Archives For Reviews

Samurai Rock in Lima

November 13, 2011 — Leave a comment

Unlike Bjork’s concert [1], which I couldn’t photograph… to even have a faint memory of it. I did get the chance to shoot Miyavi with my good gear, without having to sneak it in… which is good, because this new lens is super huge.

Thanks to Noizu who let me in with it.

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YAM Magazine Weibo

April 22, 2011 — 2 Comments

So… after my Weibo Fail almost 2 months ago, I finally was able to setup the yammag Weibo account.

Except for the loading problems, which is a given in Chinese-based websites (because of the number of people?), Weibo seems to be pretty cool to use… even if I haven’t figure out all things yet.

One of them is that I can’t make the profile open to the public. People who are not logged into Weibo, get an invitation code… which I don’t really want. I want it to be open to the public, but no one seems to know what I mean.

If you already use Twitter, it’s easy to get use to Weibo~ but there are a few things that are kind cool/kinda not so cool in it. The first one that’s cool and not so cool at the same time is… use of emoticons. LOL I know people who don’t like them, and might find them odd using in a microblogging site-

BUT… Weibo isn’t really a microblog. It seems much more complex than Twitter.
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The BiBi Discography

January 3, 2011 — 11 Comments

I told you BiBi was going to be my first post of 2011! xD

It’s common knowledge I don’t buy singles… or usually “best of” compilations — unless it’s an artist with too many albums that I don’t want to “catch up” on with.

Julz also knows I don’t do mini-albums.

But I do own all of BiBi’s albums ;P I have named myself her biggest fan living the farthest away. LOL Unless BiBi has a fan living in the Patagonia, I’m taking the title, thankyouverymuch.

Bibi’s latest albums are far from perfect. Really respect that she’s trying to expand her style, her vocal range, as well as her image. Though it sometimes feels like her label doesn’t know what to do with her, like they need to change her style (from Time to i.fish.light.mirror) to sell well in Taiwan and Hong Kong – where she probably did sell well after the change.

I sat today listening to her first album (not counting her EP), Who Touched My Violin String?, and it was really quite good. Very strong, except for maybe two skippable songs.

Her second effort, her double album NOW and WOWUMPH! They’re a killer combo. After over two years of listening and discovering Chinese pop music artists, I have learned to appreciate NOW a lot more. But WOW blew me away right away for its hard to figure out sound.

In NOW, she is a lot more traditional sounding… a few “Chinese” or I guess zhongguo feng songs, nice ballads with tight vocals, great production values, and lyrics. In WOW, she does the opposite. She’s R&B without sounding R&B, she’s a bit Rock without being Rock, she’s Pop without being truly Pop — she’s got funk, soul… her lyrics are whack, and she sounds like no one else.

If Leehom coined Chinked-out style, BiBi was able to pull it off in WOW.

I really believe those two albums have been the highlight of her career, and hope that her new contract with Gold Typhoon lets her — as an artist — experiment with those styles more.

Hopefully, I will be able to get the pinyin for Bibi’s songs. In the meantime, you can check the one that’s already done for the WOW album. If you’re lucky, I will learn Chinese hahaha… tough luck!

You know what this means right? I finally saw a new Yu Aoi film, so I can move the queue just a little bit. We’re discussing Honokaa Boy first, then Ikechan to Boku… instead of One Million Yen Girl because of the length of roles that Yu had in the films… and we’re leaving Hyakuman-en up on the feature spot for a while… ;P

First a little about the film~
Honokaa Boy tells the story of a boy – Okay, a young man – who ends up living in the small Hawaiian city of Honokaa, after he mysteriously falls in love with the place during a failed trip with his girlfriend. In there, he meets a bunch of quirky people that are very likable, who end up having an impact on his life.

Genre: Dramedy with a bit of Romance
Starring: Masaki Okada, Chieko Baisho, Keiko Matsuzaka, Jun Hasegawa
Duration: almost 2hrs

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First, let me just say that when the trailer for Dawn Treader came out, I thought it looked terrible. The CGI work in the film looked positively subpar in comparison to what you thought of Lion and Caspian when they came out. I also wondered why I couldn’t remember any details in regards of the book, since I’ve only read the series once. Except for the annoying cousin, I was blank.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader tells the story of Edmund and Lucy Pevensie who stayed over at their cousin Eustace’s place as they’re separated from their family… including Susan and Peter. Eustace is annoying, played very convincingly by Will Poulter (Son of Rambow), he’s loud, whiny, a complete pain. Then one day as the cousins are arguing in a room that includes a painting of a ship at sea, water starts dripping from the painting. The room fills with water, and they’re transported to Narnia.

Edmund, Lucy and Eustace — who’s freaking out by now — get rescued by Prince (now King) Caspian and his crew, plus Reepicheep, on board of the Dawn Treader in search for the 7 allies of Caspian’s kingdom who were betrayed by his uncle when he took power. Stopping in the first kingdom/island, they discovered a group that’s been taking people away to give them as offering to something known as “The Green Mist”.

Aslan’s totally against this Green Mist, so Caspian, the Pevensie bros, Eustace and company must trail the rest of the kingdom’s allies, get their swords together, and vanquish the Green Mist.

Looking at these not-longer-kids makes me feel old. Lucy (Georgie Henley) is even more grown-up that I remember from Caspian. Same thing for Edmund (Skandar Keynes). Peter (William Moseley) and Susan (Anna Popplewell), however, look ageless. At least they do on the film.

Because my expectations were low in regards to the CG and the conversion, I must say Dawn Treader delivers better than expected. The fakeness of the CG in the 2D trailers was lost in the 3D conversion which made the picture darker and blurry. You can’t have crisp action, that defeats the purpose of action. Also, the shots use in the film work quite fine as “3D” shots, you could even believe they had thought in terms of 3D environment.

The problem with Dawn Treader, however, lies in that it’s pretty thin on story. Even in the book, it seemed to only work as an introduction to Eustace… maybe the reason why that’s all I remember about the actual book. The film also includes some very cringe-worthy dialog, but maybe that’s an issue with the dubbing I had to watch.

But I did enjoy it. What the movie makes better than the book is that it fixes the pacing, there’s a lot of action going on while they’re on their way to search for the allies and their swords. They also make a great build-up for Reepicheep, despite the lack of screen-time he’s had in the movies, to give him a deserving send-off. Actually, it’s probably my favorite scene — despite the blatant Christianity hitting me in the face always on the series, I’m rather fond of how the series ended.

However, I wish they had done something more emotional with Lucy and Edmund’s Narnia farewell, because I felt Susan and Peter’s were much more serious, much more felt… after all, we won’t see Lucy and Edmund! We could see a glimpse of Ben Barns as Caspian on The Silver Chair, but not Keynes and Henley.

I hope they do make it to The Silver Chair, and The Last Battle… even cooler if they make The Magician’s Nephew. I really REALLY hate The Horse and his Boy, though.

3/5

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