Inception

Jul. 31st, 2010 01:31 pm
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Spoilt (if you click here) )

Anyway, it's on my very short list of sf films that are worth watching. I'm glad there have been a few lately.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (nickylee-flowers-me)
We were just in a new Indian restaurant down the street, watching music videos, and one began, somewhat surprisingly, with a shot of the Forbidden City and a bunch of guys in vaguely historical-looking Chinese armor, led by a South Asian guy also in Chinese-looking armor. (I have seen CG aliens, and real pyramids, and most of Europe, and Rio, and gothic bondage lesbian dance clubs, but this was new.)

"PLEASE LET THEM START DANCING BOLLYWOOD-STYLE," I said.

And they did! And my day was made.

This scene was followed shortly by a bunch of South Asian and Chinese dancers in Tang-dynasty-ish dresses, and then a whole 1930s Shanghai cheongsam-and-suits-with-bowlers dance scene, and then a whole 1990s-2000s urban-Chinese-youth scene, all fronted by Bollywood stars.

Unfortunately, I can't find that video, but you can see bits of the scenes in this trailer:



As a bonus to make up for its relative lack of dancing randomness, it contains a potato with the face of Ganesha.

GLEE.

(I totally don't have an icon for this.)
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (chii-yayyayyay!-me)
Last Starfighter (C. wanted it...)
Dangerous Beauty (I haven't seen it since that night I was stuck in the hotel at DFW on the way back from Bangkok and literally stayed up all night due to jet lag, but even if it's not as interesting as I remember it being, it's still cool that they made a movie based on an academic nonfiction book about a Venetian courtesan!)
The Cat Returns (Borders' ridiculous half-off sale)
Top Secret
The Producers
Grosse Pointe Blank (finally!)
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (Extra Frills Edition)
(a mix of used and new)

Also games, mostly old but one new version of an old game: Disgaea DS, Phantom Brave, Steambot Chronicles, and Chocobo Tales.

Lest you think I've gone insane, pretty much everything was $3-$9, except Disgaea, which was C.'s dating-anniversary present and was full price. And I don't expect we'll buy any more movies or games for a while!

Target also had several movies for $4.75, but I didn't buy anything. I did teach my Japanese friend the meaning of the phrase "silver lining," though. (As in "Every recession has a...")

I'm as surprised as anyone, though.

Misc.

Nov. 30th, 2008 07:16 pm
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Yesterday we saw Bolt, what with my brother-in-law being a digital artist and all. It was entertaining and not nauseating, and very funny in parts. We also introduced him to Korean food. Korean food and my brother-in-law seem to get on quite well. So if he ever finds himself in Korea, he won't starve. We got him on the plane back to San Diego (and wandered through the Victorian Kitchen mini-exhibition at SFO on the way back to the car) on time and all. And he reports that his flight on Virgin America was one of the better flying experiences of his life, but it was Main Cabin Select, so YMMV.

I hope we'll get to see him when I'm not stressed from traveling, cleaning, cooking, holidays, being sick, cars breaking down, meetings from hell, sleep deprivation, etc. one of these days. I swear I'm not this cranky all of the time, but whenever we see him, at least 2-3 of those factors seem to be at work.


Let me just say that I am VERY happy that I can buy Unkle Ho's albums digitally on Amazon. I downloaded two tracks legally ("Eureka" and "Grace of the Guru") from his website, but I'm not paying $40 for an import CD from Australia. Anyway, if you like instrumentally oriented trip-hop-type stuff with Japanese and Bollywood and other international influences, check him out: Circus Maximus, Roads To Roma. (The previews may not do you much good, since these songs build layers slowly, but you can download three full songs for free from Unkle Ho's website.)


The furniture-hunting saga goes on. I can't find anything I like that's inexpensive. Target's stuff seems overpriced for the quality, honestly. IKEA's stuff is mostly ugly. Crate & Barrel's prices make me laugh hysterically, and then weep. World Market doesn't seem to produce anything functional. There doesn't seem to be any middle ground.


Hey, tomorrow is December 1st! ... Hey, my 31st birthday is a week from tomorrow! Holy tamales!


In other news, I'm developing a sore throat.

Uh-oh.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Yes, we enjoyed "Iron Man." It was fairly witty (really surprisingly funny!), didn't get bogged down in anything, and avoided the cliches most such movies wallow in. I loved how it handled some scenes differently from other movies. Yay.

I mean, you kind of have to accept going into it the whole "Aha! What we need here is clearly ... an EXOSKELETON!" thing. Once you're over that, smooth sailing.

Thanks for lending it to us, D&E!

(I thought the score was terrible, though. Bleh.)

I hope the sequel will be good, too. I still have zero interest in the comic book, but that's OK.

In other news, the brussels sprouts I bought at Trader Joe's were good, too. Go figure.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (pingfen-rpggeek-me)
We watched "The Gamers: Dorkness Rising" tonight, since our friends lent it to us. It was pretty funny ("The Gamers," the original, was quite funny as well--actually, it made me more hysterical with laughter than this one did, but both are quite good if you play tabletop RPGs). And it just goes to show that gaming groups really need at least one female player. ;D

Quite quotable, as well.

Monk character: He who stumbles around in darkness with a stick is blind. But he who... sticks out in darkness... is... fluorescent!

...

DM: Lose fifty experience.

(Audience: *applause*)

Buy the DVDs here: http://www.deadgentlemen.com/

P. S. When a monster comes along, you must stab it!
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (chii-hiding-me)
Nobody local is doing anything for Halloween. Bummer! I don't think we'll be having a party. It's not that our place is any messier than it was the last two years when we did have parties--on the contrary. It's just that my cleaning days have been eaten up by health stuff and so on. October has just *vanished.* I'm pretty sad. (The only two holidays I really care about are Christmas and Halloween, and I only made my peace with Secular Christmas recently, whereas I've loved Halloween my whole life.)

My attempt to put up some decorations by myself on Thursday resulted in a cut on my foot and a lost nail and no decorations, other than the metal wreath on the front door, which is barely visible due to our complex's inexplicable decision to paint everyone's doors an ugly, flat brown color last year.

I still need to get things clean so we can have people over, but. :/

Public events on Halloween involve a) getting scared one way or the other (which I'm actually not a fan of) or b) nightclubs, and I'm also not a fan of that. The steampunk ball sounds cool but involves elaborate costumes (don't have) and dancing skills (don't have) and being really social with strangers (...).

And, of course, we live in a townhouse in an area that's all condos and apartments, so we can't even say "Oh well, it'll still feel like Halloween if we carve a pumpkin and sit home and watch related movies and let trick-or-treaters come by," because we'll be lucky to get six.

YES I AM POUTING HOW DID YOU NOTICE.


Boy, I'd love to recommend "Stardust" to my student, but we're rewatching it now, and too much isn't said outright. I mean, that's one of its charms, but it might be awfully difficult to understand. I might lend it to them anyway, but I'll have to warn them, and/or maybe outline the story for them, and the competing groups of characters.


I still think DeNiro didn't bother rehearsing or something. He's about as convincing as the lead in the last junior high school play I saw, and equally affected. Oh well--it's still a fun character concept.

I wish this movie had done better. There are so few decent fantasy movies, let alone ones with airship joy.


HAY NORTHEAST COASTERS AND EASTERN SEABOARD TYPES AND PEOPLE WITHIN A FEW HOURS OF THERE LIKE PENNSYVLANIA AND THE TORONTO AREA AND ALL

YOU SHOULD GO HERE AND LIST YOURSELF AND ADD MY OTHER LJ FRIENDS WHO ARE ALSO COOL.

BEFORE THE ICE AND SNOW COME

sorry, I was just trying to make myself feel better about life there, won't happen again.

Sadly, I'm afraid most of you seem to be rather, um, well-spaced. But maybe a few of you are within hanging-out distance, or at least "might as well friend you" distance. :)
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
OK, my 15-year-old student from Japan, naturally, wants to know what her peers are into. At this point, she's specifically interested in movies (most HS-level books are too hard for her to read, and NO NO NO GOD NO TWILIGHT OK THANKS).

What is popular NOW with 13-18-year-olds and won't make her soul and mine wither into oblivion, given that she is not white, is smart, kind, athletic, polite, un-self-conscious, doesn't mind being a kid, 95% uninterested in fashion or boys, loves her family, won't get anything that depends totally on cultural references, and doesn't have an emo or sarcastic bone in her body?

I've seen a couple references that make me think "High School Musical" not the worst thing in the world...is it?

Thank you! I'm clueless.

(EDIT: This is more about what the better elements of her peer group will be into, I guess, rather than her personal taste. I think she's trying to connect with people. She enjoyed PotC and Harry Potter in Japanese, and so I'll be lending her those and LotR in English, but none of those are ongoing at this point. :/ Maybe Narnia...)

COOOL

Oct. 11th, 2008 10:51 pm
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
https://www.urbanthreads.com/blog&Itemid=9
Scroll down till you see the clever idea for making some neat Halloween party wall lights, or maybe just cool lights in general.


Hey, [livejournal.com profile] hoshizora: I thought you might be amused by Hiwheel, a company over here--well, up in Alameda--that makes antique and retro-style bikes, as well as lots of other interesting cycles.


We're watching 我が愛の詩, or Bloom in the Moonlight (what?!), which is a 1993 movie about Rentaro Taki, a late 19th-century Japanese pianist and composer (in the western classical style) whose music is still performed despite a very short career. Heck, here's a video of Yngwie Malmsteen covering "Kojo no Tsuki" (with a guitar and his teeth...), or listen to the Scorpions performing it with the words.

I'm guessing he dies from a buildup of impulsivity in his lungs, because thus far he's a bit of an impulsive goofball. Possibly this is because he's from Kyushu, which one can wildly overgeneralize as being full of goofy energy.

(Just kidding. Tuberculosis. Age 23. I bet there's manga out there somewhere featuring him as a waifish bespectacled bishounen.)
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (potc-droppedmybrain)
This morning I had a non-standard headache (that is, a headache that didn't feel like a migraine, which is my standard headache). I took my temperature: 98.9. I took it again, because my temperature is never right the first time. 105.9! Gah! I took it again a few minutes later: 102.9! Yeah, time to go thermometer shopping. Now I have one that takes a reading in just a couple of seconds, with a nickel-sized, round display that lights up green, yellow, or red according to (conventional standards for) whether you have a fever. And my temperature is 98.7, thanks.


I think this is important: http://sharp.sefora.org/
They've sent science questions to congressional candidates (and Obama and McCain). Relatively few candidates have answered, but you can encourage your local candidates to fill out the form. Let them know that science is IMPORTANT.


Financial blogger is shocked that snacks at the movies are really expensive and turn an already pricey outing into a ridiculously expensive 120 minutes. Duh. Yes, if you're trying to be frugal, don't buy food at a movie theater! Sheesh.

Actually, I'm just redirecting my real outrage--the real reason I'm upset is that Portland apparently has at least 5 discount movie theaters. The Bay Area only has one that I know of, and it's far enough away that I'm not too interested in going. I would if I lived closer, because I've heard nothing but good things about it from [livejournal.com profile] mactavish and others. Milpitas used to have one--we went there once before it "closed for relocation" and never reopened. Sigh. A matinee here is around $8 and an evening movie is at least $10.

*checks Portland community college math/CS-teaching positions again*


Speaking of, um, other states: WSJ report on a study on personality trait distribution in the US. Yeah, I'm sure people will be punching holes in it ASAP, but it's kind of interesting. Click on the Interactive Graphics tab at the top for details (I have a feeling the resulting tables aren't screen-reader-friendly, sorry!).

Via [livejournal.com profile] geographile.


Via [livejournal.com profile] pegkerr: http://books4barack.com/
Authors can donate books to the fundraiser; readers who donate $250 to the Obama campaign will receive 5 books. Creative, I guess!


So tomorrow we're driving to Pasadena, leaving around 9:30. Of course, we'll get stuck with the horrible dilemma of WHERE TO HAVE LUNCH ON I-5. I imagine we'll get hungry somewhere north of Bakersfield. Sigh.

We'll probably have dinner in Alhambra or Pasadena. Our motel is in Alhambra, but we're thinking of going to the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena unless someone else has a better suggestion about how to entertain ourselves. We discussed trying to venture into LA proper and decided against it. We're also going to go to the Famima, of course.

If you have suggestions about where to eat around Alhambra or Pasadena, please let me know. Pasadena, not surprisingly, seems to have a lot of very good and very expensive restaurants that we can't afford (according to my stroll through Yelp).
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
I really liked The Prestige but it was also extremely disturbing (and got more so the more you thought about it). The Illusionist was much less so (though not, um, morally pure exactly). It was still a really good film and also quite beautiful. Wonderful hairdos and dresses ...

And I am a sucker for the kind of thing the movie is based on: Robert-Houdin is one of those people I've been meaning to read more about for ages (ever since I read about Houdini's name origin as a slightly Houdini-obsessed kid, I guess).
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Yeah, yeah, ganked from Metafilter:
http://wellmedicated.com/inspiration/50-incredible-film-posters-from-poland/

Really interesting, mostly Soviet-era (a few more recent) original posters for Hollywood and international movies released in Poland.

Also, the comments are just so awesome, in the most sarcastic use of "awesome" possible. To wit:

"Many of you may call these “art”, but maybe you are just giving them too much credit because they are old. To me, they just remind me of all those dirty, boring, drab things from decades ago. Like watching TV shows from the early 90’s."

Duuude, yeahhh, totally! Like, that "Wanted" poster totally blew all of these out of the water, man!

*eyeroll*

Some of these would make great icons, like the Pink Panther and Short Circuit 2 designs. Even the ones I think are creepy and I wouldn't want to look at for very long are still kind of interesting. Neat stuff.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Sweet story about WALL-E and Pixar staff.

No spoilers in that particular item, but the comments above and below have plenty of spoilers.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
We enjoyed "WALL-E" a lot. Afterwards, Overanalysis Brain turned on and I had a few issues with it and sf tropes in general spoilers, I think, and a huge tangent )


Really, there's so much to love about this movie. I'm glad Overanalysis Brain didn't start up till the ride back. We really liked the movie and recommend it to pretty much everyone.

Also, cute character designs in the film and in "Presto," and likewise on the preview we saw for the movie about the swashbuckling mouse. For years I've complained that most 3-D animation fails at cute--somehow they've missed out on the big pupils and other elements of cute. But aw, mouse! Cuteness! The previews we saw ... well, is there a CHANCE that Eddie Murphy is FUNNY again? That preview looked mildly amusing in a 1980s kind of way, and if they didn't put all the funny moments in the preview (I hate it when that happens) then it may actually be worth seeing. Maybe. The other previews looked pretty crappy, but at least I found the target audience for "Beverly Hills Chihuahua": the cretinously laughing couple behind us, oy. Or maybe they were drunk. [livejournal.com profile] assaultdoor was amused by the trailer for a different reason--he claims the Aztecs actually ate chihuahuas (or a dog similar to what became the chihuahua).

The theater was about evenly split between couples and adults w/children, so that was good. The kids mostly behaved.

By the way, the ending credits are pretty and clever, and while there's no zombie monkey at the end, there is a teeny visual joke at the very end.

And [livejournal.com profile] assaultdoor hasn't seen "Hello Dolly!" and he needs to.

...




I'm hoping to make baked macaroni and cheese tonight for the first time. The recipe indicates you can mess with the cheese; it calls for 1 1/2 cups graded cheese "like sharp cheddar or Emmental" and 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan. I've got the Parmesan, about a cup's worth of sharp cheddar, a bag of Trader Joe's 1/3 less fat shredded "Mexican" cheese (cheddar, asadero, I forget), and a wedge of fontina. What combo do you think I should use for the 1 1/2 cups?
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
1. The Great Yokai War
2. Jungle Emperor Leo, which I guess is a kind of continuation of the Kimba the White Lion story, or something.

Go figure. I bought the former ($3.99) and skipped the latter, because, umm ... I secretly dislike Tezuka's art style. *scandal*

Jumper

Oct. 10th, 2007 08:18 am
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
I was going to post a link to the trailer anyway, but apparently there's a contest if you actually post the trailer, so...what the heck.

Annoyingly auto-playing trailer with sound behind tag. )

Jumper is an excellent book by Steven Gould (not Stephen Jay Gould). It won various awards and is just generally a well-written, engaging, well-thought-out book about a guy who can "jump" (teleport) himself by thinking about it. The movie looks interesting enough, though it's been so long since I read the book that I can't say whether they're Seekerizing* it. And hey, Samuel L. Jackson, eh?

Anyway, I believe I'm looking forward to this one. (Now I need to get the sequel to the novel from the library, since it came out while I was too busy to read fiction.)

EDIT: If you click to read comments the darn thing will auto-play! If you know how to edit the code for the video to disable auto-play, let me know. There's no obvious place that I can see, given that I don't know much about it. Sorry!!! Feh.



* What was done to The Dark is Rising books in order to make them into The Seeker.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Interesting: Jay Parkinson, MD, practices without an office. He's a year older than I am and makes house calls in the Brooklyn area, or consults over phone/e-mail/AIM. I realize some of you are shrieking in horror, but it's an idea that I think really suits a certain percentage of the population. I'd love to be able to just take a digital photo of the lump/bruise/spot/cut/whatever and discuss it over IM with a doctor. I'd also love to be able to ask all those follow-up questions that always occur to me after a consultation.

I have no idea whether this particular doctor is good or whether his referrals are as competent and inexpensive as he claims, but I do think it's an idea whose time has come.


I added Klutz to the Bay Area Geek Dream Jobs page. I think they're very geeky, anyway. And I had no idea they were based in the Bay Area. Also added a bunch of other folks including The Office of Letters and Light (they do NaNoWriMo and Script Frenzy, and I love their name!), Avalon Travel Publishing and Seal Press. If you're an editor or publicist or wannabe-intern in publishing, you should check the SF Bay Area craigslist.org right now.

Also, I changed most of the "posts at craigslist.org" entries to take you directly to a search at craigslist.


I didn't have any interest in seeing "Good Luck Chuck," but after reading the ratings advisory I have negative interest:

Advisory: This film contains nudity, sex scenes, onscreen defecation, drug use and violence. And that's just from the penguins.

Yikes.


One thing I miss about northwest Arkansas...the fall color. We have a little bit of fall here in the San Francisco Bay Area, but not much. Whereas when the setting autumn sun hits that one hill in southwest Fayetteville just right, it really does look like it's on fire.

The photos in the article are great, but they do rather overplay the porch-sittin', "gitar"-pickin' aspect. However, I'll take the "unpretentious but sophisticated and diverse" description of Fayetteville-area folks, though I'd add a big flashing red "RELATIVELY" in there after the "but." (For a look at what's going on in Fayetteville, check out [livejournal.com profile] zenandjuice--go back a page for a good snapshot of Fayetteville's contradictions.) Fayetteville is where my parents live, and it's probably the most sophisticated/intellectual/liberal part of Arkansas. Little Rock may think it is, but for the most part LR just has money and political power, which isn't the same thing.

That said, you can't get actual dim sum anywhere in the state, so I'll not be moving back. :p
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Drooool.
http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZpremiereprops11

Some of the auctions are ending right now...not that I afford to bid on anything. :p

Stardust

Aug. 14th, 2007 07:53 am
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
1. Kate Magowan = RRROWR. Did you notice how she had actual human woman arms? That were, like, slightly muscled? And she might be, good heavens, a size 8 or something. MAYBE EVEN A 10.

2. Captain Shakespeare. Great character. De Niro's portrayal sucks. It's as though he thinks he's in a low-budget kids' TV special. You know, the ones where everyone's speaking in such saccharine and affected tones that even as a 6-year-old you immediately reacted with violent hatred? Yeah. I was really disappointed.

3. Claire Danes. I didn't hate her. Impressive!

4. Rupert Everett. LOL!

5. Peter O'Toole. Still going strong!

6. Ben Barnes. (Young Dunstan.) Cute, and we'll see more of him as Prince Caspian soon.

7. Mark Strong. Strangely attractive, might have made a good Snape (great nose). He could star in [livejournal.com profile] quirkybird's Family Man, too, though I suppose even he'd need a nose extension. Also, what is it about men in black tricorns and black dusters and riding black horses that makes them hot even when they're bad guys? Guh.

8. Ending song. God, that sucked. Cheesy, generic, blah. I hated it. I really wish they hadn't bothered, or they'd gotten Loreena McKennitt or Rasputina or something that actually fit the movie, instead of something that sounds like they cribbed it from the Disney teen flick next door.

9. There's not exactly a "zombie monkey" at the very end, but there is a tiny bit of amusement.

10. The men's costumes in this are just lovely. I liked them all. Why can't we dress like that now? The women's outfits were more meh. (But oh my god, the "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" trailer! They must have spent a fortune on the costumes alone!)

All in all, highly recommended. One more to put on my very short list of good fantasy films, hurray!

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wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
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