The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) – Movie Review

Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

I’ve been meaning to write about the absolutely amazing “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” movie by Wes Anderson for a while now. I watched it late at night in bed, which was probably not the best since I was laughing so much and probably woke Mariko up a few times. But it was so hilarious in parts I just couldn’t help it! I grew up watching Jacques Cousteau documentaries, and the film seems like a wonderful and quirky homage to the Cousteau and his crew. The scenery is pretty great, and the acting and comedy are right-on. Billy Murray and Owen Wilson are so good, but I thought the best and funniest acting was by Willem Dafoe. Show-stealer for me! Watch the following trailer to get a feel for the movie:

The soundtrack to this movie was fantastic. Of course the Bowie covers in Portuguese by Seu Jorge were great, but it was also wonderful to hear a classic Devo tune (Mark Mothersbaugh actually did the music for the film). Give the soundtrack a listen below:

My rating: 9/10

Time Traveller: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time / 時をかける少女 (2010) – Movie Review

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Whoa, what a tear-jerker! Time Traveller: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is the third live-action movie to come out of the novel The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, and is actually a sequel to the 1983 movie (I have yet to watch). Which explains why the plot seemed so new to me. I watched the anime a few months ago so when nothing seemed familiar while watching this movie, I was thinking, “Dang, I am really losing my memory!”. Anyways, the story was interesting and the characters were fun, but what was really cool was the 1970s setting. Since my early childhood was during the ’70s, it was pretty neat to see stuff like super-8 film. The acting was really well done and had me on the verge of tears a few times. Yeah, I have a sensitive side too! At any rate, I recommend checking out the movie on Netflix streaming. On a side note, the two main actors, Naka Riisa and Akiyoshi Nakai, have since gotten married and have a baby. Give it a watch!

My rating: 9/10

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Official site

Yokohama Kaidashi Kikō (ヨコハマ買い出し紀行)

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Yesterday I started reading Yokohama Kaidashi Kikō on my tablet (via Manga Bird). So far it’s one of my favorite manga. Granted I have not ready hardly any manga, but this one is keeping my attention the most, which is strange because not a whole lot happens in it! But I love the simple style and the short vignettes have a certain charm to them. The manga started in 1994 and ended in 2006, which is interesting because the fashion that the characters wear is very ’90s. I am wondering if the belt-line on their pants will get lower as the manga progresses in years! One thing I really like about this one is that the main character rides a scooter. I guess that is why I liked Kino’s Journey (キノの旅) as well.

Gravity

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Over the Thanksgiving break I took Bay and my nephew Kai to see Gravity. Mariko had seen it earlier and said it was good and she was totally right. I loved the movie! Of course the special effects were amazing, but I liked taking the kids to see this one because it wasn’t a movie they would normally go to. Was a good break from kids’ fare!

Before Sunrise (1995) – Movie Review

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Why did it take me 18 years to see Before Sunrise?! I was absolutely mesmerized by it. The movie starts with the characters placed in a somewhat normal situation, but it becomes kind of magical, and yet totally believable at the same time. And the plot…well, was there a plot? Not really, but the dialog and acting were so great that they carried the movie. It is basically the story of two people meeting and falling in love over the course of one entire day. Simple, right? But there is something different about it. I think it is that the acting/casting really works, and the dialog is both off-the-wall, yet completely human. Julie Delpy is fantastic and Ethan Hawke impressed me as well.

I think I really connected with the story because my experience of moving to Japan and meeting Mariko was had some similarities to the film: I was living in an unfamiliar but fascinating country, and also became completely head over heels in love with Mariko in that first night after we met, and we are about the same ages as the actors in the movie. As you can tell, it’s a very romantic film, but I can really be a sucker for stories like thise, and who doesn’t like being in love? In the movie, Celine says “But isn’t everything we do in life a way to be loved a little more?”

I’m looking forward to the sequel “Before Sunset” to arrive from Netflix, and then the third movie “Before Midnight” as well! Highly recommended!