This one is a movie remake of an old Anime series. The story is pretty interesting, set in a time when humanity has colonized most of the galaxy, but with resources drained, the species is in decline. Many look back to Earth, wanting to re-inhabit it, but the small planet could not possible sustain the whole species at its vast size. A new species wide order has been formed, but a pirate named Harlock rebels against it. They story follows a young man named Logan who tries to join Harlock’s pirates, and there are many twists and turns in the plot along the way.
Although the premise is interesting, the overall story, didn’t quite come together that well, and the characters, though tragic and conflicted, fall just short of being believable and worthy of sympathy. Despite this, the graphics in this movie are pretty amazing. Apparently it cost $30 million USD to make, and you can see it in the quality of the CG animation. If nothing else, this film is worth watching just for that, and the plot, though not spectacularly executed, does hold together enough for you to tag along and enjoy the $30mil eye-candy.
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“Karate Clerk” Mayura Dissanayake recently showed his skills in the MMA ring by knocking out Jaime Garcia in 18 seconds. A video of the match is below. When I watched it, I felt sorry for Garcia. This was an amateur match, but Dissanayake has 3 pro fights of experience. Dissanayake has been given an offer to join well known MMA gym Black House.
Season 3, Episode 10 (originally aired August 19): “Monkey Plate”
Microsynopsis: Steve and Susan secretly invite Jenny (Margaret Cho), the daughter of Ok Cha’s estranged sister, to a surprise birthday party for Ok Cha in the hopes of reuniting the family. Jenny arrives bearing gifts and good wishes, but Ok Cha is sure she’s only there to retrieve a family heirloom Ok Cha stole from her dead grandmother. Roy comes into possession of two field passes to a Steelers game, but since he can take only one friend, Owen and Ahmed compete to be the plus-one.
Good: It’s always good to see Margaret Cho, and it’s especially true here, since Jodi Long (Ok Cha) played Cho’s mother in All-American Girl. The moment where Jenny mimics her mother’s Korean accent (the best part of Cho’s stand-up act) while Susan mimics her own mother’s Korean accent is pretty cute. There’s a lot of Steve-Susan interaction, the kind I wish this show gave us more of. Some of the plot gags involving the Monkey Plate are pretty funny.
Bad: The Roy-Ahmed-Owen business feels like a variation on an uninteresting recurring theme.
Hapa moments: There are two good moment this episode. In the first, Jenny points out that Susan and Steve are only half Korean, saying their lighter skin and half-Caucasian eyes make them look “like white people lining up a putt.” Later, when Jenny goes kind of psycho, Steve tries to calm her down, saying, “Jenny, I thought we wanted the same thing here!” Jenny’s response is, “Shut up, white boy! I came here for the plate!”
Overall: It seems to have taken the better part of three seasons, but some of the other actors (besides Steve Byrne and Dan Lauira) are finding their characters’ grooves, if these last two episodes are any indication. It used to be that only Steve’s interactions with his father and with Melanie felt natural and unforced, but some of that easiness is creeping into other characters’ scenes as well. This episode itself is slightly off the wall, but not especially so for a half-hour sitcom. Mostly, it’s pleasant and enjoyable.
Final grade, this episode: B.
I know some travelers don’t really care what their accommodations are since they feel like they’re going to be exploring the area, not staying in their hotel room, and I’m happy to do that when I’m on a budget, but when I can, it’s great to stay at a place which is a destination in and of itself. Since I was traveling with a group, we were able to split the cost of a beautiful Executive Suite in the already enchanting Alishan House hotel. The regular rooms look nice already with gorgeous views and really nice decor and furnishings, but our Japanese style suite was AMAZING.
The hotel is split into two parts, the Modern House and the Historical House. Apparently it is one of the oldest hotels in Alishan, if not the oldest, hence the Historical House, and our suite was in the Modern House side.
Before I get into the details of the totally sweet Japanese style suite, let’s start with the hotel itself. The above image is of the walkway to the rooms past the main restaurant in the hotel with the manmade waterfall view outside. Below is the lobby area.
Actor and writer Joy Regullano takes the “Asian fetish” dialogue that usually is directed at Asian/Asian American females and turns directs it at a white man for “White Fetish.”
It’s nice to see someone do a funny take on “yellow fever” in the dating scene and it kind of reminds me of the super popular “If Asians Said The Stuff White People Say” video that came out a little while back.
But don’t forget: everyone wants to date Asian women. Even the creepy, racist ones.
So my favorite ring-girl-turned-cage-fighter Michelle “The Karate Hottie” Waterson is up to battle Yasuko Tamada from Japan in all women’s pro-MMA promotion Invicta FC 8 tonight, Saturday Sept 6 at Kansas City.
Waterson is 5′ 3″ with a pro MMA record of 11 wins and 3 losses. Tamada is 5′ with a pro MMA record of 15 wins and 8 losses. Waterson was originally a striker, coming from a karate and muay thai background, but she wins many of her bouts submitting her opponent on the ground. Tamada comes off as a well-rounded fighter as well, having a grappling background but demonstrating a lot of stand up in this fight on Youtube:
Waterson has the advantage in height and weight, but Tamada does look like she has a decent reach and is the more experienced fighter of the two, so everyone who tunes in the UFC Fight Pass tonight will likely be treated to a great fight as Tamada tries to snag the Atomweight Championship from Waterson.
Another fight on the card featuring a female Asian American MMA fighter is Jodie Esquibel against Jinh Yu Frey. Esquibel has got a pro record of 3 wins and 1 loss, while Frey’s record is 2 wins and 0 losses, though Frey is well known for her viral knock-out video in which she breaks her hand putting her opponent to sleep in the cage.
With all these female fighters of Asian descent making noise in the MMA world, I hope we’re making a significant dent in the “helpless Asian girl” stereotype. Nothing helpless about a girl willing to test her metal in the cage.
We already know that Hello Kitty is not a cat, that Hello Kitty is also for men, that you can get pretty much anything you want emblazoned with Hello Kitty on it, and that if you need to get away that the only way to travel is on a Hello Kitty jet… but did you know that superheroes love Hello Kitty, too?
Well, maybe that’s not totally true, but these photoshopped pictures make a really great case for it. I guess it’s not limited to superheroes, because one of my favorites is Hello Kitty Gandalf (he’s a wizard, not superhero!):
The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) is asking for assistance in locating a Nisei who lived in Monrovia, California, in 1965, who was injured in violent demonstrations in Montgomery, Alabama. JACL will participate in the 50th anniversary commemoration of the Selma to Montgomery March for voting rights that will take place in Selma, Alabama, in March 2015. JACL would like to include the Nisei Californian in 50th anniversary activities.
In the Spring of 1965, Todd Endo, a student member of JACL, traveled to Selma, Alabama to support the African American struggle for human rights. Endo wrote articles for the Pacific Citizen about his experiences and views on what was happening in Selma after the death of his friend, Rev. Jim Reeb. One article provided information on other Asian Americans who participated in the demonstrations.
Endo wrote that a Nisei student had been injured in a civil rights demonstration in Montgomery. No other identification was provided for the student who came from Monrovia, California. A television news broadcast in Selma spotlighted the Nisei’s involvement in their coverage of the event. At the time, an African American leader commenting on the incident referred to the student as a civil rights support who had come from Japan. The Nisei student clarified he was an American born in California.
The Spokesman Review, a Spokane, Washington, newspaper wrote in their March 17, 1965 issue in an article titled, “Demonstrators Routed by Montgomery Police”, that 8 were hurt by mounted sheriff deputies as a result of a “mixup in police orders”. Under the subtitle, “Five Horses Injured”, the article noted the injured included a Japanese-American college student who was treated at St. Margaret’s Hospital.
JACL would like to recognize the heroism of the unknown Nisei. White spectators were heard to comment, “Look, even the Japs are here.”
Among other Asian Americans in Selma during the demonstrations was Rev. Andrew Otani, an Issei Episcopalian priest from Minneapolis. His Issei congregation supported and financed his participation in the Selma crisis. There were also three Chinese American students in Selma.
Anyone with information about the unknown Nisei should contact Priscilla Ouchida, Executive Director of JACL, at 202-223-1240 or [email protected]
Season 3, Episode 9 (originally aired August 12): “Owenbrau”
Microsynopsis: Owen brews his own beer, and to the astonishment of everyone in Sullivan & Son, it tastes really good. Dubbing his brew Owenbrau, he goes into business with Roy and Ahmed, while Steve, following the advice of his father, declines to mix friendship with business, telling Owen that his bar won’t sell the beer. This temporarily causes a tiny rift in the friendships, but Steve tries to make amends by connecting his friends to his beer distributor. In a second plot, Carole, Ok Cha, Melanie, and Susan plan a girls’ night out and exchange secrets while relaxing in a sauna.
Good: In the main plot, the theme seems to be good beer. While Owen and his friends deal with the Owebrau situation, Hank and Jack reminisce about a favorite, long-discontinued beer from their past. It’s a simple topic, but moving beer from mere prop to topic of conversation is a great move. People who sit around drinking beer like to talk about beer, too, and for some reason that’s seldom represented on television. And for a change, there aren’t too many stupid jokes, ‘though the laughtrack is still too loud. Also, as strong as the A-plot is, the B-plot is possibly better. The bonding in the sauna is surprisingly convincing, and there’s some carryover when the ladies return to the bar and discuss plans to spend more time together.
Bad: I’m going to be a little nit-picky because there’s not much to hate in this episode. There’s an early moment where Melanie is insulted by Hank, and she kind of obviously removes herself from the conversation to sulk at a nearby table. It’s just a little hammy, ‘though I admit I can’t put my finger on why it feels that way. And when she’s joined by Carole and Susan, the dynamic feels forced. Not until they’ve retreated to the sauna does the connection feel believable, which I also will admit may be intentional.
Hapa moment: It’s Susan who comes up with the idea of sharing secrets in the sauna. Melanie immediately gets excited and says that’s what they should do. Ok Cha says to them both, “You white people always want to put your s*** on the street!”
Overall: This is quite possibly the best episode of Sullivan & Son so far. I’m all about a thirty-minute sitcom installment where the plot is thin but the character development is solid, and that’s what we get in both plots. The jokes are well-told and (mostly) neither idiotic nor obvious, and the interaction between characters is very well done.
Final grade, this episode: A minus.
UPDATE 9/10/2014: Congrats to Douglas C, winner of the GODIVA Limited Edition 2014 Chocolate Mid-Autumn Festival Mooncakes.
In 2014, the Mid-Autumn Festival falls on September 8. That means it’s mooncake time!
Now if you’re like me, and you basically hated mooncake time because you think red bean paste is disgusting (I know, I know… I should get my Asian card taken away for that), then this is the mooncake treat for you!
Back by popular demand, legendary Belgian chocolatier GODIVA has debuted a new collection of limited-edition chocolate mooncakes in celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival. First successfully introduced in Asia seven years ago, GODIVA chocolate mooncakes have previously only been available in select U.S. markets. This year, the limited-edition GODIVA chocolate mooncake collection is available throughout U.S. and Canada with new tea and fruit flavors that capture the spirit of the holiday.
“GODIVA knows our Asian customers are always seeking new and innovative products, and our chocolate mooncake collection delivers, bringing them a modern twist to a classic tradition of the Mid-Autumn Festival,” said Michelle Chin, vice president of marketing and communications at GODIVA. “If you are looking for something truly unique to give to your family and friends to show your love and appreciation, there is no other gift that compares to GODIVA chocolate mooncakes.”
GODIVA still remains the only premium chocolatier in North America that offers customers a non-traditional, luxury mooncake. Since mooncakes are traditionally enjoyed with tea, GODIVA incorporated tea flavors into its exquisite chocolate to create this year’s delectable collection.
The centerpiece of the Mid-Autumn Festival collection is a large dark chocolate shell filled with a crunchy grapefruit mousse, enhanced with hints of lemongrass and vanilla, and topped with a black-tea infused chocolate ganache. The collection also includes three additional mooncake flavors:
“Our chefs at GODIVA are very dedicated to ensuring that the chocolates we create for the Mid-Autumn Festival contain flavors and ingredients that resonate with our Asian consumers,” said Thierry Muret, executive chef chocolatier at GODIVA. “When you taste our chocolate mooncake collection this year, you’ll really experience the various textures and flavors, with the crunchiness of the grapefruit mousse, cocoa nibs and hazelnuts balancing out the creaminess of the ginger-spiced mandarin orange mousse, macadamia cream and green tea chocolate ganache.”
The GODIVA chocolate mooncakes are presented in luxurious gift boxes that have become collectors’ items of their own. This year’s crimson-colored gift box features Chang’e, the Chinese goddess of the moon, in front of a beautifully embossed gold moon. Additionally, two mooncakes – the Grapefruit Black Tea Crunch, and a Lychee Green Tea Crunch – are available individually in the chocolate case in GODIVA boutiques.
GODIVA chocolate mooncake gift boxes retail for $50. They are now available in GODIVA boutiques nationwide and online at www.GODIVA.com. The individual mooncakes retail for $6.50 each, and are available exclusively in GODIVA boutiques. The collection is available for a limited time until Sept. 8, 2014. Visit www.GODIVA.com for more information and for store locations.
Ok, ok… you want a chance to win the gift box? Read on!
Don’t Know Yet (2013)
Starring: James Kyson, Lisa Goldstein Kirsch.
Written and directed by James Linehan.
A guy in a car pulls over where a hitchhiker is standing on the roadside.
“Where are you going?” asks the hitchhiker.
“Uh, where are YOU going?” ask the driver.
“Shouldn’t I be asking you?”
“Are there rules to hitchhiking?”
It turns out there are, but not very many, at least for this driver named Taylor (portrayed by James Kyson). Taylor doesn’t know it at this moment, but this hitchhiker is the first in a long series of people needing a lift somewhere, and he’s happy to take them as far as they need to go in a cross-country Forrest-Gump-like journey away from the house he once shared with his fiance.
When he runs low on money, Taylor gets a cheap lunch in a diner, where he meets a very friendly, very pretty manager who gives him a job and then takes him to her house. Taylor is exceedingly friendly to the strangers he picks up, and other strangers he meets along the way are exceedingly friendly to him in a world that seems absent any threat to safety or well-being.
The people Taylor gives rides to all have different stories, some of them on their way to something, others on their way away from something, and still others not really sure whether they’re coming or going. Taylor gives transportation and friendship to them all, and in return they seem to offer some kind of gradual healing of the ailment that keeps Taylor behind the wheel. In one excellently conceived montage, we see Taylor from in front of the vehicle, driving on long stretches of road, a different passenger riding shotgun in each clip, a different hand-lettered cardboard sign resting upon the dashboard and visible through the windshield. Beyond “Minneapolis or Bust!” sentiments, they seem to act almost as subtitles for the thoughts in Taylor’s head as he listens to each story, his foot always on the pedal.
One day, a woman named Autumn (played by Lisa Goldstein Kirsch) slides into the passenger seat. She’s going to the East Coast, but she soon makes Taylor’s mission her own, the two of them stopping for hitchhikers, Autumn’s eventual destination apparently not pressing. They share a tent at night, stopping at campgrounds or wherever they find a good spot, and Taylor sees something inspiring in Autumn’s free spirit. They gaze at waterfalls together, watch in wonder as eagles circle high above them, make up songs as their campfires fling embers into the night.
I actually was trying to get my hands on the new Appleseed Alpha movie, which looks amazing, but I accidentally bought this. I thought it wasn’t a big deal, since I really enjoy the Appleseed franchise, so I started to watch XIII. Big mistake. It’s supposed to be a two-movie set that combines they storyline 13 episode of a TV series into one. It was so painful to watch, not just because the story just seemed to drag on and on but also because they had mutilated my favorite character, Deunan Knute. She’s supposed to be this amazing warrior, loyal, courageous, and death-defying at every turn. Instead, she seemed like a whiny self-centered pre-teen in XIII. Don’t buy, don’t watch, even if you are a Appleseed fan.