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Monthly Archives: November 2011

Immortals Review

Rating: ★

When I first saw this movie at a pre-screening, I went in with no expectations. I mean, I figured it would be like 300; thoroughly enjoyable but not a “good” movie. The reality wasn’t too far off the mark

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Posted by on November 22, 2011 in Action/Adventure, Films

 

Brilliant Legacy (찬란한 유산) Review

Rating: ★

At first glance, Brilliant Legacy seems like a typical romance series, with promos featuring two females and two males.  A-ha, the viewer will say, another story of boy meets girl, boy and girl probably don’t get along, peripheral boy and peripheral girl somehow complicate things and misunderstandings ensue, then in the end, boy and girl get together.

The first episode though, was probably the hardest thing for me to ever watch.  It took me three days to get through it, because I kept having to pause it and calm my anger down.   Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2011 in 5 Stars, Brilliant Legacy, Series Overview

 

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Prime Suspect Review

Prime Suspect

Rating: ★

Yesterday we said goodbye with a great last episode of Prime Suspect.  Well, it’s not technically dead, they’ll continue shooting, but the airing slot will be taken over by The Firm, in a move by NBC that is totally overhauling many of their shows.  NBC insists that none of them are being cancelled, merely benched.  Hilarious.

I am a huge fan of crime shows – on my list of to-watch shows are Castle, Bones, Dexter, Criminal Minds, etc etc etc.  Part of why Criminal Minds is top on my list of favorite crime shows is because there is a certain degree of Hollywood shimmer that isn’t there.  Yes, most of the people are attractive, yes there isn’t really much mention of paperwork and whatnot, but Criminal Minds does deal with the mental impact of the crimes, which is something that I find lacking from many other shows.

Prime Suspect takes the grit of crime a step further and throws it into the police office.  One reason why I hated CSI was because of how… pretty it was.  Look at the pretty offices, the pretty ME room, the pretty crime scene.  Look at how dashing the detectives all look and how they all get along and work together for the sake of good!  Prime Suspect has imperfect heroes.  They smoke, joke at inappropriate times, fight, and insult each other.  They have problems in their personal lives and insecurities.  They are not perfect heroes.  Of course, there still is a bit of Hollywood polish, it’s a little unavoidable, but it’s kept to a minimum.  The show also deals with the emotional impact that the deaths of the victims have on their family and friends.

I really like the writing in this show, which is pretty rare for me in the current day and age.  I often lament the decrease in quality, but this show redeems a little of my fear that the entertainment industry is declining into a state of caring only about special effects and explosions.  On top of that, the acting is great.  Maria Bello is a less often seen actress, but she is great in everything she does.  She popped onto my radar with The Cooler, and if anyone hasn’t seen it, I highly recommend it.  Other notable actors you may recognize are Kirk Acevedo and Peter Gerety.

Please NBC, stop futzing around and being greedy and give us back Prime Suspect.

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2011 in 4 Stars, Prime Suspects, Series Overview

 

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Mayo Chiki! Review

Rating: ★

Mayo Chiki! or Mayoeru Shitsuji to Chikin na Ore to is yet another anime of the harem genre.  I’m trying to think right now, and I don’t think I’ve ever truly liked a series of that genre except for Love Hina (mostly for nostalgic reasons) and the Key anime adaptation trio, although I have heard good things about Sora no Otoshimono (on my to-watch list).  Sometimes though, if the fan service isn’t too irrational, and the art isn’t half bad, I’ll watch a series for my amusement.

Mayo Chiki! was one of those series.  It is filled with clichés, such as the boy who can’t touch a girl without nosebleeding or the girl who has to cross dress for some reason or another.  My main problem with the series was that the cross dressing girl looked nothing like a guy, yet all the girls “kyaaaa”~ed over him.  The character design was done for obvious reasons of course, because there were times when the “guy” and the main protagonist had to be squared off of each other, and if the “guy” looked too male, it would venture into yaoi territory.  But where things really started getting to me was when the other girls would run into the “guy” in his natural female form, they were stupid enough to accept the fact that the girl was the “guy”s cousin named Punyuru, which is by the way, the least realistic name ever.

Really, the main thing that redeemed this show for me was the fanservice art and how relatively tactfully the studio was able to insert it in.  (I am a huge hater on shows that randomly switch camera angles on a scene just so they can show a panty shot.)  If fan service and substance-less comedy are your thing, this is the show for you.

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2011 in 2 Stars, Mayo Chiki!, Series Overview

 

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1Q84: A World of Two Moons

Rating: ★

“Tell me, Tengo, as a novelist, what is your definition of reality?”

Murakami’s novels have consistently explored the merging of the surreal and the mundane in a truly Kafkaesque manner. His latest work, 1Q84, is no exception.

It follows the stories of two protagonists, Aomame and Tengo, in two separate storylines, as they find themselves shifted to the alternate reality of 1Q84, a world where two moons hang in the sky, and strange forces are at work. When Tengo, a 30 year old cram school teacher and fiction writer, ghostwrites a novel titled Air Chrysalis, he throws into motion a series of events. This is 1Q84; anything can happen. Yet, the world does follow its own set of strange and inexplicable logic.

This novel is Murakami’s best work yet: with his matter-of-fact, softly unemotional tone, he manages to capture the essence of modern Japanese society perfectly yet again. And, despite this softly unemotional tone, the reader feels a distinct connection with each of the protagonists.

In the end, it is an exploration of the loneliness.  The two protagonists, having borne their loneliness for so long, do not realize how unconnected they have become, and perhaps this is what allows them to shift to 1Q84…

I won’t say too much, but it is a long book, filled with subtleties and nuance. Sometimes the pace can be slow. But for one who would enjoy a deeply introspective query into what it means to live our modern life, flavored by a touch of Kafkaesque surrealism, I can think of no better book to recommend.

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2011 in 5 Stars, Literature, Postmodern

 

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Mirai Nikki – 6

I liked the overall silliness of this episode, even if the silliness constantly reminded us of how creepy Yuno is.  Second favorite moment from along that vein?  Definitely when he realizes he’s out of toilet paper and Yuno unlocks the bathroom door from the outside to give him a roll.  Complete stalkers can really be so handy!

Awww the really cute kid is in love with Yuno and wants to give her a picture he drew of her!  Except the scissors get in the way and thank GOD Yuno had a pillow there or else she would’ve been stabbed.  Or I guess from the kid’s perspective, it was a failed DEAD END attempt.

I really love how sinister this show is.  The last few episodes have been pretty action-packed, so you can see the violent outcome of this game, but this episode highlights that really, if you’re a Diary holder, you can’t trust anyone.  Including the girl who broke into your house and thought about killing your mom.

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2011 in Episode Thoughts, Mirai Nikki

 

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Super Mario 3D Land in Times Square

Today is officially the launch of Super Mario 3D Land, but yesterday New York City was beset by a promo and pre-launch sale of the game in Times Square.  Fans were promised a life-sized Mario game that they could bounce and run through, along with tanuki ears and tails given to those who participated, in honor of Tanuki Mario.  The game would be sold a day early at the Toy ‘R’ Us in Times Square, and Mushroom Kingdom pizza would be given to the first thousand people who tweeted in Times Square.
Super Mario 3D Land in Times Square
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Posted by on November 13, 2011 in Nintendo 3DS

 

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