arisha: (reina tanaka heart)
I am currently halfway through Shakespeareathon #27 and will post an update to that list soon, but in the meantime here is a short post about a Shakespeare-related movie I watched recently: Goliyon Ki Raasleela: Ram-Leela, a Bollywood musical adaptation of "Romeo and Juliet." Based on the previous very few Bollywood movies I'd seen, I went in expecting this to be a colourful movie with a light story, silly songs and a happy ending, and for a while it fit my expectations exactly - Ram, the Romeo character, has an introduction song that's the most ridiculous thing I've seen in a very long time - but, as is only natural for a "Romeo and Juliet" adaptation, the second half was rather darker and oh my gosh you guys I LOVED IT. This is totally one of those movies where you could list a whole bunch of things they could have done better (Ram and Leela's relationship is based on nothing except that they are both very pretty! Major events happen and are never mentioned again! Everyone has a gun except when it would be inconvenient for the plot!) and I would agree with every one of them but super not care. As someone who spends entirely too much time thinking about "Romeo and Juliet," here are some of the things I love about this movie: civil blood makes civil hands unclean )

(Also, if any of you know anything about Bollywood, feel free to recommend me some movies! I will totally seek them out. At the moment I've only watched six!!)
arisha: (tangled in like flynn)
So I fail to post all of December (and it's probably a good thing that I did, I was pretty grumpy for most of it), and upon my return I bring you a most useless entry: a list of the movies I watched (or rewatched) this year. It's organized by decade because the past few days I've been feeling really curious to know how many movies I watched from each decade. I'm actually not all that thrilled with the answer. Every year I think "I want to watch more older movies!" and I thought I'd done better this year but looking at this I'm not sure I did? How is the 2010s list the longest one? Did I really only watch four silents? And how did I fail so hard at the 1930s when I seriously love 1930s movies?? Well clearly I am just going to have to make sure my 2015 movie list looks rather different.

(I am pleased to report that I watched three Rosalind Russell movies this year though. Great actress or greatest actress?)

Also, this is just a list because I'm lazy, but you are more than welcome to ask for my thoughts on any of these!

Sarah's 2014 Movies )

Also, in the summer I got it into my head that I was going to watch a whole bunch of old animated shorts, and in the end I kind of didn't, but if anyone is interested here are the fifteen that I did watch. Perhaps this is another list I will try to beat in 2015~

Special note, the 1953 "Tell-Tale Heart" is perhaps my favourite thing that I watched all year, you should totally watch it and let it creep you right out.

Sarah's 2014 Cartoon Shorts )
arisha: (Default)

The Last Train From Hiroshima: The Survivors Look Back, Charles Pellegrino
An account of the atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (and the month or so afterwards), drawing on forensic evidence as well as the experiences of many people who were either involved with the bombs' transportation or affected by their explosions, with special focus on a few of the people who managed to survive the atomic bomb twice.

I have a few complaints about this book: Read more... )

Having said all that, this book is really interesting and worth reading. I felt like it gave me a better idea of the bombs' range of destruction. It also includes scenes that start to break down stereotypes about what Japan was like during the war, which I appreciated.

Two random things: this book features Luis Alvarez, who I read about in Night Comes to the Cretaceous, and it also claims that Spider-Man's creator was indirectly inspired by the Nagasaki bombing. (Radioactive spiders!)

Two things I didn't know: there were American POWs who were affected by the blasts, and the plane that went to Hiroshima in order to film the explosion was called Necessary Evil. Wow.


Firefly Dreams, 2001
A misbehaving teenager is sent to live with her relatives in the countryside where she finds her character arc. This movie was very slow and quiet, to the point that halfway through I opened up another window and started reading Wikipedia while I watched. But at the same time, I'm not sure I'm criticizing it for that? The pace kind of suited it. Also, Yumi was my favourite character and this movie made me miss hanging out with my grandma. :(

White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 2007
After finished the above book, I wanted some visuals that weren't sketches, so I found this online and watched it all illegal like. It's made up of interviews with survivors mixed with archive footage mixed with modern footage (including a part where teenagers in Harajuku are asked what happened on August 6, 1945 and have no idea - which really surprised me!). It's pretty short, and wasn't as in-depth as I'd thought it would be, but it was still interesting. There was a bizarre sequence showing how several female survivors of the blasts were brought to the U.S. in order to receive plastic surgery, free of charge, and were even on the show This is Your Life ... I dunno, it all seemed really weird to me. But the visuals here definitely made up for the lack of visuals in the book, although I couldn't even look at some of them. I'm definitely moving on to a cheerier topic now. :(
arisha: (troy achilles)
Movie Documentary series!

Terry Jones' Barbarians (2006)
Quite an interesting four-part series covering the groups of people (the Celts, the Goths, the Parthians, the Vandals, the Huns, the Greeks?!) that the Romans considered barbarians. It was pretty interesting and, I'll admit, was more intelligent than I thought it would be (I didn't expect that one of the guys from Monty Python would be a historian!). I liked when they paired modern-day footage with Jones' narration of historical events (like, he'd be discussing some ancient battle and meanwhile you're watching tourists wander around Rome), because, as usual, I love me some juxtaposition. So yeah, it was pretty good, although as usual I don't think I retained anything. :3


The War That Killed Achilles, Caroline Alexander
So my review of this book can be summed up the same way almost all of my Trojan War-related reviews can be summed up: this book is FASCINATING. Now, for all I know it could be filled with information that everyone else already knows; I heart the Trojan War but it's only recently that I've started reading academic works about it, as opposed to novels. But oh man this book was amazing and if I didn't have such a huge pile of library books to get through I would totally have started rereading it already. brb fangirling )
arisha: (myrna loy is awesome)

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, Malcolm Gladwell
My goodness but I'm failing at finishing any book that isn't pop psychology. :/ This book was interesting enough and I whipped through it pretty quick but I dunno, it wasn't amazing. I felt like its conclusion contradicted itself. The part where he talked about how improv works was really interesting to me though, and actually answered some of the questions I often have while watching Whose Line is it Anyway? x)


Libeled Lady (1936)
Man, how awesome are Myrna Loy and William Powell, I wish they could star together in every movie ever. I really enjoyed this movie, and I loved that it includes a scene where a woman proposes to a man. I don't even know if I've ever seen that in a movie before! How awesome. :D

Ladrón que roba a ladrón (2008)
I took this out of the library expecting a fairly bland thriller; the only reason I borrowed it was because it was in Spanish. So I was quite surprised when it turned out to be pretty much a comedy! And I really enjoyed it - it was really well done, ignoring the plot holes I'm choosing to ignore. x) Also, I loooove that the movie takes place entirely in the U.S. but like 95% of the dialogue is in Spanish. (And there's also a shot taken at those who think monolingualism is awesome, aw man I loved it.) You can watch the trailer here although it makes the movie seem a lot cornier than it actually is.

Easy to Wed (1946)
A colour remake of Libeled Lady that stars Lucille Ball. I almost didn't even make it to the end of this movie; they pretty much took the exact same script used for Libeled Lady, changed the locations, added some filler, and then filmed it in such a way that made it SO AWKWARD. I felt like all the jokes that worked in the original version just fell flat in this one. I did like the very last scene a bit better in this version, but overall I'd definitely say to avoid this one and watch the original.

Black Rain (1989)
A Japanese movie about a family and their neighbours in the years following the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. This actually wasn't as completely depressing as I thought it would be, which in a way made it feel more realistic to me. Like, of course the family had bad days, but they managed to have good days, too. This was a really good movie, although both the ending and the alternate ending left me going, "... What? That's the end? It can't end there!! I don't get it~~~~"

Toy Story 3 (2010)
This is definitely not the deep thought I promised, but I was telling my brother about this movie today and very minor spoiler )
arisha: (myrna loy is awesome)
So my dad sometimes goes on this local TV show where a host and several guests (usually people in the media) sit around talking about issues in the news. Having noticed that women are only invited onto the show about 10% of the time, and the only non-white guest is invited on maybe once a year, my dad developed a habit of looking around at the others just before filming begins and announcing, "Well, I'm glad we're representing the full diversity of the community - from middle-aged white male to middle-aged white male." So he thinks it's his fault that they recently hired a second host, who is younger than middle-aged (although he's still white and male) ... and of course my dad hates him. haha! Apparently this new host comes from the Stephen Colbert school of interviewers, twisting your words around in a desperate attempt to make it sound like you're arguing in favour of something horrible. Keep trying, Dad! ^^;

I realize that lately I haven't been posting at all about what's actually going on in my life, lol. Yesterday my manager asked me how many shifts I want in the upcoming weeks and I had to remind him that I'm leaving in eight days! (Those of you who remember the fiasco surrounding my JLPT weekend may come to the conclusion that this is kind of in-character for him, haha. I really like him when he's not making a mess of my schedule!) I'm nervous of course, and still kind of panicked about getting everything done before I go, but I've also started getting really excited. :) I've just returned from one last doctor's appointment, I'm done all my shots and oral vaccines, I guess now I mainly just have to finish packing and finish writing our itinerary for the first week. I got my volunteer placement a little while ago - I'm going to be working in a daycare that's run by SOS Children's Villages, which is actually a child sponsorship organization! (You might have seen their TV commercials starring Mike Holmes.) So that should be interesting, and hopefully enjoyable. I always wish I could hang out with kids more often so I guess here's my chance! :) [ profile] the_wykydtron told me last night that she thinks I'm going to return home speaking little kid Spanish, lol! Maybe! xD

Anyway, I'm off to bombard my volunteer coordinator with some more annoying questions. xD
arisha: (escaflowne merle)

1. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, Malcolm Gladwell
I've totally been failing at reading this year, unless reading Peru guidebooks counts. Pretty much every book I've borrowed, I've lost interest one or two chapters in. :| But I guess all I needed was some pop sociology, because I managed to finish this one! (It has a chapter on how Blue's Clues is an evolved form of Sesame Street, how could I not finish it?) It's a really interesting book, although as usual with books of this type, I don't have anything more to say about it.

2. Shakespeare: The World as Stage, Bill Bryson
I read this book on a recommendation from [ profile] lysanderpuck, and I really enjoyed it! It's a biography of William Shakespeare that's really honest about what exactly we do and do not know about him, and it also manages to put his life into context in an understandable way, something I didn't get from the other biographies I've read. Apparently some of the things I'd believe to be true about Shakespeare are in fact total guesses, which is good to know! I also very much enjoyed the last chapter, in which Bryson deals with all of the Shakespeare-didn't-write-Shakespeare theories in one fell swoop, by pretty much saying "ANAGRAMS ARE STUPID AND YOU HAVE NO PROOF FOR ANYTHING!!" Bill and I are now BFFs, just so you know. xD


18. Liar Game (Season 2), 2010
Oh Liar Game, how are you so amazing, and why can't you go on forever so I can watch a million episodes of you? :( It took me a few episodes to really get into this season, as it has a bit of a different look and feel from the first season, but soon enough I was hooked again. I kind of want to play that smuggling game in real life, not gonna lie. xD Also, Katsuragi is an awesome antagonist. The movie has just been released in Japan and I can't wait to see it; judging from the previews it looks like the writers have finally decided to act on the ~romantic tension~ that's existed between Nao and Akiyama since, I dunno, about five minutes into the first episode. ADFSlAE;HQkLAS FINALLY!!!!

I also feel the need to mention that I was quite amused when I realized that neither Nao's ailing father nor Akiyama's time in jail were ever mentioned in this season. And I had expected the former to turn into a big and obnoxious plot point!

19. Alice in Wonderland, 2010
My favourite part of this movie was that I watched it at an employee screening, and when one of my co-workers pulled out his cell phone, another one shouted, "Don't be a Tommy Texter!" hahahaha oh gosh.

My second favourite part of this movie was the dress that Alice wore when she was in the Red Queen's palace.

Yeah, that's pretty much it.
arisha: (potc3 tea party)
I've been sorta kinda thinking of selling some stuff on eBay, to help lessen both the problem of me having too much stuff and the problem of me being super broke. Just some CDs and DVDs, that sort of stuff. Good idea/bad idea? I've never sold anything online (although I've bought plenty, lol, part of my current problem!) before so any tips or stories or whatever would be very much appreciated. D:

Also, while writing my previous entry I completely forgot that I also watched ...

17. Shadow of the Thin Man, 1941
I feel like I can barely even talk about this movie, so distracted was I when I was trying to watch it. At the end I barely had any idea what was going on anymore. :/ But maybe that's a review in itself, that it failed to hold my attention? I dunno~. I really like parts of the Thin Man series but overall I'm not finding it as awesome as I had been led to believe it would be. :(
arisha: (koharu kusumi)
After reading its Wikipedia page, I feel like kind of an idiot thinking I should rush to my LiveJournal to announce to the world how Lady Gaga's "Alejandro" is like the second coming of Ace of Base, right down to the way she sings the lyrics, but seriouslyyyy! I know I don't talk about them that much anymore, but from the end of elementary school and all through middle school Ace of Base was my favourite group, and so it is a big deal to me that someone would write a song so obviously influenced by them. Seriously, how did I not know about this sooner, I love it. xD


14. Push, 2009
[ profile] the_wykydtron and I had been sorta kinda wanting to see this for over a year, and finally we did! And I think that she summed it up best when she commented on some new plot point, "This twist would be really interesting if I cared at all!" This movie had a really cool setting and some characters that potentially could have been really compelling, but somewhere along the way the writing and the editing failed. Which is frustrating! I would still watch it again though, just for Dakota Fanning as a psychic thirteen-year-old who goes out and gets drunk when she's frustrated with the other characters for never doing as she tells them. Seriously, how randomly awesome is that. xD

15. The 300 Spartans, 1962
Rounding out our evening of movies that have no interest in creating any sort of suspense at all is this tale about the Battle of Thermopylae. I don't think I hated it to the same extent that [ profile] the_wykydtron did, but it certainly wasn't great. I would love to see this film remade - less talking, more action, less secondary character romance, more greenscreen, and, I dunno, maybe that guy from The Ugly Truth in the lead. I mean, I dunno, I'm just sayin'.

16. Much Ado About Something, 2001
Lolariously enough, I don't think this documentary includes anything that the Wikipedia entry doesn't at least touch upon, but it was still an interesting watch. And surprisingly casual - we see clips from interviews that took place while the subjects were driving, eating in the cafeteria, and even gardening! Anyway, this documentary discusses the idea that Christopher Marlowe was not killed, but in fact went into exile, where he wrote all of the plays that today we believe to be Shakespeare's. I find the Shakespeare authorship theories kind of interesting, although I have yet to be convinced by any of them. This one doesn't rely entirely upon anagrams, which is a point in its favour, but I still didn't find it all that much more compelling. It basically goes like this: "Shakespeare wasn't smart enough to write the plays he wrote, but Marlowe was! Oh, he died in 1593, you say? Well, uh, no he didn't! He just went into exile! In, uh, Italy! Yeah, Italy! 'Cause Romeo and Juliet is set there! Here, have a list of lines from Shakespeare plays that are very similar to lines from Marlowe plays and obviously prove that they were written by the same person, completely ignoring how we already know that Shakespeare was a master at stealing inspiration from wherever he could get it!" So ... yeah. x)

While I'm on the topic: I have a bit of an inexplicable love for Christopher Marlowe, to the point that my favourite part of Shakespeare in Love is the way they handle his death. Especially when I went into that movie not expecting him to be in it at all! SO AWESOME.
arisha: (potc3 liz boat)
13. Liar Game (Season 1), 2007
So I finally took up [ profile] frauleinfrog's suggestion of watching Japanese TV series as a way to get more listening practice, but, having forgotten the specific series she suggested (lol, I'm horrible as always), I found myself just going down a list of dorama and clicking on whatever random titles sounded interesting. After reading the summary of Liar Game's first episode I decided this would be the one I'd watch, and omg, accidentally finding something that you then discover is awesome is one of the best things ever.

This show begins with the "stupidly honest" Nao's accidental participation in the title game. She is given a hundred million yen and an opponent. If she can steal her opponent's money, she gets to keep it; if her opponent steals her money, she'll end up with a horrific debt. When her opponent tricks her out of her hundred million, she hires a swindler to help her get it back, not realizing that this is only the first round.

I kind of love this show, from its campy camerawork and slightly unbelievable plot (does Nao not have a job? how does she afford that apartment of which I am superbly jealous??) to its shameless use of the theme from Requiem for a Dream and its overuse of maniacal evil laughter. (I actually rather disliked that latter until I watched the final episode, in which it is used pretty perfectly.) I love that it's a G-rated psychological thriller that really knows how to create suspense (and has amusing moments and even made me tear up a couple times, haha srsly!), I love that you're always encouraged to try to figure out the games the characters are playing and the strategies they're using to play them, I even love that every possible form of the verb damasu ("to trick, to cheat, to deceive") is now permanently burned into my brain. I do wonder how much rewatch value a series like this has, since I think a lot of its awesomeness comes from not knowing what's going to happen next. But I won't worry about that now - I've still got the entire second season to enjoy!

Also, I downloaded this show and actually felt pretty bad about that until I discovered that to legally own these eleven episodes would cost about a hundred and seventy dollars. I don't feel quite so guilty anymore. :|
arisha: (escaflowne merle freak out)
NBC Confuses Terry Fox for Michael J. Fox


I have no idea how well known Terry Fox is outside of Canada (feel free to educate me on this), but holy man. Seriously, my feeling watching this clip is OH NO YOU DID NOT JUST

Especially because, according to Wikipedia, At the 2010 Winter Olympics, a Terry Fox Award will be awarded to an Olympic athlete who embodies Fox's characteristics of determination and humility in the face of adversity. El. Oh. El.

I enjoy how my patriotic pride comes out in small and angry bursts, but SERIOUSLY.



I mean Michael J. Fox you know I love you but seriously.

arisha: (potc3 tea party)
So I somehow managed to force myself out of bed this morning in time for my first Korean lesson! My only other classmate is travelling to South Korea later this year, so mostly what we did today was memorize travel expressions, and I was a bit like :| But at the end of the class I asked the teacher (who is CRAZY ENTHUSIASTIC, hahaha love it) if we're going to learn the writing system, and she asked if I want to learn Korean a bit more academically, and I was like YES PLEASE. So next lesson we'll be mixing it up a bit more. I AM EXCITED TO STUDY GRAMMAR.

And then I went to the university bookstore and bought this, despite the fact that I am annoyed someone got around to writing such a book before I did. The movies in it are actually not my favourites, but Tarzan is in it!! And seriously, I am just crazy surprised that a book based on learning Spanish through dubbed American children's movies (uh, and Rocky III?) actually exists, and got published, and everything. Today the world is awesome. xD

FUN FACT: One of my dreams is to one day write a super awesome but also super useful language textbook. I might or might not sometimes work on such a thing in my spare time, DON'T JUDGE ME.

Edit: (What the heck at the review on that Amazon page - the reviewer laments the fact that this book doesn't include a phonetic guide for the Spanish vocab words. Uh ... you're doing it wrong. I also enjoy how she suggests that if you can't make your own sentence using the words in the scene you just watched, the solution is to WATCH IT AGAIN. Because ... that'll help ... ???)
arisha: (koharu kusumi)
1. Reply to this post and I will pick five of your icons.
2. Make a post (including the meme info) and talk about the icons I chose.
3. Other people can then comment to you and make their own posts.
4. This will create a neverending cycle of icon squee. Whoo!

Read more... )
arisha: (troy achilles)
So I never before thought to look up the Iliad on TV Tropes, but omg it is perfection. There is a trope named Achilles In His Tent!! Oh my goodness, I need to start writing more about the Trojan War again, I loves it so.

My life has been so uneventful these past few days that I have little else to say except that I am going to Sherlock Holmes with [ profile] athena_crikey and [ profile] the_wykydtron tomorrow, yay!
arisha: (mj)
Movies, mini-series, anime, documentaries, whatever I chose to put on this list. x) The numbers link to the entries where I wrote about each movie; the movies that I liked the best/would recommend the most are in bold. This list is rather longer than my books list, but apparently I'm pickier about which ones I liked ...

Movies I Watched in 2009 )
arisha: (potc2 lulz)

55. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, 2009

Uh, as I recall, Draco was awesome but then they cut out the best line of the book, and oddly enough I have yet to have a desire to watch it again. Oh, me and my on-again off-again Harry Potter fandom ... :P
arisha: (morning musume shabondama)
I am sick for like the third time this month, what is this this is ridiculous. :| And it's an actual unpleasant sort of sick, too, not just "wahaha I lost my voice!"

24. Return to Titanic, Robert D. Ballard with Michael Sweeney
Every so often I spend an afternoon reading about the Titanic, don't ask me why 'cause I don't know, and that is how I found out about this book. Robert D. Ballard was among those who first discovered the Titanic's current location, and this book covers his 2004 return to the site. To be honest, I'm not really surprised to see it only has three stars on I thought the book would be more about the ship and what's been happening to it at the bottom of the ocean, and there was some of that of course, but there was also a lot of rehashing of info that everyone already knows, and a bunch of boring passages about the equipment they used to explore the ship, and there were definitely not enough pictures, especially since Ballard spends a large chunk of the book arguing for the need to preserve the ship and show it to people not through stolen artifacts in museums but through other, less intrusive methods.

Also, this book made me feel really guilty for enjoying that travelling Titanic museum exhibit as much as I did. :|

Movies, etc.:
53. Shoujo Kakumei Utena, 1997
Oh my god, I finished watching this anime like two weeks ago and I still have no idea what to say about it. It's really interesting and really elegantly animated, and while I agree with the reviewers who've said it could've been about ten episodes shorter, overall I did enjoy watching it. I think my main problem with it was that I felt so let down by the ending. I'd heard multiple times that the ending was supposed to be amazing, so maybe I just built it up too much. But I didn't feel like I was watching the grand conclusion to the series, I felt like I was watching just a regular episode, complete with a whole bunch of stuff that I didn't understand. :| Ugh, even after reading a whole bunch of fan interpretations of this series, there's still so much that I don't understand, and so yeah. I'm really not sure what to say about this one.

54. Watchmen, 2009
[ profile] athena_crikey and [ profile] the_wykydtron made me watch this, although they were also kind enough to tell me when to shield my eyes. haha, I don't know, I just don't like watching violence! I remember once when I was talking about how I thought V For Vendetta was a really violent movie, and all of my friends were like, "Wut." So yeah. x) Anyway anyway, I didn't hate this movie like I expected to, and it definitely takes place in a really interesting world. I liked Rorschach's little speech about how he couldn't ignore the darker deeds of humanity, but overall I'm kind of confused as to why fandom seems to love him so much. Also, this is a little random but: I think it was when we were watching 300 that [ profile] the_wykydtron pointed out how in Hollywood sex scenes, the focus is always on the woman's face. OMG SO TRUE WITH THIS MOVIE. HELLO MALE GAZE, HOW ARE YOU?
arisha: (troy achilles)
How weird that the year I wasn't really feeling the Christmas spirit turned out to be the year where I got some of the bestest presents evarrr! First world materialism, go! )

And I feel like I've said this about a million times already, but I have also been LOVING the fandom card exchange I took part in. You guys are amazing and I'm glad to have been able to share a little bit of the holidays with you. <3 :D

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go clean off my desk so I actually have somewhere to put all this stuff when I leave for work in two hours. :P


arisha: (Default)

July 2015

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