"The intel on this wasn't 100%."
Wednesday, December 07, 2016
USS Arizona memorial

The USS Missouri looking over the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor, HI.

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Sunday, December 04, 2016
Allied will be to Brad Pitt's relationship as Mr. and Mrs. Smith had been. You will be too busy thinking about his love life than the movie. In fact, you would rather be thinking about his love life than this movie. You'll get more satisfaction.

Not sure if I should've started this review with that. I don't really believe that it was the case. The movie is fine. Brad's love life isn't. Let's save that for the tabloids. Let's watch movies without that baggage.

Anyhow, the film would be better if you don't think about it.

But yes, this one is about a man who thinks his wife could be a Nazi. In simpler times, Hollywood would make these movies over and over again. A simple quick movie with some star caliber and a nice clean simple story.

It's a serviceable film. Neither good nor bad. Just a film to watch on an autumn day.

3 of 5 stars.

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Saturday, December 03, 2016
I guess if I do this I have to go all the way.

First off, I forgot to put this manga on the previous haul. I picked it up because it should start to get awesome. It's about ballroom dancing, and I figure that it will be like a sports manga where the main character has to overcome his weakness to excel in ballroom dance. Perhaps. Maybe. Or I won't be getting the next volume.

Welcome to the Ballroom Volume 1 by Tomo Takeuchi

To get to the next part, let's say I have already tons of cookbooks about Japanese food. What do I do with another one besides not reading it? Sure. Maybe make something. This one's the Iron Chef's cookbook about home cooking Japanese style. Perhaps it will get me a Japanese girlfriend? O. Perhaps not.

Mastering The Art of Japanese Home Cooking by Iron Chef Morimoto

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016
I have no idea what they are trying to sell, but nothing but Nogizaka46 members on the landing page will make you love life.


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Friday, November 25, 2016
Imagine my surprise when I saw a Friday matinee of The Handmaiden when it suddenly turned into an very erotic film bordering on pornography. The theatre was almost empty. When I entered I smugly chose the middle seat four rows up in the same row as an older couple. One more gentleman entered before screening and another, an employee, came in halfway through the film. Next thing we know, the female protagonists where in a very naked embrace. Me likey. As one of them went down on the other and declared, as she stared enthralled at her partner, how beautiful it was, I just shook my head in agreement. Dang I haven't seen a movie like this in a while.

The Handmaiden is about the con. It about a pickpocket who gets a job as the personal maid of an upper crust lady. She's in cahoots with a swindler who is trying to woo the lady. Except it's not. It's about a lady who can not stand her life under her domineering uncle and is looking for a way out. She's in cahoots with the swindler to find a body double to kill so that she can run away scot free. I'm sorry if you read those sentences and think I spoiled it for you. I didn't. It's pretty twisted and convoluted that you will enjoy the story.

The big thing to say about this film is the sex. It is very real. I wonder how it was filmed. It must've been a very closed set. This isn't your average porno shoot with porno stars. These are real Korean actresses. It's wonder. If you need a taste of it, go look for erotic Japanese woodcuts. The scenes were filmed with them in mind. They mostly looked as though the director wanted to bring them to life. It's all highly erotic work.

But the story is good as well. Nice and twisty. Very noir-ish. It will keep you wondering. Overall, it reminds me of another slightly lesbian erotic thriller, Bound.

I feel like seeing it again.

4 of 5 stars.

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Thursday, November 24, 2016
The title of the story from which the film, Arrival, is based on is "Story of Your Life." Now does that sound like a science fiction movie to you? No. But it is a science fiction type of story. Also, that title should give you a clue on what type of movie you about to see. Arrival doesn't. It connotes alien invasion. The original story title connotes a more intimate story, which is how the movie played.

The story is about a linguist given the duty to decipher the language of aliens who've just arrived. She needs to solve the mystery of why. Or the world will start shooting.

From the get go, the film was an intimate story. It started with what looked to be a flash back, but in the end may have been a premonition. Or it could've been the present. You see it was all time based. Now. Then. Tomorrow. Today. Past. Present. Future. What she and us experienced is the now -- the story of my life.

As the movie ended and I was leaving, this gentlemen looked me directly in the eye and said definitively, "That movie sucked!" Yes. It is a divisive film because it wasn't sold correctly. People wanted alien invasion, but it was a story about the linguist and her life. They should've never changed the title, but I understand because who will watch a science fiction film that is an intimate story.

I think it will enter the cannon of great science fiction movies, but that will take some time.

3 of 5 stars.

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Here we are at the tail end of 2016, a year in which we wish it had ended better. We should try not to dwell on it, but look towards to future. I will fight the future like the X-Files. But let's at this moment be thankful for things...

Thank Kami-sama for Nogizaka46: Akimoto Manatsu, Ikuta Erika, Ikoma Rina, Ito Marika, Inoue Sayuri, Eto Misa, Kawago Hina, Kawamura Mahiro, Saito Asuka, Saito Chiharu, Saito Yuri, Sakurai Reika, Shiraishi Mai, Takayama Kazumi, Nakada Kana, Nakamoto Himeka, Nishino Nanase, Noujo Ami, Higuchi Hina, Hoshino Minami, Matsumura Sayuri, Wakatsuki Yumi, Wada Maaya. The second gen: Ito Karin, Ito Junna, Kitano Hinako, Sagara Iori, Sasaki Kotoko, Shinuchi Mai, Suzuki Ayane, Terada Ranze, Hori Miona, Yamazaki Rena, Watanabe Miria. And my favorites coming into the third gen: Ito Riria, Iwamoto Renka, Umezawa Minami, Ozono Momoko, Kubo Shiori, Sakaguchi Tamami, Sato Kaede, Nakamura Reno, Mukai Hazuki, Yamashita Mizuki, Yoshida Ayano Christy, Yoda Yuki.

Thanks also to AKB48-san and to Keyaki-chan. They'll always bring a smile to my face.

Thanks to this MacBook Pro. Thanks to Apple. Thanks to food.

Thanks to Mom, Dad, Uncle, Aunt. Thanks to friends, family, and relatives. Thanks to Philippines, Japan, Hawaii, Iceland, Germany -- places to visit.

Thanks to President Obama.

I'm sure that this is just a start of a long list. In the end be thankful for your happy, healthy life.


Wednesday, November 23, 2016
I'm still buying DVDs. I'm still trying to find myself in the bookstore. I'm still trying to find my bookstore girl. This time around I bought 2 more DVDs during the B&N 50% off Criterion Collection sale. It happens bi-annually, so every 6 months I'm buying another couple of foreign or arthouse movies. Maybe someday I will find that girl.

The Makioka Sisters directed by Kon Ichikawa
A Touch of Zen directed by King Hu

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Thievery Corporation came into their own with the ascendancy of W. Maybe we'll get more good music with the dumb Republican elect. Fuck that guy. But we need some more good music. Let's listen and think.

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Monday, November 14, 2016

In these trying times of Donald Trump as president elect, we need something to make us happy. Nogizaka46 makes me happy. Here's a guitar cover version that is pretty great. I'm hoping for many happy Nogi songs for the next 4 years.

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