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August 22nd , 2003


Kozo is the King of the World

     Today publishes its 1000th review. Truly, this is a milestone to be treasured. Banners will be unfurled, children will weep, and the entire universe will slow to a crawl as everyone takes notice of our grand accomplishment. Sammi Cheng turned 31 just three days ago. But who cares? There are 1000 reviews on this website! Who cares what else is going on in this world when I can pat myself on the back? What can be said of such an accomplishment?
     In the immortal words of Derrick Coleman, "Whoop de damn doo."
     The statistical measure of this site's reviews began because one day I was bored and decided to count them. Back then, the site had less than 600 reviews, with at least 500 bearing my byline (of the current total, I've only written slightly over 800. LunaSea, Sanjuro, Magicvoice and RainDog account for the other 200). I used to tell myself that I'd quit when the site reached 1000 reviews.
     Wellwe aren't quitting. Yet. But if we do, the most ardent Hong Kong fan will have many, many places to go. Hong Kong Entertainment News in Review is amazing, as is the usually unheralded HK Top Ten site. Hong Kong Digital and Hong Kong Cinema - View from the Brooklyn Bridge still review their share of old and new films, many of which are just seeing their release on DVD. There's Kung Fu Cinema, which mixes news and reviews nicely. City on Fire has a decidedly irreverent slant for those seeking humor. A Better Tomorrow keeps people updated on DVD releases, as does the popular Asian DVD Guide. Plus there are the upstart sites, which seem to arrive as quickly as old ones fade out. There are even some sites that I don't like, but I won't mention them here.
     This doesn't mean that sites not mentioned are ones I don't like—on the contrary, there are many unmentioned websites that I'm genuinely fond of. However, in the interests of space and fairness, I've decided not to list the names of every site that I actually like. If I did, then the sites that didn't get mentioned could automatically assume that they're on the "disliked" list. And there's no one we truly dislike. Even usual site whipping boy Wong Jing gets his occasional props, and WE DO LIKE EKIN CHENG! Don't get started with us there. We also never lie, cheat, steal or engage in any sort of facetious commentary. We at want to make this clear: we love everybody everywhere unconditionally.
     (whistles innocently)
     But hey, back to topic number one: 1000 reviews. It's a minor, unimportant thing in this world. Getting your yearly teeth cleaning ranks waaaay higher on the scale of importance than the 1000th review on, and I would never debate that. There's no reason for me to believe that 1000 reviews is such a big deal. It's not like I created all the movies I've seen, or exercised my prodigious talents to put together so many pages of 1st grade level HTML. I just watched movies and wrote stuff about them. As some readers are quick to point out, a monkey with a typewriter and a week's supply of bananas could accomplish what I have. is no big deal.
     And hey, I'm really screwing up! The movies I review aren't new enough—isn't that a rip off to my readers? I make too much fun of Ekin Cheng! How could I not understand and see the magical charisma of Edison Chen? How dare I profit off the hard work of so many other people? Numerous actors, directors, writers, web designers and harried accountants have sweated blood and tears so I may ridicule their work online. How dare I disregard those people, or even make fun of them? Who the hell am I?
     Well, obviously I'm nobody. But to be clear on that, let's talk about me. As everybody in the universe knows, me is the most important topic of all time. Me just happens to be different for each individual.
     I currently work at a video game developer. I try to work hard, but my inexperience in the field makes things difficult. I have a zillion ideas and a zillion opinions, but I don't have the proper training to express them. As the low man on the totem pole, I can't tell people what I think would work. I've accomplished nothing. All I can do is plug away, and if somebody likes what I do, then yay. If they don't, I should shut up and say nothing. I can't really defend my ideas, because I have no practical experience. Sometimes at the end of the day, everything I've done has been scrapped or thrown in the figurative paper shredder (the Recycle Bin on my Windows desktop), so in effect I accomplished nothing that day. Nothing tangible has been created. I might as well have been playing Solitaire on my desktop. If nothing I do has any impact, then why should I bother?
     The same thing applies to this site. If I'm not out there changing the world or making a difference, shouldn't I just pack it in? Sure, I help some retailers sell more DVDs, which gives the retailer dough and the viewer (hopefully) a fine time at the movies. On the other hand, I also steer a lot of people from certain films, and for that many retailers would probably want me dead or at least partially disabled. I wasn't much help in the Shaolin Soccer argument/flame war. My opinion of that was I didn't care for the dubbed Disney version (it has since been recalled thanks to "disastrous" test screenings), but I never went out of my way to say that other people shouldn't see the film. People could see it if they wanted to, and I didn't feel the need to censure them for it. The film's ultimate success or failure was not something I could predict. Admittedly, my stance was not a very passionate one, but it's what I honestly felt. I believe somebody somewhere called me a dumbass as a result.
     Which brings me back to the topic I always talk about: why the hell do I do the website? Obviously, I annoy more than my share of people because they don't hesitate to write to tell me about it. Nothing warms my heart more than seeing myself referred to as "this guy" on certain forums. Usually that phrase is followed by "always makes fun of Ekin Cheng" or "hates everything." It's wonderful that people care so much about how I feel about things. As they most likely believe, I'm nobody, so why should my opinion even matter? Is it so important that I'm nobody that they must go out of their way to tell me I'm nobody, or post on a forum saying that I'm nobody? Can't other people figure out that I'm nobody by themselves?
     But I'm exaggerating. Not very many people really take the time to censure or insult me. My detractors are fewer than the well-wishers who've written in complimenting my work. The criticisms are a minority to the compliments, and the vocal are a mere fraction of the people that actually read (or at least come to the site to steal the pictures). Even all the well-wishers are a virtual cipher in the grand scheme of the thing. And means very little in respect to the online HK world, which includes the fine sites listed above AND the Hong Kong Movie Database created and maintained by Mr. Ryan Law, whose greatness I could never equal. Heck, my site isn't even dynamic! It might as well be scribbled in a notebook.
     Yes, 1000 reviews on means absolutely nothing, and 2000 reviews will be just as meaningless. In a world where Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez are more exciting and interesting than civil unrest and human injustices, 1000 reviews is proverbial horse manure. It's something to scrape off the bottom of your shoe. Whoever you are, wherever you are, I ask you this question: What's more important,'s 1000th review, or the $5 you magically found in your pants pocket? You thought you lost it, and it probably ruined your day, but suddenly you find it tucked in the corner of your pocket. That's $5! It's a trip to the bargain movie theater or an ice-cold Frappucino and Rice Krispy treat at Starbucks! It's three subway rides! One-and-half comic books! Five bootleg VCDs! If your priorities are in order, you should realize the truth: whatever you feel right now is of far greater importance than anything out there. Look out for number one.
     So hey, as far as I'm concerned, reaching 1000 reviews is totally awesome. Woohoo! We rule.

- Kozo 08/22/2003


Life with Kozo

The Featured Graphic
Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided is the new MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) from Sony Online Entertainment and LucasArts, which allows users to wander around the Star Wars Universe roleplaying combatants in the Galactic Civil War waged between the Rebellion and the Empire. Or, if you're like the Webmaster, you can wander the galaxy acting out of character, making inappropriate pop culture references and generally annoying the populace. The above graphic depicts a past time in the life of Kozo's online counterpart Ko'zo Shimasaki, as he played music in a cantina and eyed dancing wookies. If you happen to play the game and hop on the Corbantis server, you can probably find him on the planet Naboo, where he currently dies at least twice a day.

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The opinions expressed within are merely the musings of the Webmaster, and as such should be taken with the requisite grain of salt. If you disagree with an expressed opinion please feel free to contact him here. If you feel he has insulted your favorite popstar, you can still contact him. However, your chances of receiving a reply will be reduced by half.
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