Sunday, December 13, 2009

Which do you prefer?

Last night, we went to see Johnny Depp woo Marion Cotillard in Public Enemies. At the theater, we found out that even though Depp may be the most attractive American movie star of his generation, he's no match for Monkey D. Luffy.

The new One Piece movie opened the same day as Depp's movie. At the Ibaraki Warner-Mycal multiplex, all tickets to the weekend's One Piece showings were sold out. We were there on Saturday night -- so it meant that all the showings for the next day had been gobbled up. Some people in front of us wanted to see it and ended up buying tickets for next Friday's show. What the?!

This is not a new development, according to the Japan Times' Mark Schilling. Japanese films have become dominant again in their home market. One advantage they enjoy is they can be cross-promoted via different media. One Piece is a manga and an anime. I'm sure there are card games and video games. And its appeal isn't just limited to teens; the people going to the last show on Saturday were in their 20s and 30s. The people in front of us who bought tickets for next week were our age.

And what about the hot hot Depp?* He was fine. The film is a bit boring but shows off its lead actor to maximum effect. Dillinger is given a very romantic treatment in the film -- he's a man of honor, a straight talker, a formidable criminal, a silver tongue and he's faithful to his friends and his woman.

Plus, the FBI agents act like a bunch of criminals.


* I think the funniest quote from the article is the last one -- he hasn't even seen the finished film yet. Didn't it come out in the States during the summer?


An update on the monster debut of One Piece.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Looks Strange, Tastes Good

It's been getting chilly here, so we've been eating lots of hot pot dinners. For the past two nights, we've had hot pot with chicken meatballs, oysters and the special fish of the night. Last night, we had:

This kissing fish is called kawahagi (かわはぎ) in Japanese. It's a kind of filefish. Not bad, but we weren't blown away. The meat of the fish is kinda flaky.

Tonight, we tried:

This beauty is called kajika (かじか). Its English code-name is the sculpin. It reminds me of a smaller version of the monkfish. You may not want to kiss it but it sure was tasty. The fins have a gelatinous texture that was especially yummy.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Coming Soon!

You can see lots of American films in Japan, especially if you live in a big city such as Osaka. But often, films get released a few months later here. For example, I get to see the following in the next few weeks:

Up opens this weekend

Public Enemies arrives a week after

Where the Wild Things Are comes in January

So what makes James Cameron so special?

Avatar will open here around Christmas,
nearly the same time as in the U.S.