao trees and betel nut, which may be unique to Pingtung County, is striking when one visits the cacao plantations maintained by Choose Chius (邱氏可可) and Wugawan (牛角灣) in Neipu (內埔). The history of growing cacao in Taiwan goes back to Japanese colonial
I had really hoped that this film would be a Taiwanese answer to the American camp classic Snakes on a Plane, but Spiders on a Ship — er, Abyssal Spider (海霧) — takes itself way too seriously. One major gripe about Taiwanese commercial features is that they are prone to being unnecessarily over the top, but that’s the one element that could have made Abyssal more watchable. The lack of camp is especially disappointing since director Joe Chien (錢人豪) first made his mark with the intentionally trashy horror movie Zombie 108 (棄城Z-108). Released in 2012, it is considered Taiwan’s earliest