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Eighteen Arhats of Shaolin Temple

Eighteen Arhats of Shaolin TempleEighteen Arhats of Shaolin Temple (少林寺十八罗汉) is a Chinese movie that was released on 20 February 2020.


18 Shaolin Kung Fu monks head to take off to the south to help defend the empire’s shores against the Japanese Pirate invasion. Shortly upon their arrival on the Jiangsu-Zhejiang frontline the monks encounter the enemy and attempt to rescue the civilians held hostage by the enemy.


I don’t know much about the cast in this film.

Xie Miao (谢苗) plays the lead character/monk
I don’t know anything about this actor but he has a very busy resume, especially with films. I don’t believe we have seen him in any other production.

Justin Hu (胡世群) plays Wu Yuan
He has been in a lot of movies but I don’t know anything about this actor either.

Xu Shao Hang (徐绍航) plays Cao Xiao Wei
He is best known for his role in the sci-fi drama “Anti-Japanese Hero” but he is in a show that we are currently watching called The Fatal Mission.

Long Yang Yang (龙杨杨)
He played the comedic character in the film. We haven’t seen him in anything else but would like to as he was very engaging on screen.


This film receives very decent reviews and I thought it was very good and well worth watching. It was only 1 hour and 30 minutes long, I could have watched it for longer and there might have been ways to lengthen the story.

This is basically an action film. I will give full marks for the martial arts which is very well done, it must have taken them weeks to film.

There was quite a bit of comedy which mainly comes from Long Yang Yang but he played a big role in the action and martial arts too. It was very wise to put in the comedy.

The storyline was particularly good especially when the movie is over and you realize what the aim of the storytellers were trying to get across. I won’t hint at what happens.


I will give this film a 4.5/5. Very good indeed.

Where Can I Watch

I watched this film on Viki, it’s also on YouTube via Q1Q2 Movie Channel and TubiTV. The best-quality version is on Viki as always.


I don’t have a trailer but here is a theme song:

2023-07-13T04:13:18+00:0013 July 2023|Review China|

Kantarou The Sweet Tooth Salaryman

Kantarou: The Sweet Tooth Salaryman (さぼリーマン) is a Netflix & TV Tokyo collaborated Japanese TV Show that aired between 7 July to 29 September 2017. It’s sometimes called “Saboriman Kantarou”.


Ametani Kantarou is a salesperson for a publishing company that goes out to stores to sell products. While he is out on his trips he plays hooky to try out new desserts and do a write-up on his blog. However, it’s becoming more difficult not to get caught and one of his colleagues has become suspicious.


Onoe Matsuya II (二代目尾上松也 aka Inoue Ryuuichi) as Ametani Kantarou
He really did well in this show from being totally serious one minute to a complete oddball the next. Poor chap had all kinds of stuff thrown over him, I wonder if he put on weight during the show too. He is a very popular actor starting his career at the age of 10.

Ishikawa Ren (石川恋) as Dobashi Kanako
She plays the potential love interest of Kantarou and also has a sweet tooth. She also went from serious to doing dance routines, pretty much practising a full range of skills. She is also a popular in-demand actress.

Minagawa Sarutoki (皆川猿時) as Miyake Toru
The most experienced actor on the show, he has appeared in many productions and continues to be in demand. Evidently, he is a vocalist for a Japanese comedy rock band called “Group Tamashii” which has me in stitches even though I have no idea what they are singing.


Well, this show was completely bonkers but I loved it, it was a lot of fun.

The food part of the show was great as they showcased different areas of Japan and the different sweet/dessert specialty places in that area. The explanation of how the desserts were put together were great too. They must have hired special food photographers to take part in the show.

There was a different story each week relating to Kantarou’s adventures plus a couple of ongoing story arcs about a potential romance, I won’t give away the ending.

The totally bonkers part of the show included odd special effects, people’s heads being replaced by fruit, singing, dancing, quotes from famous people and just a general mish-mash of whatever they could chuck into the show.

I noticed online some people will give it a 1 star, and some 10 stars, I guess it depends on your sense of humour and what you are looking for in a show.

This show made me very happy, so I give it 4.5/5. It’s worth trying out, episodes are short.

Where Can I Watch

This is showing only on Netflix but I’m not sure if it can be seen elsewhere in Japan.


2023-07-12T22:09:50+00:0012 July 2023|Review Japan|

Social Media July 2023

The social media world seems rather in a mess right now with Meta’s new Threads recently being launched. This is where I stand with them all.

Why Social Media

I’m starting to think there is no reason for me to be on social media really. Hearing from different people and perspectives is of most interest to me, not sure if people care what I say. One day I might just delete them all.


This is where I prefer to be right now for the following reasons:

  • No advertising
  • Run by the people, not billionaires just trying to make more cash
  • No creepy farming of my data by privacy vampires
  • A safe place for LGBTQ people
  • People respect each other more

I’m on Mastodon and Pixelfed.

I did think about being on PeerTube, which is the Fediverse alternative to YouTube, but my content doesn’t fit in there.

Threads vs Twitter vs Bluesky

It seems there is a lot of competition between these billionaire-owned social media giants. One is in free fall, the other taking advantage by launching its product early and on the sidelines is something else which hasn’t made a lot of publicity lately.

Vulgar insults coming from Mr Musk and threats of legal action supposedly because Mr Zuckerberg hired some staff that he pushed out of Twitter. Then ex-Twitter owner Mr Dorsey stirs the pot by putting down both Threads and Twitter, but he has Bluesky and I’m not sure what happened to that. Threads had millions of new sign-ups in its first few days even though it can’t launch in the EU as their privacy rules would not go down well there.

The privacy part of Threads appears quite distasteful, even worse than Meta’s other entities like WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook. I don’t have any desire to sign up to Threads, who haven’t even got a web version yet, and I left Twitter some time ago.

In the news today were the rate limitations Twitter had implemented and how that affected DriveBC getting out critical information.

I would say don’t rely on social media. Some people aren’t on Twitter or Threads, and the only way to get assurances that a wider audience will see important messages is through your own website. My web host does a lot of special events over Twitter but I can’t participate in this benefit as I’m not on that platform, I wish they’d use their own assets to get the info across.

Video and Graphic Apps

I deleted my account from Vimeo some time ago, I wasn’t getting any visitors to my content so there was no point being there.

I had an account at Vero for a while, it was a beautiful app but no one viewed my content maybe because it’s a home for professional photographers and I don’t blame visitors for not wanting to my crappy pictures.

I still have an account on YouTube, my videos are very popular there although I don’t create content too often as the type of videos I produce takes a lot of work.

I’m still on Instagram but don’t post much content there.


The only business type social media I’m on is LinkedIn although I only visit twice a year but quite often forget that its there in the background.


If a social media company has too many “issues” I’d rather just keep away from them and I don’t want to be a pawn in helping billionaires become even richer which is why I am on the Fediverse. Open Source rules!

2023-07-12T21:28:47+00:0012 July 2023|Social Media|

The Ark

The Ark is a US TV Sci-Fi Series aired on the SyFy network in 2023. It was released in Canada on 1st February 2023.


A hundred years into the future, a spacecraft known as Ark One is shuttling a complement of would-be colonists away from a devastated Earth to a new home, Proxima b. The ship suffers a catastrophic event that kills almost all of the technical crew and all of the ship’s senior officers. The survivors must work to reorganize themselves to maintain the boat and stay on course to reach their destination.
Via Wikipedia.


Some, but not all, of the cast members:

Christie Burke as Sharon Garnet
We recently saw her in the 2022 series Billy The Kid. She is a Canadian actress and model.

Reece Richie as Spencer Lane
We recognize other productions he has been in including a 2007 episode of The Bill, Endeavour and the TV series Les Miserables. He is a British actor from Lowestoft.

Richard Fleeshman as James Bruce
Numerous British productions such as 210 episodes of Coronation Street, and 1 episode of Call The Midwife. He is a British actor and singer. In 2008 he supported Elton John on his Summer stadium tour.

Shalini Peiris as Dr Sanjivni Kabir
She has appeared in many productions including most recently Good Karma Hospital which we really enjoyed.

Tiana Upcheva as Eva Markovic
A well known actress from Serbia with recent productions such as The Outpost and Igra subdine.

Pavle Jerinic as Felix Strickland
Also from Serbia he has appeared in numerous production including, with Tiana, The Outpost and Igra subdine.


The show was filmed At Pink Films International Studio in Serbia.

This show didn’t receive good reviews on sites like IMDB, with a rating of only 5.2 stars at the time of writing this. It seemed to be the case that those who watched more episodes enjoyed it more and were giving it a rating between 8-10 out of 10.

One of the complaints I heard about the series was the “unknown actors” they had on it. However, it was an international cast who had quite long resumes, so I believe, because it was on the US channel SyFy, that the audience might have been expecting a American-based blockbuster star. I am more than happy that it gave the opportunity to those actors to break in more to a different market.

There was good character development with numerous personal surprises for each of them. The worst thing about a drama are when a character is the same throughout the show.

The story was pretty solid with mysteries and challenges along the way, plus Dr Smith type character having to content with ie can’t leave him behind so have to put up with him. There was a good level of personal challenges, action and humour.

The CGI was ok, the ark itself didn’t look quite right, can’t lay my finger on it. Inside the ark the special effects were ok. The gear stick, as though it was pinched from a gaming console, I found quite amusing although I’m not sure if it was a purposely funny moment.


The show is worth watching but like everything one needs to give it a chance. The first season of Star Trek The Next Generation wasn’t well received but caught on to be iconic. I will give it a 8/10.


2023-07-11T22:11:59+00:0011 July 2023|Review, Television|

Black Knight

Black Knight (택배기사) is a Korean Sci-Fi drama created for Netflix and placed online on 12 May 2023.

Black Knight


The year is 2071 and toxic air has left the world in devastation. People rarely leave their homes and they receive deliveries through the legendary drivers. While many people live in the devastated world many also live in a domed city in comfort. The truth starts to come out about the other world.


Kim Woo Bin (김우빈) as 5-8
He is an actor and model. We haven’t seen him in any other productions but has a mix of TV and Movie related work.

Song Seung Heon (송승헌) as Ryu Seok
He has had quite a long career, since 1996 in both TV and film. He is an actor, model and singer born in Seoul.

Kang Yoo Seok (강유석) as Sa Wol
He has appeared in many TV productions since his career started in 2018, and he’s been busy.


This show reminds me a little bit of Circle: Two Worlds Connected, however, Black Knight didn’t do so well.

The production quality and special effects were good, I cannot fault it at that. The actors did a good job too.

The show wasn’t written well though and it was tough going at first. I would say things started to come together after the 4th episode and the last episode was the best. I was expecting more, a little bit more context to the show. It felt as though they rushed to put it in a 6 episode format but left the action and the story out.  It appears Netflix-created South Korean content is very much like this, I do better with non-Netlfix shows, maybe it’s just a coincidence.

It can be enjoyable if viewers lower their expectations and want entertainment where thinking is not required.

I give it a generous 2/5.

Where To Watch

As far as I’m aware this can only be watched on Netflix.


2023-06-24T04:12:35+00:0024 June 2023|Review South Korea|

The Brocade Mouse Royal Cat Nine Deep Blood Wolf

The “Brocade Mouse Royal Cat Nine Deep Blood Wolf”, or a more simple alternative title “Sleek Rat and Royal Cat” [锦鼠御猫之九幽血狼] is a Chinese movie that was released on 22 May 2020.


So, we have demon wolfs, the Song Dynasty and two guys who tease each other but team up to solve strange death in Bianliang City and return people to a peaceful life.


Andrew Pong [龐景峰] as Bai Yu Tang
Andrew is an Australian born American actor and singer based in Hong Kong. He is also a martial artist and love dogs. This is the first production I have seen him in, although The Leakers does seem familiar to us.
Instagram | YouTube | IMDB

He Ming Han [何明翰] as Zhan Zhao
Quite a long career of mostly television work but we haven’t seen him in any other productions. He is an actor and singer from Nanton and studied at the Shanghai Theater Academy.

Sleek Rat and Royal CatReview – SPOILERS

The reason why I watched this film is because I was intrigued by the long title, from that I expected a crazy comedy,

I think this must have been a made-for-TV movie, it’s only 1 hour 23 minutes in length and the story is not really tight as it should have been.

The action scenes were pretty good, some of it was quite obviously CGI, but generally much of it is what we would expect from a big budget movie. On the downside, it appeared they hit the fast-forward button on these action sequences, not sure why, maybe to hide some of the CGI created stuff or because they had to fit in so much in the allowed time. It certainly gave some opportunity to show off Andrew Pong’s skillset.

The humour was great and I would have placed this film in the comedy category above anything else. The movie was fun to watch from that perspective and would have been duller otherwise.

The love interest of Zhan Zhao, Ding Yue Hua, was slightly annoying after a while but I am pleased they offset that off with some action from her.

They shouldn’t have knocked off all the ladies in the first 10 minutes of the film. I felt that was a mistake. They should have integrated into the film later on.

I understand some people liked the music in the movie but writing this afterwards I have no recollection of it. Maybe I should go back and listen to it again.

It was a decent entertainment but not something I would have paid for at the cinema. I will give it 2.5/5.

Where To Watch

We saw this movie on Viki but it’s also on Tubi and YouTube.

2023-06-19T20:51:23+00:0019 June 2023|Review China|

Line Walker Movie One

Line Walker (the movie) (使徒行者) is a Hong Kong film that was released on 11th August 2016. We watched this shortly after the first TV series.


Several cops went undercover but due to some issues, their identities were erased from the police database. This is the first of two films.


Charmaine Sheh (佘詩曼) who appeared in the first TV series plays the main character, Ding Siu Ka.

Line Walker Movie Charmaine Sheh

Benz Hui (許紹雄) is back but plays Tam Fun Hei

Line Walker Movie Benz Hui

Louis Koo (古天樂) plays Siu Zi Long, the main lead.


Line Walker Movie PosterThis was nowhere as good as the TV series although it was moderately watchable. In fact, the film was sadly a bit of a disappointment.

Charmaine Sheh and Benz Hui made the movie for me otherwise it wouldn’t have been the same. Charmaine has some very humorous scenes carrying on a similar style to the series, also a good action scene or two as well. There was kind of a switch in roles for Benz, he is such a great actor, very engaging on screen.

For the storyline and character development, I thought it could have done so much better. As the film progressed Ding Siu Ka seemed to lose the humour element of the story.

If they took out Louis Koo and put in a couple more actors from the TV series it would have been better. Michael Miu was so good in the TV series maybe my expectations were a character as he portrayed.

Reviewers on other sites said they really liked the movie but didn’t rate it as high as the series. So, I will give it a 2.5/5.

Where Can I Watch

This film is available on TubiTV. It is supposed to be on Netflix in some regions, but not in Canada which hasn’t acquired any of the series.

2023-06-13T17:35:30+00:0013 June 2023|Review Hong Kong|

Cheer Up, Mr Lee

Cheer Up, Mr Lee (힘을 내요, 미스터 리) is a movie from South Korea that was released on 11 September 2019.


Cheol Soo has a perfect appearance, but he is a bit slow. One day, his daughter Saet Byeol appears in front of him. Saet Byeol has been sick and she has been in the hospital. They start on a trip.
via AsianWiki


Cha Seung Won (차승원) As Cheol Soo.
He received an engineering degree before embarking as a model and then into acting which established him as a major star. I don’t recall seeing him in any other show. His performance in this movie was amazing.

Uhm Chae Young (엄채영) as Saet Byeol
She must have only been about 12 years old when making this movie, what an amazing performance. Haven’t seen her in other productions but has a long list in her resume.

Park Hae Joon (박상우) as Young Soo
Another great performance, he began his career in theatre arts in 2007 and has been in many different productions since. I haven’t seen him before this film.

Kim Hye Ok (김혜옥) as Hee Ja
Long list of credits to her name, and she started her career in the 1980s. She was in the TV series Manhole which I saw a few episodes of but don’t recall her. She was born in Japan.


This was a brilliant film. Such an emotional roller coaster too of comedic, sad and emotional uplifting scenes.

The story was very well done, at first I thought the script was leading us to one place in Cheol Soo’s mind but was in fact reality. It was such so cleverly done.

As an avid fan of daily Korean dramas it helped me understand some of the tongue in cheek scenes. Those who are watching their first Korean from might not appreciate the references.

The whole movie script and production was so cleverly done you felt emotionally drawn into and part of what was going on. I would want to watch out for other work by the Director Lee Kye Byuk and Jang Yoon Mi.

On many review sites people were scoring 10/10 for this movie and I totally agree. This is a must see film. Totally family friendly.

Where To Watch

The film is available on Viki and Tubi. Also on Netflix and Amazon depending on the region.


2023-06-12T22:14:37+00:0012 June 2023|Review South Korea|

Line Walker

Line Walker (使徒行者) is a TV series from Hong Kong made by TVB and broadcast in 2014. There are three TV series and 2 films.

Line Walker


A number of undercover cops are wiped from the system and it’s up to Cheuk Hoi to find out where they are. They get together to fight gangs plus corruption within the Hong Kong police force.


Michael Miu (苗僑偉) as Cheuk Hoi
A veteran of these types of police action series, we have also seen him in shows like Flying Tiger.

Charmaine Sheh (佘詩曼) as Ding Siu Ka
Has appeared in many shows since 1999 and was the first Hong Kong TV actress to be shortlisted for the semi-finals of the Best Actress category at the 35th International Emmy Awards in 2007.

Raymond Lam (林峯) as Sit Ka Keung
We saw him in P Storm but don’t think we knew of him back then. He was born in China and his Great Grandmother is Spanish.

Benz Hui (許紹雄) as Foon Hei Gor
Another veteran actor whose on-screen presence just makes me chuckle. We’ve seen a couple of other productions he’s been in. His career goes way back to 1972.

Oscar Leung (梁競徽) as Muk Sat
We’ve seen him in many shows such as K9 Cop, Flying Tiger and Tiger Cubs. His role in this show was mostly humorous and he did a great job with the character.
Instagram (Private Account)


Line Walker is definitely an action-packed series with lots of tense drama, some romance and lots of comedy. Obviously, a popular series since they made two other seasons and two films out of it.

The story was good. There was one overall one with small but surprising story arcs. Just when you think it was reaching one conclusion about one arc it went off in another direction with a character’s story going in an unexpected track.  A lot was packed in. There were breaks in the action, for example, 2 or 3 episodes of action followed by one that would be comical or romantic.

The characters developed well within the series, and none of them stagnated at all. Some TV series are boring if they don’t change in any shape or form. Most of the characters had nicknames which I haven’t detailed here, one of them was slightly rude.

The actors were perfect for the roles they had. I thought some side actors who have been leading roles in other dramas should have had their characters on screen more. I was expecting a bit more.

I was quite surprised when they killed off some of my favourite characters, I would have liked them to finish their story in a more positive manner, I guess that is life.

The music was typical of TVB action dramas, like a racing car going full steam ahead.

Just like some other TVB dramas, some female characters could have been treated better than just “babes in swimsuits”.

Overall, I give it 4.5/5 and can’t wait to see the next series.

Where Can I Watch

Currently it’s available on TubiTV. I don’t know of its availability outside of North America.

2023-06-07T23:01:55+00:007 June 2023|Review Hong Kong|


Lush is a store I would visit in London from time to time, a long time ago. Since I do like a unique handmade soap now and again I thought I would try out their branch in Vancouver.


I usually use Yardley soap from the UK which is available everywhere in Canada. It suits my skin type. Whenever I see a handmade soap shop I will buy something usually in an oatmeal-type scent. There is a store on Granville Island that I love. For moisturiser, I use the Bulldog brand which is also from the UK.

Visit to Lush

I went into Lush and asked if they had an Oatmeal type product, they said no but they went on to give me a sales pitch and I’m not sure they actually listened to my initial ask.

I found out later that the store now pitches itself towards the 25-35-year-old market, so maybe they aren’t used to an old geezer going in there.

I did buy one bar of soap from them but it was CAD$19!

I was the only one in the store and it was lunchtime with many people passing so I’m not sure if they are really that busy. Maybe many people had forgotten they existed, which is what some are saying. The company has decreased their social media presence, maybe that is a risky way forward these days. Some seem to discuss whether they are ethically minded but it seems they are “on that journey”.


These are price comparisons of the products I use:

A Yardley bar of soap is about CAD$1.25 each and lasts for a month. A four-pack of soap can be cheaper.

A unique bar of soap costs me around CAD$5.99. These can be found at markets and specialist stores. Whether they are ethical is hit and miss, it’s best to check before buying it.

So, CAD$19 for Lush is way out there beyond anything I’ve paid before. The same bar in Lush UK costs CAD0.30 less.

Soap Review

The bar of soap I bought was ok but nothing to write home about. It breaks up into many little pieces. Instead of moisturising my skin it actually dried it out. The smell is quite strong and carries out of the bathroom into the hallway.

I will use it for hand rather than face use. I won’t buy it again, too expensive for the quality, or lack thereof.

Lessons Learned

It’s good to try these things but I will stick to Yardley and handmade soaps.

2023-06-07T20:53:25+00:007 June 2023|Review|