Wednesday, January 29, 2014

That Awkward Moment Movie Review

"So...." Paul and I decided to take off our nerd/geek hats and watch a Romantic Comedy for a change. Yup! No robots or samurais or hobbits just a boy and a girl, well 3 boys actually.

You might be wondering how did a movie with three guys in the lead roles become a Romantic Comedy? 

Well apparently there is already a new brand of Romantic Comedy and this is the "Bro-Rom-Com" Romantic Comedies not necessarily (just) for the dudes but movies told from the guys' perspective. 

I'm not really sure if there have been a lot of "Bro-Rom-Coms" but what immediately comes to mind is (one of my favorites) "500 days of Summer". and the (also) Joseph-Gordon-Levitt helmed and starred in movie "Don Jon" (I haven't seen this yet - and I would definitely love to see it, will probably wait until it's on DVD or on cable) and of course "That Awkward Moment" fits in the "Bro-Rom-Com" genre perfectly. 

I was actually worried to bring Paul along to the premiere, it's still a romantic comedy after all and he might hate me for waking him up 2 hours earlier just to catch the premier but my worries melted away when Paul was laughing out loud on all of the crazy antics that these guys were doing. 

Set in New York, That Awkward Moment felt like a different version of the TV series How I Met Your Mother (which is also one of our favorites) and this is because of the alcohol infused nights, wing men (and wing woman) doing tricks right out of Barney Stinson's The Play Book.

The Awkward Moment starts with three best friends whose friendship is as testosterone fueled as can be. Zac Efron is the single guy forever Jason who freaks out when casual F*ck buddies start a sentence with 'So...where is this going to?' to him this is the Awkward Moment where it's time to pack up and go. Miles Teller is the geeky and hilarious Daniel who is the ultimate wing man and Micheal B. Jordan (yes you read that right his screen name really is Michael B. Jordan probably thus the need for a middle initial) is the optimistic Mikey. The three best buds decide to stay single to help out Mikey who is going through a rough time (won't spoil what kind of hard time :P) 

And of course as Romantic Comedies go when you say you won't do something (or be something) that is when the universe throws a curve ball at you and well let's just say that that is just the beginning of all their problems.   

Set in that moment in all of our lives when we ask ourselves: 'Should I move forward or move on?' That Awkward Moment separates the men from the boys. When the games are finished and the real deal is at at your grasp. 

A testosterone fueled movie with lots of laughs at the crazy antics of guys it is a movie you will definitely enjoy with your husband, boyfriend or guys friends. Just don't watch it with your parents, there is too much sex in the movie it will definitely be awkward to watch it with them. 

I'm actually surprised it just got an R-13 rating, I think it should have been R-16 at the least. :P Lots of c*cks in the movie - you have been warned.   

Can I just say that i just love Imogen Poots who plays edgy Ellie, I love her Taylor Momsen look and how unmade she looks in some of the scenes. It's just so natural with how her hair is all messed up and not well done. :) 

Oh and another thing we loved about the movie is the interior design of their sets, from the arts in their apartments to their offices, the bar, the coffee shop it really showcases the chic interior design of New York! ^_^

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Project Pie Experience

I've already said it before I'm no foodie for a number of reasons, for one I am very picky when it comes to food. I'm a creature of habit who likes to eat the same things over and over and over again to the dismay of my husband who always complains at my lack of daring when it comes to trying out different food. Second reason why I can't be a foodie and blog about food and new restaurants is because, well we don't have the budget to keep on going to new restaurants. 

So this is indeed a rare food/restaurant blog post but I just couldn't resist! 

Project Pie just opened in front of our office in Eastwood City and I've been seeing a LOT of photos of the food (pizza) from this place on Instagram and as I am a pizza kind of girl, so it was a no brainer to try it out! 

Waiting. Project Pie opens at 10AM and I get out at 9AM so Paul and I had to wait for an hour before the store opened and it was worth it! :) Took these photos to pass the time. 

Coz they like it cold. I guess Paul is happy coz they serve beer at Project Pie and it's not just local beer but imported beer as well. 

Choose your weapon. Different ingredients lined up and available for you to choose from for your pizza. 

Project Pie is not like your ordinary pizza place since you also go there (pay for) the experience of making your own pizza! You know how it is when you order a certain pizza flavor and take out the ingredients you don't like in the pizza? I do coz I do that a lot but in Project Pie no need to do that since you get to choose all the ingredients you want for the pizza. 

This super friendly staff at Project Pie was telling us (and showing us) the step by step process of making your pizza! 

The oven. Yup! It's really, really hot! 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Christmas Toyfair 2013

Apologies for the late post and you can actually refer to my personal year posts here and here to get an idea why I haven't been 'on time' with recent blog posts. 

While attending toy and anime conventions have become an annual practice for Paul and myself and this year's Christmas Toy fair was made extra special because of the call to action that the organizers and the participants answered to the call to action in the wake of the devastation that was left behind by Typhoon Yolanda. 

I for one think that a Christmas Toy Fair is the ideal venue to help the thousands of children left without homes and who lost everything. If some people (I know I can't) can spend thousands of pesos on an action figure then surely we (Yes! Count me in!) can also bring a smile to a child's face.

And so the organizers of the Christmas Toy Fair did their social responsibility by organizing a toy drive and auctioning off donated items for the benefit of the children in Yolanda hit areas. 

While I might have been there as a spectator it is nice to know that an organization that you support is doing their part to help those who are in need. 

Nothing good happens after 2PM

Coz Ted Mosby says it best. 

The ever optimistic Ted Mosby from one of our favorite series - How I Met Your Mother has been known to say "Nothing ever good happens after 2AM". And this is because "the decisions you make after 2am are the wrong decisions." Now I have finally understood what he said - in my own terms and conditions of course.

Well for me, it is more appropriate to say "Nothing ever good happens after 2PM" simply because Paul and I live the strange and queer lives of people working in the Call Center or BPO industry, meaning we work the night shift and that means living the "undead" lives of vampires but the similarities only start and end with the waking up in the evening and sleeping in the morning part and surviving on coffee instead of blood. 

So, if you put on your thinking caps the "uneventful 2AM" to the ordinary person is "2PM" to the children of the night who are no longer goth kids but call center employees like us.  

Whether it is a biological reason or a human flaw which makes us incapable of making the right calls after our body has gone way beyond it's normal hours of operation; I think it was been placed there as a 'fail safe' by our benevolent creator as a reminder that we are not meant to run forever despite our fast paced lives and this is a reminder which rings true to me, for there are days/nights when Paul and I are awake for twenty four hours because of our unconventional occupation.   

Nothing ever good happens after -2AM this was the original caption that Paul gave for this photo which gave me the inspiration for this post. He ended up changing the caption of this photo to: "Left behind". Now that I think about it, Paul's photos have inspired me to write a blog post or two. I think that it's just that way between us - we inspire each other to be better in our craft and in our passions. :)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Event Announcement: Marble Wonderland

Gone are the days when people would think that you are different for liking anime or anything out of the norm. Growing up I remember being ostracized and thought of as 'weird' because my friends and I were into anime, Japanese culture and music. I remember my mom begging me to stop listening to anime cassette tapes I purchased at Comic Alley (their first ever branch in Greenhills and if you don't know what a cassette tape is feel free to Google-yes, I feel old just writing this). 

Kids these days are lucky that individuality is celebrated, whether it is Anime, Cosplay, Japanese music or fashion (yes, even Korean Pop). Conventions and events are always happening and kids who are just looking for a venue to celebrate their passions and interest are (honestly) lucky enough to have these events where they can meet other people who share the same interests that they do. 

While conventions are mostly an annual event and the activities are pretty much predictable and the same, something brand new is around the corner and this is MARBLE WONDERLAND which is the BIGGEST Fashion and Cosplay event of 2014!

So what is Marble Wonderland all about? Well, it's concept was adopted from the "Cool Japan Project" which is sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), it's objective is to spread the Kawaii or 'cute' culture in the Philippines through various mediums in the media. 

The event will feature collections inspired by Kawaii (cute) Japanese culture (a fourteen year old me is just screaming inside) 

Aside from the fashion show and the exhibit the event also feature's the Philippines' very own Cosplay Queen Alodia Gosiengfiao. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

47 Ronin Movie Review

I've always been fascinated with Japanese culture, my interest and love for anime has convinced my mom that I was Japanese in another life. 

So it was no surprise that my interest was caught by the movie "47 Ronin". I first saw a poster of the movie in SM Cinemas but what really got me excited was when I saw the trailer of the movie. The shape shifting dragon, the beautiful cinematography and of course - all that action! 

After seeing the trailer, I was hooked. I was so hooked that I even got myself a copy of the novelization of the movie from Fully Booked.    

Before you get confused though,there is no actual book or novel about the '47 Ronin' what I read is actually a novelization of the movie. The 'novel' so to speak is actually based on the screenplay that was used in the movie. 

Behind the Legend

But truth is stranger than fiction because it is a true story which took place  in Japan at the beginning of the 18th century. A noted Japanese scholar has said that their tale is the most famous and noted example of "Bushido" the Samurai code of honor. 

The story is about a group of samurai who become leaderless or what is known as 'Ronin' after their 'Daimyo' (Feudal Lord) Asano Naganori is forced to commit 'sepukku' (ritual suicide) because he assaulted Kira Yoshinaka, a court official. 

After almost two years, the Ronin avenged their master by killing Kira. Because of this, the group of Ronin were then obliged to commit seppuku as well. 

This true story has been adapted into many forms and mediums over the past years, adaptations of their story is known as Chushingura in Japan. There is even a graphic novel written by Sean Micheal Wilson and illustrated by Akiko Shimojima.  

The 47 Ronin Graphic Novel 
I have not read the graphic novel but I made sure that I was done reading the novelization before seeing the movie. I would probably write a separate book review of the novelization but I will already say that I really enjoyed reading it. The narrative that author Joan D. Vinge used was so beautiful and eloquent you feel like you are reading haiku. I even started highlighting so many lines in the book! 

My copy of the Novelization of 47 Ronin (from Fully Booked) with a plate of sushi. Dinner at Tokyo Bubble Tea :) 

The story was also told through the different character's perspectives and Joan D. Vinge seamlessly goes through one character perspective to the next that you get to know their deepest fears and most intimate thoughts, something that is not so easily translated in the movie. 

Watching the movie armed with having read the novelization I would definitely have some inputs that most people who saw the movie would not.

All in all it was a great movie with a beautiful story elevated with the beautiful cinematography and amazing graphics that was used in the movie. 

Universal Studios produced the 2013 action film portraying the fictional account of the Ronin's story. Director Carl Erik Rinsch took the tale to a whole different level by incorporating Japanese mythology in the story. 

The setting of the movie reminded me a lot of Rumiko Takahashi's anime series 'Inu Yasha' because of all yokai, kitsune and kirin around along with the Imperial/Feaudal Japanese setting. 

I just had a problem with a couple of scenes in the movie (WARNING! SPOILER ALERT!): Oishi is thrown in a pit (jail) for one year. In the book, you will  get a glimpse of his misery and suffering. Having no companion but the dark, dirt, grime and rats. But in the movie he is thrown in the pit, the screen goes dark and the words "One Year Later" appear then the next scene is Oishi being hauled out of the jail. Some people in the audience laughed since the transition of the scene implied Oish was thrown in jail and was unceremoniously released a year later without even feeding him. I know it's implied that he was of course fed and nourished during that time but audience (especially Filipino audiences can be pretty silly at times).

One of my favorite things about 47 Ronin were the elaborate sets that depicted the beautiful colors of spring and the costumes that the different characters wore.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

More Rurouni Kenshin sequel news!

And then they were 10. The Juppongatana (Ten Swordsmen) prove to be a formidable foe for Kenshin and his allies in the sequels Rurouni Kenshin: The Great Kyoto Fire and Rurouni Kenshin: The End of a Legend. 

As 2014 is ushered in more and more EXCITING Rurouni Kenshin news have been spreading like wild fire (coughs - Fire! Fire! Fire!) We'll definitely be seeing a lot of those in the two sequels slated to be released in the summer of 2014. 

Just last night specific dates of when the movies will be released have been announced. 

Rurouni Kenshin: The Great Kyoto Fire will premiere in Japan on August 1. 
Rurouni Kenshin: The End of a Legend will premiere in Japan on September 13.

But before we go celebrating remember that the first Rurouni Kenshin movie was also slated for an August date in Japan but was only released in the Philippines in December. This was due to the fact that the local Warner Bros. distributor in the Philippines "did not have the rights" to release Rurouni Kenshin here but Pioneer Films took the reins and were finally able to get the rights in December. You can read more about that in my past blog posts here

The first Rurouni Kenshin movie was a surprise success earning $647,922 according to the 2012 Philippine Yearly Box Office, you can refer to it here. That is why I'm sure having the sequels distributed in the Philippines should not be a problem this time around. However, the question is will loyal fans have to wait months like last time? An earlier release date is definitely an effort against piracy and as I have always said if you are a fan you should support the franchise by catching it in cinemas. You cannot compare sitting back in front of a big screen and enjoying a movie from watching it in front of your laptop. 

While the big question of when will the sequels be released in the Philippines have not been answered (we all have to be like a true Samurai and practice the virtue of Patience) we can enjoy all these teasers that are being released online and here are just some of them. 

A 34 second teaser trailer of the sequels, 
aside from Kenshin Himura's lighting fast sword skills we also catch a glimpse of new movie characters Aoshi Shinamori and Shishio Makoto. 

Scourged (literally) Rurouni Kenshin Movie Posters 

As if the excitement to the sequels were not enough, the promotion team for the movies took it to the next level by actually burning old 2012 Rurouni Kenshin movie posters and pasting them on 2014 announcements. You can check out the making of the movie posters here. Just watching the making of these posters have made me admire the patience and creativity of the Japanese even more. I mean instead of just printing a whole new set of posters they actually invested the time, effort and resources to bring a unique flare to the posters by making each one of them special; since each of the posters had to be burnt one at a time. 

Aside from the trailer and the movie posters, photos of new characters both the good, the bad and the ugly have been getting the fans fired up. 

Here are some character stills have been keeping cyberspace a buzz with excitement. 

The Bad and the Ugly. Probably one of the most bad ass villains in manga and anime history, the translation of Shishio Makoto from the animated series to the big screen is without a doubt one of the most anticipated by fans who grew up cowering to this mad man's insane plans of domination and his firm belief in the law of nature: 'The strong shall live and the weak shall perish'. 

His burnt skin covered in bandages has been the stuff of nightmares of fans and probably the costume and design team of the sequels who impressively got the prosthetic and effects of burned skin, making handsome young actor Tatsuya Fujiwara unrecognizable in costume.  

The Bold and the Beautiful. While we see less of her cleavage in her movie version, half Pinay (Yes! She is half Filipina) Maryjun Takahashi will be playing Yumi Komagata, Shishio Makoto's dearly devoted arm candy. I just love her mole in the photo and look at that smile-it has a million secrets.