"I need some fucking friends." -- Peter Klaven (I Love You, Man)
Sunday, February 07, 2016

Embedding for posterity. Or at least until YouTube takes it down.

This is the A and B sides to Nogizaka46's last single from last year: Ima, Hanashitai Dereka Ga Iru (今、話したい誰かがいる). The first song is the title song. The senbatsu members are all very, very pretty in this. It is also a very pretty, pretty song. The second song is the Under Girl's song: Shitto no Kenri (嫉妬の権利). It has the most passionate performance by the members ever. In fact both sides do their song with feeling which is usually hard to find in idol music.

After listening over and over, I think this is a very fine single and can't wait for the next Nogi release.


Spotlight is one of the nominees for best picture of the year. I am not sure why though. It is at best a good example of investigative journalism like The Insider, but it lacks any dramatic elements to make it seem important. Yes, given the subject matter it is an important story to tell, but it doesn't carry the weight of a best picture nominee. It looks as if the Academy was needing to put substantive films into that category and just grabbed for whatever is out there.

Spotlight is the story of the investigative news team of the Boston Globe that published the infamous Catholic Church sexual predator priest coverup. This is important in the sense that they made the Church acknowledge its problems; but they couldn't make the Church pay for its actions. The Church is still run by dudes who would wish away evil than confront it, and is still supported by millions of followers that want to believe that the goodness the Church does outweighs the fact that it still harbors and abets sexual predators.

The major problem with the movie I had is that their is no drama. There may be characters that search deep in their soul for a way to rectify the good Church and the bad priests, but that all seemed to be rote -- needed to establish that good Christians struggle with faith, too. There definitely wasn't any drama in terms of where the story was heading as this is all old news. There could've been drama in the way the reporters, all relapsed Catholics, approached their loss in faith, but they didn't really touch too much on that.

The actors were fine. I'm glad to see Racheal McAdams in movies again. Ruffalo was excellent, but his character was the least interesting -- a relapsed Catholic abhors the Church because of its penchant for hiding its sins?

The best that this can be is a nice TCM diversion during its annual 31 days of Oscars. That's where I would catch it.

3 of 5 stars.

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Wednesday, February 03, 2016

This will break the internet!


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Friday, January 29, 2016
Snowmageddon Selfie.

Snow-pocalypse! That shit was coming down. We need one of these blizzards every three years. And we need some snow every winter. Fudge global warming.


Carol continues director Todd Haynes's turn as a latter day Douglas Sirk. In Carol, he explores the suppressed sexual desires between a young counter clerk and an older woman. In this though, the clerk is a young woman. It is a movie based on a Patricia Highsmith novel, The Price of Salt, which was a formative novel for the gay and lesbian community.

In this film as in the book, the love that blossoms between the women is meant to be normal. It attempts to have a happy ending, but it was still ambiguous. It attempts to make the young lady realize her growing desire. It attempts to make the older woman less of a vamp and more of a tortured soul. They are or may be right together.

As with Sirk, Haynes deals with the sublimated ugliness within American culture of the 50s. The way the husband whispered in quiet tones about his wife's dalliances. The way the boyfriends desperately pleaded with the young one for some semblance of hetero love. The discreet glances, the touches, all had to be held back in a more repressive society.

There is a scene of lovemaking in this movie. It was tasteful to say the least. Somewhat titillating showing the love made physical. It was there to remind us that there was still sex at that time.

I really wanted to like this film, but it was too smooth for me. I can see how it has won accolades with the acting by both Kate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. Both actresses were very good effectively portraying the strain in their psyche as they fought society, their desires, and their commitments. It may have been a good movie but not for me.

3 of 5 stars.

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Friday, January 22, 2016
Sorry about those offline videos, but that's what happens when you link to them from YouTube and their Japanese rights owners complain and revoke the accounts. I wish I could still bring you awesome Nogizaka46 videos, but YouTube takes too much.


Friday, January 15, 2016

They have never been more prettier than in this performance.

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Everything about this song fucking rulez!

The intro, the verses, the choruses... ROCKING!

The senbatsu, the hachi-fukujin + 1, the center, the 2nd generation... GREAT CHOICES!

The dance choreograph, the lyrics, the girls, seifuku... NICE!

The covers of the albums... COOL!

I love this song. I can play it on the guitar. I sing it most every day. Play this at my funeral!

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Thursday, January 07, 2016
Fukagawa Mai announced her graduation from Nogizaka46 today. I am sad again.

But it's not like she's one of my favorites. I love 'em all. If forced to order, MaiMai would not make my top 10. From reading others, she is beloved by the fans, therefore she's beloved by me.

She is the oldest currently of the group. It was expected that she would want to graduate soon. I wasn't expecting anyone from the group to announce so soon after their triumph at Kouhaku. Yet, it had to happen.

The olds are leaving and the news must rise to the challenge. Will Nogizaka46 be the same?

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Friday, January 01, 2016
Here's the year end list of the best movies I saw live in the theatre for 2015. "Best" means I gave it greater than or equal to 4 stars (4 or 5).

4 stars. Star Wars: The Force Awakens -- I can't wait to find out what happens to Rey. I hope she becomes a real good character if they write her correctly.
4 stars. Perfect Blue -- An old anime, but seen for the first time, Satoshi Kon's first film makes me miss him more.
5 stars. Mad Max: Fury Road -- AWESOME!
4 stars. While We're Young -- Kylo Ren is emo.
4 stars. Selma -- Should've won best picture last year.

These were the films I loved after walking out of the movie theatre. That's not a lot considering I think I saw at least 20. There are a few I wish I loved more, but they didn't make the grade. Maybe sometime later they will, but for now these will suffice.

What were your favorites from last year?

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