Articles by Maggie Liu
May 15, 2012
When I found out that Marvel was making a movie called The Avengers where they dumped all their famous superheroes together, I figured it was just another franchise film. Marvel films are known for their explosions, ruggedly handsome actors, and romantic subplots. After watching so many of such films, I anticipated the typical formula. While The Avengers did follow that formula to some extent, it also showed Hollywood how real entertainment should be done.
April 6, 2012
The Hunger Games, like its prior fantasy predecessors, Twilight and Harry Potter, is a behemoth. It has the hopes and dreams of millions of tween fangirls and fanboys on the line. When I discovered that they were making the bestselling book series into movies, I could not say I was surprised — what I did not anticipate was being impressed by the first movie. Even for those who have not read the series, the movie is a solid standalone film. It has all the necessary elements: beautiful cinematography, breadth of colorful characters, and the right moments to pull the audience’s heartstrings. What makes premise of The Hunger Games so unique though is that the most monstrous creatures the protagonist faces are other humans.
December 2, 2011
The Airborne Toxic Event (TATE) has seen the spotlight this past year. They performed on the The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, were selected for the soundtrack of summer romantic comedy hit Crazy Stupid Love, and even made a cameo appearance on the season finale of Gossip Girl — and a cameo on Gossip Girl can mark the beginning of an indie band’s journey to mainstream fame.
November 18, 2011
Like Crazy is perhaps one of the most ill-fitting titles for a film. When I first heard of the movie, I cringed a little inside and vowed that I’d box that title away into a corner of my mind and hopefully never touch it again. The title, coupled with the two young leading actors and a been-there-done-that long-distance sob story, seemed to reek of adolescent angst. Dubiously eyeing Yelchin’s peach fuzz, I scoffed and thought to myself, What would this high school movie know about love?
April 22, 2011
The fashion world has seen its fair share of strong personalities and peculiar characters. Ruthlessly honest and demanding Vogue editors, diva supermodels, and celebrity-obsessed designers seem to run rampant. The documentary on Bill Cunningham is not really about a renowned fashion photographer, but rather an artist and visual historian who happens to love his subjects very, very much.
November 19, 2010
Our generation has become used to the slapstick SNL teen comedies. At first glance,<i> Easy A </i>is not dissimilar to its predecessors like<i> Mean Girls</i>. However, unlike other attempts at teenage comedy following <i>Mean Girls</i>, <i>Easy A</i> is fresh, cheeky and actually on the mark.
November 5, 2010
Wall Street. The two word phrase has been the bane of Main Street for the last two years. We have vilified bankers due to the likes of Bernie Madoff, Citi’s ex-execs and in general shunned and publicly denigrated those who have been tainted with the four word acronym TARP. Well, unfortunately, Oliver Stone’s <i>Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps </i>does nothing to dispel the negative public sentiments associated with the Street. The sequel to the famed 1987 film about greed and deception, it has all the bells and whistles but ultimately falls short of its full potential. The platform was set to address the recent financial calamity and really delve beyond the surface greed but ultimately, shies away from the ugly truths behind the downfall.
October 1, 2010
Socially conscious fashion. A conundrum in itself. For an industry that is based mostly around aesthetics and has been historically nonchalant about animals — much less the healthcare of employees — the growing attention to sustainable design and fair trade is curious. We hear about it occasionally — Natalie Portman’s line of shoes for Te Casan composed of all man-made materials, Bono and his wife’s fashion brand ROGAN — but for the most part, sustainable fashion has not hit the pavement runway.
August 27, 2010
Fashion photography tells a story. With each ad campaign, each extravagant photo shoot, haute couture designers and stylists are selling a story about a woman, about a lifestyle. The woman decked out in pearls with a cigarette perched between gloved fingers and leaning coyly into a handsome Clark Gable-look alike is perhaps a wealthy matron meeting her lover. The young girl applying eyeliner carefully, tongue stuck out in concentration allows the public an intimate glimpse into perhaps the last five minutes before a date with a beau.
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August 4, 2010
An idea is more than a thought. It’s a virus, a cancer of sorts, that can spread until it completely takes over a person, until it defines the person. A single idea from the human mind can build cities. An idea can transform the world and rewrite all the rules. This is the premise of the film, <i>Inception</i>.