The Sorcerer and The White Snake, the new take from the legendary myth

Another Chinese folklore starred by our master Jet Li. The story about The White Snake and her mortal lover.

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This story is quite popular. Just like The Monkey King, it’s also has some versions, The one that I saw when I was in junior high is focused on the love story between Pai Su Chen and Han Wen (Xu Xien in some versions).

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And don’t forget Siau Ching (Qingqing), the green snake, Pai Su Chen’s sister.

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The myth itself tells a story about a snake demon who falls in love with a mortal. Their love is breaking the rules and from the other side, there’s Fahai, the powerful monk, who his duty is to maintain the order of the mortal world against the demons. When Fahai finally meets Pai Su Chen, the legendary battle happens.

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This movie is more or less close enough to the myth itself. It’s balance between Pai Su Chen and Master Fahai’s point of view. Unlike the TV series I watched years ago, this movie makes us to choose either to sympathize for Pai Su Chen or support Master Fahai in destroying demons. Added with the amazing music scores and the special effects which way much better than the version I watched in the 90s. It’s great to see Jet Li doing his moves, and as a monk. A powerful one, that is. And, I guess it’s hard not to sympathize for Jet Li, right?

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The Forbidden Kingdom, the journey to free The Monkey King

As promised, now it’s time to review another Jet Li’s movie. This one is special because it’s not 100% American movie. He speaks both English and Chinese, but unlike Romeo Must Die, Master Li is not a son of a businessman. He plays two characters at once. Another thing that makes this movie special is the first time we see him and Jackie Chan in one screen. Two master legends in one movie? Hell, yes!! And the last, it tells about Chinese legend, The Monkey King (or Son Go Kong/Sun Wu Kong).

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For those of you who not really familiar with the legend, Go Kong or The Monkey King is one of the immortals who accompany Thong Sam Chong, the monk, to take journey to the west searching for the holy bible. As for myself, I saw some versions of the series during my teenage time. The one I like the most is when Dicky Cheung plays as Go Kong. He’s the perfect Go Kong for me. Smart, naughty, but loyal to Sam Chong.

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Dicky Cheung as The Monkey King in 90’s TV series

The one thing unforgettable from the series is the crown which Go Kong wears. It was gifted for Sam Chong by Kwan-Im, the beautiful goddess in Chinese folklore. The goddess also tells Sam Chong a mantra to keep Go Kong obeys him when he thinks the immortal is out of the line. The effect for Go Kong when Sam Chong speaks the mantra is he will feel a lot of pain.

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Go Kong’s crown

As immortal, Go Kong can’t be killed and his kungfu is really great. He also has magic through the fur in his body. His famous golden staff is also from one of his fur. Another famous trick he has he can make illusion of himself from only a single fur. Quite handy, eh?

Now, back to the movie. It tells us about a teenager, Jason (Michael Angarano), who is obsessed with kungfu and everything related to Chinese martial arts. He has an old Chinese friend, who he calls Hop (Jackie Chan) where he gets a lot of Chinese movies. In a visit, he accidentally discovers the hidden room in Hop’s store and sees a golden staff which he knows it’s not an ordinary staff. But, Hop ushers him to go home. His obsession often becomes the mocking between his friends until a gang forces him to help them rob the store. After some misfits (now I used the word), the wounded Hop gives Jason the staff and tells him to ‘give it to the rightful owner’. Jason tries to escape from the gang holding the golden staff. In a top of the building, between the matter of life and death, the staff suddenly hums and pushes Jason from the top. Jason wakes up in the ancient Chinese with the golden staff which later he finds out it belongs to The Monkey King and he must use it to free the immortal.

During his journey, Jason meets the Drunken Immortal, Lu Yan (also plays by Jackie Chan), who tells Jason about The Monkey King and why he must free him (and from the footage we learn it portrays by Jet Li), and the Orphan Girl. Later on, the three meet a mysterious monk (yes, also plays by Master Jet Li) who steals the staff from Jason and has a fight with Lu Yan before he claims he is ‘on a mission to find the seeker of the staff’. After learning the truth that Jason is the seeker, the four of them begin the journey to the Jade Warlord’s castle where Go Kong is trapped. Also, finally Jason can learn the real kungfu.

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The music scores are amazing. Don’t ask about Jet Li and Jackie Chan in one screen. The fight scene is quite intense, 5 minutes full without stopping. There are some funny scenes too between these two masters. We also meet with another Chinese folklore, The Bride with The White Hair. She’s famous with her long white hair and her hatred towards men.

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This is the movie where both Jackie Chan and Jet Li not wearing modern clothes, but speaks both English and Chinese. Like I said, this movie is after Master Li plays in Danny The Dog. You can see another transformation he has. The most unforgettable part from this movie is the TWIST.

THE GODDAMN TWIST!!!

There’s a reason why Jet Li portrays both The Monkey King and The Silent Monk. And it’s best for you to watch it to find out because it’s no fun if I tell you here ehee…

Danny The Dog, when music saves you

The Rain effect hasn’t left me yet. After watching him in The Prince and then watching some of Jet Li’s movies to refresh my memory, last night I watched this one. I remember this one when I wanted to watch the fourth Harry Potter movie in theaters. But, at that time I didn’t watch it because the title was not appealing for me. And then, after watching some of Master Li’s movies, I’m curious with this one.

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Danny The Dog (later named Unleashed in some countries) tells a story about Danny (Jet Li) who has been treated like a human attack dog if the collar on his neck is unleashed since his childhood by a mob gang. At some point, he meets Sam (Morgan Freeman), a blind man who loves to play piano. Later on, Danny escapes from the gang and find Sam with his injured body. Sam and his daughter, Victoria (Kerry Condon), accept Danny with open arms and teach him everything about family. Danny, with his shut down emotions, seems to like music and the love that Sam and Victoria have for music helps him too. Their warmth changed Danny slowly. But, apparently his happiness with his new family doesn’t last long. One of his master’s men find him and forces Danny to go back to his former life and unexpectedly bring back Danny’s memory about his mother and learn the truth about her death and also why he ends up with the mob gang. Now, Danny must protect his new family from his former master.

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Another impressive performance from Master Jet Li. After watching him in Romeo Must Die and seeing the timeline of his movies, Danny The Dog came out after his role in ‘Hero’. Damn, I watched that colossal movie at the theater with my sister. He’s very elegant and lethal and all as the assassin who his duty is to kill the Emperor. And in this movie, he turns into a childlike person, but in a man body. I must say Master Li really portrays the tormented person, both mentally and physically, really good. Morgan Freeman is superb. His character is not only as a father and guardian, but also as a wise man. Just like he said in the movie, it’s not easy to turn a boy into a man. Kerry Condon is also great too. She plays a witty, caring and warm teenager. Their chemistry is over the top. I really love all the scenes between Master Li and Morgan Freeman. They can portray father and son really well. And don’t forget all the cuteness between Master Li and Kerry Condon. There’s one scene when Victoria unleashes Danny’s collar. It’s a little bit intense first, but then turns into sweet and fluffy moment.

The music scores by Massive Attack are really fit with some scenes. It could get along with the classical music played from the piano.

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The weakness of this movie is the background story. There are still unanswered questions about Danny’s past, like who his father is or what happened to her mother’s family. And the fighting scenes are quite brutal too. Not recommended watching this movie with your underage children.

Anyhow, after watching back and forth Jet Li’s movies, this one is really bring back another talent he has. I guess Hollywood movies really challenged him to play a lot of type of characters, not only just a hero like in Chinese movies (not that I don’t like it when he speaks with his native language). And another thing that impressed me is this movie is three years before Master Li played both as The Monkey King and The Silent Monk in 2008. I’ll review it tomorrow :)

Ocean Heaven, the story about a father and his autistic son

Autism is one condition which needs special treatment and until now there’s no cure for it. Autism also often made as a joke. But, I guarantee after you watched this movie, you’ll think twice to use Autism as a joke for your friend.

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Another surprise thing is Jet Li is in it. Can you believe that? From all of his work, this movie is the first time, even for me, seeing him as ordinary people. Not a warrior or good in martial art. Surprise? Well, I did. I just found out about this movie when I checked Master Li’s official Facebook page and also found out he got a lot of positive reviews, and not with his character with martial art skills.

Ocean Heaven tells a story about a father with serious illness and his autistic son. He realizes his time is running out, so he tries his best to find someone or to prepare things for his autistic son after he passed away.

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So many emotional scenes, you might get cry watching how caring and patient Jet Li’s character is. I even cried several times when I watched this movie.

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Very recommended to watch, especially for those of you who want to see Jet Li as a very ordinary person in a movie.

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Oh, and don’t forget your Kleenex!

Romeo Must Die, when ‘Romeo’ still lives in the end

Several days ago, I watched a movie called The Prince and I saw an Asian superstar, Rain, there. It’s kind of sad, actually, because he is a celeb in Asia, but in Hollywood, he turns into a villain and ended with his death either. He reminds me to Jet Li which his first American movie is when he is the villain. Man, Jet Li is legend in Chinese movies. I’ve seen a lot of his work and most of them he still lives until the end of the movie because he is the hero. But, in Lethal Weapon 4, he seems like nobody.

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That’s why I remember this movie. Actually, in my opinion, this is the only American movie which is his best. Not only has chemistry with his leading lady, the late Aaliyah (way much better than with his ‘wife’ in The One), but this is where he gets his vibe back.

The plot reminds us about the feud between two families, just like Romeo and Juliet, and the part where the children fell for each other too. Mix with martial arts and some twist in the end, I must say this movie has it all.

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I like how Master Li and Aaliyah potray their characters. Aaliyah potrays a witty and easy-going woman while Master Li potrays a Chinese man who good in martial arts, funny and surprisingly is good in flirting haha….

If only Aaliyah still lived at the time, Master Li and the director already planned a sequel. Too bad, it’s never going to happen.

Watching this movie is really a nostalgic moment for me, for it was released 14 years ago…also, the first uncommon couple on screen :)

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Her Legend, perjalanan seorang desainer tas menggapai impian

Her-Legend-Poster3 Again, gara-gara kepoin Kim Jeong Hoon jadinya nonton juga dorama ini. Dan nonton yang ini justru sebelum nonton Dummy Mommy padahal lebih duluan dorama yang itu jadinya rada timpang melihat karakter Oppa yang sangat sweet dibanding disini. Well, not that he isn’t sweet, tapi memang karakternya berbeda sekali dari yang bikin saya kesengsem di Dummy Mommy. Drama ini bercerita tentang dua wanita yang bertukar nasib…yah, mirip-mirip Putri Huan Zhu gitu,  dan seorang pria kaya raya yang akhirnya belajar untuk menghargai hidup. Eun Jong Soo yang berjuang agar mimpinya menjadi desainer tas terkenal, Do Jin Hoo sang pewaris perusahaan tas Shin Hwa (di doramanya namanya itu) dan Eun Kyung Hee yang menggunakan segala cara agar impiannya bisa tercapai.

Do Jin Hoo

Do Jin Hoo

Bisa dibilang drama ini memang mainstream. At the beginning, you endure a lot of pain, and then you meet the guy, and you have feelings, and then the drama begins haha…. Dorama ini walaupun mainstream, tapi alurnya termasuk apik. Menceritakan Jung Soo sejak kecil, remaja dan berjumpa dengan Jin Hoo, kemudian dewasa, jadi part-timer di Shin Hwa (lucky woman diperhatikan dua atasannya, Jin Hoo dan Min Ki), sampai akhirnya bisa launching tas desainnya sendiri. Di perjalanan itu banyak aral melintang, tapi Jung Soo selalu optimis dan akhirnya bisa mencapai impiannya…dengan support Jin Hoo (dan Min Ki) tentunya. Memberi pesan moral just go after what we like to do and give our best shot. Dorama ini ditonton untuk senang-senang saja dan banyak adegan yang chemistrynya menurut saya ‘missed’; terutama di bagian ketika kakek Jin Hoo meninggal, suasana sedihnya gak dapet sama sekali. Agak terselamatkan dengan scene ketika Jin Hoo seperti menyadari keberadaan Jung Soo yang bersembunyi di sekitar rumahnya walaupun ia tidak bisa melihat Jung Soo. Menyiratkan bahwa dua sejoli ini walaupun sedang dirundung masalah dalam hubungannya, tapi punya ikatan batin. I like it!

But hey, even so, I get to see Jeong Hoon in suit and tie almost in every episodes, so I don’t mind hehe…Tapi, walaupun untuk senang-senang, yang namanya dorama pasti ada adegan yang bikin bejek-bejek guling/bantal. Well, scenes antara Jung Soo dan Kyung Hee sudah bisa memberikan itu semua. That’s why I said beda banget sama Dummy Mommy yang bener-bener menguras emosi. Her Legend bisa ditebak jalan ceritanya dan endingnya pun kurang memuaskan walopun kita tahu Jung Soo akhirnya memilih siapa. Banyak adegan dan dialog yang kocak antara Jung Soo dan Jin Hoo. I think this is the way to show us they are really a match ;) Saya sendiri banyak dibuat tertawa dengan kekonyolan Jin Hoo yang unpredictable, terutama di saat dia mulai memberikan perhatian kepada Jung Soo. Seiring cerita berjalan, diketahui juga kalau Jin Hoo sudah menaruh hati kepada Jung Soo sejak dia masih remaja, di saat pertama kali berjumpa dengannya. Scenes dramanya juga lumayan kuat walaupun tidak sekuat Dummy Mommy. At least, we can feel the brief relationship turbulence between Jin Hoo and Jung Soo. 

Eun Jong Soo and Do Jin Hoo

Eun Jong Soo and Do Jin Hoo

hl2 hl Again, berbanding terbalik di Dummy Mommy yang karakternya Oppa is totally a man who falls in love with his first love and being a doctor, disini dibagi antara jadi CEO dan laki-laki yang mencintai seorang wanita. Tapi, suka juga sih dengan penampilan Oppa Jeong Hoon. Seperti di Dummy Mommy, disini juga terlihat Jeong Hoon yang semakin dewasa. Apalagi dorama ini keluar sesudah perannya di Dummy Mommy. Totally upgrade dari sejak penampilannya di Princess Hours dan beberapa doramanya sebelum wajib militer. Itung-itung nungguin serial barunya lagi, ‘City of The Sun’, yang akan segera produksi :) And one more thing..I’m sure this pic might change your mind to at least take a peek this dorama :D 1403617739-kiss-o

Dummy Mommy, dorama yang menyentuh tentang hubungan ibu dan anak

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Dari judulnya memang dorama ini membuat penasaran. Asal mula saya mau melihatnya jujur saja karena ada Kim Jeong Hoon disitu (well, everyone has a motive hehe…). Sekian lama tidak mendengar lagi kabarnya setelah Princess Hours dan wajib militer, ternyata dia sudah punya 3 dorama yang saya belum liat. Salah satunya Dummy Mommy ini.

Mengisahkan tentang Kim Yeong Jo, seorang wanita yang memiliki ibu yang IQnya dibawah rata-rata. Tidak ingin dibully teman-temannya di masa sekolah, dia memutuskan untuk memanggil ibunya itu dengan sebutan ‘eonni’ (kakak perempuan). Kebiasaannya ini yang akhirnya berimbas pada kehidupannya setelah menikah dan memiliki anak. Seiring konflik berjalan, akhirnya diketahui Yeong Jo ternyata mengidap kelainan jantung. Di tengah badai itu, datanglah a knight in shining armor dalam wujud seorang dokter bedah syaraf teman kuliah Yeong Jo yang masih menyimpan cinta kepadanya, Lee Je Ha.

Je ha

Overall drama ini memang lain dari yang lain. Entah mungkin karena dari buku atau para pemainnya yang memang brilliant. Suami Yeong Jo digambarkan sebagai laki-laki yang memang tidak tahu diri dan bisa membuat kita sebal melihatnya. Berbanding terbalik dengan Je Ha yang memang sepertinya jadi kesempatan kedua Yeong Jo untuk merasakan dicintai setulusnya. Saya suka sekali dengan karakter Je Ha disini. Sweet, caring, mau menerima Yeong Jo apa adanya dan memang terlihat dia tahu segalanya tentang Yeong Jo. Seperti banyak dorama lainnya, dari pihak Je Ha sendiri muncul Han Su In yang merupakan mantan tunangannya. Tapi, yang saya suka adalah Han Su In tidak terlalu banyak mempengaruhi hubungan Je Ha dan Yeong Jo. Je Ha sendiri punya pendirian memilih Yeong Jo dan menyelesaikan ‘masalah’nya dengan mantan tunangannya itu dengan caranya sendiri.

yeong jo and je ha

Banyak adegan menyentuh pastinya dan adegan yang cukup manis. Diantara 3 dorama setelah selesai wajib militernya, menurut saya ini adalah penampilan terbaik Kim Jeong Hoon. Disamping tampak lebih dewasa, posturnya juga lebih tegap (you know what I mean :D). Yang tahan nangis berkali-kali dan merasa ingin melihat adegan romance yg cukup menyentuh dorama ini bisa jadi pilihan. Yang pasti banyak kesan yang akan didapat setelah nonton dorama ini. Pesan moral tentang seorang ibu juga sangat mengena dan tentu saja tentang cinta. Seperti kata Lee Je Ha kepada Kim Yeong Jo:

“Kim Yeong Jo, are you going continue saying those nonsense? What are you supposed to do when you are weak? Since I was 20 years old, these past 13 years, I have lived just for you. If you leave just like that, are you just going to leave me with those 13 years of memories and keep living? And after that, use the next 13 years to try and forget you? If you do that, then I will never be able to forget you. To keep waiting for the day I can be reunited with you, do you want me to live like that?” (English translation- copyright by owner).

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A Little Bit Love for To Love Again

Referring to my last post, I mentioned about some people who love my ebook and most of them hate it. Looks like it’s true. On a website where I put my ebook for free (well, not only Kindle which can give free ebook), one of the downloaders gave my ebook 4 star. It’s both surprising and also lifted my mood a little bit. After the hatred reviews I received, some people love it. Perhaps To Love Again indeed not for all readers. Picky and strict readers won’t like or even love my ebook, but the others who look for entertainment probably love it.
There’s always silver linings in every dark clouds. I wonder if my next ebook (the manuscript submitted to ABNA) will get the same treatment.

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Since it’s already reached 1k+ downloads, I plan to ask the website to delete my ebook tomorrow. I think it’s enough for the exposure. If you have ebook and want to make it free, but don’t like the Amazon-exclusive thing, free-ebooks.net could be your choice.

I’m Offering My Service for Self-Published Authors

I’m Offering My Service for Self-Published Authors

As a self-published author, I know how hard it is to convert your word manuscript for passing some basic assesments to convert to epub or mobi, or even the simple pdf with bookmark. Well, I can give you my service with only $5. I just wanna help my fellow self-published authors. Click the link-title and let’s get down to business.

‘To Love Again’, My First Ebook

Writing is my other hobbies besides reading and watching movies. I don’t know how many stories I’ve created since I fell in love with writing, from the cheesy one to the one I really write it with all my heart. To make my story to become a book is another thing all together.

In 2009, I started to write and post it publicly and I must say I gained a lot of audiences. In 2012 is where a publisher (or at least that’s what they called themselves), contacted me and wanted to publish one of my stories. I feel so happy, of course, but then everything just went spiral down. I haven’t heard from them for more than six months and that was when I cut our agreement. And several weeks ago was my turn point when accidentally I can contact one of local publishers. They agreed to publish my story and again, I’m happy. But, another problem came up. The shipping fee is too expensive. My readers from overseas can’t afford to buy my book because of the fees. And for the second time I plummeted.

One of the readers asked me if I made an ebook version for my book and that was when I started to look how to publish ebook ON MY OWN. Several days struggling and sometimes feeling desperate, I finally knew how to make an ebook.

And now, I present to you my first ebook ‘To Love Again.’

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Synopsis:

Being a divorcee with a two-year old son who moves from Seattle to Chicago to run a flower shop, is not an easy thing for Lily Anderson, especially when Shane, her ex-husband, left a scar on her heart. After seven years of being alone, Aidan Campbell comes into her shop and rocks her routine. Aidan is very different from Shane; he is charming, he loves Lily’s son, Nathan, and most importantly he is handsome. Despite her scarred heart, Lily knows Aidan may be the reason for her to love again.

This ebook is available on Kindle, Lulu, iBookstore and Payhip. You can find the links to buy here  with only $4,99. After this one, I have another story ready to get publish…and yes, it’s also in ebook.

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