Category Archives: TV&Films

Skies, Airplanes and Star wars

Since August last year, I have been traveling often to Sweden. Business trips. People say “Good for you!” whenever I tell this, but actually, it’s physically tough. Maybe I’m too old to do this 😛

What’s difficult is…flights. I often take Norwegian air, but they were delayed more than half out of 12 times, the longest waiting time was 6hours…when they told passengers “We don’t have flight clue yet”, I thought it was almost the level of comedy…

Anyway, it’s stressful trip. However, I noticed recently…it seems I really love watching skies. No matter how long a flight was delayed, I felt completely fine after watching the sky for a while at a window seat. These are the pictures I took while business trips.

Content from Skies

Also, I feel super happy whenever I’m looking at something flying, such as planes or birds. This might be because of my dad who is an aircraft engineer. As a kid, I preferred aircraft toys rather than dolls, and my most favourite Ghibli film was Laputa. I watched the scene that Pazu flied to rescue Sita again and again. I used to have a stone which looks like the one in the film and secretly wishing if I could fly with this. Good old days!

Laputa Castle In The Sky (1986) Official Trailer – Full HD 1080p [JAPANESE]

So…the thing which excited me the most recently was of course Star wars. I watched it twice at 2D and 3D IMAX. In fact, this was also my dad’s influence…I just love this series. You might think of lightsaber first when you hear “star wars”, but actually my most favourite is X-wing, for that reason my favourite episode is 4. I love X-wing opening their wings when they go to destroy the Death Star. By the way you can make it with Origami 😀 (If you want to try, check this out.)

@gchicco I did it with post-it… But I should have chosen different colour, it looks a bit like an insect…. 😅 #starwars #xwing

Anyway. Episode7. Compared to the ep 1, 2, 3, which my highlight was just the scenes Yoda fights, I definitely loved this new saga! Some people critisize it as doing exactly the same as the classic episodes, but I think this episode was supposed to be “reboot” of the series, as you can see they say “Every generation has a story” its role was relaying to the new generation…I thought its paying-homage-approach was quite successful. I’m really looking forward to the next episode.

I thought the new casts were amazing. As you can imagine…my favourite scene was when X-wing appears to take a big part, I really liked the pilot: Poe. Also the new heroen Ray looked really cool, and Finn who was taking a bit of comical role with BB-8 entertained us with a new pattern of “ex-storm trooper”.

These are the new faces of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

By the way it seems the new Darth vader, Kylo Ren is gaining a huge popularity, but for me only the image of him is this twin-looking cat lol. They look too similar 😀

A Cat That Looks Like Kylo Ren & More Incredible Links

Finally, you can’t forget BB-8 who inherited R2-D2’s position…Soooo cute! I want one! Actually I sent him to my dad as a Xmas gift. I tried it by myself, but it was really well done, I really didn’t want to let him go…but I will write about it next time.

Well…oh, what was I writing about…? Yeah, it’s just…I like skies…

onedotzero 2011 – wavelength

I can’t believe it’s been one year already…I went to see onedotzero this year too. It was the first time to see wavelength though.

wavelength is a collection of music video. Motion graphics are really interesting as I can enjoy them as long as 1) I like both graphics and music or 2) Graphics is good and music is ok or 3) Music is good but graphics is ummm….which means I could enjoy almost whole 1.5hrs.

So here are my favourites…

“Happy Camper – Born With A Bothered Mind (featuring Bouke Zoete)”

This was my favourite music and graphics. Sad smiles but looks so cute!

“WOODKID – Iron”

This was the “high quality!” I liked the expression of the animals in this video. I suggest to switch it to 1080p…but of course, it’s got lots of noise on youtube…omz.

Porter Robinson // SPITFIRE (CAPTURE THE CAN)

This could be a bit too ordinary pattern…but still looked cool.

To be continued to Extended Play

13 Assassins

I want to write about Germany too, but this one is first maybe.

The film “13 assassins” was released in the U.K., I finally went to see it. To be honest, I was not very keen on Miike Takashi’s films…although I haven’t watched many of them, I don’t like too much violence, and had heard that people usually leave cinema in the middle of stories. But the trailer looked awesome, I really wanted to watch it.

Well, I think I should say it was brilliant. It’s a story about 13 assassins who attempt to assassinate an evil lord who repeats brutal behaviour to people. The first 30mins explains how evil the lord is, and the scenes to describe it are actually, tough to look at. Even when it doesn’t show painful images directly, still its sound, actors face, make you feel “awwww….” If you really don’t like it, probably you shouldn’t watch this film…However, I guess all these scenes make audience think “Right, you can kill this evil guy”, when the assassins trapped the lord, I was feeling like “Yes, kill them all!!!”.

One of the interesting points about this movie was the lord “Naritsugu”, played by a member of Japanese boys band (!) SMAP. As I read some reviews saying he was fascinating, I was really looking forward to him. Well, I thought his acting was not THAT good compared to the other better skilled actors, but still was quite impressed how he did it. Believe me, this is not a type of role that SMAP usually does and brutally killing people with his handsome face was shocking, when he was enjoying people’s death his eyes looked totally insane… Oh no Goro-chan…you usually look so gentle but…awwww…ok yes, he was brilliant.

All of the 13 assassins were so cool, and my favourite was Yamada Takayuki! Actually he was the reason why I wanted to watch this film. I always love his eyes shining deeply inside of them…and this time he did samurai! I didin’t know he could do such a “masculine” type of role….he was too cool…(sigh) even compared to the other “good-looking” actors, his presence was really strong. And Ihara Tsuyoshi! I’ve been a fan of him since I watched the theatre “Blood gets in your eyes”, his sword action is always so dynamic. You can see a great highlight of his action in the last half of this film, don’t miss it! … well it’s impossible to miss such a cool combat scene… Yakusho Koji, who played the leader of the 13, and Matsukata Hiroki were quietly refined, and Ichimura Masaki who acted as a samurai who fought to protect the lord, knowing he was evil, was also quite powerful. It looked so thrilling when he faced against Yakusho Koji… I think the director, Miike is so good at creating “tension”.

In general, I really liked rather classical way of shooting/direction, like, Japanese rooms which are quietly lighted with candles looked beautiful. On the other hand, the scenes which used CG looked a bit too much, it looked so unrealistic compared to other realistic scenes… Anyway, for someone like me who likes Samurai films really enjoyed it. Sword fighting was cool, the way samurai behaved looked cool as well. It was worth being patient with the violent scenes…The sound is so great too, so I recommend to watch it in cinema. By the way, MIike’s next samurai film, the main cast is Ebizo! And Eita! And the music is Sakamoto Ryuichi! Oh wow…I can’t miss it… but I heard some people left the theatre at Cannes…oh dear…but look at this clip…how can I miss it???

Tron Legacy

When I went back to Japan, I went to see Tron. Although I saw it as 3D, it didn’t look 3D at all and instead only Japanese subtitles looked like 3D. Was it because of the theatre I went? Or is 3D something like this?

Anyway, the film was really good. I actually wanted to see it just because the music was done by Daft Punk, but I enjoyed more. The graphic was absolutely fantastic, flying “discs”, numbers of lines of lights, vehicles appearing from the air at the perfect timing for the actor’s action…just so cool. The scene Daft Punk’s “Derezzed” played was almost perfect.

The story was rather typical “What is digital, what is analog, what is human, what is computer…” kind of story, but I assume, compared with the original which was released in 1982, its meaning and the way of enjoying it should be different. Though, it sometimes talkes a bit about “zen” philosophy which made me think a little. I want to see this film again too. I was totally fascinated by that beautiful digital world…

The Social Network

It’s a while ago, but I went to see “The Social Network”. It was much better than I thought. I expected something like a typical “success story of Mark Zuckerberg” which sounds a bit boring, but I enjoyed the direction which mixes the time line and its speedy story-telling. It was a casual watch.

Although I have no idea what the real Mark Zuckerberg is like, I liked his ability of coding…err, no, vitality. How he plans what he wants to do in his brain and quickly wires it up looked really cool…is it geeky impression? He is absolutely intelligent, but probably that results in his behaviour which looks rather arrogant…even communication with his best friend, his (unintentional) attitude resulted in making a gap little by little…these story was quite interesting. I guess he is innocent, in a sense.Well, I don’t know how much non-fictional the film is though.

Anyway, it taught me that any brilliant idea is simply worthless unless you can realize it in this world, I thought this film shows the power of realization. I want to see it again carefully.

onedotzero 2010

I went to see onedotzero as usual…however, I missed “J-star” I used to watch every year! No….but here is a quick report anyway.

The first one was “Sprites”. It was for kids, and the most of the audience was moms and kids! The works were more “cute” type of stuff.

The other one was “Extended Play”. This one was a bit more crazy…but the quality of the images were absolutely amazing! I was feeling really good watching them.

By the way, there were some installation as well, one of them was very very interesting. It uses “grids” on the wall, and by projecting lights and moving images it looks like 3D. Beginning with the starry sky, lights fall, the mountains wave, it was as if I was on a different planet. Quite impressive.

Right, I’m gonna see “J-star” next year again…

Alice in Wonderland

Okay, so, Alice. Finally I watched it. Although it was on a small screen and not 3D.

It was rather…unique…Alice. For me, after all, the animation Alice by Disney is a masterpiece, but I wonder which is closer to the original literature. A big problem is, I’m not that into Johnny Depp… I couldn’t understand that face with that makeup…

Well, anyway, maybe I should have watched it as 3D…but well, it must be entertaining without 3D if it’s a good film, no? I liked the costume though. Alice in nice dressed. Cute. Well, is that it? …err…yes.

Billy Eliot

I know it’s nothing new, but I saw the film “Billy Eliot” on the other day. I remember, when I was in Sheffield, I’ve seen its poster showing a boy wearing boxing kit among girls wearing ballet costume.

It’s a story about a boy, Elliot living in New Castle with his Granma, father and brother, happened to meet ballet and begun taking lessons keeping it secret from his father. I thought it was an ordinary story, but actually was a great heart-warming film! It’s more about love in a family.

The main character, Billy was amazing. He struggles, smiles, dances with “Brit-pop” BGM and looks so cute. He made me smile too. The adults in the film were brilliant too, Jullie Walters was a teacher who notices Billy’s talent and teaches him Ballett. This actress also appears in Harry Potter series as Ron’s mother, and I like her act. In this film, it was very touching that she shows mother’s love and strictness towards Billy who has lost his mother already.

(The part below talks more details of the film.) Gary Lewis, who played Billy’s father who looked so rustic, was wonderful too. He doesn’t like Billy learning Ballet, (he wanted him to learn Boxing!) and got furious when he found out about it. But Billy’s serious attitude moves his heart and tried to make some money to let Billy goes to London in spite of he needed to betray his colleagues who were on strikes. The scene when he got a bus which everyone was throwing eggs at, and when the other son of him tried to stop him and he cried, made me cry so much! I really liked this father who loves his son.

The story is very simple, but I think it’s an amazing film about family relationship with unique, pop direction.

By the way, in “Hai! Karate” which I wrote about on the other day, there is a parent and a child like this Billy Elliot. The father likes boxing and the child likes Ballet. I’m a fan of them at the moment!

Close Encounters of the Third Kind? “Hai! Karate”

This is about a TV show again, a TV show called “Hai! Karate” on CBBC. Four pairs of a parent and a child visit Japan to learn Karate in order to get closer relationship. It’s quite interesting.

Looking at “futon” (Japanese type bed) and shouting “Do we sleep on the floor!?”, not knowing how to wear “dougi” (a special clothes for martial arts), panicking at cicada, sitting on the floor in Japanese style…hahaha. Usually teachers will be furious if you are doing Karate taking such an apparant “I don’t care” attitude. But it might be a bit hard for them to concentrate in such a unfamiliar humid climate.

On the episode two, they experienced some Japanese culture such as Manga, Kendo, Wadaiko, and Maiko, and all looked enjoying it. On the third episode, teachers begun to make a bit more harsh comments on their attitudes, and they looked a bit annoyed lol. But now they also begun to show more serious eyes when they practice Karate.

I totally understand how stressful when they meet a new culture, I hope they understand a bit more about Japan and will like it!

This is the website.

We need humor in our lives.

I don’t watch drama. I don’t think I can watch it every week and feel a bit uncomfortable waiting for the next week. So I used to watchnews programme or comedy show on TV in Japan. Since I came here, I had been looking for my favourite UK TV show but hadn’t been successful. I’ve tried some comedy show but were too difficult for me.

However, I finally found my favourite comedian! I know he is a quite famous person, but it’s Michael Mcintyre.

I found him on TopGear. (Although I don’t know anything about cars, I love this show as these three guys doing some crazy “car race” or “experiments” are so funny!) I usually don’t like the “celeb lap” but the guest was Michael Mcintyre on the other day. His talk was soooo funny and even Jeremy Clarkson was laughing a lot. I thought he must be a comedian and googled his name, and found the “Standing at the Apollo”.

And I really loved his show! Actually I didn’t like “standing” type show as it’s a bit too difficult for me to understand everything, and also I need to know about the culture in deep. But Michael Mcintyre uses lots of big reactions and talks about very ordinary stories in ordinary life, in such a funny way.  It’s not that difficult for me to understand. I wish I could go and see him live!

By the way, my favourite Japanese comedians “Tutorial” (it’s their name.) will release a DVD. One of them will release a book about cooking too. (I’m a bit skeptical about comedians writing cooking books…? But I know he loves alcohol and cooking…he must have a trustworthy tongue.) I want to buy both, but shipping fee of Amazon Japan is sooooo expensive! And I don’t have money either anyway…maybe I can buy them once I find a new job and get some money.

You know, we need humor in our lives!