How Time Flies…

Last Summer (2016) I took a look at some stats breaking down my posts here for Derailments of Thought’s one year anniversary.

I’m a few months late for a second anniversary post, but seeing as I recently cleared a total of 400 posts (which is frankly mind boggling) this seemed like a good time to look back again on what I’ve been writing about.

Last time’s stats, as of 213 posts:

~37% reading reviews (22% of total manga, 12% comics and 3% prose)
~26% wrestling related
~14% gaming related (10% boardgames, 4% videogames)
~12% mystery box reviews
~8% movie reviews
~3% other

 

Current stats, as of 403 posts:

~36% reading reviews (18% of total manga, 9% comics and 8% prose)
~28% wrestling related
~19% gaming related (13% boardgames, 6% video games)
~9% movie reviews
~6% mystery box reviews
~2% other

 

Pretty consistent overall. The mystery box percentage halved overall because I stopped getting/reviewing them right around that one year mark. Wrestling percentage is pretty stable at about a quarter of my posts, but like I mentioned last year those tend to be significantly longer than some other categories so I’d guess it comprises about half of my actual writing. Games of all types and prose reviews have been a bit more of my focus recently than comics and manga, so those ratios are shifting a bit. I expect the gaming percentage to continue to grow as I have tons of games I want to share thoughts on, although those reviews are also time intensive so it’ll be an ongoing process.

Nothing unexpected here, but it’s still interesting to take a quick look at. The final ~2% catch all category is not to be overlooked, as some of my most interesting experiences end up outside of my comfort zones and can be found there. 

Still going strong, and still really enjoying writing up thoughts and assorted ramblings in this space. Please stick around for much more to come. 🙂

NYAFF 2017: Mrs. K Review

Last year at New York Asian Film Festival I went to a screening of the wonderful anime film Miss Hokusai. This year’s NYAFF is winding down and yesterday I saw the Malaysian action movie Mrs. K.

 

Note: I general try to keep reviews relatively spoiler free, but I will be addressing some general trends and developments in the plot here.

 

mrsk

 

Although admittedly previously unfamiliar with star actress Kara Wai, it’s easy to immediately recognize the experience and skill she possesses once she takes the screen. Her portrayal of the titular housewife with a secret past is nicely nuanced and shines in the early portions of the film when she’s confidently displaying a dangerous edge lurking below cheerful, comedic moments. If this is indeed her last action role, in a lot of ways is an appropriate one to go out on. Particularly affecting are the downright BRUTAL fight scenes, loaded with hatred and really feeling like the characters are trying to kill each other instead of the dance like choreography sometimes used that would have been horribly out of place in this film. They’re uncomfortable to watch in parts, but perfect for the story and extremely well done.

The acting is excellent in general, with the supporting cast matching Wai’s level in their portrayals of both friend and foe. I’d like to give special mention to young actress Siow Li Xuan, portraying Mrs. K’s daughter in a role that required a delicate balance of determination and fear. She’s does an incredible job and seems like a big star in the making. Her perilous situations and the accompanying danger is one part of the tense atmosphere the movie generates and maintains with intimidating villains, slow building dread, and harsh confrontations.

The plot is where I think the previously mentioned excellent elements are let down. Specifically in the lead role. The idea seemed to be a return to her old ways for the titular Mrs. K when her past comes back to haunt her. Several descriptions of the movie talk about “a woman who will do anything to protect her husband and daughter.” The problem is she’s entirely reactive in her efforts to deal with the threat (which she initially underestimates, somewhat causing the problem in the first place), and largely ineffective in what she does attempt. In a lot of ways she’s as much a victim as her kidnapped daughter. Yes, she puts up a hell of a fight at every turn and shows great devotion to trying to set things right, but her daughter is a hundred times more proactive in trying to get away than her mother is in trying to rescue her and the biggest hero moments of the film are given to Mrs. K’s husband (a gynecologist who’s only previous familiarity with guns or violence came from being taught by his wife).

I’ll stop there to avoid even more explicit plot details, but the story progression seemed off overall and changes to either a few of the resolutions or more explanation of why characters acted as they did would have done wonders. There were also few instances of the antagonists’ actions not making a whole lot of sense, seemingly for the sake of having a cool scene, and the pacing felt uneven to the point of distraction in places.

It’s a bit of a shame, as again things like the daughter’s personal arc, the visceral, brutal fights, and imaginative, striking visuals are excellent. And Wai’s performance as Mrs. K’s is fantastic. I just can’t help but think of how much better this could have been with some tweaks to give her more to work with and make the main character’s story and struggle as strong as the actress playing her.

 

A Year and Counting…

It’s the one year anniversary for Derailments of Thought. Time flies.

I had been writing book and game reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and BGG for a few years, but had in the back of my mind expanding to a space where I wasn’t as constrained by format or content. I’ve really enjoyed writing here, from my standard reading reviews to more varied posts about art, food, wrestling, etc. I posted 213 posts during the year (most of which were new writing), which boggles my mind.

Some pretty predictable breakdown stats:

~37% reading reviews (22% of total manga, 12% comics and 3% prose)
~26% wrestling related
~14% gaming related (10% boardgames, 4% videogames)
~12% mystery box reviews
~8% movie reviews
~3% other

I actually feel like the wrestling percentage should be higher, but that’s probably because those reviews tend to be much longer than the reading reviews so they compromise a larger portion of my actual writing than they do post count.

It’s been interesting / fun to write this year’s Japan Cuts reviews, as my reviews for last year’s festival were pretty much the first things I wrote for this.

Anyway, here’s to many more random ramblings from me to come. 🙂

I LOVE ME

So I stumbled upon an interesting link while perusing Twitter that led to a blog entry with the same title that I gave this one. The challenge at the end (as well as the blog itself) was both fascinating and terrifying, and this is perhaps the most difficult thing I’ve ever written.

I LOVE my determination to turn setbacks into opportunities.

I LOVE that I know the value of enjoying games and hobbies.

I LOVE my brain and the way it sees the world.

I LOVE my dry, twisted sense of humor.

I LOVE my love and appreciation for art.

I LOVE being a good friend.

I LOVE being able to face my problems with a blend of logic and empathy.

I LOVE being good with children, and my ability to make them smile.

I LOVE the peace I feel from music.

I LOVE that I’m taking steps towards lifelong dreams and goals.

I LOVE that I’m there when my loved ones need me.

I LOVE ME.

I challenge everyone who reads this to write down how they love themselves today.

Now I’m going to hit publish before I succumb to my self-conscious impulse to delete this whole entry. Great exercise in acknowledging the positive though, which we should all do more often.