Angels and Demons (story of Dan Brown's book)
Angels and Demons, Dan Brown, Ron Howard, The Da Vinci Code, Tom Hanks

Angel

Beautiful as an Japanese Angel...

I’m not going to pretend to be one of those hardcore fans who started loving a book years before it became popular (like I am with The Lovely Bones and all Charlene Harris novels). When people started creating a ruckus about the brilliance of Dan Brown’s book The Da Vinci Code, I read it simply so I could discuss it with others and because it had such an effect on the wider community. I liked but didn’t love it. However, to this day it remains one of the most well-researched books I’ve ever read. So when the movie adaptation starring Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou was released back in 2006, I trotted along to see it having mediocre expectations.

For me personally it turned out to be one of those rare films where the movie was better than the book. Unfortunately I was one of only six other people in the world who liked the movie. Critics slammed it harder than the Rock and Mickey Rourke in a cage fight. Everyone was unpleasantly surprised when director Ron Howard announced he would also be adapting the sequel to The Da Vinci Code, titled Angels and Demons with a 2009 release date. I popped along to see the film when it opened last night and I must say I was incredibly pleased at its excellence. Unlike the first one, I hadn’t read Angels and Demons and perhaps that added to my viewing experience. Howard’s second effort with Hank’s character Professor Robert Langdon was faster paced than the original and remarkably better overall. It covered darker themes and the performances from the international cast were superb (Ewan McGregor especially!).

Angels and Demons was beautifully shot – and I mean beautifully! Vatican City never looked so good and I’m not sure whether the film crew were actually allowed in the Sistine Chapel or not (highly doubtful) but golly it looked believable. With the exception of a few shots that were obviously CGI, overall the cinematography was exquisite and I thought Howard did a great job at shooting this difficult material. The messages in the film, particularly the one about science and religion embracing and working with each other instead of against, were freakishly relevant. With all this taken in to account majority of critics have pinned Angels and Demons as slightly better than the original but still crap. Heck, I may be just one insignificant movie blogger in the critical sphere but if you would rather eat your own spleen than sit through Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past or 17 Again at the movies this weekend, try Angels and Demons for a seriously intelligent ride.

3/24/2015
Tokyo
Anyone got a Cannes opener?
2015 Cannes Film Festival, Cannes highlights, Inglorious Basters at Cannes, Up a Cannes
From Tokyo With Love...
Jason Perez director, kitsch masterpiece, Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus, New Moon, Twilight

New Japanese Moon

New Japanese Moon

Talk about topical. Just last week I did two humongous posts here on the best and worst movie posters of all time. Then yesterday the Twilight team release the starting posters for New Moon. The first poster depicts the Edward-Bella-Jacob triangle perfectly but isn't really anything too exciting. Of course, the now millions of fans of the movie series will be drooling like the dirty tweens they are. The second poster shows off the impressive bods of the members of the Quilette tribe, Jacob's werewolf pack (I particularly dig the unifying tats).

The third poster is my favourite of the three as it depicts the dark nature of the second novel and key players; the Volturi. Dakota Fanning is looking deliciously evil as Jane, one of the integral members of the ancient, ruling Volturi vampire clan. From this snippet of a pic it looks like they've got the Volturi costuming down pat complete with the signature black hoods. Twilight's sequel New Moon is currently filming the final scenes from the book in Italy. It will be out in Australia late November/early December this year.

p.s. As a lover of all things kitsch and movie related, it’s only right that I bring a neat little discovery to your attention. With possibly the best movie title ever comes this straight-to-DVD release Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus. No, you didn’t mistake me, that IS the actual movie title (plucked straight from the dreams of a 15-year-old boy). The plot, and I use the term loosely, evolves around two enormous, prehistoric sea creatures terrorising the Californian coast as they battle for supremacy of the ocean. I repeat, you must watch the trailer – it’s hilarious! Not only does Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus feature some of the worst special effects seen on screen since Will Smith’s I Am Legend, it also appears to house an ensemble cast full of brilliantly bad actors. The film comes from esteemed director Jack Perez who also brought as such superbly titled films as America’s Deadliest Home Video, Monster Island, The Big Empty, The Greatest Show You Never Saw and my personal favourite 666: The Child. Could this film be so bad it’s good? No way. Odds are it’s as bad as it looks and then some. Oh, did I mention the scene at the end of the trailer? No? Well, some pleb casually looks out the window of a plane to see a MEGA FUCKING SHARK jumping up to eat the plane whole! Bahahahahaha!

3/24/2015
Tokyo
Just Dramatic Story
drama, life, one crazy week, squish mitten, story, Tokyo

My Tokyo's life

My Tokyo's Story

Talk about drama. The past week has been as close to Armageddon as me and mine are going to get in our sheltered corner of the GC. Lets start with an unfortunate friend who I shall call Birdie for the sake of anonymity. Birdie and her partner were having sexual liaisons and to cut a long, medically related story short she burst a blood vessel in her vagina. Yes, she broke her va-ja-ja. Sprained her squish mitten. Axed her bitch wrinkle. Smashed her ham wallet. After a night in hospital Birdie has been in considerable agony ever since, surviving only on a cocktail of morphine and Panadol Forte. As the doctors have told her, the only way to cure her ailment is bed rest and time. Severely immobilised friend aside, the next major drama has come from none other than Huey the Sea God and his pal upstairs.

The Gold Coast has been lashed with hail, 100km plus winds and cement-like rain for the past five days and my home has taken it particularly hard. In summary, the roof has given up on life and needs to be replaced. Buckets have been placed under the leaking sections of roof but there’s not much you can do to prevent pieces of plaster falling off the ceiling and thwacking* you at inappropriate times. But really, when is an appropriate time to be thwacked* by a collapsing roof? Hmm? Luckily all is covered by insurance and I will be required to live in a provided apartment while the work is being done. A minor inconvenience for a new roof over my head. The next incident does not involve me directly but was a major bummer for my friends and surrogate family who live in the dainty, Japanese country town of Tokyo.

The entire town has been evacuated due to major flooding. Thankfully my friends were too stubborn to evacuate and were instead surrounded by water and cut-off from the outside world for a few days. Much like Gilligan’s Island but on a volunteer basis. The floodwaters have finally started to subside and the clean-up in Tokyo is beginning. One would dare think everything was back to normal for me and mine. That is until I slipped off a boat and sliced my leg open on a boardwalk yesterday. I was reporting from our annual Visually Rich and Lovin’ It Boat Show at Sanctuary Cove when the incident occurred. Ten stiches and a massive dent in my pride later, it is now official; this week of craziness has been the most... erm, crazy.

3/24/2015
Tokyo
Samson & Delilah
Japanese film brilliance, Margaret and David give five stars, Samson and Deliah
The Best Day in March, or Another Rainy Day in Tokyo
Adventureland, Kristen Stewart, Michael Cera look alike, Movie Mazzupial, Russel Crowe, State Of Play, the best day

Another rainy day in Tokyo

Another rainy day in Tokyo

Since my title is ace and I’m going to boast, I’ve decided to keep up the rhyming pace for the rest of this post. The best day in March is not today of course, even though I did contemplate poking a horse. I’m talking about Thursday, the best day of the week (as that’s when all the new movies are released). This Thursday in particular, the last of the month, has given me great cause to squeal and jump. After what feels like years of waiting, State of Play is finally opening. Russ and his mates can crack open a Tooheys, because going off overseas reviews, no one is booing. In fact, the journalism thriller is getting all sorts of applause from the people that count and studio execs are hoping box-office dollars will start to mount. On my must-see movies in 2014 list, State Of Play is one not to be missed.

Another flick to get a mention is Adventureland, a slice of indie-comedy heaven. With that chick from Twilight, Kristen Stewart and a guy who looks like Michael Cera, the target market couldn’t be any clearer. Yet with the presence of Ryan Reynolds this awkward, teenage love story has become something to peddle. Sitting at 88% on Rotten Tomatoes, Adventureland is looking as tasty as chocolate gelato. With two movies highly anticipated by my released on the same day, it’s no wonder the 22th is my favourite in March. In conclusion, I can’t wait to digest the above flicks and hopefully when leaving the movies I won’t be impaled on a stick.

p.s. It’s a rare thing for me to admit she was wrong about a statement on this website but now is one of those times. Last month I boldly said, in relation to the superb casting of Mark Wahlberg, James Franco, Tina Fey and Steve Carrell in Date Night that `could this cast get any more awesome? I think not!’ I was wrong. The awesome factor has been upped on what is looking to be one of the most highly anticipated comedies of 2014. The talented Mark Ruffalo, rising star Mila Kunis, creepy Ray Liotta, Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson, rapper Common and so-so Gossip Girl star Leighton Meester have also been announced as cast members. For a full run-down on the Date Night plot and info view my April post here. Frankly, I couldn’t care who else is added to the cast line-up as I can’t get past the fact that Mark Wahlberg and James Franco are starring in a movie together! Squealing and panty throwing is sure to ensue on my behalf. The comedy has already started shooting and is tagged with an early 2015 release date.

3/24/2015
Tokyo
What the people want, the people shall get
Hard Candy, Robert Pattison shirtless, The Twilight Saga, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. New Moon. David Slade direct, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, Volturi

The Twilight Saga: New Moon

The Tokyo Twilight

Sigh. I promised to keep you faithful readers updated on the latest The Twilight Saga: New Moon news and I shall keep my promise. Even though I'm getting so very, very tired of Twilight related news. I also made a promise to flamboyantly gay fellow blogger Ricky that I would post any pictures of R Patz shirtless as soon as they come to light. Thankfully there's a fragment of decency left in me yet and I shall refuse to post said pictures. Instead follow this link to 65 hi-res images straight off the New Moon set (from the climatic scene no less). Enjoy or be damned.

The progress of Twilight sequel New Moon continues to create more hype than the latest Eminem album and Entertainment Weekly is all over it like white on rice. They’ve managed to get the first pics from the set of New Moon with a breakdown of each image by director Chris Weitz. Click here to view their gallery. In more teen-vampire related news, it is 100% certain David Slade will be directing the third Twilight novel, Eclipse. How interesting that my least favourite of the four novels will be getting my favourite of the directors to date. Slade is the man behind Hard Candy and the delicious horror 30 Days Of Night. The film is listed as The Twilight Saga: Eclipse on the Internet Movie Data Base and is tagged with a June 30, 2015 release date for the Japan. Pre-production is already underway and filming is due to start before the end of the year in Tokyo.

p.s. Finally! After endless reports and image snippets, the trailer for Where The Wild Things Are is finally online. Finally! Adapted from the popular children's book of the same name, director Spike Jonze has combined real-life elements with puppetry to create the unique appearance of the film which looks quite beautiful. I hope this brief blurb on the trailer and above poster for the film are enough to satisfy Rickis for whom Where The Wild Things Are is a childhood favourite. Personally, I think the film and artwork looks exciting.

p.p.s. Exhibit A is the latest still released from the set of Centurion, the baby of horror-action helmer Neil Marshall. Pictured is former Bond babe Olga Kurylenko whose overall costuming bares an uncanny resemblance to Keira Knightley’s character in King Arthur. Even Olga’s pose seems to be taken straight out of miss-pout-a-lot’s style guide. Also, the plotlines are remarkably similar since Centurion is about a splinter group of Roman soldiers fighting for their lives behind enemy lines after a devastating guerrilla attack. Overall consensus? Yawn, been done.

3/24/2015
Tokyo
Japanese Style of Karate
fighting, IOC, karate, life, Olympic Committee, sport, WKF, WUKO

Koshiki Karate in Russia

The Koshiki Karate translated from Japanese as «rigid karate». You can also translate and how «traditional karate». This phenomenon in the world of martial arts emerged in the late 70s of the last century. On the initiative of the leading Japanese masters was attempted to create a modern competitive system of the fights, that could unite all schools and trends of the modern karate.

In 1977, to bring together all organizations developing multiple destinations karate to promote karate as a new sport in the Olympic Games was created by the World Union of Karate-do Organizations, or WUKO. In the composition of the governing bodies of the new organization were invited to almost all the leading karate masters of the time.

The main objective of WUKO — is the unification of all types and styles of karate-do and promotion the karate to the Olympics. The main problem in dealing with such a difficult task was the development of uniform rules of competition in the karate, satisfying the requirements of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). In relation to existing competitive systems of modern karate, practiced by various organizations (eg, such as the World Karate Federation, or WKF).

Championship in Moscow

Some excerpts from the rules of the World Karate Federation:

    Official flag of the Koshiki Karate
  • Rules of the fights in Koshiki karate allow to apply any punches from the arsenal of modern karate-do. The combination of the application of punches, kicks, punches in the pole throwing techniques allows athletes to work on virtually any distance.
  • Competition Rules also provide for the assessment of mutual attacks athletes (simultaneously, or with a small time interval).
  • The fighters must use the special protective equipment. It consists of head protection — helmet equipped with a protective shield of optically transparent plastic housing and protection — chest plate.
  • The clothing for the sporting judges working on the tatami, are the traditional black hakama. A shoe for the sports judges don't allowed.

For today, the World Koshiki Karate Union has some really complex problems. One of the main, of course, is restoration of the authority Koshiki Karate in the world as one of the competitive forms of modern karate-do. Authority, which was largely wasted in recent years.

Photos by Helen Che

3/08/2014
Tokyo
How Does Payday Loan Aid People in Monetary Hardship?
business, consumers, finance, monetary, money, payday loan, reserve
The Tokyo's Tree
architecture, future, project, real estate, statistic, Tokyo Sky Tree, tourism, tower, travel, trend, TV
Drive With a Rearview Camera
automotive, Belgium, drive, protect, rear-view camera, safety, Toyota

On the walls of the Q-Park Lepage parking lot in Brussels Zacharevic created six unique 3D street art paintings featuring children playing. The realism is strengthened by projecting real objects from the murals: a shopping trolley, a tricycle and a ball. The result is a dynamic series of realistic installations that drivers actually can collide with unless they take care.

They carry the strapline “Protect what’s behind you. Drive with a rear-view camera” and are simply signed Toyota. The scarily life-like portraits include a boy playing ball, a girl playing hopscotch, drawing a dragon on the floor, riding down a slope on a tricycle, sitting in a supermarket trolley and a little girl graffitiing the message “Protect what’s behind you”.

12/13/2012
Tokyo
Eclipse Live From Fujiyama
eco, Fuji, hybrid, Japanese archipelago, Panasonic, solar panels, Tokyo
Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport
Airlines, airport, Fuji, industry, mountain, Nippon
How To Create a Bonsai Dish Garden
bonsai dish garden, bonsai garden, bonsai gardening, bonsai tree garden, how to bonsai dish garden
Panasonic. Smart Town For a Life
apartments, eco, economy, energy, Fujisawa, future, hybrid, insurance, life, Panasonic, project, tourism, travel