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BACKSTAGE WITH MARIAN
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Story outtakes, celebrity confessions and the latest pop culture news in the Bay Area

About Me
I'm a pop music writer for the San Jose Mercury News. I cover pop, hip hop, punk, rock, dance, and ethnic - well, basically everything you can dance to.

My Articles

MY PICKS
CD: Common:"Be"
Music Video Eminem: featuring Triumph the Insult Comic Dog
Trailer: The Year of the Yao
TV: Harvey Birdman
Videogame: Fable

MERCURY REVIEWS
Art: The New Art of India
Bar: Boswell's
Book: Jill Scott
Club: Forum
DVD: Kinsey
Movie: Cinderella Man
Music: Sleater-Kinney
Restaurant: The Melting Pot
Theater:The Mambo Kings

SICK SITE
Earth and Sun Kiss

MY PLAYLIST

1. R. Kelly: "Trapped In The Closet"

2. Weezer: "Hold Me"

3. Bright Eyes: "First Day Of My Life"

4. Ringside: "Miss You" and "Criminal"

ENTERTAINMENT RESOURCES
  • Billboard Charts
  • Encyclopedia
  • iticket.com
  • Moviefone
  • Music Dictionary
  • MTV
  • Pollstar
  • tickets.com
  • Urban Dictionary
  • ticketmaster.com
  • VH1

  • BLOGROLL
  • Adisa Banjoko : San Jose's Bishop of Hip hop
  • Angry Asian Man: Asian American media watchdog
  • Berkeley Blogs
  • Black Electorate : Inside Cultural, Economic and Political industries
  • BLT's Parry
  • Crayone: the trials and tribulations of a graffiti artist
  • Dan Gillmor : Grassroots Journalism
  • Dat Phan : Last Comic Standing season 1 winner
  • East Bay Livin' : Ellen Lee's EB hunt
  • Davey D: Hip Hop Daily News
  • Fortt: black american gen x journalist musician multicultural christian technophile
  • Jeff Chang: fellow Asian hip hop writer
  • Joe Grimm : Ask the Recruiter
  • In Passing : Random Street Conversations
  • Pacific Standard: Bay Area hip-hop
  • Pop And Politics
  • Pop Licks : O-Dub, a cultural critic
  • Scape: San Jose graffiti artist
  • SiliconBeat: News about tech money and innovation
  • Monday, May 16, 2005

    Unleashed, Clone Wars and Samurai Champloo

    I filled this weekend will a LOT of fighting.

    On the big screen that is.

    First up, I watched "Unleashed." I really enjoyed this film, and not only because I'm a big fan of Jet Li's - I mean, I hated his movie, "The One." That was a big waste of his talent.

    What was funny about "Unleashed" is that his character, a human attack dog, gave him the flexibility of not having to learn a lot of English - just like Arnold in "The Terminator" and the deficient language chip.

    Second up, I watched a "Clone Wars" marathon. The animation version of Star Wars (this saga falls in between the second and third episode) is very impressive, so much so this version is what the first three episodes should have been. The characters are much more powerful. You see the hero quality in both Obi Wan and Anakin. And the clones have amazing weapons. Finally, the fight scenes are jaw dropping - one robotic Sith duels with three light sabers.

    It's directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, the man behind "Samurai Jack" and "The Powerpuff Girls." The film also includes the same stylized animation - the thicker lines of Japanese anime merged with animation. For you Sith lovers catching Star Wars, be sure to catch this animation - it's what "The Animatrix" did for "The Matrix" series, it answers a lot of loopholes.

    Third up, I watched Cartoon Network's newest series, "Samurai Champloo." It combines two of my favs: martial arts and hip-hop. This series is directed by Shinichiro Watanabe, the same guy who directed the anime "Cowboy Bebop."

    Like "Cowboy Bebop," the characters in "Samurai Champloo" are renegade warriors. Along with aiming to please their own greed, they act like Robin Hood, helping out the needy.

    All three tapped into the fighter spirit in me. I took judo in college, but besides that - I have an grand-uncle who was a kungfu expert. He could do much of the Crouching Tiger-like stunts, and was one with the chi.

    And on the other side of the family, I have another grand-uncle who was such a judo expert, his sparring partners tracked him down after class, and ganged up on him - killing him.

    The stuff of movies.

    2 Comments:

    Blogger Bob said...

    How did you get your hands on the Clone Wars shows?

    11:21 AM  
    Blogger Marian said...

    I Tivo-d it.

    1:20 PM  

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    Photo of Marian Liu by Stephanie Grace Lim, Mercury News
    You can e-mail me at mliu@mercurynews.com.