Monday, November 28, 2011

Millennium Actress (千年女優)

This narrates about a life of an actress. Though the story is a bit dragging in the middle, it has a good wrap up of the story.

image credit
A director named Genya Tachibana is doing a documentary of the life of Chiyoko Fujiwara, who was a famous actress during her time.  He found her in a remote place, far from any contact with the outside world. Before they could start the interview a mild earthquake occurred and Chiyoko thought it was a good way to start the interviewed as she was born after an earthquake.

Then a director found her and tried to ask for her mother's permission to have her in his film which will be shooting in Manchuria. But her mother refused, and she ran out, while outside she took out her frustrations by throwing snowballs at the wall.  Then as she left the spot, she met a man who was running away from the law enforcement, and surprisingly she helped him hide from the authorities. Then as they were talking one night, they talked about the canvass he was carrying, and he talked to her about his dream as to where to finish the drawing, then he showed her a key, which to him is the key of important things. And asked her if can guess what the important things were, and she asked him if she can think about it for the night, that they will see each other again tomorrow. However the following day, it seems the man's hiding place was found out, Chiyoko saw the key, she picked it up, and when she was told that he manage to escape, and was at the train station, she quickly ran, hoping to catch the man and give back the key to him. Unfortunately she didn't made it, the train left without her. That was the reason why she insisted to her mother that she be allowed to act and go to Manchuria, as the man previously told her that his friends was there fighting. Hoping to be able to return the key to the mysterious man.

Released on 2001 by Studio Madhouse
Directed by Satoshi Kon
Awarded with the Grand Prize in Japan Agency of Cultural Affairs Media Arts Festival, tied with Spirited Away and a few more awards.

Soundtrack title listing of the movie is found at teslakite site.
Lyrics for Rotation the ending theme is found at anime lyrics site.

The story started out ok, as it keeps you interested as to who this actress is, but as it gets to the middle, it gets a little boring, but finally picks up at the end. However it will make you feel a little depressed afterwards, as you see the twist in the story.

This anime is the last of Mr .Satoshi Kon's work which he completed before passing away.  Below is a short clip about Mr. Kon.

And some readings on his interview: midnight eye site

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Toy Story 3

image credit  
The film began with a playback of some of Andy's playtime with his toys as a kid. But the present time shows that he is all grown up and will be going off to college, and his Mom is asking him what his going to do with his toys. As he was very fond of them, he does not wish to part with his toys and decide to 
place them in a trash bag and keep them in the attic, unfortunately, when he left the trash bag at the door of his room, his mom thought they were to be thrown out, and decided to give the toys to a daycare.

The toys thinking they were in a good place where kids will again play with them, realize that they were given to the kids who plays rough with their toys. Finally wanting to get out of the day care center they device a escape plan however they soon realize that the place was heavily guarded by the big cuddly bear named Lotso and his goons. Will they ever get out? And find a new home?

Released on 2010 by Disney-Pixar
Directed by Lee Unkrich
Received numerous awards, including Best Animated Feature in the Academy Awards

Toy Story 3 OST can be viewed on site.
If you wish to sing along with your favorite soundtrack, lyrics can be found at site.
Wallpapers can be found at EntertainmentWallpaper.

Official site of Toy Story is at Disney.

Ok, so here's my thought on the movie, it is true that as we grow up we outgrow our toys, though sometimes there is a particular toy that would stand out and we would keep that and not let go. I have one I kept, it was a Japanese toy from one of the Japan Expo my father brought home, it was a cute blue chubby thing, with a brush as it's feet, so when you turn it on, it will sweep the floor as the toy moved around the house. Really nice and cute, unfortunately during the time we move to a different house it got lost.

So what do most people do with their toys anyways? Here's a site that answers just that: Miss Bankrupt

Anyways, I found a site related to toys, but most toys registered here I think are from the US. Take a look at the long list of toys categorized per year.  Thisoldtoy site.

And a site for Tonka toys.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sword of the Stranger(ストレンヂア 無皇刃譚)

Image credit
This is definitely a samurai film, the anime timeline is Sengoku Era.

A prophecy, made a life of a little boy in danger,  chased by the government, he met a stranger while hiding, and lucky for him that he did as the Ming soldiers found out his hiding place, and he needed someone to defend him from the skilled swords men.

How is the boy linked to the prophecy? Who is the stranger? And will he helped him?

The motion of the characters are really fluid, try not to blink or you might just miss out on some moves,  but be warned there is a lot of blood in this anime. Definitely not for the kids.

Released on 2007 by Bones
Directed by Masahiro Ando
Nominated in numerous events, but won Best Animated feature in Brazil at FANTASPOA

Soundtrack of this movie is really appropriate to the scenes and it will quicken your heart to the emotion of the action in the film.

OST titles can be found at Anime-OST site.
Soundtrack can be found in cdjapan site and you can listen to it online also.

Official site can be found at Bandai.

Breathtaking scenery can also be found in this movie.

It's like looking at a painting sometimes.

It is sad that the Samurai's no longer exist in our age, though there are descendants but the skill sets will never be the same, I hope the technique was passed on from generation to generation.

As I was doing research on this, found this very interesting video:

Unbelievable skills, wonder if coupled with a another swordsman, will they show us a good technique like in the anime movies?

If you like to further view more of this man's skill. Click on this link: Syuushinryuu

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Borrower Arrietty (借りぐらしのアリエッティ)

picture credit
This film is based on the book The Borrowers by Mary Norton a British writer.

A young boy was taken in by his Aunt due to his heart condition, he was to stay with his aunt till the operation can take place, to make sure he is well taken care of. As his mother was very busy at work. On the first day of his arrival in his Aunt's place he noticed the cat was curious about something, but before the cat could find out, a crow dive in and peck him. So made the cat leave his interest. Sho, the young boy decided to take a look at the bushes where the cat has left, and there he saw something amazing - a small girl, but it was too quick that he wasn't sure. Finally being called by his Aunt, Sho left the spot.

The little girl' name is Arriety, she finally peek out and ran to the safety of her home, she lives beneath Sho's Aunt house with her family, and they borrow food supplies among other things from Sho's Aunt without letting them know, since they only take a little.

That same day, Arriety was scheduled to go out with her father to do her first borrowing from the humans. Everything went well, until they arrive in the boys room to get some tissue, on the process of getting the tissue, Arriety suddenly saw that the boy's eyes were open, and panicked a little, thinking that the boy has saw her, she cautiously left the place, however the boy suddenly spoke and asked her, if she was the one he saw in the garden? Which alarmed her, coz this would mean she and her family will have to move.

Released on 2010 by Studio Ghibli
Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Won the Animation of the Year Award at the 34th Japan Academy Prize

Lyrics for the Arrietty OST:
Arrietty soundtrack for Disney is Around Us by Jonsi, lyrics is available at

For the Japanese anime soundtrack Arrietty's song, lyrics is available at lyrics wikia. You can view the soundtrack listing at the iTunes store.

Arrietty Song English -lyrics


As usual the details on the films of studio ghibli are outstanding, everything was painstakingly drawn. That you'd practically want to live there.

picture credit

Isn't that a very nice bedroom? Everything is soo green, it's like living in a forest right?
The motion of each character moves smoothly, even though CGI films are a joy to watch, the way the people draws at studio ghibli is still fascinating.

Anyways, as concerning little people, we are always fascinated with the idea of such existence, and there are a lot of anime out there that deals with this subject also, and one of my current favorites is Arthur and the Invisibles. Here's a site dedicated to little people:

Home of the Little People - just a dictionary on little peoples.
The Little People Project - from slinkachu, famous for installing tiny figures on the streets of London, below is a sample clip, quite fascinating and entertaining. I would recommend you visit the sites, the images are quite a treat.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

King of Thorn (いばらの王)

A journey in the dream state that became a reality.

In the year 2012, December 12, a virus called Medusa was spreading on earth, it will infect a human being for a time and when incubation period ends, it will start to petrify the host after 12 hours, there is no known cure and death is certain for those who are infected.

In order to save humanity an organization know as the Venus Gate created a temporary solution, they found that if an individual was put in sleep and stored in a cool place it will delay the process of the virus, however they could only accommodate 160 people in their cold sleep capsule center, those who were chosen were given an invitation. Chosen individuals was put to sleep for a 100 days, hoping this will be enough time to find a solution to the virus.

So the story begins.....

Released on 2010 by Sunrise
Directed by Kazuyoshi Katayama
Nominated in the 4th Asia Pacific Screen Awards

King of Thorn OST is unavailable as there was no soundtrack release for it. However some fan of the anime has painstakingly reconstructed the soundtrack, below are what I have found so far:

Wallpapers for this movie can be found at

The only known soundtrack for this movie was Edge of this World by MISIA.
Warning: Below is the Ending of the movie, please do not see it if you do not wish for spoilers.

Lyrics of the ending theme of the movie:

The story kinda reminds me of those 39 days movie, where a virus got out of the lab and infected the entire earth, but the twist in the story is very unique and original, as usual, anime cartoon can leave you at the edge of your seat, and the storyline will definitely keep you watching.

This movie is base on a Manga by the way, of the same title. If you are interested, you can view the Manga at

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Cars 2

picture credit
Shiny cars can still dazzle you in this movie and the espionage theme only makes it more exciting.

The film opens with a boat on a sea, carrying a car named Finn, which we later see is a British secret agent. He secretly boards an oil rig in the middle of the ocean, owned by Professor Zundapp. To spy on something which is being discussed on board, while taking a closer look, he was discovered and a chase ensues to capture him, yet he manage to escape with the aid of his gadgets.

Back in Radiator Springs, we see Lightning McQueen is back to reunite with his friends and girlfriend. Unfortunately it was cut short with Francesco's challenge, a formula one race car, he wasn't suppose to take the challenge but Mater agitated the situation, a little sad that he had to say goodbye so soon, however  his girlfriend urge him to bring Mater much to his dismay. Mater on the other hand was totally excited about it.

At the Grand Prix Welcome party, while Mater was using the comfort room,  Redline one of Finn's contact was also on the same location was cornered by Prof. Zundapp's men, they were demanding that he hand over the images he had gotten, which was vital to Finn's mission. Unwilling to give it to the henchmens, a fight broke, and Mater accidentally barges in on them. Redline knowing he was cornered, passes the files to Mater without him knowing it. When Mater left the bathroom he was met by Holley (Finn's assistant), who mistook him as the agent Finn was looking for. And told him to wait for further instructions for the next rendevzous.

Tokyo was the first location for the race to take place, Lightning McQueen was already ahead of Francesco, when Holly contacted Mater to met up, while following Holly's direction, Mater has forgotten that he has his headset on which McQueen can hear. So while talking to Holly, McQueen followed Mater's directions and lost the race. This made McQueen really mad and he scolded Mater about it. Mater feeling low decided to go back home, and was picked up by Finn and got recruited in the mission.

Meanwhile it was also shown that during the Tokyo race, Prof. Zundapp's men was pointing a camera on some of the racing car, and blowing them up in the process.

What is Finn's mission has to do with Prof. Zundapp? And is McQueen in any danger from them? Can Mater really help Finn's mission?

Released on 2011 by Disney-Pixar
Directed by John Lasseter
This was a box office hit, but did not do well with the critics, and so far is the first low rating review of Pixar.

Cars 2 Soundtrack list can be found at site with a quick interview of the composer.
To listen to some samples of the soundtrack go to
Wallpapers can be downloaded at site.

The film story focus more on Mater than it is on McQueen, as the main story deals with espionage and not on the race, but not to be totally disappointed,  there are still some good views on the race as the story intertwines with it. What I love about this film also is the zoom out view of the locations, take a look at some of the graphics below:

The Ocean view

A view on the Tokyo location for the Grand Prix

The Tokyo Int'l Airport

Another race track

details, details, and it's a feast on the eyes, definitely worth it watching in the big screen and 3D.