Movie and a Dinner

"8-Year Proposal" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/100 sec, ISO1250
“8-Year Proposal” Cedar Park, 2019

This afternoon I watched The 8-Year Engagement 8年越しの花嫁 奇跡の実話 starring one of my favorite actresses, Tao Tsuchiya. I enjoyed it a lot, but I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t as much of a tear-jerker as I thought it would be. But the acting by both Tsuchiya and Sato Takeru was good enough to get them nominated for the Japan Academy awards for best actress and actor.

Later that evening, I made gyoza and spinach, while Bay prepared poké bowls using poké from Costco. It was delicious! Always try to eat well. 😊

"Gyoza Dinner" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/100 sec, ISO1600
“Gyoza Dinner” Cedar Park, 2019
"Poké Bowl" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/100 sec, ISO1250
“Poké Bowl” Cedar Park, 2019

I hope you had a good day!

またね~

Movie and Reading Day

"Under the Kotatsu" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/30 sec, ISO253
“Under the Kotatsu” Cedar Park, 2019

Today was a full day of screentime for me, starting off by joining Koa while he rewatched the excellent Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and then I caught the ending of the silly G-Force movie. After that, Koa went over to a friend’s house to hang out and I had the big tv all to myself. I watched The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, which is a story I am familiar with since I am also reading the book. The story is a glimpse into lives so different from mine, and heartbreaking, inspirational, and ultimately uplifting. A really good film, and recommended!

After that, I switched gears and watched Ip Man, which is a 2008 Hong Kong martial arts film starring Donnie Yen. The fighting scenes were pretty great, although there wasn’t much to the plot. It’s based on a true story, though, so that added a bit of weight to the film. I’m not sure if it was enough to motivate me to watch the sequels, but who knows?

To conclude my day of screentime, I finished The Lost Temple of Ssis’sythyss (The Dungeoneers Book 3) by Jeffery Russell. I thoroughly enjoyed the previous two Dungeoneers books and the third book did not disappoint! It actually takes place before the other two which was cool because you get to see how some of the main characters from the first books actually meet.

With the full day of screentime, my 2019 list of books read and movies watched is growing nicely. 😀

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Today’s photo is of our cat, Anko. It’s rare that she goes inside our kotatsu, so when it happened, I had to take a photo and send to my wife. 😆

I hope you had a nice day!

またね~

Captain Marvel (2019) – Movie Review

こんばんは。Tonight my two sons and I went to the theater to catch the 9:35 showing of Captain Marvel. I had heard good things about this superhero movie, so I was excited to see it (much like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse), and I was not disappointed.

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

I absolutely loved the movie! It had a great story, interesting characters, and wonderful acting. Plot-wise, I liked the manner in which Captain Marvels’ past unfolds bit by bit and changes her relationship to the other characters. As she learns more about her past, we learn the true nature of those around her, and that drives the story. Funny how you can begin the movie despising the Skrulls, and then that turns around 180 degrees. Their story, of course, has relevance to today’s real-world situations, so that gave me a whole lot to think about.

I liked how the 1995 setting establishes Captain Marvel’s place in the MU before most of the present-day heroes. Since 1995 would put the main characters at about the same age as me, I have a special affinity for them. Plus the setting is Los Angeles, so there’s an extra connection!

It’s always interesting how the movies’ stories intersect with each other and seeing Nick Fury and Agent Coulson as young noobs was really fun. I read that the actors were digitally “de-aged” by 25 years for the movie. It looked great!

Speaking of actors, Brie Larson was excellent in the title role. She was relatable and strong, and once again, I can easily imagine her in the 1995 timeframe. But she also pulls off the transitions from Star Force soldier, to So-Cal native, and to superhero with ease. And what about that mohawk? At first, I thought it was kind of ridiculous, but then I was all, “Yeah”! I also liked the chemistry between Larson and Samuel L. Jackson, but then, Jackson seems to have good chemistry with everyone. 😀

On the flipside, I was surprisingly disappointed with Jude Law‘s acting which seemed formulaic and lacked depth. Maybe it was just the dialog he was given, but I felt like I could predict everything he was going to say and every expression on his face. After each of his scenes or lines, the thought “yeah, that was average” went through my mind. I expected the usually excellent Law to give more color to the character, but that was not the case here.

Although I don’t like the ensemble superhero movies as much as the standalone character films, I’m looking forward to seeing the next Avengers movie. Everyone has their favorite heroes, and Captain Marvel jumped to the top of my list. I’m hoping she kicks some butt in Avengers: End Game!

Here’s a ranking of my favorite superheroes (that I am familiar with). Looking at this list, any character below Black Panther I’d be fine with not making the Thanos cut.

  1. Captain Marvel
  2. Dr. Strange
  3. Thor
  4. Spiderman
  5. Hulk
  6. Gamora
  7. Black Panther
  8. Star-Lord
  9. Scarlet Witch
  10. Vision
  11. Black Widow
  12. Iron Man
  13. Captain America
  14. Hawkeye

Lastly, I thought it was cool that Brie Larson said one of her role models was Sailor Moon, and that prompted @Drachearannak to create this amazing illustration which got thumbs-up from Larson herself! So awesome.

またね~

Tremble All You Want 勝手にふるえてろ (2017) – Movie Review

Plot: 24-year-old office worker “Yurika”, awkward, offbeat, and still carrying a torch for cool and popular middle school crush “Ichi”, tries to locate said crush and meet up, while fending off the advances of an uncool co-worker “Ni”.

Okay, so the story doesn’t seem special, but the “awkward and offbeat” nature of Yurika is the reason that Tremble All You Want 勝手にふるえてろ turns out to be a good movie. Specifically, it’s Matsuoka Mayu‘s (松岡茉優) portrayal of Yurika which is notable. I’d seen her in supporting roles in a few doramas over the years, but she amazed me with her range in the starring role.

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

As I mentioned, the plot was standard romance fare, but the interesting twist is that Yurika lives in a semi-fantasy world, imagining conversations with people that acquaintances real life. At the beginning of the movie, these seem like normal conversations with friends or close acquaintances, but we soon suspect that she doesn’t have any real relationship with these people and is just imagining the conversations.

This fact is made clear to us towards the end of the film with a wonderful scene in which Yurika actually sings her feelings to the audience, looking directly at the camera. It’s pretty amazing and she pulls it off without skipping a beat. She doesn’t have a great singing voice, but that just makes it feel more real and engaging.

The end of the movie, unfortunately, wasn’t very satisfying as there were many loose ends that I would have liked to see resolved. For instance, does she mend her friendship with Kurumi? Will she ever get found out about impersonating a classmate? Does she open up more to the real people she had imaginary conversations with? Also, it seems a little unbelievable that after carrying a torch for 10 years, that flame could be extinguished instantly, especially since Yurika and Ichi had a seemingly magical connection when they finally met. Thinking about it some more, a sequel or continuation would be welcomed! 😄

Unresolved plotlines aside, I think Tremble All You Want 勝手にふるえてろ is well-worth your viewing time. I’m really looking forward to more films with Matsuoka Mayu in the lead role. I rate it 7 out of 10.

Roma

"Roma" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/60 sec, ISO800
“Roma” Cedar Park, 2019

こんばんは。How’s it going?

This evening I watched Roma. It was a grippingly beautiful and heartbreaking story – the scene at the hospital left me a wreck, the ocean scene had me on the edge of my seat, followed by another incredibly emotional moment on the beach. Wow. One of the best films I’ve seen in a long time. Definitely recommended.

またね~