Sunday, February 18, 2007

Gamera the Brave- a great return of the friend to all children.

Hey folks, just sat down and watched the region free Hong Kong release of Gamera the Brave. The latest, and what I can only hope will be the first in a series of Gamera films. And in spite of the occasional shotty FX piece that one just has to accept in the foreign market, this is a brilliant return to classic kaiju eiga. Gamera is set up as self-sacrificing hero, but also a menace that wreaked havoc in the seventies. Now the son of a Gamera survivor comes across an egg that hatches a small turtle that...well, can fly.
It almost sounds silly. And in certain respects, it is. It's a little turtle...hovering around on a pocket of warm air and blowing fireballs. But it's done so well that none of the silliness bothers you- it's quite endearing. Think of the relationship between Elliot and E.T. and you're going in the right direction. This boy learns to love his troublesome turtle, and refuses to believe that his pet Toto could grow up to become the violent Gamera. Anyway, in beautiful Kaiju tradition- another monster shows up and (here's the BEST part) starts devouring villagers! It's downright terrifying, and this is a kid's film! God Bless the Japanese. You don't need to know much more, one monster versus another, helpless humans in the middle. And the relationships built up throughout- the Boy and his monster- pay off rather well.
I usually find myself slightly disappointed with the final results on recent kaiju flicks. I'm always left wanting just that little bit more, always thinking, "Wouldn't it have been cool if they did this?" And Gamera the Brave was just enjoyable-through and through. I really can't wait to see what they do with this franchise. I'm just giddy. Now if I can just my hands on Konaka's remake of Mirrorman.....

watching: Layer Cake
listening to: DJ Shadow

Sunday, February 11, 2007

2 Seconds of 15 Minutes

So check it out. Last September, Emily, my wife, took our daughter, Ida, and her mom up to Seattle to do something she's always wanted to do- try out for American Idol. Not because she's like a lot of those deluded freaks, but because she thought it might be fun to try out for a television phenomenon. Like auditioning for a game show. It'd be cool to get on, but your heart's not crushed if they tell you no. And she LOVES to sing, so why not? Now, I don't know how much you guys know about the Idol- but it seems that there are auditions that go on before the "judges" see anyone....auditions for the producers. My guess is that the producers go throught the masses and pick:
a) folks they truly think are really quite amazing
b) the absolute worst, freakiest warblers going
c) a smattering of the middle ground- just to have people get rejected who may actually have some talent.

and that's it. But they never show this on TV....viewers are led to think that the millions you see in the stadiums are going to sing for the "big three", (You'll never see those names typed up on THIS blog- forget it.) but I guess it's really more like hundreds.

So, anyway. While Em, Ida, and Shirley were hanging out in the stands waiting to sing, a camera crew waltzes up and films my little girl....and how could they not, she's cute as hell and wearing a "My Mommy is a Rock Star" shirt. And now I was forced to watch the entire episode that dealt with Seattle, in hopes of catching a glimpse of my favorite people on TV. No go. Talk about torture....I'd rather fly on an airplane to Prague with leeches on my wang (it's a LONG flight). And no shot of Em or Ida.

But just this past week, one of Em's friends sent her the pic epsiode where I guess they were re-capping all the audition cities...and Whammo! two seconds of absolute adorableness.

Pretty cool, eh?
Now if I could just get my hands on a tape of the show....or even a Quicktime file.....anybody out there have one?

watching: Batman Begins
listening to: Kind of Like Spitting