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~

Re-watching the Harry Potter Movies

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/125 sec, ISO4000
“Harry Potter Marathon” Cedar Park, 2019

On Memorial Day weekend, Koa decided he would try to watch all the Harry Potter movies, but when we got to move #6, we discovered that we couldn’t find the disc. I’m pretty sure we bought all of them, so it is a mystery as to where it could be. Thankfully our library has a few copies of Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince so I picked it up, and we could resume our marathon, albeit a few days after the holiday weekend ended.

I forgot a lot of the Harry Potter story, so it was cool to rewatch them all again and catch all the details I missed before. And Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is still my favorite movie of the series, but I have a new appreciation for Goblet of Fire. But one thing that I find a bit perplexing is when everyone turns against Harry in that movie, especially his best friend, Ron. I mean, Harry has never done anything to make Ron distrust him, right?

That reminds me, I should read the books… I’ve only read the last one, which was fantastic.

I hope you had a magical day!

またね~

When I Get Home, My Wife Always Pretends to Be Dead / に帰ると妻が必ず死んだふりをしています (2018) – Movie Review

The latest movie I watched was When I Get Home, My Wife Always Pretends to Be Dead / に帰ると妻が必ず死んだふりをしています, a movie based on a manga that was inspired by a question posed on Yahoo! Japan. The story revolves around a young married couple, and how their relationship evolves after the wife, Chie (Nana Eikura 榮倉奈々), starts to “play dead” whenever her husband, Jun (Ken Yasuda 安田顕), returns from work. It’s a really strange premise but definitely captured my interest.

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

The first prank death was surprising (if you don’t know the backstory at all), but turns out to be kind of funny, although I really felt for Jun who was understandably panicked. The subsequent prank deaths were increasingly silly, hilarious, inventive, and clever. Those are funny scenes, but they have Jun wondering what Chie’s intentions truly are. Is she dissatisfied with their marriage? Has he done something wrong?

Over the course of the movie, several marital themes are explored, but not too deeply, and the tone of the movie is kept very light. The serious themes of infertility, separation, and divorce were played out by Jun’s coworker and his wife, and even though the couple decided to end their marriage, they showed growth and maturity… and maybe this is a lesson the writers were trying to teach us?

Chie and Jun’s relationship becomes stronger during reflection and also because of the illness of Chie’s father. It’s during a visit to Chie’s childhood home that Jun gets a clearer glimpse into Chie’s childhood and gains a greater understanding of her. But the mystery of why Chie would fake her own death every day remained unsolved until the very end. Unfortunately for the viewing audience, when Jun reveals to her that he knows why she did it and is explaining the reason, there’s a strong wind and we don’t get to hear his words. I think it was meant to be funny that the audience doesn’t find out, but to me, it was just frustrating. I got the feeling that the writers really didn’t have an explanation either, and it was just a cop-out. But perhaps that’s true to the mystery of the original story. At any rate, it was an unsatisfying ending to a story that had seemingly been advancing towards a good conclusion.

I have to mention one major point that I didn’t like about the movie. There were several scenes where the music didn’t match the mood of the story at all. In fact a few times, I was wondering if I had left Spotify going, or a browser tab was open that was playing music. The generic rock and roll background songs were inappropriate and cheesy, and I kept thinking how much better a scene would have been if there was instead just silence in the background. I admit to wondering if the director’s teenage kid begged to have his band be in the film…

Anyway, if you can ignore the terrible ending and horrible musical overlays, then you are left with a fun, lighthearted movie, with some marital wisdom tidbits thrown in. The performances from all the actors were excellent, especially Nana Eikura, who was quirky and charming. Ken Yasuda played the straight man while also subtly letting us in onto his frustration. In summary, When I Get Home, My Wife Always Pretends to Be Dead is a watchable movie, worth your time.

My rating: 7/10

またね~

My Movie Reviews

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/75 sec, ISO3200
“Imitation Game” Cedar Park, 2019

こんばんは。How’s it going?

On this blog, I sometimes will post a movie review including a rating from 1 to 10, and then add to my list of movies (and books watched for the year. But sometimes I go back to my list and revise my rating. Oftentimes it’s to lower a score a bit because since some time has passed I can now adjust it for memorability. Usually, the movies that have more of an emotional impact will keep their rating, but those that don’t have that impact will have their ratings dropped.

It’s related to the thought that “you remember how a person makes you feel, rather than what a person tells you”.

I’ve also been thinking about my movie and dorama reviews, and how simplistic they are. Of course, I’m not a professional reviewer, so I can only write from a certain level. But I enjoy writing about movies that I particularly enjoy, in the only way I know how to write, and since the movie reviews tend to be my more popular posts, I think people might relate to how I write. That said, it would be nice to learn a bit more about how to write more elegantly and compellingly. Perhaps someday I can take a class or two, but in the meantime, I’ll keep blogging as usual.

Anyway, today I watched The Imitation Game, which is today’s photo. I thought it was pretty good, and shed light on a dark time in history, both because of the war and the way homosexuals were treated in the mid 20th century.

またね~

Detective Pikachu Movie

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/50 sec, ISO3200
“Detective Pikachu” Cedar Park, 2019

こんばんは。How’s it going?

This evening I joined a couple of friends at the movie theater to watch Detective Pikachu. We all loved it! Granted, we are all fans of Pokémon, but even if you aren’t, I think you’ll enjoy this movie. The jokes were funny and the story was decent. My favorite part was definitely the scene with Mr. Mime. It was hilarious! I was a bit skeptical about the CG Pokémon, but after a couple of minutes, I really enjoyed seeing them in “real-life”.

As a cool bonus, we each received a promotional pack of Pokémon cards. Actually, calling it a pack is being generous since they only contained two cards. But they are definitely cool! They are keepers for sure.

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.2, 1/100 sec, ISO2500
“Detective Pikachu Cards” Cedar Park, 2019

I hope you had a good day!

またね~