Monday, July 07, 2008

Identity Crisis

7th July 2008, Monday

Stayed home-bound for the whole of the weekend...simply just catch some dorama, rented DVDs and became immersed and obsessive in my PS3 adventures, ingesting unhealthy snacks along the way

However there seems to be a common theme with the media I came across the whole weekend... the characters seemed to be embedded in a case of identity crisis....

Zettai Kareshi (絶対彼氏): Based on a shoujo-manga of the same name, this Fuji Terebi doramas told a tale we all identify with all along. The fantasy of owning a perfect lover, in this case a robot/cyborg. Dashing Hayami Mokomichi (who's last dorama, "Tokyo Tower" got me all teared up) was 01 model from the Nightly Series from a cybernetic company, Kronos Heaven which was design and made for an unsuspecting customer, a inspiring patissier, Izawa Riiko.
Hayami's stiff acting is just perfect for the role of the robot lover but eventually as the tale came to a climax, he became a sad being yearning for a normal humane life as his "owner" Riiko came to accept him.
But like all movies of such genre (with robotic or supernatural being lover), there will be no happy ending as 01's main IC went busted when he exerted himself too much to generate spontaneous self-programming which baffled his creator and company.
It was pretty touching near the end but the characters have to get out from that surreal state that they would last happy together. There were stances of identity crisis for 01 or Night for his name at the beginning while Riiko hit hers at the end when she thought she could do without real human companionship for a piece of appliance which might most probably outlive her.

Persepolis: One of the movies I rented was this French animated feature based on the graphical autobiography of Marjiane Satrapi, an Iranian exile who tells a tale about the chaotic times in her homeland over the course of Iranian Revolution and the Iran-Iraq war. The protagonist, Marjiane who dreamt tp be a prophet was exposed to poltical ideals like communisim since young and grew jaded of the stagnant repressive state of her nation. She was a rebel with her own cause... a rebel repressed in a conservative post-war Iran. When she thought she was liberated with her studies in Vienna, there she hit an identity crisis and knew that the demise in her country didn't reflected well in the European scene.
She yearned for a return back home after countless days on the streets of Austria but found it was back to square one as she found it had to adjust with how rigid the government remains in their status quo.
She migrated to France eventually as the tale came to an end...
In the style of black & white graphic novel, the essence of the story was well captured and despite no beautiful CG or delightful artwork, it was the story that really bought me and gave me a great insight with the turmoil the Iran people had to face back in those days when they could actually become a developed nation with their commodity and all.

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots: After Niko Bellic duly disposed of his great adversaries in Liberty City, he passed the Playstion baton to the renowned mercenary from the mastermind of Kojima Hideo and his Konami team, Solid Snake, now in much aged in 2014, thus known as Old Snake.
Despite not following the MGS storyline unlike most of my friends who had played the prequels back in the Famicom/Playstation days, I knew that Solid Snake is a character shrouded with identity crisis, himself a cloned product of a war hero, now known as Big Boss and constantly had to unraveled the mystery about his background against his "brothers" Liquid and Solidus.
My first venture in MGS was very much like my first venture to Gran Theft Auto, disregarding much of the history and just play the game as it is.
However it was always better to know abit more of the famous game series in which stealth is the best way to win the game...something I am still getting the hang of especially it totally contrast the ideology of GTA in which everyday is a grand massacre involving plenty of car stealing, chases and simply blowing things up.
In MGS we just had to keep cool headed and preferably not to be detected by the enemy, something which would reap rewards in the end. There was even a stress level which certainly reflect Snake's and my own stree throughout the mission. Fortunately, there was the presence of m,y favorite gadget, the iPod to give us some musical relief, alleviating the tension when we need it.
Act 1 is set iin the backdrop of the warring Middle East and the mood of the environment surely set itself to it, although I was expecting the rebel militias to speak Arabic to me rather than American-accented English.
CS was immensely addicted to the game and I could see why... Foo is another advocating the good of it and should jump on the PS3 bandwagon just for it pretty soon.
Then there was Johnny "Akiba" Sasaki as Foo described it.. "is da man!" I have to nod in agreement, as you know I am sucker for such characters....

The Prestige: Another movie I rented was a great buffer to set me forward for The Dark Knight opening next week.
Directed by the same director, Chris Nolan and featured Batman (Christian Bale) and Alfred (Michael Caine) with the same cinematographer and production designer as "Batman Begins", it surely have the same tone of the Batman sequel.
Set in the Victorian era of England where the age of industrialization was at its prime, this film told the tale of 2 rival magicians, bidding to outdo each other and even constant notion of revenge when one aspiring magician Borden( Bale) accidentally killed the wife of Angier (Hugh Jackman), a fellow budding disciple of the dark art in an act.
While the tale showed us some insight of the truth behind several well-known illusions of that time, the crux of it all was the intense rivalry between the 2.
First look at it superhero fans would rejoice of the prospect of seeing Batman vs Wolverine, but seriously beneath the masks, these 2 actors surely are great actors as I was intrigued by how one tried to outdo the other.
The cast was well rounded by Scarlett Johansson (who surely looks good in the bust-enhancing Victorian fashion), Caine (smooth as great wine), Andy Serkis (Gollum of LOTR fame) and a pretty beef up David Bowie who did a competent role as Nikola Tesla, who found the basis alternation current electric power.
At the climax of the story where both were trying to uncover each's secret of the "Tranport Man" act, both were fooled by the identity of the other at the end which surely led to a real twist of the tale.

Glad I have no real crisis with my own identity but this current one is starting to perturb the missus as well as the rest of the household that I might be too immersed to become a confined-in freako...

Japanese word of the day: 危機 (crisis) The only crisis I have now is to increase more "me-alone" time but highly unlikely

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