Wednesday, January 28, 2009

How Much I Support Our President

by R.W.J.

America wanted change and we got it. Apparently the first thing that changed is that dissent is no longer the highest form of patriotism. Rush Limbaugh found that out when he was accused of wanting the President to fail. How dare he not support our President! According to Jon Stewart what Rush said was almost treasonous. (How classic was that one. You can bash Bush but I can't bash Obama?.)

As someone who did not vote for President Obama, I don’t want to be lumped in with the haters, so here is a list of examples showing just how much I support our President:

  1. I support him as much as Code Pink supports our troops.
  2. I support him as much as N.O.W. supports Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
  3. I support him as much as the Hollywood community supported Theo Van Gogh.
  4. I support him as much as Nancy Pelosi supports the Catholic Church’s teachings on life.
  5. I support him as much as Al Gore supports cutting down on his personal carbon footprint to save the world.
  6. I support him as much as John Edwards supports The National Enquirer’s right to publish pictures of his girlfriend and baby.
  7. I support him as much as Western gay rights groups support Mehdi Kazemi.
  8. I support him as much as the Castro brothers support Oscar Biscet’s right to free speech.
  9. I support him as much as Ted Kennedy supports renewable wind energy off the coast of his summer mansion.
  10. I support him as much as Bill Clinton supports Hillary’s ambitions for higher office.
  11. I support him as much as the National Education Association supports the rights of students and parents to get a quality education over the security of a teacher’s job.
  12. I support him just as much as he supports the right of a baby who survives an abortion to not spend its only living moments waiting to die in a storage room.

I hope that clears everything up. Now could someone please tell what time the oceans are going to start receding because I’d really hate to miss that one.

Prof Convicted of Child Molestation to Sue Justice Ministry

The American professor who left Korea rather than be detained further pending a review for deportation after it was discovered he’d been convicted in 1997 for inappropriate behavior with girls under the age of 14 wants to sue the Justice Ministry for the right to return to Korea and get his job back:

An American professor, who was forced to leave South Korea due to a past child molestation conviction in the United States, plans to file a lawsuit against the Korean immigration authorities.

“I will fight against the Immigration Office for my right to return to Korea and take my job back. My university still wants to work with me,” Mark McDowell, an English professor at Hannam University in Daejeon, told The Korea Times in a telephone interview, Tuesday.

Korean authorities recently discovered that McDowell had been convicted of child molestation in 1996 when he was a middle school teacher in the United States. He was jailed for six months in 1997 for inappropriate behavior with girls under the age of 14.

McDowell has taught English in Korea as a teacher and professor for the last 10 years.

He claims his lawyer did not file a formal objection to deportation on time, and he wants to know how horrible Immigration has treated him:

The professor said he was unfairly treated by the Immigration Office. “My convictions have been legally expunged, meaning I no longer even have to say I was convicted of anything at all. I have had no trouble in Korea for nearly 10 years. I appeal to Korean people for their support in fighting this evil thing that the Immigration Office has done to me,” McDowell said in an email.

“I want the people to know the truth, and the horrible way the office has treated me. The office threatened to lock me up for the duration of my `formal objection to deportation,”’ he said. “That’s is completely illegal because it can only send people to its detention center if they have good reason to believe that person will flee.”

I’m not sure if that last part is true, but I wouldn’t count on a a lot of Korean support… expunged record or not. For that matter, don’t count on a lot of expat support, either.

Anyway, legal struggles require money, and he’s taking donations:

McDowell is now staying in another Asian nation. He is seeking donations to file a “Writ of Habeas Corpus” to challenge the original convictions by hiring an attorney in the United States, which costs over $10,000.

How to send money was not included in the article.

When this story first broke, “The Guy” — who I’m pretty certain is the actual guy — recounted in the comment section his version of what happened to earn his conviction on three counts of “Child Annoyance and Molestation.” Read it and draw your own judgments.

This is my 4th end of year best films list and once again I am breaking the films down into 5 categories (The best films of the year, the worst films of the year, the surprises of the year, the disappointments of the year and the last is what I like to call my WTF!!!) (WTF=why in the Frack was this film made)

2008 was an interesting year in film. We saw Brad Pitt grow into a baby. We saw A Slumdog become a millionaire. We saw a Panda learn Kung Fu. We also tried to dance on a Greek island with ABBA songs and we all said goodbye to a man who asked us, "Why so Serious?" As always, I saw films from all over the world and there will be a few non-English films in this list.

Some of these films have not been released yet in Korea and I have included their release date, if known, into the preview of each film. Please let me know if you agree or disagree with the list.

The Top 21 films of the Year 2008 are as follows...

21. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

This film was one of the rare occasions that I had read the book first before I saw the film. I remembered reading a few years ago about this book and thought that it would make a good movie. The films idea is easy enough. What if you are a German lad during the Nazi regime and your father is made the commander of Auschwitz? But when you arrive at the camp, you sees the nearby concentration camp as a ‘farm’ and wonders why its inhabitants are always wearing striped pajamas. Eventually the lad becomes friends with a Jewish boy his own age who lives on the other side of the fence. A German Nazi boy and a Jewish child become best friends. The films shows the logic and the insanity of their friendship. The films' haunting ending is what I will remember most about this film. A small good film became a great one with this ending.

20. The Tour. My Review

A brief synopsis about this film that it's set during the 1990’s Civil War in Serbia and that the film was a joint Serbian/Bosnia And Herzegovinan film. This alone was the deciding factor of me wanting to see this film and I am glad that I did. I saw a very different film that the one that I was expecting. What I really liked about this film was that it showed all sides in this civil war and what all sides really thought of these famous actors. It was my favorite film at the PIFF this year.

19. My Blueberry Nights

This was directors Kar Wai Wong first English film, If the name sounds familiar, he was also the director of, "2046". What was nice about this film is that you start and end this film with New York and you get to take an adventure with a young lady as she tries to find her way in the world. The supporting cast here is excellent and they are not wasted here in their small roles that they play to help the heroine in this film. I also liked the sub-plot about the keys and why they become very important throughout this film. The ending of this film left this viewers wanting to see more or Kar's future work.

18. The Crossing

This film was South Korea's choice for consideration as Best Foreign Film nominee at the 2009 Academy Awards. The film opens up and you see a family in North Korea just trying to get by. You see a sick mother a worried father and a boy and his dog. They are trying to work and stay alive in North Korea. Something is very wrong with the mother and her health is slowly getting worse. It get to the point where the father can not get food nor medicine to feed that family and they have to resort to eating the family dog. You are also introduced to a black market person who likes the father and his son. They have a daughter and they are about the same age, she shows him a simple pencil sharpener and he looks with amazement. The men drink bootlegged Jack Daniels and they talk about life. Then one day the black market person’s family just simply vanishes and the father decides that he has to try and get a job, in China, to save his wife and to get a soccer ball for his son. The rest of the story tells about how he tries, with a lot of outside help, to reunite the family in South Korea. When i saw this film in Korea, the ending had the audience in tears. It was sad to see how this film ended.

17. Bolt

I had zero expectations for this film. It stars John Travolta and the latest Disney Teen queen Miley Cyrus. The plot was about a super dog protecting a girl. I was thinking, "Great, another super hero/dog film. Who really wants to see this?" As I started to watch the film, the more I started to like the film and by the end of the film, I realized that Disney had finally recaptured their once, lost magic. What the audience really seemed to like about this film was the role of Rhino (Voiced by Mark Walton), he is a hamster who has always wanted to work with his super hero fanboy crush, Bolt. The scene where Bolt warns Rhino about joining his quest had me laughing at all of the humor and heart that was shown at this scene. The film sticks with what works for Disney, A good hero, loyal friends, great music and one heck of an ending.

16. Revolutionary Road

This was the first time that Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio had worked together since "Titanic" and if this is the result, then lets have more of these 2 great actors working together. The idea of this film is so simple, The film is set in 1955 where Kate and Leo live in a place where they see themselves as very different from their neighbors in the Revolutionary Hill Estates. They think that they are better than everybody else but when they discover that the are becoming like everyone else, this is where the film goes into the next level. What I really liked about this film was the small role of Michael Shannon, who plays the institutionalized son of local Realtor, is able to see what's simmering beneath their surface. The film ending was not what I was expecting but it made this small film into a great one that opens in Korea on 19 February 2009.

15. Yes Man. To be very honest here, I am not a huge fan of Jim Carrey. I have really hated the majority of his films and the only reason I went to see this film the first time was because I had misread the online movie schedule. I had no idea that I really would like this film a lot after I saw it. I really have no idea why I like this film, Its a simple love story with some cute jokes (When he speaks Korean in this film, the Korean audience simply loved it), But to me the films works because is is just that, a well done and told simple love story about a man who must say "yes" to everything in life. You get to enjoy this man ride and at the end maybe it is OK just to say say yes and see what happens.

14. Changeling: I knew as soon as I heard that Clint Eastwood was going to direct a film with Angelina Jolie in it, that i would have to go see the film. The film tells the story of The Wineville Chicken Coop Murders and the aftermath of of the victims, Walter Collins and his mother Christine Collins (Jolie). What I liked about this film was the time that Eastwood takes on each of the main players and shows just how badly mistreated Ms. Collins was in this case and in real life when she said that the boy that the LAPD returned to her was not her son. The ending might make a few people scratching their heads but, as in real life, sometime there is not a real ending in life, just too many questions that will never be answered. A well directed film by Clint that deserves a rental when it arrives on DVD in a few months.

13. Hamlet 2 I had first heard of this film because of a great review that came out of this film from the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. I watched the preview, and I must admit that it looked very different. I eagerly awaited a copy of the film. When I was able to watch the film, i could not believe how much I actually would laugh at this film. As the New York Times noted of the film, "It made sure to take shots at Christians, gays, Latinos, Jews, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Elisabeth Shue, one of its lead actresses." I really should have hated the film but it was just too funny and too good not to be included on this list. Please watch the dance number with the "Rock Me Sexy Jesus" song, It just sounded too weird but it works and should be seen when you can get a copy of this film.

12. Bottle Shock

This is A small film that tells the story of the events back in 1976 that led up to a test in which (Not so famous back then Napa Valley) California wine beat French wine in a blind taste test. This event has now historically been called the Judgment of Paris. Once again I had head a little about this film when it hit the 2008 Sundance festival but I had forgotten all about it until on night in Korea, when friends of mine all had misread the time schedule and this was the only English film playing. I recalled the film and said, "How about this one?" We, as a group, went and I could not believe that we were seeing this great of a film all because of Julian's mistake. It is a small film that tells you exactly how Napa Valley became the legendary wine making Valley that it is today. please watch for the speech at the end about wine. It's so true, if you look at how many different countries now make wine. Chris Pine wa also in this film and if that name rings a bell, he will be playing James T. Kirk in the new Star Trek movie.

11. Seven Pounds

To be honest I have never been that much of a Will Smith fan. I have either liked his films (Hitch, Id4) or really hated (Wild Wild West, Hancock and I Am Legend). When I was able to get a screener copy of this film, before it even opened in the USA, I knew that I had to watch it. The first minute of the film when Smith is calling 911 to report his own death in a minute, I knew that this film was not going to be normal. The film needs to be seen spoiler free and all i will say about it is when he calls his best friend (Barry Pepper) to set his final idea into motion, it just tears your guard down and you can not top to watch what comes next. Please see this film when it opens in Korea on 5 Feb 2009.

10. Kung Fu Panda- When this film was first in production, I could not believe that "Dreamworks" was actually going to make Jack Black into a cartoon Kung Fu fighting panda. I was sure that this film was going to be a huge disaster. I had also read that China was going to boycott the film and not allow it to be shown in China due to "Cultural Sensitivity." But something happened, When a few of the Chinese critics started to write their reviews, a common thread was, "Why did the Americans make the quint essential Chinese film and how come we, in China, can not a film like this?" The film was a huge hit in Korea with over 4.6 million tickets sold. I have recently received this film on Blu-Ray DVD and it really shows the detail that was put into this film.

9. Mamma Mia- I had never seen this play before but I knew all of the songs of Abba and I saw that Meryl Streep was going to be in the film. I decided that I would see the film when it arrived in Korea. I could not believe what I was watching. I saw the audience really get into the film and I saw myself singing along with the movie. The film has a great plot, great music and the audience really seemed to want more of the film when it ended. The film was a huge hit in Korea with over 4.6 million tickets sold. Please get the Blu-Ray of this movie, with the blue ocean and all of the special features are really highlighted in the Blu-Ray release.

8. Slumdog Millionaire- At the time of this writing this film has received 10 Academy Awards nominations, including the nominations for Best Motion Picture of the Year and Best Achievement in Directing for Danny Boyle. I really had no idea about this film until I sat down and watched the film. It is basically a poor man going on India's version of "Who wants to be a Millionaire" and with every question, you are shown how, this poor boy, knew the exact answer. I saw the first the first time and rewatched the film a few days later, just to make sure that I had really seen all of what this film has to offer. A great love story and what a journey this man takes to his final answer to see if he can become a millionaire.

7. The Wrestler- I really liked this film but for me it was a very had film to watch. For those who know me, I grew up in the 1980's around Dallas Texas. at that time it was a huge Professional Wrestling family called the Von Erich's. I saw the Father, Fritz and his 5 sons (Kevin, Kerry, David, Mike, and Chris) wrestle many times in Dallas Texas. I also saw 3 of the sons (Kerry, Chris and Mike) kill themselves and I saw David's death in Japan by mysterious circumstances and I saw the father die of Brain Cancer in 1997. Of the family of wrestlers only Kevin is still alive. While I was watching this film, I kept thinking about this wrestling hero and I saw in him all of the Von Erich's that I has seen die before my eyes. It was a sad film for me to watch but one that I think the movie fan will appreciate.

6. The Chaser- When this Korean film came out, there was just something very different about it. When I saw the trailer for it at CGV, the audience really was not sure how to react to what they had just seen. I knew that I had to see this film. After the film was over, I was watching the audience come out of this film. The looks on their faces convinced me that I had just seen a Classic Korean film. I was not to happy with the very end of this film but the rest of the film will take you on a journey that you will not want to travel on but you want to see how it all turns out.

5. Waltz With Bashir- At the time of this writing, this film was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year (Israel). this film reminded me a lot of last year "Persepolis" but instead of it being told though a woman, this film is told by an Israeli Army veteran who can not remember anything about his time during the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon. The film shows briefly the aftermath of Sabra and Shatila, and how it haunted the narrator of the film. The military veteran will catch a lot of the little jokes that were shown thought this film. The use of 80's music through the inanity of the war is what a few people have stated that turned this small film into a great one. The film is in Hebrew so please try and find English Subtitle for it, if you decide to watch this film.

4. Dear Zachary- I usually do not watch Documentaries that much. The only reason I decided to see this film was because of the serious praise a few writers of the website, "" put upon it. After I watched it, I soon realized that the few words that any critic could write about this film would not truly do it any justice. The idea of this film is very simple, a friend of yours has been murdered and the prime suspect is a girl who is now pregnant with the child of the man that she murdered and a friend of your fathers decides to make a film for you (the unborn baby), so you will know who your father was. The film was made for 1 year old Zachary. The film also deals with his parents trying to obtain custody of their grandson from the lady that they believed killed their only child. The film is a classical example of what happens when a government laws do not protected the innocent but protect the guilty. I knew this film had a huge twist but I was not ready for what happened at the end of this film. It reminded me of something that I was taught in College, "The truth will be stranger than any fiction that you could ever create" Please watch this film without spoilers.

#3. Let the Right One In. I had not heard of this film until "Harry" from "" named this film as his #1 film of the year from 2008. I read his logic behind his selection and I knew that i had to go and find me a copy of this film so I could make my own judgment about it. I could not believe that this film got so little publicity and the teen love vampire flick "Twilight" was given all of the praise. This film is what "Twilight" should have been. This film is in Swedish so please be sure to find English subtitles for it. The film is about a 13 year old girl who moves into a 1980's apartment in Sweden and she befriends a boy who is bullied at school. The secret is that the 13 year old girl is a vampire and that a few people have mysteriously disappeared in the area. You start to see the boy fall in love with this girl and when he finally figures it out. It is what made this small film into a great one. The film will have an American Remake release in 2010 or 2011 but please try and see this small film, you will really like it.

#2 Grand Torino. Like I have stated in an earlier review, if this is the masters coda, then he has gone out in a great film. I was very disappointed that Clint was not nominated for an Oscar for acting nor directing for this film and I feel that this is the biggest error of this so called great award for the 2008 season. In this film, what you have is a man who is at the end of the road. He has lost his wife and he does not understand his children nor his grandchildren. He has neighbors that he hates but takes pity on a bullied boy and the film then begins. It was nice to see the teacher not want to be a teacher and the students unknowingly that he was being trained. to see the boy turn into a man is what helps this go into a great film. The end of this film is what made me finally understand why Clint's character in this film had to end it the way he did. Please see this film when it arrives in Korea, in late February 2009.

My #1 film of the year should come as no surprise to the 4 people who went with me on a very early KTX ride to Seoul to see this film at the Yongsan IMAX.

#1 The Dark Knight. When I was a child, I used to collect comic books and I always had one favorite hero, The Batman. I had no idea why I liked him. Maybe it was his dark outfit, maybe it was him trying to save Gotham City from the bad guys. Maybe he was always looking for his vendetta, his revenge. I have no idea to this day why I selected him as my childhood hero but for better or for worse, I love the Batman idea. So who is the man that we call “Batman”? To me he is a Ronin because he has always blamed himself for his parents death as a child. In the new batman film, he looses another one close to him and it looks to make him more of a “Ronin.”So with all of this in my mind, I went to see my childhood hero, “Batman’s” latest film, The Dark Knight . I only had 2 thoughts after I saw this film at the IMAX, “My God, They have finally gotten my hero right.” and, "What a job the late Heath Ledger did as, "The Joker." Alfred states the best description of “The Joker” as he makes this comment. “You crossed the line first, sir. You squeezed them, you hammered them to the point of desperation. And in their desperation they turned to a man they didn’t fully understand.” ……."Because some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.” Mr. Ledger’s acting makes you think that all he wants to do is to watch the world burn while he laughs at the result. Please see this film in the Blu-ray DVD. The battle between good and evil looks great in this format.

Now it is time for the 25 films that I thought were the worst films from 2008.
The 25 worst films of 2008.

25. Baby Mama

I was told that this film was a comedy and that I would laugh at it. I was told that it had an interesting plot and that I would like it. After seeing this film, none of the above was true. I have no idea why Tina Fey made this film but it failed on every level.

24. The Strangers

Well, I still am not sure about this film. It was supposed to be an intelligent look at horror films. It was marketed as being inspired by a "true story". Well after the film was over, I researched the back story and found no such real event and another wasted time of a movie. The only good thing about this film was that it made its money back for Rogue Pictures.

23. Stop Loss

As someone who was hit with a stop loss back in 1990, this film just never sat well with me. I knew that I was the wrong audience for this film and I can not say that I was upset when this film failed at the US Box office. It just seemed like a bad cartoon to me. I never believed that the soldier in this film was real and the film could never recover from it.

22. Step Up 2: The Streets

I really have no idea what is worse: This film or the fact that their will be a #3 to this series. The films message kept stating that the dancing showdown was illegal but they never really said why it was illegal. Once again a teen film with low cost and hip hop movie makes money. Please pass on this film.

21. Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay

As much as I liked "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle" I really hated this film. I guess it was supposed to be funny but I did not laugh once at this film. It seemed like a soulless attempt to make more money off of a one-tricky pony the first film was. This film did not work for me and I can only hope that the proposed #3 in this film series is better than this one.

20. Superhero Movie

The best review of this film is what happened to me at CGV when I was going to see another film. A Korean man had just finished seeing this film and was leaving the CGV. He saw me and had the flier in his hand, pointed to me and I put my thumbs down, He nodded his head in an up and down motion and proceeded to rip up the flier and throw it in the trash. With neither of us saying a word, he said what he thought of this film.

19 Street Kings

I still say that the TV show "The Shield" was better than this film. It was a very bad attempt to copy "The Shield". This film just fails on every level. Instead of a great film we are given a less than stellar TV movie of the week. I still have no idea what Fox was thinking about when they agreed to make this film.

18. Leatherheads

What we have in this film is a rare misfire starring George Clooney. I guess he was trying to make a sports film about the early days of the NFL. I still can not understand why Renée Zellweger was included in this film. I thought that every scene she was in hurt this already fragile film and ultimately cost this film at the US Box office. Its a film that should have never been made in the first place.

17. The Eye

I am slowly getting to the point that I will soon refuse to see anymore films that are American releases of Asian Horror films. I have no idea why the US is doing this but all remakes need to stop if this is going to be the result. At least this film made its $$ back for Lionsgate. Will someone please tell Jessica Alba that she can not act! Her acting was horrible in this film.

16. Drillbit Taylor

To this day, I have no idea why Owen Wilson even agreed to make this film. I have usually laughed at the majority of his films. Sad to say, that was not the case with this film. The one trick pony bodyguard story became stale and old very fast in this film. The film seemed rushed and not really well thought out. A huge error for Owen Wilson.

15. Semi Pro

I have no idea what Will Ferrell was thinking about when he agreed to this film. Was the film supposed to be funny or a look back at the 196-70'S ABA (the American Basketball Association). What ever his idea and goal was for this film, it fails and by the end I was wanting the film to be over so I could try and see a really funny film, because this one sure did not make me laugh.

14. Step Brothers

Lets just say that Will Ferrell and me did not have a good year together. I saw this film a few weeks ago and I was told that this film was funny. I have no idea what my friend found funny about this film but, to me, it wasn't funny nor worth ever seeing again. I thought Will was supposed to be funny.

13. Get Smart

I was so disappointed in this film. I had grown up seeing this show in syndication since I was a child and loved Don Adams take as Agent 86. I had a bad feeling about this film and after it was over they were all confirmed. They had taken what i loved about the TV show and made it into a mess. What is even worse, is that, they are talking about making a part 2 to this film.

12. Australia

As I stated in my review of this film...When is an epic not an epic? When the film is “Australia” For the last few years, I have been following the stories about this film (The Australian “Gone with the Wind”, Russell Crowe pulls out of film, film was ordered a new ending re-shoot by 20th Century Fox, the film tested horribly, and many other rumors.) with all of the above information going on all around this film, my only thought was “Train Wreck” and after seeing the film, my guess was right, this film was horrible. I recently rewatched this film and its still a horrible film.

11. The Divine Weapon, or Singijeon

According to this film Korea invented fireworks and a highly functional MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System. I have no idea why the Korean audience seemed to love this film. It was a huge, costly film that I see no market for this film outside Korea.

10. The Love Guru

The Love Guru received the most nominations at the 29th Golden Raspberry Awards with a total of seven, including Worst Picture, Worst Actor and Actress. Harry Knowles of was utterly disgusted with the film, considering it one of the worst films of at least the past several years, and going so far as to declare it a career-killing movie for Myers. I saw this film and immediately hated it and could not figure why anyone would ever agree to act in this film. Please do not rent nor watch this film.

9. In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale

I am also at the point that if I see that a film is directed by Uwe Boll, I will pass on watching it. This film made barely $10 million worldwide at the box office on a $60 million budget. He is slowly becoming a worse director that Ed Wood. At least Wood's film were accidentally funny, Doll's films lately, have been a huge mess and deserve to never be seen again.

8. Four Christmases

I had been following this film and when the rumors were starting to fly about the stars (Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon) not getting along and the film was having trouble with sets and many other problems. This film got a bad feeling about it. I still can not believe that this film made $118.6 million in the US Box Office. I could never believe that the couple was actually a couple and that anything I was seeing in this film was funny. It just fails as a holiday film.

7. The Spirit

The only thing I can figure that is that maybe Frank Miller was tired of waiting for Sin City 2 to get made, so he tried to make his own. This film fails so badly. I loved this comment about the film by Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times , "There is not a trace of human emotion in it. To call the characters cardboard is to insult a useful packing material" I thought I was getting a great film. All I got was a film that could not even stand up to cardboard.

6. Miracle at St. Anna

I have no idea what Spike Lee was going for in this film. He was criticizing director Clint Eastwood for not depicting black Marines in his own WWII film, Flags of Our Fathers. Citing historical accuracy, Eastwood responded that his film was specifically about the soldiers who raised the flag on Mount Suribachi at Iwo Jima, pointing out that while black soldiers did fight at Iwo Jima, the U.S. military was segregated during WWII, and none of the men who raised the flag were black. So Spike come out with this fictional film when there are so many untold stories about black soldiers bravery from World War II. The film has become another miss in Spike Lee's career.

5. The Hottie And The Nottie

The film was a major box office disaster. In its opening weekend, the film grossed $27,696 in 111 theaters in the United States, averaging $249 per theater. The Houston Chronicle determined that, based on average ticket prices, this represented an average of 28 people seeing the movie per theater on its opening weekend, or an average of 4 per showing. I had heard that film critic Scott Feinberg reported that a colleague muttered, "Shoot me in the f&*&^%^ face", during a Boston press screening of the film. It is that bad of a film and it only got worse the more that you watched this film. What I could not believe that their were 4 more films in 2008 that were worse that this one.

4. The Happening

This was M. Night Shyamalan first "R" rated film and if this is an indication of his next movie, please go back to "PG". Before the film was released, M. Night Shyamalan had this to say to CNN: "No. 1, it's a B movie. This is the best B movie you will ever see, that's it. That's what this is. If there's other things that stick to your ribs as you walk out, that's great, but it's supposed to be, you know, zombies eating flesh." I was ready for a "B" movie, heck I even like some of them but this was not a "B" film. To me it was a very evil, Al Gore bedtime story.

3. 10,000 BC

The film was historically inaccurate. This film has no real start or finish, nor did this film ever have what I would call a script. The plot and ideas in this film are horrible and copies from many other films. So, to say that I really hated this film would be an understatement. The very wooden script will make you cringe when you listen to it.

2. Meet the Spartans

I have no idea what the directors, Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, were aiming for in this film. Most of the film's criticism consisted of not having any actual jokes and instead having an over-reliance on today's pop culture. It just to the point I said "OK, I get it move on." I have no idea why these directors are popular but after this film, please try something, heck, anything else. Believe it or not they actually made another film in 2008 and that film is my #1 Worst film of 2008.

1. Disaster Movie

I told myself that I was not going to watch all of this film but as the film continued, it just got worse and worse. The film was like a huge train wreck that I did not want to see but I could not take my eyes off of it. Once again way too many of today's pop culture and not enough jokes or any idea of a movie is what destroyed the film and the ending of this film actually made me sick by its' sheer stupidity. I could not believe that they actually copied the ending of this pathetic film. This film richly deserves my title of, "The Worst Film of 2008."

Now for the top 25 Surprises of 2008.
The 25 most surprising films for 2008.

25. Cass

A film from the UK that showed what one man did to rise to power and how he became a better man because of it. I had no idea about this film but the preview looked good and I decided to watch this film. A small film that deserve a viewing for all film fans.

24. Death Race

I really should have hated this film. I was a huge fan of the original and saw no reason for a remake. I went to the CGV to watch the film and I liked it. This film is a simple action film and nothing else.If you like action, then watch this film. I think that you will like it.

23. Tropic Thunder

I have never been that much of A Ben Stiller fan, so when I heard that this film was coming out with a small role for Tom Cruise, I groaned and watched the film. I had no idea that the film would actually be this funny. Robert Downey, Jr. as Kirk Lazarus and Tom Cruise as Les Grossman were brilliant ideas of casting. Just seeing Cruise's last part in this film dancing was just too funny.

22. 12 Lotus

What if your favorite song from your childhood would be the exact story of your life? Would you even recognize it as you were singing it? Would you even want to admit it? Or better yet could you ever admit it? A small film that i saw at the PIFF that needs to be seen at least once by the film viewer to see a movie about love and pain.

21. Quantum of Solace

This film, for some strange reason, had a negative vibe to it. I never could figure out why. I am slowly getting used to the idea of Daniel Craig as James Bond and this film really helped to see the younger version of Bond turn into the legend that we have seen with Sean Connery playing Bond. A good film with a great story.

20. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

I have no idea why this film was a hit in some markets and a failure in others. As I stated in my review of this film, What I really liked about the film, was the usage of Jet LI (Emperor Han) and Michelle Yeoh (Zi Juan). Every time that these 2 actors were on the screen I felt that I was looking and the forces of evil and good trying to destroy each other. When you see these 2 together, it really helps the film become a good film. In Korea it sold over 4 million tickets.

19. The Machine Girl or Kataude mashin gâru

The only reason I watched this film is because a friend of mine wanted me to get her some recent films from Japan and this one looked interesting. I had no idea that I would like the campyness of it as much as I did. he movie will have a direct to video sequel in 2009 called Hajirai Mashin Gâru or The Hajirai Machine Girl.

18. Red Cliff or Chi bi

I had remembered studying this battle years ago in college, so I was familiar with the story of it. I was not ready for this film. As of the time of this writing, Red Cliff is the most expensive Asian-financed film to date; With an estimated budget of US$80 million. This is part one of the film and part 2 was released in Korea in Jan 2009. Please see both films together when you can for a great epic story.

17. The Incredible Hulk

as I stated in my review of this film, I have never been that huge of a fan of the “Hulk”, so when Ang Lee’s Hulk bombed, I was not that surprised. I was hopping that we would never hear from the “Hulk” ever again. That would have been a shame because I like the New Hulk film, The Incredible Hulk. I hope that the relaunch would work because I have always liked this character. We should have a new movie by 2012.

16. Taken

A small film starring Liam Neeson as an ex-CIA agent faced with recovering his daughter after she is kidnapped by sex-traffickers in Paris, France. I had heard of the film and went to see it at CGV and was quite impressed with the film. It has a good story and a believable plot. It deserves a DVD rental.

15. The Forbidden Kingdom

This is the first film to star together two of the best-known names in the martial arts film genre, Jackie Chan and Jet Li. How could I not like this film with 2 of my favorite actors in it? I knew that the film was going to be a bit over-the-top but, to me, it had a great story, a great plot and one heck of an ending that reminded me of why I have always loved the martial arts genre.

14. Goodbye Bafana

The film is a drama about the relationship between Nelson Mandela and James Gregory, his censor officer and prison guard. I first saw previews of this film and I knew that I had to see this film. It's a small film that deserves a viewing.

13. An America Carol

The film is a parody of liberal filmmaker Michael Moore that "lampoons contemporary American culture, particularly Hollywood." It uses the framework of A Christmas Carol but moves the setting of the story from Christmas to Independence Day. This film was one of my guilty pleasures of the year. It will not be enjoyed by the majority of my readers. Please see this film at your own risk.

12. JCVD

The idea of this film just sounded interesting. What if Jean-Claude Van Damme actually was in a real life situation, what would he do? It sounded interesting and the more that I watched of this film,the more that I liked it. I loved the Van Damme’s six-minute, one-take monologue, it was just too funny.

11. RocknRolla

With director Guy Ritchie, it has always been either I have loved it or hated it. Once again with Guy's new film, I loved it. The story was great and what an ending this film has. Ritchie has stated that he hopes to extend RocknRolla into a trilogy if the film receives enough positive attention. Well with this one, I hope we get a trilogy.

10. The Children of Huang Shi

It is a good film that was hampered by the strange ignoring the role of Rewi Alley a New Zealander celebrated in China's revolution. Conversion of the nurse played from a New Zealander to a fictional American, also received negative attention. The film ends shows some of the survivors of the childrens long march and how much they still miss George Hogg.

9. Appalosa

The film was really hurt by the horrible acting of Renée Zellweger. I just felt that ever scene she was in hurt this film. Take her out of this film and you have a great western here with 3 good actors making you believe that a war is going to happen. I really liked the film but the horrible miscast is what might make a lot of people not want to see this film. That would be a shame because the film, in the end, does overcome Renee.

8. Man on Wire

At the time of this writing this is an Academy Award-nominated 2008 documentary film, that is being projected as the winner in this category. The film chronicles Philippe Petit's 1974 high-wire walk between the Twin Towers of New York's World Trade Center. This is a good look at history and needs to be seen.

7. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

This film will open in Korea on 12 February 2009. At the time writing this article the movie has been nominated for The film received 13 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director for David Fincher, Best Actor for Brad Pitt and Best Supporting Actress for Taraji P. Henson. I am in the minority of critics with this film, It is a good film and worth you, the reader, going to see in February, but the film is not a great one and it was not included in my top 20 films of 2008. I saw where this film could have been great but to me, it was a poor mans' slow version of Forrest Gump, but only in reverse. To me I never saw the great love between the stars and that's what has to happen, if this film will work for you.

6. Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert 3D

After watching this concert film, I soon realized, I am so not the target audience for this film. I can see how this film made as much as it did and with the 3D added to this movie brought in $8,651,758 on its opening day, it continued on to gross $31,117,834 to finish off the weekend, making it the highest-grossing opening weekend for a film to be released under 1000 theaters. It was a film for girls and they rushed to see it making this low cost film into a huge money maker for Walt Disney.

5. Cloverfield

What if "The Blair Witch" met "Godzilla" in a movie? Then throw in New York city and 9/11 and you have the makings of a great monster film. It was shot with a jerkey camera style that could make the audience very sick but it made me believe that the monster was real. A great monster film that will hopefully have a part 2 with it.

4. Iron Man

I knew that this had the hope of being a decent film. The main question was, could Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark work? Would anybody believe it? After seeing it, I can not imagine anyone else playing this role. What I really liked about this film was the very end where you saw a familiar face tell you get ready for some more with Iron Man and the Avengers Project. Hopefully in 2010 #2 will be even better.

3. What Happens in Vegas

I really hated this film and it looks like the New York Post did also (The film scored a fourth place in the Post's Top 10 Worst Movies of 2008). The film cost about 35 million to make and did reasonably well with the box office. It was a money maker for Fox Studios but this gained them no credibility on ever making any more great films.

#2 Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis or Welcome to the Land of Shtis

I had a hard time following this film but I saw the subtle humor in this film. The film has broken nearly every box office record in France: it debuted as the top movie with US$31.67 million at 793 sites. The film has grossed over US$193 million in France alone. A story surfaced that Dany Boon was in the process of signing a deal with Will Smith to make an English adaptation of the film. This new film will be called Welcome to the Stick. I could understand the difference between the Southern French/ Northern French accents, due to the exact same thing with the English that is spoken in Texas is different that the same English spoken in New York. Please see it when you can.

Now for the biggest surprise of 2008 was

1. Doubt

With all of the recent cases of Child indecency involving the Catholic Church, I went into this film not knowing what i was getting myself into because I had not yet read the book nor seen the play about this film. I saw a nun, who was trying to protect her flock from what she saw as an evil man. i kept listening to her evidence, i kept waiting for the smoking gun and in this film it never shows up. The end of this film is what really made it work for me. A real surprise that I did not see coming.

Now for the 25 disappointments of the year 2008.
The 25 most disappointing films of 2008 are:

25.Pride and Glory

How can a film with Edward Norton and Colin Farrell actually be this bad? It was a failed attempt to look at corruption within the NYPD with brothers being on opposite sides of the issue. A bad film that was rightly buried by its distributor New Line Cinema.

24. Blindness

I still have no idea what this film was about and when I saw it at a Korean theater, no one in the audience did either. My guess was that it a statement that mankind is evil. The film was an insult to my intelligence and never should be seen again.

23. The Bank Job

According to the producers, this movie is intended to reveal the truth for the first time, although it includes significant elements of fiction with the main female crook (Martine Love) being a fictitious person. I never could believe anything about this film and it never worked for me because of it.

22. Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D

A cell phone works in the middle of the Earth? All of this in 3D just fails for me on every level. They are also trying to make a part 2 to this film. I have no idea why this film was popular.

21. The Rocker

The only reason I can think of for this film, is that the makers thought that, "The Office's" Rainn Wilson as Robert “Fish” Fishman would work. All it accomplished was the film loosing a lot of money and a comedy, in which, I did not laugh at all. Better luck next time Rainn.

20. Valkyrie

I guess that the film had some good intentions. To try and show that all Germans were not Nazi's. That Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg was and is a hero. To me the film could never recover from the horrible miscast of Tom Cruise as von Stauffenberg and the films fails for me because of it. Has this film killed the once famous UA Studios?

19. Che Part 1: The Argentine

I knew that watching a film about about Marxist revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara was going to be a huge stretch for me. I have never been a fan of "Che" so I saw this as a man who hated his revolution. i could see a real;y good film here but the way that it was shot and paced just never seemed to work and the film seems to be stuck and can not move forward. I will try and rewatch the film in a few months with both parts of this film together.

18. Jumper

Hayden Christensen as David Rice plays a man who can leap all over the world and guess what? They have people that want to kill them called Paladins. This story was over the top and never really could be believed and I have heard that we may have more of these films. What a waste of film this was.

17. Hellboy 2

I have never been that huge of a fan of the comic book and it has carried over to the movies. I saw the film and went so-so and so did the box office. if you like the first one then please see #2 if not then pass on this and save the time and do anything else.

16. Max Payne

What happens when an adult video game is made into a PG-13 movie? You get this soulless turn of a farst of the video game. What an insult this film was to anybody who liked the game and what is even sadder that they could actually be a part 2 to this crap.

15. Righteous Kill

When Robert De Niro and Al Pacino star in a film together, it is at least worth a viewing. Sad to say, this one was not worth the time it takes to watch this film. I have no idea why these 2 great actors even agreed to do this film. It just dos not work as a movie on any level.

14. Frost/Nixon

I really can not believe that this film was nominated for Best Picture by the Academy Awards. I sat down to watch it and for 2 hours, I was bored to death. The film will open in Korea on 26 February 2009. When Veteran journalist David Frost called Frost/Nixon 'fiction' because movie chiefs changed some of the key historical facts for entertainment value, the film lost what small respect I had for this film.

13. Cadillac Records

As a music history fan I was really looking forward to this film, so I restudied the history of Chess records and watched the film, what Jim Harrington of the Mercury News stated in his review were my exact thought on this film, "Praised Knowles' vocal performance and wrote in his review that, "Beyoncé Knowles' captivating voice and the film's other pluses can't outweigh the glaring omissions from the story line for this critic" and "Chess Records deserves, and will hopefully someday get, a better spin than the one delivered by Cadillac Records." I stopped counting all of the errors in the film and just could not believe that they had a golden opportunity to make a great film and they blew it.

12. The X-Files: I Want to Believe

It was a film that I was just honestly expecting more of that what I got from it. I was a fan of the TV show so when I saw this with the X files name, I felt cheated and really hated this film. If this is the future of the series, then lets please end it now.

11. Babylon A.D.

After I saw this film I read that the Director Mathieu Kassovitz was very unhappy with the distributors, 20th Century Fox, producers and other partners. He described the film as "pure violence and stupidity" and stated that "parts of the movie are like a bad episode of 24. I have heard that the DVD of this film is a much better version of this film. I honestly can not see how it could be any worse that what I saw.

10. How to Lose Friends & Alienate People

When you take a book and then fictionalize everything in the book so you can make a movie, you are left with this crap. What ever joy was in the book did not come across in the film and has left me wondering why Simon Pegg even agreed to do this horrible film.

9. Body Of Lies

This film stars stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe and I should have loved it. Instead I am given this rejected plot of a "24" episode and could not believe anything that I saw on the screen. A huge disappointment from these 2 stars.

8. City of Ember

I knew that the film was a popular children book but lately they have not been made into great movies. After I saw this film, I never wanted to read another book by Jeanne Duprau. I just can not believe that the film, with all of these great ideas, turned into this.

7. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

I liked the slow pace of this film but a lot of people did not like this film and it did not do as well as the first one did at the box office. One of the main complaints of this film was that they had changed a lot from the book into this movie and it left the hard-core fans of this book very upset. In December 2008, Disney opted not to produce the next film because they feared the budget would only grow during filming and post-production. The Los Angeles Times also reported "creative differences" led to the split. So as of now, this may have been the last film in the series.

6. Twilight

As I stated in my review...I like High School films but this one just never seemed to be a real high school, To me it was a small town version of 90210 with vampires thrown in to the mix and the film soon lost me. If you feel the need to see a teen vampire film, then please see Let the Right One In instead.

5. The Day the Earth Stood Still

Is Will Smith actually trying to make his son, Jaden Smith, into an actor? I could not believe this film and every time Smith was in the film, the film would fall apart and never become what I thought this film could have been. I really thought this film had the potential to be a great film but in the end the PC message of this film was just too much and destroyed it in the end. I have heard that Will Smith wants to remake, "The Karate Kid" and place his son in the student role.

4. Wall E

Of all of the reviews I did in the year 2008, this is the one that I have been questioned about the most. It appears that a lot of my readers loved this film, while I absolutely hated it. As I said in my review...What would happen if Wal-Mart took over the world? What else would happen to the planet if Wal-Mart killed all of the trees on the planet? Would you believe a robot would save all of the humans? If you can actually follow this inane plot, then you might actually like this film. To me it just did not work. When you do see the “love” in this film, I kept thinking, “You have got to be kidding me.” This is the basis of this film? To me it just never worked. Whatever magic they had in their prior films, just fails to resonate here with me. " I recently sat down and watched the film and once again I really hated this film.

3. The Good, the Bad, the Weird or Jongheun Nom, Nabbeun Nom, Isanghan Nom

This film was the box office champion of South Korea 2008 season with over 6.9 million tickets sold. In my review of the film...If you suspend reality for awhile, the film will work for you. I kept watching the film and I kept wondering, “What in the heck were they thinking when they were making this film?” The song that kept playing over and over was written in the 1960’s not the 30’s when this film supposedly takes place. It was this error and a lot of the little historical errors in this flick that made me turn against this film." The film was was inspired by Sergio Leone's "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly." After watching this film, I can only hope for no more Korean "Western" films.

#2 Meet Dave

I have no idea why Sci-Fi and Eddie Murphy hate each other. The last time Eddie went into a Sci-Fi film was the disastrous, science fiction comedy, "The Adventures of Pluto Nash." I saw the previews of this film and had a very bad feeling about it and the film went on to bomb at the US Box Office.

#2 WAS BAD BUT IT WAS NO WAY NEAR MY #1 Most Disappointing film of 2008

#1 Speed Racer

Once again, I am in the minority of critics, I loved the film and they have absolutely trashed it.
I thought so much of this film, that I purchased it on Blu-ray and loved seeing it on the HD format. I still do not see why the majority of the viewers hated it. I thought that it was a very honest version of the classic 60's Japanese cartoon. please rent it and judge for yourself.

Now it is time for the the 25 films that I like to call "The 25 What The Frack films of 2008"
Now for the top 25 films that I call, "What the Frack?" These are 25 films that had some serious problems or were just bad films.

#1. My Sassy Girl (2008)

A failed remake on every level. I still have no idea who thought that this would be a good film.

2. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

If you are a fan of "South Park", you know their feelings about this movie. I still have no idea why aliens were included in an Indiana Jones film.

3. Hancock

I really could not believe that Will Smith had taken his acting to an all-time new low with this film. I absolutely hated the idea, plot, actors and the director of this turd. i still can not believe that they are thinking of making a part #2 to this.

4. Bangkok Dangerous

They took an Asian film that I liked, and remade it into this. The original film's main character is a deaf-mute hitman whose disability makes him a fearless, unflinching gunman. In this film we get Hitman Joe (Nicolas Cage) who with every word he speaks, destroys this film. A huge disappointment for Cage.

5. Truck 트럭 (Teu-reok)

A Korean horror film that i thought had some real promise. In the first half of the film. It was actually a good film. The film collapses when it tries to tie all of parts together. After that the film is full of cliches and you see every turn coming. By the end of the film, I knew the exact ending and was not surprised at all.

6. A Tale of Legendary Libido 가루지기 Ga-roo-ji-gi

Well imagine Joseon-era style mixed in with Austin Powers. I knew that this story was based on Byeon Gang-soe Tale", theatrical songs. I have no idea why this film was made but just seeing Bong Tae-gyu trying to play Powers made this film become a huge bomb when it was released in May 2008.

7. Pineapple Express

This had a low cost and made a decent profit but all this film was a long pot joke and lacked any real humor. I loved the Cheech and Chong films from the past and I thought that this film was a very bad imitation.

8. Rambo

I was really looking forward to this film. After the last "Rocky" film, I thought that he would make a great Rambo film because of that. i could not believe what a piece of junk this film was. It lacked any real plot and just showed a grumpy, old Rambo trying to kill more bad guys and save a beautiful girl.

9. My Best Friend's Girl

When a romantic comedy doesn't make you laugh nor do you care about anyone in the film, this is the result. I kept watching this film, hoping that something would happen that you make me care about this film, the only thing I liked about this film was the ending.

10. Eagle Eye

I really enjoy a good story. I like a thriller to be at least believable. Sad to say, this film was not that. I agree with James Berardinelli of ReelViews gave the film one and a half stars out of four, saying: "This movie tests the viewing public's tolerance for enduring crass stupidity when the payoff is a series of repetitive, ADD-infected chase scenes. Yes, the film is that bad.

11. Saw 5

Isn't Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) dead in this series and they are still making more films with this character. What is even worse, is that there will be a part 6 of this series will be released in October 2009.

12. The Duchess

I saw the previews and went, OK. I saw the film and went, "Are you actually kidding me?" Once again, if romance plays a part in a movie, the audience has to care about it. This film was just one huge bore that never needs to be seen again.

13. Swing Vote

So one mans vote will determine the Presidency of the USA. This man is Kevin Costner. I have liked a few of his films in the past, sad to say this film was not one of them. Some critics have stated that this is worth a DVD rental. This film is not even worth the bandwidth it would take to download the film.

14. The Midnight Meat Train

I had never heard of a film opening up at the Dollar Theaters before this one. After i saw the film, I thought that the Dollar Film was too high of a chain for this film to be see at. The film was horrible and a huge disappointment to horror fans.

15, Fool's Gold

Rolling Stone magazine stated that no other comedy could be as stupid, slack and sexless" as Fool's Gold. The film was a major insult to anyone who watched it. Why is Hollywood insisting on making Kate Hudson a credible actress? This film is another long list of films that clearly show that she can not act.

16. Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Eric Snider of states, "Remember how people talked about the Star Wars prequels like they were the worst movies ever made, when really, come on, they weren't THAT bad? The Clone Wars actually IS that bad." This is the first Star Wars film that I actually hated. I saw no real reason for this film. Any SW geek knows who won this war and its aftermath. What a huge waste of work this film was.

17. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2

In a bad attempt to capture the magic of the first film, we are given this junk. I could not believe that this was #2 film when it clearly copied the 4th book in the series. I could not believe that they actually thought that this film was going to be great.

18. Made Of Honor

This is suck a chick flick that I really hated this film. It made me want to never have any female friends at all if they are all like the girls shown in the film. What a huge insult this film was to men.

19. The Accidental Husband

Well this film was an accident all right. one huge mess that should have never been made. I just never could see this love story working. It was a plot that sounded like a bad TV movie of the week.

20. Mirrors

This film was a remake of the 2003 South Korean horror film Into the Mirror. Once again the Americans took a Korean film and totally destroyed it. The film was supposed to be a horror film, I took the film as "Jack Bauer on Acid." The film was just horrible and never deserves to be seen again.

21. Delgo

The $40,000,000 film was a notorious failure at the box office, grossing just $511,920 on 2,160 screens in its opening weekend. It currently holds the record for lowest wide release opening earnings ever. Yes, the film is that bad and the copy I saw of it was just awful. Please pass on this film at all cost.

22. 21

This was supposed to be a good film about card sharks from MIT taking on Las Vegas with the game of 21, ended up being a huge bore. This film just was not that interesting and by the end of this film, I wanted everyone to go to jail for me watching this film and wasting my time with it.

23. Vantage Point

In what was supposed to be an updated version of Rashomon ended up being a huge joke that dare to try and be a classic. I had most of the film figured out and when the "twist" happened I wasn't even surprised by it.

24. Role Models

I was really looking towards this film. I really thought that this was going to be a great film. I could not believe how disappointed I was by this film. This should have been funny. This should have been a great film, I saw all of the potential of a great film. It just never worked for me.

25. Fly Me to The Moon

As one critic said, "The animation is so stiff it makes South Park look like Walt Disney's Fantasia." I could not agree more. It was a huge mess that had some good intentions but failed miserably. I could not believe that Paramount Pictures sent the film as their entry for Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards. It was just too much for this film.

Well this is a look at the 2008 films that I saw this year. I watched some great ones and I saw some serious crap this year. Hopefully we can all watch the good films and pass on the bad one.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Guest Columnist: Marching for Hamas

Hamas is a bully aided by a bigger bully, Iran. And, just as strident and threatening human bullies get away with their aggression so long as no one calls their bluff, so Hamas has been getting away with murder and torture because the UN and many states won't call its two-faced self-portrayal as the victim in the piece. In the struggle to take over Gaza from Fatah, it went on a rampage that killed hundreds of Palestinians. Even during this most recent assault, in early January, it executed Fatah members for violating their house arrest. A few weeks ago, Hamas determined to hurt yet more of its compatriots by introducing Islamic hudud punishments to the Strip, from amputations and stonings, to crucifixions and hangings.

Like all bullies, it likes to taunt its victims. It did just that for years after Israel left Gaza, firing rockets every day into towns like Sderot or Netivot. No one who has dismissed these rockets as harmless homemade toys has ever had the guts to spend a few weeks in Sderot, scurrying from shelter to shelter. And, oh yes, it also built up an arsenal (supplied by Iran) of Grad missiles that certainly aren't anybody's toys.

Like all bullies, Hamas likes to make boastful threats. Its 1988 Covenant is replete with them. It threatens to destroy the State of Israel by violence and violence alone. It says it will never accept the work of conferences or peacemakers, and only jihad will solve its problems. Meanwhile, the Palestinians see their lives drained away in a culture that embraces death and martyrdom, their children exposed to a steady diet of military training and preparation for violent death as suicide bombers.

Even if the Palestinians want peace, Hamas won't let them have it, because Hamas knows best, and jihad "is the only solution." Don't believe me, read the Covenant. It likes nothing better than killing Jews, and the bigger bully in Teheran thinks that's a damn fine thing too. No one says a word, because the UN is dominated by the Islamic states, and the Western governments know where the oil comes from, and nobody likes the Jews much anyway. The people calling for the end of Israel while they march on the streets of London and Dublin aren't all Muslums by any means.

There can be no greater indication of this boastfulness than what has happened in recent days. Having taken a heavy battering from Israel, Hamas now proclaims a "great victory," and its supporters dance in the ruined streets of Gaza, drunk on their own demagoguery. For all its bluster, Hamas, like all bullies, is a coward at heart. Watch those films of Hamas gunmen dragging screaming children along with them to act as human shields, watch how they fire from behind the little ones, knowing no Israeli soldier will fire back. And even as they put their own children's lives at risk, they shout to high heaven that the Israelis are Nazis and the Jews are child-killers. This blatant pornography spreads through the Western media, and people never once ask "what does this look like from the other side," because they are addicted to the comforting news that the Yids are baby-killers as they'd always known, that they do poison wells, that no Christian child is safe come Passover. Hamas has become proficient at resurrecting the blood libel, just as its fighters use the Nazi salute, just as their predecessor in the 1930s and '40s, Haj Amin al-Husseini, conferred with Hitler about building death camps in Palestine and raised a division of SS troops in Bosnia to fight for the Reich.

We watch The Diary of Anne Frankon television, and some of us attend Holocaust Remembrance Day events, and others pay lip service to Jewish victimhood; we like our Jews emaciated and helpless under the SS boot. But the moment real Jews stand up and show themselves the stronger for all their deaths, it awakens an atavistic fear, and people recoil from them. Jews in uniform, how unseemly. Jews beating the bully, how unheard of. Jews with their own state, what upstarts.

IN MY home country of Ireland, we glamorize the great nationalist heroes who rebelled against the bullying forces of imperial Britain in the uprising of Easter Sunday 1916. In France, they venerate the heroes of the Resistance against the occupying forces of Nazi Germany. In Spain, they have not ceased to heap praise on those who fought against the forces of fascist bullies and lost. To stand up against an enemy bent on your destruction is everywhere counted an act of bravery. But not when it comes to Israel. In 1948 and 1967 and 1973 and 2006, Israel fought off overwhelming forces who made no secret of their plans for an imminent massacre of the Jews. But nobody now seems to care, no one lauds the courage the Israelis displayed, and no one praises the extraordinary restraint they showed in victory.

In a bizarre reversal of all their commitment to human rights and the struggle of men and women for independence and self-determination, the European Left has chosen again and again to side with the bullies and to condemn a small nation struggling to survive in a hostile neighborhood. It is all self-contradictory: The Left supports gay rights, yet attacks the only country in the Middle East where gay rights are enshrined in law. Hamas makes death the punishment for being gay, but "we are all Hamas now." Iran hangs gays, but it is praised as an agent of anti-imperialism, and allowed to get on with its job of stoning women and executing dissidents and members of religious minorities. If UK Premier Gordon Brown swore to wipe France from the face of the earth, he would become a pariah among nations. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatens to do that to Israel and is invited to speak to the UN General Assembly

Israel guarantees civil liberties to all its citizens, Jew or Arab alike, but it is dubbed "an apartheid state"; Hamas, ever the bully, kills its opponents and denies the rest the most basic rights, but we march on behalf of Hamas. The Left prefers the bully because the bully represents a finger in the face of the establishment? Almost no one on the Left has any understanding of militant Islam. Their politics is a politics of gesture, where wearing a keffiyeh is cool but understanding its symbolism is too much effort even for intellectuals.

I have personally had enough of it all. The whining double standards, the blatant lies, the way their leaders have forced Palestinians to suffer for 60 years because peace and compromise aren't in their vocabulary and because they won't settle for anything but total victory. Painful as it was, in the 1920s Ireland created a republic by compromising on the status of the North. Ireland subsequently became a prosperous country and, in due course, one of the hottest economies in the world. When the Israelis left Gaza in 2005, they left state-of-the-art greenhouses to form the basis for a thriving economy. Hamas destroyed them to the last pane of glass. Why? Because they had been Jewish greenhouses.

The writer is the incoming editor of the leading international journal Middle East Quarterly and the author of a blog entitled 'A Liberal Defence of Israel.'

Saturday, January 24, 2009


I want to announce that on Thursday, January 22, 2009, my wife Victoria gave birth to a healthy boy!!! His name is John Philip Hadikin. His weight was 3.820 kg and length was 53 cm.

The delivery took place in Victoria's home town of Khabarovsk, Russia. Both, mother and son are doing fine. I am also in Russia right now but will return to Korea in February. Victoria will return to Korea at the end of February.


GREAT NEWS TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Friday, January 23, 2009

‘Restricted Screening’ Ruled Unconstitutional, Korean Films to Get Racier

We can thank “Shortbus” (NSFW!) for helping the Supreme Court and Constitutional Court rule the “restricted screening” rating unconstitutional:

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the import and distribution of U.S. film “Shortbus,” ruling to annul the “restricted screening” rating imposed on the movie by the Korea Media Rating Board, on Thursday last week. Restricted screening virtually means a film cannot be screened in regular movie theaters. Thanks to the court’s ruling, “Shortbus” can be screened in cinemas. The controversial movie graphically portrays non-simulated sex scenes, such as group sex and masturbation. It has played at numerous domestic and international film festivals, and has been recognized for its artistic merits by critics.

The upside to all this?

Korean films are likely to feature more vivid depictions of sex from after the ruling. Sex scenes in Korean movies have gradually become more liberated, despite a constant struggle with the censorship system. The 1956 film “Liberated Madame” was the first to present female sexuality onscreen, and an age of erotic movies began with “Madame Aema” in 1982.

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Now, one could certainly argue that “the age of erotic movies” that began with “Madame Aema” (great posters — scroll down) has royally sucked. Yet we still respect our elders here, so to celebrate, I link to a clip from the ‘82 classic starting Ahn So-young that started it all.

No, they certainly don’t make films like that anymore.

Ahn, of course, was known for being pretty well endowed… at least for Korea in 1982. She’s still bangin’, in fact — in 2005, she released a nude photo series (NSFW!) in which she looks pretty damn good, especially considering that she was 46 when they were taken.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Thank you for your Presidency and I hope that you enjoy your retirement in Dallas, Texas.

Friday, January 16, 2009

the top 10 films in Korea 2008 (From CJ CGV)

1. The Good, the Bad, the Weird (Korean) - 6.9 million
2. The Chaser (Korean) - 5.1 million
3. Mamma Mia - 4.6 million
4. Kung Fu Panda - 4.6 million
5. Gang Cheol-jung: Public Enemy 1.1 (Korean) - 4.4 million
6. Scandal Makers (Korean) - 4.3 million
7. The Mummy 3 - 4.2 million
8. Iron Man - 4.2 million
9. Forever the Moment (Korean) - 4.1 million
10. Indiana Jones 4 - 4.0 million

Now how many of the Korean films will even have a market outside of Korea?
Bush Farewell Address- Bush Farewell Address-- He Liberated Millions... He Kept Us Safe

From Gateway Pundit.

President George W. Bush gave his Farewell Address tonight.

He said he followed his conscience and always acted in the best interests of the nation.

A U.S. Army Soldier gets a lift from an Iraqi boy and his mule on Route Douglas in the Jamilla Market in the Sadr City district of Baghdad, June 9, 2008. (U.S. Army photo by Tech. Sgt. Cohen A. Young, MNF-Iraq)

He loved the troops and the troops loved Bush:

Fact Sheet: President Bush: Farewell Address to the Nation
White House News

President Bush Expresses His Gratitude To The Nation, Recaps The Events And Accomplishments Of His Presidency, And Describes The Challenges That Lie Ahead

Tonight, President Bush will deliver his farewell address to the Nation from the East Room of the White House, and discuss the journey traveled over the past eight years and the course ahead. The President will thank the American people for allowing him to serve and thank the military for serving our Nation and keeping us safe. The following are excerpts from the President's address as prepared for delivery, followed by supporting facts and data.

President Bush Transformed Our Approach To Combating Terrorism After The 9/11 Attacks

President Bush:

"As the years passed, most Americans were able to return to life much as it had been before 9/11. But I never did. Every morning, I received a briefing on the threats to our Nation. And I vowed to do everything in my power to keep us safe."

** Consolidated 22 agencies and 180,000 employees under one agency, the Department of Homeland Security, to foster a comprehensive, coordinated approach to protecting our country.

** Provided our military with the tools, equipment, and resources to combat terrorism and other emerging threats and started moving American forces from Cold War garrisons in Europe and Asia so they can deploy more quickly to any region of the world.

** Established a unified, collaborative intelligence community, led by the DNI, to ensure information is shared among all intelligence and law enforcement professionals so they have the information they need to protect the American people.

** Combined the counterterrorism, counterintelligence, and intelligence elements of the FBI under the leadership of a senior FBI official.

** Advocated for and signed the Patriot Act, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act, and a modernization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

** Arrested and convicted more than two dozen terrorists and their supporters in America since 9/11. Froze the financial assets in the United States of hundreds of individuals and entities linked to terrorism.

** Disrupted terrorist plots and built a coalition of more than 90 nations to fight terrorism. Partnered with nations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Latin America on intelligence sharing and law enforcement coordination to break up terrorist networks and bring terrorists to justice.

** Removed the Taliban from power and brought freedom to the people of Afghanistan. Supported the creation of an Afghan government that is elected by its people, respects the rule of law, and guarantees women the right to vote. More than six million children, approximately two million of whom are girls, are now in Afghan schools, compared to fewer than one million in 2001.

** Freed Iraqis from the rule of Saddam Hussein, a dictator who murdered his own people, invaded his neighbors, and repeatedly defied United Nations resolutions. Supported the creation of a democratic Iraqi government that is operating under one of the most progressive constitutions in the Arab world, and helped train and equip more than half a million Iraqi Army and police forces.

** Successfully negotiated a Strategic Framework Agreement and a Security Agreement with Iraq, which will further strengthen the relationship between our nations, provide the United States with vital protections and authorities to continue our mission to help stabilize Iraq, and establish a path for U.S. forces to reduce their presence in Iraq and return home on success.

President Bush Strengthened Support for Dissidents and Democracy Activists And Helped Millions Of People Around The World Through A New Approach To Development

** President Bush: "When people live in freedom, they do not willingly choose leaders who pursue campaigns of terror. When people have hope in the future, they will not cede their lives to violence and extremism. So around the world, America is promoting human liberty, human rights, and human dignity."

** Met with activists from more than 35 countries and helped unify democracy advocates and boost the international standing of the opposition in countries run by totalitarian and oppressive regimes.

** Supported life-saving treatment for more than 2.1 million people and care for more than 10 million people (including more than four million orphans and vulnerable children) around the world through the President's Emergency Plan.

** Committed $1.2 billion in funding through the President's Malaria Initiative over a five-year period, which is on track to help reduce malaria deaths by 50 percent in 15 targeted countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

President Bush's Domestic Policy Achievements Built A More Hopeful America

** President Bush: "For eight years, we have also strived to expand opportunity and hope here at home."

** Held public schools accountable, through the No Child Left Behind Act, for producing results for all students and required highly-qualified teachers in every classroom. Since No Child Left Behind took effect, test scores have risen, accountability has increased, and we have begun to close the achievement gap between white and minority students. Helped African-American and Hispanic students post all-time highs in several categories on national assessments.

** Provided more than 40 million Americans with better access to prescription drugs through the market-based Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit.

** Provided tax relief to every American who pays income taxes, which helped fuel six years of uninterrupted economic growth and 52 consecutive months of job growth. Reduced individual income tax rates, doubled the child tax credit, created a new 10 percent bracket rate, provided marriage penalty relief, eliminated income taxes for 13 million American taxpayers, and began a phase-out of the estate tax.

** Through the Faith-Based and Community Initiative, helped millions in need by expanding partnerships with nonprofits and leveling the playing field for faith-based and community organizations. These partnerships helped provide care for more than ten million people affected by HIV/AIDS, supported the recovery of more than 260,000 addicts, and matched mentors with more than 100,000 children of prisoners.

** Outlawed partial birth abortion, ensured that every infant born alive is protected, established consequences for violence toward unborn children, and took steps to protect the rights of health care providers to act according to their conscience. Provided government funding for stem cell research while refusing to sanction the destruction of human life.

** Increased total funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs more than 98 percent since 2001 and helped millions of veterans receive expedited and improved care.

** Instituted policies that helped reduce air pollution by 12 percent from 2001 to 2007 and adopted new policies that will produce even deeper reductions. Improved and protected the health of more than 27 million acres of Federal forest and grasslands and protected, restored, and improved more than three million acres of wetlands. Provided the highest recognition and protection to nearly 335,000 square miles as marine national monuments, the largest marine area in history.

** Appointed Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justice Samuel Alito, and more than one-third of all active Federal judges, who will not legislate from the bench.

** Addressed the weakness in the economy early in 2008 by leading the bipartisan passage of an economic growth package that boosted consumer spending and encouraged businesses to expand. Responded with bold action when the financial crisis intensified by leading the passage and implementation of a rescue plan that helped address the root of the financial crisis, protected the deposits of individuals and small businesses, and helped ensure credit would remain available to individuals and families. Had the President not acted, the toll would be far worse on hardworking American families.
President George W. Bush...

...Thank you.
You will be missed.

Thanks to The Anchoress for the pics.