Archives For Reading

It’s begun. The beginning of the end. After the 7th book came out, and left me unsatisfied — a feeling carried over the 6th book and the 5th film — I swore to never see Harry Potter at the cinema ever again. A promise easy to keep with the 6th film, but then… it was hard to keep it when the first promotional materials for HP7 were released.

Well played, Warner. Well played.

Deathly Hallows is perhaps Yates’ best attempt at a Harry Potter adaption, but considering the other two – it isn’t saying that much. In the greater scale of things, it might follow on Azkaban’s footsteps as an interesting film filled with anguish and desperation… of I guess, the teenage sort. If the book didn’t work for you, the film seems to improve on action and characters. It’s also of great comfort to say that The WB’s decision of splitting the film in two parts was hardly a bad commercial or creative choice… at least for the fans of the books, who will savor each an every detail.

But then again, considering how many chapters were crammed into this first part, one has to wonder what’s left for part two if not only the “last battle” which, in the book, happened off-page… and that epilogue that’s ripped out of the most poorly written fanfiction.

For the non-readers or those who haven’t seen HP6… well, you’re screwed. It really doesn’t work without the background, and you’re better without watching it, if you’re going to start complaining. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows feels like made for the fans of the series only.

Continue Reading…

I think this is the first time I post more than one review not of mine of a Yu Aoi film, maybe I’m getting better at finding info… or maybe more people are writing in English. Anyway, this second review of Raiou isn’t so kind either.

I haven’t been able to find Box Office info on whether Raiou opened at #1, or a had weak opening — being a Period Romance, it should open at #1 for various reasons. Anyway~ here’s an excerpt:

Although the charismatic Aoi Yu brings some sorely-needed life to the film with her portrayal of Rai/Yu, her counterpart Okada Masaki is never truly convincing as a man whose inner demons threaten to tear him apart.

Via Screendaily.com

I don’t think those comments will hurt the Okada Masaki fans, but let’s wait for those Box Office numbers~

*EDIT*

Got numbers~ They’re not that good. Raiou opened at #8 ~

via Japan Now + Cinema Navi

Okay, the Raiou review isn’t so ouch because it’s in Japanese, and it didn’t seem to talk much about the film – other than the synopsis – but they gave it 2/5 which… you know, it’s bad. It doesn’t really surprise me after Ryuichi Hiroki’s April Bride. We’re not talking about Shinobu Terajima — fully, in-your-face actress — with Ryuichi Hiroki. We’re talking about Eita and Nana Eikura — the idols.

But still, as an idol film, I think it’s gonna floor me. I’ve seen the clips, it’s got Yu-chan riding a horse in slow-motion. Screaming. Talking with an accent. Shooting an arrow. It’s got Yu-chan’s first proper on-screen kiss — it’s not an “in your head” kiss scene, it’s not a stolen kiss — it’s a proper romance.

Then Mark Schilling from the Japan Times – who also kicked FLOWERS in the shins – kicks Redline too. I’m gonna pick the phrases that sum up his review the best:

“Redline” is all about visceral thrills that peak in the first slam-bang, headlong race scene. The film then spends the next 90 minutes trying to top this opener — about 90 minutes too long for me.

But the first 10 minutes are terrific.

There you go. He gave it a 2.5/5

But he says the animation is good, which… I mean – have you seen the World Record short from The Animatrix? Same guy directing. I can’t wait to just feast my eyes. Maybe, if the story and action is as sucky as he says (not enough drama, again?) Maybe I’ll just watch it one more time. I mean, he did love Tekkonkinkreet.

I’ve run out of material to post. I was working on part 1 of a post, that still needs a part 2. While also working on coding for YAM… which I didn’t do today. Haven’t had time to watch anything, listen to anything… or even finish the book I was reading.

Oh, yeah – I haven’t posted that I’ve been reading Handling the Undead – and finally, the reliving are doing something. Also… have I told you I’ve been going to bed at 6am everyday? Sighs…

Having said that, I got an email from the Spirit Awards – hope to get screeners early next year, though I would really like to get the screeners now. xD Looking forward to the nominees =D

Raiou, based on the novel by Mari Ueza about tragic lovers, is set to open next week on Friday the 22nd. It stars idol-in-the-rise Masaki Okada opposite established-idol-transitioning-to-actress Yu Aoi. What does Raiou mean to their careers?

A rising-star and an established-idol starring in a period drama romance? If it succeeds, it means the rising-star will keep on rising, and the established-idol still has “it”. A period drama romance lays solely on its protagonists’ shoulders, and their chemistry. If it fails, it’s because of them. That’s a lot of scary thoughts right there~

Why does Yu Aoi need Raiou to succeed? She is indeed an idol still. She sponsors products, and she makes a living selling products. She’s young — to westerners, anyway — she’s cute, youthful… the whole shebang. However, the life-span of a Japanese female idol is short, some of them have retired at 20! So Yu, having turned 25 already, isn’t… well, a young idol any longer. She’s been away of major mainstream entertainment, she’s had relationships, she’s been on tabloids as people discuss who she really is dating. Everything takes its toll. She’s now a woman. An actress who is still an idol. Will people support her passed her prime-early-twenty years like they did when the hit Hula Girls came out?

Raiou holds Yu’s idol-hood future. Will it be a hit right away? Shoot to number one the first week to then drop the next? Will it slowly climb to number one in two or three weeks and stay there a week or two? Will it climb slowly up to stay there for several weeks? Will it never reach number one?? Whatever happens, it will change Yu’s bankability.