Archives For Reviews

My order for Yu Aoi’s newest release of Uso. the Pop-up book is finally here. Even though shipping cost me a little more than I had intended. I will review this, and then reveal the surprise I had for all of you.

First, let me tell you it is slightly weird to have an almost-real-life-sized photo of Yu’s face. It is just slightly bigger (I suppose), so it’s unsettling. The photo it’s so sharp and clear, and her skin is so flawless in it, I’m so jealous. But then again… that’s a well-lit photograph, so that’s unfair. xD

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Just to show you I’m not hiding any info. Or am I?
Huh… food for thought.

Anyway, this is the first FLOWERS review I find, in English… not that I scouted FLOWERS reviews in Japanese, because that would be too much extra work, to be honest.

And because I couldn’t find a proper poster for FLOWERS, I made my own — you’d think that’s also extra work, but I do like playing around with Photoshop for fun. LOL Does it look official? xD

Moving on! To the review. It’s not positive. Actually, I sensed a hint of irony while reading it, and of course… FLOWERS reeks of Chick Flick – non-negative connotation. Why point this out? Because there’s a lot of description of what’s going on, and the conclusion is “not enough actual drama”?

What then to make of Norihiro Koizumi’s “Flowers,” which recreates the look of everything from the 1930s black-and-white dramas of Yasujiro Ozu to 1960s Toho Technicolor comedies? Neither slavish imitation nor inventive recreation, the film is more about its faux authentic look and feel-good story lines than actual drama.

While pointing out Gus Van Sant’s Psycho is a shot by shot remake, the review mentions FLOWERS recreates the look of every era they’re showing in the film… which, actually to me sounds appropriate. After all, my mom thinks Mad Men should be broadcast with a funny 1960s tinge. LOL

Maybe the film’s fault is having six leading ladies, because that’s a LOT of storylines. It just makes you feel like there’s just too much going on, and then you’ve got the chick flick.

The solutions to the heroines’ various dilemmas mostly include finding Mr. Right — or Mr. Good Enough — and having babies.

Though that alone makes me feel like chocking someone, I gotta put that in the context of the storyline. Perhaps the heroine’s various dilemmas are impossible to solve, so women make do with what they got. It’s called settling and survival… and Japan pretty much sucks at letting women survive without a man. RIGHT?

And what do you know… maybe it’s emotional. I say, if FLOWERS makes me cry, I’d consider it a job done. After all, the film’s biggest crippling device is…

“Flowers,” however, is not Koizumi’s film so much as that of Takuya Onuki, an ad-agency creative director, who got the idea for it while making TV commercials for Tsubaki shampoo. Featuring top models and actresses, the ads offered striking proof that, as the copy said: “Japanese women are beautiful.”

They certainly are in “Flowers,” which stars six of the most gorgeous, if variously talented, Japanese actresses now working: Yu Aoi, Yuko Takeuchi, Rena Tanaka, Yukie Nakama, Kyoka Suzuki and Ryoko Hirosue. Koizumi and cinematographer Taishi Hirokawa film them in one glamour shot after another — perfectly lighted, posed, madeup and coifed.

Bolding mine.

Of course, ad agencies. And talent agencies…
SUCK IT UP, Idol system! SUCK IT UP!

If you want to read the whole review, you can head over to Japan Times.

Whatever your thoughts are about Toy Story, and Toy Story 2, if you got the chance to grow up and grow old with the Toy Story franchise, you’re going to feel like Toy Story 3 will be pulling your heart strings. I wasn’t emotionally attached to the franchise, and I still felt the nostalgic ending, quite reminiscent of the ending in the Winnie the Pooh books. That of having to grow up, and let go.

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Early YAM 010!

June 12, 2010 — 5 Comments

MY85 made me realize that tomorrow is the 13th, so I decided to release this today.

Thanks to Julz, who’s always a diligent writer.
and MY85… and well, Maca who keeps tracks of her films.

I just want you to head over here.

As the name suggests, this 2003 drama is about a high school teacher who is dying of an inoperable brain tumor, then one night he meets Hina, a 16-year-old girl who is pretending to be a 20-year-old beautician. They end up in his apartment for the night, even though nothing happens. The next day, she discovers he is her new high school teacher.

Of course, she keeps trying to get with him, and he tries to keep his distance… after all, he is dying. Then, with those crazy Japanese-language misunderstandings, Hina believes she’s about to die. Suddenly, the teacher finds solace in her… and that’s when it just gets creepy and frustrating.

I understand hot-for-teacher.

But I spent 98% of the time watching this [I just finished episode 8] saying how inappropriate.

First, the male lead was just so… ugh, infuriating. I guess it’s not really him, it’s the character that annoys me. I could get it, the way he is for the first 2 episodes. He’s dying, he’s afraid of being forgotten, whatever. However, by episode 7, it just gets tiresome. Man up already! But instead of manning up, and telling Mina that she’s not dying, so she doesn’t need to find physical pleasure to feel alive… because, well… she’s got time.

He goes and diddles the student.

Is that supposed to be romantic?

And then people go on and tell him he looks different, more relaxed. Of course! He’s diddling the student! whom he lied to by saying she’s got an inoperable brain tumor. And the doctor plays along? Lying to her?

Mina should totally sue their asses.


Okay, having said that. Reason why I watched this? Of course, Yu Aoi. I wasn’t gonna watch it because the title is so bland, and I don’t normally do jdramas. However, while looking for the latest Anan photoshoot, I ran into a post that talked about a “rape scene” [on ep08] in the series, so I went all “OMG, I need to check this out.” So I did.

Besides the dragging storyline of the dying teacher who diddles the student who thinks is dying, the series talks about suicide, depression, prostitution, and bullying. The big bad of the series is Yuki, played by Hiroki Narimiya — whom I had already eyed on Tiger & Dragon, and Nana LOL — but his crazy antics get tiring by episode 7 too. I mean, he’s just bad because he’s bad, unlike Koike on Love Exposure who is bad for being bad with a background.
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