Sunday, March 17, 2013

Farewell Air New Zealand

From March 2013, Air New Zealand will no longer fly from London Heathrow to Hong Kong. I only found out recently and I'm a bit gutted. I flew with them last year and I was really impressed with the service. Price wise, they were slightly cheaper, but in many ways they were far better than Virgin and Cathay Pacific. The only thing I didn't like about them was the early flight out of Hong Kong. Air New Zealand cites difficult trading, but it is a profitable route. I hope that they will one day change their minds. For now it will be Cathay Pacific or British Airways.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Young and Dangerous, the entire series

Recently, I found time to watch the whole Young and Dangerous series. The original film was based on the Hong Kong comic series called Teddy Boy. It is basically about some guys who grew up on a Hong Kong government housing estate, who didn't want to continue with school and joined the local triad gang. The series has been popular, but controversial. Since it is seen to be glorifying the triads. I heard about the series many years ago, but back then it didn't appeal to me. Having seen it, I actually think it is rather good. There are six films in the series, with about four spin-offs. This is a rarity in Hong Kong cinema. Films get made, last for about 90 minutes, get shown, get released on VCD/DVD and then that's it. All for a quick buck. Where there are sequels or prequels, the cast often differs. There is a lot of short termism thinking here, as fans want to see a familiar face in the role, not a different one. So for the Young and Dangerous series to have the same people in the same role is rather new. Sure, people do get killed, but the actors come back in different roles. After watching the series, I really can't see it as being as bad as people say. I'm sure there are films out there that are far more of a bad influence for young people that Young and Dangerous. I'm not saying that this film is suitable for all, but we have to keep an open mind about the content. It is fiction, though it is based on the triad culture, it is not how it is in real life. It should be treated as fiction and nothing more. In the space of so many films, it was possible to expand and explore the characters. I liked that and I don't believe this is common in Hong Kong cinema. I enjoyed the way the characters relate to each other, they're not one dimensional either. As they say, honour amongst thieves. I would watch them all again some time. I know there is a reboot, but I doubt I'd watch it.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

It is time for a pope from ........ !

Yesterday the world witnessed the election of a new pope. In my life so far, I have only known three. I am not Roman Catholic, but I feel it is a religion that offers much. I wouldn't say I was a liberal, but personally, I don't have issues with women clergy, homosexuals or contraception. The world is a different place and although the Pope cannot openly support certain things, it is not to say that they don't turn a blind eye. For example, in Italy, there are special offers on condoms during the week, but on Sunday, there are not. There has been an awful lot about child abuse by the clergy, but that is not to say it is exclusively a Catholic problem. This happens in a lot of places and even in faiths where you wouldn't expect that, considering how much they rant on about Shangri-La etc. Relations with the Anglican and the Jews have improved. I can never see why Christians have a problem with Jews. After all, Jesus was a Jew and therefore, they should be natural allies. The election of a new pope made me think how stupid a lot of people are. It should be about merit and who can best lead the Roman Catholic religion. To say (and they said this rubbish during the previous election for a new pope too) it is time for a pope from somewhere else is rubbish. To say it is time for an African pope is nonsense, as is time for a pope from Asia or the Americas is nonsense. The pope should be elected from the most suitable candidates, not because of where you come from. Electing a pope is not like appointing a General Secretary of the United Nations, where the job is given to somebody on each continent. So we've had an African in the job, now we've had a South Korean, who represents Asia. So it would be the Americas next followed by Europe. It makes me cringe when I hear this type of nonsense. If the stupid people of this planet had it their way, each candidate would have to prove themselves like talentless acts from reality tv and then they will all vote. Enough is enough!