2014-08-25

Statuesque Kaiju.

Unfortunately, there's only a week left to see Godzilla in Roppongi so I won't get to see him lit up at night. Here's a taste of his nocturnal activities:



I did though get to see him on a drizzly afternoon before I left for Canada.
(Over a month ago! Bad blogger!!)
Thanks to tour guide and photographer, Andy, for putting up with my antics.






Antic #1. Old meets new.


 Gachapin meets his older cousin.



It's a banner year for Godzilla. Happy 60th!


Showing off my t-shirt.


One of these days, I'll have to go see the statue in Hibiya and the one at Toho Studios.

2014-08-12

Reality, What a Concept.

As everyone has undoubtedly heard by now, Robin Williams has passed away at the age of 63. Whether it was suicide or not is neither here nor there, he has been suffering from depression for years and finally succombed to it.

Unfortunately, the computer I'm using while on holiday in Canada won't allow me to download photos so this will have to be a verbal tribute only.

While everyone else can attest to catching him as Mork with Mindy as straight woman, I recall the initial Happy Days episodes where he made his debut. One of my first crushes was of Pam Dawber yet it was Robin and later the inspired casting of Jonathon Winters as his "son" that kept me tuning in.

Up until the early 90s, I could proudly proclaim that I had seen every Robin movie, starting of course with Popeye. Poohpoohed by critics, this movie was one of my all-time favourites and I'd play the soundtrack all the time.



I was dating a gal named Lois in the early 80s and we went to see The World According to Garp together. She was a fan of John Irving and just before the car accident, whispered to me, "Oh my God, they are following the book with this scene." Afterwards, every guy in the theatre gasped and a few girls giggled.

(A word of warning, this pc doesn't have Flash so I'm unable to view what the YouTubes are that I'm posting. Don't blame me if they're incorrect or non-pc.)



I barely recall The Survivors but do recall enjoying Moscow on the Hudson.





The Best of Times, Club Paradise (I found Rick Moranis more memorable than Robin) and Seize the Day were amusing but not extremely so. (You can search for these YouTubes yourself.) I'm fairly certain that I saw the latter movie at the Toronto Film Festival.

Then along came a little movie called Good Morning Vietnam and that changed everything. That's another soundtrack that I listened to all the time only this time I loved his improv on it more than the tunes.



Not sure if you'll be able to view this copy of The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, but you should stop reading this and watch it right now.



Then the guy starts getting oscars and nominations or other critical acclaim for Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets Society, Awakenings, The Fisher King etc. I rather liked him in Dead Again and even in lesser movies such as Hook, it had its moments because of him. One way of distinguishing between his comedy and drama: Robin with a beard--serious; Robin without a beard--funny.

I believe we now come across a movie of his that I've never seen, Shakes the Clown nor did I see (hear) his voicework in Ferngully.

Great in Alladin, uneven in Toys, and funny in Mrs. Doubtfire, a movie that inspired all kinds of cross-dressing comic roles from other lesser comedians.

We're now into some unseen territory, so I won't even comment on Being Human, Wong Foo or Nine Months.

Great in Jumanji, soso in The Birdcage and meh in Jack, Robin is proving his versatility with Hamlet and Deconstructing Harry and I must admit that I've never seen Father's Day nor Flubber.

Then along come two movies that I absolutely detest. For the first time ever, I walked out on a movie, What Dreams May Come though it wasn't that much of a hardship to leave for we had snuck into the pic in the first place. Patch Adams was sickenly sweet and definitely not to my taste but some Japanese must have liked it for there's a restaurant in Natori that has named itself after Patch Adams! Bicentennial Man is pretty poor and I can't offer an opinion of Jakob the Liar for it has gone unveiwed by me.

A.I. was pretty good, One Hour Photo is great and until you get to R.V. which I saw on Cable. Sad to say that apart from Night at the Museum 1 and 2 and Robots, I haven't seen any of his movies in this millennium.

I'm looking forward to Night at the Museum 3 and hopefully I'll catch a few more of his recent releases on Cable as well.

RIP Robin Williams, you have given me hours of entertainment and I thank you for that.

ps. I made a snarky comment on Facebook about selling a comedy album of his that I own (see this post's title) for more money now that he's gone. I hope to think he'd appreciate that line.

2014-07-23

Atomu 009

I finally made it to the Miyagi Museum of Art today to see the "Power of Manga" exhibit featuring work from Osamu Tezuka and Shotaro Ishinomori. (Click the second link there for some examples of their work.)




Below are a few photos I snapped before I was told that I shouldn't be taking any photos. (Hey, there wasn't any sign!)






I really wanna track down that "Lost World" comic. I wonder if it's based on Arthur Conan Doyle's story.

Outside of the exhibit (which takes up the entire second floor) is a quintet of gals who make up 5/9 of the Cyborg 009 gang. I don't know if they are AKBers or not but they certainly are cute.



 I became a member and made it a sextet. (Heh,heh.)


Loads of goods to be purchased, I opted for a Clear File (natch), a pack of cards and a package of goodies.




Let's delve into them, shall we.

There 9 cards in the set and I got some stills from the Manga, 火の鳥  (Hi no Tori, "bird of fire" = Phoenix). I have a copy of this around here somewhere, I'll have to break it out one of these days.



Flip the cards over and you get a wonderful triple-triptych puzzle.




In the package are another Clear File, two towels, some stickers, and a few memo pad/ post-it notes. Not a bad haul.










I had enough coins leftover to grab a Gatcha. I got Leo! (Hmm. I also landed a movie pamphlet of this recently. I need to write about it someday.)

So if you like either of the above artists or any of the recent batch of Manga-artists who were influenced by them (there are some of their tribute works on display as well), head on down to the Art Museum (see first link way above.) Unfortunately, you only have until Sunday!

As an added bonus, you can enter some displays on the first floor, one of which includes works by Klee and Kandinsky. Even better, you can see Van Gogh's Sunflowers!!


When I return from Canada in a few weeks, I'll be heading to Ishinomaki to see more of Ishinomori's work at the Mangattan!

2014-07-21

Hot Off The Presses!

In most countries, newspapers are becoming a dying medium but here in Japan, they are still booming. For example, for just 320yen, you can get this 24-page tome. Great covers and a huge centerfold spread are the selling points but it's also jam-packed with articles, interviews, and photos past and present. Guess who is featured...













Relatively few ads and even then, they feature Gojira himself (he is such a shill).



I can understand the ads for movies, figures and even the coin but a mattress??


I suppose even Godzilla has to sleep somewhere.

Unlike the manga, I'm on top of this newspaper and have snagged a few copies. Let me know if you are interested and I can send you one...

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