Mid-April brings those PG'ers who call the great white north their home, the annual film festival. I didn't see too much that caught my attention, but there were a couple of movies that I'll try to see.
One is Hirokazu Kore-eda's Air Doll. It's about a life-sized blow-up doll that gains a soul. One day she decides to go out on her own and ends up secretly falling in love with a video store clerk. Of course there's a twist towards at the end that puts all this in jeopardy, but it's the story of what it is to be human. Based off the manga by Yoshiie Gōda, it sounds like bad movie waiting to happen. However, with Kore-da at the helm (Nobody Knows, Maboroshi, After Life, et. al.), I'm giving it a shot.
The other film is from the producers of the Triplets of Belleville. This one is The Secret of Kells. Eye candy if anything.
The Big G is heading back to Hollywood. According to Variety, Legendary Pictures has announced that it has acquired the rights from Toho Co. to make a Godzilla movie. They are co-producing and co-financing with Warner Brothers.
Everyone is thinking about G'85 and the huge stink pile that was. I'm going to take the high road on this one and hope for the best. Legendary Pictures has been involved in The Dark Knight, Watchmen, and Where the Wild Things Are to name a few. Plus the chairman and CEO has been quoted:
"Godzilla is one of the world's most powerful pop culture icons, and we at Legendary are thrilled to be able to create a modern epic based on this long-loved Toho franchise," said Thomas Tull, Chairman and CEO of Legendary. "Our plans are to produce the Godzilla that we, as fans, would want to see. We intend to do justice to those essential elements that have allowed this character to remain as pop-culturally relevant for as long as it has."
Concept I’ve previously written about oxymoronic “gourmet” junk food, as well as weird mayonnaise combinations, so it’s nice to see both come together in this product. The text in the red circle promises that the chips have been double dipped for an extra concentrated flavor, which is reassuring.
Packaging Nothing better expresses “gourmet” than repeating it over and over in all caps in a stencil font. GOURMET!!! GOURMET!!! GOURMET!!!
Taste The chips definitely have been dipped twice, giving them a gross, chalky texture. But for all that, the flavor was surprisingly weak. Back to the drawing board, guys! From Lars (...in Japan!)
"Tokyo, February 18, 2010 —Kirin Holdings Company, Limited (Tokyo, Japan; President and CEO, Kazuyasu Kato; hereafter, "Kirin") announced today the signing of a share sale agreement on February 17, 2010 with H2 Equity Partners (hereafter, "H2") in the Netherlands for all outstanding shares of Kirin Agribio Company, Limited (hereafter, "KAB") and Kirin Agribio EC B.V. ("KAE"), both wholly owned subsidiaries of Kirin. The transaction is expected to be complete by the end of March."
In the Japanese Beer and Brewing world, this is big news, especially as it comes in the wake of the proposed 2009 merger with Suntory.
-from the Press Release- "GRIMES, IA, March 17, 2010 – Anime producer and distributor Right Stuf, Inc. and its Nozomi Entertainment division are pleased to announce the license for the DIRTY PAIR television series."
Toyota's problems are not unique to the auto company, as several other Japanese automakers have voluntarily recalled tens of thousands of cars and light trucks in the wake of the Toyota recall. But does this constitute a new era of "Japan Bashing"? The Japanese trade imbalance with the U.S. is still in favor of the Japanese (as they own a significant portion of our debts), but Japan has slipped from the World's 2nd to 3rd largest economy --behind China-- during the prolonged worldwide recession. Maybe the theory has some legs . . .
Growing up in Flyover Country, my experience of the broadcast T.V. medium was perhaps more limited than it might've been had I grown up on either the East or West Coast, particularly with respect to what advertising dollars could be generated in our marketplace, and what they could buy.
As I recall, Saturday Morning TV in the 1970s was dominated by now-classic animated productions from UPI, Jay Ward, and Hanna-Barbera; Unless I'm mistaken, kids in Minnesota didn't see Speed Racer until the UHF heyday of the early 1980s (@ Tohoscope and @ Bomb, y'all might recall the late 1960s and what I'm forgetting of the early 1970s ; )
Why I'm interested in this at present is due to the various DVD collections and boxsets of the original television series that have been released in the past 10 years or so; Are there any that have the original Trans-Lux OP and ED titles? I'm no purist but I am pretty freakin' nostalgic, and I understand how titles and rights and licenses have lapsed and been re-claimed and Lawyered ad nauseum. I'm thinking I might have to track down old commercial VHS releases; I collected the NOW Comics imprint for a while, but lost interest when the various animated (Cel Animated and otherwise) began rolling-out in the late 1990s.
Also, fwiw I've never been a fan of the new logo...
I was going to write up a beer review of Grand Teton Brewing's Black Cauldron Imperial Stout. My take was going to be how good a beer this was with a geeky tie in with the label art (anime/manga-like). And then I found this. NSFW.
All month Turner Classic Movies is showing a boatload of Kurasawa movies. A total of 26 films including pretty much all the ones you'd expect plus a few you wouldn't.
Sure, they're showing Seven Samuri and Yojimbo, which I've seen dozens of times, but any chance to watch Ikiru and Throne of Blood and Ran is welcomed around my house. And after driving me away with, "31 Days of Oscar," which amounted to 31 days of crap that I've already seen and really don't want to watch again, this is very welcome. Maybe we could get a Seijun Suzuki film retrospective some day.
Bomb#20 will vouch for me here, but my S.O. is hung-up on the 'Japornimation' archetype.
It stands to figure though, since she's quite a bit younger than I am and grew up in the wake of Manga's releases of Madhouse productions (Ninja Scroll and the like). She also grew up addicted to Walt Disney's television work of the era (including Tailspin, ironically animated by Japan's TMS) as well as the squiggly-lined cartooning of Doug and Pepper Ann (yay, verily, twas bliss to be a Millennial in the 1990s...)
Over this morning's coffee and pancakes we discussed the nature of escapism in works of fiction, and eventually got around to escapism as it pertains to animated cartoons. Given her predilection for disliking Japanese cartoons she naturally has difficulty understanding the 'realistic' approach used in the cartoons from Japan; cartoon people make no sense to someone accustomed to the exaggerated, anthropomorphism typified by America's cartoon past.
I told her about 'Night on the Galactic Railroad' and she sounded interested. Granted, this film is not typical of Japanese cartoons, but as an application of anthropomorphism to universal themes of human nature and certain existential themes she ought to at least be able to 'make the jump' -- or so I hope.
We'll watch it tonight and see if her head doesn't explode.
"For fans fostering a uniform fetish, stewardess attire is hard to obtain, with JAL’s being up near the top of the pecking order. Japan’s flag carrier strictly regulates the distribution of each gal’s gear, requiring return upon termination of employment, and affixes registration numbers inside. It’s serious business: a special section within JAL monitors Internet auction sites for illicit sales and five years ago a contract worker was arrested for attempting to broker a sale for a uni sported by airline lounge employees."
Phran and I were just at Suncoast, where the big news is that Ponyo is being released tomorrow. You'll note of course, that it's the first Ghibli film to be released on BluRay, and in honor of that (I guess?) Disney is re-releasing 2-disc versions of Castle in the Sky and a couple of earlier films.
My question is redundant, but why is it that they're re-releasing these 2-disc DVD sets? I mean, isn't this how they were first released over here? Is Disney just giving the rack-jobbers something to warm the spots over at Brick and Mortar before the BluRay releases come to fill their shoes?