Weathering With You / 天気の子 (2019) – Movie Mini-Review

Loved this! Weathering With You is *almost* as good as Your Name, but I think I need to watch it again just to be sure. 😊 The storyline was fun and combines fantasy and reality in an original way, and seems timely considering the changes in the climate.

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 19mm, f/2, 1/125 sec, ISO6400
“Beautiful Background” Austin, 2019

Just like in Your Name, the background artwork is amazing. Some of the scenes with cloud-scapes are breathtaking! But what I really enjoyed about Weathering With You was that there was a bit more action, which was refreshing for a Makoto Shinkai film. I’m still in love with the Honda Super Cub, so seeing chase scene involving one was awesome. ❤️

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 19mm, f/2, 1/125 sec, ISO5000
“Supercub Scene” Austin, 2019

Although Weathering With You didn’t have as many moments as Your Name that gave me “the feels”, I enjoyed it quite a bit. There were a few laugh-out-loud moments as well, so I’d say it’s a very well-rounded movie. It’s got a bit of everything: artwork, story, romance, action, and humor. It’s definitely a movie I’d like to watch several times. Highly recommended!

Watching Episode IX

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 19mm, f/2, 1/125 sec, ISO5000
“Episode IX Display” Austin, 2019

Tonight I went with my two sons to see the 1:25 am showing of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. It was a late showing (Sunday morning actually) because we didn’t think to get the tickets earlier, however it worked out okay for me because I had a mild migraine in the afternoon so I slept from 3 pm until 11 pm and was well-awake to see that late-night show.

*********** SPOILER ALERT ************

I enjoyed Episode IX a lot and thought it was great! I’m in the camp that thought The Last Jedi was an okay movie, but had some really cringey scenes. And when I saw “THE DEAD SPEAK!” come up on the screen for the final movie, I literally rolled my eyes and was prepared for the worst.

But I was pleasantly surprised and pleased with the story, pacing, action, dialog, and humor of the movie. There was plenty of fan-service of course, and the plot wasn’t very complex, but all-in-all it was a satisfying end to the Skywalker saga for me.

One thing I liked about the JJ Abrams movies was the quick bits of humor that were thrown in. For instance, in Episode IX when Ben Solo lands hard after jumping from a high surface, he lets out a little, “Ow” which I thought was brilliant. In the same vein, when Finn is rescued from the Rathtar by Rey in Episode VII, she just says, “That was lucky!” and the scene moves on, without skipping a beat. I loved those types of lines! In contrast, in Episode VIII, Poe’s “can you hear me?” scene with Hux was only mildy funny to begin with, but went on for far too long, and to me it was really lame that a huge part of their battle strategy was based on a silly Verizon joke.

Anyways, just like with Episode VII, I’m ready to see The Rise of Skywalker again on the big screen. And I usually enjoy the second viewings more than the first so I really looking forward to it.

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 19mm, f/2, 1/125 sec, ISO500
“Episode IX” Austin, 2019

Crazy Rich Asians Reading-Fest

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 35mm, f/2, 1/320 sec, ISO640
“Crazy Rich Library” Cedar Park, 2019

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Recently, I’ve been enjoying Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians book trilogy, whose first book was the basis for the hit movie by the same name. I thought the book was great, so after finishing it I put a library hold on the second one, China Rich Girlfriend, and flew through it in just a few days. Immediately after finishing that, I put the third and final book, Rich People Problems on hold, and within the hour, it was available! I could continue the story without delay, which is perfect since it’s a long holiday weekend. It’s a true Crazy Rich Asians reading-fest. 😆

The books are super fun, and although the constant brand-name fashion references can seem a bit tedious at first, I soon enjoyed the over-the-topness of even those descriptions. The story is great and I love the characters, but what really makes it an exceptional series for me are the descriptions of all the delicious foods. The books make me so hungry!

I also like the fact that I can relate to the story through some of the settings (and dare I say brands?). In fact, one of the chapters in the first book is named Conduit Road, which is a street in Hong Kong. And a good friend of mine’s family has a flat there, which is where I stayed when I visited twice in the 90s. That kind of blew me away. The scenes in Shanghai also were familiar to me since we visited the city just last year. There are even some luxury brand watch references which I thought were great.

On the flip side, reading about Singapore, a city I have not yet traveled to, has given me a serious case of wanderlust! I’m definitely not alone in the fact that Crazy Rich Asians has really piqued my curiosity.

I am halfway through the final book and I am looking forward to seeing how it all concludes. By the way, the books are much better than the movie, IMHO.

I hope you had a great day!

またね~

😆

Saturday Cooking, Drawing, Reading, and a Movie

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/8, 1/5 sec, ISO800
“Watches” Cedar Park, 2019

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Today was a relaxing Saturday for me. I didn’t spend it napping, though… I actually did a few fun things all at home indoors, so I kept myself somewhat busy.

For the cooking part, I made tortilla chips for the first time ever. They weren’t completely made from scratch, but I made them from a big package of corn tortillas in the freezer. I’ve found corn tortillas are pretty much useless for tacos after defrosting from the freezer and only somewhat salvageable for enchiladas. However, they are great for making chips! Basically, I cut each tortilla into six pizza slices, then deep-fried them in a skillet. It took a while to get through the bag of 36 tortillas, but now we have a decent bag of chips to use for salsa or nachos, and they taste excellent!

For the drawing part of the afternoon, I finished a profile portrait on my iPad. Profiles are a real challenge for me, but I am pleased with the final result:

“Saturday Sketch” Cedar Park, 2019

I also finished a book in record time. I had seen the movie Crazy Rich Asians last year, but just this week I borrowed the Crazy Rich Asians eBook from our library and plowed through it in three days. It was a fun read! The book is even better than the movie, which I also enjoyed. I am looking forward to the rest of the trilogy, which I have on hold at the library.

And finally, I watched the Japanese movie Kids on the Slope 坂道のアポロン. It was pretty good! I loved the setting of Japan in the 60’s.

So that was my Saturday.

I hope you also had a nice one!

またね~

p.s. Today’s photo is just of the items on my desk next to the monitor. It’s not very exciting or interesting, but I think it’s okay to document the mundane things in life. When I think back to our old house or even our apartments in Japan, I wish I had more of these simple images.

Love Live! Sunshine!! The School Idol Movie: Over the Rainbow (2019) – Movie Review

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.2, 1/100 sec, ISO2500
“Love Live! Sunshine!! Movie” Austin, 2019

こんばんは。How’s it going?

Tonight I went with my friend Mikey to watch Love Live! Sunshine!! The School Idol Movie: Over the Rainbow at the local Alamo theater. I mentioned in a previous post that I was watching the first season of this anime in preparation for tonight’s movie, and I am so glad I did, otherwise I would be super-lost!

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.2, 1/100 sec, ISO2500
“Yohane” Austin, 2019

The story starts with the girls moving to a new high school since their previous one was shut down, and it looks like they will have to use their “school idol” charm to win over the other students. But then the plot takes a wacky turn and the girls all end up in Italy. Although it was a weird direction for the story to go, it was a really fun setting and gave my favorite of the group, Yohane/Yoshiko, plenty of screentime, so I was happy with that aspect of it. 😄

The plot was not very cohesive, the songs and performances were great. You can tell the animators took a lot of care during these sequences as the dance moves are really well-done and realistic. I wouldn’t be surprised if they motion-captured real dancers for all the dance sequences in the movie (and the tv anime for that matter). They looked amazing!

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2, 1/100 sec, ISO400
“Love Live! Sunshine!! Movie” Austin, 2019

I often go to special screenings of anime with my friend, and we enjoy seeing what the audience is like. For Love Live! Sunshine!! The School Idol Movie: Over the Rainbow, the crowd was small but more passionate than the ones at regular anime films. Some people wore Love Live!! t-shirts, others brought in backpacks full of stuffed toy characters, and one girl was wearing what looked like an idol-inspired outfit. And during one of the last songs, the people next to us broke out their glow-sticks. It was fun, and now I’m a Love Live! fan. Time to catch up on Season 2 and also the original series. 😊

As of this writing, Love Live! Sunshine!! The School Idol Movie: Over the Rainbow is showing for two more nights, so if you have a chance to see it, why not? It’s a lot of fun, even if you don’t know the characters!

またね~