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LAist Movie Review: 1,000 Years of Good Prayers

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Look at this photo for two hours and you start to get the idea. Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

People must think it's really hard to lead a cult. Navigating those large crowds into giving you their money, spending sleepless nights convincing the weak-minded to do your most obscure bidding, only to have them all kill themselves at a moment's notice. Actually, most of that does sound pretty hard; except the suicide bit. Here's the trick: if you ever develop an unstable bloodlust that can only be satiated by stopping the neural processes inside the brains of large groups of people, get a copy of the movie 1,000 Years of Good Prayers and send out an Evite.

Assuming you're not a zombie (if you are, let's hang out - I know a spot on Pico that will feed you all the sesos you could want), you will find no redeemable quality to this movie, beyond it's ability to euthanize. The sad part is that 1,000 Years isn't bad in that way that makes movies like Strange Brew so good. It's actually bad. Coming in at a shade over two hours, one might be better spending their time debating the importance of subtlety to Flavor Flav. Anything, really.

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Primarily, 1,000 Years concerns an aging Chinese gentleman as he flies to Spokane, Washington to meet his Americanized daughter. Initially, the reason for this visit is unclear (and unneeded!), as the father-daughter relationship plows full-steam ahead into such natural topics as the spelling of a gas station sign. After comfortably falling into line as the doting father figure who is convinced his child doesn't eat enough, actor Henry O manages to squirm and stammer on screen for the next hour and a half. Even the bountiful and beautiful-sounding exchanges in Mandarin come across as stilted and stale in director Wayne Wang's hands. If you are interested in Wayne Wang's burgeoning repertoire, please see also: Maid in Manhattan, Because of Winn-Dixie, or the sure fire Queen Latifah hit Last Holiday.