Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Overdue updates

Friday, October 16th, 2009

OK, so much for my updating at least once a week idea. Work has been a little busier lately and Michelle hasn’t been feeling 100% all the while Kira seems to be developing a temper as a couple more teeth start ripping through her gums.

I’m glad I don’t remember that process.  They say that is one of the worst pains ever but truthfully how would you know?  Babies can’t tell you how it feels or how it compares to childbirth, root canals or drawn and quartering.  You can’t hook them up to a meter and see the pain on a graph.  I guess it’s like most things… a guess.

Michelle and I took a little time last weekend away from the baby and went to have lunch at Red Lobster and then off to see Zombieland.  If you haven’t seen Zombieland yet then you are truly missing out.  It’s funny, goofy, scary (stupid clown), self-deprecating, a bit gory and full of action.  There’s even a touching moment so there’s something for everyone.  Meaning emotionally touching… not inappropriately touching…  you know what I mean.

I’ve got a bunch of vacation days that need to be taken before the end of the year so I am figuring out how to plan that out.  Everytime I think I have it all sorted something new comes up.  It happened again today.  Urgh.

Oh, I have a Playstation 3 now!  Yay!  Although I really don’t have any games for it.  I got it used on eBay and it did come with Street Fighter 4 (which I really don’t like surprisingly) and Singstar (which is kinda fun but quite limited compared to other music games).  So I don’t count those.  I’m hoping to get the Game of the Year edition of Little Big Planet for Christmas because that just looks fun to me.  Maybe I should download the demo and try it out first but it seems interesting.  Plus God of War 3 will be out eventually although since the main guy involved in the first two is no longer part of the franchise I’m not holding my breath.

I got the old 60GB PS3 which is why I got it on eBay instead of going to the store.  I picked that one specifically because it is the only model that has the hardware emulation for both PS1 andPS2 games built-in.  So of course the first thing I did was play We Love Katamari.  Because I just can’t get enough of rolling stuff into balls.  Don’t ask because I don’t know.

District 9: Humans Suck

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

The wife and I went to go see District 9 last night since we had sent Kira off to live with the gypsies a bit ago (she’s at Grandma Stinky’s, don’t you fret none).  I’m not sure exactly what I had expected but I know that the movie has been getting some strangely good reviews and some interesting hype.  I knew it wasn’t a typical alien invasion movie but that was about it.  Obviously I hadn’t read the description from the link above.

First off – and to sum up – the movie was great.  I see now what all the fuss is about.  But the movie really should have gotten a sub-title.  You know, a little extra title following a colon.  It’s all the rage.  And this movie would then have been titled District 9: Humans Suck.  That also sums it up well.

The movie starts strangely enough in an almost Discovery Channel style documentary but don’t let that fool you.  After some interestingly vague setup, the humans go about being assholes in general to the aliens.  Then some strange things happen and some violence and then the movie completely shifts gears.  I don’t want to give any details because I think the less you know going in to see this movie the better you are.  Just take along an open mind with your five gallon bucket of soda and wheelbarrow of popcorn.

I say that because you probably won’t like some of the things you see.  I’m not talking about the increased level of gore towards the end of the movie because the way it’s portrayed makes sense in the movie.  It is never out of place and only strengthens the real horror of what you are seeing.  That someone wrote a story that is probably the most honest depiction of how humans in general would react to aliens appearing on Earth.  Some of you may disagree and you are entitled to that opinion but I think those who do need to take a look at the news.

What the story is really about is racism at the heart of it all.  Sure there are awesome alien weapons and other things that had me saying “ohmygawddidyouseethatthatwasawesome!” like a five year old.  But, in my opinion, the take-away from this movie is that humans can’t stand minor differences in people of our own race.  How could those same people ever cope with dealing with another intelligent race that is thrust into our society?   Bigger picture themes such as corporate greed, corrupt government agencies and a complete disrespect for life in the search for power also shine through at the appropriate times and bring it all together.

If you are squeamish, you may not like all that you see.  That’s OK.  That’s nothing compared to how the movie  might make you feel about the ethnically different person sitting next to you.

When Child Porn Laws Go Bad

Friday, May 29th, 2009

You are a criminal.  You may not have known that but if you are fairly media savvy then most likely you are a criminal based on this conviction of a comic book collector.

Here’s the quick summary: a man who is a prolific collector of Japanese manga (comics) was found guilty of child pornography because of artwork in a series of manga that he was importing depicting depraved sex acts with children.  According to the article, this is a man who collected ALL types of manga and not just this style which puts him in the realm of what should have been considered an art collector.  He faces up to 15 years in jail.

So here’s the problem – this is a victimless crime.  There is no one who has been hurt… no one who has been wronged…  no one to be compensated.  These are drawings of fictional characters.  And the law has been left purposely vague (although less vague than the first iteration) so that it can cover things it was never meant to cover.  So now a comic collector is being put in jail and resources that could have been used to catch and prosecute real child pornographers has been wasted.

Welcome to the new world that allows for an idea to be illegal.  The most common anology to this is that if we play a video game that has us kill a virtual person are we then considered a murderer?  Sounds far-fetched doesn’t it? Now think about every school shooting over the past few years and how many times video games were blamed as influencers of the mentally flawed people who commited these crimes.

So where does the line get drawn?  Do we need to burn every copy of Lolita?  Should fans of Dakota Fanning get thrown in jail for watching Hounddog?  I guess we can’t make any more gang movies… ya know, unless no one dies of unnatural causes in them.  Slumdog Millionaire should have been X-rated based on this kind of thinking (oh wait, everyone loved it and it won awards).

What’s your opinion? (please read the article or be familiar with the case before venting)

Haibane Renmei

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008
Haibane Renmei DVD box art

Haibane Renmei DVD box art

I just finished watching the last few episodes of Haibane Renmei. It’s not the typical anime that would normally appeal to me and I hadn’t even heard of it till I happened to see clips of it from an anime music video. It’s only 13 episodes long and it’s a sad but sweet story that I really enjoyed.

The pacing of it and the feeling I got while watching this show was similar to how I feel when watching My Neighbor Totoro for the ump-teenth time. Which is a good thing because I absolutely love Totoro.  Haibane Renmei just seems similar to me for some reason.  There’s no real action, no bad guy, no ‘obvious’ conflict. I wrote more but deleted it. If anyone is actually inspired to watch this short series, I’d hate to give away any clues as to what happens.  All I want to say is that this is the type of story that will have the more sensitive types with at least a few tears.

And for those who see the characters in this have halos and feathered wings and immediately dismiss the show then it’s your loss.  The characters may look something like angels but there’s nothing religious about the series.  It has its own mythologies and beliefs that, as far as I could tell, should offend no ones sensibilities.

If this sounds like something you’d like, I would definitely recommend at least a rental.  I watched it in Japanese with English subtitles.  I know some people are put off by subtitles but they aren’t bad at all here.  The dialog is easy to follow.

La Vida Poco

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Bachelor life is starting to get to me I think.  I’ve played so much Beautiful Katamari that I think my hands have permanantly contorted into grasping claws.  Which is actually rather convenient for playing XBox games to be honest.  Makes typing hard though.

Add to that bizarre Japanese game the fact that I have been watching nothing but Japanese language movies and TV (with English subtitles of course) and I’m relatively sure I can here The Vapors invading my internal soundtrack.  And that’s never a good thing.

As you can see from my Most Recently list over on the right, it’s been kind of crazy.  I’m also watching Kagemusha but I didn’t get to finish it last night due to various phone calls and laundry, but that’s another that will be added to the list.  I actually haven’t completely finished watching Haibane Renmei yet either so please do not post anything about that or any spoilers (that pretty much means Insomnic).  I would hate to have to kill you in your sleep.

I’m currently downloading Neon Genesis Evangelion so I can continue this craziness.  I can’t get an English version here in Hong Kong, so… well… piracy to the rescue!  Don’t worry MPAA, it’s still on my Amazon Wishlist.

Perhaps I’ll get some sushi for lunch today.  Hmm….