47 Ronin

I missed Keanu Reeves! This was a movie that I was waiting for since the moment they announced its release.

When you watch the trailer and see the posters everywhere and they look so awesome, it gets you so hipped up it’s insane. Heck, it was a full house. Seriously, the cinema was full! There was no place left empty and we were lucky we had reservations made from the day before.

It looks awesome right?!?

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Well, the posters LIE!!! The guy with the tattoos had 2-3 lines and only a 3 min screen time, yet he is on every freaking poster and has no importance whatsoever to the plot. He’s just there because his appearance is eye catching. The Demon also has a few scenes, but again he’s not important to the plot. In fact, they should’ve put Hiroyuki Sanada (who plays Oishi), Tadanobu Asano (who plays Lord Kira) or Ko Shibasaki (who plays Mika) on the posters. They had a bigger part in the story and it would’ve been fair to us, the watchers.

It wasn’t fair, because I was expecting this amazing movie with awesome action scenes. It never happened. It was so straight forward it was sad. They could’ve done so much with the story. I was actually thinking they had two good options: either go for the traditional Japanese way of storytelling (for example the amazing “Seven Samurai” by Akira Kurosawa)  or they could’ve went full Hollywood and just add crazy action and amazing visuals. 

It wasn’t horrible, but it was not what they marketed. I do like watching trailers, but I feel this was the biggest deceit ever.

 

Oh well, I shall live…

Fangirl mode on!

I have so many things to be happy about, yet just one thing gone wrong and my entire good mood went away. So, at the moment I’m trying to get back to my happy place.

I mean, I should be happy. I’ve seen a movie that I wanted to see since last year (when we saw the first part), I have a new game to play, new clothes, I’m free for Christmas and right now I am enjoying my weekend (which is in the middle of the week).

Saturday & Sunday were awesome on so many levels for me.

On Saturday, after work we went out. We had dinner at a chinese place and went to see “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug“. I never knew I had a fangirl inside of me that just needed activation.

Hobbit Poster

First of all, the amount of screen time Kili received in the second part was incredible. They probably realized the power Aidan Turner has on the female population and took full advantage of it. I mean, I have his face on my phone screen. I’m not like this, I swear! But my good he has such a nice eye smile.

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*Instant death*

But back to the movie itself..

I was surprised to see that in the cinema there were parents with kids, old people, couples, friends. I mean this movie was for everyone. It was fun, it had a little bit of romance thrown in, a lot of action (the barrel scene was funny, Legolas being a ballerina and all that), drama and of course the ending that probably killed everyone since it will take another year for the third part to come out.

Still, at the end I heard some people saying they didn’t enjoy it. I was shocked, but then again I recognize the type. The ones that are never satisfied by anything, and always find something to complain about, so they don’t actually count.

Moving on, on Sunday we had a mini team building. It was fun to hang out with people from work. We had dinner, went to laser tag and even karting. There was no difference between us and the little kids that were running around in the arcade. Sometimes, I thought we were worse. Of course there were minor incidents, hitting each other, crashing the karts, little things like that.

We were supposed to also go to a movie, but it was getting late and some of us had work the next day and we just separated around midnight. That was the sad part, but we’ll have other team buildings not to worry.

Oh, and Christmas came early this year for me and Johnny. New clothes, including underwear and socks (it wouldn’t be Christmas without them), a new watch for Johnny, a PS3 for the both of us, and lots of games. My favorite is Kingdom Hearts.

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I used to play this game when I was in high school, but along the way I got addicted to it and they took it away from me. I can totally understand them, but now they have no power over me. I shall play till my heart is content, or till I get annoyed with a certain level that I can’t pass.

Overall, things are great. The fact that I won’t have a full vacation and won’t be able to celebrate the holidays properly shouldn’t count that much. I should try to get the best out of it.

Boy Meets World

I missed watching a good TV show. I really did! With all the crap that is on TV right now, no wonder we only keep the cable for the Discovery and cartoon channels.

I am very grateful for people bringing up old TV shows to the attention of the world, because this is how I found “Boy Meets World”.

Boy Meets World is a TV show that started in 1993 and ended in 2000. It was never aired on the Romanian cable (which is a pity). I started watching the series about 2-3 months ago (I will be forever grateful to the Internet). It has 7 seasons per total and I am currently at the 5th season. I don’t want it to end.

It’s about a weird kid going through school and life, with funny situations and with awesome life lessons. This one is just a small example of what people today are missing.

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Why can’t they make shows like this one anymore? Seriously, what happened to television. Especially sitcoms like this one. Why did they stop making them?

Besides enjoying this series, I also feel in love with the actors. Never heard of them before, but now I can recognize them without any problems.  They are serious actors and such awesome role models, both in character (in Boy Meets World) and in real life. My favorite by far is Topanga Lawrence played by Danielle Fishel. She’s everything that today’s society tell us not to be, and yet she still is a beautiful woman.

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I also loved the fashion of that time, with large sweaters, lots of layers and just the lack of technology, especially of cellphones. Whenever I watch a new episode I get a trip down the memory lane, back to my very fun and weird teenage years.

I now understand why people get depressed when an awesome show ends. I still have 2 more seasons, what will I do after that? I need to find more awesome shows like this one.

Agneepath (2012)

It’s that time of the month when my system just craves for a Bollywood movie.

The lucky winner this time was Agneepath (2012).

Agneepath Movie Poster

The movie is a remake. The original Agneepath was made in 1990, the main role being played by Amitabh Bachchan. Apparently the original was a big success and the producers of the remake were under pressure to make a good movie. So, the main characters in Agneepath (2012) are played by Hrithik Roshan (as Vijay Dinanath Chauhan), Priyanka Chopra (as Kaali), Sanjay Dutt (as Kancha Cheena) and Rishi Kapoor (as Rauf Lala). 

They picked as main actors the most handsome actor in Bollywood, a former Miss World, the guy in Bollywood that is known for his bad guy roles and someone who’s been in the industry so long that everybody knows him. It was kinda hard to go wrong with this casting.

The movie lasts 3 hours, has 3-4 songs in it, not that much action (compared with other Bollywood movies), but it has a good story line.

The movie takes it time telling the story of Vijay, a small kid on the island of Mandwa, who witnesses the lynching of his father. Vijay’s father was a good man, a teacher in Mandwa. His only fault was he was too good. Because of this Kancha frames him for raping a little girl and from there the lynching. Vijay knows his father is innocent and swears revenge. But what can a little kid do? So, Vijay and his mother move to Mumbai where they end up in brothel with Kaali and her mother.

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From there Vijay becomes the right hand of Rauf Lala, a gangster who deals with cocaine and human trafficking. Rauf Lala is an enemy of Kancha and Vijay sees an opportunity to get the power he needs to take down Kancha. But Vijay isn’t such a bad guy, even if he kills people and all that. He gives away all the money that he makes, he keeps everyone he cares for safe and in the end he makes up his mind to take down Rauf Lala and Kancha.

In the process, Kaali is killed right on their wedding day, his mother and little sister are kidnapped by Kancha and right at the end Vijay dies, but not before taking down two of the most powerful drug cartels in Mumbai. Its a bitter sweet ending for the main characters because none of them get what they dreamed of and all end up dead.

I can’t complain about the movie, it was good. But it was not my piece of cake since I enjoy mostly romantic Bollywood movies. Nothing beats a good Bollywood romance.

Barfi! (2012)

Barfi! is the best Bollywood movie I’ve seen so far and one of the best movies out there.

It’s simple, beautiful, funny, and just uplifting.

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I saw a lot of good reviews on the Internet and I was amazed when IMDb showed 8.2 as it rating. That’s something to brag about, especially in Bollywood where most movies average a rating of 6.

And I was not disappointed. The long wait really paid off.

There are no villains and no heroes, no long songs with many people dancing around the main characters, nothing of the regular flashy Bollywood movies. Instead there are 3 good actors, a beautiful story, beautiful scenery and lovely songs that complete the movie.

The 3 good actors that I mentioned are Ranbir Kapoor as Barfi, Priyanka Chopra as Jhilmil Chatterjee and Ileana D’Cruz as Shruti.

The plot is simple, Barfi (birth name Murphy) is on his death bed. Feeling that the end is near, he tries to take a good photo of himself to send to his good friend Shruti (which always complained she doesn’t have a good photo of him). And from there, a flashback in their youth where they met.

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Barfi, a deaf and mute boy, lives his life with his father in a small town. He is not a character that would make you feel any pity. In fact, he seems more alive than the people with no disabilities. He always causes mischief, always has fun, yet people love him because he brings a smile on their faces.

Then comes Shruti who moves with her parents in the small town. She is set to marry a very handsome and rich man and live a comfortable life. That until she meets Barfi.

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He tries to court her and they even share a kiss but Shruti, convinced by her mother that their relationship will not last long and she won’t have an easy life, stays with her fiancee which she eventually marries.

Barfi, heartbroken, tries to cope with the loss of his first love. On top of this, his father gets sick and they don’t have the money for the operation. So, Barfi tries to get money from friends but is unable to get the full amount he needs. He then plots to kidnap Jhilmil.

Jhilmil is a girl that has autism. She and Barfi are good friends, and Barfi doesn’t intend to harm her, he just thinks of it as an innocent way to get money for his father. The only thing is that Jhilmil is already kidnapped. By chance, Barfi manages to recover Jhilmil and get the money for his father, but its a bit to late since his father passes away in hospital.

And he also ends up with Jhilmil who doesn’t want to go back home to her parents (which were never that nice to her).

Barfi and Jhilmil scene

They spend almost half an year together and they fall in love. From there, Barfi is set to meet again Shruti and their lives go on a downhill. Jhilmil goes missing for the third time. Barfi is devastated because everyone believes she’s dead. Shruti leaves her husband and tries to replace Jhilmil but cannot take her place in Barfi’s heart.

Eventually, it all turns out well in the end.

Jhilmil (who was being hidden by her family all this time) and Barfi get their love story, Shruti learns the importance of being honest and making the right decisions even if that means to be left alone. And we go back to the old Barfi on his death bed surrounded by his friends and family.

This was a heartwarming story and it was a nice way to start the Spring.

Rurouni Kenshin (2012)

Rurouni Kenshin” the live action movie was amazing. This was one of the most beautiful adaptations that I’ve seen in a very long time. Dare I say it’s way up there with Watchmen.

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Normally when I hear that a movie will be made after a certain anime, I get this bad feeling that they will ruin everything for the fans. A very good example is the Dragon Ball movie that appeared a couple of years ago.

But then again, this is not an American adaptation of an Anime.

I was really hipped about this movie because Rurouni Kenshin holds a very dear place in my heart and childhood memories. Not only was Rurouni Kenshin one of the first anime movies that I’ve seen but the anime series (Samurai X) was on TV every weekend morning. It was something that we could all watch on those lazy weekend mornings. Heck I still have Bonnie’s Pink song “It’s gonna rain” on my MP3 player.

So, watching the movie took a lot of guts from me since I didn’t want to ruing those feelings. Well, I must say those Japanese know their stuff because the movie was awesome on so many levels.

Basically, the action of the movie is exactly what happens in Samurai X first season. They managed to cram in the action of one entire season in a 2 hour long movie and it was amazing to watch from start to end.

Another thing that I liked about this movie was the casting. They actors were brilliant and it’s like they were meant to be apart of this movie. Their manners, the way they spoke, everything was so similar to the anime characters.

Talk about fan service…

When I actually looked them up on Google I was really amazed how much different they look in real life compared to their characters. I don’t think that it was all down to make up and a good wardrobe, I do think they were able to bring to life the characters with their acting talent.

Truthfully as a fan of the series I was really pleased with this movie. I was so pleased with it that I actually gave it a 9 on IMDb.

Battle Royale (2000)

Believe it or not I actually convinced Johnny to watch a Japanese movie with me. All that I had to say was “It has lots of blood” and he was settling in to watch.

So, this is the very short story on how we watched “Battle Royale”.

Battle-Royale-Fro1This isn’t a movie for kids, but then again the amount the blood the movie has is childish compared with other movies. I mean, its not the blood that shocks is the main idea/story of the movie: kids killing kids.

I was planning on reading the book first (“Battle Royale” by Koushun Takami) but it was much easier to find the movie than the book.

The story is basically simple, Japan is going through a bad phase. Adults are losing the respect they once had and kids are basically running wild. So, a new law is introduced. This is called the “Battle Royale” law where each year a class of students is chosen and they are taken to an island/remote place where they have to fight and kill each other in maximum 3 days. There can be only one winner or else everyone is killed.

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At first, the kids think this is a big joke but soon they realize it’s not. Some of them kill themselves, some start killing just to stay alive, others just kill because they want to blow some steam.

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The main focus of the story is on Shuya and Noriko. Shuya tries to protect Noriko for his dead friend Nobu who was in love with her. Then Kawada comes in the picture, since he’s been in the “game” before and he knows exactly how things work. And Kawada actually helps Shuya and Noriko to survive the game.

It’s basically the older version of the Hunger Games. It might not be as complex as the Hunger Games but its worth watching.

I am thinking of looking up and the second part of the movie, but a quick peak at the reviews and I have mixed feelings about it.

ParaNorman

Its been a long time since I last seen an animated movie. Around 2 weeks I believe.

I got used staying up late and not being able to sleep I decided to watch something easy to “digest” before going to bed. I had plenty of options but I decided to watch “ParaNorman”.

It has 7.2 on IMDd. That’s a really good score if you consider how many movies there are out there.

The movie resolves around Norman, a little kid that can see ghosts. Everyone thinks he’s out of his mind, or that he’s trying to get attention since his grandma passed away.

But the truth is he actually sees ghosts exactly like his “crazy” uncle. Long story short:

Norman’s town, Blithe Hollow, looks down upon him as well, but when a witch’s curse is set to bring the dead back to life in that very town, it’s up to him (and only him) to save it. As his fellow townspeople slowly realize the strange and paranormal exist, he’s aided by his new friend, Neil (Tucker Albrizzi), a bully named Alvin (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), his sister Courtney (Anna Kendrick), and Neil’s brother Mitch (Casey Afleck).

So Norman and co try to break the witch curse. They end up being chased around town by the 7 victims of the witch curse only to realize that the zombies are actually trying to send a message to Norman. The zombies, when they were alive, actually convicted of sorcery a little girl that could see ghosts just like Norman. She was killed and was buried in an unmarked grave.

The little girl, before being killed cursed them, each year on the day she was killed they would come back as the living dead.

Norman eventually convinces the little dead girl that there is no winning in taking revenge on people that fear what they do not understand. And so, the little girl removes the curse and she is able to rest in peace, Norman makes a new friend, the people of the town and his family start realizing that he actually has a gift and they stop looking down on him.

The movie is actually done in the same way as Shaun the Sheep and Coraline. They actually made clay puppets and photographed each scene in order to make it. I saw the movie in 2D, but the reviews of the movie in 3D are really good.

I doubt I will have the chance to see the movie in 3D but one never knows. This isn’t actually a movie for kids, heck the witch is a little girl that was murdered by 7 grown ups, Neil’s brother Mitch has a boyfriend and the zombies are actually more harmless than the living.

What else can I say, it was a easy to “digest” movie, perfect for watching before going to bed.