Pacific Rim… a ‘daikaiju’ movie

Featured

One of the things I love to watch back when I was a kid was ‘daikaiju‘ ( 大怪獣 daikaijū?, giant kaiju or giant monsters ) and ‘kaijin’ ( 怪人?, referring to roughly humanoid monsters ) themed movies or tv shows.  Yes, I was a sucker for shows like Ultraman, Mask Rider Black, Space Sheriff Shaider, Power Rangers, Maskman and a lot more.  I also watched the original Godzilla series produced by the Japanese.  These theme was also prevalent even in animes; Voltes V, Voltron, and Tōshō Daimos to name a few.  It is a shame actually that these type of shows have slowly declined over the years.

I think the last decent movie I watched with this theme was Godzilla (1998 film).  There were a few movies but they did not appeal to me as much as the Godzilla film.   However, this coming 2013, looks like this theme will again be revived and hopefully, it will be great.

Pacific Rim, directed by Guillermo del Toro, is actually created as sort of an homage to the old Japanese ‘kaiju’ films.  Here’s the synopsis for the film ( taken from wikipedia site ).

pacificrim

When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity’s resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes—a washed up former pilot (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi)—who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind’s last hope against the mounting apocalypse.

I am excited with this film and I really hope it delivers.  They have a great director and based from the trailer, its movie effects looks amazing.  I guess it all depends now on the script.  Well, in the event that the world does not end next week, here’s one movie I will look forward to next year.

Here is a trailer of the movie ( taken from ENTV’s youtube channel ):

** images and video all taken from internet via google search.  I do not own this images or the video.

Movie Review: Rurouni Kenshin

Featured

New Rurouni Kenshin Live Action Poster

All I can say is this:  BEST. DAMN. LIVE-ACTION. MOVIE. EVER.

Late last year, a rumor spread around the internet about a live-action movie for one of the most famous anime’s of all time, Rorouni Kenshin ( Samurai X ).  At first, that’s all I thought it was, just a rumor.  Then came the teaser, then the trailer and the movie posters… and that’s when I said to myself, “Okay, so it’s not a rumor… Damn! I’m definitely gonna watch this!”.  And my wish just came true ( thanks to my brother-in-law for the treat 😀 ).

20120810_Rurouni_Kenshin

The premise of the story goes like this:

Japan is about to enter the Meiji era and transition from the Middle Ages to industrialization. The samurai have no place in this modern society where warriors are less useful than traders. Unemployed, having lost the right to wear the sword, and facing guns and cannons, the samurai will gradually disappear into legend. Kenshin is one of such lost warrior. Once a grand master of the sword he is now a vagabond, wandering the roads of Japan. However, his chivalry and courage will make this one-time mercenary a loved and respected vigilante.

     – from Comicbook Movie.com

Personally I was 115% satisfied.  I am still experiencing “Samurai X high” after the movie.  Months and months of waiting was truly worth it.  They never disappointed the fans of Samurai X.  Although they did make slight changes to the story, the deviation from the plot was still acceptable.  The fight scenes were the best.  The effects of the movie were cool… no CG!  Well they did use some CG but very minimal… you’d hardly notice it.  The key to their fights scenes was excellent choreography, and great camera tricks.

0The development for each of the characters was also good.  Each of the actors / actresses portrayed their parts well, especially for Emi Takei ( as Kaoru Kamiya ) and Takeru Sato ( as Himura Kenshin ).   But I have to admit I was slightly disappointed at how they portrayed Saito Hajime‘s character.  Just an opinion, but I think it would have been better if they stayed with his “bad guy” persona, just like in the manga and anime.

All in all, I can say that this is one of the best live-action movies I’ve seen so far.  I recommend it to everyone.   So, what are you waiting for… hurry up and watch the movie!!!!

Here is also another great review for this movie: click here.

Here is a trailer for the movie.

** all images are obtained from the web via Google search.

Review: Thundercats

Featured

** so long overdue

As I have stated in my previous post (here),  reboots and sequels has become the current trend in the Movies and TV industry.  So, now here is my take on the reboot of one of my favorite 80’s cartoon series, The Thundercats.

Current Plot:

For years, the Thunderians have lived peacefully and thrived in the kingdom of Thundera. However, one night the kingdom was attacked by an army of mutant lizards, led by the evil sorcerer Mumm-ra.  A small band of Thunderians survived and flees Thundera, led by the young heir to the throne Lion-O who wields the powerful Sword of Omens.  These survivors now journey third Earth in search for the Book of Omens, a powerful artifact which contains knowledge on how to defeat Mumm-ra.

Thoughts:

So… Before anything else, I love the new character design.  Not that there was anything wrong with the old one but the new design is appealing especially to the kids these days, and to some of the oldies too.  I am not only referring to the main characters, but to the side characters as well as the villains.  The drawing on is more detailed compared to the old one, of course, plus it just looks great.

Thundercats official poster

Character designs for some of the characters

As for the new story line… I like this new story flow compared to the old one.  The side stories, plus how the events unfolded, including character development is much more better compared to the previous show.  Although, it is still a bit too early to tell.  I am still a fan of the old series.  As for the new one, I still am not sure but based on the episodes released as of the moment… so far, so good.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Review: Voltron Force

Lately, reboots and sequels have been the common theme in movies and TV shows.  In just a couple of years, we have had tons of movie reboots, from Superman to Batman to even Conan the Barbarian.  There have also been sequels from movies done years ago and even trilogy’s.  And judging from how things are going, it seems that this trend will continue for quite some time.

The cartoon industry was not spared as well.  This year, we have two classic 80’s cartoons that have also succumb to this trend, Voltron Force and Thundercats.  There have been other’s but I just gonna talk about these two, since they are the only ones I watched.  I will be posting a separate blog article for Thundercats.

Let’s start with Voltron Force by Nicktoons.

Current Plot:

At the end of the old series, Voltron destroys Doom Castle and kills Lotor along with it.  As such, when they return to Earth, they were celebrated as heroes.  However, due to the actions of Sky Marshall Wade, a corrupt official in the Galaxy Alliance, an accident occurred wit the Lions resulting to a city being destroyed.  Voltron was then ostracized, the group disbanded and the Lions locked up.  But with the help of three Alliance cadets, they were able to free the Lions and reunite the whole team.

Thoughts:

 Personally, from someone who has watched the whole  1980’s series, I’d say it is fairly good.  The animation is  great,  plus the new character and Lion designs are all well  made.  What I don’t like is how they animated the Lions,  plus the  battle scenes.  Although, it is a big improvement  compared to  previous series.  The introduction of the new  characters in  this series provides a great twist for the series.  The character development and their side stories are also well written.

Another good thing about this series is Voltron’s new ability.  in the previous series, only the Black Lion has the ability to become the head whenever all five Lions merges as Voltron.  But now, they introduced this new ability that allows all the Lions, not just the Black Lion, to become Voltron’s head.  Of course, Voltron’s finishing move also changes depending on which Lion becomes the head.

For the kids, this would surely be a hit.  This will be the Voltron story for their generation.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Avatar: The Legend of Korra [trailer]

Sometime last year, I mentioned in one of my blog post about Nickelodeon’s plan to create a spin-off/sequel for its successful cartoon series “Avatar: The Last Airbender“.  Now I present to you the official trailer for the sequel, currently titled “The Legend of Korra“.

 Just to give you a brief background, The Legend of Korra takes place 70 years after the end of the The Last Airbender story arc.  Korra, the new Avatar after Aang, is a rebellious water bender from the Southern water tribe, the same tribe that Katara and Sokka was from (The Last Airbender characters.).  Anyway, for more details regarding Korra and the new cartoon series, please click here.

Anyway, here’s the trailer… Enjoy! (Also, a pic of Korra)

fishing time @ Co-Jordan

Last Saturday, July 9, 2011, “Team Nat” went to another team-building activity.  The venue, Co-Jordan Pond Seafood Restaurant.

Co-Jordan is located somewhere in the vicinity of Consolacion, Cebu.  I’m not really sure of the name of the place but it is located near Consolacion Community College and Redwood Subdivision (I think it’s name is Redwood).  It’s a nice, quiet place… a little secluded and the ambiance is relaxing.

To get there, you can ride a jeepney bound for Lilo-an and stop just near the place where the new SM Mall in Consolacion is being constructed.  Afterwards, you can ride a tricycle from there, for P10 fare, and tell them you are heading to Co-Jordan.  It’s quite easy to get there actually.

Anyway, we departed IT Park at around 7:00 am and arrived about an hour after at the fishing place.  At first glance, you will see that the design of the place is just very simple… its like seeing a collection of bahay-kubo in one area.  now, I’ve been to other fishing area sites here in Cebu but Co-Jordan’s atmosphere is totally different from the others I’ve been to.

So, after arriving, we rented out a big cottage worth P500.  it was quite nice… it had a hammock on one corner, a videoke machine and even a rocking chair.  Truly, a place for you to relax.  Then we rented out some fishing poles @ P10 each, bought fish bait @ P10 each also and same price also for the fish feeds.  Then we started catching our prey for lunch.

After an hour of catching bangus (milk-fish), we were able to get around 10 kg. worth.  Well, I guess its due to the fact that we were still the only people in the place.  So, we took our haul and had the people there clean it up and serve it.

All in all, it was a great experience.  We had fun, and we were able to relax after a week of hard work.  Food is also great, especially the kinilaw.  The place is very decent.  The attendants are accomodating.  Given the chance, I will definitely take my family there next time.

Here are some pictures we took from there (credits goes to Leah and Ivy).

Movie Review: 13 Assassins

The last time I felt good watching a classic Samurai film was Seven Samurai, which was directed by Akira Kurosawa.  There were other movies with similar settings that I have watched, but none compares to the latest one I just saw, 13 Assassins (Jûsan-nin no shikaku).

13 Assassins, directed by legendary filmmaker Takashi Miike, tells the tale of Shimada Shinzaemon and his 12 men, as they accomplish the mission set to them, to kill the young, cruel son of the former Shogun, Lord Naritsugu.  This movie is a remake of an old 1963 black-and-white Japanese movie, with the same title, by Eiichi Kudo.

The premise of the story is quite simple actually: Set in Feudal Japan, a well respected clan takes in a new leader, the cruel, younger son of the former Shogun, Lord Naritsugu.  Naritsugu commits whatever violent acts he could think of… rape, murder.  Despite all this, no one dares to defy him because he is protected by his position.  A member of the Shogun’s council then hires Shinzaemon, and gives him a mission: to assasinate Lord Naritsugu before he joins the council.  Shinzaemon, together with a few chosen men, then defy the odds and sacrifices their lives in order to fulfill the task assigned to them.  The last part of the movie culminates with Shinzaemon and his men, fighting in a village against 200 of Lord Naritsugu’s men, lead by his old rival, Hanbei.

Personally, I really, really, really, really, REALLY LOVED IT!  The story maybe simple, but how the director described it in the movie was great.  Also, this is the first Samurai movie I have watched that does not use the usual “anime-style” way of spilling blood whenever you cut someone with  a blade.  Well, at least the way the blood flows in the movie is much realistic than the movie Azumi, not that I have anything against that movie.

The movie also shows to the audience how samurai’s act during those times and how important honor is for them.  For Hanbei’s case, he knows that the master he serves is evil yet despite all that, he follows his vow to protect his lord at the cost of his life.

The actors played their roles well, despite most of us not recognizing any of them.  Some of the characters are memorable, especially Shinzaemon’s student.  Some also offer some funny moments in the movie.

All in all, I give the movie 4.5 out of 5.  This movie is now available in DVD and Blu-ray.  Check out the trailer below, as well as a link to their website.

site: http://www.13assassins.com/