Thursday, February 12, 2015

On Dated Men, Lucid Ladies, and Asinine Alliteration: The November Man, Lucy, and John Wick

I have better things to do than waste time mashing out a review on a movie that didn't really keep me glued to the screen throughout- at this point in time I should actually be feverishly googling places to visit in Denmark, where I'll be leading a group of 6 other demanding personages on a relatively sedate romp across Scandinavian soil. Then again I did survive a terrible fever which caused me to take my first medical leave in two years, so I guess I should cut myself some slack and distract myself from what's important by focusing on my now-silly, almost forgotten, once lofty and important oath to churn out a post on at least something, anything, once a month. So hey- I've wasted spent some time so far on (frankly speaking) mostly worthless media recently, so I might as well make the most of it, eh? Spoilers (may) abound!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

CNY 2014, Budapest: Nicer in Summer, perhaps?

This post won't be too long. I should probably have included it into the last post (on Salzburg), since although our trip to Budapest (in Hungary) was just a day trip, looking back at the photos I took, I have a gut feeling that I won't have that much to say. We did not spend as much time in Budapest as we did in Salzburg, anyway. For those of you who are familiar with my blogging and have noticed (from the year in the title) that this post is horribly overdue. I managed to finish off the Salzburg post on New Year's Eve, but gave up on putting out this post within 2014 (and yes, I spent eve at home typing- fun, no?). Without further ado, here's Budapest.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

CNY 2014, Salzburg: Castling, Mozart, and an Escape from Schnitzel

After Munich and Vienna, it's time for the third part of my February jaunt across old Europe. I've put off typing this for quite some time- it's been some 3 months since then, but I'm pretty sure that I can remember most of what I did during this day trip that was somehow decided on a whim. There are a few things that are still burning fresh in my memory though- the first being the insanely high cost of inter-city rail travel in Europe, and the time needed to get from Vienna to Salzburg- around 3 hours in all. In hindsight, it might not have been that bad, seeing as how a shinkansen trip from Osaka to Tokyo takes 6 hours, though I can't recall the price for that, as I had a Japan Rail Pass for that- Austrian train fares caused quite a dent in our metaphorical pockets, no thanks to the exchange rate So what really hurt was the time needed, and not because of the actual journey time, but because of our own requirements: some of those in our group just weren't the 'get up early' type, and absolutely had to wake up at a reasonable time and have breakfast. Add in- wait, subtract 3 hours from the day, 3 hours for the return- and subtract all that from the brief window in the day when the sun is actually out (it was winter, by the way), and what else is left? Not much time. Or light, for that matter. But enough of my rambling- on to Salzburg.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno (るろうに剣心 京都大火編) - Mixed Feelings, and a Disturbing Malaysian Cinema Experience

Well, it's been some time since I've touched anything Kenshin related. The last one was of course the first live action adaptation back in 2012- or was it the Shin Kyoto Hen (New Kyoto Arc) OVA? I couldn't recall, so I did some digging. Facts don't lie, but they do surprise: I did publish a post on Shin Kyoto Hen, but did not cover the 2012 movie at all, despite finding it to be a realistic if somewhat (un)faithful adaptation of the original manga- a solid adaptation topped only by the Gyakuten Saiban movie (here).

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Japanese Film Festival 2014: Kaze Tachinu (The Wind Rises)

What is this, the 11th year in a row that I've been to the Japanese Film Festival in KL? It doesn't feel like much time has elapsed since the last one- it has been a year since the tenth festival, and also a year since my post on it- time is moving frighteningly fast. One year ago I was somewhat disappointed that they did not show Kaze Tachinu (The Wind Rises), but true to the organizers' past form in successfully bringing over major new films, here it is in 2014. Ghibli movies are big events, of course, so I suppose it shouldn't have been a surprise to have it screened here at some point.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Japan Again: Climbing up the Tourism Social Ladder - From Floors to Futons to Skyscrapers (2014)

Preface: I had originally flirted with the idea of writing this post as a series of haikus/senryuus for each amusing, pleasant, and irksome event that occurred on this trip, thinking that I would save a lot of time (on word count), but it didn't take long for me to remember that composing indirect poetry is much more time consuming than a detailed step-by-step forensic recollection. Laziness saves the day again. Without further ado, please enjoy the following Massive Wall of Text.

I wasn't too keen on this trip, having been to Japan in December last year and again in March this year, but hey, who am I to thwack a gift horse on the snout (please ignore my uncalled for bastardization of the proverb). "Guide" is my profession within the family (examples of titles held by others are Pianist, Artist, etc.). I'm quite glad that I avoided being gifted the title "Lawyer", despite having a Bachelor's in the field (though I don't have any particular bias against the profession, mind you). Funnily enough I have never been called by what I actually do, probably because it's a mouthful to say- Recruiter, Headhunter- or legal dealer in persons, if you so prefer. Enough of that, though. To tie the two items together- though I am as almost always the designated Guide, having been to Japan twice in a short period, I really didn't have much of an idea of where to go or what to do. This wasn't helped much by the majority of the group not being very interested in what people usually go to Japan for- onsen, (traditional and otaku) culture, history, the red light districts... ahem. Moving on:

Friday, June 6, 2014

Maleficent (2014): On Love, Child Welfare, and Awkward -nomics

6th June 2014 marks the day where I finally worked up the courage to pay money to watch a Disney movie in a cinema. Actually that's a lie, since I did pay to watch Iron Man 3 and The Avengers. I've been somewhat biased against Disney movies for years- I am of the impression that Disney films are mostly Western Bollywood musicals with fluffy and happy (throughout or eventually) plots. For a recent and popular example, let's take a short peek at Frozen. I considered watching it (briefly), but was put off by the constant singing and the fact that there's a little ugly talking snowman in it- call me racist (or speciesist?) but I'm not a big fan of snowmen, the only exception being the twisted ones in Calvin & Hobbes. I wasn't even interested in listening to the hit song Let it Go- something about it grates my nerves (though I've yet to listen to the entire song- so color me biased). Heck, the only thing I somewhat enjoy about the movie Frozen is that every time I do a "Which Frozen Character Are You Quiz", I get Elsa. Enough of that however- chew on my thoughts on Disney's Sleeping Beauty remake/retelling, Maleficent.