Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Back from Japan

by Alex Stroup
Well, I'm back from Japan so I'll be able to contribute something now.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to cram in a visit to a Japanese movie theater during my week there (though I looked at posters outside a couple) so my movie viewing for the last week was limited to the flights back and forth from San Francisco and Tokyo.

One thing about flying, it gives me a no-shame excuse for watching bad movies. Unfortunately, Japan Airlines shows the same movies in both directions so I was scraping bottom by the time we landed in San Francisco. A quick rundown:

Two for the Money. I actually like Matthew McConaughey (at least quite a bit more than Mr. Wells) but man is this an awful movie. There is some interesting thoughts in it but zero execution.

Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story. First of all, I can't believe they actually made "Inspired by a True Story" part of the title. I think I will add that to my general policy of avoiding movies with "The Movie" as part of the official title. Not bad for what it was (and what it was was a way of staying up through the hours my body thought to be 2a.m. and 4a.m.).

The Legend of Zorro. I love Catherine Zeta-Jones (and count Intolerable Cruelty as one of my personal favorites just for the way she looks in it) but even just watching her through half-closed eyes as a 747-400 tried to rumble me to sleep couldn't give this movie a single redeeming element. I resist labeling films as "god awful" since it burns my atheistic soul. But if there is a god this film was a reminder evil still walks the earth.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. I don't understand why they would offer this movie and not the other two since all combined it would make for a good use of a 10.5 hour flight. The Fellowship of the Ring was the movie I liked best of the three (from a standalone film perspective) but seeing it again for the first time since the theater just emphasized that they were probably one-time only extravaganzas for me.

Harry Potter and the Blah Blah Blah. Didn't like the most recent installment even a little bit and really didn't like it upon second viewing.

I also watched a Japanese television quiz-show (with no subtitles). Not understanding a single word of a trivia-based game show was a better viewing experience than all of these movies except Dreamer.


Blogger Nick said...

Always wanted to go to Japan, but never had the money, or rather when I have the money I realize a one week holiday in Japan doesn't add up in comparison to three weeks in Spain. But one day I intend to have enough money for both.

I dig those desktops over at Mouseplanet. That Tower of Terror looks sweet, but I'm more afraid of the queues in Japan. Eurodisney is bad enough.

3/15/2006 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

The Tower of Terror at Disney World in Orlando is the greatest ride I've ever been on.

3/15/2006 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger Count Olaf said...

Tower of Terror at Disneyland is not as good (you don't "float" across the floor) but there is a cool part involving a mirror and your reflection....It definitely rocks in Orlando. That ride has one of the most devoted followings ever.

And those pictures DO look sweet. Oh the hard knock life of being a Disney jet setter... =)

3/15/2006 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger jaydro said...

So that's where the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea submarines ended up! I must go to Tokyo Disneyland!

3/15/2006 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I haven't been to the Disneys since I was Tiny, but I remember the 20,000 Leagues ride was my absolute favorite.

3/15/2006 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger Alex Stroup said...

Well, the "submarine" ride at Tokyo DisneySea isn't much like the 20,000 Leagues ride at Walt Disney World (the Disneyland one was never themed to the movie, it was more themed to the North Pole expedition in 1958 of the first nuclear powered submarine the USS Nautilus) but yeah, it is the closest you'll ever get again.

Being inside that volcano area is amazing.

I don't know many of the details of this new Tower of Terror (I don't pay much attention to the foreign parks) but the building itself completely dwarfs to the Disneyland and Walt Disney World versions and obviously the theming is completely different with the thematic move from a Los Angeles 1920s hotel to a New York skyrise.

3/15/2006 05:10:00 PM  

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