Since I’m back at Bean Around the World on Main, I might as well update my blog. I haven’t done terribly much since my last update, read about Crusaders, played some Civilization, watched a couple of films, worked on my guitar playing, the usual.
I’m still looking for a job, I applied to the odd one, but still have had just the one interview, which I’m still not sure is the right position or firm for me. I’m supposed to have a follow up this week, so we’ll see. It is not like me to refuse work, at least paid work, but the question is what is the pay and how long can they as a startup afford to go if sales don’t match projections?
I watched Red Cliff in one sitting. I’m more of an expert in Japanese history having studied it at UVIC, but I’ve been learning more about China during my MBA and stay there. Red Cliff is a famous battle full of famous heroes, it is part historic and part mythical after the passage of almost 2000 years. Experts can’t even agree on the exact battle site, something I’m familiar with from my recent study of Pictish history. Cao Cao is one of the great generals in Civilization IV, but the star of the film is Tony Leung as Zhou You. He and Cao Cao are considered more villains in classical Chinese literature particularly the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, the movie is part history, part romance, there is wire work and a few heroes defeat hundreds of mooks. A western comparison would be the Fall of Troy both the movie staring Brad Pitt and the book by Homer.
Seeing the movie and subsequent Googling reminded me that I always wanted to play the classic Koei games on my old 286, but the closest I think I came was playing one on Eric Chang’s NES. One game was released on the Wii but only in Japan…
Zhenge Liang is supposedly made into the hero in the fictionalized novel, but I’ve never read it, I thought about buying it while in China, but instead read Mo Yan. Zhenge Liang is something of a rival of Tony Leung‘s character, but is more of a strategist, making him Odysseus to Leung’s Achilles or perhaps Hector. I always thought Hector was the true badass of the book. I mean he wasn’t immune to damage like Achilles and he did great feats in defense of his homeland. The war wasn’t his doing, but his brother’s, many times he is the voice of reason and practicality, resolute he goes to his death in mortal combat with the undefeatable Achilles. Upon his death in Troy, Achilles says to Priam of him, he’s the best I ever fought… In the movie my favourite character was Ajax, that was great acting, though Nathan Jones as Boagrius was pretty awesome. Troy is probably more familiar to Western audiences, but Red Cliff despite no Brad Pitt or Orlando Bloom probably has the bigger fight scenes, Cao Cao’s army numbered in the 100,000 whereas contemporary battles in the West even up to Crusader time, 10-20,000 was a big force. In China John Woo could definitely afford the extras, also I think four special effects studios worked on Red Cliff as well.
Like in Troy, Tony Leung gets the girl, which would make him Paris perhaps with Cao Cao being the spurned older man Menelaus… There are a lot of similarities between the legends and movies, just as Joseph Campbell would predict, though I don’t know if he ever compared these two legendary tales of East and West, sad that more people probably have seen the movies than read the books. I had to read the Illiad in high school, for which I’m thankful.
I just ended up reading an epic Wikipedia entry for Sabertooth who was played by the same actor as Ajax in the first X-men. I couldn’t believe they eventually had him lose to an ‘enhanced’ Caliban. Comic continuity has gone crazy, but I remember Caliban appearing in the sewers and kidnapping Kitty Pride, he was a nobody, not someone who would defeat Sabertooth back in the 80s. Of course I just learned Sabertooth started out as an Iron Fist villain, I used to read that book back in the day, one day I hope to read some more graphic novels, supposedly old comics are being digitized so I could just read them online for a fee…
It’s amazing the depth put into some Wikipedia entries, especially for none historically important topics, some topics like Star Wars have their own Wikipedia err Wookieepedia. I try to stick with the true canonical stuff, but with X-men it is beyond nonsensical and I have no idea about Star Wars cannon either, Star Trek I think is only the movies and tv shows, not the books and comics and games etc. etc.
Enough or too much
This entry was originaly posted on , it was last edited on and is filed under: China, Cinema, Literature and tagged: Brad Pitt, Cafe, John Woo, Joseph Campbell, Red Cliff, Sabertooth, Tony Leung, Troy, Wolfgang Peterson.