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Zelda! Happy 25th Anniversary and a Skyward Sword Review

Rating: ★

This year marks Zelda’s 25th anniversary, and with it was released orchestral rendering of  the best themes of the series.

After finishing Skyward Sword, I can conclude that the series is still going strong, even despite my initial misgivings about the game.

Anyways, below is one of the coolest fanarts of all time:

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Posted by on January 7, 2012 in Games, Wii

 

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Kamisama Dolls Review

Rating: ★

The premise for this show seemed like it could be really interesting.  I’m a huge fan of mecha/god animes, so I was ready for this anime to grab me.  This post truly encompasses how I feel about this anime, then add a little ire, and you have my review for this anime.

My main gripe with this anime is that it spent 10 episodes or so potentially building up a showdown between two characters, one good and one bad.  The pacing was horrible, there were cute moments at the most awkward times, but it was building up to it slowly.  Then around episode 10, a completely random bad guy is suddenly introduced and the previous one is suddenly all but forgotten.  The only way the first antagonist is ever mentioned is in the protagonist’s back story.  Then suddenly at the very end of the last episode, he suddenly reappears!  … only to leave an unfinished storyline.  I can only say I was sick of this anime five episodes before the end, but my insane need to finish what I start pushed me through it.  Writing about this series makes me tired so I’m going to stop now.

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2012 in 1 Star, Anime, Series Overview

 

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The Science of Sleep Review

Rating: ★★★★★

Today I rewatched The Science of Sleep or La Science des rêves.  I had seen it in 2006 when it was first released but not since then.  It is a Michael Gondry’s third film, other notable ones include Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Green Hornet.  The film stars Gael Garcia Bernal and Charlotte Gainsbourg.  Gael Garcia Bernal has consistently been one of my favorite actors.  He is an incredibly versatile and daring actor (his role in La Mala Educacion or Bad Education really stands out in my mind).  He plays a somewhat neurotic and creative man who is unable to distinguish dreams from reality and does it with an incredible subtlety that makes you believe such a person could possibly exist.  While I have not seen Charlotte Gainsbourg enough to have formed an opinion about her, she does a great job in this movie as the girl next door to Gael Garcia Bernal who he falls in love with.  You never know quite what she thinks or feels until the end really, and I can only imagine the amount of acting skill it took to pull off such a neutral yet interesting character as hers.

I revisited the film with a friend of mine, and his first words after the film were: “I don’t know what to think!”  It is a truly difficult movie to describe.  Eternal and Green Hornet were Gondry’s more linear and sensical movies.  The Science of Sleep takes the viewer through a trip of the subconscious, and because we are viewing things from Bernal’s eyes, we are often confused ourselves of what is reality and what is dream.  On top of that, an unusual love story is woven in that is made further complicated by the increasingly thin line between dreams and reality.  As a result, it really takes a few minutes, or maybe a few hours, perhaps a few days to formulate a thought about the movie after seeing it the first time.  But one thing is undeniable about the movie: if you manage to stick with it and roll with its punches, it’s hard to not come out loving and sympathizing with the unhinged Bernal.

That being said, this is not a movie for everyone.  If you are looking for a psychological thriller, this is not for you.  A straight romance story, not for you.  A comedy, not for you.  A tragedy, not for you.  If you are willing to go on a journey, keep your mind open, and be teased and prompted and shifted into a position where you think about your own life, life’s disappointments, and life’s dreams, then this movie is for you.  I cannot say that this movie is really a story.  It is, in my mind, a work of art.

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2012 in 5 Stars, Films, Psychological

 

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Incontinent on the Continent Review

Rating: ★★★☆☆

In her book, Incontinent on the Continent, Jane Christmas tells the story of her first time ever to Italy – a country that she had dreamed of often throughout her life as a place of large families, matriarchs, good food, and love of life – in short, a movie.  In an attempt to fix a broken relationship with her aging mother, she brings her mother along on the trip.

I have to admit, up until the last chapter of the book, I would’ve given the book two stars.  For a majority of it, Jane Christmas complains about how Italy doesn’t live up to her expectations and the difficulties of managing a disabled mother in accessible-unfriendly Italy.  Her constant allusions of mother-daughter pairs she sees on the road or town attitudes or statues to her own relationship with her mother were at best awkwardly paced and reflected upon.  But the last chapter makes much of the whining worth it.  The book also touches upon the soul and history of many of Italy’s touristic gems, so if you want a rough and tumble look at what it is like to travel in Italy, plus a little bit of familial reflection on the side, this is the book for you.

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2012 in 3 Stars, Literature, Nonfiction

 

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Why I Love Chihayafuru

Just yesterday, a friend tried to explain why Laguna Beach is an awesome show (I really hope he was being sarcastic), but in one of his attempts to defend the series, he asked me if I had watched any of it.  I responded that I had accidentally stumbled into one episode, thereby wasting a good half an hour of my life.  “A-ha,” he responded, “then you don’t really know how awesome it is.”  I countered with: “Truly great shows are amazing in just one episode.”

Well, maybe that’s not strictly true.  By that logic, I would’ve dropped Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya after “The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina” (still the weirdest first episode I’ve ever watched).  But then there are some that just really grab you by your shirt in the first episode and make you pay attention.  In ghostlightning’s Top 30 Anime of All Time (as of 2011), he listed Hanasaku Iroha as #29, despite its lack of completion at the time.  I truly believe that there are certain shows that are so good at the beginning you know they’re going to be winners.  For me, some examples of that were Rurouni Kenshin: Trust and Betrayal, Fullmetal Alchemist, Nana, Honey and Clover, and Ergo Proxy.  And now Chihayafuru.

I have always been a huge sucker for mood first and foremost.  That was what drew me into Nana, RK: Trust and Betrayal, and Honey and Clover.  The first episode of Chihayafuru didn’t start very gloriously.  It seemed rather generic, a high school girl trying to start a club.  How many shows have we seen with girls and clubs?  It makes my head spin.  But once the episode delved into Chihaya’s past and motivation for playing karuta, that was when I was irrevocably hooked.  The art was beautiful, the music great, and the characters believable. The characters are far from perfect — with some rather annoying traits in some and character flaws in others. But what touches me is that the show documents each of their journeys to become better people and be true to themselves and their dreams.

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2011 in Chihayafuru, Editorials

 

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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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